WIPO Sequence: Supporting Patent Applicants Filing Sequence Listings

November 5, 2020

This November, WIPO has launched a new tool that supports the production and cross-border filing of patent applications generated in the biotechnology sector that has produced so many life-altering advancements. Installation packages for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux are available on the WIPO Sequence webpage.

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WIPO Sequence is a desktop application that allows patent applicants to author their sequence listings - including DNA, RNA and amino acids - in a fashion compliant with new WIPO Standard ST.26 adopted by Member States.  Biotechnology applications, including genetic sequencing and medical therapeutics, are among the most expensive to produce as they are cutting-edge and often quite complex in nature.

Under current practices, IP Offices have had to produce their own tools for applicants to author their sequence listings, which has resulted in sequence listings in different formats depending on where they originate from. WIPO Sequence represents an advancement because all Offices have agreed to adopt its use so that applicants across the World will have access to the same free tool.

This will not only ensure that all patent applicants have access to the same functionality but also result in significant benefits for sequence listing database provides and their users.  Ensuring consistency of sequence listing data across different jurisdictions ensures an effective IP ecosystem in a digital economy. WIPO Sequence removes the burden of generating their sequence listing in this standard WIPO-format, allowing them to concentrate on producing further innovations in the life sciences.

The driving force for this development is that from January 1, 2022 WIPO Member States agreed that all sequence listings that form part of a patent application, at either the international, national and regional level, must be in a format compliant with WIPO Standard ST.26.  WIPO has been working closely with its Member States to provide any support necessary to ensure this transition is as seamless as possible.