Budapest Notification No. 270
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

Communication of the Government of Finland Relating to the Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority by VTT Culture Collection (VTTCC)

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and has the honor to notify him of the receipt from the Government of Finland, on July 7, 2010, of a written communication dated June 16, 2010, relating to the acquisition of the status of International Depositary Authority by the VTT Culture Collection (VTTCC), which states that this Depositary Institution is located on the territory of Finland and includes a Declaration of Assurances to the effect that the Institution complies and will continue to comply with the requirements concerning the acquisition of the status of International Depositary Authority specified in Article 6(2) of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, done at Budapest on April 28, 1977, and amended on September 26, 1980.

Pursuant to Article 7(2)(b), the VTT Culture Collection (VTTCC) shall acquire the status of International Depositary Authority under the Budapest Treaty on August 25, 2010, that is, on the day of publication of this notification.

August 25, 2010

Text of the Communication of the Government of Finland Relating to the Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority by VTT Culture Collection (VTTCC)

[Original: English]


As the President of the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland, I have the honor to refer to the process laid out for the acquisition of international depositary authority status under the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (Budapest Treaty) and to advise of the nomination, by the Government of the Republic of Finland, of the VTT Culture Collection (VTTCC) as an international depositary authority in accordance with Article 7(1) of the Budapest Treaty.

In that connection, I hereby furnish my assurances that VTTCC complies and will continue to comply with the requirements specified in Article 6(2) of the Budapest Treaty.

Attached is information on the proposed depositary institution (VTTCC), as required by the Treaty.


Information on the Depositary Authority

1. Name and address:

VTT Culture Collection (VTTCC)
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Tietotie 2

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 1000 FI-02044 VTT

Telephone: (+358 20) 722 4526
Facsimile: (+358 20) 722 7071 (contact: Erna Storgårds)

2. Detailed information as to the capacity of the VTTCC to comply with the requirements of the Budapest Treaty:

Parent organisation

VTT Culture Collection was established as a collection of industrially important microbial strains in 1959 by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT is a multitechnological non-profit-making research organisation established 1942. It has a personnel of 2700 of which 77% have a university degree. VTT is a part of the Finnish innovation system under the domain of the Ministry of Employment and Economy. The turnover of VTT is 245 M€ of which 70% comes from external funding and 30% is covered by basic governmental funding. The VTT operating system is certified under ISO9001:2008.

General description

VTT Culture Collection is a member of the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) since 1985 with register number WDCM139. VTTCC is also member in European Culture Collections' Organization (ECCO) since 1984. VTTCC has a permanent staff of eight persons working full-time or part-time for the collection. These include the director and two senior research scientists, two research assistants and three data engineers managing the data base, web pages and internet connections. In addition, the collection uses the expertise of the host institute regarding as well advanced microbiology as it's sequencing unit, juridical and secretarial help etc. The present total holding of the culture collection is about 6000 strains — bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi — which have been isolated or constructed during VTT research projects or ordered from other culture collections. The unique strains originate from food, brewing, malting, pulp and paper processes, human gastrointestinal tract or from the environment. The collection distributes strains for industrial and for research purposes, deposits strains for public access and for safe keeping and offers identification services on request. Safe deposited strains are strictly confidential and delivered only with the written permission of the depositor.

Preservation and handling of strains

For long-time storage, the VTTCC strains are maintained as duplicate series of samples in -150°C freezers at two sites connected to independent electrical networks. The freezers are connected to 24 hours alarm system. As additional backup, the strains are stored also in freeze-dried state in locked cold rooms. The collection has well equipped laboratory facilities befitted to aseptic handling of the strains. Anaerobic cabinets allow handling of strictly anaerobic strains. Versatile phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and genotypic methods are used for identification. The collection staff is permanent and has pertinent training and many years experience in exacting microbiological methods.


VTT Culture Collection is situated within VTT premises and covered by its rigorous security management. VTT has a 24h security surveillance including electronic security systems. All facilities are locked and sojourn permitted only for staff displaying an identity card and for accompanied visitors displaying expiring visitor badges. All VTT staff, including students and visiting scientist, is security checked by the Finnish authorities. Within VTT, the strains of the Culture Collection are kept in locked freezers and cold rooms with access only for the collection staff. The confidential information in VTTCC strain data base has encrypted access with personal pass words. Information concerning strictly confidential strains is limited to the staff of the collection only.

In accordance with Rule 6.3(a) of the Regulations of the Budapest Treaty, VTTCC requires before it will accept microorganisms for deposit:

- that the deposit of a microorganism must be in appropriate form and quantity to enable VTTCC to fulfil its obligations under the Regulations;

- that the form established by VTTCC and duly completed by the depositor for the purposes of the administrative procedure be furnished;

- that the written statement referred to in Rule 6.1(a) or 6.2(a) be properly completed in English;

- that the fee for storage referred to in Rule 12.1(a)(i) be paid;

- that the depositor obtains all necessary permits for the transportation of the deposit.

In accordance with the Regulations of the Budapest Treaty, VTTCC will:

- check each deposit for viability and morphology and store it according to Rule 9.1;

- issue receipts on Form BP/4, viability statements on Form BP/9 and other official notifications as required;

- comply with the prescribed secrecy requirements in Rule 9.2;

- furnish samples under the conditions of and in conformity with the prescribed procedures in an expeditious and proper manner.

3. Kinds of microorganisms accepted as patent deposits:

Bacteria (including actinomycetes) and fungi (including yeasts) which can be preserved at -150°C or in freeze-dried state without significant damage to or loss of their properties or viability.

VTTCC accepts only organisms belonging to risk groups 1 or 2 according to Directive 2000/54/EC on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents at work, and genetically modified microorganisms belonging to class 1 according to Council Directive 98/81/EC on the contained use of genetically modified microorganisms.

Biological material cannot be accepted, if it is contaminated by foreign organisms. Mixtures of microbial cultures of more than two microorganisms will not be accepted. Mixtures of two microorganisms will be accepted in case these a) cannot be cultivated separately as pure cultures and b) can easily be distinguished macroscopically or microscopically.

VTTCC reserves the right to refuse to accept for deposit any material which in its view represents an unacceptable hazard or which it cannot process.

4. Schedule of fees:

1. (a) Accession and deposit (including initial viability check, preservation and storage for 30 years) 900
  (b) Conversion of a deposit made outside of the Budapest Treaty into a deposit according to Budapest Treaty 900
  (c) Prolongation of the duration of storage, per year   50
2. Issuance of a viability statement  
  (a) Where a viability test is requested 120
  (b) On the basis of last viability test   50
3. Furnishing of a sample 170
4. Communication of information   50
5. Issuance of an attestation 120

Fees do not include VAT, transport costs or bank fees.

5. Official language:

The official language of VTT Culture Collection is English. Written statements and completed forms have to be in English, but communications are also accepted in Finnish and Swedish.