This revised version of the Guidelines for Examination will apply as from 1 November 2015. Until then, the September 2014 edition of the Guidelines remains valid.

5. Applications relating to nucleotide and amino acid sequences

If nucleotide and amino acid sequences within the meaning of Rule 30(1) are disclosed in the European patent application, they are to be represented in a sequence listing which conforms to WIPO Standard ST.25. The sequence listing should, where it is filed together with the application, be placed at the end of the application (see WIPO Standard ST.25, point 3). The sequence listing must be filed in electronic form. Where the European patent application is filed online, the electronic form is to be attached. Data in electronic form must comply with WIPO Standard ST.25, paragraph 39ff. Where the sequence listing is in addition voluntarily filed on paper, the sequence listing on paper must be identical to the information in electronic form. In this case, the applicant or his representative must submit a statement to that effect accompanying the electronic form in accordance with Rule 30(1) and WIPO Standard ST.25. See the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 28 April 2011, OJ EPO 2011, 372 and the Notice from the EPO dated 18 October 2013, OJ EPO 2013, 542. Where a sequence listing is filed or corrected after the filing date, the applicant is required to submit a statement that the sequence listing so filed or corrected does not include matter which goes beyond the content of the application as filed.

For applications referring to sequences which belong to the prior art see F‑II, 6.1.

For the purposes of publication and file inspection, Standard-compliant sequence listings submitted on the date of filing in TXT format are converted by the EPO. If, due to its excessive volume, a sequence listing cannot be included in the electronic file in converted form, the electronic file will refer to this technical limitation and to the option of obtaining a copy of the sequence listing in electronic form on written request (see the Notice from the EPO dated 18 October 2013, OJ EPO 2013, 542, and the Decision of the President dated 28 April 2011, OJ EPO 2011, 372).

The Receiving Section will inform the applicant of any deficiencies as to the sequence listing or as to the necessary statements and invite him to remedy the deficiencies and pay a late furnishing fee within a non-extendable period of two months. If the requirements of Rule 30 in conjunction with the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 28 April 2011 are not complied with in due time, where appropriate following the invitation to do so from the Receiving Section, which includes the payment of the late furnishing fee, the application will be refused according to Rule 30(3). This also applies if a sequence listing is subsequently filed in electronic form, i.e. in text format (TXT) but still contains deficiencies with respect to the Standard. Such deficiencies will not prompt the EPO to issue another invitation under Rule 30(3), triggering a new period of two months, unless the previous invitation did not draw the applicant's attention to such remaining deficiencies (see J 7/11).

The applicant may request further processing of the application.

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