Missing information; notification 

When the Receiving Section notices that the information required under Rule 31(1)(c) (indication of the depositary institution and the accession number of the culture deposit) or the information and the document referred to in Rule 31(1)(d) (authorisation to refer to the deposit and the consent to it being made available) is not contained in or has not yet been submitted with the application, it should notify the applicant of this fact as this information can only be validly submitted within the time limits specified in Rule 31(2). In the case of missing information pursuant to Rule 31(1)(c), the deposit must be identified in the patent application as filed in such a way that the later submitted accession number can be traced back without ambiguity. This can normally be done by indicating the identification reference given by the depositor within the meaning of Rule 6.1(a)(iv) of the Budapest Treaty (see G 2/93). Where the depositary institution and/or the accession number is/are missing in the application on the date of filing but the applicant provides the information within the applicable time limit (Rule 31(2)), the missing information about the depositary institution and/or the accession number is published on the front page of the published European patent application (see A‑VI, 1.3).

The applicant is also informed when a deposit with a recognised depositary institution is referred to but no receipt from the depositary institution has been filed (the applicant is advised to provide this receipt when filing the application, if possible - see the Notice from the EPO dated 7 July 2010, OJ EPO 2010, 498). Filing the receipt is an essential requirement, among other things, for identifying the depositor, whose name needs to be established before the EPO may certify a third party's request for the issuance of a sample of the deposited material (see also A‑IV, 4.1). Any further action, i.e. establishing whether the information available satisfies the requirement of sufficiency of disclosure, is a matter for the examining division. See also F‑III, 6, in particular F‑III, 6.3(ii), as regards the examining division's treatment of applications relating to biological material. If the examining division is of the opinion that the invention is not sufficiently disclosed due to a lack of information concerning the biological material that constitutes the subject of the invention, it may refuse the European patent application (see F‑III, 3). The time limit according to Rule 31(2) for supplying the information required by Rule 31(1)(c) and (d) is excluded from further processing by Rule 135(2).

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