Although plant material is included within the scope of the definition of biological material for purposes of patents for plant inventions under 35 U.S.C. 101, the rules on deposits are not applicable to applications filed under the Plant Patent Act (35 U.S.C. 161–164). The Office is of the view that a deposit is not required under the present provisions of 35 U.S.C. 162. Thus, a deposit is not necessary for the grant of a plant patent under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 161–164. See also MPEP § 1605. As with other biological material deposited for purposes of patents for inventions under 35 U.S.C. 101, the deposit of plant material together with the written specification must enable those skilled in the art to make and use the claimed invention, in accordance with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 112.
As with some types of reproducible biological material, seeds can be reproduced only after a growing season which may be relatively long. Although the rules do not specify a specific number of seeds to be deposited to meet the requirements of these rules, so long as the number of seeds deposited complies with the requirements of the Budapest Treaty International Depositary Authority (IDA) where the deposit is made, the USPTO would consider such a compliant submission as satisfying the rules under 37 CFR 1.801 through 1.809. Note that the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), a Budapest IDA, requires a minimum deposit of 625 seeds; other IDAs may have different minimum requirements. Accordingly, any depositor should confirm that the number submitted to a specific IDA complies with that IDA’s requirements for seed deposits.