Since the mere description of a deposit or identity of a deposit in a patent specification is not necessarily an indication that a requirement for deposit was made or that a deposit which complies with these rules has been made, accessibility to a deposited material referenced in a patent may depend on the satisfaction of conditions not apparent on the face of the patent. For these reasons, and upon request made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Office will certify whether a deposit has been stated to have been made under conditions which make it available to the public as of the issue date of the patent grant provided the request is made to a Director of Technology Center (TC) 1600, and contains the following information:
- (A) the name and address of the depository;
- (B) the accession number given to the deposit;
- (C) the patent number and issue date of the patent referring to the deposit; and
- (D) the name and address of the requesting party.
Persons requesting a certificate of statement of availability of deposit should contact the TC 1600 Director’s office directly, and should not submit a request via the examiner of record.
The Office will not certify whether a deposit has been made under conditions which would make it available to the public until the issuance of a U.S. Patent referencing the deposit. For example, a request for such certification will not be considered where the request is filed with regard to a deposit referenced in an international application filed under the PCT, in an international application that entered the U.S. national stage, or any other U.S. national application, that has not yet issued as a patent.
See also MPEP § 2404.01.
For those deposits made pursuant to the Budapest Treaty, the World Intellectual Property Organization provides a form (Form BP-12) for requesting a certification of legal entitlement to receive samples of deposited microorganisms pursuant to Rule 11.3(a) of the Regulations under the Budapest Treaty. The form is available at www.wipo.int/treaties/en/registration/budapest/guide.