In those areas of biotechnology in which nucleotide and/or amino acid sequence information is significant, many patent applicants are accustomed to, or familiar with, the submission of such sequence information, in electronic form, to various sequence databases, such as GenBank, which is produced by the National Institutes of Health. In order to facilitate such submissions, or merely for the purpose of researching and developing sequence information, many eventual patent applicants also generate or encode sequence information in computer readable form. In order to further facilitate compliance with the sequence rules, the Office previously made available to the public an input program based on the AuthorIn program produced by GenBank. This input program, called PatentIn version 1.3, was specifically tailored to the requirements of the sequence rules which were in effect between October 1, 1990 and July 1, 1998. Applications filed in the U.S. or in member countries of WIPO after July 1, 1998, containing sequence listings prepared using PatentIn version 1.3 will not be in compliance with 37 CFR 1.821–1.825 or ST.25.
The current sequence rules, which are embodied in 37 CFR 1.821–1.825 and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standard ST.25, became effective July 1, 1998. Several versions of PatentIn have been released since 1998.
PatentIn version 3.5.1, available as of November 2010, and the companion User’s Manual, are available on the Office website ((www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/patent-basics /types-patent-applications/utility-patent/patentin-version-351) for free downloading. PatentIn 3.5.1 operates in a Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 environment. A minimum of 512 Megabytes (MB) of memory is required. Additional memory may be required for large patent applications. For the best performance 1 Gigabyte (GB) of memory is recommended for very large projects, projects with 100,000 sequences, or a sequence approaching 12 MB. The disk space required to install PatentIn 3.5.1 is about 6.5 MB. Additional disk space is required to store project files and sequence listing files.
For help related to downloading the PatentIn software program or using PatentIn, contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at 866-217-9197 or via email at email@example.com.
While use of the PatentIn program is not required for compliance with the sequence rules, its use is highly recommended, as Office experience has shown that submissions developed with PatentIn are far less likely to include errors than those developed without the program. The many automatic features of the PatentIn program also greatly ease the generation of sequence listings when compared to generating them by hand in a word processing environment. This is especially true for sequence listings that include many sequences and/or sequences having great lengths.
Checker software that may be used to check a sequence listing for compliance with the requirements of 37 CFR 1.824 is available on the USPTO website at www.uspto.gov/patents- getting-started/patent-basics/types-patent-applications/ utility-patent/checker-version-446. The User Notes on the Checker website should be consulted for an explanation of errors that are not indicated, and content that is not verified, by the Checker software.