BUDAPEST TREATY ON THE INTERNATIONAL RECOGINTION OF THE DEPOSIT OF MICROORGANISMS FOR THE PURPOSES OF PATENT PROCEDURE:
The Budapest Treaty was concluded in 1977.
This Treaty is open to States party to the Paris Convention For The Protection Of Industrial Property 1883.
The Budapest Treaty is concerned with patent procedures relating to inventions involving the use of new microorganisms.
Over a period of time, many countries realised that a written description supplemented with drawings was proving difficult to achieve sufficient and full disclosure of the invention details as required by patent law unless, a deposit of the microorganism was necessitated which could then be made available to the public at an appropriate time.
This concern was addressed by the establishment of an “international depositary authority”. The Budapest treaty mandated that a contracting State which allows or requires the deposit of microorganisms for the purposes of patent procedure must recognize, for such purposes, the deposit of a microorganism irrespective of whether such authority is on or outside the territory of the said State.
What the Treaty calls an “international depositary authority” is a scientific institution - typically a “culture collection” - which is capable of storing microorganisms.
As on October 1, 2011, there were 40 such authorities:
- 7 in the United Kingdom
- 3 in the Russian Federation and in the Republic of Korea
- 2 each in Australia, China, India, Italy, Japan, Poland, Spain and the United States of America
- 1 each in Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands and Slovakia.
Benefits of the Budapest Treaty:
i. The Budapest Treaty is an interesting option for the applicant as it saves applicant’s a lot of time, money and energy as it simplifies and streamlines the depositing of microorganisms with just one authority which is recognized by all the contracting States.
ii. The Treaty increases the security of the depositor because it establishes a uniform system of deposit, recognition and furnishing of samples of microorganisms.