NCIMB attends World Intellectual Property Organization Meeting

NCIMB Senior Scientist Sammi McIntosh headed to the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva last week, to represent NCIMB at the Meeting of Member States and International Depository Authorities (IDAs) under the Budapest Treaty. In this blog post she reflects on the event.

The patenting system was developed to stimulate innovation, offering protection in exchange for disclosure. This allows other inventors to understand the latest advances and build on them to develop new inventions. For most inventions, disclosure involves publication of a written description and drawings. But for inventions that are, or require the use of biological material, drawings and a written description would not provide sufficient information – in these cases a sample of the biological material must be made in a recognised institution, known as an International Depositary Authority (IDA). NCIMB has been an International Depositary Authority for more than 40 years.

WIPO hold biennial meetings to give IDAs the opportunity to come together and discuss shared issues and experiences, but it was the first time I had attended. The meeting was a great opportunity to meet people from other depositary authorities, both from within the UK and around the world. It was great to hear how how the other IDA’s treat their deposits and have a chance for IDAs to discuss the common issues they are facing.

This year’s meeting also included the national Intellectual Property Offices (IPOs), and provided an opportunity for the IPO representatives to meet the IDA delegates from their respective countries. This allowed IDAs and IPOs to gain more of an understanding of how they each dealt with their parts of the patenting processes and created a foundation for closer working relationships in future.

Another key part of the programme was the discussions around how the end users view patent deposit, and what should happen to the patent deposits after the “30 +5” years that IDAs are required to store them for – in other words, five years after the most recent request for a sample, and in any case at least 30 years. It was also interesting to hear about how biotechnology is being used and could impact the patent procedure in the future.  

More information about our patent deposit services and how to make a deposit is available on our patent deposit page.

Sammi McIntosh, Senior Scientist

The the meeting was a great opportunity to meet people from other depositary authorities, both from within the UK and around the world.