Last updated: 
10 June 2022

From 1 July 2022 all new patent applications which include nucleotide and/or amino acid sequence listings must include the sequence listing in the WIPO Standard ST.26 file format. This applies to Australian national patent applications as well as international PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications. These FAQs will support IP professionals during the transition to the new file format.
 

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Users of WIPO Sequence are encouraged to join the WIPO subscription list, where details regarding all upcoming releases and other important announcements will be provided. Users can subscribe for WIPO sequence uptdates.
 

What applications need to contain an ST.26-compliant XML sequence listing?

All applications filed on or after 1 July 2022 disclosing amino acid and nucleotide sequences must contain an ST.26 XML compliant sequence listing.
 

Will divisional applications need to comply with WIPO ST.26?

Yes. All divisional applications filed from 1 July 2022 must provide an ST.26 XML compliant sequence listing.
 

Will national phase entries need to comply with WIPO ST.26?

National phase applications having an international filing date on or after 1 July 2022 will need to comply with WIPO ST.26.
 

Will IP Australia be performing ST.26 compliance checking?

IP Australia will perform ST.26 validation of the sequence listing accompanying all applications filed from 1 July 2022.

For national applications, a formalities notice will be issued when a sequence listing fails validation. Other issues associated with the sequence listing may also be raised during examination.

In the case of international applications, the applicant will be advised of non-compliance via a notification in Box VII of the ISO.
 

Will I receive a copy of the compliance report?

For national applications IP Australia will not be providing a copy of the compliance report with the formalities notice.

In the case of international applications, IP Australia will forward a copy of the compliance report to the applicant together with the ISR/ISO.
 

The sequence listing filed with my application has failed formalities validation. How do I correct this?

For national applications, the applicant will be provided a period of 2 months for the date of issue of the formalities notice to prepare and file a ST.26 compliant sequence listing. The sequence listing can be submitted in the normal manner via online services.  

For international applications, as compliance will be assessed at ISA stage the applicant will have the opportunity to correct the sequence listing through normal PCT processes i.e. by way of Article 34 Amendment etc. Where correction is sought by way of amendment applicants will need to provide an explanation of the changes and ensure that now new matter has been added. (See question 10 below regarding preparation and submission of ST.26 Compliant listings)
 

How do I resubmit an amended sequence listing?

For international applications any corrections to the sequence listing must be furnished as a complete sequence listing with an accompanying letter explaining the changes. The sequence can be submitted using ePCT

For national applications, applicants will need to prepare a corrected sequence listing ensuring that it meets the requirements of WIPO standard ST.26 without adding subject matter. Applicant’s will then need to submit the corrected listing via e-services. When submitting the corrected listing it is also recommended that applicants provide an explanation of the changes or otherwise indicate that that the content of the resubmitted sequence is in the accepted format and that no new matter has been added.
 

Can I file sequence listings in WIPO ST.26 format before July 1, 2022?

Applications filed before 1 July 2022 should continue to use the ST.25 format.
 

Can WIPO ST.26 compliant sequence listings be prepared from WIPO ST.25 sequence listings without adding new information?

ST.25 compliant sequence listings may be converted to ST.26 compliant sequence listings without introducing new matter. Recommendations for the transformation of a sequence listing from ST.25 to ST.26 are given in Annex VII of the WIPO Standard ST.26 (https://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/standards/en/pdf/03-26-01.pdf)
 

How can I prepare WIPO ST.26 compliant sequence listings?

ST. 26 compliant listings can be prepared using WIPO’s Sequence suite. Information on WIPO’s Sequence suite can be found here: https://www.wipo.int/standards/en/sequence/index.html
 

Do I need to provide a translation of the ST.26 sequence listings if it was originally filed in a language other than English?

A translation of any “free text” descriptors is not required at filing. Please note however that a translation of specific free text field within the listing may be requested during examination if deemed necessary.