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Good news about patenting of microorganisms in Chile

  • 01 October 2013
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In Chile, besides patenting microorganisms that meet patentability requirements, now those can also be deposited in a Bank recognized as an International Deposit Authority located within the country territory. Even though the Treaty of Budapest has been in force in Chile since August 2011, only recently -since March 2012- the country posses a recognized and qualified institution for the deposit and preservation of biological material used for the purposes of patent procedure.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which administers the Budapest Treaty, notified to the Government of the Republic of Chile in its Budapest Notification No 283 that the Colección Chilena de Recursos Genéticos Microbianos (The Chilean Collection of Microbial Genetic Resources, CChRGM, by its Spanish acronym) acquired the status of International Depositary Authority, under the Budapest Treaty on March 26, 2012. The recognized Collection then became the first Chilean and regional institution recognized by WIPO to serve the purposes and provisions of this Treaty. The CChRGM is the operational unit of the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA). INIA is a private law non-profitmaking corporation, attached to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Before being accredited as an International Depositary Authority, the CChRGM hosted 2,150 deposits of microorganisms. Currently, the Collection receives deposits of nematodes, fungi (mold, filamentous fungi, yeasts, and higher fungi), bacteria (including actinomycetes), and plasmid-containing microorganisms, which can be preserved without any change of its properties by means of sub-culture and cryopreservation storage and lyophilization.

The CChRGM also accepts pathogenic microorganisms from plants, antagonists of phytopathogens, nematophogae, entomopathogens, mychorrizas, endophytes of plants, among others. However, animal and human pathogenic microorganisms or of unknown nature cannot be deposited. Similarly, for now at least, the Collection does not receive deposits of algae, protozoa, human cell lines, animal viruses and hydrydomes. In addition, preparations of nucleic acids and phages are not for the time being accepted in the Collection, pending development of techniques and procedures inside the laboratory. According to the updating of fees reported by WIPO in Budapest Notification No 288 on September 20, 2012, the deposit of a strain, for at least 30 years, has a cost of 425,000 Chilean pesos (approx. 850 USD).

The fact that the Collection has been named as International Depositary Authority of microorganisms by WIPO makes a lot of sense, since the INIA is the institution responsible for the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources in the country. Besides, this achievement results from the comprehensive effort made between the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Economy and the National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI), as a result of a national policy that seek to address entrepreneurship through promoting innovation, and providing access to international standard tools necessary for the protection of industrial property.

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Good news about patenting of microorganisms in ChileGood news about patenting of microorganisms in Chile