Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Budapest, Hungary
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 19/08/1980


Intellectual property

Sub category




What is it about?

According to the present Treaty, a State party that allows or requires the deposit of microorganisms for the purposes of patent procedure must recognize, for such purposes, the deposit of a microorganism with any “international depositary authority”, irrespective of whether such authority is on or outside the territory of the said State. Disclosure of the invention is a requirement for the grant of patents. Normally, an invention is disclosed by means of a written description. Where an invention involves a microorganism or the use of a microorganism, disclosure is not possible in writing but can only be achieved by the deposit, with a specialized institution, of a sample of the microorganism. In practice, the term “microorganism” is interpreted in a broad sense, covering biological material the deposit of which is necessary for the purposes of disclosure, in particular regarding inventions relating to the food and pharmaceutical fields.

Why is it relevant?

This treaty simplifies the process of securing a patent for microorganisms in multiple countries. This simplification contributes to an increase in commercial trade between State parties. Holders of intellectual industrial rights are more inclined to export their technologies in States that provide legal patent protection.

Additional Information

The Union created by the present Treaty is composed of an Assembly and the International Bureau of WIPO. 34 international depositary authorities of microorganisms existed in 2003. Only Member States of the International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property established by the Convention on Industrial Property can ratify this treaty.


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