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National Measurement Institute

Deposit Biological Materials for Patents

NMI acquired the status of an international depositary authority (IDA) under the Budapest Treaty (see below) in September 1988. You may deposit the following types of biological materials with NMI:

  • bacteria (including actinomycetes), yeasts and fungi other than known human and animal pathogens, that can be preserved without significant change to their properties by the methods of preservation in use (freezing and freeze-drying)
  • nucleic acid preparations and phages if the depositor certifies that they pose no hazard when handled by normal laboratory procedures and the depositor supplies suitable material for preservation

NMI does not accept animal, plant, algal and protozoal cultures, cultures of viral, rickettsial and chlamydial agents, microorganisms which may require, in the view of the curator, special attention to handling and preparation for storage.

The hazard categorisation of the deposit shall be no greater than WHO Classification Risk Group 2.

NMI is obliged to refuse organisms that do not comply with any of the listed conditions.

Click here to download a deposit submission form. For more information contact

The Budapest Treaty

A requirement of Australian patent law is public disclosure of all relevant details pertaining to an invention. For disclosure to be adequate, an invention must be described in sufficient detail to permit a person skilled in the art to reproduce it. Written descriptions and drawings are normally adequate and sufficient for the purpose of seeking patent protection. However this is not the case when the invention involves microorganisms or other biological materials, since repeatability often cannot be achieved by means of a written description alone.

To resolve this issue, the deposit of the biological material within an officially recognised culture collection was deemed necessary for the patent procedure. Consequently, the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure was concluded in 1977 under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization and came into force in 1980. The Budapest Treaty permits the deposit of biological materials to help comply with patentability requirements and also ensures that the biological materials are fully disclosed to the public.

The Budapest Treaty recognises IDAs for biological materials, sets out the minimum standards for such collecting authorities, and also states the guidelines for the deposit of biological materials.

Under the treaty a member state which allows or requires the deposit of biological materials for the purposes of patent procedure must recognise, for such purposes, a deposit of a biological material with any IDA, irrespective of its location.

Read more about the Budapest Treaty.

For further information, contact or tel: +61 3 9644 4841.