The main feature of the Treaty is that a contracting State which 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.

Where an invention involves a microorganism or the use of a microorganism, a deposit of a sample of the microorganism must be made with a specialized depository institution. In order to eliminate the need to deposit in each country in which protection is sought, the Treaty provides that the deposit of a microorganism with any "international depositary authority" is sufficient for the purposes of patent procedure before the national (or regional) patent offices of all of the contracting States.

An institution acquires the status of "international depositary authority" if the contracting State in which the institute is located, furnishes to the Director General of WIPO of assurances to the effect that the institution complies and will continue to comply with certain requirements of the Treaty.

In India, the following two institutes have acquired the status of an international depositary authority:

  • International Depositary Authority, Microbial Culture Collection (MCC), National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), University of Pune Campus, Ganeshkhind, Pune-411007, Maharashtra.
  • International Depositary Authority, Microbial Type Culture Collection and Gene Bank (MTCC), Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Sector 39-A, Chandigarh.
 

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