The Budapest Treaty

Since 1981, patent deposits are regulated in an international frame by the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure. It aims at overcoming the difficulties which arose from differing national patent regulations concerning the deposit of biological material. According to the treaty, certain scientifically recognised independent culture collections can obtain the status of an International Depositary Authority (IDA).

The main facts for a deposit according to the Budapest Treaty are as follows:

  • A single deposit with one IDA (e.g. the DSMZ) is recognised as valid by all Contracting States of the Budapest Union.
  • The storage time is at least 30 years.
  • After deposition the culture cannot be claimed back. The deposit remains valid.
  • The depositor is advised to keep samples of the culture for the same period of time so that in the case the culture is for any reason no longer available from the Depositary Authority he can replenish the stock.
  • The Depositary Authority (the DSMZ) maintains secrecy about the details of a deposit and the nature of the deposited material. All material and information is handled strictly confidentially.

Further information about where and how to deposit may be drawn from the "Guide to the Deposit of Microorganisms under the Budapest Treaty" (WIPO, Geneva)


  • According to Rule 9 of the Budapest Treaty the DSMZ keeps strict secrecy regarding the deposit, its nature and the depositor.
  • Cultures deposited for patent purposes are handled by a separate department within the DSMZ (as far as technically possible), and both strains and the information concerning the strains, are handled confidentially and independently of the main collection.
  • Strains deposited under the Budapest Treaty will by no means be included in the DSMZ catalogues or any publicly available lists.

Read more about Biological Material Accepted at the DSMZ.