Welcome to the new version of the Patents Manual. Please note there are changes to the numbering and sequence of the chapters and pages in the manual. You are encouraged to take the time to explore and familiarise yourself with this new structure. Requirements for amino acid and nucleotide sequences

Date Published

Key Legislation: 

Patents Act:

  • s102 What amendments are not allowable
  • s104 Amendments by applicants and patentees​​​​​​​

Legislative Instruments:

Administrative Instructions under the PCT:

  • Annex C Instructions Relating to the Presentation of Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequence

WIPO Standards:

Related Chapters:


Applicants may file an amino acid or nucleotide sequence electronically through Online Services or on a CD or DVD.​​​​​​​

Examination practice

Requirements after July 1 2022

The supplied sequences must be in a format which complies with the WIPO ST.26 standard (Patent Formalities Determination (s16)).

The sequence listing can be filed in the appropriate format via e-Services. Examiners should also note that it is possible for sequence listing and identifying data to be provided to the Office on physical media such as a CD, DVD etc (see Physical Media Requirements). In such cases the files contained on the CD or physical media will need to be in the format approved by the Commissioner, i.e WIPO ST.26 compliant. 

ST.26 Requirements​​​​​​​

WIPO ST.26 standard requires the listing to be provided in a particular XML format.

To help patent applicants and filers comply with WIPO Standard ST.26, WIPO has made available the WIPO Sequence tool.  XML sequence files generated using WIPO Sequence software will be compliant with WIPO ST.26. Users of WIPO Sequence are encouraged to join the WIPO subscription list, where details regarding all upcoming releases and other important announcements will be provided. Users can subscribe by completing this online form.

ST.26 Compliance Check

The Office will conduct compliance checking of all sequence listings accompanying applications filed on or after 1 July 2021. Compliance checking will be performed using the WIPO Sequence tool.

Where it is determined that the sequence listing does not comply with the ST.26 Standard a formalities notice will be issued.  Applicants will then be afforded a period of two (2) months from the date of issue of the formalities notice to prepare and file a ST.26 compliant sequence listing.

The corrected sequence listing can be submitted in the normal manner via e-services. When submitting the corrected listing it is also recommended that applicants provide an explanation of the changes or otherwise indicate that that the content of the resubmitted sequence is in the accepted format and that no new matter has been added.

Requirements before 1 July 2022

For convention applications, the supplied sequences must be in a format that complies with Annex C of the administrative Instructions under the PCT. The software PatentIn conforms to this format.

An entire printable copy of the sequence listing and identifying data should be provided in one text file in an uncompressed format.

For national applications, examiners should note that we accept a computer-readable form of a sequence listing instead of any written sequence listing in the application, rather than in addition to the sequence listing as required for applications filed under the PCT. (That is, paragraphs 39 and 40 of Annex C do not apply.)

Note that provision of sequences in electronic form is optional. Applicants may therefore choose to supply sequences in printed form. Examiners cannot ask applicants to supply sequences in electronic form.

Physical media requirements

The applicant may choose to file the sequence listing by providing a physical media device such as a CD or DVD (as per the Patents (Means and Form of Filing Documents) Instrument 2019). This may be necessary if the file exceeds the upload limit of Online Services.

When physical media is filed, CEG will check it for viruses and determine whether it contains a text file and whether it can be opened. However, the content of the text file will not be checked in any way at this stage. The onus is on the applicant to ensure that all the desired sequences are on the file.

If the physical media does not comply with the requirements (for example, if it has a virus), CEG will issue a formalities notice and ask the applicant to supply a substitute.

Note that the physical media must be submitted as part of the application. If it is submitted later, it must be accompanied by an amendment request under s104 and will be subject to the normal provisions for amendments.

Amendments to amino acid or nucleotide sequences in electronic form

If an applicant requests amendments to sequence listings that have been filed in electronic form and are part of the specification, the normal requirements for filing amendments still apply (s102).

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Published for testing

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