欧州は、優先権・分割出願・新規事項等の条件が非常に厳しいことが知られていますが、The Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (epi)から、「Paper Submitted by epi concerning new WIPO Standard ST.26 on sequence listings」というレポートが公開されています。
There is no transitional period. The new ST.26 comes into force on 1st July 2022. This applies to all EP applications with an International or European filing date after then, even where an earlier related application has been filed using ST.25. For example, a National patent application could have been validly filed using ST.25, and then a European patent application, filed after 1st July and claiming priority, would require a ST.26 version. Likewise, a priority-setting European patent application filed before 1st July would have a sequence listing in ST.25 format while the subsequent priority-claiming European patent application filed after 1st July would require an ST.26-compliant sequence listing. This places an added burden on applicants, particularly in order to avoid affecting the validity of the claim to priority (notably under the EPO’s strict interpretation of priority).
In addition to the general aim of reducing burden on applicants, we have serious concerns about the potential for ST.26 sequence listings filed for divisional applications (when the parent case had been filed before 1st July 2022) to add matter. Such added matter problems will be impossible to remedy. This is because ST.26, by definition, requires more information than ST.25. By requiring more information, the danger is that filing an ST.26 listing will, inherently, add matter. That is an immediate and obvious consequence of ST.26 demanding more information.