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Biotech Century

Supreme Court Challenge of the First Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Patent Claim

Provided the main amicus curiae brief on behalf of the US Patent Office in landmark Supreme Court case. In 1980, U.S. scientist Ananda Chakrabarty applied for the first patent on a living organism — a genetically engineered bacterium able to digest oil spills. The case ended up in the US Supreme Court. Jeremy Rifkin, on behalf of his organization, then called the People's Business Commission (PBC), filed the only amicus brief supporting the Patent Office's decision to deny Chakrabarty a patent.

Resources

Amicus Curiae Brief: People's Business Commission: U.S. PTO vs. Ananda Chakrabarty, December 13, 1979

Press

New York Times, New Animal Forms Will Be Patented, April 17, 1987

Washington Post, US to Grant Patents on Animals: Foes of Cross-Splicing Gene Patents Warn of Possible Disasters, April 18, 1987

New York Times, Patenting Life Forms of Animal Life; Is Nature Just a Form of Private Property, April 28, 1987

Nature, Animals Can Now Be Patented, April 23, 1987

New York Times, Life Patents: Doubts Are Registering, August 7, 1988

 

 

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