Provided the main opposition amicus curiae brief in landmark Supreme Court case on the patenting of the first genetically engineered life form.
Case: Diamond v. Chakrabarty
Genetic engineer Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty, working for General Electric, had developed abacterium (derived from the Pseudomonas genus) capable of breaking down crude oil, which he proposed to use in treating oil spills. He requested a patent for the bacterium in the United States but was turned down by a patent examiner, because the law dictated that living things were not patentable. The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences agreed with the original decision; however, theUnited States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals overturned the case in Chakrabarty's favor, writing that "the fact that micro-organisms are alive is without legal significance for purposes of the patent law." Sidney A. Diamond, Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court case was argued on March 17, 1980 and decided on June 16, 1980