birth of modern biotech.
1980 case Diamond
v. Chakrabarty, the United States Supreme Court ruled
that a "live, human made microorganism is patentable
material." The decision which made man-made
biological products profitable commodities, led to the
development of the multi-billion dollar modern biotechnology industry.
When Anada Chakrabarty developed a strain of oil eating microbes, his employer, General Electric, applied for a patent on the organisms. When the patent request was rejected by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office in 1978, G.E. took legal action. The ensuing court battles reached the United States Supreme Court, which found in favor of Chakrabarty and G.E. Chakrabarty was awarded the first patent for a genetically engineered microorganism.