Hastings Law Journal


Industrial use of microorganisms has grown over the past few decades. In turn, inventors and discoverers of microorganisms have sought patents for their discoveries. Although the United States Patent and Trademark Office views microorganisms as unpatentable living matter, its position was successfully challenged in two cases recently decided by the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals. The first case involves a new bacterial species isolated from soil samples; the second concerns a bacterium created by DNA recombinant technology. This Article discusses and analyzes the issues presented by the two cases, which will be examined by the United States Supreme Court under the name of Parker v. Bergy.

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