Living organisms have historically been excluded from patent laws as life forms were considered natural, not man-made. In 1980 a Supreme Court case Diamond v Chakrabarty narrowly decided that a strain of bacteria that had been modified to insert genes was patentable. In 1988, a Harvard University biologist was granted a patent for a mouse used for cancer research and it became the first animal to be considered an invention by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Corporate patent attorneys lobbied the Patent office that these "products of nature" are patentable once they have been isolated to produce a form not found outside of a laboratory.
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