Friday, June 12, 2020

Diamond v. Chakrabarty at 40

[We have the following announcement.  DRE]

WEBINAR: Patents on Life: Diamond v. Chakrabarty at 40 (June 17, 1pm EDT), Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 1:00 – 2:30 PM (EDT).  This webinar is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.  CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE LIVE WEBINAR.

In June 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Diamond v. Chakrabarty authorized the first patent on an intentionally genetically modified organism and concluded that patents may be granted for “anything under the sun that is made by man.” The decision contributed to the rise of the modern biotechnology industry and reshaped the agriculture industry. Less well known, the Plant Protection Act of 1930 had previously allowed intellectual property protection for selectively bred and cloned plants. On the 40th anniversary of Diamond v. Chakrabarty and the 90th anniversary of the Plant Protection Act, our expert panel will discuss breakthroughs in agricultural biotechnology and explore the impacts – economic and environmental – of these two major historical turning points. How did the rise of patented, GMO crops change farming? How did the Supreme Court’s decision change the patent system? How did developments in biotechnology reshape America’s innovation system?

 We will take questions through the web portal following brief opening presentations and an initial discussion among the panelists.

  • Ananda M. Chakrabarty, inventor and distinguished professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine
  • Dan Charles, science writer, National Public Radio food and agriculture correspondent
  • Daniel Kevles, Stanley Woodward Professor Emeritus of History, History of Medicine & American Studies, Yale University
  • Jennie Schmidt, farmer, registered dietitian nutritionist, and blogger at The Foodie Farmer
  • Moderator: Arthur Daemmrich, Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
Closing Remarks: Sean O’Connor, Executive Director & Senior Scholar, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Details here.  Real-time captioning (CART) for the live webinar will be provided. Please send an email to with any other accessibility needs.  This webinar is co-presented by The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, and the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.