Living Matter [Patent Law] Law and Legal Definition

Living matter under patent law refers to matter that is manufactured by man and is patentable subject matter in the U.S. This was laid down in Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (U.S. 1980). The court ruled that genetically modified organisms will be considered living matter. Prior to 1980, life forms were considered a part of nature and were not patentable. However, in this case, the Supreme Court granted patenting of human-made, genetically engineered bacterium which is capable of breaking down multiple components of crude oil.