Patent on hybrid human denied

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2005:

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on February 11, 2005
rejected the 1997 application of New York Medical College professor
of cell biology and anatomy Stuart Newman for a patent on a
theoretical method of combining human embryonic cells with cells from
a nonhuman primate to create a “chimera,” meaning an animal with
traits of multiple species. The Patent & Trademark Office ruled that
the chimera would be too close genetically to a human being to be
patented. This was as Newman hoped, since he filed the application
to seek a precedent against patenting life forms.
“I don’t think anyone knows, in terms of crude percentages,
how to differentiate between humans and nonhumans,” deputy
commissioner for patents John Doll told Rick Weiss of the Washington
Post, adding, “It would be very helpful to have some guidance from
Congress or the courts.”

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