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Get Your Hands Off Me You…..
Altor BioScience has had a patent revoked in Europe (for now…). This research company was issued this patent in 2012 and currently the patent award is legal.
However, I’d bet that more than a few people would be a bit uneasy regarding the process this patent was protecting.
The patent is for the right to genetically alter chimpanzee DNA to be more human like so they can be part of experiments that help develop commercial drugs, etc., for the treatment of things like cancer.
The ethical considerations of this attempt is what seems to have been completely missed by the European Patent Office when they awarded this patent and many others like it.
Read more about this patent below.
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, July 7, 2015 (ENS) – The European Patent Office has revoked the patent EP1409646 held by Altor BioScience. After the U.S. company withdrew its controversial claims on genetically engineered chimpanzees, the EPO has now also revoked a changed version of the patent claiming genetically engineered rats and mice as inventions.
The opponents believe this patent revocation is “an important success,” but warned in a statement today that it does not indicate a general change in the legal practice of the European Patent Office.Patent EP1409646 was granted by the European Patent Office in June 2012. It allows chimpanzees to be manipulated to make their DNA similar to that of humans, and then used in pharmaceutical research.
The opposition argued that this patent violates ethical provisions in patent law.
“While on the one hand protection of great apes gets more and more support in society, on the other hand the desire of some companies to patent chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, is a step in the opposite direction,” says Jane Goodall who studied chimpanzees in the wild for many years.
“It seems to me shocking that a company should consider a great ape as a mere technical tool. If we allow that in this day and age people in the future will look back and say: How could they??” Goodall said.
The opponents say the European Patent Office is granting patents on animals based on a controversial legal interpretation despite the patent law that prohibits patents on animal varieties.
Around 1,500 patents that concern animals and their usages have already been granted in Europe.
More details surrounding this and other companies who have been granted patents to alter animals in order to further research can be found at ens-newswire.com. Article excerpt from ens-newswire.com.