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The human use of humanoid beings: chimeras and patent law

As biotechnology advances, the day may soon come for the creation of a self-aware, human-nonhuman chimera. The USPTO has ruled on whether a patent may issue on such an organism, but Congress must still legislate a dividing line between human and non-human patentable subject matter.

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  1. US Patent and Trademark Office. Facts on patenting life forms having a relationship to humans. Media Advisory No. 98-6 (April 1, 1998)

  2. Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks. Policy statement on patentability of animals. 1077 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 24 (1987).

  3. PTO disallows bio-patent application as crossing line to 'embrace' humans. Pat. Trademark & Copyright L. Daily D2 (June 21, 1999).

  4. 447 US at 309.

  5. PTO Examination Guidelines on Utility. 50 Pat. Trademark & Copyright J. 295 (1995).

  6. 15 F. Cas. 1018.

  7. 15 F. Cas. 1018 at 1019.

  8. See, e.g., Meyer v. Buckley Mfg. Co., 15 F. Supp. 640 (Ill. 1936).

  9. See Ex parte Murphy, 200 USPQ 801 (1977).

  10. See Fuller v. Berger, 120 F. 274, 275 (7th Cir. 1903).

  11. In re Farrell, 853 F.2d 894 (Fed. Cir. 1988).

  12. Publ. L. 104-41, (1995), 109 Stat. 351, 1 (1995), 1996 U.S.C.C.A.N. 404-1 (1995) (statement of the President of the United States).

  13. 35 USC 103(b).

  14. Animal and gene patent moratorium bill is reintroduced. 45 Pat. Trademark & Copyright J. 347 (Feb. 25, 1993).

  15. See, e.g., HR 922, 105th Cong. (1998); HR 923, 105th Cong. (1998); HR 2326, 106th Cong. (1999).

  16. Exec. Order 12,975 3 CFR 409 (1996).

  17. See, e.g., Wright. Cloning human beings: Report and recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. 38 Jurimetrics J. 3 (1999).

  18. Rivard, M.D. Toward a general theory of constitutional personhood: a theory of constitutional personhood for transgenic humanoid species. 39 UCLA L. Rev. 1425, 1487 (1992).

  19. See, e.g., Fletcher, J. Humanness in humanhood: Essays in biomedical ethics, in Bioethics: Health Care Law and Ethics, edn. 3 (eds. Furrow, B.R. et al.). (West Group, Eagan, MN, 1997).

  20. See, e.g., Hames, B.D. & Glover, D.M. Molecular Immunology, edn.2, 191 (Oxford University Press, New York, 1996).

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Rabin, S. The human use of humanoid beings: chimeras and patent law. Nat Biotechnol 24, 517–519 (2006).

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