The method to clone animals such as Dolly the sheep to be patented, but not the resulting animals, according to a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. has ruled . The judge Timothy Dyk has argued that ” the genetic identity of their donor father Dolly makes it impossible to patent.”
Pilar Ossorio, a professor of law and bioethics at the School of Law at the University of Wisconsin, said that the decision was a victory for those who believe that animal cloning was morally wrong. “This ruling removes an incentive for research organizations to proceed with cloning research, at least at the margins,” said Ossorio.
Scientists Wilmuty Ian Keith Campbell at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, generated international headlines and intense ethical debates in 1996, when they created Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from adult cells. The animal, which was named after the singer Dolly Parton, was sacrificed six years later after being diagnosed with a progressive lung disease.
The institute, which has a patent on the method of cloning called somatic cell nuclear transfer, applied for a patent on the clones which was rejected by the examiner of the Patent and Trademark United States 2008.
In February 2013, the examiner’s decision said that the clones do not possess ” markedly different characteristics from others found in nature.” This determination byFederal Circuit has established that nature, natural phenomena and abstract ideas are not eligible for patent protection.
Salvatore Arrigo advocate Roslin Institute, has been disappointed with the verdict. “There is no doubt that Dolly for man was created,” he said.
The institute argued that his clones were distinguished from their donors mammals, partly due to environmental factors that could cause their shape, size, color and behavior different from those of their donors.
The Federal Circuit rejected these arguments and pointed out that the Roslin Institute had said that these differences occur ” regardless of any effort by the patent holder.”