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De-Extinction Patents?

The resurrection of extinct species like mammoths or close versions of them brings up the question of whether developers can patent such animals, Wired writes.

It notes that lab animals like OncoMouse, which was made to be more susceptible to cancer, have been patented, but that cloned animals like Dolly could not be patented, as they were copies. Since the goal of de-extinction efforts is to bring back lost species, Wired says that it might not be possible to patent the resulting animals, however, it notes that as many of these efforts are planning to bring back not quite the same, though a very similar animal — the mammoth effort is focusing on a hairy, cold-resistant elephant — and that the differences could be enough to make the animals eligible for patenting.

The other question, Wired notes, is whether the resurrected creatures should be patented at all. "We are a byproduct of the incredible story of this planet, and it's an incredible amount of arrogance to believe that we could have some kind of legal right over an entire population of organisms," Ben Novak from the Revive & Restore project tells it.

Ben Lamm, the CEO of Colossal, tells Wired that the tools developed through the de-extinction efforts could be patented and might be more valuable, though it notes he does not rule out trying to patent any resurrected animals' genomes.

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