Stop Animal Patents
Just like toasters, clocks, and other inanimate objects, animals are being patented as inventions in the United States. Private companies, universities, and individual ‘bioentrepreneurs’ have been granted over 660 patents on animals such as chimpanzees, monkeys, mice, rabbits, dogs, cats, and pigs who have been ‘altered’ in some way, creating an incentive to profit from harming animals. It is our position at AAVS, however, that it is an unethical and inappropriate use of the patent system to issue patents for sentient beings.
As part of our Stop Animal Patents campaign, AAVS has successfully challenged two animal patents to date. In 2008, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office agreed with AAVS’s request to rescind a patent that had been granted for rabbits whose eyes were intentionally damaged to serve as a model for "dry eye" conditions in humans.
Prior to that victory, AAVS also challenged a patent issued to Texas A&M University for beagles who were severely sickened and whose lungs were then purposefully infected with a mold in order to test new human drugs on them. That challenge likewise resulted in a victory for the beagles when the patent holders dropped all claims to the patent.
AAVS’s successes in overturning animal patents will help bring attention to the fact that animal patents are neither legally valid nor morally acceptable, and will hopefully bring an end to a system that treats animals as if they were human inventions.