(14)  Dolly the sheep, patents and cloning

In February 1997 the Roslin Institute, which is based near Edinburgh, announced that it had developed a technique for cloning animals, and introduced the world to Dolly the sheep, the first product of this process. The Institute has applied for a patent for the process, which would theoretically cover the cloning of human beings as well as animals. It seems likely that Dolly will join the Onco or Harvard mouse in the animal patent hall of fame, the latter beast being still the subject of a test case in the European Patent Office on the morality of patenting at least some aspects of biotechnology.