Quack In one of the first patent applications filed in 2000 in the Patent Office of Great Britain, one of Her Majesty's subjects is seeking to patent herself.

The Patent Office, through its spin doctor Mr. Brian Caswell, has confirmed that Donna Rawlinson MacLean, upon filing of her Great Britain Patent Application No. GB0000180.0 on January 3, 2000, became the first person to attempt to patent herself.

MacLean, a 30 year old poet and casino waiter from Bristol in western England, explained to reporters that she was prompted to seek to protect exclusive rights in herself by her outrage at the patenting of gene sequences by businesses.

"It has taken 30 years of hard labor for me to discover and invent myself, and now I wish to protect my invention from unauthorized exploitation, genetic or otherwise," Maclean said.

When asked whether she would make herself available under an exclusive license, or maybe even a series of non-exclusive ones, she said she was not sure but that she would never do such a thing unless the conditions were right. "I need a dozen roses, three milk chocolate Godiva's, and breakfast in bed every day, at a minimum," she smiled.

A reporter pointed out that when the patent expires "everyone is going to be free to make, use and sell the patented subject matter, namely yourself."

"What are you going to do then," the reporter asked?

Ms. MacLean said that she hadn't thought about that yet. She added "That isn't going to happen for 20 years. Besides, to do anything like that they're going to need to catch me."

The Patent Office's Mr. Caswell would not speculate whether Ms. MacLean will be granted a patent on the basis of her January 3 application or when she would get one if she does.

"You can imagine, though," he said, "that we take this matter, like all matters we handle on Her Majesty's behalf, very seriously. I can only assume she will get her patent on her if she is novel and she represents an 'inventive step.' She seems like an inventive step to me, and she certainly satisfies the requirement for patentability that she be 'industrially applicable.' To my mind, serving drinks in a casino and making up poetry are industrial applications," Caswell said.

Caswell refused to answer questions on rumors that Charles, Her Majesty's eldest son and the Prince of Wales, had filed an application, also on January 3, on himself compressed to the size and shape of a tampon.
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