The 'Ethical' Regulation of 'Novel Being' Technologies: The Potential Role for Patents as Ethical Drivers, Blockers and Guiders?
David Lawrence and Sarah Morley (eds), Novel Beings: Regulatory Approaches for a Future of New Intelligent Life (Edward Elgar 2022).
17 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2023
Date Written: April 12, 2022
This chapter focuses specifically at the conceptual level on the potential role patents could play in regulating “novel being” technology in an ‘ethical’ manner i.e., in steering the development and use of “novel being” technologies in an ethical manner. The term “novel being” is used in this chapter to refer to new forms of ‘beings’ which may be created via many different types of technologies, for example, by using artificial technologies, biotechnologies etc. Crucially, such beings are imagined as beings that display characteristics akin to humans, such as sentience, agency and autonomy. The chapter argues that patents have potential to act as drivers, blockers and guiders of ‘ethical’ approaches to the development and use of “novel being” technologies by rightsholders, or by third parties. However, deeper investigation of such issues is warranted if such approaches are to be utilised more broadly in either a reactive or proactive manner to assist in the regulation of ‘novel being’ technologies.
Keywords: Patents, Ethical Issues, Novel Beings, Regulation
JEL Classification: K32, K20, K29
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation