October 06, 2006
Coming Soon: Kitten with a EULA?

kittensThe NYT reports that a company by the name of Allerca has begun to offer genetically modified hypoallergenic cats. For a mere $4000 and a barrage of screening, you too can put your household on the list.

But wait, before you put your money down, there's a lengthy purchase agreement, including this odd restriction

Purchaser shall not sell or transfer any Cat purchased hereunder to anyone other than an immediate family member, and shall not offer to any person the purchase of a Cat or any genetic material from a Cat, the rights Purchaser may have under this Agreement, or any other right related hereto, without the Company’s express written authorization.

The Times likewise notes that "At 10 to 12 weeks, every Allerca kitten is neutered before it is delivered. The company insists this is mainly to prevent feline overpopulation. But every Allerca cat carries the dominant hypoallergenic gene and, in theory, could produce copycat hypoallergenic kittens."

"No reproduction" clauses have fast become standard for producers of genetically modified crops such as Monsanto's Roundup Ready, though even that development has its share of controversy. Patent rights or no, I think owners will balk at the thought of licensed housepets.

Posted by Wendy at 11:03 AM