When the US Supreme Court first decided that life could be patented my first thought was to wonder how they could be so stupid as to effectively legalize slavery (my second thought was what on earth happened to prior use?). Well, technology is finally close to the point where their colossal error can be turned into the greatest business since organized religion. Unfortunately it’s taken so long I’ve completely lost interest so I’m giving this one away for free.
Chimpanzees are only a few percent different at the genetic level so a 2 or 3% change in the human genome should be enough to be declared non-human and subject to ownership while keeping the phenotype essentially unchanged. Develop some fast growing prototypes (a further % divergence from human), ramp up cloning and let the revenue roll in. Focusing first on the female sex slave market, followed by employee replacements and of course military contracts galore. Lowering the political costs of war should make it even more popular and stimulate geometric growth in demand. Even sales to the Catholic clergy could be a sizable market. The possibilities are endless.
The main technical hurdle is likely that junk DNA isn’t a junky as was once believed. However, weeding out the viral hitchhikers that have inserted themselves into the genome over the eons may achieve most reasonable percentage targets with minimal consequence to the product line. The balance of the genetic modifications needed to meet non-human status could be focused on product improvements (like sterility so they can’t self replicate and undercut you on price).
Just in case the SCOTUS come to their senses on their next chance at bat I recommend going public as soon as possible to take advantage of the Facebook frenzy.