Inventions related to living material are in principle patentable as well as inventions in the "classical" fields of technology as long as they are new, industrially applicable and involve an inventive step. A patent gives to its owner for a limited period of time the exclusive right to prevent others from using his patented new technical know-how. Starting point of patent protection in the field of genetic engineering is a genetic information or a genetically induced characteristic of an organism; there is no such thing as a "Patent on Life". As far as inventions relate to genetically modified organisms, patents give to their owners no additional property rights that might exclude the applicability e.g. of the laws on animal protection. Intellectual property like any other property is subject to the limits set up by law. It is neither scientifically correct nor does it help in finding a solution for the conflict within society to shift the--undoubtedly necessary--discussion about research and application in the field of genetic engineering to a discussion about patent law.