Property Law

Posted October 27th, 2012 by admin and filed in Uncategorized

Although property law seems like it should be as simple as someone owns something therefore it is theirs and they can do with it what they please. However, property law isn’t quite so cut and dry. In fact, the distinctions of property law in America’s legal system can be traced back as far as feudalism. Some medieval precedents still bear witness today in how property law is handled.

Property law deals with tangible and intangible property. Intellectual property is an example of an intangible form of property. This includes copyrights, trademarks and patents. Other examples of intellectual property include financial investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and trusts. It is difficult to define property law solely based on ownership. Instead it is considered to involve a bundle of rights. This means there is actually a variety of legal relationships people can have with respect to valuable interests and resources.

Defining Property Ownership

These parameters assist in defining the terms of ownership.

  • Liberty to use. The owner of an item considered property can use it whenever he chooses.
  • Right to exclude. The owner of an item considered property can prevent others from using it.
  • Power to transfer. The owner of an item considered property is free to sell it, give it away and to determine what happens to it upon his death.
  • Immunity from damage. No one else is permitted to damage the property.

The debate over defining the parameters of property law as been in existence for quite some time. Three main arguments for the necessity of property law prevail.

  1. Property encourages productive activity.
  2. Property protects political liberty.
  3. Property contributes to human prosperity.

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