1L Property I
Property by Dukeminer 7th edition
WHAT IS PROPERTY
· Bundle of Sticks: right to possess, use, exclude, dispose
· Right to exclude core principle
· Rights=relationship between ppl, in relation to the item
o Transferability; requires right to include and exclude
· Rationale: equality
· Rationale: not mere commodity
UTILITARIAN THEORY (dominant theory)
· Property=means of organization of relationships of ppl, not things
· Purpose of prop=economic efficiency/maximization through
o Alienability which promotes:
· Dist of wealth
· Transferring -> both parties better off
Overview Topic 1
· Right to Exclude/Trespass
· Limitations on RtE
§ Constitutional rights
· Theories of Prop
The Right to Exclude/Trespass
· O's have RtE if doesn't infringe others rights
o RtE Strong, not absolute
· Jacque v. Steenberg: willfull mobile home transportation trespass
o Issue: Does Π have RtE
o Holding: Π RtE protecting long term econ benefit outweighs Δs immediate $ loss
Limitations on RtE -rights to property depend on usage
· Necessity can justify the entry onto the land of another.
o State v. Shack (migrant farm worker assistance a trespassing suit)
· Prop title not give dominion over persons permitted on land
· Constitutional Rights such as, Free speech may be exercised in Public Forums
o Fashion Valley Mall: Labor union protesting, discouraging patrons, mall forces them to public area across street
· Held: Mall=public forum though private prop b/c has characteristics of a public space + malls replacing public square.
· Dissent: Just b/c public ≠ public forum. Boycott contradicts
purpose of the mall (make $)
o FED level, private malls ≠ public forum b/c privately owned
Theories of Property
· Cohen: Property= Rte, not absolute
· Epstein= RtE absolute
· Singer: Fulfill need of more vulnerable party
Overview Topic 2 (Property in Ones Person)
· Law of Accession
· Moore v Regents
Locke’s Labor Theory
· Everybody has property in themselves.
o (May not be a part of Locke's) People can lose ownership in selves in some cases (extraction)
· Law of Accession=Property + your labor (change or improve) -> it's yours
§ Rationale=recognize value of labor people invest in property. Encourage people to invest productive labor.
o Traditional View: O owns prop. If A changed prop to point that it is a different prop then it belongs to the A (ex. grapes to wine)
o Modern View: disproportionate value. A gets prop if value of improvement is disproportionate to the value of the materials (canvas-> painting)
· Occupation Theory-First in time justifies ownership rights
· Conversion: person wrongfully asserts control over others property
· Moore v. Regents of UC:
o Facts: π had emergency surgery during which time, unbeknownst to π took his cells for research & later made $ from research his cells were used for.
o Rule: A person does not have ownership rights to excised body parts. A conversion ( person wrongfully asserts control over others property) requires actual interference w/ownership or rights of possn. If π has neither title to said property, nor possn of the prop -> No conversion COA
o Analysis: Cells did not belong to Moore once removed and he had no expectation of keeping them, so no conversion. UC made major improvements -> title through accession. Rationale=advancement of science
o Held: No conversion b/c π didn’t retain ownership interest in his cells once removed & the cell line ∆ Dr.s invented based on π’s cells ≠ π’s cells.
o Leshy->Dissent: Π had a right to control cells b/c had prop in his own person, and nondisclosure COA will not be sufficient. Law says can’t sell for transplant (nothing on research). Removing 1 stick doesn’t remove whole bundle (cells can still be property)
o Policy: Balancing private property and societal interests
Overview Topic 3 (Acquisition by Capture)
· What's necessary for Capture?
§ Pierson v Post
· Capture rule for
· Common Property
· Property is acquired by actual capture. Mere pursuit insufficient. Occupancy creates a property right, but what is occupancy?
o Continuum of Occupancy – Physically capture reasonable prospect of capture.
Pierson v. Post
· Facts: Post & hounds in pursuit of a fox, Pierson saw chase still killed fox, kept it.
· Issue: What act is sufficient to gain possession of fox
· Rule: Mortally wounding or depriving of natural liberty (trapping) constitutes possession
· Dissent: Let hunters decide according to custom, this will negatively impact the sport because of confusion
o Ferae Naturae: wild animal on un-owned property isn’t owned until captured.
o Ratione Soli: an owner of land has constructive possession of wild animals on that land, until the animal leaves.
o Constructive Possession: Legal (fictional) possession, not actual physical possession
· Policy Rationale: encourages real property rights & discourages ppl from hunting on private land
· Capture and Other Fugitive Resources: Water/Oil/Gas v. Animals:
o Animals can reproduce/Fossil Fuels can't
o Ad Coelum: Whoever owns the soil owns the sky & to the depths
· Extracting resources= capture -> possession
o Capture rule: Belongs to owner of land as long as resources are under his land. If moves under anothers land, its theirs.
· Benefits competition & drives production,
· Cons:can lead to overdevelopment/exhaustion, land grabs, econ inefficiency
· Oil/Gas: Traditional View = ratione soli – first come first served (was inefficient)
§ Apportionment- Own % of oil based on % of land owned
· Water: Rsnbl use (most states): If waste & harms neighbors then unrsnbl & unlawful b/c may be wasting h2o neighbors could have gained
F: Δ gets Πs news b4 distributed, sells to own clients. Π claims news = its prop. & Δ should be restrained from reselling. Π wins
o Value of Πs news partly derived from keeping rivals from copying info they gathered
· A/H: Π has “quasi property rights” in news it gathers (for tort purposes) & can prohibit only competitors from selling it until commercial value gone
o Don’t own facts, do own literary value
o SCOTUS doesn't declare absolute prop rights in news bc it would = “takings”
o Policy: W/o this protection, no incentive to be news source
Prof: This is a tort case of unfair competition, not a property (copyright infringement) case.
Cheney Bros. (Δ ) v. Doris Silk Co. (Π): Prop limited to chattels which embody invention. Others may imitate (p. 55). (fashion manuf=built in delay)
· F: Π created seasonal designs. Δ copied Π’s design and undercut Π ’s price. Π sued for seasonal protection. Δ wins.
· A: Case deals w/ fair competition; INS v. AP deals with unfair competition.
· Policy: Competition ->innovation & lower prices
· Judge Hand construed INS narrowly
· Sd INS rule = if copyright or patent law doesn’t protect it property or tort (unfair competition) doesn't
§ Even though INS court used unfair competition
· Hand reversed his opinion in Peter Pan Fabrics, Inc. v. Martin Weiner Corp. because of an amended Copyright Act.
Smith (D) v. Chanel (P): A product cannot be monopolized simply b/c it was made at great expense; public interest prevails. (p. 56).
· F: D copied P’s perfume formula and advertised it as identical to P’s perfume, Chanel No. 5. D prevailed.
· A: The court holds imitation breeds competition & provides a public benefit
Nichols (P) v. Universal Pictures Corp. (D): Copyrights not provide absolute IP protection from use in the public domain
· F: P alleges D copied key characters from play to produce D’s movie. D prevailed.
· A: Assuming P’s play was wholly original, and novelty not essential to copyright, still no monopoly.
Diamond (D) v. Chakrabarty (P): Patents may extend to artificially-created micro-organisms. (p. 60).
· F: D barred P from patenting genetically engineered cell since organic in nature. P prevailed.
· A: Congress created broad patent laws
· upholds Jefferson’s Patent Act of 1793 and 35 USC 101 “anything under the sun… made by man.”
White (P) v. Samsung Electronics America (D): In CA, IP rights extend to ownership in one’s own likeness.