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Property I
University of Kansas School of Law
Davis, Michael J.

Davis, Property I
Johnson v M’Intosh, 3
SC US 1823
Appeal of P previously District Court of Illinois
F: The P (Johnson) purchased a piece of land from the Piankeshaw Indians in Illinois, and the D (M’intosh) under a [later] grant from the US. 
I: Whether a land purchased from the Indians is valid. Who can sell this land in Illinois?
H: The P does not exhibit a title to the land in Illinois according to the Courts of the US.
A: The Indians were not considered in possession of America, since they moved there villages, did not build permanent homes and farms. J Marshall said that the Europeans and later the US acquired the land through conquest.
D: The P title to the land is not valid. There was no error rendered in the District Court of Illinois against the P.
N: Ejectment: says the land is rightfully theirs and not the current owner
Pierson v Post, 17, SC NY 1805
F: Post and his hounds are pursuing a fox. Pierson spots the fox and shoots it, killing it.
I: Is Post the rightful owner of the fox?
H: Pierson did not incur and injury or damage for which a legal remedy can be applied. Pierson is the rightful owner of the fox. The verdict is for the P.
A: Pursuit gave Post no legal right to the fox, but that he became the property of Pierson, who intercepted and killed him.
D: Original judgment against Pierson is erroneous and should be reversed.
N: The Jmt was based on treatises. There were no precedents before this case.
International News Service (INS) v Associated Press (AP), P51
SC US 1918
J delivered opinion of the Ct
F: INS and AP are fierce competitors, and the AP is alleging that INS obtains some of their information by 3 particular means: bribing employees of newspapers published by P’s members, inducing AP members to violate its by-laws, and copying news from bulletin boards and from early editions of the P’s newspapers. An injunction was applied to the first 2 items; however, the last item went through the appeal process.
I: Whether there is any property in news,
whether if there be property in news collected for the purpose of being published, it stays with its initial paper, and whether defendant’s admitted course of conduct in appropriating for commercial use matter taken from bulletins or early editions of AP constituted unfair practice.
H: News agency has quasi-property interest in news if has gathered and can prohibit competitors from disseminating the news until its commercial value as value passes away. The D sells the P’s goods (news) as its own. The Circuit Ct of Appeals Aff.
N: Is it a thing or idea that we are trying to protect, INS says it an idea and AP says it is a thing
Cheney Brothers v Doris Silk Corp, P55
US Ct of Appeals, Second Circuit 1929
F: The P, a manufacturer of silk, which puts out each trendy patterns for 8 to 9 months was recently copied by one of its competitors (D) and undercut in price. The D denies they copied it and knew the pattern belonged to the P.
I: Whether the common law allows competitors to copy and imitate?
H: To avoid monopoly and encourage competition, the common law allows copying and imitation.
A: The patterns do not have originality, and can not be copyrighted; however, changes to Copyright Law are not suggested.
D: The order is Aff, and the bill can not succeed; thus, it may be dismissed, if the defendant desires.
Smith v Chanel, 9th Circuit 1968, P56
F: The D copied the P’s expensive perfume, and the D wanted to use the P’s name in comparing their similar product to the P’s.
I: Whether there is a public benefit if the D uses the P’s name is selling their similar, yet cheaper product.
H: The D (opportunist) serves public interest by offering comparable goods at lower prices.
A: The creation of products is expensive and the D should not be able to take a free ride on the trademark owner’s ‘widespread goodwill and reputation’; however , the P’s wealth does not provide them legally protectable rights, thus can not monopolize the public’s desire for the unpatented product.
Nicholas v Universal Pictures Corp., 2d Cir. 1930, P59
F: The P was author of the Irish play “Abie’s Irish Rose,” and the D produced the motion picture, “The Cohens and The Kelleys.” The P believes the D’s play was an infringement.
I: Whether the literary property was similar enough, and if it was appropriated.
H: The 2 works shared some common feature as to plot and characters alike, but there were also significant differences.
D: The P’s copied content was a popular subject, which to a certain extent has been placed in public domain. The P’s Jew is different from the D’s, and even more unlike.
Diamond v Chackrabarty, U.S. 303 1980, P60
F: Chackrabarty, a microbiologist filed a patent with 3 claims: 1st, claims for the method of producing the bacteria; 2nd, claims for the inoculum comprised of a carrier material; 3rd, claims to the bacteria itself. The patent examiner accepted the first 2 claims, and rejected the 3rd.
I: Whether the statutory interpretation of 35 U.S.C. 101 (meaning that the micro-organism constitutes a “manufacture” or “composition of matter”) was correctly interpreted by the patent examiner.
H: The Ct. of Customs and Patent Appeals eventually reversed that decision, and the case went to the SC, which Aff the Appellate decision.
A: The Cts should read the statute verbatim, so manufacture is defined as the production of articles for use from prepared materials by giving to these materials new forms, qualities, properties, or combinations, whether by hand-labor or by machinery,

house has not moved into the house (has not made it his “personal place”), it has been held that the owner of the house is not in constructive possession of articles therein of which he is unaware. The motivating factor to give to Hannah might have been honesty. Owner not in possession.
Should the owner own everything in the property?
Is possession is really a good tool?
We want to protect the finder, so the finder will report it. This will protect the true owner.
The case for the true owner is that the owner will go back to the place to find it, hence that is the best argument.
Bridges v Hawkesworth, P100
F: A commercial traveler (P), found notes in the public area of a shop, which belonged to a firm name Byfield & Hawkesworth. The P opened the item in front of a shopman, and England notes were found; thus, the shopman called one of the partners (D) who held the item. Advertisements were put out; however, 3 yrs. of time passed, & the P requested the item back from the D & the P would pay for the D for the advertisements; however, the D refused. 
PH: The county ct judge said the shopkeeper (D) was the entitled to the item. An appeal by the P went before a ct, and they decided the notes belonged to the P instead.
IH: Whether the notes belonged to the P who found the item in a public placed owned by the firm. Yes.
R:.The notes were never in the custody of the D, nor w/in the protection of the house, before they were found. The D has come under no responsibility except from communications from the P, the finder, of the item. The finder of a lost article is entitled to it as against all persons except the true owner. 
South Staffordshire Water Co. v Sharman, 1896, P102
F: Sharman (D) was cleaning out a pool of water for the South Staffordshire Water (P), and the D found 2 rings embedded in the mud. The D declined to give them to the P, but failed to discover the real owner. The P believed they were entitled to the rings. 
PH: Jmt for P.
IH: Whether the rings belonged to the possessor of the land. Yes. 
R:. 1) The D was under employment of the P. 2) The possession of everything which is attached to or under that land, and, in the absence of a better title elsewhere, the right to possess it also…