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8/6/2014

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Property: Personal, Intellectual, and Real
Learning Objectives

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After studying this chapter, you will be able to: 1. Distinguish between personal, intellectual, and real property. 2. Explain how personal property is acquired. 3. Discuss the definition and significance of bailments. 4. Define different types of tenancies in real property. 5. Discuss the concept of eminent domain.

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The concept of property and ownership is one that has long been important in both society in general and law in particular. English philosopher and political theorist John Locke saw it as "the reason why men enter into society," and Walter Lippmann, the American journalist, described it as "the only dependable foundation of personal liberty." Some have gone so far as to say that the main reason for law is to protect property rights. Even if one does not subscribe to such a narrow purpose, there is no doubt that the law is much concerned with property and rights of ownership. Property can be defined as the right of an individual to exclusively possess, use, and dispose of anything that is capable of being owned. Broadly speaking, property can be divided into three separate types: personal property, intellectual property, and real property. Personal property is characterized by its portable nature; it can be carried from place to place. Furthermore, personal property can be either tangible or intangible. Tangible personal property encompasses ownership interest in things that have a physical existence and are able to be moved, or carried, from place to place. Most property falls into this category: a car, wallet, photograph, shirt, pen, and phone are all common examples of tangible personal property. Intangible personal property, on the other hand, is personal property that by its very nature does not have a physical existence as...

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