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Tangible vs Intangible Property

1. What is “Property”?

Property is any tangible or intangible physical item, design, creative work, or concept that is owned.

•    Tangible and Intangible Property – Tangible refers to physical property. That is, tangible property is anything that can be physically touched. Intangible property refers to non-physical property. That is, intangible property is any property that cannot be physically touched.

⁃    Example: Intangible property includes patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, debts, and company good will.

⁃    Discussion: Do you think that there should be a distinction between tangible and intangible property? Why or why not? Should they be afforded the exact same protections? For example, is theft of a copyrighted song the same as stealing someone’s wallet? Why or why not?

⁃    Practice Question: Austin purchases a book of photography. Has he purchased tangible or intangible property?

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