Property under Property law by Gaurangi@lexcliq

Meaning of Property
The word property is used in numerous senses in general. If one looks around in the surroundings, everything available may be categorized as Property. Every object, whether tangible or intangible having some value to human beings, may be termed as Property. The essential characteristic of Property is the value attached to it. In one way or the other, it is a source of wealth. The value, although may be either monetary or personal. In a general sense, therefore Property consists of land, shares, buildings and debts due to another person. However, the term when used in the legal sense has a definite connotation. It is the right to enjoy and to dispose of certain things in an absolute manner as one thinks it fit.

The word “property” is derived from the Latin word proprietary and the French equivalent properties, which means a thing owned. The concept of property and ownership are very similar to each other. However, there is a fine line that distinguishes the two terms. It will not be incorrect to state that humans have been aware of their rights to possess what they rightfully own for long. The term property has been widely interpreted by various jurists such as Salmond, Bentham and Austin. Close observation of the definitions given by them will help us understand the concept in a better manner.

Definition of Property
Eminent jurist Salmond while defining the term property, observed that the term might be understood in one of the three senses mentioned below:

(i) The term property includes all the legal rights of a person. That is to say that it includes complete ownership of a man on material as well as incorporeal things.

(ii) The term includes not a man’s personal rights, but only his proprietary rights.

(iii) The term includes the rights of ownership in material things such as building etc. According to another jurist, Bentham, the term property includes ownership of material objects alone. He has, in a way, interpreted the term in a narrow sense. According to Austin, Property denotes the greatest right of enjoyment known to the law, including servitudes. The Property includes both proprietaries as well as the personal rights of a man.

Interpretation of the word Property by the Apex Court of India
The honorable Supreme Court of India in the case of R.C. Cooper vs. Union of India AIR 1970 SC 564, interpreted the concept of Property in the legal regime. The court, in this case, observed that the term property includes both corporeal things such as land, furniture and incorporeal things such as copyrights and patents. The recent trend of the Apex court, however, has changed. Court has started viewing Property in the light of Article 21 of the Indian constitution as liberties exist even reference to the Property owned and possessed.

Kinds of properties
Property is basically of two categories : Corporeal Property and Incorporeal Property. Corporeal Property is visible and tangible, whereas incorporeal Property is not. Moreover, corporeal Property is the right of ownership in material things, whereas incorporeal Property is an incorporeal right in rem. Corporeal Property is further categorized into Movable and Immovable Property. Incorporeal Property is classified into two categories : in re propria and rights in re aliena or encumbrances.

Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property is, in simpler terms, creation of intellect or wisdom or of the human mind. It is related to intellectual innovation and innovation in the literary, scientific and artistic fields. Nations around the world are making efforts toward protecting intellectual property. One major reason is to recognize by way of statute, the economic rights of creators of these intellectual properties. Another reason is the urge to promote creativity amongst the masses which will, in the long run, contribute towards an environment comprising of only fair trade practices. The law related to intellectual Property aims at protecting the people who create and own the intellectual goods and services by granting them certain time-limited rights to control the use made of those productions. Those rights do not apply to the physical object in which the creation may be embodied but instead to the intellectual creation as such.

From the above discussion, it can be very well concluded that the concept of Property has been in existence since the existence of human civilisation. Over the years, the concept of Property has witnessed a vast transition. The reason behind this transition may be the jurisprudential aspect of the concept. Thus, from a piece of brick to an idea behind a product, Property as a concept has developed in an unanticipated manner. The research being done in the field of property law makes it a dynamic concept which will continue to evolve in the years to come in the near future.

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