The Supreme Court

Deciding Property Rights

Your home is your castle and your rights to it are strongly protected in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which states your private property cannot be “taken for public use without just compensation.” The key issue questioned in cases brought before the Court over the years is what constitutes a “taking.”

Your land or home is not the only property that get special attention in the Constitution. Legislation for patents, trademarks and copyrights fall under Section 1 of the Constitution, known as the enumerated powers clause, which gives Congress the power to make laws to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts.”

Let's review the recent Court cases that impact your property rights, whether it involves your tangible (land or home) or intangible (copyrights, patents, and trademarks) property.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Supreme Court © 2004 by Lita Epstein, J.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


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