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What are property rights?

Property rights are laws created by the government

with regards to how individuals can control, benefit from and
transfer property. It is the exclusive authority to determine how
a resource is used, whether that resource is owned by
government or by individuals. Economic theory contends that
government enforcement of strong property rights is
determinant, regarding the level of economic success seen in
the area. Individuals will create new forms of property to
generate wealth, only when they are assured that their rights to
their property will protect them against unjust and/or unlawful
actions by other parties.
Private property rights have two other attributes in
addition to determining the use of a resource. One is the
exclusive right to the services of the resource. Thus, for
example, the owner of an apartment with complete property
rights to the apartment has the right to determine whether to
rent it out and, if so, which tenant to rent to; to live in it
himself; or to use it in any other peaceful way. That is the right
to determine the use. If the owner rents out the apartment, he
also has the right to all the rental income from the property.
That is the right to the services of the resources (the rent).

ownership to one child. The owner has ultimate authority over

the use of the property. Second, the owner is not required to
share. Before the rules were in place, Klemp recalls, I
suspected that much of the drama often centered less on who
got the item in dispute and more on whom Mom would side
with. Now, property rights, not parents, settle the arguments.
Instead of teaching selfishness, the introduction of
property rights actually promoted sharing. The children were
secure in their ownership and knew they could always get their
toys back. Klemp adds, Sharing raised their self-esteem to see
themselves as generous persons.
Not only do her children value their own property
rights, but also they extend that respect to the property of
others. Rarely do our children use each others things without
asking first, and they respect a No when they get one. Best of
all, when someone who has every right to say No to a request
says Yes, the borrower sees the gift for what it is and says
Thanks more often than not, says Klemp.

The fundamental purpose of property rights, and their

fundamental accomplishment, is that they eliminate
destructive competition for control of economic resources.
Well-defined and well-protected property rights replace
competition by violence with competition by peaceful means.
Property Rights for Sesame Street
Janet Beales Kaidantzis
Ever seen two children quarreling over a toy? Such
squabbles had been commonplace in Katherine Hussman


What are Intellectual Properties?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to any creation or
product of the human mind or intellect. It can be an invention,
an original design, a practical application of a good idea, a mark
of ownership such as trademark, literary and artistic works,
among other things. The term intellectual property rights
consists of:

Klemps household. But in the Sesame Street Parents Guideshe

tells how she created peace in her family of eight children by
assigning property rights to toys.
As a young mother, Klemp often brought home games and toys
from garage sales. I rarely matched a particular item with a
particular child, she says. Upon reflection, I could see how the
fuzziness of ownership easily led to arguments. If everything
belonged to everyone, then each child felt he had a right to use
To solve the problem, Klemp introduced two simple rules: First,
never bring anything into the house without assigning clear

a. Copyrights and Related Rights;

b. Trademarks and Service Marks;
c. Geographical Indications;
d. Industrial Designs;
e. Patents;
f. Lay-out designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits; and
g. Protection of Undisclosed Information (n, TRIPS).
The sate recognizes that an effective intellectual and industrial
property system is vital to the development of domestic and
creative activity, facilities transfer of technology, attracts
foreign investments, and ensures market access for our
products. It shall protect and secure the exclusive rights of
scientists, inventors, artists and other gifted citizens to their
intellectual property and creations, particularly when beneficial
to the people, for such periods as provided in this act (Republic
Act 8293).


2. Republic Act No. 166, as amended An Act to Provide

for the Registration and Protection of Trademarks,
Trade-Names, and Service-Marks, Defining Unfair

Intellectual property protection in the Philippines is

recognized by the Philippine government as vital to the

Competition and False Marking and Providing

development of domestic and creative activity, facilitates

Remedies Against the Same, and for Other Purposes.

transfer of technology, attracts foreign investments, and

3. Presidential Decree No. 49 Decree on the Protection of

Intellectual Property

ensures market access for our products. Hence, the government

resolves to protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists,

4. Presidential Decree No. 285, as amended [Decree on

the Protection of Intellectual Property];

inventors, artists and other gifted citizens to their intellectual

property and creations, particularly when beneficial to the

5. Articles 188 and 189 of the Revised Penal Code of the


people. The use of intellectual property bears a social function.

As such, the government promotes the diffusion of knowledge
and information for the promotion of national development
and progress and the common good. The government policy is

Parts of the law

The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines is divided into
five [5] parts, to wit:

to streamline administrative procedures of registering patents,

trademarks and copyright, to liberalize the registration on the

1. The Intellectual Property Office

transfer of technology, and to enhance the enforcement of

2. The Law on Patents

intellectual property rights in the Philippines.

3. The Law on Trademarks, Service Marks and Trade


The U.S. Trade Representative removed the Philippines from its

Special 301 Priority Watchlist in 2006, reflecting improvement

4. The Law on Copyright

in its enforcement of intellectual property rights protection.

5. Final Provisions

Effect on international conventions and on principle

of reciprocity
Any person who is a national or who is domiciled or
has a real and effective industrial establishment in a country
which is a party to any convention, treaty or agreement relating
to intellectual property rights or the repression of unfair
competition, to which the Philippines is also a party, or extends
reciprocal rights to nationals of the Philippines by law, shall be

Intellectual property rights

1. Copyright and related rights;
2. Trademarks and service marks;
3. Geographic indications;
4. Industrial designs;

entitled to benefits to the extent necessary to give effect to any

5. Patents;

provision of such convention, treaty or reciprocal law, in

6. Layout designs [topographies] of integrated circuits;


addition to the rights to which any owner of an intellectual

property right is otherwise entitled by this Act.

7. Protection of undisclosed information.

Laws repealed

Government agencies

Republic Act No. 8293 repealed all Acts and parts of Acts
inconsistent therewith, more particularly:

The agency of the government in charge of the implementation

of the Intellectual Property Code is the Intellectual Property

1. Republic Act No. 165, as amended - An Act Creating a

Office of the Philippines (IPO). It replaced the Bureau of

Patent Office, Prescribing its Powers and Duties,

Patents, Trademarks and Technology Transfer. It is divided into

Regulating the Issuance of Patents, and Appropriating

six [6] Bureaus, namely: Bureau of Patents; Bureau of

Funds Therefor;

Trademarks; Bureau of Legal Affairs; Documentation,

Information and Technology Transfer Bureau; Management

Information System and EDP Bureau; and Administrative,

Financial and Personnel Services Bureau.

Nature of Property Rights:

Property rights have certain characteristics which are
not possessed by other kinds of rights and duties.
1. Property Rights are Transferable:
Property can be transferred by its owner by way of
sale, exchange or gift. It can be transmitted from one
generation to the next. In any .event the conception of
property always implies that except on some taboo on sale or
transmission it could be transferred, say Davis. In this sense a
persons right in his wife or his skill are not property rights, for
they are not transferable.
2. Property Rights involves a Distinction between Ownership
and Possession of a Thing:
There is distinction between ownership and possession
of thing. A person a may own a thing but he may not actually
use and enjoy it. Another person may steal it to use and enjoy,
borrow with the owners consent. A person may own a building,
but it may be in the possession of another person (tenant) at a

because property rights are socially terminated. We find

different forms of property. Property may be broadly classified
into two types, private property and common (public property).
An outstanding feature of modem economic life is the
institution of private property. The term private property
usually applies to rights held by individuals or groups acting in
their own interests. The term public property refers to rights
held by the community at large and administered by individuals
or groups acting as agents of the community. These two types
of property differ in the focus of ownership as well as kinds of
property rights exercised.
Private property again may be classified into two
types: individual property and collective property. In individual
property, the control is vested in an individual. Collective
property may take various forms depending on the collective
entity having ownership and control; it may be (i) a private
corporation, (ii) a quasi-public corporation and a public
The private property may be distinguished from public
property in following ways:
(i) Private property is owned by a person or group of persons,
whereas public property is owned by the community.
(ii) Private property is usually used by its owner for his own
good, while public property is used for public good.

3. Power Aspect:
The third characteristic of property is its power aspect.
As a social institution, property gives power, not only over
things, but through things also over persons. The possession of
property implies the possession of power over others. It has
been an instrument whereby those who own it can control the
life and labour of those who do not own it. In a capitalist
society, for example, the owners of capital have control over
the life arid labour of those who do not own it.

(iii) Private property is regulated by the laws of the State, while

public property belongs to the State itself and not subject to
regulation by any external group.

4. Property is usually Non-human:

This means that the object of property has no rights of
its own but is simply the passive object of such rights. The land
has no right of its own; it only serves the land owner. It is the
owners will, his discretion and advantage that are served by
the object. Human beings cannot be the object of property. For
example, a woman cannot be the object of property of her
husband. Property rights apply only to those things which have
no rights of their own.

Advantages of Private Property:

The institution of private property has gathered a great
controversy. It has been defended and attacked on various
grounds. On the one hand, it is regarded as essential for social
progress, on the other, it is called theft.

Types of Property:
The nature of property rights and type of property vary
from society to society and within a particular society over time

According to Bottomore, property for power and

unlimited acquisition of wealth was product of capitalism, it
reached its peak in nineteenth century Europe and North
America. Individual private ownership is the basis of capitalist
economic system.

The advocates of the institution of private property put forth

the following arguments in favour of its advantages:
1. Natural Right Argument:
John Locke argued that property is natural to man. The
right to private property arises because by labour a man
extends his personality into the objects produced. Like the right
to life and liberty, property right is also fundamental,

inalienable right of an individual. No person and no

Government can rightfully infringe upon it. Property is
necessary for rational existence of man. It is necessary for the
free play of individual capacities.

2. Basis of Capitalism:
Private property is the basis of capitalism. In capitalism, every
person has the right to earn and maintain property. Capitalism
is harmful to both the individual and society.

2. Incentive to Work:
It is said that man needs an incentive to work. The
concept of private property ensures a labour, control over all
the gains of his labour. This motivates him to do still better. It
raises his efficiency, satisfaction and indoctrinates a sense of

3. Breeds Inequality:
Private property is not available to each and every
individual because of scarcity. It breeds inequality. Since
property begets property and so the rich produce goods and
services not for use, but to acquire property from their
production. Private property creates wide gap between the
haves and have-nots. The ownership of private property gives
power to direct the lives of those who have no property.

3. Provides Security against Future:

Property provides security to man against starvation.
Property is a fore-guard against the wants of tomorrow. Those
who have no property, are uncertain about the means of life in
future. Economic insecurity discourages social evils such as
exploitation. Private property generates sense of security.
4. Ethically Sound:
The right to property has always been justified on the
ground that it is the reward to an individual to work more and
more. It extracts hard and sincere efforts of the worker.
5. Property is the Nurse of Virtues:
Property generates social virtues; family sense and
affection as well as generosity. It attaches great social virtues to
the holder who behaves benevolently. It generates a feeling of
social service and sacrifice for the noble cause.
6. Socio-economic Progress:
The institution of private property has been the major
contributory to the progress of civilisation.
It stimulates physical, mental and spiritual welfare of
the individual and of community. Property is considered
necessary for a better social awareness and individual
There are some thinkers who maintain that private
property creates evils. The disadvantages that are generally
attributed to it are discussed as under.
1. Greed for Property:
Private property makes man greedy. He wants to earn
more and more money by any means. He even forgets morality.
Private property thus, leads to moral degradation.

The rich get control over the political machinery and

use it for their advantage. They also corrupt legislatures. They
artificially combine to increase the cost of their commodities to
the public. Private property breeds social exploitation,
inequality and subjugation.
4. Breeds Corruption:
Private property breeds corruption that poisons the
whole social life. Rich advance their interest at the cost of poor.
They satisfy their lust for wealth by exploiting the needs of
others. It corrupts the social values like love and generosity,
benevolence and charity.
Private property divides the society. It generates
disharmony and antagonism. It generates unemployment. In
the capitalist economy, as far as the masses of workers are
concerned, property cannot be said to have fulfilled its primary
social functions of providing security and permanence as basis
of freedom and initiative.
It follows that the existing system of property is
psychologically inadequate because, says Laski, for most
individuals, it inhibits the exercise of the qualities which would
enable them to live full life. It is morally inadequate because it
has created a leisure, parasitic class who live simply by owning
and consequently their rights to property have no appropriate
relevance to social values. It is socially and economically
inadequate because it fails to distribute the wealth it creates as
to offer the necessary conditions of a free, secure and
purposeful life to those who live by its process.
To conclude, neither its advantages nor its
disadvantages can be disregarded. It may not be the sole
incentive to work and development. Yet its role in social
evolution of human-kind cannot be denied.