PROPERTY (Section 1)
Spring Semester 2013
Discussion Questions for pages 83-89, 97-106

For Edwards:

1.  In Edwards v. Sims, both Edwards and Lee base their respective claims to ownership of the cave on the basis of “first in time.”  How can this be?

2.  In Edwards v. Sims, what is the majority’s rationale for the applying the doctrine of cujus est solum?  Is the majority’s analogical reasoning sound?  If Lee owns “from the center of the earth to the sky,” then can he get an injunction to stop American Airlines from flying over his land at 35,000 feet? Why or why not?

3. What is the rationale for Judge Logan’s dissenting opinion?  Do you agree that Lee’s expectations of dominion and control over the portion of the cave lying under his land are less deserving of protection than his expectations of dominion and control over the surface of the land? Why or why not?

4. Does the concept of "windfall" have any significance in how we allocate ownership of the cave? Why or why not? [Hint: Edwards is arguing that allocating ownership of part of the cave to Lee would constitute an unmerited "windfall." Why? If you were represented Lee, how would you respond to Edwards' argument? Based on the ultimate resolution of the case (note 1, page 102), did Lee get a "windfall" in any meaningful sense?]

For Joyce and DaimlerChrysler:

1. Assume that the facts Joyce alleged in Joyce v. GMC are true. Why shouldn't the law grant Joyce a property right in the idea? Why shouldn't the court thus conclude that Joyce has stated a cause of action for conversion (or misappropriation) of the idea?

2. If the common law did not recognize property rights in ideas, why did legislatures step in to create intangible property rights such as patent rights?

3. Is first-in-time an appropriate mechanism for registration of domain names? Why or why not? If so, why isn't "cybersquatting" OK?

4. Looking at the Lawyering Exercise on page 115, how would you respond to the demand letter from Rivera's management agency? Should O'Keefe's conduct be viewed as cybersquatting? Why or why not?