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Series

Intellectual Property Law

Columbia Law School

2000

Yale Law Journal

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Law

Optimal Standardization In The Law Of Property: The Numerus Clausus Principle, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith Jan 2000

Optimal Standardization In The Law Of Property: The Numerus Clausus Principle, Thomas W. Merrill, Henry E. Smith

Faculty Scholarship

A central difference between contract and property concerns the freedom to "customize" legally enforceable interests. The law of contract recognizes no inherent limitations on the nature or the duration of the interests that can be the subject of a legally binding contract. Certain types of promises – such as promises to commit a crime – are declared unenforceable as a matter of public policy. But outside these relatively narrow areas of proscription and requirements such as definiteness and (maybe) consideration, there is a potentially infinite range of promises that the law will honor. The parties to a contract are free to be ...