Imagine building a house and by law, 20 years from completion, all ownership rights to the asset expired permanently whether retained by the original owner or obtained through purchase. Notwithstanding rising real estate values, the ability to reap the benefit of that asset’s appreciation would decrease rapidly for every year the property was owned. After 20 years, as the house passed into the public domain, you might continue to live there, but its investment or resale value would effectively become zero. This is the reality for intellectual property rights, which are time-limited by law, a condition established by the U.S. Constitution.

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