Augmenting Property Law: Applying the Right to Exclude in the Augmented Reality Universe

Samuel Mallick · 19 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. 1057

Abstract

This Note considers whether and to what extent the property right to exclude applies to virtual space in the augmented reality (AR) universe. It provides an overview of AR’s development and uses, as well as a review of property law concerning the right to exclude. By considering the consequences of previously proposed regulatory schemes in light of four hypothetical AR applications, this Note demonstrates that these solutions do not adequately balance the societal benefit achievable through free development of AR applications with landowners’ absolute rights to exclude others from their property. This Note proposes adoption of an adjusted “open-range” common law solution to the legal challenges AR presents. Under this solution, AR developers would be free to place virtual intrusions anywhere they like, but landowners would be able to give notice to developers demanding virtual intrusions be removed from their property.