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Part I The Nature of Intangible Property, 9 Documentary Intangibles and Negotiable Instruments

From: The Law of Assignment (3rd Edition)

Marcus Smith, Nico Leslie

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 July 2021

Intangibles as goods

This chapter studies documentary intangibles and negotiable instruments. An intangible thing, by its nature, is not a physical object. However, there are instances where intangibles are equated to physical objects. Examples are bills of exchange, promissory notes, bearer shares, depository receipts, and certificates of deposit. There are two different kinds of documentary intangibles: negotiable instruments and transferable instruments. Negotiable instruments are documents embodying obligations which are not only transferable on the transfer of the document, but which have the attribute of ‘negotiability’. Meanwhile, transferable instruments are documents which embody obligations which are transferable, but which do not have the attribute of negotiability. The chapter then considers the implications for documentary intangibles of technological developments such as dematerialization, where paper documents are replaced by electronic documents or electronic systems.

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