private property

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Private property refers to the ownership of property by private parties - essentially anyone or anything other than the government. Private property may consist of real estate, buildings, objects, intellectual property (copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secrets). The transfer of a private property commonly takes place by the owner's consent or through a sale or as a gift.

See also: eminent domain and public domain. 

Compare: public property

[Last updated in April of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]