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Magie, a follower of Henry George, originally intended The Landlord's Game to illustrate the economic consequences of Ricardo's Law of Economic rent and the Georgist concepts of economic privilege and land value taxation.A series of board games were developed from 1906 through the 1930s that involved the buying and selling of land and the development of that land.Also in the 1970s, Professor Ralph Anspach, who had himself published a board game intended to illustrate the principles of both monopolies and trust busting, fought Parker Brothers and its then parent company, General Mills, over the copyright and trademarks of the Monopoly board game.Through the research of Anspach and others, much of the early history of the game was "rediscovered" and entered into official United States court records.His students made their own boards, and taught the game to others.
Shortly after the game's formal publication, Scott Nearing, a professor in what was then known as the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, began using the game as a teaching tool in his classes.
International tournaments, first held in the early 1970s, continue to the present, although the last national tournaments and world championship were held in 2009.
Starting in 1985, a new generation of spin-off board games and card games appeared on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Because of the lengthy court process, including appeals, the legal status of Parker Brothers' copyright and trademarks on the game was not settled until 1985.
The game's name remains a registered trademark of Parker Brothers, as do its specific design elements; other elements of the game are still protected under copyright law.