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Splitting the difference

What happens when one trademark is owned by two different traders? This is almost a contradiction in terms, since the role of a trademark is to distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of others. But it does sometimes happen.

A prime example of a famous trade mark being “split” between two separate traders is the ROLLS ROYCE brand. When the company split off into the vehicle manufacturing enterprise, and the aircraft engine enterprise, ownership became completely separate, though both companies continued to use the famous brand name.