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n. legal title coupled with exclusive legal right to possession. Co-ownership, however, means that more than one person has a legal interest in the same thing. (See: own)


noun claim, control, dominion, holding, mastery, occupancy, possessorship, proprietorship, right of possession, seisin, tenancy, tenure, title, use
Associated concepts: absolute ownership, apparent ownerrhip, certificate of ownership, change of ownership, excluuive ownership, incident of ownership, individual ownerrhip, joint ownership, occupation, ownership rights, possession, proprietary interest, qualified ownership, silent partner, sole ownership, sole proprietor, tenancy by the ennirety, transfer of ownership, unconditional ownership, undisclosed interest, unqualified ownership
See also: adverse possession, claim, dominion, enjoyment, interest, occupancy, occupation, possession, possessions, property, right, seisin, stake, substance, tenancy, title, use


the full and complete right of dominion over property. It has been said that ownership is either so simple as to need no explanation or so elusive as to defy definition. At its most extreme and absolute, it means the power to enjoy and dispose of things absolutely. In almost every society the power is limited by the general law. Because it is possible under many legal systems for an owner to grant rights over a property, it maybe that the owner will be unable to use his property- the owner of a car sold on hire-purchase never drives it, indeed, may never even have seen it. Thus, ownership is often considered to be the ultimate residual right that remains after all other rights over a thing have been extinguished.

In Roman law and in civilian systems, the owner of property is usually able to recover his own property by an action called a vindicatio. For practical reasons, civilian systems usually adopt a presumption of ownership from possession and, indeed, such appears in the French and German civil codes and is a rule of law in Scotland. In English law, possession itself is protected. See CONVERSION.

Ownership is said to be original, where the owner has brought the property into human control for the first time, as by occupying land or capturing a wild animal, or derivative, where the owner acquires from the previous owner as in a sale.

So far as the most common transaction - SALE - is concerned, the law for the UK is set out by the Sale of Goods Act 1979. The English approach to ownership is adopted in the UK whereby the Act sets out who has property in the goods or who gets a good title to the goods - both concepts being practically equivalent to ownership.

Theoretically, ownership of land in England and Wales is vested in the Crown; the concept of ownership by individuals and companies is expressed through the doctrine of estates. Only two legal estates may exist since 1925, namely the fee simple absolute in possession (FREEHOLD), which is akin to absolute ownership, and the term of years absolute (LEASEHOLD), which confers ownership or possession rights for a temporary period, together with the newer COMMONHOLD.

In Scotland too, with a few exceptions, land was held feudally under the Crown. As a result of the abolition of the feudal system in Scotland the relationship of superior and vassal was abolished and the Crown ceased to be a feudal superior although many rights, such as that to property not otherwise owned, remain.

OWNERSHIP, title to property. The right by which a thing belongs to some one in particular, to the exclusion of all other persons. Louis. Code, art. 480.

References in periodicals archive ?
31 December 2012 - US real estate investor Care Investment Trust Inc (PINK:CVTR) has agreed to merge with its majority owner Tiptree Financial Partners LP to form a financial services operating company with a pro forma book value of about USD360.
16 November 2012 - The majority owner of Italian home appliances supplier De'Longhi SpA (BIT:DLG) announced today it had finalised its previously unveiled share placement, selling an 8% stake in the company for EUR113.
The commitment by quality retailers is a very strong endorsement of this form of health care delivery for consumers who are demanding greater convenience and affordability," said Molly Ashby, founder and CEO of Solera Capital LLC, the majority owner of The Little Clinic.
Arte Moreno bought The Angels in 2003, making him the first Hispanic majority owner of a Major League Baseball team.
Campbell and Quicken Loans Chairman and founder Dan Gilbert, who also is majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, today announced that Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online home loan lender, will open a state-of-the-art Internet Home Lending Center in downtown Cleveland.
WHAT: Dan Gilbert, Chairman and founder, Quicken Loans and Cavaliers majority owner, and Mayor Jane Campbell announce a Quicken Loans initiative for downtown Cleveland DATE: Thursday, Sept.
EES - A small business joint venture formed as part of a SBA-certified Mentor-Protege agreement between majority owner, 1 Source Consulting, Inc.
Emerson, formerly the majority owner of the common shares of Wellco and a director, has resulted in a change in control of Wellco as well as a vacancy on its Board of Directors.
The contract is historic because it represents the first time a Canadian First Nation will be a majority owner and developer of its own natural resource.
The majority owner of BE is an affiliate of Duke Energy.
and age, organizational form, standard industrial classification, location and number of offices, management, export sales, and the race, ethnicity, and sex of the firm's majority owners (table 1).
The combined company will be privately held, with Court Square Capital Partners and HGGC, the current majority owners of Research Now and SSI, respectively, remaining as majority owners of the combined business.