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In Property Law, a comprehensive term referring to the legal basis of the ownership of property, encompassing real and Personal Property and intangible and tangible interests therein; also a document serving as evidence of ownership of property, such as the certificate of title to a motor vehicle.

In regard to legislation, the heading or preliminary part of a particular statute that designates the name by which that act is known.

In the law of Trademarks, the name of an item that may be used exclusively by an individual for identification purposes to indicate the quality and origin of the item.

In the law of property, title in its broadest sense refers to all rights that can be secured and enjoyed under the law. It is frequently synonymous with absolute ownership. Title to property ordinarily signifies an estate in fee simple, which means that the holder has full and absolute ownership. The term does not necessarily imply absolute ownership, however; it can also mean mere possession or the right thereof.

The title of a statute is ordinarily prefixed to the text of a statute in the form of a concise summary of its contents, such as "An act for the prevention of the abuse of narcotics." Other statutes are given titles that briefly describe the subject matter, such as the "Americans with Disabilities Act." State constitutions commonly provide that every bill introduced in the state legislature must have a single subject expressed by the bill's title. Congress is under no such restriction under the U.S. Constitution, but House and Senate rules do have some guidelines for federal bills and statutes. Many, though not all, federal statutes have titles.

Under trademark law, if a publisher adopts a name, or title, for a magazine and uses it extensively in compliance with the law, the publisher may acquire a right to be protected in the exclusive use of that title. A trademark of the title can only be acquired through actual use of the title in connection with the goods, in this example, the magazine. Merely planning to use the title does not give rise to legally enforceable trademark rights.


Title Insurance; Title Search.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) ownership of real property or personal property, which stands against the right of anyone else to claim the property. In real property title is evidenced by a deed (or judgment of distribution from an estate) or other appropriate document recorded in the public records of the county. Title to personal property is generally shown by possession, particularly when no proof or strong evidence exists showing that the property is belongs to another, or that it has been stolen or known to be lost by another. In the case of automobiles and other vehicles title is registered with the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, which issues a title document ("pink slip") to the owner. 2) the name for one's position in a business or organization, such as president, general manager, Mayor, Governor, Duke. 3) the name for a legal case, such as Eugene Chan v. Runabout Taxi Company, Inc. which is part of the "caption" of the case. (See: real property, personal property, title search, pink slip, caption)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


in general terms a title to an asset relates both to a person's right to enjoyment of that asset and the means by which that right has accrued and by which it is evidenced. Thus, for example, a stock or share certificate is evidence of the right of the person named therein to ownership of the specified amount of stock or shares. In relation to land, titles may be either registered or unregistered. The Land Registration Act 1925 provides for four types of registered title, each backed up by a state guarantee; the different types of title correspond to the extent of that guarantee. These are an absolute title, a good leasehold title, a possessory title and a qualified title. Registration with an absolute FREEHOLD or leasehold title confers a full guarantee against claims arising before or after first registration; registration with a good leasehold guarantees that the LEASE is valid but does not guarantee that the freehold or other superior interest out of which the grant was made is valid; registration with a qualified title guarantees against all claims except those deriving from a specified instrument or specified circumstances.

In the case of land subject to the Land Registration Acts, a proprietor's title is constituted by the entry of his name on the register; the LAND CERTIFICATE that is issued constitutes evidence of that title.

In the case of land not subject to the Land Registration Acts (see UNREGISTERED LAND), title is shown by tracing transactions affecting the land from deeds that constitute a good root of title, ending with the deeds transferring the land to the current owner. The deeds relating to each of these transactions are referred to as links in what is known as the chain of title; the last link, obviously, is the conveyance to the current owner. For a deed to qualify as a good root, it must:

  1. (1) deal with the whole legal and beneficial interest in the land;
  2. (2) cast no doubt on the validity of the title;
  3. (3) relate to a transaction for valuable consideration; and
  4. (4) relate to a transaction effected at least 15 years before the date of the transaction sought to be effected.

In relation to GOODS, an inaccurate summary of the detailed legal rule that follows would be to say that a seller or supplier in relation to other suppliers of goods promises the buyer that the buyer will be the owner of the goods and be able to enjoy the fruits of that ownership. In a contract of sale of goods other than one in which there appears from the contract or is to be inferred from its circumstances an intention that the seller should transfer only such title as he or a third person may have, there is an implied condition on the part of the seller that in the case of a sale he has a right to sell the goods and in the case of an agreement to sell he will have such a right at the time the property is to pass. There is also an implied warranty that:

  1. (1) the goods are free, and will remain free until the time when the property is to pass, from any charge or encumbrance not disclosed or known to the buyer before the contract is made;
  2. (2) the buyer will enjoy quiet possession of the goods except so far as it may be disturbed by the owner or other person entitled to the benefit of any charge or encumbrance so disclosed or known.

In a contract where it appears from the contract or is to be inferred from its circumstances that there is an intention that the seller should transfer only such title as a third person may have, there is an implied warranty that all charges or encumbrances known to the seller have been disclosed to the buyer before the contract is made. In such a contract there is also an implied warranty that none of the following will disturb the buyer's quiet possession of the goods, namely:

  1. (1) the seller;
  2. (2) in a case where the parties to the contract intend that the seller should transfer only such title as a third person may have, that person;
  3. (3) anyone claiming through the seller or that third person otherwise than under a charge or encumbrance disclosed or known buyer before the contract is made.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TITLE, legislation That part of an act of the legislature by which it is known, and distinguished from other acts the name of the act.
     2. A practice has prevailed of late years to crowd into the same act a mass of heterogeneous matter, so that it is almost impossible to describe, or even to allude to it in the title of the act. This practice has rendered the title of little importance, yet, in some cases, it is material in the construction of an act. 7 East, R. 132, 134; 2 Cranch, 386. See Lord Raym. 77; Hard. 324; Barr. on the Stat. 499, n.

TITLE, persons. Titles are distinctions by which a person is known.
     2. The constitution of the United States forbids the tyrant by the United States, or any state of any title of nobility. (q.v.) Titles are bestowed by courtesy on certain officers; the president of the United States sometimes receives the title of excellency; judges and members of congress that of honorable; and members of the bar and justices of the peace are called esquires. Cooper's, Justinian, 416'; Brackenridge's Law Miscell. Index, h.t.
     3. Titles are assumed by foreign princes, and, among their subjects they may exact these marks of honor, but in their intercourse with foreign nations they are not entitled to them as a matter of right. Wheat. Intern. Law, pt. 2, c. 3, Sec. 6.

TITLE, literature. The particular division of a subject, as a law, a book, and the like; for example, Digest, book 1, title 2; for the law relating to bills of exchange, see Bacon's Abridgment, title Merchant.

TITLE, rights. The name of a newspaper a book, and the like.
     2. The owner of a newspaper, having particular title, has a right to such title, an an injunction will lie to prevent its use un lawfully by another. 8 Paige, 75. See Pardess. n. 170.

TITLE, pleading, rights. The right of action which the plaintiff has; the declaration must show the plaintiff's title, and if such title be not shown in that instrument, the defect cannot be cured by any of the future pleadings. Bac. Ab. Pleas, &c. B 1.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Discussion of this variation recalls the distinction between naming and titling. If the title serves for external reference to promotion, and does not maintain a firm relation with the body of the text, we may consider it in terms of naming.
In all of them the titling process is exclusive to the author himself.
As required in the Mopa, the LGU headed by Juan created the LGU-led Titling Office and designated personnel to operate it.
'Through the partnership of the DENR and the LGU, the processing of titles has been facilitated, thus, our constituents need not undergo the long, complicated and expensive process of land titling,' Juan said.