JohnB wrote:Btw:the fine print says B-24J Liberator® is a trademark of Lockheed Martin. That's a new one to me...but at least no one is calling it a Lockheed Martin B-24.
With that mentioned, story time.
Lockheed Martin has ownership of aircraft designations and names from past company acquisitions. The roots of this footnote of history started when Consolidated Vultee became Convair. During the 1950s, Convair was acquired by General Dynamics and operated as the Convair Division. Decades later in the 1990s, General Dynamics sold off the surviving parts of the former Convair Division. I believe General Dynamics once had intact ownership and responsibly of the Consolidated Vultee aircraft.
The current form of Lockheed Martin acquired the very much active Atlas rocket program, from then the dissolving division. Other missile program assists were sold to Hughes. Elements of the surviving airframe contracting operations were sold to McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing.
A few years ago, I wanted to know who currently had ownership of the B-24/PB4Y-2, and the associated design/engineering intellectual property rights. Alternatively, another method was to find current ownership of the FAA type certificates. Two years of hard painful work was involved for a project, and was successful in the end, but without what we required. We still don't know who owns everything else but a name.
It quite possible to say over the recent decades, everything else not sold off within the Convair Division faded into history.