Daimler's breakup plan has created a small quandary that lawyers will spend time resolving sometime in the coming months: rights to the company's $49 billion Mercedes-Benz brand.
The automaker is working on a legal framework for how Mercedes and trademarks such as its famous three-pointed star logo will be used after spinning off its truck unit later this year, CEO Ola Kallenius said in an interview last week.
"It has to be absolutely clear who can use the brand," said Kallenius, who plans to change the carmaking entity's name to Mercedes-Benz from Daimler.
The issue is significant because Mercedes is the world's eighth most valuable brand, just behind Toyota and ahead of rival BMW, according to consultancy Interbrand. The ranking is led by technology giants Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft.
Daimler's marquee brand was first registered in 1902 after the Mercedes 35 hp model won the Nice racing week. The car was commissioned by businessman Emil Jellinek and named after his daughter Mercedes.
The three-pointed star has meanwhile graced Mercedes vehicles ranging from coveted luxury cars to more utilitarian offroaders since 1910. The sons of founder Gottlieb Daimler came up with the idea.
"With the Daimler Truck spinoff, it is critical to govern and define the respective Mercedes brand rights in an unambiguous way," said Roman Mathyssek, a consultant at Arthur D. Little.