In interstellar law, the space salvage laws described ownership rights when salvaging or rescuing spacecraft and their contents.

Citing space salvage laws, interstellar trader Cyrano Jones acquired a Klingon glommer in 2269 and escaped with it from Klingon space. Captain Kirk did not recognize his claim on the grounds that the glommer was taken from the surface of a planet, and not from a spacecraft. (TAS: "More Tribbles, More Troubles").

In 2373 Captain Sisko claimed salvage rights on a Jem'Hadar warship that had crashed on Torga IV. Kilana, the Vorta who came to rescue the Founder who had been on the ship, stated that the Dominion did not recognize the practice. (DS9: "The Ship")

The Ferengi had their own version of this, the Ferengi Salvage Code. (TNG: "Rascals")