Report on the Taxation of Trademarks and Complementary Rights in Europe

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Report on the Taxation of Trademarks and Complementary Rights in Europe

At the beginning of May 2022, the International Trademark Association (INTA) has just released a Report on the Taxation of Trademarks and Complementary Rights in Europe. The Report aims to give out clear guidance on the tax implications with regards to trademark lifecycle in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.

The report was announced during INTA’s 2022 Annual Meeting Live+, taking place virtually and in-person in Washington, DC, April 30-May 4. 

With this report, the brand owners, and trademark practitioners will have the necessary tools to understand the tax policy in relation to the trademark and complementary rights issues.

In addition, the brand owners can also have the means to contact and strengthen the connection with tax professionals, creating harmonious, mutual-development cooperation. 

The Report explained many new concepts that will help brand owners, and trademark practitioners with the establishment of a concise plan to develop their business/brand.

For example, in one part of the Report, the readers are explained that even if trademarks are defined as assets, they will not be recognized as assets on the tax or accounting balance sheets unless acquired or transferred.

Other important new points of view are also included such as the comparison of the tax implications of licensing and trademark transfer, the taxing of royalty payments, etc. 

With its wide application, the report also serves as a supporting point for INTA’s 3 years plan which is to support the development of IP professionals and to promote and reinforce the value of brands.

In the Summary of the Report, the writers have clearly stated the benefits of the reading the report and advice the readers to not turn back in fear of the tax topic: “The Report provides the reader with enough breath to understand tax considerations in various European jurisdictions and sufficient depth to provide a foundation for further study of European taxation policy regarding trademarks. Hence, tax considerations are considered through the lens of the trademark lifecycle and general tax principles in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Moreover, the Report uses examples to illustrate specific vital considerations, and specific jurisdictional differences are called out in comment boxes. Finally, most tax-related terms are explained in the Report in the commonly used section to guide the reader.”

Reading through the Report, many experts have pointed out that the introduction of the report is extremely timely, especially with the policy changes from April 2022 incorporated and predictions about how these will change in 2023.

Expert opinions

Jeff Marowits, president, client services, at Keystone Strategy (US) in New York, a member of INTA’s Research Advisory Council, Global Transactions and Tax Subcommittee, and a lead author of the report, in an interview with the Asia IP newspaper, has stated about the importance of the Report to the IP world, especially for IP practitioners in Asia: “There can be a lot of tension if the tax and the trademark attorneys are not talking early in the process. I would encourage trademark attorneys to engage with tax professionals and the accounting profession continually.”

Marowits has said that the Report serves as a connecting bridge to make that possible: “Tax regulators are searching for sources of revenue from brands. Brands are a key source of revenue for companies, but the taxation of the brand [involves complicated questions such as] where the brand ownership is located, where registration occurs, and any inter-company licensing that might occur.”

***Other Articles***

– You could see The trademark fee in EU and UK here.

– You could visit here to see Procedure of Trademark in European Union.

– You could visit here to check Required documents of filing trademark in European Union.

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