TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.78

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When the distributor actually bears the cost of its marketing activities (for example, when there is no arrangement for the legal owner to reimburse the expenditures), the analysis should focus on the extent to which the distributor is able to share in the potential benefits deriving from its functions performed, assets used, and risks assumed currently or in the future. In general, in arm’s length transactions the ability of a party that is not the legal owner of trademarks and other marketing intangibles to obtain the benefits of marketing activities that enhance the value of those intangibles will depend principally on the substance of the rights of that party. For example, a distributor may have the ability to obtain benefits from its functions performed, assets used, and risks assumed in developing the value of a trademark and other marketing intangibles from its turnover and market share when it has a long-term contract providing for sole distribution rights for the trademarked product. In such a situation the distributor’s efforts may have enhanced the value of its own intangibles, namely its distribution rights. In such cases, the distributor’s share of benefits should be determined based on what an independent distributor would receive in comparable circumstances. In some cases, a distributor may perform functions, use assets or assume risks that exceed those an independent distributor with similar rights might incur or perform for the benefit of its own distribution activities and that create value beyond that created by other similarly situated marketers/distributors. An independent distributor in such a case would typically require additional remuneration from the owner of the trademark or other intangibles. Such remuneration could take the form of higher distribution profits (resulting from a decrease in the purchase price of the product), a reduction in royalty rate, or a share of the profits associated with the enhanced value of the trademark or other marketing intangibles, in order to compensate the distributor for its functions, assets, risks, and anticipated value creation. Examples 8 to 13 in the Annex to Chapter VI illustrate in greater detail the application of this Section B in the context of marketing and distribution arrangements.

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