Tag: License agreement

An agreement under which the licensor, owner of an intangible asset, allows a licensee to use or engage in an activity in relation to that intangible asset, against a certain consideration (royalty).

The European Commission vs. Nike and the Netherlands, July 2021, European Court of Justice Case No T-648/19

The European Commission vs. Nike and the Netherlands, July 2021, European Court of Justice Case No T-648/19

In 2016 the European Commission announced that it had opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether tax rulings (unilateral APA’s) granted by the Netherlands had given Nike an unfair advantage over its competitors, in breach of EU State aid rules. The formal investigation concerned the tax treatment in the Netherlands of two Nike group companies, Nike European Operations Netherlands BV and Converse Netherlands BV. These two operating companies develops, markets and records the sales of Nike and Converse products in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (the EMEA region). Nike European Operations Netherlands BV and Converse Netherlands BV obtained licenses to use intellectual property rights relating to Nike and Converse products in the EMEA region. The two companies obtained the licenses, in return for a tax-deductible royalty payment, from two Nike group entities, which are currently Dutch entities that are “transparent” for tax purposes (i.e., not taxable in the Netherlands). From 2006 to 2015, the Dutch tax authorities issued five ... Continue to full case
Indonesia vs P.T. Sanken Indonesia Ltd., December 2020, Supreme Court, Case No. 5291/B/PK/Pjk/2020

Indonesia vs P.T. Sanken Indonesia Ltd., December 2020, Supreme Court, Case No. 5291/B/PK/Pjk/2020

P.T. Sanken Indonesia Ltd. – an Indonesian subsidiary of Sanken Electric Co., Ltd. Japan – paid royalties to its Japanese parent for use of IP. The royalty payment was calculated based on external sales and therefore did not include sales of products to group companies. The royalty payments were deducted for tax purposes. Following an audit, the tax authorities issued an assessment where deductions for the royalty payments were denied. According to the authorities the license agreement had not been registrered in Indonesia. Furthermore, the royalty payment was found not to have been determined in accordance with the arm’s length principle. P.T. Sanken issued a complaint over the decision with the Tax Court, where the assessment later was set aside. This decision was then appealed to the Supreme Court by the tax authorities. Judgement of the Supreme Court The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of the tax authorities and upheld the decision of the Tax Court. The OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines ... Continue to full case
US vs Coca Cola, November 2020, US Tax Court, 155 T.C. No. 10

US vs Coca Cola, November 2020, US Tax Court, 155 T.C. No. 10

Coca Cola, a U.S. corporation, was the legal owner of the intellectual property (IP) necessary to manufacture, distribute, and sell some of the best-known beverage brands in the world. This IP included trade- marks, product names, logos, patents, secret formulas, and proprietary manufacturing processes. Coca Cola licensed foreign manufacturing affiliates, called “supply points,” to use this IP to produce concentrate that they sold to unrelated bottlers, who produced finished beverages for sale  to distributors and retailers throughout the world. Coca Cola’s contracts with its supply points gave them limited rights to use the IP in performing their manufacturing and distribution functions but gave the supply points no ownership interest in that IP. During 2007-2009 the supply points compensated Coca Cola for use of its IP under a formulary apportionment method to which Coca Cola and IRS had agreed in 1996 when settling Coca Cola’s tax liabilities for 1987-1995. Under that method the supply points were permitted to satisfy their royalty ... Continue to full case
The European Commission opens in-depth investigation into tax treatment of Nike and Converse in the Netherlands

The European Commission opens in-depth investigation into tax treatment of Nike and Converse in the Netherlands

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether tax rulings granted by the Netherlands to Nike may have given the company an unfair advantage over its competitors, in breach of EU State aid rules. Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said: “Member States should not allow companies to set up complex structures that unduly reduce their taxable profits and give them an unfair advantage over competitors. The Commission will investigate carefully the tax treatment of Nike in the Netherlands, to assess whether it is in line with EU State aid rules. At the same time, I welcome the actions taken by the Netherlands to reform their corporate taxation rules and to help ensure that companies will operate on a level playing field in the EU.” Nike is a US based company involved worldwide in the design, marketing and manufacturing of footwear, clothing, equipment and accessories, in particular in the sports area. The formal investigation concerns ... Continue to full case
Finland vs A Group, December 2018, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2018:173

Finland vs A Group, December 2018, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. KHO:2018:173

During fiscal years 2006–2008, A-Group had been manufacturing and selling products in the construction industry – insulation and other building components. License fees received by the parent company A OY from the manufacturing companies had been determined by application of the CUP method. The remuneration of the sales companies in the group had been determined by application of the resale price method. The Finnish tax administration, tax tribunal and administrative court all found that the comparable license agreements chosen with regard to determining the intercompany license fees had such differences regarding products, contract terms and market areas that they were incomparable. With regard to the sale of the finished products, they found that the resale price method had not been applied on a sufficiently reliable basis. By reference to the 2010 version of the OECD’s Transfer Pricing Guidelines, they considered the best method for determining the arm’s length remuneration of the group companies was the residual profit split method. The ... Continue to full case
US vs Medtronic, August 2018, U.S. Court of Appeals, Case No: 17-1866

US vs Medtronic, August 2018, U.S. Court of Appeals, Case No: 17-1866

The IRS was of the opinion, that Medtronic erred in allocating the profit earned from its devises and leads between its businesses located in the United States and its device manufacturer in Puerto Rico. To determine the arm’s length price for Medtronic’s intercompany licensing agreements the comparable profits method was therefor applied by the IRS, rather than the comparable uncontrolled transaction (CUT) method used by Medtronic. Medtronic brought the case to the Tax Court. The Tax Court applied its own valuation analysis and concluded that the Pacesetter agreement was the best CUT to calculate the arm’s length result for intangible property. This decision from the Tax Court was then appealed by the IRS to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeal found that the Tax Court’s factual findings were insufficient. The Tax Court failed to: address whether the circumstances of the Pacesetter settlement was comparable to the licensing agreements in this case, the degree of comparability of the contractual ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter II Annex II example 1

TPG2017 Chapter II Annex II example 1

1. Company A is the parent company of an MNE group in the pharmaceutical sector. Company A owns a patent for a new pharmaceutical formulation. Company A designed the clinical trials and performed the research and development functions during the early stages of the development of the product, leading to the granting of the patent. 2. Company A enters into a contract with Company S, a subsidiary of Company A, according to which Company A licenses the patent rights relating to the potential pharmaceutical product to Company S. In accordance with the contract, Company S conducts the subsequent development of the product and performs important enhancement functions. Company S obtains the authorisation from the relevant regulatory body. The development of the product is successful and it is sold in various markets around the world. 3. The accurate delineation of the transaction indicates that the contributions made by both Company A and Company S are unique and valuable to the development ... Continue to full case
US vs Coca Cola, Dec. 2017, US Tax Court, 149 T.C. No. 21

US vs Coca Cola, Dec. 2017, US Tax Court, 149 T.C. No. 21

Coca Cola collects royalties from foreign branches and subsidiaries for use of formulas, brand and other intellectual property. Years ago an agreement was entered by Coca Cola and the IRS on these royalty payments to settle an audit of years 1987 to 1995. According to the agreement Coca-Cola licensees in other countries would pay the US parent company royalties using a 10-50-50 formula where 10% of the gross sales revenue is treated as a normal return to the licensee and the rest of the revenue is split evenly between the licensee and the US parent, with the part going to the US parent paid in the form of a royalty. The agreement expired in 1995, but Coca-Cola continued to use the model for transfer pricing in the following years. Coca-Cola and the Mexican tax authorities had agreed on the same formula and Coca-Cola continued to use the pricing-formula in Mexico on the advice of Mexican counsel. In 2015, the IRS ... Continue to full case
Taiwan vs Jat Health Corporation , November 2018, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 612 of 106

Taiwan vs Jat Health Corporation , November 2018, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 612 of 106

A Taiwanese distributor in the Jat Health Corporation group had deducted amortizations and royalty payments related to distribution rights. These deductions had been partially denied by the Taiwanese tax administration. The case was brought to court. The Supreme Administrative court dismissed the appeal and upheld the assessment. “The Appellant’s business turnover has increased from $868,217 in FY07 to $1,002,570,293 in FY12, with such a high growth rate, and the Appellant has to bear the increase in business tax, which is not an objective comparative analysis and is not sufficient to conclude that the purchase of the disputed supply rights was necessary or reasonable for the operation of the business.” Click here for English Translation 最高行政法院106年判字第612號判決 ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 20

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 20

69. Ilcha is organised in country A. The Ilcha group of companies has for many years manufactured and sold Product Q in countries B and C through a wholly owned subsidiary, Company S1, which is organised in country B. Ilcha owns patents related to the design of Product Q and has developed a unique trademark and other marketing intangibles. The patents and trademarks are registered by Ilcha in countries B and C. 70. For sound business reasons, Ilcha determines that the group’s business in countries B and C would be enhanced if those businesses were operated through separate subsidiaries in each country. Ilcha therefore organises in country C a wholly owned subsidiary, Company S2. With regard to the business in country C: Company S1 transfers to Company S2 the tangible manufacturing and marketing assets previously used by Company S1 in country C. Ilcha and Company S1 agree to terminate the agreement granting Company S1 the following rights with relation to ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 18

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 18

64. Primarni is organised in and conducts business in country A. Company S is an associated enterprise of Primarni. Company S is organised in and does business in country B. Primarni develops a patented invention and manufacturing know-how related to Product X. It obtains valid patents in all countries relevant to this example. Primarni and Company S enter into a written licence agreement pursuant to which Primarni grants Company S the right to use the Product X patents and know-how to manufacture and sell Product X in country B, while Primarni retains the patent and know-how rights to Product X throughout Asia, Africa, and in country A. 65. Assume Company S uses the patents and know-how to manufacture Product X in country B. It sells Product X to both independent and associated customers in country B. Additionally, it sells Product X to associated distribution entities based throughout Asia and Africa. The distribution entities resell the units of Product X to ... Continue to full case

Luxembourg vs Lux SA, December 2016, Administrative Tribunal Case No 36954

By a trademark license agreement dated August 22, 2008, a group company in Luxembourg granted another group company a non-exclusive right to use and exploit the brands registered in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Benelux and the European Community for an initial period of ten years, renewable tacitly each time for a period of one year and this against a license fee paid and calculated annually corresponding to 3% of this turnover. By letters of 30 January 2015, the Tax Office informed the company that they intended to refuse to deduct the royalties paid to the company for the years 2010, 2011 and 2010. Click here for translation Lux vs taxpayer 21 dec 2016 36954 ... Continue to full case
Indonesia vs P.T. Sanken Electric Indonesia Ltd, February 2016, Tax Court, Case No. Put.68357/PP/M.IA/15/2016

Indonesia vs P.T. Sanken Electric Indonesia Ltd, February 2016, Tax Court, Case No. Put.68357/PP/M.IA/15/2016

P.T. Sanken Electric Indonesia Ltd. – an Indonesian subsidiary of Sanken Electric Co., Ltd. Japan – paid royalties to its Japanese parent for use of IP. The royalty payment was calculated based on external sales and therefore did not include sales of products to group companies. The royalty payments were deducted for tax purposes. The tax authorities denied the deduction as the license agreement had not been registrered in Indonesia. Furthermore, the royalty payment was not found to have been determined in accordance with the arm’s length principle. P.T. Sanken Electric Indonesia Ltd appealed the decision of the Tax Court. Judgement of the Tax Court The tax court set aside the assessment and decided in favor of taxpayer. Click here for translation Indonesia PUT 68357-PP-MIA-15-2016 ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs Corp. October 2015, Supreme Court, case nr. SKM2015.659.HR

Denmark vs Corp. October 2015, Supreme Court, case nr. SKM2015.659.HR

A Danish production company terminated a 10-year license and distribution agreement with a group distribution company one year prior to expiry of the agreement. The distribution agreement was transferred to another group company and the new distribution company agreed as a successor in interest to pay a "termination fee" to the former distribution company. However, the termination fee was paid by the Danish production company and the amount was depreciated in the tax-return. The Danish company claimed that it was a transfer pricing case and argued that the tax administration could only adjust agreed prices and conditions of the agreement if the requirements for making a transfer pricing correction were met. The Supreme Court stated that the general principles of tax law in the State Tax Act §§ 4-6 also applies to the related companies. Hence, the question was whether the termination fee was held for "acquiring, securing and maintaining the applicant's income", cf. the state tax act § 6 ... Continue to full case
Spain vs. Roche, January 2012, Supreme Court case nr. 1626/2008

Spain vs. Roche, January 2012, Supreme Court case nr. 1626/2008

Prior to a business restructuring in 1999, the Spanish subsidiary, Roche Vitaminas S.A., was a full-fledged distributor, involved in manufacturing, importing, and selling the pharmaceutical products in the Spanish and Portuguese markets. In 1999 the Spanish subsidiary and the Swiss parent, Roche Vitamins Europe Ltd., entered into a manufacturing agreement and a distribution agreement. Under the manufacturing agreement, the Spanish subsidiary manufactured products  according to directions and using formulas, know-how, patents, and trademarks from the Swiss parent. These manufacturing activities were remunerated at cost plus 3.3 percent. Under the distribution (agency) agreement, the Spanish subsidiary would “represent, protect and promote” the products. These activities were remunerated at 2 percent of sales. The Spanish subsidiary was now characterized as a contract manufacturer and commission agent and the taxable profits in Spain were much lower than before the business restructuring. The Spanish tax authorities argued that the activities constituted a PE in Spain according to article 5 of DTT between Spain and ... Continue to full case
US vs Proctor & Gamble Co, April1992, Court of Appeal (6th Cir.), Case No 961 F.2d 1255

US vs Proctor & Gamble Co, April1992, Court of Appeal (6th Cir.), Case No 961 F.2d 1255

Proctor & Gamble is engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing of consumer and industrial products. Proctor & Gamble operates through domestic (US) and foreign subsidiaries and affiliates. Proctor & Gamble owned all the stock of Procter & Gamble A.G. (AG), a Swiss corporation. AG was engaged in marketing Proctor & Gamble’s products, generally in countries in which Proctor & Gamble did not have a marketing subsidiary or affiliate. Proctor & Gamble and AG were parties to a License and Service Agreement, known as a package fee agreement, under which AG paid royalties to Proctor & Gamble for the nonexclusive use by AG and its subsidiaries of Proctor & Gamble’s patents, trademarks, tradenames, knowledge, research and assistance in manufacturing, general administration, finance, buying, marketing and distribution. The royalties payable to Proctor & Gamble were based primarily on the net sales of Proctor & Gamble’s products by AG and its subsidiaries. AG entered into agreements similar to package fee agreements ... Continue to full case
US vs Proctor & Gamble, September 1990, US Tax Court, Opinion No. 16521-84.

US vs Proctor & Gamble, September 1990, US Tax Court, Opinion No. 16521-84.

Proctor & Gamble is an US corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing of consumer and industrial products. Proctor & Gamble operates through domestic and foreign subsidiaries and affiliates. Proctor & Gamble owned all the stock of Procter & Gamble A.G. (AG), a Swiss corporation. AG was engaged in marketing Proctor & Gamble’s products, generally in countries in which Proctor & Gamble did not have a marketing subsidiary or affiliate. Proctor & Gamble and AG were parties to a License and Service Agreement, known as a package fee agreement, under which AG paid royalties to Proctor & Gamble for the nonexclusive use by AG and its subsidiaries of Proctor & Gamble’s patents, trademarks, tradenames, knowledge, research and assistance in manufacturing, general administration, finance, buying, marketing and distribution. The royalties payable to Proctor & Gamble were based primarily on the net sales of Proctor & Gamble’s products by AG and its subsidiaries. AG entered into agreements similar to package ... Continue to full case
France vs. Caterpillar, October 1989, CE No 65009

France vs. Caterpillar, October 1989, CE No 65009

In Caterpillar, a 5% royalty was found to be an arm’s-length rate for the manufacturing and assembling operations. The court did not accept that there should be different rates for the two different activities. Excerpt from the Judgement “…According to the administration, the rate of the royalty paid by the company “Caterpillar France” is admissible only when it applies to the selling price of equipment entirely manufactured by the company, but not when it affects the gross margin made on equipment that the company has only assembled, since the assembly operations make less use of the technology and know-how acquired by the American company than the machining operations themselves; that, however, the details provided and the documents produced in this respect by the company do not make it possible to make such a distinction between the operations that successively contribute to the production of the finished products; that the uniform rate of the fee cannot, in the circumstances of the ... Continue to full case