Tag: Royalty and License Payments

Denmark vs. Adecco A/S, June 2020, Supreme Court, Case No SKM2020.303.HR

Denmark vs. Adecco A/S, June 2020, Supreme Court, Case No SKM2020.303.HR

The question in this case was whether royalty payments from a loss making Danish subsidiary Adecco A/S (H1 A/S in the decision) to its Swiss parent company Adecco SA (G1 SA in the decision – an international provider of temporary and permanent employment services active throughout the entire range of sectors in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia – for use of trademarks and trade names, knowhow, international network intangibles, and business concept were deductible expenses for tax purposes or not. In  2013, the Danish tax authorities (SKAT) had amended Adecco A/S’s taxable income for the years 2006-2009 by a total of DKK 82 million. Adecco A/S submitted that the company’s royalty payments were operating expenses deductible under section 6 (a) of the State Tax Act and that it was entitled to tax deductions for royalty payments of 1.5% of the company’s turnover in the first half of 2006 and 2% up to and including 2009, as these ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs Engine branch, January 2020, Tax Tribunal, Case No SKM2020.30.LSR

Denmark vs Engine branch, January 2020, Tax Tribunal, Case No SKM2020.30.LSR

The main activity in a Danish branch of a German group was development, licensing and services related to engines that were being produced by external licensees. Under a restructuring of the group, it was decided that royalty income for a particular engine type previously received by the Danish branch should be transferred to the German company. The Danish branch received a compensation corresponding to the net earnings for a two-year notice period. The tax administration increased the taxable income of the branch claiming that the branch had made valuable contributions to the development of the type of engine in question and thereby obtained co-ownership. The Tax Tribunal found that valuable intangible assets had been transferred, The decision was based on prior contractual arrangements and conduct of the parties.  Click here for English translation Click here for other translation SKM 2020-30 ... Continue to full case
Uruguay vs Nestlé del Uruguay S.A., December 2019, Tribunal de lo Contencioso Administrativo, Case No 786/2019

Uruguay vs Nestlé del Uruguay S.A., December 2019, Tribunal de lo Contencioso Administrativo, Case No 786/2019

Nestlé del Uruguay S.A. had deducted royalty payments to its parent company located in Switzerland for the right to use certain local brands such as Águila, El Chaná, Vascolet, Bracafé and Copacabana. Royalties were calculated as 5% of sales, with the exception of payments for the Águila brand products, where royalties were calculated as 2% of sales. The tax administration (DGI) found that the royalty payments had not been at arm’s length. In defense of this position, it was argued that these local brands had been developed by Nestlé Uruguay itself, and then transferred to Nestlé Switzerland in 1999 for a sum of USD 1. Nestle Uruguay disagreed and argued that the tax administration was applying transfer pricing rules retroactively to a transaction concluded in 1999, when such rules did not yet exist. Judgement of the Court The Court considered that the Nestlé Uruguay should not pay 5% in royalties for the right to use trademarks it had developed itself ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs Adecco A/S, Oct 2019, High Court, Case No SKM2019.537.OLR

Denmark vs Adecco A/S, Oct 2019, High Court, Case No SKM2019.537.OLR

The question in this case was whether royalty payments from a loss making Danish subsidiary Adecco A/S (H1 A/S in the decision) to its Swiss parent company Adecco SA (G1 SA in the decision – an international provider of temporary and permanent employment services active throughout the entire range of sectors in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia – for use of trademarks and trade names, knowhow, international network intangibles, and business concept were deductible expenses for tax purposes or not. In  2013, the Danish tax authorities (SKAT) had amended Adecco A/S’s taxable income for the years 2006-2009 by a total of DKK 82 million. “Section 2 of the Tax Assessment Act. Paragraph 1 states that, when calculating the taxable income, group affiliates must apply prices and terms for commercial or economic transactions in accordance with what could have been agreed if the transactions had been concluded between independent parties. SKAT does not consider it in accordance with section ... Continue to full case
Denmark vs MAN Energy Solutions, September 2019, Supreme Court, Case No SKM2019.486.HR

Denmark vs MAN Energy Solutions, September 2019, Supreme Court, Case No SKM2019.486.HR

A Danish subsidiary in the German MAN group was the owner of certain intangible assets. The German parent, acting as an intermediate for the Danish subsidiary, licensed rights in those intangibles to other parties. In 2002-2005, the Danish subsidiary received royalty payments corresponding to the prices agreed between the German parent company and independent parties for use of the intangibles. The group had requested an adjustment of the royalty payments to the Danish subsidiary due to withholding taxes paid on inter-company license fees received by the German Parent. This was rejected by the Danish tax authorities. The Supreme Court found no basis for an adjustment for withholding taxes as the agreed prices between the German parent and the Danish Subsidiary matched the market price paid by independent parties. Click here for translation Denmark vs MAN Energy Solutions, September 2019, Supreme Court, Case No BS-4280-2019-HJR ... Continue to full case
The Kering Group - owner of Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Pomellato - has settled an Italian Tax Case for an Amount of 1.250 Billion Euro

The Kering Group – owner of Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Pomellato – has settled an Italian Tax Case for an Amount of 1.250 Billion Euro

The Kering group – owner of Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Pomellato –  has settled a case with the Italian tax agency for an amount of euro 1.250 billion in taxes and penalties relating to fiscal years 2011-2017. The case was started by the Italian tax police in 2017 and resulted in a recommendation to charge the president and chief executive officer of the Italian company Guccio Gucci S.p.A. with the crimes of tax evasion and failure to file Italian income tax return. Guccio Gucci S.p.A., the Italian operating company of the group and owner of the GUCCI brand, had licensed the brand to a Swiss affiliate company, Luxury Goods International S.A., together with the rights to exploit and manage the brand for the purpose of the global marketing, commercialization and sale of GUCCI products in Italy and worldwide. However, most of the marketing activities for the distribution and sale of the GUCCI products actually took place at the ... Continue to full case
Mexico vs "Drink Distributor S.A.", April 2019, TRIBUNAL FEDERAL DE JUSTICIA ADMINISTRATIVA, Case No 15378/16-17-09-2/1484/18-S2-08-04

Mexico vs “Drink Distributor S.A.”, April 2019, TRIBUNAL FEDERAL DE JUSTICIA ADMINISTRATIVA, Case No 15378/16-17-09-2/1484/18-S2-08-04

“Drinks Distributor S.A.” was involved in purchase, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages in Mexico. “Drinks Distributor s.a” had entered into a non-exclusive trademark license agreement with a related party for the sale of its product. Following a restructuring process, the related party moved to Switzerland. Following an audit the Mexican tax administration, determined that deductions for marketing and advertising costs related to brands and trademarks used under the licensing agreement, were not “strictly indispensable” and therefore not deductible, cf. requirement established by the Income Tax Law in Mexico. Drinks Distributor S.A on its side held that the marketing and advertising costs were strictly indispensable and that the tax deductions should be accepted. The dispute ended up in the Federal Court of Administrative Justice. Judgement: The Court determined what should be understood as “strictly indispensable“. To establish this concept the purposes of the specific company and the specific costs must first be determined – in particular that the costs are ... Continue to full case
Switzerland vs R&D Pharma, December 2018, Tribunal fédéral suisse, 2C_11/2018

Switzerland vs R&D Pharma, December 2018, Tribunal fédéral suisse, 2C_11/2018

The Swiss company X SA (hereinafter: the Company or the Appellant), is part of the multinational pharmaceutical group X, whose parent holding is X BV (hereinafter referred to as the parent company) in Netherlands, which company owns ten subsidiaries, including the Company and company X France SAS (hereinafter: the French company). According to the appendices to the accounts, the parent company did not employ any employees in 2006 or in 2007, on the basis of a full-time employment contract. In 2010 and 2011, an average of three employees worked for this company. By agreement of July 5, 2006, the French company undertook to carry out all the works and studies requested by the parent company for a fee calculated on the basis of their cost, plus a margin of 15%. The French company had to communicate to the parent company any discoveries or results relating to the work entrusted to it. It should also keep the parent company informed of ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 26

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 26

92. Osnovni is the parent company of an MNE Group engaged in the development and sale of software products. Osnovni acquires 100% of the equity interests in Company S, a publicly traded company organised in the same country as Osnovni, for a price equal to 160. At the time of the acquisition, Company S shares had an aggregate trading value of 100. Competitive bidders for the Company S business offered amounts ranging from 120 to 130 for Company S. 93. Company S had only a nominal amount of fixed assets at the time of the acquisition. Its value consisted primarily of rights in developed and partially developed intangibles related to software products and its skilled workforce. The purchase price allocation performed for accounting purposes by Osnovni allocated 10 to tangible assets, 60 to intangibles, and 90 to goodwill. Osnovni justified the 160 purchase price in presentations to its Board of Directors by reference to the complementary nature of the existing ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 19

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 19

67. Company P, a resident of country A conducts a retailing business, operating several department stores in country A. Over the years, Company P has developed special know-how and a unique marketing concept for the operation of its department stores. It is assumed that the know-how and unique marketing concept constitute intangibles within the meaning of Section A of Chapter VI. After years of successfully conducting business in country A, Company P establishes a new subsidiary, Company S, in country B. Company S opens and operates new department stores in country B, obtaining profit margins substantially higher than those of otherwise comparable retailers in country B. 68. A detailed functional analysis reveals that Company S uses in its operations in country B, the same know-how and unique marketing concept as the ones used by Company P in its operations in country A. Under these circumstances, the conduct of the parties reveals that a transaction has taken place consisting in the ... 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
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 15

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 15

49. Shuyona is the parent company of an MNE group. Shuyona is organised in and operates exclusively in country X. The Shuyona group is involved in the production and sale of consumer goods. In order to maintain and, if possible, improve its market position, ongoing research is carried out by the Shuyona group to improve existing products and develop new products. The Shuyona group maintains two R&D centres, one operated by Shuyona in country X, and the other operated by Company S, a subsidiary of Shuyona, operating in country Y. 50. The Shuyona group sells two lines of products. All R&D with respect to product line A is conducted by Shuyona. All R&D with respect to product line B is conducted by the R&D centre operated by Company S. Company S also functions as the regional headquarters of the Shuyona group in North America and has global responsibility for the operation of the business relating to product line B. However, ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 13

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 13

42. The facts in this example are the same as those set out in Example 10 with the following additions: At the end of Year 3, Primair stops manufacturing watches and contracts with a third party to manufacture them on its behalf. As a result, Company S will import unbranded watches directly from the manufacturer and undertake secondary processing to apply the R name and logo and package the watches before sale to the final customer. It will then sell and distribute the watches in the manner described in Example 10. As a consequence, at the beginning of Year 4, Primair and Company S renegotiate their earlier agreement and enter into a new long term licensing agreement. The new agreement, to start at the beginning of Year 4, is for five years, with Company S having an option for a further five years. Under the new agreement, Company S is granted the exclusive right within country Y to process, market ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 12

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 12

39. The facts in this example are the same as in Example 9 with the following additions: By the end of Year 3, the R brand is successfully established in the country Y market and Primair and Company S renegotiate their earlier agreement and enter into a new long-term licensing agreement. The new agreement, which is to commence at the beginning of Year 4, is for five years with Company S having an option for a further five years. Under this agreement, Company S agrees to pay a royalty to Primair based on the gross sales of all watches bearing the R trademark. In all other respects, the new agreement has the same terms and conditions as in the previous arrangement between the parties. There is no adjustment made to the price payable by Company S for the branded watches as a result of the introduction of the royalty. Company S’s sales of R brand watches in Years 4 and ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 3

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 3

8. The facts are the same as in Example 2. However, after licensing the patents to associated and independent enterprises for a few years, Company S, again acting under the direction and control of Premiere, sells the patents to an independent enterprise at a price reflecting appreciation in the value of the patents during the period that Company S was the legal owner. The functions of Company S throughout the period it was the legal owner of the patents were limited to performing the patent registration functions described in Examples 1 and 2. 9. Under these circumstances, the income of Company S should be the same as in Example 2. It should be compensated for the registration functions it performs, but should not otherwise share in the returns derived from the exploitation of the intangibles, including the returns generated from the disposition of the intangibles ... Continue to full case
TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 2

TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 2

5. The facts related to the development and control of patentable inventions are the same as in Example 1. However, instead of granting a perpetual and exclusive licence of its patents back to Premiere, Company S, acting under the direction and control of Premiere, grants licences of its patents to associated and independent enterprises throughout the world in exchange for periodic royalties. For purposes of this example, it is assumed that the royalties paid to Company S by associated enterprises are all arm’s length. 6. Company S is the legal owner of the patents. However, its contributions to the development, enhancement, maintenance, protection, and exploitation of the patents are limited to the activities of its three employees in registering the patents and maintaining the patent registrations. The Company S employees do not control or participate in the licensing transactions involving the patents. Under these circumstances, Company S is only entitled to compensation for the functions it performs. Based on an ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.60

Also in the case where a local operation disposes of the legal ownership of its intangibles to a foreign associated enterprise and continues to use the intangibles further to the disposal, but does so in a different legal capacity (e.g. as a licensee), the conditions of the transfer should be assessed from both the transferor’s and the transferee’s perspectives. The determination of an arm’s length remuneration for the subsequent ownership, control and exploitation of the transferred intangible should take account of the extent of the functions performed, assets used and risks assumed by the parties in relation to the intangible transferred, and in particular analysing control of risks and control of functions performed relating to the development, enhancement, maintenance, protection, or exploitation of the intangibles ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter IX paragraph 9.57

Business restructurings sometimes involve the transfer of the legal ownership of intangibles or rights in intangibles that were previously owned by one or more local operation(s) to a central location situated in another tax jurisdiction (e.g. a foreign associated enterprise that operates as a principal or as a so-called “IP company”). In some cases the transferor continues to use the intangible transferred, but does so in another legal capacity (e.g. as a licensee of the transferee, or through a contract that includes limited rights to the intangible such as a contract manufacturing arrangement using patents that were transferred; or a limited risk distribution arrangement using a trademark that was transferred). In accordance with the guidance in Chapter VI, it is important to remember that the legal ownership of an intangible by itself does not confer any right ultimately to retain returns derived by the MNE group from exploiting that intangible (see 6.42). Instead, the compensation required to be paid to ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VIII paragraph 8.11

Under a development CCA, each participant has an entitlement to rights in the developed intangible(s) or tangible asset(s). In relation to intangibles, such rights often take the form of separate rights to exploit the intangible in a specific geographic location or for a particular application. The separate rights obtained may constitute actual legal ownership; alternatively, it may be that only one of the participants is the legal owner of the property but the other participants have certain rights to use or exploit the property. In cases where a participant has such rights in any property developed by the CCA, there is no need for a royalty payment or other further consideration for the use of the developed property consistent with the interest to which the participant is entitled under the CCA (however, the contributions of a participant may need to be adjusted if they are not proportionate to their expected benefits; see Section C.5) ... Continue to full case

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.130

Comparability, and the possibility of making comparability adjustments, is especially important in considering potentially comparable intangibles and related royalty rates drawn from commercial databases or proprietary compilations of publicly available licence or similar agreements. The principles of Section A.4.3.1 of Chapter III apply fully in assessing the usefulness of transactions drawn from such sources. In particular, it is important to assess whether publicly available data drawn from commercial databases and proprietary compilations is sufficiently detailed to permit an evaluation of the specific features of intangibles that may be important in conducting a comparability analysis. In evaluating comparable licence arrangements identified from databases, the specific facts of the case, including the methodology being applied, should be considered in the context of the provisions of paragraph 3.38 ... Continue to full case