Tag: Trademark license agreement

France vs Société Planet, May 2022, Conseil d'État, Case No 444451

France vs Société Planet, May 2022, Conseil d’État, Case No 444451

In view of its purpose and the comments made on Article 12 of the OECD Model Convention, the Conseil d’État found that Article 12(2) of the Franco-New Zealand tax treaty was applicable to French source royalties whose beneficial owner resided in New Zealand, even if the royalties had been paid to an intermediary company established in a third country. The Supreme Court thus set aside the previous 2020 Judgement of the Administrative Court of Appeal. The question of whether the company in New Zealand actually qualified as the beneficial owner of the royalties for the years in question was referred to the Court of Appeal. Excerpt “1. It is clear from the documents in the file submitted to the judges of the court of first instance that the company Planet, which carries on the business of distributing sports programmes to fitness clubs, was subject to reminders of withholding tax in respect of sums described as royalties paid to the companies ... Read more
Poland vs "X-TM" sp. z o.o., March 2022, Administrative Court, SA/PO 1058/21

Poland vs “X-TM” sp. z o.o., March 2022, Administrative Court, SA/PO 1058/21

On 30 November 2012, X sold its trademarks to subsidiary C which in turn sold the trademarks to subsidiary D. X and D then entered into a trademark license agreement according to which X would pay license fees to D. These license fees were deducted by X in its 2013 tax return. The tax authorities claimed that X had understated its taxabel income as the license fees paid by X to D for the use of trademarks were not related to obtaining or securing a source of revenue. The decision stated that in the light of the principles of logic and experience, the actions taken by the taxpayer made no sense and were not aimed at achieving the revenue in question, but instead at generating costs artificially – only for tax purposes. An appeal was filed by X. Judgement of the Administrative Court The court set aside the assessment of the tax authorities and decided in favor of X. According ... Read more
France vs Rayonnages de France, February 2022, CAA of Douai, No 19DA01682

France vs Rayonnages de France, February 2022, CAA of Douai, No 19DA01682

Rayonnages de France paid royalties and management fees to a related Portuguese company. Following an audit for FY 2010 – 2012 the French tax authorities denied tax deductions for the payments by reference to the the arm’s length principle. The court of first instance decided in favor of the tax authorities and Rayonnages de France then filed an appeal with the CAA of Douai. Judgement of the CAA The Court of appeal upheld the decision of the court of first instance and decided in favor of the tax authorities. Excerpt “However, as the Minister points out, in order to be eligible for deduction, the management services invoiced by VJ Trans.Fer to SARL Rayonnages de France must necessarily cover tasks distinct from those relating to the day-to-day management of the latter company, which were the responsibility of Mr B. as statutory manager of SARL Rayonnages de France, it being for the latter to determine, where appropriate, the remuneration to be paid ... Read more
France vs IKEA, February 2022, CAA of Versailles, No 19VE03571

France vs IKEA, February 2022, CAA of Versailles, No 19VE03571

Ikea France (SNC MIF) had concluded a franchise agreement with Inter Ikea Systems BV (IIS BV) in the Netherlands by virtue of which it benefited, in particular, as a franchisee, from the right to operate the ‘Ikea Retail System’ (the Ikea concept), the ‘Ikea Food System’ (food sales) and the ‘Ikea Proprietary Rights’ (the Ikea trade mark) in its shops. In return, Ikea France paid Inter Ikea Systems BV a franchise fee equal to 3% of the amount of net sales made in France, which amounted to EUR 68,276,633 and EUR 72,415,329 for FY 2010 and 2011. These royalties were subject to the withholding tax provided for in the provisions of Article 182 B of the French General Tax Code, but under the terms of Article 12 of the Convention between France and the Netherlands: “1. Royalties arising in one of the States and paid to a resident of the other State shall be taxable only in that other State”, ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 12

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I 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 ... Read more
France vs Société Planet, July 2020, CAA, Case No 18MA04302

France vs Société Planet, July 2020, CAA, Case No 18MA04302

The Administrative Court of Appeal (CAA) set aside a judgement of the administrative court and upheld the tax authorities claims of withholding taxes on royalties paid by Société Planet to companies in Belgium and Malta irrespective of the beneficial owner of those royalties being a company in New Zealand. Hence, Article 12(2) of the Franco-New Zealand tax treaty was not considered applicable to French source royalties whose beneficial owner resided in New Zealand, where they had been paid to an intermediary company established in a third country. Click here for English translation Click here for other translation France vs Planet July 2020 CAA 18MA04302 ... Read more
Ghana vs Beiersdorf Gh. Ltd, August 2018, High Court, Case No CM/TAX/0001/2018

Ghana vs Beiersdorf Gh. Ltd, August 2018, High Court, Case No CM/TAX/0001/2018

Beiersdorf Gh. Ltd. imports and distributes Nivea skin care products from the parent company based in Germany, Beiersdorf AG). The tax authorities, CGRA, had issued an assessment where deductions for royalty payments to the German parent had been denied (non recognition – not legitimate business cost). Furthermore, alledged product discounts paid to third party vendors  had been characterized as sales commissions subject to withholding tax of 10%. Beiersdorf contended the assessment and filed an appeal. The appeal was based on three main grounds: The finding of CGRA that royalty payments made by the Appellant to Beiersdorf AG (BDF) pursuant to an agreement between Appellant and BDF for the use of the Nivea brand should not be allowed as a legitimate business cost because of the failure of the Appellant to comply with prior registration of the Royalty Agreement with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center is wrong in law. The finding of CGRA imposing liabilities with respect to withholding tax is wrong ... Read more
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 ... Read more
France vs IKEA, May 2017, CAA of Versailles, No 15VE00571

France vs IKEA, May 2017, CAA of Versailles, No 15VE00571

The French tax authorities had issued an assessment for the fiscal years 2002, 2003 and 2004 related to royalty fees paid by IKEA France to foreign group companies. It was claimed that the royalty fees paid were exessive. The Court reject the position of the authorities. It had not been proven that the fees paid by IKEA France to foreign IKEA companies were excessive based on the arm’s length principle and on Article 57 of the CGI. The Court stresses the irrelevance of the comparables presented by the administration: “Considering that the nine trademarks used as comparables by the administration relate to the French market, the furniture sector and distribution methods similar to that of Ikea; that, however, as the company Ikea Holding France argues, the Minister does not give any precise indication on the content of the services rendered to the franchisees of these trademarks in return for their royalty; these trademarks are notoriously inferior to Ikea’s and they ... Read more
India vs. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

India vs. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

Maruti Suzuki India manufactures and sells cars and spare parts. A license agreement had been entered with the group parent for use of licensed information and trademark for the manufacture and sale of the products. Hence, Maruti Suzuki paid royalties to the parent for trademark and technology. The tax administration made an adjustment where the royalty paid for use of the trademark was disallowed and where a reimbursement with mark-up for non-routine advertising, marketing and promotion of the brand name was imputed. The High Court, referred the case back to the tax administration with observations. If there is an agreement between the group parent and the taxpayer which carries an obligation on the taxpayer to use the trademark owned by the group parent. Such agreement should be accompanied either by an appropriate payment by the group parent or by a discount provided to the taxpayer. Appropriate payment should be made on account of benefit derived by the group parent in the form of marketing intangibles obtained from such mandatory ... Read more
South Africa vs. BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, March 2007, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No 60 / 06, 2007-07

South Africa vs. BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, March 2007, Supreme Court of Appeal, Case No 60 / 06, 2007-07

the Supreme Court of Appeal held that royalty payments are tax deductible in terms of s 11(a) of the Income Tax Act. It accordingly upheld an appeal by BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd against a judgment of the Income Tax Special Court. During 1997 BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd concluded a written trade mark licence agreement with its parent company BP plc in terms whereof it was granted authorisation to use and display the licensed marks and licensed marketing indicia of the latter against payment of royalties. For the tax years 1997, 1998 and 1999 the royalty fee payments were respectively R 40.190.000, R 45.150.000 and R 42.519.000. BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd subsequently claimed those payments as deductions in terms of section 11(a) of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 in the determination of its taxable income. The South African Revenue Services disallowed those deductions. BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd’s objection to the disallowance was overruled by the ... Read more