Tag: Trademark

Legally registered name, word, symbol or design which identifies the goods or services of a particular manufacturer, business or company.

Italy vs Arditi S.p.A., December 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 37437/2022

Italy vs Arditi S.p.A., December 2022, Supreme Administrative Court, Case No 37437/2022

Arditi S.p.A. is an Italian group in the lighting industry. It has a subsidiary in Hong Kong which in turn holds the shares in a Chinese subsidiary where products are manufactured. Following an audit the tax authorities held that the entities in Hong Kong and China had used the trademark owned by the Italian parent without paying royalties, and on the basis of the arm’s length principle a 5% royalty was added to the taxable income of Arditi S.p.A. Arditi appealed against this assessment alleging that it had never received any remuneration for the use of its trademark by the subsidiary, and in any case that the tax authorities had not determined the royalty in accordance with the arm’s length principle. The Court of first instance upheld the appeal of Arditi and set aside the assessment. An appeal was then filed by the tax authorities. The Court of Appeal set aside the decision of the Court of first instance finding ... Read more
Poland vs "Fertilizer Licence SA", April 2022, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Po 788/21

Poland vs “Fertilizer Licence SA”, April 2022, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Po 788/21

“Fertilizer Licence SA” (“A”) transferred its trademarks to “B” in 2013, previously financed the transfer through a cash contribution, and then, following the transfer, paid royalties to “A” in exchange for the ability to use the assets. According to the tax authorities, a situation where an entity transfers its assets to another entity, finances the transfer and then pays for access to use those assets does not reflect the conditions that unrelated parties would establish. An unrelated party, in order to obtain such licence fees from another unrelated party, would first have to incur the costs of manufacturing or acquiring the trademarks and to finance these costs itself without the involvement of the licensee. An independent entity which has finances the creation or purchase of an intangible asset, should not incur further costs for the use of that asset. Furthermore, in determining the licence fee to “B” for the use of trademarks, “A” relied on formal legal ownership, granting “B” ... Read more
Poland vs "Sport O.B. SA", March 2022, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Rz 4/22

Poland vs “Sport O.B. SA”, March 2022, Provincial Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Rz 4/22

Following a business restructuring, rights in a trademark developed and used by O.B SA was transferred to a related party “A”. The newly established company A had no employees and all functions in the company was performed by O.B. SA. Anyhow, going forward O.B SA would now pay a license fee to A for using the trademark. The payments from O.B SA were the only source of income for “A” (apart from interest). According to the O.B. group placement of the trademark into a separate entity was motivated by a desire to increase recognition and creditworthiness of the group, which was a normal practice for business entities at the time. In 2014 and 2015 O.B. SA deducted license fees paid to A of PLN 6 647 596.19 and PLN 7 206 578.24. The tax authorities opened an audited of O.B. SA and determined that the license fees paid to A were excessive. To establish an arm’s length remuneration of A ... 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 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
US vs TBL LICENSING LLC, January 2022, U.S. Tax Court, Case No. 158 T.C. No 1 (Docket No. 21146-15)

US vs TBL LICENSING LLC, January 2022, U.S. Tax Court, Case No. 158 T.C. No 1 (Docket No. 21146-15)

A restructuring that followed the acquisition of Timberland by VF Enterprises in 2011 resulted in an intra-group transfer of ownership to valuable intangibles to a Swiss corporation, TBL Investment Holdings. The IRS was of the opinion that gains from the transfer was taxable. Judgement of the US Tax Court The tax court upheld the assessment of the tax authorities. Excerpt: “we have concluded that petitioner’s constructive distribution to VF Enterprises of the TBL GmbH stock that petitioner constructively received in exchange for its intangible property was a “disposition” within the meaning of section 367(d)(2)(A)(ii)(II). We also conclude, for the reasons explained in this part IV, that no provision of the regulations allows petitioner to avoid the recognition of gain under that statutory provision.” “Because we do not “agree[] to reduce the adjustment to income for the trademarks based on a 20-year useful life limitation, pursuant to Temp. Treas. Reg. § 1.367(d)-1T,” we determine, in accordance with the parties’ stipulation, that ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.23

The term “brand” is sometimes used interchangeably with the terms “trademark” and “trade name.” In other contexts a brand is thought of as a trademark or trade name imbued with social and commercial significance. A brand may, in fact, represent a combination of intangibles and/or other items, including among others, trademarks, trade names, customer relationships, reputational characteristics, and goodwill. It may sometimes be difficult or impossible to segregate or separately transfer the various items contributing to brand value. A brand may consist of a single intangible, or a collection of intangibles, within the meaning of Section A. 1 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.22

A trade name (often but not always the name of an enterprise) may have the same force of market penetration as a trademark and may indeed be registered in some specific form as a trademark. The trade names of certain MNEs may be readily recognised, and may be used in marketing a variety of goods and services. Trade names are intangibles within the meaning of Section A. 1 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.21

A trademark is a unique name, symbol, logo or picture that the owner may use to distinguish its products and services from those of other entities. Proprietary rights in trademarks are often confirmed through a registration system. The registered owner of a trademark may exclude others from using the trademark in a manner that would create confusion in the marketplace. A trademark registration may continue indefinitely if the trademark is continuously used and the registration appropriately renewed. Trademarks may be established for goods or services, and may apply to a single product or service, or to a line of products or services. Trademarks are perhaps most familiar at the consumer market level, but they are likely to be encountered at all market levels. Trademarks are intangibles within the meaning of Section A. 1 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.137

When evaluating whether a taxpayer was following a business strategy that temporarily decreased profits in return for higher long-run profits, several factors should be considered. Tax administrations should examine the conduct of the parties to determine if it is consistent with the purported business strategy. For example, if a manufacturer charges its associated distributor a below-market price as part of a market penetration strategy, the cost savings to the distributor may be reflected in the price charged to the distributor’s customers or in greater market penetration expenses incurred by the distributor. A market penetration strategy of an MNE group could be put in place either by the manufacturer or by the distributor acting separately from the manufacturer (and the resulting cost borne by either of them), or by both of them acting in a co-ordinated manner. Furthermore, unusually intensive marketing and advertising efforts would often accompany a market penetration or market share expansion strategy. Another factor to consider is whether ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.127

Differences in the specific characteristics of property or services often account, at least in part, for differences in their value in the open market. Therefore, comparisons of these features may be useful in delineating the transaction and in determining the comparability of controlled and uncontrolled transactions. Characteristics that may be important to consider include the following: in the case of transfers of tangible property, the physical features of the property, its quality and reliability, and the availability and volume of supply; in the case of the provision of services, the nature and extent of the services; and in the case of intangible property, the form of transaction (e.g. licensing or sale), the type of property (e.g. patent, trademark, or know-how), the duration and degree of protection, and the anticipated benefits from the use of the property. For further discussion of some of the specific features of intangibles that may prove important in a comparability analysis involving transfers of intangibles or ... Read more
Denmark vs EAC Invest A/S, October 2021, High Court, Case No SKM2021.705.OLR

Denmark vs EAC Invest A/S, October 2021, High Court, Case No SKM2021.705.OLR

In 2019, the Danish parent company of the group, EAC Invest A/S, had been granted a ruling by the tax tribunal that, in the period 2008-2011, due to, inter alia, quite exceptional circumstances involving currency restrictions in Venezuela, the parent company should not be taxed on interest on a claim for unpaid royalties relating to trademarks covered by licensing agreements between the parent company and its then Venezuelan subsidiary, Plumrose Latinoamericana C.A. The Tax tribunal had also found that neither a payment of extraordinary dividends by the Venezuelan subsidiary to the Danish parent company in 2012 nor a restructuring of the group in 2013 could trigger a deferred taxation of royalties. The tax authorities appealed against the decisions to the High Court. Judgement of the High Court The High Court upheld the decisions of the tax tribunal with amended grounds and dismissed the claims of the tax authorities. Excerpts: Interest on unpaid royalty claim “The High Court agrees that, as ... Read more
Italy vs NEOPOST ITALIA s.r.l. (QUADIENT ITALY s.r.l.), September 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 25025/2021

Italy vs NEOPOST ITALIA s.r.l. (QUADIENT ITALY s.r.l.), September 2021, Supreme Court, Case No 25025/2021

Neopost Italia s.r.l. had paid service fees and royalties to its French parent. Following an audit, deductions for these intra-group transactions was adjusted by the tax authorities due to non compliance with the arm’s length principle and lack of documentation. However, for the purpose of determining an arm’s length remuneration a benchmark study had been performed by the tax authorities in which one of the comparables was not independent. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the tax authorities. Judgement of the Supreme Court The Supreme Court set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal and remanded the case to the court of first instance. In regards to the comparable company in the benchmark that was not independent, the Supreme Court found that: “it is entirely arbitrary, in comparing the two companies, to assert that the price charged by one of the two is the market price while the other is not”; this is a ruling that affects ... Read more
Israel vs Sephira & Offek Ltd and Israel Daniel Amram, August 2021, Jerusalem District Court, Case No 2995-03-17

Israel vs Sephira & Offek Ltd and Israel Daniel Amram, August 2021, Jerusalem District Court, Case No 2995-03-17

While living in France, Israel Daniel Amram (IDA) devised an idea for the development of a unique and efficient computerized interface that would link insurance companies and physicians and facilitate financial accounting between medical service providers and patients. IDA registered the trademark “SEPHIRA” and formed a company in France under the name SAS SEPHIRA . IDA then moved to Israel and formed Sephira & Offek Ltd. Going forward the company in Israel would provid R&D services to SAS SEPHIRA in France. All of the taxable profits in Israel was labled as “R&D income” which is taxed at a lower rate in Israel. Later IDA’s rights in the trademark was sold to Sephira & Offek Ltd in return for €8.4m. Due to IDA’s status as a “new Immigrant” in Israel profits from the sale was tax exempt. Following the acquisition of the trademark, Sephira & Offek Ltd licensed the trademark to SAS SEPHIRA in return for royalty payments. In the books ... Read more
Norway vs New Wave Norway AS, March 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2020-10664

Norway vs New Wave Norway AS, March 2021, Court of Appeal, Case No LB-2020-10664

New Wave Norway AS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Swedish New Wave Group AB. The group operates in the wholesale market for sports and workwear and gift and promotional items. It owns trademark rights to several well-known brands. The sales companies – including New Wave Norway AS – pay a concept fee to New Wave Group AB, which passes on the fee to the concept-owning companies in the Group. All trademark rights owned by the group are located in a separate company, New Wave Group Licensing SA, domiciled in Switzerland. For the use of the trademarks, the sales companies pay royalties to this company. There is also a separate company that handles purchasing and negotiations with the Asian producers, New Wave Group SA, also based in Switzerland. For the purchasing services from this company, the sales companies pay a purchasing fee (“sourcing fee”). Both the payment of royalties and the purchase fee are further regulated in the group’s ... Read more
Austria vs S GmbH, November 2020, Verwaltungsgerichtshof, Case No Ra 2019/15/0162-3

Austria vs S GmbH, November 2020, Verwaltungsgerichtshof, Case No Ra 2019/15/0162-3

S GmbH was an Austrian trading company of a group. In the course of business restructuring, the real estate division of the Austrian-based company was initially separated from the “trading operations/brands” division on the demerger date of 31 March 2007. The trademark rights remained with the previous trading company, which was the parent company of the group, now M GmbH. On 25 September 2007, M GmbH transferred all trademark rights to a permanent establishment in Malta, which was set up in the same year, to which it also moved its place of management on 15 January 2008. Licence agreements were concluded between S GmbH and M GmbH, which entitle S GmbH to use the trademarks of M GmbH for advertising and marketing measures in connection with its business operations in return for a (turnover-dependent) licence fee. The tax authorities (re)assessed the corporate income tax for the years 2008 and 2009. The audit had shown that the licence fees were to ... Read more
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 prices ... Read more
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 ... Read more
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 ... Read more
Malaysia vs Shell Timur Sdn Bhd, June 2019, High Court, Case No BA-25-81-12/2018

Malaysia vs Shell Timur Sdn Bhd, June 2019, High Court, Case No BA-25-81-12/2018

In FY 2005 Shell Timur Sdn Bhd in Malaysia had sold its economic rights in trademarks to a group company, Shell Brands International AG. The sum (RM257,200,000.00) had not been included in the taxable income, but had – according to Shell – been treated as a capital receipt which is not taxable. The tax authorities conducted a transfer pricing audit beginning in June 2015 and which was finalized in 2018. Following the audit an assessment was issued where the gain had been added to the taxable income of Shell Timur Sdn Bhd. According to the tax authorities they were allowed to issue the assessment after the statutory 5-year time-bar in cases of fraud, wilful default or negligence of a taxpayer. An application for leave was filed by Shell. Courts decision The Court dismissed the application. Excerpt “I am, by the doctrine of stare decisis, bound by these pronouncements of the Court of Appeal and Federal Court. Hence, it is crystal ... Read more
France vs ST Dupont, March 2019, Administrative Court of Paris, No 1620873, 1705086/1-3

France vs ST Dupont, March 2019, Administrative Court of Paris, No 1620873, 1705086/1-3

ST Dupont is a French luxury manufacturer of lighters, pens and leather goods. It is majority-owned by the Dutch company, D&D International, which is wholly-owned by Broad Gain Investments Ltd, based in Hong Kong. ST Dupont is the sole shareholder of distribution subsidiaries located abroad, in particular ST Dupont Marketing, based in Hong Kong. Following an audit, an adjustment was issued for FY 2009, 2010 and 2011 where the tax administration considered that the prices at which ST Dupont sold its products to ST Dupont Marketing (Hong Kong) were lower than the arm’s length prices, that royalty rates had not been at arm’s length. Furthermore adjustments had been made to losses carried forward. Not satisfied with the adjustment ST Dupont filed an appeal with the Paris administrative Court. Judgement of the Administrative Court The Court set aside the tax assessment in regards to license payments and resulting adjustments to loss carry forward but upheld in regards of pricing of the ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.24

Government licences and concessions may be important to a particular business and can cover a wide range of business relationships. They may include, among others, a government grant of rights to exploit specific natural resources or public goods (e.g. a licence of bandwidth spectrum), or to carry on a specific business activity. Government licences and concessions are intangibles within the meaning of Section A. 1. However, government licences and concessions should be distinguished from company registration obligations that are preconditions for doing business in a particular jurisdiction. Such obligations are not intangibles within the meaning of Section A. 1 ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.23

The term “brand” is sometimes used interchangeably with the terms “trademark” and “trade name.” In other contexts a brand is thought of as a trademark or trade name imbued with social and commercial significance. A brand may, in fact, represent a combination of intangibles and/or other items, including among others, trademarks, trade names, customer relationships, reputational characteristics, and goodwill. It may sometimes be difficult or impossible to segregate or separately transfer the various items contributing to brand value. A brand may consist of a single intangible, or a collection of intangibles, within the meaning of Section A. 1 ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.22

A trade name (often but not always the name of an enterprise) may have the same force of market penetration as a trademark and may indeed be registered in some specific form as a trademark. The trade names of certain MNEs may be readily recognised, and may be used in marketing a variety of goods and services. Trade names are intangibles within the meaning of Section A. 1 ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter VI paragraph 6.21

A trademark is a unique name, symbol, logo or picture that the owner may use to distinguish its products and services from those of other entities. Proprietary rights in trademarks are often confirmed through a registration system. The registered owner of a trademark may exclude others from using the trademark in a manner that would create confusion in the marketplace. A trademark registration may continue indefinitely if the trademark is continuously used and the registration appropriately renewed. Trademarks may be established for goods or services, and may apply to a single product or service, or to a line of products or services. Trademarks are perhaps most familiar at the consumer market level, but they are likely to be encountered at all market levels. Trademarks are intangibles within the meaning of Section A. 1 ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.117

When evaluating whether a taxpayer was following a business strategy that temporarily decreased profits in return for higher long-run profits, several factors should be considered. Tax administrations should examine the conduct of the parties to determine if it is consistent with the purported business strategy. For example, if a manufacturer charges its associated distributor a below-market price as part of a market penetration strategy, the cost savings to the distributor may be reflected in the price charged to the distributor’s customers or in greater market penetration expenses incurred by the distributor. A market penetration strategy of an MNE group could be put in place either by the manufacturer or by the distributor acting separately from the manufacturer (and the resulting cost borne by either of them), or by both of them acting in a co-ordinated manner. Furthermore, unusually intensive marketing and advertising efforts would often accompany a market penetration or market share expansion strategy. Another factor to consider is whether ... Read more

TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.107

Differences in the specific characteristics of property or services often account, at least in part, for differences in their value in the open market. Therefore, comparisons of these features may be useful in delineating the transaction and in determining the comparability of controlled and uncontrolled transactions. Characteristics that may be important to consider include the following: in the case of transfers of tangible property, the physical features of the property, its quality and reliability, and the availability and volume of supply; in the case of the provision of services, the nature and extent of the services; and in the case of intangible property, the form of transaction (e.g. licensing or sale), the type of property (e.g. patent, trademark, or know-how), the duration and degree of protection, and the anticipated benefits from the use of the property. For further discussion of some of the specific features of intangibles that may prove important in a comparability analysis involving transfers of intangibles or ... 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

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 ... Read more

US v Coca-Cola, December 2015. US Tax Court

The Coca-Cola Company submitted a petition to the U.S. Tax Court, requesting a redetermination of the deficiencies in Federal income tax for the years ended December 31, 2007, 2008 and 2009, as set forth by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in a Notice of Deficiency dated September 15, 2015. The total amount in dispute is over $3.3 billion for the 3-year period. Major issues in the dispute include the method used to allocate profit to seven foreign subsidiaries, which use licensed trademarks and formulas to carry out the manufacture and sale of beverage concentrates in markets outside of the United States, as well as the application of correlative adjustments for foreign tax credits. The Coca-Cola Company claims that it used the same allocation method that had been reviewed and approved by the Internal Revenue Service during audits of tax years from 1996 through 2006, the same that was established in a Closing Agreement with respect to the 1987 through 1995 ... Read more
Luxembourg vs LuxCo TM, December 2015, Administrative Court, Case No 33611

Luxembourg vs LuxCo TM, December 2015, Administrative Court, Case No 33611

LuxCo TM sold trademarks to a newly established sister company. The price had been set at €975,000. The tax authorities issued an assessment where the price had been set at €6,475,000 and the difference was considered to be hidden profit distribution. The Administrative court ruled in favor of the tax authorities. LuxCo TM’s valuation had been based on wrong facts and assumptions. Click here for translation Lux vs Luxco 10 dec 2015 33611 ... Read more
India vs LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd, December 2014, ITA

India vs LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd, December 2014, ITA

LG India is a wholly owned subsidiary of LG Korea, a multinational manufacturer of electronic products and electrical appliances. LG Korea and LG India entered into a technical assistance and royalty agreement in 2001 where LG India, as a licensed manufacturer, would pay a 1% royalty to LG Korea for the use of various rights for the manufacture and sale of products in India. The agreement also gave LG India a royalty-free use of the LG brand name and trademarks. The tax tribunal in 2013 held that the advertising, marketing and promotion (AMP) expenditure in excess of the arm’s length range helps to promote the brand of the foreign associated enterprise and that the Indian associated enterprise should necessarily be compensated by the foreign one. In reaching the above conclusion, the special bench applied the “bright line” test used by a US Court in DHL Corp v Commissioner. The 2014 Appeal Case Lg_Electronics_India_Pvt._Ltd.,_..._vs_Assessee_on_8_December,_2014 The Prior 2013 Judgement from the ITA LG_Electronics_AMP_Expenditure_Bright_Line ... Read more
Italy vs Computer Associates SPA, February 2013, Supreme Court no 4927

Italy vs Computer Associates SPA, February 2013, Supreme Court no 4927

The Italian tax authorities had challenged the inter-company royalty paid by Computer Associates SPA, 30% as per contract, to it’s American parent company, registered in Delaware. According to the authorities a royalty of 7% percentage was determined to be at arm’s length and an assessment for FY 1999 was issued, where deduction of the difference in royalty payments was disallowed. The tax authorities noted the advantage for group to reduce the income of Computer Associates SPA, increasing, as a result, that of the parent company, due to the much lower taxation to which the income is subject in the US state of Delaware, where the latter operates (taxation at 36% in Italy, and 8.7% in the State of Delaware). The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Computer Associates SPA and concluded that the assessment was in compliance with the law. Click here for English translation Click here for other translation Italy Supreme-Court-27-February-2013-No.-4927.pdf ... Read more
Canada vs. GlaxoSmithKline. October 2012, Supreme Court

Canada vs. GlaxoSmithKline. October 2012, Supreme Court

The Canadian Supreme Court ruled in the case of GlaxoSmithKline Inc. regarding the intercompany prices established in purchases of ranitidine, the active ingredient used in the anti-ulcer drug Zantac, from a related party during years 1990 through 1993. The Supreme Court partially reversed an earlier determination by the Tax Court, upholding a determination by the Federal Court of Appeals in its conclusion that if other transactions are relevant in determining whether transfer prices are reasonable, these transactions should be taken into account. However, the Supreme Court did not determine whether the transfer pricing method used by GlaxoSmithKline Inc. was reasonable, and instead remitted the matter back to the Tax Court. Canada_Glaxo_Supreme-Court ... Read more
Poland vs "H-trademark S.A.", February 2012, Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Po 827/11

Poland vs “H-trademark S.A.”, February 2012, Administrative Court, Case No I SA/Po 827/11

“H-trademark S.A.” applied for a ruling on the tax rules governing a business restructuring where trademarks were transferred to another group company and licensed back – whether Polish arm’s length provisions would apply to the transaction. The company was of the opinion that Polish arm’s length provision (article 11) would not apply, since the arrangement was covered by special Polish provisions related to financial leasing (article 17b-g). Judgement of the Court The Court found that the Polish arm’s length provisions applied to the transaction. Excerpts “In the present case, the legal problem boils down to the correct identification of the nature of the norms arising from Article 11 of the A.p.d.o.p. and its relationship with the provisions on leasing raised by the applicant (Articles 17b – 17g of the A.p.d.o.p.). Indeed, the applicant takes the view that the leasing provisions themselves introduce derogations from market conditions and that, consequently, it is not possible to examine certain activities governed by the ... 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
US vs. Veritas Software Corporation, December 2009, US Tax Court, Case No 133 T.C. 297, 316

US vs. Veritas Software Corporation, December 2009, US Tax Court, Case No 133 T.C. 297, 316

The issue in the VERITAS case involved the calculation of the buy-in payment under VERITAS’ cost sharing arrangement with its Irish affiliate. VERITAS US assigned all of its existing European sales agreements to VERITAS Ireland. Similarly,VERITAS Ireland was given the rights to use the covered intangibles and to use VERITAS US’s trademarks, trade names and service marks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and in Asia-Pacific and Japan. In return, VERITAS Ireland agreed to pay royalties to VERITAS US in exchange for the rights granted. The royalty payment included a prepayment amount (i.e. lump-sum payment) along with running royalties that were subject to revision to maintain an arm’s length rate. Thereafter, VERITAS Ireland began co-developing, manufacturing and selling VERITAS products in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa markets as well as in the Asia-Pacific and Japan markets. These improvements, along with the establishment of new management, allowed VERITAS’ 2004 annual revenues to be five times higher than its 1999 revenues ... Read more
Norway vs. Cytec, September 2007, High Court, Case no 2007/1440

Norway vs. Cytec, September 2007, High Court, Case no 2007/1440

This case is about business restructuring and transfer of intangibles – customer list, technology, trademarks and goodwill. Cytec Norge was originally a full-fledged manufacturer that was changed into a toll manufacturer. The customer portfolio, technology, trademarks and goodwill were transferred to the related entity, Cytec Netherlands, free of charge. The court found that Cytec Norge AS had held intangibles of considerable value prior to the business restructuring in 1999, and that the Norwegian entity should have received an arm’s-length remuneration for the transfer of these rights to the related Dutch entity. The court ruled that the Norwegian tax authorities’ calculation of such remuneration and the increased income was correct. An appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed in 2008. Click here for translation Norway Cytec-dom ... Read more
Netherlands vs Shoe Corp, June 2007, District Court, Case nr. 05/1352, VSN June 2, 2007

Netherlands vs Shoe Corp, June 2007, District Court, Case nr. 05/1352, VSN June 2, 2007

This case is about a IP sale-and-license-back arrangement. The taxpayer acquired the shares in BV Z (holding). BV Z owns the shares in BV A and BV B (the three BVs form a fiscal unity under the CITA). BV A produces and sells shoes. In 1993, under a self-proclaimed protection clause, BV A sells the trademark of the shoes to BV C, which is also part of the fiscal unity. The protection clause was supposedly intended to protect the trademark in case of default of BV A. Taxpayer had created BV C prior to the sale of the trademark. In 1994, the taxpayer entered into a licensing agreement with BV C: the taxpayer pays NLG 2 to BV C per pair of shoes sold. Next, BV C is then moved to the Netherlands Antilles, which results in the end of the fiscal unity as of January 1, 1994. The roundtrip arrangement, the sale of an intangible and the subsequent payment of ... Read more
Germany vs "Trademark GmbH", November 2006, FG München, Case No 6 K 578/06

Germany vs “Trademark GmbH”, November 2006, FG München, Case No 6 K 578/06

A German company on behalf of its Austrian Parent X-GmbH distributed products manufactured by the Austrian X-KG. By a contract of 28 May 1992, X-GmbH granted the German company the right to use the trade mark ‘X’ registered in Austria. According to the agreement the German company paid a license fee for the right to use the trade mark. In 1991, X-GmbH had also granted X-KG a corresponding right. By a contract dated 1 July 1992, X-KG was granted exclusive distribution rights for the German market. In the meantime, the mark ‘X’ had been registered as a Community trade mark in the Internal Market. The tax authorities dealt with the payment of royalties to X-GmbH for the years in question as vGA (hidden profit distribution). Click here for English translation Click here for other translation K 578-06 ... Read more
US vs GlaxoSmithKline Holdings, September 2006, IR-2006-142

US vs GlaxoSmithKline Holdings, September 2006, IR-2006-142

In September 2006 the Internal Revenue Service announced that it has successfully resolved a transfer pricing dispute with Glaxo SmithKline. Under the settlement agreement, GSK will pay the Internal Revenue Service approximately $3.4 billion, and will abandon its claim seeking a refund of $1.8 billion in overpaid income taxes, as part of an agreement to resolve the parties’ long-running  transfer pricing dispute for the tax years 1989 through 2005. See also the GlaxoSmithKlein decision from july 2001 The IRS announcement US glaxosmithkline_no_5750-04_2006-irs__settlement ... Read more
South Africa vs. B SA Limited, Aug 2005, Tax Court, Case No. 11454

South Africa vs. B SA Limited, Aug 2005, Tax Court, Case No. 11454

B SA Limited was incorporated in South Africa 9 May 1924. C plc is the controlling shareholder of the company. On 24 October 1979 B SA Limited amended paragraph 1 of its memorandum of association by adding the following to it: The corporate name “B SA Limited” is adopted and used by permission of (C) Limited. On withdrawal of that permission B SA Limited will cease to use such name and will immediately change its corporate name and trading name so that neither includes the mark (B) or any trade mark, trade name, name or other mark of ownership belonging to (C) Company Limited, or any other trade mark, trade name, name or other mark of ownership likely to be confused therewith. During 1996 C plc decided that users of its licensed marks and the licensed marketing indicia should be required to pay a royalty. To this end it commissioned an independent company to determine the value of its licensed ... Read more
US vs. DHL. April 2002, U.S. Court of Appeals

US vs. DHL. April 2002, U.S. Court of Appeals

When DHL sold the “DHL” trademark to DHL International, the IRS disagreed with DHL’s evaluation of the arms-length price of the intellectual property and used its authority under Section 482 to reallocate income and impose penalties. DHL appealed the IRS ruling and the tax court upheld the IRS allocation to DHL. In this decision the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the tax court’s application of Section 482 to the sale of the trademark and the $100 million valuation for the intangible asset, but reversed the tax court’s rejection of a $50 million value of the foreign trademark rights, as asserted by DHL. DHL April 11 2002 United States Court of Appeals And the prior decision of the Tax Court US-vs.-DHL.TCM_.WPD ... Read more
US vs Hyatt Group Holding, Inc. and Subsidiaries, October 1999, United States Tax Court, No T.C. Memo. 1999-334

US vs Hyatt Group Holding, Inc. and Subsidiaries, October 1999, United States Tax Court, No T.C. Memo. 1999-334

At issue in this case were (the lack of) royalties payments to Hyatt and Hyatt International from foreign subsidiaries. Hyatt US had not recieved royalties from its foreign Subsidiaries. The IRS had determined a 1.5 % rate of hotel gross revenues for foreign subsidiaries use of Hyatt trade names and trademarks. The Tax Court found the 1,5 % rate unreasonable, but did not accept taxpayer’s argument that no royalties were due either. The Tax Court instead found that 0,4 % of hotel gross revenues was an arm’s length charge. H Group Holding, Inc. and Subsidiaries, Formerly HG, Inc. and Subsidiaries, et al. v. Commissioner ... Read more
US vs NESTLE HOLDINGS INC, July 1998, Court of Appeal, 2nd Circuit, Docket Nos 96-4158 and 96-4192

US vs NESTLE HOLDINGS INC, July 1998, Court of Appeal, 2nd Circuit, Docket Nos 96-4158 and 96-4192

In this case, experts had utilized the relief-from-royalty method in the valuation of trademarks. On this method the Court noted: “In our view, the relief-from-royalty method necessarily undervalues trademarks. The fair market value of a trademark is the price a willing purchaser would have paid a willing seller to buy the mark…The relief-from-royalty model does not accurately estimate the value to a purchaser of a trademark. Royalty models are generally employed to estimate an infringer’s profit from its misuse of a patent or trademark… Resort to a royalty model may seem appropriate in such cases because it estimates fairly the cost of using a trademark… However, use of a royalty model in the case of a sale is not appropriate because it is the fair market value of a trademark, not the cost of its use, that is at issue. A relief-from-royalty model fails to capture the value of all of the rights of ownership, such as the power to ... Read more
France vs. SA Bossard Consultants, March 1998, Adm. Court, no 96pa00673N° 96PA00673

France vs. SA Bossard Consultants, March 1998, Adm. Court, no 96pa00673N° 96PA00673

A subsidiary company, which paid royalties for a licence of a trademark to its parent company, could not deduct part of the sums paid as a temporary increase of the royalties by one point because it could not justify the benefit from the use of the trademark. Click here for translation SA Bossard Consultants, March 1998, Adm. Court, no 96pa00673 ... Read more