Tag: Trademark

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

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
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

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 ... Continue to full case

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 ... Continue to full case

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 ... Continue to full case

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 ... Continue to full case

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 ... Continue to full case

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 ... Continue to full case
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 ... 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

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 ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case
US vs. Veritas Software Corporation, December 2009

US vs. Veritas Software Corporation, December 2009

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 ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case
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 ... Continue to full case