TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 24

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86. Zhu is a company engaged in software development consulting. In the past Zhu has developed software supporting ATM transactions for client Bank A. In the process of doing so, Zhu created and retained an interest in proprietary copyrighted software code that is potentially suitable for use by other similarly situated banking clients, albeit with some revision and customisation.
87. Assume that Company S, an associated enterprise of Zhu, enters into a separate agreement to develop software supporting ATM operations for another bank, Bank B. Zhu agrees to support its associated enterprise by providing employees who worked on the Bank A engagement to work on Company S’s Bank B engagement. Those employees have access to software designs and know-how developed in the Bank A engagement, including proprietary software code. That code and the services of the Zhu employees are utilised by Company S in executing its Bank B engagement. Ultimately, Bank B is provided by Company S with a software system for managing its ATM network, including the necessary licence to utilise the software developed in the project. Portions of the proprietary code developed by Zhu in its Bank A engagement are embedded in the software provided by Company S to Bank B. The code developed in the Bank A engagement and embedded in the Bank B software would be sufficiently extensive to justify a claim of copyright infringement if copied on an unauthorised basis by a third party.
88. A transfer pricing analysis of these transactions should recognise that Company S received two benefits from Zhu which require compensation. First, it received services from the Zhu employees that were made available to work on the Bank B engagement. Second, it received rights in Zhu’s proprietary software which was utilised as the foundation for the software system delivered to Bank B. The compensation to be paid by Company S to Zhu should include compensation for both the services and the rights in the software.

 

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