Intellectual Property (IP) Holding

Intellectual property can be protected for a number of years upon demonstration of its originality. Apart from a temporal restriction intellectual property may be registrable over different geographic regions such as by state, by county or over several countries.

A patent is issued to prevent others using, copying, making, distributing or importing a protected invention.  

Any original distinctive logo, mark, design, word or combination of words which distinguishes one brand from another can be protected as a trademark to prevent others from copying or mimicking and thereby benefiting from the reputation of another company.

Any original work of authorship (including computer source code) is automatically the property of its author without the need for registration however an action in copyright is likely to be evidence based so protection by registration may be desirable. Copyright is usually registrable for much longer than other forms of intellectual property.

Know-How/Trade Secrets
Know-how or trade secrets may be protectable by registration in some circumstances. In order to be registrable trade secrets must be an original, valuable method or process of business which is not obvious and which is kept secret by the user.

Commercial Benefits
The obvious commercial benefits of registration of intellectual property is to prevent competitors gaining advantage from another’s intellectual property.

Use in Tax Planning
There may also be tax advantages apart from the commercial benefits of registration of intellectual property as outlined below.

Outsourcing of Income from Intellectual Property
The transfer of intellectual property from the other activities of a company or group of companies to a low or no tax vehicle may allow a portion of the group profit to arise in a more favourable tax environment. All types of intellectual property may be transferred to a lower tax environment but this might commonly include leasing of intellectual property related to branding, know-how and image-rights.

Application from Tax Benefits
In some countries tax benefits such as tax exemptions, a reduction in tax rate or other financial incentives may be awarded based on the registration of intellectual property and this may be another tax motivated benefit for the registration of intellectual property. Where such advantages are possible they will be set out in the country specific section of the product page.