The intellectual property (IP) associated with a business name or system can be one of its most valuable assets – but only if it is properly protected. Any business that wishes to establish a national or international identity should take steps to protect the use of its name, logo or other IP, such as patent rights, formulae/processes, designs, trademarks, franchises, licence agreements, ‘know-how’ and copyrights.
It is not possible to make an original application to register a patent or trademark in Gibraltar. Applications must be made to the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and then extended to include Gibraltar within three years of the date of issue of the UK patent or trademark. The register for patents or trademarks is based at Companies House, Gibraltar. The holder can take action through the UK or Gibraltar courts to enforce a patent or trademark.
Income from IP rights may be derived by way of royalties. As with other sources of income, the tax planning of IP should focus on maximising the after-tax profits. To ensure that arrangements made to receive royalties are effective, it is necessary to analyse how various countries treat the payments of royalties, whether tax is withheld on such payments and how the income receipts and expenditures are treated.
Sovereign can provide cost effective advice to clients on the acquisition, exploitation, use and enforcement of IP rights on both a domestic and cross-border basis.