Most Read Contributor in South Africa, September 2016
South African companies with international operations face a
unique challenge in the management and structuring of the ownership
and use of intellectual property in their international
operations. Deciding which group company should own these
assets and then regulating the use of intellectual property between
group companies needs to take account of all of the
Intellectual property laws and practices in South Africa, in
the countries in which the intellectual property rights are
registered and the countries in which group operations take
International treaties relating to intellectual property
South African exchange control considerations; and
Transfer pricing considerations.
In taking account of these issues there is an overriding
objective of ensuring that the structuring of the ownership and use
of the intellectual property assets is appropriate to the
commercial needs and objectives of the group.
There has to be a careful interplay between intellectual
property, legal, tax, exchange control and transfer pricing
considerations in the way in which an IP management and ownership
structure is conceived and then implemented. This requires a blend
of intellectual property, legal and tax skills. If there is
attention only to the filing and prosecution of patents and trade
marks, without appropriate attention to intercompany commercial
arrangements for the use of these assets, it can have devastating
consequences from a tax perspective. Likewise, we have worked with
clients who have focused on tax considerations at the expense of
intellectual property issues, which have resulted in patents and
trade marks being rendered invalid or unenforceable.
ENSafrica has launched a Comprehensive Guide to the
Management and Structuring of Intellectual Property Assets for
South African Companies with International Operations.
This 80 page Guide is now available to be purchased by making
contact with Chris Bull, a director in our Intellectual Property
Department, at: email@example.com
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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