Article 56 of Decree Law 50/2017 has removed trademarks from the list of IP rights which may benefit from the package of fiscal incentives known as the ‘Patent Box’, and has also limited the access to know-how, albeit providing for a transitional period for those companies which have already exercised the three-year option to take advantage of the incentives. Paradoxically, this decision strengthens the credibility – and therefore the attractiveness – of these incentives to companies as it makes the Italian system more compatible with Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines. However, compliance with these optional fiscal incentives continues to be hindered by the accounting burdens on companies wishing to avail themselves of the incentives. It would therefore be advisable to have a general re-think on the provisions for implementing the rules.

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