Stamp duty on IP abolished in Ireland


The implementation of the Irish Finance Act 2004 has, among other things, abolished stamp duty on the sale, transfer or other disposition of intellectual property in Ireland. Section 74(1) of the new act, which adds a new Section 101 to the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999, abolishes stamp duty for the following intellectual property:

  • trademarks (whether registered or unregistered), patents, registered designs, design rights, inventions or domain names;

  • copyrights or related rights within the meaning of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000;

  • supplementary protection certificates provided for under Council Regulation 1768/92 (medicinal products) or Council Regulation 1610/96 (plant protection products);

  • plant breeders' rights within the meaning of the Irish legislation on plant varieties;

  • applications for the grant or registration of any of the above;

  • licences or other rights in respect of any of the above;

  • rights granted under the law of any country, territory, state or area other than Ireland, or under any international treaty, convention or agreement to which Ireland is a party, that correspond to or are similar to any of the above; and

  • goodwill to the extent that it is directly attributable to any of the above.

If the property being transferred is made up both of intellectual property and other types of property, the consideration must be apportioned between the two types of property on a just and reasonable basis, and stamp duty may be charged on the consideration applicable to the non-intellectual property. It should also be noted that the new law will only apply to transfers that have taken place after April 1 2004.

The change will simplify the procedures required for recording assignments of trademarks in Ireland because the Irish Patents Office will be able to register assignments without requiring evidence of stamping or exemption. In addition, agreements for the transfer of non-Irish intellectual property will no longer be liable for stamp duty where the transfer documents are executed in Ireland. It is hoped that the new law will make Ireland a more attractive place to locate IP holding companies.

Niamh Hall, FR Kelly & Co, Dublin

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