Pages
, 11, 11C, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 1831, 186, 188, 19, N2076
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Rights

Do tax rules change for the sale of rights, including digital, to a US company?

Tax, for the purposes of the first part of this answer, is VAT. Brexit does not change our relationship on a fundamental basis with the US, and so the short answer is no.
As far as we know, there are no plans to revise the taxation of these sorts of arrangements more broadly. However, the UK-US withholding tax position needs to be monitored.
On direct tax issues, prima facie Brexit should not have an immediate UK tax impact on the sale of rights by UK persons or companies to US companies. This is on the basis that the tax treatment applied to such arrangements should not be dependent or influenced by whether the UK is or is not a member of the EU, given a US company would be the other party to the sale.
The underlying principles of tax law should remain unchanged by Brexit in terms of how such sale of rights would be treated for UK purposes. But it should be borne in mind that, subsequent to Brexit, other events could impact the position (like in the event of a change of government) and that such arrangements should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

What should be done about registered trademarks?

When we leave the EU, trademarked products will remain trademarked there. However, since registration takes four to six months, it is advisable to register trademarks in the UK ahead of leaving the EU.

What will happen to copyright?

As the UK is signed up to the Berne Convention, copyright will be protected in the same way after Brexit. The term of copyright will stay the same. In the longer term, the UK will be free to choose whether or not it continues to harmonise copyright with the EU.

Should I change my contracts?

It is worth Brexit-proofing any relevant contracts. Ensure in particular that territories are altered to include the UK separately, alongside the EU, and check the jurisdictions that are listed.
Some partners and suppliers are using Brexit as an excuse to renegotiate contracts. Check carefully before accepting any changes. You are within your rights to hold suppliers to existing contracts if issues arise. It is unlikely that the activation of force majeure clauses will be justified, as lengthy Brexit negotiations means issues around Brexit are unlikely to be considered unforeseen.
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