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Tax and copyright seminar paper


The tax and duty implications of copyright are significant and include:

  • what is copyright? What can copyright be created in? How does copyright differ from a trade mark, a patent or an industrial design?
  • how do you distinguish and apportion, for tax and accounting purposes, between the various species of intellectual property (copyright, trade mark, patent, industrial design and goodwill)? Can goodwill be severed from a trade mark?
  • what are the tax consequences of copyright improvements? Will the act of rewriting computer code (ie recoding software in a different language) result in a new tax asset?
  • what are the tax implications of losing copyright? For example, what happens if a copyright is used industrially or a patent is obtained in respect of copyright material (the 'overlap' issue)?

These issues are explored in some detail in the case studies.

Author profile:

Michael BUTLER
Michael Butler FTIA is a Partner at Finlaysons' Tax & Revenue Group. Michael advises both domestic and foreign clients on federal, international and state tax matters, and has a special interest in property tax issues. Michael is the author of the book "Australian Federal Company Taxation" and a regular contributor to Taxation Institute of Australia events.
Current at 23 March 2009 Current at 15 April 2009 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Michael BUTLER.


This was presented at Revenue Law Implications of Intangibles .

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Individual sessions


Author(s):  Campbell RANKINE

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