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Intellectual Property Law in Luxembourg

Intellectual Property Law in Luxembourg

Intellectual property in Luxembourg contains several aspects, such as the copyrights, patents, designs or trademarks (intangible assets). All these aspects play an essential role in nowadays economies, being considered major investments made by companies and other legal forms in research and development (abbreviated R & D), marketing, ICT and human resources fields. 

Our lawyers in Luxembourg can offer full information on the laws related to intellectual property.

Treaties for protecting intellectual property in Luxembourg

Luxembourg has always assigned special attention regarding the protection of intellectual property, fact that can be seen in the numerous international treaties and conventions signed by Luxembourg in this sense:

  • – the Berne Convention,
  • – the Paris Convention for protection of Industrial Property,
  • – the Treaty of Cooperation,
  • – the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol.

Luxembourg is also a signatory party to the European Patent Convention. By internal means, intellectual property in Luxembourg is also protected by means of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights signed by a majority of EU countries.

For protecting intellectual property in Luxembourg, a national patent application may be filed with the Office of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade.

At European level, this can be made by submitting an EU patent application at the European Patent Office. Taking in international terms, the applicant can take further actions, by filing an international patent request with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) under the Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

Protection of the brands in Luxembourg

As part of the Benelux Organization for Intellectual Property, Luxembourg benefits from protection of the brands or designs not only at national level, but also in Belgium and the Netherlands.

For registering trademarks and designs in the Benelux, the applicant should address to the the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP), which is the official body responsible for registering this type of intellectual property.

The IP holding company in Luxembourg

One of the most important reasons foreign investors open companies in Luxembourg is the fact that they can register the so-called IP holding company. This type of structure allows the owner to benefit from a special tax treatment related to owning intellectual property rights through the company. All companies exploiting IP rights resulted after December 31st, 2007 can benefit from a reduced tax rate of 5.84% on the income generated by these rights.

You can request the legal services of our law firm in Luxembourg if you want to register an IP holding company in the Grand Duchy.

Economic aspects of intellectual property in Luxembourg

The net revenues from the exploitation of patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights on software or domain names are entitled to a tax exemption of 80% under certain conditions, representing beneficial measures taken by the state in order to encourage the investments in this area.

The tax exemption can be also applied for the estimated value of the realization of income from intellectual property, if it has been created for use by the company. Moreover, capital gains realized as a result of the selling of intellectual property is also subject to special tax benefits. In this sense, IPRs are exempted from wealth tax.

The Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade in Luxembourg also offers measures for the protection of proprietary technology by temporary monopoly on the use and disposal of a work that is protected by a title (in this case patent, design or model, or a copyright on software). However, this measure can only be applied for small and medium enterprises and private research organizations

This preferential measures are granted to the companies for intellectual property in Luxembourg as exemption or minimization from paying the specific taxes:

  • – 100% for the costs resulting from a fundamental research activities,
  • – 50% for costs resulting from an activity industrial research,
  • – 25% for the costs resulting from experimental development activities.

State protection for research and development

The possibilities of financial support offered for companies engaged in a process of innovation are also extended by the Luxembourg Law on the promotion of R & D.

The law’s provisions are mostly suited for the needs of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and allows the granting of special aid for RDI in plans and measures to support several activities:

  • – projects or programs of R & D,
  • – technical feasibility studies
  • – protection of proprietary technology and aid for young innovative enterprises
  • – advisory services and innovation support innovation
  • – temporary assistance of highly qualified personnel
  • – process innovation and organization in services.

However, the aid offered by the various aid schemes provided by the law cannot be combined for the same expense. Moreover, innovative companies can benefit from specific financial aid, for example the loan-creating recovery, provided by the National Credit and Investment or the equipment loan, also proposed by the SNCI.

Contact our Luxembourg lawyers for further details about the intellectual property in the Grand Duchy and find out how you can benefit from financial exemptions applicable for copyrights, patents, designs or trademarks or other intellectual forms.