I had reason to enter into an Intellectual Property (IP) contract recently between my company and another entity. After reviewing the standard form and making the necessary changes, both parties proceeded to sign the agreement in the presence of witnesses.
After that, I went to the tax office to get the contract stamped because that’s the normal thing to do with contracts. However, while I was there, I learned something new, which might interest other local start-ups especially with respect to IP issues.
It turns out that there is no need to stamp an IP deed of assignment.
According to Schedule 1, Item 32, Exemption (d) of the Stamp Act 1949, IP assignments are exempted from stamp duty. It’s the very last in a list of exemptions and is worded as:
(d) Transfer or assignment on sale of any copyright, trade mark, patent or any similar right.
So, the tax office was unwilling to stamp the agreement for me as it is exempted under the law.
What this means to most start-up companies is that you can easily and rather quickly execute IP assignment contracts, between the employees with the company, and between companies as part of normal commercial IP transactions.
I learn something new everyday.