Tuesday, March 28, 2006

France rethinking taxes on intellectual property

The French finance minister, Thierry Breton, said Monday that the government was considering changing how it taxes corporate profit based on "intangible" assets like copyrights and patents.

Breton asked a group of Finance Ministry officials and business executives led by Maurice Lévy, chief executive of Publicis Groupe, one of the world's largest advertising companies, to assess whether France's definition of these assets properly reflects the wealth created from intellectual property.

The committee Breton appointed will also study competition issues and examine how the state could make more of its assets including databases, skills, copyrights, and telephone and television licenses.

The 29-person committee, which includes lawyers, researchers, filmmakers and heads of telecommunications and Internet companies, is scheduled to give Breton a final report Sept. 30.

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