Transfer of Intellectual Property

Protected by the U.S. Constitution

The transfer of intellectual property has been fundamentally protected since the signing of our Constitution. “The Congress shall have Power – to promote the progress Of Science and useful arts, by securing for limited Times To Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their Respective Writings and Discoveries.” (article I, section 8, clause 8) This also applies to property that isn't tangible, such as patents and copyrights. It also provides a means for new technology to be introduced to the public while still protecting the rights of the creator. Forms of intellectual property include:

  • copyrights
  • patents
  • trade secrets
  • trademarks

As technology progresses along with the increasing collaborations in the global market, the transfers of intellectual property can become complicated, especially when specific provisions about rights are stipulated. Always seek professional advice before entering into any agreements. PIASCIK expert consultants have over 70 years of combined international tax experience, including the transfer of intellectual property rights, IC-DISC matters, and cost-sharing agreements.

Intellectual property license agreements

The most common way rights are transferred is with an intellectual property license agreement. These agreements can be very versatile and may contain information on exclusivity, time of ownership, and geographical specifications.  Two ways to the transfer of intellectual property rights – temporary transfer through licensing and permanent transference through an assignment. Although they often overlap, they are distinctly different.


Reversionary rights are the primary reason for intellectual property transfers through licensing. It underscores the return of rights once the license is terminated. The circumstances for reversion usually occurs because of several reasons. The agreement has an expiration date. The corporation who licensed the property no longer sells the work or invention. The licensee breached the agreement. Additionally, each right can also be licensed separately, such as the right to copy and the right to distribute being licensed to separate legal entities. Some licensing may be done verbally.


For permanent transfers of intellectual property, an assignment is written up. They are unconditional transfers without specific conditions of usage or limited lengths of time. They are three common types of assignments used for the transfer of property rights which are all required to be in writing. 

  • Three types of assignments:
  • Trademark assignments
  • Patent assignments
  • Copyright assignments

Trademark assignments are the symbols, logos, or names corporations use to identify their products. These are generally done when companies are sold or as a part of bankruptcy proceedings.

Patent assignments are designed to protect inventions and industrial designs. The transfer of intellectual property rights include any patents developed from the invention and may even include some type of compensation for the inventor. 

Copyright assignments protect forms of creative expression, including (but not limited to) blogs, videos, art, writing and music. Although they typically transfer the intellectual property rights of the entire copyright, they can specify less.

Expert advice at a convenient price

PIASCIK is the largest international tax institute south of DC and north of Charlotte, NC with a proven track record in the transfer of intellectual property. Our prestigious members include the president of the Virginia International Business Council and NFLPA Registered Player Financial Advisors. PIASCIK tax consultants represent over 120 expatriates in over 49 countries. We know how the transfer of intellectual rights can influence everything from qualified export assets and intercompany transactions to retirement and trust estate planning.

Our expert consultants have 24 hour a day and 7 days a week accessibility for your convenience. PIASCIK offers flat fee engagements with no hidden surcharges as a feasible alternative to pricey intellectual property attorneys. We even offer the initial consultation FREE without any obligations form you. With nothing to lose and valuable information on intellectual property transfers, contacting PIASCIK today can get you going in the right direction.