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Companies Must Complete Mandatory US Government Survey on Intellectual Property

US Companies
Must answer IP survey
or face penalties

In February, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced that US companies will soon be required to respond to a survey about transactions between US persons (including corporations) and non-US persons involving intellectual property (IP) and services during 2017.

The survey is called the “BE-120 Benchmark Survey of Transactions in Selected Services and Intellectual Property with Foreign Persons.”

The BEA is part of the US Department of Commerce. The BE-120 survey is usually conducted every five years.

Companies are required to respond by June 29, 2018, or risk civil and criminal penalties.

Using the BEA’s eFile system extends the deadline to July 30, 2018.

Transactions and services covered by the survey include:

  • sales and purchases of IP rights (such as patents and copyrights)
  • IP licenses
  • cloud computing services
  • engineering services

US companies that meet the following criteria must provide full survey responses:

  • Those with combined sales to foreign persons of covered IP or services worth more than $2 million during 2017, or
  • Those that purchased more than $1 million worth of IP or services in 2017.

Companies that didn’t meet those thresholds can submit abbreviated responses.

According to the BEA,

The purpose of the benchmark survey is to obtain universe data, including data from respondents not subject to filing on an ongoing quarterly basis, that will be used, in conjunction with quarterly data collected on the companion BE-125 survey, to produce estimates of selected services components for BEA’s international transactions accounts (ITAs), national income and product accounts, and industry accounts. These data are also used to monitor U.S. trade in services, to analyze the impact on the U.S. economy and on foreign economies, to compile and improve the U.S. economic accounts, to support U.S. commercial policy on trade in services, to conduct trade promotion, and to improve the ability of U.S. businesses to identify and evaluate market opportunities.

More information is available in the Federal Register.

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