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Ireland has a strong lobby of large enterprises and patent businesses. Recently, Ireland gained great influence over the software patents dossier in the EU. The responsible Commissioner is Irish. The Council's decision to ignore the European Parliament's amendments and to push for an unsupported "political agreement" was taken under active promotion of the Irish Council Presidency in early 2004. This Presidency was officially "sponsored by Microsoft". In 2001, Microsoft accounted for about 10% of the corporate tax revenues (from 1,200 multinationals, a total of 1.9 billion Euro) in corporation tax of Ireland, which were accounting 44% Ireland's total tax revenues. Ireland's economy is based on a business model of being a tax haven for large US companies. This tax haven is so heavily subsidised by the US and EU that it has become one of the richest European countries in a short time.


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Tax Haven Policies

Ireland has within 20 years become one of the richest countries of Europe in terms of per-capita income by offering companies a low income tax rate of 10% and obtaining favorable terms from the US (no double taxation) and from the EU (harmonised internal market). This has lead large companies especially from the US but also Siemens and the like to move a large portion of their taxable income to Ireland. Irland levies 0% taxes on patent royalty income. This makes Ireland specially attractive for patent ventures such as Myrhold or Acacia.

Florian Mueller's Explanations

I'm relatively familiar with that Irish model for preferential treatment of U.S. companies that base their EU operations there. In 1995, I recommended to my friends at Davidson & Associates (parent company of Blizzard Entertainment, the makers of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo) to set up shop in Dublin, and they did it. They're still there.

The way it works is this:

Sources (supplied by Florian Mueller)

Explanations and Sources supplied by Arend Lammertink and Benjamin Henrion

Explanations and Sources supplied by Miluz

Ireland seems to be THE big computer compagnies paradise....

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