The Patent Box

The main contribution from our chambers to World Intellectual Property Day 2013 will be Liverpool Inventors Club's workshop on The Patent Box at the offices of Jackson & Canter LLP at 88 Church Street, Liverpool, L1 3AY on Monday 29 April 2013 at 16:00.

I shall give a short overview of IP and patenting to lay the ground for the main speaker, Mr. Vince Walker, tax partner of BDO LLP. Vince is an expert on the patent box and R & D credits so it is quite a coup to book him.

The patent box is a valuable tax concession to encourage research and development in the UK. Companies that qualify for the concession pay corporation tax on revenue derived from their patents at a greatly reduced rate. Further information on the concession is available on the Intellectual Property Office and HMRC websites. Vince will take us through the conditions for the scheme including in particular what is meant by "qualifying patents" and "qualifying income."

The patent box does not cover every type of intellectual property and it is not available to every business. Even for companies that could qualify it may not be the best option. I shall close with a brief summary of other ways of protecting innovation such as design rights, copyright for software and services and trade secrecy and a few tips on IP strategy.

Admission is free but tickets are limited. If you want to come you need to register on-line.  For further information on the event call Michael Sandys of Jackson & Canter on 0151 282 1700.

We have now had our workshop and it went very well. You can see my slides and those of Vince Walker here.   We are planning similar workshops in Manchester and Lancaster for later in the month as well as others in Leeds and London.


Ken Jones said…
Patent Box is excellent news for the UK. Perhaps this new tax will encourage execs to look harder at patenting, after all if they license a third party at 10% it looks like the third party will only pay 10% on any profits relating to the patented product, so in essence the licence will cost the licensee nothing.This tax will also apply to foreign patents where the capital flows to the UK. Patenting is international and today both the searching and filing can all be done online.The high fees attorneys charge may be worth paying if you are a corporate and have to employ somebody to do the patenting anyway, but if you are an individual, substantial attorney fees running into thousands, create a very significant barrier. A complete UK patent actually only costs £230 in total, the UK IPO is amazing and fantastically helpful and it is now entirely possible to patent internationally yourself from your laptop, if you know how to go about it. The difficult bit is having something to patent and understanding what is and isn’t patentable. A great cheap Amazon ebook, which tells you how to go about patenting internationally, step-by-step, is DIY Patent Online. It lists all the fees and has links to all the sites you need plus you can read some of it free on Amazon. They also have a web site and unlike most patent site, which are a cure for insomnia, they aren’t trying to sell you any services. Many spout off about patents knowing little about the subject in reality. The only patent that is really worth it’s salt is a Utility Patent – they even call them utility patents in the States but in the UK they are just called Patents. These must have an 'Inventive Step' and must not be ‘obvious to somebody skilled in the art'. These are not to be confused with US Design Patents (UK Design Registration) or Australian Innovation Patents. which are easy to get and get around. Patenting is challenging when you don't know how but like everything else, once you have the hang of it, it's quite straightforward. Most businessmen are busy building empires with all the costs involved, these are tangible, you can see them. However my moniker is ‘If you can touch it, don’t touch it’. Intellectual Property is the only thing worth having, owning the IP makes you the master, the rest is just overhead, which is an idea well worth disseminating to your clients.
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