Monday 19 March 2012

UK Patent Box: further details expected

The UK's Coalition Government is expected to announce further details of the Patent Box regime in this Wednesday's Budget. The Patent Box regime, which will be effective as of 1 April 2014, taxes profits arising from qualifying IP rights, mainly patent rights, at a reduced rate of 10% (this compares favourably with the current 26% rate of UK corporation tax).

Although the introduction of this regime is evidence of the Government's stated intention of ensuring that the UK has the most competitive tax regime in the G20, whether the regime will attract businesses to the UK is moot. However, it should make patent-rich businesses think twice before leaving or investing outside the UK.

The details of the regime have been the subject of consultation for over a year now, and interested parties have persuaded the Government of the benefit of certain amendments to it. These include extending the benefits of the regime to supplementary protection certificates and data exclusivity. However, the Government have made it clear that it does not want to extend the benefits of the regime to IP rights related to branding and marketing: profits relating to such rights are explicitly excluded.

Fuller details of the Patent Box can be found here.  Updates during and following the Budget can be found here.

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