Appleyard Lees advises businesses to act now before changes to Patent Box

15 Nov, 2013

Leading firm of European patent and trade mark attorneys, Appleyard Lees, is advising businesses to act now before the UK Patent Box tax regime is reviewed by the EU Finance Ministers following a challenge by the EU Commission.


Patent Box was introduced in April 2013 to encourage UK based businesses to invest more in research and development. The scheme allows companies to apply for a lower rate of Corporation Tax on profits attributable to patented inventions.


However, aspects of the regime are being challenged for allegedly breaching the EU Code of Conduct for business taxation.


Compliance with the Code will be discussed at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in December.  If the UK Patent Box regime is found to breach the Code then the  UK Treasury will be expected to consider changes to make it compliant.


Graham Johnson (pictured), partner at Appleyard Lees, said: “The Patent Box regime is likely to survive the challenge but aspects may be revised in line with the Code, perhaps making it less generous.”


“Companies should speak to their tax advisors to ascertain the best time to opt into the Patent Box scheme. It is important that they have appropriate patent protection in place for their inventions to allow them to maximise the tax relief available before potential changes to the regime are implemented.”

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