Companies that have not yet considered how their products or services may fall within the definition of Research & Development (R&D) for tax purposes are likely to be missing out on significant tax savings through R&D tax relief.
R&D tax relief rewards companies that are seeking advancement in the state of knowledge in their sector. In the definition for tax purposes1, R&D does not necessarily mean the development of a new product. R&D can involve development of new or improved products, processes, services, devices or materials. Importantly, R&D is not limited to a particular industry. For example, R&D claims can be made in industries such as retail (e.g. improved processes), IT and telecommunications (e.g. software development), food and beverage (e.g. innovative recipes), engineering (e.g. new materials), manufacturing (e.g. automation) as well as the more well-known R&D industries such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology and energy. (more…)
The Patent Box, like R&D tax relief (see last week’s post here), is a very much underclaimed relief. In 2014-15 only 1,135 claims were made, although this resulted in claims valued at £651.9m. 94% of this value was claimed by large companies even though such companies only accounted for a quarter of the claims made.
So, what is Patent Box?
As R&D tax relief is enhanced to encourage scientific and technological innovation based on costs incurred, Patent Box is a tax relief for profits made from scientific and technological innovation, whether that be a product or a process. (more…)
Whilst Research & Development (R&D) tax relief is now an adult, given that is has been in the UK tax legislation for over 18 years, there are many companies still not claiming the relief they are entitled to or are only scratching the surface in their claims.
Most companies don’t claim because they are simply not aware. HMRC estimate that around 200,000 companies in the UK could be claiming R&D tax relief but only around 40,000 actually do.
As a reminder – to an SME a claim uplifts qualifying costs by an additional 130%, substantially reducing a tax liability or, in the case of losses, an increased loss that can be surrendered in return for 14.5% cashback from HMRC, whether or not that company has paid any tax in the past! A claim can be submitted up to two years after the end of the accounting period.
What are the three main misconceptions or barriers to make a claim? (more…)
Today on IPcopy we have a guest post from Wendy Lamson of Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougal LLP on the subject of national phase entry in Canada. This post has been reproduced with the permission of the author.
Proposed rules in Canada make PCT late entry more difficult
Currently, the deadline for national phase entry in Canada can be extended to 42 months from the priority date. A patent applicant simply needs to pay a late fee of $200.00 Cdn, together with the request for national phase entry.1 No reasons for failure to meet the 30 month deadline are required. However, this will soon change if proposed amendments to the Canadian Patent Rules are implemented that bring Canada into conformity with the Patent Law Treaty. (more…)
The 2018 FIFA Football World Cup is well underway in Russia with the teams having played through most of the group games at the time of writing. England fans’ spirits remain unhealthily optimistic with the Three Lions having recorded their highest ever victory in a World Cup match at the weekend with a 6:1 win over Panama. Other major teams have looked unconvincing it must be said, with Argentina scraping through to the knock-out stages a couple of nights ago and defending champions Germany failing to progress out of the group stages following three abysmal performances. Who knows maybe it is England’s year after all…
Although football is the main focus, it’s hard not to notice the role that branding and sponsorships play at the World Cup. Many businesses want their brand to be associated with (and profit from) the world’s most widely viewed sporting event. Following the recent news that England striker Jesse Lingard has registered his goal celebration as a trade mark, we thought we’d have a little look into other trade marks that footballers have registered to protect their personal brands, enabling them to reap rewards both on and off the pitch. (more…)
Once every 4 years the FIFA Football World Cup (or soccer for our American readers) comes around and incites an unnatural sense of optimism in England supporters around the world that this could be our year. While this is always an event that somewhat brings the people of the country together, some may say the repetitive upsurge of optimism before each World Cup is misplaced. On the eve of the World Cup which marks the 13th tournament and 52 years since the first (and only) World Cup victory of the three lions, it is worth noting that England’s national team have won just 6 matches in the knockout stages of any major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup Victory.
Optimism or pessimism aside, there is always the possibility of a World Cup upset, football is a simple game where anything can happen, as Sepp Herberger (Coach of the 1954 World Cup winning West Germany team) famously once said; “The ball is round, and the game lasts 90 minutes”. (more…)
In June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union, raising many questions around EU Trade Marks and Community Designs, as well as representation rights before the EUIPO.
Keltie’s “United in Europe” video below highlights our response to Brexit.
Keltie LLP 3 May 2018
If you want to be a European Patent Attorney who can represent clients before the European Patent Office, you first have to pass an exam. The European Qualification Examination, also known as the EQE, is well-known for its low pass rate. Only one in three candidates passes the full four paper exam in one year. After three years, another third of all candidates is still struggling with at least one of the papers.
In 2009, acknowledging that the low pass rate may be problematic, the exam committee came up with a counterintuitive idea. They added another hurdle. Since 2012, before you are allowed to appear at the real exam, you first have to pass a pre-exam. 10 legal questions, 10 claim analysis questions, 4 statements per question that have to be judged TRUE or FALSE, and a complex marking scheme to score all answers on a scale of 0-100. Only if you score 70 marks or more (50 before 2014), you are allowed to sit the main exam next year.
Since before the first pre-exam, there has been a lot of criticism on both the concept and the execution of this added challenge. Law is not maths. It is not easy to come up with 80 legal question that can only be answered with TRUE or FALSE and are challenging as well as unambiguous. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, successful appeals at the EPO Boards of Appeal led to 56 candidates being allowed into the main exam although having scored less than 70 marks for their pre-exams. This year, two statements were considered so ambiguous that every answer was accepted to be correct. IP Kat wrote an article about it. In the comments, candidates, former candidates and other anonymous contributors complained about the exam and the exam committee and questioned the usefulness and fairness of the pre-exam. On the DeltaPatents blog, similar comments are to be found in even greater numbers.
But most of these negative comments and opinions are based on emotions, often of candidates who just went through the stress and hard labour that are commonly associated with sitting the exam. For a better informed opinion about the pre-exam, it may be useful to have a look at the numbers. For the pre-exam to be a useful tool, two important statements have to be judged TRUE. (more…)