In the United Kingdom's Budget for 2014, the Chancellor has emphasised that Science and innovation are key drivers of long-run economic growth. The government will continue its drive to help commercialise research and ensure the UK economy benefits from its world leading science base. This Budget announces that the government will:
provide £42 million over 5 years for the Alan Turing Institute - this will be a national institute which will undertake new research in ways of collecting, organising and analysing large sets of data ('Big Data'); Big Data analysis can allow businesses to enhance their manufacturing processes, target their marketing better, and provide more efficient services;
invest £74 million over 5 years in a Cell Therapy manufacturing centre and a Graphene innovation centre as part of the UK's Catapult network - these will enable large-scale manufacturing of cell therapies for late-stage clinical trials, and will provide SMEs with access to cutting-edge equipment for research and development of novel grapheme products;
provide £106 million over 5 years for around 20 additional Centres for Doctoral Training - partnerships between universities, businesses and government to research new technologies and train postgraduate students.
Sadly no further extensions of the Patent Box, but perhaps this is not surprising given the challenge to the taxation break being reviewed by the EU Commission as anti-competitive.
According to a report in the Financial Times on 25th March, Britain is facing fresh scrutiny from the EU over the Patent Box tax break, because of concerns it could be an illegal state subsidy.
The European Commission has now asked the UK Treasury to provide more details of the Patent Box and show that it attracts genuine research investment. If the Commission finds illegal state support it can demand all lost tax revenues are recouped.
The FT reports the questionnaire was sent out to the Treasury in the last few days. British officials are confident the scheme meets EU state aid regulations. Last year it was reported that GlaxoSmithKline is to invest another 200 million pounds on advanced manufacturing in Britain, underlining the draw of the "patent box" tax break designed to encourage research and development.
Britain's "patent box" scheme, offers a reduced rate of corporation tax on income derived from patents and has been hailed by GSK for transforming the UK as a place to invest. Last year GSK announced it was building its first new factory in Britain for 40 years as a result of the scheme. The latest move will help it ramp up output of new lung drug Relvar, produce the long-established antibiotic Augmentin and develop new technology for medicine production.
It is likely that some changes to the scheme may be required. For example, at the moment the profit stream which can be protected by a patented invention is very broad. As has been highlighted, all the profit from a car with a patented wing mirror can in theory be put through the Patent Box scheme.
For further information about how you can benefit from the "patent box" and how UDL can help you profit from your intellectual property, please click our dedicated page from the left hand tab, or contact David Stanners (email@example.com)
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