Patents, general considerations

Source: HM Revenue & Customs | | 24/09/2019

A UK patent is granted under the laws of the UK, usually, by the UK Intellectual Property Office. Obtaining a patent can be a difficult and expensive endeavour. A patent only protects an invention in the country where the patent is registered, and so multiple patents may be required across different jurisdictions.

To be granted a patent, an invention must be all of the following:

  • something that can be made or used
  • new
  • inventive - not just a simple modification to something that already exists

The owner of the patent can take legal action against those who use the patented invention without permission. This falls under the heading of patent rights which are the right to do or authorise the doing of anything that would, but for that right, be an infringement of the patent.

Once a patent is granted, the holder will need to pay renewal fees every year to maintain protection. The amount increases every year the patent is ‘live’. This is to avoid placing too much of a financial burden on the patent holder in the early life of the patent when they are likely to have other costs.

The Patent Box allows companies to apply a lower 10% Corporation Tax rate on profits arising from patent exploitation and which are covered in whole or part by a UK patent.



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