On 19 May 2019, the Swiss electorate voted in favour of implementing the Swiss patent box. Tax advantages on income generated from intellectual property rights will become a valuable tool for companies in Switzerland to promote research and development activities and to generate added value in these areas.
In future, the Swiss patent box will make it possible to tax part of the profits from inventions at a reduced rate. Additionally, cantons will have the option of providing an additional deduction of up to 50% of R&D expenditure.
Which companies benefit from the Swiss patent box?
All companies that conduct research and development in Switzerland and generate patentable technology may benefit from the patent box. The legal ownership of a patent is not important, the decisive factor is the economic ownership (i.e. who has borne the costs of the innovation).
Which IP rights qualify for the Swiss patent box?
Under the new Swiss law, the following IP rights are eligible for the patent box:
- Swiss and foreign patents
- Comparable Swiss and foreign rights as supplementary protection certificates, topographies, plant varieties, as well as documents protected under therapeutic products law and designations protected under agricultural law
Product patents as well as method patents qualify for the patent box.
What is your next step?
It is worthwhile for all companies with scientific and technological developments to review their patent strategy from an intellectual property and tax point of view, allowing them to benefit from the advantages of the patent box. An optimal tax advantage is achieved by a combination of competences in tax and patent law.
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