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Introduction of the Patent Box in Switzerland

Posted by on 20 May 2019

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. 

For further questions, please contact patent box experts Matthias Städeli or Alfred Köpf, RENTSCH PARTNER.

The cooperation between FRORIEP and RENTSCH PARTNER stands for agility, innovation and an interdisciplinary powerhouse in the field of technology and commercial law.


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Topics: Tax | Intellectual Property

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Matthias Städeli | Rentsch Partner

Matthias Städeli is a litigator in the areas of trademark and copyright law as well as unfair competition law. In addition to his broad expertise in the field of intellectual property right, he further practices in contract law and advertising law. He regularly represents clients in complex litigations before courts and administrative bodies. He advises clients on the development and management of IP rights and all related issues, including licensing and distribution. Matthias J. Staedeli graduated from Zürich University School of Law in 1989 and has been admitted to the Zürich and Swiss Bar since 1992. 1999 he graduated with distinction from Linz University, Austria and earned a Master Degree in Arts and Media Management (M.A.S.). From 2003 until 2004 he studied Intellectual Property at Boston University School of Law where he graduated as Master of Laws (LL.M., Concentration Intellectual Property). During 2004 he was trained at Harvard Law School and Suffolk University School of Law, Boston, in the field of negotiation and mediation.

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Alfred Köpf | Rentsch Partner

In his work as a European Patent Attorney, Dr. Alfred Köpf focusses on biotechnology, organic chemistry, medical technology, process technology, and mechanics. Dr. Alfred Köpf studied Biology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany and wrote his Diploma Thesis on the Chemical Ecology of Anthraquinones in leaf beetles. He joined the Masters Program in Entomology/Agriculture at the Kansas State University as a Fulbright scholar and came to the ETH Zürich for his PhD thesis on molecular evolution. Before he started his academic career, Alfred Köpf worked for several years as a CNC-lathe-worker and gained thereby practical experience in mechanical engineering. He has been active since several years in the public discussion about patentability of biological inventions (AIPPI Switzerland (Q 150 und Q159), Science et Cité, LES). Since 2003 Dr. Alfred Köpf is lecturing on patents at the Department of Chemistry and applied Biosciences (D-CHAB) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich. In 2011, he was elected by the Swiss Parliament to become a non-permanent judge of the newly established Swiss Federal Patent Court.

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