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Which patents qualify for Patent Box relief?

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Not all patents are born equal. The patent system can differ quite wildly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As most people will be aware, patents are easier to obtain on things like business processes and software in the US than in most of Europe.

In view of that, it’s not surprising that HMRC restricted the Patent Box to a subset of patents that it deems similar enough to UK patents and likely to be genuine indicators of invention.

The full list of qualifying jurisdictions is available at CIRD210160:

Apart from UK patents, the following jurisdictions’ patents also qualify for Patent Box relief:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Sweden

In addition to these countries, patents issued the EPO (the European Patent Office) qualify, as do, of course, patents granted under the UK IPO (Intellectual Property Office).

There are some notable exceptions in this list, such as France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, and a number of other European countries. This is worth knowing if you operate internationally and are choosing which jurisdiction to file your patents in (assuming it could be filed with both the EPO and your chosen nation).

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