09.13.17

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Patent Boxes Are for Tax Avoidance, But in the Land of Tax Avoidance (Switzerland) No Avoidance for Software Patents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The world leader in European Patents (EPs) refuses to acknowledge software patents or barely respects these

Many EPs (per capita) in Switzerland are a bragging point from the EPO, which likes to associate itself with Switzerland not because of chocolates. Yesterday a law firm published this article titled “Swiss Government Publishes Preliminary Draft Bill on Tax Proposal 17″ (Switzerland has tax?!) and if one scrolls down to patents, the details are interesting.

For those who don’t know yet, patent boxes enable tax avoidance through patents; we wrote many articles about it. But mind the following passage (highlighted in yellow):

Introduction of a mandatory cantonal patent box regime which complies with the OECD’s modified nexus approach. The patent box will be available in case of patents or comparable rights. The maximum tax relief available for respective IP income will be limited to 90%. Cantons may opt for a less extensive relief. Unlike provided in the CTR III, the patent box will, however, neither be available for SMEs inventions without patent protection nor for software which is only protected by copyright law. However, according to the Federal Council, in case such software is protected by a foreign patent, it might still qualify for the patent box for practicability purposes.

In an ideal world, patent boxes would not exist at all and software patents would not exist at all.

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