Friday, December 11, 2009

Copyright, Patents and Technology the Pre-Budget implications

Well in an active week on my blog I thought I would conclude with some thoughts on Alistair Darling's pre-budget report.


The government intends to push ahead with a 50p a month tax on broadband to fund the upgrade to enable super-fast access. Whilst a commitment to faster communications should be applauded will the future be access via wires or will it all be wireless in the ether? I question whether these plans are future proof.


A lower rate of corporation tax of 10% for income derived from patents was announced. Whilst this is a welcome boast for those who invest in technology and patent applications this will not be introduced until 2013 and is bringing the UK in line with other EU countries. It is a shame the relief does not apply to other IP such as copyright in software (non-gaming) which from my practice seems to be one of the major UK exports. The introduction of this relief is also too slow!


AD announced that one of the major hurdles to claiming tax relief on R&D expenditure will be abolished. Currently a company has to own all IP deriving from R&D before the relief can be claimed. This is a welcome announcement and should aid much needed collaboration within small to medium high tech businesses which may have been hindered by this test.

To summarise I think there were positives moves in the pre-budget report in relation to IP and technology revenue but I do not think enough to engender a world leading knowledge based economy in the UK, clearly needed to shrug off the effects of one of the worst recessions of modern times.


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