Intellectual property rights, and more in particular patents, are quite expensive. Before casting them off as not being worth the investment, have a look at the many financial measurements provided by the authorities that will turn your patent into profit. Both federal and Flemish measurements support SMEs and large companies in taking and maintaining intellectual property rights.
Flemish Agency Innovation & Entrepreneurship
The pillar "advice" of the kmo-portefuille allows the financing of advice on intellectual property by recognized service providers of 40% for small companies (max. € 10.000) and of 30% for middle-sized companies (max. € 50.000).
In the context of an "innovation" dossier subsidized by the Agency Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the costs to protect the results of an innovation by IPR, are financed to a maximum of € 20.000 to cover the preparatory cost, such as a freedom to operate research, and costs related to registration and the drafting of the dossier (with the exception of maintenance costs and costs in the case of a juridical dispute. The amount of the support is between 35 and 80%, depending on the type of the dossier.
Support to IPR efforts in the Walloon Region
The support of patent deposition is restricted to financially sound SMEs with a exploitation seat in Wallonia and includes three categories:
Patent Deposition (filing) (PATDE)
Deposition of one or more priority requests to a national (e.g. Belgium) or international (e.g. Europe) administration accompanied with a demand for an official priority art search.
- priority art search
- drafting of the application
Financing: 40 % or 50 % of the costs of a first deposition
Documents to be handed over within a 4 month period after the deposition: proof of the patent deposition - completed form - invoices relating to the first deposition
Patent Expansion (PATEX)
Concerns the formalities following a first deposition, after the analysis of the research report and procedures in order to expand the territory of protection with invocation of the priority right to obtain the patent in the designated countries. This This section can be solicited for as long as the patent procedure is on-going and independently from the fact whether the first section (PATDE) has been filed or not.
- analysis of the research report
- deposition of a national, regional or international demand
- examination procedures on patentability
- deliveries and impressions
- annuities during the procedures
- national validations
Financing: 50 % of the costs to expand the protection territory on a European (PATEX 3) national/regional (PATEX 2) or international-PCT (PATEX 1) level
Documents to be submitted within 3 months after deposition: completed form - relevant invoices - proof of deposition - budget estimation
Patent Opposition (PATOP)
Concerns the formalities related to the opposition by a third party on a European level to a patent that has been part of a PATEX financing.
- fees for patent consulting
- company costs linked with the patent opposition procedure
Financing: 50 % of the costs related to the procedure
The chèques entreprises cover up to 75% (TAV excluded) of the costs for services including
- Novelty research in view of patentability
- Research in view of freedom to operate
- Research on opposition
- State of the Art
- Patent cartography
- Creation of a technology watch
Marketing consulting studies
Marketing consulting studies cover up to 75% (TAV excluded) of the costs for services including
- Market potential of a novel product or process
- Interest of the market in the innovation
- Evaluation of possible demand
- Price setting
- Conformity with regulations valid in the target countries
- Study on protecting the innovation
- Commercial strategy
Counselling in view of technology transfer
Counselling in view of technology transfer covers up to 75% (TAV excluded) of the costs for services including
- Evaluation of the technology (including freedom to operate)
- Estimation of the valorization potential by the company
- Definition of strategic challenges
- Identification of training needs
- Juridical assistance in contract negotiations
Fiscal advantages of IPR in Belgium
Deductions for innovation-related revenues
Since July 1, 2016, Belgian companies or foreign companies with an establishment in Belgium can benefit from tax deduction for innovation profits, referred to as innovation income deduction. Up to 85% of a company’s net profit resulting from innovation is exempt from corporate taxation. This new rule replaces the Tax Exemption Rule for patent-related revenues. A transition period is valid until 2021.
Belgium-based and foreign corporations with a fixed Belgian seat. The existance of a research centre is no longer required.
- complementary protective certificate
- plant breeders' right
- copyright-protected software
- orphan drugs
- data and/or market exclusivity for crop protection agents, medicin for human or animal use
The deduction is 85% of the nett revenue based on the intellectual property right and applies from the application date of the IPR in question. The non-used deduction is transferrable to the following fiscal periods.
In the case of copyright-protected software, it has to be the result of a research or development project/programme.
Innovation income deduction: caluclation
The innovation income deduction is calculated on the net income generated by the qualifying intellectual property (IP) rights (“net qualifying income”). Net qualifying income equals the gross IP income minus current-year expenditures for the development of the IP asset. Such qualifying expenditures include R&D expenses related to qualifying IP rights, expenditures for the acquisition of IP rights, expenditures for R&D outsourcing to related or unrelated parties, and prior-year expenditures incurred in financial years ending after June 30, 2016. The recapture of the latter expenses can be spread over a maximum of 7 years.
The result of the fraction is capped at 1, as the maximum exemption level amounts to 85% of the net qualifying income.
There are special documentation requirements for companies that want to apply the innovation income deduction. All elements used for the calculation of the innovation income deduction, such as gross IP income and R&D expenses related to qualifying IP rights, must be documented.