The traditional patent cost-benefit assessment is changing. Whilst the benefit of many patents is often made up of sometimes difficult to measure intangible benefits, the immediate and direct financial benefit will soon, for many products, far outweigh the financial cost.

From April the UK Government’s so-called “Patent Box” has begun to be phased in. Whilst the Patent Box calculation isn’t always straightforward, the results are – any profits a UK company makes on a product protected by a patent are, if opted in to the Patent Box, subject to a reduced rate of corporation tax. When the phasing-in is complete the reduced rate will be 10%. With such tax savings available your patents could quickly pay for themselves.

For new products therefore, now more than ever, it's worth considering what aspects it might be possible to protect with a patent.

Furthermore, if any part of the product is protected, then profits from the whole product can benefit from the Patent Box. As such, a review of what products are covered by existing patents is likely to be time well spent. This also means that new developments to the product that can be protected can qualify the whole product for the Patent Box.