Grips 4/2019 – Patent box

Patents can have many uses. They prevent third parties from just using the patent holders research for themselves. They provide the basis for licencing agreements or represent assets for financing or M&A activities. Soon, patents and adjacent rights will gain additional significance in Switzerland: they constitute a basis for a so-called “patent box”.

The patent box is one of the instruments introduced on the cantonal level in all of Switzerland with the federal tax reform and AHV financing act (STAF) starting 2020. Revenue generated by (technical) Innovation shall be taxed in a privileged way through the framework of a patent box. The tax burden can be reduced by up to 90%! The box includes any revenue that is ultimately connected to some patent.
Not just large corporations can profit through this instrument, its use can also be of interest to SMEs.
The new option is likely to influence your patent strategy: If the tax savings outsize the cost of acquiring a patent by multiples it is sensible to try and pursue patents exclusively for the added fiscal options.
The introduction of the patent box raises questions about tax and business administration that go beyond intellectual property rights. Mr. Martin Röthlisberger is a lawyer and certified tax expert with T+R Treuhand AG ( is our “guest at grips” today to clear up those questions.


Read our grips 4/2019: Grips 4/2019 – Patent box