Patent Boxes: Innovation in Tax Policy and Tax Policy for Innovation

October 4, 2011

One of the most interesting policy developments in the global innovation race is known as a patent box, which provides preferential tax treatment for corporate income that comes from patented products. The goal is to encourage commercialization of R&D. Most people in the United States have never heard of patent boxes but within just the last four years, seven countries have adopted the idea. The Netherlands has even expanded its patent box into an "innovation box" that allows profits from R&D-based products or services that have not resulted in a patent or trademark to also be eligible for the lower patent box tax rate. This report explains why a patent box would be a good policy for the United State to implement.