Project Description

Gaining a competitive advantage in pile foundation systems using R&D tax relief to apply for patent protection

Our construction contractor client had already developed advanced helical pile foundation systems which had several distinct advantages within construction.

Reducing pile foundation settings from a minute to seconds

Their existing helical pile foundations were already much quicker and easier to work with in a range of challenging environments than competitor products. However, they took 40-60 seconds to set and they needed to reduce this time for a large-scale industrial installation project which required 10,000 units.

Our client managed to achieve more directional manoeuvrability and significant tolerance improvements within the helical piles, which meant that they were able to set the foundations within just a few seconds. The project took a significant amount of time and capital investment and, understandably, they wished to maximise and protect the value of their technology from Dutch competitors.

Maximising value through patent protection

We explored the cost vs benefits of applying for a patent and claiming Patent Box relief with our client. The commercial advantage they would gain from protecting their technology from competitors was significant and so they decided to reinvest their previous R&D tax reliefs into the patent application.

It then became a question of maximising the value of patent protection and we worked alongside our client to help them achieve this. This meant that they were able to focus on the model which offered the best patent protection and that they realised it was more beneficial to sell or licence their technology, rather than generate income from installing it.

The results

  • £61,961 R&D tax credits for the accounting periods ended 2018 and 2019

  • A helical pile model which offered the most patent protection

  • Extra income from patent sales/licenses

If you want to check if you qualify for non-repayable, innovation capital or if you’re currently looking into what you can claim, we’re happy to help.

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