Big Brother is watching you, but that can be a good thing for traffic enforcement

Brought to you by GovGrant

GovGrant’s client, Traffic Environment Systems Ltd (TES), is one of a number of leading edge tech businesses delivering innovation in the traffic management and control industry. As driverless cars inch closer to reality, traffic management technology will become ever more important in linking the systems within autonomous vehicles to road and transport infrastructure.

TES has been in business since 2004. A market leader, the company provides specialised mobile CCTV solutions to help local authorities and other agencies deliver parking and traffic enforcement. 

Before the London Olympics in 2012, Games organisers had the challenge of issuing parking permits to games vehicles, as well as businesses and residents living and working in the vicinity of the Olympic Park. They needed to register and relay the positions of parking bays to CCTV enforcement vehicles. The organisers turned to TES for the solution. 

TES had developed a new product, which itself was born out of an existing piece of technology. They had applied to the European Patent Office (EPO), but they ruled that the innovation was not patentable, which ruled out the possibility of claiming for valuable tax incentives under the UK government’s patent box scheme.   

GovGrant stepped in. We worked with the team to offer a holistic view of the incentives and tax reliefs used to promote innovation in order to help TES commercialise this activity. GovGrant has handled TES’ tax credits policy for several years, building in-depth knowledge of the business through our long- term relationship. 

It put the team in the best position to review the application for a patent, and we identified a technical opportunity contained in one line of the UK application that had not featured in the EPO application. Our detective work paid off. The application was submitted and the UK Patent Office approved the patent on the basis of a new ‘narrow scope’ argument.

Clive Paul, the boss of TES, said: “When we needed GovGrant’s expertise in identifying IP and drafting a successful patent  application, we could relax knowing their analyst’s technical knowledge gave us the best chance of an IPO patent grant. This allowed us to benefit from the Patent Box in addition to the R&D tax credit scheme.”

Not many accounting firms can employ, in-house, the level of technical expertise needed to identify opportunities for Patent Box applications. That’s why GovGrant offers partnership opportunities with accounting firms to ensure our expertise is made available to their clients. 

It is incumbent on accountants to assist their clients make the most of generous government incentives for R&D and innovation. TES is a technology specialist at the cutting edge of a new industry, but 95% of UK SME businesses that approach GovGrant are eligible for tax credit. 

We are keen for accounting firms to contact us to discuss how we can help them help their clients.