Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Layout Design(SICLD) Act, 2000, has come into operation in India. The provisions on the protection of layout-designs of integrated circuits are found in Articles 35 to 38, which make up Section 6 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement. According to Article 35, members are required to protect the layout-designs (‘topographies’) of integrated circuits in accordance with provisions of the Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect of Integrated Circuits (‘IPIC Treaty’ or ‘Washington Treaty’) and the additional provisions of Articles 36 to 38 of the TRIPS Agreement. The latter provisions relate to the term of protection, the treatment of innocent infringers, the application of the protection to articles containing infringing integrated circuits, and compulsory licensing. The IPIC Treaty was negotiated under the auspices of WIPO and signed in Washington in 1989 but has never entered into force as an insufficient number of countries have ratified it. It is therefore only through their incorporation into the TRIPS Agreement that a number of provisions from the IPIC Treaty have become binding on WTO members.
The predominant objective of Designs Act is to consolidate the earlier laws which were not in compliance with the International design jurisprudence and other main objective is for the protection of novel and innovative original designs from getting copied resulting in the loss for the proprietor and also for ensuring that the creator or the originator of the design is not deprived of his rights and reward for creating it. This industrial design also helps the property holder to increase the attention of the customers thereby increasing the commercial value of the product for expansion of market. The important objective of designs act is also to prevent the exploitation of designs by big hands who adopt anti-competitive ways to compete its rival.
Acts and Laws :
In India, the protection of SICLD is administered by the Office of CGPDTM under the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act 2000 and Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Rules 2001 . Although the first use of the layout design anywhere is sufficient to claim protection, the creator should register the design to avoid infringement. National Laws and Acts protect any IP in the respective territory. Still, for protecting the topography in another country, the inventor can register it by filing individually in the country of interest. Although, the international treaty, namely the Washington Treaty on Intellectual Property in respect of Integrated Circuits, 1989 has been signed by a few countries including, India, but the treaty is not in force as of now.
Additional Information :
• The right holder can enforce his rights against infringement through civil actions. These actions include injunctions, damages and seizure of goods.
• The international legal framework has kept it open to the member countries to protect such designs under the sui generis law . It‘s up to the countries whether they want to protect these Layout-Designs under Copyright, Patents, Utility Models, Industrial Designs, Unfair Competition or any other law.
• In the case of right of registration for Commissioned Works, which means the original Layout-Designs has been created under the commission or a contract of employment, the right of registration to such Layout-Design shall belong to the person who commissioned the work or to the employer in the absence of any contractual provision to the contrary.
• The application can be filed by any resident of India or whose principal place of business is in India. In case of a joint application, the first-mentioned applicant must be Indian or have a business in India.
Effects Of Registration :
Under the Act, no legal action can be taken in respect of infringement of an Unregistered layout-design. However, in the case of a registered layout-design, its Registered proprietor gets the exclusive right to use the layout-design and to obtain Relief for infringement.
A registered layout-design is infringed when a person other than the registered Proprietor, who is not a registered user,
i) Reproduces, whether by incorporating in a semiconductor integrated circuit (IC) Or otherwise, a registered layout design in its entirety or any part of it which is Original;
ii) Unauthorized imports, sells or otherwise distributes for commercial purposes a Registered layout-design or a semiconductor IC incorporating such registered Layout-design or an article incorporating such semiconductor IC. However, Suppose a person does any of these acts having no knowledge, or no reasonable Ground to know that this act, while it was being performed, was prohibited
Because of the use of a registered layout-design or a semiconductor IC Incorporating a registered layout design. In such a case he can still continue with
The act, after the fact of his using a registered layout-design or an article Incorporating it comes to his knowledge, provided he pays a mutually agreed Royalty to the registered proprietor in respect of the stock in hand, or ordered Before he learnt that his act was unauthorized and prohibited. Where a person on the basis of scientific evaluation or analysis of a registered layout-Design creates another original layout-design he shall have the right to reproduce, Import, or sell the other layout design created by him without being guilty of Infringement.
The Act also provides that a person who by application of independent intellect Creates a layout-design, which is identical to a registered layout design then any act of Such person in respect of the layout-design so created shall not constitute an Infringement of the registered layout-design.
Registration of a layout-design is a prima facie evidence of its validity in all legal Proceedings and for assignments and transmissions, A registered layout-design can Not be held invalid in any legal proceedings, on the ground that it was not Registerable design, except on the plea that it was original and that such evidence Was not submitted before the Registrar before registration.
Assignment and Transmission
The registered proprietor of a layout-design has the right to assign it to another Person. The layout-design is also transmissible. Assignment or transmission can be With or without the goodwill of the business concerned. However, if the assignment is Made without the goodwill of the business in which the layout-design has been or is Used, the assignee is required to advertise the assignment. For that, he has to apply to The Registrar, within six months of the date of the assignment (or within an extended Period not more than three months as allowed by the Registrar), for directions. A person who becomes entitled to a layout-design by assignment or transmission has to apply to the Registrar to register his title.
• International Agreements
In order to fulfil the requirement of a treaty, convention or arrangement, the Central Government may notify.
in the official Gazette, a foreign country as a Convention country, which affords to Indian citizens similar privileges as granted To its own citizens in matters of registration and protection of layout-designs. Citizens of a convention country are entitled to similar privileges, as citizens of India, strictly on the basis of reciprocity. The term ‘country’ in this context Includes any group of countries, or union of countries or inter-governmental Organization.
• Registrar- The Government of India appoints a person to be known as a registrar of the SICLD. He has both administrative and legal powers.
• Appellate Board- Any person aggrieved by an order or decision of the Registrar may file An appeal to the Layout Design Appellate Board. The procedure and powers of the Appellate Board are that of a civil court as given under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. The Appellate Board consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and such other Members as may be appointed by the Central Government. The functions of the Appellate Board may be exercised by a Bench of the Appellate Board. A Bench shall consist of one Judicial Member and one Technical Member.
1. https://blog.ipleaders.in/semiconductor-integrated-circuit-layout-design-act-2000/?amp=1 < < Semiconductor Integrated Circuit
2. https://www.slideshare.net/jaykhaniya/design-and-layout-of-india << Layout Design Effects
3. https://www.lindapatent.com/en/law_copyright/683.html<< Patent Act
4. https://www.kipo.go.kr/en/HtmlApp? c=30105&catmenu=ek03_02_02 << International Agreement
5. https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/rights-semiconductor-act-2000/?amp=1 << Effects Of Registration
6. https://www.academia.edu/45039463/Registrability_of_Layout_Designs << Registration of Layout Design
8. Law relating to Intellectual Property Rights – V.K Ahuja ( Book )
9. Intellectual Property law – prof. Meenu paul
10. Intellectual Property Rights – prof Rupinder Tiwari
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