TERM OF PROTECTION OF LAYOUT DESIGN :

Introduction –


According to Section 2(h) , “layout design” means a layout of transistors and other circuitry elements and include lead wires connecting such elements and expressed in any manner in a semiconductor integrated circuit.
The treaty on intellectual property in respect of integrated circuit 1989 defines that “layout design” (Topography) means the three-dimensional disposition however expressed of the elements at least one of which is an active element and one of some are all of interconnections of an integrated circuit or such a 3 dimensional disposition prepared for an integrated Circuit intended for manufacture.
The aim of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000 is to provide protection of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) in the area of Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Layout Designs and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The main focus of SICLD Act is to provide for routes and mechanism for protection of IPR in Chip Layout Designs created and matters related to it. The SICLD Act empowers the registered proprietor of the layout-design an inherent right to use the layout-design, commercially exploit it and obtain relief in respect of any infringement. The initial term of registration is for 10 years; thereafter it may be renewed from time to time.


Commercial exploitation –


Section 2(e) of the act defines the expression “commercial exploitation” in relation to Semiconductor Integrated circuit Layout Design means to sell lease offer exhibit for sale or otherwise distribute such semiconductor integrated circuit for any commercial purpose.
TRANSMISSION –
The term transmission is defined under section 2(t) .It means transmission by operation of law devolution on the personal representation of a deceased person or any other mode of transfer not being assignment.


Layout Design Which Can Be Registered –


Layout design which are original not commercially exploited anywhere in India or in or convention country have distinctiveness and capable of being to distinguishable from another registered . Layout -Design can be registered a layout design is considered to be original if it’s the result of its creators own intellectual efforts and is not commonly known to the creators of layout designs and manufacture of Semiconductor Integrated Circuit at the time of its creation . If creators Layout – Design consists of combination of elements and interconnection that are commonly known among create designs but taken as a whole by its own intellectual effort shall be considered as original work.


Layout Design Which are prohibited From Registration :
Section 7 Of the act prohibits certain layout design from registration . A design
(a) Which is not original; or
(b) Which has been commercially exploited anywhere in India or in a Convention country ;or
(c) Which is not inherently distinctive; or
(d) Which is not inherently capable of being distinguishable from any other Registered Layout Design.


Who can obtain the protection under the Act

The application for the protection of layout design can be made in writing to the registrar in the prescribed manner by the person who is-


• The creator of the layout design
• His legal representative
• A person registered in the prescribed manner as a layout design agent
• A person in the sole and regular employment of the principal

• Other registered users-
 A person may be registered as a registered user of the layout design when the registered proprietor and the proposed registered user apply jointly in writing to the Registrar. The application shall accompany the agreement in writing or its authenticated copy, entered between the registered proprietor and registered user. The registered proprietor also has to submit an affidavit to the satisfaction of the Registrar.

 A person who becomes entitled by assignment or transmission to a registered layout design shall apply to the Registrar in the prescribed manner to registered title. The Registrar on the proof of his title to his satisfaction register him as the proprietor of the layout design. The application can be filed either alone or jointly. The application has to be filed within the territorial limits that is a principal place of business in India of the applicant.



Duration of Registration

The layout design should be filed for registration before publishing it. Once it has been registered under the Act, initial protection will be for 10 years counted from the date of filing an application. If the design is already being used, the date of protection will be counted from the date of first commercial exploitation anywhere in India or in any country, whichever is earlier. If the creator is already using the design, he will get the ownership automatically but, in case of infringement, the registration certificate plays a crucial role as proof of ownership.

Infringements :


i) The act of reproducing the design, either incorporating it in an integrated circuit or using the registered topography as it is, without prior permission .
ii) Importing, selling or distributing the layout design for commercial purposes or selling an integrated circuit in which a protected layout design is incorporated.
Acts Not Considered As An Infringement :
• The acts like scientific evaluation, analysis, research or teaching, do not constitute an act of infringement.
• If a person, on the basis of scientific evaluation or analysis of a registered Layout-Design, creates another Layout-Design which is original within the meaning of Sub-section (2) of Section 7 of SICLD Act, 2000, that person shall have the right to incorporate another Layout-Design in a Semiconductor Integrated Circuit. Such incorporation or performance of any act shall not be regarded as infringement. Any person who contravenes and infringes a registered LayoutDesign, as per the provision under the Act, will be punished either with imprisonment for a term extendable to three years or imposition of a fine ranging from 50, 000 to 10,00,000, or both.
Summary of the provisions-
 To fulfil its obligation under the TRIPS Agreement, India brought the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000, on the Statute Books.
 The Act establishes a registry for IC layout-designs headed by a Registrar.
 Registration of a layout-design confers on the proprietor of the IP rights to sue for infringement and assign and transmit one’s rights.
 For registration, a layout design has to be original, inherently distinctive and capable of being distinguishable from any other registered layout-design.
 If a layout design has been commercially exploited in India or a convention country for less than 2 years, it is treated as not having been commercially exploited, for filing an application for its registration.
 The registration application is made to the Registrar who, after processing, advertises it inviting opposition, if any. After fairly dealing with the opposition, the Registrar, registers the layout design, if the opposition is not upheld.
 A user of a registered design has also to be registered.
 Offences under the Act fall under the following categories:
 infringement
 falsely representing a layout-design as registered
 improperly describing a place of business as connected with the Registry
 falsification of entries in the Register; and offences by companies
 Abetment of acts, committed outside India, that would amount to an offence in India under the Act, can be punished.
 Any person may obtain a certified copy of any entry in the Register, or any document, paying a prescribed fee.


REFERENCE:
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<&lt; 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

7. https://www.wipo.int/patents/en/topics/integrated_circuits.html


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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