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Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits Law In India- Everything you must know
Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits
In compliance with the TRIPS Agreement, India has enacted the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Designs Act, 2000 in order to provide protection to layout designs of integrated circuits. The Act defines “Layout Design” to mean a layout of transistors and other circuitry elements and includes lead wires connecting such elements and expressed in any manner in a semiconductor integrated circuit. Under the (Indian) Semiconductor for Integrated Circuits Layout-Designs Act, 2000, a Semiconductor Integrated Circuit has been defined as a product having transistors and other circuitry elements which are inseparably formed on a semiconductor material or an insulating material or inside the semiconductor material and designed to perform an electronic circuitry function.
Registerability of Layout-Design
A Layout Design which is (a) not original (b) has been commercially exploited in India or in a convention country or (c) not inherently distinctive or distinguishable from any other registered Layout-Design cannot be registered as a Layout Design. In order to claim protection for Layout Design, it is mandatory that it should be registered.
Duration of Protection
Registration of a Layout-Design is valid only for a period of 10 years from the date of filing an application for registration or commercial exploitation in any country, whichever is earlier.
Infringement of Layout-Design
In addition to the civil remedies available, an infringement of a Layout-Design is considered to be a criminal offence in India. Infringement of a registered layout design has been made punishable under the (Indian) Semiconductor for Integrated Circuits Layout-Designs Act, 2000 with imprisonment of up to three years or fine of Rs 50,000 (approx. US$ 800) up to maximum of Rs 10,00,000 (approx. US$ 16,000), or with both.
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