Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act,2000
has been enacted to provide
for the protection of semiconductor integrated circuits layout-designs
and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. According to
the Act, the term 'layout-design' means "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".
Here, the term 'semiconductor integrated circuit' means "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
The Act is implemented by the Department
of Information Technology, Ministry of Information Technology. The
Act is applicable for Integrated Circuits Layout-Design IPR applications
filed at the Registry in India. The
Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry (SICLDR)
is the office where the applications on Layout-Designs of integrated circuits
are filed for registration of created IPR. The Registry has jurisdiction
all over India.
The main provisions of the Act are:-
- The Central Government may, by notification in the Official
Gazette, appoint a person to be known as the 'Registrar of Semiconductor
Integrated Circuits Layout-Design' for the purposes of this Act. Also,
there shall be a 'Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry'
for the purposes of facilitating the registration of layout-designs
at such places as the Central Government may specify.
- For the purposes of this Act, a record called the 'Register
of Layout-Designs' shall be kept at the head office of the Semiconductor
Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry, wherein shall be entered
all registered layout-designs with the names, addresses and descriptions
of the proprietor and such other matters related to the registered layout-designs
as may be prescribed.
- Prohibition of registration of those layout-designs
- Are not original; or
- Have been commercially exploited anywhere in India
or in a convention country; or
- Are not inherently distinctive; or
- Are not inherently capable of being distinguishable
from any other registered layout-design.
- A layout-design shall be considered to be original if
it is the result of its creator's own intellectual efforts and is not
commonly known to the creators of layout-designs and manufacturers of
semiconductor integrated circuits at the time of its creation. Any person
claiming to be the creator of a layout-design, who is desirous of registering
it, shall apply in writing to the Registrar in the prescribed manner
for the registration of his layout-design. Every application shall be
filed in the office of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design
Registry within whose territorial limits, the principal place of business
of the applicant is situated in India .
- When an application for registration of a layout-design
has been accepted, the Registrar shall, within fourteen days after the
date of acceptance, cause the application as accepted to be advertised
in the prescribed manner.
- Any person may, within three months from the date of
the advertisement or re-advertisement of an application for registration
or within such further period, not exceeding one month in the aggregate
give notice in writing in the prescribed manner to the Registrar, of
opposition to the registration. The Registrar shall serve a copy of
the notice on the applicant for registration and, within two months
from the receipt by the applicant of such copy of the notice of opposition,
the applicant shall send to the Registrar in the prescribed manner a
counter-statement of the grounds on which he relies for his application
and if he does not do so, he shall be deemed to have abandoned his application.
- Also, where registration of a layout-design is not completed
within twelve months from the date of the application by reason of default
on the part of the applicant, the Registrar may, after giving notice
to the applicant in the prescribed manner, treat the application as
abandoned unless it is completed within the time specified in that behalf
in the notice.
- The registration of a layout-design shall be only for
a period of ten years counted from the date of filing an application
for registration or from the date of first commercial exploitation anywhere
in India or in any country, whichever is earlier.
- A registered layout-design is infringed by a person
who, not being the registered proprietor of the layout-design or a registered
- Does any act of reproducing, whether by incorporating
in a semiconductor integrated circuit or otherwise, a registered
layout-design in its entirety or any part thereof, which is not
original within the meaning of the Act.
- Does any act of importing or selling or otherwise
distributing for commercial purposes a registered layout-design
or a semiconductor integrated circuit, incorporating such registered
layout-design or an article incorporating such a semiconductor integrated
circuit, containing such registered layout-design for the use of
which such person is not entitled under the Act.
- Any person who contravenes knowingly and willfully any
of the provisions of the Act or falsely represent a layout-design as
registered, shall be punishable with imprisonment or with fine or with