Topographies and semiconductors

Three-dimensional structures of microelectronic semiconductor products may – as far as they have distinctive features, i.e. are not ordinary – be protected by filing applications with the Czech Industrial Property Office and registration in the Semiconductor Protection Register.

The Directive gives legal definition of the notions, “semiconductor”, “topography” and “commercial use”. It introduces the obligation to give legal protection to the topographies in so far as the latter are product of intellectual efforts and are not in common use in the semiconductor industry. The right is granted alternatively by registration or first use, defining the range of persons who are entitled to register and protect the topography of semiconductors. The period of protection is set at 10 years beginning either from the end of the calendar year in which the topography has first been used in trade in any part of the world or, under the registration scheme, from the end of the calendar year in which the application for registration has been filed.

Within the registration scheme, the right originates from the date on which the application has been filed.