The Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act 2000 provides for protection of Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Government of India has established Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Registry (SICLDR) as the office for filings of application for Semiconductor IC Layout Design Registration.
The Act protects Intellectual Property (i.e. layout-design) of Semiconductor Integrated Circuits. It gives exclusive right to the creator of layout-design for 10 years. Exclusive right enables the owner to commercially exploit the creation and in case of infringement, get reliefs permitted under the Act.
What is semiconductor layout design?
A semiconductor layout design means a layout of transistors and other circuitry elements and includes lead wires connecting such elements and expressed in any manner in semiconductor integrated circuits.
What can be registered under SICLD Act 2000?
Any Integrated Circuit Layout Design satisfying following criteria can be registered under this Act :-
- Capable of distinguishing from any other layout design
- Have not been commercially exploited anywhere in India or in a convention country.
A creator of a layout design an Indian national or national of country outside India which accords to citizens of India similar and has principal place of business in India or if he does not carry out business in India , has place of service in India can apply for registration.
An Application to the registrar for the registration of a layout design shall be made on form LD-1 accompanied with Registration fees and three set of drawing or photograph of mask layout which describe the layout design applied for registration. These can be submitted as GDS-II file along with the PDK information used in the design.
The registration fee is Rs. 5000/-.
A period of 10 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 convention country or country specified by Government of India whichever is earlier.
The registration cycle includes
- Filing of application by the creator of the layout-design at the SICLD Registry.
- The acceptance of application.
- Registrar may accept, refuse the application or accept with some modifications.
- The accepted applications shall be advertised within 14 days of acceptance.
- Any opposition to the advertisement can be filed within 3 months from the date of advertisement.
- The counter-statement to the notice of opposition, if any, to be filed within 2 months from the date of receipt of copy of notice of opposition from the Registrar.
- A copy of the counter statement provided to the opposing party.
- The Registrar may take hearing with the parities.
- The Registrar will decide on the originality of the layout-design and grant or reject the application for registration based on the conclusions reached by him.
- Aggrieved party can appeal to Appellate Board or in its absence Civil Court for relief on any ruling of the Registrar.
Once a company or an individual launches a new product with some unique feature, he/ she/ they can submit application with the drawing/ mask and layout of the circuit for registration.