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Semiconductor & Integrated Circuits

Semiconductor for Integrated Circuits Layout Designs 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 Designs Act defines ‘Layout Design’ as, layout of transistors & 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 on insulating material or even inside the semiconductor material and designed to perform an electronic circuitry function.

Registerability of Layout-Design
A Layout Design which is

  • Not original
  • Has been commercially exploited in India or in a convention country or
  • Not inherently distinctive or distinguishable from any other registered Layout-Design, such a 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. Semiconductor ICs have become the building blocks of modern electronic, information and communication systems. Developments in refining semiconductor IC and the creation, preservation and exploitation of their IP rights is a major global concern. In India, the SICLD Act, 2000, along with the SICLD Rules, 2001, is the prevailing law. Registering the layout-design under the Act gives the rights holder the exclusive right to the layout-design and to obtain relief in respect of infringement. Agnihotri and Jha Associates provides comprehensive services towards registration and protection of layout designs of the semiconductor integrated circuits. We also have the know-how and resources to tackle prosecution of people/parties that infringe registered designs and enforcement of the rights thereof.

SICL – Design services include:

  • Opine on whether a design is suitable for registration
  • Filing and Prosecution of a design application Licensing
  • Cancellation of designs
  • Due diligence support for licensing as well as for litigation
  • Negotiating and settling registered design disputes
  • ​Enforcing design registration rights against infringers