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Information on IC Topographies

What is topography of integrated circuit?

Integrated circuit means a product, in its final form or an intermediate form, in which the elements, at least one of which is an active element, and some or all of the interconnections are integrally formed in and/or on a piece of material and which is intended to perform an electronic function.

Topography (layout-design (arrangement)) of integrated circuit means the three-dimensional disposition, however expressed, of the elements, at least one of which is an active element, and of some or all of the interconnections of an integrated circuit, or such a three-dimensional composition prepared for an integrated circuit intended for manufacture.

Original topographies created as a result of their creators’ own intellectual effort shall be protected, if they are not commonplace to the creators of topographies and manufacturers of integrated circuits at the time of their creation.

A topography shall be deemed original unless there is proof to the contrary.

The following shall not be deemed to be the subject matter of an application:

  • projects, processes and technological means used to manufacture topographies or integrated circuits;
  • information stored in integrated circuits;
  • other creations that can be called topographies but which do not correspond to the meaning defined in the Law No. 655/1999 on the Protection of Topographies of Integrated Circuits.

Who can get a certificate of registration?

The right to protection of a topography shall belong to its creator or his successor in title. Where there are several creators, the right to the protection of the topography shall belong to them jointly unless an agreement between them provides to the contrary. In the case of topographies created and submitted for registration by an employee, to the application shall be attached: the confirmation of the employer, if the applicant is a natural person, an employee of the establishment or the confirmation of the Administrative Council or superior body of the unit, where one of the applicants/creators is the owner of the unit, that the applicant is entitled to seek protection on his behalf.

Benefit of the registration

The development of a topography of integrated circuit requires intellectual effort, manpower and considerable capital investment. Copying is performed by photographing each layer of an integrated circuit with subsequent production of masks based on these topographies.

Therefore, a ground for registration of a topography may be preventing illegal copying of topographies of integrated circuits.