FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions - Topography of semiconductor products
Who has the right for topography protection?
The right to protection of a topography belongs to its originator, i.e. the person who created the topography by his or her own creative intellectual activity. If the originator created the topography in the course of performing tasks arising from an employment relationship, the right to protection of the topography belongs to the employer of the originator of the topography. If the right to protection of the topography does not accrue to the originator or to the employer of the originator of the topography, the right to protection shall belong to the person who, on the basis of an exclusive authorisation obtained from the originator or the employer of the originator of the topography, was the first to commercially exploit, on the territory of the Slovak Republic, a topography which had not been commercially exploited anywhere in the world before that time. The right to protection of the topography shall also belong to the legal successors of the above-mentioned persons.
The right to protection of the topography of a semiconductor product may be exercised in the territory of the Slovak Republic by the above-mentioned persons who are citizens or have their residence, registered office, business or organisational unit in the territory of the Slovak Republic or in a State which is a member of the World Trade Organisation. Other persons may exercise the right to protection of the topography only if the condition of reciprocity is fulfilled.
What must a semiconductor product topography application contain?
An application for a semiconductor product topography must include:
- an application for registration of the topography,
- documents enabling the topography to be identified, where applicable, the semiconductor product itself containing the topography and the date of first commercial use of the topography, if earlier than the date of filing of the application.
The documents permitting the identification of the topography of the semiconductor product shall include drawings or photographs of patterns of layers or masks for the manufacture of the semiconductor product or of individual layers of the semiconductor product, numbered according to the time sequence of manufacture. Details critical to the identification of the topography of the semiconductor product must be distinguishable on the drawings or photographs.
What is the procedure for a semiconductor product topography application?
The topography application procedure is based on the so-called registration principle. If the application contains the prescribed particulars, the Office shall enter it in the register, issue a certificate of registration to the applicant and announce the registration in the Office's Gazette.If the application does not comply with the statutory requirements, the Office shall invite the applicant to remedy the deficiencies of the application. If the applicant fails to do so within the prescribed period, the Office shall discontinue the application.The Office shall, on the application of a third party, delete the topography from the Register if it is established that the conditions laid down by law for its entry in the Register have not been fulfilled. The erasure shall have effect as if the topography had not been entered in the Register.
When does the protection of the topography of a semiconductor product arise?
Protection of the topography shall commence on the date of the first commercial use of the topography, if the application has been filed with the Office within two years of such use, or on the date of filing of the application, if the topography has not previously been used commercially.
What is the protection period of the topography of a semiconductor product?
The protection of the topography of a semiconductor product shall expire ten years from the end of the calendar year in which the protection of the topography arose.
What are the rights of the owner of the topography of a semiconductor product?
The owner of the topography of a semiconductor product shall have the exclusive right to use the topography, to reproduce the topography, to transfer the rights in the topography to a third party and to consent to or prohibit the reproduction of the topography, to manufacture a semiconductor product containing the topography and to commercially exploit or import the topography or a semiconductor product containing the topography for that purpose.