What is a Topography of Semiconductor Products

What is a Topography of Semiconductor Products ?

Topography of Semiconductor Products (hereinafter referred to as "topography") is a series of fixed or coded in any manner, interrelated patterns that represent a three-dimensional permanent arrangement of layers the product is made of, where each pattern refers to a model of one layer of a semiconductor product or of a part thereof, or of a surface of a semiconductor products of its part in individual manufacturing stages

What is Subject of Protection ?

The Act No. 146/2000 (PDF, 112,6 kB) Coll. on Protection of Topographies of Semiconductor Products provides for the protection of topographies that are the result of creator's intellectual effort and are not common in the semiconductor industry.

What is the Obligatory Content of Applications ?

Any person who wishes to apply for the registration of topography shall file an application in writing in respect of topography for which protection is sought (hereinafter referred to as "the application") with the Office.

The application shall contain:

  1. a request for registration in the Register containing the title of the topography, name, address and nationality of the applicant or the name of commercial establishment thereof, if the applicant is a legal entity;
  2. material identifying the topography, or the semiconductor product proper which contains the topography;
  3. the date of the day of first commercial exploitation, as well as the name and address of the author, if the applicant is not the author;
  4. documents establishing the entitlement to topography protection, as well as the name and address of the author, if the applicant is not the author;
  5. documents concerning the attorney, optionally a power of attorney, if the applicant is represented;
  6. a signature of the applicant or of the person acting for the applicant.

The applicant is entitled to mark some of the required material as trade secret under §51 of the Commercial Code.

What is the Course of Procedure Regarding Applications ?

Procedure regarding the application is based on so-called "registration principle". If the application complies with the prescribed requirements, the Office shall enter the application into the Register. The Office shall further issue a registration certificate and shall publish the registration of the topography in the Official Gazette of the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic. Where the application does not comply with the prescribed requirements, the Office shall invite the applicant to remedy the defects. If the applicant does not remedy the defect within the prescribed time limit, the Office shall terminate the procedure. The Office shall cancel the topography from the Register following a request by any person, if the requirements applied by the Office are not complied with. Cancellation of a topography from Register has the same effect as if the topography had never been registered.

What is the Duration of Protection ?

Topography protection shall start on the date of the first commercial exploitation of the topography, if the application has been duly filed with the Office within two years of such exploitation, or on the date of filing of regular application with the Office, provided the topography has not been previously commercially exploited. Duration of protection of a topography shall expire after ten years from the end of the calendar year of its creation.

What are the Rights of Topography Owners ?

A topography owner is entitled to exploit and reproduce the topography, transfer the rights of topography ownership to a third person, provide consent or prohibition on reproducing such topography, manufacture a semiconductor product which contains the protected topography, and exploit commercially the topography or the semiconductor product which contains the protected topography.