Science & Technology Policy
THE SEMICONDUCTOR INTEGRATED CIRCUITS LAYOUT-DESIGN ACT, 2000

Act No. of Year: NO. 37 OF 2000

Enactment Date: [4th September, 2000]

Act Objective: An Act to provide for the protection of semiconductor integrated circuits layout-designs and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. WHEREAS the Final Act embodying the results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations done at Marrakesh on the 15th day of April, 1994 provides for establishment of the World Trade Organisation; AND WHEREAS the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights is part of the said Final Act; AND WHEREAS the Government of India, having ratified the said Final Act, should, inter alia, make provisions for giving effect to section 6 in Part II of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights relating to Layout-Design (Typographies) of Integrated Circuits: BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-first Year of the Republic of India as follows:-




ACT YEAR NO: 200037

Section Text: 


CHAPTER I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title, extent and commencement.-(1) This Act may be called the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint; and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act, and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall
be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

2. Definitions.-In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) ''Appellate Board'' means the Appellate Board established under section 32;

(b) ''assignment'' means an assignment in writing by act of the parties concerned;

(c) ''Bench'' means a Bench of the Appellate Board;

(d) ''Chairperson'' means the Chairperson of the Appellate Board;

(e) ''commercial exploitation'', in relation to Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design, means to sell, lease, offer or exhibit for sale or otherwise distribute such semiconductor integrated circuit for any commercial purpose;

(f) ''convention country'' means a country notified as such under section 93;

(g) ''Judicial Member'' means a Member of the Appellate Board appointed as such under this Act, and includes the Chairperson or such Vice-Chairperson who possesses any of the qualifications specified in sub-section (3) of section 34;

(h) ''layout-design'' means a layout of transistors and other circuitry elements and includes lead wires connecting such elements and expressed in any manner in a semiconductor integrated circuit;

(i) ''Member'' means a Judicial Member or a Technical Member of the Appellate Board and includes the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson;

(j) ''notify" means to notify in the Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Journal published by the Registrar;

(k) ''prescribed'' means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(l) ''register'' means the Register of Layout-Designs referred to in section 6;

(m) ''registered'' (with its grammatical variations) means registered under this Act;

(n) ''registered layout-design" means a layout-design which is actually on the register;

(o) ''registered proprietor'', in relation to a layout-design, means the person for the time being entered in the register as proprietor of the layout-design;

(p) ''registered user'' means a person who is for the time being registered as such under section 25;

(q) ''Registrar'' means the Registrar of Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design referred to in section 3;

(r) ''semiconductor integrated circuit'' means a product having transistors and other circuitry elements which are inseparably formed on a semiconductor material or an insulating material or inside the semiconductor material and designed to perform an electronic circuitry 
function;

(s) ''Technical Member'' means a Member of the Appellate Board who is not a Judicial Member and includes the Chairperson or such Vice-Chairperson who possesses any of the qualifications specified in sub-section (4) of section 34;

(t) ''transmission'' means transmission by operation of law, devolution on the personal representation of a deceased person or any other mode of transfer not being assignment;

(u) ''Vice-Chairperson'' means the Vice-Chairperson of the Appellate Board;

(v) any reference to the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry shall be construed as including a reference to any office of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry.

CHAPTER II

THE REGISTER AND CONDITIONS OF REGISTRATION

3. Registrar of Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design.-(1)The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint a person to be known as the Registrar of Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design for the purposes of this Act.

(2) The Central Government may appoint such other officers with such designation as it thinks fit for the purpose of discharging, under the superintendence and direction of the Registrar, such functions of the Registrar under this Act as he may from time to time authorise them to
discharge.

4. Power of Registrar to transfer pending matters.-Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 3,the Registrar may, by order in writing and for reasons to be recorded therein, withdraw any matter pending before an officer appointed under the said sub-section (2) and deal with such matter himself either de novo or from the stage it was so withdrawn or transferred the same to another officer so appointed who may subject to the special direction in the order of transfer deal with the matter either de novo or from the stage it was so transferred.

5. Registry.-(1) For the purposes of this Act, there shall be established a Registry which shall be known as the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry.

(2) The head office of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry shall be at such place as the Central Government may specify and for the purposes of facilitating the registration of layout-designs, there may be established, at such places as the Central Government may think fit, branch offices of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry.

(3) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, define the territorial limits within which an office of the semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry may exercise its functions.

(4) There shall be seal of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry.

6. Register of Layout-Designs.-(1) For the purposes of this Act, a record called the Register of Layout-Designs shall be kept at the head office of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry wherein shall be entered all registered layout -designs with the names, addresses and descriptions of the proprietor and such other matters related to the registered layout-designs as may be prescribed.

(2) Subject to the superintendence and direction of the Central Government, the register shall be kept under the control and management of the Registrar.

(3) There shall be kept at each Branch office of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry a copy of the register and other documents as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct.

7. Prohibition of registration of certain layout-designs.-(1) A layout-design-

(a) which is not original; or

(b) which has been commercially exploited anywhere in India or in a convention country; or

(c) which is not inherently distinctive; or

(d) which is not inherently capable of being distinguishable from any other registered layout-design, shall not be registered as a layout-design:

Provided that a layout-design which has been commercially exploited for not more than two years from the date on which an application for its registration has been filed either in India or in a convention the purposes of this sub-section. country shall be treated as not having been commercially exploited for

(2) A layout-design shall be considered to be original if it is the result of its creator's own intellectual efforts and is not commonly known to the creators of layout-designs and manufacturers of semiconductor integrated circuits at the time of its creation:

Provided that a layout-design consisting of such combination of elements and interconnections that are commonly known among creators of layout-designs and manufacturers of semiconductor integrated circuits shall be considered as original if such combination  taken as a whole is the result of its creator's own intellectual efforts.

(3) Where an original layout-design has been created in execution of a commission or a contract of employment, the right of registration to such layout-design under this Act shall belong, in the absence of any contractual provision to the contrary, to t e person who commissioned the work or to the employer.

CHAPTER III

PROCEDURE FOR AND DURATION OF REGISTRATION

8. Application for registration.-(1) Any person claiming to be the creator of a layout-design, who is desirous of registering it, shall apply in writing to the Registrar in the prescribed manner for the registration of his layout-design.

(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be filed in the office of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry within whose territorial limits the principal place of business in India of the applicant or in the case of joint application the principal place of 
business in India of the applicant whose name is first mentioned in the application, as having a place of business in India, is situate:

Provided that, where the applicant or any of the joint applicant does not carry on business in India, the application shall be filed in the office of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry within whose territorial limits the place mentioned in the address for service in India as disclosed in the application is situate.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Registrar may refuse the application or may accept it absolutely or subject to such amendments or modifications, as he may think fit.

9. Withdrawal of acceptance.-Where after the acceptance of an application for registration of layout-design, but before its registration, the Registrar is satisfied that the layout-design is prohibited of registration under section 7, the Registrar may, after hearing the applicant if 
he so desires, withdraw the acceptance and proceed as if the application had not been accepted.

10. Advertisement of application.-(1) When an application for registration of a layout-design has been accepted, the Registrar shall, within fourteen days after the date of acceptance, cause the application as accepted to be advertised in the prescribed manner.

(2) Where after advertisement of an application-

(a) an error in the application has been corrected; or

(b) the application has been permitted to be amended under section 12, the Registrar may in his discretion cause the application to be advertised again or, in any case falling under clause (b), may, instead of causing the application to be advertised again, notify in the prescribed manner the correction or amendment made in the application.

11. Opposition to registration.-(1) Any person may, within three months from the date of the advertisement or re-advertisement of an application for registration or within such further period, not exceeding one month in the aggregate, as the Registrar, o application made to him in the prescribed manner and on payment of the prescribed fee, allows, give notice in writing in the prescribed manner to the
Registrar of opposition to the registration.

(2) The Registrar shall serve a copy of the notice on the applicant for registration and, within two months from the receipt by the applicant of  such copy of the notice of opposition, the applicant shall send to the Registrar in the prescribed manner a counter-statement of the 
grounds on which he relies for his application and if he does not do so, he shall be deemed to have abandoned his application.

(3) If the applicant sends such counter-statement, the Registrar shall serve a copy thereof on the person giving notice of opposition.

(4) Any evidence upon which the opponent and the applicant may rely shall be submitted in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed time to the Registrar, the Registrar shall give an opportunity to them to be heard, if they so desire.

(5) The Registrar shall, after hearing the parties, if so required, and considering the evidence, decide, after taking into account any ground of objection whether relied upon by the opponent or not.

(6) When a person giving notice of opposition or an applicant sending a counter-statement after receipt of a copy of such notice neither resides nor carries on business in India, the Registrar may require him to give security for the costs of proceedings before him and, in
default of such security being duly given, may treat the opposition or application, as the case may be, as abandoned.

12. Correction and amendment.-The Registrar may on such terms as he thinks just-

(a) at any time, whether before or after acceptance of an application for registration under section 8, permit the correction of any error in or in connection with the application or permit an amendment of the application; or

(b) permit correction of any error in, or an amendment of, a notice of opposition or a counter-statement under section 11.

13. Registration.-(1) Subject to the provisions of section 9, when an application for the registration of the layout-design has been accepted and either-

(a) the application has not been opposed and time for notice of opposition has expired; or

(b) the application has been opposed and the opposition has been decided in favour of the applicant, the Registrar shall register the said layout-design in the register and the layout-design shall be registered as of the date of the making of the said application and that date shall be deemed to be the date of registration.

(2) On the registration of a layout-design, the Registrar shall issue to the applicant a certificate in the prescribed form of the registration thereof sealed with the seal of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry.

(3) Where registration of a layout-design is not completed within twelve months from the date of the application by reason of default on the part of the applicant, the Registrar may, after giving notice to the applicant in the prescribed manner, treat the application as abandoned unless it is completed within the time specified 

14. Jointly owned layout-design.-(1) Save as provided in sub-section
(2), nothing in this Act shall authorise the registration of two or more persons who claim to be the creator of a layout-design.

(2) Where the relation between two or more persons claiming to be the creator of layout-design are such that-

(a) both of them or all of them have put the combined intellectual effort in creating such design; or

(b) in relation to the creation of such layout-design both of them or all of them are connected in such manner that intellectual effort of each of them are not distinguishable in creation of such layout-design, those persons may be registered as joint proprietor of the layout-design and this Act shall have effect in relation to any right to the use of the layout-design vested in those persons as if in those rights vested in a single person.

15. Duration of registration.-The registration of a layout-design shall be only for a period of ten 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 country whichever is earlier.

CHAPTER IV

EFFECT OF REGISTRATION

16. No action of infringement of unregistered layout-design.-No person shall be entitled to institute any proceeding to prevent, or to recover damages for, the infringement of an unregistered layout-design.