Topographies of Semiconductor Products

– Law No. 240 of August 7, 2000.

Filing, Examination

Definition: any final or intermediate topography of a semiconductor product may be filed, provided that it is not common, and provided that it implies an intellectual effort. The topography may not be filed after the lapse of two years from the date of its first commercial exploitation, nor after the lapse of fifteen years from the date at which it has been fixed or coded for the first time. Any filing which does not fulfill the aforesaid conditions shall be null and void.

Applicant: the creator or his assignee may be any physical person or corporate body.

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must appoint a representative residing in the country.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney, duly legalized up to a Lebanese Consulate;
2. Full information to identify the applicant, the topography and the date and place of its first exploitation, otherwise the date at which it has been fixed or coded for the first time;
3. A graphic representation of the topography. The applicant may keep some parts of the topography secret. It may be accompanied by a data carrier and by samples of the product incorporating the topography.

Note: as of April 10, 2015, any application related to IP matters cannot be accepted unless it is accompanied by a power of attorney duly legalized up to a Lebanese Consulate.

The filing shall not be enforceable against third parties if the information provided in the application and completed by the disclosed graphic representation does not permit the identification of the protected topography.

Examination: formal only.


Registration: the registration certificate is issued by the Chairman of the Department for the Protection of Intellectual Property and is published in the Official Gazette.

Beginning of protection: filing date, or the date of the first commercial exploitation, if anterior to the filing date.

Duration: ten years as from the filing date. However, the registration shall become void if the topography is not exploited within fifteen years from the date at which it has been fixed or coded for the first time.

Assignment, license, mortgage, and in general, any agreement involving a registered semiconductor: must be made in writing, otherwise, it shall be null and void. Moreover, it should be recorded at the Semiconductors Register to be enforceable against third parties. Late recordal entails heavy surtaxes.

Infringement: shall be considered as infringement (a) any copy of the protected topography; (b) the exploitation or the importation of that copy, of any semiconductor product containing it, for commercial purposes. Such prohibition does not include the copying for evaluation, analysis or educational purposes, or the development of a different registrable topography based on the said analysis and evaluation.

Bona fide holder: the above prohibition shall not be enforceable against a bona fide holder of a semiconductor product, however, he shall be compelled to pay a fair compensation should he decide to pursue the commercial exploitation of that product.