Topographies of Semiconductor Products

– Royal Decree No. M/27 dated 29/5/1425 A.H. (The Law of Patents, Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties and Industrial Models), in force since September 6, 2004.
– Implementing Regulations, effective as of December 26, 2004, as amended and effective as of December 20, 2015.

Filing and Protection

Definition: the term “integrated circuit” means a product in its final or intermediate form in which the elements, at least one of which is active, and some or all of the interconnections are integrally formed in or on a piece of material, and the purpose of this is to perform an electronic function. The term “layout design” means any three-dimensional disposition of the elements of an integrated circuit -one of such elements at least shall be active- and of some or all of the interconnections of the integrated circuit, or the three-dimensional disposition prepared for an integrated circuit intended for manufacturing.

Conditions for filing: an application for registration of a design of an integrated circuit may be filed, if the design has not been commercially exploited before or was subject to commercial exploitation for a period not exceeding two years in any part of the world. The certificate of design shall be granted, if the design is original; i.e., it is a result of a mental effort exerted by the designer himself, and was unfamiliar to creators of designs and manufacturers of integrated circuits when it is produced. 

Electronic filing: available. 

Filing Office: Saudi Patent Office.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. 1 e-copy of a power of attorney showing legalization of the Saudi Arabian Consulate;
2. 1 e-copy of a deed of assignment (if not the applicant) showing legalization of the Saudi Arabian Consulate;
3. Description of the design indicating the electronic function of such design;
4. Documents for identification or illustration of the topography (drawings or photos of the layout or the mask);
5. A sample of each integrated circuit, which has been commercially exploited (upon request).

Notes: applications are now filed using an online filing system, developed recently by the Saudi Patent Office; accordingly, a full electronic copy of the related documents, such as legalized assignment document and power of attorney, are now uploaded to the Saudi filing system; however, in case the Saudi Patent Office requests a paper copy of the same, it shall issue an online Formal Examination Report requesting the same.
Documents 1 and 2 must be electronically filed within three months from the application filing date.

Duration: ten years from the application date in Saudi Arabia or from the date of the first commercial use anywhere in the world. In any case, the protection period may not exceed fifteen years from the date of developing the design.

Annuities: the same as for “Patents“.