Topographies of Semiconductor Products

– Semiconductors Protection Act, in force since October 1, 1988, as amended up to Federal Law published in the Federal Law Gazette I No. 37/2018.


Applicant: the creator or his assignee or the authorized natural or legal person having the residence in Austria or in a country which grants reciprocity. 

Applicants not living in the country: must appoint a professional representative.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident patent attorney):
1. Characterization of the topography (title);
2. Documents identifying or illustrating the topography (drawings or photographs of the layout or of the mask or of separate layers of the semiconductor product; additionally, the semiconductor product itself or an illustrative specification may be filed);
3. Date of first commercial use, if the date is before the filing date;
4. If applicable: indication of name, nationality, domicile of a creator and his written consent to the use of the topography in Austria;
5. Power of attorney (no legalization required), may be filed later.

Examination Procedure

Examination: only formal.

Opposition: not provided for.


Registration: the right to protection of the semiconductor will be entered in the Semiconductor Register of the Austrian Patent Office. 

Publication: the registration on the Semiconductors Register will be published in the Official Gazette. 

Beginning of protection: protection arises from the day of the first commercial use of the topography provided the application is filed within two years of this day, or, in case of no commercial use, from the day of application. 

Duration: protection ends at the latest with the end of the tenth calendar year after the year of the beginning of protection.

Annuities: none, only a filing fee.

Working: not required.

Claiming protection: not earlier than the semiconductor rights have been registered. 

Infringement: infringements of semiconductors protection rights may be prosecuted as infringements of patent rights.

Licenses: possible and registrable in the Semiconductors Registers. 

Assignment: possible, completely or in partial parts; should be registered.

Refusal of Protection after Registration

Cancellation: on request of anyone on the basis that the topography was not protectable, that the title to a semiconductor’s right had lapsed or that the application had not been filed in time, or that the documents filed did not correspond to the registered semiconductor product.