Topographies of Semiconductor Products
– Law on Topographies of Semiconductor Products (Official Gazette “Sl. glasnik BiH” No. 53, June 29, 2010), in force since January 1, 2011.
Definition: topographies of semiconductor products are interconnected images, regardless of the type of their recording, which represent three-dimensional matrix of layouts of which an integrated circuit, the whole or any of its parts, is made; a topography shall be deemed original if it is the result of the creator’s own intellectual activity or the creative activity of several persons and has not been applied in the industry of semiconductors at the time of its creation.
Applicant: the authors(s), their successors, or legal entity which commissioned the topography.
Foreigners: must appoint a local patent attorney.
Protection of foreigners: they enjoy the same rights as nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in accordance with international contracts, conventions or on the basis of reciprocity.
Filing deadline: within two years from the first commercial use of the topography; within fifteen years from the invention of the topography if not used commercially.
Unity: only one topography can be claimed in one application.
Exceptions to protection: process, system or the technology of production of the topography, or any information stored in the integrated circuit.
Territory covered: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney (no legalization);
2. Title, description and graphical image of the topography;
3. Proof of the commercial use and a sample of the product (if applicable).
Terms for filing missing documents: upon request by the Intellectual Property Office, which sets the deadline of between thirty to sixty days; one extension of between fifteen and sixty days is possible.
Examination: only formal examination. If an application does not meet these examination requirements, the applicant is informed and a deadline thirty days is set for the applicant to file a reply; one extension of between thirty and ninety days is possible.
Registration: for an application that fulfills all requirements for registration, the Intellectual Property Office registers the topography, issues the corresponding registration decision and the certificate of registration, and publishes it in the Official Gazette.
Appeals: no complaint can be lodged against the registration decision, but it may be appealed to the Complaints Authority of the Institute within fifteen days from the receipt of the decision. Furthermore, a decision of the Complaints Authority can also be appealed within thirty days of receipt by filing an administrative suit with the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Duration: ten years from the filing date or the first day of commercial use.
Assignments: applications and/or granted topographies can be assigned; corresponding assignment deeds must be registered with the Intellectual Property Office.
Modification of Protection after Registration
Rights of prior user: the topography has no effect against persons who, at the time of application, had no information that the topography had already been in commercial use; these persons must pay compensation to the owner of the topography starting after becoming aware of its prior commercial use.
Nullification action: during the whole duration of a topography, any interested party can lodge a complaint with the Intellectual Property Office for nullification of the topography on the grounds that all prerequisites for granting the topography have not been fulfilled.