Topographies of Semiconductor Products

– Law for the Protection of Topographies of Microelectronic Semiconductor Products, No. XXXIX of 1991 and Decree No. 19 of 1991 on Formal Requirements of the Application for Protection of the Topography of Microelectronic Semiconductor Products, both in force since January 1, 1992.


Definition – subject of protection: protection is granted for any original topography of a microelectronic semiconductor product. A topography is original if it is the result of intellectual activity unless it is common in the art at the time of its creation. A topography involving common parts can be protected if the relative arrangement of the parts is original.

Entitlement to protection: the creator or his assignee. Foreign nationals of a country ensuring reciprocity to Hungarian applicants are also entitled to protection. 

Legal representation: applicants not having residence in the European Economic Area (EEA) must be represented by a Hungarian authorized patent attorney or attorney-at-law or by a patent attorney or attorney-at-law authorized to practice in an EEA member State and registered for representation in Hungary.  

Scope of protection: the protection includes protection against unauthorized use of the topography, i.e. copying, selling, exportation and importation for commercial use of any semiconductor product containing the topography. The protection also extends to the independently usable original parts of the topography and any means or product inseparably containing the topography. The protection does not extend to: the principle, process or system on which the topography is based; any information stored in the semiconductor product; the use of the topography for analysis or education purposes; new original topographies created on the basis of the protected topography. 

Filing requirements: an application including a request and a representation suitable for identifying the topography should be filed with the Intellectual Property Office.

Priority: no protection can be claimed after the expiry of two years from the date of the first common use of the topography in any country.

Unity: only one topography can be claimed in one application. 

Examination: concerns only formal requirements. The Intellectual Property Office does not examine the originality of the subject of the application.

Duration: ten years from the date of filing the application or – if it is earlier – from the first public use of the topography in any country.

Cancellation and negative statement proceedings: before a special Division of the Intellectual Property Office.

Infringement procedure: before the Metropolitan Court.

Appeal: a request for reconsideration of the decisions of the IP Office concerning registration of grant may be made. Expiry and forfeiture, cancellation and negative statement can be filed with the Metropolitan Court, the decisions of which can be appealed before the Metropolitan Appeal Court.