Topographies of Semiconductor Products
– Act on Protection of Original Topographies of Semiconductor Products of October 1987, in force since November 7, 1987, last amended in 2017, taking effect as of September 1, 2017.
Membership in International Conventions
Topography means a series of coherent images, documented in any suitable form, representing the three-dimensional pattern of the layers of a semiconductor product, wherein each of the images represents the pattern (or part thereof) of a layer of the product in a stage of the production thereof.
Exploitation means selling, letting, or offering for sale, of a topography or semiconductor product comprising the topography.
Filing Office is “Octrooicentrum Nederland”, a department of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl).
Applicant: the maker of an original topography of a semiconductor product, or his legal successor.
Non-residents must have a postal address in the Netherlands. Applicant should be a subject of, or be a resident (either normal, industrial or commercial) of one of the countries of the European Union (EU) or of a country indicated by the EU.
Novelty: there is no novelty search.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Form (in 3-fold) requesting registration (form is prescribed by the Office);
2. Power of attorney (not legalized) if agent is used;
3. Name of applicant requesting registration. Name of maker (if other than applicant);
4. Name and concise functional description (in Dutch and less than 16 words) of topography;
5. Drawings or pictures of topography (in 2-fold), size A4 (210 x 297 mm) or A3 (297 x 420 mm). A4 should be applied for material other than paper;
6. Date of first exploitation of topography;
7. A specimen of the semiconductor product incorporating the topography may accompany the drawings;
8. Applicant may indicate which parts of the topography are not to be shown to third parties. These parts, however, will not be protected by the registration.
Publication: the Office publishes the registrations in the journal “De Industriële Eigendom”.
Exclusive right: the exclusive right on an original topography originates by making the topography. However, infringement actions require a registration of the topography by the Office.
Territory covered: the Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles.
Duration of exclusive right: the maker of the original topography has an exclusive right thereon to exploit the topography. However, this right ends if no registration takes place within two years after the first exploitation. If registration has taken place, the right ends ten years after the end of the registration year, or after the end of the year of the first exploitation (which ever is the first). If neither registration nor exploitation has taken place, the exclusive right ends fifteen years after the year in which the topography has been made. In the latter case, registration at the end of the fifteen-year period starts the ten-year period, which yields a maximum protection period of twenty-five years.
Extension: not possible.
Maintenance fees: there are no annuities to be paid.
Marking of registered products: not compulsory.
Infringement: use of topography or semiconductor products is allowed by third parties for study or reverse engineering purposes.
Penalty for infringement: imprisonment up to six months or a fine provided infringer acted knowingly.
Copyright Act: topographies made after November 7, 1987, are excluded from protection by the Copyright Act.