Topographies of Integrated Circuits

Concepts: (a) integrated circuit; a product, in its final or intermediate form, with at least one active element being the other elements’ interconnections, which are part of the body or the surface of a piece of instrument destined for an electronic function; (b) tracing plot; the three-dimensional disposition of the elements, expressed by any means, of an integrated circuit as well as the three-dimensional disposition prepared for a circuit that is going to be manufactured. A tracing plot is protected only when it is the original. It is considered as original when it is the result of the intellectual effort of its creator and it is not known among the industry dedicated to integrated circuits. When a tracing plot is formed by one or more common elements in the industry dedicated to integrated circuits, it is considered original when the combination of such elements, as a whole, meet the terms of the above-mentioned condition.

Owners: the right to register a tracing plot of an integrated circuit corresponds to its designer; such right could be assigned or be inherited. If such device was designed by two or more persons, the protection right belongs to them. If such device was designed complying with a contract or service, or in a workplace relationship situation, the protection right will correspond to the person who hired the contract or the service, or to the employer, except for any contrary agreement.

Duration: the exclusive right over a tracing plot will have a ten-year term calculated from the first of the following dates (a) the last day of the year in which the first commercial exploitation of the tracing plot began in any country; (b) the date in which the filing application was made before the respective national office. In any case, the protection will expire in a fifteen-year term from the last day of the year in which the plot was created.

Licenses: the owner of a registered tracing plot or in process to be registered could give license to third parties for the exploitation of such tracing plot. All licenses must be registered; the lack of license registration will cause the annulment of it.