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An overview of Layout-design of a semiconductor integrated circuit

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  • Property intellectual law No. 07/VBHN-VPQH dated June 25, 2019
  • Circular No. 01/2007/TT-BKHCN dated February 14, 2007

1. What is Layout design of Semi-Conductor Integrated Circuit?

Legally, Layout-design of a semiconductor integrated circuit (below referred to as layout-design) means a three-dimensional disposition of circuit elements and interconnections in a semiconductor integrated circuit.
Accordingly, Layout-design right shall be on the basis of a decision of the competent state agency on the grant of a protection title according to the registration procedures stipulated in this Law or the recognition of international registration under treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.

2. General conditions for layout-design eligible for protection

A layout-design need to satisfy the following conditions:
a) Being original;
b) Being commercially novel.

a. Originality of layout-designs

a) Initially, A layout-design shall be original if satisfying the following conditions:
– Being result of author’s creative labor;
– Having not been widely known among creators of layout-designs or manufacturers of semiconductor integrated circuits at the time of creation.
b) Besides, A layout-design shall be original only if such combination, taken as a whole, is original.

b. Commercial novelty of layout-designs

a) First of all, A layout-design shall be commercially novel if it has not yet been commercially exploited anywhere in the world prior to the filing date of the registration application.
b) Additionally, A layout-design shall not have lost its commercial novelty if the applicant fills the layout-design registration application within 2 years from the first exploiting date anywhere in the world by the person who has the right to register it or licensee.
c) Plus, Commercial exploitation of a layout-design mentioned in Clause b of this Article means any act of public distribution for commercial purposes of a semiconductor integrated circuit produced by incorporation of such layout-design, or a commodity containing such semiconductor integrated circuit.

3. The right to register layout-designs

a) Firstly, the following organizations and individuals shall have the right to register layout-designs:
– Authors who have created layout-designs with own efforts and expenses; 
– Organizations or individuals who have supplied funds and material facilities to authors in the form of job assignment or hire unless otherwise agreed by the involved parties whose agreements.
b) Secondly, where more than one organization or individual has jointly created or invested in the creation of a layout-design, these organizations or individuals shall all have the registration right with consensus.
c) Thirdly, a person who has the registration right may assign that right to other organizations or individuals in the form of a written contract, bequeathal, or inheritance, even where the applicant has filled a registration application .

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