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Protection conditions for layout designs in Vietnam

Due to the rapid development of science and technology, products that are increasingly small in size with automatic control functions are called integrated circuits, they play an extremely important role in products. electronic products today. However, these integrated circuit designs are easy to copy and steal when not protected. So, to protect the layout design, what conditions are needed? To answer your questions, Viet An Law has published an article on Protection conditions for layout designs  in Vietnam.

Legal basis

  • Law on Intellectual Property 2005, amended and supplemented in 2009, 2019, 2022.
  • Circular 01/2007/TT-BKHCN guiding Decree 103/2006/ND-CP.

What is layout design?

According to the provisions of Article 4.14 of the currently Intellectual Property Law, an integrated circuit is a product in the form of finished or semi-finished products and which contains elements with at least at least one active element, some or all of the interconnections mounted within or on top of a semiconductor wafer to perform an electronic function. Integrated circuits can also be called ICs, chips or microelectronic circuits. Accordingly, integrated circuits are objects for design and are manufactured after the design is available. The protection of intellectual property rights is not for integrated circuits but for layout designs

Semiconductor integrated circuit layout design (also known as layout design) is the spatial structure of circuit elements and their interconnections in a semiconductor integrated circuit. The elements of an integrated circuit for which the design of a protected layout is composed include:

  • Interface elements
  • Programmable devices
  • The physical form represents the layout design
  • Function to store information or process information logic

Industrial property rights to layout designs are established on the basis of decisions on granting protection titles of competent agencies according to registration procedures prescribed in the Intellectual Property Law or on recognition of international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory.

Protection conditions for layout designs  in Vietnam

Pursuant to Article 68 of the Intellectual Property Law, there are two specific conditions for the protection of layout designs in order to be consistent with the practice of protecting layout designs in the world: originality and commercial novelty.

Originality of layout design

Layout design is considered original if the following conditions are met:

  • The layout design is the result of the author’s own creative labor.
  • This design was not widely known to the creator of the layout design and manufacturers of semiconductor integrated circuits at the time of its creation.

Commercial novelty of layout design

The commercial novelty of the layout design is an additional requirement for it to be protected. Commercial novelty is defined by the requirements for commercial exploitation Layout design. A layout design is considered commercially new if it has not been commercially exploited anywhere in the world before the date of application.

According to current intellectual property laws, a layout design is not considered to have lost its commercial novelty if a layout design registration application is filed within two years from the date on which the layout design has been commercially exploited for the first time by a licensee or by a person authorized by such person anywhere in the world.

Exploiting a layout design for commercial purposes in the above case is considered an act of public distribution for commercial purposes of semiconductor integrated circuits manufactured according to layout designs or goods containing integrated circuits. that semiconductor.

Dossier for registration of layout design protection

To register for protection of a semiconductor integrated circuit layout design, it is necessary to prepare the following documents:

  • 02 Registration form for layout design of semiconductor integrated circuits, typed according to form No. 02-TKBT Appendix A Circular 01/2007/TT-BKHCN.
  • 04 sets of drawings and photos of the layout design of semiconductor integrated circuits.
  • Information on the function and structure of semiconductor integrated circuits manufactured according to the layout design of semiconductor integrated circuits.
  • Samples of semiconductor integrated circuits manufactured by layout design, in case of layout designs, have been commercially exploited.
  • Evidence of payment of fees and charges.

Note: Fees for registration of protection titles for layout designs include the following:

  • Application fee: 150,000 VND (one hundred and fifty thousand VND).
  • Application publication fee: 120,000 VND (one hundred and twenty thousand VND).
  • Publication fee from the 2nd image onwards: 60,000 VND (sixty thousand VND) / 01 image.
  • Examination fee: 180,000 VND (one hundred and eighty thousand VND).

Procedure for registration of layout design

After you have fully prepared the above documents, you can carry out the registration procedure for designing the layout of a semiconductor integrated circuit as follows:

Step 1: Submit and receive the application

After completing the paperwork, you can submit it in person, send it by post or apply online.

For direct application form

You submit the application directly or via postal service to the NOIP’s headquarters in Hanoi or its representative offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang city.

Note: In case you submit the application for layout design by post, you need to transfer money through the postal service. Then copy the receipt of money transfer and send it together with the application file to one of the headquarters and offices of the National Office of Intellectual Property to prove the amount paid.

For online application form

Customers need a digital certificate and digital signature and have an account on the online application receiving system and have the account approved by the National Office of Intellectual Property.

Step 2: Formality examination of the application

After receiving the application for layout design design of semiconductor integrated circuits, the application for layout design will be examined for form within 01 month from the date of application. This is the procedure to check the compliance with the regulations on the form of the application so as to make a conclusion that the application is valid or not.

  • In case the application is valid, the NOIP will send the applicant a decision to accept the valid application. It also clearly states that the subjects stated in the application are likely to be granted the Certificate of registration of layout design of semiconductor integrated circuits.
  • In case the application is invalid, the NOIP shall send to the applicant a decision to refuse to accept the application.

Step 3: Publication the application

After a decision on accepting a valid application is made, the application will be published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette.

The application publication time will be about 02 months from the date of accepting the valid application.

Step 4: Notice of intention to grant and issue a decision to grant or refuse the Certificate of Registration

Within 3 months from the date on which the layout design of the semiconductor integrated circuit is published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette, if there is no third party objection to the registration of the design or any objection but If the processing results prove that such objection is unwarranted, the NOIP will notify the intention to grant the Certificate of Registration of layout design of semiconductor integrated circuits to the object stated in the application and fix a time limit of 03 months from the date of notification for applicants to pay publication fee, registration fee and fee for granting protection title.

Above is an article on protection conditions for layout designs  in Vietnam. If you have any questions about the protection issues for the layout design, please contact Viet An Law Firm for our best support!

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