The topography of semiconductor products is protected by the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks - OSIM, based on Law no. 16/1995 on the Protection of Topographies of Semiconductor Products, republished in 2006 and of ORDER no. 6/2007 for the approval of the Norms for the application of the above mentioned law.
- What is a topography of a semiconductor product?
The topography of a semiconductor product (TSP), hereinafter referred to as topography, for the purposes of the law, means a series of interconnected images, regardless of how they are fixed or encoded, representing the three-dimensional configuration of the layers that make up a semiconductor product. and wherein each image reproduces the drawing or part of the drawing of a surface of the semiconductor product, at any stage of its manufacture.
- Why is the protection of topographies necessary?
Because the complexity of semiconductor products depends mainly on the act of creating topographies of semiconductor products, an act which involves large human, technical and financial resources, and the created circuit is copied at much lower costs in a shorter time.
At world level this type of protection is in current use in accordance with the provisions of the Marrakech Agreement.
- What is protected?
Protection covers original topographies, original parts of topographies or combinations of commonplace elements and interconnections which are original on the whole.
A topography is original if it is the result of the intellectual efforts of its creators and if it was not commonplace among creators of topographies or manufacturers of semiconductor products at the time of its creation.
- What cannot be protected by the registration of topographies?
The following cannot be protected: the concepts, processes and technological means used to make the topography or semiconductor product, the information stored in the semiconductor product, the usual parts of extensive topographies, which also include original parts, the semiconductor product based on topography, any mark applied on semiconductor product, industrial design elements of semiconductor product.
All these can be protected under other industrial/intellectual property protection laws.
- Which topographies lose the right to protection?
Those topographies for which the application for registration was filed with OSIM within a period exceeding two years from the date of the first commercial exploitation.
Those topographies that have not been exploited commercially for 15 years from the date when they were created or coded for the first time. Those topographies that have not been commercially exploited and are registered after a period of time, lose the right to protection upon completion of 15 years from the date when they were created or coded for the first time.
- How long does the granted protection last?
In Romania, a registered topography is protected for 10 years. The term of protection starts on the date of registration of the topography or on the date of the first commercial exploitation (where that does not exceed two years from registration) and ends on the last day of the tenth civil year from registration.
- Who may register a topography?
Natural persons who are nationals of a Member State of the European Union or who have their place of residence on the territory of such State and companies or other legal persons having a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment on the territory of Romania or of a Member State of the European Union or of the World Trade Organization shall benefit by the protection of a topography.
- What are the requirements for registering a topography?
In order to have a topography registered, a regular filing of the application for registration must be constituted, and it has to include the following (typed in Romanian language):
-a written standard request for the registration of the topography;
-a technical documentation comprising graphical material and a text providing sufficient information for allowing the identification of the topography and for pointing out the electronic function of the semiconductor product incorporating the topography;
- two copies of the semiconductor product, if it was manufactured and commercially exploited;
- power of attorney, for the professional representative, where appropriate;
- proof of payment of legal fees.
- How long is the registration procedure?
After the regular filing is constituted, the topography shall be entered in the National Register of Topographies; it shall be published in BOPI, within two months from the date when the application is regularly filed and a Certificate of topography registration shall be issued to the owner, within three months from the official date of publication.
Where the filed documents have deficiencies, completions shall be brought within two months, and the date of filing will be the date when all the necessary completions and rectifications are received at OSIM.
- When do the registered topographies become public?
The registered topographies are published in the Official Industrial Property Bulletin edited by OSIM within two months from the date when the application is regularly filed; starting from that day the documentation of the regular file being open to the public at OSIM.
- What fees need to be paid for the protection of a topography?
The protection is obtained after the payment of the following fees:
-filing the application for registration of a topography 148 RON;
-examination of the application for registration 495 RON;
-the registration of a topography 1485 RON;
-the publication of the registration of a topography 74 RON
-the issuance of the registration certificate for a topography 74 RON
Fees can be paid at the OSIM Cashier or by payment order in the OSIM account: RO05 TREZ 7032 0F33 5000 XXXX, Trezoreria Sector 3, Bucharest, Fiscal code: 4266081.
- Is there any possibility of having a reduction of fees??
No fee reductions are granted for the applicants of topography registrations
- What are the rights conferred by the registration of a topography?
The registration of a topography confers on its owner the right to exploit it commercially and also the right to allow or forbid third parties to reproduce, to import and to exploit the topography or the semiconductor product made based on said topography. The owner can have the semiconductor products incorporating the topography marked by letter “T.”
- What does the commercial exploitation of a topography consist in?
The commercial exploitation of a topography means the sale, rental, leasing or any other method of commercial distribution or offer made for these purposes. Commercial exploitation does not include the exploitation under conditions of confidentiality.
For the purpose of exploitation, the owner may transfer his right, conferred by the registration of a topography, by assignment and by legal or testamentary succession.
- Can the registration with OSIM ensure the topography protection abroad?
No. Protection abroad is subject to an international procedure of registration according to the treaties to which Romania is a party.
- Who can lend technical and legal assistance to the creator of a topography seeking protection of his creation??
The person who seeks protection of a topography may be represented by a professional representative having his domicile or headquarters in Romania. Representation by professional representative is mandatory for foreign natural or legal applicants.
The professional representative is an industrial property attorney authorized by OSIM in the field of the protection of topographies of semiconductor products, whose name has been entered in the National Register of Industrial Property Attorneys.
- What is the legislation in force on the registration of topographies?
Law on the Protection of Topographies of Semiconductor Products No. 16/1995, republished by the Law No. 337 in 2005 in the “Official Gazette” no. 824 of 6 October 2006.
Norms for implementing the Law No. 16/1995 on the Protection of Topographies of Semiconductor Products, republished in the Official Gazette no. 90 of 5 February 2007.
- Where can one get information on the registration of a topography?
Information or data about the registration of topographies are provided by the State Office of Inventions and Trademarks, 5 Ion Ghica Street, sector 3, Bucharest, telephone ( through the exchange) 021306.08.00 – int. 208. 284 or directly 037.282.59.85.