Not applicable for this jurisdiction.
Mask works / topographies
Ownership / licenses
The maker of an eligible circuit layout is generally the first owner of its EL Rights (please refer to exceptions enumerated in the "Intellectual Property in Employment Context" section). EL Rights are personal property rights that can be assigned, licensed and devolved in a will.
Rights in semiconductor products and their topographies are freely transferable. The perfection of the transfer is subject to the registration in the semiconductor's registry.
The ownership of the exclusive right is granted to the creator of the topography of a semiconductor product. Where this topography is created by an employee in the course of his or her employment, the employer shall be deemed to be the creator, unless otherwise stipulated. Where this topography is created on commission, the person who commissioned the topography is deemed to be the creator, unless otherwise stipulated.
Like a copyright and contrary to many other EU member states, the exclusive right is granted automatically, ie, without the obligation to register, and is freely licensable and transferrable, including to successors in title of the rights holder.
The party that applies for registration of a mask work is presumed to be its creator. Joint ownership is recognized.
Rights to mask works may be assigned, in whole or in part. Where there is a partial assignment of rights, the percentage of rights assigned must be specified. Assignment documents must be signed by both parties and two witnesses.
The owner of the mask work registration may license its exploitation. Mandatory licenses may be granted to ensure free competition or prevent abuses of right or of economic power by the owner of the right.
A topography, whether registered or unregistered, is transferable or may constitute the subject-matter of a license, either as to the whole interest therein or as to any undivided portion.
The law does not provide for specific rules on the granting of a license for topographies. However, the exclusive right of the holder to use and monetize his product includes the right to license these rights.
As a general principle, the exclusive right of layout-design shall belong to its creator unless provided otherwise in the Regulations on Protection of Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits.
Joint ownership is recognized.
The exclusive right of layout-design in a commissioned work shall be vested in the commissioned party unless it is agreed otherwise in writing.
The designer of a layout-design of an integrated circuit may transfer the registry of the layout-designs or grant a license, but both the transfer and the license must be in writing. Nevertheless, in order for the transfer or license to be enforceable, it must be registered by the SIC.
Moreover, the Colombian legal regime on intellectual property does not require protected layout-designs of integrate circuits to be exploited, but, when a layout design is not exploited when national emergencies or antitrust practices demand it, the relevant authority may order that:
- The layout-design of integrated circuits can be used or exploited by third parties with commercial or industrial purposes or
- The layout-design of integrated circuits shall be licensed to a third-party if the third party has requested it.
Finally, when the layout-designs of an integrated circuit has been commercially exploited abroad, request for registration shall be submitted within 2 years from the date it was first exploited.
The right is granted to the individual or legal person who submits the application after having created or gained exclusive rights to the semiconductor topography.
Right to topography can be licensed or transferred. Transferring physical piece(s) of topography does not constitute transfer of the rights to the topography.
Ownership lies with the persons who are the creators of the topographies of semiconductor products and the successors in title of these persons.
Mandatory licenses may apply in certain situations. The licensee bears the obligation to exploit.
Ownership can be transferred by contractual agreement. Joint ownership is possible. A transfer of ownership does not affect licenses that were granted before the transfer.
Licenses may be granted on an exclusive or a non-exclusive basis, also to multiple parties. In joint ownership, licenses may be granted only with the consent of other rights holders.
Hong Kong, SAR
Rights in layout-design (topography) can be freely assigned, licensed or inherited. Assignment and transmission may be in total or partial. Assignment has to be in writing and signed by or on behalf of the assignor.
If the topography was created by several persons, they shall be entitled to the protection jointly.
Joint ownership of a layout-design is recognized in India. An assignment of a registered layout-design may be made in connection with, or independently of, the good will of a business. Such assignment must be in writing and registered with the Registrar and advertised in such manner, form and within such period as may be prescribed by the Registrar.
The SICLD also recognizes the registration of third parties as registered users of any registered layout-design.
The owner of a layout design of integrated circuits has the right to grant a license to a third party based on a licensing agreement to exploit, and exclude others from exploiting, a layout design integrated circuit under a license agreement.
According to Minister Regulation No. 8 then layout design of integrated circuits license agreement must be duly recorded and the application for recording can be made electronically or in paper format. Recording is valid for a duration of 5 (five) years and can be renewed. Minister Regulation No. 8 requires that a copy of the license agreement of the layout design of integrated circuits, copy of the registration certificate of layout design of integrated circuits, original power of attorney and proof of payment to be submitted. Applicant is also required to provide a statement letter stating that the object of the license agreement is still valid, shall not cause any losses to the national economy interest, shall not inhibit the development of technology and not in conflict with the laws and regulations, morality and public order.
Under Irish law, topography rights may be held jointly between two or more authors or creators.
As a basic rule, the creator of the layout-design shall be the first owner of the layout-design. However, where a layout-design is created by an employee as a result of and during the term of his employment by his employer, the employer shall be the owner of the layout-design unless otherwise provided in the contract between them.
With respect to licenses, an agreement for the transfer of rights in a layout-design (topography) or for the grant of a license to use exclusive rights in a layout-design (topography) must be documented in writing.
The owner of the mask work is the author that has expressed a creative intellectual effort resulting in a topography that is not common or familiar in the industry of semiconductor products, therefore constituting an object of exclusive rights.
If two or more persons jointly develop a mask work, all of them must jointly apply for registration.
Exclusive and non-exclusive licenses and transfers of mask works are recognized.
Joint ownership is permissible. Exclusive or non-exclusive licensing of the mask work, transferring or establishing pledge on the share of the mask work requires consent from all joint owners of the right.
The ownership of the exclusive right is granted to the creator of the topography of a semiconductor product. Where this topography is created by an employee in the course of his employment, the employer shall be deemed to be the creator, unless otherwise agreed in writing. Where this topography is created under a contract, other than a contract of employment, the person who has commissioned the topography shall be deemed to be the creator, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
The exclusive rights are not granted automatically, but require a registration; they are freely licensable and transferrable, including to the successors in title of the rights holder.
In order to perfect the ownership in a mask work, registration is required before the IMPI.
Mask works registrations or registrations in process may be encumbered, transmitted or licensed pursuant to commercial general provisions. Registration of the agreement is required before the IMPI to perfect the encumbrance, transmission or license.
No obligatory license operates in mask work registrations.
The ownership of the exclusive right is granted to the creator of the topography of a semiconductor product.
Like a copyright in the Netherlands and contrary to many other EU member states, the exclusive right is granted automatically, ie, without the obligation to register, and is freely licensable and transferrable, including to the successors in title of the rights holder. However, the exclusive right to a topography may only be exercised against third parties after the registration of the topography with the respective authority (the Dutch Patent Office).
The maker of a layout design is generally the first owner of the rights in that layout design. However, where a layout design is made under the terms of an employment agreement, contract for services or as commissioned, then the employer/contractor/person who commissioned the work, as the case may be, is the first owner of the layout design. Joint ownership of layout designs is also recognized where the layout design is jointly made.
The owner of the layout design rights may assign or license some or all of the rights to another person. These rights may also pass by will or operation of law.
The creator of the layout design is the owner of it. Joint ownership is recognized.
The creator is at any time entitled to transfer the exclusive right in whole or in part to any other person. Transfer of a copy of the layout design does not constitute a transfer of any rights in the layout.
If the layout design has been created by an employee, the exclusive right to the layout design passes to the employer unless otherwise agreed.
The ownership of the right to a topography can be transferred by contractual agreement. The agreement for the assignment of the right must be concluded in writing. Information on the assignment of the right should be entered in the register in order for the right to be enforceable against third parties. Joint ownership of the right to a topography is possible under Polish law.
Licenses for the use of a registered topography can be granted on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis, also to multiple parties. A license must be concluded in writing. Sub-licenses can be granted only with the consent of the right holder. Granting of further sub-licenses is not permitted.
The topography of a semiconductor product can be transferred in writing whether or not for financial reward.
The topography of a semiconductor product may also be licensed in writing, wholly or partially, whether or not for financial reward, on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.
Transfer of ownership and licenses shall be recorded in the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property to be effective against third parties.
Common ownership of topographies is recognized and must be exercised jointly by creators.
The owner of the mask work is the author that has expressed a creative intellectual effort resulting in a topography.
A layout design may be assigned or licensed to a third party by the registered owner, in accordance with the requirements of the Patents Law.
There are certain circumstances where compulsory licenses may be granted by KACST to a third party to exploit a layout design covered by a certificate of design.
Unless otherwise agreed, the owner of a layout-design would be the creator or, if the design was created in the course of employment or under a commission, the owner would be the employer or person who commissioned the design.
The owner of a layout-design may copy and/or commercially exploit the layout-design, as well as authorize the copying and/or the exploitation of the layout-design. Rights in a protected layout-design may be assigned or licensed and it is possible to sign an agreement assigning future rights in a layout-design that is expected to come into existence.
The owner of the topography is considered to be the natural or legal person registered in the register of the Industrial Property Office. The joint ownership of a topography is allowed and governed by the Civil Code.
The owner may grant another person a license to his/her topography. A license shall have legal effects towards third parties upon registration in the register of the Industrial Property Office.
Joint ownership of layout-design rights is recognized. Both exclusive and non-exclusive licenses areavailable.
The exclusive rights shall include the right to authorize or to prohibit any of the following acts:
- Reproduction of a topography with the exception of reproduction for private and non-profitmaking purposes
- Commercial exploitation or importation for that purpose of a topography or of a semiconductor product manufactured by using the topography
The exclusive rights may be the subject of compulsory licenses when the public interest dictates so.
The right is granted to the individual person who has created the topography provided that he/she is a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA), or is domiciled in a country within the EEA.
The right in a topography created by an employee during the course of an employment belongs to the employer unless otherwise agreed and provided that the employer is an individual person who is a citizen of or is domiciled in a country within the EEA or a legal person which conducts business in such country.
In the event a right in a topography does not exist pursuant to the provisions above, the right is granted to such natural or legal person who fulfills the requirements regarding the affiliation with the EEA provided that such a person has been granted the exclusive rights to exploit the topography commercially throughout the EEA and first commercially exploited the topography in a country within the EEA.
The right is also granted to a person who has acquired the right from such person mentioned above.
Co-ownership is permissible.
A circuit layout right can be freely assigned, licensed, pledged or inherited in whole or in part. Joint ownership of a circuit layout right is permissible, provided that any assignment, grant of license or creation of pledge of a jointly-owned circuit layout right can only be made with the unanimous consent of all joint owners. If a joint owner of circuit layout rights abandons his/her share, the abandoned share shall be allocated to the other joint owners according to the percentage of their respective shares in such joint ownership.
Under Ukrainian law, the author of a topography is the initial intellectual property rights holder.
The persons who created a topography jointly are considered as co-authors under Ukrainian law. The exclusive rights with respect to a topography created in co-authorship are vested with all co-authors. Relations between co-authors are regulated by an agreement between them.
The rights holders may grant the right to use or assign their rights to other parties through license or assignment agreement, which should be in writing.
The assignment of exclusive rights to a topography is subject to mandatory registration with the Ukrainian IP Office.
United Arab Emirates
The designer is the first owner of any semiconductor topography right if the design is not created under commission or in the course of employment.
For commission, the commissioner is the first owner of any semiconductor topography right, subject to agreement to the contrary. If created in the course of employment, the employer is the first owner of the right, subject to any agreement to the contrary between the parties.
Joint ownership of mask works is recognized, with each owner holding an independent right to use or license the use of the mask work without the need to obtain the consent of the other co-owners. Each co-owner of a mask work has an obligation to account to the other co-owner(s), but the duty to account can be waived by contract.