Hamburger
  • Intellectual property framework

    Overview

    Protection of intellectual property rights is required by the Federal Constitution and by several multilateral treaties. The main statutes in this area are federal statutes. However, in case of litigation, some matters are subject to federal jurisdiction, and others to provincial jurisdiction.

  • Commercial contract framework

    Overview

    Commercial contracts are governed by the Civil and Commercial Code. This code came into effect in 2015 and it replaces the previous separate Civil Code and Commercial Code. It is part of the federal legislation, but jurisdiction regarding its implementation and litigation resulting thereunder corresponds primarily to the provincial courts.

    The Civil and Commercial Code includes general provisions on contracts, which are applicable to all contractual transactions. These provisions govern matters such as the formation of contracts, offer and acceptance, possible subject matter of contracts, legal formalities, the legal effects of contracts, contract termination and others.

    In addition, the Civil and Commercial Code includes provisions applicable to specific types of contracts, such as sale agreements, leases, franchise agreements and agency agreements. More than 30 types of agreements are subject to specific provisions of this kind. These specially regulated agreements are thus subject to the general rules applicable to contracts –described above – and to the special rules applicable to the relevant type of agreement. Agreements that are not subject to special rules are nevertheless valid, and they are governed primarily by the general contract rules and – to the degree possible – by the rules applicable to analogous specially regulated contracts.

    Other laws include provisions on specific types of commercial contracts. For instance, the Copyright Law includes certain provisions of contracts related to software and to publishing; the Patent Law includes rules on license agreements; and the Insurance Law includes rules on insurance contracts. However, in all these specially regulated contracts, the general contract law rules included in the Civil and Commercial Code are also applicable.

    Commercial contracts with the federal or provincial governments or with other governmental entities are also governed by administrative law. Special rules on contracts with state entities have been included in federal or provincial laws, or have been developed by case law.

  • Copyrights

    Nature of right

    Copyright protects intellectual creations in all fields of science, art and literature. Article 1 of the Copyright Law includes a non-exhaustive list of possible intellectual works protected by copyright. These include, among others, literary and artistic works, music, architectural works and software.

    Copyright protects intellectual expressions, but not ideas. For example, the contents of a book in terms of sentences and other literary expressions are protected by copyright, but the creative idea underlying the book as a whole is not.

    Copyright results from the creation of an intellectual work. Registration is not necessary for copyright to exist, although it is necessary for the exercise of some rights by local authors. Upon creation of a protected work, copyright belongs to the original author or authors, who then may transfer their right, by contract or by the operation of certain legal rules.

    Copyright includes economic and moral rights. Economic rights consist, basically, in the exclusive right to use and exploit the protected work. The Copyright Law lists some of the elements of this exclusive right, such as the right to reproduce the relevant work, to market copies, to prepare derivative works or to have the work performed publicly.

    Moral rights include the so call "integrity right" – that is, the right to preserve the text, title and other contents of the work, even if property rights on such work have been assigned; the "paternity right," the author’s right to be named and identified as such together with the work; the "publication right," the right to decide whether the right will be published; and the "alteration right," the right to modify the work, even after it has been published. Moral rights belong to the author and they are generally non-assignable.

    Legal framework

    Copyright law is included in Law 11, 723, as amended. In addition, multiple laws and regulations govern matters such as related rights, publishers' rights and collective management societies.

    Argentina is part of the main multilateral international copyright agreements, such as the Trips Agreement, the Berne Convention and the Rome Convention. The provisions of these agreements are actively enforced by the courts.

    Duration of right

    The general rule is that copyright protection lasts for a term of seventy years, counted as of January 1 of the first year after the death of the author, as well as through the life of the author.

    In the case of work done through cooperation, the 70-year term is computed from the death of the last person who participated in the joint authorship of the work involved.

    In the case of posthumous works, the 70-year term is computed from the death of the author.

    The duration of protection of anonymous works whose copyright belongs to institutions, corporations or legal entities is 50 years from the date of publication of the work.

    Special rules on copyright duration apply to specific types of copyrightable works, such as photographs and cinematographic works.

    Ownership / licenses

    The basic rule is that ownership belongs to the author. Special rules have been developed in connection with special types of works, such as cinematographic works, derivative works and software.

    There are several types of joint ownership. It may apply to works done through cooperation, which imply a creative collaboration between different authors; to collective works, which are those created through the initiative or direction of one or more individuals, who coordinate or direct the efforts of several other individuals to achieve a joint result; and to composite works, which are the result of adding different separate works, each with a possible separate author and owner, into one final result.

    Works created by employees who have been hired for that purpose belong to the employer.

    Copyright may be subject to licenses, generally as part of broader contractual arrangements such as publishing agreements.

    Remedies for infringement

    Damages may be claimed before civil courts for all types of copyright violation. Registration of works is not necessary, except for local authors, whose rights may be suspended until registration takes place.

    It is also possible to file civil action to prevent further copyright violation, and to obtain preliminary remedies, such as injunction, in the course of civil procedures.

    Criminal remedies, particularly fines, are possible, but are not frequently applied.

  • Mask works / topographies

    Nature of right

    Mask works and topographies are not separately protected under Argentine law. They may be protected under patent law or by way of confidentiality.

    Legal framework

    Argentina has enacted no specific rules on chip protection. Although Argentina is part of the WTO and has approved the Trips Agreement, it has not yet implemented any rules on chip protection.

    The provisions on chip protection included in the Trips Agreement have not been deemed immediately applicable under Argentine law. In addition, Argentina has not ratified or implemented other multilateral treaties on chip protection, in particular the Treaty of Washington of 1989.

    Semiconductor technology, generally, and topographies, in particular, may be protected under the traditional intellectual property rules applicable to all types of technology, specially patent law and the rules on confidential information. Therefore, matters such as the duration of the relevant rights, ownership and remedies depend on the type of protection used in connection with each specific mask work or topography.

    Duration of right

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Ownership / licenses

     Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Remedies for infringement

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

  • Patents

    Nature of right

    Patents are a statutory right. The granting of patents is required by the Argentine Constitution and by different international documents, particularly the Trips Agreement. Patent rights imply an exclusive right to exploit a process or a product. The Argentine Patent Law defines the limits of these exclusive rights, on the basis of the provisions of the Trips Agreement.

    Legal framework

    Patents are governed by the Patent Law – Law 24,481, as amended. In addition, they are governed by the Trips Agreement and by the Paris Convention. Argentina is not a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

    Duration of right

    The basic rule is that patents expire 20 years after the date in which the relevant patent application was filed. Argentina uses a "first to file" system, but it also applies the priority rules derived from the Paris Convention.

    Argentine law provides special rules on compulsory licenses and on patent termination due to lack of exploitation of the patented invention. Compulsory licenses may be granted in case of non-exploitation, competition law violations or sanitary emergencies, among other cases. Patent termination may result when, after a compulsory license was granted for lack of exploitation, no exploitation of the invention takes place for two years after the license was granted.

    Ownership / licenses

    Joint ownership is permissible. The Patent Law includes provisions on the exercise of patent rights by the joint owners. In addition the Civil and Commercial Code rules on joint property apply to patents.

    The Patent law includes rules on licenses. Licenses are not exclusive, unless the parties provide otherwise. Competition law rules are applicable to restrictive clauses included in license agreements.

    Remedies for infringement

    The Patent law provides both civil and criminal law remedies for cases of infringement.

    Civil remedies include the compensation of damages and termination of the infringing activities.

    A complex system of rules for preliminary remedies in patent cases is included in the Patent law. Generally, suspension of an alleged infringer's exploitation requires a preliminary procedure, with the participation of expert witnesses.

    Criminal procedures and sanctions are rare.

  • Trademarks

    Nature of right

    A trademark may consist of one or more words, with or without conceptual content, drawings, commercial symbols, monograms, engravings, prints, seals, images, stripes, color combinations, letter and number combinations, the special graphics of letters and numbers, advertisement phrases, reliefs, and any other sign with distinctive capacity.

    A trademark is normally protected by means of its registration. However, de facto trademarks, that is those that are used but not registered, are also protected in a more limited way.

    Legal framework

    Trademarks are governed by the Trademark Law – Law 22,362, as amended.

    In addition, trademarks are protected by the rules included in Trips Agreement and in the Paris Convention.

    Duration of right

    Registered trademarks are protected for a period of ten years, from the moment of registration. Trademark registration may be renewed indefinitely.

    Registration may be cancelled for lack of use during a period of five years. In addition, renewal of registration requires proof of the trademark's prior use.

    Ownership / licenses

    Ownership is acquired by means of registration. However, use of unregistered trademarks may result in certain rights for the user.

    Trademarks may be subject to joint ownership. The Trademark Law and the Civil and Commercial Code provide the rules applicable to these joint ownership relationships.

    Trademark licenses are possible. They are valid even if they are not registered with the trademark office.

    Remedies for infringement

    The Trademark Law provides both civil and criminal law remedies for cases of infringement.

    Civil remedies include the compensation of damages and the termination of the infringing activities.

    Special preliminary remedies are applicable in cases of trademark infringement. The trademark owner may obtain an injunction against the infringer, when the trademark is registered and its violation is immediately evident.

    Criminal law remedies are rarely used in practice.

  • Trade secrets

    Nature of right

    Argentine law provides protection for trade secrets and confidential information. A complex set of rules creates rights against conduct whereby access is gained illegally to confidential information, or which implies illegal use of trade secrets or confidential information or which results in the unauthorized and harmful disclosure of confidential or secret information.

    Confidential information is characterized by the fact that it is kept in a reserved manner and that it is not generally available for technicians working in the relevant technical field. Trade secrets receive a special degree of protection, particularly under criminal law.

    Legal framework

    Confidential information is governed and protected by Law 24,766. It is also protected by the Trips Agreement and by the Paris Convention.

    In addition, multiple rules and statutes protect confidential information and trade secrets. Labor law protects the confidentiality and ownership of information used in employment relationships.

    Several criminal law rules apply to special types of violations of confidentiality. In particular, disclosure of trade secrets and unfair competition by means of the illegal use or appropriation of trade secrets are subject to criminal law penalties.

    Duration of right

    Confidential information and trade secrets is protected for as long as the relevant information is kept confidential. The degree of protection diminishes if the information ceases to be objectively a secret, due to its previous disclosure or because it has been obtained independently by other parties.

    Ownership / licenses

    Ownership results from the obtention of the information, accompanied by legal or practical measures aimed at restricting access to that information by third parties. No registration requirement is applicable.

    Joint ownership is possible.

    Trade secret or know-how licenses are common and enforceable.

    Remedies for infringement

    Argentine law provides civil and criminal law remedies for cases of trade secret infringement.

    Damages caused by these violations must be compensated. It is also possible to obtain court orders requiring termination of the violation.

    Preliminary remedies include injunctions against further exploitation or disclosure of trade secrets.

    Criminal remedies are applicable in cases of disclosure of trade secrets acquired in the course of employment and other professional relationship, as well as in cases in which the violation of the rights to confidential information or trade secrets results in unfair competition.

  • Other key IP rights

    Nature of right

    Industrial designs

    Industrial models and designs are protected by special industrial property rights. An industrial model or design consists in the forms embodied in or the aspect applied to an industrial or artisan product, which confer an ornamental character to such product.

    Exclusive rights on industrial models and designs result from registration of the relevant model or design.

    Industrial designs

    Industrial designs

    Legal framework

    Industrial designs

    Industrial models and designs are protected by Decree 6673/1963, as amended. They are also protected in accordance with the Trips Agreement and the Paris Convention.

    Duration of right

    Industrial designs

    The rights derived from the registration of an industrial model or design last for a five-year period, counted from the date of filing of the relevant application. The registration may be renewed for two successive five-year period, if the owner requests such renewal.

    Ownership / licenses

    Industrial designs

    Ownership belongs to the author. There is a rebuttable presumption to the effect that the first applicant of an industrial model or design registration is the author of such industrial model or design. Joint ownership is possible, and is governed by the Civil and Commercial Code and by Decree 6673/1963 as amended.

    Industrial models or designs may be the subject matter of license agreements. No registration is necessary for the validity of these agreements.

    Remedies for infringement

    Industrial designs

    Civil and criminal law remedies are applicable in case of infringement. Civil remedies include the compensation of damages and termination of the violation.

    Preliminary injunctions and remedies are possible in accordance with general procedural rules.

    Criminal sanctions have been recently reinforced, but they are rarely applied.

  • Intellectual property in employment context

    Employees

    Special rules on employee inventions are included in the Patent Law and in the Labor Contract Law.

    There are basically three types of invention, from the perspective of employer-employee relationships. First, inventions made in technological areas for which the employee was hired as a researcher or developer belong to the employer. The employee may be entitled to a special compensation if he or she develops a patented invention which exceeds the normal scope of the employee's work. Second, inventions related to the employee's work or related to the employer's know-how or activities belong to the employee, but allow the employer to exercise an option to acquire rights over the invention. If the option is exercised, the employee is entitled to a payment reflecting the value of the invention. Third, inventions that do not fall into the two previous categories belong to the employee.

    Similar rules are applicable in the case of other types of technology or intellectual property rights. In the case of software, the law applies the “work for hire” doctrine, but allows the parties to agree to different contractual rules.

    Consultants / contractors

    The law is not explicit about the rights of consultants and contractors, who do not qualify as employees, with regard to technology and other intellectual property they develop. Generally, the parties may agree as to the rules which will apply to such rights. In the absence of a contractual framework, the technology or intellectual property generated by a consultant or contractor who was hired with the purpose of developing such items that will belong to the person paying for such work.

  • Key commercial contract considerations

    Registration of commercial agreements

    The general rule is that commercial agreements are not registered, and that their validity and effect is not subject to registration requirements. However, certain types of agreement must be registered to be effective or to have full effects against third parties. Agreements subject to registration include business association agreements, certain publishing agreements, certain chattel mortgages and certain agreements related to real estate. International transfer of technology agreements are subject to registration for tax purposes.

    Recognized language of commercial agreements

    Agreements are generally entered in Spanish. However, it is legally possible to enter agreements written in other languages. These agreements must be translated when presented in court. Spanish language may be necessary in consumer transactions.

    Country-specific issues for online content

    Argentina has ratified the WIPO conventions applicable online content and practices. However, enforcement of these conventions is weak.

    Enforceability of online/clickwrap/shrinkwrap terms

    The general rule is that acceptance of terms included in online, click wrap or shrink wrap elements is valid and effective, provided such acceptance is clearly stated and applies to terms that were known to the person giving the acceptance. However, several rules may limit the effects of agreements entered by these mechanisms, particularly consumer protection rules and rules on adhesion contracts.

    Governing law

    The basic rule is that the parties may agree as to the law that will govern their contractual rights and as to the applicable jurisdiction in case of dispute. This freedom of election is subject to several limitations. Non-Argentine law will not be enforced in Argentine courts if it  is contrary to Argentine public policy. Also, certain matters are necessarily governed by Argentine law. For example, if a business association is created in Argentina, its organization and other corporate aspects will be governed by Argentine law. Decisions made by non-Argentine courts or arbitration tribunals are enforceable in Argentina only after going through a special procedure before the Argentine courts, in the context of which the decision will only be enforced if it complies with certain rules, particularly not violating Argentine public policy. In addition, certain matters – ie, deciding the validity of a patent issued in Argentina – are necessarily subject to Argentine jurisdiction.

  • Key commercial contract terms

    Enforceability of warranty disclaimers

    Argentine law provides certain warranties, generally applicable to all types of contracts implying the transfer of rights. These warranties apply, in particular, to the validity of the rights being transferred and to the fitness of the goods regarding which rights are transferred.

    The general rule is that these warranties may be limited or eliminated by agreement between the parties. However, these disclaimers are totally or partially invalid in several types of cases: if the transferor had prior knowledge of the invalidity of the transferred rights or of the deficiency of the goods involved; if the transferor is a merchant and the parties waiving his or her rights are not; and if the warranty disclaimer is included in a consumer or adhesion contract.

    Enforceability of exclusions/limitations of liability indemnification

    Exclusions or limitations of liability indemnification are valid if they meet the general conditions applicable to contractual. However, they may be unenforceable in the following cases: when they extend to willful violations or defaults, or to violations or defaults resulting from gross negligence; when they are imposed in adhesion or consumer contracts; or when they result in the violation or annulment of rights that may not be removed or limited contractually.

    Indemnification

    The basic rule under Argentine law if full indemnification of economic or moral damages caused by illegal conduct, whether that conduct constitutes a contractual or a tort violation.

    The parties are free to include contractual rules as to the extent of their indemnification obligations.

    Penalty clauses and liquidated damages clauses are acceptable, but they may be limited or amended by the courts if their terms are deemed abusive.

    In the absence of contractual provisions, the indemnification's extent will depend on circumstances such as the willful or negligent nature of the violation, foreseeability of the damages caused and the comparative fault of the parties.

    Electronic signatures

    Electronic signatures are valid and effective under Argentine law. However, certain legal effects require that the signature comply with a special certification regime.

  • Key contacts
    Guillermo Cabanellas
    Guillermo Cabanellas
    Senior Partner DLA Piper (Argentina) [email protected] T +5411 41145500 View bio

Mask works / topographies

Ownership / licenses

Argentina

 Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Australia

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.

Austria

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.

Belgium

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.

Brazil

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.

Canada

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.

Chile

No text yet.

China

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.

Colombia

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 that protected layout-design of integrate circuits be exploited, but when a layout design is not exploited when national emergencies, public sanity, prevent anti-trust practices demands 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 integrate circuits must 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 two years from the date it was first exploited.

 

Czech Republic

Not applicable.

Denmark

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.

Finland

Right to topography can be licensed or transferred. Transferring physical piece(s) of topography does not constitute transfer of the rights to the topography. 

France

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.

Germany

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

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.

Hungary

If the topography was created by several persons, they shall be entitled to the protection jointly.

India

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.

Indonesia

The owner of a layout design of integrated circuits has the right to give 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 can be duly recorded and the application for recording can be made electronically or in paper format. Recording is valid for a duration of 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.

Ireland

Under Irish law, topography rights may be held jointly between two or more authors or creators.

Israel

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.

Italy

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.

Japan

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.

Luxembourg

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.

Mexico

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.

Netherlands

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).

New Zealand

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.

Norway

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.

Poland

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.

Portugal

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.

Romania

Common ownership of topographies is recognized and must be exercised jointly by creators.

Russia

The owner of the mask work is the author that has expressed a creative intellectual effort resulting in a topography.

Saudi Arabia

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. 

Singapore

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. 

Slovak Republic

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.

South Korea

Joint ownership of layout-design rights is recognized. Both exclusive and non-exclusive licenses areavailable.

Spain

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. Under such circumstances, the relevant Sections of Law 11/1986 on Patents would apply.

Sweden

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.

Switzerland

Co-ownership is permissible.

Taiwan

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.

Ukraine

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

Not applicable.

United Kingdom

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.

United States

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.