The topography of a product with semi-conductors is defined by a series of correlated designs which can represent the three-dimensional pattern of the layers which make up a semi-conductor product. Each of the designs reproduces, totally or in part, a layer of the semi-conductor product at any stage of its manufacture. Not only integrated circuits, but also single discreet components can be protected.
The topography of a semi-conductor product can be protected by a patent. The protection thus obtained does not extend to processes, systems, concepts, techniques or information incorporated into the topography itself. The norms on topographies does not prejudice the use of patent protection concerning the embodiment of semi-conductor products. It goes without saying that works of the intellect registered on a semi-conductor product can also be protected by Copyright on condition that said work can be reproduced by the circuit itself. The documentation enclosed with the application is public from the date of filing, but the applicant can request that this availability be deferred for a maximum of 1 year.
The duration of the protection is 10 years, starting either from the filing date of the application or the date when the semi-conductor containing the topography is put on sale for the first time in any part of the world.
The protection granted allows the proprietor to prevent third parties from doing the following: production, import, sale or other form of distribution for commercial purposes of a protected topography, a semi-conductor product in which a protected topography is incorporated, or an article which incorporates such product.
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