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Integrated Circuit Design

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1.Relevant laws and regulations concerning layout design of integrated circuit

Integrated circuit industry, as the foundation and core of the information industry, is a strategic industry for the development of information society.  Its level of technology and industrial scale are a significant sign to measure the overall strength of a country or region, and a key to reflect the level of independent innovation of the information industry. Layout design of integrated circuit has a priority for all in the information industry. The layout design itself belongs to a high-intensive intellectual creation and has a great commercial value. As is known to all, the exclusive right of layout design of integrated circuit is one of the protective targets under TRIPS.

In order to meet the need of WTO and stimulate innovation and development of the technology of integrated circuit industry, China has put out the following relevant laws and regulations concerning the protection of layout design of integrated circuit since 2001: Regulation for the Protection of Layout-design of Integrated Circuit issued by the State Council on April 2, 2001, Implementing Regulations for the Protection of Layout-design of Integrated Circuit promulgated by the SIPO on September 18, 2001, Measures for the Administrative Enforcement of Layout-design of Integrated Circuit promulgated by the SIPO on November 28, 2011, and Notification of the Adjudication Work on Cases Concerning Layout-design of Integrated Circuit issued by the Supreme People’s Court on November 16, 2011.  After that, China has initially built the system for the protection of layout design of integrated circuit.

2.Situations of examination on the cases concerning the revocation of the exclusive right of layout design of integrated circuit

Since the implementation of the Regulation for the Protection of Layout-design of Integrated Circuit, the exclusive right of layout design of integrated circuit has become one of the important kinds of intellectual property protection in the field of integrated circuit industry. Recently, along with the development of the integrated circuit industry, the relevant intellectual property issues occur gradually and the intellectual property disputes are increasing. In 2006, the Patent Reexamination Board started the proceedings on the case concerning the revocation of the exclusive right of layout design of integrated circuit (hereinafter referred to as the case concerning the revocation of the exclusive right), which became a milestone in China for the authorization of the exclusive right of layout design. Till now, the Patent Reexamination Board has accepted eleven cases concerning the revocation of the exclusive right, five of which have been concluded and the other six of which are still pending. Correspondingly, the court system has also accepted several cases concerning the patent infringement disputes over layout design of integrated circuit.

3. Practices of the examination on the revocation of the exclusive right of layout design of integrated circuit

In accordance with Article 20 of the Regulation for the Protection of Layout-design of Integrated Circuit and Article 29 of the Implementing Regulations for the Protection of Layout-design of Integrated Circuit, the revocation procedure of layout design of integrated circuit is an examination procedure launched by the Patent Reexamination Board ex officio. The subject who launches the revocation procedure shall be the Patent Reexamination Board.

 

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