Obtain Intellectual Property Protection: Integrated Circuit Topographies
- Steps involved in preparing and filing an application
- Benefits of using professional expertise
- Other aspects
Steps involved in preparing and filing an application
For more detailed information on integrated circuit topography rights and how to prepare and file an application for the registration of a topography, you can consult CIPO's publication A Guide to Integrated Circuit Topographies.
Why obtain integrated circuit topography protection?
If you are a manufacturer or creator of integrated circuits, integrated circuit topography protection will give you exclusive rights over the copying of the topography and the commercialization of circuits that contain the topography. This form of protection complements any patent protection you may obtain for the circuit itself.
Is registration mandatory?
In order to protect an integrated circuit topography, you must apply for and receive a registration. Registration is automatic without extensive examination. Since integrated circuit topography laws are national, you must file in each country where you want protection.
Note: To register, you must apply within two years of commercial use of the design. Your application must include a copy of the circuit layout and design.
Who can register an integrated circuit topography?
The creator of a topography or the successor in title can obtain protection. Typically, the owner is the creator. If a creator sells his or her rights, then a second party will own the topography and will be able to obtain integrated circuit topography protection. If the creator designs the circuit as part of an employment contract, the employer may own the topography and have the right to the protection.
What are the requirements and steps for obtaining an integrated circuit topography registration?
To get an integrated circuit topography registration, you must submit an application form with copies of the overlay sheets and a description of the function or nature of the circuit to:
The Registrar of Integrated Circuit Topographies,
the Canadian Intellectual Property Office,
Place du Portage I, 50 Victoria Street,
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0C9.
You must also submit the filing fee. Substantive examination is not carried out; the Office will refuse the application if it was commercially exploited more than two years before the filing date or if the applicant does not meet the eligibility requirements. The application is then registered and a registration certificate is sent to the applicant.
Benefits of using professional expertise
Why hire a professional?
Integrated circuit topography applications are relatively simple to prepare. If you are unsure of what rights you can obtain or precisely what information you must include in your application, an agent can help.
How long is registration effective?
Integrated circuit topography protection lasts to the end of the tenth year (December 31):
- from the date of filing of the application; or
- from the date of first commercial exploitation of the topography, whichever is earlier.
Does registration in Canada protect my rights in other countries?
No. Integrated circuit topography laws are national so you must file in each country where you want protection