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Regulations on the Protection of Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits (2001)

( Adopted at the 36th Executive Meeting of the State Council on March 28, 2001,
promulgated by Decree No. 300 of the State Council of
the People's Republic of China on April 2001, and effective as of the date of October 1, 2001 )

General Provisions

Article 1.   These Regulations are formulated in order to protect the exclusive right of layout-design of integrated circuits, to encourage innovation of integrated circuits technology and to promote the development of science and technology.

Article 2.   For the purposes of these Regulations:

(1) "integrated circuit" means semiconductor integrated circuit, that is, a product, in its intermediate or final form, which uses semiconductor material as its chip, in and/or on which two or more elements, at least one of which is an active element, and some or all of the interconnections are integrally formed and which is intended to perform a certain electronic function;

(2) "layout-design of integrated circuit"(hereinafter referred to as layout-design) means the three-dimensional disposition of the two or more elements, at least one of which is an active element, and some or all of the interconnections of an integrated circuit, or such a three-dimensional disposition prepared for the manufacture of an integrated circuit;

(3) "holder of the right of layout-design" means the natural person, the legal person or any other organization that, according to these Regulations, is entitled to the exclusive right of a layout-design;

(4) "reproduction" means the act of reproducing a layout-design or of reproducing an integrated circuit incorporating the layout-design;

(5) "commercial exploitation" means the act of importing, selling or otherwise distributing for commercial purposes a protected layout-design, or an integrated circuit incorporating such a layout-design, or an article incorporating such an integrated circuit.

Article 3.   Any layout-design created by a Chinese natural person, legal person or other organization shall be eligible for the exclusive right of layout-design in accordance with these Regulations.

Any layout-design created by a foreigner shall, where it is first commercially exploited in the territory of the People's Republic of China, be eligible for the exclusive right of layout-design in accordance with these Regulations.

Any layout-design created by a foreigner shall be eligible for the exclusive right of layout-design in accordance with these Regulations, if the country to which the foreigner belongs has concluded an agreement with China to protect layout-designs or both the country to which the foreigner belongs and China are party to an international treaty concerning the protection of layout-designs.

Article 4.   Any layout-design which is to be protected shall be original in the sense that the layout-design is the result of the creator's own intellectual effort, and it is not commonplace among creators of layout-designs and manufacturers of integrated circuits at the time of its creation.

Where a layout-design that is to be protected consists of several commonplace layout-designs, the combination of these layout-designs taken as a whole shall be in compliance with the requirements referred to in the preceding paragraph.

Article 5.   The protection of layout-designs under these Regulations shall not extend to ideas, procedures, and methods of operations or mathematical concepts as such.

Article 6.   The intellectual property administration department of the State Council is responsible for the relevant administrative work concerning the exclusive right of layout-design in accordance with these Regulations.