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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 )

Exclusive Right of Layout-design

Article 7.   The holder of the right of layout-design shall enjoy the following exclusive right:

(1) reproducing a protected layout-design in its entirety or any part thereof that complies with the requirement of originality; and

(2) commercially exploiting a protected layout-design, an integrated circuit incorporating a protected layout-design, or an article incorporating such an integrated circuit.

Article 8.   The exclusive right of layout-design is acquired after its being registered with the intellectual property administration department of the State Council.

Any unregistered layout-design shall not be protected under these Regulations.

Article 9.   The exclusive right of layout-design shall belong to its creator, except as otherwise prescribed in these Regulations.

Where a layout-design is created according to the will and under the charge of a legal person or other organization, which shall bear responsibility for such layout-design, that legal person or other organization shall be the creator.

Where a layout-design is created by a natural person, that person shall be the creator.

Article 10.   Where a layout-design is created jointly by two or more natural persons, legal persons or other organizations, the ownership of the exclusive right shall be agreed upon by the joint creators; in the absence of such an agreement or where the agreement is not clear, the exclusive right shall be owned jointly by the creators.

Article 11.   Where a layout-design is created in execution of a commission, the ownership of the exclusive right shall be agreed upon by the person having commissioned and the person being commissioned; in the absence of such an agreement or where the agreement is not clear, the exclusive right shall be owned by the person being commissioned.

Article 12.   The term of protection of the exclusive right of layout-design shall be 10 years counted from the date of filing an application for registration or from the date on which it was first commercially exploited anywhere in the world, whichever expires earlier. However, no matter whether it has been registered or commercially exploited, a layout-design shall no longer be protected under these Regulations 15 years after the date of the completion of its creation.

Article 13.   Where the exclusive right of layout-design belongs to a natural person, the exclusive right shall, after the death of the natural person and within the term of protection as prescribed in these Regulations, be transferred in accordance with the provisions of the Succession Law.

Where the exclusive right of a layout-design belongs to a legal person or other organization, the exclusive right shall, after the legal person or other organization is reorganized or ceases to exist and within the term of protection as prescribed in these Regulations, be owned by the legal person or other organization which succeeds to its rights and obligations; where there is no such legal person or other organization to succeed to its rights and obligations, the layout-design shall enter into the public domain.