1. What is a layout design?
A design is a composition of two-dimensional lines or colors, or any three dimensional shape that gives an industrial product.
2. What is an integrated circuit?
An integrated circuit is a product in its final or intermediate form in which the elements, at least one of which is active, and some or all of the interconnections
are integrally formed in or on a piece of material, and the purpose of this is to perform an electronic function.
3. What type of protection documents is granted for layout designs of integrated circuits?
The protection document granted for layout designs of integrated circuits is certificate of layout design.
4. Who grants certificates of layout design?
Certificates of layout design are granted by King Abdulaziz City for science and Technology (Saudi Patent Office).
5. What are the provisions governing the grant of certificates of layout design?
The certificate of layout design shall be granted, if the layout design is original; i.e., a result of its creator’s own intellectual effort, and is not commonplace among creators of designs and manufacturers of integrated circuits at the time of its creation. As to a design that consists of a combination of elements and interconnections that are commonplace, it shall be deemed original if the whole combination is original.
6. When an application for registration of a layout design of an integrated circuit may be filed?
An application for registration of a layout design of an integrated circuit may be filed, if the design has not been commercially exploited before or was subject to commercial exploitation for a period not exceeding two years in any part of the world.
7. What is the term of protection for layout designs of an integrated circuit?
The protection period for layout designs is ten years from the date of filing the application or ten years from the date of start of its commercial exploitation anywhere in the world. In any case, the protection period may not exceed fifteen years from the date of creation of the design.
8. What are the rights of the owner of a layout design certificate?
The rights conferred by the certificate of design are confined to acts performed for commercial purposes. The owner of the certificate shall not be entitled to exercise his rights in relation to an identical original design independently created by another party. These rights do not extend to any other original design created on the basis of analyzing or evaluating the protected design, nor to any integrated circuit in which the other design is incorporated.
The owner of the certificate of design may initiate an action against any person who infringes his design by exploiting it without his consent inside the Kingdom. The performance of any of the following acts shall be deemed to be exploitation of the design:
(a) Reproducing the whole design or any original part of it, whether by incorporation in an integrated circuit or otherwise. Acts relating to personal purposes, or scientific purposes such as research, analysis, education or evaluation shall not be deemed to be infringement.
(b) Importing, selling or distributing a design, or any integrated circuit in which a design is incorporated. It shall also be deemed to be infringement the performance of any of the acts referred to in this paragraph in relation to any article incorporating such an integrated circuit, if this circuit contains an unlawfully reproduced design.
9. May a certificate of layout design be granted to more than one creator?
Yes, if the subject matter of protection is a joint work of several persons, they shall be equally entitled to the right, unless they have agreed otherwise.
10. When shall a certificate of layout design not be granted?
(a) The protection document shall not be granted if its commercial exploitation violates Shari'ah (Islamic law)
(b) The protection document shall not be granted if its commercial exploitation is harmful to life, to human, animal or plant health, or is substantially harmful to the environment.