Patent Office of the Republic of Poland


BASIC INFORMATION ON LEGAL PROTECTION OF TOPOGRAPHIES OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS

  1. Questions relating to legal protection of topographies of integrated circuits are regulated by the act of 30 June 2000 – Industrial Property Law (Journal of Laws of 2003, No 119, text 1117 and of 2004, No 33, text 286), as well as by the Regulation of the Prime Minister of 19 October 2001 on filing and processing of topography applications (Journal of Laws No 128, text 1413).
    The Patent Office of the Republic of Poland receives and examines topography applications, takes decisions in matters related to the grant of rights in their registration and keeps the Register of Topographies of Integrated Circuits.
  2. Any solution consisting of a three-dimentional arrangement of the elements, however expressed, at least one of each is an active element, and of all or some interconnections of an integrated circuit, shall be considered as a topography of an integrated circuit. An integrated circuit shall mean any three-dimentional product having one or more layers, composed of elements of semiconducting material forming a continuous layer and of conducting interconnections and insulating spaces, inseparably interconnected, intended to perform electronic functions.
    A right in topography registration shall not be granted, if:
    • before it is applied for registration with the Patent Office it has been commercially exploited for more than two years;
    • it has not been commercially exploited within a period of 15 years from its fixation or encoding in any form;
    • it explicitly results from the function of an integrated circuit in which it is applied.

    Before a right in registration is granted, the Patent Office shall not disclose any information on the application to third parties without the applicant’s consent. The material identifying the topography shall not be disclosed without the right holder’s consent even after the grant of the right in registration, unless at the request of a court or the parties to litigation concerning the validity or infringement of the right granted.
  3. For a topography a right in registration may be granted.
    For a topography a right in registration may be granted.
    The right in registration shall confer the exclusive right to exploit the topography for profit or for professional purposes on the whole territory of the Republic of Poland.
    Topography protection shall terminate 10 years from the end of the calendar year in which the topography or an integrated circuit embodying such topography was put on the market or from the end of the calendar year in which the topography was applied for registration with the Patent Office, whichever term expires earlier.
    The right in topography registration shall also terminate 15 years from its creation or fixing, if that period expires before the expiry of a period for which the right in registration has been granted and the topography has not been exploited for commercial purposes during that time.
    The right to topography registration shall belong to the creator, his successor in title or a person with whom the creator has concluded a contract of employment or another contract, or a person who assisted the creator in creating the topography.
    If an applicant, requesting a right in registration of a topography is not its creator, he shall be obliged to indicate the creator in his request and state the grounds on which his own right to registration is based.
  4. The filing of a topography with the Patent Office may be done personally or by a representative, by hand or by post.
    A topography application filed in order to obtain a right in registration shall contain:
    • a request,
    • material identifying the topography (2 copies),
    • a statement as to the date of putting the topography into commercial exploitation, if it precedes the date of its filing for registration,
    • document of transfer of the right in registration, if an applicant is not a creator nor a right holder by virtue of the law,
    • power of attorney, if an applicant acts by his agent.

    Where a topography application contains at least the request and a part, which appears to be the material identifying the topography, the application shall be deemed to have been filed.
    One and the same topography application may relate to one solution only.
  5. Basic fee for a topography application is 250 zloty. It should be paid in advance or within one month from the date an invitation to payment was submitted by the Patent Office.
    However, notice should be taken of the current fee rates, as they are subject to periodical changes.
  6. Grant of the right in registration shall be evidenced by the issue of a certificate of topography registration.
    Grant of the right in topography registration shall be entered in the Register of Topographies of Integrated Circuits.