The Protection of Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuit Act of B.E. 2543 (2000) was enacted in Thailand as one in a set of laws to help provide effective enforcement of intellectual property rights.
A layout-design is any pattern, layout or image, displayed in any form or by any method that is made for the purpose of illustrating the integration of the elements of an integrated circuit. As with other types of intellectual property, these layout designs are typically the result of a significant investment of time and money. The possibility of copying a design by taking photographs of each layer of an integrated circuit and preparing production masks from the photographs has led to the introduction of protective legislation in many countries.
Under the Act, a layout-design of integrated circuits is protected in a way that is similar to the protection of a patent in that it involves a registration system in which the correctness of documentation is examined, as are the qualifications of the applicant. The owner of a layout-design of an integrated circuit has who is interested in protection under the Act must submit an application to the Department of Intellectual Property, Ministry of Commerce.
Juslaws & Consult Intellectual Property Practice provides advice to clients on the protection of layout designs of integrated circuits and assists clients in filing and prosecuting applications and with the overall registration process. Refer to flowchart on Patent Invention Application.
To be eligible for registration, a layout design of an integrated circuit must be new. This means that it cannot generally be known to the integrated circuit industry. Legal protection is available only for a layout design registered in Thailand, so the owner of a foreign layout design must register in it Thailand for it to be covered under the Act.
If an unregistered layout design has already been used commercially, the owner of the layout design must file an application within two years of the first instance of use for it to qualify for registration. If a layout design has neither been used nor registered within 15 years from the date it was created, it is not eligible to be registered.
The registration of a layout design registration is valid for 10 years from the date of filing the application or the date of its first use, whichever is earlier. Any license agreement or assignment of a layout design registration must be made in writing and registered as prescribed by law. The penalty for infringing the rights to a registered layout design is a fine not exceeding 500,000 Baht.