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IP for the Semi-Conductor Industry


alex joseph

on 18 February 2010

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Transcript of IP for the Semi-Conductor Industry

IP Protection for the Semi-Conductor Industry
Integrated Chip Design (Mask Works)

Integrated chip design layout protection
But not so much to copy them
So how do you protect your designs?
Get them registered !
What does it offer?
10 years of protection
Exclusive right to reproduce and sell products using the design
it must be ......
Only the layout-designs created by the creators through own intellectual efforts and commonly not known to the creators at the time of creation; or inherently distinctive from other registered layout-designs can be registered
Not commercially exploited anywhere in India or convention /reciprocal country
Designs that have not been commercially exploited in India; or a convention country for more than two (2) years can be registered under the Act. Commercial exploitation implies acts such as sell, lease, offer or exhibit for sale or otherwise distributes such semiconductor integrated circuit for commercial purpose.
So What does IP mean for you?
a lot of ............Money!!!
survival in this highly competetive industry !!!
What are patents?
•A patent is a contract between the state and the entity.
•It’s a proof of one’s invention.
•It’s a tool to stop others from making, using, offering for sale, selling and importing your invention.
What do they apply to?
Patents can be direct to:
1.Machines ( systems, their architectures and applications)
2.Processes or Methods( including in the U.S. software)
3.Composition of matter
4.Ornamental design
What are copyrights?
Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work.
What types of creative work does copyright protect?
Copyright protects works such as poetry, movies, CD-ROMs, video games, videos, plays, paintings, sheet music, recorded music performances, novels, software code (including processor microcode), sculptures, photographs, choreography and architectural designs.
What is a mask work?
It’s one of the recent forms of IP meant to protect layout designs of INTEGRATED CIRCUITS.
Let's see how
Get your IC design registered to protect it
Brooktree Corp. vs. Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Brooktree was granted mask work protection for its chips Bt451 and Bt 458
These chips embody a circuit referred to as RAMDAC and act as color palletes.
The chips produced colors in color video displays having high speed and enhanced picture resolution.
A single Bt458 chip replaced a previously used set of 36 chips (an AMD product)
these chips were extremely successful commercially
A critical component of the Brooktree chips is the core cell, a ten-transistor SRAM cell
this core cell was copied by AMD
The court ruled in favour of brooktree

AMD payed $ 26 M as damages to Brooktree Corp.
Brooktree tree moved court alleging infringment
protection to your valuble inventions
These chips were a technological breakthrough exceeding limits in speed and performance that had been believed impossible to exceed.
Polysilicon layers of
Brooktree bt451
So how do you protect your designs?
It takes a lot of time and money to design one of these !
but to capitalize on your IP..........
NEC Corp. vs. Intel Corp.
In 1979, NEC began to produce and sell Intel's 8086/88 series microprocessors and used the designs to create its own Intel compatible microprocessors, the NEC V20 and V30 microprocessors.
Such "hardware copying" was implicitly allowed under the license. However, a software engineer at NEC involved in developing the V20 and V30 micro-programs studied not only the licensed hardware designs, but also the disassembled and listed Intel 8086/88 microcode.
The resulting V20/30 microcode bore a number of similarities to the Intel code.
Intel moved court alleging infringment copyrighted microcode.
NEC contended saying microcodes are not copyrightable.
The court ruled that microcodes fall under the definition of "computer programs" under the copyright revision act 1980 and hence were copyrightable.
But ....
The Copyright Act provides that the copyright notice be preserved on any product protected by a copyright.
"[w]henever a work protected under this title is published ... by authority of the copyright owner, a notice of copyright ... shall be placed on all publicly distributed copies." 17 U.S.C. § 401(a). The failure by the copyright owner to affix such notice invalidates the copyright unless, as provided in § 405(a):
1. the notice has been omitted from no more than a relatively small number of copies ... distributed to the public;
2 .... a reasonable effort is made to add notice to all copies ... that are distributed to the public ... after the omission has been discovered; or
3. the notice has been omitted in violation of an express requirement in writing that ... the . .. copies ... bear the prescribed notice.
The court found that Intel had forfetied its valid copyright by not placing the copyright notice on all the chips. Together NEC and other manufacturers had not put the notice on nearly 3 million chips( about 10% of the chips produced) which, the court considered to be substantial.
The court also ruled that NEC's microcode though incorporating a lot of functionality from Intel's microcode, was substantially different as it had many additional functions. Hence the court ruled that NEC did not infringe.
On April 28, 1976, NEC entered into a patent cross-license agreement with Intel allowing them to make, use or sell products based on each others patents.
NEC Corp
Intel Corp
* For more detailed analysis see the "IP Protection for the Semiconductor Industry" module.
A lot of ................
AMD Am81C458
you need to be careful !
Here's why
You need to know the IP laws
Full transcript