A couple of months back we’d written about the basics of protection of Semi-Conductor Integrated Circuit Layout Design (SICLD) in India and more importantly how there hadn’t been a single application filed, or registered till date.

The  Semi-Conductor Integrated Circuit Layout Design Registry had been faithfully publishing the Journal, month after month with two standard lines – “The Registry is opened for public dealing from 10 am to 4 pm on all working days” and “Applications advertised after acceptance – no application received

This however did change late last year where the October Journal actually carried an application which was accepted and published. Application  1(1)/2013 was filed by Bharat Electronics Limited, which is a government owned aerospace and defence company for an 8-Port Microcontroller (BE 80501). The journal was made public on October 1, 2014 and the opposition period lasted until January 1, 2015. Unfortunately there isn’t any information as to whether it has been opposed, but if it hasn’t been opposed, it would be the first registered Semi Conductor Integrated Circuit Layout Design.

A copy of the journal can be found here and layouts as published can be seen below:

It’s taken 10 years from when the Registry was established for it to receive and register its first application. Going by the IP Think Tank’s recent confidential yet freely available National IP Policy things are bound to look up. On the issue of protection of SICLD, the report states,

The first registration under the Semi-conductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design Act, 2000 was granted in October 2014. It is expected that the industry will make increased use of this right to protect integrated circuit layout designs

So while the Think Tank thinks this one application in the last decade by a government agency may open the floodgates, we’d have to wait and see. Although this stream of IP is not the first thing that leaps to mind, in today’s scenario anything that provides exclusivity may be a valuable business advantage, and protection for your  Semi-Conductor Integrated Circuit Layout Design in India may just fit the bill!

This article has been authored by Navarre Roy, an IP Law practitioner.