Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design: Domain gaining recognition as upcoming Intellectual Property

With the rapid growth of Industry 4.0 in the current era, along with the growing technical field Intellectual Property Rights has also made its mark. Globally, people are now aware of securing their Intellectual Property Rights through Patent, Trademark, Copyright, and Design. As we all know, Industry 4.0 means automation. Automation is bound to involve the inventions related to Artificial Intelligence and Electrical domain.  It will not be an overstatement to say that any AI or Electrical invention would be incomplete without circuit layout or semiconductor integrated circuit layouts. It is now the right time to recognize the worth and importance of protecting such layout design, circuits. It can be protected under the head of intellectual property formally known as Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design [SICLD].


A semiconductor layout design includes layout of transistors and other circuitry elements and lead wires connecting such elements and expressed in any manner in semiconductor integrated circuits. In India, the protection and prosecution is governed by the SICLD Act, 2000. Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry (SICLDR) is the office where the applications on Layout-Designs of integrated circuits are filed for registration of created IPR. To fulfil the registration criteria, the layout design for which the protection is sought, should be original, distinctive and not have been commercially exploited anywhere in India or in any public domain .The creator of the layout design secures exclusive right for a period of 10 years from the date of filing an application for registration or from the date of first commercial exploitation anywhere in India or in public domain.


For boosting semiconductor Industry and foreseeing India as a self-sustained as well as globally competitive nation and achieving technological leadership in the strategic area of semiconductors and display manufacturing in the country on 15th December, 2021, The Indian Union Cabinet has approved a comprehensive program for the development of sustainable semiconductor and display ecosystem in the country. The program aims to mark a new era in the electronics manufacturing by providing an incentive package of INR 2, 30,000 crore to the companies engaged in semiconductors and display manufacturing as well as design.


In addition to this, our government has also sanctioned, a sum of INR 76,000 crore to enhance the semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystem in the country by announcing a Chips to Startups (C2S) program that will additionally give a boost to startups. The program targets to create a talent pool of 85,000 “high-quality, highly qualified, well trained” engineers. This decision is purely backed by the aim to uplift the development of complete semiconductor ecosystem with an independent ‘India Semiconductor Mission (ISM)’ setting up to drive the long-term strategies, for developing a sustainable semiconductors and display manufacturing environment in the country.

In this era, where human dependency on electronics and gadgets is inevitable the inventions related to electronics are bound to have the potential. Giving this a thought, this step will indeed boost the in house inventions in Electronics domain thereby contributing significantly on India`s resolve of being self-reliant. This growth in the electronics industry will in turn lead to increased filing of layout designs and circuit under the umbrella of IP Law . Last but not the least such incentive will add fuel to the startup movement initiated by our government and oven up new avenue for them to venture into.