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Intellectual Property Counseling & Litigation
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

2-13 Intellectual Property Counseling & Litigation 13.syn


The Chip Protection Act


Lester Horwitz;Ethan Horwitz

Chapter Summary


The Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984 extended copyright protection to the owners of semiconductor chip mask works. Specifically, the statute provides an exclusive right to reproduce, import, and distribute registered mask works fixed in a semiconductor chip product.

This chapter from Intellectual Property Counseling and Litigation discusses in detail the bundle of rights afforded by the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984 as well as the limitations on those rights, such as the ten-year duration of protection afforded to a mask work and the absence of an exclusive right to "use" or purchase the work.

The chapter offers practical tips on how to complete application Form MW and prepare for a registration examination, and it discusses strategies for protecting A.S.I.C. or semi-custom chips. The chapter also discusses the topics of refusal of registration, correction of issued registrations, special handling, priority, standards for deposit requirements, and deposit material inspection.

In addition, this chapter covers infringing acts, such as infringement by reproduction, importation, or distribution of the registered mask work. Likewise, it examines defenses to infringement claims, such as lack of substantial similarity.

Furthermore, the chapter discusses the effect of the mask work statute on patents and copyrights obtained on subject matter embodied in a semiconductor chip product with a registered mask work fixed within. It also clarifies that there is a preemption of state laws that provide equivalent rights, but state contract and deceptive trade practice laws, as well as state trade secret laws, are not preempted.

Intellectual Property Counseling and Litigation is a comprehensive practice guide for intellectual property law attorneys.Written by leading U.S. intellectual property attorneys, this 7-volume work covers litigation procedure and strategy from complaint drafting to trial tactics.It also covers legal developments in computer chip and software protection, counterfeit goods, biotechnology, process patents, and design protection.


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See Chapter 9 for more information on chip protection, including litigation, licensing, and international issues. See Chapter 10 for more information on chip protection, including litigation, licensing, and international issues. See Chapter 11 for information about software protection.


See Nimmer on Copyright (Matthew Bender) for information on the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984.

See Chisum on Patents (Matthew Bender) for a detailed discussion of mask work protection.

See Patent Office Rules and Practice (Matthew Bender) for U.S. Patent Office rules on including a copyright or mask work notice in a patent application.
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