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Semiconductors, better known as ‘chips’, have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. They perform an electronic function in computers, household appliances, media equipment, cars, medical equipment and industrial installations. Technical developments make it possible to fit increasing numbers of components on one chip, with no end of this development in sight.

The economic importance of semiconductor topographies, designs for integrated circuits, is great.

Integrated circuits and the products containing them are, legally speaking, “semiconductor products”. The layouts for these circuits are protected as “semiconductor topographies”, irrespective of how they are established.

In abstract terms, this involves images representing the three-dimensional pattern of the layers from which the semiconductor product is composed and in which each image presents the pattern or a part of the pattern of a surface of the semiconductor product at any stage of its production. In real terms, this involves the masks which are used in the photolithographic processes of the chip production, and also the digital files which formally and unambiguously define the layout of the chip layers which together form the countless transistors, connections, diodes, etc., of the integrated circuit.

If you are active in the semiconductor sector, it is worthwhile informing you of the rights that you have as a producer of semiconductor products.

Arnold + Siedsma will be pleased to guide you through this interesting area.


A chip is built up of a number of electronic components lying one above the other in multiple layers of silicon. This creates a three-dimensional structure. A design precedes the manufacture of a chip. This design indicates the location of the different components and their mutual connections. Thi ... Read more

Topography filing

The right to a topography is created automatically, i.e. at the moment the topography is created. The continuance of this right depends on making a filing. This filing is made by submitting an application to the NL Agency in The Hague. This includes a designation of the topography, and must be acc ... Read more

International topography right

The protection of (topographies of) semiconductors dates from the 1970s. It was originally an American initiative to protect its own industry against infringement by third parties. United States: The American computer industry saw its competitive position seriously threatened by Japanese industry ... Read more

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