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THE SEMICONDUCTOR INTEGRATED CIRCUITS LAYOUT-DESIGN ACT, 2000

Title : THE SEMICONDUCTOR INTEGRATED CIRCUITS LAYOUT-DESIGN ACT, 2000

Year : 2000



Any person who contravenes knowingly and willfully any of the provisions of section 18 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine which shall not be less than fifty-thousand rupees but which may extend to ten lakh rupees, or with both.



(1) No person shall make any representation with respect to a layout-design not being a registered layout-design, to the effect that it is a registered layout-design.
 
(2) If any person contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1), he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the use in India in relation to a layout-design of the word "registered", or of any other expression referring whether expressly or impliedly to registration, shall be deemed to import a reference to registration in the register, except-
 
(a) Where that word or other expression is used in direct association with other words delineated in characters at least as large as those in which that word or other expression is delineated and indicating that the reference is to registration as a layout-design under the law of a country outside India being a country under the law of which the registration referred to is in fact in force; or

(b) Where that other expression is of itself such as to indicate that the reference is to such registration as is mentioned in clause (a); or

(c) Where that word is used in relation to a layout-design registered as a layout-design under the law of a country outside India and in relation solely to such layout-design.



If any person uses on his place of business, or on any document issued by him, or otherwise, words which would reasonably lead to the belief that his place of business is, or is officially connected with, the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.



If any person makes, or causes to be made, a false entry in the register, or a writing falsely purporting to be a copy of an entry in the register, or produces or tenders, or causes to be produced or tendered, in evidence any such writing, knowing the entry or writing to be false, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.



(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 56, the court convicting him may direct the forfeiture to Government of all goods and things by means of, or in relation to, which the offence has been committed.

(2) When a forfeiture is directed on a conviction and an appeal lies against the conviction, an appeal shall lie against the forfeiture also.

(3) When a forfeiture is directed on a conviction, the court, before whom the person is convicted, may order any forfeited articles to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the court thinks fit.



Where a person accused of an offence under section 56 proves-

(a) That in the case which is the subject of the charge he was so employed that it relates to the duty of his employment, and was not interested in the profit accruing from such commission of offence except the duty of his employment; and

(b) That, having taken all reasonable precautions against committing the offence charged, he had, at the time of commission of the alleged offence, no reason to suspect the genuineness of the registered layout-design or a semiconductor integrated circuit in which such layout-design is incorporated; and

(c) That, on demand made by or on behalf of the prosecutor, he gave all the information in his power with respect to the commission of such offence, he shall be acquitted.



(1) Where the offence charged under section 56 is in relation to a registered layout-design and the accused pleads that the registration of the layout-design is invalid, the following procedure shall be followed:-

(a) If the court is satisfied that such defence is prima facie tenable, it shall not proceed with the charge but shall adjourn the proceeding for three months from the date on which the plea of accused is recorded to enable the accused to file an application before the Appellate Board under this Act, for the rectification of the register on the ground that the registration is invalid;

(b) If the accused proves to the court that he has made such application within the time so limited or within such further time as the time court may for sufficient cause may allow, the further proceedings in the prosecution shall stand stayed till the disposal of such application for rectification;

(c) If within a period of three months or within such extended time as may be allowed by the court the accused fails to apply to the Appellate Board for rectification of the register, the court shall proceed with the case as if the registration were valid.

(2) Where before the institution of a complaint of an offence referred to in sub-section (1), any application for the rectification of the register concerning the layout-design in question on the ground of invalidity of the registration thereof has already been properly made to and is pending before the Appellate Board or the Registrar, the Court shall stay the further proceedings in the prosecution pending the disposal of the application aforesaid and shall determine the charge against the accused in conformity with the result of the application for rectification in so far as the complainant relies upon the registration of his layout-design.



(1) If the person committing an offence under this Act is a company, the company as well as every person in charge of, and responsible to, the company for the conduct of its business at the time of the commission of the offence shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or that the commission of the offence is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this section-

(a) "Company" means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association or individuals; and

(b) "Director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.



No court shall take cognizance-

(a) Of an offence under section 56 or section 57 except on the complaint in writing made by the registered proprietor or the registered user of a layout-design in respect of which the offence has been committed;

(b) Of an offence under section 58 or section 59 except on complaint in writing made by the Registrar or any officer authorised by him in writing.



In any prosecution under this Act, the court may order such costs to be paid by the accused to the complainant, or by the complainant to the accused, as the court deemed reasonable having regard to all the circumstances of the case and the conduct of the parties. Costs so awarded shall be recoverable as if they were a fine.



An officer of the Government whose duty it is to take part in the enforcement of the provisions of this Chapter, shall not be compelled in any court to say whence he got any information as to the commission of any offence against this Act.



If any person, being within India, abets the commission, without India, of any act which, if committed in India, would, under this Act, be an offence, he may be tried for such abetment in any place in India in which he may be found, and be punished therefor with the punishment to which he would be liable if he had himself committed in that place the act which he abetted.



Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the Registrar shall-

(a) Not disclose any information relating to the registration of a layout-design or any application relating to the registration of a layout-design under this Act which the Central Government considers prejudicial to the interest of the security of India; and

(b) Take any action, including the cancellation of registration of a layout-design registered under this Act, which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in the interest of security of India.

Explanation
.-For the purposes of this section, the expression "interest of the security of India"means any action necessary for the security of India which relates to the use of a layout-design or a semiconductor integrated circuit incorporating a layout-design or an article incorporating such semiconductor integrated circuit and which-

(a) Relates to fissionable materials or the materials from which they are derived; or

(b) Relates to the traffic in arms, ammunition and implements of war and to such traffic in other goods and materials as is carried on directly or indirectly for the purpose of supplying a military establishment; or

(c) Is taken in time of war or other emergency in international relations.



No suit or other legal proceedings shall lie against any person in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act.



Every person appointed, under this Act and every Member of the Appellate Board shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.



Where a registered layout-design, or a semiconductor integrated circuit in which a registered layout-design is incorporated, or an article incorporating such a semiconductor integrated circuit is sold or has been contracted for sale, the seller shall be deemed to warrant that the registration, of such layout-design or the layout-design so incorporated is genuine within the meaning of this Act unless the contrary is expressed in writing signed by or on behalf of the seller and delivered at the time of the sale or contract to sell of such layout-design, or semiconductor integrated circuit or article, as the case may be, and accepted by the buyer.



In all proceedings under this Act before the Registrar,-
 
(a) The Registrar shall have all the powers, of a civil court for the purposes of receiving evidence, administering oaths, enforcing the attendance of witnesses, compelling the discovery and production of documents and issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses;
 
(b) The Registrar may, subject to any rules in this behalf, made under section 96 make such orders as to costs as he considers reasonable, and any such order shall be executable as decree to a civil court;

(c) The Registrar may, on an application made in the prescribed manner, review his own decision.



Subject to the provisions of section 76, the Registrar shall not exercise any discretionary or other power vested in him by this Act or the rules made there under adversely to a person applying for the exercise of the power without (if so required by that person within the prescribed time) giving to the person an opportunity of being heard.



In any proceeding under this Act before the Registrar, evidence shall be given by affidavit:

Provided that the Registrar may, if he thinks fit, take oral evidence in lieu of, or in addition to, such evidence by affidavit.



If a person who is a party to a proceeding under this Act (not being a proceeding before the Appellate Board or a court) dies pending the proceeding, the Registrar may, on request, and on proof to his satisfaction of the transmission of the interest of the deceased person, substitute in the proceeding his successor in interest in his place, or, if the Registrar is of opinion that the interest of the deceased person is sufficiently represented by the surviving parties, permit the proceeding to continue without the substitution of his successor in interest.



(1) If the Registrar is satisfied, on application made to him in the prescribed manner and accompanied by the prescribed fee, that there is sufficient cause for extending the time for doing any act (not being a time expressly provided in the Act), whether the time so specified has expired or not, he may, subject to such conditions as he may think fit to impose, extend the time and inform the parties accordingly.

(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to require the Registrar to hear the parties, before disposing of an application for extension of time and no appeal shall lie from any order of the Registrar under this section.



Where, in the opinion of the Registrar, an applicant is in default in the prosecution of an application filed under this Act, the Registrar may, by notice require the applicant to remedy the default within a time specified and after giving him, if so desired, an opportunity of being heard, treat the application as abandoned, unless the default is remedied within the time specified in the notice.



(1) The Registrar may, on application made to him in the prescribed manner by any person who proposes to apply for the registration of a layout-design, give advice as to whether the layout-design appears to him prima facie to be original.

(2) If, on an application for the registration of a layout-design as to which the Registrar has given advice as aforesaid in the affirmative made within three months after the advice was given, the Registrar, after further investigation or consideration, gives notice, to the applicant of objection on the ground that the layout-design is not original, the applicant shall be entitled, on giving notice of withdrawal of the application within the prescribed period, to have repaid to him any fee paid on the filing of the application.



(1) In every proceeding under Chapter VII or under section 42, every registered user of a layout-design, who is not himself an applicant in respect of any proceeding under that Chapter or section shall be made a party to the proceeding.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, a registered user so made a party to the proceeding shall not be liable for any costs unless he enters an appearance and takes part in the proceeding.



(1) A copy of any entry in the register or of any document referred to in sub-section (1) of section 87 purporting to be certified by the Registrar and sealed with the seal of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry shall be admitted in evidence in all courts and in all proceedings without further proof or production of the original.

(2) A certificate purporting to be under the hand of the Registrar as to any entry, matter or thing that he is authorised by this Act or the rules to make or do shall be prima facie evidence of the entry having been made, and of the contents thereof, or of the matter or things having been done or not done.



The Registrar or any other officer of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry shall not, in any legal proceedings to which he is not a party, be compellable to produce the register or any other document in his custody, the contents of which can be proved by the production of a certified copy issued under this Act or to appear as a witness to prove the matters therein recorded unless by order of the court made, for special cause.



If in any legal proceeding for rectification of the register before the Appellate Board a decision is on contest given in favour of the registered proprietor of the layout-design on the issue as to the validity of the registration of the layout-design, the Appellate Board may grant a certificate to that effect, and if such a certificate is granted, then, in any subsequent legal proceedings in which the said validity comes into question, the said proprietor on obtaining a final order or judgment in his favour affirming validity of the registration of the layout-design shall, unless the said final order or judgment for sufficient reason directs otherwise, be entitled to his full cost, charges and expenses as between legal practitioner and client.



An address for service stated in an application or notice of opposition shall, for the purposes of the application or notice of opposition, be deemed to be the address of the applicant or opponent, as the case may be, and all documents in relation to the application or notice of opposition may be served by leaving them at or sending them by post to the address for service of the applicant or opponent, as the case may be.



Where, by or under this Act, any act, other than the making of an affidavit, is required to be done before the Registrar by any person, the act may, subject to the rules made in this behalf, be done, instead of by that person himself, by a person duly authorised in the prescribed manner, who is-

(a) A legal practitioner, or

(b) A person registered in the prescribed manner as a layout-design agent, or

(c) A person in the sole and regular employment of the principal.



If an agent or a representative of the proprietor of a registered layout-design, without authority uses or attempts to register or registers the layout-design in his own name, the proprietor shall be entitled to oppose the registration applied for or secure its cancellation or rectification of the register so as to bring him as the registered proprietor of the said layout-design by assignment in his favour:

Provided that such action shall be taken within three years of the registered proprietor of the layout-design becoming aware of the conduct of the agent or representative.
Last updated on August, 2016

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