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THE SEMICONDUCTOR INTEGRATED CIRCUITS LAYOUT-DESIGN ACT, 2000

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

Year : 2000



The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish an Appellate Board to be known as the Layout-Design Appellate Board to exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on it by or under this Act.



(1) The Appellate Board shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and such other Members as the Central Government may deem fit and, subject to the other provisions of this Act, the jurisdiction, powers and authority of the Appellate Board may be exercised by a Bench thereof.

(2) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a Bench shall consist of one Judicial Member and one Technical Member and shall sit at such place as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2), the Chairperson-

(a) May, in addition to discharging the functions of the Judicial Member or Technical Member of the Bench to which he is appointed, discharge the function of the Judicial Member or, as the case may be, the Technical Member, of any other Bench;

(b) May transfer a Member from one Bench to another Bench;

(c) May authorise Vice-Chairperson, the Judicial Member or the Technical Member appointed to one Bench to discharge also the functions of the Judicial Member or the Technical Member, as the case may be, of another Bench.

(4) Where any Benches are constituted, the Central Government may, from time to time, by notification, make provisions as to the distribution of the business of the Appellate Board amongst the Benches and specify the matters which may be dealt by each Bench.

Explanation
.-For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the expression "matter" includes an application or appeal under section 40 or section 42.

(5) If the Members of a Bench differ in opinion on any point, they shall state the point or points on which they differ, and make a reference to the Chairperson who shall either hear the point or points himself or refer the case for hearing on such point or points by one or more of the other Members and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority of the Members who have heard the case including those who first heard it.



(1) A person shall not be qualified, for appointment as Chairperson unless he-

(a) Is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court; or

(b) Has, for at least two years, held the office of a Vice-Chairperson:

(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Vice-Chairperson, unless he-

(a) Has, for at least two years, held the office of a Judicial Member or a Technical Member; or

(b) Has been a member of the Indian Legal Service and has held a post in Grade I of that Service or any higher post for at least five years.

(3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judicial Member unless he-

(a) Has been a member of the Indian Legal Service and has held the post in Grade I of that Service for at least three years; or

(b) Has, for at least ten years, held a civil judicial office.

(4) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Technical Member, unless he possesses a Master's Degree in Physics or Bachelor's Degree in Electronics Engineering or Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering from an University or Institution established under law for the time being in force and has held a post equivalent to the post of Joint Secretary to the Government of India or any higher post for at least five years and possesses at least five years' experience in the area of semiconductors.

(5) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (6), the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and every other Member shall be appointed by the President of India.

(6) No appointment of a person as the Chairperson shall be made except after consultation with the Chief Justice of India.



The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or other Member shall hold office as such for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains,-

(a) In the case of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the age of sixty-five years; and

(b) In the case of Member, the age of sixty-two years, whichever is earlier.



(1) In the event of occurrence of any vacancy in the office of the Chairperson by reason of his death, resignation or otherwise, the Vice-Chairperson and in his absence the senior-most Member shall act as Chairperson until the date on which a new Chairperson, appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Act to fill such vacancy, enters upon his office.

(2) When the Chairperson in unable to discharge his functions owing to his absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice-Chairperson and in his absence the senior-most Member shall discharge the functions of the Chairperson until the date on which the Chairperson resumes his duty.



(1) The salaries and allowance payable to, and other terms and conditions of service (including pension, gratuity and other retirement benefits) of, the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members shall be such as may be prescribed.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), a person who, immediately before the date of assuming office as the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or other Member, was in service of Government shall be deemed to have retired from service on the date on which he enters upon as the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or other Member, as the case may be.



(1) The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and any other Member may, by notice in writing under his hand addressed to the President of India, resign his office:

Provided that the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or any other Member shall,unless he is permitted by the President of India to relinquish his office sooner, continue to hold office until the expiry of three months from the date of receipt of such notice or until a person duly appointed as his success or enters upon his office or until the expiry of his term of office, whichever is earlier.

(2) The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or any other Member shall not be removed from his office except by an order by the President of India on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after an enquiry made by a Judge of the Supreme Court in which the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or other Member has been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.

(3)The Central Government may, by rules, regulate the procedure for the investigation of misbehaviour or incapacity of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or other Member referred to in sub-section(2).



(1) The Central Government shall determine the nature and categories of the officers and other employees required to assist the Appellate Board in the discharge of its functions and provide the Appellate Board with such officers and other employees as it may think fit.

(2) The salaries and other allowances and conditions of service of the officers and other employees of the Appellate Board shall be such as may be prescribed.

(3) The officers and other employees of the Appellate Board shall discharge their functions under the general superintendence of the Chairperson in the manner as may be prescribed.



(1) The registered proprietor of a registered layout-design may make an application to the Appellate Board for determination of royalty under sub-section (5) of section 18.

(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be in such form and be accompanied by such affidavits, documents or any other evidence and by such fee in respect of the filing of such application and by such other fees for the service or execution of processes as may be prescribed.

(3) On receipt of an application under sub-section (1), the Appellate Board shall, after giving notice to the opposite party to file opposition within the prescribed time and manner and after giving opportunity of being heard to the applicant and the opposite party, dispose of the application.

(4) An order or decision made by the Appellate Board in disposing of the application under sub-section (3) shall be executable by a civil court having local jurisdiction as if it were a decree made by that court.



(1) Any person may make an application, in the prescribed form accompanied by prescribed fee, to the Appellate Board for cancellation of the registration of a layout-design registered under this Act or registration of assignment or transmission relating thereto, as the case may be, on the ground that-

(a) In the case of the registration of a layout-design, the layout-design is prohibited for being registered under section 7; or

(b) In the case of the registration of assignment or transmission relating to a registered layout-design, such assignment or transmission is contrary to any provision of the law for the time being in force.

(2) The Appellate Board shall, on receipt of an application under sub-section (1), give notice to the opposite parties in the prescribed manner and after giving them an opportunity of being heard, make such order as it may deem fit regarding cancellation of registration:

Provided that where the ground of cancellation has been established with respect only to a part of a layout-design, the Board shall cancel only such part and the remaining part of the layout-design if capable of performing as a semiconductor integrated circuit shall be retained as registered on the register in the name of the registered proprietor of such layout-design.

(3) Any cancellation of the registration of a layout-design either in whole or in part under sub-section (2) shall be deemed to be effective on the date from which the period of ten years referred to in section 15 is countable in respect of that layout-design.

(4) The Appellate Board shall, without delay after making any order of cancellation under sub-section (2), send a copy of such order to the Registrar who shall correct the register to give effect to such order.



(1) Any person aggrieved by an order or decision of the Registrar under this Act, or the rules made there under may prefer an appeal to the Appellate Board within three months from the date on which the order or decision sought to be appealed against is communicated to such person preferring the appeal.

(2) No appeal shall be admitted if it is preferred after the expiry of the period specified under sub-section (1):

Provided that an appeal may be admitted after the expiry of the period specified therefor, if the appellant satisfies the Appellate Board that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within the specified period.

(3) An appeal to the Appellate Board shall be in the prescribed form and shall be verified in the prescribed manner and shall be accompanied by a copy of the order or decision appealed against and by such fees as may be prescribed.



(1) The Appellate Board shall not be bound by the procedure laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 but shall be guided by principles of natural justice and, subject to the provisions of this Act and the rules made there under, the Appellate Board shall have powers to regulate its own procedure including the fixing of places and times of its hearing.

(2) The Appellate Board shall have, for the purpose of discharging its functions under this Act, the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 while trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely:-

(a) Receiving evidence;

(b) Issuing commissions for examination of witnesses;

(c) Requisitioning any public record; and

(d) Any other matter which may be prescribed.

(3) Any proceeding before the Appellate Board shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228, and for the purpose of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code, and the Appellate Board shall be deemed to be a civil court for all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.



No court or other authority shall have or, be entitled to, exercise any jurisdiction, powers or authority in relation to the matters referred to in sub-section (1) of section 40 or sub-section (1) of section 42.



On ceasing to hold office, the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or other Members shall not appear before the Appellate Board or the Registrar.



Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provisions of this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, no interim order (whether by way of injunction or stay or any other manner) shall be made on, or in any proceedings relating to, an appeal unless-

(a) Copies of such appeal and of all documents in support of the plea for such interim order are furnished to the party against whom such appeal is made or proposed to be made; and

(b) Opportunity is given to such party to he heard in the matter.



On the application of any of the parties and after notice to the parties, and after hearing such of them as he may desire to be heard, or on his own motion without such notice, the Chairperson may transfer any case pending before one Bench, for disposal, to any other Bench.



(1) An application for rectification of the register made to the Appellate Board under section 30 shall be in such form as may be prescribed.

(2) A certified copy of every order or judgment of the Appellate Board relating to a registered layout-design under this Act shall be communicated to the Registrar by the Board and the Registrar shall give effect to the order of the Board and shall, when so directed, amend the entries in, or rectify, the register in accordance with such order.



(1) The Registrar shall have the right to appear and be heard-

(a) In any legal proceedings before the Appellate Board in which the relief sought includes alteration or rectification of the register or in which any question relating to the practice of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Layout-Design Registry is raised;

(b) In any appeal to the Board from an order of the Registrar on an application for registration of a layout-design-

(i) Which is not opposed, and the application is either refused by the Registrar or is accepted by him subject to any amendments or modifications, or

(ii) Which has been opposed and the Registrar considers that his appearance is necessary in the public interest,and the Registrar shall appear in any case if so directed by the Board.

(2) Unless the Appellate Board otherwise directs, the Registrar may, in lieu of appearing, submit a statement in writing signed by him, giving such particulars as he thinks proper of the proceedings before him relating to the matter in issue or of the grounds of any decision given by him affecting it, or of the practice of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry in like cases, or of other matters relevant to the issues and within his knowledge as Registrar, and such statement shall be evidence in the proceeding.



If any question arises in any proceedings before Registrar, whether a layout-design has been commercially exploited for more than two years anywhere in a convention country for the purpose of registration of such layout-design under this Act, the Registrar shall refer such question to the Appellate Board, and the decision of the Board thereon shall be final.



(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the Appellate Board may on an application made in the prescribed manner before it on behalf of the Government or by any person authorised by the Government and after giving notice of such application to the registered proprietor of a layout-design and providing the opportunity of being heard to the parties concerned permit the use of such registered layout-design by the Government or by such person so authorised, as the case may be, subject to any or all of the following conditions as the Board deems fit under the circumstances of such use, namely:-

(a) That the use of the layout-design shall be for non-commercial public purposes or for the purposes relating to national emergency or of extreme public urgency;

(b) That the duration of the use of the layout-design shall be limited for a period specified by the Board.

(c) That the use of the layout-design shall be non-assignable and non-transmissible;

(d) That the use of the layout-design shall be to the extent which the Board deems necessary to remedy the anti-competitive practice;

(e) That the use of the layout-design shall be predominantly for the supply of semiconductor integrated circuits or articles incorporating semiconductor integrated circuits in domestic market of India:

Provided that Board shall not permit the use of a registered layout-design, by any such person authorised by the Government, under this sub-section unless the Board is satisfied that such person so authorised has made efforts to enter into agreement with the registered proprietor of such layout-design on reasonable commercial terms and conditions for permitted use of such layout-design and such efforts had not been successful within prescribed period:

Provided further that the first proviso shall not be applicable in a case where the person so authorised produces to the Board a certificate issued by the Government to the effect that such use is required due to national emergency or any other circumstances which the Government considers to be of extreme urgency or of public non-commercial use.

(2) The Appellate Board shall, while granting the permission for the use of a registered layout-design under sub-section (1), determine the amount of royalty to be paid by the Government or the person authorised by the Government, as the case may be, to the registered proprietor of such layout-design for such permitted use.

(3) The Appellate Board may, on the application of the registered proprietor of a layout-design referred to in sub-section (1), may review the permission granted under that sub-section and, after giving notice and opportunity of hearing to the parties concerned in the prescribed manner, cancel or amend such permission if the Board is satisfied that any of the conditions subject to which the permission was granted has not been observed or the circumstances which led to the granting of such permission has ceased to exist or substantially altered.



In all proceedings under this Act before the Appellate Board the costs of the Registrar shall be in the discretion of the Board, but the Registrar shall not be ordered to pay the costs of any of the parties.



(1) Any person aggrieved by any decision or order of the Appellate Board under this Act may, within the prescribed period appeal to the High Court within whose the jurisdiction of head office or the branch office of the Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Registry against the decision or order of which the appeal arises is situated.

(2) Every such appeal shall be preferred by petition in writing and shall be in such form and shall contain such particulars as may be prescribed.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act and the rules made there under, the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 shall apply to appeals before a High Court under this Act.



The High Court may make rules consistent with this Act as to the conduct and procedure of all proceeding under this Act before it.



Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, till the establishment of the Appellate Board under section 32, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board establishment under section 83 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 shall exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on the Appellate Board under this Act subject to the modification that in any Bench of such Intellectual Property Appellate Board constituted for the purposes of this section, for the Technical Member referred to in sub-section (2) of section 84 of the
Trade Marks Act, 1999, the Technical Member shall be appointed under this Act and he shall be deemed to be the Technical Member for constituting the Bench under the said sub-section (2) of section 84 for the purposes of this Act.
Last updated on August, 2016

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