Serbia Drafts New Law on Topographies of Semiconductor Products
The Serbian government has recently held a public consultation on the draft Law on the Protection of Topographies of Semiconductor Products, expected to enter into force next year.
The new law aims to harmonize Serbian legislation with the European Union Council Directive 87/54 and the TRIPS agreement.
The subject matter of Serbia’s present Law on Protection of Topographies of Integrated Circuits is not defined as in the above-mentioned EU Directive. The EU member states have harmonized their legislation so that the subject matter is defined as the “semiconductor product topography”, and not as the “integrated circuit topography”. The term “topographies of semiconductor products” is broader than the term “topographies of integrated circuits” as it provides legal protection for a broader range of products.
Hence, the precise definitions of “the semiconductor product” and “the topography of semiconductor products” is the main novelty in the new draft law.
The draft law also states that the protection can be given to all natural and legal persons who are nationals of any World Trade Organization member state and to all natural and legal persons who are not permanent or temporary residents of Serbia, if the right to protection is derived from an international agreement. This is another important novelty, not covered by the current law.
Another novelty is that third persons are now banned from reproducing the protected topography and commercially using the topography or semiconductor products containing the protected topography, without having been given the authority from the rights holder. The protection is granted to the holder on the date of the first commercial use anywhere in the world, or on the date of filing the topography application, depending which date came earlier.
We expect that the new law will bring forth a higher number of topography applications filed with the Serbian PTO and thus positively affect the technological and industrial development of the country. The semiconductors are widely used in making various products that could encourage investment in this area as well as the hiring of new qualified personnel, which is essential for the overall economic development of Serbia on its way to European integration.
By: Dragana Vulovic
For more information, please contact Dragana Vulovic at our Balkan Regional Office.
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