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Why should we protect layout designs of integrated circuits?

An integrated circuit, which is also known as a semiconductor or a chip, is a circuit that serves specific functions. By utilizing semiconductor technology, it combines a range of common electronic components such as capacitors, resistors, transistors, and the wiring that connects them. The integrated circuit is considered the foundation of the IT industry and a key driver of its rapid progress. The level of development and technical proficiency of integrated circuits have become crucial indicators of a nation's competitiveness and overall strength.

Innovation in integrated circuits is reflected in the design of the components and wiring in a three-dimensional layout, also known as integrated circuit layout design. The independent development of a new super-large integrated circuit usually takes several years and millions of dollars. However, once it is commercially available, it can be illegally reproduced at a fraction of the cost. Due to its distinctive features, the current patent and copyright system cannot effectively protect the integrated circuit. Therefore, special legislation is necessary to prevent and prohibit the unauthorized imitation of integrated circuit layout designs.


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