Integrated Circuit Layout Design

What is a Layout-Design of an Integrated Circuit?

A layout-design of an integrated circuit is the three-dimensional disposition of the elements of an integrated circuit and some or all of the interconnections of the integrated circuit or such three-dimensional disposition prepared for an integrated circuit intended for manufacture.

The law that protects layout-designs of integrated circuits is the Layout-designs of Integrated Circuits Act 2000.

How is Layout-Design Protected?

A layout-design is eligible for protection automatically upon fulfillment of the following conditions:

  • It is original, i.e. the result of its creator's own intellectual effort and not commonplace among creators and manufacturers of integrated circuit;
  • It has been fixed in a material form or incorporated into an integrated circuit;
  • The right holder of the layout-design is a qualified person.

Who is the Right Holder of Layout-Design?

  • The creator;
  • The person who commission if the layout-design is created in pursuance of a commission;
  • The employer if the layout-design is created by an employee in the course of his employment.

What are the Rights of a Right Holder?

A right holder of a protected layout-design has the following rights:

  • Reproduce and to authorize the reproduction of his protected layout-design;
  • To commercially exploit and to authorize the commercial exploitation of :
    • His protected layout-design;
    • An integrated circuit in which the layout-design is incorporated; or
    • An article that contains an integrated circuit in which the layout-design is incorporated.


Source:  Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MYIPO)