Layout Designs Act Summary
The Layout Designs Act 1994 provides protection for integrated circuit designs. The scope of protection conferred is similar to copyright, and the protection period is the lesser of 15 years from first making or 10 years from when first exploited commercially. The Act is based mainly on the Australian Circuit Layouts Act 1989 and made New Zealand law relating to the protection of integrated circuits compliant with the TRIPs agreement.
The Layout Designs Act also automatically provides for the protection (without registration) of electronic circuit layouts. Here, “layout design” means the three-dimensional disposition, however expressed, of elements, at least one of which is an active element, and of some or all of the interconnections, of an integrated circuit; and includes a three-dimensional disposition prepared for an integrated circuit intended for manufacture.