Integrated Circuit Layout-Designs Act
- Commenced on 16 November 2001
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2016 and includes any amendments published up to 31 December 2017.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Integrated Circuit Layout-Designs Act [Chapter 26:07].
2. InterpretationIn this Act—“assignee”, in relation to a layout-design, means—(a)a person who has derived his title to the design for Zimbabwe directly or indirectly from its proprietor or from the proprietor’s assignee; or(b)the legal representative of a person referred to in paragraph (a);“certificate of registration” means a certificate of registration issued in terms of section fourteen;“Controller” means the Controller of Patents, Trade Marks and Industrial Designs appointed in terms of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 3 of the Patents Act;“department of the State” means any—(a)department of the State; or(b)statutory corporation or authority which is prescribed for the purposes of this definition;“Designs Office” means the Industrial Designs Office referred to in subsection (1) of section three;“exclusive licence” means a licence from the proprietor of a registered layout-design which confers on the licensee, or on the licensee and persons authorised by him, to the exclusion of all other persons, including the registered proprietor, any right in respect of the design;“infringement”, in relation to a registered layout-design, means conduct that infringes any the proprietor’s rights conferred by subsection (1) of section fifteen;“integrated circuit” means a product, in final or intermediate form, containing electrical, electromagnetic or optical elements and circuitry, which is capable of performing an electrical or an optical function and in which at least a part of the electrical, electromagnetic or optical elements and circuitry are integrally formed, in accordance with a predetermined topography, in or on a semiconductor or other material;“Journal” means the Patent and Trade Marks Journal published in terms of section 95 of the Patents Act; “layout-design” means a functional design which consists of the pattern, shape or configuration, however expressed, of the three-dimensional disposition of all or some of the electrical, electromagnetic or optical elements and circuitry of an integrated circuit, and includes such a design of an integrated circuit that is intended for manufacture;“legal representative” means—(a)the liquidator or receiver of a company; or(b)a person who is recognised by law as the representative of any person who has died, become insolvent or bankrupt or assigned his estate, is a minor, is of unsound mind or is otherwise under a disability;“Minister” means the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;“Patents Act” means the Patents Act [Chapter 26:03];“proprietor”, in relation to a layout-design, means the design’s proprietor as provided in section eight; “Register” means the Register of Integrated Circuit Layout-Designs kept at the Designs Office in terms of section five;“registered” means registered in the Register in terms of this Act; “Registrar” means—(a)the Controller; or(b)a registrar referred to in subsection (3) of section three; or(c)an officer who is exercising a function which the Controller has directed, in terms of subsection (4) of section three, should be exercised by that officer;“Tribunal” means the Intellectual Property Tribunal established by section 3 of the Intellectual Property Tribunal Act [Chapter 26:06].
Part II – Designs Office, officers and register
3. Designs Office, Controller, registrars and other officers
4. SealThe seal of the Patent Office kept in terms of the Patents Act shall also be the seal of the Designs Office for the purposes of this Act, and impressions thereof made for the purposes of this Act shall be judicially noticed.
5. Register of Integrated Circuit Layout-DesignsThere shall be kept at the Designs Office for the purposes of this Act a Register of Integrated Circuit Layout-Designs, in which shall be entered—
6. Inspection of Register and right to obtain copies of entries thereinThe Register shall be open to inspection by the public at all convenient times, and a certified copy, sealed with the seal of the Patent Office, of any entry in the Register shall be given on payment of the prescribed fee to any person who requires it.
Part III – Registrable layout-designs, proprietorship and proceedings for registration
7. Layout-designs that may be registered
8. Proprietorship of layout-designs
9. Persons entitled to apply for registrationAn application for the registration of a layout-design may be made by or on behalf of any of the following—
10. Application for registration
11. Publication of application and opposition thereto
13. Effective date of registration
14. Certificate of registration
Part IV – Effect of registration
15. Extent of protection of registered layout-designs
16. Period of protection of registered layout-designs
Part V – Correction and rectification of register and cancellation of registration
17. Power of Registrar to authorise corrections
18. Rectification of Register
19. Cancellation of registration
Part VI – Assignments, licences and transfer of interests in registered layout-designs
20. Right of proprietor to assign and transfer rights in registered layout-designSubject to this Part and to any rights of which notice has been entered in the Register, the proprietor of a registered layout-design may assign his title to the design, wholly or in part, or grant licences in respect of or otherwise deal with the design.
21. Assignments, etc., to be in writingAny assignment of title to a registered layout-design, and any other contract whereby the proprietorship of a registered layout-design is transferred or shared, shall have no effect unless it is in writing.
22. Registration of assignments, licences, etc.
Part VII – Compulsory licences and use of registered layout-designs by state
23. Compulsory licence in respect of registered design
24. Use of registered layout-design for service of the State
25. Special provisions as to State use during emergency
26. Reference of disputes as to State use
Part VIII – Powers of Registrar
27. Exercise of discretionary powers of RegistrarWithout prejudice to any provision of this Act requiring the Registrar to hear any party to any proceedings or to give any such party an opportunity to be heard, the Registrar shall not exercise any discretionary power given to him under this Act in a manner which adversely affects the rights of any person unless he has given that person a reasonable opportunity to make representations in the matter, either personally or by his agent.
28. Proceedings before Registrar
29. Registrar may award costs
30. Power of Registrar to fix time and place of sitting and to adjourn proceedingsIn any proceedings before him under this Act, the Registrar may decide the hours, times and places at which he will sit and may adjourn the proceedings for such time and to such place as he may think fit.
31. Power of Registrar to extend time-limits
Part IX – Appeals and references
32. Appeals from decisions of RegistrarWhere this Act provides for an appeal against a decision of the Registrar, the appeal shall be made to the Tribunal in accordance with this Part and the Intellectual Property Tribunal Act [Chapter 26:06].
33. Time for appealsAn appeal referred to in section thirty-two shall be lodged with the Tribunal within two months after the appellant was notified of the decision or order against which the appeal is brought or within such further time as the Tribunal may for good cause allow.
34. Powers of Tribunal on appealWithout derogation from section 8 of the Intellectual Property Tribunal Act [Chapter 26:06], in any appeal under this Act the Tribunal may—
35. References to Tribunal by Registrar
36. Costs of RegistrarIn any proceedings before the Tribunal under this Act, the costs of the Registrar shall be in the discretion of the Tribunal, but the Registrar shall not be ordered to pay the costs of any of the other parties.
37. Certification of validity of registration
Part X – Infringements
38. Tribunal or court that may hear proceedings for infringement of registered layout-designProceedings for infringement of a registered layout-design may be instituted—
39. Provisions applicable to proceedings for infringement of registered layout-design
40. Remedies available in proceedings for infringement
41. Anton Piller orders
42. Remedy for groundless threats of infringement proceedings
Part XI – Offences and penalties
43. Falsification of certain documentsAny person who—
44. Deceiving or influencing Registrar or officer
45. Witness giving false evidence before RegistrarAny person who, after having been sworn, wilfully gives false evidence before the Registrar concerning the subject-matter of the proceedings in question, knowing his evidence to be false or not knowing or believing it to be true, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
46. False representation that layout-design is registeredAny person who falsely represents that a layout-design of an integrated circuit sold by him is registered shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
Part XII – Evidence
47. Register to be evidence of entries thereinThe Register shall be prima facie evidence of anything that is required or permitted by or under this Act to be entered in it.
48. Evidence of certain entries and documents
Part XIII – General
49. Inspection of registered layout-design
50. Recognition of agentsWhere by this Act anything is to be done by or to any person in connection with a layout-design, it may be done by or to that person’s duly authorised agent, where the agent is—
51. Lodging and authentication of documents
52. Notice of trusts not to be entered in RegisterNo notice of any trust, whether express, implied or constructive, shall be entered in the Register, and the Registrar shall not be affected by any such notice.
53. Provisions as to fees
54. Publication of matters in JournalThe Minister may direct the Registrar to publish in the Journal any reports of cases on layout-designs and other relevant matters that the Minister thinks desirable.
55. Saving of rights in respect of articles forfeited to the StateNothing in this Act shall affect the right of the State or of any person deriving title directly or indirectly from the State to sell or use articles forfeited to the President under any enactment.
57. Transitional provisionsAny regulations or rules which, on the 1st January, 2000, are in force under the Industrial Designs Act [Chapter 26:02] shall apply, mutatis mutandis, in respect of applications, references, appeals, proceedings and other matters in terms of this Act, until regulations dealing with those matters are published in terms of section fifty-six.
History of this document
16 November 2001