United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 02, 2023
Subject matter of protection
Subject to the provisions of subsection (b), a mask work fixed in a semiconductor chip product, by or under the authority of the owner of the mask work, is eligible for protection under this chapter if—
the mask work is first commercially exploited in the United States; or
the mask work comes within the scope of a Presidential proclamation issued under paragraph (2).
Whenever the President finds that a foreign nation extends, to mask works of owners who are nationals or domiciliaries of the United States protection (A) on substantially the same basis as that on which the foreign nation extends protection to mask works of its own nationals and domiciliaries and mask works first commercially exploited in that nation, or (B) on substantially the same basis as provided in this chapter, the President may by proclamation extend protection under this chapter to mask works (i) of owners who are, on the date on which the mask works are registered under section 908, or the date on which the mask works are first commercially exploited anywhere in the world, whichever occurs first, nationals, domiciliaries, or sovereign authorities of that nation, or (ii) which are first commercially exploited in that nation. The President may revise, suspend, or revoke any such proclamation or impose any conditions or limitations on protection extended under any such proclamation.
Protection under this chapter shall not be available for a mask work that—
is not original; or
consists of designs that are staple, commonplace, or familiar in the semiconductor industry, or variations of such designs, combined in a way that, considered as a whole, is not original.
In no case does protection under this chapter for a mask work extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
(Added Pub. L. 98–620, title III, § 302,
Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3348; amended Pub. L. 100–159, § 3, Nov. 9, 1987, 101 Stat. 900.)
cite as: 17 USC 902