Subject matter of protection
(1) 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—
on the date on which the mask work is registered under section 908, or is first commercially exploited anywhere in the world, whichever occurs first, the owner of the mask work is (i) a national or domiciliary of the United States, (ii) a national, domiciliary, or sovereign authority of a foreign nation that is a party to a treaty affording protection to mask works to which the United States is also a party, or (iii) a stateless person, wherever that person may be domiciled;
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.
(b) Protection under this chapter shall not be available for a mask work that—
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.
1987—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 100–159 inserted provision at end permitting the President to revise, suspend, or revoke any such proclamation or impose any conditions or limitations on protection extended under any such proclamation.
Ex. Ord. No. 12504. Protection of Semiconductor Chip Products
Ex. Ord. No. 12504, Jan. 31, 1985, 50 F.R. 4849, provided:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984 (17 U.S.C. 901et seq.) and in order to provide for the orderly implementation of that Act, it is hereby ordered that, subject to the authority of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order No. 11030, as amended [44 U.S.C. 1505 note], requests for issuance by the President of a proclamation extending the protection of Chapter 9 of title 17 of the United States Code against unauthorized duplication of semiconductor chip products to foreign nationals, domiciliaries, and sovereign authorities shall be presented to the President through the Secretary of Commerce in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may, after consultation with the Secretary of State, prescribe and cause to be published in the Federal Register.
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