U.S Code last checked for updates: Jul 21, 2024
§ 901.
As used in this chapter—
a “semiconductor chip product” is the final or intermediate form of any product—
having two or more layers of metallic, insulating, or semiconductor material, deposited or otherwise placed on, or etched away or otherwise removed from, a piece of semiconductor material in accordance with a predetermined pattern; and
intended to perform electronic circuitry functions;
a “mask work” is a series of related images, however fixed or encoded—
having or representing the predetermined, three-dimensional pattern of metallic, insulating, or semiconductor material present or removed from the layers of a semiconductor chip product; and
in which series the relation of the images to one another is that each image has the pattern of the surface of one form of the semiconductor chip product;
a mask work is “fixed” in a semiconductor chip product when its embodiment in the product is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit the mask work to be perceived or reproduced from the product for a period of more than transitory duration;
to “distribute” means to sell, or to lease, bail, or otherwise transfer, or to offer to sell, lease, bail, or otherwise transfer;
to “commercially exploit” a mask work is to distribute to the public for commercial purposes a semiconductor chip product embodying the mask work; except that such term includes an offer to sell or transfer a semiconductor chip product only when the offer is in writing and occurs after the mask work is fixed in the semiconductor chip product;
the “owner” of a mask work is the person who created the mask work, the legal representative of that person if that person is deceased or under a legal incapacity, or a party to whom all the rights under this chapter of such person or representative are transferred in accordance with section 903(b); except that, in the case of a work made within the scope of a person’s employment, the owner is the employer for whom the person created the mask work or a party to whom all the rights under this chapter of the employer are transferred in accordance with section 903(b);
an “innocent purchaser” is a person who purchases a semiconductor chip product in good faith and without having notice of protection with respect to the semiconductor chip product;
having “notice of protection” means having actual knowledge that, or reasonable grounds to believe that, a mask work is protected under this chapter; and
an “infringing semiconductor chip product” is a semiconductor chip product which is made, imported, or distributed in violation of the exclusive rights of the owner of a mask work under this chapter.
For purposes of this chapter, the distribution or importation of a product incorporating a semiconductor chip product as a part thereof is a distribution or importation of that semiconductor chip product.
(Added Pub. L. 98–620, title III, § 302, Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3347.)
cite as: 17 USC 901