SEMI - Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) protection is a critically important issue for our industry.  Strong and effective IP protection is essential for SEMI member companies in all regions of the world.  SEMI is actively working to provide educational opportunities for companies, to work with governments to strengthen IP enforcement, and to advocate on the industry’s behalf.

Position Statement of SEMI International Board: 

Global IP Protection.  SEMI supports free, fair and open trade.  This includes rigorous adherence to internationally recognized intellectual property laws.  We support World Trade Organization (WTO) policies and urge all governments and companies to adhere to these commitments, including those in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs).  

Governments.  IP protection is in everyone’s best interests.  Strong IP policies can benefit countries by helping to attract foreign investment and encouraging domestic companies to engage in innovation.  SEMI urges governments to ensure that they have effective IP protection and enforcement policies.  These measures should serve as a deterrent to IP violations and should include provisions for criminal prosecution, when appropriate.  Prosecuting IP violations should not result in retaliation against the company making the claim.   While many trading partners have sufficient IP protections, there clearly is a need for more effective enforcement.

 Companies.  All companies should take steps to avoid infringement of others’ intellectual property.  This includes ensuring that purchases of new and used equipment, spare parts, etc. are legitimate and that no counterfeit items are purchased regardless of price.  This also includes ensuring that sensitive information is respected and is not shared with other parties.  These principles must be embraced by all levels within a company and not just the highest corporate levels.  Companies benefit from IP protection through continued investment in innovation and promotion of a global culture that respects the IP associated with semiconductor devices and other products. 

SEMI Intellectual Property Information

Regional IP Offices

Spotlight on improving patent processing: 

The Five IP Offices (IP5)   

The Five IP Offices (IP5) is a forum of the world’s five largest IP offices:  China, Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States.  Since 90 percent of global patent applications are handled by these offices, they are working together to increase efficiencies, reduce backlogs and improve quality.  This group's mission is "the elimination of unnecessary duplication of work between the Offices, enhancement of patent examination efficiency and quality, and guarantee of the stability of patent right."  The offices have agreed to a work-sharing arrangement that should result in a significant increase in patent examination capacity.  This is an excellent example of global cooperation that contributes positively to technology development and innovation.

Additional Resources
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