Semiconductor Protection Law
The Semiconductor Protection Law protects three dimensional structures in microelectronic semiconductor technology ("topography") and representations, which serve as a model to produce such structures.
The pre-condition for the protection is that the topography has the required "characteristic". "Characteristic" means that the topography is not a simple copy of other topographies and is not trivial.
The topography is submitted to the Patent Office and registered after examination of the formal conditions. You can also obtain protection for the topography, if you apply for a patent within two years after the first commercial exploitation. The patent is granted for 10 years, beginning with the submission of the patent or the first commercial exploitation. .
Variety Protection Law
The Variety Protection Law protects plant varieties with the conditions that the plant variety has the characteristics of distinctness, uniformity, stability , and novelty. Moreover, the plant variety must have a variety name which can be registered.
The plant variety is registered at the Federal Office of Plant Varieties. After examination of the formal conditions, the Federal Office of Plant Varieties grants the variety protection for the plant. Generally, the plant variety rights are granted for 25 years, starting at the issue date.
Employee Inventions Act
Usually, employees make inventions. The inventions of employees are an important capital for the firm to improve their competitive position. The Employee Inventions Act regulates the type and amount of compensation payment that the employer should pay his employee for an invention.
The Employee Inventions Act also regulates the duties of the employee who developed the invention. In the first place, it makes no difference if it is a private or a business invention. In both cases, the employee has the duty to inform his employer of the invention immediately. Afterwards the employer has to decide if he wants to make use of the invention. The Employee Inventions Act tries to establish precise procedural rules, in order to safeguard the interests of both employees and employers and to avoid arguments. As a consequence, the regulations are relatively complicated and in practice, are hardly taken into consideration. This often leads to disputes if the employee leaves the firm.