The history of the decline and fall of semiconductor chip protection

The history of the decline and fall of semiconductor chip protection (sometimes called “mask work” protection, which the Copyright Office helpfully explains is “not for theatrical facial masks”) in one graph:

Mask Work Applications and Grants in Four Countries

Aside from a slight uptick in Taiwan, both applications and grants of semiconductor chip protection are essentially at their lowest levels ever.

Remember, this is the same form of IP without which we were told the semiconductor industry would be destroyed. During the Congressional hearings on the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act, an executive at Intersil, speaking on behalf of the Semiconductor Industry Association, claimed that in the face of chip piracy, “The motivation for creative design work will tend to be diminished and perhaps even destroyed” and agreed with a questioning senator that it would have the effect of “blighting the growth of the industry.”

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About Gabriel

Ph.D. candidate in political science at GWU, eBay Policy Scholar, tech geek. Mechanically inclined. I study the politics of intellectual property law.
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One Response to The history of the decline and fall of semiconductor chip protection

  1. Pingback: When asked, vast majority of businesses say IP is not important | To Promote the Progress?

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