Circuit layout rights protect original layout designs for integrated circuits and computer chips in computers or equipment such as:

  • watches
  • electrical household items like washing machines or televisions
  • medical equipment.

How do I get circuit layout rights?


You don’t need to register circuit layout rights. These automatically start as soon as a plan or design is created if both:

  • the layout or plan is either
    • made by an Australian citizen or corporation, or a citizen or corporation of an eligible country, or
    • commercially exploited in Australia or in an eligible country
  • the layout or plan is original.

How long does protection last?


A circuit layout will be protected from the first commercial exploitation and rights continue for 10 years.

The first commercial exploitation must occur within 10 years of creation of the layout, or 10 years from when it was made. The maximum protection period is 20 years from the year of making an eligible layout.

Learn more about circuit layout protection.

Learn more about copyright.