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President okays semiconductor Bill

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Sept. 7

THE President, Mr. K.R. Narayanan, has given his assent to the Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Layout-Design Bill, 2000 and the Rehabilitation Council of India (Amendment) Bill, 2000.

With this, these two Bills have been notified in the Gazette of India as Acts 37 and 38 of 2000. While the former Act will be enforced later in stages, the latter has come into force with immediate effect.

The Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Layout-Design Act, 2000 seeks to do away with the existing practice of providing protection through the copyright and patents to the intellectual property rights protection for the layout-designs of integrated circuit s in order to reward and encourage an adequate level of investment of human, financial and technological resources.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement, which was ratified by India, has provisions for Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) for setting up standards concerning availability, scope and use of intellectual property rights, geographical indications and layout-design of integrated circuit.

Developing nations have a transition period of five years with effect from January 1, 1995 to align its laws in accordance with the TRIPs Agreement and formulate suitable legislation. Hence, this enactment, an official release said.

The Rehabilitation Council of India (Amendment) Act, 2000 seeks to bring the definitions given in the Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 in conformity with those given in the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

It also increases the number of members representing the Ministries of the Union Government on the Rehabilitation Council of India, provides for qualification for the Chairperson of the Council and enhances the period of appeal from 30 days to 60 days.

In addition, it recognises professionals working in the Vocational Rehabilitation Centres and National Institutes as persons working in the area of disability and exempts medical professionals, in some specific disciplines, of physical medicine, rehabili tation, orthopaedics, ENT, ophthalmic, psychiatric and paramedics from the requirement of registration under the Act.

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