Semiconductor focus: protecting a $300bn industry


Semiconductor focus: protecting a $300bn industry


Pending legal reforms in the US are likely to make it easier for semiconductor companies to enforce their IP rights, even if attempts to amend the patent system have stalled. WIPR reports.

Semiconductor chips are found in many of the products we take for granted and cherish, from mobile phones to life-saving medical devices. The industry is worth an estimated $300 billion globally and employs around six million people in the US.

The foundation of such a huge industry is intellectual property. Patent rights contribute towards creating a space for the most innovative companies to develop and commercialise their products. Trade secrets protection is also essential to an industry that is notoriously protective about its operations.

One of the biggest issues facing the semiconductor industry in recent years is the proliferation of fake chips entering the supply chain. In 2013, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), a trade body, published a white paper highlighting its concerns about the number of fake products entering distribution channels.

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