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15 Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal 303 (1989) Originally published in the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal at 15 Rutgers Computer & Tech. L.J. 303 (1989)


The United States Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984 (“SCPA”') has already had a profound impact on the creation of foreign legal systems of chip protection. The allure of reciprocity under the SCPA has motivated a host of nations, including Japan, the Member States of the European Communities (“EC”'), Sweden, Finland, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland, to adopt or consider adopting chip protection legislation. The SCPA has also been the impetus for multilateral discussions within the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”') and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (“GATT”') to establish an international standard of chip protection. The result has been the general recognition of a valuable, protectable property right in chip designs. This article will analyze how the SCPA, despite its relatively short history, has achieved success as a catalyst for international chip protection, and will examine foreign and multilateral chip protection legislation that was influenced by the SCPA.