SEMI Member Company Statement of Intellectual Property Principles
SEMI member companies around the world depend on intellectual property (IP) to keep innovation alive. All companies should take steps to respect core IP principles and avoid infringement of others’ intellectual property.
The goal of the Statement of Intellectual Property Principles for SEMI members is to demonstrate a high level of commitment to IP protection within the global semiconductor equipment and materials and related industries. The statement affirms commitments that many companies already have in place and promotes adoption of best practices across the industry. Given the critical nature of IP to the industry, the statement raises the visibility of the issue and demonstrates how seriously the industry takes the issue. The statement promotes essential standards of IP protection and outlines for new SEMI members the core elements of IP protection that are vital for business growth and investment in R&D.
Companies benefit through continued investment in innovation and promotion of a global culture that respects IP associated with semiconductor devices and other products. Intellectual property protection is crucial to allow SEMI member companies to invest in the R&D necessary to continue technological advancement and survive in a competitive global electronics supply chain.
Because protecting IP is everyone’s responsibility, all SEMI member companies agree to commit to the following principles.
1. Our company commits to respect intellectual property at all levels within our company.
Given its widespread nature and the many forms of intellectual property, protection of IP rights cannot be the responsibility of just one person. While the executive leadership sets the tone and must demonstrate respect for IP, companies also must ensure that relevant personnel at all levels are familiar with and commit to appropriate IP protection measures. This is especially relevant for those involved in procurement/purchasing, engineering and human resources. To demonstrate this commitment, companies are encouraged to include IP protection in their corporate codes of conduct and to provide training for all relevant employees.
2. Our company commits to respect all types of intellectual property.
Intellectual property for the semiconductor equipment and materials industry covers a wide range of items. These areas include: equipment, materials, designs, spare parts, components, subsystems, software, technology, process recipes, and best known methods. All of these areas merit strict IP compliance and enforcement.
3. Our company commits to purchase authentic products only.
Legal obligations and good business ethics prohibit counterfeit products. No company would like to see unauthorized copies of its products made by another. Counterfeiting diverts the rewards of innovation from the company that invests in R&D and product development. It diminishes respect for IP within the electronics supply chain and can pose safety risks. Because of these concerns, all purchases of new or used equipment, spare parts, materials and other items must come from legitimate sources. Companies should take proactive measures to ensure that they do not purchase any type of counterfeit item, regardless of price. If questions arise after a purchase, they should take responsive measures to evaluate the situation and ensure that they purchase only authentic products.
4. Our company commits to respect confidential information.
The protection of confidential information is a significant concern in the semiconductor equipment and materials industry. Companies take advantage of legal measures such as patent protection and trade secret laws as a key component of safeguarding their own information. All companies must refrain from sharing confidential information to unauthorized parties. This applies for information regarding their own business as well as information regarding other companies with whom they have business relationships.