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Early Microchips Included What protects the chip makers?



  An Example of Chip Art with Waldo by Where's Waldo
Chipworks

Answer: Artwork

In the early days of microchip development and distribution, chipmakers struggled to disrupt their designs prevent. To establish that a chipmask is their property, companies have added microscopic graphics to the mask, e.g. For example, a company logo, pop culture character, or other symbols. In court, they were then able to refer to the duplicate footage in their competitor's chip to prove that the design had been lifted.

In 1

984, a revision of US copyright law was enforced with the approval of the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act – chip graphics unnecessary, as from that point on all chip masks and designs were automatically considered copyrighted. While chip art is no longer needed as a tool to protect intellectual property, it lives on as designers continue to make a mark in their microscopic work.


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