Topographies, semiconductor products, plant varieties and biotechnological inventions



Our team can also advise and assist you throughout the entire process of obtaining protection in other Intellectual Property modalities, such as topographies of semiconductor products or plant varieties. We have the necessary experience, both in life sciences and applied sciences and engineering, to provide your developments the solid, robust and valuable protection they deserve. At UNGRIA we will take care of the preparation of the necessary documentation and its subsequent prosecution, in Spain or wherever you need it.


Semiconductor products currently play a very important role in any intellectual sector and their importance is growing exponentially.

The appropriate operation of these semiconductor products is directly linked to their topography, that is, the inner structure, the arrangement of their elements, the substrates that make up the circuit, and ultimately the specific design in each case.


According to Spanish legislation (Law 3/2000, of 7 January, legal system for the protection of plant varieties), variety refers to a plant grouping of a single botanical taxon of the lowest known level that, regardless of whether or not it fulfills conditions for the grant of a breeder's right, can be:

  1. defined by the expression of traits resulting from a given genotype or combination of genotypes,
  2. distinguished from any other plant grouping by the expression of at least one of those traits, and
  3. considered as a unit, as it is suited for being propagated unchanged.

For the protection of intellectual property rights arising from the development, creation or discovery of a plant variety to be granted, this must be new, distinct, uniform, and stable. A plant variety is considered new if it has not been sold or made available to third parties in any other way, with the consent of the breeder, prior to a predetermined timetable.

Plant varieties can be protected via national or community applications. The last one allows to obtain protection, by means of a single application, in all countries of the European Union during a maximum period of 25 years (30 years in the case of vines, trees and potatoes), provided that the corresponding annuities are paid.


In theory, biotechnological inventions must fulfill the same requirements as those of any other technological field in order to be patentable: novelty, inventive step and intellectual application. However, the special nature of this field of science, with its significant ethical implications, has led to the need to create a new series of specific rules, which are included in an EU Directive regarding biotechnological inventions. This Directive, which has been transposed into the national legislation of all EU countries, as well as the European Patent Convention, sets forth the considerations that must be applied to the patentability of a biotechnological invention.

For example, the Directive does not allow for the patenting of, among others, the human body or the different stages of its formation, methods for cloning human beings, methods for modifying the germline genetic identity of human beings, the use of human embryos for intellectual or commercial purposes, methods for modifying the genetic identity of animals which are likely to cause them suffering without any substantial medical benefit, or animals resulting from such processes. However, inventions involving isolated biological material, even when it previously exists in a natural state, or plants or animals, are patentable if the technical feasibility of the invention is not confined to a particular plant variety or animal breed.

As such, genes and nucleic acid molecules, proteins and amino-acid sequences, enzymes, antibodies, viruses and the sequences thereof, cells, microorganisms, plants and animals constitute patentable inventions. Non-patentable inventions include genetic or protein sequences without a known function, genetically modified animals that suffer but do not contribute any significant medical benefit, plant varieties (which can no longer be protected under their own law) and animal breeds, human embryos and methods that necessarily include their use and destruction, human germ cells and human-animal hybrids.