Topography rights are a special form of design right and copyright that relate to the layout of semi-conductor products such as chips.
The protection is automatic, but it is a requirement that a copy of the design is written down for dating purposes. In addition, the design must be original and not common palace, meaning that the design has not been copied form an earlier design.
Being a form of design right, the right last for fifteen years from date of the design, or ten years from first marketing.
There are similar rights for topography in semi-conductors in the US and Japan.