Database right infringement
Database right infringement

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Database right infringement
  • Infringement of database right
  • Exhaustion
  • Confidential information
  • Data protection
  • Practical steps for protecting a database

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—IP rights.

Database right is a property right introduced by Directive 96/9/EC (Database Directive) in a database where there has been substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting its contents. Examples of what constitutes a database are: a hard copy or electronic encyclopedia; collections of data on websites; the intranet; a spreadsheet that records a database and a pdf document of such a spreadsheet (see the Forensic Telecommunications Services Limited case); and a document management system. The Database Directive was implemented in the UK by the Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997 (CRD 1997), SI 1997/3032. Database right is infringed by extraction or re-utilisation of all or a substantial part of the contents of the database without the consent of the owner of the right. Not all databases are protected by the database right. The only ones that are protected are those in which there has been substantial investment.

Database right arises automatically when a database that contains the relevant characteristics and that 'qualifies' exists in a