Selling or licensing a database
Produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Selling or licensing a database

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Selling or licensing a database
  • Assignment
  • Licensing

The provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) apply in relation to dealing with database rights and databases as they do to copyright and copyright works, so that database rights may be transmissible by assignment, by testamentary disposition or by operation of law, as personal or moveable property.

An assignment of database rights:

  1. must be in writing

  2. must be signed by or on behalf of the assignor

  3. may be total or partial

  4. may include prospective rights which will or may come into existence in the future, either on the creation of a future work or class of works or on the occurrence of a future event

A licence of database rights need not be in writing unless it is an exclusive licence, in which case it:

  1. must be in writing

  2. must be signed by or on behalf of the right owner

  3. may be total or partial

This Practice Note covers the transfer and licensing of database rights and databases; for a further information on the transferring of copyright works generally, see the following Practice Notes:

  1. Copyright assignment and licensing

  2. Transferring and licensing copyright—commercial issues

For further guidance on data protection laws which much be complied with where the database contains personal data, see GDPR toolkit.

Assignment

The provisions of CDPA 1988 that deal with rights in copyright works apply in