Q&As

What will be the impact of Brexit on UK national database rights? What might be ahead for UK database rightholders who have created databases deployed in the EU and for EU27 nationals and EU27 companies who have had or require legal protection of databases in the UK?

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Produced in partnership with Joshua Marshall of Fieldfisher
Published on LexisPSL on 25/10/2017

The following IP Q&A Produced in partnership with Joshua Marshall of Fieldfisher provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What will be the impact of Brexit on UK national database rights? What might be ahead for UK database rightholders who have created databases deployed in the EU and for EU27 nationals and EU27 companies who have had or require legal protection of databases in the UK?

1. Following Brexit, will the UK need specific legislation for UK national database rights if the EU right no longer applies?

Rights in databases exist in two forms: (1) copyright in the selection or arrangement of the data in the database; and (2) a sui generis database right in the contents of the database where there has been substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting it. Resources invested in the creation of the data itself is irrelevant for determining whether database rights subsist (British Horse Racing Board v William Hill). The copyright in a database is infringed in the same way as any other form of literary copyright. The database right is infringed by extracting or reutilising all or a substantial part of the contents of the database. Fundamentally, the defendant’s work must derive from the claimant’s database.

Directive 96/9/EC (Database Directive) has been implemented in UK law since 1998 through section 3–3A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) and the Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997, SI 1997/3032. Unless repealed, these provisions will continue in force. The issue is that, as drafted, for database rights to subsist in the database, the qualification requirements under SI 1997/3032, reg 18 must be satisfied. Essentially, this requires the maker to be a national of, resident within, incorporated in or formed within a EEA

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