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Database Rights

Copyright protects databases where they are original and sufficient skill, judgment and labour have been expended by the author, but a database may also qualify for separate protection under EU law if there has been a substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting the contents of the database.

Many commonly used databases, such as purchase order systems, customer and contact lists and document management systems are likely to benefit from database right protection and can be valuable assets for businesses.  Appropriate restrictions on the use of databases and taking steps to protect the confidentiality of such information can help businesses to preserve the value of their databases.

We have extensive expertise in database rights and have advised in various sectors on both exploitation and enforcement.  A claim for database right infringement is often brought in tandem with a claim for breach of confidence when, for example, an ex-employee has been found to have misappropriated customer lists or other compilations of commercially valuable information.


Our experience

  • Leading industrial gas supplier BOC on a claim for copyright and database right infringement against a key competitor. The dispute concerned the unauthorised use of a proprietary and valuable healthcare database, together with confidential training materials and data
  • A national leisure company in a claim involving the unauthorised use of information contained within its database

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