IP case law Court of Justice

Concept of database

1 pending referral

Referral C-693/22 (I., 10 Nov 2022)


4 preliminary rulings

Judgment of 29 Oct 2015, C-490/14 (Verlag Esterbauer)

Article 1(2) of Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases must be interpreted as meaning that geographical information extracted from a topographic map by a third party so that that information may be used to produce and market another map retains, following its extraction, sufficient informative value to be classified as ‘independent materials’ of a ‘database’ within the meaning of that provision.

Judgment of 15 Jan 2015, C-30/14 (Ryanair)

Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases must be interpreted as meaning that it is not applicable to a database which is not protected either by copyright or by the sui generis right under that directive, so that Articles 6(1), 8 and 15 of that directive do not preclude the author of such a database from laying down contractual limitations on its use by third parties, without prejudice to the applicable national law.

Judgment of 1 Mar 2012, C-604/10 (Football Dataco)

Article 3(1) of Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases must be interpreted as meaning that a ‘database’ within the meaning of Article 1(2) of that directive is protected by the copyright laid down by that directive provided that the selection or arrangement of the data which it contains amounts to an original expression of the creative freedom of its author, which is a matter for the national court to determine. As a consequence: – the intellectual effort and skill of creating that data are not relevant in order to assess the eligibility of that database for protection by that right; – it is irrelevant, for that purpose, whether or not the selection or arrangement of that data includes the addition of important significance to that data, and – the significant labour and skill required for setting up that database cannot as such justify such a protection if they do not express any originality in the selection or arrangement of the data which that database contains.

Directive 96/9 must be interpreted as meaning that, subject to the transitional provision contained in Article 14(2) of that directive, it precludes national legislation which grants databases, as defined in Article 1(2) of the directive, copyright protection under conditions which are different to those set out in Article 3(1) of the directive.

Judgment of 9 Nov 2004, C-444/02 (Fixtures Marketing)

The term ‘database’ as defined in Article 1(2) of Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases refers to any collection of works, data or other materials, separable from one another without the value of their contents being affected, including a method or system of some sort for the retrieval of each of its constituent materials. A fixture list for a football league such as that at issue in the case in the main proceedings constitutes a database within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Directive 96/9.The expression ‘investment in … the obtaining … of the contents’ of a database in Article 7(1) of Directive 96/9 must be understood to refer to the resources used to seek out existing independent materials and collect them in the database. It does not cover the resources used for the creation of materials which make up the contents of a database. In the context of drawing up a fixture list for the purpose of organising football league fixtures, therefore, it does not cover the resources used to establish the dates, times and the team pairings for the various matches in the league.


Disclaimer