Database law

Database law is one of the intellectual property rights, as are copyright law, trademark law, design law, trade name law, neighbouring rights and patent law.

Database law protects collection of independent works, data or other materials arranged in a systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by electronic or other means. Eligibility for protection requires substantial investment in the obtaining, verification or presentation of the contents of the database, either qualitatively or quantitatively.

For many organisations, the database is at the core of their services. Think of online platforms such as comparison websites, marketplaces or booking websites. The individual data in the database may also be protected by copyright or trademark law.

The database right arises automatically. No registration or certificate is required. The producer of a database has the right to give permission for extraction and re-utilization of the database. The producer is the organization that bears risk for the substantial investment in the database.

If another party uses a database without the producer’s permission, this constitutes an infringement of database rights. The producer can take action, for example by initiating injunction proceedings or claiming damages, such as lost profits (licence fees).

In order to assess whether your data collection is a database and is protected by database law, the assistance of a specialised lawyer is usually required. Not every collection of data is by definition a database. SOLV has extensive experience in the legal and technical aspects of databases.

Our services

  • Litigating cases on infringements of database rights, including summary proceedings, proceedings on the merits and appeals
  • Preparation and execution of (digital) evidence seizures
  • Corresponding on infringement of database rights: cease and desist letters and negotiations
  • Advice on the use of protected databases and the role of the producer in the enforcement of database law
  • Drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts, such as licence agreements and deeds of transfer