IP case law Court of Justice

Concept of 're-utilisation'

1 pending referral

Referral C-762/19 (CV-Online Latvia, 17 Oct 2019)


3 preliminary rulings

Judgment of 19 Dec 2013, C-202/12 (Innoweb)

Article 7(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 an operator who makes available on the Internet a dedicated meta search engine such as that at issue in the main proceedings re-utilises the whole or a substantial part of the contents of a database protected under Article 7, where that dedicated meta engine:
– provides the end user with a search form which essentially offers the same range of functionality as the search form on the database site;
– ‘translates’ queries from end users into the search engine for the database site ‘in real time’, so that all the information on that database is searched through; and
– presents the results to the end user using the format of its website, grouping duplications together into a single block item but in an order that reflects criteria comparable to those used by the search engine of the database site concerned for presenting results.

Judgment of 18 Oct 2012, C-173/11 (Football Dataco)

Article 7 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 the sending by one person, by means of a web server located in Member State A, of data previously uploaded by that person from a database protected by the sui generis right under that directive to the computer of another person located in Member State B, at that person’s request, for the purpose of storage in that computer’s memory and display on its screen, constitutes an act of ‘re-utilisation’ of the data by the person sending it. That act takes place, at least, in Member State B, where there is evidence from which it may be concluded that the act discloses an intention on the part of the person performing the act to target members of the public in Member State B, which is for the national court to assess.

Judgment of 9 Nov 2004, C-203/02 (British Horseracing)

The terms ‘extraction’ and ‘re-utilisation’ as defined in Article 7 of Directive 96/9 must be interpreted as referring to any unauthorised act of appropriation and distribution to the public of the whole or a part of the contents of a database. Those terms do not imply direct access to the database concerned. The fact that the contents of a database were made accessible to the public by its maker or with his consent does not affect the right of the maker to prevent acts of extraction and/or re-utilisation of the whole or a substantial part of the contents of a database.

The prohibition laid down by Article 7(5) of Directive 96/9 refers to unauthorised acts of extraction or re-utilisation the cumulative effect of which is to reconstitute and/or make available to the public, without the authorisation of the maker of the database, the whole or a substantial part of the contents of that database and thereby seriously prejudice the investment by the maker.


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