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IPRs in Databases

Written by Owen Ross on 26 June 2012

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For a database to exist under section 3A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 ("the Act") there must be a collection of independent works, consisting of data or other material arranged in a systematic or methodical way which is individually accessible by electronic or other means. If the above criteria are not met Part 1 of the Act may still provide copyright protection as a compilation.

Where the above criteria are met the next test to be satisfied is... is it original? Does the selection and arrangement of its contents constitute the authors intellectual creation? For the database right to apply there must be a substantial investment in obtaining verifying or presenting the database contents.

The author also needs to be a qualifying person? To be a qualifying person the maker of the database must have been based in the EEA at the time the expression of intellectual creation was recorded. If the maker of the database was based in the EEA at this time the structure of the database will be protected under section 3 of the Act, data has database right protection under the copyright and rights in databases regulations 1997.

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