Rights in data handbook: Protecting and exploiting IP in data and databases internationally


The value of data and databases to business is undeniable and continues to increase. As a result the laws which enable data to be protected and exploited are crucial to many industries, from horseracing to financial services. Nonetheless, while much has been written about the neighbouring area of data privacy/data protection, the issue of IP rights in data and databases has traditionally received almost no attention. This guide sets out an overview of the IP and related rights affecting data and databases in 12 key global jurisdictions.

This handbook provides a high-level summary, with links to relevant sources, of the different types of protection which are available for data and databases in 12 key global jurisdictions. For each jurisdiction we consider three categories of database which may benefit from protection: original databases, databases in which investment has been made, and confidential databases.

As database law is only part-harmonised in the EU we have, in addition to a section on the EU, separate sections on six representative EU jurisdictions (France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK). To assist you to navigate our European content and avoid repetition, there are cross-references between the EU section and the national sections.

Data privacy/data protection law is not the focus of this guide. However, we recognise that there is an overlap, in that data privacy/data protection laws do limit both database owners’ ability to exploit data and database users’ ability to use it. We have therefore very briefly summarised the scope of the data privacy/data protection regime in each country…

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