Sui Generis Database Protection 2.0: Judicial and Legislative Reforms
European Intellectual Property Review (EIPR) - Forthcoming
13 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021 Last revised: 7 Jan 2022
Date Written: November 16, 2021
The Database Directive confers investment protection (so-called sui generis database protection) on makers of some types of databases. It represents a unique top-down policy experiment of the EU legislature with little national precedent prior to its adoption in 1996. The Directive aimed to encourage investment in the making and improvement of databases in Europe. Its ultimate goal was the development of an EU information market. Two decades later, the results are not very encouraging. The newly created exclusive right did not deliver the intended benefits. The European Commission is therefore keen on reforming the protection in the context of its Data Act in 2022. Coincidentally, in June 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a seminal judgment, CV Online Latvia v Melons, that significantly alters the scope of the protection. This article looks at the original and persisting criticism of the sui generis database protection, how it is addressed by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), and what should be done by the European Commission in its upcoming reform. It offers suggestions for how to further develop the sui generis database protection of the second generation.
Keywords: sui generis database right, intellectual property, EU, CJEU, reform, data, protection
JEL Classification: K20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation