British Horseracing Board Ltd and Others v William Hill Organization Ltd: CA 31 Jul 2001

The Board had established a database of information about horse racing. It was costly. The defendants recovered the information from a licensed user, and used it for its own business purposes. It was not suggested that the licensee had any right to sub-licence the data. The Board had succeeded, at first instance, in arguing that the defendant had infringed its database rights. It was argued that the judge had failed to acknowledge that the defendants had not taken advantage of the way in which the maker had rendered the contents individually accessible. However nothing the regulations required that element. Nevertheless, in a case where any doubt as to the interpretation of a directive required resolution, that question could be referred to the European Court of Justice. It was so referred.


Mr Justice Clarke, Lord Justice Peter Gibson, Lord Justice Kay


[2001] EWCA Civ 1268




Directive 96/9/EC, Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997 (1997 No 3032)


England and Wales


Appeal fromBritish Horseracing Board Ltd v William Hill Organisation Ltd PatC 9-Feb-2001
The defendants received data, prepared and distributed by the claimants, regarding horse races, and incorporated the information into their web pages as part of a betting service. There might have been other, indirect, ways of obtaining the same . .

Cited by:

Reference fromThe British Horseracing Board Ltd and Others v William Hill Organization Ltd ECJ 9-Nov-2004
The claimant sought to prevent re-use by the defendant of information from its horse racing subscription service. They claimed that they had a database right in the information. It cost andpound;4m per year to assemble.
Held: The expression . .
See AlsoBritish Horseracing Board Ltd and Another v William Hill Organization Ltd CA 13-Jul-2005
The Court allowed William Hill’s appeal, holding that BHB had not established that the ECJ had given its earlier ruling on the basis of an erroneous assumption of fact and that the result of applying the ruling was that BHB’s Database did not fall . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property, European

Updated: 01 June 2022; Ref: scu.159876