Use of Dedicated Meta-Search Engine Infringes Database Right: The CJEU’s Stance in Innoweb v. Wegener


The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) released an important decision concerning the sui generis right under Article 7 of the Directive 96/9 on the legal protection of databases. The court held that an internet operator that provides a dedicated meta-search engine (which in turn uses search engines provided by other websites to retrieve results) re-uses the whole or a substantial part of the contents of a database and therefore commits infringement, if such engine: (i) provides the end user with a search form which substantially has the same functionality as the search form on the target website; (ii) enables a search of the whole database in the target website and (iii) presents the elaborated results in a way which is comparable to that of the target website.


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