The British Horseracing Board LTD v. William Hill Organization Ltd

2004 E.C.R. I-10415 (2004)

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The British Horseracing Board LTD v. William Hill Organization Ltd

European Court of Justice
2004 E.C.R. I-10415 (2004)

Facts

The British Horseracing Board Ltd (BHB) (plaintiff) managed horseracing in the United Kingdom. BHB created a database that contained information concerning horse owners, trainers, and race organizers, as well as information on specific horses and their pedigrees. Such information was particularly valuable for betting on horse races. The contents of this database were available to users for a fee on the internet and in a print journal published weekly by BHB. William Hill Organization Ltd (William Hill) (defendant) was a subscriber to the database. William Hill provided betting services for horseracing speculators both in the United Kingdom and internationally. William Hill built its own website utilizing a small portion of the data from BHB’s database. In 2000, BHB brought suit against William Hill in the England and Wales High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, alleging infringement of BHB’s rights in the database. The high court found in favor of BHB, and William Hill appealed. The England and Wales Court of Appeal thereafter referred the case to the European Court of Justice to determine the extent to which a database can be protected under Article 7(1) of the European Union Trade Mark Directive.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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