BHB today welcomed comments by the Court of Appeal in giving judgment on the appeal by William Hill against Mr Justice Laddie’s robust ruling in February that database right subsists in BHB’s Racing Information Database.
BHB Secretary-General Tristram Ricketts said today:
“The Court of Appeal has decided, in view of the importance of the issues raised in this case and as this is the first database case to come to trial in this country, to refer to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) a number of questions of interpretation of the EU Directive from which the UK Database Regulations derive.
“However, in so doing, the Court explicitly stated that: “If the interpretation question to which this case gives rise had to be determined without the luxury of a reference, we think it likely that we would support the conclusions of the Judge for the reasons which he explains.” Furthermore, the Court confirmed that the High Court ruling remains in force, and upheld the finding of fact that the list of runners is indeed part of the BHB database.
“The injunction, ordered by Mr Justice Laddie in February restraining William Hill from infringing BHB’s database right, was lifted only because the Court of Appeal did not consider that there was a risk that William Hill, who took out an internet licence very shortly before the High Court ruling, would deliberately breach the Judge’s order and continue to display the information on their internet sites without a licence.
“BHB will continue to progress its levy replacement strategy in the wake of the Government’s decision to abolish the levy, and to pursue those bookmakers who make unlicensed use of its data. While the continuing delay in settling the matter is much regretted, we concur with the Court of Appeal’s view that, if a reference to the ECJ is to be made, it is quicker, and therefore preferable, for the matter to be referred now, rather than by the House of Lords.”
Note to Editors
It is likely that the ECJ ruling will take some nine months to two years to be delivered, following which the Court of Appeal will give a substantive judgment.
For further information, please contact Tristram Ricketts on 020 7343 3312 or Alan Delmonte, BHB Communications Manager, on 020 7343 3318.