77m Ltd v Ordnance Survey Ltd [2019] EWHC 3007 (Ch)

20 December 2019

In this dispute relating to the rights in mapping and addressing databases, Jaani Riordan represented 77m and Lindsay Lane QC and Jessie Bowhill represented Ordnance Survey.

77M had created a dataset called Matrix consisting of geospatial coordinates and addresses in Great Britain. It had done so by using a wide range of datasets which were either publicly available for free or which 77m paid to access. Some of those datasets included data derived from Ordnance Survey. One of the sources used to create Matrix was data from Her Majesty’s Land Registry (HMLR), another source of data was Registers of Scotland (RoS).

The question before the Judge (Birss J) at trial was whether 77M had succeeded in creating Matrix without infringing any database rights of Ordnance Survey.

The Court held that 77m’s use of data under the so-called INSPIRE Polygon Download Terms was licensed and as such was not an infringement of OS’s database right but that 77m had breached other licence terms with HMLR and RoS and therefore Ordnance Survey’s claims for database right infringement in relation to data used pursuant to those licences succeeded.

The judgment considers the issue of “consultation” and also certain statutory defences to database right infringement.

View judgment