Accelerator-case is still going to European Court

In the long-standing conflict between Innoweb and Wegener, the court in The Hague first wants clarity from the Court of Justice of the European Union. Wegener has been arguing for years with the company Innoweb about its meta search engine Accelerator. Wegener offers via its site Autotrack.nl access to an online collection of used cars and car advertisements

In the long-standing conflict between Innoweb and Wegener, the court in The Hague first wants clarity from the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Wegener has been arguing for years with the company Innoweb about its meta search engine Accelerator. Wegener offers via its site Autotrack.nl access to an online collection of used cars and car advertisements. Private individuals and car companies can put advertisements for cars for sale on the website. Wegener considers that collection of data as a database.

Gaspedaal.nl did not seem to care about that. These indexed advertisements from Autotrack and other car sites and also made agreements with the operators of those sites to copy the data files. Wegener did not want that, but the court in Utrecht stopped that. Wegener was not allowed to impede the accelerator. The publisher then decided to abandon the appeal and started a bottom procedure that was won. The District Court found that the actions of Innoweb 'caused serious damage' to Wegener's investment because there was 'cumulative reuse of non-substantial parts' of the Wegener database.

This was followed by an appeal, in which the main question was whether the repeated request for 'non-substantial parts' of the contents of the AutoTrack database should be regarded as an infringement of the database law. The database law prohibits the reuse (publication) or retrieval (copying) of the whole or a substantial part of a database. The reuse or retrieval of a non-substantial part may also conflict with the database right if this conflicts with the normal exploitation of the database or causes unjustified damage to the legitimate interests of the producer of the database.

An important point here is that Gaspedaal.nl searches the database of Autotrack.nl from Wegener in real time, namely when a user of the accelerator pedal enters a search. Only certain data is used for the information found.

The court wants to submit nine questions to the European court before arriving at the final verdict. With that, the case seems to last longer. For both parties, however, it is a matter of principle.