On 19 December 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) gave a preliminary ruling in case C 202/12, stating that under Article 7 of the Database Directive (96/9/EC), dedicated meta search engines may infringe database rights through “re-utilization” when used to query proprietary databases.

Essentially the CJEU ruled that dedicated meta search engines re-utilize the entire or a substantial part of a protected database when they provide an end user with a search form fundamentally equal to that on the database site, translate their users’ queries in real-time to ensure that the entire database is searched, and present the results in an order that reflects criteria akin to those used by the search engine of the protected database site.