The Irish shops are bringing the action in an attempt to recover the £20m a year they pay for data rights. The bookmakers, as plaintiffs in the case, are claiming the agreements which they hold with the BHB are void, principally because of the judgements of the European Court of Justice in November last year and the Court of Appeal in July this year.
In those judgements the bookmakers William Hill were found by the ECJ not to have infringed the BHB's database rights by publishing runner-and-rider information on their website.
The BHB failed to overturn the decision in the Court of Appeal. As a result the Irish bookmakers are seeking repayment of some or all sums paid to the BHB, plus damages.
Racing's governing body refutes these claims. The BHB will argue the agreement continues to have full force and effect, that the plaintiffs continue to receive benefit under it and there is no entitlement to repayment of monies paid under it. They will draw attention to the clause in the agreement which states in the event of the BHB no longer having exclusive rights to the pre-race data, the bookmakers have a right to serve six months notice of termination.
The BHB will also point out the plaintiffs chose to enter into the agreement because it confers benefits and advantages on them.
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