Volume 54 (2017) / Issue 2
Unusually, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU contains a provision (Art. 17(2)) expressly recognizing the right to the protection of intellectual property. With the notable exception of Luksan, the ECJ case law on this provision relates to cases in which the right to IP is pitted against other Charter rights. The Court has been driven to seek a “fair balance” between the rights at stake, an exercise which can only be carried out on a case-by-case basis, thus engendering considerable legal uncertainty. What is more, in several cases the Court has given more limited guidance than it might have done; the recent ruling in McFadden is encouraging, however. But the Court by no means bears sole responsibility for this legal uncertainty: courts are ill equipped to solve such complex policy issues; and, had it not been for the numerous gaps and ambiguities in the relevant EU legislation, the Court would not have had to step in so frequently.
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