This article provides the first comprehensive analysis of the intellectual property case law of the European Court of Human Rights ("ECHR"). Within the last three years, the ECHR has issued a trio of intellectual property rulings interpreting the right of property protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. These decisions, which view intellectual property through the lens of fundamental rights, have important consequences for the region's innovation and creativity policies. The cases are also emblematic of a growing number of controversies in domestic and international law over the intersection of human rights, property rights, and intellectual property. The article analyzes this trend and uses it to develop three distinct paradigms to identify the proper place of intellectual property issues in the European human rights system. It concludes that the ECHR should find a violation of the right of property in intellectual property disputes only in cases of arbitrary government conduct.
Laurence R. Helfer, The New Innovation Frontier? Intellectual Property and the European Court of Human Rights, 49 Harvard International Law Journal 1-52 (2008)