Professor Tuomas Mylly is visiting for the year at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and will be presenting on Horizontality of fundamental rights and intellectual property case law of the CJEU .

Professor Mylly’s presentation will be followed by comments from Professor Hugh Collins, Vinerian Professor of English Law, and Professor Roderick Bagshaw, drawing on the intersections between human rights obligations and private law rules more generally.

The notion of fair balance of rights or proportionality has started to dominate EU Court case law when it addresses intellectual property (IP) conflicts, interprets IP norms and limits or extends existing remedies or creates new ones. It has used this language in the context of remedies, such as Internet Service Provider (ISP) obligations to filter content (Scarlet Extended), block websites (Telekabel) and password-protect Wi-Fi to protect copyright (Mc Fadden). It has resorted to fundamental rights proportionality analysis when holding that the exclusive right to communicate copyrighted works to the public may cover internet linking (GS Media), when defining entitlements to copyright (Luksan) and when defining exceptions to copyright, such as parody (Deckmyn). It has used human rights balancing when evaluating multinational corporations’ duty to license standard-essential patents under competition law (Huawei).

Most cases have been between private parties. EU fundamental rights have manifested their effects through the so-called indirect horizontal effect: rights have affected or even determined the interpretation of the applicable EU secondary norms (or domestic norms before national courts). In human rights scholarship, indirect horizontal effect is often presented as a more acceptable and less troublesome option than the notion of direct horizontal effect of fundamental rights. Prof. Mylly’s presentation will discuss the EU Court’s recent case law on IP from the perspective of indirect horizontal effect of rights, in particular. He will address the various ways in which the EU Court has operated with fundamental rights in such private disputes and discuss the pros and cons for doing so.


Mylly’s research analyses informational and communicative power from the perspective of intellectual property, fundamental rights and competition law. His current research addresses the copyright case law of the EU Court from a human rights perspective. In addition to this, he prepares a monograph on global and European intellectual property protection from a constitutional law perspective. He is also interested in private forms of regulation and algorithmic decision making.