Google has obtained leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Equustek Solutions v. Datalink Technologies Gateways et al 2015 BCCA 265, a decision that I discussed in my July 9, 2015 blog post. That decision affirmed an injunction that prohibits Google, the internet search engine giant, from including certain websites in results delivered by its search engines – anywhere in the world. The websites were used by Data link Technologies Gateways to market products that are knockoffs of the products of Equustek Solutions. Equustek sought the injunction against Google (not a party to the original lawsuit and not accused of wrongdoing) after other means to stop Data Link had failed. The court found that it had territorial jurisdiction over Google based on the provisions of the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act, S.B.C. 2003, ch. 28 regarding territorial competence. The court found in personam jurisdiction based on the business Google carries on in B.C. – the sale of advertising – and its website.
In moving for leave, Google said the case raises these issues for the Court to consider:
a.) Under what circumstances may a court order a search engine to block search results, having regard to the interest in access to information and freedom of expression?
b.) Do Canadian courts have the authority to block search results outside of Canada’s borders? And
c.) Under what circumstances, if any, is a litigant entitled to an interlocutory injunction against a non-party that is not alleged to have done anything wrong?
Canadian jurisprudence will benefit from the Court’s consideration of these timely issues.