Victoria, British Columbia – The Supreme Court of Canada has issued an injunction against Google’s global search results as it pertains to the ongoing lawsuit of Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack. The suit itself has nothing to do with Google per se and does not even name the tech giant as a defendant. The lawsuit deals with the defendants being accused of purloining trade secrets from the plaintiffs and using that knowledge to develop products of their own to compete directly against them. Where Google gets ensnared in this legal morass is that their search results facilitate the online business of the defendants which is the subject matter of the lawsuit.
Initially, Google complied with the plaintiff’s demand to remove all links to the website operated by the defendants, but those links only apply to google.ca. It doesn’t take any Canadian much effort to alter their Google search engine to hit the United States at google.com and bypass the plaintiff’s demand. The only effective way to remove the links from any of Google’s search results is to remove the links from all of Google’s search engines. This brings up the legal question of whether a provincial court can exercise such broad jurisdiction over a foreign company.
As it turns out, the Supreme Court of British Columbia concluded that it most certainly can. Their decision was based on the fact that Google does business with advertisers in the province giving the court the ability to issue an injunction against the search provider’s global search results. The decision may prove to be far reaching as courts in other areas of the world are also eager to curtail search results they believe intrude on privacy rights among other things. It is not clear if Google will pursue a higher review of the decision with the British Columbia Court of Appeal.
Aidan Donaldson is a reporter for County Telegram. After graduating from University of Ottawa, Aidan got an internship at CTV News in Toronto and worked as a reporter and sound engineer. Adman has also worked as a reporter for Maclleans Magazine. Aidan covers entertainment and community events for County Telegram.