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CIVIL PROCEDURE - Stay or revocation of interim injunction - Setting aside

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 8:45 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Application by Google to set aside or vary an injunction. On June 13, 2014, the court issued an injunction requiring Google to remove certain websites from its internet search results worldwide. Those websites were operating in violation of previous court orders and were being used to market a product that the plaintiffs say was developed through theft of their trade secrets. Google obtained an order from a California court making it unenforceable in the United States. Google was not a party to the action. In the underlying action, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants, who were distributors of the plaintiffs’ networking devices, designed and manufactured a competing product allegedly using the plaintiffs’ trade secrets. The defendants carried on business through a complex and ever expanding network of websites through which they advertised and sold their product. Given the decision of the California court, Google said that the injunction violated core American values by interfering with freedom of speech.

HELD: Application dismissed. The California decision did not establish that the injunction required Google to violate American law. There was no suggestion that any United States (U.S.) law prohibited Google from de-indexing those websites, either in compliance with the injunction or for any other reason. Google also failed to demonstrate that the injunction violated core American values. The effect of the U.S. order was that no action could be taken against Google to enforce the injunction in U.S.
courts. That did not restrict the ability of the British Columbia court to protect the integrity of its own process through orders directed to parties over whom it had personal jurisdiction. Google correctly argued that the injunction did not prevent the defendants from continuing to sell their product on the internet. However, the effectiveness of the injunction was shown by the constant efforts of the defendants to evade it by creating new websites. It was up to the plaintiffs to prove their damages at trial.

Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, [2018] B.C.J. No. 685, British Columbia Supreme Court, N.H. Smith J., April 16, 2018. Digest No. TLD-May212018006