Geophyical Service Incorporated (GSI) commenced an action that includes a claim for copyright infringement. GSI claims all IP rights in the data it gathers and markets to oil and gas exploration companies. Some of the data GSI collects must go to the National Energy Board (NEB) who can, after a period of time has elapsed, disclose the confidential information to those who apply for it. GSI claims the NEB sent copies of its data to the other defendants and failed to protect GSI’s property interest.
The defendants claimed that Alberta lacked jurisdiction to hear the claim. In the alternative, the defendants argued if there was jurisdiction, the better forum would be Newfoundland and Labrador. Although the master had agreed with the defendants and dismissed the claim, this ruling was overturned on appeal to the Queen’s Bench.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in SOCAN v. Cdn. Assn. of Internet Providers, 2004 SCC 45, Alberta was found to be the site of any alleged copyright infringement for the purposes of this application due to the fact that the materials were sent to and received in Alberta. That provided a real and substantial connection to Alberta for the subject matter of the litigation. The presumption was not rebutted by the fact that parts of the copyright infringement occurred in Newfoundland and Labrador.