The Supreme Court has overturned an order made by the High Court requiring an online travel agent to disclose the identity of the third party which it engaged to “scrape” information from Ryanair’s website.
Unister appealed against the disclosure order and a stay was placed on the order pending the appeal. In the meantime, Ryanair discovered the identity of the third party, Ypsilon.net AG, and successfully applied to the High Court to have it joined as a co-defendant to the proceedings. Unister also appealed against this order.
The Supreme Court held that the High Court should not have ordered Unister to disclose the third party’s identity at a time when its challenge to the jurisdiction of the Irish courts had not been determined. Mr Justice Clarke stated that a court should be slow to make orders where a challenge to its jurisdiction is pending as such orders might interfere with the process before the court ultimately found to have jurisdiction. A court can, however, make orders which would assist it in determining the jurisdiction issue or provisional orders to safeguard the rights of the parties until the trial. The Court found that as the purpose of the disclosure order sought by Ryanair in this instance was only marginally connected to the jurisdiction question, it should not have been granted.
The Court, however, denied Unister’s appeal against the decision to join Ypsilon to the proceedings as the order had no effect on the jurisdictional challenge.