36602   Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., Robert Angus, Clarma Enterprises Inc., et al. (B.C.)

Administrative law — Interlocutory orders — Injunctions

The plaintiffs sued their former distributors for unlawful appropriation of trade secrets, alleging that the distributors designed and sold counterfeit versions of their products. The plaintiffs obtained injunctions against the distributors, prohibiting them from carrying on any business online. When this proved ineffective, the plaintiffs sought a court order against Google, to prohibit it from displaying search results that included the distributors’ websites.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia granted a worldwide injunction against Google, finding that it had territorial competence over Google and that it possessed an inherent jurisdiction to maintain the rule of law and protect its processes, which in appropriate circumstances may include an injunction against non-parties. In this case, the balance of convenience favoured granting an injunction. The Court of Appeal agreed that the court held jurisdiction over Google with respect to the injunction application. It also concluded that it was permissible to seek interim relief against a non-party. The power to grant injunctions is presumptively unlimited, and injunctions aimed at maintaining order need not be directed solely at the parties involved in litigation. In this case, an injunction with worldwide effect was justified. Google’s appeal against the interim injunction was dismissed

36639    Urban Communications Inc. v. BCNET Networking Society (B.C.)

Arbitration — Appeals — Commercial arbitration award

Under s. 31 of the Arbitration Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 55, the arbitrator had to determine whether the respondent BCNET Networking Society properly and validly exercised its options under the agreement between itself and the applicant Urban Communications Inc. The arbitrator ruled in favour of the respondent finding the options had been properly exercised.

The chambers judge granted leave to appeal, allowed the appeal and amended the arbitrator’s award. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and reinstated the arbitrator’s award.