Chronology of the Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc. Litigation


April 12, 2011 Equustek sues Datalink in British Columbia Supreme Court (BCSC) (B.C.’s court of first instance).

 

September 23, 2011 BCSC grants an injunction ordering Datalink:

1.    To return to Equustek any source code, board schematics, and any other documentation it may have had in its possession that belonged to Equustek.

2.    Prohibiting Datalink from referring to Equustek or any of Equustek’s products on its websites.

3.    To post a statement on its websites information customers that Datalink was no longer a distributor of Equustek products and directing consumers interested in Equustek’s products to Equustek’s website.

4.    Provide Equustek with a list of customers who had ordered an Equustek product from Datalink.

 

March 21, 2012 The BCSC finds that Datalink had not complied with the September 23, 2011 court order, orders Datalink to produce a new customer list and make certain changes to the notices on Datalink’s websites. After this ruling, Datalink ceased defending against the lawsuit and left the jurisdiction without complying with the court orders.

 

July 26, 2012 BCSC grants a further injunction, freezing Datalink’s worldwide assets, including its entire product inventory. The Court found that Datalink had incorporated shell companies in different jurisdictions (presumably to obscure its activities), continued to sell the infringing product, reduced prices to attract more customers, and offered additional services that Equustek claimed disclosed more of its trade secrets. The Court concluded that Equustek would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction was not granted, and that on the balance of convenience and due to a risk that Datalink’s assets would disappear, it was just and equitable to grant the injunction against Datalink.

 

August 3, 2012 BCSC grants another interlocutory injunction prohibiting Datalink from dealing with broader classes of Equustek’s IP. The Court noted that Equustek’s earnings had fallen drastically since Datalink commenced infringing Datalink’s IP and concluded that allowing Datalink to continue its infringement of Equustek’s rights would cause irreparable harm to Equustek.

 

September 26, 2012 Equustek brought contempt of court proceedings against Datalink and its principal, Morgan Jack. The Court issued a warrant for Mr. Jack’s arrest, which apparently remained outstanding at the time the Supreme Court of Canada judgment was written.

 

September 2012 Datalink continued to operate from an unknown location, selling its infringing product to customers all over the world. Equustek was unable to have the Datalink websites removed by their hosting companies. Equustek approached Google and requested that it de-index the Datalink websites. When Google refused, Equustek brought court proceedings seeking an order compelling Google to de-index the Datalink websites. Google asked Equustek to obtain a court order prohibiting Datalink from carrying on business on the Internet, indicating Google would comply with such an order by removing specific webpages as per Google policy. Equustek agreed to try this approach.

 

December 13, 2012 BCSC issued an injunction against Datalink prohibiting it from operating or carrying on business via any website.

 

December 2012 to January 2013 Google proceeded to de-index 345 specific Datalink webpages accessed via google.ca, but not other countries’ Google search engine websites, between December 2012 and January 2013. This resulted in Datalink moving objectionable content to new pages within its websites, again circumventing the various court orders and creating a “whack-a-mole” situation. Because an Internet searcher in one country can search the Internet using other Google sites (e.g. a Canadian user can search the US Google site by typing http://www.google.com, not http://www.google.ca, in their Internet browser), potential Canadian customers of Datalink were able to visit Google search engines for other countries and access Datalink’s websites. As most of Datalink’s customers were outside of Canada, Google’s de-indexing did not have the intended effect.

 

June 13, 2014 Equustek sought and was granted an interlocutory injunction by the BCSC, barring Google from displaying any portion of the Datalink websites on any of Google search results worldwide.

 

July 23, 2014 Google appealed to the Court of Appeal of British Columbia (CABC) , which dismissed Google’s appeal and upheld the BCSC’s injunction.

 

September 20, 2015 Google sought the Supreme Court of Canada’s permission to appeal the CABC’s decision (a.k.a. leave to appeal).

 

February 18, 2016 Supreme Court of Canada grants leave to appeal.

 

December 6, 2016 Supreme Court of Canada hearing of the appeal.

 

June 28, 2017 Supreme Court of Canada issues judgement upholding the injunction against Google.

 

 

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