About Intellectual Property IP Training Respect for IP IP Outreach IP for… IP and... IP in... Patent & Technology Information Trademark Information Industrial Design Information Geographical Indication Information Plant Variety Information (UPOV) IP Laws, Treaties & Judgements IP Resources IP Reports Patent Protection Trademark Protection Industrial Design Protection Geographical Indication Protection Plant Variety Protection (UPOV) IP Dispute Resolution IP Office Business Solutions Paying for IP Services Negotiation & Decision-Making Development Cooperation Innovation Support Public-Private Partnerships AI Tools & Services The Organization Working with WIPO Accountability Patents Trademarks Industrial Designs Geographical Indications Copyright Trade Secrets WIPO Academy Workshops & Seminars IP Enforcement WIPO ALERT Raising Awareness World IP Day WIPO Magazine Case Studies & Success Stories IP News WIPO Awards Business Universities Indigenous Peoples Judiciaries Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Economics Gender Equality Global Health Climate Change Competition Policy Sustainable Development Goals Frontier Technologies Mobile Applications Sports Tourism PATENTSCOPE Patent Analytics International Patent Classification ARDI – Research for Innovation ASPI – Specialized Patent Information Global Brand Database Madrid Monitor Article 6ter Express Database Nice Classification Vienna Classification Global Design Database International Designs Bulletin Hague Express Database Locarno Classification Lisbon Express Database Global Brand Database for GIs PLUTO Plant Variety Database GENIE Database WIPO-Administered Treaties WIPO Lex - IP Laws, Treaties & Judgments WIPO Standards IP Statistics WIPO Pearl (Terminology) WIPO Publications Country IP Profiles WIPO Knowledge Center WIPO Technology Trends Global Innovation Index World Intellectual Property Report PCT – The International Patent System ePCT Budapest – The International Microorganism Deposit System Madrid – The International Trademark System eMadrid Article 6ter (armorial bearings, flags, state emblems) Hague – The International Design System eHague Lisbon – The International System of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications eLisbon UPOV PRISMA UPOV e-PVP Administration UPOV e-PVP DUS Exchange Mediation Arbitration Expert Determination Domain Name Disputes Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) Digital Access Service (DAS) WIPO Pay Current Account at WIPO WIPO Assemblies Standing Committees Calendar of Meetings WIPO Webcast WIPO Official Documents Development Agenda Technical Assistance IP Training Institutions COVID-19 Support National IP Strategies Policy & Legislative Advice Cooperation Hub Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) Technology Transfer Inventor Assistance Program WIPO GREEN WIPO's Pat-INFORMED Accessible Books Consortium WIPO for Creators WIPO Translate Speech-to-Text Classification Assistant Member States Observers Director General Activities by Unit External Offices Job Vacancies Procurement Results & Budget Financial Reporting Oversight
Arabic English Spanish French Russian Chinese
Laws Treaties Judgments Browse By Jurisdiction

2022 WIPO Intellectual Property Judges Forum



Session 5: Supreme Court of Canada [2017]: Google Inc. v Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34

This is an informal case summary prepared for the purposes of facilitating exchange during the 2022 WIPO IP Judges Forum.


Session 5: Provisional Measures in IP Disputes (Part II)


Supreme Court of Canada [2017]: Google Inc. v Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34


Date of judgment: June 28, 2017

Issuing authority: Supreme Court of Canada

Level of the issuing authority: Final instance

Subject matter: Enforcement of IP and related laws

Plaintiff: Google Inc. (Appellant)

Defendant: Equustek Solutions Inc., Robert Angus and Clarma Enterprises Inc. (Respondents)

Keywords: Provisional measures, injunctions, non-party


Summary:  Equustek is a small technology company in British Columbia that develops networking devices enabling industrial equipment manufactured by different companies to communicate. Equustek brought an action against its distributor for the unlawful use and sale of its intellectual property via the Internet. The British Columbia Supreme Court (BCSC) granted the company an interlocutory injunction against Google, a non-party to underlying action, to cease indexing or referencing certain search results on its Internet search engine.


The issue before the Court was whether Google could be ordered, pending trial of the action, to globally deindex websites of the distributor which, in breach of several court orders, was using those websites to unlawfully sell intellectual property of another company. A component of this was whether the BCSC had jurisdiction to grant an injunction with extraterritorial effect and, if so, whether it was just and equitable to do so.


The British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld the injunction. On further appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), the SCC applied the established tripartite test for injunctive relief, and confirmed that this may be ordered against someone who is not a party to the underlying lawsuit. The injunction in this case flowed from the necessity of Google’s assistance to prevent the facilitation of the distributor’s ability to defy court orders and do irreparable harm to Equustek.


The SCC ruled that, where it is necessary to ensure the injunction’s effectiveness, a court can grant an injunction enjoining conduct anywhere in the world. If Google had evidence that complying with the injunction would require it to violate the laws of another jurisdiction, including interfering with freedom of expression, it was free to apply to the British Columbia courts to vary the interlocutory order accordingly.


Two dissenting judges held that the Google order in effect amounted to a final determination of the action, because it removed any potential benefit from proceeding to trial. The test for interlocutory injunctions did not apply to an order that was effectively final, and the Google order did not meet the test for a permanent injunction. Furthermore, the order was ineffective, cumbersome to administer, and alternative remedies were available.