The topic of this panel was cross-border issues in the online enforcement of intellectual property rights. The speakers brought a range of perspectives from the movie industry (Ben Sheffner), the public interest sector (Corynne McSherry), academia (Annemarie Bridy), and the tech industry (Alex Feerst).
The panel began with a discussion of Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, a case then pending before the Supreme Court of Canada. In the case, Google challenged a lower court’s injunction requiring it to remove search results not only from its Canadian services, but globally. The sites belonged to the defendants, who were accused of trade secret misappropriation and trademark infringement. The defendants fled Canada during the course of the litigation, which led the court to strike their defenses as a sanction. The trial court ultimately issued an order enjoining the defendants from using Equustek’s trade secrets and from selling infringing inventory. The defendants predictably disregarded the court’s order. They continued to sell products from various websites they controlled from indeterminate locations. Equustek asked Google to globally remove search results for the defendants’ websites, which Google refused to do. Google agreed only to remove infringing URLs from results on its Canadian search service at www.google.ca. Equustek argued before the trial court that Google should be compelled to do more.