ONSC on service to Google

Google reviews – you either love ’em or hate ’em. Negative reviews can do unimaginable harm to your reputation and there is often little you can do to remove them. One company in Ontario, however, is trying to do just that. This Pre-Claim Injunction explains the interaction between Rules 37.17 and 16.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure in determining whether email notification is acceptable as personal service.

[17]           In most cases, I would not be satisfied that when Myers J. sent the motion back to Obsidian’s counsel to be brought “on notice”, he meant notice by something other than the personal service required for an originating process. This was, after all, the first missive in this action (or proposed action) that Google, as defendant, would have received. However, Google is an unusual respondent in certain respects, and its uniqueness may impact on the way in which the ambiguity between Rule 16.01 and Rule 37.17 is interpreted.

Since Google has three dedicated email addresses dealing with litigation, Morgan, J. accepted that notice had been given. The interim injunction and Norwich Order sought was granted.

Obsidian Group Inc. v. Google LLC, 2022 ONSC 848