Google Inc. has been hit by a major legal fight in Canada with a new court case claiming the company breached Canadian copyright laws.
The company said Friday it was ending its Canadian operations and cutting ties with its subsidiaries.
Google said in a statement that it is withdrawing from all legal proceedings in Canada in order to preserve its long-standing relationships with its Canadian partners.
The Canadian Supreme Court on Friday ruled against Google in a landmark case that was expected to force the company to pay millions of dollars to the families of four Canadians who died after a defective product was sold at Google’s campus in Montreal.
The Supreme Court said Google’s Canadian subsidiaries breached Canadian law by failing to adequately protect the intellectual property rights of the Canadian companies.
“This case represents a rare moment in Canada when we can finally make a judgment on the merits of copyright law and, perhaps, on a system that should have protected us and our customers from the harm that Google’s conduct caused,” Justice Marie Deschamps wrote in her ruling.
The ruling marks the first time a court has ruled against the company in Canada.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google’s Canadian operations have been based in Montreal since 2002, when it acquired Google Canada Inc., a small Canadian company that was responsible for marketing and sales of Google search.
The company is headquartered in Toronto.