The Irish High Court has recently dealt with another screen-scraping case
The plaintiff, Ryanair, is a well-known airline which offers flights and related services on its website to customers. It brought proceedings in Ireland to restrain Flightbox, a Polish company, from extracting data from Ryanair’s website through the use of automated software which ends up on travel agents’ websites without Ryanair’s authority or consent. This practice is known as ‘screen-scraping’. Ryanair had, over a number of years, been involved in proceedings against related companies to identify and hold the correct parties liable for the appearance of Ryanair’s price, flight and timetable (PFT) data on a Romanian entity’s website. Flightbox had itself brought proceedings in Poland in which it had sought orders based on competition law principles which would enable it to screen scrape PFT data from Ryanair’s website. It was argued that Ryanair was abusing its dominance in the relevant market. Ryanair issued proceedings in Ireland but, having been served with notice of those proceedings, Flightbox did not formally appear before the Irish court. Ryanair applied for judgment in default of appearance and various declarations and orders by way of prohibitory injunction. After the hearing of the motion, but before delivery of the ruling, Flightbox did e-mail a letter to the High Court Central Office for the attention of the court, which reprised a document Ryanair had received on Flightbox’s behalf.
The court then moved on to consider if Ryanair had met the required proofs for obtaining judgment in default of appearance. Based on the affidavits submitted by Ryanair, Mr Justice O’Higgins indicated he was satisfied that Ryanair had a strong substantive case against Flightbox. In addition, he held that the Irish courts had jurisdiction to determine that dispute and that the proceedings were duly served on Flightbox. He was also satisfied that Ryanair had met the technical requirements under the court rules for entering judgment in default of appearance in terms of what the relevant affidavits had to address and what Ryanair needed to file. He noted that Flightbox had been afforded ample opportunity to enter an appearance and to fully defend the proceedings but had chosen not to and, in any event, it could apply to set aside the default judgment if it met the required conditions. However, he noted that a motion for judgment in default of appearance does not ordinarily involve the court determining the merits.
By virtue of the injunctive and declaratory reliefs sought, Ryanair had to persuade the court it was entitled to them. Mr Justice O’Higgins ultimately accepted that he was entitled to grant the reliefs despite no appearance by Flightbox if the entitlement threshold had been met. He concluded that it had and was therefore prepared to grant the specific reliefs sought. Interestingly, none of the competition issues that had been put forward as a defence in other cases were before the Irish court for consideration here.
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 Ryanair DAC v Flightbox SP ZOO  IEHC 689
 REGULATION (EU) No 1215/2012 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (recast)
 Ryanair DAC v SC Vola  IEHC 239
 For example, Ryanair v Billigfluege  IESC 11; Ryanair v On the Beach  IEHC 124
 As was done in Trafalgar Developments Ltd & Ors v. Mazepin & Ors  IEHC 7