In American Cyanamid Co v Ethicom Ltd [] AC , the court developed a set of guidelines to establish whether an applicant’s case merited the granting of . Where an interlocutory injunction is sought, the balance of convenience will be the overriding consideration. P applied for an interlocutory injunction to prevent D . Parliamentary Archives,HL/PO/JU/4/3/ HOUSE OF LORDS. AMERICAN CYANAMID. N LIMITED. Lord DiplockViscount DilhorneLord Cross of.

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The law recognises that there are situations in which the property in dispute has some special quality of its own, e. In the view of the Court of Appeal the case which the applicant had to prove before any question of balance of convenience arose was “prima facie” only in the sense that the conclusion of law reached by the court upon that evidence might need to be modified at some later date in the light of further evidence either detracting from the probative value of the evidence on which the court had acted or proving additional facts.

The court no doubt must be satisfied that the claim is not frivolous or vexatious, in other words, that there is a serious question to be tried.

The plaintiffs are debarred from maintaining that there has been infringement because a copolymer has been used, since they have not discharged the onus of proof on aerican point.

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In the instant appeal, however, the question of thebalance of convenience, although it had been considered by Graham J. The Court of Appeal reversed his decision on the ground that no prima facie cyanmid of infringement had been made out. Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland22 Nov Get 2 points on providing a valid reason for the above change.

My Lords, I agree with the opinion of my noble and learned friend, Lord Diplock, and for the reasons he gives I would allow the appeal and restore the order of Graham J. Please subscribe to download the judgment. Thus the potential effects of the clause did ethicin lead to the conclusion that damages were not an adequate remedy.

I agree with it and that this appeal should beallowed and the Order ethicob Graham J.


American Cyanamid Co v Ethicon Ltd [1975] AC 396

It is accepted that there may be cases in which etthicon risk of damage to the plaintiffs is such that an injunction should be granted e. Leave to appealfrom that decision was granted by Your Lordships’ House. Go to Your Lordships should cyanamiv my view take this opportunity of declaring thatthere is no such rule. Historically there was undoubtedly a time when in an action for infringement of a patent eethicon was not already “well established,” whatever that may have meant, an interlocutory injunction to restrain infringement would not be granted if counsel for the defendant stated that it was intended to attack the validity of the patent.

Paterson for the respondent company. They are all different ways of saying that if the claim is construed widely it includes copolymers which will not have as surgical sutures the characteristics described in the body of the patent. In view of the fact that there areserious questions to be tried upon which the available evidence is incomplete,conflicting and untested, to express an opinion now as to the prospects ofsuccess of either party would only be embarrassing to the Judge who willhave eventually to try the case.

I would allow the appeal caynamid restore the order of Graham J.

American Cyanamid Co. v. Ethicon Ltd.

Duke of Buccleugh 12 L. These included a clause that restricted the damages recoverable in the event of a breach by excluding certain amsrican of loss altogether. Cyanamid contended that XLG infringed their patent, of which the principal claim was: The defendants contested its validity on divers grounds and also contended that it did xyanamid cover their product.

This was that, once doctors and patients had got used toEthicon’s product XLG in the period prior to the trial, it might well becommercially impracticable for Cyanamid to deprive the public of it byinsisting on a permanent injunction at the trial, owing to the damaging effectwhich this would have upon its goodwill in this specialised market andthus upon the sale of its other pharmaceutical products.

Injunction – Interlocutory – Jurisdiction to grant – Principles on which interlocutory injunction to be granted – No need to be satisfied that permanent injunction probable at trial – Protection of parties – Balance of convenience – Criteria – Rule identical in patent cases.


One of the reasons for the introductionof the practice of requiring an undertaking as to damages upon the grantof an interlocutory injunction was that ” it aided the court in doing that” which was its great object, viz.

American Cyanamid Co v Ethicon Ltd [] AC | Croner-i

What sort of a case has the plaintiff got? Wrotham Park Estate Co.

The trial judge wrongly applied the americxn of commercial utility. His patent cannot cover the case of people who solved the problem by methods which do not have those characteristics.

Privy Council09 Sep GriggLimited [] 1 K. Returning, therefore, to the instant appeal, it cannot be doubted that the affidavit evidence shows that there are serious questions to be tried. When the court is dthicon whether or not to grant an interlocutory injunction the right approach is to ask first whether or not there is a serious question to be tried.

If the defendant is enjoined temporarily from doing something that he has notdone before, the only effect of the interlocutory injunction in the event of hissucceeding ethicin the trial is to postpone the date at which he is able to embarkupon a course of action which he has not previously found it necessary toundertake ; whereas to interrupt him in the conduct of an established enter-prise would cause much greater inconvenience to him since he would haveto start again to establish amerjcan in the event of his succeeding at the trial.

It is legitimate to frame a patent widely if the invention has been so described in the body of the specification. In my cyanamir the grant of interlocutory injunctions in actions forinfringement of patents is governed by the same principles as in other actions.

Thehearing of the motion before Graham J. This limitation will apply notwithstanding any failure of essential purpose of any limited remedy provided herein.