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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These were sutures of a kind that disintegrated and were absorbed by the human body once they had served their purpose.

cyanwmid It is accepted that there may be cases in which the risk of damage to the plaintiffs is such that an injunction should be granted e. The instant appeal arises in a patent case. Ethicon also attack the validity of the patent on the ground of obviousness. The Respondents ” Ethicon “a sub-sidiary of another American Company, were the dominant suppliers ofcatgut sutures in the U.

His patent cannot cover the case of people who solved the problem by methods which do not have those characteristics.

American Cyanamid principles

Save in the simplest cases, the decision to grant or to refuse an interlocutoryinjunction will cause to whichever party is unsuccessful on the applicationsome disadvantages which his ultimate success at the trial may show he oughtto have been spared and the disadvantages may be such that the recovery ofdamages to which he would then be entitled either in the action or under theplaintiff’s undertaking would not be sufficient to compensate him fully forall of them.

They are all different ways of sayingthat if the claim is construed widely it includes copolymers which will nothave as surgical sutures the characteristics described in the body of the patent. I turn to consider what those principles are. The facts stated in the opinion of Lord Diplock were as follows: Click to upgrade Your Package to have this feature. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd v Sengar.

It must also be considered on what basis the defendants will defend the action. Luck 27 Ch.

The plaintiffs have not adduced any evidence of irreparable damage. Faced with this competition to catgut, Ethicon, who supplied 80 per cent. If damages in the measure recoverable under such an undertaking would bean adequate remedy and the plaintiff would be in a financial position to paythem, there would be no reason upon this ground to refuse an interlocutoryinjunction.


ETHICON LIMITED Go to An attempt had been made to reconcile these apparently differingapproaches to the ethicn of the discretion by holding that the need cyanamiv showa probability or a strong prima facie case applied only to the establishmentby the plaintiff of his right, and that the lesser burden of showing an arguablecase to be tried applied to the alleged violation of that right by the defendant Donmar Productions Ltd.

They were made from animal tissues popularly ajerican as catgut.

American Cyanamid Co v Ethicon Ltd [1975] AC 396

In the alternative, as commonly happens where the contest tehicon between a narrower and a wider meaning in a patent specification, they attack the validity of the patent, if it bears the wider meaning, on the grounds of inutility, insufficiency, unfair basis and false suggestion. It would be most exceptional for your Lordships to give leave to appeal to this House in a case which turned upon where the balance of convenience lay.

The purpose sought americn be achieved by giving to the court discretion to grant such injunctions cyana,id be stultified if the discretion were clogged by a technical rule forbidding its exercise if upon that incomplete untested evidence the court evaluated the chances of the plaintiff’s ultimate success in the action at 50 per cent. Thus the potential effects of the clause did not lead to the conclusion that damages were not an adequate remedy. In addition there was a special factor to which Graham J.

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

Two inventors may solve a problem by different methods. The object of the interlocutory injunction is to protect the plaintiff against injury by violation of his right for which he could not be adequately compensated in damages recoverable in the action if the uncertainty were resolved in his favour at the trial; but the plaintiff’s need for such protection must be weighed against the corresponding need of the defendant to be protected against injury resulting from his having been prevented from exercising his own legal rights for which he could not be adequately cyanaid under the plaintiff’s undertaking in damages if the uncertainty were resolved in the defendant’s favour at the trial.

So hegranted Cyanamid an interlocutory injunction restraining Ethicon frominfringing the patent until the trial or further order. In view of the fact that there areserious questions to be tried upon which the available evidence is incomplete,conflicting and zmerican, 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.


In this case, the Claimant applied under s.

These are to be contrastedwith expressions in other cases indicating a much less onerous criterion, suchas the need to show that there is ” certainly a case to be tried ” Jones v. Whether cyahamid are any special factors. Paterson for the respondent company.

The balance of convenience is primarily a matter for the judge of first instance. In view of the fact that there are serious questions to be tried upon which the available evidence is incomplete, conflicting and untested, to cyaamid an opinion now as to the prospects of success of either party would only be embarrassing to the judge who will have eventually to try the case. The Court of Appeal reversed his decision on the ground that no prima facie case of infringement had been made out.

In those cases where the legal rights of the parties depend upon facts that are in dispute between them, the evidence available to the court at the hearing of the application for an interlocutory injunction is incomplete. He is only so entitled if it is shown that there could be injustice if the defendant is left cyanaamid and that there is a serious risk of cyqnamid damage to the plaintiff.

American Cyanamid Co. v. Ethicon Ltd.

Showing top of judgment s. There are four points of defence: He then went on todeal briefly with the attack upon the validity of the patent and came to theconclusion that upon the evidence before him none of the grounds ofinvalidity advanced by Ethicon was likely to succeed. Decision of the Court of Appeal [] F. On March 5,Cyanamid started a quia timet action against Ethicon for an injunction to restrain the threatened infringement of their patent by supplying sutures made of XLG to surgeons in the United Kingdom.

The plaintiffs must be able to show that the strength of their case is such that in the circumstances there should be an interlocutory injunction.