At this time, Ethicon were dominant in the market for stiches Cyanamid began to sell their new stiches and build up their share of the market In response to this, Ethicon introduced their own absorbable stiches Cyanamid brought proceedings for infringement of their patent. Cyanamid wanted to injunct Ethicon; if they don’t receive an interim injunction, it will be too late because Ethicon already had such a big share of the market Held: Court of Appeal, at first instance, said Cyanamid had not made out the required strong prima facie case. Cyanamid appealed to the House of Lords. Lord Diplock disapproved of this prima facie requirement (strong case before injunction). He said big issues of law and fact should be decided at the final trial. At interim stage, what should be done is to strike a balance that will do the least harm to the parties whilst they have to wait for the full trial. Having this mini trial at interim stage is not productive. The House of Lords was unanimous that there was no rule that required the claimant to make out a strong prima facie case. Lord Diplock referred to the rule as a ‘technical rule of comparatively recent origin’ and that such a rule would inhibit the court’s discretion to grant relief. Instead, he said the rule is that the court must be satisfied that the claim: Must not be frivolous (serious question to be tried) Adequacy of damage o Governing principle is that court should first consider if plaintiff succeeds, he could adequately be compensated by damages by refusal of injunction
o If damages would be adequate and defendant in a position to pay them, no injunction should be granted, however strong plaintiff’s claim o If damages not adequate remedy, court considers if injunction were granted, would defendant be adequately compensated? If yes, there is no reason to refuse interim injunction o Where there is doubt as to adequacy of damages, move one to balance Balance of convenience (striking a balance between parties), if equal, move on o Staughton LJ: main question is one of lesser evil; less harm to grant or no? Status quo o In business protection cases, events can move quickly. In Garden Cottage Foods v Milk Marketing board , Lord Diplock suggested it should be date from when proceedings were issued. Strength of parties’ case o In Stratford & Sons Ltd. v Lindley (1965) , this was one and only test that the court looked at to decide whether to grant an injunction o Still looked at under the Cyanamid test, however, they are just one of a number of things that the court will look at and it is pushed much further down the list. Special factors (if Ethicon were allowed to launch their stiches because they already had huge part of market, then they would automatically be in all hospitals) In the House of Lords, the interim injunction was reinstated.
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- Fall '17
- John Jupp
- Common Law, Injunction, specific performance, Legal remedy