NWL Limited v Woods: 1979

Lord Diplock said: ‘Where, however, the grant or refusal of the interlocutory injunction will have the practical effect of putting an end to the action because the harm that will have been already caused to the losing party by its grant or its refusal is complete and of a kind for which money cannot constitute any worthwhile recompense, the degree of likelihood that the Plaintiff would have succeeded in establishing his right to an injunction of the action had gone to trial, is a factor to be brought into the balance by the judge in weighing the risks that injustice may result from his deciding the application one way rather than the other.’
He modified his approach in Cyanamid, saying: ‘My Lords, when properly understood, there is in my view nothing in the decision of this House in American Cyanamid Co. v. Ethicon Ltd to suggest that in considering whether or not to grant an interlocutory injunction the judge ought not to give full weight to all the practical realities of the situation to which the injunction will apply. American Cyanamid Co. v. Ethicon Ltd, which enjoins the judge on an application for an interlocutory injunction to direct is attention to the balance of convenience as soon as he has satisfied himself that there is a serious question to be tried, was not dealing with a case in which the grant or refusal of an injunction at that stage would, in effect, dispose of the action finally in favour of whichever party was successful in the application, because there would be nothing left on which it was in the unsuccessful party’s interest to proceed to trial.’


Lord Diplock


[1979] 1 WLR 1294, [1979] 3 All ER 614


England and Wales


ModifiedAmerican Cyanamid Co v Ethicon Ltd HL 5-Feb-1975
Interim Injunctions in Patents Cases
The plaintiffs brought proceedings for infringement of their patent. The proceedings were defended. The plaintiffs obtained an interim injunction to prevent the defendants infringing their patent, but they now appealed its discharge by the Court of . .

Cited by:

CitedNATS (Services) Ltd v Gatwick Airport Ltd and Another TCC 2-Oct-2014
NATS had tendered unsuccessfully for a contract to provide air traffic control services at Gatrwick airport, and challenged the award. GAL denied that the Regulations applied and now sought disapplication of the automatic suspension from the award . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.537346