Interim injunctions
Interim injunctions

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Interim injunctions
  • At a glance
  • Procedure and hearing

An interim injunction is a temporal remedy that is issued by a court at an early stage of legal proceedings. An interim injunction may require a party to do a specific act (a mandatory injunction) or to refrain from a specific act (a prohibitory injunction).

This practice note summarises the key principles that underlie the application and the grant of interim injunctions.

At a glance

The Courts’ power to issue interim injunctions is provided under statute; see for instance the Senior Courts Act 1981 and the County Courts Act 1984. The applicable procedural requirements are dealt with under CPR Part 25. Interim injunctions, like other injunctive relief, may be awarded only where it appears to be 'just and convenient' to do so.

The House of Lords’ decision in American Cyanamid v Ethicon Ltd provides the most authoritative dicta on the key principles that underlie the grant of interim injunctions. American Cyanamid requires the applicant to demonstrate that:

  1. there is a serious question to be tried

  2. damages at trial will not be an adequate remedy, and

  3. the balance of convenience is in favour of granting the injunction

There may also be special factors that guide the grant of interim injunction in specific cases, especially where, as in many trade mark and passing off cases, the interim injunction usually disposes of the action.

Serious question