Interlocutory Injunctions in Ireland

United Kingdom

The reality of the matter in many cases (certainly for those concerning intellectual property) is that the interlocutory hearing is the end of the proceedings, particularly where the injunction is granted. This has given rise to a school of thought which believes that the principles set out in American Cyanamid are not always appropriate and may lead to unfairness. (See for example the English case: Series 5 Software). In two recent cases concerning interlocutory injunctions heard in the Irish High Court, the door to a reappraisal of the principles laid down in American Cyanamid (and subsequently adopted in Ireland) was alternately opened (Griggs v Dunnes) and then slammed shut (Symonds Cider v Showerings- SCRUMPYJACK). The decisions demonstrate the wide scope that judges have in operating their equitable jurisdiction.


It is not easy to reconcile these two decisions. In Griggs v Dunnes the Irish Court showed a willingness to make his interlocutory decision based on its view of the merits of the case. In SCRUMPY JACK the English authorities which move away from American Cyanamid were firmly rejected.
Both cases are part of a growing number of cases which show a marked reluctance of the Irish court to grant interlocutory injunctions. It seems that it is not enough to show an arguable case and that the pros-pective damage to each party is not disproportionate in degree. As long as there is some other factor which appeals to the judge as an equitable peg upon which to hang a decision, there can be no guarantee that the status quo will be maintained. The Irish approach appears to follow the English one very closely.