British Nylon Spinners, Ltd. v. Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd.
England and Wales High Court of Justice, Chancery Division
 1 Ch 37 (1955)
In 1939, E.I. duPont deNemours & Co. (DuPont), an American company, licensed certain patents for nylon and nylon products to Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd. (ICI) (defendant), an English company based in London. ICI and Courtaulds, Ltd., another English company, jointly formed a third company, British Nylon Spinners, Ltd. (BNS) (plaintiff), in England to manufacture nylon yarn from nylon polymer manufactured by ICI. Neither ICI nor Courtaulds held a controlling interest in BNS. ICI gave BNS an exclusive sub-license of the DuPont patents. In 1944, the United States initiated an action against DuPont and ICI alleging that the companies had violated § 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 by dividing the market for nylon products, including in the United States and the United Kingdom. During those proceedings, DuPont assigned its British patents to ICI, and ICI assigned particular inventions and patents to DuPont for DuPont’s exclusive use in the United States. Shortly before a decision in the antitrust case in the United States, ICI agreed to give BNS an exclusive direct license to use the nylon patents. The American court then held that DuPont and ICI had violated the act and, in 1952, issued a decree directing ICI not to enforce its British nylon patents in England. The American court was deferential to whether that decree could be enforced in England. BNS sued in England for specific performance to require ICI to issue the exclusive license despite the American court’s decree. The trial court issued an injunction in support of the license, which was affirmed on appeal. ICI appealed, given the still-pending directive from the American court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Danckwerts, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 709,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 709,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.