Before You Send a Cease and Desist Letter

Authored By:

Svitlana V. Anderson

Svitlana V. Anderson

Attorney

Related Posts:

What You Need to Know

“Intellectual property” is a category of rights protecting commercially valuable products of the human intellect. It includes patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade dress, trade secrets, and publicity rights. Intellectual property is a form of personal property that can be bought, sold, licensed, and abandoned.

Global Trademark Strategy

“Intellectual property” is a category of rights protecting commercially valuable products of the human intellect. It includes patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade dress, trade secrets, and publicity rights. Intellectual property is a form of personal property that can be bought, sold, licensed, and abandoned.

Do Your Research Before You Choose Your Business Name and Brand: How to Trademark Search

Do your research before you choose your business name and brand. Branding is an essential component of marketing your company’s products and services. Trademark protection ensures that your promotional efforts are not undermined by an infringement.

Debunking the Biggest Misunderstanding in Copyright

These 8 tips will prepare you to make the best of any fame that comes to your content, or if your content is already going “viral”, to provide some wisdom through this incredibly exciting adventure.

The Importance of a Strong Licensing Agreement

Your company has worked hard to develop its intellectual property. It is understandable that you would want to protect it. But you want to accomplish that goal while retaining the ability to monetize your intellectual property and reap the financial benefits you’ve earned from your efforts.

Patents and Trademarks for Cannabis? Yes, Why Not?

More and more states are moving toward legalization of cannabis – both for medical purposes and recreational use. Since 2018, the majority of states that have allowed medical or recreational use of cannabis also allow the sale of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is one of the 104 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. This chemical compound is known to have some medical benefits, but is not psychoactive.

IP collaboration is hot and unwillingness to cooperate is not!

An atmosphere of collaboration, with collaborative intellectual property and co-development agreements, has become more common among established companies…

Understand before you brand!

A well-designed brand can be a catalyst to put your company’s product or service on the map. However, every company owner or entrepreneur should be aware of the basics involved in selecting a brand name or creating a trademark.

Before You Send a Cease and Desist

It may be wise to take a step back before drafting and sending that letter or email. While cease and desist letters serve a legitimate function, a poorly crafted demand, or one based on claims that cannot be supported, can do much more legal harm than good.

Before You Send a Cease and Desist

When to Send a Cease and Desist Letter

Imagine a scenario where you have worked hard to develop a piece of intellectual property, such as an invention that you have patented or a clever brand name for which you have obtained a trademark protection. Later, you discover that a rival company or unsuspecting individual or a business has infringed upon your invention, by creating a similar device, for instance, with a trademark that looks suspiciously like yours.

Understandably, you would want to put an end to this type of infringement. Your first instinct might be to fire off a cease and desist letter or email message warning the infringing party of dire consequences if the infringement does not stop. However, it may be wise to take a step back before drafting and sending that letter or email. While cease and desist letters serve a legitimate function, a poorly crafted demand, or one based on claims that cannot be supported, can do much more legal harm than good.

What is a Cease and Desist Letter?

Typically, cease and desist letters carry no real legal weight. However, such letters allow senders to demonstrate that they have attempted to stop a wrongdoer’s conduct. It may seem obvious, but it is much easier to prove that someone has deliberately engaged in harmful conduct if he or she has been informed that the conduct is wrong.

What to Include in the Letter

Cease and desist letters pertaining to intellectual property infringement should contain the following elements:

  • your contact information (preferably your attorney’s);

  • a description and proof of ownership of the valid intellectual property in question;

  • a statement of the nature of the infringement, including dates and detailed description;

  • a demand to stop the infringement; and 

  • a warning of legal action after a specified period unless the infringement stops.

Improper Circumstances for Cease and Desist Letters

In many cases, a cease and desist letter is sufficient to stop further infringement, especially if the recipient of such a letter was not aware of the superseding intellectual property rights. However, when the infringement does not stop, having sent a cease and desist letter provides more support for further legal action. Cease and desist must be well-founded and legally sound.  If it is not properly crafted or it was not sent for a legitimate purpose, the sender of such letter can land in hot legal waters. 

Getting Results from Cease and Desist Letters

In a best-case scenario, when the cease and desist letter is received, the infringement stops. Alternatively, the recipient may either challenge the validity of the letter or simply ignore it. Under either circumstance, the sender should be prepared to take the legal action to defend the claims outlined in the letter.

Can You Write Your Own Cease and Desist Letters?

While a business owner can send this type of demand, generally it is a good idea to ask an attorney representing your business to draft and send this letter. 

I Received a Cease and Desist Letter.  What Should I Do?

Do not ignore it! Promptly contact the legal experts at Peacock Law. 

We can work with you to determine if you or your business need to respond to or send a cease and desist letter. Give us a call to learn more.

Learn more about our trademark services

Ready to Get Started Generating Value from your Idea?