The Perils of Signing Legal Undertakings without Legal Advice

Written by Cassine Bering | December 22, 2023

IP Disputes

Picture this: you open your mailbox, and there it is—an unexpected letter of claim, asserting trade mark infringement. The pressure to resolve the matter quickly may lead to the receipt of proposed legal undertakings, seemingly promising a swift resolution. However, caution is warranted. In the realm of trade mark disputes, signing unfavourable undertakings without legal counsel can prove to be a perilous decision.

Trade mark disputes can arise unexpectedly, placing individuals or businesses in a precarious position. When confronted with a letter of claim, the desire for a speedy resolution may cloud one’s judgement, making it tempting to sign unfavourable legal undertakings just to make the problem disappear.

Key Dangers of Hasty Undertakings:

  1. Admission of Liability:

The undertakings may be drafted in a way which inadvertently admit liability, acknowledging wrongdoing even when the facts may be debatable. This admission can have far-reaching consequences.

  1. Scope of Restrictions:

Without legal scrutiny, undertakings may impose overly restrictive conditions, limiting your business activities and future opportunities. Understanding the full scope of these restrictions is crucial.

  1. Financial Implications:

Undertakings may involve monetary penalties or compensation, affecting your bottom line. Failing to comprehend the financial ramifications can lead to unexpected and severe consequences.

  1. Future Litigation Risks:

The rush to resolve the current dispute may open the door to future litigation. Incomplete or unclear undertakings can become fodder for legal battles down the line.

When faced with a letter of claim and proposed undertakings, seeking the guidance of a lawyer is paramount. A legal professional can:

  • Assess the Strength of the Claim: Evaluate the merits of the claim and help you understand the strength of your position.
  • Negotiate on Your Behalf: Engage in negotiations with the opposing party to secure more favourable terms and protect your interests.
  • Provide Strategic Counsel: Offer strategic advice on whether signing the proposed undertakings is in your best interest or if an alternative course of action should be pursued.

The pressure to make trade mark disputes vanish quickly can lead to hastily signing unfavourable legal undertakings. However, in these situations, the adage “look before you leap” always holds true. Engaging legal counsel is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is a strategic move to safeguard your rights, reputation, and financial stability. By seeking professional guidance, you can navigate the legal minefield of trade mark disputes under English law with confidence and ensure that any undertakings you sign are in your best interest.

Related articles

Back to blog

Book a free consultation with one of our specialist solicitors.

We’ll start with a no obligation chat where we’ll get to know you and understand your current challenges.

Book your free consultation now

Looking for more information?

Explore our services Key industry sectors Briffa content hub