Cease and Desist Letters

With some types of businesses and products or designs, IP infringement is thankfully quite rare. In others, intellectual property rights owners can face situations where hundreds or even many thousands of breaches occur. Goods can be counterfeited, software unlawfully copied or pirated being some obvious examples and this is where the cease and desist letter comes into its own.

Whether it’s a trade mark, passing off, unauthorised use of designs, databases, confidential information or otherwise, firm, consistent and proportionate action should always be considered.

The most common and often effective way to respond to unlawful use of IP is a cease and desist letter.

A well written letter sent by solicitors, especially those known for IP specialism, can be a very effective and cost effective way to proceed.

Cease and Desist Letters – Get it Right

It can be tempting when drafting a cease and desist letter to be as tough as possible. In some cases a threat to take immediate legal action, perhaps even to seek an injunction, may well scare many recipients.

The potential downside of this approach is that it’s rarely a good idea to threaten something you are not prepared or able to follow through with. Threatening an injunction in circumstances where the underlying value of any claim or damage to your business caused by the breach is low, is risky and unlikely to make commercial good sense. This is especially true where any possible defendant may not have the financial means to pay any judgment and costs order.

Important wording to include in many cease and desist letters relates to non-monetary requirements of the party allegedly in breach. Disclosure of information, destruction of infringing materials and undertakings not to infringe in the future are generally important.

Careful thought, clear factual basis and sometimes a more nuanced, subtle approach is the most effective form of cease and desist letter.

If you need experienced solicitors to advise you on your options to protect your intellectual property, you think you need a cease and desist letter drafted or you have received a cease and desist letter and are unclear how to respond, get in touch with us.

Book a free meeting or ask us a question.