Cease and desist letters are a valuable way to combat intellectual property infringement. If you believe another party is infringing on your rights as a copyright, trademark, or patent holder, a cease and desist letter could be all you need to solve the issue. If you receive a cease and desist letter accusing you of infringement, you may still be able to limit your liability or settle with the other party.
Since it’s sent during the early stages of a potential claim, a cease and desist letter might be vague about the alleged infringement. Letters can also vary in tone from extremely threatening to very amicable. Typically, a cease and desist letter will include some of the following:
- Information about the infringement, such as item numbers, web addresses, etc.
- Registration or other information on the intellectual property in question, showing that the writer holds a registered copyright, trademark, or patent.
- Demands for the infringer to stop, hand over infringing materials, etc.
- Threat of further legal action
The cease and desist letter may threaten further legal action even if the intellectual property holder has no intention of pursuing it. A cease and desist letter might be all that is necessary for both parties to reach an agreement over a dispute. Lawsuits can be stressful, time consuming, and expensive; a cease and desist letter could avoid many problems that come with litigation.
If you receive a cease and desist letter, you should contact an attorney to assess the potential claims against you and limit your liability. If you believe you are guilty of infringement, cease any infringing activity immediately and contact an attorney. A skilled attorney can help determine the best course of action and guide you through it. A cease and desist letter may not lead to a lawsuit, but you should not ignore it. Even if you believe you are clearly at fault, a skilled attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement to save time and money and limit your liability.
If you believe your intellectual property has been infringed upon, a skilled attorney can help you draft a cease and desist letter in order to protect your rights. A poorly drafted cease and desist letter can decrease an infringer’s liability, weaken your case, or even give away your rights. If you believe a cease and desist letter might help protect your rights as an intellectual property holder, your best decision could be to contact an attorney.
Stone Law, P.C. provides free consultations if you have received a cease and desist letter or believe you should draft one to stop potential infringement. Contact us today.