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Cease & Desist Letter – What Now?

Crucial Steps to Take after Receiving a Cease & Desist Letter

Imagine that you have recently opened a new business, or your business has just launched a new product.  A few months down the road, you receive a Cease & Desist letter claiming that you infringing on someone’s trademark. What do you do?

First, don’t respond to the letter yourself

While you may want to respond in defense of your product or business, you could make the situation worse by responding without the advice of a trademark attorney.  Trademark infringement can be a complicated area of law, and you don’t want to misspeak on behalf of your product or business.  If you have received a Cease & Desist letter, it has likely come from an attorney. And, if you respond, any statements that you make can be used against you in court.

So, you should consult with a trademark attorney

Cease & Desist letters are serious matters, and trademark law can be nuanced and complicated.  Trademark attorneys are excellent resources to assist you in this type of matter.  Your attorney will review the letter and the trademark registrations identified in the letter along with your trademark, and then provide guidance on how to best proceed.  In many situations, it typically makes sense for the attorney to prepare a letter responding to the Cease & Desist letter to try to avoid litigation.

Then, make an informed decision

Ultimately, the decision on how to proceed is up to you.  Your attorney is there to provide guidance and to inform you of the law and the ramifications of your potential actions.  But, once you have the proper feedback from a trademark attorney, you can make an informed decision that will best fit your situation. 

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