The Truth about Trademark Cease and Desist Letters
A trademark infringement cease and desist letter is essentially a "Notice of an Intent to File a Lawsuit". As a small business owner, receiving a trademark infringement cease and desist letter can be scary and nerve-wrecking. Cease and desist letters often contain legal language that you do not understand.
The First Thing to Do When You Receive a Trademark Cease and Desist Letter
The first thing to do when you receive a trademark cease and desist letter is: STOP AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH! A cease and desist letter is just that, a letter. A letter informing you that the opposing party intends to file a lawsuit. The only person who can legally stop you from using the trademark, that is the subject of alleged infringement, is a JUDGE. Unless there is an order of injunction or judgment of trademark infringement signed by a judge, you have time to assess the situation.
The Second Thing to Do When You Receive a Trademark Cease and Desist Letter
The second thing to do when you receive a trademark cease and desist letter is to assess the situation. You can do this by gathering all important intellectual property documents related to your business. You want to check the following:
If you already have a registered trademark
If you do not have a registered trademark, evidence of use of how long you have been using mark in commerce
It's important to note that the majority of cease and desist letters are sent to small business owners that do not have a registered trademark. Also, keep in mind that there are many "trademark bullies" out there. Trademark bullies exist solely for the following reasons:
To steal the intellectual property of honest small business owners.
To "bankrupt" small business owners by dragging them through costly, lengthy, and unnecessary litigation (including sending cease and desist letters).
The Third Thing to Do When You Receive a Trademark Cease and Desist Letter
The third thing to do when you receive a trademark cease and desist letter is: contact a trademark infringement attorney. If you have received a cease and desist letter, contact a trademark infringement attorney. A trademark infringement attorney can help you determine if the cease and desist letter contains valid evidence of trademark infringement or if it is just "fluff". A cease and desist letter does not automatically prove that you are infringing upon anyone's trademark rights. Remember, only a judge has the power to stop you from using your brand name, logo, slogan, trade dress, or mark in commerce.
Belle Terre Law Firm is experienced in responding the cease and desist letters and trademark infringement litigation. If you are in need of trademark infringement legal services, click the button below to schedule a trademark cease and desist letter consultation.