When it comes to intellectual property, a cease and desist letter can come in handy when needing to prevent someone from infringing intellectual property rights. If a new website domain is at risk of being taken, or a piece of artwork is being used without permission, knowing the benefits of lodging this letter could stop a landslide of legal repercussions.
Why is a cease and desist letter important?
Has someone recycled third-party content in their YouTube videos that doesn’t belong to them? The cease and desist letter acknowledges the other person engaging in this activity and asks them to stand down. Refusing to do so can have a range of negative consequences, such as legal action or fines.
What ways can a cease and desist letter be used?
Infringing an intellectual property right
Created a trademark, patent or own the copyrights to a creation? If someone is aiming to snatch your idea, a cease and desist letter can cement your rights as people can’t use work without consent.
Being harassed by a service or attorney for a debt you don’t have? A cease and desist letter
can help shut this down. If the debt collector doesn’t stop contacting you, they can face a multitude of penalties. Keep in mind though, the debt won’t fade away if it is still owed.
This is common in news reports published by journalists, but can also apply to businesses or individuals as well. If someone is sharing untrue statements – written or spoken – this can be detrimental to someone’s reputation, so a cease and desist letter can put a stop to it. The letter should contain and detail the statements, evidence proving it’s fake information, and the overall damages.
Although sending a cease and desist letter can put a wall between harassment, it’s important to consider whether this is the right call for the circumstances at hand. If a harasser becomes more aggressive, asking the courts for a restraining order may be the next best step.
What to do when receiving a cease and desist letter?
Need to protect a brand or business due to being a copyright infringement victim? Receiving a cease and desist letter can destroy reputation, so it’s recommended to address this as soon as possible.
How to serve a cease and desist letter?
If wanting to draft a cease and desist letter, hiring an experienced intellectual property lawyer
can make the process a lot less stressful. So, what needs to be included in the document? Name and contact information. The name or names of the recipient, including their contact details. Details of the infringement, as well as evidence to back up these claims. Information on why the content should be taken down. An end date for when the recipient needs to comply, as well as what legal repercussions will be put into place if this does not happen. 10 to 15 days is the average deadline. Send the letter through email, or in person.
What are the pros and cons of a cease and desist letter?
Making sure that a stolen idea is protected can be a lengthy process, so considering the pros and cons can help businesses or individuals come up with a plan of action.
The cease and desist letter can be filed immediately. An intellectual property lawyer can help with this. There is a record of notice and violation if any legal action occurs in future. No need to scramble for evidence if the offending party wants a court involved.
The person receiving the cease and desist letter may ignore the request. Even though the letter has been sent, this doesn’t always guarantee that content will be taken down. Brand protection and additional legal help may be needed, which can be costly. The cease and desist letter may not always offer protection. Although the copyright infringement may be agreed to, this won’t protect a business or brand from future attacks. All in all, when it comes to intellectual property, acquiring professional advice from those experienced in the industry is always helpful. With business and entrepreneurial endeavours, having the best protection is a must.