If you receive a cease and desist letter in the mail, it means that another company or individual believes you are infringing on their trademark, regardless of whether or not the allegations are true. While a notice of trademark infringement can be unsettling, it’s important not to panic or take immediate action.
This article goes over the appropriate ways to handle a trademark infringement notice and ensure you do not escalate the problem.
3 Steps to Follow After Receiving a Cease & Desist Letter
What should you do if you receive a trademark infringement notice or cease & desist letter in the mail? Upon receiving a letter like this, there are three crucial steps to follow in order to protect yourself and resolve the issue.
1. Do absolutely nothing.
The first and most important thing to do when you receive a notice in the mail or through email is absolutely nothing. Avoid the impulse to respond and to defend yourself.
Any emails you send to the individual or attorney that reached out to you can be used against you should the case proceed to litigation. Moreover, nothing you say is going to change the fact that this person has sent you a cease and desist letter. They’re not going to all of a sudden have an epiphany that they’re wrong just because of something you say or do.
The best course of action is to sleep on it and let your emotions calm down.
2. Call an attorney.
The second thing you need to do is call an attorney.
In our experience as a trademark law firm, individuals that try to defend themselves from a trademark claim generally do not understand the nuances of trademark law. This a serious legal claim being made against your business that you do not want to take lightly.
While it can be costly to hire an attorney, it will ultimately save you money in the long run if you do not properly respond to the infringement notice. As lawyers ourselves, we would hire another attorney for their levelheaded opinion if we were to run into an infringement issue. They always say “the worst client an attorney can have is himself.”
3. Listen to the advice of your attorney.
The final thing to do once you’ve received a cease and desist letter is to take the advice of the attorney you hired.
In our practice, we have experienced a number of clients that push back when we give them advice on their situation. While you may have strong opinions about the trademark claims, but ultimately you’ve hired an attorney who is supposed to have your best interest at heart.
For example, if your attorney is advising you to change your company’s name, the attorney is likely trying to keep you from being sued.