Many businesses have a trademark that’s associated with them. When another person or company uses your trademark, you have legal options to stop them. A trademark cease and desist letter is the first step to getting the right legal recourse. It should have all of the necessary information to prove your case and show that trademark infringement has happened.
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Trademark law is a branch of law that covers words, symbols, and phrases associated with a business. Trademarks set one business apart from another, even when two businesses operate with similar products and customers. When another business uses your business’s trademark, it can confuse customers and potentially cause problems.
A trademark infringement notice warns another person or business that they’re using your trademark. It establishes what trademark is being broken and what the resolution is. This formal request is the first step to getting control of your trademark and business back. Future steps may or may not be necessary depending on the direction of the case.
A cease and desist letter template can also include additional documents and records of your trademark. You should include as much information as possible when sending a letter because this letter can be used in court if legal actions continue.
You should send a trademark infringement cease and desist as soon as you are aware of the infringement. The sooner you can start proceedings, the stronger your case will be. All instances that you discover in research should be documented and dated.
By sending the letter sooner, you will also have a better chance of stopping the trademark infringement sooner. If the infringement was unintentional, the other party may stop using your trademark. It will also help you build your case as legal proceedings continue.
Before sending a trademark infringement cease and desist letter, you will want to have everything ready. To strengthen your case you will want to consider the following.
1. Identify and Research the Infringer
You will want to know who is allegedly infringing your trademark and how. Knowing when the infringement started and how it relates to your use of the trademark will help you build your case and determine if infringement has occurred.
2. Confirm Your Priority Use
Look up the trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Double-check the date of registration and when the infringement allegedly began.
3. Assess the Strength of the Case
A lawyer can help you determine how strong your case may be and what arguments the defense may use. You will also want to examine the risk of judicial action and how legal proceedings may impact your business.
4. Consider Alternatives
Sending a trademark infringement letter is not the only option for stopping trademark infringement. A lawyer can work with you on other options that may be better than sending a letter.
To ensure that everything is included in your letter, a trademark cease and desist letter template will have spaces for the necessary information. Including everything will help your case if the case goes to court.
1. Proper Address of the Infringing Party
You will want to correctly address the infringing party. You will also want to use certified or registered mail to prove that they received the letter. If the receiving party ignores your letter, you will want to have proof that they received it.
2. Proof of Trademark Rights
The best way to prove trademark rights is to include the trademark registration number and date of registration. If you don’t have the trademark registered, you can still provide proof with your date of first use. You can use additional documents to prove your trademark.
3. Details of Infringement
You want to include evidence of how the infringing party has violated your trademark use. This can include pictures of the use of the trademark for their business. Dates of when the infringement started should also be included in this section.
4. Response time
You will need to include a reasonable response time for the infringer. They may not be aware of your trademark or need to build a case to demonstrate why they’re not violating a trademark.
5. Demand for Written Assurance
Along with the response time, you will want a date that the trademark infringement stops. This can include a written agreement that both parties sign to agree that the trademark exists and how the infringement will stop.
6. Consequences to Not Stopping
A cease and desist infringement letter is often the first step to further legal action. You will want to include what will happen if your letter is ignored. You can be specific and mention a lawsuit or be vague. A lawyer can help you determine what the best next steps would be.
A sample will include spaces for the necessary information you will need for this notice. Working from a template will help ensure that you don’t forget anything important for the other party to know.
If the case moves through the legal system, a well-written letter with the necessary information will help your side. Everything should be documented with dates and pictures of your trademark and when the infringement started. As a legal document, you want your cease and desist letter to include everything possible to send proper notice and be used as potential evidence.
Dear Jane Rogers,
I am writing to you on behalf of Books and Games, located in Seattle, WA, where we sell new and used books and games.
The purpose of this letter is to place you on notice regarding your company’s use of the trademark for their logo. I am informed that the shape and color of your logo closely resemble the one used by us.
I request that you cease any continuing or future uses of this trademark. Absent a prompt resolution, I will recommend that my lawyer take appropriate legal action to protect my proprietary rights. Any further infringing activity occurring after the receipt of this letter shall be considered willful infringement.