I Received a Cease and Desist Letter – What Should I Do Next?
A cease and desist letter can often strike fear in the heart of its recipient, catching you off guard. Fortunately, you have a number of options for the next steps you can take. Firstly, it is important to understand what this document is.
What Is a Cease and Desist Letter For?
A cease and desist letter is a form of communication that is intended to convey that someone is engaging in behavior the sender finds to be against their interests. For example, if someone owns the intellectual property and feels that a third party is using it without permission and is lacking a proper citation, this can be deemed plagiarism.
The cease-and-desist letter is the first step to acknowledging a dispute. It is neither legally binding nor does it mean that there is any further action to follow. Although you are not legally obligated to lodge a response or take action, it is absolutely not recommended that you ignore this correspondence.
A cease and desist letter can be an invitation to work things out without litigation, as you can come to an agreement. Although it may not be stated explicitly in the notice, a cease and desist is often followed by a lawsuit if the actions deemed improper on your part do not stop and if there is no other remedy found.
What To Do After Receiving a Cease and Desist Letter
When contemplating how to respond to a cease and desist letter, it is tempting to put your thoughts in writing, perhaps on social media, but resist these temptations. In the event that your case enters the legal system, any statements you make beforehand can be negatively used against you.
Take time to determine the nature of the complaint and consider if there is any validity to the claim. Gather information that is pertinent to the issue. For example, is this related to copyright, trademark, or patent, or is this an alleged breach of contract? Do you have an obligation you have promised but neglected to fulfill?
Fight the urge to shred or get rid of documents, and be sure to save anything that may be pertinent, as this can be useful for your legal team to go over.
A cease and desist letter may also be meritless, and this is something your attorney can decipher for you. These instruments can sometimes be used to bully others; when it does, you should contact Weber Law Group before forming your response to a cease and desist letter. Seeking counsel can alleviate confusion for all parties and save you time and money in dealing with the issue.
It may be alleged that you are engaging in activities that you categorically are not; however, the best resolution may be to comply with the terms of the letter. Depending on the strategy the other side is concocting, it may behoove you to consider the outcome of your business and whether meeting their demands would cause a disruption. If not, the most innocuous plan of attack may be to simply cease and desist.
If a lawsuit appears unavoidable, it may be in your best interest to wage your campaign early and take control of the situation by initiating the legal process first. You may also be able to settle without going to court if need be, or you may also have the option of denying the allegations.
Your business partners need to be included in the decision, as these outcomes will also affect your company and its ability to do business and generate income. Reputational damage may result if the proper action is not taken.
Look for a Utah Legal Group To Help You
Weber Law Group provides knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel to help you navigate your response to a cease and desist letter. We can advise you on the preparation of your materials and can represent your case. We invite you to reach out to our Utah legal group today. You can reach us by phone or online to schedule your consultation today.