Help, another company is infringing my trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights and/or Defaming my business!
Competition is the nature of the marketplace, but unfair business practices have no legitimate place in the marketplace. For example, say you manufacture a product and a competitor is basically selling your product and passing it off as their own. This is not a fair form of doing business and a cease and desist letter might be appropriate.
In other cases, say you are an author and you wrote an eBook and another writer has stolen lines, paragraphs, quotations or other key portions of you book and basically substantially copied what you have done. If there is no bona fide “fair use” defense, this could amount to federal copyright infringement and a cease and desist letter might be the appropriate action to take.
In other cases, you may have a federally registered trademark, and another company is selling counterfeit goods bearing your names, logos or other identifying marks. A desist and refrain letter to put them on notice of their infringing activities is an important first step in protecting and enforcing your intellectual property rights.
Trade secrets are another area ripe for litigation, and where a lot of problems can arise. A trade secret is basically anything that gives you a competitive advantage in your business, and where reasonable steps were taken by the owner to keep and maintain the secrecy of the trade secret. When ex-employees seek to exploit your trade secrets, or extort you for their own personal gain, a written cease and desist demand letter written by an attorney can be the first step in trying to stop the unlawful business practice.
Another common area where a cease and desist letter might be needed is where a person, or even a competitor, is defaming you on the internet, on a social media website, or on a job site where they are trying to prevent your company from getting the job. Defamation is not always easy to prove. As most of us know, things can get out of control when big contracts and huge deals are on the line with millions of dollars at stake. At these times, a cease and desist letter might be required (as opposed to filing a defamation lawsuit that could make you “look litigious” and which could backfire in your business).
There are of courses hundreds of other possible examples were a cease and desist or “take-down” notice might be appropriate. Our law firm can help you protect and defend your intellectual property rights and protect your company by seeking to stop the unscrupulous business practices of competitors and others who seek to unfairly injure you in the marketplace.
In fact, we offer low cost corporate counsel legal services, and you should ask yourself “why don't we have our own corporate counsel just like the fortune 500 companies do.” Many people say “well we cannot afford that.” However, for as low as a $1,000 retainer, we can serve as your outsourced Business and IP counsel and help you run your day-to-day business.
What does a Cease and Desist letter say?
A cease and desist letter sent to a party that is infringing your intellectual property rights (ex. trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks or trade-dress) or otherwise engaging in unlawful or fraudulent business practices, will do the following:
1. Put the wrongdoer on notice of what they are doing that you believe infringes your legal rights or violates the law
2. Demand that a certain action be taken (ex. take down your website, transfer the domain or face a UDRP arbitration, stop selling infringing works, etc.)
3. Reserve the legal right to file a state or federal lawsuit if the action requested is not taken. For example, if you do not take down your website on or before July 15, 2014 we reserve the right to file a federal copyright lawsuit seeking lost profits, attorney fees, treble damages, etc.
Once we send our legal demand letters, we can monitor the situation and see how they respond. If they appropriate legal action is not taken, we can discuss the pros and cons (and costs) of filing a civil action against the potential Defendants. Some cases might be worthy of a contingency fees case, but may cases are up-front retainer agreement and billable hour type of cases. FIll out the form below to discuss your legal case.
Will the party that receives a cease and desist letter always get back to the law firm?
No. But in many cases, the party that receives the “cease and desist” notice will examine their legal rights, and potentially upon learning that they are on the wrong side of the law so to speak (often after speaking to their own intellectual property lawyers) they will stop the offending conduct voluntarily. We have seen this happen in patent infringement, copyright and trademark cases. So a letter demanding a party to stop unlawful conduct is often the end of the story and will cure potential legal defects of the opposing party. But this is not to say that this is ALWAYS the conclusion, sometimes the other party will disagree on your legal position and a state or federal lawsuit might be the next step in the fight. We also handle business and intellectual property litigation cases when this is the next stage.
What is the cost to hire an intellectual property law firm to help me stop unfair business practices?
We offer low rates to send cease and desist letters in California and Arizona where we are licensed to practice law. Our letters are sent at the hourly rate of $125. We request a minimum retainer agreement of $375 and bill our time spent on the case in:
a. Reviewing your documentation to establish your case and determine your legal rights
b. Drafting the letter (sending it to you first for review and edits and any comments you might have)
c. Adding exhibits that may be required
d. Send the demand package certified mail
e. Following up with the parties who are the target of the demand letter (to either discuss, clarify, assert legal arguments, etc.) and in some cases, possibly enter into settlement or licensing discussions.
These are the main things we do in a cease and desist demand letter case.
Contact a Business and Intellectual Property Law Firm to discuss Cease and Desist Letters
Our business and litigation lawyers can be reached by calling (877) 276-5084. You can also fill out the form below and we can contact you. Please leave your name and phone number and best time to call. We can normally get back to you within the hour. In the digital age, your brand, intellectual property and reputation are everything. We help you protect what's yours.