Why you need a cease-and-desist letter

Ensuring Corporate Documents' Enforceability - What to Know

03/09/2023

If you think someone has stolen your work, is using a trademark or design too similar to yours, or is using your patent without consent, you need a cease-and-desist letter.

An intellectual property (IP) cease-and-desist letter is the first step in dealing with IP theft and is a formal demand that the other person or business, stops using your creation.

A cease-and-desist letter usually indicates the beginning of legal proceedings, so it’s best to have the letter written for you by a lawyer. The letter could also become evidence in a legal case, making it doubly important to ensure you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s.

When are cease and desist letters used?

Commonly, cease and desist letters are sent following a breach of contract or other right. This could be in cases of:

  • trademark, copyright, or patent infringement.
  • harassing or intimidatory behaviour.
  • defamation.
  • former employees or partners breaching any contractual obligations.

When it comes to intellectual property, a cease-and-desist letter is most commonly used to protect your work from copyright infringement. 

This could include impersonating another business, trademark infringement, using similar branding, or even false advertising.

What should be included in the contents of a cease-and-desist letter?

The letter will vary, depending on the circumstances of the case, but overall, it should contain the following:

  • A clear description of the alleged illegal activity.
  • Demand for the person or business to stop the illegal activity immediately. 
  • The consequences for continuing the illegal activity.
  • The contact details of the person or organisation sending the letter.

What happens if I receive a cease-and-desist letter?

Being on the receiving end of a cease-and-desist letter doesn’t automatically mean that you have engaged in the alleged conduct. But it’s important to take the letter seriously and you should seek urgent legal advice. Ignoring this issue will not make it go away.

If you have questions about intellectual property, sending or receiving cease-and-desist letters, or any other aspect of corporate law, please contact GLG Legal by calling (07) 3161 9555 today. Our corporate law experts are here to help you.

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