Brand Stole My Look: Sending a Cease and Desist Letter
In a previous blog, we shared what to do if you receive a cease and desist letter. But what about if you need to send one? Have you found someone using your brand? Have you seen someone copying your logo? Is there another business using a name that’s too similar to yours? Don’t just ignore it and hope it stops. In fact, ignoring something like this could make you lose your rights in your own brand!
You as the trademark owner of your brand are responsible for enforcing your trademark rights. Remember: your registered trademark grants you the exclusive right to use your brand within your industry. This is why securing your legal rights with a federally registered trademark is vital for any brand owner. Your trademark registration gives you the legal right to stop anyone else from using your brand within your industry. So if you catch someone, that’s where sending a cease and desist letter could be necessary.
A cease and desist letter tells someone (like your competitor) to stop using your brand. It’s a serious and scary warning letter that’s usually sent on a law firm’s letter head. Sending a cease and desist letter doesn’t officially start any legal process but it does give advance notice that one might be coming.
The contents of the letter usually go a little something like this: “Hey you! This brand belongs to me as the trademark owner. And I see you’re using my brand without my permission. I’m demanding that you stop using my brand and if you don’t, I will sue you in court.” And you know what is usually attached to a cease and desist letter? A copy of your trademark registration certificate proving you have the legal right to make these demands!
Now imagine how your trademark attorney can make this written warning look and sound really scary. Sometimes, your attorney will even make stern phone calls to be sure they got the letter and that the recipient will comply with the letter.
Is it required that an attorney draft and send this letter for you? No, there is no requirement that only an attorney can send this letter. But your attorney will know what needs to be included in this letter so that:
- the letter is taken seriously,
- the letter is properly received by the trademark violator and
- the trademark violations stop without you having to actually
- take them to court.
While you can send cease and desists letters to everyone and anyone that uses a brand that looks like yours, it may not be effective or worth your time. You as the brand owner will need to decide whether it’s necessary to pursue a cease and desist letter to protect your trademark rights. This is why it is essential to get your attorney’s opinion. Regardless of whether the letter is sent from your attorney or not, the matter should not be taken lightly.
Do you think someone is trying to steal your trademark rights? Give us a call at 305-482-1113 and we’ll take this mess off your plate!