Registered Design Protection Cease and Desist Letter Template

Registered Design Cease & Desist Letter

BS.IP.EN.CD.04

This Registered Design Cease and Desist Letter (also known as a “letter of claim” or a “letter before action”) is designed for use as a first step when enforcing intellectual property rights. If you or your business becomes aware that another party is infringing your registered design, action should be taken quickly once you are in possession of all the relevant facts. The key value of a cease and desist letter is that it puts an infringer on notice that their activities are known and aims to resolve the matter without recourse to costly and potentially time-consuming litigation. Caution, however, is advised (see below).

This document has been updated to better conform with current best practice. Most importantly, it is now two letters in one. The first option is designed for those who wish to take a more cautious approach, reducing the risk of threats actions being taken against them. This option is designed to be informative rather than accusatory and invites the recipient to discuss the matter rather than requiring them to “cease and desist”. The second option is the more familiar cease and desist option, informing the recipient that they are infringing the sender’s design and requiring them to comply with a series of undertakings.

When using the second option, great care should be taken so as to avoid being the subject of a threats action. Unless it is absolutely clear that primary infringement is taking place, this template should not be used and proper legal advice should be sought before taking any steps to contact the suspected infringer. Those activities for which it is considered safe to threaten a suspected infringer with legal action are “the making or importing of anything” (section 26(2A) Registered Designs Act 1949). Nevertheless, any doubts should be referred to a lawyer before making communication with the alleged infringer.

When providing details and evidence of the alleged infringement, it is important to strike a balance: Enough detail should be provided to support the allegation, but not so much that information is revealed that would place the accuser at a disadvantage. Evidence of infringement may include – to name but a few examples - specimens, photographs, marketing materials and other documents.

Having set out the details of the owner’s registered design and the alleged infringement, a series of undertakings required of the recipient is provided. When setting out that conduct which should be ceased (and desisted from), care should be taken to confine the requirements to those activities for which it is safe to make an accusation (see above). The second undertaking requires information from the infringer designed to enable the accuser to calculate what sums may be due to them to compensate for the infringement (a subsequent undertaking requires the infringer to pay such sums). It is important to note that what is sought will vary depending upon the circumstances. In some cases, a full account of profits may be desirable. On the other hand, for lesser infringement, it may be preferable to agree upon a smaller sum in the interests of concluding matters quickly and amicably without resorting to further legal action. Once again, where there is any doubt or disagreement, seeking proper legal advice is urged.

Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.

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