Copyright Cease & Desist Letter
This Copyright Cease and Desist Letter is designed for use as a first step when enforcing intellectual property rights. Cease and desist letters are also known as “letters of claim” and “letters before action”. If you or your business become aware that another party is infringing your copyright, action should be taken quickly once you are in possession of all the relevant facts. The role of a cease and desist letter is to put an infringer on notice that their infringing activities are known and seeks to resolve the matter without resorting to costly and potentially time-consuming legal action.
This Cease and Desist Letter template has recently been reviewed for compatibility with the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017 and has been updated to conform with current best practice.
Due to the risk of threats actions being sought against would-be IP claimants, it is essential that this letter is not used in relation to any IP rights other than copyright (for example, some claims in copyright may also relate to a registered design). If the alleged infringement covers multiple forms of IP, or is in any way unclear or uncertain, legal advice should be sought before taking any steps.
You should set out details and evidence of the alleged infringement but be aware that balance is important. You should provide sufficient detail to support your allegation, but not so much that information is revealed that would place you at a disadvantage. Evidence of infringement may include, for example, specimens, photographs, marketing materials, and other documents.
Having set out the details of your copyright and the alleged infringement, a series of undertakings required of the recipient is provided. Of these, the second 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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