Patent Cease & Desist Letter
This Patent 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 become aware that
someone is infringing your patent, 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
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.
This document is essentially two letters in one. Option one is designed for
those who wish to take a softer approach. 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”. Option two is the
more familiar cease and desist option, informing the recipient that they
are infringing the sender’s patent 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 on the receiving end of a threats action. Unless it is absolutely
clear that 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 detailed in section 70A of the Patents Act
(2) A threat of infringement proceedings is not actionable if the threat –
(a) where the invention is a product, making a product for disposal or
importing a product for disposal, or
(b) where the invention is a process, using a process.
(4) A threat of infringement proceedings is not actionable if the threat –
(a) is made to a person who has done, or intends to do, an act mentioned in
subsection (2)(a) or (b) in relation to a product or process, and
(b) is a threat of proceedings for an infringement alleged to consist of
doing anything else in relation to that product or process.
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
specimens, photographs and other documents.
Having set out the details of the owner’s patent and the alleged
infringement, a series of undertakings required of the recipient is
provided. When setting out that conduct which should be stopped, 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.
This document is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the
highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.
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