Registered Design Cease & Desist Letter
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 become
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 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 two letters in one. The first option is designed for those
who wish to take a more cautious 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”. 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.
It is very important to note that this letter is designed for communicating
with a primary infringer, not a secondary 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,
for example, specimens, photographs, marketing materials and other
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 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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