Registered Design Cease & Desist Letter
This Registered Design 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 someone is infringing your registered design, action should be taken quickly once you are in possession of all the relevant facts. The role 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.
Two different approaches are provided for in this template. The first option takes a softer approach, designed to be informative rather than accusatory and inviting the alleged infringer to discuss the matter rather than requiring them to “cease and desist”. The second option is the more familiar cease and desist path, informing the alleged infringer that they are infringing your design, and requiring them to comply with a series of undertakings.
When using the second option, great care should be taken to avoid the risk 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.
You should set out details and evidence of the alleged infringement while maintaining a balance. Provide enough detail to support your allegation, but not so much that information is revealed that could place you at a disadvantage. Evidence of infringement may include, for example, specimens, photographs, marketing materials, and other documents.
Having given the details of your registered design and the alleged infringement, a series of undertakings required of the recipient is set out. When describing the conduct which should be stopped, take care to confine the requirements to those activities for which it is safe to make an accusation (see above). The second undertaking in this template requires information from the alleged infringer designed to enable you to calculate what sums may be due 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 very important.
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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