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
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.
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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