A cease and desist letter sounds rather morbid, and can result in a dire outcome for the defending party. However, this is not always the case due to possible inaccuracies of claims, or other sources of illegitimacy. Either way, it is important that a cease and desist letter is considered with full seriousness if you receive one. This Business Kitz blog will walk you through the basics of everything you need to know about a cease and desist letter.
What is a cease and desist letter?
A cease and desist letter is a legal document addressed to someone whom you believe is acting incorrectly, or engaging in business that is illegal, breaches a contract or is an infringement of an agreement. The person sending the letter may believe the offending party’s activity is compromising the integrity of their own brand (via defamation or IP infringements), or address behaviour that is either inappropriate, violates contractual agreements or is illegal. The document requests that the defending party stops their activity that is believed to be impermissible, and to not resume business until a solution has been found. The core purposes of a cease and desist letter include:
- The letter aims to alert the defaulting party that you are aware of their misconduct;
- There is also a call for the defaulting party to cease and desist the activity that is believed to be not permissible; and
- Further, the letter will outline the potential legal proceedings that will ensue if the defaulting party does not cease activity.
When are cease and desist letters used?
We often see these letters produced as a result of trademark or copyright infringements, in which the sender may demand for the offending party to cease their activities as a result of their misconduct. However, we also see cease and desist letters as a result of:
- Claims of persons engaging in intimidatory behaviour or harassment;
- Persons disseminating defamatory conduct; or
- Former employees or business partners violating contractual obligations.
Formally documenting claims of their suspected misconduct is also helpful if there is not immediate success, and legal action is required. The letter should clearly identify the involved parties, along with relevant background information and clear claims, in order to sufficiently document the issue.
Who can write these letters?
It is best to have these letters drafted by a lawyer, especially if you wish to pursue legal action if the needs of your letter are not met. The team of business lawyers at our sister company, Legal Kitz, excel in this area, so get in touch with them today! Getting expert legal advice is important for protecting yourself and your business’ reputation, as either party can make these letters public. However, because it is not mandated for these letters to be drafted by lawyers, anyone can send such a letter, so always be cautious when considering the content or responding to claims.
What should I do if I receive a cease and desist letter?
If you receive one, it is important that you seriously consider the validity of the claims, as legal proceedings may be ensued against you if you do not respond. If you are questioning the legitimacy of a cease and desist letter you have received, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice to determine how to navigate this issue and your available options. To find help, book a free consultation with our experts at our sister company, Legal Kitz, today! If the letter is legitimate and contains accurate claims of misconduct, it is best to act quickly in coordination with a lawyer to support you. However, if the recipient complies with the demands of the letter because they are accurate, this is a timely and cost effective outcome for the prosecuting party.
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If you have received a cease and desist letter, or wish to send someone to a defending party, our team of legal, business experts at our sister company, Legal Kitz can assist you. Click here to book a FREE consultation with one of our highly experienced solicitors today or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 988 954.