How Can a Cease and Desist Letter Help My Business?

In the event of a potential legal dispute, a cease and desist letter is one of the most effective tools a business owner can use to protect their rights and intellectual property without having to take extensive legal action. In issuing a cease and desist letter, a business is requesting that a person or organization cease engaging in behavior that it doesn’t have a legal right to conduct. 

A business may issue a cease and desist letter to a competitor that is allegedly committing trademark infringement or an employee who seems to be violating a valid non-compete agreement, to give two examples.

Businesses often use cease and desist letters to preserve their interests when more informal avenues have proven ineffective. This is also a compelling way to signal that this situation might result in litigation if the offending party doesn’t take steps to rectify the situation on their own.

An effective cease and desist letter generally includes the following:

  • Thorough documentation and explanation of the illegal behavior the sender believes the recipient has engaged in, stated as specifically as possible;
  • A description of the relevant laws, statutes, and case law that bolster the allegations made in the letter;
  • A request for the recipient to either start or stop a particular action in order to become legally compliant; and
  • A clear time frame for the recipient to comply. If the recipient does not honor the requested deadline, be prepared for litigation.

There are other important details to include in a cease and desist letter, depending on the type of illegal activity you believe the other party has been performing. A letter containing allegations of copyright infringement, for instance, will differ from a letter alleging libel or slander. You should also consider the tone of the letter you wish to send, depending on your relationship with the offending party.

Most importantly, before sending a cease and desist letter, it is vital to determine the likelihood of successfully enforcing your rights in court against the other party if matters should escalate. 

For Maximum Impact, Consult an Experienced Attorney

If your business determines that the potential benefits of taking legal action against another party outweigh the potential costs, a strong cease and desist letter to the other party is essential before going to court. Inform the party of their alleged malfeasance and demand they take appropriate steps to cease the illegal activity. Be sure, however, that your letter does not end up becoming an empty threat by seeking appropriate legal counsel to help you craft this important document and prepare for next steps, should they become necessary.

Integrated General Counsel would be happy to help you protect your company’s interests as efficiently as possible. We look forward to helping you establish a solid legal foundation for your business and providing whatever support you need to make sure it continues to thrive. Contact our team today to discuss your options.