Most trademark lawyers in Minneapolis recommend that a cease and desist letter regarding trademark violation should contain, at the very minimum, the following components:
1. Trademark Owner’s Identity
The cease and desist notice should identify who is the trademark owner. If the letter is being drafted by a trademark owner’s representative, then representative should identify in the letter himself and his relation to the trademark owner.
The letter should state clearly the trademark that the owner believes is being violated. If the trademark is formally registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or a relevant state or foreign government authority, then provide the registration number in the letter. It is a good idea to attach a copy of the registration certificate to the letter.
3. Notice of Violation
The letter should explicitly state that the recipient violated the trademark owner’s rights. One of the primary purpose of a cease and desist letter is to give notice, and, usually, the best way to do so is to state it clearly.
4. Description of Violation
The cease and desist notice should explain how the recipient violated the trademark owner’s rights. Usually, a general statement briefly describing the nature of the violation is sufficient. There is no reason to provide a detailed violation of the account for two reasons. First, it is not a good idea to divulge too much information to the other side. Second, a overly-detailed account of violation may actually weaken the trademark owner’s case by stating facts which the other side can prove to be wrong.
Nevertheless, in some situations, describing a violation in an attached trademark complaint may be highly beneficial to the trademark owner’s case, demonstrating the seriousness of his intentions and his confidence in the case. This strategy should be discussed with a trademark attorney in Minneapolis.
5. Description of the Trademark’s Strength
If there are favorable facts that augment the perceived strength of the owner’s trademark, then it may be beneficial to briefly state them in the letter. This is especially true if this a descriptive trademark that acquired distinctiveness through a long period of use and promotion. Again, a trademark lawyer should determine how to pursue this strategy.
6. Trademark Owner’s Demands
The cease and desist letter should set the demands of the trademark owner. Demands may vary greatly depending on the circumstances of a case, but there are some fairly common ones, such as:
a) Cease and desist all illegal activity;
b) Promise in writing not to violate the trademark in the future; and
c) Destruction of infringing materials.
The cease and desist notice should state the deadline for a written response to the letter. The deadline should give the recipient a fair chance to comply with the trademark owner’s demands. Usually, Minneapolis trademark lawyers use a period between seven and thirty days.
The above-mentioned components merely constitute a basic skeleton of a cease and desist letter. Putting the “meat on those bones”, however, is an art rather than a science: more components can be added, certain arguments may be emphasized, others ignored, wording must be selected very carefully keeping in mind a highly probable litigation in the near future, and countless number of other considerations should be taken into account. Remember, a cease and desist letter is more about advocacy and negotiation, rather than simply giving notice.
This is why you should retain a Minneapolis trademark attorney to write a cease and desist letter for you. Sherayzen Law Office can help! We can draft a proper cease and desist letter, help negotiate a settlement, and litigate the case for you.
Call us NOW to discuss your trademark case with an experienced trademark attorney!