A registered trademark can be an important step in bringing a product or service to market, and it is a vital asset to protect. Acquiring a trademark prevents other companies from selling their goods or services using a mark that closely resembles yours. This protection ensures that customers do not get confused between different businesses.
When another business infringes on your trademark, one of the ways to respond is by issuing them a cease and desist letter. There are several things to consider when sending or receiving a cease and desist letter:
Sending a cease and desist letter
Some of the factors that a trademark owner should consider before sending a cease and desist letter include:
- Whether the trademark is active
- The registration status of the trademark
- Whether buyers will be confused by the infringing mark
- The effect of the infringers’ mark on the power of their mark
- Whether the infringer is dealing in the same goods or services
- The geographical location in which the infringer is using their mark
- The market where the infringer is selling their goods and service
These factors are essential in determining the likelihood of confusion for consumers. They also form the basis for pursuing a lawsuit if the infringer decides to continue using the mark even after receiving a cease and desist letter.
Receiving a cease and desist letter
It is important to note that receiving a letter from a trademark owner does not mean that they have filed a lawsuit against you.
If you receive a cease and desist letter, it is essential to be careful with how you respond. The response you provide can have significant legal ramifications, and you should consider consulting a legal professional before giving any reply.
You may wan to request the trademark owner to provide you with more evidence that shows that you are infringing their mark. This includes details about the mark’s federal registration status, the geographical region where the mark is being used, and the date of first use.
You can try to negotiate with the trademark owner to let you use the mark on mutual agreement. Finally, you can decide to file a lawsuit and sue for a “declaratory judgment” indicating that your trademark is not infringing.