If you have registered a trademark for your business, you understand the importance of protecting it from illegal use. Competitors that misuse your mark risk diluting its effectiveness and harming your business. Should you discover that another business has appropriated your mark, you may consider sending the infringing party a cease and deist letter.
Sometimes a cease and deist letter is enough to stop infringement, but not always. Chron describes some possible outcomes after sending a cease and deist notice.
A letter of compliance
Sometime after sending your letter, you receive a response that concurs with your request. The respondent will agree not to use your mark in any further capacity. The letter might not admit to any infringing actions, but this is not unexpected. Compliance letters only need to state that no further infringement will happen.
A letter denying your claim
However, you might receive a notice that disagrees with your letter. The responding letter could use reasoning and evidence that the other party did not infringe on your trademark. The letter may contain the following arguments:
- The other party used a similar mark but not your mark.
- The use of the mark did not harm the reputation of your business.
- The image of your products or services suffered no damage.
At this stage, you will have to evaluate the evidence to see if you still have an infringement case against the other business. The evidence might not be enough to disprove your claim and you may choose to follow up with a second letter or possible legal action.
No response at all
In some cases an infringing business just ignores a cease and deist letter in the hopes the other party is not serious about pursuing a claim. However, if you believe your business has suffered damage as a result of the infringing use, you may avail yourself of further responses or court action.