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Can sending a cease and desist letter do more harm than good?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | intellectual property law

When facing issues of infringement or harassment, sending a cease and desist letter might seem like a straightforward solution. However, there are nuances to consider before taking this step.

While you certainly have the right to order an infringing party to cease and desist, sending such a letter can sometimes exacerbate a situation.

Potential escalation

Sending a cease and desist letter can escalate tensions between parties involved. Instead of resolving the issue amicably, it might provoke a defensive response from the recipient, leading to further conflict.

Legal ramifications

Although a cease and desist letter is not a legal action itself, it could lay the groundwork for future legal proceedings. This can be both expensive and time-consuming, potentially prolonging the dispute.

Negative public perception

Public perception can also be negatively impacted by sending a cease and desist letter. Depending on the circumstances, it might make the sender appear overly aggressive or unwilling to resolve conflicts peacefully. This can tarnish your reputation in the eyes of customers or business partners.

Additional considerations

Before sending a cease and desist letter, be sure to weigh the potential consequences carefully. Consider whether the situation truly warrants such a response and whether alternative methods of resolution are still available.

In an article for Forbes, Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, highlighted key reasons for business leaders to be protective of their intellectual property. Trade secrets are more important than ever, and ownership is becoming a more ambiguous concept. Despite this reality, though, taking drastic action with a cease and desist letter is not something to do hastily.