What do you do if you get a cease and desist letter? 2

A cease and desist letter is a formal, legal letter that often contains a simple request that the recipient stop using the sender’s stuff.  If you receive a cease and desist letter, then someone is probably claiming that you are using their stuff without permission.  Be brave and open the letter (despite the scary envelope) and find out what the sender wants you to stop using.

It’s pretty common for a cease and desist letter to be sent in response to content posted on a website.  If for example, the friend you hired to build your website lifted graphics or photos from another website, then it’s likely that you will be asked to stop (ie, cease and desist from) using the photos.  Similarly, if you include someone else’s trademark (like the word Popsicle or Xerox) in your business name or blog postings about your business, then it’s likely that you will be asked to stop using the trademark.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if you ‘did not know’ that you were using someone else’s stuff.   Just because your web-builder-friend didn’t tell you that he lifted the photos that he used on your website from another website, doesn’t get you off the hook.  Nor does it matter, if you didn’t know that Popsicle is a registered trademark.  The bottom line is that someone else’s stuff is being used without permission.

The easy solution… is to stop using their stuff.   (Take their stuff off your website… and replace it with your own stuff… or stuff that you have permission to use).

For information on writing a cease and desist letter, see –>  http://wp.me/p10nNq-b5

BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.



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