I've received a cease and desist letter; what do I do now?

David Gwilliam, trade mark attorney at AdamsonJones, explains what to do if you receive a 'cease and desist' letter.

Trademark Infringement


Adamson Jones can aid and advise you with a range of patent and trade mark services, for example, if you have received a cease and desist letter and require some advice about what to do next, or if you have any questions about protecting your own trade mark or concerns about infringing anyone else’s trade marks.

Have you received a cease and desist letter?

It can be quite intimidating to receive a cease and desist letter, but it is important not to panic. It is also important not to ignore the letter as, if you are infringing on someone else's trade mark, even if you are doing it entirely unintentionally, it can be quite a serious problem and needs to be addressed. If you have received a cease and desist letter, we would recommend seeking legal advice.

Don’t panic, but don’t ignore a cease and desist letter… seek legal advice.

A cease and desist letter is usually sent by somebody who owns an intellectual property right and believes you are doing something that infringes that right. Getting a cease and desist letter doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to be taken to court. Normally people who send these letters are just as reluctant to go to court as you are and would like their issue resolved outside of a courtroom.

Settlement is often achieved without the need for court proceedings.

Our trade mark attorneys at Adamson Jones would first look at your cease and desist letter and discuss it with you to confirm whether or not whoever sent the letter has grounds to object to what you’re doing. It’s quite possible that they don’t, either because they’re mistaken about what you are doing or they have misunderstood their own position, in which case a simple response explaining the situation may be enough to resolve the issue. Otherwise, it is usually possible to enter into a dialogue with whoever sent the letter and reach a settlement on mutually agreeable terms.  

For advice on protecting your own trade marks and avoiding infringing on anyone else’s, talk to our trade marks team by calling +44 115 947 7977 or emailing contact@adamson-jones.co.uk. 

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