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A trademark owner who believes its trademark is being infringed may file a lawsuit for trademark infringement. Before filing a lawsuit, a trademark owner will usually send a cease and desist letter. Getting a cease and desist letter is no fun, but it is way better than getting a served with a complaint for trademark infringement.

What to do if you receive a cease and desist letter

The key here is not to over react. If a trademark owner does not take proper steps to police the use of its trademark, that fact can be used against them in a lawsuit. Trademark owners, therefore, regularly send out these letters, many times reluctantly. So, before flying off the handle, it’s important to bear in mind that the person sending the letter may not be too excited about it either. Do not immediately respond. Do not immediately take to social media.

There are several ways to respond to a cease and desist letter, and these options have significant legal ramifications. You can (1) respond to the cease and desist letter and deny trademark infringement; (2) ignore the cease and desist letter and risk getting sued for trademark infringement; or (3) you can file your own lawsuit for a declaratory judgment stating that your trademark does not infringe the trademark.

You should consult a trademark lawyer before deciding what to do. A trademark lawyer can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the trademark infringement allegations against you. A trademark lawyer can also help you negotiate with your accuser and save you from making any costly legal mistakes.