Cease and Desist Letter

If a client gets a cease and desist letter (telling you to stop doing something like using the phrase “dirty brawls” on your website) what should you do?

The first thing to do is to check the law. What does the law require?  Then you check the facts:  who did the work?  Was there some agreement about who would do the work and who would get the credit?  Is the phrase or work copyrighted?  Is it trademarked?  Is there some other protected act taken.  Then you check the dates all these things occurred.  And check when you can prove you started using the phrase or work.

Once you have done those things, I would write to the lawyer who sent the C&D letter.  I would try to educate him/her in what the law requires for them to win.  I’ve found that the best response to a C&D letter is to let them know that harassing my client is a waste of time, will cost too much and they will lose anyway.  Usually they don’t bother writing back, they just go away.  But remember, knowing the facts and the law are critical.  If the client forgets to tell me something important this won’t work. So what’s important?  Everything.  Answer my questions fully, completely and hold nothing back.  The volunteer more information I didn’t ask about that you think might be important.  Frequently it is.

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