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Advice for writing a 'cease-and-desist' letter

When you discover that someone is infringing on your trademark and using your brand identity for profit and gain, it's time to draft a cease-and-desist letter. Your cease-and-desist letter is a carefully written piece of communication that needs to be written the right way to have the desired effect.

The goal of your letter is to get someone to stop using your brand identity without needing to file a lawsuit. However, the letter might have the unintended result of inflaming a difficult-to-resolve dispute. You could anger the recipient if your letter appears too threatening. At the same time, if your letter is too kind and friendly, the recipient might not take it seriously.

It's a delicate balance to assert yourself properly in these communications. A large corporation with significant legal might could benefit from stepping forward with guns ablaze. A small business without very deep pockets, on the other hand, may be wise to tread cautiously with a light-touch approach.

Sometimes, people shoot these letters out without proper forethought. Perhaps what's happening is not a trademark violation. For example, two companies can legally maintain the same name if they're not in competition with each other. Or, perhaps you put the wrong types of things in the letter.

There are many ways to draft a cease-and-desist letter wrong without proper legal guidance. And, for that matter, there are many ways to do it right. When someone infringes on your brand, it could cause you to suffer great financial damages after all of the work you've put into building your reputation and customer base. So, make sure you get the help you need to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

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