Cease and Desist

October 20, 2019

Where someone thinks their intellectual property rights are being infringed they usually ask the other party to ‘cease and desist’ from infringement. Cease and desist letters are most commonly used as a prelude to passing off and trademark infringement actions.

Sending a ‘cease and desist’ letter

‘Cease and desist’ letters are often the starting point for alerting an infringing party to the potential consequences of their actions. If the infringer does not stop their infringing actions after receiving a cease and desist letter, then the next step might be to initiate litigation. Read more »


It is best not to send a cease and desist letter threatening to sue unless you have the resources to do so and are really serious. Otherwise, the cease and desist letter should reserve your position rather than end with a threat to sue, which turns out to be an empty one. Read more »

Receiving a ‘cease and desist’ letter

If you receive a ‘cease and desist’ letter, it may contain an offer to drop infringement proceedings if you return a signed undertaking. This undertaking (which is contractual in nature) will usually have been drafted heavily in favour of the sender, and may contain onerous or unreasonable demands. To protect your interests, and those of your business, it is essential that legal advice is obtained on a ‘cease and desist’ letter before returning any signed undertakings. Read more »

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