A cease and desist letter is a document that can be sent to an individual or business formally requesting that they stop a specific action. Legal action is threatened if the recipient of the letter fails to comply with the requests of the letter.
What is a cease and desist letter?
Which letter should I use?
Use our Cease and desist letter for IP infringement template when someone is infringing your intellectual property rights and you want them to stop. This letter covers:
trade mark infringement
when there has been a breach of confidential information
For more information, read our guide on Cease and desist letters for IP infringement.
Use our Cease and desist letter for defamation template when someone has published what you believe to be defamatory statements about you or your business, and you want them to remove the content and refrain from publishing the statements again. This letter covers:
where the content was published eg an article or social media posts
why the content is believed to be defamatory
how the content caused or is likely to cause serious harm
a threat of further legal action if the recipient does not cease publishing the content
For more information, read our guide on Defamation.
Why do I need a cease and desist letter for defamation?
If defamatory statements have been made about you or your business, a cease and desist letter is essential to solving your problem and having the statements taken down and ensuring such content is not published again in the future. It gives the recipient efficient warning and provides them with the opportunity to solve the problem quickly and outside of court.
Why do I need a cease and desist letter for infringement of IP rights?
If your IP rights have been infringed, a cease and desist letter is a good way of protecting your rights and getting the recipient of the letter to stop the infringement. They will be provided with efficient warning before legal action is sought and offered a chance to solve the issue quickly.
Do I need to include a deadline for responding?
If you give the recipient a deadline for responding and ceasing the requested action it gives your letter more weight and makes it more likely that the recipient will respond. The deadline should be reasonable, this is usually about 15 working days for IP infringement and 7-14 working days for defamation.
Ask a Lawyer if:
the recipient does not respond to your letter
the document does not meet your specific needs
you are based in Scotland and require a cease and desist letter for defamation