A Cease and Desist is a letter sent to an individual or business that is engaging in unwelcome or illegal behavior. The Cease and Desist acts as a formal request that the recipient stop ("cease") and not continue ("desist") this behavior. If the recipient of the letter fails to comply with these demands, the sender should be prepared to take further legal action to stop the behavior that is harming or interfering with the sender's rights and abilities to conduct business.
This Cease and Desist letter should be used in cases of intellectual property infringement. This letter can be used for either trademark infringement, wherein an individual's business trademark is being used by some other party without permission, or copyright infringement, where a writer, artist, or other creator's original content is being used by some other party without permission.
This website also has Cease and Desist documents for the following situations:
How to use this document
A Cease and Desist letter includes the following basic elements:
This Cease and Desist letter can be used for two of the most common uses of such a letter:
Once the letter has been completed, it should be sent via certified mail to the individual or business that has been conducting the offensive behavior.
There are no laws outlining what must be included in a Cease and Desist letter. However, best practices dictate that a Cease and Desist include a detailed description of the offending behavior and a clear demand that the behavior stop or else legal action will be taken. Further, Cease and Desist letters are often used in later court cases to show that the Defendant was put on notice about their offending behavior, so the more detailed the letter, the better.
The issues covered by the Cease and Desist letter implicate federal laws surrounding intellectual property, such as copyright law and trademark law.
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