Proper use of a cease and desist letter is the first measure a business can take to protect itself from copyright and trademark infringement – as seen in recent news articles.
GiGi New York sent Gigi Hadid and her Tommy Hilfiger collaboration a cease and desist letter because of the similarities in the styling of their name of a new line of clothing called “GiGi,” which GiGi New York believes has the potential for customer confusion between the brands. GiGi New York has owned their trademark, “GiGi New York” for certain leather goods it produces, but only filed an application for the trademark “GiGi” after Hadid’s recent runway show.
A cease and desist letter is a tool that businesses use for any number of reasons including to stop harassment, assert ownership rights, or when they just want to formally tell someone to stop doing something harmful to their business. It lays the foundation that creates a paper trail for future action that may be needed, and can be tailored to be used much like an affidavit that outlines the facts and circumstances. But more importantly, it sends the message to the recipient that you take your business affairs seriously.
In a cease and desist letter similar to this situation hitting the news this week, the writer should include details about the copyrighted or trademarked work in question, proof that the writer holds the copyright or trademark and the instances where the holder of that intellectual property has been harmed by the recipient’s infringement. Writers should include any documentation they have and, most importantly, what steps they expect the recipient to take to fix the infringement. Having this drafted by an attorney is advisable.
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