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What is a Cease and Desist Order?

cease and desist order is a written letter created by some sort of government or law enforcement agency that tells a certain person or company to end a business practice that is deemed unfair or illegal by the agency that sends out the order.

How long does one usually have to respond to a cease and desist order?

The time frame should be mentioned in the letter. When it comes to money claims or any other type of settlement demands, one may request that more time if they have a legitimate reason.

What should a person do if they received a cease and desist letter for unknowingly selling an illegitimate product online and this company wants the money for the sales?

If the company has only sent a cease and desist letter, then the person should write a polite letter to the company in response. The person should provide the contact information and the details of their particular situation. If the company has not filed suit then they are not required to pay.

What should one do if they are selling an old product and they receive a cease and desist email from the original company?

Since the cease and desist order is in the form of an email and not an actual letter, it would be best not to respond to anything until an actual letter is received. Many products that are seemingly old still have protection from resale. The company most likely has no evidence that multiple copies of this product have been sold by this person, so they do not have strong grounds for a case if they take the person to court.

How should a person respond if they receive a cease and desist from a company with the same name?

If the businesses are protected by trademark law, then a court will look at different factors to see if the two names of the businesses are “confusingly similar” or has a “likelihood of confusion”. If the person received the cease and desist letter from the owners of the other business, they may not be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the case. If this is so, then the person may write back to the owners and state that the names are similar but not the same and that there is no intention to steal any of that company’s business. 

Cease and desist orders can be very dramatic. Some companies may send one out for something seemingly trivial and small. Certain companies that will send out a cease and desist order may not even have a legitimate case. However, when they have a strong case, the person that receives the cease and desist is well advised to take the advice of the letter and be more careful of their actions in the future. Remember to ask the Experts when questions arise about cease and desist orders, or any other topic.

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