Cease and Desist Letters for Intellectual Property Prohibitions Abroad


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Intellectual property protections in different countries may be difficult to process and accomplish. Various countries around the world have more lax IP safeguards than the European Union and the United States, and this causes issues for those that travel to these locations when attempting to keep IP private and protected.

When intellectual property has been violated, the owner may use a lawyer to send a valid cease and desist letter to the person violating the protections. This is often the first step if the other person or company has started infringement of the IP. The individual has his or her lawyer send this to the perpetrator and then he or she awaits a reply. If none is forthcoming or if the other business or person refuses to stop using the IP, the owner may take him or her to court and litigate. However, in various countries, this could have more complicated procedures. Sometimes, there are no laws that protect the IP from use and redistribution.

It is important to attempt to communicate with the violator to determine why he or she has started using the IP, what the situation involves and how best to appease him or her in ceasing use. If this is a trademark, it may be easier to issue a statement to the citizens that are being marketed to in these circumstances. Copyright material and patented creations may be harder to deal with because the laws governing these items are either lacking or nonexistent in multiple locations. However, it is imperative to have a lawyer that understands the specific country’s laws to better handle the IP violations and use these laws to resolve the infringement.

Presenting a Cease and Desist

Before a letter may be drafted and sent to the individual or company, there must be a reason. This requires grounds to send the letter. This document should be drafted by a lawyer so that there are no grounds to seek counter legal action against the IP owner. Knowing when to send one and how is also important. When the IP is a copyright work, this letter could combat infringement such as when the book, manuscript or screenplay has been reproduced for sale. This is often complicated with other countries that have no or little protections for copyright owners. Then, it may be necessary to contact local legal officials for assistance.

When the matter concerns trademark infringement, it could be easier to enforce because there is often more leverage. Companies or larger organizations usually own these items. To continue business in the country, local officials and government agencies may be more inclined to help the business owner. If the trademark symbol or words are on products, this is frequently enough proof for domestic courts to use to deliberate and judge. An initial cease and desist letter is a valid form of communication in attempting to stop these practices. Then, going forward is easier when the letter is valid with no wording that leads to a counter claim.

Foreign Jurisdiction

When composing the cease and desist letter, the most important aspect when this involves another country is to pay attention to the foreign jurisdiction involved. If the person or company responds, it is crucial to remain calm and process the situation. If the contact involves a similar cease and desist letter, it may be important to establish a timeline of IP ownership to present in the foreign courts. The owner needs to ensure there is no delay in pursuing action, as this could cost him or her dearly in protecting the intellectual property owned. If the power of the foreign country is great, all evidence and processes require caution.

If the IP has been posted to online sources, this could provide the foreign country with jurisdiction over the matter. Then that nations laws may take precedence. This may cause complications with multiple locations when someone from another country sues based on the IP used. Some companies drop these concerns after a few days when it appears the laws may not help in stopping the use of the IP involved. Additionally, some foreign courts take longer to deliberate on the issue and this could take years to resolve the use of the IP.

International Lawyer in Intellectual Property Prohibitions

When infringement occurs, it is important to pursue action immediately. The cease and desist letter should be composed and sent once the violation has been discovered. An international lawyer should be hired.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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