7 Things to Do When You Receive a Trademark Cease and Desist Notice   

As a business owner, receiving a trademark cease and desist notice can be a daunting experience. However, taking the necessary steps to protect your brand and prevent legal repercussions is important. Here are seven things you can do when you receive a trademark cease and desist notice.   

1. Review the Notice Carefully   

Receiving a trademark cease and desist notice can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but it is crucial to handle it promptly and effectively to protect your brand. The first step in this process is to review the notice carefully. This means reading through the document thoroughly and ensuring you understand the claims against your brand. Typically, the notice will explain the nature of the trademark infringement allegations and what the trademark owner or their legal representative requests you to do.   

Once you understand the situation, paying close attention to any deadlines or specific requests mentioned in the notice is important. These deadlines are usually set to allow you enough time to respond to the allegations and take appropriate action. You must meet these deadlines to avoid the trademark owner or their legal representative taking legal action against you.   

Reviewing and understanding the notice carefully will help you make informed decisions about how to proceed. You may need legal advice to determine the best action, such as negotiating with the trademark owner to settle or disputing the allegations in court. By taking a proactive approach and responding to the notice promptly and appropriately, you can protect your brand and avoid costly legal battles.   

2. Investigate the Claims   

Receiving a trademark cease and desist, notice can be a stressful experience for any business owner. However, responding to such notice promptly and thoroughly is crucial. The first step is to review the notice carefully and understand the claims against your brand. This involves thoroughly reading the notice to identify the trademark and the alleged infringement.   

Once you clearly understand the claims, it is important to investigate them. You can start by researching the trademark owner’s rights and determining whether they have a valid claim. This involves examining the trademark registration and analyzing whether it covers the same or similar goods or services as your brand. If the registration is for a similar or identical mark for the same goods or services, the trademark owner may have a strong case against your brand.   

Additionally, you should consider whether your brand will likely confuse with the trademark owner’s brand. This requires an assessment of the similarity between the two marks, the degree of care consumers exercise when purchasing the goods or services, and the channels of trade through which the goods or services are sold. If your brand is likely to confuse, it may be difficult to defend against the trademark owner’s claims.   

It is important to assess the strength of the trademark owner’s claim and the potential risks to your brand. This will help you make informed decisions about your business’s best action. If you are still determining the claims’ validity, seeking legal advice is highly recommended. Investigating the claims thoroughly and seeking legal advice can help avoid costly legal disputes and protect your brand reputation.   

3. Consider Your Options   

After receiving a notice that accuses your brand of trademark infringement, it is crucial to assess the situation and evaluate your options carefully. One potential choice is to rebrand your business by changing your brand name or logo. This decision can be challenging since your brand identity may be tied to your current name and logo. However, it could be the most effective option to avoid legal disputes and negative publicity in the long run. Before making a final decision, you should conduct market research to assess the impact of the change on your brand’s recognition and customer loyalty.   

Depending on the nature of the claims made against your brand, you may need to modify your branding or pay a licensing fee to the trademark owner to continue using your existing branding. Alternatively, if you continue using your brand name or logo, you may want to negotiate a settlement with the trademark owner to avoid further legal action. This process usually involves discussing with the trademark owner’s legal representatives to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.   

If you feel that the claims made in the notice are unfounded or the trademark owner’s rights are invalid, you may challenge the claims or the validity of the trademark itself. However, this can be a complex and expensive process that requires legal expertise. You must gather evidence to support your case and potentially engage in legal proceedings. Before choosing this option, it is important to weigh the potential costs and benefits and seek legal advice from a qualified attorney.   

Regardless of your choice, it is critical to take prompt action to protect your brand and avoid any potential legal consequences. It is essential to prioritize your brand’s reputation and take the necessary steps to resolve the matter as quickly and efficiently as possible. Delaying action can result in increased costs and legal complications, which can harm your business in the long term.   

4. Respond Promptly   

When you receive a trademark cease and desist notice, it is crucial to respond promptly, typically within 10-14 days. This demonstrates your willingness to cooperate and resolve the issue immediately. Failure to respond or delaying your response can be perceived as uncooperative and may lead to legal action against you. Therefore, responding promptly is a crucial first step in resolving the matter.   

In your response, you should acknowledge receipt of the notice and show a willingness to work towards a solution. If possible, propose a plan of action to resolve the issue, including agreeing to stop using the infringing mark or modifying your use of the mark in question. Being proactive in your response and willing to cooperate can go a long way in resolving the issue amicably.   

If you need more time to investigate or seek legal advice before responding, request an extension of the deadline. If you require an extension, provide a reasonable timeline for your response. However, it is important to communicate with the opposing party and show that you are taking the matter seriously.   

5. Seek Legal Advice   

It is important to seek legal advice if you need clarification on the claims made against your brand or if the cease and desist notice threatens legal action. A lawyer specializing in intellectual property can help you understand your legal rights and options. They can also advise you on whether the claims made in the notice are valid and help you determine the best course of action.   

It is important to find a lawyer with experience with trademark law, as this is a specialized area of the law. You can ask for recommendations from colleagues, search online for qualified lawyers, or consult with legal directories to find a lawyer who can help you with your case.   

Working with a lawyer can help you protect your brand and avoid legal repercussions. They can help you negotiate with the trademark owner, respond to the notice, and take necessary legal action. A lawyer can also help you file for trademark registration, protecting your brand from future legal disputes.   

6. Keep Communication Open   

Staying respectful and professional throughout all communications is crucial, as this can help facilitate a positive outcome. It is essential to keep communication open with the trademark owner or their legal representative throughout the process. By doing so, you can work towards a resolution that benefits both parties. You may need to negotiate terms, such as a licensing agreement, to continue using the trademark.   

It is important to note that ignoring the notice or failing to communicate may lead to further legal action. You can resolve the issue without costly legal proceedings by keeping communication open.   

If you need help communicating with the trademark owner or their legal representative, seek legal advice or the help of a trademark registration agency like Unimarks. They can guide you through the process and protect your rights while working towards a positive outcome for both parties.   

7. Take Action   

Once you have reviewed the notice, investigated the claims, considered your options, responded promptly, sought legal advice, and kept communication open, it is important to take necessary action to protect your brand and prevent legal repercussions.   

If the claims made against your brand are valid, you may need to change your brand name or negotiate a settlement with the trademark owner. It is important to work towards a resolution to avoid any legal action.   

If the claims are invalid, you can respond with evidence and arguments to support your case. However, it is important to remember that failing to respond or ignoring the notice can result in legal action, which can be costly and damaging to your brand.   

Regardless of the outcome, taking action and protecting your brand are important. This may involve changing your brand name, negotiating a settlement, seeking legal advice, or even going to court if necessary.   


Receiving a trademark cease and desist notice can be overwhelming, but taking the necessary steps can protect your brand and prevent legal action. By reviewing the notice, investigating the claims, considering your options, responding promptly, seeking legal advice, keeping communication open, and taking action, you can safeguard your brand and prevent further complications. As a leading trademark registration agency, Unimarks can provide expert advice and guidance to help protect your brand. Contact us today to learn more about our services.


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