The service of a cease and desist notice can be a very valuable and powerful tool in any civil or criminal investigation relating to trademark counterfeiting or piracy. Proving that a subject knows or should have known, that the items they are, or have been, selling are counterfeit is very important.
Most juries want to see clear and convincing evidence that show the subject is truly guilty of the crime they are being accused of. If a subject is served with a cease and desist notice during the course of an investigation, it takes away the subject’s defense of plausible deniability. A jury will have no sympathy for a subject if they are served with a notice and continue to sell counterfeit goods.
In the thousands of criminal cases in which IC has assisted, if the subject is served with a cease and desist notice prior to the subject’s arrest, the subject will generally plead guilty very early on in the court process. This will avoid a long drawn out ordeal. If a case is resolved quickly, it will end up saving the brand owner money on unnecessary court appearances and other related costs.
The cease and desist notice can also be a very good tool to educate those vendors who are unknowingly involved in the sales of counterfeit goods. Most brand owners want to do their part to educate the sellers and consumers regarding the sales of counterfeit and pirated goods. This is a good thing.
Our team of investigators has served thousands of cease and desist notices over the past two decades. During our process of serving notices, our team attempts to identify the subject and obtain as much information from the subject as possible. The IC Team will attempt to obtain information from the subjects on where they purchased their counterfeit goods and information on higher level sources of distribution for the counterfeit goods in question.
The service of the notice should be clearly documented as the information obtained during the service may or may not be used in future criminal or civil proceedings. Our investigators will request the subject sign the notice, photograph the subject while they are signing the notice while also documenting all other relevant evidence at the location. The photographs below depict actual notices being served to subjects involved in counterfeiting & piracy. This type of documentation is very valuable evidence in any trademark counterfeiting or piracy investigation.