When you become aware about the possible unlawful use of your rights by third parties, should precisely identify the alleged infringers in order to eventually bring to an end to the infringing activity.
There are several ways to enforce your IP rights, ranging from relatively simple measures to complex litigation. Court proceedings are costly and lengthy and therefore other preliminary tools should be used so as to prevent subsequent litigation. In many cases private negotiation via legal professional is more effective and should be considered as a viable option,particularly for SMEs which often are faced with budgetary constraints.
It is a common practice to approach the person who is supposedly infringing your IP rights by sending a letter of demand, also known as “cease and desist letter". The letter will advise the alleged infringer that a court action may be taken if the infringing activities do not stop within a certain period of time. It is to be noticed that you should avoid posing threats to the other party, or include false statements as this may lead to your legal liability. A previous consultation with a lawyer may be advisable in this respect.
In case a letter of demand does not result in cessation of the alleged infringement, further legal steps are available, such as customs actions, settlements (through informal negotiations, mediation or arbitration) and/or litigation (civil actions or criminal prosecution where available).
In any case, it is advisable to seek a proper legal advice, since the course of action will depend on the circumstances of each particular case.