What should I do if I've been accused of intellectual property copyright infringement? 7 Answers as of October 28, 2013

Today (October 24) on my doorstep, I found an overnight FedEx envelope. Upon reading the letter, it appears to be a cease and desist letter with demands in it. Here is some background on what has happened. I have a hobby where I like to make silicone push molds and sell them on an online store. Bakers and jewelry makers buy them to make their creations. This company is stating I have violated copyright by using their little buttons to make the molds. I did not know this was illegal in any way, shape, or form. In fact, there are hundreds of other people all over selling them. At any rate, the letter says I have 7 days to respond. They have a few things they want me to do. They have scared the crap out of me with the jargon in the letter. I simply need some direction regarding this.

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Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
That's a typical cease & desist letter from an attorney in which they make boatload of demands. However, you should contact an attorney and let them handle it because a response by you might turn out to work against you. The best case scenario is when your attorney's response will resolve the entire situation and the worst case scenario is if you don't respond and they commence a lawsuit against you. Either way, it's best to have an attorney handle the situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/28/2013
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
What you are asking requires that you seek legal advice immediately. I would need to see the entire letter and package that they sent you and understand exactly what you are making. Only then could i render an opinion.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 10/25/2013
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
You should either stop production and comply with the terms of the cease and desist letter. OR Your better choice is to contact a local intellectual property copyright attorney to evaluate your product and the letter. In general copyright infringement does not break a law it violates the rights of the owner of the copyright and allows the owner of the copyright to right to sue for damages. You are probably one of many people that received a cease and desist letter from the same law firm. Call several intellectual property copyright attorneys and see if you can get a free initial consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/25/2013
Webb IP Law Group
Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
Talk over the details with an attorney. People sometimes send overreaching cease and desist letters, especially when it is not a law firm sending it.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 10/25/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Companies have become much more active in protecting their intellectual property rights in the last decade. These letters are common now. First you need to confirm that the company actually owns or has license to a valid copyright on the buttons. If they don't, they can't claim damages from anyone. Second, you need to determine if you've obtained the buttons legally. Many products sold on the Internet today have been stolen by someone from the true owner. Find an attorney who has actual experience with intellectual property issues to help you with this.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 10/25/2013
    Gerald R. Black, Esq.
    Gerald R. Black, Esq. | Gerald R. Black
    The cease and desist letter is designed to get your attention. And, ignorance of the law is not a defense. It does appear that you have several options going forward to mitigate your liability here. You need to engage the assistance of counsel to help you resolve this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/25/2013
    Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
    Contact a lawyer with experience in copyright matters. Ignorance of the law is no excuse in this case - and statutory damages can be awarded by a Federal Court. If you cannot go to a lawyer - write to the firm that sent you the cease and desist letter - and say what you said below - it was an innocent mistake and you have stopped your activity. Maybe that will be enough for them.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/25/2013
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