PR News "PR Insiders" Column: Watch Your Language - When Cease-and-Desist Letters Go Viral


When Apple’s legal department sent a letter demanding mobile phone application creator GetJar cease its use of the term “app store” in July 2011, the result was not what Apple had hoped for. 

GetJar’s CEO responded publicly, mocking Apple. “GetJar won’t be subject to this kind of bullying,” he said. “We’re not going to cease and desist. We were here long before Steve & Co. In the words of Twisted Sister: We're not going to take it! Steve Jobs isn't our Dad."

Cease-and-desist letters generally have the same goal, to persuade someone to stop or remove something immediately, but not all elicit a favorable response.

In the past, letters would fall on the receivers’ (or their lawyers’) desks only. But with social media spreading these letters like wildfire, companies should take proper steps to ensure they have crossed their T’s and dotted their I’s if—and when—the public gets a look at them. 

Excerpt from PR News, Sept. 21, 2011. To view the full article, click here.

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