Sunday, July 29, 2012

The World's Nicest Cease-And-Desist Letter Ever Goes Viral, Sells Books

7/26/2012 - Forbes

Companies go to great lengths to protect their trademarks. The standard response for copyright infringement is to send a letter from a lawyer and threaten to sue. But the people at Jack Daniel’s, one of America’s most iconic brands, opted for true southern hospitality toward Patrick Wensink, an obscure Louisville-based author of a new satirical novel, Broken Piano For President .

When lawyers of the popular whiskey brand spotted the cover of the book, it looked suspiciously like the famous black and white label used on bottles of Jack Daniel’s. But rather than issue threats, the company’s lawyers sent him what the author described as the perhaps the world’s most polite cease-and-desist letter, in which they even went so far as to offer to help pay for redesigning the book’s cover.
The letter from Jack Daniel’s attorney Christy Susman reads:
We are certainly flattered by your affection for the brand, but while we appreciate the pop culture appeal of Jack Daniel’s we also have to be diligent to ensure that Jack Daniel’s trademarks are used correctly… As an author you can certainly understand our position and the need to contact you. You may even have run into similar problems with your own intellectual property.
Jack Daniel’s letter isn’t even asking Mr. Wensink to take his book off the shelves immediately. Instead, the company just wants him to change the cover when it’s reprinted. While Mr. Wensink has agreed to change the cover of his book, he will not be accepting the offer of payment from the company.
Full story at Forbes

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