California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 2000
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MCLE SELF-STUDY

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Self-Assessment Test
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Answer the following questions after reading the MCLE article on intellectual property rights. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.


1. The holder of intellectual property rights is strictly liable for loss caused by a cease-and-desist letter if a court later rules that the recipient is not an infringer.

2. A cease-and-desist letter is actionable only if sent to the alleged infringer’s customers.

3. The issuance of a cease-and-desist letter with anticompetitive intent is improper.

4. The holder of intellectual property rights cannot be held liable for issuing a cease-and-desist letter if the underlying claim is valid.

5. A mere statement of belief, even if untrue, cannot provide a basis for liability.

6. Exaggerated claims and overly broad publication of a cease-and-desist letter are indicia of anticompetitve intent.

7. A cease-and-desist letter can properly be based upon intellectual property rights that have not yet matured.

8. Liability cannot be imposed where the sender of a cease-and-desist letter had a good faith belief in infringement.

9. So long as litigation is not threatened, a cease-and-desist letter is not actionable.

10. An attorney may rely upon the genuine belief of the client that infringement has occurred.

11. A false statement in a cease-and-desist letter is not always actionable.

12. Liability may be based upon the failure to promptly follow threats with litigation.

13. Most claims of unfair competition may be effectively defended through assertion of the First Amendment rights.

14. Litigation privileges grounded in California law may not be applied against federal claims.

15. The litigation privilege may apply to cease-and-desist letters issued prior to litigation.

16. The litigation privilege may be raised even if litigation was not genuinely contemplated when the cease-and-desist letter was sent.

17. Cease-and-desist letters are not privileged insofar as they were sent to non-participants in the litigation.

18. The attorney-client privilege is waived by the voluntary disclosure of counsel’s opinion regarding the validity of an intellectual property claim.

19. A direct demand to cease infringing conduct is sufficient to confer subject-matter jurisdiction for a declaratory relief action.

20. An indirect threat of litigation is an insufficient basis of jurisdiction.