The unfair competition law under California Business and Professions Code § 17200 is broadly written and provides for injunctive and other kinds of relief for certain business practices. However, an unfair competition claim in California can be very difficult to prove in certain cases.
If you think you or your company may have a possible unfair competition claim, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Leiva Law Firm represents clients all over the greater Los Angeles area. Call (818) 703-1777 to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Unfair Competition in California
The definition of unfair competition under the California Business and Professions Code essentially provides that an offense includes one of following definitions:
- Unlawful Business Act or Practice — This is one of the more straightforward unfair competition claims. California courts have held that virtually any law can serve as the basis for an unlawful competition action.
- Unfair Business Act or Practice — Unlike unlawful, what constitutes unfair can be much more subjective. Courts in California have not provided a conclusive definition of what constitutes unfair conduct. Plaintiffs in most cases will have to demonstrate some kind of action by a defendant that deceives the public. Certain cases may involve antitrust violations.
- Fraudulent Business Act or Practice — The California Fourth District Court of Appeal declared that the fraud prong of the state unfair competition law is unlike common law fraud or deception in that a violation does not require anybody actually being deceived of hurt. Instead, a violation can be considered fraudulent if members of the public are likely to be deceived.
- Unfair, Deceptive, Untrue or Misleading Advertising — Similar to the fraudulent business act definition, a false advertising claim will typically involve proving a defendant intended to deceive the public about a plaintiff through public statements about services.
- Any Act Prohibited by Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code — Acts prohibited under this section of state law include false advertising, cyber piracy, and unsolicited and unwanted telephone solicitations.
The broader perspective of an unfair competition claim is that a defendant did something in violation of commonly accepted business practices which had a negative effect on another business. Defendants in such cases may adamantly oppose any suggestion that they acted with deceit or in violation of any law.
Any person or company considering an unfair competition claim will want to identify its anticipated remedies for such an action, as courts may be able to grant injunctions in certain cases that effectively end offending conduct.
Find a Business Litigation Lawyer in California
Do you think you might have an unfair competition claim in California? You will want to make sure that you seek legal representation as soon as possible.
Marlene Leiva has more than a quarter-century of legal experience. She represents clients throughout the Los Angeles area.