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May 23 2018 0

Understanding California’s Unfair Competition Law

Under California Business and Professions Code § 17200, unfair competition is defined as any one of five types of unfair or unlawful business actions. Unfair and unlawful can have two very distinct meanings in California, and it is important for any company involved in a possible unfair competition claim to make sure it has experienced legal counsel capable of understanding and proving that another business has engaged in unfair competition.

Marlene Leiva has over a quarter-century of legal experience and represents clients all over the Los Angeles area. You can have the Leiva Law Firm review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (818) 703-1777 to schedule a free consultation.

Types of Claims Under California Unfair Competition Law

Business LawyerOne of the most common kinds of unfair competition claims in California involves false advertising. When a company alleges that a competitor engaged in false advertising, the plaintiff will be required to prove that another party was misled by the false advertisement and damages were sustained.

In addition to false advertising, the other kinds of issues that can result in unfair competition claims under California Business and Professions Code § 17200 include:

  • Unlawful business acts or practices;
  • Unfair business acts or practices;
  • Fraudulent business acts or practices; and
  • Acts prohibited by California Business and Professions Code §§ 17500-17577.5.

What is considered unfair might not necessarily be unlawful, but each of these wrongs acts independently of others, so a practice can be prohibited under one aspect even if it is not under another.

California Unfair Competition Remedies

Damages cannot be recovered for unfair competition claims in California. Courts can, however, order injunctive relief, civil penalties, or restitution. Civil penalties are more common in cases filed by governmental agencies in California.

Restitution is generally intended to restore the status quo by returning all funds to the plaintiff that he, she, or it had an ownership interest. Restitution can be somewhat complicated to determine in unfair competition cases because a plaintiff will generally need to prove that he, she, or it had either a possessory ownership interest or a non-possessory but vested ownership interest relating to the claim.

Injunctive relief possible in unfair competition cases may include temporary restraining orders or preliminary injuctions. Injunctive relief in California is governed by California Business and Professions Code § 17203. A claimant must meet the standards established under California Business and Professions Code § 17204 as well as comply with the conditions established under California Code of Civil Procedure § 382.

Find a Business Litigation Attorney in California

If you think that you or your company was the victim of unfair competition in California, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. The Leiva Law Firm is located in Canoga Park and represents clients throughout Southern California.

You can have our business litigation lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (818) 703-1777 or contact us online today to set up a free consultation.

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