What is Unfair Competition?
Unfair competition is defined as torts that are used to confuse consumers as to the source of the product. In essence, unfair competition occurs when a business acts in a way to purposefully economically harm other businesses or consumers. Companies engage in unfair competition so they can take customers and other financial stability away from a competing business, hoping to take them out of competition altogether. This can obviously have serious consequences to a business, and it’s important that any business facing this type of unlawful practice talk to an experienced California business lawyer as soon as possible.
What Are Some Examples of Unfair Competition?
There are several activities that all fall into unfair competition. Some of these include:
Trademark infringement occurs when a trademark is used in an unauthorized manner in an attempt to cause deception or confusion about the source of the good or service. For example, if one business used a competing business’s name in an advertisement that was less than flattering and made it look like the advertisement was for the competing business, it could direct customers away from that competing business. Alternatively, some companies use a stolen logo as a way to increase the prestige of their own work.
Misappropriation is when information or other attributes of a business are taken and used for another business without the initial business’ permission. An example of this would be stealing a secret formula of a food brand and using it to open a different company.
“Bait and Switch” Selling Tactics
This tactic is commonly used and is one that consumers will often fall for. An example of this tactic is when a store advertises a product for a certain price, which many consumers want and will go for. When they come to the store to buy the product, they are told that the product has been sold out, but that there is another product similar to the advertised one that is only slightly more expensive than the advertised product. Consumers will typically buy the second product. This tactic is used to sell more of one product versus another, thereby having one company gain all of the riches while another company loses out.
False advertising occurs when a company says their product does or is one thing when in reality the product is or does something else. For example, Activia yogurt told its consumers that it had extra nutritional benefits when in reality, it was the same as other yogurts on the market.
When You Should Call a California Business Lawyer
If your business has been affected by unfair competition, you should consider legal help to resolve the issue and preserve your business. At Leiva Law Firm, our California business lawyers know how to help you and your business fight these unfair practices. We are here to listen to you and make sure your business is protected and can thrive in a fair market. Contact us today at 818-519-4465.