Coffee Break

Can You Sue Someone For Unfair Competition?

In today’s business environment, especially with the number of online and self-owned businesses, competition can be very tough. With many people competing for the attention of a similar marketplace demographic, retaining your products and services in front of your potential customers is critical. Since the very start, businesses have discovered methods to beat out the competition, but those tactics have become more diverse and, some, less legal as time went on.

When you are performing your best and working to grow your company, the last thought you should have to worry about is someone else stealing your business away from you utilizing unsavory practices. The unfair competition discusses situations where consumers have been deceived, deceptive trade practices, and practices meant to limit or alter a company’s revenue. In all cases, the activity can legitimately contribute rise to a tort procedure. The wrongful act is such that the perpetrator can and should be held civilly liable in a court of law. Some forms of unfair competition are crimes, as well. Unfair doesn’t suggest the same thing in every circumstance. It can have varied implications in multiple business backgrounds and depending upon the type of commerce. 

How To Distinguish Unfair Competition

Acts of unfair competition are frequently defined by deception, bad trust, fraud, or abuse; the competition is such that the victim is prevented or restricted from successfully employing in trade. It is regarded as being against public policy because of its tendency to unfairly limit competition, which influences the public’s greater advantage. Unfair competition laws have been instituted to protect consumers and businesses and to assist stop illegal marketing.

For the most part, points of unfair competition are discussed in state courts. A thriving suit made in state court might result in monetary losses, a sanction against the liable party proceeding with such actions, or both. However, federal law includes copyrights and trademarks, so cases including these issues can sometimes obtain their way to federal court. You can also refer to FTC defense strategies for any unfair competition acts you believe your rival has done to you. Unfair competition rule does not merely protect businesses, nor is it only in the area of large corporations. Small business owners and private consumers can be damaged as well, as in bait-and-switch cases and situations suggesting unauthorized substitution. The Federal Trade Commission has become associated in cases where consumers were hurt or lost money, such as misleading advertising.

Different Kinds of Unfair Competition 

Unfair competition resembled a large umbrella that incorporates a diversity of actions. Some of them involve:

Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

The trade secret in a recipe, process, or method is a portion of the companies’ standard competition. Some have these trade secrets, and others do not hold any. If the secret is stolen by someone or abused, it could destroy your business. When products or services run through the secret, and your details are no longer private or exposed to the public, the competitive advantage is lost. If the business cannot maintain customers after the misappropriation, the company may shut its doors. A lawsuit for damages for this subject is crucial to retrieve revenue for lost sales.

Trademark Infringement

This situation includes one business using another’s trademark property without consent. An example of trademark infringement would be utilizing Pepsi or Coca-Cola trademark on a competing drink maker’s soda container.

Illegal Replacement

Unlawful substitution is when a seller substitutes one brand of goods with another without permission. It could involve replacing a low-cost handbag with a designer handbag. It could also indicate false advertising or false description of products or services, such as fabricating a software program’s spell-check capacities. In either case, consumers are not receiving what they believed they were paying for.

False Advertising

False advertising links to making false claims or deceptive claims. An example is when a company makes false claims about a drug’s features to boost weight loss when each claim has never been proven. You can opt to seek help from a recognized digital marketing agency to publish credible content without misleading your targeted audience. 

Below-Cost Selling 

This happens when a company deliberately sells a product or service to consumers less than the market suggested retail price. A retail seller might actually charge consumers smaller than what it paid for a product, taking a loss. Another company might trade one or more of its services at a price that virtually guarantees it cannot make money. It is often temporary and is done to snag business away from competitors who can’t or are reluctant to compete. The compensation comes down the road when the company marketing below price raises its business share.

Bait-and-Switch Tactics 

This is another example of an unfair competition method that harms consumers. Suppose that a product in high demand is advertised at a very fair price. Customers crowd into the store to purchase the item only to be informed that it’s now sold out. But the shopper can buy a comparable model for just a few dollars more, and credulous consumers will often do so.

Dumping

Dumping is a related idea. It entails selling products overseas for far less than what they would get in a local market. Importing governments usually extend various attractions, including bonuses and monetary incentives.

Gossip Mongering

Rumor or gossip-mongering is exactly what it sounds like. Misrepresenting a rival in written or oral statements, often placed strategically with the press and other avenues, especially today that billions of people have patronized social media.

Small Companies Can Also Avail Against Unfair Competition

Unfair competition normally happens by a false report about a company, advertising that attracts attention away from a business, or drawing a particular entity’s customers to the other. The economic infliction to the company is often disturbing for larger companies. But, smaller businesses hit in comparable practices have faced shutting the store from these efforts.

Federal and state laws protect such entities from these practices, but the company may require to file a lawsuit against the other entity to solve the situation. While individuals may produce similar harm, another company customarily begins and proceeds unfair competition to damage the small business significantly.

About the author

Alice Instone-Brewer

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment