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What is unfair competition?

California business owners just like you strive to provide customers with excellent service and premium products. So what do you do if you feel an opponent is getting ahead in the market through underhanded means? In some cases, you may be facing unfair competition.

As the Legal Information Institute states, unfair competition is a term used for situations in which another company employs underhanded methods or unfair advantages to gain traction in the market. Specific examples can include deceptive practices like another company intentionally creating a logo that mimics yours in order to leech off of your established reputation. By confusing your consumer base and tricking them into thinking their product belongs to you or your brand, they ride on your coattails, using your hard work to their advantage. Even worse, they risk damaging your reputation if the product they offer isn't up to snuff.

Other forms of unfair competition include:

  • Use of bait and switch tactics
  • Trade libel
  • False product representation
  • The use of confidential information
  • False advertising

Almost all cases of unfair competition involve pulling the wool over the eyes of the customer base, often times at your expense. Other instances of unfair competition involve relying on information that isn't widely available or meant to be used in order to get ahead of other competitors.

If you're already questioning whether or not someone is using an underhanded method to become successful, then you might have a case of unfair competition on your hands. Seeking legal advice may help to answer any remaining questions you have before you consider your legal options.

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