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Understanding deceptive trade practices

At Wang IP Law Group, P.C., we represent numerous entrepreneurs and companies start, grow, maintain and protect their businesses in California and abroad. We therefore know that one of the vulnerabilities businesses face is that of being sued, either civilly or criminally, for deceptive trade practices.

As FindLaw explains, a deceptive trade practice is any means by which you and/or your company falsely lures the public into buying your product or service. While deceptive trade practices can and do take many forms, the vast majority of civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions arise because of alleged false advertising, specifically the following three types:

  1. Bait and switch: offering your product(s) for sale at a very good price, but claiming unavailability of it/them when the customers get there and offering to sell them a similar but higher priced substitute product instead
  2. Deceptive pricing: holding a false sale of your product(s) by raising their original price(s) in advance of the “sale,” only to go back to the original price(s) during the “sale”
  3. Low stock: deliberately having a low inventory of the product(s) you offer for sale, but a large inventory of similar, higher priced product(s); similar to a bait and switch

California law

While California has never adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, our state laws specifically prohibit them, especially for any type of false advertising or odometer tampering. Disgruntled customers can sue you for damages if they believe you victimized them with deceptive trade practices. The State of California can likewise criminally prosecute you for allegedly engaging in deceptive trade practices.

For more information, please visit this page on our website.

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Starting a new business can be a bit scary. Aside from worries of failure, there’s also the hassle of making sure all legal paperwork are properly filed. I reached out to Mr. Wang (Tommy) because of his excellent reviews and reputation and I am so glad I did. He was thorough and meticulous in answering all of my concerns and took time to find out special laws and policies regarding the kind of business I am starting. I could focus on the daily practical side of starting my new office without worry because I felt Tommy was reliable and took my case seriously. My business is opened and it’s all been a smooth start because of Tommy’s help. I have plans to start another business venture in the next few years and I already know I’ll be coming back to Wang IP Law.

The Shindig W.

I came to Tommy for help reviewing a licensing agreement I had secured with a well-known manufacturer. Tommy made sure I understood all the details in the contract and he negotiated with the company to improve my side of the deal. I mentioned to Tommy at my first consultation that we were looking to expand throughout the US and were investing a lot of money to make a big entrance into the market. I did not think I would have my store open so soon but Tommy also has connections with the local area and realtors to help me secure the location for my first store in the Los Angeles area. Tommy works a lot with the local businesses and he understands how to transition from the Asian market to US market. Within 8 months my store was open for business and fully operating. I must recommend Tommy to any business owners looking for help with contracts and improving their side of the deal. Tommy has the knowledge and experience to make sure there is a smooth process to open for business here, and make sure that your company is set up for success.


I think Tommy and his team by far considered the best people to work with in my 16 business years. Beside quick responses to all my inquiries, they also done things right and providing very professional solutions. I’m highly recommending Tommy and his firm to all business owners.

Calvin C.

I have been working on my Utility Patent for almost 4 years. I have hired and fired two very reputable IP firms because with all their expertise and reputation for being some of the top firms in IP Law, I felt a lack of connection and care in my product, time and financial investment. Then I found Tommy and his team. Tommy does not waste time. He and his team are professional and extremely thorough. After 4 years, I finally found a legal team that I felt spent the time to really understand the components of my utility patent. Tommy also very mindful of cost and how and where my money would be better spent. I really feel I am in great hands with Tommy and his team. They have been patient with my revisions. And most importantly, they made me feel that they fully understood the importance this patent is to me. It has been a great and comforting pleasure working with Tommy.


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