The old adage says life is unfair, but fortunately the law guarantees a modicum of fairness in business. In fact, there is an entire section of business tort law that ensures the competitive field is fair.
Unfair competition laws are the business equal to consumer protection laws. According to FindLaw, unfair competition is actually an umbrella term that involves many different economic torts.
What falls under unfair competition?
This is actually a very wide section of law, but one of the best-known unfair competition examples includes trademark infringement. An example of trademark infringement would be taking the well-known Target trademark symbol and using it to market another store.
Misappropriation of trade secrets is another variety of unfair competition. This would be if, for example, somebody stole Coca-Cola’s secret recipe and then started using the recipe for unfair monetary gain. False advertising is another variety of unfair competition. This is when one competitor claims that their product will do things that it does not in order to gain an advantage over other products.
What are the remedies for unfair competition?
There are many different solutions to unfair competitive practices depending on the situation. In some cases, the court will award monetary damages to the injured parties. Sometimes, businesses harmed by unfair competitive practices sue the offending business for injunctive relief. This means that the courts prevent the offending business from continuing current practices.
It is possible to sue a business under both federal and state laws, as both address unfair competition and it is possible for an offending business to break laws on both levels.