The American economy allows small businesses and large corporations alike to compete in an industry where the consumer can choose which brand or product they would like to use. Situations may arise, however, that place you in a head-to-head dispute with a competitor in Massachusetts, across the nation or internationally.
A company may use an illegal tactic to get ahead of the game, stomping on your brand and business in the process. It is important to understand how to treat these situations in a manner that will benefit both your company and your customers.
What are the types of competitor disputes?
There are certain laws in place to provide protection to small and large businesses alike. Some companies, however, may attempt to curve around those laws in an attempt to increase business. Common types of competitor disputes include the following:
- Disclosing trade secrets
- False advertising
- Trademark or copyright infringement
- Price fixing
- Breach of contract
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, businesses may settle disputes through mediation or through court litigation, depending on the willingness of both parties to come to an agreement. Mediation may help you to arbitrate with the other party. It may help to attempt this route first before going through the litigation process, depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
What are the effects?
When a company’s actions directly influence your business and customers, you have the right to file a claim. Competitors may intentionally or inadvertently mislead your customers into purchasing their product or service when the customer believes they are purchasing yours. Unfair competition and antitrust can have long-term and short-term effects on the health and growth of your company.