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Is a business competitor participating in unfair competition?

Posted by William J. Cook | Nov 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

Working as a Florida business owner means that you have to attend to a great number of responsibilities. You also have to do your best to find ways to get your business ahead in a competitive industry. This task is no easy feat, and in some cases, you may face unscrupulous behaviors from competitors that make it even more difficult.

Some parties looking to make their brands more popular and successful or trying to simply undermine your business success may carry out actions that fall into the category of unfair competition. Unfair competition can involve deceptive trade practices and other actions that work toward causing your company's revenue to suffer.

Deceptive trade practices

When it comes to unfair competition and deceptive trade practices, actions that fall into this category could include those that mislead consumers into thinking they are purchasing a certain brand when they are not or that a business relationship exists between two brands when one does not.

For example, if a company selling a similar product uses a detail well-known to your product, it could mislead consumers into believing that the competitor's product and your product are the same or at least related. This action could constitute trademark infringement if your company holds the rights to a certain detail — such as a design detail, logo, color scheme or name — and another company attempts to use it.

Other examples of unfair competition

Unfair competition can come in a variety of forms. Some additional examples of unfair competition tactics include the following:

  • Below-cost selling: This tactic involves a company selling a similar product for a price lower than market value. As a result, the competitor may take a loss on the product just so your company does not obtain the customers' business.
  • Unauthorized substitution: A competitor may also advertise a high-quality item for sale but provide a lower-quality version after the consumers purchase the product. In other words, consumers do not receive what they thought they purchased.
  • Using trade secrets: If a competitor somehow obtains information that is vital to your business success and uses that trade secret for his or her own business venture, the competitor is misappropriating trade secrets.
  • Rumor mongering: A competitor may also participate in rumor mongering where the company makes claims about your business that cast it in a negative light or by making false claims about the benefits of their product.

These examples represent only a few types of unfair competition. If you believe that your company has suffered due to these or other actions, you may have reason to file a civil legal claim against the other company carrying out these unfair practices.

About the Author

William J. Cook

William J. Cook represents clients in matters involving business litigation and commercial and employment disputes, securities litigation, business transactions and counseling, and insurance. Mr. Cook's peers have awarded him with the highest possible rating of AV-Preeminent* by Martindale-Hubbell, which speak...


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