Since unfair competition has become a bit of a hot topic in the media due to recent cases (i.e. United Airlines and Orbitz late December lawsuit against the founder of Skiplagged.com), some wonder about the burden of unfair competition. Is there a clear victim? Is there a specific action that can be termed illegal that resulted in the loss of revenue for another business? Is the action of one company illegal or just bad for the business (of their competitors?) When does a questionable practice become an illegal action?
According to California Business and Professions Code 17200, unfair competition is defined as "unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act[s] or practice[s] and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising."
When attempting to define something as being "unfair" there are three factors that must be considered: business context, the act being considered/analyzed, and the facts pertaining to the individual case at hand.
Examples of Common Practices that Are Defined as Unfair Competition:
Trade Secrets Theft
False Representation or Services and/or Products
Substitution (unauthorized) of a Different Brand
"Bait and Switch" trade tactics.
If you are in need of legal assistance in regards to unfair competition, get in touch with the experts at southern California's The Law Office of Retz & Aldover LLP. We work closely with each of our clients to investigate all the details pertaining to the case to make sure that you understand your legal rights and the difference between something being "unfair" and "illegal."
Call the Law Office of Retz & Aldover LLP today so we can help you protect your business.