A healthy amount of competition may help drive your business to innovate and overcome your competitors in the marketplace. What does not help is when your business rivals use underhanded tactics to get an advantage over you.
Federal and California laws have certain protections to help any business recover damages when dealing with this sort of unfair competition.
Unfair competition basics
Concurrences define unfair competition as the conduct of a market participant to gain an advantage over its rivals that includes misleading, deceptive or fraudulent tactics. For example, the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act identifies three types of false representation:
- False claims that goods or services have certain characteristics or benefits
- False claims that goods or services are new or original
- False claims that goods or services are a certain grade or quality
Other tactics include stealing trade secrets, trademark infringement or the bait and switch method where sellers advertise one product and sell another.
Unfair competition solutions
Regardless of whether you run a small business or a large corporation, these unfair competition practices may harm your profits and your ability to compete in the marketplace. California courts use investigations to determine fault and may award monetary damages. These awards take many factors into consideration including the number of violations, the seriousness of those violations and how long the misconduct lasted.
On the other side of the coin, defending against claims of unfair competition may slow your business to a crawl as courts look for any sign of misconduct.
In any case of unfair competition, it is important to safeguard your business’ future by being aware of unfair competition and the resources you have to defend against it.