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The Law of Unfair Competition

The law of unfair competition is primarily comprised of torts that cause an economic injury to a business, through a deceptive or wrongful business practice.  Unfair competition can be broken down into two broad categories.  First, the term “unfair competition” is sometimes used to refer only to those torts that are meant to confuse consumers as to the source of the product.  The other category, “unfair trade practices”, comprises all other forms of unfair competition.

What constitutes an “unfair” act varies with the context of the business, the action being examined, and the facts of the individual case.

The most familiar example of unfair competition is trademark infringement.  Another common form of unfair competition is misappropriation.  This involves the unauthorized use of an intangible assets not protected by trademark or copyright laws.  Other practices that fall into the area of unfair competition include: false advertising, “bait and switch” selling tactics, unauthorized substitution of one brand of goods for another, use of confidential information by former employee to solicit customers, theft of trade secrets, breach of a restrictive covenant, trade libel, and false representation of products or services.

Inside The Law of Unfair Competition