Unfair competition damages the work done by numerous companies, small or large, every year. No company is immune from these charges, including Google. The EU recently fined Google for unfair competition due to the company taking advantage of its dominance in the marketplace.
Businesses can utilize unfair competition in various ways. The practice can significantly affect the revenue flow of small businesses that do not have the resources to compete more aggressively. It is up to business owners to know when unfair competition practices have occurred, so legal action can begin.
Many companies make exaggerated claims about their products. For example, a beverage may advertise the fact that it is a healthy alternative to soda, but in actuality, it contains as much sugar, calories and carbs as an average soda. This beverage could cut into the revenue of companies that make drinks that actually are better for people but do not have the resources to advertise as much.
An up-and-coming business may use the trademark of a more established company to draw people in. For instance, golden arches are synonymous with McDonald’s. A new burger restaurant may put golden arches above their building to make people think it is a McDonald’s. After they are already inside the store, they realize the truth, but they order anyway. McDonald’s could conceivably sue this business for infringing on its copyright.
Misappropriation of trade secrets
Trade secrets are slightly different than trademarks, but they are just as important for a business to be successful. It is conceivable for one business to steal the trade secret of another organization for its own monetary gain. Trade secrets do not have the exact same legal backing as copyright, but stealing anything, even intellectual property, is still a criminal act. In all three of these instances, the offending business may need to pay damages to make up for the loss of revenue.