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Unfair competition: What is it and how does it happen?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Business Litigation

Many businesses and consumers in Fountain Valley and throughout California contend with unfair competition from time to time. Unfortunately, only a tiny percentage takes legal action to protect their investment and interests while pursuing the resulting damages.

Of course, seeing your competition engage in unfair competition practices can be unsettling. Sometimes, these practices can cripple and kick you out of business. However, this does not have to be the case. California Unfair Competition Law (UCL) is intended to protect consumers and businesses from fraudulent business practices while leveling the playing field among businesses.

But what amounts to unfair competition?

Basically, unfair competition happens when a business employs deceptive practices to gain leverage in the marketplace. A significant chunk of unfair competition happens when businesses intentionally confuse consumers as to where the product is coming from or what it does. It also happens when businesses engage in unfair trade practices against their competition.

Here are common examples of unfair competition:

  • False advertising or making inaccurate claims about a product such as exaggerating the product’s capabilities
  • Misappropriating or stealing competition’s trade secrets
  • Breach of restrictive provisions such as the non-competitive clause
  • Counterfeiting
  • Trade slander that ruins the competition’s product and/or reputation

So what do you do if you are a victim of unfair competition in California?

Both California and federal laws protect consumers and businesses from unfair competition. To file a lawsuit in California, you must prove suffering or financial loss that is directly attributable to the unfair practice. With credible evidence, you need to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations period. And in California, this is within four years from the discovery of the unfair practice.

Unfair competition cost businesses and consumers millions of dollars each year. If you or your business is a victim of this unlawful business practice, you deserve justice.