In law, unfair competition is described as wrong or deceptive practices that a business uses to gain an edge over their competitors. This can relate to tactics that are used to confuse customers about the origin of products, or it can involve using deception in trade practices. While an unfair competition lawyer can help you apply these laws to your situation, here are a few specific examples of what comprises unfair competition practices.
Bait and Switch
A common unfair competition practice is to substitute a product of lesser value for a higher quality product. Typically, this is done by replacing a brand-name product with a generic one that’s similar. This allows the competitor to sell a similar product for less money, undercutting other similar businesses.
Essentially, this involves making false claims about a product. This can become a complex issue because the wording a business uses in their advertisements can determine whether they really are making false claims. This is especially problematic with supplements and medication in which the benefits of the product can be alluded to without making specific claims.
Misappropriation of Proprietary Information
If your business uses a special recipe or formula in the creation of your products, that’s considered proprietary information. This type of information should be patented to add an extra layer of legal protection. If a competitor discovers your secret ingredient or formula and uses that information to create similar products for their own business, you should consult an unfair competition lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for any harm this has caused your business in addition to compelling your competitor to stop using your proprietary information.