Unfair competition has recently become a growing issue for American business owners. With every lawsuit, the definition of “unfair competition” can be skewed and expanded slightly in order to allow more companies to sue for unfair competition and also enlighten business owners as to what is a constitutional and unconstitutional means for advertising and competing within their own industry.
Some common practices that can result in an unfair competition lawsuit include:
- Misrepresenting products or services to consumers
- Treating consumers with discriminatory practices
- Using advertisements that are hostile toward competitors
- Using an unreasonable “no compete” clause within an employment contract to hinder an employee’s ability to work in the same industry.
Proving Unfair Competition Under the Law
Federal and state laws both address the issue of unfair competition—and each do so differently. Therefore, you will need to see how these affect your business and decide which law the other party has violated.
- Federal Unfair Competition Laws – This means that a business has offended an established public policy or that they practice business in a way that is immoral, unethical, oppressive, substantially injury-causing to consumers and/or unscrupulous in manner.
- State Unfair Competition Laws – This refers to when a business’s action is considered unfair. Most states are “plaintiff friendly” because local businesses are what drive their economy; therefore, states have a broader definition for what constitutes unfair competition.
Suing Another Business for Unfair Competition
If you feel your business is the victim of unfair competition, then you may have a lawsuit. You can sue the company directly, but you will need the assistance of a business litigation lawyer.
If you do decide to sue that company for unfair competition, you will have four means of restitution, which include:
1. You can request that they pay monetary damages for any representations that they have made against your company.
2. You can request a refund for revenue that they earned as a result of alleged unfair business practices.
3. You can require that they cease all unfair business practices immediately.
4. They may be required to pay substantial government fines and penalties—depending on the extent of the unfair competition.
Contact a Business Litigation Attorney First
If you suspect that your business is the victim of unfair competition, then you should consult a business attorney.
The Miami business lawyers at Campbell Law Group are here to help you. We offer no obligation consultations, so call us at 305-459-3621 to get started.