Two forces shape unfair competition law in California – the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) itself and 2004’s Proposition 64, which California voters passed to limit the right to sue on unfair competition grounds in certain circumstances. Additional details on unfair competition law are available from a Los Angeles business litigation lawyer.
What constitutes unfair competition?
The following activities qualify as unfair competition under California’s UCL:
- Unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business practices – this includes intellectual property theft like the theft of trade secrets; it also includes defaming other companies, violating agreements (restrictive covenants on real estate property, for example) that result in an unfair advantage, and leading others into signing a contract without fully divulging information
- Unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising – this includes advertising that confuses consumers as to the origin of goods so that they end up purchasing the wrongdoer’s products rather than a competitor’s; a trademark infringement claim often falls under this category as well
- Violations of chapter 1, part 3, division 7 of California’s Business and Professions Code – this is an assortment of laws concerning false advertising; it includes such areas as telemarketing, vending machines, products with “environmentally friendly” labels, and solicitations for charitable donations
Unfair competition can have a significant impact on your business, as it provides your competitors with illegal advantages. Are you facing illegal tactics from a competitor? You may wish to contact a Los Angeles unfair competition lawyer.