Defending Against Unfair Competition Claims

Unfair competition law in California lets businesses and consumers sue companies that engage in fraudulent or unlawful conduct. This area of the law prevents consumers from being misled by deceptive advertising, and it punishes businesses that violate professional standards in order to trick consumers into parting with their money (California’s Unfair Competition Law specifically references part of the state’s Business and Professions Code).

Unfair competition law is important – it protects consumers and ensures that business compete on a level playing field. Not all unfair competition claims are legitimate, however, and today we discuss the defenses that businesses have when they face an unfair competition lawsuit. Details on defending against an unfair competition claim are available from a Los Angeles business litigation lawyer.

Was the business conduct reasonable?

California courts employ a variety of tests to determine whether a business’s conduct was unfair. They may consider the financial impact of the conduct, the amount of lost time, or the reasonableness of the conduct when judged in light of the entire transaction. Courts often compare the conduct to common businesses practices to determine whether the business was acting in a manner consistent with the industry in which it operates.

A final important factor is the extent to which the business warned a client about its policies. A defense is more likely to be upheld if the business was upfront about its policies and ensured that the client knew what it was getting into. Important clauses buried deep in contracts or written in excessively technical jargon may cause a judge to favor the plaintiffs.

Is your company involved in unfair competition litigation? Speak to our Los Angeles unfair competition lawyers to find out what options you have in bringing or defending against an unfair competition lawsuit.

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