Unfair competition lawsuits against businesses have risen in recent years. With every lawsuit, the definition of what exactly is "unfair competition" expands. Common examples of business practices resulting in unfair competition lawsuits include:
Misrepresentations to consumers
Discriminatory treatment of consumers
Advertisements expressing hostile treatment of competitors
Unreasonable "no-compete" clauses in employment contracts
Under federal law, a business practice is unfair "when it offends an established public policy or when the practice is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous or substantially injurious to consumers."
State Unfair Competition Laws
Many states' unfair competition laws are considered very "plaintiff friendly" in that just about any business action can be considered unfair competition. Consequently, many state courts have moved toward a "rule of reason" analysis. Under this framework, the motives of the alleged wrongdoer and the utility of their conduct are weighed against the gravity of the harm to the alleged victim.
Can I Sue a Business for Unfair Competition?
If you believe you are the victim of unfair competition, you can sue the company directly, and get them to:
Pay monetary damages for their false or slanderous representations
Refund any revenue resulting from the alleged unfair business practice
Cease performing the unfair business practices
Pay substantial government fines and penalties
Do I Need an Attorney Experienced in Unfair Competition?
If you believe that someone has employed unfair business practices to your detriment, you should probably speak to an attorney. An experienced unfair competition lawyer will help explain the complex and vague nature of unfair competition laws, and inform you of your legal rights as well as preserve any possible legal remedies you may have. If your business has been accused of unfair competition, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.
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