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An overview of unfair competition in business

| Nov 3, 2017 | Commercial Disputes |

When children at a New York park engage in a game of hide-and-seek, there are expectations that those participants will abide by certain rules. For example, the participants may agree where is appropriate and inappropriate to hide, may decide how high the seeker must count before looking for the hiders, and where home base will be located so that the participants know where they must reach in order to be safe. If a participant fails to follow the established rules, then they may be met with a chorus of cheating accusations.

The same can hold true when businesses are accused of violating contracts and other business rules of conduct. If a business is alleged to have engaged in unfair competition or unfair business practices, they may be pursued by those who claim to have been hurt by the alleged unfair conduct and who wish to recover damages related to those alleged events. In essence, a business may face unfair competition claims if others they work with believe that they have, in some way, cheated.

In business, unfair competition can arise in a number of ways. It may occur if a business is alleged to have obtained another entity’s trade secrets or if the business is alleged to have substituted goods in a “bait and switch” scheme. Unfair competition can center around claims of false advertising, misrepresentations and fraud. In order for another entity to prevail on unfair competition claims, they generally must show how the accused business’s actions caused them harm.

Breach of contract claims arise when parties who have agreements fail to perform under those documents. Unfair competition and unfair business practice claims arise when businesses are alleged to have engaged in questionable practices for their own benefit. To learn more about this very broad topic, readers should consult with their business law attorneys as this post does not provide legal advice.