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Understanding unfair competition

Whether a New York company was recently started or has been around for decades, there are always things to worry about in the business world. How can they overcome their competition and gain new customers? How can they better themselves and become more profitable?

The branding associated with a company is necessary to ensure consumers know whom they are purchasing from. But, this cannot be achieved through just any method or way. If a company goes about this the wrong way, this could result in civil liabilities and possible business litigation.

All kinds of competition may be fierce or cutthroat but unfair competition is something different. Under state and federal laws, unfair competition opens up a company to possible liabilities and litigation.

There are a number of trade practices that can fall under the umbrella of unlawful unfair competition. Many concern deceptive practices that are designed to confuse consumers about the origin of goods or services. Trademark infringement can therefore be considered as unfair competition, if it is intended to deceive consumers.

Other unlawful acts of unfair competition include false advertising, "bait and switch" tactics in sales, misuse of confidential information to solicit sales, theft of trade secrets and more.

Those accused of unfair competition can be sued by consumers or competitors. For example, a consumer might file suit if he or she was harmed by a "bait and switch" sales tactic. A competitor might file suit over trademark infringement or theft of trade secrets. If found guilty, the accused may be ordered to pay damages or fines.

Unfair competition is a complex area of the law. Whether you are considering filing suit or need to defend your company against a suit, it is crucial that you speak with a lawyer who understands the law of unfair competition.

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