Basics of an Unfair Competition Claim
Business and Commercial Disputes By Harvey Binnall PLLC - 2019/03/29 at 10:24am
Experienced Alexandria Commercial Litigation Lawyer
If you’ve been sued for engaging in unfair competition, or if you have been harmed by another’s misconduct (giving rise to a claim that comes under the unfair competition umbrella), then you may be feeling somewhat confused as to what the underlying claim entails.
In the legal sense, it may not be entirely clear to most laypeople what unfair competition actually means. In general parlance, unfairness can describe a situation that is 100 percent legal, after all — if you lose a client because a sudden traffic jam forces you to reschedule an important meeting, for example, then you might consider that “unfair.”
Here at Harvey & Binnall, PLLC, we can help you move forward with litigation. Contact an experienced Alexandria commercial litigation lawyer at our firm today to request a meeting regarding the unfair competition claims at issue.
What is Unfair Competition?
Unfair competition is any tort that constitutes a deceptive or wrongful business practice, and that causes economic harm (i.e., financial losses) to another business or individual in the commercial context. The purpose of unfair competition prohibitions is to create and maintain a truly free, fair, and transparent market.
Unfair competition claims typically require consumer confusion. For example, false advertising is a “classic” unfair competition tort.
Unfair competition is therefore not a specific tort but describes a wide range of civil misconduct (centered around deceptive practices that confuse consumers and negatively impact businesses). Examples of specific torts within the larger category of unfair competition claims include, but are not necessarily limited, to the following:
- False advertising
- Trademark infringement
- Soliciting customers of a former employer (in breach of an existing contract not to do so, or using confidential information to do so)
- Misappropriation of trade secrets
- Trade libel
- Misrepresentation of goods and services
- Unauthorized substitution of one product/services brand for another
- Breach of a restrictive covenant
Depending on the nature of the underlying tort(s), unfair competition claims may rely on federal law, state law, or some mix of the two. As such, there may be procedural and choice-of-law issues that can complicate your case. With the aid of a skilled attorney, these challenges can be turned into an advantage.
Contact Harvey & Binnall, PLLC for Legal Guidance
Harvey & Binnall, PLLC is a commercial litigation firm based out of Alexandria, VA. We have spent many decades serving plaintiffs and defendants throughout Virginia, Maryland, and the D.C. metro area, with significant experience handling unfair competition claims and other civil torts.
We are committed to investing the time, attention, effort, and resources necessary to comprehensively litigate an unfair competition claim. Here at Harvey & Binnall, PLLC, we believe that thoroughness and transparency are critical to effective representation at every stage of a dispute.