Fair competition is allowed in California. Unfair competition is not. Whether you are accused of unfair competition or you a victim of unfair competition, it could spell the end of your business and livelihood.

Essentially, unfair competition is when a person or business is competing against you and your business in an unfair manner.  The California Business and Professions Code defines it in part as “any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising and any act prohibited by” this chapter.  The law is intended to protect both consumers and competitors by promoting fair competition in commercial markets for goods and services. Unfair competition can arise in many instances. The following are just a few scenarios we have handled:
  • Covenants not to compete.  If you purchase a business you do not expect the seller to open a competing business around the corner to compete with you in a business you just bought      
  • Confidential information.  When an employee leaves its former employer and joins a new company, he may have taken privileged or confidential information.  If he took privileged or confidential information with him, and if is he using that information in his new job, both the former employee and the new company can be liable
  • Trade secrets.  The unauthorized use of confidential information or trade secrets to start a competing business or to steal customers from an existing business
  • Intellectual property.  The unauthorized use of your trademark, trade name, copyright, or likeness to pass themselves off as you so consumers are confused.  Such practices may also violate Federal and State trademark law (e.g., “passing off” or “palming off” of one’s goods as those of another; or presenting one’s goods in such a false and misleading light they are likely to be confused with those of another)

Newport Beach Unfair Competition and Fraud Lawyer

A business may be a victim of unfair competition or it may be on the receiving end of alleged unfair competition or business practices. Some companies use an unfair competition lawsuit to crush a competitor by exposing them to legal fees and costs. These can be “bet the business” disputes for both businesses, (e.g., an injunction preventing a business for selling a product or service could ruin a company).  Likewise, an employee may be unable to move forward in their career, or to start their own business, due to threats of a lawsuit.

Contact Dimitri Gross — Experienced Business Attorney

To discuss your concerns or dispute with an experienced unfair competition attorney, contact Dimitri Gross online or call 949-788-1007 to make an appointment.