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NYC Unfair Competition Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | August 7, 2018
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:19 pm

The unfair competition business practices that have caused economic injury to your company falls under a blanket term that covers unfair tactics. This ranges anywhere from stealing proprietary information to misleading customers. We live in a free economy where deceptive and unfair business practices come with consequences. Instead of fairly competing, sometimes businesses have taken it too far. It’s true that the right to compete has importance and value to our economy, but we still need fair business practices.

What are Examples of Unfair Competition?

Some of your most common examples include trade defamation, trademark infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. False advertising is another practice that is frowned upon. When it comes to trademarks, this has also become another form of unfair competition laws. Trademark has the purpose of identifying the brand of a product. This becomes entirely about market trust. If the competition tries to associate dishonest information with your brand, it can unwittingly erode the trust that the market has in your brand, and that’s what trademark infringement has been designed for.

Reclaiming Your Rights

The competition doesn’t have a right to make unfair statements or deceptive statements about their products and business. Trade secrets have turned into the second most common part of unfair business practices. The harsh reality is that the competitors will work hard in an effort to learn your most valuable trade secrets. Next, they might reverse engineer a product, which is considered acceptable. However, you do have cases where it classifies as unfair competition. These are cases where you might have legal weight in the court system. Some of the possible examples of this include eavesdropping, impersonating an employee or stealing information from the competitor is illegal. This classifies as unfair competition. Another problem is how once a competitor has discovered a trade secret, it no longer becomes a secret. When the competition uses unfair means of getting this information, you might be protected by the law.

What’s the remedy to unfair competition? Some of the remedies that you might seek for these practices include injunctions to order this party to cease their unfair business practices and compensation for the damages that led to the economic injury. Fairness has become the bedrock upon which all business sits on within a free country, and whenever companies overstep their boundaries on this, you have a legal right to protect your business. If you have experience unfair competition from a competitor, you should let an attorney resolve this problem because they have the legal understanding to handle it.

Every State Protects the Consumers and Businesses

In every state, you have laws that protect the customer by keeping businesses from taking part in unfair business practices. The scope of this protection will depend on the language within the statute, but in New York, under Section 349, they classify this as when a business engages in deceptive practices that damage another business. What happens if your business gets sued by another business from a different state? In many cases, the existing federal laws will take over because you tend to have a lot of commonality across the board with these laws. When you look at deceptive trade practices, the New York General Business Law covers most of the economic activity. For example, the state attorney general could take action against the unlawful acts of a business to get restitution for the lost property. In addition, the attorney general can give notice to the business that has been accused, and this gives the accused business five days to show a reason in writing why the business practices weren’t illegal.

The Monetary Damages Add Up

Injured people also have a right to file private lawsuits against the company that engages in deceptive practice to recover from their damages under Section 349. When a company has a willful understanding that what they did was wrong, the court can raise the monetary damage award up to as much as $1,000 but no more than that. If an individual files a private lawsuit, they must show that three things happened:

  • First, they must show that the customer suffered injury because of a business that took part in deceptive practice.
  • Second, they practice must relate to customers.
  • Third, the company did an act where the material was deceptive.

How Might You Set up a Defense?

Some of the possible defenses for one of these cases might be that the wronged business didn’t act within three years of the last deceptive practice. Another defense is that the practice had no negative effect on the public, and as a result, the victim business didn’t suffer harm. It could also be that the action itself wasn’t misleading. You might also have a complete defense based on the Federal Trade Commission if the rules and regulations were followed and no actual harm was done.

If you’re a business that has been targeted by the attorney general, we can help. We can also help you if you were a business that was wronged because of unfair competition practices. We have the ability to mount a vigorous defense or take aggressive action against unlawful business practices. We look at the different laws to figure out what will help you the most.

Unfair Competition Business Practices: An Overview

Experiencing economical injury to your company due to unfair competition business practices? These unsavory tactics may include anything from stealing proprietary information to misleading customers. Living in a free economy, deceptive and unfair practices have serious consequences. The right to compete is important and valuable, but fair business practices must be maintained. It’s time to reclaim your rights and tackle unfair competition head on!

Examples of Unfair Competition

Common instances of unfair competition include trade defamation, trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and false advertising. Trademarks play a significant role in unfair competition laws; their purpose is to identify a product’s brand, leading to market trust. When the competition dishonestly associates your brand with incorrect information, market trust erodes. This is where trademark infringement laws come into play, aimed at protecting your brand from these detrimental associations.

Guarding Your Rights

No competitor has the right to make unfair or deceptive statements about their products and business. Trade secrets have become the second most common part of unfair business practices. The brutal truth is that rivals will relentlessly attempt to uncover your most valuable trade secrets. While reverse engineering a product is considered acceptable, certain cases classify as unfair competition; these are situations that may hold legal weight in the court system. For example, eavesdropping, impersonating an employee, or stealing information from a competitor is illegal and constitutes unfair competition. Additionally, once a secret is discovered through unfair means, it ceases to be a secret, and you may be protected by law.

Unfair Competition: Fight Back Legally!

What can be done about unfair competition? Some potential remedies include seeking injunctions to order the offending party to cease their unfair practices and pursuing compensation for damages leading to economic injury. Fairness is the foundation of business in a free society, and when companies cross the line, you possess the legal right to defend your business. If you’ve experienced unfair competition, consult with an attorney who has the legal expertise to handle the situation.

Consumer and Business Protection in Every State

Every U.S. state has laws in place to protect customers by preventing businesses from engaging in unfair practices. The extent of this protection depends on the wording within the statute. For example, in New York, Section 349 states that a business is considered to be engaging in deceptive practices when it causes damage to another business. If your business is sued by a company from another state, federal laws often take precedence due to the commonality of these laws across different states. Deceptive trade practices are covered by the New York General Business Law; the state attorney general can take action against unlawful acts of a business to recover lost property. Additionally, they can notify the accused business, providing an opportunity to present written justification of their practices.

The Impact of Monetary Damages & Reporting

Section 349 also stipulates that individuals who have been injured have the right to file private lawsuits against companies that engage in deceptive practices to recover their damages. If the company willfully engaged in wrongful behavior, the court can raise the monetary damage award up to $1,000. To file a private lawsuit, the individual must prove three things:

  1. The customer suffered injury due to a deceptive practice.
  2. The practice is related to customers.
  3. The company committed an act that was materially deceptive.

Disputing Unfair Competition Claims

If your business faces a claim of unfair competition, potential defenses include showing that the wronged business did not act within three years of the last deceptive practice, demonstrating that the practice had no negative effect on the public, proving that the victim business did not suffer harm, or arguing that the action itself was not misleading. A complete defense may also be based on the Federal Trade Commission if its rules and regulations were followed without causing actual harm.

Protect Your Business Today

If you’re a business that has been targeted by the attorney general or wronged due to unfair competition practices, we can help. Our knowledgeable professionals can mount a vigorous defense or take aggressive action against unlawful business practices. We will analyze various laws to determine the most beneficial course of action for your specific case. Don’t let unfair competition hinder your business’s success – take a stand and protect your company today.

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