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In Law, What Is Unfair Competition?

Unfair competition refers to actions done by one party that causes harm to another party or competitor. These harm, undesirable and unfair actions may lead to criminal offenses and causes of action that would be based on the civil law.

Unfair competition may refer to two different things. First is torts that causes confusion to consumers regarding the origin or source of a certain product. The other is unfair trade practices which involves illegal agreements and deals.

Examples of cases involving unfair competition are antitrust violations, trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, libel, tortuous interference, unjust business practices, fraud, misrepresentation and unconscionable contracts. Misappropriation refers to unauthorized use of assets which do not involve trademark and consideration of copyright laws. Libel refers to false information spread by a person about a certain product that a competitor is selling. This kind of violation is strictly prohibited by common law. Tortuous interference happens when one competitor secretly pursues an individual or party related to his or her competitor to join a contract. While unfair business practices are considered unfair competition when a certain business does not give equal advantages and privileges to numerous competitors.

Unfair competition does not plainly refer to just harms involving monopolies and legislation, but it could as well be applicable to other circumstances and events that act unjustly. For one to determine how unjust a certain event is, one must take a deeper look and understand the action done, the extent of damage done to others and the facts of each party in the case.

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