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What should you know about unfair competition?

Chicago business owners like you deserve a fair chance at being able to make your business grow and prosper. While competition is a natural part of the business cycle and should be expected, there are some instances in which that competition can become unfair for you.

The Legal Information Institute defines unfair competition as a business with practices that are deceptive, wrongful, and intentionally confusing for customers. A popular common example is the intentional copying of a famous brand's trademark, signature, or other identifiable markings, used to trick customers into thinking that their own brand is associated with the famous one. Other examples include:

  • Trade libel
  • Substituting one brand for another without authorization
  • Stealing trade secrets
  • Using confidential information to get ahead
  • Falsely representing the service or product

As you can see, all of these actions have the potential of leading to brand harm through falsities and deception. The competing business is out to harm you directly by copying your branding or services and products, or they are selling their own wares under dishonest descriptions.

It should be noted that the damages done by antitrust legislation or monopolies do not fall under laws for unfair competition. The context of the case itself often times determines whether or not unfair competition is at play.

When you're losing business due to the unfair and unscrupulous practices of another business, you may want to do all that you can to stop them. A good first step to take may be to seek the counsel of a legal business advisor, who can help determine if you're facing unfair competition and show you what the next steps are.

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