Competition in the marketplace is almost always beneficial to consumers. It helps keep businesses on their toes, driving them to improve their products and services and lower their prices. However, when competition crosses into unethical territory or becomes downright illegal, it can spell serious trouble for your business if you aren’t ready to deal with it. Here are some examples of wrongful competition that may require legal protection to protect your business interests.
1. Defamation of Character
One example of wrongful competition that requires legal protection is defamation of character. That is when someone makes a false statement about you or your business that damages your reputation. For example, if a competitor spreads rumors that your product is faulty, this could hurt your sales and reputation. To prove defamation of character, you would need to show that the statements were false and that they caused you harm.
It’s not enough to say they said terrible things about me. A judge would want more evidence, such as documents proving that people refuse to buy from you because of these false statements. You can contact an experienced lawyer like stephengleaveancaster to help defend yourself against unfair competition tactics by other businesses. The lawyer may also be able to help you recover lost profits from deceptive marketing practices.
2. Intentional Interference with Economic Advantage
One type of wrongful competition is an intentional interference with economic advantage. It occurs when someone intentionally tries to prevent you from getting or keeping business advantages, like customers or clients. For example, suppose you have a long-standing relationship with your client, and a third party stirs distrust and hatred for you in the client’s mind. The third party might be guilty of interfering with your commercial advantage.
If so, the third party could be held liable under a theory of tortious interference. It would not matter if they had no intention to harm you financially; it would only matter iftheir action caused damages to your business. To recover under this theory, prove intent on the part of the third party and damages caused by the reasonably foreseeable activities.
3. Trademark Infringement
One example of wrongful competition is trademark infringement. It occurs when a company uses another company’s trademark without permission to confuse consumers about the source of the goods or services. That can damage the trademark owner’s reputation and lead to lost sales. If you believe a competitor has infringed on your trademark, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your options.
You may be able to take legal action against the infringing party and recover damages for any losses you have incurred. In some cases, you may also be able to get an injunction issued against the infringing party before they cause any more harm.
4. Unauthorized Use of Trade Secrets
One type of wrongful competition is the unauthorized use or disclosure of trade secrets. That can happen when a current or former employee discloses confidential information to a competitor. If you believe there was a misappropriation of your trade secrets, you should contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options. The lawyer will be able to analyze the facts and circumstances and provide guidance on what types of relief are available.
5. Breach of Confidentiality and Privilege
Another example of wrongful competition that requires legal protection is the breach of confidentiality and privilege. That can happen when employees leave a company and take confidential information with them or when they share trade secrets with a competitor. That type of behavior can harm the company’s competitive edge, and it’s essential to have legal protection in place to prevent it from happening. Employees who want to leave their job should sign a non-disclosure agreement before leaving the company.
To protect your business from the wrongful competition, be aware of the various forms that it can take. Some examples include false advertising, trademark infringement, and trade secret misappropriation. If you believe your business is a victim of wrongful competition, you should consult an experienced attorney to help protect your rights and discuss your legal options.