Regulations Behind Unfair Competition Business and Professions Code 17200
With the constant monopolization of large corporations taking over cities, it is important to know the regulations behind unfair competition, to protect yourself against corporate scrutiny.
Unfair competition can be classified as:
- Anti-trust violations constituting unfair competition, occurs when one competitor attempts to force other out of the market through tactics such as predatory pricing
- Trademark infringement, which occurs when the market of a product uses a name, logo, or other identifying characteristic to deceive consumers into thinking they are buying the product of a competitor.
- Misappropriation of trade Secrets, which occurs when one competitor uses espionage or bribery to obtain economically advantageous information in the possession of another.
- Trade libel, the spreading of false information about the quality or characteristics of the competitors products.
It is hard to determine what actions violate the unfair competition laws, however if you are ever in doubt the first step would be to call a lawyer. There are several legal routes to take when a business entity is being oppressed by unfair competition. Filing a lawsuit against an unfair competitor would be the most effective route, in which the plaintiff collects money for every violation. According to BPC 17206, any person who engages in unfair competition will be liable for a civil penalty not exceeding $2500 for each violation.
The court asses each violation made by the Defendant and determines whether it is worthy of a violation. Numerous circumstances are considered when making the final decision, including: the number of violations, seriousness of misconduct, persistence of misconduct, liability, net worth, and defendant’s asset’s.
The industrialization of most cities in the United States puts small business owners at risk of being intimidated or bought out by larger corporations. Business owners can file a lawsuit as a countermeasure to corporation’s intimidation strategies, if they cross the lines of unfair competition. If any business owner is in fear of being a target by other corporations, make sure to contact an attorney to see whether you are a victim of unfair competition.
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