Because the business world is often considered dog-eat-dog, it may not seem surprising that some individuals will take unscrupulous measures to beat out their competition. Of course, as a business owner, you want to do your best to help your company succeed without stooping to such levels.
Unfortunately, you may not have the ability to avoid competitors who participate in deceptive trade practices. Commonly, these actions can harm one company’s revenue while working to boost another company’s success. The majority of these practices are not considered criminal acts, but they do create an environment of unfair competition, which you could file a legal claim against.
Types of unfair competition
Typically, unfair competition works to deceive consumers through various methods. A company may attempt to use a name similar to an already successful business or could try to make a product look similar to another company’s product. However, if these details are trademarked or otherwise protected, these actions may constitute infringement. In fact, trademark infringement is one type of deceptive trade practice, and other examples include the following:
- Bait-and-switch: This tactic involves a company advertising a reasonably-priced product, but when consumers come to buy the product, they are told that the item is sold out but that a similar product at a higher price is available.
- Trade secret theft: Companies often have useful information, such as client lists or product ideas, they use to keep their businesses growing. If a competitor obtains that information and uses it, they have misappropriated trade secrets.
- Below-cost selling: Some companies may even take losses on products just to take business away from your company. They may list a product or service for a price lower than what they paid for it, which means they actually lose money.
- Spreading rumors: Competitors may even spread rumors about your company or its products in an attempt to make you look bad and lose business.
Other types of deceptive trade practices may also fall into the category of unfair competition.
Taking legal action
If your company is suffering due to the unseemly actions of a competitor, you may want to consider business litigation. Filing a civil claim could help you fight toward having the competitor stop the deceptive actions that are causing damage to your company and its good name. Gaining information on your options from local New Jersey legal resources may be useful to you.