Running a business is difficult enough on its own, but what can make things even more difficult is when your competitors resort to cheating and unethical behavior to gain an advantage. Fortunately, a set of laws known as the Unfair Competition laws have been formulated to protect against unethical business practices. In order to utilize these laws, first you must understand what constitutes unfair competition practices in business.
In commercial law, Unfair Competition refers to any business practice which results in economic harm to other businesses or the consumers. Many acts are included under this law which can result in criminal offenses or civil causes of action. For instance, one competitor may try to force other businesses out of the market by employing predatory pricing tactics or blocking other businesses from gaining access to raw materials.
Trademark infringement is a famous example of the violation of unfair competition laws. Infringement occurs when the makers of a product deliberately make use of the name, logo or other identifying characteristics of a famous company to trick consumers into buying their product. Sometimes, companies try to steal trade secrets from one another, using bribery, espionage, theft or any other tactic to get the information. Trade libel is said to occur when false information is leaked to the public about the quality of a competitor's product, whereas tortious interference refers to one competitor convincing independent agents who are working with another business to divulge internal information about the business.
In addition to all these larger topics, several more specific types of criminal behavior also come under the heading of unfair competition, such as fraud, misrepresentation or unethical contracts if theses practices result in one business gaining an advantage over others.