Monday, October 15, 2018

Unfair Competition in California

For more than sixteen years, Manhattan Beach resident Kalley Aman has been an attorney and shareholder with the law firm Buchalter, PC, in Southern California. In addition to serving as a shareholder with the firm, Kalley Aman is a member of the Labor and Employment and Litigation practice groups and handles cases involving claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, trade secret misappropriation, and unfair competition.

Compared to the rest of the United States, California has some of the strictest laws related to unfair competition. The state regards unfair competition as any business practice that uses fraudulent, unfair, or unlawful activities to limit either a market’s ability to compete or that of another company. Some of the forms of unfair competition can be unclear because there are no specific guidelines. However, in general, unfair business practices are those that deceive the public, fraudulent activities usually involve the misrepresentation of fact, and unlawful practices violate any statute, rule, or regulation. 

In California, only one of these three elements must be met to prove unfair competition. For example, unfair competition may happen as the result of a company or businessperson attempting to manipulate market pricing, unlawfully forcing another business out of the marketplace, or unlawfully taking customers from another organization. False advertising and misappropriation of company trade secrets fall within the state’s unfair competition laws, as well as infringement of intellectual property.