Deceptive and unfair business practices come in many forms. Any time a competitor or rival usurps your good will or reputation, or causes confusion in the marketplace as to the source of your good or service, they have engaged in unfair competition. Also included under the umbrella term of unfair competition are trademark infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and false advertisement.
Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act
In Florida, unfair competition claims are primarily governed by state law, including common law and the Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA). However, if the claim involves the misappropriation of intellectual property, like trademark or copyright, then federal law may apply. When a claim arises under FDUTPA, the law offers attorney’s fees.
Some of the unfair competition and deceptive business practices claims that we handle include:
- Unconscionable contracts
- Trademark infringement
- Copyright infringement
- Misappropriation of trade secrets (theft)
- Common law misappropriation of ideas and business methods
- Business defamation (libel and slander)
- Antitrust violations
- Predatory pricing
- False advertising
- Tortious interference with a business relationship or contract
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Violation of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements
A violation of a non-compete agreement can be when a former employee starts competing business to undercut you. Alternatively, a non-compete agreement may be an unconscionable contract if it restricts a former employee’s competition for too long or in too large a geographical area. Misrepresentation includes false representations of a product or service, such as when a company making a false claim about the quality or source of a good or service that you’re company is buying. A claim for business defamation can arise from a rival business making false claims about your business or products.