No Texas business owner wants his or her company's success unfairly undermined by competitors. While competition is most often unavoidable when it comes to any type of business venture, companies could carry out certain actions that do not necessarily benefit their operations but that do harm the operations of another company.
As a business owner, you want your business to succeed, but you want to achieve that success fairly. When another company uses unscrupulous methods to get ahead, you may wonder what options you have. Fortunately, depending on the circumstances, you may have reason to take legal action against unfair competition.
Unfair competition often involves deceptive trade practices in which another company acts with the intent to have a negative effect on another business's revenue. While most acts of unfair competition are not considered criminal, you could still have reason to file a civil legal claim against the parties participating in deceptive practices.
Examples of deceptive trade practices
Because unfair competition can come in many forms, it is important that you can recognize when it is happening. For the sake of your business, you may need to do your part to stop actions such as the following:
- Trademark infringement: If you have trademarked a certain design detail -- like the name of your company or product, a color scheme, or image -- and another company attempts to use that detail or one very similar, that company may have committed trademark infringement in efforts to confuse consumers.
- Trade secret use: If a competitor obtains trade secrets specific to your business and uses them to his or her own advantage, you may have reason to take legal action for misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Below-cost selling: A company could even offer products or services for a price below market value. The company may take a profit loss just to take business away from your company.
- False advertising: Making false claims about the benefits or quality of a product in order to make it more appealing to consumers could also constitute a deceptive trade practice.
Unfortunately, these examples are not the only types of actions that could fall into the category of unfair competition. Nonetheless, if you believe that another company has participated in any of these or other deceptive practices with the intent to harm your business, you may have reason to move forward with business litigation. Successful legal action may result in the competitor having to stop the unfair actions and award compensation to your company for any damages suffered.