Have you worked hard to build your business, only to find that a rival is undermining it by stealing your ideas or misrepresenting their product? If so, you could be entitled to legal remedies such as injunctive relief to stop those practices and end the unfair competition, as well as economic damages to compensate you for the harm you suffered. Pursuing your claim could be challenging, though, which is why you need the help of an experienced business attorney.
For more than 30 years, the attorneys of Woods Lonergan, PLLC, have helped businesses in New York City assert their rights and protect their property. Our approach blends thorough legal knowledge with a keen understanding of business dynamics, making us a preferred choice for businesses facing unfair competition issues. Choose us to safeguard your business’s integrity and competitive edge in New York City’s fast-paced market by contacting us today for a free consultation.
What Constitutes Unfair Competition and Business Practices in New York?
Unfair competition is a type of tort (a wrongful act or infringement) in which one business causes another business or consumer economic harm through deception, dishonesty, or fraud. One example is when a company steals or appropriates a competitor’s trade secrets or other proprietary information to gain an unfair advantage. Here’s an example: Business A steals Business B’s design for building a cell phone and uses that design to build a competing cell phone. Business A has engaged in unfair competition because they are benefiting from stolen information at their competitor’s expense.
Other examples of unfair competition include:
- False advertising
- Trademark infringement
Another type of wrongful business practice is tortious interference, or when a company directly interferes with another business’s operation and causes harm. For example, Business A subcontracts to Business C for the transistors they use in their cell phones. Business B attempts to get Business C to alter the terms of its contract to make it more expensive for Business A to build its cell phones, thus making Business B’s cell phones more attractive to consumers. In this example, Business B has committed tortious interference.
What Makes Something a “Trade Secret?”
Many disputes between businesses over unfair competition or business practices involve trade secrets. Broadly speaking, a trade secret is any device, recipe, formula, or other information that one business has and gives them an advantage over competitors who don’t know the information or how to use it. However, the courts look at several factors to determine whether something is a trade secret, including:
- How well-known the information is outside of the business
- How much a business’s employees know about the information
- The measures a business takes to develop and protect the information
- How easy it is for a competitor to acquire or duplicate the information
Types of Unfair Competition and Business Practices Cases We Handle
Unfair competition and business practices encompass a broad range of actions that one business may take against another or its consumers. Some types of cases we handle at our firm include:
- Trademark Infringement: We handle cases involving the unauthorized use of trademarks, which can lead to confusion among consumers and damage a brand’s reputation.
- Trade Secret Misappropriation: Our team deals with situations where a business uses another company’s confidential and proprietary information – formulas, processes, client lists, etc. – without proper authorization.
- False or Deceptive Advertising: Misleading claims about a competitor’s products or services can harm consumers and give a business an unfair advantage.
- Deceptive Trade Practices: Our firm addresses various forms of misleading or deceptive business conduct that harm the integrity of the marketplace.
- Tortious Interference with Contract: In cases where a third party intentionally disrupts an existing contract, we can help businesses pursue fair compensation for the money they’ve lost and any other harm they sustained.
- Interference with Employment Relationships: Our experience extends to cases where an outside party intentionally damages the relationship between an employer and their employee.
- Breach of Non-Compete Agreements: We can assist in cases where former employees violate agreements not to compete with the employer.
- Unfair Pricing Practices: Our business attorneys can tackle issues related to predatory pricing, price-fixing, and other practices that harm competition and consumers.
- Cybersquatting and Domain Name Disputes: Our team can assist in cases where someone registers a domain name in bad faith, potentially infringing on trademarks or brand identity.
- Passing Off: We can address situations where one business tries to pass its products or services off as those of another.
How We Can Help You Fight Back Against Unfair Business Practices
At Woods Lonergan, PLLC, we understand how unfair business practices can disrupt your company. We take a strategic, action-oriented approach to fighting back against these practices. We begin by diving deep into the specifics of your case to craft a tailored legal strategy aimed at achieving your desired outcome. Our team diligently works to gather and analyze evidence, employing cutting-edge legal tools and techniques to build a robust case on your behalf.
We believe in proactive communication, so we’ll keep you informed and involved at every step. Our attorneys can explain the implications and progress of your case so that you can make informed decisions at each stage.
Negotiation and litigation are key aspects of our service. We skillfully negotiate with the opposing side to seek fair settlements when possible. However, if they refuse to settle on terms that you’re comfortable with, we’re prepared to vigorously defend your interests in court. Our goal is not only to resolve the current issue but also to establish safeguards that protect your business from future unfair practices.
Contact Our New York Unfair Competition Lawyers Now
Partnering with Woods Lonergan, PLLC, means choosing a team that values your business’s integrity and success as much as you do. We’re here to help you fight back against unfair business practices with determination, legal acumen, and a commitment to your business’s future. Call us today or reach out online to schedule a consultation with our New York business lawyers.