What is Unfair Competition in Illinois?
The term “unfair competition” or “unfair trade practice” is generally associated with business torts in which the defendant company or individual intentionally confuses prospective clients or consumers as to the source or owner of the business product or service. The law of unfair competition deals with business torts that cause economic damage to a business through deceptive business practices. These torts, often lead to business litigation whereby a business sues based on the damage to that entity’s revenue stream caused by the unfair competition and/or the deceptive business practice.
Unfair competition may be defined as any commercial or business behavior or activity that is legally unjust, inappropriate and/or deceptive. Unfair competition includes the following, among others: trademark infringement, false advertising, bait and switch selling tactics, use of confidential information by a former employee to solicit customers, breach of restrictive covenant or breach of noncompete agreement, trade libel, false representation of products or services, and theft of trade secrets. Unfair competition can also include various illegal dirty tricks within the commercial marketplace. These actions, together and apart, can cause serious damage, and if they are not dealt with the damage can be permanent. Laws protect against these illegal activities, and limitations, including time limitations, apply to the legal claims. Our Chicago business dispute lawyers are available to walk you through your potential legal claims and possible defenses.
What Laws Protect Against Unfair Competition?
Both federal and Illinois business law have long recognized the need to safeguard and protect unfair competition and deceptive business practices that can cause serious and irreparable harm to businesses and business relationships. In Illinois, there are a number of statutes covering unfair competition and unfair trade practices. For example Chapters 70, 740 and 815 of the Illinois Compiled statues name a few, 740 and 815 being most often relevant.