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Is your business the victim of unfair competition?

One very important purpose of intellectual property laws is to encourage creativity, which is good for society. If you know the work you put into bringing an idea to life will enjoy the protection of the law so that you can fully benefit from your efforts, you will be more likely to continue coming up with great ideas for products, services and other innovations that will enhance the lives of those in South Carolina and across the country.

Competition is a driving force in business. Vigorous competition between your business and others in your industry can keep you on your toes looking for new ways to edge out your competitors. This kind of competition is good for your business and can be a great motivator for creativity in all areas. However, when another business uses deceptive or unfair methods to gain the upper hand in the competition, you have every right to seek remedies for the damage your business may suffer.

Examples of unfair practices

Both federal laws and the laws of South Carolina protect your legitimate efforts to distinguish your business from others in your industry. This can be through your branding, through new methods you have developed for manufacturing a product, or through the unique qualities of a product or service your offer. Other businesses or business owners may violate your rights under these laws in any of the following ways:

  • Using your trademark – a symbol, words, image, etc. – for their own products or services
  • Using your product to bait customers in order to sell the customer a different product
  • Stealing and using your trade secrets, such as a recipe, a production method or a unique manufacturing component
  • Falsely advertising their products by exaggerating the benefits, making unsubstantiated claims, using deceptive pricing, etc., especially by making untrue comparisons to your product or service
  • Falsely representing the product or service, such as claiming a product has FDA approval or that it is new when it is actually refurbished or salvaged

When a competitor uses any of these illegal methods to lure away your customers or turn your clients against your business, it could damage the reputation of your business, ultimately costing you financially and personally. You may have to spend money on an ad campaign to defend your product or service, and you may lose loyal customers.

Through a civil claim, you may be able to obtain damages if you are able to successfully prove your competitor engaged in deceptive competition. You can ask the court to issue an order compelling the other business to stop its unfair practices and perhaps compensate you for your losses.

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1989 South Pine St.
Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302

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