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A primer on unfair competition

Business professionals in Ohio can find themselves embroiled in a whole host of legal issues. Contractual disputes, intellectual property misappropriations and product liability complaints can all threaten a business's financial status and its reputation, possibly leading to business litigation. Therefore, businesses need to understand the law and how to use it to their advantage.

One area where this knowledge can be crucially important is unfair competition. In a quickly moving economy, businesses need to be on the front line of change to meet market demand and keep pace with their competitors. Although most competition is healthy for businesses and the economy, unfair competition harms consumers and cheats other businesses.

Unfair competition can take many forms. Trademark infringement and the unauthorized substitution of one brand for another is a common way that some businesses dupe consumers into buying their products. Another way unfair competition occurs is through false representations. Here, a business makes misleading representations about a product or a service with the intent of getting consumers to commit to buying those goods or services. Similarly, false advertising occurs when a business exaggerates claims regarding its product or service's benefits to the detriment of consumers and the competition.

These are just a few of the ways that businesses unfairly compete in the marketplace. Businesses therefore need to be aware of their competitors' actions, as failing to do so could lead to lost revenues and an unfairly diminished role in the marketplace. Those who spot unfair competition can take legal action if appropriate to stop those practices and recoup financial losses.

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