Fitzgerald Knaier LLP Blog

San Diego False Advertising & Unfair Competition Attorneys

Advertising and competition are central forces in today's commercial marketplace. The vitality of that marketplace depends on protection against unfair competition and false advertising. The trial attorneys at Fitzgerald Knaier LLP understand the protections that the law provides against unfair competition and false advertising, and are committed to ensuring that those protections are enforced.

At Fitzgerald Knaier LLP, we represent both plaintiffs and defendants, advocating for business entities as well as individuals. Our lawyers have represented some of the most sophisticated clients in the business world. We have also championed the causes of vulnerable individuals who have been wronged by powerful corporate interests. Our overriding commitment is to represent all of our clients vigorously and thoughtfully, with civility, integrity, and professionalism. If you or someone you know needs counsel for a matter involving unfair competition or false advertising, please contact us.

Unfair Competition

Fair competition is essential to maintaining a competitive business environment. Unfair competition, which threatens this environment, typically occurs when a business markets its products or services in a way that confuses or misleads consumers, or affords an unfair competitive advantage over competitors.

California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL") was established to protect consumers and competitors from any "unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice." The law is broad, and its reach is wide. Some common types of unfair competition include:

  • Price fixing and anti-competitive practices
  • Tortious interference with a contractual relationship or prospective business opportunity (intentional interference and negligent interference claims)
  • Violations of non-solicitation and non-competition agreements
  • Predatory pricing
  • Price discrimination
  • Trade libel
  • Infringement of copyright, trademark, or service marks
  • Misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential business information
  • Sale of counterfeit goods
  • Trade secret thefts
  • False advertising

False Advertising

Advertising is an important tool and increasingly important for survival in a dynamic, competitive international marketplace. False advertising occurs when a business misrepresents its products of services, or misrepresents the products or services of a competitor through either false or misleading statements. False advertising harms not only the customer, but also fair competitors. Federal and state laws provide protection against statements that are false, misleading, deceptive, or untrue with regards to the price, quality, or nature of a product or service.

California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL") was designed to protect competitors and consumers from unfair business practices, including false advertising. The Lanham Act is a federal statute protecting against false advertising, which it defines as "any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities." Under the Lanham Act, an injured party prevails if it can prove the advertisement is either false or is likely to mislead or confuse consumers.

Some common forms of false advertising include:
  • Failure to disclose
  • Advertisement based on flawed and/or insignificant research
  • Product disparagement
  • False testimonials, comparative advertising, or endorsements
  • False offers for "free" products, rebates, or contests

Legal Help with Unfair Competition and False Advertising Matters

If you or someone you know needs counsel for a matter involving unfair competition or false advertising, contact the experienced trial lawyers at Fitzgerald Knaier LLP today. Statutes of limitations could apply to such claims, so act now to ensure that your legal rights are not lost. We offer a free, no obligation consultation to assess your case. Contact us today by telephone or using the form on this website.