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What to do when a business rivalry turns ugly

A friendly rivalry with another store or company can actually be good for business — just ask Coke and Pepsi. However, rivalries can sometimes turn very ugly very fast. When another business uses deceptive or otherwise wrongful practices to deliberately damage your enterprise, that’s called “unfair competition.” You may need to take legal action to fight back.

What kinds of practices are considered unfair competition? You may be running into unfair (and illegal) business practices from a competitor when:

  • Your competitor purposefully interferes with your contracts with suppliers, partners, distributors, manufacturers or customers.
  • A former employee or business associate violates a non-compete agreement or tries to solicit your clients out from under you contrary to the terms of an agreement.
  • A person or business misappropriated your trade secrets or other proprietary information.
  • Another business tries to capitalize off your good name and reputation by using your trademark or logo.
  • A competitor makes exaggerated or untrue claims about their product or yours with the purpose of making consumers think that their product is somehow better.
  • Another business makes false, misleading and harmful claims about your business, your service, your morals or your products.
  • A business associate breaches their contract with you, violates their fiduciary duty in some way or has an undisclosed conflict of interest that harms your business.

Sometimes it only takes a cease-and-desist letter to stop something from happening. Other times, it’s possible to negotiate an agreement between the parties to set things right. If all else fails, you may have to litigate the matter. Make sure that you get experienced assistance as soon as you know there’s a problem. Please review our website for more information about your options.