Unfair competition can occur in many different scenarios. Since the term unfair competition is so wide ranging, almost any action a business takes to prevent competition with anther business may be considered unfair competition.
Generally, prohibited actions that allow a company to prevent fair competition must be outside of traditional boundaries of an attempt to gain competition. Unfair competition is a serious issue that can have drastic impact on a business, which is one of the reasons California has such strong laws against unfair competition.
Unfair competition was alleged between two companies and recently resulted in a lawsuit. The plaintiff company -- Texas Steel Processing -- claims the defendant company tried to steal the plaintiff company's customers -- Houston Plate Processing -- and trade secrets through a conspiracy. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant company misappropriated trade secrets, performed conversion, caused a breach of contract and duty and was involved in unfair competition and conspiracy.
The defendant company was started by two employees within the plaintiff company. The plaintiff company alleges the defendant company was established with the sole purpose of competing with the plaintiff's company. The plaintiff company also alleges the defendants who created the company approached employees of the plaintiff's company in an effort to recruit their employment. In response to the plaintiff's allegation, the defendant company stated the new company was only created as a precautionary measure in the event the plaintiff's company closed.
The plaintiff company is requesting attorney fees, costs, damages and an injunction through the lawsuit. An experienced attorney can assess the circumstances of a potential unfair competition claim, defend against an unfair claim and ensure the best outcome is achieved to meet a company's goals.
Source: Steel Guru, "Texas Steel accuses Fort Bend business of unfair competition," June 7, 2012
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