Preventing Unfair Trade Practices

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2019 | Firm News |

Businesses must abide by certain laws in order to operate in the United States. Businesses that engage in practices that deceive, defraud, or in some way injure their customers can face severe penalties and open themselves up to legal action. Having policies in place to prevent unfair trade practices from occurring is the best way for businesses to protect themselves and maintain the trust of their stakeholders.

False Advertising

All businesses want to present their products or services in the best light to attract consumers. When companies intentionally misrepresent what they are selling, however, customers may suffer as a result and may pursue legal action against the company. Deceptive pricing schemes, falsified reviews or endorsements, or overpromised benefits can cause financial losses or, in some cases, injury. The Lanham Act allows individuals to sue a business for consumer fraud, including false advertising. Companies must ensure that they can deliver what they are promising and that any listed prices or statements about their product or service are accurate as advertised. It is also unlawful for companies to misrepresent the materials used to make their products.

In a free market, companies will compete with each other for a client’s business. However, there are some tactics that are considered unlawful when pursuing a client. A company cannot steal a competitor’s proprietary information, such as product designs or recipes, or misrepresent itself using another company’s trademarks. Businesses are also prohibited from conspiring with other entities to damage a competitor’s operations or reputation. If a competitor already has a contract in place, it is illegal to interfere with that contract.

Theft of Trade Secrets

In some cases, businesses may find themselves at odds with their own current or former employees. Employees who have access to client lists or trade secrets may take this information and use it to start their own enterprise. It is not always possible to keep this information confidential, as some job functions require this knowledge. Preventing employee theft starts with the employee’s contract, which can include non-compete and non-disclosure causes to protect the company’s assets. Companies should also have policies in place explicitly stating that they own their confidential information and trade secrets, as well as any devices that are used to generate or disseminate the information.

Ethical business practices prevent unfair competition and protect consumers and business owners. It is essential for companies to have strong policies in place and enforce them when a situation arises. An experienced business lawyer can help companies develop these policies and represent their interests if these policies are violated.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Harty Williams Handle All Types of Unfair Trade Practice and Consumer Fraud Cases

The business lawyers at Harty Williams have successfully represented business of all sizes in unfair trade practice cases. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and develop a sound legal strategy to best protect your interests. Armed with the latest technology and years of experience, we are committed to achieving the best possible results. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 267-383-3899 or contact us online to discuss your case with a Philadelphia business lawyer.