In a capitalist society, competition is generally considered a good thing. It often requires companies to continue improving the quality of their products while keeping their prices in check. However, some people attempt to advance their companies in an unethical manner by engaging in unfair competition. According to Cornell Law School, unfair competition is the use of deceit or fraudulent tactics, causing economic harm to another business. These practices may cause harm to consumers in Hawaii as well.
Unfair competition may occur in a variety of forms. It could involve a “bait and switch” method, which is advertising one product, then delivering a different, often inferior, product. Another tactic is false advertising, which is making dishonest claims about a product or service in order to deceive customers into making a purchase. Some people even attempt to edge out a competitor by eliciting information from people who worked for that company in the past. Whatever the specific form of unethical behavior, it often results in unnecessary harm to a competitor, as well as consumers who have been deceived into spending money on inferior products or services.
According to The Balance, unfair competition sometimes occurs when a company intentionally copies another in order to deceive consumers. It may involve imitating a larger company’s color scheme, logo design or trademark in order to mislead consumers about the product’s source. Fortunately, state courts generally try these unfair trade practices in order to protect businesses and consumers from this deception. Some cases may even require the involvement of the Federal Trade Commission, and various aspects of federal law address specific forms of unfair competition.