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Unfair Competition Litigation Lawyers in Houston, Texas

Protect Your Business Against Unfair Competition

Has someone misappropriated your company’s trade secrets?  The distinction between fair and unfair competition is not always obvious. If you think that a competitor is unlawfully sabotaging your business, you are protected under various state and federal laws. Take the first step toward addressing this issue by getting in touch with unfair competition litigation lawyers in Houston, Texas.

Our trusted team at GK Law PLLC is committed to protecting the rights of businesses & real estate investors. We offer a wide range of legal services, from shareholder rights litigation, business asset protection, real estate development, eminent domain, investment, and more. Talk to us today about your legal concerns.


Why Do I Need Unfair Competition Litigation Lawyers in Texas?

Unfair competition claims often accompany trademark infringement allegations. In unfair competition cases, knowing how to prove a trademark infringement or other violation occurred is usually required. This necessitates familiarity with unfair business competition and intellectual property trademarking laws.

Our Houston business law attorney has litigated unfair competition claims in federal and state courts, both enforcing and defending against them.  The trusted legal team at GK Law has represented clients in a variety of situations, including cases involving:

Backed by years of experience, our unfair competition litigation lawyers can help you succeed in your business goals. We will protect your rights and guide you throughout the legal process in Houston, Texas.


What is Unfair Competition?

Unfair competition is defined as any unlawful or deceptive commercial behavior or activity. It includes activities such as trademark infringement, false advertising, and trade secret theft, but it can also include any illegal dirty tricks in the marketplace. 

Some common cases of unfair competition include:

  • Below-cost sales
  • Intellectual property infringement
  • Setting prices
  • Using advertisements to disseminate false or defamatory information about competitors
  • Product misrepresentation to customers
  • Enforcing unreasonable non-competition clauses in employee contracts
  • Discriminatory treatment of customers

If a court rules that an activity is unfair competition, it will prohibit it from happening again in the future and may award monetary damages to the person or company harmed by the activity. If you believe you are a victim of unfair competition, seek advice from our Houston unfair competition litigation lawyers now!


What are the Types of Business Torts Under Unfair Competition in Texas?

Under the umbrella of unfair competition, Texas generally recognizes the following types of business torts: passing off, misappropriation of trade secrets, and common law misappropriation.

Passing Off & Reverse Passing Off

When a company misrepresents its product as someone else's, this is the most basic form of unfair competition. This is colloquially known as "passing off" or "palming off," and it is perhaps more common when a company misrepresents someone else's product as its own.

Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

Misappropriation of trade secrets is a common-law tort cause of action.  The elements are: 

  1. existence of a trade secret
  2. breach of a  confidential relationship or improper discovery of a trade secret
  3. use of the trade secret; and 
  4. damages.

Common Law Misappropriation

The elements of unfair competition by common law misappropriation  are: 

  1. Plaintiff's product (i.e., the trade secret information) was created with      considerable time, labor, skill, and money;
  2. The use of the product by a defendant in competition with the plaintiff, gaining a special advantage in that competition (i.e., a "free ride") because the defendant bears little or no of the plaintiff's expenses; and
  3. The plaintiff suffered commercial harm.

Most of these types of claims have traditionally been asserted in court under federal law because of their more established case law history. To know more about unfair compensation, contact our Houston law firm now.


What Laws Prohibit Unfair Competition?

The Commerce Clause, Lanham Act Section 43(a), and 15 U.S.C. 1125 are some of the more notable federal laws that prohibit unfair competition (a). These cover both intellectual property rights and false advertising, and they specify how business owners can sue anyone who violates these laws.

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act is another federal law that protects both individuals and business owners' intellectual property rights. It forbids the manufacture of counterfeit goods as well as the unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets.

Many states have unfair competition statutes on the books as well. Before suing for injunctive relief, some argue that individuals and businesses should first send cease and desist letters informing others that they have violated their rights.


What Solutions Are Available?

Unfair competition can cost the offending party's competitors a lot of money. In an unfair competition case, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant engaged in unfair competition and that the defendant's actions resulted in tangible damages. If these conditions are met, the injured party may be entitled to compensation, which may include:

  • Refunds of revenue generated by the unfair practice to consumers
  • A court order prohibiting the practice
  • Compensation for slanderous representations

In addition, the business may be ordered to pay government fines. If you are seeking legal help to get the compensation you deserve, talk to our Unfair Competition Litigation Lawyers as soon as possible.


What are Trade Secrets?

Trade secrets are intellectual properties that your company owns but does not disclose in public. This confidential information may include formulas, systems designs, practices, or any other confidential information that has monetary value for your company. Because this information is not widely known, it enables you to offer exclusive benefits to your customers that your competitors cannot.


What is Trademark Infringement? 

The unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark (or a substantially similar mark) on competing or related goods and services is referred to as trademark infringement. The success of a lawsuit to stop infringement is determined by whether the defendant's use causes confusion in the average consumer.


Trademark laws differ from trade secret laws as they protect publicly available information that was used to create your brand. You can register your trademark on both a state and federal level to prevent others from using it.

Our trademark attorneys in Houston, TX  will walk you through the process so you can be confident that you are protected. We are also available to assist you if someone violates your trademarks and you need to take legal action against them without their permission.


Can You File a Lawsuit Against The Person or Entity that Violated Your Rights?

In Texas, your ability to sue someone who engages in unfair competition is contingent on a number of factors, including how long the impropriety persisted, whether the defendant's alleged conduct was willful, and the number of damages involved. 

Contact our unfair competition litigation lawyers to learn more about your claim's strengths and weaknesses.


Talk to Our Houston Unfair Competition Litigation Lawyers Today!

Texas state law prohibits unfair competition. Unfair practices can erase your profits.   If your company has been the victim of any unlawful conduct at the hands of a competitor or former employee, you should speak with an experienced unfair competition litigation lawyer today.

Our Houston law firm at GK Law PLLC can help you protect your company and your rights.  We provide legal assistance for startup owners, Real Estate Investors, and Businesses in the Construction, Oil & Gas, Software, and Education Industries.

Please schedule a consultation with us to discuss your case with our Texas business law attorneys!

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