What is Unfair Competition?

Unfair competition in commercial law refers to a number of areas of law involving acts by one competitor or a group of competitors which harms another in the field, and which may give rise to criminal offenses and civil causes of action.

Texas Unfair Competition

Texas “unfair competition” historically refers to a business tort created by a company passing off its goods or services as those of another company by virtue of substantial similarity between the products or services.  This type of conduct is more commonly known as “palming off” or “passing off.”  Texas unfair competition has evolved into a much broader claim that covers several business torts, including trademark infringement, common-law misappropriation, misappropriation of confidential information or trade secrets, interference with existing and prospective business relations, business disparagement, defamation and trade libel.

In order to prevail on a Texas unfair competition claim, a plaintiff must establish one of the above underlying torts or other illegal conduct that caused actual harm to the plaintiff’s business.