Unfair competition

Unfair competition
See also

Unfair competition is the use of another manufacturer's trademarks as your own. The use of a trademark almost identical to another producer's mark is also considered unfair competition [1]. According to Allen N. L. the signs of unfair competition are "infringement of trademarks and trade names, the imitation of appearance and dress of a competitor's product, the appropriation of a competitor's intangible property rights such as trade secrets created by the competitor, deceptive advertising, interference with a competitor's contractual relations, and the disparagement of the competitor's product or business methods" [2].

Types of trademark infringement[3]:

  1. Trademark dilution is one type of unfair competition. This happens when a recognizable and known mark is used by others, which may result in the loss of the specific character of the mark.
  2. Virtual deception of customers or the public in the scope of conducting business activity.
  3. Trademark infringement using a third-party trademark. This results in consumers being misled as to the origin and source of services or goods bearing this trademark.

Unfair competition and trademarks

Under current trademark assumptions, this genre contains imaginary, distinctive, peculiar, authoritative and indescribable trademarks. Their dishonest embezzlement was prohibited and their compensation was only possible after proof that the defendant had used the same or deceptively similar trademark. The issue of protecting the trademarks of other products, such as company names, trade names, geographical concepts, and descriptions, was viewed quite differently. The theory of formal property rights did not apply to these signs.These trademarks did not fall within the scope of protected trademarks. Nevertheless, protection against duplication was possible thanks to the doctrine of avoiding unfair competition, especially in matters related to trademarks. Ultimately, state and federal courts have covered the doctrine of unfair competition in many other cases of fraud and dishonesty [4]. Trademark law is only part of the law on unfair competition. The basic function of a trademark is not a basis for accepting property rights, but for identifying and labeling a good as a product manufactured by a specific manufacturer. The trademark also has the function of protecting goods against selling other products under their own brand. Someone who owns a trademark cannot use it like the owner of the invention uses patents [5].

Unfair competition and intellectual property

The legal initiative of unfair competition is well established at international level. Intellectual property is cited as one of the specific types of industrial property. Unlike patents, industrial designs and trademarks, the framework for what it means to protect against unfair competition is not more transparent. Until now, there is no clear answer to the question of what unfair competition really is [6].



  1. Dinwoodie G. B. (2013)
  2. Allen N. L. (2019)
  3. Flinn P. J. (2000)
  4. Dornis T. W. (2017)
  5. Hilliard D. C. , Welch II J. N. (2012)
  6. Lee N. (2014)

Author: Barbara Rojek