Southern California Unfair Competition Law Attorney
Los Angeles Unfair Practices Act Attorney
At the Law Office of Steven R. Lovett, we have almost 40 years of experience protecting businesses from unfair competition and other unlawful business practices. We are dedicated to protecting your business and your livelihood. Contact us to speak with an experienced Southern California unfair competition lawyer in a free telephonic consultation.
California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL) is contained within the Unfair Practices Act (Business and Professions Code Section 17000 et seq.).
The remedies available under this law are generally limited to obtaining a court injunction and restitution of moneys received.
While the remedies offered may be somewhat limited, the unfair competition law's scope is broad. The UCL does not proscribe specific practices. Rather, it defines 'unfair competition' to include any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice (Business and Professions Code Section 17200). Its coverage is sweeping, embracing anything that can properly be called a business practice and that at the same time is forbidden by law. ( Rubin v. Green (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1187). It governs anti‑competitive business practices as well as injuries to consumers, and has as a major purpose the preservation of fair business competition.
The statutory language referring to 'any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent' practice makes clear that a practice may be deemed unfair even if not specifically prohibited by some other law. Because Business and Professions Code section 17200 is written in the disjunctive, it establishes three varieties of unfair competition; acts or practices which are unlawful, or unfair, or fraudulent. "In other words, a practice is prohibited as 'unfair' or 'deceptive' even if not 'unlawful' and vice versa. ( Podolsky v. First Healthcare Corp. (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 632, 647.)
In November 2004, California voters passed Proposition 64, amending the Unfair Competition Law to impose some limits on actions under the statute. Under current law, a person bringing a lawsuit under the Unfair Competition Law must have suffered injury and lost money or property as a result of such violations. (See Business and Professions Code Section 17203; Pfizer v. Superior Court (2006) 141 Cal.App.4th 290, 305).
The case of Rigging Internat. Maintenance Co. v. Gwin (1982), 128 Cal.App.3d 594, 606, makes it clear that a former employee's use of confidential information obtained from his former employer to compete with his old employer and to solicit the business of his former employer's customers is regarded as unfair competition.
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