Unfair Competition

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Holds That State AGs and Prosecutors Can’t Seek Restitution On Behalf Of A Class That Already Settled Its Private...

A decade ago, California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and its closely related false advertising law (FAL) were the ideal plaintiff’s tools. Any person—even one with no connection to a particular asserted violation or...more

Judge Illston Finds Proof of Injunctive Standing and Consumer Deception Lacking in Consumer Challenge to Mott’s 100% Apple Juice...

Judge Illston’s recent summary judgment ruling in Rahman v. Mott’s LLP, Case No. CV 13-3482 SI (N.D. Cal. Oct. 14, 2014), highlights courts’ varied approaches to the level of proof required to demonstrate Article III...more

The Ninth Circuit Holds That Res Judicata Bars State Recovery of Restitution for Members of a CAFA-Compliant Class Action

In California v. Intelligender, LLC, the Ninth Circuit ruled that final judgment in a CAFA-compliant class settlement barred the State of California from seeking restitution on behalf of members of the settlement class for...more

Arizona Trade Secrets Grow New Teeth

Over the last 18 months, the courts had diluted Arizona trade secret protections, notwithstanding the recent criminalization of trade secret theft by the AZ legislature. Today, however, the Arizona Supreme Court breathed new...more

Hidden Employment Reef Awaiting Captains Of Commerce?

When a company is acquired in a stock sale, its shareholders are routinely required to sign what is known as a Letter of Transmittal (“LOT”). Standard LOTs include a release of all claims. But, due to a quirk of California...more

Ninth Circuit Knocks Down Unfair Competition Case against Yelp!

For those few of you who don’t know already, Yelp! (“Yelp”) is a wildly popular website where people can share their reviews, opinions, experiences, and ratings of businesses across the country. This service is invaluable...more

Pom Wonderful Drops Ninth Circuit Appeal of State Claims Filed Against Coca-Cola

On September 19, 2014, Pom Wonderful, LLC dropped its Ninth Circuit appeal of a ruling that dismissed its state deceptive advertising and unfair competition claims against Coca-Cola, a sibling case to a recent Supreme Court...more

Legal FAQ: Section 337 Investigations Before the International Trade Commission

What types of intellectual property claims can be brought before the International Trade Commission? - The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) investigates claims of unfair competition under Section 337 of the...more

California Court of Appeal Limits the Scope of California's Unfair Competition Law by Denying Availability of Civil Penalties for...

The Court of Appeal for the State of California, Fourth Appellate District in Solus Industrial Innovations, LLC v. Superior Court (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 1291, held that a California district attorney cannot pursue civil...more

Allegations that Defendants Provided Product for “Free” State Claims Under California’s UPA and UCL, Notwithstanding that “Cost”...

Bebe Au Lait, LLC v. Mothers Lounge, LLC and Udder Covers, LLC, Case No. 5:13-CV-03035-EJD (N.D. Cal. Sept. 23, 2014) - Plaintiff Bebe Au Lait sells nursing covers. It was the first company to make and sell, pursuant...more

Combating Unfair Competition: The Convergence of China’s Antitrust and Anti-Graft Enforcement Activities

Recent investigations and high profile convictions highlight the ongoing crackdown by China’s authorities against anti-competitive conduct. In their efforts to combat unfair competition, Chinese authorities have used both...more

Gucci / Guess – The Italian Appeal: Gucci’s half victory against Guess on the ground of unfair competition

The Milan Court of Appeal has overturned the first instance decision and partially upheld Gucci’s claims, stating that Guess has committed an act of unfair competition, by parasitically copying a number of products of the...more

Merger Discussions & Non-Compete Agreements: A Recent Case from the EDNY

A recent case out of the Eastern District of New York raises interesting questions about the use of non-compete agreements in connection with merger talks. Let’s take a look: Calico Cottage, Inc. is a New York company...more

EPIC Battle Launched Between Flooring Companies Over Trademark Infringement

On August 21, 2014, Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (“Shaw”), a Georgia corporation, and Columbia Insurance Company (“Columbia”), a Nebraska corporation, brought a trademark infringement action against Carlisle Wide Plank Floors...more

Python Safety Files Trade Dress and Patent infringement Complaint Against Ty-Flot

On June 18, 2014, Python Safety, Inc. (“Python”), of Woodstock, GA filed a complaint against Ty-Flot, Inc. (“Ty-Flot”), of Manchester, NH, alleging federal trade dress infringement and unfair competition, infringement of US...more

Res judicata Does Not Bar Claims Arising After Prior Litigation, Even One Based on Similar Conduct

TechnoMarine SA v. Giftports Inc. - Addressing whether a prior litigation between the parties resolving claims of unfair competition bars subsequent suit over similar conduct occurring after settlement of the earlier...more

Uber, Lyft Stop The Childish Shenanigans – Go Sit In Time Out And Reflect On Your Code Of Ethics Training

I initially planned to start this blog with a gung-ho confession and killer title – “Uber: Master Strategizer Or Master Espionage Artist?! Code Of Ethics Training Needed To Save The Day!” Super exciting, right? It just has an...more

Tennessee Court Of Appeals Issues New Guidance On Trade Secret Issues

On August 19, 2014, the Tennessee Court of Appeals became the first Tennessee appellate court to address the scope to which Tennessee’s Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) preempts common law claims related to unfair competition...more

Belgium Streamlines Competition Enforcement Regime

Perhaps best known worldwide for its Trappist breweries, Belgium is increasingly hospitable to business regulation. It is among the many countries that have recently introduced new laws and created new agencies to regulate...more

Lanham Act Claims Are Not Precluded by Compliance with the FDCA

In POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., decided last month, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that companies can bring unfair competition actions under the Lanham Act even when their competitors have complied with the Federal...more

California Federal Court Dismisses User Information Claims Against Digital Wallet Company

On August 12, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed for failure to state a claim a putative class action alleging that a digital wallet provider made unauthorized disclosures of user...more

Bank Must Face Homeowner’s Negligence Claim Because It Owes A Duty To Use Reasonable Care In Processing Loan Modification

In Alvarez v. BAC Home Loans Servicing L.P. (August 7, 2014, A138443) --- Cal.App. 4th ---, the First District Court of Appeal reversed a judgment entered in favor of Defendants as to fraud, unfair competition and negligence...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 182

In This Issue: - Supreme Court Holds Company Can Sue Competitor For Unfair Competition Even If It Complies With FDA Labeling Regulations: In an 8-0 decision announced on June 12, 2014, the Supreme Court held...more

Motor Carriers Face Uphill Battle After California Supreme Court Decision

Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., No. S194388 (July 28, 2014): In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court has held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not...more

EU Court Says Loyalty Discounts Betray Competition: Ruling Underlines U.S. Differences

Intel's use of loyalty discounts and rebates to computer manufacturers and other actions directed at competitor Advanced Micro Devices violated EU competition law, according to the European Union's (EU) General Court. The...more

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