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California False Advertising (UCL)

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Los Angeles Attorneys Handling False Advertising and Unfair Competition Claims

Much of modern business revolves around principles of fair competition and fair marketing and advertising practices. When a business engages in false advertising or other unfair acts, consumers and the entire marketplace are worse off. That is why California has a strong Unfair Competition Law (the UCL) that provides consumers and other business owners a way to enforce protections against false advertising and related behavior.

At the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. we champion the rights of California consumers as well as business owners who are harmed by false advertising and unfair competitive practices. Based in Los Angeles, we have handled cases against businesses of all sizes that were in violation of the California UCL. Our attorneys believe deeply in fair competition, and we believe bringing legal claims against entities that violate the UCL is a way to vindicate the rights of individuals while protecting the marketplace as a whole.

False Advertising Is Unlawful Under the UCL

Advertising is central to the success of many businesses. As such, some businesses go too far in trying to entice people to use their products or services. They sometimes misrepresent their own offerings or lie about a competitor’s offerings through their advertisements.

California’s UCL and various federal laws, such as the Lanham Act, prohibit false advertising. False advertising is defined as “any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities.” 

The price and alleged quality of a product or service are usually the two things most frequently involved in a false advertising claim. Common forms of false advertising include:

  • Advertising based on lack of research or knowingly flawed research
  • Disparaging someone else’s product
  • Creating false testimonials, including fake online reviews
  • Offering allegedly “free” products as part of a contest
  • Misusing the word “free” in other contexts
  • Failing to include proper disclosures in advertising material
  • Comparing one product to another without saying why one is superior
  • Bait and switch
  • Not including fees in the advertisement then charging customers upon purchase or delivery (hidden fees)

Examples of Unfair Competition in California

When one business harms another by engaging in certain practices, the aggrieved business may have a valid claim under the UCL. Our lawyers have successfully handled a variety of cases involving many types of unfair competition, including:

  • Price fixing
  • Price discrimination (charging different customers different prices for the same product)
  • Misappropriation or theft of trade secrets
  • Conspiring with other businesses to divide up and/or control markets
  • Violating non-solicitation or non-compete agreements
  • Interfering with a contractual relationship or business opportunity (known as tortious interference)
  • Various other deceptive and anti-competitive trade practices

These are by no means the only types of unfair competition covered under the UCL. If you believe a California business is engaging in these or some other type of anti-competitive behavior, do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles UCL attorneys.

Remedies Under the UCL

If you win a lawsuit for unfair competition or false advertising, the court may issue an injunction ordering the offending business to cease its unlawful, fraudulent or otherwise unfair activity. Also, if you lost money as a result of the business’ actions, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.

Contact a California Unfair Competition and False Advertising Attorney

If you believe you are the victim of any type of unlawful competition or false advertising by a California business, call the Law Offices of Thomas M. Friedman, P.C. There may be statutes of limitations involved, so the sooner you talk to a lawyer, the better. You don’t want to lose your right to file a claim. Contact us online or call our Los Angeles office at 877-619-8966.

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