Unfair competition laws are designed to protect consumers and businesses from unfair, deceptive business or trade practices. Unfair competition claims include trademark infringement, patent infringement, copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of restrictive covenants in employment agreements and contracts for the sale of businesses.
Unfair or deceptive trade practices usually target consumers and include misleading claims about the quality or characteristics of goods or services; bait and switch sales tactics; and the unauthorized substitution of an advertised or represented brand or quality of goods for a lesser brand or quality of goods. Most unfair competition laws are located in state statutes and court opinions (common law). But patent, copyright, and trademark laws that may be the source of unfair competition claims are located in federal statutes.