The very names "Unfair Competition" and "Unfair Competition Law" both imply some wrongdoing committed at the hand of one competitor to another. The Department of Justice (DOJ) defines unfair competition as "the use of unfair methods in competition or its purpose. The prohibition includes acts done within the U.S., acts done outside the U.S. if those acts cause or are likely to cause injury to the competitive process or production within the U.S., and acts done with the specific intent to harm competitors within the U.S."

Unfair competition laws are designed to protect both businesses and consumers against deceptive business practices. As it relates to companies, unjust competition laws help protect against unfair pricing strategies, like price gouging and false or misleading representations. As it relates to consumers, unfair competition laws help protect against false advertising, deceptive pricing, bait-and-switch pricing, and other deceptive trade practices.

In trademark infringement, one party leverages the goodwill or popularity of another party's registered trademark to sell goods or services.

The "infringer" uses a trademark indistinguishable or astonishingly similar to a trademark owned by another party concerning products or services that are identical or similar to the products or services the registration covers. Trademarks are words, slogans, brands, and logos, and they are valuable because they distinguish one brand from another, facilitating purchasing decisions.

Trade Disparagement

Trade defamation is an intentional false communication about a business or person that harms the respect, and confidence others have in that person or company. Trade defamation can include written statements, libel, and spoken statements, called slander. Trade defamation is considered a civil matter, but it can sometimes be criminal.