According to Art. 29 of the Law on Protection of Competition - Unfair competition is any action or non-action in carrying out economic activities, which is contrary to good faith commercial practice and damages or may harm the interests of competitors in the emerging relationship between them and as well in their relations with consumers (customers of retail outlets and online platforms). The experts and specialists of the PATENT BUREAU - PLOVDIV have many years of experience in solving cases of unfair competition. In practice, this is brought down to several main types of procedural representation before: District Courts, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) and the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC). Our competent legal assistance has helped for the resolving of numerous practical cases in the field of the commercial and contract law.
The Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) is a legitimate state body that implements the Competition Protection Act (LPC), the Concessions Act and the Public Procurement Act.
The main forms of unfair competition are exhaustively defined in the Law on Protection of Competition:
1. Damaging the good name of the competitor under Art. 30 shall be incurred when false information is asserted or disseminated, as well as by misrepresenting facts for the competitor himself or for the goods or services offered by him.
2. Misleading in respect of substantive characteristics of the goods or services under Art. 31 shall be present when a competitor presents his goods or services, imputing to them non-existent properties or concealing their shortcomings. But it should be noted that when these actions are performed against foreign goods or services, there will be no misleading, but damage to the reputation of a competitor.
3. Misleading advertising under Art. 33, in connection with Art. 32, shall be present when in any way, including in the manner in which it is presented, misleads or may mislead the persons to whom it reaches. It is necessary this misleading to be able to influence the economic behavior of the individuals (for example, motivating them to buy a particular product or use a service, or to refrain from buying a product or using a competitor's service).
4. Comparative advertising under Art. 34 shall be present when advertising is aimed at protecting the rights and the legitimate interests of traders in cases where the competitor inaccurately compares its product or service with analogous or similar goods or services of another competitor in the market. Art. 34 (2) of the Law on Protection of the Competition specifies the conditions that the comparative advertising must meet in order to be considered permitted.
5. Imitation of goods or services under Art. 35. The protection granted by the Law on Protection of Competition includes both protected Intellectual Property objects and as well as other characteristics of the appearance of the product that may mislead consumers as to the origin, manufacturer, trader, method and place of production, source of acquisition or use, quantity, quality, nature, properties and other essential characteristics of the good or service. The prohibition also covers the use of a domain or the website appearance identical or close to those of other persons.
6. Unfair attraction of clients under Art. 36 shall cover any unfair action aimed at attracting clients, which is in contradiction with the bona fide commercial practice, and influence the objective assessment of the clients, as a result of which concluded contracts are terminated or violated or prevents the conclusion of such with a competitor.
7. Discovering, using or disclosuring of a production or trade secret under Art. 37 shall be present when it is in contradiction with the good faith commercial practice. The use or disclosure of trade and production secret is also prohibited, even when it has been discovered or disclosed, under the condition that it will not be further used or disclosed.
These most characteristic and most common forms of unfair competition are not exhaustively listed and do not exclude the possibility of other actions or inactivities committed contrary to good commercial practice, to harm or endanger the interests of competitors in the trade turnover on the territory of the country. In these cases is applied the general prohibition of unfair competition under Art. 29 of the Law on Protection of Competition.
Along with the performed activity, PATENT BUREAU - PLOVDIV also offers competent assistance in the disposal of the Intellectual Property Rights, which are in connection wth the competitive law, unfair competition and public procurement, namely:
- aspects of competitive franchising and licensing agreements;
- legal advice in connection with participation in public procurement;
- appeals of public procurements before the Commission for Protection of Competition;
- consultations in connection with unfair trade practices;
- preparation of various opinions and procedural protection in connection with proceedings for protection against unfair competition and imitation under the Law on Protection of Competition before the Commission for Protection of Competition;
- procedural representation on disputes concerning unfair competition before the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Commission for Protection of Competition.
If necessary, do not hesitate to contact us to get a quick and quality consultation from a specialist in the field of Industrial Property and Unfair Competition.