The common law provides protection against many forms of unfair methods of competing, such as false advertising, misrepresentations regarding a competitor’s products, misuse of unregistered trademarks, misappropriation of the trade dress of products, misappropriation of trade secrets, being among a few. Quite often, unfair competition claims are included in litigation relating to other claims, such as traditional trademark infringement.
Federal Statute: Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act.
The federal trademark law includes a section that deals with false advertising and what would be considered an unregistered trademark infringement. Many of the same rules regarding the establishing and protecting of trademarks are applicable to unregistered trademarks that are the subject of this type of action. With an unregistered trademark, the burden is on the company claiming trademark rights to prove that it does have an enforceable trademark.