Unfair Competition

AuthorDavid R. Gerk - John M. Fleming
P A R T 4
Unfair Competition
Our life is not really a mutual helpfulness; but rather, it’s fair
competition cloaked under due laws of war; it’s a mutual hostility.
—Thomas Carlyle
Herbert Hoover once stated, “[c]ompetition is not only the basis of pro-
tection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress.” Generally speak-
ing fair competition provides the greatest benefit to consumers. Benefits
to consumers from a system of fair competition are not just theoretical.
Fair competition has the tangible effects of, among other things, keeping
prices down, increasing output, and encouraging rapid innovation. Laws
and regulations for maintaining fair competition or preventing “unfair
competition” are related in purpose and function to trademark laws. Not
surprisingly, the constitutional basis for these laws and regulations, like
federal trademark law, is rooted in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3, the
Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Commerce Clause gives
Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and
among the several states, and with the Indian tribes” and federal unfair
competition laws have been enacted by Congress to regulate commerce
to the desired benefit of consumers and the public. Like trademark law,
which also can be considered a form of unfair competition, unfair com-
Part 4

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