What is unfair competition?
Unfair competition under the federal Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1125) is commonly known as passing off one's goods or services for another's. This means when a party tries to pass his goods or services off as affiliated with or sponsored by another. Unfair competition usually involves an element of consumer deception.
One of the benefits of a claim for unfair competition is that you need not have a registered trademark in order to bring the claim. Another benefit of a claim for unfair competition it is often broader than a claim for trademark infringement.
There are two types of theories for unfair competition, one for likelihood of confusion and one for false advertising. An example is that a claim for unfair competition may cover a party's false or misleading advertising even if the false or misleading ads would not constitute a claim for trademark infringement.
Notably, a claim for unfair competition may be brought under both federal and Florida law. Likewise, as jurisdiction is concurrent, a claim for unfair competition under federal law may be brought in either federal or Florida state court.