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Unfair Competition

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NEWS
November 1, 2012 | By Robert Greene
Proposition 37 , the ballot measure to require labeling of genetically modified foods sold in California, includes a provision that allows anyone to sue over a product that allegedly should have been so labeled but wasn't. In that sense it is an indirect descendant of a 2004 ballot measure that changed California's unfair competition law. If it passes, it would ever so slightly roll back that measure. Some explanation is in order. California was once famous, or perhaps notorious, for how easy it was for plaintiffs to sue under what lawyers refer to as Business and Professions Code Sec. 17200 -- and what everyone else calls the unfair competition law. It used to be that if you wanted to sue a business for, say, advertising that the product it was selling was "Made in the USA" when some components may have been foreign made, you could.
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NEWS
November 1, 2012 | By Robert Greene
Proposition 37 , the ballot measure to require labeling of genetically modified foods sold in California, includes a provision that allows anyone to sue over a product that allegedly should have been so labeled but wasn't. In that sense it is an indirect descendant of a 2004 ballot measure that changed California's unfair competition law. If it passes, it would ever so slightly roll back that measure. Some explanation is in order. California was once famous, or perhaps notorious, for how easy it was for plaintiffs to sue under what lawyers refer to as Business and Professions Code Sec. 17200 -- and what everyone else calls the unfair competition law. It used to be that if you wanted to sue a business for, say, advertising that the product it was selling was "Made in the USA" when some components may have been foreign made, you could.
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BUSINESS
May 11, 1993 | MICHAEL PARRISH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A small Huntington Beach manufacturer has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, accusing the utilities of illegally monopolizing the market for energy-efficiency systems. Transphase Systems Inc. alleges in a suit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana that rebate fees offered by the two utilities amount to unfair competition for Transphase systems in an emerging marketplace for energy sources.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2012
In a move that was foretold the moment Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation, L.A.'s little promoter that could Spaceland Presents has linked with San Francisco's independent ticket supplier, Ticketfly. Spaceland and Ticketfly have been working closely together for about a month now, and today are celebrating their newfound business partnership by offering tickets without service fees from noon till midnight at Spaceland-promoted gigs.  Spaceland, which promotes shows at the Echo and Echoplex in Echo Park, as well as hosting events in Pershing Square, t he Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and the Getty, has had a long-standing relationship with Ticketmaster's TicketWeb.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 1992 | CARLOS V. LOZANO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Prisoners assigned to the new Ventura County jail near Santa Paula may be picking lemons to help cut costs when the lockup opens in 1994, officials said Tuesday. The county is considering the use of inmate laborers to reduce the annual $10-million operating cost at the 752-inmate facility, which has a 108-acre lemon orchard on the same property, said Sheriff's Lt. Tom Convery, a member of the jail planning team. "It is one of the things being discussed," Convery said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 1991 | BETH KLEID, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
You Know It's True: The companies that recorded and distributed tapes, records and compact discs by lip-syncing entertainers Milli Vanilli have paid Yolo County in Northern California $100,000 to settle false advertising and unfair competition charges. Mark Jones, the county's deputy district attorney, said Arista Records and the Bertelsmann Music Group have also agreed to pay up to $100,000 to the state-operated Consumer Protection Prosecution Fund as part of the settlement with the county.
BUSINESS
December 30, 1993 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Nordictrack Sues Soloflex CEO for Defamation: CML Group Inc.'s maker of fitness products claims Jerry Wilson made several false and defaming references to Nordictrack in quotes published by Infomercial Marketing Report on Sept. 22. Nordictrack said the lawsuit is unrelated to others involving the firms over claims of unfair competition, false advertising, trade libel and trademark infringement.
BUSINESS
May 2, 1989 | From Times wire services
The Murphy bed, the fold-into-the-wall sleeping convenience, today joined aspirin, cellophane and the escalator in the list of brand names that have become generic. The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that any bed that folds into a closet can be called a Murphy bed. In doing so, the panel rejected a lower-court ruling on the issue. However, it upheld an unfair competition ruling against Interior Sleep Systems Inc. doing business as the Murphy Bed Co. of America Inc. in Florida and Georgia.
BUSINESS
May 26, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — A Bay Area clean technology firm is suing state energy regulators, accusing them of granting an out-of-state power company a monopoly over EV charging stations in California. Ecotality, a San Francisco maker of electric charging stations, filed a lawsuit Friday in the California Court of Appeal, Second District, which hears appeals of decisions by the California Public Utilities Commission and other quasi-judicial agencies. The suit alleges that the PUC made an illegal agreement with NRG Energy Inc. of Princeton, N.J., that gives that company 18 months of exclusive rights to operate charging stations in certain locations.
HOME & GARDEN
April 30, 2011 | David A. Keeps
For the 13 years Ray Azoulay has owned the Venice antiques and curiosities business Obsolete, he has built a reputation for having an unconventional eye and a signature look, a neo-Victorian mix of early industrial artifacts, vintage laboratory equipment, steampunk style, taxidermy and other natural oddities. Now the trendsetter is taking on another role: pot stirrer. In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court earlier this month, Obsolete accused Restoration Hardware of intentional misrepresentation, false advertising and unfair competition, among other legal claims, all stemming from what Azoulay said were the chain store's reproductions of vintage furnishings that he had collected and sold at Obsolete.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2007 | John L. Mitchell, Times Staff Writer
While the fates of media giants Dow Jones, Tribune and McClatchy play out in the business pages of newspapers nationwide, another press battle is quietly taking shape on a much smaller scale on the Westside of Los Angeles. Two weeklies, the Westside Chronicle and the Beverly Hills Courier, are locked in a turf war over advertising, endorsements and readership. Bad feelings and court appearances are piling up.
BUSINESS
August 23, 2006 | Molly Selvin, Times Staff Writer
Opponents of illegal immigration are using a new legal tactic: Suing businesses that allegedly hire illegal workers, contending they gain an unfair competitive advantage. In a complaint filed Monday, a Santa Monica-based temporary employment agency that supplies legal farmworkers sued a Central Valley blueberry grower and two other companies. The agency contends that the grower hired illegal workers, violating a contract to use the agency's employees.
BUSINESS
December 27, 2004 | Marc Lifsher and Myron Levin, Times Staff Writers
Corporations are trying to kill a raft of lawsuits filed under California's Unfair Competition Law, claiming that the suits were invalidated when voters approved Proposition 64 last month. The ballot measure made it harder for businesses to be sued over deceptive advertising and other fraudulent practices under the law, which corporate interests have long attacked as an invitation for unscrupulous attorneys to file so-called shakedown lawsuits against businesses.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2004 | Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writer
Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer on Thursday urged voters to defeat Proposition 64, calling the proposal to limit the state's Unfair Competition Law an attempt "to crack a cornerstone of California's environmental protection structure." The ballot measure, backed by the state Chamber of Commerce, car dealers and Gov.
BUSINESS
May 8, 1996 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Pac Bell Faces Unfair Competition Suits: AT&T Corp., MCI Communications Corp. and Sprint Corp. filed separate unfair competition lawsuits against Pacific Bell, charging the local phone company with using privileged long-distance billing information for its new bonus calling program. The three long-distance carriers asked a U.S. District Court to impose an injunction against Pac Bell's incentive program, which gives customers bonuses based on the amount of their local and long-distance bills.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2004 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
When the family business was targeted by a frivolous lawsuit, Santa Ana businessman Ben Mendoza Jr. decided to fight back. The family won the case but it cost the auto body shop $10,000 -- roughly $8,000 more than the law firm had wanted for a settlement. "It was extortion," Mendoza said Wednesday as he joined other businesspeople and elected officials at a news conference for Proposition 64, which aims to end "shakedown" lawsuits.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2003 | Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer
Allergan Inc. said Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission was investigating charges that the company engaged in unfair competition to prevent or stall creation of generic versions of its Acular eye drug. The Irvine-based company, best known as the maker of the Botox anti-wrinkle treatment, received notice of the FTC's "nonpublic investigation" May 19, according to a company filing with securities regulators Tuesday.
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