Unfair Competition in the Field of Intellectual Property Rights: Analyzing Concepts, Acts of Unfair Competition and Laws

  •  Yongyeh Ngalim Elizabeth    
  •  Lu Ming Yu    
  •  Dagadu Prince Palmer    
  •  Bright Anyomi    


This study aims to analyze Unfair Competition in the field of Intellectual property rights. This research seeks to explore and show how the concept of unfair Competition interferes in the area of intellectual property rights. Furthermore, we have investigated how competition law and intellectual property rights interfere with each other. The research evaluates unfair competition practices in the scope of intellectual property rights, referring to specific international laws directly related to each course. Finally, it examines the regulatory system that governs these sectors. Reference is made particularly to the Chinese Anti-Unfair Competition Law and other international laws on trademark practices. As far as the study's methodology is concerned, qualitative data analysis is applicable alongside with comparative legal method for analyzing "de lege lata" and "de lege feranda" situations in a range of the concluded topic. The study finds out that Unfair Competition in the domain of Intellectual Property rights involves actions by an operator that infringe the legislation's rules, harm operators' legitimate rights and interest on the market, thereby threatening socio-economic order. The study concluded that Unfair Competition acts in the field of Intellectual Property rights (like Industrial espionage, infringement of trade secrets, trademark infringement) impede innovation, stifle, and affect Competition in the real market. And the occurrence of these Unfair Competition practices is common, even though there are existing legal frameworks that regulate this sector. The research reveals an international regulatory system such as the Paris Convention 1883, the Patent Act 1977, and the Espionage Act 1996 have specific and statutory laws that target unfair competition practices. The Chinese Anti-Unfair Competition Act 1993 forbids unfair Competition in intellectual property rights and defends operators and citizens from unfair competition practices. The study also deduces that the existing legal framework regulating this sector is practical to a small extent because these Unfair Competition Practices are still very much detectable in the trade sector. As most legal frameworks dwell on civil liabilities instead of criminal penalties, operators can easily violate the law by relying on whether they can afford the civil penalties. There are recent amendments to adjust and adapt to the evolution of patterns and daily market innovations (Example: Amendment of the Chinese Anti-Unfair Competition Law in 2003). We concluded the study by bringing in suggestions and recommendations. Qualitative research methodology applies to the following article.

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