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Unfair competition in France

In France, the action for unfair competition is based on the civil aquilian responsability (Articles 1382 and 1383 of the French Civil Code).

According to the common right, the responsability of the author of the damage is involved only if the following three conditions are met:

1. The author of the damage must have commited a fault.

2. The victim must have suffered from a damage, which might be only moral.

3. The causalty relation between the fault and the damage must be proved.

The acts can be considered as faulty when the author of the damage and the victim are in competition.


A situation of fault is also possible when the two parties are not in competition but the faulty acts of the first may inflict injury to the activities of the second, particularly to its image.

The action for unfair competition can be engaged alone, jointly with an action for infringement or as accessory action.

When engaged jointly to an action for infringement, the action for unfair competition is admissible only if distinct facts from those of the infringement exist. For example, the use of lower prices, the use of similar colors or presentation of a product in case of infringement of a trademark, the diversion of customers...