The definition of “unfair competition” or “unfair competition law” varies from country to country. It can refer to trademark law, copyright law, or trade secret law.

Trade-secret law is not uniform internationally, as compared to other forms of intellectual property. In fact, there is no internationally agreed upon definition of a trade secret.

There is also no real effort to harmonize international trade-secret law. Interestingly, there has been an effort to harmonize U.S. trade-secret law through the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

Unfair competition also refers to the act of “passing off”. Passing off occurs when a party engages in intentional trademark infringement, when a party fraudulently substitutes its own goods for another party’s goods, or when a party fraudulently substitutes another party’s goods for its own goods.

Unfair competition may refer to false advertising.