Business Dirty Tricks: Unfair Competition: Intentional Interference, Inducing Breach of Contract, Conspiracy and Defamation

David Alderson, LL.B , LL.MAppropriation of Personality, Business Litigation, Business Torts | Economic Torts, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Cross-Border Litigation, Cyber Risks, Fraud, Injunction & Specific Performance, Intellectual Property, Of Interest to US Counsel, Partnerships and Shareholder Disputes, Passing Off, Trademark Infringement0 Comments

Sometimes businesses and their stakeholders act wrongfully in seeking to advance their interests and / or harm competitors. There are often reports of the “dirty tricks” used by those in business to seek to destroy, defeat or diminish the effectiveness of a competitor.

These are often unethical tactics, but sometimes such conduct is also wrongful and has been recognized by the common law as actionable in the courts for damages or injunctive or other urgent equitable relief, or prohibited by a statute which provides for a civil monetary remedy or grounds for an injunction.

These causes of action have been recognized and provide the basis of lawsuits for harm, loss and damage, and in suitable circumstances, grounds for an immediate injunction or mandatory order prohibiting the further commission of the wrongful acts.

In short, wrongful intentional acts causing harm, loss or damage to businesses or their stakeholders may give rise to a cause of action in common law business torts (the so-called economic torts). Such activity, if unlawful under statute, may also give rise to statutory civil remedies for the victim, including a statutory civil cause of action or grounds for injunctive relief to be granted by the courts.

The common law business tort causes of action include:

Intentional Interference with Economic Interests
Interference with Economic Relations by Unlawful Means
Inducement of Breach of Contract
Conspiracy to Cause Harm (civil conspiracy)
Conspiracy to Commit Wrongful Act Likely to Cause Harm (civil conspiracy)
Intimidation, Extortion and Abuse of Process (civil)
Passing Off (common law infringement of trademark)
Appropriation of Personality
Defamation (civil) and Slander of Title

Statutory Civil Remedies include:

Remedies under the Competition Act R.S.C., 1985, c. C-34, Trade-marks Act R.S.C., 1985, c. T-13 and the Copyright Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42

We refer you to our related webpages on Injunctions and Mandatory OrdersDefamationOnline Defamation / Cyber LibelWebsite CopyingTrademark and Copyright InfringementCounterfeit Luxury Goods and Business Disputes.

If you consider that you or your business have been the victim of such recent wrongful conduct and have, or will, suffer harm from such conduct or continued conduct, please contact us on 416 979 2020 to arrange an initial consultation. Do not delay in seeking competent legal advice.


Brief informational summaries about insurance litigation and commercial litigation matters in the courts of Ontario and Canada are periodically published on our website. Please note that our website content is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon to provide legal advice. If you require legal advice, please request an initial consultation with Gilbertson Davis LLP using the Request Consultation Form on this webpage or by contacting our Intake Coordinator on (416) 979-2020, ext. 223 (both subject to the Terms of Use described on our Contact page).

About the Author
David Alderson, LL.B , LL.M

David Alderson, LL.B , LL.M

David has practiced over 35 years as a commercial and business litigator in diverse matters in the courts and in domestic and international arbitration proceedings in Ontario, England & Wales, Bermuda and Dubai. Also admitted in New York. He also accepts appointment as a commercial and marine arbitrator. Bio | Lawyer | Arbitrator | Contact

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *