Chapter 25. Prohibited Trade Practices

Published: 2015

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Commerce and Trade


Other Laws Relating to Commerce and Trade


Subchapter III. Deceptive Trade Practices

§ 2531 Definitions.
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Article" means a product as distinguished from its trademark, label, or distinctive dress in packaging.
(2) "Certification mark" means a mark used in connection with the goods or services of a person other than the certifier to indicate geographic origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy, or other characteristics of the goods or services or to indicate that the work or labor on the goods or services was performed by members of a union or other organization.
(3) "Collective mark" means a mark used by members of a cooperative, association, or other collective group or organization to identify goods or services and distinguish them from those of others, or to indicate membership in the collective group or organization.
(4) "Mark" means a word, name, symbol, device, or any combination of the foregoing in any form or arrangement.
(5) "Person" means an individual, corporation, government, or governmental subdivision or agency, statutory trust, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, unincorporated association, 2 or more of any of the foregoing having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.
(6) "Service mark" means a mark used by a person to identify services and to distinguish them from the services of others.
(7) "Trademark" means a mark used by a person to identify goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others.
(8) "Trade name" means a word, name, symbol, device, or any combination of the foregoing in any form or arrangement used by a person to identify a business, vocation, or occupation and distinguish it from the business, vocation, or occupation of others.
6 Del. C. 1953, § 2531; 55 Del. Laws, c. 36; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 329, § 36.;

§ 2532 Deceptive trade practices.
(a) A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of a business, vocation, or occupation, that person:
(1) Passes off goods or services as those of another;
(2) Causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;
(3) Causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another;
(4) Uses deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;
(5) Represents that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have, or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection that the person does not have;
(6) Represents that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand;
(7) Represents that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;
(8) Disparages the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact;
(9) Advertises goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;
(10) Advertises goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;
(11) Makes false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of, price reductions; or
(12) Engages in any other conduct which similarly creates a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding.
(b) In order to prevail in an action under this chapter, a complainant need not prove competition between the parties or actual confusion or misunderstanding.
(c) This section does not affect unfair trade practices otherwise actionable at common law or under other statutes of this State.
6 Del. C. 1953, § 2532; 55 Del. Laws, c. 36; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

§ 2533 Remedies.
(a) A person likely to be damaged by a deceptive trade practice of another may be granted an injunction against it under the principles of equity and on terms that the court considers reasonable. Proof of monetary damage, loss of profits, or intent to deceive, is not required. Relief granted for the copying of an article shall be limited to the prevention of confusion or misunderstanding as to source.
(b) The court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorneys' fees to the prevailing party. Costs or attorneys' fees may be assessed against a defendant only if the court finds that defendant has wilfully engaged in a deceptive trade practice.
(c) The relief provided in this section is in addition to remedies otherwise available against the same conduct under the common law or other statutes of this State. If damages are awarded to the aggrieved party under the common law or other statutes of this State, such damages awarded shall be treble the amount of the actual damages proved.
(d) The Attorney General shall have standing to seek, on behalf of the State, any remedy enumerated in this section for any violation of § 2532 of this title that is likely to harm any person, including but not limited to individual retail purchasers and consumers of goods, services or merchandise.
(e) If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that any person has wilfully violated this subchapter, upon petition to the court by the Attorney General in the original complaint or at any time following the court's finding of a wilful violation, the person shall forfeit and pay to the State a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation. For purposes of this subchapter, a wilful violation occurs when the person committing the violation knew or should have known that the conduct was of the nature prohibited by this subchapter.
6 Del. C. 1953, § 2533; 55 Del. Laws, c. 36; 57 Del. Laws, c. 499; 69 Del. Laws, c. 203, § 22; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 470, § 16.;

§ 2534 Application.
(a) This chapter does not apply to:
(1) Conduct in compliance with the orders or rules of, or a statute administered by, a federal, state, or local governmental agency, or a board or commission organized under Professions and Occupations in Title 24, and shall not be the subject of a private cause of action thereunder; provided that said conduct has been addressed by the applicable statute, order, or rule of a board or commission organized under Title 24 and said order or rule does not clearly conflict with a specific provision of the consumer protection laws the Attorney General is charged to enforce;
(2) Publishers, broadcasters, printers, or other persons engaged in the dissemination of information or reproduction of printed or pictorial matter who publish, broadcast, or reproduce material without knowledge of its deceptive character; or
(3) Actions or appeals pending on April 19, 1965.
(b) Section 2532(a)(2) and (3) of this title do not apply to the use of a service mark, trademark, certification mark, collective mark, trade name, or other trade identification that was used and not abandoned before April 19, 1965, if the use was in good faith and is otherwise lawful except for this chapter.
6 Del. C. 1953, § 2534; 55 Del. Laws, c. 36; 77 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 19.;

§ 2535 Uniformity of interpretation.
This chapter shall be construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states which enact it.
6 Del. C. 1953, § 2535; 55 Del. Laws, c. 36.;

§ 2536 Short title.
This subchapter may be cited as the "Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act."
6 Del. C. 1953, § 2536; 55 Del. Laws, c. 36.;