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Our case studies: unfair competition

THE FACTS

A well-known engineering industry suspected that a competitor had knowledge of important, secret commercial operations planned by the former. This information was suspected to have been provided by one of the engineering company’s business consultants, who was also suspected of collaborating illegally with the competitor.

OBJECTIVE

To ascertain potentially criminal conduct by the business consultant in order to protect the company’s assets.

INTERVENTION

After careful study of the case, Capta was hired to investigate and carried out mobile surveillance of the business consultant.

LAW

Article 2598 of the Italian Civil Code regarding unfair competition; Article 98 of the Industrial Property Code (Italian Legislative Decree 10 February 2005, no. 30).

CONCLUSIONS

The investigations carried out by Capta confirmed the client's suspicions that the business consultant had, on more than one occasion, met with the owner of the competitor company.
In the light of these results, forensic analysis was made of the company computer used by the consultant which revealed emails proving the transfer of confidential information to the competitor company.
The results obtained clearly showed that the actions carried out by the competitor company to harm our client were based on confidential information provided by the disloyal collaborator.
On completion of observation and surveillance, Capta provided the client with a report detailing the facts described in chronological order, complete with photo evidence.
Based on this evidence, the company dismissed the business consultant with just cause and started legal proceedings against the competitor company with a request for solutions against the contemplated acts of unfair competition pursuant to articles 2599 and 2600 of the Italian Civil Code, according to which carrying out acts of unfair competition prevents continuation and provides opportune measures for eliminating the effects.
Finally, article 2600 of the Italian Civil Code rules that any party damaged by malicious or wilful acts of unfair competition may request compensation.

Translation from the Italian website. All references are to Italian legislation
Our case studies: breach of non-compete clause

THE FACTS

A chemical company suspected that a former employee, bound by a non-compete agreement, had set up a company working in the same sector and in direct competition on the reference market.

OBJECTIVE

To acquire evidence that proved breach of the non-compete agreement signed by the company and the former employee.

INTERVENTION

After careful study of the case, Capta was hired to investigate and carried out mobile surveillance of the former employee and relative intelligence activity.

LAW

Articles 2105 and 2125 of the Italian Civil Code

CONCLUSIONS

On completion of observation and surveillance, Capta provided the client with a report detailing the facts described in chronological order, complete with photo evidence.
Based on the findings, the client took out legal proceedings against the former employer, exercising its right to obtain cessation of activity by the latter, reimbursement of the amount paid and compensation.
The company requested that urgent legal action be taken, pursuant to article 700 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure, and that the Judge take immediate measures to force the former employee to cease his competitive activity.

Translation from the Italian website. All references are to Italian legislation
Our case studies: protection of brand names and patents

THE FACTS

A textile product company had reason to suspect that third parties in Italy were forging its products complete with unauthorised use of its design and brand name and therefore required evidence to be used in court that identified the perpetrators.

OBJECTIVE

To acquire evidence to ascertain firstly that the crime was being perpetrated, to reconstruct the entire production process that ended with in the forged goods arriving on the market and identify the parties involved in the counterfeiting process.

INTERVENTION

After careful study of the case, Capta was hired to investigate and carried out investigations that led to identification of: one of the premises where the counterfeit goods were being held; the factory where the goods were being manufactured; the parties responsible for delivering the products.

LAW

Articles 473 and 474 of the Italian Penal Code

CONCLUSIONS

On completion of the investigations, Capta provided the client with a report detailing the facts described in chronological order.
Based on the findings, the Guardia di Finanza (Italian military police force dealing with financial crime) was then involved, which subsequently confiscated the counterfeit goods and arrested the perpetrators.

Translation from the Italian website. All references are to Italian legislation

What is unfair competition?

Unfair competition is any illegal conduct perpetrated with the aim of acquiring illicit advantages over your competitors, or of harming them with the intent of increasing your profits.

This phenomenon includes:

  • Industrial espionage;
  • Illicit use of names and brands belonging to other parties and/or slavish imitation of products made by other companies with the sole purpose of generating confusion and uncertainty in consumers;
  •  Appropriation of qualities and virtues relating to others’ activity and products;
  • The spreading of news and/or disparaging comments about a competitor’s products and activity causing harm to their professional reputation;
  •  Disloyalty of employees and collaborators.

How does CAPTA intervene?

Capta intervenes in the following fields to combat the phenomenon of unfair competition:

  • Illegitimate use of brands, patents and intellectual property
  • Breach of non-compete clause
  • Breach of exclusivity obligation
  • Reliability of suppliers and partners
  • Industrial espionage
  • Theft of company data (list of clients, quotes, tenders, etc.)
  • Employee and client poaching

Investigations carried out Capta into unfair competition aim to protect company assets and are valuable tools that aid prevention or limitation of economic loss, as well as protecting company knowhow and also providing evidence that can be used for dismissal for just cause and in legal controversies.

Italian law

The unfair competition in the above described cases is governed by articles 2598-2601 and article 2105 of the Italian Civil Code, which prohibit employees from doing business under their own name or for third parties in competition with their employer and also from divulging information about the company’s organisation and production methods or using them to cause prejudice.
Investigations to prove competitive dealings with evidence that is legally useful in establishing a right are carried out in compli-ance with articles 2599 and 2600 of the Italian Civil Code, which state that the sentence ascertaining perpetration of unfair com-petition prevents continuation of the same and offers suitable measures to eliminate any consequences.

 

Translation from the Italian website. All references are to Italian legislation