Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Deceptive Trade Practice Definition:

An intentional act or omission in the course of trade or commerce that has the tendency or capacity to mislead or create the likelihood of deception.

In Covenant Radio, Justice Parskey of Connecticut wrote:

"For a trade practice to be deceptive, it must have a tendency and capacity to deceive the consumer.

"Subjective intent to deceive on the part of the individual or business engaged in the challenged practice need not be established.

"Additionally, the consumer must be deceived in his initial contact wit the challenged practice."

In the United States of America, a 1966 Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, adopted by many states within their respective statutes, defines a deceptive trade practice as:

"A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of his business, vocation, or occupation, he:

  • Passes off goods or services as those of another;

  • Causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;

  • Causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another;

  • Uses deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services; 

  • 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 he does not have;

  • Represents that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or second-hand;

  • 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;

  • Disparages the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact;

  • Advertises goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;

  • Advertises goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;

  • Makes false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions; or

  • Engages in any other conduct which similarly creates a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding."


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