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BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS CODE

Division 7 General Business Regulations

§ 17203. Injunctive relief; Court orders

Any person who engages, has engaged, or proposes to engage in unfair competition may be enjoined in any court of competent jurisdiction. The court may make such orders or judgments, including the appointment of a receiver, as may be necessary to prevent the use or employment by any person of any practice which constitutes unfair competition, as defined in this chapter, or as may be necessary to restore to any person in interest any money or property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of such unfair competition. Any person may pursue representative claims or relief on behalf of others only if the claimant meets the standing requirements of Section 17204 and complies with Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure, but these limitations do not apply to claims brought under this chapter by the Attorney General, or any district attorney, county counsel, city attorney, or city prosecutor in this state.


Added Stats 1977 ch 299 § 1.
Amended Stats 1992 ch 430 § 3 (SB 1586). Amendment approved by voters, Prop. 64 § 2, effective November 3, 2004.

ANNOTATIONS

Amendments:

1992 Amendment:
Substituted "who engages, has engaged, or proposes to engage in unfair competition" for "performing or proposing to perform an act of unfair competition within this state" in the first sentence.

2004 Amendment:
Added the third sentence.

Note:
Proposition 64, effective November 3, 2004, provides:
SEC. 7. In the event that between July 1, 2003, and the effective date of this measure, legislation is enacted that is inconsistent with this measure, said legislation is void and repealed irrespective of the code in which it appears.
SEC. 8. In the event that this measure and another measure or measures relating to unfair competition law shall appear on the same statewide election ballot, the provisions of the other measures shall be deemed to be in conflict with this measure. In the event that this measure shall receive a greater number of affirmative votes, the provisions of this measure shall prevail in their entirety, and the provisions of the other measures relating to unfair competition law shall be null and void.
SEC. 9. If any provision of this act, or part thereof, is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining provisions shall not be affected, but shall remain in full force and effect, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.

Editor's Notes--
For Legislative intent, see the 1992 Note following B & P C § 17200.
Cross References:
Penalty for violation of injunction: B & P C § 17207
Collateral References:
Witkin Summary (9th ed) Equity §§ 93, 95
Cal Jur 3d (Rev) Consumer and Borrower Protection Laws § 66, Ejectment and Related Remedies § 126
Law Review Articles:
Action to recover profits of tortfeasor for unfair competition. 19 Hast LJ 1137
Greater representation for California consumers-fluid recovery, consumer trust funds, and representative actions. 46 Hast LJ 797
Fraudulent advertising: Right of public attorney to seek restitution for consumers. 4 Pacific LJ 168
Justifying relief in California customer list litigation. 37 SCLR 112
Damages for price discrimination. 4 Stan LR 304
Rubin v. Green: Is Unrestricted Judicial Access at the expense of the victim the right choice? 25 UWLA LR 325
Annotations
Rights and remedies with respect to another's use of a deceptively similar advertising slogan. 2 ALR3d 748
Proper measure and elements of damages for misappropriation of trade secret. 11 ALR4th 12

NOTES OF DECISIONS

1. Generally

2. Particular Determinations

3. Available Remedies

1. Generally
In an unfair business practice action (Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 17200 et seq.) in which a liquor store owner was enjoined from authorizing the removal of cars from his parking lot unless proper warning signs were posted and in which a tow service operator was prohibited from charging fees unless a vehicle was actually towed to his garage, the trial court accurately assessed the relative hardships involved and did not abuse its discretion in granting a preliminary injunction. The injunction did not require the store owner to stop removals from his lot or prohibit the tow operator from charging fees reasonably related to towing and storage for garaged vehicles, while a denial of injunctive relief might have subjected many members of the public to continued hoisting or towing without sufficient notice, to intimidation and physical threat and to misrepresentation concerning liens. People v James (1981, 4th Dist) 122 Cal App 3d 25, 177 Cal Rptr 110
Any unlawful business practice, including violations of the Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law (Health & Saf. Code, § 26000 et seq.) may be redressed by a private action charging unfair competition in violation of Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 17200 and 17203. Committee on Children's Television, Inc. v General Foods Corp. (1983) 35 Cal 3d 197, 197 Cal Rptr 783, 673 P2d 660
Since Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200, defines "unlawful competition" to include business activities violating any other provision of law, such as the home solicitation sales act (Civ. Code, § 1689.5 et seq.), the Attorney General is entitled to seek restitution under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203, for violation of the act. People v Toomey (1984, 1st Dist) 157 Cal App 3d 1, 203 Cal Rptr 642
A private litigant is allowed only injunctive relief and not damages under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203 (unfair competition). Industrial Indemnity Co. v Superior Court (1989, 6th Dist) 209 Cal App 3d 1093, 257 Cal Rptr 655
The trial court properly granted summary adjudication of issues in favor of a comprehensive liability insurer, declaring that provisions in a policy issued to a bank covering "damages" the insured must pay for injury arising out of "unfair competition" in the course of "advertising activities," did not cover restitutionary relief paid by the bank in settlement of a consumer class action alleging violations of the Unfair Business Practices Act (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203). Insurance coverage for "advertising injury" due to "unfair competition" is limited to claims under the common law and excludes statutory claims; the provision covered "damages," which are available for common law unfair competition, but not relief under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203, which provides for disgorgement or restitution. So read, the provision was not ambiguous and no construction in favor of the insured was called for. The settlement payment represented disgorgement, since if it did not it would not have been for a violation of the act, and if not for such a violation, it could not have been for "unfair competition." Bank of the West v Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal 4th 1254, 10 Cal Rptr 2d 538, 833 P2d 545
A trial court ruling on an unfair trade practice may order disgorgement of a defendant's profits and restitution as forms of relief ancillary to an injunction. An order of restitution or disgorgement in an action under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203 (court may enjoin act of unfair competition) is not an order of damages. The statute itself expressly entitles a court to take actions as may be necessary to prevent the use by any person of an unfair business practice and to restore to any person in interest any property acquired by means of an unfair business practice. Thus, in an action alleging that defendant developers and landowners had committed unlawful business practices by selling condominium units designated as moderate income housing at a price in excess of that permitted by the city's subdivision code, the trial court erred by determining that it lacked the power to enforce any remedy other than a preventive injunction and civil penalties under the code. People v Thomas Shelton Powers, M.D., Inc. (1992, 1st Dist) 2 Cal App 4th 330, 3 Cal Rptr 2d 34
Construing Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203 (court may enjoin act of unfair competition), to permit a court to order disgorgement of profits-obtained by use of an unfair business practice-to the state does not render the statute unconstitutionally vague for failure to name the party to whom restitution might later be made. A statute will not be declared void as being indefinite if it contains a reasonably adequate disclosure of the legislative intent regarding an evil to be combatted in language giving fair notice of the practices to be avoided. Also, this construction does not deprive a defendant of property without notice, since a defendant has no valid ownership interest in property wrongfully gained. People v Thomas Shelton Powers, M.D., Inc. (1992, 1st Dist) 2 Cal App 4th 330, 3 Cal Rptr 2d 34
In a civil action challenging a dairy company's advertising practices, the trial court had authority under the unfair competition law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.) and the false advertising act (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17500 et seq.) to order that a warning label be affixed to the company's consumer products. Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203, and Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17535, expressly recognize the authority of the courts to make orders as may be necessary to prevent the use of deceptive advertising or unfair competition. This authority is not limited to granting preliminary injunctions, but includes the authority to correct false impressions built up by prior advertising and to deter future violations. Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. v Alta-Dena Certified Dairy (1992, 1st Dist) 4 Cal App 4th 963, 6 Cal Rptr 2d 193
Under the Unfair Competition Act (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.), injunctive relief to prevent unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business acts or practices, and restitution (that is, disgorgement) of money or property wrongfully obtained "by means of such unfair competition," are authorized (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203). The statute imposes strict liability. It is not necessary to show that the defendant intended to injure anyone. Because the definition contained in Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200, is disjunctive, a "business act or practice" is prohibited if it is "unfair" or "unlawful" or "fraudulent." In other words, a practice is prohibited as "unfair" or "deceptive" even if not "unlawful" and vice versa. The "fraud" contemplated by the third prong of Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200, bears little resemblance to common law fraud or deception. The test is whether the public is likely to be deceived. This means that a violation, unlike common law fraud, can be shown even if no one was actually deceived, relied upon the fraudulent practice, or sustained any damage. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v Superior Court (1996, 2nd Dist) 45 Cal App 4th 1093, 53 Cal Rptr 2d 229
The remedial power granted under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203, which authorizes injunctive relief for violations of the unfair competition law, is extraordinarily broad. Most likely because unfair business practices can take many forms, the Legislature has given the courts the power to fashion remedies to prevent their use or employment in whatever context they may occur. This power necessarily includes the authority to make orders to prevent such activities from occurring in the future. While an injunction against future violations might have some deterrent effect, it is only a partial remedy, since it does not correct the consequences of past conduct. Injunctive relief may be as wide and diversified as the means employed in perpetration of the wrongdoing. >Hewlett v Squaw Valley Ski Corp. (1997, 3rd Dist) 54 Cal App 4th 499, 63 Cal Rptr 2d 118
Plaintiff's cause of action against an insurer for which plaintiff performed plumbing and insurance claim work, for unfair competition, was dismissed with leave to amend. Private individuals cannot seek damages for unfair business practices under B & P C § 17200. Private remedies are limited to equitable relief; and civil penalties are recoverable only by specified public officers (B & P C §§ 17200, 17203-17206). Also, a cause of action for unfair competition under B & P C § 17500 was dismissed with leave to amend. B & P C § 17500 provides only for criminal penalties. Individuals may seek remedy for violations of B & P C § 17500 through B & P C § 17200. However, private remedies are limited to equitable relief; civil penalties are recoverable only by specified public officers (B & P C §§ 17500, 17535). Brown v Allstate Ins. Co. (1998, SD Cal) 17 F Supp 2d 1134
"Unfair competition" includes any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising. Business conduct need not be illegal to be enjoined under section B & P C § 17203. Rather, the test is that a practice merely be unfair. This test involves balancing the impact of the practice or act on its victim against the reasons, justifications and motives of the alleged wrongdoer. Sun Microsystems, Inc. v Microsoft Corp. (1998, ND Cal) 21 F Supp 2d 1109
B & P C § 17203 is an injunctive relief statute; it does not provide for money damages. Mathews v Government Employees Ins. Co. (1998, SD Cal) 23 F Supp 2d 1160
While equitable defenses may not be asserted to wholly defeat a claim under the Unfair Competition Law (UCL) since such claims arise out of unlawful conduct, it does not follow that equitable considerations may not guide the court's discretion in fashioning the equitable remedies authorized by B & P C § 17203. Accordingly, in deciding whether to grant the remedies sought by a UCL plaintiff, the court must permit the defendant to offer equitable considerations. Normally, however, the plaintiff need not show that a UCL defendant intended to injure anyone through its unfair or unlawful conduct. The UCL imposes strict liability when property or monetary losses are occasioned by conduct that constitutes an unfair business practice. >Cortez v Purolator Air Filtration Products Co. (2000) 23 Cal 4th 163, 181, 96 Cal Rptr 2d 518, 999 P2d 706
Much like a claim for injunctive relief under the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, CC. § 1750, a claim for injunctive relief under the Unfair Competition Act, B & P C § 17200 is brought by a plaintiff acting in the capacity as a private attorney general, under B & amper; P C § 17203. Coast Plaza Doctors Hospital v Blue Cross of California (2000, 2nd Dist) 83 Cal App 4th 677, 99 Cal Rptr 2d 809
When a plaintiff who claims to have suffered injury from a direct competitor's "unfair" act or practice invokes Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, the word "unfair" in that section means conduct that threatens an incipient violation of an antitrust law, or violates the policy or spirit of one of those laws because its effects are comparable to or the same as a violation of the law, or otherwise significantly threatens or harms competition. Sun Microsystems, Inc. v Microsoft Corp. (2000, ND Cal) 87 F Supp 2d 992
California law specifically provides for injunctive relief to enjoin acts of unfair competition. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17203. However, injunctive relief under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17203 has no application to completed wrongs absent a showing of threatened future harm or a continuing violation. Sun Microsystems, Inc. v Microsoft Corp. (2000, ND Cal) 87 F Supp 2d 992
Compensatory damages are not available to a plaintiff under B & P C § 17203. Under B & P C § 17203, money or property obtained through an unfair business practice in violation of B & P C § 17200 may be restored to persons who had an ownership interest in the property or those claiming through that person; restitution pursuant to B & P C § 17200 is not limited only to the return of money or property that was once in the possession of the person to whom it is returned. Watson Labs., Inc. v Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Inc. (2001, CD Cal) 178 F Supp 2d 1099
Reprehensible standard adopted by the United States Supreme Court when assessing punitive damages is not applicable to an action for damages under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq., the "unfair competition law." People ex rel. Bill Lockyer v Fremont Life Ins. Co. (2002, 2nd Dist) 104 Cal App 4th 508, 128 Cal Rptr 2d 463
Court may order restitution of money acquired by means that are violative of the Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq. §§ 17203, 17535. People ex rel. Bill Lockyer v Fremont Life Ins. Co. (2002, 2nd Dist) 104 Cal App 4th 508, 128 Cal Rptr 2d 463
Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq., the "unfair competition law," requires that the remedies imposed take into consideration the equities of the case. The court reviews the award of civil penalties to determine whether the trial court abused its discretion. People ex rel. Bill Lockyer v Fremont Life Ins. Co. (2002, 2nd Dist) 104 Cal App 4th 508, 128 Cal Rptr 2d 463
Although the bidder's claim against the wireless communications company and related entities for unfair trade practices arising from the company's participation in a Federal Communications Commission auction for wireless telecommunication spectrum licenses might conceivably have stated a cause of action for equitable relief, which is the only kind of relief available under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17203, the claim was preempted by the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C.S. § 151 et seq. TPS Utilicom Servs. v AT&T Corp. (2002, CD Cal) 223 F Supp 2d 1089
Language of B & P C § 17203 is clear that the equitable powers of a court are to be used to prevent practices that constitute unfair competition and to restore to any person in interest any money or property acquired through unfair practices. While the "prevent" prong of § 17203 suggests that the legislature considered deterrence of unfair practices to be an important goal, the fact that attorney fees and damages, including punitive damages, are not available under the unfair competition law, B & P C § 17200 et seq., is clear evidence that deterrence by means of monetary penalties is not the act's sole objective. Korea Supply Co. v Lockheed Martin Corp. (2003) 29 Cal 4th 1134, 131 Cal Rptr 2d 29, 63 P3d 937
Defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' claims under the Unfair Competition Law, B & P C § 17200 et seq., on the ground of preemption was denied, as defendant did not carry its burden to overcome the presumption against preemption as to its conflict preemption arguments because it failed to demonstrate a sufficiently specific "actual conflict" with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA), 49 U.S.C.S. § 30101 et seq., provisions, subsidiary regulations, or with congressional objectives for the MVSA. Case law and legislative history also supported the conclusion that Congress did not intend to supplant all state regulation of motor vehicle safety. Chamberlan v Ford Motor Co. (2004, ND Cal) 314 F Supp 2d 953

2. Particular Determinations
In an action by the People for civil penalties and injunctive relief against mobilehome dealers and the operator of a mobilehome park, the trial court properly exercised its statutory injunctive powers by a provision of a preliminary injunction prohibiting defendants from misrepresenting the availability of mobilehome homesites. The provision merely required that defendants conform their conduct to the standards of honest and fair dealing under the Unfair Practice Act (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.). People v Mobile Magic Sales, Inc. (1979, 4th Dist) 96 Cal App 3d 1, 157 Cal Rptr 749
A tenant's complaint for damages against a landlord and the managing agent failed to state a cause of action, good against defendants' demurrers, for injunctive relief on the basis of unfair business practices by defendants. The complaint alleged that defendants owned and maintained various residential rental properties and that unsafe and unsanitary conditions similar to those on the subject premises existed on each of the other properties. Plaintiff alleged that defendants had actual and constructive knowledge of such defective conditions, but had failed to correct them within a reasonable time. However, plaintiff was not at the time in possession of any of the properties owned or managed by defendants, and therefore, she had no need of or standing to seek an injunction on her own behalf. Furthermore, she failed to allege that she was suing on the behalf of the general public. Stoiber v Honeychuck (1980, 5th Dist) 101 Cal App 3d 903, 162 Cal Rptr 194
In a class action by the tenants of an apartment complex alleging that the premises were dangerous, uninhabitable, and in violation of applicable building and health and safety laws, ordinances, and regulations, and that the landlord instituted unlawful detainer actions in retaliation for the tenants' exercise of their statutory rights to demand that the premises be maintained in a habitable condition, the trial court properly exercised its discretion in ordering a preliminary injunction restraining the landlord from evicting or threatening to evict the tenants without making a prior showing of good cause to the superior court. The court's decision was properly based on its inherent equity power and on Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 17200, 17203, authorizing courts to enjoin acts of unfair competition. The landlord's institution of unlawful detainer actions based on overcrowding was an unfair business practice since he had accepted the rentals knowing that overcrowding would occur. Moreover, his motive for instituting unlawful detainer actions was retaliatory within the meaning of Civ. Code, § 1942.5, subd. (a), and retaliatory eviction which is a business practice, rather than an isolated event, within the meaning of Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200, may be enjoined under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203. Further, the hardship, if any, to the landlord in requiring him to show that his desire to evict someone was motivated by a legitimate reason was insignificant when compared to the irreparable harm the tenants might suffer if they were required to defend a multiplicity of lawsuits or if they were evicted. Finally, the injunction did not preclude the landlord from seeking to evict any tenant for nonpayment of rent; it merely required him to seek leave of the court prior to doing so. Hernandez v Stabach (1983, 2nd Dist) 145 Cal App 3d 309, 193 Cal Rptr 350
The purpose of Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203, authorizing courts to make orders to restore to any person in interest any money or property which may have been acquired by unfair competition, is to deter future violations of the unfair trade practices statute (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.) and to foreclose retention by the violator of its ill-gotten gains. If insurance coverage were available for monetary awards under the act, a person found to have violated the act would simply shift the loss to his or her insurer and, in effect, retain the proceeds of the unlawful conduct, a result inconsistent with the act's deterrent purpose. Thus, since insurable damages do not include costs incurred in disgorging money that has been wrongfully acquired, there is no insurance coverage for claims under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203. Bank of the West v Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal 4th 1254, 10 Cal Rptr 2d 538, 833 P2d 545
In an action alleging that defendant developers and landowners had committed unlawful business practices by selling condominium units designated as moderate income housing at a price in excess of that permitted by the city's subdivision code, there were cognizable victims of defendants wrongful acts. Thus, disgorement of profits and restitution were appropriate remedies. Persons of low and moderate income who desired to live in the city had been deprived of opportunities to find affordable housing and, as indicated by the subdivision code, the people of the city had a real interest in providing affordable housing to support a heterogeneous population. Both groups were "persons" within the meaning of Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203 (court may enjoin act of unfair competition). The term "person" as defined by Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17201, is sufficiently broad to cover a group of natural persons, or even a city of natural persons. People v Thomas Shelton Powers, M.D., Inc. (1992, 1st Dist) 2 Cal App 4th 330, 3 Cal Rptr 2d 34
In an action against a nonprofit health maintenance organization by a member, the trial court erred in issuing an order enjoining the organization to clarify and explain its third party liability provision, under which a member who received medical services for an injury caused by a third party and subsequently recovered a settlement or judgment would pay the plan for the services from the proceeds of the settlement or judgment. The order purported to enjoin unfair competition pursuant to Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 17200 and 17203; however, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 (Health & Saf. Code, § 1340 et seq.) does not define unlawful acts that may be enjoined under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200, and the courts cannot assume general regulatory powers over health maintenance organizations through the guise of enforcing that statute. The third party liability provision was entirely lawful on its face, subject, however, to limitations imposed by the doctrine of unconscionability and the common fund rule. Samura v Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (1993, 1st Dist) 17 Cal App 4th 1284, 22 Cal Rptr 2d 20
Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 17203 and 17200, do not confer on a private plaintiff a general power to enforce the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 (Health & Saf. Code, § 1340 et seq.). This power has been entrusted exclusively to the Department of Corporations, preempting even the common law powers of the Attorney General (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 1341, 1346). The department has exclusive power to regulate the provisions of health service agreements of health maintenance organizations and the content of the required disclosure form and evidence of coverage pamphlets (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 1351, 1363). However, despite the existence of a statutory enforcement scheme, a private plaintiff may still sue to enjoin acts that are made unlawful by the health care service plan act. Samura v Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (1993, 1st Dist) 17 Cal App 4th 1284, 22 Cal Rptr 2d 20
In an action brought by an individual on behalf of himself and all others in the state who own or seek to rent or purchase ski bindings against a ski shop, a ski area operator, and six ski binding distributors, agreements between customers and defendants requiring, as a condition of the return of equipment, the customers to sign a form releasing defendants from any liability for injury resulting from use of the equipment, were lawful and enforceable, and did not constitute unfair competition under the Unfair Practices Act (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.). First, such releases were not overly broad, and the public interest does not preclude enforcement of an agreement to bar claims for negligent adjustment of ski bindings. Second, the releases that certain defendants modified during the pendency of the proceeding, to conform to the law, to exclude product defect or strict liability claims were lawful, even though they did not expressly exclude such claims, since the releases neither expressly included strict liability claims nor excluded claims prohibited by law. Further, even assuming the use of the old releases was actionable, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by choosing not to exercise its power to enjoin defendants from repeating past misconduct (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203). Olsen v Breeze, Inc. (1996, 3rd Dist) 48 Cal App 4th 608, 55 Cal Rptr 2d 818
In an action alleging unfair business practices in the medical alternate site infusion therapy industry, plaintiffs pled a cause of action for restitution under B &P C § 17203, under which remedies are strictly limited to injunctive relief and restitution, which may include disgorgement of illicit profits to injured parties. Plaintiffs had standing to claim violation of that statute where they adequately pled that their defendant competitors' behavior inflicted economic harm on plaintiffs; if defendants had not bribed physicians, the competing plaintiffs would have obtained more clients; and if plaintiffs obtained restitution under the statute, their economic injury would be redressed. Pharmacare v. Caremark (1996, D Haw) 965 F Supp 1411
In an action brought by a wholesale distributor of electronic products against a manufacturer of electronic products and two other competitive wholesale distributors for violations of the unfair competition law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203), the trial court erred when it dismissed the cause of action on demurrer. Although plaintiff prayed for restitution, and not for an injunction against future unfair competition, nothing in the actual language of Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203, indicates the availability of restitution is contingent on the issuance of an injunction. In the absence of such statutory restriction, a court of equity retains the full range of its inherent powers in order to accomplish complete justice between the parties, restoring if necessary the status quo ante as nearly as may be achieved. An order for restitution, therefore, was within the court's power. ABC Internat. Traders, Inc. v Matsushita Elec. Corp. (1997) 14 Cal 4th 1247, 61 Cal Rptr 2d 112, 931 P2d 290
In an antitrust action, state law claims based on predatory pricing failed. California Unfair Practices Act (B &P C §§ 17045 et. seq.), requires injury to competition; plaintiff vainly relied on predatory pricing as the relevant injury. Unfair competition under B &P C §§ 17200 and 17203 requires an independent, unlawful act; certain "anti-competitive acts" were only predatory pricing, already held insufficient. Tortious interference with contractual relations requires a valid and existing contract, of which defendant knew and for which defendant intended to induce a breach (and did induce breach) by unjustified conduct causing damage. Plaintiff did not identify any existing contracts and did not directly allege a breach. Interference with prospective economic advantage requires conduct wrongful by some legal measure other than the fact of interference itself; plaintiff showed no other wrongful act except those already held insufficient. Kentmaster Mfg. Co. v Jarvis Products Corp. (1998, CA9 Cal) 146 F.3d 691
In an action that is not certified as a class action, but is brought as a representative action on behalf of absent persons by a private party under the unfair competition law (UCL) (B & P C § 17200 et seq.), disgorgement into a fluid recovery fund is not an available remedy. The statutory authorization in B & P C § 17203 to make orders necessary to restore money to any person in interest is clear; when restitution is made to a person in interest, fluid recovery is unnecessary. And nothing in the history of the UCL suggested that fluid recovery was contemplated by the UCL itself. Fashioning a fluid recovery remedy in an action that has not been certified as a class action is not a proper exercise of the court's inherent equitable powers. >Kraus v Trinity Management Services, Inc. (2000) 23 Cal 4th 116, 139, 96 Cal Rptr 2d 485, 999 P2d 718
Although the Unfair Competition Law (UCL) does not authorize fluid recovery in a representative UCL action and thus disgorgement of profits a defendant may have earned by withholding overtime wages was not permitted, an employer could be compelled to restore unpaid wages to its employees and former employees in a UCL action since, once earned, those unpaid wages became property. Failure to promptly pay those wages was unlawful and thus an unfair business practice, and orders for payment of wages unlawfully withheld were a restitutionary remedy authorized by B & P C § 17203. Cortez v Purolator Air Filtration Products Co. (2000) 23 Cal 4th 163, 173, 96 Cal Rptr 2d 518, 999 P2d 706
A property owner who diverted most of the flow from a creek for use on his ranch without notifying the Department of Fish and Game was subject to an injunction for an unfair business practice under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17203. People v Murrison (2002, 3rd Dist) 101 Cal App 4th 349, 124 Cal Rptr 2d 68
Life insurance company that engaged in deceptive practices in connection with the sale of certain annuity policies was subject to $ 2.5 million in civil penalties and ordered to pay restitution for violating California's unfair competition law. Imposition of cumulative remedies was not an abuse of discretion. People ex rel. Bill Lockyer v Fremont Life Ins. Co. (2002, 2nd Dist) 104 Cal App 4th 508, 128 Cal Rptr 2d 463
Appellate court determined that individual alleged that a shopping center owner and a grocer were engaging in unfair business practices that would result in urban blight by failing to lease an anchor store in the shopping center, failed to state a claim under the unfair competition law, and the trial court properly granted the grocer's demurrer; moreover, injunctive relief would not have been proper as it would have involved judicially supervised marketing of the property that would put the trial court in the untenable position of making or approving commercial decisions without clear guidelines. Gregory v Albertson's, Inc. (2002, 1st Dist) 104 Cal App 4th 845, 128 Cal Rptr 2d 389
Former Mexican braceros' unfair business practices claim against a bank under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17203 was dismissed where the bank did not wrongfully obtain any of the braceros' wage withholding deposits. Cruz v United States (2002, ND Cal) 219 F Supp 2d 1027
Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998, 15 U.S.C.S. §§ 77p, 78bb, preempted a purchaser's state law unfair competition claim that defendants' analysts issued unfair and/or deceptive company ratings in research reports which affected the price of stocks, and remand to state court was not warranted. Feitelberg v Merrill Lynch & Co. (2002, ND Cal) 2002 US Dist LEXIS 25714
Where importer engaged in, inter alia, trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state law by importing counterfeit cigarettes carrying the manufacturer's brands, a default judgment (including injunctive relief, damages, and attorney's fees) was properly entered against it and in favor of a cigarette manufacturer, where the manufacturer had valid, subsisting, and incontestable marks on the principal register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office; the marks had developed significant goodwill, had become distinctive, and had acquired secondary meaning, and the manufacturer was suffering the loss of goodwill and profits from the lost sales of genuine products due to the importer's activities in bringing to the United States and selling counterfeit cigarettes. Philip Morris USA, Inc. v Castworld Prods. (2003, CD Cal) 2003 US Dist LEXIS 24703
In a customer's unfair competition and false advertising suit against a phone company, the customer could not meet the amount-in-controversy requirement for diversity jurisdiction because the relevant state statutes did not provide for recovery of damages. Vongrabe v Sprint PCS (2004, SD Cal) 2004 US Dist LEXIS 5438
Counsel in an class action relating to overtime pay had a duty to consider, and assert as appropriate, all related claims that arose out of the same facts as those in the certification order and that class members would reasonably expect to be considered. Thus, a class member stated a malpractice claim based on the class counsels' failure to pursue an Unfair Competition Law (UCL) claim, as well as the original labor code claim, where caselaw that was announced during the action provided support for a claim for unpaid wages under the UCL. Janik v Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff (2004, Cal App 1st Dist) 2004 Cal App LEXIS 986
At bottom, plaintiffs, members of a national rural telecommunications cooperative, were essentially seeking damages, not the return of money in which they had an identifiable property interest. They had not raised a genuine issue of material fact whether they had a vested interest in the money they sought to recover from the satellite television company on their premium and advanced services claims. Nat'l Rural Telcoms. Coop. v DIRECTV, Inc. (2003, CD Cal) 2003 US Dist LEXIS 25374

3. Available Remedies
Trial court may order restitution in the absence of proof of lack of knowledge in order to deter future violations of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq. and to foreclose retention by the violator of ill-gotten gains. People ex rel. Bill Lockyer v Fremont Life Ins. Co. (2002, 2nd Dist) 104 Cal App 4th 508, 128 Cal Rptr 2d 463
Restitution under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq. may be ordered without individualized proof of harm. People ex rel. Bill Lockyer v Fremont Life Ins. Co. (2002, 2nd Dist) 104 Cal App 4th 508, 128 Cal Rptr 2d 463
Under B & P C § 17203, the statutory authorization to make orders necessary to restore money to any person in interest is clear. An order for restitution, then, is authorized by the clear language of the statute. In fact, restitution is the only monetary remedy expressly authorized by § 17203. Korea Supply Co. v Lockheed Martin Corp. (2003) 29 Cal 4th 1134, 131 Cal Rptr 2d 29, 63 P3d 937
Where an Internet service provider alleged that a competitor's use of a "blueHALO" mark infringed the provider's registered "HALO" trademark, preliminary injunctive relief was not warranted since the provider granted a naked license to a licensee with minimal effort to monitor the quality of the use of the mark, and thus the provider effectively abandoned its rights to the mark. Halo Mgmt., LLC v Interland, Inc. (2003, ND Cal) 308 F Supp 2d 1019
Preliminary injunctive relief was not warranted to prohibit a competitor's use of a "blueHALO" mark which allegedly infringed the provider's registered "HALO" trademark, since the provider failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits or a balance of hardships in favor of the provider; while the provider's maintenance of universally available Internet sites constituted sufficient use of the mark in commerce, the provider's mark was weakened by the numerous marks which incorporated the word "halo," there was no unmistakable likelihood of consumer confusion, and the loss of the provider's relatively weak mark was outweighed by the competitor's substantial investment in its mark. Halo Mgmt., LLC v Interland, Inc. (2003, ND Cal) 308 F Supp 2d 1019
Employer engages in unfair competition when it discriminates on the basis of age; therefore, injunctive relief under the California Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq., was an appropriate remedy since the remedies under the UCL and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Cal. Gov't Code § 12900 et seq., were cumulative. Herr v Nestle U.S.A., Inc. (2003, Cal App 2nd Dist) 2003 Cal App LEXIS 855, 2003 CDOS 5043, 2003 Daily Journal DAR 6362
Residents living close to a quarry argued that the quarry's owners had expanded the quarry and operated it unlawfully; they sought class certification for their action brought pursuant to B & P C §§ 17200, et seq. Nevertheless, the trial court properly refused to certify the class as the fact that a remedy was available to the class that was not available to individuals was not sufficient reason for class certification; and blasting and noise levels varied infinitely for the residents, depriving the residents of commonality. Frieman v San Rafael Rock Quarry, Inc. (2004, 1st Dist) 116 Cal App 4th 29
In an action against landlords who violated a rent control ordinance by requiring prospective tenants to sign long-term leases as a condition of tenancy, the trial court acted within its authority in ordering restitution of unauthorized rents. People v Beaumont Investment, Ltd. (2003, Cal App 6th Dist) 2003 Cal App LEXIS 1215
While a program agreement allowed plaintiff broadcast distributors to collect customer subscriber fees, thus providing the distributors with possession, it did not provide them with an ownership interest in the revenues; a claim for damages under B & P C § 17203 of the California Unfair Competition Law against defendant satellite broadcaster failed. Nat'l Rural Telcoms. Coop. v DIRECTV, Inc. (2003, CD Cal) 2003 US Dist LEXIS 25372
In a class action lawsuit brought by television writers alleging age discrimination, backpay was not an available remedy on a claim of unfair competition. Alch v Superior Court (2004, Cal App 2nd Dist) 2004 Cal App LEXIS 1531

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