It can be difficult to do business in Minnesota and across the world. One aspect that must be followed has to do with certain laws that might be somewhat muddled or confusing. When selling a product or service, there is often a fine line between fraud, deception and simple salesmanship. The law takes such issues as deceptive trade practices very seriously and if there is an accusation of it, it can cost a great deal of money -- if not the entire business -- trying to navigate the situation.
If, during the course of doing business, a person or entity engages in the following, it will be considered a violation of the law against deceptive trade practices -- if goods or services are passed off as those of another, if there is the likely result of others being confused or misunderstanding the goods and services and how they are certified, approved, sponsored or sourced, if there is a likely outcome of confusion or misunderstanding as to how a product it certified or with whom it is associated, connected or affiliated and if there is a deception in how the geographic origin of a product is represented or designated when it comes to goods and services.
Other factors that can lead to deceptive trade practices are -- if it is represented that the goods or services are affiliated, approved of, have ingredients, uses or status that it does not have, if the goods are presented as new or original when they have actually been reconditioned, changed, are deteriorating, or are secondhand, if the goods are said to be of a certain quality, grade or standard when they are not, if another's goods or services are disparaged with false or misleading statements that are not true, if the goods are advertised in a certain way but are not sold as advertised and if there is an advertisement that the goods and services will be in sufficient quantity to satisfy the demands of the public when they will not.
Other forms of deceptive practices are the implication that health care services will not be provided if delinquent accounts are not paid or if there are other behaviors that can result in misunderstanding and confusion. With deceptive trade practices or accusations of them, there can be a substantial issues and long-term business disputes. Those who believe they have been victimized by a violation of this law or were accused of it need to protect their interests with help from an experienced attorney.
Source: revisor.mn.gov, "325D.44 Deceptive Trade Practices," accessed on Jan. 5. 2016