Disputes can sometimes arise out of relationships of a commercial nature just as they can with personal relationships. Business disputes can be very complex, and each party may stand to lose a great deal of money because of them. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to take legal action to resolve the matter in court. This is referred to as business litigation.
Because there is a wide range of disputes that may arise, business litigation may fall into a number of different categories:
Intellectual Property Dispute
Intellectual property refers to original expressions of creativity. In a business context, intellectual property usually refers to things that you use to distinguish your business from others, e.g., trademarks, or unique offerings that you alone can provide to the public. These include trade secrets and patents. If someone violates your intellectual property rights by copying your logo, secret recipe, patented techniques, etc., it can take away from your business and potentially hurt your reputation.
Breach of Contract Disputes
A contract is a binding legal agreement in which two or more parties both agree to do certain things. In other words, each party has rights and responsibilities under a valid contract. If either party fails to live up to his or her obligations according to the agreement, a breach of contract occurs. Examples of contracts that may be breached include non-disclosure agreements, intellectual property licenses, buy-sell agreements, and employment contracts.
Business Fraud Disputes
Business fraud is a broad category that can include any willful attempts at misrepresentation or deception to the benefit of the person committing them. Examples of business fraud include inducing someone to do something or buy into something under false pretenses, concealment or omission of important data, and misrepresenting one’s company or products to others.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty Disputes
A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a professional violates an ethical relationship of trust by violating a duty of care that he or she owes to someone else. For example, a shareholder may owe a duty of care to the corporation. If that shareholder violates the processes, mechanisms, and procedures in place for corporate governance, it may represent a breach of fiduciary duty.
A dispute over a non-compete agreement may fall under the category of breach of contract. However, sometimes the non-compete was not drafted properly in the first place. Therefore, litigation may take place over the question of whether or not the agreement is enforceable.
It is not only money that is at stake in a business dispute but other assets, such as a company’s reputation. A reputable lawyer, such as a business law lawyer from Bott & Associates, LTD., may be able to help you protect your reputation and other assets in a business dispute.