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The main aim of this book is to discuss the state of unfair competition law in the European Union. In this respect, the various efforts that have been made in the past to come to harmonization of this area of law and the reasons that they were only partially successful are reviewed. In addition, the International and European regulations that refer to unfair competition, like, e.g., the Paris Convention, the TRIPs and the recent 2004 Unfair Commercial Practices Directive are discussed. Also an overview is given of the unfair competition laws in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands with respect to the ‘problem-areas’ of slavish imitation, misleading advertising, denigrating one’s competitor, trade secrets and finally, misappropriation of valuable trade assets.
Unfair competition law is traditionally considered part of intellectual property law. Not only the relation of unfair competition law to intellectual property laws are therefore part of the discussion but also the areas of consumer protection law (since unfair competition law is partly orientated towards consumer protection) and competition (as an economic concept) is the topic of thorough review.