Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA)

Minn. Stat. 325D.44

Similar statutes have been adopted by every state in the Union, mirroring certain aspects of the Federal Trade Commission Act on deceptive trade practices. The MN statute stipulates that the act is to be construed and applied in a manner fitting with the larger purpose of standardizing the law between all the states. Therefore, decisions in similarly-situated states should be highly persuasive in MN state court.

The UDTPA lists thirteen practices which are deceptive trade practices

  1. passes off goods or services as those of another;
  2. causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;
  3. causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another;
  4. uses deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;
  5. 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 the person does not have;
  6. represents that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand;
  7. 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;
  8. disparages the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact;
  9. advertises goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;
  10. advertises goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;
  11. makes false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions;
  12. in attempting to collect delinquent accounts, implies or suggests that health care services will be withheld in an emergency situation; or
  13. engages in any other conduct which similarly creates a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding.

There is a private right of action under the UDTPA, but the statute provides only for injunctive relief, costs and attorney’s fees, as well as any remedies available against the same conduct at common law.

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