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14/04/2014 PROFILE > Chef d'entreprise

Unfairly attracting custom: what is the duty of the commercial agent in relation with a competitor?

In its ruling no. 12-29934 of 7 January 2014, the Commercial Chamber of the Court of Cassation reiterates that a commercial agent failing to notify any similar activities to its principal for a competitor is guilty of gross misconduct and default in its obligation of loyalty.

However, it is not possible to claim against the latter any act of unfair competition insofar as the activity undertaken in favour of the competitor was not accompanied by any manoeuvres intended to unfairly attract clients from the first principal. In the present case, a commercial agent, following termination of a contract with the first company, shall request payment of commission as well as compensation for termination. Without neglecting its right to receive a certain amount corresponding to commission, the principal may claim compensation for not having notified its relations with the second competitor. For the principal, the commercial agent was guilty of unfair competition. The Court of Cassation did not share this view and dismissed the appeal.

Consult ruling no. 12-29934 of 07 January 2014 by the Commercial Chamber at the Court of Cassation.