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Oregon Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Quite a bit of the advertising we see on a daily basis is at least confusing, but when companies cross a line and actively deceive consumers, they may be held liable for damages. All states have statutes that prohibit certain business practices that are considered deceptive, such as tampering with a used car's odometer or using bait and switch advertising tactics. These laws protect consumers from being taken advantage of, but also help to maintain a certain level of consumer confidence (which helps manufacturers and retailers). Several states have adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, model legislation meant to standardize state laws.

What is a Deceptive Trade Practice Under Oregon Law?

Oregon deceptive trade practices statute is very similar to those of other states, with provisions prohibiting specific acts. Oregon law identities the following business acts as unlawfully deceptive (this is not a complete list):

  • Passing of goods or services as those of another (i.e. selling counterfeit goods)
  • Intentionally causing confusion about the origin, approval, sponsorship, or certification of goods or services
  • Representing goods or services as having a sponsorship, approval, certification, ingredients, benefits, etc. that they do not have
  • Selling reclaimed, altered, deteriorated, or used goods as new and unblemished
  • False advertising, including promoting an item without supplying its reasonable demand (or "bait and switch")

More details of Oregon's deceptive trade practices statute can be found in the following chart. See FindLaw's Consumer Transactions section for related articles.

Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act Adopted Main provisions adopted with significant variations (§§646.605 to 656)
False Advertising Forbidden Yes (§646.608)
Who May Bring Suit State, consumers (§646.618) (§646.638)
Remedies Available Civil actions may be brought to recover actual damages or $200, whichever is greater; punitive and equitable relief also; injunction; attorney's fees (§646.638); court may make additional orders of judgement as necessary to restore to any person or as may be necessary to insure cessation of unlawful trade practice (§646.636)
Auto Odometer Tampering Forbidden Yes; Class C felony (§815.410); $1,500 or treble the actual damage, whichever is greater, plus costs and reasonable attorney's fees

Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through the passage of new legislation or as the result of high court decisions. Make sure you contact an Oregon consumer protection attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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