A Practioner Guide To The Unfair Competition Law In Jordan

Author:Haitham A. Haloush
Position:Department of Accounting and Commercial Law, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, The Hashemite University, Zarqa 13115, Jordan
Pages:1-7
The Open Law Journal, 2009, 2, 1-7 1
1874-950X/09 2009 Bentham Open
Open Access
A Practioner Guide To The Unfair Competition Law In Jordan
Haitham A. Haloush*
Department of Accounting and Commercial Law, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, The Hashemite University,
Zarqa 13115, Jordan
Abstract: Until the year 2000, there was no specific statute enacted in Jordan that regulates unfair competition. In the
year 2000, the Jordanian Unfair Competition Law No. 15 of 2000 was enacted. The Law deals with the issue of unfair
competition in a very generic way. In addition to the Jordanian Unfair Competition Law, the principal statutory source of
protection is implemented through the general rules and principles of civil law, particularly, tort law and injurious acts.
Although the Jordanian Unfair Competition Law purports to implement a general legal regime on unfair competition, it
includes very little in terms of substantive or procedural protection of unfair competition. Presently, the Jordanian legal
system provides only very limited protection which is not adequate to accommodate unfair competition cases. Therefore,
statutory changes are needed.
1.1. INTRODUCTION
Little is known about Arab and Islamic law, including
Jordanian law. It is rather a realistic approach that business-
men should know about unfair competition law of other
countries and that they know about effectiveness, fairness,
speed and cost of judicial procedures abroad (Carroll 2001).
As far as the author is aware, the issue of unfair competition
in Arab countries, including Jordan, has not been researched
before from technical and legal standpoints since unfair
competition is a newly developed area. This Article repre-
sents a first attempt to examine the issues arising in this dif-
ficult and important subject. Therefore, this article will ex-
amine the suitability of the Jordanian legal system in provid-
ing sufficient protection of unfair competition. The article
concludes that there are serious obstacles in terms of sub-
stantive and procedural protection of unfair competition in
Jordan and provides some recommendations in this regard.
In order to examine this issue, this article is divided into
two sections. First, the scope of application of unfair compe-
tition under the Jordanian law. Second, the legal Protection
of unfair competition in Jordan. Finally, the conclusion of
the article will relate the finding to each other in a coherent
way and suggests practical solutions to some pitfalls of the
current law.
Merchants are indoctrinated for competition which is
essential and perhaps inevitable in all commercial fields in
order to attract customers. However, it has been argued that
although every competitor who wins customers from another
justifiably damages the business of the losing competitor,
that damage is merely damnum absque injuria. (Knight
1978) In other words, the justified diminution, injury, even
*Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Accounting
and Commercial Law, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences,
The Hashemite Univ ersity, Zarqa 13115, Jordan; Tel: + (5) 390-333 3-4459;
Mobile: + 0795162296; Fax: + (5) 390-3344;
E-mail: h_haloush@hotmail.com; haithamhaloush@hotmail.com
the destruction, of the business of a competitor is not an in-
jury, in the legal sense, and will warrant no relief, because it
is the effect of the exercise of an unquestioned right (callman
1994) Thus, legal framework that allows fair competition to
develop and flourish is needed for both traders and
customers (Muhriz 1994). Until the year 2000, there was no
specific statute enacted in Jordan that regulates unfair com-
petition. In the year 2000, the Jordanian Unfair Competition
Law No. 15 of 2000 (hereinafter referred to as (“JUCL”) was
enacted. (The Jordanian Unfair Competition Law No. 15 of
the year 2000. The law has been published in the Jordanian
Official Gazette No. 4423 dated 2/4/2000 at p.1316). Al-
though the JUCL purports to implement a general legal re-
gime on unfair competition, it includes very little in terms of
substantive or procedural protection of unfair competition.
The Law deals with the issue of unfair competition in a very
generic way. There is an article discusses broadly the actions
constituting unfair competition. Another article describes
generally litigation procedures. The remaining few articles
discusses trade secrets and intellectual property licensing in a
rather generic way. The law includes only 8 articles. In addi-
tion to the JUCL, the principal statutory source of protection
is implemented through the general rules and principles of
civil law, part icularly, tort law and injurious acts.
The case law, in this area, is rather non-existent. This
reflects, to a large extent, the noticeable absence of litigation
in Jordan with regards to unfair competition. For example,
trademarks infringement cases which have been dealt with
specifically under the Jordanian trademarks Law No. 33 of
the year 1999, can be categorized under unfair competition.
For some unknown reasons, however, disputants in Jordan
are prone to resort to specific laws that address the issue at
hand, i.e., trademarks law, rather than unfair competition
law. This might be attributed to the educational and cultural
gap in the field of unfair competition. In a leading case in
trademarks infringement in Jordan, the claimant, a foreign
company, filed a lawsuit against another local company,
which was engaged in the manufacturing of products which

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