On 28 June 2017 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking1to amend the Textile Rules (16 CFR 303). This proposal would remove the requirement that an owner of a registered word trademark provide the FTC with a copy of the registration before using the trademark. The amendment would also eliminate the restriction that requires the use of such trademarks be limited to only those used as house marks.
One of the requirements of the current Textile Fiber Products Identification Act2 is to indicate “the name under which the manufacturer or other responsible company does business or, in lieu thereof, the company’s registered identification number” on the label attached to a textile product that is in the scope of this regulation. The current regulation allows the owners of registered word trademarks who use these trademarks as house marks to disclose such trademarks on labels in lieu of their business names. However, before doing so, the company must file a copy of the trademark’s USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) registration with the Commission. This requirement was incorporated in 1959 considering the difficulties in identifying owners of word trademarks. Now, FTC staff and consumers can identify trademark owners by searching online or on the USPTO’s online database.
The amendment is expected to reduce compliance costs and increase industry flexibility.
Written comments were due to the Commission by 31 July 2017.