GUIDES FOR SELECT LEATHER AND IMITATION LEATHER PRODUCTS
16 C.F.R., Section 24
Table of Contents
(a) The Guides in this part apply to the manufacture, sale, distribution, marketing, or advertising of all kinds or types of leather or simulated-leather trunks, suitcases, traveling bags, sample cases, instrument cases, brief cases, ring binders, billfolds, wallets, key cases, coin purses, card cases, French purses, dressing cases, stud boxes, tie cases, jewel boxes, travel kits, gadget bags, camera bags, ladies' handbags, shoulder bags, purses, pocketbooks, footwear, belts (when not sold as part of a garment) and similar articles (hereinafter, "industry products").
(b) These Guides represent administrative interpretations of laws administered by the Federal Trade Commission for the guidance of the public in conducting its affairs in conformity with legal requirements. These Guides specifically address the application of section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. 45) to the manufacture, sale, distribution, marketing, and advertising of industry products listed in paragraph (a) of this section. They provide the basis for voluntary compliance with such laws by members of industry. Conduct inconsistent with the positions articulated in these Guides may result in corrective action by the Commission under section 5 if, after investigation, the Commission has reason to believe that the behavior falls within the scope of conduct declared unlawful by the statute.
It is unfair or deceptive to misrepresent, directly or by implication, the kind, grade, quality, quantity, material content, thickness, finish, serviceability, durability, price, origin, size, weight, ease of cleaning, construction, manufacture, processing, distribution, or any other material aspect of an industry product.
It is unfair or deceptive to misrepresent, directly or by implication, the composition of any industry product or part thereof. It is unfair or deceptive to use the unqualified term "leather" or other unqualified terms suggestive of leather to describe industry products unless the industry product so described is composed in all substantial parts of leather.1 This section includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Imitation or simulated leather. If all or part of an industry product is made of non-leather material that appears to be leather, the fact that the material is not leather, or the general nature of the material as something other than leather, should be disclosed. For example: Not leather; Imitation leather; Simulated leather; Vinyl; Vinyl coated fabric; or Plastic.
(b) Embossed or processed leather. The kind and type of leather from which an industry product is made should be disclosed when all or part of the product has been embossed, dyed, or otherwise processed so as to simulate the appearance of a different kind or type of leather. For example:
(c) Backing material.
(d) Misuse of trade names, etc. A trade name, coined name, trademark, or other word or term, or any depiction or device should not be used if it misrepresents, directly or by implication, that an industry product is made in whole or in part from animal skin or hide, or that material in an industry product is leather or other material. This includes, among other practices, the use of a stamp, tag, label, card, or other device in the shape of a tanned hide or skin or in the shape of a silhouette of an animal, in connection with any industry product that has the appearance of leather but that is not made wholly or in substantial part from animal skin or hide.
(e) Misrepresentation that product is wholly of a particular composition. A misrepresentation should not be made, directly or by implication, that an industry product is made wholly of a particular composition. A representation as to the composition of a particular part of a product should clearly indicate the part to which the representation applies.2 Where a product is made principally of leather but has certain non-leather parts that appear to be leather, the product may be described as made of leather so long as accompanied by clear disclosure of the non-leather parts. For example:
(f) Ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather. A material in an industry product that contains ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather and thus is not wholly the hide of an animal should not be represented, directly or by implication, as being leather. This provision does not preclude an accurate representation as to the ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather content of the material. However, if the material appears to be leather, it should be accompanied by either:
(g) Form of disclosures under this section. All disclosures product, or on a tag, label, or card attached to the product, and should be affixed so as to remain on or attached to the product until received by the consumer purchaser. All such disclosures should also appear in all advertising of such products irrespective of the media used whenever statements, representations, or depictions appear in such advertising which, absent such disclosures, serve to create a false impression that the products, or parts thereof, are of a certain kind of composition. The disclosures affixed to products and made in advertising should be of such conspicuousness and clarity as to be noted by purchasers and prospective purchasers casually inspecting the products or casually reading, or listening to, such advertising. A disclosure necessitated by a particular representation should be in close conjunction with the representation.
It is unfair or deceptive to:
(a) Use the term "Waterproof" to describe all or part of an industry product unless the designated product or material prevents water from contact with its contents under normal conditions of intended use during the anticipated life of the product or material.
(b) Use the term "Dustproof" to describe an industry product unless the product is so constructed that when it is closed dust cannot enter it.
(c) Use the term "Warpproof" to describe all or part of an industry product unless the designated product or part is such that it cannot warp.
(d) Use the term "Scuffproof," "Scratchproof," or other terms indicating that the product is not subject to wear in any other respect, to describe an industry product unless the outside surface of the product is immune to scratches or scuff marks, or is not subject to wear as represented.
(e) Use the term "Scuff Resistant," "Scratch Resistant," or other terms indicating that the product is resistant to wear in any other respect, unless there is a basis for the representation and the outside surface of the product is meaningfully and significantly resistant to scuffing, scratches, or to wear as represented.
1. For purposes of these Guides, footwear is composed of three parts: the upper, the lining and sock, and the outersole. These three parts are defined as follows: (1) The upper is the outer face of the structural element which is attached to the outersole; (2) the lining and sock are the lining of the upper and the insole, constituting the inside of the footwear article; and (3) the outersole is the bottom part of the footwear article subjected to abrasive wear and attached to the upper.
2. With regard to footwear, it is sufficient to disclose the presence of non-leather materials in the upper, the lining and sock, or the outersole, provided that the disclosure is made according to predominance of materials. For example, if the majority of the upper is composed of manmade material: Upper of manmade materials and leather.