The Federal Trade Commission has given final approval to a consent agreement with Orchid Technology, settling charges that it misappropriated favorable reviews and tests of competitors' computer products as its own. Orchid's advertisements and promotional materials for its "Celsius/VLB Windows Accelerator," actually pertained to other products, the FTC alleged. The Commission's action makes the consent order provisions binding on the respondents.
An accelerator is a computer circuit board that improves the speed and quality of a personal computer's graphic images display. Under the final order, Orchid is prohibited from falsely representing that any of its computer peripheral equipment has been rated, endorsed, reviewed or evaluated by any person or publication. In addition, Orchid is prohibited from misrepresenting the content, conclusion, interpretation or validity of any test or study in connection with marketing its computer peripheral equipment.
Further, the order prohibits Orchid from representing the performance or attributes of any of its computer peripheral equipment unless the representation is true, and unless Orchid possesses and relies upon competent and reliable evidence, which when appropriate, would include scientific evidence, to substantiate the claims.
The consent agreement was announced for a public-comment period on Jan. 31. The Commission vote to issue it in final form occurred on May 1, and was 4-0, with Chairman Robert Pitofsky not participating.
NOTE: A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute admission of a law violation. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000.
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(Orchid final apprvl--05/05/95)
A news release summarizing the complaint and consent agree- ment was issued at the time the Commission accepted the consent agreement for public comment. Copies of that release and of the complaint and final order are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
(Docket No. C-3574)
(FTC File No. 942 3029)