James H. Haren has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to modify a 1979 settlement order to delete a provision that requires him to provide copies of the order to prospective franchisees. Haren states in his petition that conditions have changed since the order was entered into and that modification of the requirement is in the public interest. The petition will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until Nov. 13, after which the Commission will make its determination.
The 1979 order prohibits Haren, as owner and officer of International Inventors Incorporated, East, (IIIE) and the firm from making various misrepresentations regarding the promotion of inventors' ideas. Under the terms of the settlement, Haren is required to discontinue certain sales practices, to disclose certain specific information to prospective clients and to provide a copy of the order to present or future salesmen, independent brokers, franchise owners.." or employees. According to the petition, "...IIIE has been a completely inactive corporation which conducts no business whatsoever. Neither IIIE nor Haren has been in the business of promoting inventors' ideas since 1979"
Haren is currently chief executive officer of International Bartending Institute (IBI), which offers franchises for trade schools that teach bartending/mixology. "The practice of providing the IIIE consent order to prospective bartending school franchisees may deceive them into thinking that the franchise being purchased also somehow involves the promotion of ideas and inventions,' the petition states.
In 1994, Haren and IBI paid a $50,000 civil penalty in settlement of charges that they violated the 1979 order and various provisions of the Commission's Franchise Rule.
Comments on the petition should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6thStreet and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the petition, the 1979 order and the 1994 consent decree are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov