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Federal Trade Commission

TRADE PRACTICE RULES

For The

OPTICAL PRODUCTS INDUSTRY

Promulgated June 30, 1962

349

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

Paul Rand Dixon, Chairman
Sigurd Anderson
William C. Kern
Philip Elman
A. Everette MacIntyre

Joseph W. Shea, Secretary

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

Washington

TRADE PRACTICE RULES

For The

OPTICAL PRODUCTS INDUSTRY

As Promulgated June 30, 1962

STATEMENT BY THE COMMISSION:

Trade practice rules for the Optical Products Industry, hereinafter set forth, are promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission under its trade practice conference procedure. They constitute a revision and extension of the trade practice rules promulgated for the Wholesale Optical Industry on June 30, 1950 and supersede and replace such rules.

The industry members and products, to which the rules now promulgated have application, are defined in paragraphs (a) and (b) which immediately precede such rules.

Proceedings for the establishment of rules for the Optical Products Industry were instituted pursuant to an application from an industry trade association. An industry trade practice conference was held in Chicago, Illinois on January 19, 1962, under auspices of the Commission. Subsequently proposed rules were released by the Commission and a public hearing was held thereon, pursuant to public notice, in the Federal Trade Commission Building, Washington, D. C., on May 14, 1962, at which industry members and other interested and affected parties were afforded opportunity to express their views, objections, and suggestions concerning the coverage and form and content of such proposed rules. Thereafter, and upon full consideration of the entire matter, final action was taken by the Commission whereby it approved rules for the industry in the form hereinafter set forth and directed that same be promulgated.

The rules are interpretive of requirements of laws administered by the Commission. They define and proscribe various practices deemed to be violative of such laws, and are thus designed to be of assistance to the industry members in keeping their trade practices and business behavior in full consonance with legal requirements,

Such rules become operative thirty (30) days from the date of their promulgation.

THE INDUSTRY AND ITS PRODUCTS DEFINED

(a) Members of the industry are persons, firms, corporations, or organizations engaged in the manufacture, processing, assembly, sale, offering for sale, or distribution of any kind of industry products as the term “industry products" is defined in the next paragraph.

(b) The term " industry products," as used in (a) above and in the following rules, includes eyeglasses and contact lenses which are designed to provide correction and improvement of eyesight, and parts (lenses, frames, etc.) or accessories therefor. As here used, the term "eyeglasses" includes spectacles and eyeglass clip-ons having non-prescription magnifying lenses, as well as eyeglasses with prescription lenses. Sunglasses, goggles and safety spectacles which are designed solely for the protection of eyes or eyesight, as distinguished from correction or improvement of eyesight, are not included; nor are precision lenses for telescopes, binoculars, etc., to be considered as included.

(Note: It is to be understood that the word “sale," as used in (a) of the above definition and in the rules which follow, is to be construed as including the dispensing of prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses by ophthalmologists, oculists, physicians, or optometrists, , to their patients, as well as the dispensing of such products by opticians to their customers.)

THE RULES

The rules which follow are based on statutes administered by the Commission. Their application is subject to jurisdictional requirements specified in such statutes.1) When such jurisdictional requirements are present, appropriate proceedings will be taken by the Commission in the public interest to prevent any member of the industry from engaging in any practice proscribed by such rules. When a formal complaint

1/The rules are based on Sections 5, 12, and 15 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, and Sections 2 and 3 of the Clayton Act, as amended.

For application of the prohibitions of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, it is requisite that the practice be “in commerce." The term commerce" is defined in said Act as follows:

"Commerce' means commerce among the several States or with foreign nations, or in any Territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia, or between any such Territory and another, or between any such Territory and any State or foreign nation, or between the District of Columbia and any State or Territory or

foreign nation." Industry products are “devices” as the term is defined in Section 15 of the Act. Under Section 12 of the Act, the Commission has authority to take corrective action respecting any false advertisement of such products which is disseminated "by the United States mails, or in commerce by any means, for the purpose of inducing, or which is likely to induce, directly or indirectly" a purchase of the advertised product; and under Section 13 of the Act, it also has authority to bring court suits to enjoin dissemination of false advertisements of such products pending the issuance by it (the Commission) of a formal complaint.

Though having authority to take corrective action respecting the mislabel ing, as well as false advertising, of industry products, it is the Commission's general policy to not exercise its authority respecting the mislabeling of the products, and to thus avoid duplication, and possible conflict, of effort with the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, such Administration having responsibilities under specific statutes relating to the mislabeling of the products. This general policy is not to be considered as applicable to price preticketing violative of Rule 6, nor to deception as to origin or place of manufacture violative of Rule 9; and there may be additional situations in which the Commission will exercise its jurisdiction over mislabeling of the products.

For application of the prohibitions of Sections 2 and 3 of the Clayton Act, as amended, it is requisite that the party be “engaged in commerce" and that the practice be in the course of such commerce.

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