Frequently Asked Questions
Business >> Brand/Licensors
My company licenses brand names and trademarks to others, but we do not manufacture or import consumer products. Should we register an account on the Business Portal?
Yes. If you license your brand or trademark for use on products manufactured by others, you may be a “private labeler” as that term is used in our statute. The law requires the CPSC to notify the manufacturer or private labeler identified in a Report that meets the minimum requirements for inclusion in SaferProducts.gov. Thus, companies that fall within the definition of a “private labeler,” including retailers with their own private label consumer products, should register an account on the Business Portal to receive Reports that identify them.
Even licensors who do not qualify as “private labelers” under our statute, but whose brand is likely to be used by consumers to identify the manufacturer or private labeler of a product, should register an account on the Business Portal. The Business Portal has been configured to allow a licensor to register, without requiring the licensor to indicate whether they are a manufacturer, importer, or private labeler.
How does CPSC identify a manufacturer, if the consumer only provides the brand information or a description of the product in their report?
Consumers sometimes do not recognize the difference between a brand name and a manufacturer name. Our staff, however, has been sending Reports to manufacturers and private labelers for many years, including Reports that only contain brand or trademark information. CPSC has a database that cross-references common brand information with the correct manufacturer, importer, or private labeler. We use this information to try to ensure that the correct manufacturer, importer, or private labeler receives relevant Reports for comment in the first instance. If we have manufacturer or importer information associated with the brand, we will notify that entity.
Based upon our prior experience with a particular character or other identifying mark, we may be able to identify the licensor or brand owner. If so, we may contact the brand owner to ascertain the manufacturer. Should we need additional information from the consumer to do so, we may ask the consumer to provide us with more information about the make and model or other distinguishing characteristics of the product.
Because it is not always obvious whether the brand or trademark on a product is licensed, or is owned by a manufacturer or private labeler, however, we may notify a firm named by the submitter of a Report, who is not a manufacturer, importer, or private labeler. In those instances, the firm receiving the Report should immediately submit a claim that the Report contains materially inaccurate information, and provide us with additional information on the correct entity to notify. Once this is done, the 10-business-day Report publication clock stops, and it will be reset to 10-business days, once the corrected firm is notified.
Reports that do not contain a manufacturer, importer, or private labeler are not eligible for publication in SaferProducts.gov.
Still have questions?
You can use the Online Contact Form or call (301) 504-7945 contact the Small Business Ombudsman for business-related questions.
For questions about submitting a Section 15 report, please email email@example.com
For issues with SaferProducts.gov registration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org