511.104 Use of brand name or equal purchase descriptions.
(a) A brand name or equal purchase description must avoid specifying characteristics that do not materially affect the intended end use and which unnecessarily restrict competition.
(b) When the contracting officer uses a brand name or equal purchase description, best practice is to cite the known acceptable brand name products in current manufacture, rather than only a single brand name product. For example, cite the acceptable brand name products identified during market research.
(c) The contracting officer may require samples for “or equal” offers, but not for “brand name” offers.
(d) The contracting officer shall provide for full consideration and evaluation of “or equal” offers against the salient characteristics specified in the purchase description and shall not reject offers for minor differences in design, construction, or features that do not affect the suitability of the product for its intended use.