Monthly Archives: September 2020

The Organic Coffee

Today many agricultural products are grown using organic methods and coffee is no exception. Organic products have a very minimal effect on the environment because there is no use of insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers. All organic produces are certified to ensure that their products are grown in such a way. Expensive and very technical labs must conduct very thorough tests on the gourmet coffee to ensure the product is organic. The tests will be used to screen for various chemicals and additives.

All organic coffee must be certified by the US department of agriculture and has a label on it but the FDA only reads the provided tests – they do not conduct the tests. It is certified organic: Coffee which is grown under the standards of the USDA Organic Certification program, without pesticides and under environmentally sustainable circumstances. It will bear the green and white USDA Organic seal.

To include the term organic on packaging, a manufacturer must create its product in accordance with USDA rules. The USDA’s National Organic Program certifies products as organic based on farming, handling, manufacturing, distribution and labeling practices. Requirements include: no antibiotics or growth hormones for animals, animals must be raised on organic feed and have free range to graze, crops must be raised with no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers containing synthetic chemicals, no sewage-sludge fertilizer, no bio-engineered foods or irradiation, and no GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Farming practices should enhance and preserve soil and water. A government inspector must certify the farm after visiting it; farmers must keep detailed records on crops. 100%ORGANIC All ingredients, not counting water and salt, are organic. Products with this rating can use the green and white USDA Organic seal (image at right).

ORGANIC

At least 95% of the ingredients, measured by weight (excluding water and salt), must be organic. The remaining 5% can only be natural or synthetic ingredients that are not available organically, drawn from a preapproved USDA list. Products manufactured to this standard may use the “USDA Organic” seal on the label.

Organic coffee is a multimillion dollar industry and each year the sales of this coffee are increasing. Exports of organic coffee are up in most of Europe and North America. Organic coffee is usually grown in many countries- in Africa, Asia and South America. All over the world people have become organic coffee drinkers, but Americans consume the majority of it.

Just like normal coffee, organic coffee is also available as decaffeinated, caffeinated, flavored, coffee sodas, coffee ice cream, coffee candies etc. Unlike normal coffee which is decaffeinated using ethanol based solvents, organic coffee is decaffeinated using a process called Swiss Water.

All organic coffee products in the USA are certified for both quality and integrity. The organic coffee is produced in a very specific way and all operators are randomly inspected to ensure that they meet US Department of agriculture standards.

In the USA, organic coffee accounts for about 2-5% of the market. Compared to normal coffee, organic products tend to be slightly more expensive – 20 to 40 percent more. Which is typical of most organic products.

The Classification of the Manufacturing Process Types of the LED Light Industry

In most industries, there are some general approaches to manage the manufacturing processes. These general approaches are called process types. In the LED light industry, the process types are set to manage the operation of the volume-variety manufacturing activities.

To an LED light manufacturer, several process types are classified to show the methods of managing the manufacturing operations with different volume and variety features. Based on the increasing volume and decreasing variety, these process types are project processes, jobbing processes, batch processes, mass processes and continuous processes. These process types are widely applied in the LED tube industry. For example, the manufacturing activities of the LED bulb products are most likely managed by the mass processes.

1. Project processes.

The project processes are the managing activities to cope with the highly customized projects, such as some tailor-made products. For such customized projects, it takes a very long time to finish the spare part production and the individual service part, let alone the whole project. Therefore, in the project processes of the LED light manufacturer, the features are low volume and high variety. The activities involved in the projects can be interrupted or changed by the uncertainty and goal changed by the customers or the manufacturing processes. Examples of project processes include the LED lighting projects of the stadium and the tunnel. The key point of the project processes is that each activity has its own start time and finish time. There may be a long time interval between the jobs, as the resources need to allocate and organized for the following jobs.

2. Jobbing processes.

The jobbing processes are also designed to cope with very high variety and low volumes. In the project processes of the LED bulb manufacturer, each product has its own allocated resources, in some cases may be more or less exclusively to it. However, in the jobbing processes, each part or product needs to apply the operation’s resources with others. The manufacturing lines in the jobbing processes are making a series of products. These products may require the same resources and the same type of operation, but they may differ in the levels of usage. Examples of the jobbing processes can be the LED lighting system of a warehouse. Such a project will require different types of LED tube and LED bulb products to achieve the luminous purposes. These products will need to install LED chips, LED driver and LED housing. However, their needs of the same resources will be different in the assembly lines.

3. Batch processes.

In general practice, batch process and jobbing processes can be similar, but the batch processes have less variety compared with the jobbing processes. As the term batch indicates, the output of each process will make more than one piece of the product. In the manufacturing line, each single operation has its own repeatable part. The individual operation is repeating itself during the batch production. If the size of the batch is small, only two or three pieces, the batch processes will be nearly the same as the jobbing processes. This is normally in the case of a new product. However, if the batch size is large, and the products are frequently manufactured on the production lines, the batch processes can be repetitive. Therefore, the batch processes can support a wider range of volume and variety, compared with other processes. Take an LED bulb manufacturer for example. The manufacturing of the T12 LED tube light and T8 LED tube light can be batch processes, and the size will be large.

4. Mass processes.

The mass processes are designed to deal with products in high volume but low variety, in terms of the design or mechanism of the products. The LED tube light products can be an example. There are many types of tubes available, such as the T12 LED tube light and T8 LED tube light. However, the manufacturing lines are still mass processes because the different features or variants of the tubes do not affect the nature of the manufacturing activities. They are using the same processes, with only some different spare parts installed on the lines. The processes in the LED light production lines are most likely repetitive and predictable. For examples, the tubes are firstly assembled with the chips, then with the drivers, and finally with the housing. Of course, different tubes may use different types of LED chips, LED drivers and housing.

5. Continuous processes.

The continuous processes are the next stop of the mass processes, which work at higher volume and lower variety. These processes can be interpreted as the production activities with longer timescale. In some cases, the manufacturing lines work endlessly to make huge quantity of products. These products seem inseparable and are needed in an endless flow. In some extreme cases, the continuous processes are required to work continuously, as the operation needs to supply the goods without a break. These processes are normally designed to deal with relatively inflexible, capital-intensive technologies with highly predictable flow. So far, these processes are not applicable to the LED light industry, as the LED tube or LED bulb products are still not so popular in our everyday life. The continuous processes are more suitable for the steel making and electricity utilities.

Protecting Brands From Infringement and Knock Offs – Part II Advanced Techniques

1. Use Copyright Registration to Stop Knock-Offs

Too often, overseas and other low-cost manufacturers are employed to replicate successful products. This can be done by carefully making a mold of the product and then using that mold to make a replication. These knock-offs are imported into the U.S. and enter the stream of commerce through a variety of channels. A more sophisticated infringer will ensure that the product is marketed with a name that does not infringe the trademark. Most likely the name will be descriptive. Assuming that the product configuration/shape is not protectable as trade dress or by design patent and there is no trademark infringement of the product name, it is very difficult for the brand owner to police these knock offs. One strategy is to incorporate a registered copyright into the product. A registered trademark, particularly a logo, similarly can be incorporated. With either strategy, a copier is likely to copy “too closely” picking up the copyright or logo into the mold, thereby including it in the knock-off product. This provides grounds for copyright and trademark infringement claims, both of which support injunctive relief as well as impoundment/destruction of infringing articles (Sections 34, 36 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1116, 1118; Sections 502-03 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C.). The copyright claim (Sections 412, 504, and 505 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C.) also allows for the recovery of attorney’s fees and statutory damages if the work is registered pre-infringement.

2. Protecting Consumables from the Gray Market

Parallel or gray market imports are products marketed by the rights owner, or with the rights owner’s permission, in one country and then subsequently imported into another country without the rights owner’s permission. Typically gray market goods are sold in the U.S. at a considerable discount, because the importer is able to purchase the products abroad at a lower price. Thus, brand owners are better able to control the prices of their goods when the gray market cannot serve as competition.

Rights owners can take proactive steps in educating the public as to gray market goods and deterring importation of such goods. Rights owners should implement product control and tracking procedures for their foreign manufacturers and distributors to prevent unauthorized “back door” transactions. If goods not authorized for sale in the U.S. continue to find their way into the U.S. marketplace, the rights owner should take necessary action, including terminating ties with the associated foreign manufacturer/distributor. Rights owners may also pursue an exclusion order under § 42 of the Lanham Act when they become aware of gray market goods. Further, monetary relief, including disgorgement of profits, is available under § 32 and § 43 of the Lanham Act.

Additionally, brand owners should take advantage of a potential strategy employing an important exception to the first-sale and exhaustion doctrines, which allow rights owners to enjoy more control over their foreign manufactured products than their domestically manufactured products. These doctrines, which limit a rights owner’s control and allow a purchaser to sell or otherwise dispose of a lawfully made copy, do not apply when goods are manufactured abroad. Essentially, a rights owner may seek to protect its consumables from gray market importation by incorporating its registered copyright into the product, without the first-sale and exhaustion doctrine hurdles. A product bearing a registered copyright cannot legally be imported into and resold in the U.S. without permission of the rights owner. Additionally, as stated above, the copyright infringement claim also allows for the recovery of attorney’s fees and statutory damages if the work is registered pre-infringement.

Finally, gray market goods can be sold domestically as well. This frequently occurs where a legitimately branded product priced for one market channel is sold by a third party into another market channel. This is often seen with OEM software, which is sold at a deep discount and bundled with a new computer. Third parties will sell that software as a stand-alone retail product, but at the deep discount. Gray market sales also occur with high-end products. These types of sales are controlled through contract and assertion of trademark or copyright rights.

3. Use Pre-Suit Depositions to Obtain Early Discovery

Texas law is unique in that it allows a litigant to file a petition to seek pre-lawsuit depositions. Under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202.1, a person may ask the court for an order authorizing the taking of a deposition for use in an anticipated suit or to investigate a potential claim or suit. This process can be extremely useful in acquiring information regarding the infringement, the parties involved in the infringement, the sales volume, and other useful information that is necessary in order to determine the amount of potential damages and the strategy for a case.

4. Stopping Infringement on eBay and Social Networking Sites

Although not required by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), eBay has employed a Verified Rights Owner Program (VeRO) that provides a procedure for handling not only copyright disputes, but also claims of trademark and patent infringement. Typically, the property rights owner first registers with eBay and upon knowledge of an infringing article being offered for sale on eBay, the rights owner fills out a Notice of Claimed Infringement (NOCI) form. The seller is given an opportunity to provide a sworn Counter-Notice in response. According to eBay policy, the rights owner will have 10 days to institute a legal action to restrain further sales. If the rights owner fails to take timely action, the listing may be reinstated.

While Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social marketing sites provide innovative ways for brand owners to connect to new and existing clients and grow their business, as with any interface that operates on user-generated content, these sites can also be hot spots for infringement. It is important for rights owners to monitor these sites and take action to stop infringement. Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all have procedures in place to assist rights owners in handling infringement. It is critical that rights owners take full advantage of these safeguards in order to protect their brand. Similar to cybersquatting, third-party registration of a user name/handle is a common way brand owners trademarks are infringed on social networking sites.

5. Employing the New PRO-IP Law

To combat copyright and trademark counterfeiting, Congress recently passed the “Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 (“PRO-IP”). This legislation includes significant enhancements in civil actions. For example, PRO-IP requires courts to award treble damages and attorneys fees where a violation results from the intentional use of a counterfeit trademark, or where one provides goods or services that intentionally assists others in counterfeiting. Also, the range of statutory damages for trafficking in goods bearing counterfeit trademarks was increased to $1,000 – $200,000 per mark. For willful violations, the statutory damage ceiling doubled to $2 million. Additionally, for both civil and criminal acts of counterfeiting, PRO-IP allows for the seizure and forfeiture of: (1) the counterfeit goods, (2) instrumentalities and tools used in the counterfeiting process (which would include, for example, a home computer used in infringing file sharing or copying), and (3) profits derived from the sale of counterfeit goods. The Act also contains a provision whereby, for the first time, U.S. criminal law will explicitly prohibit the transshipment or exportation of counterfeit goods or services, deeming it a violation of Section 42 of the Lanham Act.

6. Stop Infringement at the Border

Record trademark and copyright registrations as well as trade names with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (the “CBP”) and upload a Product Identification Guide, if applicable. Once recorded, the CBP will monitor the import of products for these trademarks, copyrights, and trade names. The Product Identification Guide allows field officers to more quickly identify and authenticate counterfeit goods. If discovered, the counterfeit products will be detained and the CBP will inform the rights owner of the attempted importation. If the rights owner does not agree to allow the counterfeit goods to be released, the goods may be seized, forfeited, and destroyed and the importer may be subject to substantial fines. Further, the CBP will provide the rights owner with detailed information about the parties involved in the importation so that the rights owner can pursue legal action against all involved in the counterfeit operation.

With respect to U.S. patents, patent owners can petition the International Trade Commission to initiate Section 337 exclusion proceedings against imported products that infringe on their patent rights.

Conclusion

The above 6 techniques provide an array of tools to protect brands from counterfeiting, knock offs, and trademark infringement. Best practices are to use of multiple techniques to safeguard brands. For more information regarding trademark protection, see our trademark infringement services page.

Cleanroom System in Pharmaceuticals

Cleanroom is a part of quality control that intends to enhance the quality of products by limiting the exposure of the products to unwanted particles in the air. Cleanroom in Pharmaceuticals refers to the measure of purity of the air in the room where pharmaceutical products are manufactured or packaged. In simple terms, a cleanroom gives an idea about the size and amount of particulate matters that are present in the air inside the room. In addition, it sets limits for concentration of particles in the room. The concentration of the particles is measured as the number of specific particles per cubic meter of the air. If the particulate concentration goes beyond the limit, the products manufactured in such facilities will not be approved for marketing by the Quality Assurance Department.

According to Federal Standard 209e, cleanroom in pharmaceuticals s are classified according to the amount of concentration of particles in the air. However, the concept of cleanroom does not provide any information about the physical, chemical or radiological characteristics of the particles. Therefore, cleanroom is essentially concerned with the amount of airborne particles. Remember cleanrooms are assigned for industries other than pharmaceuticals. Nonetheless, this classification holds special relevance to the pharmaceutical industries as the regulatory guidelines for manufacture of medications are more stringent than those for others.

A variety of classification systems are used to categorize cleanroom in pharmaceuticals. Each system has its own parameters, and assigns a different class to the room based on the concentration of airborne particles. Some of the common cleanroom standards are governed by:

ISO (International Organization for Standardization)

US FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration)

Federal Standard 209

British Standard 5295

Pharmaceutical Cleanroom Classification

WHO- Good Manufacturing Practice

International Conference on Harmonization Regulations (ICH Q7A)

The documents in the cleanroom standards also have certain sections that guide the use of specific equipments to purify the air according to the industry requirements.

The parameter of cleanroom classification varies on the basis of the formulation of the medication being manufactured. For example, manufacturing facilities for aseptic or parenteral (injectable) products need to have cleaner air compared to those manufacturing topical formulations such as cream, lotion and ointment. Eyes drops or ointments, also called ophthalmic preparations, also need to be sterile just like the parenteral preparations. Hence one can expect similar limits for airborne particulate matters for manufacture of eye preparations. For manufacturing such products, the facilities should also comply with the standard limits for microbial contamination.

There is no doubt over the fact that public health is a very sensitive issue. Medications are used to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose diseases. Therefore they have an explicit effect on the health of the consumers. In essence, medications are more than just chemicals; they can be a poison too. The level of sensitivity increases proportionally when manufacturing injectable or ophthalmic preparations. This is the reason why all the pharmaceutical manufacturing or packaging facilities should strictly comply with the requirements set forth by the governing authority. Hence cleanroom for pharmaceutical is a must.

How to Choose the Best Steel Products?

Are you an owner of a sugar and rolling mill or do you work as an engineer in a manufacturing unit? From V belts to UC beams, every steel component has to be of proper quality for a smooth running production process. Let us check out the unique features that a steel product should possess.

Durability

Steel products used like the UC beams and the W section beams are used in civil engineering and construction. Therefore these devices often operate under aggressive working environments and have to deal with high pressure. These products hence must be manufactured with high quality material. Besides offering strength to the products, the structural steel also ensures a long life to the W section beams. This is necessary to reduce the cost of repair and maintenance of the beams, also need of frequent replacement of the goods gets reduced. All these advantages lead to a lower cost production process.

Customised

Every manufacturing industry, be it the petrochemical industries or the sugar mills have their unique requirements. A premium brand of engineering products manufacturers will provide you steel products as per your requirements. Their expert team of engineers can mould your necessities into advanced products. For example, the universal beams are available in wide variety of sizes. If you need any rare kind of product then also the company should be able to provide the same. These companies can also provide an exhaustive range of steel products which are standard to any industry and can be used in varied production processes.

Quality Tested

Steel products, like the v belts transmit power while the flanges transfer harsh chemicals through them and are exposed to high temperature. Hence, if you are using defective appliances, there is high chance of accidents and material loss. To prevent these, you must get products which are ISO certified. Top brands in the steel market have their products tried and tested as per ISO guidelines before they deliver the same to the clients. Hence go only for companies which are ISO accredited.

Reasonable Price

Now if you want sustainable business you have to curb down your expenses. V belts are considered to be the cheapest power transmission devices. Hence you can save a lot on your expenses by purchasing these devices instead of traditional belts. Get quotes from the market and then decide to go with which company to get the best deals.

On Time Delivery

Last but not the least; time is important. Get your v belts and universal beams from companies who can deliver the products on time. Another important aspect that you must keep in mind is that whether the company can meet up your bulk orders. Check out the scalability of a steel product manufacturing unit before placing your orders.

Steel products are the life of any industry and hence it is very important to get the best products available in the market.