Solutions to Private Label Your Products

Private label rights products (PLR products) are popularly known as the products that are owned by you though not created by you. Purchasing PL rights from real owner means that at an agreed price you buy products from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and are then free to sell/ promote/ modify/ edit/ or resell those products as they were your own. After selling PLR to someone, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) can no longer claim any differences in opinion that may arise due to product being modified/ sold by a PLR buyer. Intellectual property can also be a part of private labels.

There are various articles available on the Internet informing about the advantages of private labeling, but no one shares the cost of private labeling when import from China, or their own experience about “how to do”.

On this page you will read the top solutions for adding your logo/ label on products coupled with our own experiences. Ultimately, you will learn various ideas about “how to add your own brand on products”.

What is Private Label and its Importance for New Business?

Private label is the pattern or logo on products manufactured by a contractor or third-party manufacturer and then sold under a retailer’s brand. This represents the seller as well as helping in building customer loyalty.

People that are willing to import items from china and then sell them online like Amazon, are advised to:

· Find a good product niche with limited existing competitors

· Choose only quality items from China

· Add your private label on the product, and;

· Start to market that product under your own brand.

The followings are the top solutions and they will also let you know about the estimated cost for every solution in China. After learning these solutions you can stay safe from overcharged rates by Chinese suppliers and also get ideas about how to add private label on your products.

Screen Printing/ Silk Screen

This is one of the most widely used methods for adding a private label on the product as well as packaging. This can be applied to almost every type of material e.g. plastic, glass, stainless steel, rubber,

PPE (personal protective equipment), etc. Screen printing is the cheapest and easiest way to add private label for buyers that are purchasing over 500pcs/item.

If you can buy over 2,000 items, most Chinese factories can offer you free of cost screen printing service. However, some of them may charge you around $50 to $60 fee for creating a printing plate of your logos. You can easily find printing suppliers in China, even if your supplier doesn’t offer printing services.

There is only one drawback of screen printing that it is not suitable for multi-colored patterns. If you are willing to print your gradient color logo on the products, you have to consider thermal transfer or other solutions.

Thermal Transfer

This process is more complicated than screen printing and it requires a temperature of 140 degrees to 180 degrees. It is a little bit more expensive compared to silk printing and also has some restrictions on materials. Thermal transfer is applicable to leather, wood, stainless steel, glass, ABS, PE, PP, and EVA, disposable respirators, etc.

Thermal pattern is the best choice for people having a really fancy pattern with gradient color. The cost of creating a printing plate is around $100, and a printing fee for a 7x7cm size gradient color logo is $0.04.

Laser Engraving/ Laser Printing

Laser engraving or laser printing, gives products a high-quality appearance. Almost every gift store is filled with items that contain laser printed logo.

Usually this method does not has huge MOQ because it does not require any plate. Its rate can vary from supplier to supplier, but for mass production, it can cost you around $0.01-$0.15 per unit, depending on the size and quantity.

Molding

This solution makes your private label in the product mold. This means your logo will be there when the product comes out from the machine. It can be applied to all rubber, reusable half masks, dust masks, coveralls, disposable clothing, metal, or plastic made products.

Although this solution makes your private label looks more natural than printing, but it is a high cost solution because it requires to change the supplier’s mold. The price depends on products, but usually it costs $1,000 to $3,000. Moreover, creating molds requires 15 to 20 days and that is a time taking solution.

Customized Box

This solution works for every product. Undoubtedly it is the most expensive solution amongst other ways, but a nice fancy box can certainly make your product look great. You can add extra value in your product and sell at a higher price.

Since box packaging is a large industry, its price varies from different material, technique and machinery. The cheapest price for a 8″x4″x4″ corrugated case with pattern on it can cost around $0.16 per unit.

Printed Poly Bag

This actually is a type of packaging and also a way to add private labels. Printed poly bag is very simple solution for large quantity goods as compared to other solutions. The printing plate costs around $80/color, and manufacturers usually demand tens of thousands as MOQ.

Hang Tag

This is one of the most economical solutions for private label. Usually it is applied to categories like toys, apparels, tools, fashion, and jewelries, and Handanhy, etc.

Most jewelries and clothes brands select this solution to present their label. These tags are usually made of kraft or ivory cardboard, and sometimes they are even made of plastic or metal. Most people choose “300 gsm ivory cardboard” because that is very economical.

Sticker Label

This is absolutely the simplest, most widely and cheapest solution amongst all. There is almost nothing which cannot be sticker labeled. You can easily find sticker label vendors and the MOQ costs you only $40 to $50 for one design.

Woven Label

Usually woven labels are sewn at the edge of fabric made items such as jeans, hats, bags and shoes, etc. The price of this solution depends on the size and quantities. The MOQ is normally 1,000 pieces with a price around $0.1 per unit.

Machine Embroidery

This solution is applied to items made of cloth like bags, garments, and caps, etc. Machine Embroidery is very durable and a 4x5cm size private label costs around $0.20.

Concluding Remarks

The above mentioned are the best solutions for people that are willing to make their own design, but are unaware of where to start. You can download your favorite elements from the internet or get the help of specialist designers to design your private label.

An Explanation Of Swarovski and Waterford Crystal

While thinking of crystal, two reputed brands that come into our mind- Swarovski and Waterford. While there are also certain other renowned brands available in the world, but none can match the extreme brilliance and finesse of the products that comes out from these two manufacturing houses. You can simply close your eyes and rely upon the genuine quality of their manufacture products.

Waterford crystal primarily originated at the country of Ireland. The establishment date can be assumed during the year of 1872. The name of these fascinating products came from the originating place, known by the name of Waterford, which is a little town situated in the Ireland. The superior qualities of the products that come out from the house of this renowned manufacturer have made them so famous before the entire world. Some of the finest home décor items can be seen coming out form this manufacturing house of crystals. One of the most renowned and famous products that come out from their manufacturing houses are chandeliers. They are prepared from such fine flint glasses that even a person with no taste of beauty will fall for it

Other than the wide range of chandeliers, there are a wide range of artifacts and other accessories available that you can use as great home decorating items. A wide range of tableware and fine bone china range are also available with these crystal manufacturers. Each product that comes out form this renowned manufacturing house is unique in style and design. The company has also be seen designing trophies for notable competitions like people’s choice award, German Pix Formula One, etc. Each and every product that comes out from this renowned manufacturing house are passed through quality check before getting them available to the customers and common people.

Swarovski is the name of another brand that is renowned for manufacturing and selling of high quality genuine products. While Waterford mainly focus on chandeliers and home décor items, Swarovski has a more wider range of items to choose from in order of categories is concerned. Not only chandeliers but various other products like fashion jewelries, glassware, kitchenware, lamp- shades and showpieces are some of the items that are manufactured from this renowned manufacturing house.

What is most noticeable in these products are the fine cutting and the elegant designs perfectly done. The shine that a Swarovski crystal possesses is simply unmatchable and remains on a lifelong basis. The cuts and shapes are unique in appearance and are finely crafted from effective designers and crafts-men from all over the world. These products are not only famous in the European countries. Rather, they have spread their fame in various regions of the world comprising of other continents also.

Benefits Of Using Private Label Cosmetics

Labels play an important role in attracting the customer’s attention. They are generally colorful, bright and informative, and advertise the specialties of the products on whose containers they are attached. Labels form a noticeable and prominent part of every product. Private labels on products also provide coherent instructions about the usage of the item and helps to build the customer’s confidence in the brand name.

Labels often have encoded bar-codes where much information like the batch number etc. are encrypted. A label that is well planned and well designed with relevant information regarding the length of the product’s validity, the ingredients, methods of use and storage go a long way in giving a particular merchandise an upper hand over its competitors, especially, if the others do not have any label attached on the container. Here are some of the benefits of private labeling.

1) Brand Loyalty: Any form of private branding is useful for boosting the brand name of the particular company that has manufactured the product. The labels contain a definite logo of the manufacturer which helps customers to identify and distinguish a product from its synonymous competitors in the market. A label with the company logo also ensures that there are repeat customers and that their loyalty to the brand is intact. Private labeling thereby helps companies to build a reputation for themselves in the market, and also create a good relation with the consumer.

2) Custom Tailored: Labels and packages can be designed according to the particular requirements of the manufacturer and customized to meet those ends. Such specifications include the product name, a description, a percentage-wise listing of the individual components, the expiry date, the manufacturer’s logo and finally the contact information. Although many companies do not include their physical addresses or telephone numbers on the label, the customers find a particular brand to be reliable when they know where and whom to contact in case there are certain unforeseen problems.

3) Control: A private label allows the manufacturer to have complete control over some issues like the product price, marketing strategies, sales targets and distribution policies. Often, it is seen that smaller companies sell their products to larger brands under the condition that their goods will be sold under the brand name, and the lesser known manufacturer will actuate a part of the profit that is incurred from the sales. Therefore, it can be concluded that a private label helps the company to not only control the pricing and other marketing strategies for a particular product, but also attract smaller manufacturers whose profit margins they can boost. In short, a well designed label with a logo goes a long way in helping the particular company to gain overall market control.

4) Lower Price: A lower price tag is equivalent to a higher profit margin. Products that have a private label attached on them are priced at a much lower rate compared to those that have a particular national brand. The lower the price, the better are the chances of its popularity among the consumers. A chain reaction is evident. If the quality of the product is good, and the prices are affordable, then it is obvious that the particular merchandise will record good sales figures and thereby increase and improve the profit margin of the company.

5) Exclusivity: Products that come with a private label are available in specific retail stores where they are supplied. Customers will not be able to buy these products either from a mega store, or over the Internet. Such exclusivity helps to authenticate the quality of the product and reduces any chances of adulteration or duplication. Thus adding a private label helps to build the trust among customers and guarantee them of high-quality of the product that is being sold.

Private labels play an important role in influencing the sales figures and building positive relations with the customers. Thus designers should always strive to make them unique and attractive.

Understand Product Creation and Planning

The creation, development and ultimate launch of a product is essential for the sustainable growth and evolution of any business’s product portfolio. Successful or unsuccessful product creation can be the difference between the success and failure of a business. For start-up businesses in particular, successful product development is crucial for survival.

In the modern-day age of internet marketing, product design is not always an easy thing to do. The creation of a unique and notable product is difficult, because the internet market is already flooded with numerous products that are designed to fit every imaginable niche. In order for businesses to carry out proper and successful product formation, the idea of product creation itself needs to be fully understood.

What is a product?

A product is generally defined as any marketable good or service, which is produced by labor or effort. It is in essence, an article or a particular substance which is designed and then refined for manufacture and sale.

What is product creation?

Product development is generally defined as the process through which a business or an organization develops an initial idea or plan, into a testable prototype of a product which can be later manufactured and sold commercially.

Project creation can be divided into various different process and departments, each of which carries out different process and step that contribute to the final product.

  1. Policy and Planning: related to the initial idea, its screening and the charter for the product formation process.
  2. The Technology and people management: is centered on the use of technology, engineers, and supplies etc that enable the product making.
  3. Customer oriented process: Is in relation to a products performance in the market, customer reviews etc.

Though, the process of the product conception may vary from business to business (depending largely upon management style and the nature of the business itself), most organizations tend to divide this creation process and its subsequent steps, in the manner highlighted within this report.

Policy and Planning

The first step, within this product creation segment, is to do idea generation and screening.

Idea generation and screening: Ideas that have been brainstormed need to be gathered for further evaluation in order to gauge whether these initial ideas, have the potential to be converted into products. These ideas need to be generated and used, in accordance with the nature and the goals of a business organization or its general policy as a business.

For some organizations, idea generation is a continuous and ongoing process which takes contributions from internal and external sources related to the organization. This is more often true for large companies. For example, Aaron Danker the creator of supermachine.com uses ideas for product creation that are provided by feedback and suggestions of his large list of subscribers and team, their marketing department creates innovative products.

After idea generation, the next logical step is to carry out the screening of the product ideas. In this particular step, the ideas generated are critically evaluated so as to, isolate the most viable and promising ideas from the less promising ones. Most organizations use high-ranking company personnel or create a ‘ideas committee’ for the screening process implementation. The screening process, separates the good from the excellent, and is essential to avoid product failure.

The App That’s Selling You

I just spent a week in lovely Costa Rica. My family and I swam, sailed, snorkeled, communed with wildlife and parasailed high above the Pacific Ocean.

We didn’t see any Pokémon. That’s because, unlike much of the rest of humanity, we weren’t looking for any using the app that’s taken the world by storm: Pokémon Go.

Surprisingly, my preteen daughter didn’t object to our Pokémon-free existence. To my great satisfaction, she appears to enjoy more cerebral pursuits… mostly.

But even if she’d begged me, I’d have refused to cave in. No Pokémon Go for us. That’s because I don’t fancy turning my family into tradable data points… and neither should you.

Unfortunately, Pokémon Go is the least of our worries in this respect…

Pokémon Go: The Product Is YOU

Old-timers like me remember actually paying for software. Remember upgrading to a new version of Windows or Microsoft Office every year or so? In those days, getting complex applications for free, like those available for today’s smartphones, was unthinkable.

That’s because, up until about five years ago, the software itself was the product from which developers made their profit. It was no different from selling cars, refrigerators or any other complex manufactured product.

No more. I still pay a nominal fee every year to “subscribe” to updates of some software products, but many that I use daily come completely free.

It’s not that they’re cheap to develop – quite the opposite. Today’s software is orders of magnitude more complex and powerful than the stuff for which we used to pay hundreds of dollars.

That’s because today’s software isn’t the revenue-generating part of the business model. It’s not the main thing being sold for profit.

You are.

Beware Geeks Bearing Gifts

Over the past few years, I’ve warned repeatedly that hacking is only one part of the digital-age threat. Less obvious – and more insidious – is the process by which you are turned into a commodity to be traded for profit by the companies whose products you use.

The best-known examples are big online outfits like Google and social networks like Facebook. Both provide their user-facing services for free. Both, however, spend most of their efforts not on improving those services, but on harvesting information about you that can be sold to the highest bidder.

My favorite example is the poor fellow who searched Google for “pancreatic cancer” and started seeing online ads for funeral homes. Another is the father who received a mailer from some company with the words “DAUGHTER KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT” printed on the envelope. Some idiot had misconfigured the marketing algorithm, and the targeting criteria were being printed on thousands of mailers.

Google and Facebook (and many others) started out making money by selling microtargeted online ads to third parties like those funeral homes. But they quickly learned that they could make even more money by selling the data that advertisers use to do that microtargeting. Precise figures are hard to find, but given that marketing companies report 200% to 300% increases in revenue using such data, it’s safe to say that the big data harvesters are coining it by selling you to them.

Pokémon Go takes this one step further. It doesn’t have any adverts at all. To the user, it appears completely ad-free. But advertisers will still be paying to get at those users… in a much more dangerous way.

Boldly Going Where No App Has Gone Before

Pokémon Go has been downloaded 20 million times in the U.S. It’s just rolled out in Asia and Europe. Nintendo’s stock price has soared by more than 50% in two weeks. Pokémon Go has already overtaken Twitter in daily active users and is even closing in on Facebook.

While the app is free, users can make in-app purchases like lures to attract Pokémon to your location or “cages” to keep them in. However, the game is about to unleash one of the most potent advertising campaigns in digital history… all by selling frighteningly detailed information about its users.

For example, the app will soon offer “sponsored locations” to paying partners. Geotargeting and geofencing technology will allow advertisers to target specific buildings and match that to signals from mobile devices. Advertisers will know exactly where you are and serve ads based on your precise location – just like that infamous shopping-mall scene from Minority Report.

By paying Pokémon Go’s developers a big fee, a brand like McDonald’s (whose logo has already been spotted in Pokémon Go’s code) will be able to turn its stores into desirable locations in the Pokémon virtual universe. That will draw players to those locations, where they will be tempted to buy stuff “IRL” – in real life. Advertisers will be charged on a “cost per visit” basis, similar to the “cost per click” Google charges advertisers.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Initial reports that Pokémon Go harvests detailed Google account information, like the contents of emails, seem to have been incorrect.

But the app’s owners don’t need that stuff. They’re going for something bigger. They want to know your location at all times so they can sell that information to the highest bidder.

Justice Louis Brandeis once defined privacy as “the right to be let alone.” If that’s what you want, it’s up to you to ensure it happens.

About Insurance for the Chemical Manufacturer and Distributor

All types of household and commercial products may contain toxic chemicals. Some everyday products with base chemicals include cosmetics, suntan lotion, perfumes, cleaning agents, air fresheners, motor oil, latex and oil-based paint and even batteries.

Manufacturers and distributors of products made from chemicals- be it in liquid form, gas form or solid form – have unique risks that warrant unique insurance coverage.

So let’s begin a quick review of the coverage needs.

Chemical Manufacturer’s Insurance Protection

The plethora of companies that manufacture products with chemicals in them require considerable liability insurance limits that can protect them in the event they are sued due to any of the associated hazards associated. The fact that there is significant environmental impairment exposure as well only adds to the urgency of the requirement.

Because chemicals are caustic in nature and have an inherent explosion risk when combined, the related property liability and business income coverage is difficult to write.

The risk exposure for Workers Comp insurance is very high. This is why there is a real need for extensive loss prevention management programs.

Moreover, Commercial Auto and Inland Marine risks vary as per the way chemicals and products with base components of chemicals are transferred from one place to another.

Chemical Distributor Insurance Protection

You and I know that there is a vast difference between the roles a chemical distributor plays and the role a chemical distributor plays. Nonetheless, when it comes to insurance protection, there is a striking similarity that is based on similar exposure.

Chemical distributors require considerable liability limits so that they can be protected from a lawsuit related to environmental impairment stemming from potential lawsuits that may occur as a result of a chemical release from stocked and sold chemical products.

The elevated risk in regard to Workers Compensation matters is genuine due to the toxic nature of products manufactured with chemicals. Moreover, there is always a catastrophic explosion possibility when it comes to products containing chemical matter.

Then there is the risks in regard to commercial auto which includes the standard motor carrier exposures as well as environmental impairment exposures occurring if a company vehicle overturns or is involved in a crash.

What type of insurance coverage is applicable for the chemical manufacturer and distributor?

Policies can include the following forms:

• Commercial property

• Business income

• Commercial Auto – Commercial truck fleet

• Inland Marine

• Commercial Umbrella

• Crime and Employee Dishonesty

• Workers Compensation

Metal Pressings Is the Most Important Technique to Manufacture Metal Components

It has lots of importance in vehicle manufacturing where it would not be possible to give shape to the vehicle’s body without passing the sheet metal through metal pressing.

In fact, thousands of modern objects made out of metal are manufactured using metal pressings. It is a very old technique that has been used extensively by ancient civilizations to make weapons out of metals. The metal itself is formed after the mined ore is cleaned and passed through extreme heat and pressure. So, it did not take long for ancient people to realize that metal can be shaped and designed into the required shape. During and after the industrial revolution, various new techniques and methods emerged in the field of metal pressings industry.

Now there are machines that are fully automated and computerized. Most of the designs are formed on the computer by the product developers. Designs developed by them become a reality when the cold or red hot sheet metal is pressed in the die. The newly formed design that comes out of this process makes it possible to design all the everyday products that people use. In fact, there are machines that can give shape to the metals irrespective of the complexity of the design. The process of metal pressings is a complicated one and involves bending, coining, piercing and blanking, among many others. This technique is usable on all types of metals.

Depending on the thickness of the metal sheet, shallow or deep press tool is used. The shallow pressing is applied to harder and thicker metals, while the deep press is applied to thin metal sheets. The same die or press cannot be used for all types of metals because each metal melts at a different degree of heat. In many industries where products have to be manufactured in large numbers to keep the manufacturing business economical, the whole metal pressings process runs continuously. Products manufactured in wholesale are always cheaper.

Metal pressings process is also used to manufacture metal components used in airplanes and rockets. Without this technique, it would not be possible to make any type of product that contains metal component. Whether it is stainless steel, aluminum, brass or copper; every type of metal can be shaped to the required design. Metal press techniques have various applications in the automotive, healthcare, electrical and construction industries. Such a process is conducted by trained engineers who have years of training and experience. They understand the whole process thoroughly and have deep understanding of how everything must be done. They are capable of advising inexperienced business owners who need pressing services.

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.