Saturday, March 29, 2014

Clothing Retailer Settles with CPSC in Drawstring Case for $600,000 Fine

Forman Mills, a retailer selling a wide selection of low-priced designer clothing, has agreed to pay a $600,000 civil penalty to settle a Consumer Product Safety Commission complaint that the retailer had, from 2007 to 2010, knowingly sold children's upper outerwear garments with drawstrings that posed a strangulation hazard and presented a substantial risk of injury to children. This Agreement is in settlement of the CPSC staff’s charges and does not constitute an admission by Forman Mills to the charges.

US Trade Official to Speak at Washington Conference on Germany Industry and Transatlantic Trade and Manufacturing.

On Tuesday, April 1st, Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Small Business Christina Sevilla is scheduled to participate in the Representative for German Industry and Trade Conference, “Different Paths to a Shared Goal: Fostering Transatlantic Trade and Manufacturing in the 21st Century” in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to Submit Your Care Labeling Questions During FTC Roundtable

The Federal Trade Commission is hosting a roundtable on its Care Labeling Rule in Washington and invites live webcast viewers to submit questions to moderators online. Staff will live tweet the roundtable and take questions via Twitter, Facebook, and email.

The Rule, officially called the Rule on Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods, requires manufacturers and importers to attach labels with care instructions for drycleaning, washing, bleaching, and drying/ironing garments and certain piece goods.

Robert Frisby, a staff attorney in the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Division of Enforcement, will provide opening remarks at the roundtable. Participants will discuss professional instructions for wetcleaning, the use of ASTM and ISO care symbols, and the development of care instructions. A complete agenda for the CLR Roundtable and biographies for speakers are available online now.

The live webcast will begin at 9:15 a.m. EDT. Viewers can submit questions throughout the day via the following channels:

Twitter: Commission staff will tweet roundtable highlights from its @FTC account and use the hashtag: #FTCclr.

Facebook: Post questions to the CLR Roundtable comment thread on the FTC’s Facebook page.

Email: Submit questions via email to

FTC staff members will answer as many questions as possible from the audience and online during the roundtable.

Note: The link for the webcast will be active on the FTC’s website five minutes before the workshop starts.

Comments Due April 28th on Proposed Foreign Trade Zone for Textile Fabric Adhesive Bandages

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by ASO, LLC (ASO), operator of Subzone 169A, for its facility located in Sarasota, Florida. The facility is used for the production of plastic and textile fabric adhesive bandages. ASO's request would add certain foreign-status textile products to ASO's existing scope of authority.

On March 14, 2014, ASO made a submission to the FTZ Board that included new evidence in response to the examiner's preliminary recommendation not to approve the requested expansion of FTZ production authority. Public comment is invited on ASO's new submission through April 28, 2014. Rebuttal comments may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period, until May 12, 2014. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at: Foreign-Trade Zones Board, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 21013, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230.

The ASO facility (270 employees, 31 acres/150,000 square feet) is located within Subzone 169A, in Sarasota, Florida. The facility is used for the production of plastic and textile fabric adhesive bandages. ASO is also proposing to coat foreign uncoated textile fabric under FTZ procedures. Production under FTZ procedures could exempt ASO from customs duty payments on the foreign textile fabrics used in export production. The company anticipates that some four percent of the plant's shipments will be exported. On its domestic sales, ASO would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to textile fabric adhesive bandages (duty-free) for the foreign inputs noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment. The request indicates that the savings from FTZ procedures would help improve the plant's international competitiveness.

Uncoated textile fabrics sourced from abroad (representing some 22% of the value of the finished product) include the following: 100% polyester, 100% cotton dyed plain weave, and 62% cotton/38% polyester plain weave (duty rates range from 7 to 12%).

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Changing Assignments

I spend a lot of time in this blog talking about inventors.  However, invention is not the only way to get a patent.   Patent rights are considered property rights and they can be sold or transferred using contracts.  Like deeds or mortgages, patent right transfers, called assignments, need to be recorded with the Assignment Recordation Bureau (ARB) of the Public Records Division of the USPTO.  To record the assignment, a copy of the original documentation is required.  The ARB simply records the assignment.  The ARB does not check the validity of the assignment of a patent and the act of recording the assignment has no bearing in ownership disputes of patent rights.  

When purchasing patent rights, the buyer is purchasing the right to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing the invention claimed in the patent.  However, purchasing a patent does not necessarily give the new owner the right to make, use, sell, or import the claimed invention as other legal considerations come into play.  A patent that is dominated by a broader patent or a product requiring regulatory approval would be examples of these considerations.

The easiest way to determine who owns a patent is to use the Patent Assignment Database which allows for searches by patent number, assignor name or assignee name. 

Below is a summary of selected patents that have been recently issued in textile related classification codes:

Device for the protection of collars on garments during washing or cleaning:  A device for protecting collars on garments during washing or cleaning comprising two hinged sheets that can open and close over the collar.  Patent #:  8607362.  Inventor:  Zellner.  Assignee:  Zellner.

Ergonomic swaddling garment:  A garment for swaddling an infant with a retractable shell for fit and comfort.  Patent #: 8607364.  Inventor:  Barski.  Assignee:  Barski.

Snake proof protective garment:  A protective article of clothing adapted to protect snake fangs from biting into the leg of a wearer.  Patent #:  8607365.  Inventor:  Watley.  Assignee:  Boyt Harness Company, Llc.

Ecological fabric having ultraviolet radiation protection:  A fabric having ultraviolet radiation protection incorporated by coating with zinc oxide nanoparticles.  Patent #:  8608807.  Inventors:  Kramer,  Assignee:  The Sweet Living Group, LLC.

Shock absorbing footwear construction:  Shock absorbing construction for the sole of a shoe.  US Patent #: 8607475.  Inventor:  Nakano.  Assignee:  Wolverine World Wide, LLC.

Article of footwear with multiple hardnesses and method of manufacture:  Manufacturing method to build a shoe with materials of differeing hardness in various components.  Patent #:  8607474.  Inventor:  Spanks,  Assignee:  Nike, Inc.

Waterproof breathable footwear having hybrid upper construction:  A shoe with enhanced whole boot breathability and reduced wet pickup comprising an upper having an inferior and superior compartment, a mechanism for joining the superior and inferior compartments together, a protective cover; and an outer sole.  Patent #:  8607476.  Inventors:  Jessiman and Weiner.  Assignee:  W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

Spike device for an anti-slid shoe:  An anti-slid shoe with retractable spikes and that is less complex and more reliable than previously available.  Patent #:  8607477.  Inventor:   Amark.  Assignee:  Grip Force Technologies Ab.

Dance shoe:  A dance shoe with an offset lacing system and a two piece sole.  Patent #:  8607478.  Inventor:  Sokolowski.  Assignee:  Nike, Inc. 

Pair of golf shoes:  A pair of golf shoes with a rolling surface provided along a shoe outer edge and in the big toe region.  These regions support the swing motion and provide a smoother weight adjustment during a proper golf swing.  Patent #:  8607479.  Inventor:  Schwarz.  Assignee:  Schwarz. 

System, components and method for treating a fabric:  A system for facilitating treatment of a fabric comprising a pad and fabric grips which secure the fabric against the pad. The fabric grips are used to arrange the fabric on the pad and provide tension to the fabric to facilitate fabric treatments such as steaming, heating and/or pressing.  Patent #:  8607484.  Inventor:  Rosenzweig,  Assignee:  Euro-Pro Operating, Llc.

Organopolysiloxane composition and process for producing rope structure with the same:  A synthetic fiber rope using a silicone based chain polymer to coat the synthetic fibers.  This significantly improves fatigue resistance of the rope and may improve abrasion resistance.  The organopolysiloxane composition has an average polymerization degree of 50,000 to 200,000 and represented by the following formula.  The patent may also cover incorporating the silicone polymer chain directly into the yarn or fiber structure in lieu of coating.  Patent #:  US 8607539.  Inventors:  Uehata,  Assignee:  Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Roving machine for producing a roving:  A roving machine for producing a roving from a sliver.  The spinning station has a vortex chamber, an infeed opening for the sliver and a spindle extending into the vortex chamber to form the roving. Patent #:  8607540.  Inventors:  Betz and K├╝ppers.  Assignee:  Maschinenfabrik Rieter Ag.

Seamless knit belt:  A method for making a seamless knit belt by forming two rib sections from a different material than the body of the belt. The rib sections are formed during the tubular knitting process and then the body of the knit composite is run through a polymeric treating system. After the body is treated, the rib sections are trimmed from the edges and the resulting product is a coated seamless knit belt.  Patent #:  8607593.  Inventors:  Lee.  Assignee:  Habasit Ag

Apparatuses and methods for positioning an embroidery pattern on an embroiderable:  A method for positioning an embroidery pattern is provided. Patent #:  8607720 Inventor:  Gardner,  Assignee:  Gardner,

Sewing machine and computer readable medium:  The sewing machine includes an irradiation unit that irradiates a reference mark for locating a workpiece or a sewing pattern in the workpiece placed on a sewing machine bed.  Patent #:  8607721.  Inventors:  Kogyo and Hori.  Assignee:  Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha.

Jim Carson is a principal of RB Consulting, Inc. and a registered patent agent.  He has over 30 years of experience across multiple industries including the biotechnology, textile, computer, telecommunications, and energy sectors.  RB Consulting, Inc. specializes in providing management, prototyping, and regulatory services to small and start-up businesses.  He can be reached via email at or by phone at (803) 792-2183.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bob Lattie Honored by AATCC

Thanks to Steve Warner at the BeaverLake6 Report for alerting us that Robert Keith Lattie has been named by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists ("AATCC") as the 2013 recipient of the Harold C. Chapin Award. A member of the AATCC since 1984, Lattie has served with honor and distinction in the administrative, research, and global outreach functions of AATCC. Lattie served as President of the Association from 2005 to 2006.

To see the AATCC press release CLICK HERE.

Monday, March 24, 2014

DR-CAFTA Short Supply Request Relating to Certain Cotton/Polyester/Spandex Rib Knit Velour Pile Fabric

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) is considering a Commercial Availability Request for certain polyester/nylon cut corduroy fabric, file number: 185.2014.03.20.Fabric.ST&RforHansae, as specified below.

Responses are due by 11:59 P.M. (EST), April 3, 2014. Rebuttals are due by 11:59 P.M. (EST), April 9, 2014.

SPECIFICATIONS: Certain Cotton/Polyester/Spandex Rib Knit Velour Pile Fabric

HTS: 6001.91.00

Fiber Content: 55-61% cotton, 37-41% polyester, 2-4% spandex

Yarn Type/Size: all

Machine Gauge: 20-22 GG

Fabric Weight: 237-263 grams per meter squared

Fabric Width: 145 cm or greater

NOTE: The specifications for the fabric apply to the fabric itself prior to cutting and sewing of the finished garment. Such processing may alter the measurements

FTC Textile Rule Revisions in the News

David Trumbull, Principal of Agathon Associates and and member of the Board of Advisors at the American Textile History Museum was interviewed recently regarding the need for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission textile rules, especially in light of fraudulent "green or environmental claims regarding apparel and home textiles. The article appears in the online publication, Consumer Eagle. Note that the article was intended for the general consumer and the author, therefore, elected not to go into some of the nuances of the changes, the rational, and the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industries.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Georgia Geotextiles Facility Seeks Expanded FTZ Authority

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone, Inc., grantee of FTZ 26, requesting additional production authority on behalf of PBR, Inc. d/b/a SKAPS Industries (SKAPS), located in Athens, Georgia. The application conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.23) was docketed on March 12, 2014.

The SKAPS facilities (185 employees) are located within Site 29 of FTZ 26. The facilities are used for the production of non-woven geotextile fabric using polypropylene staple fiber. SKAPS requested FTZ production authority in a notification proceeding (15 CFR 400.22) in 2013 (see, 78 FR 54234, 9-3-2013; Doc. B-37-2013). After an initial review, the requested production authority was limited to a five-year initial term, as well as a restriction that precludes inverted tariff benefits on foreign polypropylene staple fiber used in production of non-woven geotextile fabrics for U.S. consumption. For an explanation of the significance of the restriction see the Agathon Associates September, 3, 2013 blog posting.

The pending application seeks to remove the above-mentioned restriction by requesting authority for SKAPS to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to non-woven geotextile fabrics (duty rate--free) for the polypropylene staple fiber (duty rate--4.3%) sourced from abroad. The request indicates that the savings related to inverted tariff benefits on polypropylene staple fiber used in production for the U.S. market would further improve the facilities' international competitiveness.

Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. FTZ Application Re-Opened Due to New Evidence

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board by the Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority, grantee of FTZ 83, requesting production authority on behalf of Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. (Toray), located in Decatur, Alabama. Toray is requesting authority to produce polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fiber and PAN-based carbon fiber under FTZ procedures. The Toray facility produces carbon fiber from both proprietary, domestically-produced PAN and foreign-sourced PAN.

On March 7, 2014, Toray made a submission to the FTZ Board that included new evidence in response to the examiner's preliminary recommendation for approval with a restriction requiring re-export of all foreign-status PAN. Public comment is invited on Toray's new evidence through April 21, 2014. Rebuttal comments may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period, until May 5, 2014.

IKEA Recalls 2.6 Million Children’s Bed Canopies Due to Strangulation Hazard

Units: About 255,000 in the United States, 7,000 in Canada and 2.6 million worldwide

Description: This recall involves IKEA children’s bed canopies. The canopies are made out of mesh fabric and hang from the ceiling onto a child’s crib or bed. They measure about 7 ft. long and about 2 ft. in diameter.

Importer: IKEA North America Services LLC, of Conshohocken, Pa.

Manufactured in Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania and Vietnam.

Details and photos at

Thursday, March 20, 2014

USDA "Listening Session" March 27th on Wool and Pima Cotton Provisions in the Farm Bill

On February 7, 2014, the 2014 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 113-79) was signed into law. Three provisions relating to pima cotton and wool are of special interest to the U.S. textile industry




The Secretary of Agriculture and the respective USDA agencies are working to implement the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill as expeditiously as possible to meet the needs of producers and other stakeholders. In order to implement the provisions expeditiously and to ensure transparency, it is important to hear from stakeholders to be aware of their priorities, concerns, or requests. USDA is hosting, in Washington, D.C., a listening session for initial public input about the new programs. The listening session will be on March 27, 2014, and will begin at 9:00 a.m. and is scheduled to end by 5:00 p.m. The two Miscellaneous Title provisions related to the Trust Funds for pima cotton and wool are the last item on the day-long agenda. David Trumbull, Principal, Agathon Associates, will be attending this listening session on behalf of his clients in the wool trade.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cashmere Yarn Short Supply Petition Filed

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements ("CITA") is considering a Commercial Availability Request for Certain Cashmere Yarns file number: 2.2014.03.18.Yarn.HeritageCashmereKoreaCo,Ltd, as specified below.

SPECIFICATIONS: Certain Cashmere Yarns

HTS: 5108.10 & 5108.20

Fiber content: 100% cashmere 2-ply yarns

Denier and length of staple (the figures below include the +/- 10% variance that may occur after knitting, weaving and finishing)

Weaving Count (single yarn): 22.86 – 27.94 nm (13.5 – 16.5 Ne), 25.2 - 33mm

Knitting Count (two plied): 39.62 – 48.43 nm (23.4 – 28.626 Ne), 30.6 – 37.4mm

Yarn sizes were calculated using a conversion factor of Ne x 1.69336 = Nm

Put up: Cone type packages.

The petition was filled under the procedures of the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement. The due diligence statement accompanying the petition shows an exhaustive attempt to locate potential U.S. producers of this yarn (Agathon Associates assisted with background information on the domestic U.S. wool spinning industry) and the petition is expected to be approved in about a month. Once approved, fabrics and apparel made in Korea of these specific yarns will enter the U.S. duty-free without regard to the source of the yarn. Other cashmere and wool products will remain under the "yarn forward" rule of origin that requires that all stages of production, from spinning to finished product take place in Korea and/or the U.S.

FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges that Down to Earth Designs, Inc. Made Deceptive Environmental Claims for its Diapers and Related Products

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order settling charges that Down to Earth Designs, Inc. made deceptive environmental claims for its gDiapers diaper system, which includes a reusable outer shell (gPants) and disposable pad inner liners (gRefills), as well as baby wipes (gWipes).

AAFA Releases Updated Chemical Management Tool

The Voluntary Product Environmental Profile ("VPEP") is a supplier disclosure form that allows suppliers and buyers to easily exchange vital information on the chemical makeup of products and the environmental impact of apparel and textile products and processes. Developed by a group comprising of dyestuff and chemical suppliers, apparel and textile manufacturers, and professional staff of academic institutions and trade associations representing the chemical, dyestuff, and apparel and textile industries, VPEP can be used by apparel and textile companies and chemical suppliers to facilitate the efficient exchange of information necessary to make decisions regarding the environmental impact of textile products and processes.

VPEP was originally released to the public several years ago by the National Textile Association (which since then has merged with the National Council of Textile Organizations). The American Apparel and Footwear Association ("AAFA") has adopted the project and updated the form in 2013. White the use of VPEP is completely voluntary, it is preferred and has been widely implemented by many major companies in the chemical and textile industries. For more information, or for a free downloadable VPEP form, go to the AAFA website.

The Price of Success

After the all the rejections, objections and restrictions are worked through, eventually it happens.  The patent applicant opens the mail and gets the prize:  A Notice of Allowance and Fee Due.  This is the letter informing inventors that the USPTO is willing to issue a patent for their invention.

For a fee.

Once the Notice of Allowance and Fee Due is sent, the Issue Fee becomes due and Maintenance Fees come into play.  While the fees are subject to change, the structure and timing are pretty stable.

The issue fee is due within 90 days of the issue date of the Notice of Allowance.  The current Issue Fee (without discounts) is $960.  Failure to pay this fee will prevent a patent from issuing.

Three Maintenance Fees are due at 3.5 years, 7.5 years, and 11.5 years after the issue date of the patent.  While the law prohibits the USPTO from accepting maintenance fees early, there is currently a six month grace period for payment.  The amount due for each payment will be published in the USPTO Fee Schedule that is current at the time payment is due.  Failure to pay these fees will cause the patent to lapse.

For reference, the current fee structure is $1,600 due at 3.5 years, $3,200 due at 7.5 years, and $7,400 due at 11.5 years.  Including the issue fee, this works out to $14,120 over the life of the patent.  

The important thing to remember about Issue and Maintenance Fees is to pay them on time.  Missed and late payments can quickly result in the loss of a holder’s patent rights.  The USPTO has little flexibility regarding late payments at this point in the process.  

Below is a summary of selected patents that have been recently issued in textile related classification codes:

Overlapping element:  A way of joining panels in a garment.  The panels are cut to allow an overlap where the panel that the top of the sewn seam on one side of the panel becomes the bottom of the sewn seam on the other side of the joined panel.  The geometry of doing this results in less restrictive apparel when worn.   Patent #:  8601612.  Inventor:  Funk-Danielson.  Assignee:  Nike, Inc.

Article of apparel with zonal stretch resistance:  A portion of a garment extending around an elbow, knee or other joint.  The material has a density portion running along the range of motion of the joint and a second density region running perpendicular to the range of motion.  The purpose is to help reduce joint injury.  Patent #:  8601613.  Inventors:  Melhart and Turner.  Assignee:  Nike, Inc.

Strengthening glove:  A glove with resistance bands running along the fingers and palms that can be used so increase hand strength.  Patent #:  8601614.  Inventor: Scaff.  Assignee:  Scaff

Azo compound, aqueous solution, ink composition, ink for inkjet recording, inkjet recording method, ink cartridge for inkjet recording, and inkjet record:  Black Azo Ink with improved fastness solubility and shade stability.  Intended for use in ink jet printers but does have dye applications.  Patent #:  8603191.  Inventor:  Tateishi,  Assignee:  Fujifilm Corporation.

Linked articles:  A shoe made of “linked” material.  The structure reminds me of a chain mail type material but structured out of multiple materials.  Patent #: 8601720.  Inventor:  Aveni.  Assignee:  Nike, Inc.

Shoe and last:  A shoe with a reverse wedge designed to improve blood circulation by providing a continuous exercise effect to the wearer.  Patent #: 8601722.  Inventor:  Frye.  Assignee:  Frye.

Golf shoes:  Golf shoe designed secondary supports to provide a range of support directly under the changing center of gravity of the golfer throughout a proper swing.  Patent #:  8601724. Inventor:  Shiue and Hsueh.  Assignee:  Shiue and Hsueh.

Cleats and footwear for providing customized traction:  A set of removable/replaceable cleats that allow the wearer to customize the ground grip of the shoe.  Patent #:  8601725.  Inventor:  MacNeill,  Assignee:  Cleats Llc.

Steel cord for reinforcing rubber article and pneumatic tire:  Method to improve cut resistance in the steel cord used in tires.  Patent #:  8601782.  Inventor:  Nakamura.  Assignee:  Bridgestone Corporation.

Laundry treatment machine and the method of the same:  An upper and lower filtering system for removing debris from wash water.  The arrangement allows for easier cleaning of accumulated debris.  The idea is like a lint filter for washing machines.  Patent #:  8601836.  Inventor:  Kim,  Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.

Boat storage canopy apparatus for boats with wake board towers:  A boat storage canopy fitted to a boat storage lift has an entry portion, raised center portion and shore side portion with downwardly depending curtains on first and second sides and the shore side end with a hinged curtain at the entry end.  Patent #:  8602043.  Inventor:  Kaiser.  Assignee:  Kaiser

Tent assembly:  A tent assembly where members of the assembly use flexible hollow sleeve structures with integral fabric hub intersections that are held in tension with compression members.  Results in a stronger tent with simplified assembly.  Patent #:  8602044.  Inventor:  Zemitis.  Assignee:  Slingfin, Inc.

Leather-like sheet material, process for production thereof, and interior, clothing and industrial materials made by using the same:  A leather-like sheet material made from a nonwoven fabric which is constituted of ultra-fine fibers having a mean single-fiber fineness of 0.001 to 0.5 dtex and impregnated with a self-emulsifiable polyurethane.  Patent #:  8603925.  Inventors:  Koide,  Assignee:  Toray Industries.

Textile fabric with improved finish, production and use thereof:  A textile fabric having a coating composed of two layers of thermoplastic hot-seal adhesives of differing compositions applied one on top of the other. The textile fabrics may be used as interlining or lining material which can withstand stress during care treatment.  Patent #: 8603926.  Inventors:  Grynaeus,  Assignee:  Karl Freundenberg Kg.

Surfactant coated fibrous nonwoven mats:  Coated and uncoated fibrous mats, and laminates containing the mat, having one or more surfactants on the fibers and binder holding the fibers together in only a one side of the mat. The mat contains mostly non-cellulosic fibers and some cured resinous binder with the most typical fibers being glass fibers. This type of mat is used to make wallboard or gypsum.  Patent #:  8603927.  Inventor:  Kajander.  Assignee:  Johns Manville.

Foldable Tent with Integrated Ventilation System:  A tent with an continuous ventilation system.  Patent #: 8590554.  Inventors:  Choi and Jin.  Assignee:  Jin.

Jim Carson is a principal of RB Consulting, Inc. and a registered patent agent.  He has over 30 years of experience across multiple industries including the biotechnology, textile, computer, telecommunications, and energy sectors.  RB Consulting, Inc. specializes in providing management, prototyping, and regulatory services to small and start-up businesses.  He can be reached via email at or by phone at (803) 792-2183.