Friday, May 30, 2014

NE AATCC Annual Golf Outing & Banquet - June 20th

The New England Chapter of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Golf Outing & Banquet will be Friday June 20, 2014, with golf at the Cranston Country Club, Cranston, R.I. and banquet at the Venus de Milo Restaurant, Swansea, Mass. For more information contact Heidi Carvalho, Director of Business Development, Rothtec, at

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wool Rules Changes Explained

Yesterday the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced approval of final changes to its Wool Products Labeling Rules ("Wool Rules"). The changes will go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected to take place within a few days.

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor may view an annotated version of the announced changes by CLICKING HERE and scrolling down to the link "Revised Rules Effective Mid-2014 (Annotated by Agathon Associates)." You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at The document contains the full text of the FTC Federal Register notice in the left column with running commentary in the form of explanatory notes by David Trumbull in the right column.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ATHM Reception in New York City

ATHM will be hosting a reception at the New-York Historical Society on Monday, June 9, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m., celebrating ATHM's critically acclaimed 2012 traveling exhibition, Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, which is currently on view at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West in New York City.

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, Homefront & Battlefield uses quilts, textiles, clothing, and other artifacts to connect deeply moving and insightful personal stories about the war, its causes, and its aftermath with the broader national context and public history. Read the New York Times review of the exhibition.

Please RSVP to Sally Gould at or 978.441.0400 x241 if you would like to attend the New York reception.

FTC Approves Final Amendments to Wool Products Labeling Rules

The Federal Trade Commission has approved final changes to its Wool Products Labeling Rules ("Wool Rules") that clarify and update the Rules, provide more flexibility to industry, and align several provisions with recent amendments to the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act Rules ("Textile Rules").

The agency now has amended the Rules to conform with the 2006 amendments to the Wool Act and the amended Textile Rules. The changes include incorporating the Wool Act’s new definitions for cashmere and very fine wools, clarifying descriptions of products containing virgin or new wool, and allowing certain hang-tags disclosing fiber trademarks and performance even if they do not disclose the product’s full fiber content. The changes will become effective 30 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register.

Children’s Pajamas Recalled by Empress Arts Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standards

Name of product: Children’s Pajamas

Hazard: The pajamas fail to meet federal flammability standards for children’s sleepwear, posing a risk of burn injuries to children.

Consumer Contact: Empress Arts toll-free at (844) 295-8181 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT daily or online at Then click on “Product Recall” for more information.

Units: About 1,400

Description: This recall involves Empress Arts 100 percent cotton children’s two-piece pajamas sets, sold in boys and girls sizes 12 mos. to toddler size 4. The pajama sets were sold in four styles: Blue Dot, Blue Stripe, Pink Dot and Pink Floral. “Empress Arts” is on a label at the back of the neck of the tops and the center back of the waist on the bottoms which have an elastic waistband and drawstring.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Remedy: Consumers should take the pajamas away from children and return them to Empress Arts for a $36 online credit at plus free shipping.

Sold at: Children’s boutiques nationwide and online at from December 2012 to April 2014 for about $36.

Manufacturer: Empress Arts Ltd. of Valencia, Calif.

Manufactured in: China

How to Protect Your Apple Device Against a "Ransomware" Attack

By now you have probably seen news accounts of users of iPhones or iPads getting locked out of their devices with a ransom demand for release. I have read several online reports and I believe that the best advise I have found is that from Jonny Evans of Computerworld, which may be found at

Catching Up

Since I am still behind on publishing the patent summaries, this week I will again focus on the issued patents.

Below is a summary of selected patents that have been recently issued in textile related classification codes:
Towel:   The towel wraps around the shoulders and upper part of the body and is secured to the user. The towel has pockets for placement of accessories, wristbands and a releasable neck strap for assisting in safely securing the towel to the user.  Patent #: 8640262.  Inventor:  Rossi.  Not Assigned.

Cap which utilizes an airfoil effect for inducing cooling:  A baseball cap with a second smaller bill under the main bill of a cap.  This creates a gap from the front to the back between the two bills, the two bills create a curved shape that acts like an airfoil and allows the free flow of air over a wearer's forehead, inducing a cooling effect. Patent #: 8640264.  Inventor:  Ramer.  Not Assigned.

Protective hood:  A protective hood with a modified gas exhaust system that inhibits ambient gas from entering through the exhaust system.  Patent #:  8640265.  Inventor:  Duncan.  Assignee:  Scott Technologies, Inc.

Disulfide or thiol polymeric hair dyes:  A dye structure consisting of a polymeric backbone, a chromophore, and least one sulfide covalently bound to the backbone.  containing compound. Very good dyeing results are obtained with disulfide moieties.  Dye formulations are included.  Effective as a wool dye.  Patent #:  8641783.  Inventor:  Marquais-Bienewald,  Assignee:  BASF, Se

Method and product for manufacturing vulcanized footwear or cupsole footwear:  A vulc style and cupsole style shoe that includes a midsole that is directly attached to the upper. In the method of manufacturing the footwear, polyurethane or other material for providing cushioning to the footwear is either injected between the upper and outsole or poured onto the outsole and the upper is traversed over the outsole so as to define the mold for defining the midsole. The polyurethane is directly attached to the upper and adhered to the outsole/cupsole.  Patent #:  8640291.  Inventor:  Fleming.  Assignee:  Pierre Andre Senizergues.

Device for attaching a flexible clothing in a textile machine:  A device that attaches a flexible fabric in the form of a strip to a card flat bar of a revolving card flat.  The device has press rams to assist in take up of the fabric. Patent #:   8640309.   Inventor:  Ott and Schatzmann.  Assignee:  Maschinenfabrik Rieter Ag

Sport footwear:  A shoe with a sole, a double-crossbow shaped elastic structure, and upper and lower walls.  The elastic structure is placed in the sole so as to elastically react under the weight of a foot. An element extends from one of the walls and is suitable for going into abutment against the opposite wall when the crossbow structure is not compressed.  Patent #:   8640361.  Inventor:  Testa,   Assignee:  Lotto Sport Italia S.P.A.

Article of footwear with embedded orthotic devices:  A shoe with an integrated orthotics system that provides support with progressive resistance in pronation and supenation motions of the foot during walking. Patent #:  8640363.  Inventor:  Hsu.  Not Assigned.

Knitwear with a perforated structure and method for producing said knitwear:  A method for producing knitwear formed at least partially as single jersey knitwear with a perforated structure with very fine knitting stitches and perforated structures with large holes meeting demands of sportswear and underwear. The knitwear is produced on a double jersey knitting machine with oppositely disposed needle carriers and a machine gauge of >24 needles/inch. The needle number/inch of the transfer needles is at most half that of the latch-type needles of the first needle carrier. The transfer needles form loop accumulations with at least one tuck loop per hole subsequently transferred with or without at least one knitting stitch from the transfer needles onto the latch-type needles.  Patent #: 8640503.  Inventor:  Kunde,  Assignee:  Terrot Gmbh

Airbag fabric and airbag:  An airbag module ensuring that when an airbag fabricated from fabric composed of a polyamide yarn excellent in heat resistance is deployed by an inflator gas, the deployment occurs without loss of the gas and an excessive amount of generated gas is not necessary, as a result, the inflator is reduced in weight, and the airbag module of the present invention comprises an airbag fabric composed of a polyamide yarn, wherein the air permeability of the fabric under a pressure of 200 kPa is from 10 to 200 cc/cm2/sec and in the thermal stress of the constituent yarn as measured under the conditions of an initial load of 0.02 cN/dtex, a yarn length of 25 cm and a temperature rise rate of 80° C./min, the summed thermal stress of the total of the warp yarn and the weft yarn at 230° C. is from 0.33 to 1.20 cN/dtex.  Patent #:  8642489.  Inventor:  Ise.  Assignee:  Asahi Kasei Fibers Corporation

Bra cup with an air bag:  A heat tolerant airbag for a bra cup that can be mounted in the cup before hot molding or embossing.   Patent #:  8641475.  Inventor:  Hung-Ming.  Not Assigned.

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, May 27, 2014

Kravet Files FTZ Application for Fabric Samples

On May 27, 2014, the Foreign Trade Zone Board published in the Federal Register an application submitted by the South Carolina State Ports Authority, on behalf of Kravet Inc. The Kravet facility is used for the cutting and tagging of textiles, paper wall coverings and decorative trimmings to be used as samples. Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Kravet from customs duty payments on the foreign components used in export production. On its domestic sales, Kravet would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to commercial samples of fabric, paper wall coverings and decorative trimmings (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.

Components and materials sourced from abroad (representing 20% of the value of the finished product) include:

  • vinyl-based decorative wall coverings;
  • imitation patent leather, PVC-based and polyurethane-based decorative upholstery products;
  • analine dyed leather hides;
  • leather hides for upholstery use;
  • decorative wallpapers;
  • silk-based fabrics for upholstery or drapery use;
  • wool-based, horsehair-based and striped cotton decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • boucle-style cotton/poly decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • printed cotton and embroidered satin twill decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • sheer cotton decorative drapery fabrics;
  • cotton-based, cotton-texture, cotton twill, printed cotton-blend, cotton-blend and cotton decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • printed and embroidered cotton decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • plain textured cotton decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • cotton denim decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • cotton texture and velvet decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • printed and embroidered cotton decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • cotton blend decorative drapery fabrics;
  • cotton blend textured or embroidered decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • cotton blend satin decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • embroidered linen decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • cotton blend ottoman decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • cotton blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • cotton, cotton-blend, cotton-texture, and cotton blend textured decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • cotton and silk blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • cotton and linen blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • cotton and linen blend printed decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • embroidered linen decorative drapery fabrics;
  • linen blend embroidered decorative drapery fabrics;
  • cotton blend embroidered decorative drapery fabrics;
  • linen and linen blend decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • raffia decorative wallcoverings;
  • grasscloth decorative wallcoverings;
  • hemp, jute and/or cellulose blend decorative wallcoverings and fabrics;
  • cellulose raffia decorativewallcoverings;
  • polyester decorative drapery fabrics;
  • outdoor decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • embroidered polyester decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • nylon-based faux suede decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • polyester decorative upholstery, multipurpose and drapery fabrics;
  • viscose or polyester blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • polyester sheers/casements decorative drapery fabrics;
  • polyester blend decorative drapery, multipurpose and upholstery fabrics;
  • polyester blend sheer/casement decorative drapery fabrics;
  • embroidered polyester blend decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • polyester blend chenille decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • viscose or rayon blend decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • rayon blend decorative drapery fabrics;
  • rayon/viscose blend textured decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • rayon/viscose blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • viscose/silk blend sheer/casements decorative drapery fabrics;
  • rayon/linen blend embroidered decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • linen/viscose blend embroidered decorative drapery fabrics;
  • cotton/poly blend sheer/casement decorative drapery fabrics;
  • poly/linen blend sheer/casement decorative drapery fabrics;
  • polyester or poly blend decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • acrylic or acrylic blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • poly/acrylic blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • poly/cotton blend sheer/casement decorative drapery fabrics;
  • viscose/linen blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • polyester and poly/linen blend sheer/casement decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • polyester blend decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • polyester/wool blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • polyester/linen blend decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • acrylic/wool blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • poly blend decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • viscose blend velvet decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • viscose decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • viscose or rayon blend decorative upholstery, multipurpose or drapery fabrics;
  • viscose or polyester blend decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • rayon/poly blend decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • viscose/linen blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • viscose blend decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • polyester or poly blend faux suede decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • flocked decorative wallpaper;
  • nylon or poly blend faux suede decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • decorative trimmings;
  • mohair, chenille, silk velvet or velvet decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • sheer poly decorative drapery fabrics;
  • velvet and/or chenille decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • sheer/casement decorative drapery fabrics;
  • decorative tapes;
  • metallic silk sheer decorative drapery fabrics;
  • embroidered or crewel decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • linen or cotton blend embroidered decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • quilted decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • vinyl decorative upholstery goods;
  • decorative textile wallcoverings;
  • high-durability decorative upholstery fabrics;
  • blackout/lining drapery fabrics;
  • faux fur decorative multipurpose fabrics;
  • sheer/casement decorative drapery fabrics;
  • velvet/faux suede decorative upholstery fabrics; and,
  • decorative glass bead trimmings

(duty rate ranges from duty-free to 25%).

Public comment is invited from interested parties and the closing period for their receipt is July 28, 2014.

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor may view a detailed report CLICKING HERE. You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at

CBP Publishes Panama TPA Rules and USTR Officials to Meet in Panama on the Free Trade Agreement

On May 21, 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection published in the Federal Register (79 FR 29077) United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement; Final rule, adopting as a final rule interim amendments to the published on October 23, 2013.

On May 28, 2014, Assistant United States Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere John Melle and Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Central America and the Dominican Republic Leslie O’Connor will travel to Panama for the first meeting of the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Free Trade Commission. A press conference will be held in conjunction with the meeting.

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor may view detailed reports on the Panama Trade Promotion Agreement by CLICKING HERE. You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Buy a Poppy for a Disabled Vet

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch: be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

—John McCrae (1872-1918)

Each year I see fewer and fewer men on the street wearing remembrance poppies on Memorial Day, since 1971 celebrated on the last Monday in May. One year I couldn't even find anyone selling "Buddy Poppies," the paper replica flowers that the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell to raise money for disabled veterans.

For more than 80 years, the VFW's Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans' welfare and the well being of their dependents. In February 1924, the VFW registered the name "Buddy Poppy" with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name "Buddy" Poppy.

When you buy your Buddy Poppy to wear this Memorial Day you will be giving material aid to a disabled veteran. And when you wear your Buddy Poppy you will remind everyone who sees you of the meaning of Memorial Day.

The American Legion also sells crepe paper poppies for Memorial Day. That is another fine organization worthy of your support.

Although the United States Department of Veterans Affairs states "The wearing of poppies in honor of America's war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not Veterans Day" many of us do join our friends from the British Commonwealth nations in wearing the red poppy of remembrance on November 11th as well. (Speaking of the British, this year America's Memorial Day falls on the same day as the Spring Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom.)

This Memorial Day remember those who gave the last full measure of devotion to cause of liberty.

EU Publishes T-TIP Position Papers

The European Commission last week published negotiating positions in five more important topics of current talks with the US on a future trade and investment deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The papers cover topics relating to:

  • chemicals

  • cosmetics

  • motor vehicles

  • pharmaceutical products

  • textiles and clothing
The papers in a nutshell

1. Chemicals

Current EU and US regulations on chemicals differ significantly. So neither harmonisation nor mutual recognition are feasible. The EU sees scope for working together in four areas, within the limits of our respective rules, to:

  • prioritise chemicals for assessment and agree on how best to test them
  • classify and label chemicals
  • identify and address new or emerging issues
  • share data and protect confidential business information more effectively.

Doing so could make our systems more efficient and thereby cut firms' costs.

2. Cosmetics

The paper builds on work which EU and US regulators already undertake jointly. It proposes working together to:

  • recognise each other's lists of permitted or banned substances
  • recognise each other's Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
  • develop and use alternatives to animal testing
  • harmonise our methods and requirements for testing products
  • align each other's requirements for labelling
  • work more closely together in the International Council on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR), which brings together regulators from the EU, the US, Canada and Japan.

 3. Motor vehicles

For cars and trucks, EU and US technical requirements differ. But on both sides they aim to ensure high standards of health, safety and environmental protection. This paper sets out our aim: to achieve compatibility without lowering standards on either side. As such it identifies two main objectives:

  • recognising each other's existing standards and regulations
  • working together more closely to draw up regulations in future, especially on new technologies.

Closer EU-US cooperation within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) could also help to set new global regulations. Agreement in these areas could lower costs to manufacturers and ultimately to consumers.

4. Pharmaceuticals

In this area regulators on either side of the Atlantic already work closely together. The paper proposes several areas for further joint work. These are:

  • recognising each other's Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspections of manufacturing plants, to avoid duplicating work
  • exchanging information
  • harmonising our requirements for approving 'biosimilars' - products similar to already-licensed biological medicines, such as vaccines
  • streamlining systems for authorising generic drugs
  • harmonising the terms we use, and carrying out more joint assessments
  • working together to revise the paediatrics guidelines issued by the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH).

5. Textiles and clothing

The paper proposes strengthening existing EU-US cooperation in three main areas:

  • labelling - including mutual recognition of care instruction symbols and aligning our names of new textile fibres
  • product safety and consumer protection – including working jointly to:
    • clarify requirements on fire safety of fabrics,
    • align the list of substances whose use in textiles is restricted, and
    • set technical standards for protective clothing and other specialist products.
  • standards - seeking convergence in certain areas.
The full texts of the papers may be viewed at the EU website -- CLICK HERE

Furniture Flammability and Human Health Summit Today in Atlanta

Rik Khanna and Treye Thomas, of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Office of Hazard Identification and Reduction, are scheduled to attend today UL Furniture Flammability and Human Health Summit and participate in a discussion on achieving flammability protection while preventing toxic chemical exposures and present information on upholstered furniture fire test standards development. The event is at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center, Atlanta. The co-conveners of the event include UL, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the United States Fire Administration (USFA).

What Are They Doing?

What does the USPTO do once they get a patent application?  

Patent applications are examined to determine whether the invention meets the legal requirements for granting a patent.  While there are a lot of details in the process, in the end the patent application has to demonstrate that the invention meets the following basic requirements:

That the Invention Does Something:  The standard the USPTO uses is that the invention is a process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter.  Laws of nature, physical phenomenon or abstract ideas are not patentable under this standard.  A plant found in the wild or a mineral found in the earth would also not be patentable.

Utility:  The USPTO requires an invention to have some type of practical value.  As a part of having practical value, the invention has to work – otherwise it would have no utility.  This operability standard is the basis used by the USPTO to reject applications for inventions involving perpetual motion and cold fusion.  Also, by law, inventions specifically related to atomic weapons are prohibited from receiving a patent grant.

Novelty:  This means that the invention was not previously known in publically available information.  The USPTO uses the term “prior art” to refer to the publically available information.

Non-Obviousness:  The USPTO also requires that if an invention is not in the prior art, the difference between the invention and the prior art cannot be obvious to somebody who has “ordinary skill” in the art.  Examples of an obvious innovation would include:  combining multiple elements each of which is known in the prior art; a simple substitution for known elements (plastic for wood); or something that was obvious to try.

Unity:  A patent application can only be for one distinct invention or, at best, a group of very closely related inventions.  Take as an example a novel fabric and a loom that was designed to make the fabric.  If the only potential use for the loom was to make the fabric, the USPTO would probably allow the application to proceed.  If, however, the loom could be used for other purposes, the application would probably face a “restriction” that would require the application to be split into two separate patent applications.  About a quarter of textile related patents face restrictions.

Enablement:  A patent application has to publically share the how the invention works.  The enablement has to include a written description of the invention, the manner and process of making and using the invention, and the “best mode” the inventor is aware of for making and using the invention.  The USPTO standard for enablement is that someone skilled in the prior art would be able to make and use the invention.

Claims:  Patent applications must always contain at least one claim.  A claim is a specific statement of what somebody has to do to infringe on the patent.

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

Impact-attenuation members with lateral and shear force stability and products containing such members:  An impact-attenuating member with a shear resistant member. The shear resistant members are arranged to allow bending or compression against impact forces in one direction (e.g., when landing a step or a jump), but remain highly stable against shear or lateral forces in another direction (e.g., in a side-to-side direction).  Patent #:  8631587.  Inventor:  Aveni.  Assignee:  Nike, Inc.

Footwear with a sole structure incorporating a lobed fluid-filled chamber:  A fluid-filled chamber for an article of footwear and method for manufacturing the chamber are disclosed. The chamber may be incorporated into a sole structure of the footwear and includes a central area and a lobes extending outward from the central area. The lobes are in fluid communication with the central area.  The fluid within the chamber may be air at a pressure that is approximately equal to an ambient pressure.  Patent #: 8631588.  Inventor:  Schindler,  Assignee:  Nike, Inc.

Article of footwear incorporating floating tensile strands:  A shoe with a sole structure and an upper that is connected by strands.  While not stated directly in the patent, the strands appear to be for tension and stability control.  Patent #:  8631589.  Inventor:  Dojan.  Assignee:  Nike, Inc.

Replaceable traction cleat for footwear:  A traction cleat with adjustable permitted flexure.  Adjust is made through a positional ring and rotation of the cleat.  Locking of the adjustment is done through dual locking posts.  Patent:   8631591.  Inventor:  Krikorian.  Assignee:  Pride Manufacturing Company, LLC.

Adjustable athletic positioning apparatus and applications thereof:  This patent is pretty confusing, but it appears to be a shoe sole that can be adjusted for a wearer’s specific needs.  Patent:  8631592.   Inventors: Adair and Markison.  Assignee:  Admark Athletic Ventures.

Sheet forming screen:  The invention relates to a sheet forming screen made of a multi-layer fabric as it is used in the process of papermaking in the sheet forming section of a wet end of a paper machine for draining a fiber suspension. The fabric has a longitudinal thread repeat of sixteen longitudinal threads, four longitudinal threads which are upper longitudinal threads, eight longitudinal threads which are lower longitudinal threads, and the remaining four longitudinal threads organized as two functional longitudinal thread pairs in a one and one pattern.  Patent #:  8631832.  Inventor:  Heger.  Assignee:  Andritz Technology And Asset Management Gmbh

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, May 20, 2014

Best Chair Seeks Expansion of FTZ Authority for Upholstery Fabrics, Cites Benefit to U.S. Fabric Makers

Best Chair has submitted a request that would allow them to import duty-free certain foreign micro-denier suede upholstery fabrics finished with hot caustic soda and certain polyurethane upholstery fabrics. In its filing Best Chair states:

While upholstered furniture coverings of micro-denier suede fabrics have continued to maintain their popularity within the retail consumer base of Best Chair’s customers, the company’s ability to maintain an economically viable in-house cut-and-sew operation has enabled it to serve as a valuable customer for several domestic upholstery fabric mills. These mills are operated by vendors such as Culp, Dicey, STI, Sunbury, Valdese, and Abercrombie. Consumption of domestically produced fabrics has increased by 21.3% since the beginning of the second quarter when zone activity began to increase. In terms of serving the public interest, the continuation of FTZ production authority on behalf of Best Chair is readily evident.

Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary. The closing period for their receipt is June 16, 2014.

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service may view addition information by CLICKING HERE and entering their ID and password. If you need your ID and password sent to you, email David Trumbull at

Andean Trade Preference Act: Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Andean Drug Crop Eradication

Notice of opportunity to submit comments in connection with the 16th report on the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA).

Section 206 of the ATPA (19 U.S.C. 3204) requires the Commission to report biennially to the Congress by September 30 of each reporting year on the economic impact of the Act on U.S. industries and U.S. consumers, as well as on the effectiveness of the Act in promoting drug related crop eradication and crop substitution efforts by beneficiary countries. The Commission prepares these reports under investigation No. 332-352, Andean Trade Preference Act: Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Andean Drug Crop Eradication.

DATES: June 24, 2014: Deadline for filing written submissions. September 30, 2014: Transmittal of Commission report to Congress.

US-EU Trade Talks Continue in Washington

May 19th through 23rd, the fifth round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations will take place in Arlington, Virginia, and will include a "stakeholders' forum" on Wednesday, May 21st.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Milliken Acquires Westex, Strengthens its Innovative Portfolio of Flame-Resistant Fabrics

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Milliken & Company announced earlier this month that it has acquired Westex, Inc., strengthening Milliken’s commitment to providing superior flame-resistant (FR) fabrics for protective clothing.

Recognizing the need for improved workplace safety, industrial employers and regulatory agencies are elevating the importance for workers to remain protected on the job. Together, Milliken and Westex create an unprecedented ability to provide the most innovative fabrics for the millions of global industrial workers who need protection from arc flash, flash fire, and other thermal hazards.

“We look forward to welcoming the Westex team to Milliken & Company,” said Jeff Price, president, specialty fabrics division, Milliken & Company. “As we look to the future, we are committed to changing the experience for industrial workers with FR innovations that further improve comfort and productivity.”

“All of us at Westex look forward to joining a strong, values-based company with a long heritage of innovation,” said Mike Enright, vice president of sales and marketing, Westex. “Westex has a proven track record of developing FR technology, products, and strong end-user relationships that help customers develop successful programs. By combining our collective R&D talent, deep customer knowledge, and market access, we will strengthen our capabilities and offer workers the highest levels of FR protection and comfort.”

Milliken is an innovation company that has been exploring, discovering, and creating ways to enhance people’s lives since 1865. Their community of innovators has developed one of the largest collections of patents held by a private company. With expertise across a breadth of disciplines including specialty chemicals, floor coverings, and performance materials, Milliken works around the world to add value to people’s lives, improve health and safety, and help make the world more sustainable. For more information, visit or

Established in 1919, Westex has over 50 years of experience manufacturing flame resistant fabrics. With a strong commitment to the FR clothing marketplace and a deep understanding of the needs of the FR supply-chain and end users, Westex has launched several successful brands over the years including UltraSoft®, UltraSoft AC®, Indura®, TrueComfortTM, Moda-Quilt® and Vinex®. These brands are specified by many end users globally in the utilities, electrical maintenance, oil & gas and metals industries because of their proven track record of providing an excellent balance of protection, comfort and value. For more information, visit

H&M Recalls Girls’ Leggings Due to Choking Hazard

Name of Product: Girls’ Leggings

Hazard: A metal part on the belt can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.

Consumer Contact: H&M Customer Service toll-free at (855) 466-7467 from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET any day, email at or online at and click on “Product Safety Recall - read more” at the bottom of the page for more information.

Units: About 65,000

Description: This recall involves girls’ leggings sold in the following colors: black/pink belt, black/silver belt, black and white stripe/black belt, blue and white stripe/blue belt, blue hounds-tooth/blue belt, grey check/pink belt, grey with dots/pink belt, khaki/pink belt, khaki with dots/pink belt, pink and white check/white belt, purple/purple belt and red and blue plaid/blue belt. The knit leggings were sold sizes 1 ½ to 8 years and have a plastic belt with bow-shaped buckle. H&M is printed on the back of the care label. The care label is either black or white and attached to the waistband in the back of the leggings. The garments have an O/N (order number) and P/N (product number) printed on the top of the care label. The following O/N numbers are included in the recall: 345180, 400690, 400691, 441760, 441761, 441762, 446960, 446961, 446962, 446963, 446965 and 978210.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received one report of a choking incident in the United Kingdom, but no reports of consumer incidents or injuries related to the use of these products in the U.S.

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the belt and remove it from the leggings and contact H&M Customer Service for instructions on returning the belt for a $20 gift card.

Sold exclusively at: H&M stores nationwide and online at from August 2012 to April 2014 for between $3 and $15.

Distributor: H&M Hennes & Mauritz L.P., of North Arlington, N.J.

Manufactured in: Bangladesh, China and Turkey

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Agathon Associates' T-TIP Presentation at Techtextil NA

On Tuesday, May 13th, David Trumbull spoke at Techtextil North American in Atlanta on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership ("T-Tip") the proposed free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, his prepared slides are available by CLICKING HERE.

Patent Cooperation Treaty

In prior posts, I have discussed the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as it relates to patent issues.  And as I look back on these posts, the PCT always seems to come off looking like some expensive loophole for people to use.  That is not really fair and I want to use this post to try and set things straight. 

First, the bad news:  there is no such thing as an international patent.  When an inventor wants protection in multiple countries, individual patent applications must be made, and fees must be paid, in each country where protection is desired.  The Patent Cooperation Treaty sets up a procedure to allow for the filing and preliminary processing of a single application that can be used in all signatory countries.  Currently, 148 countries participate in the PCT. 

An advantage of the PCT is that it allows an inventor to get a search report, written opinion and, if desired, a preliminary examination before having to file the national patent applications.  This gives the inventor a stronger basis on which to make their patenting decisions.   Another advantage of the PCT is time.  When applying directly to multiple national authorities, all patents must be filed within 12 months of the filing of the first patent application.  Under the PCT, National Stage applications can be filed up to 30 months after the first application is filed.  As a result, the PCT gives an inventor an additional 18 months to evaluate the commercial viability of the invention.

Applications can be filed through a local “Receiving Office” which is usually the national patent authority of the residence of the inventor.  An application made through the PCT is similar to a USPTO patent.  The difference is that a PCT application must also:  1) designate at least one member country that will receive the application in the “National Stage;” and, 2) identify the International Search Authority (ISA) that will generate reports and opinions.   The ISA is a group of 17 national patent authorities that conduct patentability searches for the WIPO. 

Once the application is received and accepted, the “International Stage” of the process begins.  A priority date is assigned and a search report and written opinion is prepared by the International Searching Authority identified in the application.   Once the patentability search is complete, an applicant can request a supplemental search report from a different ISA or a preliminary examination before the PCT applications are released to the national authorities for examination. 

Before the 30 month deadline, the WIPO will forward the applications and reports to the countries designated in the applications.  This ends the WIPO’s involvement in the process and begins the “National Stage” of the application process.  In the national stage, the applicant must deal directly with the national authorities where patent protection is desired.

When filing for an invention created in the US, US law requires that a foreign filing license be issued before a patent application can be filed with foreign authorities.  For applications filed using the USPTO as the Receiving Office, the USPTO will assume the application implicitly includes a request for the foreign filing license and will issue one before the application is forwarded to the WIPO.   A petition for the license can be made directly to the USPTO in cases where a different receiving office needs to be used.  

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

Yoga towel:  A yoga towel comprising a first layer for standing poses made of woven nylon threads and fibers made from skin-polishing cloth, and an opposite second layer for sitting, kneeling and lying poses made of waffle-woven microfiber fabric. The yoga towel has an edge made of sailcloth. The yoga towel is constructed to prevent a participant from slipping during standing yoga poses, and the exterior remains dry to the touch during use.  Patent #:  8631833.  Inventor:  Garbarino.  Assignee:  Silver Plume, LLC.

Lyocell fiber:  A Lyocell fiber, made of material consisting of a mixture of pearl powder and ground nacre. The manufacture process uses a spinning solution of cellulose in an aqueous tertiary amine oxide (N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO)) to spin the solution into fibers.  Patent:   8633120.  Inventors:  Firgo and Fuchs.  Assignee:  Lenzing Aktiengesellschaft

Tandem wind breaker:  A two person windbreaker for use with motorcycles.  Includes hook and loop break away features to separate passengers in event of accident.  Patent #:  8635712.  Inventor:  Steffanus.  Not assigned.

Support belt for use with body armor:  A support belt designed to reduce back and shoulder strain when wearing body armor for extended periods.  Patent #:  8635714.   Inventor:  Hazlett.  Not Assigned

Fire retardant fabrics and methods for making the same:  A fire retardant fabric is manufactured from oxidized polyacrylonitrile fibers having a fineness of about 0.5 to about 1.5 denier per fiber.
Patent #:  8635846.  Inventor:  Hendrix,  Assignee:  Lorica International Corporation

Method and apparatus for preventing stranding elements from crossing during a stranding process:  A “performing” mechanism for wire braiding (stranding) process that prevents ends from crossing in the finished process.  Patent #:  8635848.  Inventor:  Mackey,  Assignee:  Afl Telecommunications Llc.

Gradient density padding material and method of making same:  A single layer variable density non woven fabric.  Depending on the design requirements, the variable density can be used for increased air flow resistance, improved vibration isolation, improved acoustic performance, and decreased delamination in molding.  Patent #: 8637414.  Inventors:  Gomez and Borchardt. Assingee:  Lydall, Inc.

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.