LoopRopes secure a spot on Wal-Mart shelves
A tie-down tool called LoopRopes, designed to help safely transport cargo in the back of a truck or car, will find its way into Wal-Mart Stores, according to the Medford, Ore. Based supplier.
Wal-Mart Stores ordered more than 11,000 "LoopRopes" for 1,100 Wal-Marts from the company, making it Jeff Dahl’s largest wholesale order since inventing the product just over two years ago.
LoopRope is a tie-down system that eliminates the daily use of dangerous and limiting bungee cords, overkill cargo nets, and most other light to medium duty tie downs. It was invented through trial and error after Dahl became frustrated with tightly knotted ropes and flimsy bungee cords during a trip to a dump.
The utility of the product is on display in this video.
Initial permutations included lengths of rope with hitch knots using plastic zip-ties to create the tensions he needed, which worked but not the way he wanted. "The zip-ties failed and sewing shock cord together proved to damage the cord,” said. Trial and error led Dahl to forming permanent loops in shock cord by crimping aluminum ferrules and covering those with a plastic heat shrink. His invention went patent-pending the latter part of 2009.
ITC rules in favor of Leviton
Leviton Manufacturing Co. has prevailed in a dispute over intellectual property rights involving Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). On April 27, the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a general exclusion order “prohibiting the unlicensed importation of infringing ground fault circuit interrupters and products containing same.” In addition, the ITC issued several cease and desist orders prohibiting the sale of GFCIs already in the United States that unlawfully infringe on a Leviton U.S. patent.
“We are hopeful that this decision brings an end to importation of infringing GFCIs,” said Meir Blonder, chief intellectual property counsel at Leviton. “Due to the nature of the product, it is important that both commercial and residential consumers be confident that the GFCIs available in the market are legitimate, lawful products.”
The general exclusion order not only brings an end to the unlawful activity of the parties accused at the ITC, but prohibits all entities from importing such infringing GFCIs, according to Leviton.
Leviton offers a wide variety of GFCI devices to provide protection from electrical incidents in homes, offices, construction sites or anywhere electrical products are in damp or wet locations. The Melville, N.Y.-based company also manufactures of electrical wiring devices, data center connectivity solutions and lighting energy management systems.
Sales, profits rise at Trex
Trex, a manufacturer of composite decking and railing products, reported net sales for the first quarter of 2012 of $96.1 million, a 39% increase over net sales of $69.0 million for the same period in 2011.
The Winchester, Va.-based company reported net income of $12.3 million for its first quarter, which ended March 31, 2012. This compares to net income of $5.1 million for the prior-year period.
In a prepared statement, chairman, president and CEO Ronald Kaplan noted: “Our first quarter sales were 7% above guidance. Our best-in-class product platform, combined with market share gains, helped us exceed our revenue target. [These] results also represent the second highest first-quarter EPS performance since the company went public in 1999.”
Kaplan concluded, “We continue to see a strong shift in the market towards ultra-low-maintenance wood alternative products. With our expanding [product portfolio], we are off to a great start for the year. Based on the market demand we are currently seeing, we expect net sales of approximately $90 million for the second quarter of 2012, an increase of 15% from last year’s period.”