Chapter 10: Forms Patent Law


Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries

State

Name of Library

Telephone

Alabama

Auburn University Libraries

334-844-1737

Birmingham Public Library

205-226-3620

Alaska

Anchorage: Z.J. Loussac Public Library

907-562-7323

Arizona

Tempe: Noble Library, Arizona State Univ.

480-965-7010

Arkansas

Little Rock: Arkansas State Lib.

501-682-2053

California

Los Angeles Public Library

213-228-7220

Sacramento: Cal. State Library

916-654-0069

San Diego Public Library

619-236-5813

San Francisco Public Library

415-557-4500

Sunnyvale Center for Innovation (has APS Image terminals)

408-730-7290

Colorado

Denver Public Library

720-865-1711

Connecticut

Hartford Public Library

860-543-8628

New Haven Free Public Library

203-946-8130

Delaware

Newark: Univ. of Delaware Lib.

302-831-2965

D.C.

Washington: Howard Univ. Lib.

202-806-7252

Florida

Fort Lauderdale: Broward County Main Library

954-357-7444

Miami: Dade Public Library

305-375-2665

Orlando: Univ. of Central Florida Libraries

407-823-2562

Florida

Tampa: Campus Library, University of South Florida

813-974-2726

Georgia

Atlanta: Price Gilbert Memorial Library, Georgia Institute of Technology

404-894-4508

Hawaii

Honolulu: Hawaii State Public Library System

808-586-3477

Idaho

Moscow: Univ. of Idaho Library

208-885-6235

Illinois

Chicago Public Library

312-747-4450

Springfield: Illinois State Library

217-782-5659

Indiana

Indianapolis: Marion County Public Library

317-269-1741

West Lafayette: Purdue University Libraries

765-494-2872

lowa

Des Moines: State Lib. of lowa

515-242-6541

Kansas

Wichita: Ablah Library, Wichita State Univ.

800-572-8368

Kentucky

Louisville Free Public Library

502-574-1611

Louisiana

Baton Rouge: Troy H. Middleton Library, Louisiana State Univ.

225-388-8875

Maine

Orono: Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine

207-581-1678

Maryland

College Park: Engineering and Physical Sciences Library, University of Maryland

301-405-9157

Ohio

Akron: Summit County Public Library

330-643-9075

Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Public Library of

513-369-6971

Cleveland Public Library

216-623-2870

Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Library

614-292-3022

Dayton: Paul Laurence Dunbar Library, Wright State Univ.

937-775-3521

Toledo/Lucas County Public Library

419-259-5212

Oklahoma

Stillwater: Oklahoma State University Library

405-744-7086

Oregon

Portland: Paul L. Boley Law Library, Lewis & Clark College

503-768-6786

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, The Free Library of

215-686-5331

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library of

412-622-3138

University Park: Pattee Library, Pennsylvania State University

814-865-6369

Puerto Rico

Bayam n: Univ. of Puerto Rico

787-786-5225

Mayaguez General Library, University of Puerto Rico

787-832-4040

Ext. 2022

Rhode Island

Providence Public Library

401-455-8027

South Carolina

Clemson University Libraries

864-656-3024

South Dakota

Rapid City: Devereaux Library, S.D. School of Mines and Technology

605-394-1275

Tennessee

Nashville: Stevenson Science Library, Vanderbilt University

615-322-2717

Texas

Austin: McKinney Engineering Lib. Univ. of Texas at Austin

512-495-4500

College Station: Sterling C. Evans Library, Texas A & M Univ.

979-845-5745

Dallas Public Library

214-670-1468

Houston: The Fondren Library, Rice University

713-348-5483

Lubbock: Texas Tech University

806-742-2282

San Antonio Public Library

210-207-2500

Utah

Salt Lake City: Marriott Library, University of Utah

801-581-8394

Vermont

Burlington: Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont

802-656-2542

Virginia

Richmond: James Branch Cabell Library,Virginia Commonwealth University

804-828-1104

Washington

Seattle: Engineering Library, University of Washington

206-543-0740

West Virginia

Morgantown: Evansdale Library, West Virginia University

304-293-4695 Ext. 5113

Wisconsin

Madison: Kurt F. Wendt Library, University of Wisconsin

608-262-6845

Milwaukee Public Library

414-286-3051

Wyoming

Cheyenne: Wyo. State Lib.

307-777-7281

Specification of Sample Patent Application

start example

A2-
KoppeLam.SB

8-9 cm top margin on p. 1

Patent Application of
Lou W. Koppe
for
TITLE: PAPER-LAMINATED PLIABLE CLOSURE FOR FLEXIBLE BAGS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS NOT APPLICABLE

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH NOT APPLICABLE

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM NOT APPLICABLE

Background of THE invention—Field of Invention

This invention relates to plastic tab closures, specifically to such closures which are used for closing the necks of plastic produce bags.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Grocery stores and supermarkets commonly supply consumers with polyethylene bags for holding produce. Such bags are also used by suppliers to provide a resealable container for other items, both edible and inedible.

Originally these bags were sealed by the supplier with staples or by heat. However, consumers objected since these were of a rather permanent nature: the bags could be opened only by tearing, thereby damaging them and rendering them impossible to reseal.

Thereafter, inventors created several types of closures to seal plastic bags in such a way as to leave them undamaged after they were opened. U.S. patent 4,292,714 to Walker (1981) discloses a complex clamp which can close the necks of bags without causing damage upon opening; however, these clamps are prohibitively expensive to manufacture. U.S. patent 2,981,990 to Balderree (1961) shows a closure which is of expensive construction, being made of PTFE, and which is not effective unless the bag has a relatively long “neck.”

Thus if the bag has been filled almost completely and consequently has a short neck, this closure is useless. Also, being relatively narrow and clumsy, Balderree’s closure cannot be easily bent by hand along its longitudinal axis. Finally, his closure does not hold well onto the bag, but has a tendency to snap off.

Although twist closures with a wire core are easy to use and inexpensive to manufacture, do not damage the bag upon being removed, and can be used repeatedly, nevertheless they simply do not possess the neat and uniform appearance of a tab closure, they become tattered and unsightly after repeated use, and they do not offer suitable surfaces for the reception of print or labeling. These ties also require much more manipulation to apply and remove.

Several types of thin, flat closures have been proposed—for example, in U.K. patent 883,771 to Britt et al. (1961) and U.S. patents 3,164,250 (1965), 3,417,912 (1968), 3,822,441 (1974), 4,361,935 (1982), and 4,509,231 (1985), all to Paxton. Although inexpensive to manufacture, capable of use with bags having a short neck, and producible in break-off strips, such closures can be used only once if they are made of frangible plastic since they must be bent or twisted when being removed and consequently will fracture upon removal. Thus, to reseal a bag originally sealed with a frangible closure, one must either close its neck with another closure or else close it in makeshift fashion by folding or tying it. My own patent 4,694,542 (1987) describes a closure which is made of flexible plastic and is therefore capable of repeated use without damage to the bag, but nevertheless all the plastic closures heretofore known suffer from a number of disadvantages:

(a) Their manufacture in color requires the use of a compounding facility for the production of the pigmented plastic. Such a facility, which is needed to compound the primary pigments and which generally constitutes a separate production site, requires the presence of very large storage bins for the pigmented raw granules. Also, it presents great difficulties with regard to the elimination of the airborne powder which results from the mixing of the primary granules.

(b) If one uses an extruder in the production of a pigmented plastic—especially if one uses only a single extruder—a change from one color to a second requires purging the extruder of the granules having the first color by introducing those of the second color. This process inevitably produces, in sizeable volume, an intermediate product of an undesired color which must be discarded as scrap, thereby resulting in waste of material and time.

(c) The colors of the closures in present use are rather unsaturated. If greater concentrations of pigment were used in order to make the colors more intense, the plastic would become more brittle and the cost of the final product would increase.

(d) The use of pigmented plastic closures does not lend itself to the production of multicolored designs, and it would be very expensive to produce plastic closures in which the plastic is multicolored—for example, in which the plastic has stripes of several colors, or in which the plastic exhibits multicolored designs.

(e) Closures made solely of plastic generally offer poor surfaces for labeling or printing, and the label or print is often easily smudged.

(f) The printing on a plastic surface is often easily erased, thereby allowing the alteration of prices by dishonest consumers.

(g) The plastic closures in present use are slippery when handled with wet or greasy fingers.

(h) A closure of the type in present use can be very carefully pried off a bag by a dishonest consumer and then attached to another item without giving any evidence of such removal.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION—OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, besides the objects and advantages of the flexible closures described in my above patent, several objects and advantages of the present invention are:

(a) to provide a closure which can be produced in a variety of colors without requiring the manufacturer to use a compounding facility for the production of pigments;

(b) to provide a closure whose production allows for a convenient and extremely rapid and economical change of color in the closures that are being produced;

(c) to provide a closure which both is flexible and can be brightly colored;

(d) to provide a closure which can be colored in several colors simultaneously;

(e) to provide a closure which will present a superior surface for the reception of labeling or print;

(f) to provide a closure whose labeling cannot be altered;

(g) to provide a closure which will not be slippery when handled with wet or greasy fingers; and

(h) to provide a closure which will show evidence of having been switched from one item to another by a dishonest consumer—in other words, to provide a closure which makes items tamper-proof.

Further objects and advantages are to provide a closure which can be used easily and conveniently to open and reseal a plastic bag, without damage to the bag, which is simple to use and inexpensive to manufacture, which can be supplied in separate tabs en masse or in break-off links, which can be used with bags having short necks, which can be used repeatedly, and which obviates the need to tie a knot in the neck of the bag or fold the neck under the bag or use a twist closure. Still further objects and advantages will become apparent from a consideration of the ensuing description and drawings.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the present invention a bag closure comprises a flat body having a notch, a gripping aperture adjacent the notch and a layer of paper laminated on its side.

DRAWINGS—FIGURES

In the drawings, closely related figures have the same number but different alphabetic suffixes.

Figs 1A to 1D show various aspects of a closure supplied with a longitudinal groove and laminated on one side with paper.

Fig 2 shows a closure with no longitudinal groove and with a paper lamination on one side only.

Fig 3 shows a similar closure with one longitudinal groove.

Fig 4 shows a similar closure with a paper lamination on both sides.

click to expand

Fig 5 shows a similar closure with a paper lamination on one side only, the groove having been formed into the paper as well as into the body of the closure.

click to expand

Figs 6A to 6K show end views of closures having various combinations of paper laminations, longitudinal grooves, and through-holes.

click to expand

Figs 7A to 7C show a laminated closure with groove after being bent and after being straightened again.

click to expand

Reprinted with permission, from Patent It Yourself, Pressman (Nolo Press)

Figs 8A to 8C show a laminated closure without a groove after being bent and after being straightened again.

DRAWINGS—Reference Numerals

10

base of closure

12

lead-in notch

14

hole

16

gripping points

18

groove

20

paper lamination

22

tear of paper lamination

24

corner

26

longitudinal through-hole

28

neck-down

30

side of base opposite to bend

32

crease

DETAILED DESCRIPTION—FIGS. 1A AND 1B—PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A preferred embodiment of the closure of the present invention is illustrated in Fig 1A (top view) and Fig 1B (end view). The closure has a thin base 10 of uniform cross section consisting of a flexible sheet of material which can be repeatedly bent and straightened out without fracturing. A layer of paper 20 (Fig 1B) is laminated on one side of base 10. In the preferred embodiment, the base is a flexible plastic, such as poly-ethylene-tere-phthalate (PET—hyphens here supplied to facilitate pronunciation)—available from Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, TN. However, the base can consist of any other material that can be repeatedly bent without fracturing, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, vinyl, nylon, rubber, leather, various impregnated or laminated fibrous materials, various plasticized materials, cardboard, paper, etc.

At one end of the closure is a lead-in notch 12 which terminates in gripping points 16 and leads to a hole 14. Paper layer 20 adheres to base 10 by virtue either of the extrusion of liquid plastic (which will form the body of the closure) directly onto the paper or the application of heat or adhesive upon the entirety of one side of base 10. The paper-laminated closure is then punched out. Thus the lamination will have the same shape as the side of the base 10 to which it adheres.

The base of the closure is typically .8 mm to 1.2 mm in thickness, and has overall dimensions roughly from 20 mm x 20 mm (square shape) to 40 mm x 70 mm (oblong shape). The outer four corners 24 of the closure are typically beveled or rounded to avoid snagging and personal injury. Also, when closure tabs are connected side-to-side in a long roll, these bevels or roundings give the roll a series of notches which act as detents or indices for the positioning and conveying of the tabs in a dispensing machine.

A longitudinal groove 18 is formed on one side of base 10 in Fig 1. In other embodiments, there may be two longitudinal grooves—one each side of the base—or there may be no longitudinal groove at all. Grove 18 may be formed by machining, scoring, rolling, or extruding. In the absence of a groove, there may be a longitudinal through-hole 26 (Fig 6L). This through-hole may be formed by placing, in the extrusion path of the closure, a hollow pin for the outlet of air.

Figs 2-5—Additional Embodiments

Additional embodiments are shown in Figs 2, 3, 4, and 5; in each case the paper lamination is shown partially peeled back. In Fig 2 the closure has only one lamination and no groove; in Fig 3 it has only one lamination and only one groove; in Fig 4 it has two laminations and only one groove; in Fig 5 it has two laminations and one groove, the latter having been rolled into one lamination as well as into the body of the closure.

Figs 6A-6B—Alternative Embodiments

There are various possibilities with regard to the relative disposition of the sides which are grooved and the sides which are laminated, as illustrated in Fig 6, which presents end views along the longitudinal axis. Fig 6A shows a closure with lamination on one side only and with no groove; Fig 6B shows a closure with laminations on both sides and with no groove; Fig 6C shows a closure with only one lamination and only one groove, both being on the same side; Fig 6D shows a closure with only one lamination and only one groove, both being on the same side and the groove having been rolled into the lamination as well as into the body of the closure; Fig 6E shows a closure with only one lamination and only one groove, the two being on opposite sides; Fig 6F shows a closure with two laminations and only one groove; Fig 6G shows a closure with two laminations and only one groove, the groove having been rolled into one lamination as well as into the body of the closure; Fig 6H shows a closure with only one lamination and with two grooves; Fig 6I shows a closure with only one lamination and with two grooves, one of the grooves having been rolled into the lamination as well as into the body of the closure; Fig 6J shows a closure with two laminations and with two grooves; Fig 6K shows a closure with two laminations and with two grooves, the grooves having been rolled into the laminations as well as into the body of the closure; and Fig 6L shows a closure with two laminations and a longitudinal through-hole.

Operation—Figs 1, 6, 7, 8

The manner of using the paper-laminated closure to seal a plastic bag is identical to that for closures in present use. Namely, one first twists the neck of a bag (not shown here but shown in Fig 12 of my above patent) into a narrow, cylindrical configuration. Next, holding the closure so that the plane of its base is generally perpendicular to the axis of the neck and so that lead-in notch 12 is adjacent to the neck, one inserts the twisted neck into the lead-in notch until it is forced past gripping points 16 at the base of the notch and into hole 14.

To remove the closure, one first bends it along its horizontal axis (Fig 1C—an end view—and Figs 7 and 8) so that the closure is still in contact with the neck of the bag and so that gripping points 16 roughly point in parallel directions. Then one pulls the closure up or down and away from the neck in a direction generally opposite to that in which the gripping points now point, thus freeing the closure from the bag without damaging the latter. The presence of one or two grooves 18 or a longitudinal through-hole 26 (Fig 6L), either of which acts as a hinge, facilitates this process of bending.

The closure can be used to reseal the original bag or to seal another bag many times; one simply bends it flat again prior to reuse.

As shown in Figs 1C, 7B, and 8B (all end views), when the closure is bent along its longitudinal axis, region 30 of the base will stretch somewhat along the direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. (Region 30 is the region which is parallel to this axis and is on the side of the base opposite to the bend.) Therefore, when the closure is flattened again, the base will have elongated in the direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. This will cause a necking down 28 (Figs 1D, 7C, and 8C) of the base, as well as either a tell-tale tear 22, or at least a crease 32 (Figs 7A and 8A) along the axis of bending. Therefore, if the closure is attached to a sales item and has print upon its paper lamination, the fact that the closure has been transferred by a dishonest consumer from the first item to another will be made evident by the tear or crease.

Figs 7A and 8A show bent closures with and without grooves, respectively. Figs 7C and 8C show the same closures, respectively, after being flattened out, along their longitudinal axes, paper tear 22 being visible.

Advantages

From the description above, a number of advantages of my paper-laminated closures become evident:

(a) A few rolls of colored paper will contain thousands of square yards of a variety of colors, will obviate the need for liquid pigments or a pigment-compounding plant, and will permit the manufacturer to produce colored closures with transparent, off-color, or leftover plastic, all of which are cheaper than first quality pigmented plastic.

(b) With the use of rolls of colored paper to laminate the closures, one can change colors by simply changing rolls, thus avoiding the need to purge the extruder used to produce the closures.

(c) The use of paper laminate upon an unpigmented, flexible plastic base can provide a bright color without requiring the introduction of pigment into the base and the consequent sacrifice of pliability.

(d) The presence of a paper lamination will permit the display of multicolored designs.

(e) The paper lamination will provide a superior surface for labeling or printing, either by hand or by machine.

(f) Any erasure or alteration of prices by dishonest consumers on the paper-laminated closure will leave a highly visible and permanent mark.

(g) Although closures made solely of plastic are slippery when handled with wet or greasy fingers, the paper laminate on my closures will provide a nonslip surface.

Figs 7A and 8A show bent closures with and without grooves, respectively. Figs 7C and 8C show the same closures, respectively, after being flattened out, along their longitudinal axes, paper tear 22 being visible.

Conclusion, Ramifications, and Scope

Accordingly, the reader will see that the paper-laminated closure of this invention can be used to seal a plastic bag easily and conveniently, can be removed just as easily and without damage to the bag, and can be used to reseal the bag without requiring a new closure. In addition, when a closure has been used to seal a bag and is later bent and removed from the bag so as not to damage the latter, the paper lamination will tear or crease and thus give visible evidence of tampering, without impairing the ability of the closure to reseal the original bag or any other bag. Furthermore, the paper lamination has the additional advantages in that

  • it permits the production of closures in a variety of colors without requiring the manufacturer to use a separate facility for the compounding of the powdered or liquid pigments needed in the production of colored closures;

  • it permits an immediate change in the color of the closure being produced without the need for purging the extruder of old resin;

  • it allows the closure to be brightly colored without the need to pigment the base itself and consequently sacrifice the flexibility of the closure; it allows the closure to be multicolored since the paper lamination offers a perfect surface upon which can be printed multicolored designs;

  • it provides a closure with a superior surface upon which one can label or print;

  • it provides a closure whose labeling cannot be altered or erased without resulting in tell-tale damage to the paper lamination; and

  • it provides a closure which will not be slippery when handled with wet or greasy fingers, the paper itself providing a nonslip surface.

Although the description above contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. For example, the closure can have other shapes, such as circular, oval, trapezoidal, triangular, etc.; the lead-in notch can have other shapes; the groove can be replaced by a hinge which connects two otherwise unconnected halves, etc.

Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.

Claims: I claim:

  1. In a bag closure of the type comprising a flat body of material having a lead-in notch on one edge thereof and a gripping aperture adjacent to and communicating with said notch, the improvement wherein said closure has a layer of paper laminated on one of its sides.

  2. The closure of claim 1 wherein said body of material is composed of polyethyleneterephthalate.

  3. The closure of claim 1 wherein said body is elongated and has a longitudinal groove which is on said one side of said body and extends the full length of said one side, from said gripping aperture to the opposite edge.

  4. The closure of claim 3 wherein said groove is formed into and along the full length of said lamination.

  5. The closure of claim 1 wherein said body is elongated and has a longitudinal groove which is on the side of said body opposite to said one side thereof and extends the full length of said one side, from said gripping aperture to the opposite edge.

  6. The closure of claim 1 wherein said body is elongated and has two longitudinal grooves which are on opposite sides of said body and extend the full lengths of said sides, from said gripping aperture to the opposite edge.

  7. The closure of claim 6 wherein the groove on said one side of said body is formed into and along the full length of said lamination.

  8. The closure of claim 1 wherein said body has a paper lamination on both of said sides.

  9. The closure of claim 8 wherein a groove is on one side of said body and extends the full length of said one side, from said gripping aperture to the opposite edge.

  10. The closure of claim 8 wherein two grooves, on opposite sides of said body, extend the full lengths of said sides, from said gripping aperture to the opposite edge.

  11. The closure of claim 10 wherein said grooves are rolled into and along the full lengths of said laminations, respectively.

  12. The closure of claim 1 wherein said paper lamination is colored.

  13. The closure of claim 1 wherein said body is elongated and has a longitudinal through-hole.

  14. A bag closure of the type comprising a flat body of material having a lead-in notch on one edge thereof, a gripping aperture adjacent to and communicating with said notch, characterized in that one of its sides has a layer of paper laminated thereon.

  15. The closure of claim 14 wherein said body of material is composed of polyethyleneterephthalate.

  16. The closure of claim 14 wherein said body is elongated and has a longitudinal groove on said one side of said body and which extends the full length of said one side, from said gripping aperture to the opposite edge.

  17. The closure of claim 14 wherein said body is elongated and has a longitudinal groove which is on the side of said body opposite to said one side thereof and extends the full length of said one side, from said gripping aperture to the opposite edge.

  18. The closure of claim 14 wherein said body is elongated and has two longitudinal grooves which are on opposite sides of said body and extend the full lengths of said sides, from said gripping aperture to the opposite edge.

  19. The closure of claim 14 wherein said body has a paper lamination on both of said sides.

  20. The closure of claim 19 wherein a groove is on one side of said body and extends the full length of said one side, from said gripping aperture to the opposite edge.

  21. The closure of claim 19 wherein two grooves, on opposite sides of said body, extend the full lengths of said sides, from said griping aperture to the opposite edge.

  22. The closure of claim 14 wherein said paper lamination is colored.

  23. The closure of claim 14 wherein said body is elongated and has a longitudinal through-hole.

  24. A method of closing a plastic bag, comprising:

    1. providing a bag closure of the type comprising a flat body of material having a lead-in notch on one edge thereof, a gripping aperture adjacent to and communicating with said notch, and a layer of paper laminated on one of its sides,

    2. providing a plastic bag and inserting contents into said plastic bag,

    3. twisting said plastic bag so that it forms a neck portion to hold said contents from falling out of said plastic bag,

    4. inserting said bag closure onto said neck portion of said plastic bag so that said neck portion of said plastic bag passes said lead-in notch and into said gripping aperture, whereby said bag closure can be easily marked to identify and/or price said contents in said plastic bag.

  25. The method of claim 24 wherein said flat body of material is composed of polyethyleneterephthalate.

  26. The method of claim 24 wherein said layer of paper is colored.

ABSTRACT: A thin, flat closure for plastic bags and of the type having at one edge a V-shaped notch (12) which communicates at its base with a gripping aperture (14). The base (10) of the closure is made of a flexible material so that it can be repeatedly bent, without fracturing, along an axis aligned with said notch and aperture. In addition, a layer of paper (20) is laminated on one or both sides of the closure. The axis of the base may contain one or two grooves (18) or a through-hole (26), either of which acts as a hinge to facilitate bending.

end example




Patent Copyright & Trademark
Patent, Copyright & Trademark: An Intellectual Property Desk Reference
ISBN: 1413309208
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 152

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