Title:
Staple holder and packaging method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A staple holder and packaging method with an elongated support having size necessary for positioning between the open space defined by two lengths of coupled staples, with optional separating protrusions extending longitudinally along the top and bottom surfaces, so that two lengths of coupled staples can be slipped over the sides of the support, such that the prongs would face each other but would be separated by an optional protrusion. The holder allows the user to easily remove and transport two lengths of staples without breaking the staples.



Inventors:
Skelton, Clifford W. (Mt. Vernon, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/418930
Publication Date:
10/21/2004
Filing Date:
04/17/2003
Assignee:
SKELTON CLIFFORD W.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/02; B65D85/24; (IPC1-7): B65D85/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
JOHNSON, JERROLD D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dean A. Craine, P.S. (Bellevue, WA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A staple holder comprising: a. an elongated support having at least two opposite extending side arms, each side arm being sufficient in size to be positioned between the open space defined by a length of coupled staples, said support having a bottom surface, a top surface, a first side and a second side; and, b. two lengths of inward facing coupled staples disposed around said opposite 9 extending side arms on said support.

2. The staple holder of claim 1, further including a first separating protrusion extending longitudinally along said top surface of said support, a second separating protrusion extending longitudinally along said bottom surface of said support, said first and second separating protrusions separate prongs of the staples disposed over said side arms.

3. The staple holder of claim 1, wherein said support is of approximately the same length as a length of coupled staples.

4. The staple holder of claim 1, further including at least one adhesive layer of tape disposed over the prongs of at least one length of coupled staples when disposed over one said side arm to hold said length of coupled staples onto said support.

5. The staple holder as recited in claim 1, further including a third extending side arm having the size necessary for positioning between the open space defined by a length of coupled staples.

6. The staple holder as recited in claim 1, further including an outer box capable of holding a plurality of said supports, each with two lengths of coupled staples disposed thereon.

7. The staple holder as recited in claim 1, wherein said support is made of rigid foam material.

8. The staple holder as recited in claim 5, wherein said support is made of rigid foam material.

9. The staple holder as recited in claim 1, further including a fourth extending side arm having sufficient size for positioning between the open space defined by a length of coupled staples.

10. The staple holder as recited in claim 9, wherein said support is made of rigid foam material.

11. Staple packaging comprising an outer package, said outer package of size suitable for packaging a plurality of lengths of coupled staples, two lengths of coupled staples being disposed around a support having the size necessary for positioning between the open space defined by a length of coupled staples, allowing the user to hold package, ship, and transport the lengths of staples without breaking the coupled linking between the staples.

12. The staple packaging as recited in claim 11, wherein said support includes a first separating protrusion extending longitudinally along said top and a second separating protrusion extending longitudinally along said bottom.

13. The staple packaging as recited in claim 10, wherein each said support includes at least one removable adhesive layer of tape disposed over the staples to hold said staples on said support.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a receptacle for use in connection with packaging, storing, and transporting staples and clips. More particularly, to receptacles used to store two coupled lengths longitudinally inside a package.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Staples are typically distributed in coupled lengths that are longitudinally aligned in a side-by-side manner in a cardboard package. Distributing the staples in this manner enables a large quantity of staples to be easily loaded into a staple dispenser. Distributing the staples in coupled lengths also maintains the staples in a side-by-side arrangement in the stapler.

[0005] The use of staple holders is known in the prior art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,566,062 (Jaeger) discloses a device for storing and holding clips. However, the '062 patent does not disclose a solid support element such that a length of staples can be slipped on each side, and has further drawbacks of requiring clips with convergent legs, and requiring attachment by sliding on from the end of the holder, rather than slipping over the side.

[0006] Additionally, U.S. Pat. No. 1,827,315 (Hallen) discloses a holding frame for staples that holds the staples onto a frame with a staple engaging portion. However, the '315 patent also does not allow for two lengths of staples on the same clip, and additionally does not allow staples to be attached except by sliding them on from the end of the holder.

[0007] Lastly, U.S. Pat. No. 4,660,717 (Hofer) discloses a traveler carrier that clips onto a coupled length of travelers. However, the '717 patent does not disclose a carrier on which the travelers can be slipped on the outside of the carrier, but rather the carrier has to clip on with the travelers on the inside. Also, the '717 patent does not allow for two lengths of travelers to be stored on the same carrier on opposite sides for storage and transport, but rather describes a kind of industrial carrying and cartridge loading tool for a single length of travelers.

[0008] While the above-described devices fulfill their respective, particular objectives and requirements, the aforementioned patents do not describe a device that allows storing two lengths of coupled staples.

[0009] Therefore, a need exists for a new and improved staple holder that can store two lengths of joined staples.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] Disclosed herein is a staple holder comprising a staple holder that comprises an elongated, semi-rigid support with at least two side legs having sufficient width and thickness for positioning between the open spaces defined by two parallel, inward-facing lengths of coupled staples. When two lengths of coupled staples are connected to both side legs, they may be easily transported without breaking the staples in a length apart. The side legs are integrally formed on the support, which is made of disposable material, such as paper, foam, or other plastics, with various densities and characteristics so that it may be discarded. During use, the staples are positioned over the side legs so that the prongs on opposite lengths of coupled staples face each other or are perpendicularly aligned. Formed on the top and bottom surfaces of the support are two optional longitudinally aligned protrusions that the ends of the prongs abut.

[0011] The support may be made slightly shorter than the intended length of coupled staples, so that the end of the support can be gripped for easier removal or made the exact length, or slightly longer. After the two lengths of coupled staples are placed on the support, one or two optional adhesive tape layers may be longitudinally aligned and attached over the prongs of the staples. During use, one or both adhesive tape layers are manually removed so that one of the lengths of coupled staples may be removed from the support. Once removed, the adhesive tape layer may be re-applied to keep the non-used length on the support. The adhesive tape layers may be slightly longer in length than the support to extend over the end to create a tag member that allows it to be easily removed from the package.

[0012] Numerous objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description of presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative, embodiments of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. In this respect, before explaining the current embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of descriptions and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0013] These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty that characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present embodiment of the staple holder with two side legs and showing two lengths of coupled staples attached over opposite sides.

[0015] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the staple holder shown in FIG. 1 showing the two lengths of coupled staples separated from the support.

[0016] FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the staple holder taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a package of staples with a plurality of staple holders located therein.

[0018] FIG. 5A is a second embodiment of the staple holder with four side legs.

[0019] FIG. 5B is a third embodiment of the staple holder with three side legs.

[0020] FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing the one adhesive tape layer disposed over one side of the staple holder.

[0021] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the staple holder shown in FIG. 6 with a second adhesive tape layer attached to the opposite side.

[0022] FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 8-8 in FIG. 7.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

[0023] Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, the first embodiment of the staple holder of the present invention is shown and generally designated by the reference numeral 10. The staple holder 10 is used for storing two lengths of coupled staples 16, 16′ on opposite side legs 19, 20 of a rigid support 12 with the two lengths 16, 16′ of staples 15 being attached by slipping them over the opposite side legs 19, 20. More particularly, the staple holder 10 comprises a support 12 made of rigid or semi-rigid material, which is of size necessary to fit into the open space of the type of staple 15 in each particular application, with an interference fit that will hold the lengths 16, 16′ on when subjected to normal shipping and handling forces.

[0024] Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, two lengths 16, 16′ are shown removed and attached, respectively, to the opposite side legs 19, 20. The lengths 16, 16′can be removed from the side legs 19, 20 by pulling them directly laterally in the direction of the dotted lines.

[0025] The support 12 may include two optional longitudinally aligned separating protrusions 24, 26 that separate the two side legs 19, 20 and formed on the top and the bottom surfaces 17, 18, respectively. During use, these separating protrusions 14 separate the prong ends of the two lengths of staples 16, 16′ when they are fitted onto the support 12. The width of the support 12 is sufficient so that the prongs 28 of the staples 15 are contiguous to the protrusions 24, 26. As seen more clearly in FIG. 1, the support 12 is slightly longer than the length 16, 16′ so that the exposed end of the support 12 may be grasped. It should be understood, however, that the width and height of the support 12 can be adjusted to hold any size of staple, for different applications such as construction or the office.

[0026] FIG. 4 shows a plurality of staple holders 10 longitudinally aligned inside an outer package 70 for shipment and storage. Located on each staple holder 10 are two lengths of staples 16, 16′ so that the individual staples do not come apart in the outer package 70, even as the outer package 70 is emptied and there is room for the length of staples 16, 16′ to slide around.

[0027] In use, it can now be understood that the support 12 can be loaded by a machine in a factory environment, with the lengths of coupled staples 16, 16′ being slipped over the side legs 19, 20 of the support 12 in such a position that the prongs 28 of the individual staples 15 rest against the separating protrusions 24, 26. Also, the support 12 can be sold separately for construction workers, hobbyists, and office workers who need to carry staples in their pockets without the coupled lengths breaking. In this application, the lengths of coupled staples 16, 16′ can be loaded by hand by slipping them over the sides of the support 12 and pushing them on until the prongs 28 touch the separating protrusions 24, 26. When the user wants to remove a length of coupled staples 16, 16′, he or she grasps one length 16, or 16′ and pull it sideways off of the support 12. When both lengths of coupled staples 16, 16′ are moved, the support 12 may be reused or discarded.

[0028] When two lengths of staples 16, 16′ are attached to the support 12, an optional adhesive layer of tape 60 may be longitudinally aligned over and under the prongs 28 located on one surface of the support 12 as shown in FIG. 6. The length of the tape 60 may be longer than the support 12 thereby creating a tag 72 that may be grasped to remove the support 12 from an outer package. A second adhesive layer of tape 62 may be placed directly over the prongs located on the opposite side of the support 12 as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. During use, the second adhesive layer 62 is removed thereby allowing the length of coupled staples only covered thereby to be removed. The first layer of tape 60 remains in place over the prongs on the second length of staples to hold the second length of staples on the support. The first layer of tape 60 is then removed to allow the second length of coupled staples to be removed from the support 12.

[0029] FIGS. 5A and 5B show alternate embodiments of the support 75, 76 that includes three or four perpendicularly aligned side arms 80, 82, 84, 86, respectively, formed thereon, each designed to receive a length of coupled staples 16, 16′, 16′, 16′″, respectively. The supports 75, 76 function in the same manner and are made of the same material as the support 12.

[0030] While a preferred embodiment of the staple insert 10 has been described in detail, it should be apparent that modifications and variations thereto are possible, all of which fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention. For example, any suitable material such as plastic, cardboard, foam or rubber may be used. And although storing two coupled lengths of staples on opposite sides of the same staple insert with the staples being attached by slipping them over the sides of the insert have been described, it should be appreciated that the staple insert herein described is also suitable for storage and transport of other kinds of two-pronged tacks and commercial clips.

[0031] Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.