Title:
Folder system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A folder system includes folders having a tab on the top of the folders and a side tab on a side of the folders. Multiple containers may be provided for stacking on top of each other. The uppermost container may have an opening facing up, whereas the lower containers may have openings facing the side. Folders may be placed in the container having the opening facing up such that the tabs on the top of the folders are visible. The tabs may be offset so that multiple folders may be placed side by side and the tabs may still be visible. Also, the folders may be placed in the containers having the opening facing the side with the side tabs exposed. The folders may be sized for receiving 12 inch by 12 inch papers for use in the scrap book industry.



Inventors:
Densley, Elizabeth E. (Midvale, UT, US)
Application Number:
10/885829
Publication Date:
01/06/2005
Filing Date:
07/06/2004
Assignee:
DENSLEY ELIZABETH E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B42F21/02; (IPC1-7): B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WILLIAMS, JAMILA O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CLIFFORD B. VATERLAUS (SANDY, UT, US)
Claims:
1. A folder for holding items, said folder comprising: a front cover and a rear cover, each of said front cover and said rear cover having a top side, a bottom side, a first side, and a second side; wherein said front cover is attached to said rear cover at said bottom side, and wherein said front cover is separable from said rear cover at said top side; wherein a tab is located on said top side of one of said front cover and said rear cover; and wherein a side tab is located on one of said first side and said second side of one of said front cover and said rear cover.

2. The folder of claim 1, further comprising a recess formed on said top side of one of said front cover and said rear cover opposite said tab.

3. The folder of claim 1, further comprising a crease line for folding said front cover with respect to said rear cover at said bottom side.

4. The folder of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of crease lines for folding said front cover with respect to said rear cover at said bottom side.

5. The folder of claim 1, further comprising cutouts positioned on corners of the folder.

6. The folder of claim 1, wherein said folder is formed of acid free and archival safe card stock.

7. The folder of claim 1, wherein the folder is dimensioned greater than 12 inches wide and 12 inches high.

8. A system for storing articles, said system comprising: a plurality of containers configured to be stacked on top of each other, each of said plurality of containers defining a space for receiving said articles therein, each of said plurality of containers further defining an opening for passing said articles therethrough; and at least one folder for placing in said plurality of containers, said at least one folder having means for identifying said folder (i) when the folder is inserted in a container that is oriented in a first orientation having the opening on a top of the container, and (ii) when the folder is inserted in a container that is oriented in a second orientation rotated substantially ninety degrees with respect to the first orientation wherein the opening is on a side of the container, such that the folder is in the same orientation when the container is in the first orientation and the second orientation.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the means for identifying the folder comprises a tab.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein the at least one folder comprises a recess on a side of said folder opposite said tab.

11. The system of claim 8, wherein the folder comprises a crease line for folding a front cover of said folder with respect to a rear cover of said folder at a bottom side.

12. The system of claim 8, wherein the plurality of containers are cubical.

13. The system of claim 8, wherein said at least one folder comprises a plurality of folders having tabs at a plurality of locations along a top side of said plurality of folders.

14. The system of claim 8, wherein said at least one folder comprises a plurality of folders having side tabs at a plurality of locations along a side of said plurality of folders.

15. The system of claim 8, wherein the means for identifying the folder comprises a tab; wherein the at least one folder comprises a recess on a side of said at least one folder opposite said tab; wherein the at least one folder comprises a crease line for folding a front cover of said at least one folder with respect to a rear cover of said at least one folder, at a bottom side of said at least one folder; wherein said at least one folder comprises a plurality of folders, and wherein said plurality of folders include said tab at a plurality of locations along a top side of said plurality of folders, and said plurality of folders include side tabs at a plurality of locations along a side of said plurality of folders; wherein said plurality of folders and said plurality of containers are configured to hold items that are dimensioned approximately 12 inches by 12 inches; and wherein said plurality of folders are formed of acid free and archival safe card stock.

16. A method for organizing items comprising the steps of: (a) providing a plurality of containers, the containers each defining a space and having an opening; (b) orienting a first one of said containers such that the opening faces a side; (c) stacking a second one of said containers on said first container such that an opening in said second container is on a top of said second container; (d) inserting at least one folder in said first container such that a side tab is visible through said opening; (e) inserting at least one folder in said second container such that a tab is visible through said opening in a top of said second container.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein step (d) comprises inserting a plurality of folders in said first container such that a plurality of side tabs are upwardly displaced from each other.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein step (e) comprises inserting a plurality of folders in said second container such that a plurality of tabs are laterally displaced from each other.

19. The method of claim 16, further comprising accessing said at least one folder in said first container and said at least one folder in said second container without moving said first container with respect to said second container.

20. The method of claim 16, further comprising providing said at least one folder in said first container in a configuration substantially identical to a configuration of said at least one folder in said second container, and orienting said at least one folder in said first container in a substantially identical orientation to an orientation of said at least one folder in said second container.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/484,945, filed Jul. 3, 2003, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety, including but not limited to those portions that specifically appear hereinafter, the incorporation by reference being made with the following exception: In the event that any portion of the above-referenced provisional application is inconsistent with this application, this application supercedes said above-referenced provisional application.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. The Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to organization devices, and more particularly, but not necessarily entirely, to a folder system that may be used in the scrap book industry.

2. Description of Related Art

Scrap booking is a well known activity that is gaining popularity. Items such as pictures, clippings, narratives, stickers, and other memorabilia, may be mounted in books or albums for preserving memories. The materials and methods used to mount the items in scrap books are improving to preserve the items over longer periods of time. Also, a current trend in scrap booking is to include journal information for documenting dates, names, locations, descriptions, etc., of the items in the scrap book. The information and memorabilia in the scrap books may be arranged in a creative and artistic manner to enhance the appearance and meaning of the scrap books.

Various different scrap book materials such as paper, lettering, stickers, ribbon and various sorts of decorations and art materials may be used in creating scrap books. It is desirable to organize and store the scrap book materials in an orderly fashion so that the materials can be easily located and accessed for use. File folders are known in the art for assisting in organizing materials such as paper. File folders are available in sizes configured to contain the standard 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper. The file folders may have two facing sides separated by a fold line. Tabs may be placed on the top of the file folders for receiving labels to provide information pertaining to the material stored in the particular file.

The scrap book industry has begun to utilize paper sized in 12 inch by 12 inch pieces in order to increase the area available for placing the memorabilia, and to provide attractively proportioned pages. The 12 inch by 12 inch paper may not be properly accommodated in the standard 8.5 inch by 11 inch file folder and filing systems. The 12 inch by 12 inch paper extends beyond the customary indicator tabs on the standard 8.5 inch by 11 inch folder files. Thus, the tabs may not be visible through the paper.

Also, the tabs on the standard 8.5 inch by 11 inch folder are not visible if the container holding the folders is covered on the top and accessible from the side. Thus, the standard 8.5 inch by 11 inch folder files must be accessed from the top in order to properly view the tabs.

The prior art is thus characterized by several disadvantages that are addressed by the present invention. The present invention minimizes, and in some aspects eliminates, the above-mentioned failures, and other problems, by utilizing the methods and structural features described herein.

The features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by the practice of the invention without undue experimentation. The features and advantages of the invention may be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the subsequent detailed description presented in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a folder in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of at least six folders stacked on top of each other;

FIG. 3a is a plan view of a first one of the folders in an un-folded condition;

FIG. 3b is a plan view of a second one of the folders in an un-folded condition;

FIG. 3c is a plan view of a third one of the folders in an un-folded condition; and

FIG. 4 is perspective view of a storage system containing a plurality of folders.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles in accordance with the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and any additional applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated herein, which would normally occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention claimed.

It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

In describing and claiming the present invention, the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set out below.

As used herein, the terms “comprising,” “including,” “containing,” “characterized by,” and grammatical equivalents thereof are inclusive or open-ended terms that do not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a perspective view is shown of a folder 10 in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The folder 10 may have a front cover 12 and a rear cover 14. It will be appreciated that the terms “front” and “rear” as used herein are for ease in describing the invention as shown in the figures. However, the folder 10 may be oriented in various positions during use such that the front cover 12 need not be located on the front of the folder 10, and the rear cover 14 need not be positioned at the rear of the folder 10.

Both the front cover 12 and the rear cover 14 may have a top side 16, a bottom side 18, a first side 20 and a second side 22. It will be understood that the front cover 12 and the rear cover 14 may be attached at the bottom side 18. Accordingly, the bottom side 18 may define a barrier to prevent objects in the folder 10 from falling out of the folder 10. The bottom side 18 may include a fold 24 such that the folder 10 may be constructed of a one-piece unitary construction. The fold 24 may be formed as a single line such that the folder 10 may be folded in a “V” configuration. Alternatively, the fold 24 may be configured with a plurality of crease lines 25 such that the bottom side 18 may be folded to extend laterally from the front cover 12 and the rear cover 14 in more of a “U” configuration. This may allow the folder 10 to be wider to hold more material.

It will be appreciated that the front cover 12 may be separable from the rear cover 14 along the top side 16 such that the folder 10 can be opened to receive items inside the folder 10. The folder 10 may also include one or more tabs 26 formed on either the front cover 12 and/or the rear cover 14. The tabs 26 may project above the top side 16 so that the tabs 26 may be visible above both the front cover 12 and the rear cover 14. The tabs may be formed in various different shapes and sizes, and may be configured for receiving labels, indicia, or other identifying information to assist in indicating the type of material within the folder 10.

Additionally, one or more side tabs 28 may be positioned on the first side 20 and/or the second side 22. The one or more side tabs 28 may be formed on either the front cover 12 or the rear cover 14, and may project beyond the first side 20 or the second side 22 so as to be visible beyond the front cover 12 and the rear cover 14.

As shown most clearly in FIG. 2, which shows a plan view of at least six of the folders 10, 10b, 10c, the tabs 26, 26b, 26c, may be positioned at various locations along the top side 16. Likewise, the side tabs 28, 28b, 28c may be positioned at various locations along the first side 20 or second side 22. This allows multiple folders to be aligned together such that multiple tabs may be visible.

Referring now to FIG. 3a, a plan view of the folder 10 is shown in an un-folded condition. The folder 10 may include a recess 30 that may be aligned with the tab 26 on an opposite end of the folder 10. The recess 30 may facilitate observing and accessing the tab 26. Also, the corners of the folder 10 may have cutouts 32.

It will be appreciated that the folder 10 can be folded along any of the crease lines 25 either as indicated by the arrow 34 towards the viewer of FIG. 3a, or 36 away from the viewer. Accordingly, the folder 10 can be configured such that the tab 26 may be oriented in two positions, as best shown in FIG. 2, such that the tab 26 may be on the left side of the folder 10 or the right side of the folder 10. Likewise, the side tab 28 may be positioned on either the right side of the folder 10 or the left side, depending upon which way the folder 10 is folded.

FIG. 3b shows a plan view of a second embodiment folder 10b in an un-folded condition. It will be appreciated that the second embodiment folder 10b has many of the same features as the folder 10, and only the different features will be discussed herein. The folder 10b has a tab 26b, side tab 28b and a recess 30b that are located in an offset position as compared to the tab 26, side tab 28, and recess 30 in folder 10. It will be appreciated that the offset position of the tab 26b, side tab 28b, and recess 30b facilitates viewing the tabs when a plurality of folders are stacked together as shown in FIG. 2.

Similarly, as shown in FIG. 3c, a third embodiment folder 10c is shown in an unfolded position. The third embodiment folder 10c may include a tab 26c, side tab 28c, and recess 30c that are offset from their corresponding features in the folder 10 and second embodiment folder 10b. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that with the three embodiments of the folder 10, 10b and 10c, the tabs 26, 26b, and 26c can be oriented in six different positions. Likewise, the side tabs 28, 28b, and 28c can be oriented in six different positions, three on each side.

It will be appreciated that the locations of the tabs on the top and side of the folder shown in the figures are for illustrative purposes only. The size and locations of the tabs may be varied within the scope of the present invention such that any number of embodiments of the folder may be formed, having any number of tabs visible when the folders are stacked together.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the folders 10, 10b, and 10c may be dimensioned 13.25 inches high by 14 inches wide, including the tabs which may protrude 0.5 inches from the straight edge of the folders 10, 10b, and 10c. It will be appreciated that these dimensions may be larger than the prior art folders. Thus, the present folders may be well suited for use in the scrap booking field, since 12 inch by 12 inch paper is now often used for scrap books. The prior art folders suited for 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper have proven quite inadequate for use with the larger scrap book materials. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the folders may be configured in various other sizes within the scope of the present invention.

The folders of the present invention may be formed of acid free and archival safe card stock of 65-80 pounds, for example, or other suitable materials know to those skilled in the art. These materials have qualities that the scrap book industry demands in order to protect photos, papers, and stickers for example, for a long period of time with reduced deterioration.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a system for using the folders 10, 10b, 10c of the present invention is illustrated in a perspective view. A plurality of cubes or containers 38 may be stacked on top of each other. The containers 38 may be dimensioned to receive the folders 10, 10b, 10c, such as 14 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches, for example. It will be understood, however, that the containers 38 may be sized with different dimensions to receive different sized folders within the scope of the present invention.

The containers 38 may define a space 40 for receiving articles therein. The containers may also define an opening 42 for accessing the space 40, such that articles may be passed through the openings 42 to be stored in the space 40. Covers, not shown may be placed over the openings 42, or the openings 42 may remain uncovered. The containers 38 may be formed of any suitable material such as plastic, wood, metal, or cardboard materials capable of supporting the weight of the folders. The containers 38 may be formed with solid walls, or with mesh or openings in the walls to allow air to pass through the walls.

As shown in FIG. 4, two of the containers 38 are stacked together. However, it will be appreciated that any number of containers 38 may be stacked together within the scope of the present invention, or that the present invention may be used with a single container 38, or a plurality of containers positioned side by side. It will be understood that the uppermost container 44 may be positioned such that the opening 42 is accessible from the top. It will also be appreciated that the uppermost container 38 may be positioned with the opening 42 facing the side. The lower container(s) 46 may also be oriented with the opening 42 facing the side as shown in FIG. 4 so that the space 40 may be accessible without being covered by the uppermost container 38.

It will be understood that the folders 10, 10b, 10c may be placed in the uppermost container 38 such that the tabs 26, 26b, 26c may be visible through the opening 42 that may be oriented on the top. Whereas, the folders 10, 10b, 10c may be oriented in the lower container(s) 46 such that the side tabs 28, 28b, 28c may be visible through the opening 42. In both orientations, the bottom 18 of the folders 10, 10b, 10c may support the contents of the folders. Accordingly, the folders of the present invention are very versatile, and fewer varieties of folders are required to form the folder system. Thus, manufacturing costs of the folder may be reduced. Moreover, the folder sets may be easily changed from the upper tab system to the side tab system by simply changing the direction of the fold in the folders.

It will be understood that the tabs 26, 26b, 26c, and the side tabs 28, 28b, and 28c may form means for identifying the folders (i) when the folders are inserted a container that is oriented in a first orientation having the opening on the top, and (ii) when the folder is inserted in a container in a second orientation rotated ninety degrees with respect to the first orientation, wherein the opening is on the side, such that the folder is in the same orientation when the container is in the first orientation and the second orientation.

It will be appreciated that the structure and apparatus disclosed herein is merely one example of a means for identifying the folders, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for identifying the folders which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for identifying the folders, including those structures, apparatus or systems for identifying the folders which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Anything which functions the same as, or equivalently to, a means for identifying the folders falls within the scope of this element.

In accordance with the features and combinations described above, a useful method of organizing items includes the steps of:

    • (a) providing a plurality of containers, the containers each defining a space and having an opening;
    • (b) orienting a first one of the containers such that the opening faces a side;
    • (c) stacking a second one of the containers on the first container such that an opening in the second container faces up;
    • (d) inserting at least one folder in the first container in a first orientation such that a side tab is visible through the opening;
    • (e) inserting at least one folder in the second container such that a tab is visible through the opening in the top of the second container.

Those having ordinary skill in the relevant art will appreciate the advantages provide by the features of the present invention. For example, it is a feature of the present invention to provide a folder system that is simple in design and manufacture. Another feature of the present invention to provide such a folder system that can be used with 12 inch by 12 inch scrap book papers. It is a further feature of the present invention, in accordance with one aspect thereof, to provide folder system that is versatile and capable of being used with containers that are open either on the top or the side. It is an additional feature of the present invention to provide a folder system that facilitates organizing and accessing items and allows for long term storage of items with reduced deterioration.

In the foregoing Detailed Description, various features of the present invention are grouped together in a single embodiment for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed invention requires more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects lie in less than all features of a single foregoing disclosed embodiment. Thus, the following claims are hereby incorporated into this Detailed Description of the Invention by this reference, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment of the present invention.

It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present invention. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and the appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements. Thus, while the present invention has been shown in the drawings and described above with particularity and detail, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein.