Title:
Device for the content of folders
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to items which are used to protect documents, such as folders, ring binders, clip binders or similar. The inventive items are provided with flaps or pockets on one or both of the inner faces thereof. Moreover, said items comprise a securing device or element which protects the documents contained therein and holds same in place.



Inventors:
Sierra, Pablo Torre (Col Industrial Vallejo, MX)
Application Number:
10/515971
Publication Date:
04/20/2006
Filing Date:
05/15/2002
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D27/00; B42F7/04; B42F7/06; B42F13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NEWHOUSE, NATHAN JEFFREY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jackson Walker LLP (San Antonio, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A stationery article (1) for the preservation of documents (5), conformed by: a) A body for the contention of the documents, such as, but not limited to, a portfolio of rings or fastening portfolio or similar, b) A sheet of flexible material subject to, at least, the inferior and external edges of the interior surface of at least one of the panels (2) or (3) that conform the body from the article, forming a pocket for the placement in its interior of the documents (5) to be preserved, characterized in that such an article, a fastening element (6) has been added, of the type of a tongue or flange joined to the body of the article along the upper edge opposite to that in which it is the sheet that conforms the pocket (4), with the purpose of fasten and at the same time protect, the upper edges and the corners of the document (5) placed in the pocket (4) with purposes of preservation.

2. The stationery article (1) in accordance with claim 1, characterized in that said fastening element (6) is a ribbon of flexible or semi-flexible material preferably, but not restricted to, plastic transparent or translucent material.

3. The stationery article (1) according to claim 2, characterized in that the fastening element (6) has a trapezoidal geometric configuration, with the larger base joined correlative to the upper edge of the internal surface of the article in that it is located the pocket (4) for supporting documents (5), and with the minor base directed toward the center of said internal surface; the corners adjacent to the minor base, being rounded in order to avoid rips or wrinkles of the document or documents inserted in the article.

4. The stationery article according to claim 2, characterized in that the fastening element (6) has a rectangular geometric configuration, with one of their bases of larger longitude joined correlative to the upper edge of the internal surface of the article in which it is located the pocket (4) for supporting documents, and with the other base of larger longitude directed toward the center of said internal surface; the adjacent corners to the inferior base, being rounded in order to avoid rips or wrinkles of the document (5) or documents that are inserted in the article.

5. The stationery article (1) according to claim 2, characterized in that the fastening element (6) is joined with the upper edge of the internal surface of the article, by any of the well-known techniques in the art, so that the interior surface of the element is completely in contact with the internal surface to which it is united, showing resistance to the separation of the same and so offering an effect of clip.

6. The stationery article (1) according to claim 5, characterized in that said fastening element (6), in its normal position, do not impede the use of the article in the conventional way.

7. The stationery article (1) according to claim 5, characterized in that said fastening element (6), in its position of use, oppress the document (5) or documents that are inserted between it and the internal surface of the article to which it is united, against the last one, preventing the movement of the document (5) toward front and back and avoiding that said document (5) could be mistreated upon closing the stationery article (1), or that the document gets out from the article upon transporting in a normal use.

8. The stationery article (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the fastening element (6) could be located on one or both internal surfaces of the stationery article (1) in a coordinate way to the presence or not of the inferior element of support that conforms the pocket (4) for supporting documents (5).

9. The stationery article (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the fastening element (6) could be conformed by two or more individual elements that could be located on one or both internal surfaces of the stationery article (1) in a coordinate way to the presence or not of the inferior element of support that conforms the pocket (4) for supporting documents (5).

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention is related with articles for the preservation of documents, of the type of portfolios and ringed portfolios or fastening portfolios or similar, in which a device or element for subjection maintains in their place and protect the documents in its interior.

ANTECEDENTS

Articles for preservation of groups of loose leaves or files, such as briefcases and portfolios are thoroughly well-known for public in general, and they are made in a wide variety of forms and materials such as paper (see U.S. Pat. No. 4,934,584 (Wyant, 1990), and U.S. Pat. No. 3,516,599 (Buttery, 1970)), plastic (we mention U.S. Pat. No. 5,876,143 (Ong, 1999), U.S. Pat. No. 5,059,052 (Casper, 1991), U.S. Pat. No. 5,752,721 (Balbas, 1998) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,417,509 (Schwartz, 1995)), the employment of vinyl is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 5,873,513 (Ong, 1999) and U.S. Pat. No. 4,629,349 (Pitts, 1986); articles made of polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC are illustrated in the U.S. Pat. No. 5,275,438 (Struhl, 1994), U.S. Pat. No. 5,445,417 (Bromer, 1995) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,266,140 (Kohno, 1993).

Most frequently used articles are constituted by a front cover and a back cover and, in the case of the so called “portfolios” a dorsal ribbon or “loin” between both covers, with which forms a “hinge” in order to open and close them and so permitting the insertion or retirement of the documents.

Conventionally front and back covers are made of plane wide panels with lightly larger dimension to those of the standard paper sizes used in the offices and home, for example letter, legal, A4, etc.; the dorsal ribbon usually is narrower by much and it is in function of the thickness associated with the amount of leaves that is destined to the article; in the case of the folders destined to conserve groups of relatively few leaves in their interior, normally this ribbon or loin does not exist.

In the articles of the prior art, diverse alternatives in order to provide security in the integrity of the documents have been proposed. These range from the employment of mechanical elements of subjection such as hoops, rings, fastenings and staples, where the material to hold should be perforated in corresponding places to positions predetermined by the own device from subjection, or, pressure fastenings, paper clips or other prehensile elements, preset preferably to the back panel of the folder, briefcases or portfolio.

In a different way of the first, pressure fastenings significantly reduce damage to the material to preserve, although they use to leave marks in the points of contact with this.

Another solution has been the incorporation of additional panels subject to the interior surfaces of one or both panels of the folder, the briefcase or portfolio, forming supports either in form of “lapel” or “pocket,” where the material is introduced to preserving.

The pockets, especially, could reach diverse heights in connection with the panel to which they are fixed, as described in the U.S. Pat. No. 5,059,052 (Casper, 1991), U.S. Pat. No. 5,752,721 (Balbas, 1998), U.S. Pat. No. 6,193,147 (Schluger, 2001) and U.S. Pat. No. 6,296,112 (Pettey, 2001).

The British patent GB-A-229997-1 (Penche, 1996), shows a development that allows to safeguard the documents that are placed in the interior of the stationery article of the type of a folder, being characterized by forming inferior bags by folding over and towards the interior of the folder, of individual projections from one or both panels of the folder, these folded projections are joined to the inner faces by their short sides. Note that in this article, both pockets formed in the inferior part of the folder are described only, and that this folder is a result of the opening of a mail envelope that is the matter of the invention. It is clear that once the article is transformed into a folder with inner inferior pockets, the edges and specially the upper corners of the documents contained inside, are exposed to deterioration by the inadvertent folding of the documents or by the inadvertent insertion of objects between both panels of the folder; the documents, also are exposed to fall out the interior of the folder when this one is turned upside down, because there is nothing that retains the documents in the interior.

In a simpler version of the concept of “lapels”, these are simple continuations of one or more ends of the panels that form the body of the folder, briefcase or portfolio, as illustrated in the U.S. Pat. No. 6,244,627 (Wolf, 2001) and U.S. Pat. No. 6,286,752 (Heyer, 2001).

It is important to notice that in all the cases referred above, the inferior edge and at least one of the two adjacent corners of the preserved document, are protected of the mistreatment by the “lapel” or “pocket” itself; however, the upper edge and the adjacent corners normally are free and they are subject to mistreatments by just opening and closing the panels of the folder, briefcase or portfolio, if it is not taken care to arrange by hand the leaves or the file upon closing the panels.

A pair of alternatives that attract attention for trying to overcome the problem, are represented by the inventions described in the U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,629,349 and 6,286,752. The first, offers a portfolio of rings with pockets joined with the internal surfaces of the panels, each pocket has a lapel that assures the documents preserved by means of a pressure fastening; the material (flexible and transparent) that conforms the pocket as such, is joined to the internal surfaces of the portfolio by means of thermo-sealing. In the second patent, U.S. Pat. No. 6,286,752, “tongues” are offered in order to support the material to preserving, being these, simple projections of the shortest sides (upper and inferior) of one of the panels of the folder, that upon bending toward the interior of such folder, allow to restrict in a certain grade, the movement of the material in its interior.

OBJECTIVES OF THE INVENTION

In order to overcome the difficulties found in the prior art, it is an object of this invention to offer an stationery article for the preservation of documents, of the type of portfolios, portfolios of rings or fastening portfolios or similar articles, that assure the integrity of the documents in its interior against mechanical mistreatment produced by the action of the covers or panels of the article itself.

It is another object of this invention that the assurance of the physical integrity of the documents is achieved in an economical and effective way for the addition of a device or element disposed for such objective, to a stationery article as briefcases or portfolios of rings or fastening portfolios, by using any of the well-known techniques in the art.

It is still another object of this invention, providing a stationery article in which mentioned device or fastening element does not interfere the view of the cover of the preserved documents, by being transparent or translucent.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a stationery article for the preservation of documents, in which the device or fastening element of the documents could bend without impede the use of the article as a briefcase or conventional portfolio, it is to say, it does not obstruct upon inserting the documentation in the article.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

This invention will be understood better, from the detailed description that follows and from the accompanying drawings, which however, should not be taken as limits of the invention but as illustrative for its better understanding.

FIG. 1 is a view in simple perspective of an article of conventional stationery (1) of the well-known type as portfolio, in their open position, showing conventional supporting elements of the “lapel” (4) type.

FIG. 2 is a view in perspective of the article of the FIG. 1, showing the way in which documents (5) are inserted in the elements of support.

FIG. 3 is a view in perspective of the article of the FIG. 1, showing how the documents (5) can suffer damages for the normal use of the article.

FIG. 4 is a view in perspective of a conventional article of stationery (1) like that of the FIG. 1, to which the device or fastening element (6) of the invention have been added, being shown here in its position of not-use.

FIG. 5 is a view in detail of an stationery article (1) like that of the FIG. 4, showing the way in which the device or fastening element of the invention is carried to their position of use when the article gets ready in order to insert any document or group of documents (5) for their preservation.

FIG. 6 is a view in perspective of a conventional article of stationery like that of the FIG. 5, showing the device or fastening (6) element of the invention in their position of use.

FIG. 7 is a view in perspective of a conventional article of stationery (1) like that of the FIG. 5, showing the device or fastening element (6) of the invention in their position of use, in an alternative modality of geometric configuration of the element of subjection (6).

FIG. 8 is a view in perspective of a conventional article of stationery (1), showing the device or fastening element (6) of the invention in their position of use, being said fastening element of a essentially lesser longitude that the edge, in an alternative embodiment.

FIG. 9 is a view in perspective of a conventional article of stationery (1), showing another embodiment of the device or fastening element (6) of the invention in their position of use, being conformed by at least two individual pieces.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Next the stationery article (1) for the preservation of documents (5) is described, including the device or fastening element (6) that is the subject matter of this invention.

In a conventional portfolio of the prior art, such as that shown in the FIG. 1 and designated with number (1), there are, in the front (2) and back (3) panels, elements of the type of “lapels” (4) stuck to one or both internal surfaces of the panels (2) and (3), being bonded typically for some of the well-known processes in the art, such as weld by ultraviolet radiation, ultrasound, glued, bounding, thermo-sealed, sewn, etc.; the area of union between the lapel (4) and the interior surface of the panels (2) and (3) is normally reduced to a narrow stripe located along the inferior edge of the panels and the corresponding part next to the end for which the portfolio is open, forming a kind of “pocket” or support in order to maintain the inferior end of one or several pages of a document (5) to be preserved inside the article (1) as it is illustrated in FIG. 2.

It should be noticed that the upper end of the document normally has free movement toward front and back, as indicated by the double-headed arrow, with regard to the panel (2) or (3) in whose lapel (4) is been inserted; this movement is used to be restricted by the sole employment of means of mechanical subjection applied directly to the document, this is, additions like staples, paperclips or fastenings, that maintain the group of pages in a certain extension, however they do not protect in any way the edges and corners of the documents (5) at the top.

When, as shown in the FIG. 3, panels close one on another, pointing out this action by the arrow in the inferior part of the illustrated portfolio, it is possible that the edges or corners of the documents (5) in the interior of the portfolio could move enough toward the front in order to remain pressed between the panels (2) or (3) of the portfolio, suffering a wrinkle or bend, tarnishing the document (5). The above-mentioned is indicated for the curved arrow and the indication of bending in the upper-right corner of the document (5) shown in the FIG. 3.

In order to avoid that upper edges of the documents (5), as well as the corners of the same, bend toward the front because the free movement that they provide, there is been provided, in the preferred embodiment of this invention, a device or fastening element like that shown in the FIG. 4 with the number (6), consistent of a ribbon of flexible or semi-flexible material, of transparent, semi-transparent, translucent or colored plastic, preferably transparent, material.

The form of the element (6), in the preferred embodiment of the invention, is essentially trapezoidal having the larger base of measure equals or lightly lesser to the interior measure of the panel (2) or (3) taken along the upper edge, opposite to the localization of the lapel or pocket (4) of support, and it is anchored to said upper edge of the interior surface of the panel (2) or (3) having the lapel or pocket of the prior art in its lowest part; the anchored is carried out by means of any well-known technique in the art, as weld by ultraviolet radiation, ultrasound, bond, thermo-sealed, sewn, etc., in function of the type of material that conforms the body of the panels of the article for the preservation of documents (5), either a portfolio, portfolio of rings, of fastening portfolio or similar, as long as the type of material selected for the fastening element (6) that is the subject matter of this invention, looking after that both materials are compatible in order to assuring a fixation of the fastening element (6) to the article under question.

The minor base of the trapeze goes toward the center of the panel (2) or (3), and it has the adjacent corners rounded with the purpose of avoiding any rip or scratch to the material that will be preserved in the folder or portfolio.

The union area between the fastening element (6) matter of the invention and the interior surface of the panel of the portfolio is located both, in the most external part of the surface of the fastening element (6) and that of the panel (2) or (3), being limited approximately for the A-A line as shown in FIG. 5. The higher or lower rigidity of the selected material to produce the element of fixation (6), permits that this element keeps always in contact with the interior surface of the panel to that it is united, permitting that in its position of not-use, shown in the FIG. 4 previously described, the device or fastening element (6) do not interfere with the documents (5) or documents that will be inserted in the portfolio, achieving in this way that this portfolio could be used in the conventional way, if so the user wants.

Considering again the FIG. 5, the fastening element (6) of the invention becomes operative when, once the document or documents to preserve have been inserted in the lapel or pocket referred as (4) in the previous Figures; the inferior edge of the fastening element (6), this is, the minor base of the trapeze is bended upward in the opposed direction to the interior surface of the panel (2) or (3), as shown in FIG. 5 by the arrows, permitting the insertion of the upper edge of the document or documents (5) underneath the fastening element (6), and between this and the interior surface of the panel (2) or (3) of the folder or portfolio.

Upon release the fastening element (6), this recovers its normal position, and due to its relative rigidity and to the location of the area of union with the interior surface of the panel (2) or (3) of the portfolio, said element (6) exercises a pressure against the document toward the internal surface of the panel (2) or (3) of the portfolio, trapping so the upper edge of said document (5) in the form that is illustrated in the FIG. 6, obtaining by this to reduce substantially the capacity of movement of the front pages and avoiding the possibility of folding of the same upon opening the article in question.

As it have been mentioned above, if the material selected in order to elaborate the device or fastening element (6) matter of this invention is transparent, then said element (6) will not interfere with the possibility of viewing the content from the front page of the document (5) preserved, although this possibility is not restrictive of the invention every time the dimensions of the element are substantially lesser with regard to the area that is able to being covered by the material of the inferior support (lapel or pocket) (4).

Finally, it is clear that application of the fastening element (6) matter of this invention could be made, in the way it has been described, in one or both interior surfaces of the panels (2) or (3) that constitute the body of the article of office (1) for the preservation of documents, either this is a portfolio, with rings or hoops, of fastenings or similar, by virtue of that the mentioned fastening element does not interfere with the normal operation of any of the articles to which it could be added.

In another embodiment of this invention, illustrated in FIG. 7, the fastening element (6) could have a rectangular form, instead of trapezoidal, maintaining the characteristic of having the corners adjacent to the inferior edge, rounded, in order to avoid ripping of the documents (5) contained in the portfolio (1). The numbers have the same meaning that in FIG. 6.

In still another modality of this invention, illustrated in FIG. 8, the fastening element (6) could have a longitude substantially lesser to that of the width of the panel (2) or (3) of the portfolio (1) to which it is adhered along one of their edges, maintaining their action of subjection of the document (5) between the panel and the element, as well as the protection to the edge of the document (5) on which it is in its position of use; the protection to the edge of the document (5) is restricted in fact to the zone of the upper edge of the same in function of the position in which the element (6) is anchored to the panel (2) or (3) of the portfolio (1); it is possible to protect any of the corners of the document (5) if the fastening element (6) is anchored to the panel (2) or (3) in a proximal way to the selected corner; in another case, the fastening element (6) could be located centered with reference to the panel (2) or (3).

Another modality of the invention, illustrated in FIG. 9, suggest the use of a fastening element (6) divided in two or more sections in their longitude, offering flexibility to the respective panel (2) or (3) of the portfolio (1), maintaining the characteristics of protection to the upper edge of the document (5) and of their corners. In function of the longitude and form selected for each one of the elements of subjection (6), it is possible a saving of material with practically the same functionality.