Title:
Ribbon dispenser
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed herein is a device for containing a center-pull roll that has a central core and an elongated material, such as ribbon, wound about the central core. The device has a peripheral wall with a first end and a second end opposite the first end, as well as a first end wall positioned proximal the first end and having a dispensing outlet formed substantially centrally therein. The device also includes a second end wall positioned proximal the second end. The central core is axially aligned with the dispensing outlet, such that the central core may be removed through the dispensing outlet and the elongated material may be dispensed through the dispensing outlet. The peripheral wall can have a portal formed therein for passage of a finger at least partially therethrough to touch the elongated material.



Inventors:
Yip, Yi-ling (Kearny, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/326174
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
01/05/2006
Assignee:
Berwick Offray LLC
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/409, 242/170, 242/588.3
International Classes:
B65H75/16; B65D85/672
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RIVERA, WILLIAM ARAUZ
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP NEWARK (NEWARK, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A dispenser for elongated material, comprising a peripheral wall having a portal formed therein for passage of a finger at least partially therethrough; a first end wall positioned proximal a first end of said peripheral wall and having a dispensing outlet formed substantially centrally therein; and a second end wall positioned proximal a second end of said peripheral wall opposite the first end.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein said peripheral wall, said first end wall, and said second end wall define a chamber therebetween and said dispensing outlet extends through said first end wall to said chamber.

3. The device of claim 2, including closing means for closing said dispensing outlet.

4. The device of claim 3, wherein said closing means includes an adhesive layer removably attached to said first end wall to cover said dispensing outlet.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein said peripheral wall is substantially cylindrical.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein said dispenser is at least partially defined about a central axis thereof.

7. The device of claim 6, wherein said peripheral wall extends about said central axis.

8. The device of claim 6, wherein said dispensing outlet is substantially aligned with said central axis.

9. In combination, a center-pull roll having a central core and an elongated material wound thereabout, and a device for dispensing said elongated material, said device comprising a peripheral wall, a first end wall positioned proximal a first end of said peripheral wall and having a dispensing outlet formed substantially centrally therein, and a second end wall positioned proximal a second end of said peripheral wall opposite said first end wall.

10. The combination of claim 9, wherein said peripheral wall extends about a central axis.

11. The combination of claim 10, wherein said dispensing outlet is substantially aligned with said central axis.

12. The combination of claim 11, wherein said central core is substantially aligned with said central axis.

13. The combination of claim 9, wherein said peripheral wall, said first end wall, and said second end wall define a chamber therebetween and said dispensing outlet extends through said first end wall to said chamber.

14. The combination of claim 13, wherein said center-pull roll is positioned within said chamber.

15. The combination of claim 14, wherein said central core and said dispensing outlet are sized and shaped such that said central core may be removed from said chamber through said dispensing outlet.

16. The combination of claim 9, including closing means for closing said dispensing outlet.

17. The combination of claim 16, wherein said closing means includes an adhesive layer removably attached to said first end wall to cover said dispensing outlet.

18. The combination of claim 9, wherein said elongated material is ribbon.

19. The combination of claim 9, wherein said peripheral wall has a portal formed therein for passage of a finger at least partially therethrough to touch said elongated material.

20. The combination of claim 9, wherein said peripheral wall is substantially cylindrical.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for packaging and dispensing elongated material, such as ribbon, which is wound into a center-pull roll.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known in the art to provide means for dispensing elongated material, such as yarn, ribbon and the like. U.S. Pat. No. 3,310,167 to Knox (the “Knox '167 Patent”), for example, discloses a ribbon dispenser including a bottom wall, a top wall having a hole formed therein, an outer cylindrical wall, and a plurality of partitions disposed within the outer cylindrical wall to form a plurality of compartments. Many of the partitions have an aperture formed therethrough in alignment with the hole, and the ribbon dispenser includes ribbon positioned within the compartments to be dispensed through the hole and corresponding aperture. As another example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,763,785 to Bradley et al. (the “Bradley '785 Patent”) discloses a center-pull structure having a center core, release paper wrapped about the center core, and a fibrous material wound about the release paper.

What is needed in the art, however, is a device for packaging, dispensing, and displaying elongated material from a center-pull roll. What is also needed in the art, is a device for packaging, dispensing, and displaying elongated material in such a manner as to facilitate tactile evaluation of the material prior to purchase thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Preferred embodiments of the present invention overcome the disadvantages and shortcomings of the prior art by providing a device for containing a center-pull roll that has an elongated material and for dispensing the elongated material. In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the device includes a peripheral wall, a first end wall, and a second end. The peripheral wall includes a portal formed therein for passage of a finger at least partially therethrough. The first end wall has a dispensing outlet formed substantially centrally therein. The device includes closing means, such as a sticker positioned on the first wall, for closing the dispensing outlet.

In accordance with the exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the device is used in combination with a center-pull roll having a central core and an elongated material, such as ribbon, wound thereabout. The center-pull roll is in axial alignment with the dispensing outlet, such that the central core can be removed from the dispensing outlet after the closing means have been removed. The ribbon can then be dispensed through the dispensing outlet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following detailed description of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a ribbon dispenser constructed in accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a conventional center-pull roll of ribbon;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the ribbon dispenser of FIG. 1 in combination with the center-pull roll of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the ribbon dispenser of FIG. 1 in combination with the center-pull roll of FIG. 2, the combination being shown prior to a ribbon-dispensing operation by a user whose hand is visible in FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the ribbon dispenser of FIG. 1 in combination with the center-pull roll of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of the ribbon dispenser of FIG. 1 in combination with the center-pull roll of FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the ribbon dispenser of FIG. 1 in combination with the center-pull roll of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the ribbon dispenser of FIG. 1 in combination with the center-pull roll of FIG. 2, the combination being shown as a user, whose hand is visible in FIG. 8, removes a central core of the roll from the dispenser; and

FIG. 9 is a perspective view similar to that of FIG. 8, except that the central core has been removed from the dispenser and detached from the roll.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIGS. 1-7, a ribbon dispenser 10 is shown in combination with a center-pull roll 12, which includes a central core 14 and an elongated material, such as a ribbon 16, wound thereabout in a conventional manner. The ribbon dispenser 10 includes a peripheral wall 18, a lid 20, and a base 22, each of which shall be discussed below in further detail.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 3, 4, and 6, the peripheral wall 18 is substantially cylindrical and extends about a central axis Ac (designated in FIG. 3). The peripheral wall 18 is preferably formed from an acetate that is transparent, it being understood that the peripheral wall 18 can be formed from any transparent, translucent, and/or opaque material. An opening, referenced herein as a finger portal 24, is formed in the peripheral wall 18 and sized and shaped to allow passage of a finger at least partially therethrough. The peripheral wall 18 forms a chamber 26 that is sized and dimensioned to receive and contain the center-pull roll 12 such that a user of the ribbon dispenser 10 may view the ribbon 16 through the transparent peripheral wall 18 and touch the ribbon 16 through the finger portal 24 for tactile evaluation thereof (e.g., sensing the texture of the ribbon 16).

Referring to FIGS. 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7, the base 22 of the ribbon dispenser 10 includes a round end wall 28 and a circular flange 30. Although the base 22 is shown to be formed from an acetate that is opaque, the base 22 can be formed from any transparent, translucent, and/or opaque material. The end wall 28 is substantially round, and the center thereof is in substantial alignment with the central axis AC (designated in FIG. 3). The flange 30, which is preferably formed monolithically with the end wall 28, extends perpendicularly from the plane of the end wall 28, such that the flange 30 extends annularly about the central axis AC. The radius of the flange 30, as measured from an inside surface thereof to the central axis AC, is slightly larger than the radius of the peripheral wall 18, as measured from the outside surface thereof to the central axis AC, whereby the base 22 is adapted to removably receive the peripheral wall 18 when they are arranged concentrically about the central axis AC. The flange 30 forms a friction fit with the peripheral wall 18. Although not required, an adhesive (not shown) can be used to attach the flange 30 to the peripheral wall 18. It is also contemplated that the end wall 28 and/or the flange 30 could be attached to the peripheral wall 18 by any suitable means appreciated by one skilled in the art.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3-6, the lid 20, which is round, includes an end wall 32 and a circular flange 34. Although the lid 20 is shown to be formed from an acetate that is opaque, it could be formed from any transparent, translucent, and/or opaque material. The end wall 32 is substantially round, and the center thereof is in substantial alignment with the central axis AC (designated in FIG. 3). The flange 34, which is preferably formed monolithically with the end wall 32, extends perpendicularly from the plane of the end wall 32, such that the flange 34 extends annularly about the central axis AC. The radius of the flange 34, as measured from an inside surface thereof to the central axis AC, is slightly larger than the radius of the peripheral wall 18, as measured from the outside surface thereof to the central axis AC, whereby the lid 20 is adapted to removably receive the peripheral wall 18 when they are arranged concentrically about the central axis AC. The flange 34 forms a friction fit with the peripheral wall 18. Although not required, an adhesive (not shown) can be used to attach the flange 34 to the peripheral wall 18. It is also contemplated that the end wall 32 and/or the flange 34 could be attached to the peripheral wall 18 by any suitable means appreciated by one skilled in the art.

Continuing with reference to FIGS. 1 and 3-6, the end wall 32 has an outlet, referenced herein as a dispensing outlet 36, formed centrally therein about the central axis AC (designated in FIG. 3). The outlet 36, which extends through the end wall 32 to the chamber 26, is substantially cylindrical and has a diameter, referenced herein as diameter DDO (designated in FIG. 3), that is selected for a purpose to be described hereinafter. The ribbon dispenser 10 further includes closing means, such as an adhesive sticker 38 or the like, that can adhere to a surface of the end wall 32 opposite the chamber 26 so as to removably close off the outlet 36.

Referring to FIGS. 2-6, the roll 12 is positioned within the chamber 26 of the dispenser 10 and, as indicated above, includes the central core 14 and the ribbon 16, which is wound about the core 14. The ribbon 16, which could be replaced by any other suitable elongated material (e.g., cord, twine, rope, tape, etc.), is visually perceptible through the transparent peripheral wall 18, while being accessible for touching by a finger of a user that is inserted through the portal 24. The ribbon 16 has a first end, referenced herein as an interior end 40, that is at least temporarily attached to the central core 14 by an adhesive or other suitable means appreciated by one skilled in the art. The ribbon 16 is wound about the central core 14 and terminates at an end opposite the interior end 40, which is referenced herein as an exterior end 42.

Referring to FIG. 3, the central core 14 is preferably a hollow tube formed from cardboard and arranged in substantial alignment with the central axis AC and the dispensing outlet 36, whereby the core 14 can be removed from the chamber 26 through the outlet 36. In this regard, the central core 14 preferably has a diameter, referenced herein as diameter DCC, that is less than the diameter DDO of the dispensing outlet 36, so as to permit passage of the central core 14 therethrough.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 8-9, an exemplary method of using the ribbon dispenser 10 in combination with the center-pull roll 12 shall now be discussed. As shown in FIG. 4, the roll 12 is positioned within the chamber 26 of the dispenser 10 for display at a retail store. A consumer, for example, can evaluate the tactile qualities of the ribbon 16 by inserting his or her finger through the portal 24 to touch the ribbon 16. During transportation of the ribbon dispenser 10 and the center-pull roll 12 positioned therein, the sticker 38 adheres to the lid 20 of the ribbon dispenser 10, thereby preventing the central core 14 of the center-pull roll 12 from inadvertently exiting the ribbon dispenser 10 through the dispensing outlet 36 thereof.

As shown in FIGS. 8-9, after having removed the sticker 38, the consumer pulls the central core 14 through the dispensing outlet 36 with the interior end 40 of the ribbon 16. The user then pulls the interior end 40 of the ribbon 16 from the ribbon dispenser 10 to dispense a desired length of the ribbon 16 from the ribbon dispenser 10 and detaches the desired length of the ribbon 16 from the remaining length of the ribbon 16.

It will be understood that the embodiment of the present invention described herein is merely exemplary and that a person skilled in the art may make many variations and modifications without departing from the spirit and the scope of the present invention. For example, the dispenser 10 can be used to package, display, and/or dispense items other than the ribbon 16, such as textiles, textured gift wrap, etc. In embodiments of the present invention having the finger portal 24, such items can be positioned within the chamber 26, whereby a user of the dispenser 10 can evaluate the tactile qualities of the items by inserting a finger through the portal 24 and touching the items. All such variations and modifications, including those discussed above, are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.