Title:
Gift Wrap Material Container and Method of Dispensing
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A new and useful gift wrap material container and method of dispensing gift wrap material from the container in selected lengths is provided. The gift wrap material container and method of the present invention are designed to provide an inexpensive way to store and protect gift wrap material (particularly gift wrap material) until the gift wrap material is needed again. In addition, the container and method of the invention provides a means of dispensing and cutting the gift wrap material in an efficient and economical way. According to the present invention, a gift wrap material container (i) is configured to receive a roll of gift wrap material, (ii) is configured with an opening through which gift wrap material can be directed out of the cavity when the gift wrap material is being dispensed, and (iii) having a cutter guide integrally formed with the container and disposed on the outside of the container, the cutter guide configured guide a cutter along a predetermined path on the outside of the container, and to support gift wrap material in a position that enables the gift wrap material that is being dispensed to be cut to a selected length as the cutter moves along the predetermined path on the outside of the container.



Inventors:
Pelton, Jennifer (Tucson, AZ, US)
Beregi, James (Tucson, AZ, US)
Application Number:
12/237740
Publication Date:
03/25/2010
Filing Date:
09/25/2008
Assignee:
Wrap Saver, L.L.C. (Tucson, AZ, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/389, 225/39
International Classes:
B65H35/00; B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090000971Cling Wrap CaseJanuary, 2009Kazama
20040045993Device for the separation of plastic cardsMarch, 2004Weinfurtner et al.
20100044407Sheet Product Dispenser and Method of OperationFebruary, 2010Yardley
20070235494TAPE DISPENSEROctober, 2007Foran et al.
20040251291Dispenser for a material web that has been combined to form a unitDecember, 2004Bengtsson
20050082331Tempered glass breakerApril, 2005Yang
20050072826Gift wrap roll storage and cutting boxApril, 2005Sewell et al.
20040251293Paper holder, and paper cutting deviceDecember, 2004Hirai et al.
20050139626Newsprint dispensing deviceJune, 2005Owens
20080011803PILL SPLITTER WITH PROTECTED BLADE AND MODIFIED HINGEJanuary, 2008Petrie et al.
20100019012Blade guardJanuary, 2010Hurst



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, PHONG H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lawrence R. Oremland (Tucson, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. A method of dispensing gift wrap material, comprising, (a) providing a container that (i) is configured to receive a roll of gift wrap material, (ii) is configured with an opening through which the gift wrap material can be directed out of the container when it is desired to dispense the gift wrap material in a selected length, and (iii) has a cutter guide integrally formed with the container and disposed on the outside of the container, the cutter guide configured along a predetermined path on the outside of the container, and to support gift wrap material that has been directed through the opening in a position that enables the gift wrap material to be cut to a selected length as the cutter moves along the predetermined path on the outside of the container; (b) directing the gift wrap material out of the container and into a position in which the gift wrap material is supported by the cutter guide, and moving a cutter along the cutter guide to cut the gift wrap material to a selected length.

2. A method as defined by claim 1, wherein the cutter guide comprises a pair of walls that extend away from the container, and have distal ends configured to support gift wrap material across the pair of walls; and wherein the gift wrap material directed out of the container is positioned across the distal ends of the walls as the cutter is moved along the cutter guide to cut the gift wrap material to the selected length.

3. A method as defined by claim 2 wherein the opening and the distal ends of the walls of the cutter guide are configured to minimize the likelihood of damaging the gift wrap material as the gift wrap material is directed through the opening and positioned across the distal ends of the pair of walls.

4. A method as defined by claim 3, wherein the distal ends of the walls of the cutter guide have rounded configurations to minimize the likelihood of damaging the gift wrap material as the gift wrap material is positioned across the distal ends of the pair of walls.

5. A method as defined by claim 1, wherein the container is substantially cylindrical and includes open ends that enable insertion of a roll of gift wrap material into the container through either of the open ends.

6. A method as defined by claim 1, wherein the container has support structure integral with and extending away from the container, the support structure configured to support the container on a surface in a manner that stabilizes the container as the gift wrap material is being directed out of the container and cut by the cutting tool.

7. A container for supporting a roll of gift wrap material and designed to enable gift wrap material to be directed out of the container and cut to a selected length, comprising, a container that (i) is configured to receive a roll of gift wrap material, (ii) is configured with an opening through which gift wrap material can be directed out of the container when it is desired to cut the gift wrap material to a selected length, and (iii) having a cutter guide integrally formed with the container and disposed on the outside of the container, the cutter guide configured guide a cutter along a predetermined path on the outside of the container, and to support gift wrap material in a position that enables the gift wrap material to be cut to a selected length as the cutter moves along the predetermined path on the outside of the container.

8. A container as defined by claim 7, wherein the cutter guide comprises a pair of walls that extend away from the container, and have distal ends configured to support gift wrap material across the pair of walls.

9. A container as defined by claim 8, wherein the opening and the distal ends of the walls of the cutter guide are configured to minimize the likelihood of damaging the gift wrap material as the gift wrap material is directed through the opening and positioned across the distal ends of the pair of walls.

10. A container as defined by claim 9, wherein the distal ends of the walls of the cutter guide have rounded configurations to minimize the likelihood of damaging the gift wrap material as the gift wrap material is positioned across the distal ends of the pair of walls.

11. A container as defined by claim 7, wherein the container is substantially cylindrical and includes open ends that enable insertion of a roll of gift wrap material into the container through either of the open ends.

12. A container as defined by claim 7, wherein the container has support structure integral with and extending away from the container, the support structure configured to support the container on a surface in a manner that stabilizes the container as the gift wrap material is being directed out of the cavity and cut by the cutting tool.

13. A container as defined by claim 12, wherein the container, the cutter guide and the support structure are monolithically formed in one piece.

14. A container as defined by claim 7, wherein the container and the cutter guide are monolithically formed in one piece.

15. A gift wrap material dispenser designed to enable gift wrap material to be dispensed in a selected length, comprising, a container that (i) has a cavity in which a roll of gift wrap material is located, (ii) is configured with an opening through which gift wrap material can be directed out of the container when it is desired to cut the gift wrap material to a selected length, and (iii) has a cutter guide integrally formed with the container and disposed on the outside of the container, the cutter guide configured guide a cutter along a predetermined path on the outside of the container, and to support gift wrap material in a position that enables the gift wrap material to be cut to a selected length as the cutter moves along the predetermined path on the outside of the container.

16. A gift wrap material dispenser as defined by claim 15, wherein the cutter guide comprises a pair of walls that extend away from the container, and have distal ends configured to support gift wrap material across the pair of walls.

17. A container as defined by claim 16, wherein the opening and the distal ends of the walls of the cutter guide are configured to minimize the likelihood of damaging the gift wrap material as the gift wrap material is directed through the opening and positioned across the distal ends of the pair of walls.

18. A container as defined by claim 17, wherein the distal ends of the walls of the cutter guide have rounded configurations to minimize the likelihood of damaging the gift wrap material as the gift wrap material is positioned across the distal ends of the pair of walls.

19. A container as defined by claim 15, wherein the container has support structure integral with and extending away from the container, the support structure configured to support the container on a surface in a manner that stabilizes the container as the gift wrap material is being directed out of the cavity and cut by the cutting tool.

20. A container as defined by claim 19, wherein the container, the cutter guide and the support structure are monolithically formed in one piece.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION/CLAIM OF PRIORITY

This application is related to and claims priority from provisional application Ser. No. 60/995,210, filed Sep. 25, 2007, which provisional application is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to a new and useful container for storing and dispensing gift wrap material in selected lengths, and to a method for dispensing selected lengths of gift wrap material from the container. The container of the present invention is designed to be inexpensive to produce, and efficient in the manner in which it enables gift wrap material to be stored and dispensed in selected lengths.

In applicants' experience, gift wrap material storage has been a messy and wasteful process. During holiday seasons many different styles and colors of gift wrap material is acquired and after the gifts are wrapped there has been no commercially available way to protect and individually store the remaining gift wrap material until needed again. In addition, during storage the gift wrap material is often damaged, torn, soiled, or other wise made useless, requiring the purchase of new gift wrap material and the disposal of the old soiled gift wrap material. This is expensive and wasteful contributing to environmental harm.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a new and useful gift wrap material container, and method of dispensing gift wrap material from the container in selected lengths.

The gift wrap material container and method of the present invention are designed to address the foregoing concerns, and also to provide additional useful features in a gift wrap material container and method. For example, a gift wrap material container according to the present invention is designed to provide an inexpensive way to store and protect gift wrap material until the gift wrap material is needed again. In addition, the present invention provides a means of dispensing and cutting the gift wrap material in an efficient and economical way.

According to the present invention, a gift wrap material container (i) is configured to receive a roll of gift wrap material, (ii) is configured with an opening through which the gift wrap material can be directed out of the cavity when the gift wrap material is being dispensed, and (iii) having a cutter guide integrally formed with the container and disposed on the outside of the container, the cutter guide configured along a predetermined path on the outside of the container, and to support gift wrap material in a position that enables the gift wrap material that is being dispensed to be cut to a selected length as the cutter moves along the predetermined path on the outside of the container.

The cutter guide preferably comprises a pair of walls that extend away from the container, and have distal ends configured to support gift wrap material across the pair of walls. Moreover, the opening and the distal ends of the walls of the cutter guide are configured to minimize the likelihood of damaging the gift wrap material as the gift wrap material is directed through the opening and across the distal ends of the pair of walls. In addition, the distal ends of the walls of the cutter guide have rounded configurations to minimize the likelihood of damaging the gift wrap material as the gift wrap material is directed across the distal ends of the pair of walls.

The container is preferably substantially cylindrical and includes open ends that enable insertion of a roll of gift wrap material into the container through either of the open ends. Also, the container has support structure integral with and extending away from the container and the support structure is configured to support the container on a surface in a manner that stabilizes the container as the gift wrap material is being directed out of the cavity and cut by the cutting tool.

Preferably, the container, the cutter guide and the support structure are monolithically formed in one piece, from semi transparent flexible plastic. In order to dispense the gift wrap material in selected lengths, the gift wrap material is pulled from the container through the opening in the container and laid across the cutter guide on the top side of the container. The support structure is on the bottom side of the container to stabilize the container while the gift wrap material is being cut to a selected length. A hand held external cutter is provided to cut the gift wrap material. The cutter is placed in the cutter guide and then pushed across the gift wrap material to cut the gift wrap material. The container is designed to flex around the gift wrap material to hold it snugly for storage and during the cutting process. The opposite ends of the container are open (i) to allow the gift wrap material to be inserted into the container from either end, (ii) to allow for the adjustment of the gift wrap material inside the container, by winding the gift wrap material through one of the open ends, and (iii) to enable rewind of any excess gift wrap material back into the container for storage.

Other features of the present invention will become further apparent from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings and exhibit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS AND EXHIBIT

FIG. 1 is an end view of a gift wrap material container, according to the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a cutter that can be used to cut gift wrap material to a selected length, in dispensing gift wrap material from the container, according to the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates an end view of a container according to the principles of the present invention, with a roll of gift warp stored therein;

FIG. 4 schematically illustrates an end view of a container according to the principles of the present invention, as a length of gift wrap material is being cut to a selected length;

FIG. 5 is a schematic, isometric illustration of a container according to the principles of the present invention, as a length of gift wrap material is in a position to be cut to a selected length.

Exhibit A is a group of photographs shown a gift wrap material container according to the present invention, the container storing a roll of gift wrap material, and gift wrap material that is stored in a container being cut to a selected length, all according to the principles of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As discussed above, the present invention relates to a new and useful gift wrap material container, and method of dispensing gift wrap material from the container in selected lengths. The following detailed description shows how the principles of the present invention are implemented with one version of a container, and from that description the manner in which the principles of the present invention can be embodied in various types of containers, and with various forms of gift wrap material, will be apparent to those in the art.

FIG. 1 shows an end view of a gift wrap material container 1, constructed according to the principles of the present invention. The container 1 includes a cavity A in which a roll of gift wrap material can be located. The roll of gift wrap material can be wrapped about an inner support member such as a cardboard tube, or the roll of gift wrap material can be provided as a rolled up tube of gift wrap material, without an inner support, that is provided in the cavity A. Moreover, the principles of the present invention can be implemented with rolls of gift wrap material in virtually any form, that can be located in the cavity, in a manner such that the leading end of the gift wrap material can be pulled, or otherwise directed out of the cavity, in the manner described herein.

Thus, the principal feature of the cavity A is that it is configured to receive a roll of gift wrap material in a condition such that the gift wrap material can be dispensed from the container 1. Moreover, the container 1 is configured with (i) an opening 15 through which the roll of gift wrap material can be directed out of the cavity A when the gift wrap material is being dispensed, and (ii) a cutter guide 13 integrally formed with the container 1 and disposed on the outside of the container. The cutter guide 13 is configured to guide a cutter along a predetermined path on the outside of the container (in a direction into or out of the plane of FIG. 1), and to support gift wrap material in a position that enables the gift wrap material that is being dispensed to be cut to a selected length as the cutter moves along the predetermined path on the outside of the container 1.

The cutter guide 13 preferably comprises a pair of walls 2, 4 that are formed integrally with the container 1, and extend away from outer wall of the container 1. The walls 2, 4 have distal ends configured to support gift wrap material across the pair of walls. Moreover, the opening 15 (which preferably extends the entire length of the container) and the distal ends of the walls 2, 4 of the cutter guide are configured to minimize the likelihood of damaging the gift wrap material as the gift wrap material is directed through the opening 15 and across the distal ends of the pair of walls. Specifically, the distal ends of the walls 2, 4 of the cutter guide have e.g. beads 3 or other similar curved configurations. The container 1 is preferably formed of extruded plastic, and enabling the formation of the beads minimizes sharpness at the distal ends of the walls 2, 4. Moreover, by enabling formation of the curved beads at the distal ends of the walls 2, 4, a roll of gift wrap material that is pulled from the cavity A and held tight across the cutter guide 13 should not be damaged. In addition, the opening 15 is bounded by a rounded portion 5 of the container wall that has a curved or rounded profile, so that a roll of gift wrap material 14 (shown in FIG. 3) that is being inserted through the opening 15 and into the cavity A, or gift wrap material that is being pulled through the opening 15, in the direction shown by arrow 15, should not encounter a sharp edge that could damage the gift wrap material.

The container 1 is preferably a substantially cylindrical, longitudinally extending tube (and cavity A also extends longitudinally and is substantially cylindrical). The container 1 includes open ends (one of which is shown in FIG. 1) that enable insertion of a roll 14 of gift wrap material into the container 1 through either of the open ends. Also, the container has support structure integral with and extending away from the container that is configured to support the container on a surface in a manner that stabilizes the container as the gift wrap material is being directed out of the cavity A and cut by a cutting tool, as described further below. Specifically, the support structure can comprise, e.g. one or more pairs of support legs 7, 12, integral with and extending away from the container 1, and a longitudinal portion 19 of the outer periphery of the container, that is located midway between the support legs 7, 12. The support legs 7, 12, preferably have beads 8-11 that enable the support legs to be part of an extruded container without the formation of sharp edges. The beads, and the rounded surface of the container, also enable the support legs 7, 12, and the longitudinal portion 19 of the container to support the container 1 from a surface without damaging the surface. In addition, the support legs 7, 12 are substantially identical in size, and are located so that when they are resting on a support surface, their distal ends are located in the same plane as the longitudinal portion 19 of the container, and the support legs are oriented on opposite sides of the cutter guide 13, and support the container 1 with the cutter guide 13 facing upward, and the opening 15 on one side of the cutter guide 13.

Preferably, the container 1, the cutter guide 13 and the support structure are monolithically formed in one piece, from semi transparent, flexible plastic. In order to dispense the gift wrap material in selected lengths, the gift wrap material is initially located in the cavity A. For example, the gift wrap material (which is schematically shown at 16 in FIGS. 3, 4) can be stored as a roll inside the cavity A. The leading end of the gift wrap material 16 is pulled out of the container 1 through the opening 15 and laid across the cutter guide 13 on the top side of the container. The support structure 7, 12 (and the longitudinal portion 19) is on the bottom side of the container to stabilize the container 1 on a support surface (shown schematically at S in FIG. 4) while the gift wrap material is being cut to a selected length.

A hand held external cutter 17 (FIG. 2) is provided to cut the gift wrap material. The cutter 17, which is not part of the present invention, can be commercially available such as, e.g. an Alvin Zippy brand cutter. The cutter guide 13 is configured so that the cutter can be engaged and guided by the cutter guide with the blade of the cutter disposed between the walls 2, 4 at a height such that the blade will cut through gift wrap material 16 that is held across the distal ends of the walls 2, 4. The cutter guide 13 is also configured such that when cutter 17 is placed in the cutter guide 13 and then pushed across the gift wrap material to cut the gift wrap material the cutter will be accurately guided along a substantially straight path along the cutter guide. In FIG. 4, the gift wrap material 16 is shown pulled tight across the walls 2, 4 of the cutter guide, and the blade of the cutter is schematically shown at 18. By pulling the gift wrap material through the opening 15, locating the gift wrap material across the distal ends of the walls 2, 4 of the cutter guide, and then accurately guiding the cutter along the cutter guide, the gift wrap material will be cut accurately and to a selected length.

The container 1 is designed to flex around the gift wrap material to hold it snugly for storage and during the cutting process. As described above, the opposite ends of the container 1 are open to allow for the adjustment of the gift wrap material inside the container and to enable rewind of any excess gift wrap material back into the container for storage, once the gift wrap material has been cut to a selected length.

The container 1 of the present invention provides an efficient way to store and protect gift wrap material. A roll of gift wrap material (which can be formed, e.g. of paper, plastic, foil, or other known type of gift wrap material) can be inserted into the container either through the opening 15 or through one of the open ends of the container. The container 1 will then protect the gift wrap material from damage when the gift wrap material is being stored by the container. Moreover, the container 1 is configured to enable the gift wrap material to be efficiently dispensed from the container and cut to a selected length. The cutter guide is designed so that a handheld cutter that is slid (guided) through the cutter-guide should produce a straight cut in the gift wrap material. The support legs 7, 12 are centered under the cutter-guide 13, to position and stabilize the container and the cutter-guide on the top of the container, when the container is located on a support surface. Also, the distal ends of the support legs 7, 12 are co planar with the longitudinal support portion 19 of the container to providing a very stable support for the container.

From the foregoing description, it will be understood by those in the art that the container of the present invention has the following features (as well as other features):

    • a. The semi-clear flexible plastic container protects gift wrap material during storage.
    • b. The semi-clear flexible plastic container allows the gift wrap material to be seen before pulling out any of the gift wrap material from the container.
    • c. The open ends of the container allow the gift wrap material to be repositioned within the container and rewound back into the container for storage.
    • d. The open ends of the container facilitate inserting the gift wrap material from either end for left or right handed users.
    • e. The container has a cutter guide on the top to facilitate straight cuts.
    • f. The cutter guide is centered over the feet on the topside of the container for ease of use.
    • g. The container has two sets of support legs on the bottom to stabilize the container while the gift wrap material is being cut to a selected length.
    • h. The container is flexible to snugly hold the gift wrap material during storage and cutting.
    • i. The container has rounded or beaded edges to make for smooth non-sharp edges.
    • j. The container has a rounded side the length of the container to facilitate inserting the gift wrap material into the plastic container.
    • k. The container is designed to save gift wrap material from being damaged during storage, and is environmentally friendly by promoting the complete usage of existing gift wrap material and minimizing the need to dispose of old damaged gift wrap material.
    • l. The container is designed to qualify as a “green” device, because it saves garbage land fills and trees needed to make the gift wrap material, which reduces the energy required and chemicals needed to make more gift wrap material.
    • m. The container is currently sized to receive a 2 inch diameter roll of gift wrap material, and the container can be sized to receive other traditional sizes of rolls of gift wrap material (e.g. 1¼ inch diameter rolls).

To provide further illustration of the principles of the present invention, Exhibit A is a group of photographs showing a gift wrap material container according to the present invention, the container storing a roll of gift wrap material, and gift wrap material that is stored in a container being cut to a selected length, all according to the principles of the present invention.

With the foregoing disclosure in mind, it is believed that various designs for a container for gift wrap material, and a method of dispensing gift wrap material from the container, according to the principles of the present invention, will be apparent to those in the art.