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Publication numberUS20020078534 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/749,219
Publication dateJun 27, 2002
Filing dateDec 27, 2000
Priority dateDec 27, 2000
Publication number09749219, 749219, US 2002/0078534 A1, US 2002/078534 A1, US 20020078534 A1, US 20020078534A1, US 2002078534 A1, US 2002078534A1, US-A1-20020078534, US-A1-2002078534, US2002/0078534A1, US2002/078534A1, US20020078534 A1, US20020078534A1, US2002078534 A1, US2002078534A1
InventorsRobert Williams
Original AssigneeWilliams Robert J.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple purpose bag closure clip which is of one piece, rigid, thick, pear shaped and thick construction
US 20020078534 A1
Abstract
The multiple purpose bag closure clip incorporates the following features which are new in the art:
A one piece bag closure device which is flat, thick, rigid or semi-rigid of pear shape with two different sized apertures each of which is comprised of a wide gathering area and a narrow holding area.
Is so designed as to close different sized plastic or paper bags whether the necks are twisted or merely gathered.
The clip has an index finger hole and two side grooves to grip the clip and push it onto the bag neck resulting in closure by the narrow holding area.
The clip has a wide gathering area in each aperture which tapers into a narrow slit-like holding or closure area which exerts rigid pressure to hold the bag closed.
The clip with modifications of its peripheral edges can be used as a household tool or novelty item for use as a screwdriver, tab can opener, and bottle cap opener. The finger hole can be modified to be a screw cap bottle opener.
Without modification the closure clip can be used to squeeze out contents of tubes and provide a framework for making homemade Christmas tree decorations.
The clip can be inexpensively manufactured by being of small size, being pear shaped by die stamp pressing as well as molded.
The closure clip has an index finger hole and two side grooves to pick up and apply the clip using arm strength.
The multiple purpose closure clip can be carried in the pocket for off premise use.
The finger hole provides a means of convenient storage when not in use.
With modification of the large aperture the closure device can be used as a clothespin.
The clip is environmentally and consumer friendly.
The ultimate design (s) of the closure clip will be determined by the manufacturer/distributor and the consumer.
The clip can also be used as a dog tag, key chain fob and letter opener.
Images(8)
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Claims(19)
What I claim my invention is:
1 What I claim my invention is: A one piece multiple purpose bag closure clip which is large in size, flat, rigid or semi-rigid and pear shaped with an index finger hole and two finger grooves on the narrow end and two apertures on the wider end, each consisting of a wide gathering area which tapers into a narrow holding area near the finger hole.
2 The closure of claim 1 wherein has two apertures of different sizes to be applied to bags of various sizes, material, thickness and degree of twisting of said bags necks.
3 The closure clip of claim 1 wherein can be made from plastic or metallic material.
4 The closure clip of claim 1 wherein can be manufactured by punch pressing as well as molding in it's manufacture.
5 The closure clip of claim 1 is pear shaped in order to provide a narrow three fingered handle on its narrow end and to provide room for wide gathering areas at the wide end.
6 The closure clip of claim 1 wherein has an index finger hole and thumb and second finger groove to provide three fingered support for firmly grasping and pushing the clip onto the bag neck with arm strength rather than manipulation and finger strength.
7 The closure of claim 1 wherein is of sufficient thickness as to be easily picked up, provides adequate rigidity and is adaptable for including non associated tool uses as expressed in claim 2.
8 The closure clip of claim 1 wherein has a finger hole for grasping and convenient storage of said clip.
9 The closure clip of claim 1 wherein can be magnetized for convenient storage on a flat vertical metal surface.
10 The closure clip of claim 1 wherein has sufficient flat area space to accept printing, advertising, decorating and also writing if the surface is rough.
11 The closure of claim I wherein can be of different colors for attractiveness to enhance consumer appeal.
12 The closure clip of claim 1 has a narrow aperture with a narrow holding area whereby said clip can be used to close bags or more thoroughly empty the contents of tubes.
13 The closure clip of claim I wherein may have additional parts for other functions to be a multiple purpose household tool or novelty item.
14 The closure clip of claim 1 wherein may have one or more apertures with different angles relative to the finger hole and edges of said clip and one or more finger holes.
15 The closure clip of claim 1 wherein the surfaces of the smallest aperture can be flat, smooth, rough, cris crossed, rounded, elliptical or tooth like in shape.
16 The closure clip of claim 1 should be of sufficient thickness and rigidity as to exert considerable pressure on the neck of the bag when it is in the holding area of the aperture, also to be used as a multiple purpose household tool as described in claim 13.
17 The closure clip of claim 1 is of such size and shape as to be covered by aluminum foil or Christmas wrapping paper to be used as said closure device or an attractive homemade Christmas decoration.
2 What I claim my invention is: A one piece multiple purpose bag closure clip wherein claim 1 modification of peripheral edges; by adding a notch for opening bottle caps, screwdriver heads for use as a screwdriver, and a hook to open tab cans; and with modification of the index finger hole can be used as a twist cap bottle opener, the multiple purpose clip takes on additional unrelated functions.
3 What I claim my invention is: A multiple purpose bag closure clip in claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the narrow holding area of the large aperture can be widened and extended nearer to or into the finger hole of said clip therefore can be used to close bags or be used as a clothespin.
Description
BACKGROUND—FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a multiple purpose bag closure clip which will close plastic or paper bags of various sizes and a variety of unrelated uses with minor modifications in design. This gives the manufacturer/distributor, and ultimately the consumer, many choices as to non associated uses of the closure clip.

BACKGROUND—DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART

[0002] Grocery stores and supermarkets commonly supply consumers with polyethylene bags for holding produce. They also sell edible items such as cookies and crackers in paper bags. Such bags are also used by suppliers to provide a resealable container for other items, both edible and inedible.

[0003] Originally the bags were sealed by the supplier with staples or by heat. However, consumers objected since these were rather permanent in nature. The bags could only be opened by tearing, thereby damaging them and rendering them impossible to reseal. Thereafter, inventors created several types of devices in such a way as to leave them undamaged after they were opened by the consumer.

[0004] The two main closures presently used by stores are paper-covered wires and small flexible plastic clips. These closures are subject to breakage, easy to lose, require a lot of finger and hand manipulation often resulting in incomplete closure, are time consuming to use and create considerable frustration for the consumer. My invention eliminates these problems.

[0005] Commercial bakeries that specialize in selling bread and hot dog buns to grocery stores for resale use the small thin plastic clips because they are cheap and the bag closure procedure can be automated. In-store bakeries utilize paper-covered wire closures which cannot be automated.

[0006] The prior art which is closest to my invention is the small flexible plastic clips commonly used to close produce bags. They are similar in having an aperture and exerting sealing pressure on the bag neck. Also, they are of one piece. Thereafter the similarity ends.

[0007] 1. The small clip is designed for automated application and temporary home use. My invention is designed for unlimited perpetual home use and is not adaptable to automated closure.

[0008] 2. The small clip relies on thinness and flexibility to get closure plus a lot of finger manipulation. My invention depends on pushing the closure device onto the bag neck with the arm into the narrow holding area, with rigidity of the clip holding and sealing bag.

[0009] 3. My invention allows pushing the clip into the narrow holding area of one aperture and looping the neck of the bag into the holding area of the other aperture for guaranteeing an air tight seal.

[0010] 4. The small clip requires twisting the bag neck to get it through it's small aperture. My invention does not because of it's large gathering area and long holding area. The bag neck is pushed into the holding area and the clip is rotated perpendicularly to get closure.

[0011] 5. My invention is not subject to breakage in contrast to small clips which are used.

[0012] 6. For home use my invention is easier, faster and less frustrating to apply.

[0013] 7. My invention is for multiple purpose use whereas the small flexible clips are not.

[0014] 8. My invention can be stored on a hook or nail, the small clip cannot.

[0015] 9. My invention is less subject to being lost because of its relatively large size.

[0016] 10. The large apertures of my invention make it easier to apply than the small flexible plastic clips.

[0017] 11. My invention can be made of metal as well as plastic.

[0018] 12. My invention can be molded as well as punch pressed.

[0019] 13. My invention can more easily be carried and removed from a pocket than the small flexible plastic clips.

[0020] 14. My closure device can more readily be picked up from a flat surface.

[0021] 15. The small clip cannot be used to close paper bags whereas my invention can.

[0022] Various inventions have been patented for home use, few of which are on the market. Most of these are multi-piece, rather complex closures. Most have limited use-life due to wear and breakage. They are multiple piece closures which are expensive to manufacture as they have to be molded rather than punch pressed with dies. They also require a lot of finger and wrist movement or strength. They have insufficient flat area, due to configuration or size, to print, label, advertise or write.

[0023] Several closure devices for snack foods, none are designed for multiple purposes: U.S. Pat. No. 4,414,717 (issued Nov. 15, 1983) is a three pronged, one piece closure device which requires molding in manufacturing. It is designed to close snack bags requiring separate lengths of prongs to close different sized bags. This device is not adaptable to polyethylene bag closure.

[0024] U.S. Pat. No. 5,921,601 (issued Jul. 13, 1999) is a multi-piece (three arms and a securing ring) device used to close snack bags. It is not adaptable to closing plastic bags.

[0025] A bar type closure device for plastic bags, U.S. Pat. No. 4,871,264 (issued Oct. 8, 1997) has two arms, a hinge and locking member. This device has many of the disadvantages enumerated previously.

[0026] A like invention, U.S. Pat. No. 5,379,489 (issued Jan. 10, 1995) assigned to Struckmeyer Corporation, Dallas, Tex. is apparently on the market today. It is a multi-piece bar-type closure.

[0027] U.S. Pat. No. 4,947,523 (issued Aug. 14, 1990) assigned to Edward Robbins, III has a finger hole, a handle member and a clasp. This again is a multi-piece closure, which must be molded, is expensive to manufacture and requires manipulation of the wrist and fingers in its use.

[0028] Several patented devices are spring loaded including U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,802,677; 4,356,600 and 4,803,799. Such spring loaded jaws or clamps require considerable manipulation and finger strength to use in closing and opening bags. They should be of various sizes to accommodate various sized bags in order to be attractive. They are expensive to manufacture.

[0029] Three inventions require twisting the neck of the bag for closure including: U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,473,796; 3,925,852 and 4,835,820. This is sometimes hard to do for people with infirmities such as arthritis or lack of finger strength.

[0030] I have seen the following advertisements for bag closure devices:

[0031] a. Hefty—Kitchen Close Pins—bar type closure with two bars, hinge and locking device. Also, scissors type spring clamps.

[0032] b. Twixit—same bar type closure and clamps.

[0033] c. Bedford—double wire closure with adhesive back, metallic wire ties, fold n close.

[0034] d. Kwik Lock—hand applied small clips like those presently used by grocery stores.

[0035] e. Voiss Imaginative Essentials—spring loaded clamp with clamp designed to look like human teeth.

[0036] f. Wa Da Ya Need Bag Clips—clamps with plastic spring and spring loaded magnetic clamp.

[0037] g. Bag clips and luggage tags—spring loaded clamps.

[0038] h. Froggy Bag Clips—spring loaded clamps that look like a frog head.

[0039] i. Happy Cookers—spring loaded clamps.

[0040] j. Lams Bag Clips—spring loaded clamp to seal pet food bags.

[0041] k. Can covers and bag clips—spring loaded clamps.

[0042] l. Interplanetary Pot Products—pet food bag clips.

[0043] m. Nelson Marketing—spring loaded clamp clips.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0044] The general idea was to invent a multiple purpose bag closure clip which:

[0045] Was of one piece, easy to use and store when not in use.

[0046] Was cheap to manufacture by punch pressing as well as molding.

[0047] Will replace the paper-covered and small thin plastic clips sold by grocery stores which are difficult, frustrating to use and require a lot of finger manipulation to use. They are often lost and most of the time do not result in complete bag closure. Sometimes consumers throw them away and fold the bag top under the bag contents to partially seal the bag.

[0048] Utilizes arm strength instead of manipulation and finger strength.

[0049] Has two different sized apertures so the clip could be used to close the bag neck whether it was large or small, paper or plastic and/or merely gathered versus being twisted.

[0050] Is intended to be a better home closure device than present home used: spring loaded multi-piece devices or bar type closure multi-piece bag closure devices.

[0051] Is intended to be a multiple use bag closure which, with slight modification in design, can also be used as a screwdriver, tab can opener, bottle cap opener and twist cap bottle opener which combines all of these functions into one household tool or novelty item. Also can be used as a clothespin or tube squeezer.

[0052] Provides a more environmentally friendly device which is not subject to breakage, does not wear out and is indestructible under normal use. It also can be made from recyclable plastics.

[0053] Has enough flat space to print, advertise, write or decorate. Without modification it can be used as a dog tag, key chain fob as well as tube squeezer and home made Christmas tree decorations.

[0054] The multiple purpose bag closure clip is user friendly.

[0055] Large enough to be seen.

[0056] Thick enough to be picked up easily off a flat surface and comfortable to grip.

[0057] Can be stored on a hook or nail when not in use.

[0058] Can be carried off premises in the pocket for any variety of reasons.

[0059] Minimizes time and motion in closing and opening bags or use as a clothespin.

[0060] Can be conveniently stored and can be carried in the pocket.

[0061] The multiple purpose closure clip saves the consumer money.

[0062] Accommodates different sized plastic and paper bag necks with one closure device instead of buying separate sizes of clamp or bar type closures.

[0063] Precludes buying separate tools for several other unrelated or multiple purposes.

[0064] Saves money by more through removal of tube contents.

[0065] Being of one piece and relatively small size it is cheaper to manufacture by punch pressing or molding than bar or clamp closures which should reflect in a lower price to consumers.

[0066] These clips can be temporarily used to preclude buying fragile, expensive Christmas tree decorations.

[0067] No replacement costs are necessary.

[0068] The invention in claim 1, 2 and 3 as a multiple purpose bag closure clip of which scope would include any modification of:

[0069] Peripheral edges.

[0070] Number of finger holes, size of finger holes or design of finger holes.

[0071] Number and arrangement of aperture.

[0072] Design of holding area and/or its surface.

[0073] Design of the body surface.

[0074] Shape of body.

[0075] Thickness.

[0076] Size.

[0077] Rigidity.

[0078] Number of uses.

[0079] Material.

Additional Objectives and Advantages

[0080] 1. Can be made from plastic or light metal.

[0081] 2. User-friendly for consumers who are physically impaired with arthritis, weakness or vision problems.

[0082] 3. Provides an air tight seal to preserve quality and freshness.

[0083] 4. Has sufficient flat surface for placement of advertising, labeling, printing, also writing if the surface is rough.

[0084] 5. Consumers can develop a home code by writing, labeling and/or use of color to record the date of purchase, use deadline, product identification freezer and paper bags and order of use.

[0085] 6. Can be made in a variety of colors.

[0086] 7. The pear shape is attractive to consumers and is adaptable for consumers to make Christmas decorations.

[0087] 8. The fact that the closure is almost indestructible results in low per use cost.

[0088] 9. The finger hole allows easy storage on a hook or nail. Can be magnetized for storage on a metallic surface such as a refrigerator door.

[0089] 10. Being of multiple use as a bag closure, screwdriver, tab can opener, bottle cap opener, tube squeezer, Christmas decoration, clothespin or letter opener by sharpening the tab can opener hook has the following advantages to the consumer:

[0090] a) Lowers initial cost of the several different tools.

[0091] b) Consumers have flexibility of use.

[0092] c) The clip is of small enough size to be carried in a pocket on and off the home premises.

[0093] d) Lowers per use cost of each function.

[0094] e) Has appeal as a novelty item.

[0095] f) The length of the clip provides additional leverage in being used as a screwdriver, tab can opener and bottle opener.

[0096] 11. When used as a clothespin the bag closure device has the following advantages:

[0097] a) Being narrow provides more clothes drying area than wooden or plastic clips presently used.

[0098] b) With an aperture extending into the finger hole the clip can be stored on the clothesline for subsequent use which eliminates a lot of arm and back bending motions.

[0099] c) The bag closure device is of longer life than presently used clothespins which are mostly spring loaded and require a lot of finger strength to apply.

[0100] d) Multiple purpose clips require less storage space than presently used clothespins.

[0101] 12. Light products can be stored on hooks or nails, for example crackers or cookies.

[0102] 13. It is thick enough to be easily picked up from a flat surface.

[0103] 14. Not only can the clip be used to recover more product from tubes but the partially emptied tube will be more attractive, whether the empty portion is rolled or left flat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION—SEE FIG. 1

[0104] The multiple purpose bag closure clip has a flat, pear shaped body which is thick, rigid or semi-rigid with two apertures each consisting of a wide mouthed gathering area which tapers in to a narrow slit-like holding area. The clip has an index finger hole at the narrow end.

[0105] The bag neck is closed by pushing the closure clip onto the bag neck until it is in the narrow holding area for closure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0106] The multiple purpose bag closure clip is of one piece, thick, flat and rigid or semi-rigid construction which can be punch pressed or molded from plastic or metal.

[0107] The closure clip has an index finger hole, Part 7 of FIG. 1-1, a side groove for the thumb, Part 5 of FIG. 1-1, and a second finger groove Part 6 of FIG. 1-1.

[0108] The wide aperture consists of a wide gathering are Part 3 of FIG. 1-1, which tapers into a narrow holding area of Part 4 FIG. 1-1.

[0109] The narrow aperture consists of a wide gathering are, Part 1 of FIG. 1-1, which tapers into a narrow holding area, Part 2 of FIG. 1-1.

[0110] The size of the aperture used depends on the size of the bag neck.

[0111] To apply the closure clip, the bag neck is either twisted or merely gathered and held with one hand and the clip is picked up with the index finger, thumb and second finger, then forced onto the bag neck (twisted or merely gathered) until the bag neck is securely fastened in the narrow holding are of the aperture.

[0112] Closing paper bags requires enough twisting by both hands so that the bag neck is small enough to enter the aperture's gathering area, thence holding area.

[0113] The pressure generated by arm strength and the rigidity of the closure clip holding area seals the bag. Additional insurance of sealing of the bag can be obtained by looping the closed bag neck around the aperture dividing area and pushing the bag clip again onto the bag neck thus getting double closure. The holding area of the small aperture can be used to thoroughly remove the contents from tubes.

[0114]FIG. 2 shows how the bag closure clip is used for it's primary purpose or function of closing bags as explained above.

[0115]FIG. 3 shows modifications in the design of the closure clip.

[0116] 1. One aperture—one finger hole. This clip would be used the same as the two aperture clip discussed above.

[0117] 2. One finger and one aperture which is at a different angle to the finger hole. This has the advantage of using only the index finger to pull the clip upward onto the bag neck.

[0118] 3. One aperture—two fingers. This allows gripping the clip with the index and second finger for upward motion onto the bag neck.

[0119]FIG. 4 shows use of the multiple purpose closure clip to thoroughly remove the contents from tubes. The first portion of the tube's contents is removed by squeezing the bottom part of the tube between the index finger and thumb. After about one inch of the contents has been removed, insert the emptied portion of the tube vertically into the narrow aperture holding area, Part 2 of FIG. 1-1, tilt the tube toward the cap end and pull the emptied portion of the tube through the clip. If the tube is wider than the small aperture holding area, strip one side of the tube, turn it over on it's other side and repeat the stripping procedure.

[0120] This procedure is done with the cap on and can be done at any stage of emptiness of the tube.

[0121]FIG. 5 shows the top view of a multiple purpose closure clip for additional unrelated functions.

[0122] Part 7A of FIG. 5 (and possibly FIG. 1) shows enlargement of the index finger hole and addition of gripping ridges to open twist type bottle caps. The index finger hole 7A is put on the bottle cap and with the clip between the thumb and other fingers turned in the desired direction.

[0123] Part 8 of FIG. 5 (and possibly FIG. 1) is a notch to open bottle caps. Place notch under bottle cap and pry cap upward by moving clip downward with thumb or index finger.

[0124] Part 9 of FIG. 5 (and possibly FIG. 1) with the clip held between the thumb and other fingers vertical to the screw head, insert the screwdriver head into the screw slot and turn clip in desired direction.

[0125] Part 10 of FIG. 5 (and possibly FIG. 1) insert tab can opener hook under the can tab and pry the tab upward by pulling the clip downward with the index finger in the finger hole.

[0126] Part 11 of FIG. 5 (and possibly FIG. 1) shows a Phillips type screwdriver head which part operates the same as Part 9. This part is optional as it would require molding instead of stamp [pressing in its manufacture.

[0127]FIG. 6 shows how the multiple purpose closure clips can provide a framework to make Christmas tree decoration by covering them with foil or Christmas wrapping paper.

[0128]FIG. 7 shows use of the multiple purpose bag closure clip to hang clothes. The large aperture, Parts 3 and 4 of FIG. 1-1, can be widened to a pre-determined width to be used as a clothespin. Furthermore, the aperture can be extended into the index finger hole so the clothespin can be stored on the clothesline for subsequent use to save on arm and back bending motions.

[0129] Lift the clip off the clothes and lien and drop the clip back onto the clothes line. Gravity will store the clip on the clothesline for subsequent use.

Mode for Proceeding

[0130] The best method of carrying my invention forward is to do a limited amount of consumer testing, then license it to one or several manufacturer/distributors in return for royalties. I may retain the right to manufacture and distribute the clip myself.

[0131] A second alternative mode to proceed forward is to manufacture it myself or by others and distribute it through computers, catalogs, television or wholesalers and retailers.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6813814Feb 13, 2003Nov 9, 2004Grschultz Consultanting, LlcClip apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification24/30.50S
International ClassificationB65D33/16, B65D33/17
Cooperative ClassificationB65D33/1625
European ClassificationB65D33/16D1