US 3643363 A
A file folder is made with both front and back covers of sheet plastic, joined by a flexible material such as cloth. These cover members have their longitudinal side margins integrally formed into clips disposed to releasably retain sheets of paper and the like. One of the covers preferably has an index tab retainer attached or formed from the cover so as to extend outwardly from the cover, said tab retainer adapted for inserting or attaching new indexing strips when desired.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
taies tet Wm Well. 22, 1972  RWUSAWLIE lFlllLlE lF'UlLDlEM 2,151,359 3/1939 Schmitz ..40/359  inventor: 1F. .llosepl'i him, 416 Montclair Avenue, l738I20 12/1929 Schafiert 2,850,016 9/1958 Matheny..... Pmpm Lakes, N1 07442 R g 1 2 05 9/1939 Yawman..... 22 MN m, 1970 946,860 1/1910 Multer ..281/45 PP- 29,672 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-R. P. Dyer [521 11.8.1131 ..410/3l59, 281/45 AmmePRaIPh Roberts  lint. 1C1 .11165d 27/06 57 ABSTRAT  Field ollSearelln ..28l/1, 45; 40/359, 104.03, 1
40/7805, 78,15; 129/20, 36, 37, 35; 24/67 R, 673, A file folder is made with both front and back covers of sheet 67.9, 67.11, 255 IR, 255 P, 255 S, 255 FL, 255 RS, plastic, joined by aflexible material such as cloth. These cover 255 BL, 255 LT, 255 H, 25 5 229 1 2 members have their longitudinal side margins integrally formed into clips disposed to releasably retain sheets of paper 5 References Cited and the like. One of the covers preferably has an index tab retainer attached or formed from the cover so as to extend UNITED STATES PATENTS outwardly from the cover, said tab retainer adapted for insen' ing or attaching new indexing strips when desired. 1,216,062 2/1917 Brenne et a1 ...24/67.11 1,478,219 12/1923 l-lammitt .24/259 X 9 Claims, 41 Drawing Figures REUSABLE FILE rotuisa BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention In reference to the classification of art as established in the United States Patent Office the art to which the present invention pertains may be found generally in the class entitled, BUCKLES BUTTONS, CLASPS etc., and in particular to the subclass thereunder entitled Paper Fasteners and more particularly to those that are resiliently biased and those which are made as one piece."
2. Description of the Prior Art File folders are a common product of commerce and are a heavy and essential item in office filing of papers such as correspondence, invoices, reports and the like. These file folders as well as clipboards provide ready retention of papers and the like. File folders as presently used are usually of light cardboard and after one or two periods or cycles of use are often discarded for new. When there is a requirement for many and frequent changes and substitutions of papers, clipboards are often used instead of file folders. Many embodiments of clipboards are shown in U.S. patents as for example, a clipboard is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,329,974 issuing to BENNETT on Sept. 21, 1943, and in U.S. Pat. No. 2,777,179 issuing to MILLER on Jan. 15, 1957. As an alternate to a clipboard there is a letter filing device shown in U.S. Pat. No. 1,016,789 issuing to SMITH on Feb. 6, l9l2, and a file folder is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,008,019 to HORLICK issuing July 16, 1935. In these patents and in filing devices disclosed in other patents are attempts to provide a filing cover which may be reused or in which the papers may be releasably retained. However, most of these systems are bulky, expensive, or do not provide an easily stored file folder which is reusable for a long period of time, and which will require only the small amount of space i for the filing needed in the conventionally supplied file folder.
Hanging-type file folders permit ready tab identification changes but these folders, so far as is known, do not provide release-type paper-retaining means. The stock from which these hanging folders are made is usually too flexible to act as a portable file storage unit.
In so far as is known, the use of film sheets for use in making a storage folder or sheet protector has been generally in a folder made of very thin plastic film of vinyl and the like in which a single sheet is folded and punched to act as a protective cover for both the front and rear of a stored sheet or sheets. These folders are not adapted for the releasable retention of stored contents and are often subject to cracking. The present invention contemplates that both the front and rear cover panels are each made of a heavier sheet of plastic and as one piece with the clip portions formed as turned or folded edges made integral with the cover panel. One cover is contemplated as having an index tab which may be either made as an integral flat extending tab portion or may be an attached tunnel tab retainer of conventional construction.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention may be summarized at least in part with reference to its objects.
It is an object of the present invention, to provide, and it does provide, a file folder having cover members with one edge formed to provide a releasable retaining means by which sheets of paper and the like may be releasably retained and stored within the file folder. The front and back panels are made of a durable plastic sheet material permitting repeated use of the file folder without the appearance of the file folder being diminished in attractiveness.
It is a further object of this invention to provide, and it does provide, a file folder in which the front and back panels are made of a plastic sheet having one of their outer edges formed in a folded over manner to provide an integrally attached paper-retaining clip, and in which the flexible joining member of the file folder is a cloth or flexible plastic strip permitting ready moving of the file folder cover or covers from an open nun to a closed condition. One of the cover panels is preferably provided with an extending indexing tab portion in which a tab index strip may be releasably mounted.
In the present invention the file folder is contemplated as being made as a standard size, as for example 9 by l 1% inches, with each of the front and back cover panels being made of a plastic sheet material, as for example, eightto tenthousandths of an inch in thickness. The side portions or edges of each panel are each heat shaped to a folded condition to provide an integrally attached clip disposed to retain from one to several sheets of paper between the clip and the panel. On one of the panels the clip portion is shortened so as to provide means for attaching an index tab which may be of the tunnel type which permits an inserted index strip to be inserted or replaced. As an alternate to the tunnel index tab retainer, the cover panel in a localized area may be extended as a part of the back portion to provide an extended panel, which may have a roughened surface upon which indicia may be applied by pen or pencil, or upon which indexing identification may be attached as by glue or cement. The file folder, as above briefly described, provides a reusable folder which has paper retaining means formed on each cover member and each cover is es sentially of plastic sheet material which. has a long life expectancy and is of a reasonable cost.
INTENT OF THE DISCLOSURE Although the following disclosure offered for public dissemination is detailed to insure adequacy and aid in understanding of the invention, this is not intended to prejudice that purpose of a patent which is to cover each new inventive concept therein no matter how it may later be disguised by variations in form or additions of further improvements. The claims at the end hereof are intended as the chief aid toward this purpose, as it is these that meet the requirement of pointing out the parts and improvements in which the inventive concept is found.
There has been chosen a specific embodiment of a reusable file folder and showing a preferred means for forming the releasable clip members of the cover panels.
This specific embodiment has been chosen for the purposes of illustration and description as shown in the accompanying drawing wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 represents a plan view of the file folder of this invention and showing a preferred construction and placement of integral paper clamping means provided on the front and back panels;
FIG. 2 represents an end view of the file folder of FIG. I, the view taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. I;
FIG. 3 represents an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the edge of one of the cover panels and showing in particular a preferred formation of the releasable clip portion, and
FIG. 4 represents an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 4l-4l of FIG. 1 and showing in particular the construction and attachment of a tunnel tab retainer to a cover member.
In the following description and in the claims various details will be identified by specific names for convenience; these names, however, are intended to be generic in their application. Corresponding reference characters refer to like members throughout the several figures of the drawing.
The drawing accompanying, and forming part of, this specification discloses certain details of construction for the purpose of explanation of the broader aspects of the invention, but it should be understood that structural details may be modified in various respects without departure from the con cept and principles of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing in detail, there is shown in the several figures a preferred embodiment of a file folder. This folder has paper-retaining clip means formed as integral membets on each of the front and back covers, and in particular includes left and right panels and 12, which panels are preferably made of a plastic such as Polyethelene film or sheet, of approximately eightto ten-thousandths of an inch in thickness. The plastic sheet for the panel may be transparent, semitransparent, or opaque and may be colored when desired. These panels are cut to a desired shape and size and are then subject to a heating and forming operation, wherein the exterior edges are bent to form retaining clips in and along the longitudinal edge portions. In FIG. 1 these clip portions are identified as 14 and 16. In the preferred embodiment the cover panels 10 and 12 are joined in spaced array as by cementing to the panels a piece of cloth 20, which cloth hinge is sufficiently flexible and tough to provide a hinge of durable construction.
Referring now in particular to the paper-retaining clip which is formed as an integral member of the plastic cover panels 10 and 12. Reference is made in particular to the sectional view of FIG. 3 wherein it is seen that the panel 10 has a portion folded upon itself with the outer edge portion being curved on a tight radius as at 22. The clip portion adjacent the curved edge 22 is sloped inwardly and downwardly at 24 to a paper-engaging portion 26 which may be a flat section of a very short extent, as for example a sixteenth to an eighth of an inch in width. Inwardly of engaging portion 26 the inner edge of the clip is tilted upwardly to provide a camming ramp 28 under which the edges of paper may be slid to be retained beneath the clip.
A like clip 16 is formed in the other cover panel 12, however, this clip, as shown, does not extend the full length of the side of the panel so that an indexing tab retainer generally identified as 30 may be affixed to the upper edge. This indexing tab retainer is better seen in FIG. 4, and as shown is the tunnel type of conventional construction in which a piece of thin transparent plastic of a few thousandths of an inch in thickness is folded upon itself to provide a small flat space 32 in the outer portion of the tab. The inner edges 34 and 36 may be heat sealed or cemented to the panel portion 12. In order to permit ready replacement of the insertable tab indexing strip itself, which strip is a slidable fit into space 32, it is desired that small arcuate cutouts 40 and 42 be provided at each end of the tab retainer 30 so that the inserted strip may be readily gripped for removal from the tab retainer.
It is contemplated that if a removable tab retainer is not desired for use with this file folder, the film sheet 12 may be cut so that a tab portion will extend outwardly a determined amount. The surface of the film forming this extended portion may be left in its original surface condition whereupon indexing strips may be attached to the extending piece as by means of releasable cement or glue. As an alternate the surface of this extending portion may be frosted or roughened as in the manner of plastic credit cards so that pencil or ink notations may be inscribed on this conditioned surface and may be erased therefrom.
USE AND OPERATION The construction of the cover panels 10 and 12 are contemplated as being made from a flat film sheet and are die cut to the desired configuration, with the clip portion being an outer portion extending beyond the final edge. By means of heat, this extending portion is formed to the configuration as shown in FIG. 3. This bent edge provides a clip under which various sheets of paper and the like may he slid for retaining and storing in the file folder. The retaining surface 26 as shown in FIG. 3 may be a smooth flat surface, or prior to its folding may be made irregular by dimpling or embossing to provide localized engaging portions. This retaining surface, instead of being locally embossed, may be scored with lateral or longitudinal ridges to provide a desired gripping means. The indexing tab retainer portion 30, as above described, is adapted to receive strips of paper upon which is inscribed the desired information. If it is determined that this tab retainer is not the desired construction, a tab may be made as an integral part of the cover portion 12 and as so constructed extend beyond the normal edge identified as 50. The surface of this extending portion may be left smooth as in the condition in which the film sheet is produced, or the surface may be roughened in the manner provided in localized areas on various plastic chargeplate cards. This type surface is also found on film used for making drawings. This surface is provided so that pencil or ink may be inscribed upon this prepared surface, and in most of these conditional film surfaces, the inscribed indicia may be removed by erasing means well known in the trade.
The file folder of this invention as above described provides a folder of long durability and high attractiveness. This file folder has the clip portions made as of integral construction. This integral construction permits the file folders to be stored in a very neat and compact manner so that it does not occupy an extensive amount of storage space. These file folders, of course, may be repeatedly used as desired with the storage contents being exchanged or discarded as desired and with the indexing tab or indicia being readily changed to conform to the last required use. 7
Many types of film sheet may be used and the thickness is merely a matter of choice, however, to provide the integral clip edge the sheet must be of thermoplastic composition. The material must also have a certain elasticity when formed so that the clip will not readily break from the cover. The hinge may be of cloth or may be of a tough flexible plastic which may be cemented or heat sealed to the cover members.
Terms such as left, right," up, down, bottom," top," front, back, in, out" and the like are applicable to the embodiment shown and described in conjunction with the drawing. These terms are merely for the purposes of description and do not necessarily apply to the position in which the reusable file folder may be constructed or used.
The conception of the reusable file folder and its many ap plications is not limited to the specific embodiment shown, but departures therefrom may be made without sacrificing its chief advantages and protection is sought to the broadest extent the prior art allows.
What is claimed is:
l. A reusable file folder having relatively stiff front and back cover panels joined by a hinge member so as to be folded face to face in a contiguous condition, said folder including: (a) both front and back cover members made of thermoplastic sheet material, each of said cover members having a substantial edge portion generally folded upon itself to provide a releasable clip for retaining sheets of paper and the like, said clip being shaped to provide a paper-engaging portion at a determined distance from said folded edge and with the inward remaining clip portion bent at an acute angle to the cover member to provide a camming ramp under which the edges of the paper may be slid to position the papers under the paper-securing releasable clip, and (b) a tab member provided on one of the cover members so as to permit selected indicia to be displayed for indicating the stored contents within the folder.
2. A reusable file folder as in claim 1 in which the releasable clip means is formed on the longitudinal outer edge of the cover member.
3. A reusable file folder as in claim 2 in which the hinge member is a cloth member attached to the inner longitudinal edge portions of each cover member to maintain said covers in a determined spaced relationship to each other.
4. A reusable file folder as in claim 2 in which the hinge member is a flexible plastic strip attached to the inner longitudinal edge portion of each cover member to maintain said covers in a determined spaced relationship to each other.
5. A reusable file folder as in claim 1 in which the clipretaining edge portion of one of the covers has said clip portion made less than the full extent of the longitudinal edge and in this portion which is absent a formed releasable clip there is provided an extended tab portion providing means for receiving indicia for identifying the contents of the folder.
of the tunnel portion when desired.
8. A reusable file folder as in claim 5 in which the extended tab portion is an integral flat portion of the cover member.
9. A reusable file folder as in claim; 8 in which one of the surfaces of the tab portion is conditioned to receive an inscribed indicia which may be applied as by a pencil, pen and the like.