|Publication number||USRE41550 E1|
|Application number||US 11/593,627|
|Publication date||Aug 24, 2010|
|Filing date||Nov 6, 2006|
|Priority date||May 25, 2001|
|Also published as||EP1401725A2, EP1401725A4, US6920769, US20020174695, US20040159131, WO2002103644A2, WO2002103644A3, WO2002103644A8|
|Publication number||11593627, 593627, US RE41550 E1, US RE41550E1, US-E1-RE41550, USRE41550 E1, USRE41550E1|
|Inventors||David K. Huehner|
|Original Assignee||Checkpoint Systems, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Referenced by (6), Classifications (12), Legal Events (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/154,735 filed May 23, 2002, now abandoned, which claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/293,688, filed May 25, 2001; the disclosures of both are incorporated herein by reference.
1. Technical Field
The present invention generally relates to anti-shoplifting devices and, more particularly, to a theft deterrent tag that may be secured to articles of merchandise in order to hold an EAS tag to the item of merchandise while the item of merchandise is displayed for sale. The theft deterrent tag is removed from the item of merchandise by the sales clerk at the time of purchase. Specifically, the present invention relates to a theft deterrent tag that has a stepped post that is adapted to pass through an item of merchandise to connect the tag to the item of merchandise. The stepped post is configured to lock between locking teeth until the locking members are moved from a locked position to an unlocked position.
2. Background Information
Various anti-theft mechanisms exist in the art for attaching electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags to items of merchandise so that the items of merchandise cannot be removed from a retail establishment without triggering an alarm. One type of relevant device uses a pin to pierce a portion of the item of merchandise to secure the tag to the item of merchandise. Users of these tags desire a tag that is easier to use and less expensive to purchase and apply to merchandise. The users of these tags also desire a theft deterrent tag that is disposable so that the merchant does not have to reattach the security tags after they are removed by the sales clerk.
The invention provides a theft deterrent tag that includes first and second elements that lock together through a portion of an item of merchandise to secure the tag to the item of merchandise. The first portion of the tag includes a first locking member having opposed teeth that are adapted to lockingly engage a second locking member that is carried by the second element of the tag. The second locking member is in the form of a stepped post that snaps between the opposed teeth to lock the post to the teeth. The post is configured to be passed through a wide variety of different items of merchandise.
The invention also provides a theft deterrent tag that is disposable. The tag may be moved from the locked position to the unlocked position by moving the teeth with respect to the post. A portion of the body of the first element may be destroyed while moving the teeth from the locked to the unlocked position.
The invention further provides an opener for the tag wherein the opening includes a prong that engages the first locking member of the tag to move the first locking member from the locked position to the unlocked position. In one embodiment, the invention fixes the position of the prong with respect to a plunger that holds the tag. The plunger is used to drive the tag down over the prong to unlock the tag from the merchandise.
Similar numbers refer to similar parts throughout the specification.
The theft deterrent tag of the present invention is indicated generally by the numeral 10 in the accompanying drawings. Tag 10 is adapted to hold an electronic article surveillance (EAS) tag 12 (
First tag element 20 includes a body 24 that defines at least a first chamber 26 configured to house EAS tag 12. First tag element 20 includes opposed ribs 28 and 30 that cooperate together to hold a first locking member 32 in body 24. Body 24 is typically formed in two halves that are snapped together over first locking member 32 so that first locking member 32 is clamped between ribs 28 and 30. In other embodiments of the invention, body 24 may be integrally molded, glued together, or assembled in other manners known to those skilled in the art.
Body 24 also includes a hood 34 that provides an interior chamber to receive the extending portion of a second locking member 36 that protrudes through a portion of first locking member 32 when tag 10 is in the locked position. Body 24 may have smooth outer edges so that it does not snag on items of merchandise with which it is used.
Body 24 defines an opening 40 aligned with first locking member 32 so that a key prong 42 (
First locking member 32 includes an elongated slot 50 and an opening 52 as depicted in FIG. 9. Locking member 32 includes opposed teeth 54 that define of slot 50. Teeth 54 engage second locking member 36 to prevent second locking member 36 from being removed from first element 20 when second element 22 is moved from the unlocked to the locked position. Second locking member 36 may be in the form of a post 60 having a plurality of steps 62 designed to interact with teeth 54 to lock post 60 with respect to first locking member 32. The outer diameter of post 60 is thus greater than the space between teeth 54 as shown in
First locking member 32 may be angled into a “V” shape as depicted in
Tag 10 is locked by placing a portion of merchandise 14 between second locking member 36 and first locking member 32. Post 60 of second locking member 36 is then pushed down through merchandise 14 through first element 20 until it engages first locking member 32. Step 62 of post 60 snaps through teeth 54 until the body of second element 22 clamps merchandise 14 between itself and first element 20. Tag 10 thus cannot be removed from merchandise 14 until first locking member 32 is moved to the unlocked position.
The user moves first locking member 32 to the unlocked position by sliding first locking member 32 from the locked position depicted in
In another embodiment, a hand held opener may be used. In another embodiment, the user may strike the tag on a counter to drive a member against locking member 32.
In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.
Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is an example and the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8286881 *||Apr 15, 2010||Oct 16, 2012||Sensormatic Electronics, LLC||Secure battery compartment for alarming hard tag|
|US20110253790 *||Apr 15, 2010||Oct 20, 2011||Sensormatic Electronics, LLC||Secure battery compartment for alarming hard tag|
|US20120285206 *||Jan 19, 2011||Nov 15, 2012||Exaqtworld||Theft-prevention unit for a commercial item|
|US20130118043 *||Jul 27, 2011||May 16, 2013||Exaqtworld||Assembly for protecting an item against theft including a marking device having a variable display|
|US20140321900 *||Jul 9, 2012||Oct 30, 2014||Exaqtworld||Assembly for protecting an item of merchandise against theft, which can be assembled in a temporary manner|
|US20140373407 *||Feb 4, 2013||Dec 25, 2014||Exaqtworld||Self-contained variable display device for marking an article|
|U.S. Classification||70/57.1, 340/572.1, 206/308.1, 206/1.5, 206/387.11|
|International Classification||E05B39/02, E05B73/00, E05B65/00|
|Cooperative Classification||E05B73/0017, E05B39/02, Y10T70/5004|
|Mar 13, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ALPHA SECURITY PRODUCTS, INC., OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HUEHNER, DAVID K.;REEL/FRAME:020648/0303
Effective date: 20020523
|Mar 21, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CHECKPOINT SYSTEMS, INC., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ALPHA SECURITY PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:020679/0334
Effective date: 20080211
|Aug 2, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: WELLS FARGO BANK, NORTH CAROLINA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:CHECKPOINT SYSTEMS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:028714/0552
Effective date: 20120731
|Jan 23, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Dec 12, 2013||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:CHECKPOINT SYSTEMS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:031805/0001
Effective date: 20131211
|Dec 16, 2013||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CHECKPOINT SYSTEMS, INC., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION;REEL/FRAME:031825/0545
Effective date: 20131209
|Mar 3, 2017||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jul 26, 2017||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
Free format text: PATENT EXPIRED FOR FAILURE TO PAY MAINTENANCE FEES (ORIGINAL EVENT CODE: EXP.)