PLASTIC FASTENER AND METHOD OF PRODUCING THE SAME
Publication Date: 2014-Nov-03
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A plastic fastener for use in securing together two or more separate items includes a pair of parallel cross-bars that are interconnected by exactly three transverse filaments extending in a spaced apart, parallel relationship. Due to its three filament construction, the plastic fastener performs suitably when used in heavy-duty securing applications, with each cross-bar adopting a highly reliable, generally triangular configuration when a significant retentive force is applied to the plurality of filaments. The plastic fastener can be readily obtained from a supply of ladder stock that includes a pair of continuous, parallel side rails interconnected by a plurality of transverse cross-links by severing each side rail at the approximate midpoint between every third pair of successive cross-links.
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Attorney Reference Number: 5969‐US‐P1 PLASTIC FASTENER AND METHOD OF PRODUCING THE SAME
Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to plastic fasteners and more particularly to
plastic fasteners that are particularly well‐suited for use in heavy duty applications.
Background of the Invention
Plastic fasteners are commonly utilized for many different reasons but in particular
they are utilized in the retail industry for a variety of different applications to couple together two or more separate items. For instance, plastic fasteners are often used to couple together (i) a pair of complementary articles of clothing, such as socks, gloves and the like, (ii) a merchandise tag, or ticket, to one or more articles of clothing (e.g., a merchandise ticket folded over the waistline of a pair of jeans), and (iii) a handheld item (e.g., a tool or toy) to the corresponding packaging (e.g., a screwdriver disposed against the front surface of a flat, cardboard display card).
In U.S. Patent No. 4,039,078 to A.R. Bone, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, there are disclosed several different types of plastic fasteners. Each plastic fastener described in the patent is manufactured in a generally H‐shaped configuration, with two shortened parallel cross‐bars, or T‐bars, being interconnected at their appropriate midpoints by a single, thin, flexible filament which extends orthogonally therebetween.
Plastic fasteners of the type described above are commonly fabricated as part of a continuously connected supply of fastener stock, which is also commonly referred to in the art simply as "ladder" stock due to its ladder‐like appearance. Referring now to Fig. 1, there is shown a length of ladder stock that is presently manufactured and sold by the Fastener Division of Avery Dennison Retail Branding and Information Solutions, of Fitchburg, MA under the PLASTIC STAPLE® and ELASTIC STAPLE™
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lines of plastic fasteners. As can be seen, a length of ladder stock is shown that is preferably produced from one or more flexible plastic materials, such as nylon, polypropylene and the like, the ladder stock being identified generally by reference numeral 11. Ladder stock 11 generally includes a pair of elongated, parallel and continuous side members, or rails, 13 and 15 which are interconnected by a plurality of equidistantly spaced cross‐links 17.