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PLASTIC FASTENER AND METHOD OF PRODUCING THE SAME

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239370D
Publication Date: 2014-Nov-03

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

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 

[0001]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 

[0002]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).   

     [0003]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. 

     [0004]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.   

     [0005]An indivi...