US20090179061A1 - Adhesive tape dispenser and applicator - Google Patents

Adhesive tape dispenser and applicator Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090179061A1
US20090179061A1 US11972947 US97294708A US2009179061A1 US 20090179061 A1 US20090179061 A1 US 20090179061A1 US 11972947 US11972947 US 11972947 US 97294708 A US97294708 A US 97294708A US 2009179061 A1 US2009179061 A1 US 2009179061A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
tape
side wall
wall
dispenser
cutter
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11972947
Inventor
Dan Dureiko
Michael J. Maczuzak
Erin Q. Riddell
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SMART INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS LLC
Original Assignee
Henkel Corp
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H35/00Delivering articles from cutting or line-perforating machines; Article or web delivery apparatus incorporating cutting or line-perforating devices, e.g. of the kinds specified below
    • B65H35/0006Article or web delivery apparatus incorporating cutting or line-perforating devices
    • B65H35/002Hand-held or table apparatus
    • B65H35/0026Hand-held or table apparatus for delivering pressure-sensitive adhesive tape
    • B65H35/0033Hand-held or table apparatus for delivering pressure-sensitive adhesive tape and affixing it to a surface
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H35/00Delivering articles from cutting or line-perforating machines; Article or web delivery apparatus incorporating cutting or line-perforating devices, e.g. of the kinds specified below
    • B65H35/0006Article or web delivery apparatus incorporating cutting or line-perforating devices
    • B65H35/0073Details
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T225/00Severing by tearing or breaking
    • Y10T225/20Severing by manually forcing against fixed edge
    • Y10T225/238With housing for work supply
    • Y10T225/246Including special support for wound supply package
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T225/00Severing by tearing or breaking
    • Y10T225/20Severing by manually forcing against fixed edge
    • Y10T225/257Blade mounted on hand-held wound package

Abstract

A one handed reusable tape dispenser and applicator comprises side walls, a top wall and a bottom wall which may be flexed to allow loading of a roll of tape through an open front. Further, the tape dispenser is provided with tabs, a button and a pressing bar which present a leading length of tape in an arched condition across its width extending forwardly from the dispenser ready to be applied to a substrate.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to adhesive tape dispensers made of molded plastic from which tape may be dispensed and severed from a roll of tape supported on the dispenser.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Adhesive tape is used in great quantities by consumers and by businesses. Adhesive tape is used in packaging, mailing, gift wrapping, and numerous other applications in factories, and businesses and by the consumers at home. One widely used type of adhesive tape is transparent adhesive tape which is used by businesses and consumers in stationery applications, gift wrapping, craft projects and the like. Transparent adhesive tape is often supplied in rolls having a width of one-half or three-quarters of an inch and a length of several yards. The tape comprises a plastic film strip with adhesive on one side. The tape is wound upon a core which is often a cardboard cylinder or a plastic cylinder. The core normally has a hollow center of uniform diameter. Rolls of transparent adhesive tape are sold to businesses and consumers as is for mounting on reusable tape dispensers. Such tape dispensers are common in office environments in which a heavy tape dispenser is a frequent desk accessory and is also frequently available at mailing stations. Rolls of transparent adhesive tape are also frequently sold on dispensers. Many rolls of transparent adhesive tape are sold on single use dispensers having a single side wall, a flat base, a cutter support extending from the base, a hub extending from the side wall, and a merchandising card on the side of the hub opposite the side wall. Such single use tape dispensers are often seen on pegs in drug stores and general merchandise stores. The consumer purchases the tape dispenser, removes a portion of the merchandising card, and is left with a tape dispenser suitable for sitting a flat surface such as a table. The consumer can remove a length of tape and apply it to a substrate with the consumer's fingers. Thus, the dispenser is a dispenser, not an applicator.
  • Other tape dispensers, particularly those used with two inch wide packaging tape, also function as applicators. These dispensers often comprise two generally flat side walls each of which has a hub projecting inwardly from the side wall. The side walls extend away from the hub in one direction and are interconnected by a flat piece. The end of the flat piece away from the hubs often bears a cutter for severing a piece of tape. A roll of tape is supported on the hubs on the side walls. The end of the length of tape on the roll is fed along the cross piece and can be applied to a substrate, such as a package, by pulling the dispenser along the substrate. When sufficient tape has been applied, the cutter at the end of the cross piece is used to sever the dispensed length of tape. Such dispenser/applicators often include various additional pieces addressing problems with dispensing tape. Such dispensers in various configurations have been available for several years, especially in the two inch packaging tape width.
  • Rolls of tape on dispensers are popular with consumers. Consumers do not always use tape on a daily basis. Therefore, consumers often do not have heavy reusable tape dispensers as a desk accessory. Consumers often prefer to keep a roll of transparent adhesive tape on a dispenser in a drawer or the like. Thus, transparent adhesive tape on a dispenser is a popular consumer product.
  • Many consumer products are price sensitive. An inexpensive product which provides good functionality has an advantage when compared to a product providing the same functionality at a higher cost. The cost of manufacturing is therefore is therefore an important characteristic of a product such as a roll of tape on a tape dispenser. Part count, method of manufacture, and choice of materials can have a significant impact on the cost of a consumer product. Providing a tape dispenser and tape of high quality, with good features and at a low price is a challenge.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention contemplates a new and improved tape dispenser which overcomes the above problems and others. The present invention provides a tape dispenser for adhesive which also acts as an applicator and which is inexpensive to manufacture.
  • In accordance with the invention there is provided a tape dispenser for tape carried upon a hollow cylindrical tape core, the tape dispenser having a first side wall having inwardly facing hub elements, a second side wall having inwardly facing hub elements, an interconnecting top wall generally perpendicular to the first and second side walls and extending between the two side walls with a cutter supported on the top wall remote from the hub portions, the portions of the side walls adjacent the cutter extending beyond the cutter and being provided with thickened portions such that the width of the side walls is greater at the edges adjacent the cutter.
  • Further in accordance with the invention, a pressing bar generally parallel to the cutter extends between the cutter support portions of the first side wall and the second side wall parallel to, below, and behind the cutter, the pressing bar having a smooth surface facing downwardly and forwardly and being adapted to press tape downwardly upon a substrate and apply tape to that substrate.
  • Yet further in accordance with the invention, tape retaining tabs extend inwardly from each of said side walls, the tape retaining tabs having upper surfaces somewhat lower than the pressing surface of the pressing bar and positioned adjacent the pressing bar, between the pressing bar and the roll of tape to be dispensed.
  • Still further in accordance with the invention a central button projects downwardly from the pressing bar toward the roll of tape and into the gap between the two tape retaining tabs, said tabs and button adapted to urge a length of tape into a downwardly bulging arch in the area adjacent the pressing bar.
  • Yet further in accordance with the invention, a tab extension extends downwardly and laterally from one of the tape retaining tabs below the gap between the two tape retaining tabs but maintaining a space between the tab extension and the other of the tabs wherein the length of tape can be threaded into position above the tabs and securely maintained in that position by the tabs and the tab extension.
  • Still further in accordance with the invention, the tape dispenser, with the possible exception of a metallic cutting bar, is a unitary plastic molded structure.
  • Still further in accordance with the present invention, a tape dispenser is provided having two side walls and a top interconnecting wall, the top interconnecting wall bearing a cutter on its distal end, the two side walls also interconnected by a bottom interconnecting wall generally perpendicular to the side walls and extending between them, the top interconnecting wall, the bottom interconnecting wall, and the two side walls forming a roll of tape containing volume opening to the front and adapted to permit the insertion of a roll tape into the dispenser from the front.
  • Still further in accordance with the present invention, the bottom interconnecting wall is generally planar and adapted to form a base allowing the tape dispenser to stand upon the bottom interconnecting wall stably.
  • Still further in accordance with the present invention, the top interconnecting wall and the bottom interconnecting wall diverge from one another from back to front and, when pressed together, are adapted to cause the side walls to bulge away from one another facilitating the loading of a roll of tape.
  • Yet, further in accordance with the present invention, the two side walls are provided with slots facilitating the bulging apart and loading of a roll of tape.
  • It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a tape dispenser for adhesive tape which also acts as an applicator and is usable with a single hand.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a tape applicator which is adapted to hold an end of the roll of tape extending from the front of the tape applicator in a ready to use position.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to provide a tape dispenser which can be used with one hand by grasping the tape applicator, applying the end of the supported tape to a substrate, pressing the tape into position with a pressing bar, applying a selected amount of tape, and rotating the tape dispenser to cut off the applied tape and at the same time present a leading end for further applications of length of tape.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a tape dispenser which supports the end of a roll of tape to be dispensed with the end arched and projecting straight away from the front of the dispenser.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to provide a tape dispenser which has an enlarged forward area allowing one to dispense and cut off tape while holding down delicate substrates such as wrapping paper without ripping them.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to provide a tape dispenser which can be reloaded by holding an compressing the dispenser in one hand and inserting a roll of tape with the other hand.
  • It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a tape dispenser, roll of tape combination, which is inexpensive to manufacture, has superior operational characteristics which are readily visible to the consumer, and which is easy to merchandise.
  • Further objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof and from the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangements of parts, a preferred embodiment of which will be describe in detail and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the rear of the tape dispenser and roll of tape of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the front of the tape dispenser of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a right side view of the tape dispenser of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a rear view of the tape dispenser of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the tape dispenser of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 6 is a front view of the tape dispenser of FIG. 1 with a roll of tape in place;
  • FIG. 7 is a top view of the tape dispenser of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective of the front of the tape dispenser of FIG. 1 shown without a roll of tape;
  • FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 with the near side half of the tape dispenser cut away to show internal components;
  • FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9 with a (half) roll of tape installed on the dispenser and the leading end of the tape threaded in the dispenser;
  • FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 10 with a (half) roll of tape installed on the dispenser without the leading end of the tape threaded in the dispenser;
  • FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the tape dispenser in use applying tape to a substrate;
  • FIG. 13 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 8 with a roll of tape mounted in the dispenser;
  • FIG. 14 is a view similar to FIG. 13 showing the side walls bulging outwardly allowing the insertion of a roll of tape;
  • FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 13 showing a roll of tape about to be inserted into the dispenser;
  • FIG. 16 is a view from the lower front of the dispenser showing the sidewall bulging outwardly;
  • FIG. 17 is a view from the upper front of the dispenser showing the sidewalls bulging outwardly.
  • FIG. 18 is a enlarged detail of the tape retaining tabs of the dispenser seen in FIG. 1; and,
  • FIG. 19 is a cross section of a tab taken along line 19-19 of FIG. 18.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for the purposes of illustrating a detailed description only and not for the purposes of limiting the claims, the figures show a tape dispenser 10 for a roll of tape 12. The tape dispenser 10 has a right side wall 16, a left side wall 18, a top interconnecting wall 20, rear wall segments 22, 72 and a bottom interconnecting wall 24. The right side wall 16 has an inwardly facing surface and an outwardly facing surface. The right side wall 16 includes a tape core support portion 30 and a cutter support portion 32 extending from the tape core support portion 30. The inwardly facing surface of the right side wall 16 supports three inwardly extending tape core support elements 34, 36, 38. (See FIGS. 15-17) The tape core support elements, also called hub elements, are short curved inwardly extending protrusions with axially extending curved surfaces forming short portions a circle of a diameter slightly less than the interior diameter of the tape core of the roll of tape to be supported.
  • With respect to the elements thus far described, and most elements of the side walls, the left side wall 18 is the mirror image of the right side wall 16. Thus, the left side wall 18 comprises a left side wall tape core support portion 50, a left side wall cutter support portion 52, and three inwardly extending tape core support elements 54, 56, 58.
  • For purposes of this description, the tape dispense orientation will be presumed to be with the bottom interconnecting wall 24 on the bottom, the top interconnecting wall 20 on the top, the portion of the top interconnecting wall 20 most remote from the roll of tape 12 being the front, the portion of the dispenser most remote from the cutter being the back. The inside surfaces of the right side wall 16 and the left side wall 18 face toward one another and “inwardly” means facing toward the mid plane between the planes of the two side walls 16 and 18. The axis of the tape dispenser is coincident with the axis of the roll of tape 12 and is thus perpendicular to the side wall 16 and 18 and the mid plane of the dispenser. A line perpendicular to the mid plane of the dispenser will be described as parallel to the axis of the dispenser and thus parallel to the axis of the tape roll 12.
  • The two side walls are generally planar and the planes of the two side walls are generally parallel to one another. A slight amount of “draft” from back to front may be provided to ease manufacturing.
  • The top interconnecting wall 20 is gently curved from back to front but flat from side to side.
  • The tape roll 12 is conventional. It comprises a core, either cardboard or plastic, having a hollow cylindrical interior; and, a long length of tape wound upon the core in many turns. In the preferred embodiment the tape is ¾ inch wide plastic transparent adhesive tape. Adhesive is carried on one side of the tape, the inside as rolled upon the core. The roll of tape and the tape core are generally symmetrical about a central axis. When the roll of tape 12 is mounted in the tape dispenser 10, the inside surface of the tape core rides upon the axially outwardly facing curved surfaces of the tape core support elements 34, 36, 38, 54, 56, 58. The axially outwardly facing surfaces of the tape core support elements form small segments of a circle slightly smaller than the inside of the tape core having an axis 60 generally coaxial with the axis of the roll of tape 12. Of course, the roll of tape has some slight play with respect to the tape core support elements. The axis of the roll of tape will sometimes be only generally coaxial with the axis 60 of the tape dispenser 10.
  • The bottom interconnecting wall 24 is continuous over a portion of its length from the right side wall 16 to the left side wall 18. Likewise, the top interconnecting wall 20 is continuous over at least a portion of its length from the right side wall 16 to the left side wall 18. Thus, the right side wall 16 and the left side wall 18 are held a predetermined distance apart. In the preferred embodiment, the inside surfaces of the right side wall and the left side wall are spaced slightly greater than ¾ inch apart. This allows a ¾ inch width roll of tape to be carried upon the tape for support elements 34, 36, 38, 54, 56, 58 and freely rotate while still being supported closely enough so as not to escape from the dispenser 10.
  • Looking in more detail at the tape core support elements, (FIGS. 15, 16, 17), the lower forward tape core support elements 34, 54 have a curved axially outwardly facing surfaces which curve downwardly towards the rear. These curves are a portion of a circle having a diameter slightly less than the diameter of the inside of the tape core described above. These axially outwardly facing surfaces can vary from a circular shape. The very forward edge 66 of the lower forward tape core support elements 34, 54 is generally perpendicular to the side wall just adjacent to the side wall and curves to the rear with increasing distance from the side wall providing a smooth transition to a straight edge parallel to the side wall over most of the length of the tape core support element.
  • The upper forward tape core support elements 36, 56 also have a forward edges 67 generally perpendicular to the side wall adjacent to the side wall but curving to the rear remote from the side wall. The rearward tape core support elements 38, 58 have curved exterior surfaces facing the rear of the dispenser. A tapered ramp 68 extends from the forward side of the rearward tape core support elements and tapers to the inside surface of the side walls. The curved forward edges 66 and tapered ramp 68 facilitate the loading of a roll of tape into the tape dispenser 10.
  • Rear wall segments 22, 72 extend from the rear of the right side wall tape core support portion 30 and left side wall tape core support portion 50 respectively. The rear wall segments 22, 72 extend inwardly toward the central plane of the tape dispenser. The rear wall segments 22, 72 stop just short of the central plane of the dispenser. Thus, the real wall segments 22, 72 are not continuous but are distinct one from the other. A long narrow slot or gap 76 is present along the central plane of the dispenser between the two rear wall segments 22, 72. The rear wall segments 22, 72 are curved with a radius of curvature about the axis of the tape dispenser 60 slightly larger than the radius of the largest roll of tape expected to be used with the tape dispenser 10. The bottom edges of the rear wall segments 22, 72 join the bottom interconnecting wall 24. The bottom interconnecting wall 24 is provided with a central, trapezoidal opening 78 (FIG. 16) at its center rear which joins long narrow slot 76 between the rear wall segments 22, 72.
  • The rear wall segments 22, 72 end at a large opening 80 extending from the right side wall 16 to the left side wall 18 at the top rear of the side wall tape core support portions 32, 34.
  • The forward edge of the side wall tape core support portions 30, 32 are gently curved in their lower portions leading to forward opening U-shaped recesses 82, 84 in the right side wall tape core support portion 30 and the left side wall tape core support portion 50. The side wall cutter support portions 32, 52 extend from the tape core support portions 30, 50 above these U-shaped recesses 82, 84.
  • Additionally, a pair of rear slots 86, 88 extend rearwardly across the rear ⅓ of the right side wall tape core support portion 30 to and into the right rear wall segment 72. A parallel pair of rear slots 92, 94 extend through the rear portions of the left side wall tape core support portion 52 into the left rear wall segment 74.
  • As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the bottom interconnecting wall 24 and the top interconnecting wall 20 diverge from one another in the forward direction.
  • The bottom interconnecting wall 24, the side wall tape core support portions 30, 50, the rear wall segments 72, 74 and a portion of the top interconnecting wall 20 define a tape roll containing volume 100.
  • A roll of tape can be inserted into the tape roll containing volume 100 by pressing the bottom interconnecting wall 24 toward the top interconnecting wall 20. This is conveniently done with the thumb and forefinger of one hand. This pressing causes the side wall, particularly the tape core support portions 30, 50 of the side walls to bulge outwardly from one another moving the tape core support elements 34, 36, 38 on the one side wall away from the tape core support elements 54, 56, 58 on the other side wall, as seen in FIGS. 14, 16 and 18. The curved and ramped forward facing elements described above guide a roll of tape past the support elements when a user places the roll of tape into the dispenser with the other hand. Thus, as seen in FIG. 15, a user compresses the top wall 20 toward the bottom wall 24 causing the side walls to bulge outwardly. The roll of tape is moved toward the dispenser. When the roll of tape is properly aligned with the interior of the tape core, concentric with the tape core support elements, (FIGS. 14, 16 and 17) pressure on the bottom interconnecting wall 24 and top interconnecting wall 20 can be released. The side walls spring back toward one another and the tape core support elements 34, 36 38, 54, 56, 58 enter into the tape core and restrain and hold the tape core within the tape roll containing volume 100. (FIGS. 13, 1 and 2) The tape roll is supported but allowed to rotate.
  • With reference to FIG. 1, the right side wall cutter support portion 32 is generally coplanar with and extends from the upper forward portion of the right side wall tape core support portion 30. In a similar manner, the left side wall cutter support portion 52 extends from the upper forward portion of the left side wall tape core support portion 50. The top interconnecting wall 20 extends between the top edges of the right side wall cutter support portion 32 and the left side wall cutter support portion 52. These three elements, as well as the elements previously described forming the tape roll containing volume 100, are all integrally molded as a unitary plastic part.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 5-13, the inside surfaces of the side wall cutter support portions 32, 52 and the element connected thereto can be seen. A right tape retaining tab 112 extends inwardly from the right side wall cutter support portion 32. Similarly, a left tape retaining tab 114 extends inwardly from the left side wall cutter support portion 52. The two tape retaining tabs 112, 114 are mirror images of one another.
  • With respect to the cutter support portions 32, 52 and the elements associated with the cutter support portions 32, 52 the terms proximal and distal will be used. Proximal refers to that portion of an element closer to the axis of the tape dispenser 60 and the roll of tape 12. Distal means that portion of an element more distant from the axis of the tape dispenser 60 and the roll of tape 12.
  • The tape retaining tabs 112, 114 have curved proximal ends 116, 118 and straight distal ends 120, 122. The tabs extend inwardly to inward edges 124, 126. The inward edges have a distal portion which is generally parallel to the side walls and a proximal portion which curves to merge with the tab proximal ends 116, 118. The tabs extend inwardly from the side walls toward the central plane of the dispenser but do not meet. Rather a substantial gap is left between the two tabs 112, 114. The tabs each extend toward the other side wall a distance between one quarter of the spacing between the two side walls and one third the spacing between the two side walls. Thus, a gap between the two tabs 112 and 114 of one third the distance between the interior surfaces of the two side walls or slightly greater is created.
  • FIGS. 18 and 19 show the tabs 112 and 114 in more detail. The right tab top surface 130 and the left tab top surface 132 are best seen in FIG. 18. The distal portions 131, 133, tab top surfaces 130, 132 are textured rather than having a polished, smooth surface. Moreover, the proximal portion of the top surfaces 127, 128 of the tabs angles downwardly toward their proximal edges. These two structures allow a length of tape to slide along the tab top surfaces 130, 132 more easily than if the tab top surfaces were not textured and were fully in the plane of tape movement.
  • A pressing bar 134 extends from the right side wall cutter support portion 32 to the left side wall cutter support portion 52 parallel to the axis of the tape dispenser 60. The pressing bar 134 is positioned somewhat forward of the tabs 112, 113 and slightly above the top surface of the tabs 130, 132. The pressing bar 134 serves two functions. The forward lower surface 136 of the pressing bar is smooth, gently curved and has a uniform profile across its entire width from the right side wall to the left side wall. The forward lower surface 136 of the pressing bar 134 extends a slight distance below the lower edges of the rights side wall cutter support portion 32 and the left side wall cutter support portion 52. This allows the pressing bar to be used to press a length of tape against a substrate as will be hereinafter described.
  • The pressing bar 134 also supports a button 140 which extends downwardly and rearwardly from the center of the pressing bar 134. The button 140 has a smooth rounded lower surface which extends downwardly into the gap between the tabs 112 and 114. The pressing bar 140 has a width less than one third the distance between the two side walls 16, 18.
  • A tab extension extends downwardly from the proximal portion of one of the tabs 112, 114. In the illustrated dispenser, the tab extension 142 extends from the left tape retaining tab. However, the tab extension could just as effectively extend from the right tape retaining tab. The tab extension 142 extends below the plane of the tabs 112, 114 and substantially below the button 140. The tab extension 142 does not contact the other of the tape retaining tabs 112, 114. Thus, as seen in FIG. 6, there is a gap between the end 144 of the tab extension 142 and the right tape retaining tab 112.
  • As can be seen in FIGS. 6 and 9, a bar 150 containing a slot extends from the right side wall cutter support portion 32 to the left side wall cutter support portion 52 above the pressing bar 134 and forward of the pressing bar. A cutter 154 is secured in the slot. The cutter 154 and bar 150 are near the top of the cutter support portions 32, 52 and near the forward ends of the cutter support portions 32, 52. However, side wall cutter support portions 32, 52 extend slightly beyond the forward edge 156 of the cutter 154. The forward edge 156 of the cutter 154 is serrated and sharpened and capable of cutting tape.
  • The right side wall cutter support portion 32 and the left side wall cutter support portion extend forwardly of the forward edge of the cutter 156. The forward edges 162, 164 of the side wall cutter support portions 32, 52 extend beyond the forward edge 156 of the cutter 154. The cutter support forward edges, 162, 164 are curved with their most forward points being close to the cutter 154. Moreover, the forward edges 162, 164 are widened when compared to the thickness of the rest of the side walls 16, 18. Thus, in the preferred embodiment, the forward edges 162, 164 have a maximum width, that is the dimension measured parallel to the axis of the dispenser 60 and the cutter 154, which is generally at least twice the thickness of the side walls elsewhere in the dispenser. This width varies and tapers over the forward edges of the side walls 162, 164. Thus, at the bottom of the forward edges 162, 164 adjacent the forward lower surface 136 of the pressing bar 134, the width of the forward edge is only slightly greater than the adjacent thickness of the side walls. The width of the forward edge gradually increases to its maximum adjacent the cutter 154 and forward of the cutter 154 and then tapers back to a smaller value as the forward edges reach the top edge of connecting wall 20. The forward edges 162, 164 are generally transversely flat and smooth. The widened forward edges protect delicate substrates from being torn in operation of the tape dispenser as will be hereinafter described.
  • The above-described structures support operation of the dispenser as follows. A roll of tape 12 may be inserted into the dispenser 10 by pressing the top interconnecting wall 20 and the bottom interconnecting wall 24 toward one another. As previously described, this causes the side walls 16, 18 to bulge away from one another increasing the distance between the tape core support portions 30, 32, 34, 50, 52, 54. The roll of tape 12 is inserted into the tape roll containing volume 100 and pressure on the top wall 20 and bottom wall 24 released allowing the dispenser to engage the roll of tape 12. The end of the tape 170 is separated from the roll of tape 12 and the leading length of tape 172 is pulled from its adhered position on the tape roll 12. This leading length of tape is threaded over the tab extension 142 and tabs 112, 114 (FIG. 2). The leading length of tape 172 is threaded beneath the pressing bar 134 and the button 140. Because the button 140 extends below the top surfaces of the tabs 112, 114, the leading length of tape 172 is forced into a curved or arched configuration across its width (FIGS. 2 and 6) with the center of the length of tape below the edges of the length of tape. Because the length of tape 172 is arched across its width it is biased into a straight configuration along its length and the forward portion and tape end 172 extend forwardly beyond the pressing bar 134 and thus beyond the side walls 16, 18 (FIGS. 2 and 10). The tape dispenser is ready for use. Alternatively, the tape dispenser is ready for being positioned at rest with the bottom interconnecting wall 24 resting on a flat surface and the tape held upwardly and away from other surfaces extending from the front of the dispenser 10 (FIG. 1).
  • To dispense tape, a user grasps the tape dispenser 10 with a thumb on one of the tape core support portions 30, 50, an index finger on the top interconnecting wall 20 and some or all of remaining fingers on the other of the side wall tape core support portions 30, 50 (FIG. 12). This provides a comfortable and controlled grip upon the tape dispenser with the leading tape end 170 positioned just forwardly of the tip of the index finger. The user may then apply tape to a portion of a substrate such as two overlapping portions of wrapping paper on a gift. By angling the tape dispenser 10 downwardly, the tape end 170 is presented and applied to the substrate and the pressing bar 134 engages the leading length of tape 172 on the substrate at a selected location. The tape dispenser 10 is then drawn in the rearward direction of the tape dispenser with the pressing bar 134 applied to the leading length of tape 172 on the substrate. Because the tape dispenser is conveniently used one handed, the user may steady and position the substrate with the other hand. The tape dispenser 10 is drawn along the substrate for the distance requiring tape. The user may then rotate the tape dispenser while maintaining the pressing bar 134 and then the forward edges 162, 164 of the side walls 16, 18 in contact with the tape and/or substrate. The rotation is in the direction which takes the top interconnecting wall 20 into a vertical position and then slightly past the vertical position. Longitudinal movement of the tape dispenser can also be continued along the substrate during this rotation. The two widened side wall forward edges 162, 164 slide along and hold the substrate, such as delicate wrapping paper, away from the cutter 150 while the rotation and longitudinal motion of the dispenser 10 pulls the tape upwardly into contact with the cutter 154, severing it. For particularly delicate substrates, such as light tissue paper, the forward motion as well as rotation provides a short length of tape which has not been pressed down by the pressing bar 134 between the substrate and the cutter 154 protecting the substrate. After the applied piece of tape is cut off, the tape dispenser is pulled up and it is ready for subsequent use. A short length of tape (again referred to as 172) extends forward of the pressing bar ready for application to a substrate. This length of tape is maintained in a transverse arched shape by the action of the tabs and button described above. This length of tape is restrained from falling away from the tabs 112, 114 by the tab extension 142.
  • The tab extension 142 acts as a tape lock. Should the leading length of tape 172 shift laterally toward one side wall or the other, it may become disengaged from one or the other of the tabs 112, 114. The adhesive side of the length of tape 172 is then likely to engage the tab extension 142 rather than completely leaving the threaded state. The user may then easily rethread the length of tape 172 and continue use.
  • Additionally, if a user lays the dispenser down with the cutter support portions 32, 52 lowermost, as in FIG. 12, the leading length of tape 172 may adhere to the surface it contacts. If the tab extension was not present, when the user lifted the dispenser 10, the leading length of tape 172 might disengage from the tabs 112, 114 and leave the threaded state. The tab extension 142 prevents this. If the dispenser 10 is laid down in the orientation seen in FIG. 12, the leading length of tape 172 may still adhere to the surface it contacts. When the user next picks up the dispenser, the leading length of tape may start to disengage from the tabs 112, 114. The leading length of tape 172 then comes against the tab extension 142 and is prevented from leaving the threaded state. The user may then remove the leading length of tape 172 from the surface to which it adhered, check the state of tape threading and continue use.
  • Additionally, because the top surface of the tabs 112, 114 are engaged to the bottom (adhesive) surface of the length of tape 172, the tape 172 is restrained from rolling back onto the roll of tape 12.
  • The elements of the tape dispenser described above consist of two parts: A molded plastic part comprising all of the elements except the cutter 154, and, the cutter 154. The molded plastic part is molded from any appropriate polymer material resulting in a reasonably rigid yet somewhat flexible frame. Moreover, for certain kinds of tapes and plastics, the metallic cutter 154 may be deleted and the bar 150 provided with a serrated forward edge replacing the cutter 154. This results in a single piece dispenser which is less expensive to manufacture.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the tape dispenser is provided preloaded with a roll of tape. Because the dispenser is inexpensive to manufacture, some users may treat the dispenser as a single use dispenser and discard it with the core from an exhausted roll of tape. However, the tape dispenser is reusable. A consumer may buy an additional roll of tape 12 and reload the dispenser as described above.
  • Forward opening U-shaped recesses 82, 84 and rear slots 86, 88, 92, 94 as well as slot 76, bottom wall opening 78 and a gap to the rear of the top wall 20 have been described. These features aid in providing appropriate flexibility allowing one to reload the tape dispenser. However, these configurations are not the only way to achieve this flexibility and resiliency. Different side wall configurations can be easily implemented to achieve the same functionality. Thus, the U-shaped recesses can be of a different shape or dispensed with altogether as can be the rear slots. One may select a different plastic to achieve the flexibility necessary or one may use different slots, wall thicknesses or the like.
  • The invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments. It will appreciated that modifications or alterations can be made without deviating from the present invention. Such modifications and alterations will occur to others upon the reading and understanding of this specification. It is intended that all such modifications and alterations be included insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents thereof.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A tape dispenser adapted to dispense tape from a roll of tape carried on a hollow cylindrical tape core, said tape dispenser comprising:
    a first side wall having an inwardly facing surface, an outwardly facing surface, a tape core support portion having at least one tape core support element projecting from said inwardly facing surface, and a cutter support portion extending from said tape core support portion;
    a second side wall having an inwardly facing surface, an outwardly facing surface, a tape core support portion having at least one tape core support element projecting from said inwardly facing surface, and a cutter support portion extending from said tape core support portion;
    a top interconnecting wall generally perpendicular to said first side wall and said second side wall and extending between the cutter support portions of said first side wall and said second side wall, said top interconnecting wall having a distal end a first distance from said tape core support elements and a proximal end a second distance from said tape core support elements, said first distance greater than said second distance;
    a cutter extending between said first side wall and said second side wall proximate said top interconnecting wall distal end;
    said first side wall extending beyond said cutter a third distance and said first side wall distal end terminating in a smoothly curved distal surface;
    said second side wall extending beyond said cutter said third distance and said second side wall distal end terminating in a smoothly curved distal surface whereby a substrate is protected when tape is cut from said roll of tape by action of said cutter when said dispenser is rotated with said side wall distal ends in contact with said substrate wherein said first side wall has a first thickness, second side wall has said first thickness and said first side wall distal edge has a width greater than said first thickness adjacent said cutter and said second side wall distal edge has a width greater than said first thickness adjacent said cutter.
  2. 2. The tape dispenser of claim 1 wherein said distal edges are thickest adjacent said cutter.
  3. 3. The tape dispenser of claim 2 wherein each side wall distal edge has a width at least twice as large as said first thickness adjacent said cutter.
  4. 4. The tape dispenser of claim 1 further comprising a pressing bar generally perpendicular to said first side wall and said second side wall and extending between the cutter support portions of said first side wall and said second side wall, said pressing bar being parallel to and below said cutter, said pressing bar having a smooth surface facing downwardly and forwardly at the lower distal edges of said first and second side wall distal portions, said pressing bar being adapted to press a portion of tape against a substrate adjacent said cutter.
  5. 5. The tape dispenser of claim 4 further comprising a first tape retaining tab extending inwardly from said lower distal edge of said first side wall cutter support portion closer to said tape core support element than said pressing bar and adjacent said pressing bar, a second tape retaining tab extending inwardly from said lower distal edge of said second side wall cutter support portion closer to said tape core support element than said pressing bar and adjacent said pressing bar, said first and second tape retaining tabs having generally flat coplanar upper surfaces, and a narrow button extending downwardly and rearwardly from said pressing bar, said button being spaced from said first side wall and said second side wall, said button having a lower surface extending below the upper surfaces of said tabs whereby a length of tape in said dispenser will be held in an arch across its width when adjacent said tabs and button.
  6. 6. The tape dispenser of claim 5 further comprising a tab extension extending inwardly from one of said first and second tabs, said tab extension being below said tabs whereby a length of tape may be easily threaded through said tabs and button but securely retained between said tabs and button.
  7. 7. The tape dispenser of claim 6 wherein said tabs upper surfaces are textured.
  8. 8. The tape dispenser of claim 7 wherein a gap exists between said tabs.
  9. 9. The tape dispenser of claim 1 wherein said first side wall, said second side wall and said top wall are an integral molded plastic structure.
  10. 10. The tape dispenser of claim 1 wherein said second side wall is generally a mirror images of said first side wall.
  11. 11. A tape dispenser adapted to dispense tape from a roll of tape carried on a hollow cylindrical tape core, said tape dispenser comprising:
    a first side wall having an inwardly facing surface, an outwardly facing surface, a tape core support portion having at least one tape core support element projecting from said inwardly facing surface, and a cutter support portion extending from said tape core support portion;
    a second side wall having an inwardly facing surface, an outwardly facing surface, a tape core support portion having at least one tape core support element projecting from said inwardly facing surface, and a cutter support portion extending from said tape core support portion;
    a top interconnecting wall generally perpendicular to said first side wall and said second side wall and extending between the cutter support portions of said first side wall and said second side wall, said top interconnecting wall having a distal end a first distance from said tape core support elements and a proximal end a second distance from said tape core support elements, said first distance greater than said second distance;
    a cutter extending between said first side wall and said second side wall proximate said top interconnecting wall distal end;
    a bottom interconnecting wall generally perpendicular to said first side wall and said second side wall and extending between the tape core support portions of said first side wall and said second side wall;
    said first side wall tape core support portion, said second side wall tape core support portion, said top interconnecting wall and said bottom interconnecting wall defining a roll of tape containing volume, said roll of tape containing volume having an open front adapted to permit the insertion of a roll of tape into said roll of tape containing volume.
  12. 12. The tape dispenser of claim 11 wherein said bottom interconnecting wall is generally planar.
  13. 13. The tape dispenser of claim 12 wherein said first side wall and said second side wall are sufficiently resilient (flexible) to allow said first side wall and said second side wall to flex away from one another a distance sufficient to allow the loading of a roll of tape onto said tape core support elements when said top interconnecting wall and said bottom interconnecting wall are compressed toward one another.
  14. 14. The tape dispenser of claim 13 wherein said first side wall, said second side wall, said top interconnecting wall and said bottom interconnecting wall are an integral molded plastic structure.
  15. 15. The tape dispenser of claim 14 wherein first side wall has an upper edge with a rear portion, said second side wall has an upper edge with a rear portion, said top interconnecting wall terminates above said roll of tape containing volume such that said first side upper edge rear portion and said second side wall upper edge rear portion are not connected.
  16. 16. The tape dispenser of claim 15 wherein said first side wall has a forward edge and a forward opening unshaped slot opening on said forward edge and said second side wall has a forward edge and a forward opening unshaped slot opening on said forward edge, said forward opening slots facilitating the flexing of said first side wall and said second side wall for loading a roll of tape.
  17. 17. The tape dispenser of claim 16 wherein said bottom interconnecting wall and said top interconnecting wall converge toward one another from front to rear.
  18. 18. The tape dispenser of claim 17 wherein said bottom interconnecting wall has a rear end and a central gap in said bottom interconnecting wall rear end.
  19. 19. The tape dispenser of claim 18 further comprising a rear wall extending between said first side wall tape core support portion and said second side wall tape core support portion, said rear wall having a slot extending in a plane parallel to said first side wall and said second side wall from said bottom interconnecting wall gap through the entire rear wall.
  20. 20. The tape dispenser of claim 19 wherein said first side wall has a rearward edge and at least one rearward slot adjacent said rearward edge and said second side wall has a rearward edge and at least one rearward slot adjacent said rearward edge, said rearward slots facilitating the flexing of said first side wall and said second side wall for loading a roll of tape.
US11972947 2008-01-11 2008-01-11 Adhesive tape dispenser and applicator Abandoned US20090179061A1 (en)

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US20100018653A1 (en) * 2008-07-25 2010-01-28 Henkel Corporation Adhesive tape dispenser and applicator
US8397784B2 (en) 2010-08-31 2013-03-19 Sanford, L.P. Correction tape dispenser with variable clutch mechanism
US8474504B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2013-07-02 Shurtech Brands, Llc Tape dispenser
US8578999B2 (en) 2010-12-29 2013-11-12 Sanford, L.P. Variable clutch mechanism and correction tape dispenser with variable clutch mechanism
US8746316B2 (en) 2011-12-30 2014-06-10 Sanford, L.P. Variable clutch mechanism and correction tape dispenser with variable clutch mechanism
US8746313B2 (en) 2010-12-29 2014-06-10 Sanford, L.P. Correction tape re-tensioning mechanism and correction tape dispenser comprising same
US8925611B2 (en) 2010-04-23 2015-01-06 3M Innovative Properties Company Adhesive tape dispenser for single hand operation
US20150183609A1 (en) * 2012-05-25 2015-07-02 3M Innovative Properties Company Textured tape dispenser

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100018653A1 (en) * 2008-07-25 2010-01-28 Henkel Corporation Adhesive tape dispenser and applicator
US8925611B2 (en) 2010-04-23 2015-01-06 3M Innovative Properties Company Adhesive tape dispenser for single hand operation
US8474504B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2013-07-02 Shurtech Brands, Llc Tape dispenser
US8397784B2 (en) 2010-08-31 2013-03-19 Sanford, L.P. Correction tape dispenser with variable clutch mechanism
US8578999B2 (en) 2010-12-29 2013-11-12 Sanford, L.P. Variable clutch mechanism and correction tape dispenser with variable clutch mechanism
US8746313B2 (en) 2010-12-29 2014-06-10 Sanford, L.P. Correction tape re-tensioning mechanism and correction tape dispenser comprising same
US8746316B2 (en) 2011-12-30 2014-06-10 Sanford, L.P. Variable clutch mechanism and correction tape dispenser with variable clutch mechanism
US20150183609A1 (en) * 2012-05-25 2015-07-02 3M Innovative Properties Company Textured tape dispenser

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