Disposable handle for carrying plastic shopping bags and the...

Handling: hand and hoist-line implements – Article carrier gripped and carried by hand – Having cord or bail accommodating groove or passage along...

Reexamination Certificate

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Details

C294S149000

Reexamination Certificate

active

06481771

ABSTRACT:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a disposable handle. More particularly, the invention relates to a device which accepts the handle openings from a plurality of shopping bags, and then provides a broad comfortable surface for the user to simultaneously support all of said shopping bags.
When exiting a store after a purchase, consumers often find themselves carrying one or more shopping bags. In recent years, the plastic shopping bag has all but replaced the traditional, rope-handled paper shopping bag. The plastic shopping bag is made of a thin plastic film. The plastic shopping bag mimics the traditional bag by providing two hand openings, which are generally stamped out during manufacture.
To carry the plastic shopping bag, the consumer places one hand through both hand openings, and the entire weight of the bag thereby becomes supported by the hand. The problem with holding plastic shopping bags in this manner, is that the thin film nature of the shopping bag minimizes the surface area on the hand upon which all of the weight of the bag is distributed. As the bag gets heavier, the handles have a tendency to stretch out and gather into a compact bunch. This bunch feels more like a wire, and painfully cuts into the hand. The discomfort is multiplied when carrying multiple shopping bags—such as when exiting a supermarket.
In recent years, people have proposed stand-alone handles which seek to support multiple shopping bags, and provide the consumer with a more comfortable handle. These designs are generally complex, and as such, are expensive. Thus, they require an up-front purchase by the consumer—who is then forced to bring the handle along on any shopping trip. In addition, they are generally open-ended, allowing the shopping bags and their contents to slip out at inopportune times.
While these units may be suitable for the particular purpose employed, or for general use, they would not be as suitable for the purposes of the present invention as disclosed hereafter.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the invention to provide a handle which allows several shopping bags to be comfortably carried. Accordingly, the bag supports numerous shopping bags and provides a broad, comfortable surface by which the consumer, in turn, supports the handle.
It is another object of the invention to produce a handle which may be inexpensively manufactured, so that it is disposable and readily available to consumers. Accordingly, the handle is a single piece construction, which may be stamped from a single piece of material at a very low cost.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a handle which is disposable, and which may be used as a promotional item bearing an advertisement. Accordingly, the low manufacturing cost allows the handle to serve as a promotional “give-away”, wherein advertising revenue from the advertisement can easily cover the manufacturing cost of the handle, thus allowing the handle to be disposable.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a handle which allows multiple bags to be carried securely, without risking loss of their contents. Accordingly, the handle has a locking mechanism which selectively opens to allow shopping bag handles to be inserted and removed, and selectively closes to securely maintain the shopping bag handles therein.
The invention is a handle, for supporting and carrying shopping bags, comprising a continuous piece of material having a first end, a second end, an outer side, and an inner side. A tab extends from the first end, and a slot is located at the second end. The handle is bent, creating a pair of symmetrical broad surfaces for the user to hold and a valley region extending longitudinally therebetween. The bags extend longitudinally within the valley region. The bags are selectively se-cured within the handle by locking the first end and second end by inserting the tab into the slot.
To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, the invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Attention is called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only. Variations are contemplated as being part of the invention, limited only by the scope of the claims.


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patent: 6062622 (2000-05-01), Susman et al.
patent: 6234946 (2001-05-01), Fricano
patent: 6354645 (2002-03-01), Bozlee
patent: 2246285 (1992-01-01), None

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