Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 53)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on June 27, 2007

U.S. Pat. No. 5,329,672:  Metal wire paper clip structure.

JW Note:  The paper clip – patented in 1994.  Many thanks to Michael Barclay at WSGR for bringing this one (and many others) to our attention! 


We claim:

1. A metal wire paper clip comprising 

         a unitary length of spring-quality metal wire bent into an elongated configuration presenting an elongated U-shaped inner loop, an elongated U-shaped outer loop, and an arcuately-curved interconnecting portion therebetween;   

          each such U-shaped loop having an open end, a closed end, and a pair of longitudinally-extending legs;

         such closed end of the elongated U-shaped outer loop defining one longitudinal end of such bent wire elongated configuration, such inner loop being nested within such outer loop with such open end of each such U-shaped loop facing in the same longitudinal direction;

         such pair of longitudinally-extending legs of each such U-shaped loop including a free leg having a distal end located at the open end of its respective U-shaped loop, and a connecting leg, such arcuately-curved interconnecting portion extending between such connecting legs at the open end of each such U-shaped loop and defining at its longitudinally outward midpoint the remaining longitudinal end of such bent wire configuration;

          each such inner and outer loop free leg extending at least to the juncture of such longitudinally-extending connecting legs with such curved interconnecting portion while not extending beyond a location which is contiguous to a laterally transverse plane normal to the longitudinal axis of the clip which is longitudinally inward of a tangent to the longitudinally inward midpoint of the arcuately-curved interconnecting portion, and each such U-shaped loop and such curved interconnecting portion being substantially coplanar so that the paper clip lies substantially flat when not in use.