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Патент USA US3084682

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April 9, 1963
Filed Oct. 22, 1959
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
United States Patent 0
Patented Apr. 9, 1963
FIG. 2 shows a fragment of the plunger of the locking
means illustrated in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 shows a two-part clip sleeve in halfway tele
Alfred Dottlinger, Kirchdorf (Krems), Austria, assignor
scoped condition.
FIG. 4 represents the developed ball-guide path of the
of one-half to Jacob Rittcr, K.G., Brenshach, Oden
Wald, Germany
mechanism shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.
FIG. 5 is a partly sectional view of a modi?ed embodi
ment, similar to that of FIG. 1 but actuated by momen
tum and having a closed top clip sleeve.
This ‘is a continuati0n~in-part of my patent application 10
FIG. 6 is a partly sectional view of another modi?ca
tion :of the writing instrument having the ball engaging
Serial No. 629,158 ?led in the United States Patent O?‘ice
positions arranged in the guide groove of the plunger.
December 18, 1956, now abandoned.
The invention relates to writing instruments and more
FIG. 7 shows the developed guide path of the embodi
Filed Oct. 22, 1959, Ser. No. 848,081
Claims priority, application Austria Dec. 23, 1955
3 Claims. (Cl. 120—42.03)
particularly to ball-point pens having retractable writing
A ball-point pen having a retractable writing means
comprises a body, tapered ‘and opened at one end, a
spring-loaded link reservoir having a ball-point at one
end and slidably mounted in the body, and a locking
means for locking the ink reservoir in an operative writing 20
position in which the ball-point end extends through the
tapered end of the body, and, for locking ‘the ink reservoir
in an inoperative carrying position in which the ball-point
end is retracted into the body. The ink reservoir having
ment of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 shows an alternative embodiment of a two-part
clip sleeve, similar to that of FIG. 3, but having corre
sponding projections and recesses for interconnecting the
two parts; and
FIG. 9 is a cross-section taken along line 9 of FIG. 8,
the lower clip sleeve portion added in side elevation, being
shown in FIG. 9a.
In FIGS. 1, 2 land 4 a writing means 10, acted upon by
a spring 11, is slidably mounted on the longitudinal axis
of the body 12 of the writing instrument. The upper end
a ball-point at one end is hereinafter called the writing 25 of ‘the writing means ?ts into a recess in the lower end
of a sleeve 13 and against the end of the plunger 14.
Locking means for the above-described type of writing
The plunger 14 is guided in sleeve 13 which is inserted
instrument have been generally described in my copending
in the top portion of the body 12. A rolling element
patent application Serial No. 848,080 ?led October 22,
in the form of a ball 16 is half engaged in a circumferen
1959 which is a continuation-in-part application of Serial 30 tial groove 17 in the plunger 14 and half engaged in a
longitudinally extending groove 18 in the inner wall of
No. 532,925 ?led September 7, 1955, now abandoned.
The present invention is an improvement on the inven
sleeve 13.
tion described in my copending application.
and 21 spaced longitudinally ‘apart the predetermined dis
Groove 18 has two ball-receiving recesses 19
It is an object of the invention to provide a locking
tance between the writing and retracted positions of the
means employing a ball as a locking ‘member for locking 35 writing means.
the writing means of a writing instrument in a writing
FIG. 4 illustrates the development of the annular
position or in a retracted position and ‘in which the lock
groove 18 on a plane surface. The opposing ball guiding
ing means operates efficiently and practically invariably
sides and camrning surfaces of the groove 18 de?ne a
while the writing instrument is held in any position.
plurality of sharp points, and intervening recesses; one
In carrying out the invention, a locking means empo-ly 40 side of groove 18 de?ning sharp points 23 and 24 with
ing a ball as a locking member is provided for locking the
intervening recesses 19 and 21, and the other side of
writing means in a writing position and in its retracted
groove 18 de?ning sharp points 28 ‘and 29 with interven
position. The ball is engaged between two suitably ar
ing recesses 34 and 36. The sharp points are circum
ranged grooves that guide the ball in its movements to
ferentially spaced approximately 90 degrees apart succes
and from the respective ball locking positions that corre
sively on alternate sides of the groove 18. The ball
spond to the two positions of the writing means. A mov
camming surfaces 27 and 22 of one side of the groove 18
able plunger carries one of the grooves and a relatively
leading into recesses 19 and 21 respectively, and ball
stationary body or clip sleeve in the body carries the other
cammiing surfaces 31 and 33 of the other side of groove
groove. One of the grooves extends circumferentially and
18 leading into recesses 34 and 36 respectively, curve
longitudinally and the other extends circumferentially,
smoothly into their respective following recesses for cam
and each groove simultaneously engages separate halves
ming the ball 16 in the same direction toward said next
of the locking ball. The longitudinally extending groove
following recess. The ball guiding sides, such as sides
has sides de?ning ‘a plurality of circumferentially spaced
26 and 32 leading out of the recesses, are straight surfaces
sharp points and intervening recesses, the points of one
directed toward the opposite smoothly curving ball cam
side opposite the recesses of the other. The ball guiding
rning surfaces 31 and 27 respectively. The ball thus is
sides of the grooves cause the ball to roll in the same
direction to alternate rest and locking positions and are
arranged to narrow the longitudinal grooves before and
after the locking positions. The narrowed portions of the
longitudinal groove are also at di?erent levels which
cooperate with the circumferential groove for the passage
of the ball in the same direction that the ball guiding
surfaces of the projections cause the ball to move in, while
guided in groove 18 from one recess along a straight
guiding side to the opposing camming surface that smooth
ly curves into the next succeeding recess. The recesses
34 and 36 between the sharp points 28 and 29 are pro
vided as intermediate positions to which the ball 16 can
be propelled by manual manipulation of the plunger 14
‘from recesses 19 and 21 respectively and from which
intermediate positions the spring loaded plunger can then
masking the longitudinal groove in the opposite direction. 65 bias the ball 16 into recesses 21 and 19 respectively. In
Other objects and advantages of the invention will
order to prevent the ball from rolling back into groove
become more apparent from the following description and
sections already passed, and for securely guiding the
the appended claims, reference being made to the accom
panying drawing, in which:
ball to the next succeeding recess, the groove 18 is nar
rowed by each sharp point on a side just preceding each
FIG. 1 is a partial sectional view illustrating a writing 70 following recess on an opposite side. The narrow parts
instrument having a plunger actuated locking means for
25, 37, 38 and 39 are at successively different levels with
locking writing means in writing and retracted positions.
respect to each other in order that each sharp point
preceding a narrow part masks the preceding section
of groove 18, thus preventing the ball from rolling back
ward. The width of the groove 18 is at least slightly
greater than the diameter of the ball 16. However the
of the plastic sleeve.
Owing to the resiliency of the mate
rial, the noses will snap into the recesses when the two
parts, properly aligned, are telescoped. It is understood
that the two elements may be reversed, with the noses pro
vided in sleeve 82, and appropriate recesses in bottom
portion 83.
than the ball diameter provided the ends of the sharp
The operation of the described ball-type locking mecha
points are made ?exible to permit their slight displace
nism is as follows:
ment and the ball 16 can be forced past the sharp points
In the embodiment of the invention in which the writing
by plunger action only. As the camming action of the
ball guiding or camming surfaces is always toward the 10 means is extended and retracted by means of ?nger pres
narrow pants of the groove 18 can be made slightly less
next succeeding recess, the ball cannot be forced back
ward by the plunger, nor can it roll back past a narrow
sure on a plunger and as illustrated in FIG. 1, the locking
mechanism is operated by depressing the plunger ‘14
against the action or" the spring 11 as far as the plunger
will go. The plunger carrying the ball 16 in its circum
16 will be rolled either from recess 19 to recess 34 or from 15 fercntial groove causes the ball to follow the developed
path of the longitudinal groove 18 as illustrated in FIG. 4.
recess 21 to recess 36 and when the pressure is released
Assuming that the cycle of operation to begin with the
the spring biased plunger will then roll the ball from
ball in its position corresponding to the retracted position
recess 34 to recess 21 or from recess 36 to recess 19 to
of the writing means, that is to say, in recess 19 the ball
the other locking position. A full circle is described in
16 is guided by side 26 past the narrow part 25 by which
the annular transverse groove 17 during a complete op
it reached recess 19, the pathway 25 being masked by
erating cycle of extending and retracting the Writing
sharp point 28. The ball is carried to the narrow part
means. There is little friction exerted either on the ball
of the passageway 30 and is cammed by camming surface
or on the groove walls so that the mechanism can be
31 past the projection 23 to recess 34. The plunger being
built of plastic.
to its fullest extent is now released and is raised
It is possible ‘to facilitate the manufacture of sleeves
by action of spring 11 to carry the ball into contact with
having grooves cut in their interior surfaces. Referring
camming surface 22. In reaching this position the narrow
to FIG. 3 a sleeve 44 has sleeve liners 47 and 41 for
part 30 by which the ball reached position 19‘ is almost
the oppositely disposed ends of the sleeve 44. The
immediately masked by the projection 23. As the ball is
liners have a ‘common wall thickness equivalent to the
When applying pressure to the plunger 14, the ball
desired depth of the groove 18. The liner 47 for an end 30 carried upward by the action of the spring 11 from recess
is shown in place in the sleeve 44. The liner 41 for the
other end is shown partially inserted in the sleeve 44.
The opposing ends 43 and 40 of the liners 41 and 47,
before insertion into sleeve 44, are respectively cut to the
shape of the respective opposite sides of the groove 18.
The liners are then inserted in sleeve 44 with the opposing
34 past projection 29 and into contact with camming
surface 22 which cams it to the recess 21, this recess 21
corresponding to the writing position of the writing means.
The ball has now been carried around the circumferential
groove 17 about 270° and is held in its recess 21 by the
pressure of the pen in use and of the spring 11 against
the plunger. To return the ball to recess 19 correspond
ends spaced apart the width of groove 18. The ends
ing to the retracted position of the writing means the
are then rotatively aligned with respect to each other to
plunger is depressed against the pressure of spring ‘11 as
conform to the alignment of the sides of the groove 18
40 far as the plunger 14 will go and the ball is carried into
and securely fastened in the sleeve 44.
contact with camming surface 33 and camrned through
The collar 42 on an end of sleeve 41, as shown in FIG.
narrow part 39 past projection 24 to recess 36. Sharp
3, is keyed to the bottom rim of the sleeve 44 by key 45
point 29 masks the back passage and prevents the ball
in the collar 42 and recess 46 on the sleeve 44. This
from returning to recess 34. Upon release of the plunger,
arrangement makes for the accurate positioning of these
the spring 11 will cause the plunger to carry the ball
two parts, so that the opposite projections will be proper 45 guided along guiding side 32 past the projection 24, which
ly oriented and the groove 18 have the proper width.
masks the return passageway to recess 21, to contact with
Referring to FIG. 5, the plunger of FIG. 1 is shortened
the camming surface 27 which cams the ball toward recess
to the illustrated plunger 58 and the sleeve 51 and body
19 which corresponds to the retracted position of the writ
52 are closed at the top. Otherwise ‘the construction and
ing means, thus completing the cycle of operation when
arrangement of the parts are ‘the same as in FIG. 1. 50 the ball reaches recess 19.
The plunger 50 is actuated by momentum imparted by
In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG.
giving the pen a thrusting motion of the hand in the
5, the ‘writing means is actuated by a momentum applied
direction of the vtip of the pen.
to the pen in the direction of the tip by a thrusting mo
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the guide groove
tion followed by an arrest. the locking mechanism operates
60 for the ball 61 is formed in the plunger 62 and the 55 precisely as in the embodiment of the invention illustrated
circumferential groove 63 is provided in the sleeve 64.
in FIG. 1, but is actuated by momentum instead of ?nger
The sleeve can be also assembled in two parts, as ex
pressure. The structural differences in the embodiment
plained in FIG. 3. The circumferential groove 63 is pro
are that the top of the sleeve 52 is closed and that the
duced by recessing the interior surface of sleeve 64 and in
plunger 50 as shown in FIG. 5 is shortened and does not
serting therein the sleeve 65 which has a collar 66 for pur 60 extend through the top of the clip sleeve 52. The spring
poses heretofore described.
The development of the
guide groove 60 shown in FIG. 7 differs from that of FIG.
3 in that it is inverted. The writing and retracted posi
(not shown) that corresponds to spring 11 shown in FIG.
1 is made somewhat weaker than the spring 11 in order
to facilitate actuation of the plunger by reducing the force
tions correspond to recesses and are marked 67 and 68.
opposed to the momentum that actuates it.
Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9' which illustrate an alternate 65
In the embodiment of the invention as illustrated in
sleeve from that of FIGS. 1 and 3 in that the sleeve 81
FIG. 6 the writing means (not shown) and the locking
has threads 80 for holding the clip sleeve in the body 82
mechanism are actuated by ?nger pressure on a plunger.
of the pen is applied to the bottom portion 83 of
sleeve in an extended collar 84. The advantage of
modi?cation lies in the fact that the wall of the upper
sleeve portion, holding the curved groove paths, is
It differs in operation from the embodiment illustrated
in FIG. 1 in that the opposite sides of the longitudinal
clip 70 groove are interchanged as illustrated in FIG. 7.
Pressure is applied to plunger 62 which moves the ball
unduly weakened. If the bottom portion 83 pushed into
61 out of the recess 67 and, by means of cooperating with
the circumferential annular groove 63, to recess 69; as
the plastic upper sleeve 82 should not be cemented (weld
soon as the pressure on plunger 62 is released the spring
cd or injected) to it, it can be made with wedge-shaped
noses 85 which click into the corresponding recesses 86 75 loaded plunger 62 carries the ball into the recess 68.
After renewed pressure on the plunger 62 the ball, still
guided by annular circumferential groove 63 and 1on
gitudinal groove 60, is conveyed into recess 70 and from
there upon release of the pressure on the plunger, back
in to the recess 67.
Although the invention has been described with a cer
tracted position of said writing means, and said second
side of said other groove including inclined cam surfaces,
each surface extending for a distance to span a recess and
an adjacent point of said ?rst side to earn said ball cir
cumferentially when said plunger is moved in a direction
against said spring means to move said ball beyond said
succeeding projection so that when the plunger is released
tain degree of particularity, it is understood that the
said ball will seat in the next succeeding recess on said
present disclosure has been made only by Way of example
?rst side, whereby said ball is positively moved from one
and that numerous changes in the details of construction
and the combination and arrangement of parts may be 10 recess to the next by successive longitudinal movements
of said plunger and said plunger and associated writing
resorted to without departing from the spirit and the
means are thereby successively held in Writing position
scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
What I claim is:
1. In a Writing instrument having a tubular body with
a writing end and an opposite end, writing means mounted
and retracted position respectively.
2. A locking means as described in claim 1 character
ized in that said sleeve comprises: an outer tubular mem
ber having oppositely disposed ends; tubular liners having
in said body and longitudinally slidable between Writing
opposing ends for fastening in each of said oppositely
position and retracted position and spring means in the
disposed ends, said liners having walls of a thickness equal
body urging the wring means toward retracted position,
to the depth of one of said grooves, and said liners hav
means for releasably locking the Writing means in writing
position comprising in combination a sphere, a sleeve ?xed 20 ing their opposing ends respectively shaped to de?ne the
respective opposed ball-guiding sides of said groove;
in the body, a manually operable plunger slidable longi
means for spacing apart said opposing ends of the liners
tudinally in said sleeve and engaging said writing means
in the outer tubular element the width of said groove,
to move the writing means longitudinally to writing posi
and rotatively positioning said liners with respect to each
tion against the action of said spring, said plunger and
other for their respective opposing ends to align with re
sleeve having slidably engaging coaxial surfaces with. op
spect to each other the respective guiding sides of said
positely facing annular grooves formed therein and ex
tending circumferentially around said surfaces, one of
3. A locking means as described in claim 1 character
said grooves being transverse to the longitudinal axis of
ized in that said sharp points have ?exible ends that nar
said surfaces and the other of said grooves including por
tions also extending longitudinally and crossing said one 30 row said groove to slightly less than the diameter of
said ball, said sharp points being deformable to pass said
groove to form at the point of crossing a space to receive
ball responsive to pressure of said plunger and only as
and con?ne said ball, each of said grooves having a depth
directed by the camming action of said camming surfaces.
less than the diameter of said ball so that said ball is at
all times con?ned partly in one groove and partly in the
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
other, said other groove having opposed ball guiding sides
comprising a ?rst side against which said ball is pressed
by the action of said spring means and a second side op
posite said ?rst side, each of said sides de?ning a plurality
Poinsot _____________ __ Dec. 11, 1956
Great Britain ______________ __ of 1887
of circumferentially spaced sharp points and intervening
recesses, with the points of one side offset circumferen 40
tially so as to be between the points of the opposite side
and successive recesses of said ?rst side spaced longi
tudinally relative to one another and receiving said ball
to de?ne respectively the writing position and the re
Great Britain ________ __ Apr. 5, 1950
France ______________ __ Dec. 24, 1952
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