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Title:
CUTTING MECHANISM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/107405
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cutting mechanism comprising a cutting blade (19); blade protection means (110), at least one of said cutting blade and said blade protection means being movable relative to the other of said cutting blade and said blade protection means; stop means (108) having a first position and a second position, at least one of said blade protection means and said stop means being movable relatively to the other of said blade protection means and said stop means; and release means (23) arranged such that movement of said release means from a first position to a second position causes said stop means to move from its first position to its second position; wherein when said stop means is in said first position, relative movement of said cutting blade and said blade protection means is prevented and when said stop means is in said second position, said cutting blade is arranged to cut.

Inventors:
VANDERMEULEN KRIS (BE)
WALDAL DOUGLAS (US)
Application Number:
EP2008/052525
Publication Date:
September 12, 2008
Filing Date:
February 29, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DYMO NV (BE)
VANDERMEULEN KRIS (BE)
WALDAL DOUGLAS (US)
International Classes:
B26D7/22; B65H35/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2002085768A12002-10-31
Foreign References:
EP0567299A11993-10-27
EP0909651A11999-04-21
US3637060A1972-01-25
US3571829A1971-03-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAGE WHITE & FARRER (John StreetLondon, Greater London WC1N 2BF, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS:

1. A cutting mechanism comprising: a cutting blade; blade protection means, at least one of said cutting blade and said blade protection means being movable relative to the other of said cutting blade and said blade protection means; stop means having a first position and a second position, at least one of said blade protection means and said stop means being movable relatively to the other of said blade protection means and said stop means; and release means arranged such that movement of said release means from a first position to a second position causes said stop means to move from its first position to its second position; wherein when said stop means is in said first position, relative movement of said cutting blade and said blade protection means is prevented and when said stop means is in said second position, said cutting blade is arranged to cut.

2. A cutting mechanism as claimed in claim 1 wherein said movement of the release means is movement relative to the stop means.

3. A cutting mechanism as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein said release means is biased to the first position of said release means.

4. A cutting mechanism as claimed in claim 3, wherein said stop means is biased towards the first position of said stop means to cause said release means to be biased to the first position of said release means.

5. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the release means is arranged such that movement of the release means from its second position to its first position allows said stop means to move from its second position to its first position.

6. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said movement of the release means from the first position to the second position is rotational movement.

7. A cutting mechanism as claimed in claim 6, wherein said rotational movement of the release means causes linear movement of said stop means.

8. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said release means comprises a cam.

9. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any of claims 2 to 8, wherein said release means and said stop means each include a respective inclined surface, and said release means is arranged such that said movement of the release means relative to the stop means includes sliding of the inclined surface of the release means along the inclined surface of the stop means.

10. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, including a housing of which said release means is a part.

11. A cutting mechanism comprising: a cutting blade; blade protection means, at least one of said cutting blade and said blade protection means being movable relative to the other of said cutting blade and said biade protection means; and stop means having a first position and a second position, at least one of said cutting biade and said stop means being movable relatively to the other of said cutting blade and said stop means, wherein when said stop means is in said first position, said stop means engages said blade protection means to prevent relative movement of said cutting blade and said blade protection means, and when said stop means is in said second position, said stop means is disengaged with said blade protection means and said cutting blade is arranged to cut.

12. A cutting mechanism comprising:

a cutting blade; blade protection means, at least one of said cutting blade and said blade protection means being movable relative to the other of said cutting blade and said blade protection means; and stop means having a first position and a second position, at least one of said blade protection means and said stop means being movable relatively to the other of said blade protection means and said stop means; wherein when said stop means is in said first position, relative movement of said cutting blade and said blade protection means is prevented and when said stop means is in said second position, said cutting blade is arranged to cut.

13. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said cutting blade is arranged to cut during relative movement of said cutting blade and said blade protection means.

14. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, comprising an anvil, wherein said cutting blade is arranged to cut against said anvil.

15. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13, comprising a slot, said cutting blade being arranged to cut into said slot.

16. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said blade protection means is biased away from a support for said cutting blade.

17. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said cutting blade and said blade protection means are movable relative to one another about an axis.

18. A cutting mechanism as claimed in claim 17, wherein said axis is coincident with a connection between said blade protection means and a support for said cutting blade.

19. A cutting mechanism as claimed in claim 17 or 18, wherein said blade protection means and a support for said cutting blade are biased about said axis in opposed directions.

20. A cutting mechanism as claimed in claim 19, wherein a resilient means is provided between said blade protection means and a support for said cutting blade to provide said biasing around said axis in said opposed directions,

21. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said blade protection means is biased to a first position such that said cutting blade is in a non-cutting position.

22. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said cutting blade is arranged to move through an opening when said blade protection means and said cutting blade are moved one towards the other.

23. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said stop means is biased towards the first position of said stop means.

24. A cutting mechanism as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein said cutting mechanism is arranged such that a medium is arranged to be clamped during cutting.

25. A cutting mechanism as claimed in claim 24, wherein clamp means are provided for clamping said medium, said clamp means having a clamping surface for clamping said medium, said clamping surface being biased in a direction away from a support for said cutting blade.

26. A cutting mechanism as claimed in claim 24, wherein said blade protection means provides said clamping.

27. A label dispenser comprising:

a housing having a first part and a second part wherein at least one of said first part and said second part is movable relative to the other part from an inoperative position to an operative position; a cutting blade arranged to cut when in said operative position; and means for protecting said cutting blade when in said inoperative position.

28. A label dispenser as claimed in claim 17, wherein said at least one of said first and said second parts is rotatably movable between said inoperative position and operative position.

29. A label dispenser as claimed in any of claims 17 to 18, wherein said housing is arranged to receive a supply of image receiving medium.

30. A label dispenser as claimed in claim 19, wherein said housing is arranged such that said supply of image receiving medium can be removed or inserted, in said inoperative position.

31. A label dispenser as claimed in any of claims 17 to 20, wherein said at least one of said cutting blade and said means for protecting said cutting blade is arranged to move relative to the other of said cutting blade and said means for protecting said cutting blade.

32. A label dispenser as claimed in claim 21 , wherein said relative movement between said blade and said protecting means is prevented, in said inoperative position.

33. A label dispenser as claimed in any of claims 17 to 22, wherein said means for protecting said cutting blade comprises stop means biased to a first position in which relative movement between said blade protection means and said cutting blade is prevented.

34. A label dispenser as claimed in claim 23, wherein said stop means is in said first position, in the inoperative position.

35. A label dispenser comprising: a housing having a first part and a second part wherein at least one of said first part and said second part is movable relative to the other one of said first part and said second part; means for accommodating a supply of image receiving medium; and a cutting mechanism for cutting said image receiving medium such that said image receiving medium is cut when said at least one of said first part and said second part is moved relative to said other part.

36. A label dispenser as claimed in claim 35, wherein said first and second parts are rotatably movable relative to said other part.

37. A label dispenser as claimed in claim 35 or 36, wherein said first part and said second part are biased in opposite directions.

38. A label dispenser as claimed in any of claim 35 to 37, wherein said cutting mechanism is arranged to cut when at least one of said first part and said second part is moved towards the other one of said first part and said second part.

39. A label dispenser as claimed in any of claims 35 to 38, wherein said cutting mechanism comprises a cutting mechanism as claimed in any of claims 1 to 15.

40. A label dispenser as claimed in any of claims 27 to 39, comprising an opening to expose a part of said image receiving medium, so that an image can be written on said image receiving medium.

41. A label dispenser as claimed in claims 27 to 40, comprising means for storing a writing instrument for writing on said image receiving medium.

42. A tape housing comprising: a tape receiving portion for receiving a roll of tape; and

an outer wall surrounding at least partially the roll, said outer wall comprising at least one projection,

43. A tape housing as claimed in claim 42, wherein at least one of said at least one projection is configured to engage with a part of a tape dispenser when said tape housing is in said dispenser to thereby prevent rotation of said housing about an axis of said roll of tape.

44. A tape housing as claimed in claim 42 or 43, wherein at least one of said at least one projection is configured to engage with a part of a tape dispenser when said tape housing is in said dispenser to ensure said housing is in a desired orientation with respect to said tape dispenser.

45. A tape housing as claimed in claim 42, 43 or 44 wherein at least one of said at least one projection is configured to be held by a user for at least one of insertion and removal of said tape housing from a tape dispenser.

46. In combination, a label dispenser as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 41 with tape housing as claimed in any one of claims 42 to 45.

Description:

CUTTING MECHANISM

The present invention relates to a cutting mechanism and in particular but not exclusively to a tape or label dispenser comprising a cutting mechanism.

There are known label or tape dispensers. These known dispensers are arranged to accommodate a roll of tape material. The tape material is such that it has an upper surface on which a user is able to write. Typically, the tape material would be paper. The roll of tape is mounted in the dispenser so that the tape can be pulled from the roll. In one known dispenser, a window is provided. This exposes a surface of the tape which is to provide the label. The user is then able to write on the surface of the tape exposed by the window.

In order to separate the part of tape on which the user has written from the roll, the known tape dispensers are usually provided with a stationary serrated blade edge. The user will tear the tape against that serrated edge.

However, the serrated blade edge does not result in a particularly clean edge. This is undesirable where the tape material is arranged to provide a label. Typically, the tape will have an adhesive layer on the side opposite to that on which the user has written. The cut of portion of tape thus provides a label which can be attached to any suitable surface. However, the jagged edge formed by the serrated edge is unattractive.

Furthermore, the serrated blade edge tends to be at least partially exposed potentially causing a safety risk.

Reference is made to US5806714 and USD398646 which disclose known label dispensers.

It is an aim of at least some embodiments of the present invention to address or mitigate one or more of the above-described problems.

STATEMENT OF INVENTION

According to one aspect of the invention, there is provided a cutting mechanism comprising a cutting blade; blade protection means, at least one of said cutting blade and said blade protection means being movable relative to the other of said cutting blade and said blade protection means; stop means having a first position and a second position, at least one of said blade protection means and said stop means being movable relatively to the other of said blade protection means and said stop means, and release means arranged such that movement of said release means from a first position to a second position causes said stop means to move from its first position to its second position; wherein when said stop means is in said first position, relative movement of said cutting blade and said blade protection means is prevented and when said stop means is in said second position, said cutting blade is arranged to cut.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a cutting mechanism comprising a cutting blade; blade protection means, at least one of said cutting blade and said blade protection means being movable relative to the other of said cutting blade and said blade protection means; and stop means having a first position and a second position, at least one of said cutting blade and said stop means being movable relatively to the other of said cutting blade and said stop means; wherein when said stop means is in said first position, said stop means engages said blade protection means to prevent relative movement of said cutting blade and said blade protection means, and when said stop means is in said second position, said stop means is disengaged with said blade protection means and said cutting blade is arranged to cut

According to a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a cutting mechanism comprising a cutting blade; blade protection means, at least one of said cutting blade and said blade protection means being movable relative to the other of said cutting blade and said blade protection

means; and stop means having a first position and a second position, at least one of said blade protection means and said stop means being movable relatively to the other of said blade protection means and said stop means; wherein when said stop means is in said first position, relative movement of said cutting blade and said blade protection means is prevented and when said stop means is in said second position, said cutting blade is arranged to cut.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a label dispenser comprising a housing having a first part and a second part wherein at least one of said first part and said second part is movable relative to the other part from an inoperative position to an operative position, a cutting blade arranged to cut when in said operative position; and means for protecting said cutting blade when in said inoperative position.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a label dispenser comprising a housing having a first part and a second part wherein at least one of said first part and said second part is movable relative to the other one of said first part and said second part; means for accommodating a supply of image receiving medium; and a cutting mechanism for cutting said image receiving medium such that said image receiving medium is cut when said at least one of said first part and said second part is moved relative to said other part.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a tape housing comprising a tape receiving portion for receiving a roll of tape; and an outer wali surrounding at least partially the roll, said outer wall comprising at least one projection.

For a better understanding of the present invention and as to how the same may be carried into effect, reference will now be made by way of example only to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 shows perspective view of a label dispenser embodying the present invention;

Figure 2 shows the label dispenser of Figure 1 with part of the upper surface removed; Figure 3 shows a view of the labe! dispenser of Figure 1 in cross section;

Figure 4 shows an exploded view of the elements of the label dispenser of Figure 1 ; and

Figure 5 shows a second embodiment of the invention

Reference will be made to Figures 1 to 4 which illustrate a first label dispenser embodying the present invention.

The label dispenser 1 is arranged to accommodate a tape supply 3. The tape supply 3 is arranged in a roll 4. The roll 4 is supported in a housing 60 which can be seen, for example, from Figure 4. The housing 60 thus has a side wall 66 which surrounds most of the roll and which extends perpendicularly to the base surface 63. The side wall 66 has an opening 68 through which the tape 3 exists. Part of the housing 60 can be seen in Figure 2. Elements 61 opposite to the base 63 retain the tape roil in the housing.

The tape is held in a tape holder or cassette, without a spool or reel. The walls 66 may be arranged to retain the tape in a generally roll shape.

The housing 60 has a semicircular bump 70 in the side wall 66. This semicircular bump extends outwardly from the surface of the tape. This is positioned near the opening 68. The area of the side wall 66 incorporating the bump 70 is used to guide the tape 3 from the roll 4 as can be seen from Figure 2. The first bump 70 may be sized so it is easy for a user to grip the opposite sides of the bump, that is the sides parallel to the base 63, in order to remove the cassette from the dispenser. The sides of the bump 70 which are gripped by the user may be open, that is there is no side wall portion parailel to the plane of the base 63. The first bump 70 may be symmetric and substantially semicircular.

A second bump 71 is provided generally opposite the first bump, As can be seen, the second bump is not exactly opposite the first. The position of the second bump is not too critical and can be any location including adjacent to and directly opposite the first bump. The second bump 71 is shaped to engage with a surface of the tape dispenser in order to make sure it is in the correct orientation. The second bump may be asymmetric and generally V- shape with differently angied sides. The second bump ensures that there is a single correct orientation of the tape housing in the dispenser. Further the second bump 71 is arranged to prevent rotation of the housing when the tape is pulled from the housing. In particular, the bump 71 ensures that the housing

60 can only be incorporated in one orientation in the label dispenser because the bump ensures that the tape housing cannot fit in any other orientation into the label dispenser.

The bumps, and particularly the second bump 71 may be alternatively provided by a rib or alternative shape.

The first bump 70 may be used to assist in the positioning of the housing in the correct orientation in the labe! dispenser 1.

It should be appreciated that one or other of the first and second bumps may be omitted. Only one bump may provide orientation of the cassette.

In preferred embodiments, the roll is provided with a housing such that when a tape has been used up, the empty housing is removed and replaced with a new housing containing a fresh tape supply. In other words, the housing is not reusable once a tape supply has been exhausted. In this embodiment, one or more retaining members may be provided which are on the side of the roll opposite to that paralie! to base surface 63.

In an alternative embodiment, the roll of tape may have a spool or reel around which the tape is wound. The housing 60 may have a support post

which extends through a centre of the tape roil 4 for the positioning of the tape roll in the housing. In this alternative, the support post extends perpendicular to a base surface 63 of the housing 60.

In yet another alternative embodiment, the housing 60 may be open on one side, that is on the side opposite to the base surface to allow the roll 4 of tape 3 to be inserted into and removed from the housing 60. This means that the roll is replaceable in the housing. In this modification, the roll 4 of tape 3 is inserted into the housing 60 before the roll 4 is inserted into the label dispenser 1 , This makes insertion and removal of tape into and from the label dispenser simpler and also allows the reuse of the housing.

The shape of the cassette or tape holder in some embodiments of the invention is such that the cassette can be produced in one part and the roll of tape can be placed in the cassette. In this embodiment, the cassette can be open on one side. In an alternative implementation, one or more retaining members can be used to retain the tape in the cassette. The retaining members can fit to the cassette using any suitable technique such as gluing, push fit, friction fit, welding or any other suitable joining technique.

The general shape of the cassette is circular. However there is at least one bump to position the cassette in the label dispenser and to avoid that the cassette can rotate when the tape is pulled out of the cassette. The same or a different bump may be useful for the user to take the cassette out of the dispenser This may also be used to hold the cassette in position when the dispenser is closed. This can be seen in figure 3 where the first bump 70 is contacting part 15. This, together with the second bump 71 , positions the cassette in the dispenser in a fixed position

As can be clearly seen from Figure 1 , the upper surface 72 of the tape dispenser is provided with a rectangular window 7. The window allows part of the upper surface of the tape 3 to be exposed. When the tape is exposed by this part of the window 7, the user is able to write on the tape.

In order to get the tape from the roll 4 to the exposed part of the window 7, various elements of the label dispenser guide the tape. In particular, there is an element 74 which guides the tape from the roll to the window 7. A surface 9 of the element 74 is arranged to support the tape under the window so the user can write on the surface of the tape. Part of the surface 9 may be resilient so at to urge the tape against the window.

The tape is guided from the window region 7 to an exit slot 13. In Figures 1 and 2, the end 11 of the tape 3 is shown projecting from the exit slot 13. In order to remove tape from the label dispenser, the user simply pulls the end 11 of the tape and the tape comes out of the exit slot 13. In an alternative, the tape may be moved by the user moving his finger across the window while in contact with a particular location of the tape.

A cutting mechanism is provided which will now be described in detail.

In general terms, in order to operate the cutter mechanism, one part 15 of the label dispenser is moved relative to a second part 17 of the label dispenser. In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the label dispenser 1 is sized so as to fit in the user's hand. In order to move one part towards the other, the user squeezes the two parts 15 and 17 one towards the other. One part may move toward the other or both parts may move toward the other. The two parts 15, 17 can be seen as part of a housing of the cutting mechanism.

Particularly with reference to Figure 3, the cutting mechanism comprises a blade 19. The blade 19 is supported in the second part 17. In particular, blade 19 is supported by member 82 and member 104 (See Figure

4). As can be seen, for example from Figures 3 and 4, member 82 is provided with a blade slot 84 in which the blade is mounted. A corresponding slot may be provided in member 104 to thereby hold the blade in place. The blade is fixedly mounted relative to member 82 and 104 which constitute part of the second part 17. When the first part 15 is moved relative to the second part 17, the blade 19 moves in the direction of arrow A into a slot 21 in the first part 15.

In particular, the blade moves into a slot 21 included in member 86 (see

Figures 3 and 4). Member 86 is the member which defines the upper surface 72 along with the window 7.

When the blade is in its retracted position, as shown in Figure 3, the tape moves between the cutting edge of the blade 19 and the slot 21. Accordingly, when the first part 15 is moved relative to the second part 17, the blade 19 is moved up into the slot 21 which causes the tape to be cut.

It should be appreciated that when the blade is in its cutting position, it does not extend beyond the edge of the slot 21. In order to protect the user, the outside of the slot may be provided with a cover which prevents the user from inserting their fingers. In one embodiment of the invention, the cover is at least partially transparent so that the user can see the position of the tape to be cut . In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the slot 21 is open on the top surface 72 of member 86, that is no cover is present.

However, the slot is sized so that the user is not able to insert their fingers but at the same is able to watch as the blade cuts. In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the exit slot 21 is completely covered.

With embodiments of the invention where the opening is closed by a transparent window or there is no cover, the user can see the tape in through the window. This is particularly useful for self-laminated labels. The self- laminated labels have a writable portion and a transparent portion. The user can write on the writable portion and afterwards moves the transparent portion out of the dispenser. The position where the user has to cut the self-laminated tape may be indicated by a line on the tape. The user can feed the tape until he sees the line through the window. When the line is at the position of the cutter, the tape can be cut forming the self-laminated label.

In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the cutting blade may cut against an anvil or other surface and not into a slot.

The movement of the various elements of the label dispenser, in a cutting operation, will now be described in more detail. Referring first to

element 29 this is mounted in element 82. Element 29 is arranged such that a spring 27 operates in conjunction with the element 29. In particular, the spring 27 is arranged to bias element 29 to the position shown in Figure 3, that is the non-cutting position. In practice a pair of springs 27 may be provided in parallel acting on opposite sides of element 29. Thus embodiments of the invention may use one or two springs to bias element 29 to the desired position.

In this non cutting position, element 29 abuts against a surface 91 of element 72. The spring 27 is such that it biases member 29 so that the spring is in a fully extended position relative to member 82, that is the distance between member 82 and the surface 91 is at its maximum. In the cutting operation when part 15 is moved relative to part 17, the biasing force provided by the spring 27 urges member 29 towards surface 91. Thus, when tape is provided between the cutting edge of the blade 19 and the slot 21 , the member 29 clamps the tape against surface 91 to maintain the position of the tape relative to the blade 19, to ensure a clean cut. As more pressure is applied to move part 15 towards part 17, the biasing force provided by the spring 27 is overcome and element 29 is moved in the direction of arrow B, opposite to arrow A. The end of the member 29 remote from surface 91 is moved into the member 82 along an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of the blade 19. The stationary blade 19 then extends up into member 86 in order to cut the tape. When the force provided by the user is removed, the spring 27 will urge member 29 back into the position shown in Figure 3 where the blade 19 does not extend into member 86.

There is a second spring 33. This spring 33 acts on member 190 which is positioned below member 74. Member 190 has a projection 92. Projection 92 of member 190 is arranged to engage a projection 23 of part 15, and projection 23 can be considered to be comprised in release means. This can be seen from Figures 2 and 3. When part 15 is moved relative to part 17, projection 23 moves over projection 92 in the direction of arrow C (which is generally downwardly in a diagonal direction towards the blade) which causes member 190 to move in the linear direction of arrow D. In one embodiment,

the movement of projection 23 is a rotational movement. Projection 23 can thus be seen as a cam. In practice, the projections 23 and 92 are forced to slide over one another. The projection 92 and projection 23 both have angled or inclined surfaces which are arranged to contact and slide along one another. This direction D is perpendicular to the axis of the blade 19 and in the direction away therefrom. This movement causes spring 33 to be compressed.

Member 190 further has a stop portion 108. The stop portion 108 is arranged to contact part 110 of member 74. Part 110 extends downwardly from the end of member 74 opposite to that end closer to the tape housing.. When the member 190 is in the position shown in Figure 3, i.e. the position when the blade is retracted, the abutting of projection 108 against projection 110 prevents the blade from being moved to the cutting position. However, when the first part 15 is moved about axis 39 relative to the second part 17 and member 190 is moved in the linear direction of arrow D, projections 108 and 110 no longer abut and the first part 15 is able to move relative to the second part such that the blade 19 can adopt the cutting position. This additionally allows part 15 to be moved relative towards part 17 but when a force is no longer applied to parts 15 and 17, the action of the compressed spring 33 causes element 190 to move back to the position shown in Figure 3, that is in the direction opposite to arrow D. This movement of element 190 in the opposite direction to arrow D causes projection 23 to return to the position shown in Figure 3. Thus, spring 33 biases the element 190 towards the position shown in Figure 3, and thus also biases the projection 23 to the position shown in Figure 3.

Once again the projections 108 and 110 are arranged to abut one against the other to prevent the cutting blade from cutting. To ensure that this occurs, a third spring 100 biases member 74 to the position of figure 3, that is the non cutting position.. This spring 100 ensures that member 74 is biased back to the non cutting position of figure 3 after the first part 15 has been moved relative to the second part 17, Spring 100 is arranged to act on the end of member 74 remote from the end on which the projection is provide, that is

the end closer to the exit slot for the tape. The spring 100 acts on member 82, which is fixed at one end and on the member 74 at the other end. The spring can of course be provided at any other suitable location. Movement of the projection 23 to the position shown in Figure 3 due to the biasing of the spring 100 allows the element 190 to return to the position shown in Figure 3.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the movement of part 15 relative to part 17 is centred on point 39. In the illustrated embodiment, point

39 corresponds to the centre of the tape roll 4. Thus, at least one of part 15 and part 17 is mounted so as to have a limited rotational movement relative to axis point 39.

The label dispenser additionally includes members 100 and 102. Members 100 and 102 together define the lower surface of the label dispenser 3. The function of this lower surface is to provide a holder for a writing instrument to write on the tape. The sides of the label dispenser are defined by member 104 and 106 respectively. Member 82 is ultrasonic welded with part 104. Part 106 is screwed onto part 82. It should be appreciated that in alternative embodiments of the invention, any other suitable technique may be used to assemble the components of the label printer.

In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the various elements of the label dispenser are made of moulded plastics. In alternative embodiments of the present invention, any other suitable material may be used for the label dispenser.

The described embodiments have used springs. It should be appreciated that in alternative embodiments, any other type of suitable resilient element may be used in place of the springs,

Preferred embodiments of the present invention have used three spring arrangements 27, 100 and 33. It should be appreciated that one or two of these spring arrangements may be omitted.

In preferred embodiments of the present invention, there is a rotational movement of one part relative to the other. However, in alternative embodiments of the present invention, a similar result may be achieved with linear motion of one part towards the other.

During cutting the image receiving tape is arranged to be clamped between on the one hand the lower surface 90 of member 72 and on the other hand by the upper surface of member 29. This occurs on one side of the blade. Some clamping may be provided on the other side of the blade between the lower surface of member 72 and the part of member 74.

In an alternative embodiment of the invention shown in Figure 5 a feed button 150 is provided. This button 150 is provided at the end of the window remote from the exit slot. The button can be slid across the window. The underside of the button is arranged to contact the upper surface of the tape. As the button is moved across the window, the tape is moved through the window and out of the exit. A guide arrangement is provided for guiding the movement of the feed button. This may comprise a guide rail or groove on one or both of the longitudinal sides of the window which engages with corresponding grooves or projection of the feed button. A mechanism can be provided for biasing the feed button back to the position at the end of the window remote from the exit. This mechanism may comprise a wound coil of metal which is biased to the wound configuration. As the feed button is moved across the window, the metal is wound out from the coil. When the user lets go of the feed button, the metal reverts to the coiled position taking the feed button back to its original position.

Using the feed button, it is possible to avoid that the user would smudge the ink with his finger.

In one alternative embodiment one part of the window is covered by a guide/presser provided by element 74. The tape is guided through a guiding slot of member 74. This guiding slot extends under part of the guide/presser and the slot has an exit from which the tape emerges under the window. The

part of the surface of the member 74 adjacent the exit underlies the part of the window 7 through which the user is able to write on the tape. Thus, in this modification member 74 provides several functions. One is to guide the tape 3 to the window and secondly to provide a surface on which the tape is supported when the user writes. Finally the guide/presser presses down on the tape, next to the part of the tape exposed by the window so as to keep it in place when the user is writing on the tape.

Preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described in relation to a label dispenser. It should be appreciated that the cutting mechanism shown in Figures 1 to 5 may be used in alternative contexts. For example, the cutting mechanism shown may be used in an embosser, that is a tool which provides an embossed or raised image on a base tape usually by a mechanical pressing mechanism. Accordingly, the dispenser shown in Figures 1 to 5 would be modified to include an additional mechanism for embossing the tape. For example, window 7 may be omitted and instead, an embossing wheel may be provided which can be activated to emboss an image on an embossing tape.

In an alternative modification, the cutting mechanism can be incorporated in an electronic label printer. Accordingly, the dispenser shown in Figure 1 may be modified to include a print head and a data input means. The data input means may comprise a keypad, touch screen or may be provided by a data connection to for example a PC.

The preferred embodiment has been described in relation to the dispensing of a label. It should be appreciated that the dispenser shown in Figures 1 to 5 can be used simply to dispense masking tape, so-called "sticky tape" or other suitable types of tape. In those embodiments, it may not be necessary to provide the window.

The tape may comprise paper, PVC, PET, nylon. The tape may comprise self-laminated labels which may be provided in different lengths.

The self-laminated labels may in one embodiment be die cut labels, self- laminating labels could be a continuous tape.

In preferred embodiment of the present invention, the tape comprises an upper surface on which an image can be written. This upper surface may be paper or may for example be a plastic material such as polypropylene or the like. It may be appropriate to provide a special marker to write on certain type of tape material. In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the underside of the tape is provided with an adhesive. This adhesive may itself be protected by a backing layer which can be removed in order to stick the label to a desired item.

In one modification to the described arrangement, a holder may be provided on the dispenser for one or more writing instruments such as a pen or the like.