The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 10,410,547 to J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc., provider of safety and regulatory compliance solutions.
The patent, related to hazardous materials (hazmat) placards, further extends the company’s intellectual property portfolio.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that placards be affixed to transportation containers to identify hazardous contents. The patented invention relates to the clips (or fasteners) used to hold the placards.
Placard fasteners are known in the industry to be problematic as they weaken and fail over time.
A particular type of DOT placard, known as “flip-placard” because it contains placards for multiple materials and can be easily flipped to identify the material being transported, uses clips to secure the placard in place. Typically, clips are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, experience wear, and eventually fail.
This J.J. Keller patented fastener, which more easily rotates or swings between a closed position and an open position in contrast to a traditional snap fastener, is especially designed to help prevent the clips from weakening, saving companies time, effort and money to replace them. Further, it reduces the risk of non-compliance due to a damaged or missing placard.
“At J.J. Keller, we heard from those in the transportation industry that traditional clips are a challenge,” said Rustin Keller, president and CEO of J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. “We used our innovation processes to determine how we could solve for that challenge. We’ve reinvented a traditional product to not only be simpler to use, but more reliable.”
This is the company’s second patent related to flip-placard clips in 2019.