Title:
CARRIER-DISPENSER PACKAGE
United States Patent 3743084


Abstract:
An article carrying and dispensing package having two interengaging sections. Each of the two sections have selectively stagger arranged convex, article carrying cavities so that when the sections are mated in face-to-face relationship there is intermittent fitting to form a single layer package. The package may include a suitable housing for the mated sections.



Inventors:
DOUGLAS L
Application Number:
05/087904
Publication Date:
07/03/1973
Filing Date:
11/09/1970
Assignee:
COLGATE PALMOLIVE CO,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/539, 281/19.1
International Classes:
B65D75/34; B65D75/38; (IPC1-7): B65D83/04
Field of Search:
206/46P,42,56A,65R,65S,78B,8A,DIG
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3603453PHARMACAL PACKAGE CONSTRUCTION1971-09-07Serrell et al.
3529718PACKAGE FOR BAR LIKE ARTICLES1970-09-22Zaremski
3429426PACKAGE1969-02-25Wolf et al.
3324996Dispenser for pharmaceutical tablets1967-06-13Jordt
3184059Utility package1965-05-18Kaplan
3124241N/A1964-03-10Holley et al.
2313667Package for tablets, ampoules, and the like1943-03-09Peterson
1382167Check-holder1921-06-21Bock



Foreign References:
NL6506271A1965-11-16
CH26601A
Primary Examiner:
Lowrance, George E.
Assistant Examiner:
Lipman, Steven E.
Claims:
I claim

1. A package comprising a compact carrier-dispenser and an outer case therefore, said carrier-dispenser comprising at least two opposed commodity carrying units and a linking panel connecting said opposed units, said linking panel being integrally connected at one edge of each of the opposed units, each of said units having a mating layer and a backing layer, means for attaching said mating layer to said backing layer, said backing layer being made of a rupturable material, said mating layer having raised portions and slightly indented spacial areas arranged in a checkerboard pattern, said raised portions providing commodity compartments in said mating layer of each unit; said raised portions in each unit being positioned to mate with the raised portions of said opposing unit when said units are pivoted about the linking panel, the raised portions of one unit register within the indented spacial areas of the opposing unit forming a layered alignment of commodity compartments; said linking panel having a height at least equal to that of the commodity compartment so that there is no tension upon the commodity units and is made of biased, shape retaining material which acts as a living hinge holding said units in mated position when not in use and returns them to mated position after use; said outer case having a plurality of opposed panels comprising a back panel, two opposed side panels each of which is integrally connected to said back panel at its longitudinal edges, said side panels having a height at least equal to the height of said linking panel, two closure panels, each of which is integrally connected to a side panel at its longitudinal edge, said closure panels pivot about said longitudinal edges and fold upon each other forming an enclosure, and means for securing said closure panels in closed position, said back panel having a slot therein, said carrier-dispenser having a tab attached to the backing layer of one of said commodity carrying units, said slot in said back panel being positioned to accept said tab to attach said carrier-dispenser to said back panel, said closure panels folding over said carrier-dispenser to secure same in said outer case.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a compact carrier-dispenser package for carrying and dispensing individually small articles such as tablets, capsules, pills and similar items, and other articles such as disposable thermometers, needles, cotton swabs and the like.

Broadly, the carrier-dispenser comprises at least two selectively staggered commodity compartment assemblages which are mated. The commodity compartments are so arranged and constructed that one assemblage cooperatively mates with the other assemblage forming a single compact layer of commodities. Each assemblage has a top and bottom layer. The top layer has a plurality of convex cavities selectively arranged which bulge outward forming a space for placing the commodity; said top layer is referred to as the mating layer. The bottom layer is referred to as the backing layer and can be sealingly secured or fastened to the mating layer by a variety of means, e.g. stitching adhesives, crimping and heat sealing. The commodity compartments are so constructed and arranged that when one assemblage is mated with the other, the convex cavities, or otherwise known as bulges, in one mating layer register with the unraised portions of the other mating layer which are located adjacent to the convex cavities of each mating layer. The unraised portions are spaces which result when the bulges (convex cavities) are formed in the top or mating layers. The unraised portions or otherwise referred to as recesses, may have slight indentations to facilitate the fitting of the bulges of one mating sheet in the recesses of the other.

The purpose of the present invention is to provide a compact package for a maximum number of articles to be held in a minimum amount of space. By selectively constructing the commodity compartments on to separate sheets and then coupling said sheets forming a single layer of commodities, less bulk space is needed than if all the compartments were constructed upon one sheet, thereby resulting in a compact, convenient to carry package. Besides the package being easy for the user to carry and rendering the articles for ready individual use, the contents of the package are maintained in an isolated sanitary condition until each is ready for use.

The invention can be practiced in various ways. Although, simply, one assemblage can be placed on the other assemblage (i.e. top layer of one interengaging top layer of the other), it is preferable to secure them in an engaged or coupled position to facilitate carrying and to maintain compactness. If one were to place the coupled assemblage in one's pocket or purse, they would separate if they were not secured and the benefits of its compact construction would not be made use of. The assemblage can be secured by means of a spring hinge or "living hinge" at their edges thereby securing the assemblage or commodity holding unit in a coupled position when not in use. If one desires to remove a commodity they can easily uncouple the units and dislodge an article from one of the compartments.

Besides being a spring hinge, the means can be a pressure-responsive adhesive applied to the surface of each mating sheet so that by applying slight pressure on the units they will be secured in a coupled position. A rubber band placed around the assembly will also maintain it in an engaged position. Similarly, band wraps or overwraps can be used. Hook devices may also be attached to the units and provide a suitable securing means.

Outer covers can also be used and there are a myriad of forms and shapes which they may take. Illustrative are envelopes, rectangular case with four sides and two open ends for slidably receiving and removing the assembly, case similar to the structure of make-up compacts whereby assembly may be placed inside and can be closed and secured, an outer case with a plurality of panels which surround the assembly and has means attached for securing panels in a folded position about the units. There are many other means for securing the units in a coupled position, and there is no intention to be limited to those illustrated here.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The structural features and advantages of the present invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of embodiments, as now contemplated, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the insert receiving outer case with the insert; the assemblages are in an unmated position and the positioning of the insert in the outer case is indicated.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the insert with the assemblages in the horizontal plane showing the selective staggering of the commodity compartments.

FIG. 3 is a side sectional view of the insert taken along the line 3--3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a side sectional view of the insert assemblages folded over, as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 3, and mated.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of an outer case for the insert. Also shown is the insert with the assemblages mated and ready for placement in the case.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating a modification of the commodity compartments for holding elongated articles.

DETAIL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate similar parts throughout the various views, and particularly to FIG. 1, in which 10 designates an insert receiving case or enclosure having a plurality of integral, opposed panels of which the back member 11 is central to the other panels. The insert receiving case may be made from a variety of materials. Stiff paper, cardboard, plastic, leather and similar shape retaining material are exemplary of suitable material. Back member 11 is substantially rectangular in shape having transverse edges 12 and 13 and longitudinal edges 14 and 15. The longitudinal edges may also be referred to as fold lines. Situated near transverse edge 13 and running parallel to it but slightly shorter in length is a raised slot 16 for inserting the commodity holder. This slot or means for further securing the insert may be formed by various ways. As shown the slot is formed by material integral with the back panel which is almost equal to it in dimensions and is attached to the back member either by adhesive or stitching thereby forming the means for slidably receiving the tablet insert 40. Adjacent to and integrally hinged to the back panel along the fold lines 14 and 15 are side panels 17 and 18 respectively. The side panels have longitudinal edges 14 and 15 respectively in common with the back panel 11. The side panels 17 and 18 are also rectangular in shape and have longitudinal and transverse edges also. Side panel 17 has transverse edges 19 and 20 and side panel 18 has 21 (not shown) and 22. The longitudinal edges are 23 and 24 and as previously mentioned edges 14 and 15.

Adjacent and integrally hinged to side panels 17 and 18 are opposed closure panels 25 and 26. Closure panel 25 is adjacent to side panel 17 and has longitudinal edge 23 in common with side panel 17. Closure panel 26 is adjacent to side panel 18 and has in common with it the longitudinal edge 24. The closure panels 25 and 26 also have rectangular shapes and transverse and longitudinal edges. Closure panel 25 has transverse edges 27 and 28 and longitudinal edges 23 and 31. Closure panel 26 has transverse edges 29 and 30 and longitudinal edges 24 and 32.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, case 10 is open; however, closure panels 25 and 26 fold inward and downward and when in closed position panels 25 and 26 are parallel to the back panel and are perpendicular to the side panels at the common fold lines 23 and 24 respectively.

Means for securing the closure panels in a folded position is attached to both panels. FIG. 1 illustrates one of many means to secure closure panels in a closed position. That means is a snap which has the projecting portion 34 (under surface shown) of the snap on the upper surface of closure panel 25 and the receiving portion 33 on the under surface of panel 26. When closing the case, closure panel 25 is folded inwardly, pivoting along the fold line 23, then closure panel 26 is folded inwardly and downwardly and the receiving portion 33 of the snap engages the projected portion 34. The dimensions of the closure panels 25 and 26 are substantially similar. The size of the side panels are different. Side panel 18 is slightly larger along its transverse edge than side panel 17 so that when the closure panels are folded in and snapped closed the shape of the case remains rectangular and no tension is exerted on the tablets held in the insert. The variation between the size of the side panels is in the transverse length. The difference in the transverse length is at least equal to the thickness of the closure panel 25. Side panels 17 and 18 provide the height for a multicompartment tablet insert.

The tablet holding insert is also illustrated in FIG. 1 and designated as numeral 40. The insert has two commodity holding units or assemblages 50 and 60 which are similarly constructed. Each unit is composed of a pair of layers made from suitable material so constructed that tablets are held between them. Unit 50 is composed of mating layer 51 and backing layer 52; Unit 60 is composed of mating layer 61 and backing layer 62. The mating layers 51 and 61 are identical in construction, similarly are backing layers 52 and 62.

The tablet holding insert can be formed of suitable flexible material such as cellophane, polyisoprene hydrochloride, metallic foil, plastic, paper or the like. The mating and backing layers need not be made from identical material. The tab 41 for securing insert to outer case should be formed from material which will retain its shape so that it can slide easily within the pocket 16 of the back member.

The mating layers have bulges or outward projected convex cavities 53 and 63. In the cavities are placed tablets which are secured in the compartment by the backing layer. Those remaining portions of the mating layer which are not bulges or raised portions are flat or slightly concave and are designated as 54 and 64 and referred to as areas of registration for the convex projections of the mating layers. The arrangement of commodity compartments in both units or assemblages is identical.

The insert tab is shown in the drawings as a separate segment attached to the base of the backing layer; however, it may be formed from a joining of a portion of each of the backing layers of the assemblages. The backing layers may be extended longitudinally beyond the length of the mating layers. These extended sections can be joined to form a tab or tongue for inserting the commodity holder in slot 16 of the outer case 10.

Shown in FIG. 2 is the selective staggering of commodity compartments 51 and 61. Also shown is linking panel 42 which connects assemblage 50 to assemblage 60. Also shown is folding edges 43 and 44. Viewing the arrangements in a longitudinal direction (along line 3--3), each row has the same number of commodity units. The rows differ in the positioning of the commodity compartments. Any row could begin with a commodity compartment followed by a space or recess and this alternating pattern would continue throughout the row. The adjacent row or rows would begin with a space or recess followed by a commodity compartment and this alternating pattern would continue throughout the row. The alternating arrangement forms a checkerboard pattern. The checkerboard pattern of the raised portions and spacial areas permits the registering of the raised portions in one mating sheet with the unraised portions (spacial areas) of the other mating sheet forming a single layer of commodity compartments.

In order for one unit of the commodity carrier to fold upon the other unit without putting tension upon the commodities held therein linking panel 42 is provided and is at least equal to the height of the commodity compartments. This relationship is shown in FIG. 3 which is a side view of the carrier 40 taken along the line 3--3 of FIG. 2.

Unit 60 folds about the line 43 and overlies unit 50. There is cooperative fitting between the units by means of the mating layers which oppose each other. The projections of one mating layer fit within and register with the flat portions or slightly indented or concave portions of the mating layer of the other unit. This cooperative mating is shown in FIG. 4, where unit 60 is pivoted about the fold line 43 and engages unit 50, projections 63 of unit 60 fit securely in unraised or indented portions 54 of unit 50, and projections 53 of unit 50 fit securely in unraised or indented portions 64 of unit 60. The mating of the units 50 and 60 forms a single layer of commodity compartments as shown.

The mated units are now ready for placement in the outer case 10 (FIG. 1) or 70 (FIG. 5). With regard to case 10 tab 41 is inserted in slot 16 and the closure panels are folded inward and secured in closing engagement by snap 33-34. The mating units can also be made without a tab as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. These units when mated can then be easily slid into outer case or sleeve 70. Sleeve 70 has opposed top and bottom panels, a pair of opposed sides joining the panels and two opposed open ends formed by the joining of the panels and sides. The panels have cut-a-way portions at each of their ends for accommodating the thumb and index finger for easy removal of the insert assembly.

FIG. 6 represents another embodiment 75 of the present invention which is useful for carrying and dispensing elongated articles such as disposable thermometers or syringe, needles, cotton swabs and the like. Illustrated are the elongated tube-like compartments 83 and 93 which are arranged in a staggered pattern in mating layers 81 and 91 so that when the units are mated a single layer of elongated compartments is formed. Mating of unit 80 with unit 90 is accomplished by registration of convex elongated commodity cavity 83 of unit 80 with flat or indented space 94 of unit 90. Similarly elongated cavity 93 of unit 90 fits between convex cavities 83 of unit 80 and registers with space 84.

The modified assembly 75 is constructed similarly to assembly 40 in that assembly 75 comprises mating layers 81 and 91, backing layers 82 and 92, linking panel 76 with folding edges 77 and 78, commodity compartments 83 and 93 and register spaces 84 and 94. Similarly, when assemblage 90 is pivoted about fold line 78 and mated with assemblage 80, a single layer of elongated compartments is formed. The assembly 75 is also capable of being inserted in outer case 10 or 70 depending upon whether a tab is attached to the backing layer or not. If a tab is attached it may be inserted in case 10; if not attached, it may be inserted in case 70. Of course, case 10 may be made without slot 16 and then it would not make any difference as to whether a tab is present. However, it is preferred to have a slot or pocket in case 10 since this holds the assembly more securely.

To facilitate removal of the articles from the commodity carrying insert, the units may be made of foil which is rupturable in response to pressure exerted on the top of the commodity compartment thereby dispensing the commodity therein. Additionally, perforations may be provided along the fold line of the commodity holding units so that when one unit has been expanded of all its commodities it may be removed and discarded by ripping it along the tear line. The commodity compartments may take shapes other than those illustrated, depending upon the shape of the commodity.

The package provides a substantial supply of commodities to be held in it. Although the compartments are shown in the drawing as having flat surfaces, the invention is not limited thereto but includes round or bubble shaped compartments among others. When all the articles are consumed which are contained in one of the paired units, the paired units can be replaced by another one and stored in the same outer case.

Also provided is a neat, attractive convenient to carry package which enables the user to quickly and easily remove or discharge articles as required for use and there are no signs to onlookers that the package is a pill container. The articles contained within are also restrained from undesired movement.

Also within the purview of the invention is a package of any convenient number of paired commodity holding units and a means for maintaining paired units in a coupled position, such as an outer case. The paired units and the securing means can be held together by shrink wrap, overwrap, or band wrap.

The present invention enables the user to carry a maximum amount of pills in a minimum amount of space. The unique arrangements of the commodity compartments for cooperative mating of the units holding the articles, forming a compact single layer of tablets eliminates the inconvenience of bulky holders for large amounts of pills. By practicing the present invention more articles can be held in a space smaller than that which would be required to hold the same number of pills if the commodity compartments were arranged on a single sheet.