Title:
Packaging methods and apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A novel packaged novelty is shown. The packaged novelty includes an individually sized package and a non-edible novelty item contained by the individually sized package. In one embodiment, the packaged novelty includes an individually sized box. In one embodiment the packaged novelty includes a second package such as a bag that contains the individually sized package. A method of packaging a novelty item is also shown. The method includes placing a non-edible novelty item into an individually sized package. Examples of novelties include, but are not limited to: stickers, temporary tattoos, scratch-and-sniff cards, scratch-and-sniff stickers, scratch off game cards, coupons, etc.



Inventors:
Murphy, Jeff (Chaska, MN, US)
Application Number:
10/076119
Publication Date:
02/06/2003
Filing Date:
02/13/2002
Assignee:
MURPHY JEFF
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
53/474
International Classes:
B65D5/00; B65D77/04; A63F3/06; (IPC1-7): B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FOSTER, JIMMY G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHWEGMAN LUNDBERG & WOESSNER, P.A. (P.O. BOX 2938, MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 55402, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A boxed novelty, comprising: a small box; and one or more non-edible novelty items, the small box adapted to contain the one or more non-edible novelty items.

2. The boxed novelty of claim 1, wherein the one or more non-edible novelty items includes one or more adhesive stickers.

3. The boxed novelty of claim 1, wherein the one or more non-edible novelty items includes one or more sheets of adhesive stickers.

4. The boxed novelty of claim 1, wherein the one or more non-edible novelty items includes one or more temporary tattoo s.

5. The boxed novelty of claim 1, wherein the one or more non-edible novelty item includes one or more scratch-and-sniff stickers, each scratch-and-sniff sticker comprising: a paper or plastic sticker or the like having a front side and a back side, at least a portion of the back side comprising an adhesive, at least a portion of the front side coated or covered with a substance, which, when abraded or scratched, such as with a finger nail, an odor is produced.

6. The boxed novelty of claim 1, wherein the one or more non-edible novelty item includes one or more scratch-and-sniff cards, each scratch-and-sniff card comprising: a paper or plastic card or the like having a front side and a back side, at least a portion of the front side coated or covered with a substance, which, when abraded or scratched, such as with a finger nail, an odor is produced.

7. The boxed novelty of claim 1, wherein the small box comprises 6-sides and wherein the dimensions of the small box is approximately 2 inches in length, 1.75 inches in width, and 0.625 inches in depth.

8. A method of packaging novelties, comprising: inserting one or more non-edible novelty items into an individually sized box; and sealing the one or more non-edible novelty items in the box.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the one or more non-edible novelty items includes one or more sticker sheets comprising one or more adhesive stickers on a carrier, the method further comprising: folding the one or more sticker sheets to accommodate insertion into the box.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein the one or more non-edible novelty items includes one or more temporary transferable tattoo sheets comprising one or more temporary transferable tattoos on a paper carrier, the method further comprising: folding the one or more tattoo sheets to accommodate insertion into the box.

11. The method of claim 8, further comprising: inserting a plurality of novelty-containing boxes into a bag; and sealing the bag.

12. A packaged novelty, comprising: an individually sized package; and a non-edible novelty item contained by the individually sized package.

13. The packaged novelty of claim 12, wherein the individually sized package includes a box.

14. The packaged novelty of claim 12, further including an image attached to the individually sized package.

15. The packaged novelty of claim 14, wherein the image includes a picture.

16. The packaged novelty of claim 14, wherein the image includes wording.

17. The packaged novelty of claim 12, further including a second package containing the individually sized package.

18. The packaged novelty of claim 17, wherein the second package includes a bag.

Description:

PRIORITY STATEMENT

[0001] This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/309,811, filed Aug. 3, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Children enjoy receiving individual sized packages of treats, such as candy at events such as parties, Halloween, other holidays, etc. Such packages are attractive to adults buying the products as they are affordable, small, and appeal to children. Commonly, candy is provided for such events and contained in small packaging or individually sized packaging. Individual packaging provides a level of security against dangers such as food tampering, however, individual packaging does not provide complete protection against such dangers. With the growing concern for the health and safety of our children, alternatives to food treats and other treats that are swallowed are needed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] A packaged novelty is shown. The packaged novelty includes an individually sized package and a non-edible novelty item contained by the individually sized package. In one embodiment, the packaged novelty includes an individually sized box. In one embodiment the packaged novelty includes a second package such as a bag that contains the individually sized package.

[0004] A method of packaging a novelty item is also shown. The method includes placing a non-edible novelty item into an individually sized package. Examples of novelties include, but are not limited to: stickers, temporary tattoos, scratch-and-sniff cards, scratch-and-sniff stickers, scratch off game cards, coupons, etc.

[0005] These and other embodiments, aspects, advantages, and features of the present invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art by reference to the following description of the invention and referenced drawings or by practice of the invention. The aspects, advantages, and features of the invention are realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities, procedures, and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 is a photograph of an exploded view of a package and novelty in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

[0007] FIG. 2 is another photograph of a package and novelty, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 3 is a photograph of a second package containing a plurality of packages in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0009] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying figures, which are not necessarily to scale, which form a part hereof, and in which is shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the apparatus and methods can be practiced. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice them, and it is to be understood that the embodiments can be combined, or that other embodiments can be utilized and that procedural changes can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope is defined by the appended claims and their equivalents. In the figures, like numerals describe substantially similar components throughout the several views.

[0010] The following figures refer to apparatus and methods for packaging, the packaging suitable for non-edible products that is small, attractive, and fun for children. In one embodiment, the packaging includes a small 6-sided box adapted to contain one or more non-edible items. The scope of the invention is not to be limited to a small 6-sided box. Other embodiments include boxes with varying numbers of sides, bags, cylinders, etc. The packages in one embodiment completely enclose the novelty item. The following figures also refer to methods for secondary packaging, the secondary packaging being suitable for containing a number of individually sized packages. In one embodiment, the secondary packaging includes a bag suitable for retail sales. The scope of the invention is not to be limited to a bag suitable for retail sales. The scope of the invention includes, but is not limited to, boxes, etc. or any secondary packaging suitable for containing a plurality of small, or individually sized packages for retail as well as wholesale sales.

[0011] The present invention provides, among others, packaging for non-edible products such as novelty products. The non-edible items include, but are not limited to: stickers, temporary tattoos, scratch-and-sniff cards, scratch-and-sniff stickers, scratch-off game cards, coupons, etc.

[0012] In one embodiment of the invention, one or more adhesive stickers on a carrier are placed within an individually sized package. In another embodiment of the invention, one or more adhesive stickers on a paper-backing strip are placed within the individually sized package. In one embodiment, the adhesive includes a pressure sensitive adhesive. The paper strip in one embodiment is folded to accommodate insertion into the box. In another embodiment, individual stickers are placed within the individually sized package. In one embodiment, the individually sized package includes a box that is approximately 2 inches in length, 1.75 inches in width, and 0.625 inches in depth. The box is adapted to be sealed.

[0013] In one embodiment of the invention, one or more transferable temporary tattoos are placed within an individually sized package. In another embodiment of the invention, one or more transferable temporary tattoos are included on a paper-backing strip. The backing strip may be placed within the individually sized package, the paper strip having been folded to accommodate insertion into the individually sized package. In another embodiment, individual transferable temporary tattoos are placed within the individually sized package.

[0014] In one embodiment of the invention, one or more scratch-and-sniff cards are placed within an individually sized package. A scratch-and-sniff card is defined as a carrier, such as a paper or plastic card or the like, a portion of which is coated or in any other user accessible way, includes a potential odor producing substance. When activated by abrasion or scratching, such as with a finger nail, the odor producing substance releases a scent. A scratch-and-sniff sticker further includes an adhesive attached to at least a portion of a back side of the carrier.

[0015] In another embodiment of the invention, one or more scratch-and-sniff stickers are placed in an individually sized package. A backing strip is further included in another embodiment of the invention. The backing strip may be placed within the individually sized package, the paper strip having been folded to accommodate insertion into the individually sized package. In another embodiment, scratch-and-sniff sticker are placed within the individually sized package.

[0016] The scope of the invention includes individual boxes, bags, and other suitable packaging. In the example of a box, the individually sized packaging includes, but is not limited to, any small box, regardless of the number of sides. Examples of other box shapes include, but are not limited to, pyramids, cones, and other enclosed geometric shapes.

[0017] In one embodiment, the box comprises thin paper card stock. In other embodiments, the box is comprised of, among others, plastic sheet stock, paper sheet stock, and other like materials or combinations of materials suitable for forming or folding into a box shape.

[0018] In order to be particularly attractive to children, one embodiment of the invention comprises a box having exterior surfaces covered with colorful graphics or wording. In another embodiment, at least a portion of the box is translucent such that at least a portion of the non-edible novelty item is visible within the box. Although other embodiments of individually sized packages aside from boxes are within the scope of the invention, a box provides an easy undistorted viewable surface for graphics or wording, etc. as described above.

[0019] In another embodiment of the present invention, a plurality of the boxes containing non-edible items, such as those in the aforementioned embodiments, are packaged in a container suitable for retail and wholesale trade. In one embodiment of the present invention, a plurality of individually sized packages containing non-edible items, such as those in the aforementioned embodiments, are packaged in a secondary package, such as, but not limited to, a polyethylene bag. In one embodiment, at least a portion of the bag is translucent, such that at least a portion of the individually sized packages contained within the bag are visible through the translucent portion of the bag. In one embodiment, such individually sized packages are contained within the bag.

[0020] In another embodiment of the present invention, a plurality of individually sized packages containing non-edible items, such as those in the aforementioned embodiments, are packaged in a box, such as, but not limited to, a cardboard box. In one embodiment, 20 small boxes are contained within the box.

[0021] FIG. 1 is a photograph of an exploded view of an embodiment of a packaged novelty 100 comprising an individually sized package 101 and a sticker sheet 200 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The individually sized package 101 is adapted to contain the novelty item 200. The novelty item 200 in the embodiment shown, includes adhesive stickers 210 on a carrier 220. The novelty item 200 is folded about a fold line 202 such that the novelty item 200 may be fully contained within the individually sized package 101. The individually sized package 101 comprises flaps 102 adapted such that when folded and attached by methods such as glue or tape, etc., the novelty item 200 is substantially sealed within the individually sized package 101.

[0022] FIG. 2 is a photograph of an embodiment of the packaged novelty 100 comprising an individually sized package 101 and a novelty item 200 (not shown) in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1, the box having been closed, substantially sealing the novelty item 200 inside.

[0023] FIG. 3 is a photograph of secondary packaging 300 including a polyethylene bag 302 containing a plurality of packaged novelties 100, the packaged novelties 100 each containing one or more novelty items 200, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0024] It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the individually sized package containing the non-edible items can be of any size. Preferably, the boxes are rather small such that they are economical for adults to distribute to children, such as at a party or Halloween, yet contain sufficient product to be of interest to children.

[0025] It is to be understood that in one embodiment of the invention, a secondary packaging is further included. Examples of suitable containers include, but are not limited to, bags, boxes, sleeves, envelopes, cartons, and containers having a “clam-shell” shape.

[0026] The novel apparatus and method shown above provides a number of advantages. One advantage is that the apparatus and method shown provide multiple levels of security from dangers such as tampering. Each individually sized package is sealed to provide a level of security. Additionally, the contained novelties are non-edible, thus a danger such as poisoning is further reduced.

[0027] The invention has been described with reference to various specific and preferred embodiments and techniques. However, it should be understood that many variations and modifications might be made while remaining within the spirit and scope of the invention.