Title:
Combination package for artificial fingernails
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Artificial fingernail packages are provided that contain a collection of artificial fingernails such that a user may purchase a single package that is sufficient to satisfy the needs associated with having natural fingernails of varying sizes and shapes. The artificial fingernail packages according to the present invention also permit a potential user to easily identify and compare to the user's natural fingernails the size, shape and other features of the included artificial fingernails.



Inventors:
Tallon, Grace (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/665753
Publication Date:
07/14/2005
Filing Date:
09/19/2003
Assignee:
TALLON GRACE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
132/73
International Classes:
A45D31/00; B65D77/00; (IPC1-7): A45D29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COHEN, PONTANI, LIEBERMAN & PAVANE (551 FIFTH AVENUE, SUITE 1210, NEW YORK, NY, 10176, US)
Claims:
1. An artificial fingernail package comprising: a packaging frame for storing a plurality of artificial fingernails of varying width, wherein for at least one available width there are at least two artificial fingernails having different arch heights; and an exterior portion that houses said packaging frame, said exterior portion comprising a transparent portion for allowing the arch height of at least one of said artificial fingernails to be observable outside of said package.

2. The artificial fingernail package of claim 1 wherein said packaging frame comprises at least one curvature-displaying compartment, said curvature-displaying compartment comprising: at least one of said artificial fingernails; and means for retaining said at least one of said artificial fingernails in said curvature-displaying compartment such that the c-curve of said at least one of said artificial fingernails is observable outside of said package through said transparent portion of said exterior portion.

3. The artificial fingernail package of claim 2 wherein means for retaining comprises inserting said at least one of said artificial fingernails into a nail receiving slit of a sponge-like material.

4. The artificial fingernail package of claim 1 wherein said packaging frame comprises at least one primary compartment for loosely storing a plurality of artificial fingernails.

5. The artificial fingernail package of claim 1 wherein said packaging frame comprises at least one display compartment, each said display compartment containing at least one of said artificial fingernails, wherein the top surface of said one of said artificial fingernails is observable outside of said package through said transparent portion of said exterior portion.

6. The artificial fingernail package of claim 1 wherein said packaging frame comprises an adhesive compartment that contains a container of adhesive for applying at least one of said plurality of artificial fingernails.

7. The artificial fingernail package of claim 6 wherein said packaging frame further comprises a pin compartment that contains a push pin capable of piercing a hole in the tip of said container of adhesive.

8. The artificial fingernail package of claim 1 wherein said packaging frame comprises a stick compartment that contains a manicure stick.

9. The artificial fingernail package of claim 1 wherein said plurality of artificial fingernails are molded from plastic.

10. The artificial fingernail package of claim 1 wherein said plurality of artificial

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to artificial fingernails. More particularly, this invention relates to packaging for artificial fingernails, wherein the package, or kit, provides the capability to effectively store a collection of individual artificial fingernails of varying width and arch height that may be purchased by a user as a single product.

Artificial fingernails are generally used for the purpose of cosmetic enhancement. They may be applied by a technician or manicurist in a fingernail salon, or may be purchased in a variety of different packages at retail stores and applied directly by the wearer. Users of artificial fingernails include, for example, individuals seeking to hide one or more cracked or chipped natural fingernails, or those who simply find it difficult to grow lengthy, natural nails. In addition, artificial fingernails are often employed by individuals seeking to deter a habit of nail biting, or those who simply desire to have low maintenance nails that are easy to apply and remove in response to changing daily needs.

Currently, there are many different types of artificial fingernails that are well known. Different types or artificial nails include, for example, sculptured nails, acrylic nails, gel nails, nail wraps, pre-glued self-adhesive nails, nail tips and full-cover nails, with each type of artificial fingernails having different benefits and drawbacks that are also generally well known.

In order to maximize comfort, ease of application, and durability on a user's finger, it is desirable that the artificial nails (“nails”) to be used are the right fit for a user's natural fingernails. Given this need for proper fit, nails are produced and generally available in a variety of different sizes, shapes and styles to match the individual needs of a user. Nevertheless, the nails that a user may find in available packaging are often not adequate to provide the user with a properly fitting nail for each of the user's natural fingernails.

Traditionally, packages have been sold containing ten or more nails. The nails sold in these conventional retail packages generally vary in size (e.g., width), and there is typically more than one nail of each size so that a user may preferably find in the package a nail of proper size for each natural fingernail. Among the nails of a particular size, however, the nails are typically identical in shape.

Given that a user's natural fingernails are likely to vary not only in size but also in shape, the collection of nails provided in such conventional artificial fingernail packages may not provide the wearer with a proper-fitting nail for each finger. Even in instances where there is some variation in shape among the nails in a package as the nails vary in size, the relatively uniform shape available for each of the sizes may not provide a satisfactory fit for each of the user's natural fingernails. As a result, one or more of the user's natural fingernails may be left without proper fitting nails, forcing the user to either apply nails that do not fit to some of the natural fingernails, or to purchase a separate package of nails containing nails having different shapes for a given size.

Another problem associated with conventional packages for nails is that they generally include a plurality of loosely-contained nails, or nails attached to a sprue, such that various features (e.g., size and shape) of the nails are hidden to the user prior to the opening of the packages. As a result, users of artificial fingernails cannot compare the shape of the included nails in a conventional package to the shape of the user's natural fingernails, and thus cannot determine whether or not the nails would be a good fit prior to purchasing and opening the package. Consequently, potential users often have no choice but to purchase the package containing the nails before the nails can be adequately inspected (e.g., compared to the various sizes and shapes of the user's natural fingernails). Often, this results in a user purchasing nails that are not suitable given the sizes and shapes of the user's natural fingernails.

In view of the foregoing it would be desirable to provide packaging for nails that is capable of storing a collection of individual nails (e.g., full-cover nails or nail tips) of varying size and shape such that each of a user's natural fingernails may be fitted with an artificial fingernail of the right size and shape. In particular, it would be desirable to provide a user with an artificial fingernail package that includes nails having, for each nail size, a variety of nail shapes.

It would also be desirable to provide packaging for artificial fingernails that allows a user to examine the features (e.g., color, size and shape) of one or more of the included nails and to optionally compare such features to the features of the user's natural fingernails.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an artificial fingernail package that contains a collection of nails (e.g., full-cover nails or nail tips) such that the likelihood of a user finding in the package, for example, an artificial fingernail that is similar in both size and shape to each of the user's natural fingernails is substantially increased.

Moreover, it is also an object of the present invention to provide packaging for nails that allows a user to easily and effectively examine and compare various features (e.g., color, size and shape) of one or more of the nails included in the package to the features of the user's natural fingernails.

In accordance with this and other objects of the present invention, packages for artificial fingernails are provided that are designed to contain, for example, a collection of nails that is sufficient to satisfy the needs associated with a user having natural fingernails of varying sizes and shapes. For example, artificial fingernail packaging is provided that includes nails having at least two different shapes, as explained in more detail below, for any given size that may be available.

Furthermore, the packages in accordance with the principles of the present invention permit a user to easily and effectively examine and compare several features of the included nails to determine whether they are well suited for the user's natural fingernails. For example, one or more of the nails included in the packages are placed behind a transparent portion of the packages in a manner that allows the user to easily view and identify the size, shape and color of these nails, and thus, to easily compare the features of the included nails with the features of the user's natural fingernails.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other features of the present invention, its nature and various advantages will be more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 shows a three dimensional perspective view of a portion of a user's finger including the natural fingernail;

FIG. 2 shows another three dimensional perspective view of a portion of a user's finger including the natural fingernail;

FIG. 3 shows a top view or a conventional full-cover artificial fingernail;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the full-cover artificial fingernail, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of one example of a packaging frame for artificial fingernails in accordance with the principles of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a plan view of one example of a package for artificial fingernails including the packaging frame of FIG. 5 in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 show portions or two fingers 110 and 210 of a user which respectively correspond, for example, to the middle and ring fingers of the user. Finger portion 110 includes a natural fingernail 120, while finger portion 210 includes another natural fingernail 220. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that, although not shown in FIG. 1 or 2, the user's natural fingernails 120 and 220 may have tips extending beyond the edge of the respective fingers 110 and 210.

It is well known that the shape and/or size of an individual's natural fingernails can vary from one finger to another (as illustrated by FIGS. 1 and 2). For example, natural fingernail 120 is, approximately equal in size (e.g., has similar surface area) to natural fingernail 220, although it is not as curved. As explained above, the potential differences in size and shape between different natural fingernails of a user necessitate artificial fingernails of similarly varying size and shape to ensure a proper fit for each of the user's natural fingernails.

FIG. 3 shows a conventional full-cover artificial nail 310 which is similar in design to one that may be applied to either natural fingernail 120 or natural fingernail 220. Artificial nail 310 is preferably molded from a plastic such as ABS plastic, or otherwise manufactured by any of the conventional means well known in the art for the manufacture of artificial fingernails. Materials other than ABS plastic may also be used.

Artificial nail 310 comprises a nail bed portion 320 and a nail tip portion 330. To apply artificial nail 310 to a natural fingernail, such au natural fingernail 120 of finger 110 shown in FIG. 1, an adhesive (not shown) such as ethylcyanoacrylate is applied to the bed portion of the natural fingernail 120 in a convention manner. Afterwards, but before the adhesive has solidified, artificial nail 310 is placed on top of natural fingernail 120. If natural fingernail 120 were to have a tip portion, then the tip portion of natural fingernail 120 would simply extend out under the nail tip portion 330 of the artificial nail 310. In this manner, artificial nail 310 is applied over natural fingernail 120 and resembles a natural nail. Preferably, if not similarly pre-treated prior to its application, artificial nail 310 is coated with a top coat of transparent sealer in order to protect the coloring of the artificial nail 310. Alternatively, for example, artificial nail 310 may be optionally overlayed with acrylic after it is applied to the natural nail

To better understand the detrimental effects that improperly-fitting artificial fingernails may have on a user, and how the packaging in accordance with the principles of the present invention substantially reduces such effects, various descriptive terms for artificial fingernails (e.g., artificial nail 310) will now be explained.

FIG. 4 is a slightly enlarged, sectional view of artificial nail 310, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3. In particular, FIG. 4 shows the c-curve of artificial nail 310, which is the curve that one sees when looking at the cross-section of artificial nail 310 while looking at the artificial nail 310 from beyond the nail tip portion 330 and toward the cuticle end 350 of the artificial nail 310. As shown in FIG. 4, artificial nail 310 has a particular width W equal to the straight line distance from first artificial nail side edge 410 to second artificial nail side edge 420. Artificial nail 310 also has a particular radius of curvature R equal to the distance from the surface of artificial nail 310 to the location of the center of curvature C of artificial nail 310. Finally, the arch height H of artificial nail 310 refers to the shortest distance from the artificial nail 310 at the middle of the c-curve to the plane that intersects the artificial nail side edges 410 and 420 of artificial nail 310.

Similar to artificial nail 310, each of a user's natural fingernails also has a specific width W, radius of curvature R and arch height H. Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 2, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that natural fingernail 120 has approximately the same width W as natural fingernail 220. However, the radius of curvature of natural fingernail 120 is larger than the radius of curvature of natural fingernail 220, and consequently, the arch height of natural fingernail 120 is less than the arch height of natural fingernail 220.

While known packages for artificial fingernails seek to accommodate variations in the size (e.g., width) of a user's different natural fingernails, they do not accommodate for variations in shape. That is, if two fingernails in a conventional artificial fingernail package have the same width W, they also necessarily have the same radius of curvature R, and thus, the same arch height H. As a result, conventional packages do not always contain a nail of matching size and shape for each of a user's natural fingernails. Such discrepancy in shape likely results in difficulty in applying the nails, discomfort for the user, and unwanted lift-off of the nails from the user's natural nails, thereby reducing the life of the artificial nails being used.

In order to reduce the likelihood that such discrepancies in shape between a user's natural fingernails and the artificial nails to be applied will exist, therefore, the present invention provides artificial fingernail packages that include nails having not only different widths, but also different shapes (e.g., arch heights). For example, a package for artificial nails in accordance with the principles of the present invention may include nails having conventional arch heights and nails having smaller arch heights such that for an individual nail of conventional arch height in the package there is a corresponding nail having substantially the sane width but an arch height from 5% to 20% less than the arch height of the nail with conventional arch height. Such nails, which have smaller arch heights falling within these parameters, are referred to as low-arch nails.

Alternatively, the packages in accordance with the principles of the present invention may instead include nails having conventional arch heights and nails having larger arch heights such that for an individual nail of conventional arch height in the package there is a corresponding nail having substantially the same width but an arch height from 5% to 20% greater than the arch height of the nail with conventional arch height. Such nails, which have larger arch heights falling within these parameters, are referred to as high-arch nails.

Accordingly, the artificial fingernail packages in accordance with the principles of the present invention are designed to contain artificial nails having a variety of different widths, and preferably at least two different arch heights for each available width. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the number of different arch heights provided for a given width may vary among widths (e.g., based on the estimated needs of prospective users) without departing from the spirit of the present invention. It should also be understood that a package according to the present invention may contain any combination of high-arch artificial nails, low-arch artificial nails, and artificial nails having conventional arch height.

Accordingly, the artificial nail packages in accordance with the principles of the present invention enable a user to select a particular artificial nail package that contains, for example, nails having arch heights that correspond most closely to the various shapes of the user's natural fingernail. In this manner, the likelihood that each of the customer's fingernails will be well-fitted with an artificial fingernail from packages according to the principles of the present invention is substantially increased.

FIG. 5 shows an exemplary embodiment of a packaging frame 510 for housing artificial nails of varying widths such that for each available width, nails having a plurality of arch heights in accordance with the principles of the present invention are available. Packaging frame 510 is preferably made from a translucent or transparent material such as plastic, and preferably comprises several different compartments for storing artificial nails 521 and 522. As illustrated in FIG. 5, artificial nails 521 and 522 are nails having a conventional arch height and a high-arch, respectively. The invention, however, is not limited in this manner. For example, artificial nails 522 may instead be artificial nails having a low-arch height, or packaging frame 510 may house artificial nails having more than two arch heights.

Primary compartments 531 and 532 of packaging frame 510, for example, may contain loose nails 521 and 522. It should be understood that although nails 521 and 522 are mixed together in primary compartments 531 and 532 of frame 510, they may, in accordance with other embodiments of the present invention, be segregated for easier identification by a user. For example, primary compartment 531 may contain only nails of conventional arch height 521, while primary compartment 532 may contain only high-arch nails 522.

Packaging frame 510 also comprises a plurality of display compartments 533 that are each designed to contain a nail 521 or 522. As shown in FIG. 5, display compartments 533 may be of different sizes for storing different size artificial nails (e.g., nails with smaller and larger widths and lengths), although the invention is not limited in this manner. Additionally, the depth of display compartments 533 may also be varied to better accommodate artificial nails having different arch heights. Preferably, one artificial nail 521 or 522 is placed in each of display compartments 533 such that a user can view the top or bottom of the artificial nails 521 or 522 therein from a top-side view or a bottom-side view (through a transparent portion of the package in which packaging frame 510 is inserted, as explained below), enabling the customer to examine the coloring and other features of artificial nails 521 or 522.

FIG. 5 also shows a curvature-displaying compartment 540 for storing artificial nails 521 and/or artificial nails 522. Curvature-displaying compartment 540 may include, for example, a sponge-like material 541 for retaining artificial nails 521 and/or 522 in a position substantially perpendicular to the artificial fingernails 521 and 522 located in display compartments 533 (i.e., if packaging frame 510 is placed flat on a surface, the nails in compartment 540 will be positioned to stick out in a direction substantially perpendicular to the surface). Sponge-like material 541 may comprise nail receiving slits therein, for example, in order to retain artificial nails 521 and 522 in their proper position following placement of artificial nails 521 and 522 into respective slits of the sponge-like material 541. Alternatively, other means for positioning artificial nails 521 and 522 in compartment 540 may be used in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

Packaging frame 510 preferably also includes compartments 551-553. Adhesive compartment 551 may hold a container of adhesive 554 (which may contain any suitable type of glue) to be used for applying artificial nails 521 and 522 to the user's natural fingernails. Assuming adhesive 554 requires the user to pierce a hole in the tip of adhesive container 554 prior to application, pin compartment 552 may be included in packaging frame 510 for retaining a push pin 555. A manicure stick, or cuticle stick 556, may also be provided for the user in optional stick compartment 553.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a package 610 that includes the packaging frame of FIG. 5. The exterior portion 611 of package 610 may be completely transparent, but preferably contains a transparent portion 620 and a non-transparent portion 630. Transparent portion 620 is designed to permit various items (e.g., a plurality of artificial nails 521 and 522) being housed within packaging frame 510 to be seen from the outside of package 610 by a user. Moreover, while transparent portion 620 is shown to be of a particular size and shape, the invention is not limited in this manner. Both the size and shape of transparent portion 620 may be varied to allow a greater or fewer number of items from packaging frame 510 to be visible from the outside of package 610.

Although shown blank in FIG. 6, the non-transparent portion 630 of package 610 preferably carries descriptive information (e.g., a list of contents, instructions for application, etc.) relating to the nails contained in package 610. Cutaway portion 640, meanwhile, may be included to facilitate the presentation of package 610 on sales display units conventionally found in retail stores.

With package 610, a user may readily inspect the various sizes, shapes and other features of the artificial nails 521 and 522 located therein. For example, the coloring, respective widths and other features of the artificial nails 521 and 522 in display compartments 533 may be seen through transparent portion 620 as illustrated in FIG. 6. Additionally, because the c-curve of artificial nails 521 and 522 are directly viewable as a result of the manner of placement of artificial nails 521 and 522 in curvature-displaying compartment 540, the respective arch heights of the artificial nails 521 and 522 located in curvature-displaying compartment 540 may be directly viewed and compared by the user to the arch heights of the user's natural fingernails. In this manner, the user is able to make a more informed decision regarding the suitability for the user's natural fingernails of the enclosed artificial nails 521 and 522 located within package 610.

It should be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention is not limited by the specific configurations described above. For example, it should be noted that although nails having three different arch heights are discussed above (i.e., conventional, low-arch and high-arch nails), and artificial fingernails 521 and 522 having two different arch heights are shown in package 610, the invention is not limited in this manner. Rather, for example, artificial nails with three or more different arch heights may be housed within package 610, and made viewable to a user, in accordance with the principles of the present invention. Additionally, for example, artificial fingernails 521 and 522 may be stored in packaging frame 510 in manners other than those shown in FIG. 5, such as by connecting various such artificial fingernails 521 and 522 to a fingernail sprue (not shown). Moreover, the principles of the present invention can be applied to packages containing any suitable type artificial fingernails, including full-cover artificial nails and nail tips, for example. The scope of the present invention is not limited in any of these manners.

Accordingly, persons skilled in the art should appreciate that the above-described embodiments of the present invention are presented for purposes of illustration and not of limitation.