Title:
Scented shoe and shoe packaging system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Shoes and shoe package assemblies include a scent-generating material for emitting a scent unusual to footwear, e.g., for attracting consumers and/or creating an impact in marketing.



Inventors:
Jones, Merrick (Needham, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/401644
Publication Date:
11/09/2006
Filing Date:
04/11/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/84
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISH & RICHARDSON P.C. (BO) (P.O. BOX 1022, MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 55440-1022, US)
Claims:
What I claim is:

1. A shoe having a sole comprising a resilient material having a scent-generating material therein, the scent-generating material emitting a scent unusual to footwear.

2. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the sole comprises an outsole.

3. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the resilient material comprises a thermoset material.

4. The shoe of claim 3, wherein the thermoset material is selected from the group consisting of cured butadiene rubber, cured isoprene rubber, cured styrene-butadiene rubber, cured natural rubber, and mixtures thereof.

5. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the resilient material comprises a thermoplastic elastomer.

6. The shoe of claim 5, wherein the thermoplastic elastomer is selected from the group consisting of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), styrenic block copolymers, hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers, styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene block copolymers, thermoplastic polyurethanes, polyesters, polyamides, polyvinyl chlorides, polyolefins, polyethylenes, polypropylenes, and mixture thereof.

7. The shoe of claim 5, wherein the thermoplastic elastomer comprises a foam.

8. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the scent-generating material is selected to emit a scent from the group consisting of chocolate, cookies & cream, peppermint, cherry, peach, strawberry, lime, spearmint, cinnamon, anise, basil, bergamot, black pepper, camphor, cedarwood, chamomile, citronella, eucalyptus, pine, fir, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, juniperberry, lavender, lemon, mandarin, marjoram, musk, myrhh, orange, patchouli, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme, wintergreen, ylang ylang, vanilla, new car, money, and mixtures thereof.

9. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the scent-generating material is directly compounded into the resilient material as an oil.

10. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the scent-generating material resides at least partially encased within a micro-sphere.

11. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the scent-generating material is adsorbed on a carrier.

12. The shoe of claim 11, wherein the carrier is selected from the group consisting of clays, silicas, aluminas, cylcodextrins, starches, and mixtures thereof.

13. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the resilient material includes a filler.

14. The shoe of claim 13, wherein the filler is selected from the group consisting of calcium carbonate, kaolin clay, dicalcium phosphate, sodium metaphosphate, magnesium orthophosphate, hydroxyapatites, synthetic apatites, aluminas, silicas, and mixtures thereof.

15. The shoe of claim 1, wherein the resilient material includes an antioxidant.

16. A shoe comprising a scent-generating material for emitting a scent unusual to footwear.

17. The shoe of claim 16, wherein the scent-generating material is disposed on a sole of the shoe.

18. The shoe of claim 16, wherein the scent-generating material is disposed in a sole of the shoe.

19. The shoe of claim 16, wherein the scent-generating material is disposed on an upper of the shoe.

20. The shoe of claim 16, wherein the scent-generating material is disposed in an upper of the shoe.

21. The shoe of claim 20, wherein the upper comprises leather or a synthetic material.

22. A shoe package assembly comprising a shoe contained within a package, the package assembly comprising a scent-generating material emitting a scent unusual to footwear.

23. The shoe package assembly of claim 22, wherein the package is in the form of a box.

24. The shoe package assembly of claim 22, wherein the scent-generating material is disposed on an internal surface of the package.

25. The shoe package assembly of claim 22, wherein the package includes an absorbent material, and wherein the scent-generating material is absorbed on the absorbent material.

26. The shoe package assembly of claim 25, wherein the absorbent material comprises tissue paper.

27. A system for presenting a shoe to a consumer, comprising: a package comprising a scent-generating material for emitting a scent unusual to footwear; and a shoe within the package.

28. The system of claim 27, wherein the scent-generating material is on an interior surface of the package.

29. The package of claim 27, wherein the package includes an absorbent material, and wherein the scent-generating material is absorbed on the absorbent material.

30. The system of claim 27, wherein the shoe also includes a scent-generating material.

31. The system of claim 27, further comprising a lid covering the package.

32. The system of claim 31, further comprising a vapor barrier encapsulating the lidded package.

33. A shoe comprising a least one scent-emitting element, the scent-emitting element comprising a scent-emitting material that emits a scent when manipulated.

34. The shoe of clam 33, wherein the scent emitting element is in the form of a polymeric disk, and wherein the scent emitting element is disposed on the vamp of the shoe.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/673,586, filed on Apr. 21, 2005, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This disclosure relates to scented shoes and/or packaging systems.

BACKGROUND

Shoes can provide more than protection for a wearer. For example, shoes allow the wearer to make a statement about their personality. For adults, shoes often identify a group to which the wearer belongs. For children, shoes are often integrally connected with their development and stage of life. Shoes for children often provide many forms of sensual stimulation, e.g., in the form of visually stimulating patterns and colors.

Methods of deodorizing shoes have been disclosed in, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,378,224, 6,227,458, 6,202,324, 5,732,485, 5,399,404, 5,167,564, 4,864,740 and 4,682,715; and in U.S. Published Patent Application Nos. 2004/0076694, 2003/0228338, 2003/0091465, 2003/0029477 and 2002/0066209.

SUMMARY

In general, the disclosure relates scented shoes. For example, a scent-generating material can be included in and/or on a sole or an upper, e.g., a leather upper. In implementations, the scented shoe includes materials that generate a scent that is unnatural, unusual or unexpected in footwear, e.g., cherry, chocolate, cookies & cream, strawberry, and lime.

In one aspect, the disclosure features a shoe having a sole including a resilient material. The resilient material includes a scent-generating material.

Scents, e.g., scents unnatural, unusual and/or unexpected to the shoe, include chocolate, cookies & cream, peppermint, cherry, peach, strawberry, lime, spearmint, cinnamon, vanilla, new car, money, anise, basil, bergamot, black pepper, camphor, cedarwood, chamomile, citronella, eucalyptus, pine, fir, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, juniperberry, lavender, lemon, mandarin, marjoram, musk, myrhh, orange, patchouli, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme, wintergreen, ylang ylang or mixtures of these scents and more. Mixtures of scents are commonly referred to as perfumes.

In another aspect, the disclosure features a shoe having a scent not usual to footwear. The scent can be emitted by a scent-generating material disposed on a material of a sole of the shoe or in the material of the sole of the shoe. Alternatively, or in addition to, the scent-generating material can be disposed on and/or in the material of the upper of the shoe.

In another aspect, the disclosure features a package for a shoe possessed of a scent unusual, unexpected and/or unnatural in footwear.

In another aspect, the disclosure features a system or assembly for presenting a shoe to a consumer in a package, the system or assembly having a scent unusual to footwear. For example, a scent-generating material can be on an interior surface of the package and/or the package can include an absorbent material, e.g., tissue paper, having a scent-generating material therein or thereon. The system can further include a lid covering the package. In implementations, the system further includes a vapor barrier encapsulating the lidded package, e.g., to contain the scent to prevent evaporation of the scent-generating material or to prevent overwhelming the retailer with the scent.

In another aspect, the disclosure features a shoe and/or package that includes a least one scent-emitting element. The scent-emitting element includes a scent-emitting material that emits a scent when manipulated, e.g., by squeezing and/or scratching.

Implementations may include any one or combination of the following advantages. The scented shoes allow a wearer to customize their wardrobe and to make a statement about a group to which they belong. The scented footwear can stir interest and fun at a point of purchase for a consumer. Scents allow for unusual branding and marketing opportunities.

All publications, patent applications, patents, and other references mentioned herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

The details of one or more implementations are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a shoe having a scent unusual to footwear.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a shoebox having a scent unusual to footwear.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a shoebox having a tissue to which a scent-generating material has been applied.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a shoebox sealed with a vapor barrier.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a shoe 10 has an upper 12, e.g., a leather upper or a man-made upper formed from a polymeric material, that includes a plurality of ventilation apertures 14 and a sole 20. Sole 20 includes a midsole 16 and an outsole 18 that is formed from a resilient material, e.g., a cured synthetic rubber or a thermoplastic. The resilient material has a scent-generating material thereon and/or therein.

Examples of scents generated by the scent-generating material include chocolate, cookies & cream, peppermint, cherry, strawberry, peach, lime, spearmint, cinnamon, anise, basil, bergamot, black pepper, camphor, cedarwood, chamomile, citronella, eucalyptus, pine, fir, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, juniperberry, lavender, lemon, mandarin, marjoram, musk, myrhh, orange, patchouli, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme, wintergreen, ylang ylang, vanilla, new car, money or mixtures of these scents. Mixtures of scents are commonly known as perfumes.

Smell is a powerful human sense. Scented shoes can, e.g., stir interest at the point of purchase for the consumer, drawing consumers to the brand emitting the scent. This can, e.g., be particularly so when the shoe emits a scent not usual to a shoe, e.g., cherry, chocolate, cookies & cream, peach, strawberry or lime. For example, the scent can convey an impression of “freshness,” “playfulness,” or even “rebellion” to the consumer.

In some implementations, the scent-generating material is compounded directly into the resilient material or a precursor of the resilient material as an oil. For example, the oil can be compounded into the resilient material or the precursor to the resilient material, e.g., an un-vulcanized rubber, using a roll mill, a Banbury® mixer or an extruder, e.g., a twin-screw extruder with counter-rotating screws. An example of a Banbury® mixer is the F-Series Banbury® mixer, manufactured by Farrel. An example of a twin-screw extruder is the WP ZSK 50 MEGAcompunder™, manufactured by Krupp Werner & Pfleiderer. After compounding, the scent-generating resilient material or precursor to the resilient material can be directly molded, or the scent-generating material can be, e.g., converted into pellets and used as a concentrate to be molded at latter time. The resilient material can be formed into outsole 18 by, e.g., compression or injection molding.

In some implementations, the resilient material includes between about 0.15 percent and about 5.5 percent by weight scent-generating material, e.g., from about 0.25 percent to about 5.2 percent by weight scent or from about 0.30 percent to about 2.0 percent by weight scent-generating material.

Examples of resilient materials include natural rubbers or synthetic rubbers, e.g., isoprene rubber, butadiene rubber or styrenic rubbers, e.g., styrene butadiene rubbers. The resilient material can be crosslinked or un-crosslinked. Examples of un-crosslinked resilient materials include thermoplastic elastomers, e.g., ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers, e.g., styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene block copolymers, thermoplastic polyurethanes, e.g., polyether or polyester polyurethanes, polyesters, polyamides, e.g., polyether block polyamides, polyvinyl chlorides, polyolefins, e.g., polypropylene or polyethylenes, e.g., those containing varying amounts of a C4-C12 alpha olefin, e.g., those available from Dow Plastics under the tradenames ENGAGE™ and AFFIMTY™. Thermoplastic polyurethanes are available from Dow under the tradename Pellethane® and from Dupont under the tradename Hylene®. Thermoplastic elastomer polyesters are available from Dupont under the tradename Hytrel®.

Alternatively, master batches of a desired scent-generating material are available commercially from International Flavors and Fragrances, under the tradename PolyIff™ or from the RTP Company. These scent-generating materials can be used to impart a scent upon the resilient material.

Rather than compounding the scent-generating material directly into a resilient material or a precursor to the resilient material, a scent-generating material can be adsorbed onto solid carriers, e.g., silicas, aluminas, starches or cyclodextrins, and then the adsorbed scent-generating material can be compounded into the resilient material or precursor to the resilient material. Adsorbing the scent-generating material onto a carrier can improve, e.g., the thermal stability of the scent. In addition, the scent-generating material can be added to the resilient material or a precursor to the resilient material in encapsulated form as particles, e.g., to thermally stabilize the scents and/or to provide controlled release of the scents from the resilient material. Such particles can be made by numerous methods, including solvent evaporation methods, with or without a surface active agent as necessary; coacervation in all its various forms; pan coating; air-suspension coating; press coating; spray-drying; rotational suspension-separation techniques; melt coating methods; interfacial polymerization; and melt-granulation processes. Particle-making methods and techniques are described in Pharmaceutical Technology, pp. 86-91 (Burgess Pub. Co. 1970); Microencapsulation and Related Drug Procedures, pp. 1-60 (Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1984); J. Controlled Release, 20 (1992):237-246; Nature, v. 367 (1994):258-60; Pharm. Pharmacol. Lett. v. 3 (1993):67-70; and Drug Delivery Systems (Oxford University Press 1980). Encapsulants can be made of, e.g., a degradable material or a non-degradable material. Examples of degradable encapsulants include polycaprolactone, polydecalactone, poly(sebacic anhydride), sebacic acid-co-1,3-bis(carboxyphenoxypropane), sebacic acid-co-1,6-bis(carboxyphenoxyhexane), dedecanoic-co-1,3-bis(carboxyphenoxypropane), dedecanoic-co-1,6-bis(carboxyphenoxyhexane), albumin and derivatives, gelatin and derivatives, starch and derivatives, gum arabic, cellulose and derivatives, polysorbate and derivatives, agarose, lectins, galactose, functionalized nylons (e.g. benzylated), proteins (synthetic and natural), polyorthoesters, polyorthoformate, polyureas, polyurethanes, poly(amide-enamine)s, polyvinylalcohol, polyenolketone (PEK), polyHema, functionalized polyHema, ethylene-vinylacetate copolymers, functionalized polymers and copolymers of lactic and glycolic acid, lactic acid homopolymer, glycolic acid copolymer, copolymers of lactic acid and glycolic acid, polyhydroxybutyrate, poly(esterimides), functionalized silicones, poly(anhydrides), poly(malic acid), and polyhydroxyalkanoic acid, liposomes, glycolipids, fatty acids, glycerides, phospholipids or mixtures of these.

The particles, e.g., spherically-shaped particles, can have a maximum dimension of from about 0.05 micron to about 100 micron, e.g., from about 1 micron to about 75 micron or from about 5 microns to about 50 microns.

Antioxidants can be added during the compounding, e.g., to reduce thermal degradation of the scent-generating material. Examples of thermal stabilizers include phenolic antioxidants, e.g., butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), phosphite antioxidants, e.g., di-tertiary butyl phenyl phosphite, Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), amine antioxidants, e.g., di-octylated diphenylamine, sulfur-containing aminic antioxidants or mixtures of these antioxidants. Antioxidants are available from Ciba® under the tradename IRGANOX®.

The resilient material can optionally include a filler. Examples of fillers include calcium carbonate; clay, e.g., aragonite clay, orthorhombic clay, calcite clay, rhombohedral clay or kaolin clay; dicalcium phosphate; sodium metaphosphate; magnesium orthophosphate; hydroxyapatites; synthetic apatites; aluminas; silicas; or mixtures of these fillers.

The resilient material can be foamed, e.g., with a chemical foaming agent during its forming into outsole 18. The foams can include open or closed cells. Open cells can, e.g., aid in the release of fragrance from interior portions of outsole 18.

Referring to FIG. 2, a shoebox 40, e.g., made of fiberboard, for shoe 10 described above can also have a scent-generating material thereon and/or therein. For example, a material generating a scent not usual to box 40 or shoe 10, e.g., cherry, chocolate, cookies & cream, peach, strawberry or lime, can be applied to an internal surface of the package, e.g., sidewall 43.

Referring to FIG. 3, rather than shoebox 40 having the scent-generating material therein and/or thereon, the package can include a tissue 48 or other absorbent material to which the scent-generating material has been applied. Such a packaging configuration can, e.g., provide an additional sensory impact (“wow”) of the scent when the consumer first opens the package to remove new shoes, and can also reduce the amount of scent-generating material needed in or on a portion of shoe 10 for a desired impact. In some implementations, from about 0.001 g to about to 0.025 g, or about 0.002 g to about 0.010 g of concentrated scent oil is placed directly on the shoebox 40 or tissue 48.

Referring now to FIG. 4, box 40 can be sealed with a polymeric membrane 50 that encapsulates box 40 closed with lid 52. Sealing can, e.g., prevent depletion of the scent-generating material by evaporation before the consumer opens the package.

Polymeric membranes can be, e.g., one, two, three, five or seven layers polymeric films. Such films can include, e.g., polyvinylidene chloride, polyvinylalcohol, polyamides or mixtures of these materials.

EXAMPLE

The disclosure is further described in the following example, which does not limit the scope of the disclosure or the claims.

Chocolate scent generating material was obtained from International Flavors and Fragrances was added as un-diluted oil to un-cured rubber in a Banbury® mixer. The uncured rubber was a mixture of butadiene rubber (62 weight percent), isoprene rubber (25 weight percent), styrene-butadiene rubber (6.5 weight percent) and natural rubber (6.5 weight percent). To the rubber with the chocolate scent was added sulfur, silica, zinc oxide and methyl-N-tert-butyl-2-benzothiazole sulfonamide (a cross-linking accelerant). After thoroughly mixing the rubber and additives, the un-cured mixture was discharged from the Banbury® mixer. The resulting un-cured mixture was compression molded at 115° C. for 90 seconds to produce a cured outsole.

For additional impact (“wow”), to each shoebox was added a piece of tissue paper weighting 0.018 g that was sprayed with 0.003 g of the un-diluted chocolate scent-generating oil.

Other Implementations

A number of implementations have been described. Nevertheless, other implementations are within the scope of the following claims. For example, rather than the outsole material emitting the scent, the scent-generating material can be compounded into the midsole. The scent-generating material can be in both the outsole and the midsole. In some implementations, sole 20 is formed of a unitary piece and does not include midsole and an outsole. A pheromone can be used in place of the scent-generating material. The scent-generating material can be applied to any surface of the shoe, e.g., an exterior surface, by spraying. The upper can include the scent-generating material. For example, the upper can be a leather upper, a woven upper or a non-woven upper that has be sprayed or soaked in the scent-generating material. The box can be made of materials other than fiberboard, e.g., plastic, and can take on a variety of additional shapes. The box can have scent-generating material applied to an exterior surface. The fiberboard of box 40 and/or lid 50 can be impregnated with the scent-generating material. Rather than, or in addition to, tissue 48, another absorbent material can be used, e.g., a cellular material, e.g., a foam or a sponge.

In some implementations, shoes include a scent-emitting element, e.g., a disk-shaped polymeric element that emits a scent. For example, the scent-emitting element can emit a scent when squeezed, scratched and/or manipulated. The scent-emitting element can be inside the shoe, outside and/or within the shoe. For example, an outside location is on the vamp of the shoe.

Still other implementations are within the scope of the following claims.