Title:
Edge voids in a wrapped container for creating loose tear-away material
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Product container 10 has base 10B carrying collapse voids 12A and 12B and 12C. The collapse voids are located in the perimeter of the container, and intrude into the container defining open span faces 14A and 14B and 14C. Tear-off skin wrap 10W encloses the container and extends unsupported across the span faces of the collapse voids. A stress site proximate each collapse void, engage the material of the skin wrap spanning the span faces, causing initial tensile failure of the spanning material (see FIG. 2). Cover 10C may be hinge connected to the base at side points 10L and 10R. The cover pivots over the base forming a closure or protective jacket having three rigid dimensions. Product 10P is contained within the closure. Product insert 10I is mounted on the base and may be custom shaped for holding the product during shipment and later during consumer storage.



Inventors:
Perell, William S. (San Francisco, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/731702
Publication Date:
10/11/2007
Filing Date:
04/02/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/497, G9B/33.011
International Classes:
B65D85/30; B65D65/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JENINE MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DORITY & MANNING, P.A. (POST OFFICE BOX 1449, GREENVILLE, SC, 29602-1449, US)
Claims:
I claim as my invention:

1. A wrapped product container, comprising: a container which is rigid along at least one dimension; a collapse void located in the perimeter of the container, and intruding into the container in the direction of the rigid dimension defining an open span face; tear-off skin wrap enclosing the container and spanning the span face across the collapse void; and a first stress site proximate the collapse void, for engaging the material of the skin wrap spanning the span face and causing initial tensile failure of the spanning material as the spanning material is collapsed into the collapse void in the direction of the rigid dimension, for providing loose tear-away material proximate the collapse void which facilitates the complete failure and removal of the tear-off skin wrap.

2. The container of claim 1, wherein the skin wrap has a low tensile strength and tears-off easily.

3. The container of claim 1, wherein the skin wrap is thin and tears-off easily.

4. The container of claim 1, wherein the skin wrap is shrink-wrapped around the container.

5. The container of claim 1, further comprising a pull filament: positioned between the skin wrap and the container; extending at least partially around the container; and starting proximate the collapse void and included in the spanning material which is to be collapsed and to provide the loose tear-away material for facilitating complete failure and removal of the skin wrap.

6. The container of claim 1, wherein: the container has X and Y and Z dimensions extending in an X direction and a Y direction and a Z direction which directions are mutually orthogonal; in which the Z dimension is thin relative to the X and Y dimensions, creating a thin edge surface; the skin wrap spans the collapse void in the X direction and the Y direction; and the spanning material collapse in the Y direction.

7. The container of claim 6, wherein the collapse void penetrates completely through the thin Z dimension defining two spanning X-Y faces one on either side of the thin Z dimension.

8. The container of claim 7, further comprising: a first edge junction along the intersection of the collapse void and the thin edge surface of the container, which first edge junction forms the first stress site.

9. The container of claim 8, wherein the thin edge surface of the container is beveled to create an edge which forms a point at the edge junction for expediting the stress site engagement with the spanning material.

10. The container of claim 8, further comprising: a second edge junction along the intersection of the collapse void and the thin edge surface of the container and spaced from the first edge junction; and a second stress site formed by the second edge junction spaced from the first stress site.

11. The container of claim 10, wherein the collapse void has: a first side surface extending into the interior of the collapse void from the first edge junction; a parallel second side surface extending into the interior of the collapse void from the second edge junction; and an interior surface connecting the first and second surfaces.

12. The container of claim 11, wherein the interior surface is concave.

13. The container of claim 1, wherein the container has multiple collapse voids.

14. The container of claim 13, wherein the multiple collapse voids are located along the thin edge surface and intrude in the Y direction.

15. The container of claim 13, wherein the multiple collapse voids are the same size.

16. The container of claim 13, wherein the multiple collapse voids are different sizes.

17. The container of claim 16, wherein the multiple collapse voids have different spanning widths in the X direction and different intrusion depths in the Y direction.

18. The container of claim 1, further comprising: a base carrying the collapse void; a cover hinged to pivot over the base forming a closure with three rigid dimensions; a data disc contained within the closure; and an insert mounted on the base for holding the data disc.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of provisional application Ser. No. 60/790,724, filed Apr. 11, 2006.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to containers enclosed within a skin wrap, and more particularly to providing loose tear-away material for removing the skin wrap.

BACKGROUND

Some small consumer products frequently have a “skin-tight”, cellophane type wrapping, which is difficult to remove. The tight wrapping offers no loose material or other holds for gripping and tearing. Consumers typically scrape through the skin with a fingernail, or resort to a sharp instrument such as a razor blade, to free a small portion of the wrapping material. The loose material formed by the scraping or cutting provides a user-made peel-tab by which the consumer may peel-away the rest of the tight wrapper. Often several scraping attempts are required to raise a tab.

SUMMARY

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a container enclosed in a skin wrap which may be easily opened without resorting to scratching with fingernails or sharp instruments or other tools. Skin wrap material spanning an edge void in the container, offers a starting hold for advancing initial tensile failure. The loose wrap material formed by the failure becomes a section of pull-away material for removing the remainder of the wrapper. No sharp instruments are involved in creating the pull-away material.

It is another object of this invention to provide such a wrapped container which may be opened merely by pushing the spanning material into the edge void. The spanning material collapses, pulling tight on the skin wrap causing tensile failure of the collapsing spanning material. The consumer or end user may push the spanning material with a finger or thumb, or with a pencil or other rod-like device. Scraping or picking or pinching is not required.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a wrapped container which reveals indications of tampering and loss of wrap integrity.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a wrapped container which easily accommodates a pull filament. The pull filament or string commences in the loose material, and is automatically employed as the loose material is pulled away. Prior art pull strings are thin and hard to locate, and sometimes difficult to get started.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a wrapped container that can be opened without close visual effort by the consumer. The edge void may be located by feel, and the spanning material collapsed without visual assistance. The skin wrap may be removed in the dark and without the use of reading glasses.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a wrapped container which requires less material for manufacture. The edge voids may be formed in the container mold at no additional cost. The voids reduce the quantity of plastic required to form each container. The container has less weight for handling and lower cost for shipping.

Briefly, these and other objects of the present invention are accomplished by providing a wrapped container which is rigid along at least one dimension. A collapse void located in the perimeter of the container, intrudes into the container in the direction of the rigid dimension defining an open span face. A tear-off skin wrap encloses the container, spanning the face across the collapse void. Stress sites proximate the collapse void, engage the material of the skin wrap spanning the face. The stress sites cause initial tensile failure of the spanning material as the material is collapsed into the collapse void in the direction of the rigid dimension. The collapse provides loose tear-away material proximate the collapse void which facilitates the complete failure and removal of the tear-off skin wrap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further objects and advantages of the collapse voids and the function of the loose tear-away material will become apparent from the following detailed description and drawings (not drawn to scale) in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of product container 10 showing base 10B, hinged cover 10C, product 10P and skin wrap 10W;

FIG. 2 is a completely assembled and wrapped container 20 in the process of initial tensile failure; and

FIG. 3 is a partially unwrapped container 30 showing loose tear-away material 36M and pull filament 36F. The first digit of each reference numeral in the above figures indicates the figure in which an element or feature is most prominently shown. The second digit indicates related elements or features, and a final letter (when used) indicates a sub-portion of an element or feature.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN DRAWINGS

The table below lists the reference numerals employed in the figures, and identifies the element designated by each numeral.

  • 10 Wrapped Product Container
    • 10B Base
    • 10C Hinged Cover
    • 10I Product Insert
    • 10L Side Point
    • 10P Product
    • 10R Side Point
    • 10W Tear-off Skin Wrap
    • 12A Collapse Void
    • 12B Collapse Void
    • 12C Collapse Void
    • 14A Open Span Face
    • 14B Open Span Face
    • 14C Open Span Face
  • 20 Wrapped Product Container
    • 20W Skin Wrap
    • 20Z Thin Edge Surface
    • 22A Collapse Void
    • 22B Collapse Void
    • 22C Collapse Void
    • 22L First Edge Junction
    • 22R Second Edge Junction
    • 22Y Arrow
    • 25C Concave Interior Surface
    • 25L First Side Surface
    • 25R Second Side Surface
    • 26L First Stress Site
    • 26R Second Stress Site
  • 30 Partially Unwrapped Product Container
    • 30A Collapsed Void
    • 30W Tear-off Skin Wrap
    • 36M Loose Tear-away Material
    • 36F Pull Filament

General Embodiment—(FIG. 1)

Product container 10 has base 10B carrying collapse voids 12A and 12B and 12C. The collapse voids are located in the perimeter of the container, and intrude into the container defining open span faces 14A and 14B and 14C. Tear-off skin wrap 10W encloses the container and extends unsupported across the span faces of the collapse voids. A stress site proximate each collapse void, engage the material of the skin wrap spanning the span faces, causing initial tensile failure of the spanning material (see FIG. 2). Cover 10C may be hinge connected to the base at side points 10L and 10R. The cover pivots over the base forming a cover-base closure or protective jacket having three rigid dimensions. Product 10P is contained within the closure. The product may be any item suitable for skin wrapping such as playing cards, medications, and data discs. The data disc maybe a CD or DVD or other mediums appropriate for recording information.

The hinged spine of a typical CD container requires an adjacent blank space for an off-set hinge mechanism. In the CD embodiment, one or more edge voids are provided along the spine. The edge voids may be any suitable configuration, such as finger-tip sized half-circles formed in the blank spaces. Product insert 10I is mounted on the base and may be custom shaped for holding the product during shipment and later during consumer storage. The insert may have cooperating voids in registration with collapse voids 12A and 12B and 12C as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1. Alternatively, the insert may be shorter than the base and not extend into the collapse void region, thus eliminating the occasion for cooperating voids on the insert.

Initial Tensile Failure—(FIG. 2)

Wrapped container 20 has X and Y and Z dimensions extending in an X direction and a Y direction and a Z direction, which directions are mutually orthogonal. The container is rigid along at least one of the dimensions. The Z dimension may be thin relative to the X and Y dimensions creating thin edge surface 20Z as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 2. Skin wrap 20W spans collapse voids 22A and 22B and 22C in the X and Y directions, and the spanning material is collapsed in the Y direction which is rigid. The collapse voids intrude into the container in the rigid Y direction. The collapse voids may penetrate completely through the thin Z dimension defining two spanning X-Y faces for each void, one on either side of the thin Z dimension. In other thicker embodiments, the collapse void may be a groove across container. FIG. 2 shows spanning material being collapsed into collapse void 22A in the direction of the rigid dimension. The consumer or end user collapses the spanning material by pushing in the direction of collapse arrow 22Y. The void offers no resistance to pushing and collapsing. The consumer may press with his finger-tip, pencil or other hard narrow instrument, and crush through the wrapper and into the edge void, tearing the wrapper at the corner stress sites 26L and 26R of the void.

First edge junction 22L along the intersection of the collapse void 22A and the thin edge surface of the container, forms first stress site 26L. The sharp corner of the stress sites snags and rips the spanning material during the collapse. Second edge junction 22R along the intersection of collapse void 20A and the thin edge surface is spaced from the first edge junction. Second stress site 26R is formed by the second edge junction, and spaced from the first stress site. Collapse voids 20B and 20C also have edge junctions and stress sites. The thin edge surface of the container may be beveled to create an edge which forms a point at the first edge junction for expediting the stress site engagement with the spanning material.

Final Failure and Removal—(FIG. 3)

The collapsed spanning material provides loose tear-away material 36M proximate collapsed void 30A on each side of partially unwrapped container 30. Pulling the loose material destroys integrity of the container wrapping and facilitates the complete failure and removal of tear-off skin wrap 30W. The skin wrap may be thin or have a low tensile strength for tearing away easily. Alternatively, in the case of toxic substances, medications and explosive applications, a stronger skin wrap may be preferred. The skin wrap may be shrink-wrapped around the container to insure a tight fit. Pull filament 36F may be positioned between the skin wrap and the container, and extends at least partially around the container. The pull filament starts proximate the collapse void and is included in the loose tear-away material provided by the collapsed spanning material. Pulling on the filament severs the skin wrap for removal.

Void Embodiments—(FIG. 2)

First side wall or surface 25L extends into the interior of the collapse void from the first edge junction. Second side wall or surface 25R parallel to the first side surface extends into the interior of the collapse void from the second edge junction. Concave interior wall or surface 25C connects the first and second surfaces, and function as stop surface. The wrapped container may have multiple collapse voids located along the thin edge surface and intruding in the Y direction. The multiple collapse voids may be the same size, or different sizes having different spanning widths in the X direction and different intrusion depths in the Y direction. The various sizes accommodate different size fingers and pushing instruments.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the objects of this invention have been achieved as described hereinbefore by providing a container enclosed in a skin wrap which may be easily opened by gripping loose wrap material provided by the spanning material. The container may be opened merely by collapsing the taunt spanning material into an edge void, and causing the tensile failure of the collapsing material. The container reveals indications of tampering or loss of integrity of the tight skin wrap. The container easily accommodates a pull filament which is automatically employed as the loose material is pulled away. The container that can be opened by feel, without close-up effort. The container which requires less material for manufacture because of the collapse voids.

Various changes may be made in the structure and embodiments shown herein without departing from the concept of the invention. Further, features of embodiments shown in various figures may be employed in combination with embodiments shown in other figures.

Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be determined by the terminology of the following claims and the legal equivalents thereof.