Title:
Gravity feed dispensing container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gravity feed dispensing container for containing and storing therein a plurality of pre-packaged products. The container formed of a blank including a plurality of foldable lines that when folded according to a specific pattern defines the gravity feed dispensing container. The container including an interior space defined by a first end panel, a second end panel, a top panel, a plurality of panels forming a bottom, two foldably attached side panels, and a plurality of flaps. The container further including first and second removable dispenser tabs to define a first dispenser opening and a second dispenser opening. The container is configured to dispense a first pre-packaged product through the first dispenser opening and a second pre-packaged product through the second dispenser opening.



Inventors:
Jacokes, Kristen (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/799934
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
05/03/2007
Assignee:
The Dial Corporation
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D5/54
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KUMAR, RAKESH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE DIAL CORPORATION (15501 N. DIAL BOULEVARD, SCOTTSDALE, AZ, 85260, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gravity feed dispensing container for the containment of a plurality of pre-packaged products comprising: an interior space defined by a first end panel, a second end panel, a top panel, a plurality of panels forming a bottom, two foldably attached side panels, and a plurality of flaps formed on the first end panel, the second end panel, and the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the interior space is configured to contain a plurality of first pre-packaged products and a plurality of second pre-packaged products; a first removable dispenser tab comprised of a portion of the first end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the first removable dispenser tab is defined by a plurality of tear lines; a second removable dispenser tab comprised of a portion of the second end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the first removable dispenser tab is defined by a plurality of tear lines; and a divider panel dividing the interior space formed in the gravity feed dispensing container and providing containment and separation therein of the first pre-packaged product and the second pre-packaged product.

2. The gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the interior space includes a first interior space and a second interior space.

3. The gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the gravity feed dispensing container is made of a blank.

4. The gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 3, wherein the blank includes a plurality of fold lines to define the first end panel, the second end panel, the top panel, the plurality of panels forming a bottom, the two foldably attached side panels, and the plurality of flaps.

5. The gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 3, wherein the blank is foldable about the fold lines in a specific pattern to define the gravity feed dispensing container.

6. The gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 3, wherein the blank is made of cardboard.

7. A gravity feed dispensing container for the containment of a plurality of pre-packaged products comprising: an interior space defined by a first end panel, a second end panel, a top panel, a plurality of panels forming a bottom, two foldably attached side panels, and a plurality of flaps formed on the first end panel, the second end panel, and the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the interior space is configured to contain a plurality of first pre-packaged products and a plurality of second pre-packaged products; a first dispensing opening comprised of an opening formed in a portion of the first end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels; a second dispensing opening comprised of an opening formed in a portion of the second end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels; and a divider panel dividing the interior space formed in the gravity feed dispensing container into a first interior space and a second interior space and providing containment of the first pre-packaged product in the first interior space and the second pre-packaged product in the second interior space.

8. A gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 7, wherein the first dispensing opening is formed by a removable dispenser tab comprised of a portion of the first end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the first removable dispenser tab is defined by a plurality of tear lines.

9. A gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 7, wherein the second dispensing opening is formed by a removable dispenser tab comprised of a portion of the first end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the removable dispenser tab is defined by a plurality of tear lines.

10. The gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 7, wherein the gravity feed dispensing container is made of a blank.

11. The gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 10, wherein the blank includes a plurality of fold lines to define the first end panel, the second end panel, the top panel, the plurality of panels forming a bottom, the two foldably attached side panels, and the plurality of flaps.

12. The gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 10, wherein the blank is foldable about the fold lines in a specific pattern to define the gravity feed dispensing container.

13. The gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 10, wherein the blank is made of cardboard.

14. A blank for a gravity feed dispensing container comprising: a first end panel, a second end panel, a top panel, a plurality of panels forming a bottom, two foldably attached side panels, and a plurality of flaps formed on the first end panel, the second end panel, and the two foldably attached side panels; a plurality of fold lines for folding the blank according to a specific pattern; a first removable dispenser tab comprised of a portion of the first end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the removable dispenser tab is defined by a plurality of tear lines; and a removable dispenser tab comprised of a portion of the second end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the removable dispenser tab is defined by a plurality of tear lines.

15. The blank for a gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 14, wherein the blank is foldable about the fold lines to define the gravity feed dispensing container.

16. The blank for a gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 14, wherein the blank is made of cardboard.

17. The blank for a gravity feed dispensing container as claimed in claim 14, wherein the fold lines comprise one of small incisions or indentions formed in the surface of the blank.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to improvements in product packaging, and more particularly to a container for containing and gravity feeding of a plurality of pre-packaged products therein and a blank for making the gravity feed dispensing container.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Packaging of products, such as bar soap, or the like, is typically achieved by bundling together individually wrapped or cartoned products in large quantities with a film overwrap for containment. Once this overwrap is broken, typically at the consumer level, (i.e. to remove a single bar) the integrity of the packaged bundle is compromised and the remaining products no longer have a method of being contained. The known prior art has failed to provide a package or carton that can be used at the consumer level to contain and dispense a packaged product, including multiple types of products from within the same package or carton.

The prior art discloses many types of boxes that are convertible from shipping containers to display containers at the retail level, yet fails to disclose a package or container for use at the consumer level to accomplish similar goals. In the prior art packages disclosed, the consumer at purchase would typically remove an individual product from within the display box. The prior art fails to disclose a container for a product that allows the consumer to take home a plurality of the product in a package or container that would allow for containment and organization of the products at home.

It should thus be appreciated from the above that it would be desirable to provide for a package or container that would serve as a consumer storage container with structure to organize, contain, and dispense the contents at the consumer level. It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a gravity feed dispensing container containing therein individually packaged product, which overcomes the problem of lack of bundling of the product once purchased by the consumer. It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a package or container for use by the consumer that includes multiple choices of product contained therein. It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a single-piece blank for making a gravity feed dispensing container according to the invention.

Furthermore, other desirable features and characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the subsequent detailed description of the invention and the appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and this background of the invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There has now been developed a gravity feed dispensing container for the containment of a plurality of pre-packaged products according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The gravity feed dispensing container includes an interior space defined by a first end panel, a second end panel, a top panel, a plurality of panels forming a bottom, two foldably attached side panels, and a plurality of flaps formed on the first end panel, the second end panel, and the two foldably attached side panels. The interior space is configured to contain a plurality of first pre-packaged products and a plurality of second pre-packaged products. The gravity feed dispensing container further includes a first removable dispenser tab comprised of a portion of the first end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels and defined by a plurality of tear lines. The gravity feed dispensing container further includes a second removable dispenser tab comprised of a portion of the second end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels. The second removable dispenser tab is also defined by a plurality of tear lines. A divider panel is included for dividing the interior space formed in the gravity feed dispensing container and providing containment therein of the first pre-packaged product and the second pre-packaged product.

In yet another embodiment there is provided a gravity feed dispensing container for the containment of a plurality of pre-packaged products comprising: an interior space defined by a first end panel, a second end panel, a top panel, a plurality of panels forming a bottom, two foldably attached side panels, and a plurality of flaps formed on the first end panel, the second end panel, and the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the interior space is configured to contain a plurality of first pre-packaged products and a plurality of second pre-packaged products. The package further includes a first dispensing opening comprised of an opening formed in a portion of the first end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels and a second dispensing opening comprised of an opening formed in a portion of the second end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels. An included divider panel divides the interior space formed in the gravity feed dispensing container and provides containment therein of the first pre-packaged product and the second pre-packaged product.

In a further embodiment, still by way of example only, there is provided a blank for a gravity feed dispensing container comprising: a first end panel, a second end panel, a top panel, a plurality of panels forming a bottom, two foldably attached side panels, and a plurality of flaps formed on the first end panel, the second end panel, and the two foldably attached side panels. The blank further comprises a plurality of fold lines for folding the blank according to a specific pattern. A first removable dispenser tab is included and comprised of a portion of the first end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the removable dispenser tab is defined by a plurality of tear lines. A second removable dispenser tab is included and comprised of a portion of the second end panel and a portion of each of the two foldably attached side panels, wherein the removable dispenser tab is defined by a plurality of tear lines.

Other independent features and advantages of the gravity feed dispensing container will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the following drawing figure, wherein like numerals denote like elements. Additional embodiments of the invention will become evident upon reviewing the non-limiting embodiments described in the specification in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a blank for making a gravity feed dispensing container according to the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a folded and assembled gravity feed dispensing container according to the invention filled with a first pre-packaged product and a second pre-packaged product.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the invention or the application and uses of the invention. Furthermore, there is no intention to be bound by any theory presented in the preceding background of the invention or the following detailed description of the invention. In this regard, before proceeding with the detailed description, it is to be appreciated that the described exemplary embodiment is not limited to use in conjunction with a specific type of pre-packaged product. Thus, although the description is explicitly directed toward an embodiment that is implemented to contain and dispense therein a plurality of bar soap products, it should be appreciated that it can be implemented to contain and dispense many types of pre-packaged products, including those known now or hereafter in the art.

The detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the invention herein makes reference to the accompanying figures, which show the exemplary embodiment by way of illustration and its best mode. While the exemplary embodiment is described in sufficient detail to enable one skilled in the art to practice the invention, it should be understood that other embodiments may be realized, and that logical and/or mechanical changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the detailed description herein is presented for purposes of illustration only and not by way of limitation.

The invention includes a gravity feed dispensing container 100. In an exemplary embodiment, the gravity feed dispensing container 100 is configured to provide protection of a plurality of packaged products contained therein and subsequently serves as a container in which the plurality of packaged products are dispensed at the consumer level. The package is foldably constructed from a blank 10 having panels and flaps that when folded in a specific pattern form the gravity feed dispensing container 100. Pre-packaged products are removed from the carton through a plurality of dispensers formed therein.

The present carton is intended primarily for use with pre-packaged bar soap products that are individually dispensed at the consumer level, but is anticipated for use by any number of prepackaged products. Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates the blank 10 of the present invention for making the gravity feed dispensing container 100, illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. The blank 10 is generally constructed of a cardboard material, or similar type of material described presently, which is punched into the desired form. It should be understood that although the use of a cardboard material is described in making the blank 10 of the present embodiment, alternative materials may be used to form the blank 10. Such materials may include, but are not limited to, paperboard or any type of stiff material capable of being folded into the desired shaped, such as plastic, composite or metal.

The blank 10 is comprised of a plurality of portions that form a first end panel, a second end panel, side panels, top panel, and a plurality of panels forming a bottom of the gravity feed dispensing container 100 of the present invention. More specifically, the blank 10 is formed including a first side panel 12, which is connected by a fold line 14 to a top panel 16. The top panel 16 is connected by a fold line 18 to a first flap 20. A second side panel 22 is connected by a fold line 24 to a first end panel 26. The first end panel 26 is also connected by a fold line 31 to the first side panel 12. The first end panel 26 is connected by a fold line 28 to a second flap 30. The second side panel 22 is also connected by a fold line 32 to a second end panel 34. The second end panel 34 is connected by a fold line 36 to a third flap 38.

In addition, the first side panel 12 is connected by a fold line 40 to an end flap 42. The first side panel 12 is additionally connected by a fold line 44 to a first lower side panel 46. The first lower side panel 46 is connected by a fold line 48 to a first bottom side panel 50. The first end panel 26 is connected by a fold line 52 to a first lower end panel 54. The first lower end panel 54 is connected by a fold line 56 to a first bottom end panel 58. The second side panel 22 is connected by a fold line 60 to a second lower side panel 62. The second lower side panel 62 is connected by a fold line 64 to a second bottom side panel 66. The second end panel 34 is connected by a fold line 68 to a second lower end panel 70. The second lower end panel 70 is connected by a fold line 72 to a second bottom end panel 74. The plurality of panels and fold lines in combination provide for folding the blank 10 into the gravity feed dispensing container 100 according to a specific pattern.

To assemble the gravity feed dispensing container 100 and define an interior space 102 (FIG. 2) for containment of a plurality of pre-packaged products, the blank 10 is folded and glued to result in a gravity feed dispensing container 100 with two closed ends, and a closed top and bottom. More specifically, according to the present invention, to assemble the gravity feed dispensing container 100, the fold line 40, the fold line 31, the fold line 24, and the fold line 32 are all folded vertically with respect to an underneath side 110 of the gravity feed dispensing container 100 as best illustrated in FIG. 2. The end flap 42 engages in an overlapping manner with the second end panel 34 and is affixed thereto. Next, a top surface 112 (FIG. 2) is formed by folding down the second flap 30 along the fold line 28. The third flap 38 is next similarly folded along the fold line 36. The top panel 16 is then folded along the fold line 14 to rest upon an uppermost surface of the second flap 30 and the third flap 38. The first flap 20 is then folded along the fold line 18 and inserted into a space formed proximate the second side panel 22.

To form the bottom of the gravity feed dispensing container 100, the first side panel 12 is folded along fold line 44 in a manner that allows for the first lower side panel 46 to rest against an interior surface of the first side panel 12 in a substantially vertical manner. The first bottom side panel 50 is then folded along the fold line 48 to form the first bottom side panel 50 as a first interlocking bottom planar surface.

Next, the second side panel 22 is folded along the fold line 60 in a manner that allows for the second lower side panel 62 to rest against an interior surface of the second side panel 22 in a substantially vertical manner. The second bottom side panel 66 is then folded along the fold line 64 to form the second bottom side panel 66 as a second interlocking bottom planar surface.

To complete the fabrication of the interlocking bottom planar surface, the first end panel 26 is folded along the fold line 52 in a manner that allows for the first lower end panel 54 to rest against an interior surface of the first end panel 26 in a substantially vertical manner. The first bottom end panel 58 is then folded along the fold line 56 to form the first bottom end panel 58 as a third interlocking bottom planar surface.

Finally, the second end panel 34 is folded along the fold line 68 in a manner that allows for the second lower end panel 70 to rest against an interior surface of the second lower end panel 70 in a substantially vertical manner. The second bottom end panel 74 is then folded along the fold line 72 to form the second lower end panel 70 as a fourth interlocking bottom planar surface. To complete the bottom planar surface a locking tab 51 formed as a part of the first bottom side panel 50 and a locking tab 67 formed as a part of the second bottom side panel 66 are affixed relative to the first bottom end panel 58 and the second bottom end panel 74 and interlock the panels 50, 58, 66 and 74. The first lower side panel 46, the second lower side panel 62, the first lower end panel 54, and the second lower end panel 70 provide for the formation of a false bottom as best illustrated in FIG. 3.

The folded and assembled gravity feed dispensing container 100 according to the present invention is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. As may be seen from FIG. 2 in dotted lines, the gravity feed dispensing container 100 may further include an optional dividing panel 76 positioned within the gravity feed dispensing container 100 to provide separation of a number of prepackaged products 80 within the gravity feed dispensing container 100. The dividing panel 76 provides separation when differing product types are contained therein the gravity feed dispensing container 100. More specifically, with the inclusion of the dividing panel 76, the interior space 102 is divided into a first interior space 104 and a second interior space 106 and capable of containing, separation, and dispensing a first pre-packaged product 79 and a second pre-packaged product 81. In an alternate embodiment, differing product types are contained therein the gravity feed dispensing container 100 without the use of the dividing panel 76.

A plurality of dispenser tabs 82, 84, and 86 are formed in the gravity feed dispensing container 100 to provide a plurality of openings for the insertion of a user's fingers to retrieve the pre-packaged products 80 from within the gravity feed dispensing container 100. The plurality of dispenser tabs 82, 84, and 86 are removed along a plurality of tear lines 83, 85 and 87 to provide a first dispenser opening 90 and a second dispenser opening 92 as illustrated in FIG. 2. The first dispenser opening 90 is formed substantially in a lower portion of the first end panel 26, and extends partially into the first side panel 12 and the second side panel 22. The second dispenser opening 92 is formed substantially in a lower portion of the second end panel 34, and extends partially into the end flap 42, the first side panel 12, and the second side panel 22.

The features disclosed in the foregoing description, in the claims and/or in the accompanying drawings may, both separately and in any combination thereof, be material for realizing the invention in diverse forms thereof.

Accordingly, disclosed is an improved gravity feed dispensing container 100 that allows for the storage of a plurality of pre-package products therein by the consumer. While exemplary embodiments have been presented in the foregoing detailed description of the invention, it should be appreciated that a vast number of variations exist. In addition, benefits, other advantages, and solutions to the problem have been described herein with regard to exemplary embodiments. However, the benefits, advantages, solutions to problems, and any element(s) that may cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced are not to be construed as critical, required, or essential features or elements of any or all the claims or the invention. It should also be appreciated that the exemplary embodiments are only examples, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the foregoing detailed description will provide those skilled in the art with a convenient road map for implementing an exemplary embodiment of the invention. It being understood that various changes may be made in the function and arrangement of elements described in an exemplary embodiment without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather “one or more.” All structural, chemical, and functional equivalents to the elements of the above-described exemplary embodiments that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims.