Title:
CIGARETTE PACK BLANK
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cigarette pack assembled from a unitary blank comprises a body portion and a lid portion with an integral horizontal hinge line between the body and lid portions about which the lid portion moves between open and closed positions relative to the body portion. The body and lid portions each have opposite side panels. Diagonal cut lines along the sides of the cigarette pack separate the side panels of the body portion from the side panels of the lid portion. Each diagonal cut line extends to the hinge line and includes at least one uncut portion along its length. When the lid portion is initially moved to its open position the uncut portion of each cut line is broken. During assembly, the uncut portions of the diagonal cut lines function to strengthen the blank used to form the cigarette pack. Additionally, the uncut portion serves as an indicator with respect to whether or not the lid has been opened.



Inventors:
Fath, Scott A. (RICHMOND, VA, US)
Calder, Claudette M. (MIDLETHIAN, VA, US)
Application Number:
09/176608
Publication Date:
10/18/2001
Filing Date:
10/21/1998
Assignee:
FATH SCOTT A.
CALDER CLAUDETTE M.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/259, 206/268, 206/273, 229/160.1
International Classes:
B65D5/66; B65D85/10; (IPC1-7): A24F15/00; B65D43/16; B65D85/10; B65D85/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
POLSINELLI PC (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A blank for use in forming a container comprising a body forming portion and a lid forming portion, the body forming portion including a back panel integrally connected to a left side panel and a right side panel, and the lid forming portion including a back panel integrally connected to a left side panel and a right side panel, an integral horizontally disposed hinge line between the back panel of the body forming portion and the back panel of the lid forming portion, and diagonal cut lines one between the left side panels and the other between the right side panels, each cut line extending to the hinge line and including at least one uncut portion along its length.

2. A blank as in claim 1 wherein each uncut portion is about midway along the length of the diagonal cut line.

3. A blank as in claim 1 including a plurality of uncut portions in each cut line.

4. A blank as in claim 1 wherein each uncut portion is in the range of 0.020 to 0.065 inches.

5. A blank as in claim 1 wherein each uncut portion is in the range of 0.020 to 0.040 inches.

6. A blank as in claim 1 wherein each uncut portion is 0.030 inches.

7. A cigarette pack comprising a body portion and a lid portion, an integral horizontal hinge line between the body portion and the lid portion about which the lid portion moves between open and closed positions relative to the body portion, the body and lid portions each having opposite side panels, and diagonal cut lines along sides of the cigarette pack separating the side panels of the body portion form the side panels of the lid portion, each cut line extending to the hinge line and including at least one uncut portion along its length whereby when the lid portion is initially moved to its open position the uncut portion of each diagonal cut line is broken.

8. A cigarette pack as in claim 7 wherein each uncut portion is about midway along the length of the diagonal cut line.

9. A cigarette pack as in claim 7 including a plurality of uncut portions in each cut line.

10. A cigarette pack as in claim 7 wherein each uncut portion is in the range of 0.020 to 0.065 inches.

11. A cigarette pack as in claim 7 wherein each uncut portion is in the range of 0.020 to 0.040 inches.

12. A cigarette pack as in claim 7 wherein each uncut portion is 0.030 inches.

13. A cigarette pack as in claim 7 wherein the pack has rounded edges.

14. A cigarette pack as in claim 7 wherein the pack has beveled edges.

15. A cigarette pack as in claim 7 wherein the pack has squared-off edges.

16. A container having a hinge-lid and a body connected together along a hinge line, the hinge lid and body including sidewalls, each separated by a cut line with at least one uncut portion in each cut line.

17. A container as in claim 16 including a plurality of uncut portions in each cut line.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a cigarette pack blank and the cigarette pack made therefrom, and more particularly to a modified blank wherein diagonal cut lines between body and lid forming portions of the blank include small uncut portions that strengthen the blank during assembly and serve as an indicator with respect to initial opening of the lid.

[0002] Prior to the present invention, numerous blanks have been proposed for use in forming cigarette packs. For the most part, these blanks are of unitary construction and include a number of fold lines and cuts to facilitate assembly of the blank into a cigarette pack. Cigarette packs are generally rectangular in shape, e.g. a parallelepiped Diagonal cut lines separate the side panels of the body forming portion of the blank from the side panels of the lid forming portion. These diagonal cut lines enable the lid of the assembled cigarette back to move between open and closed positions relative to the body portion.

[0003] However, with these diagonal cut lines the side panels and dust flaps of the lid forming portion of the blank are very flexible and often subject to damage during assembly of the blank into a cigarette pack. Initially, when the blanks are loaded into a dispensing magazine these side panels and dust flaps often catch on each other which adversely impacts upon the blank dispensing operation. Additionally, these side panels and dust flaps catch along the path of travel of the blank during assembly. In some instances, the side panels and dust flaps are damaged in the folding turret when they are missed by the plows that open them prior to foil bundle delivery. Flaps may also be damaged in the folding turret when they are missed by the folders that fold them into their assembled positions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] Accordingly, one of the objects of the present invention is a cigarette pack blank wherein the side panels and dust flaps of the lid forming portion of the blank are strengthened to thereby significantly eliminate damage thereof during assembly of the blank into a cigarette pack.

[0005] Another object of the present invention is a cigarette pack blank and the cigarette pack formed therefrom having diagonal side cut lines, each with an uncut portion along its length for strengthening purposes, and also as an indicator of initial opening of the lid portion relative to the body portion of the cigarette pack.

[0006] Another object of the present invention is to provide a pack with a positive pop-open feel to a consumer.

[0007] An additional object of the invention is to provide a hinge-lid type pack with a positive closure.

[0008] In accordance with the present invention, a cigarette pack assembled from a unitary blank comprises a body portion and a lid portion with an integral horizontal hinge line between the body and lid portions about which the lid portion moves between open and closed positions relative to the body portion. The body and lid portions each have opposite side panels, and diagonal cut lines along the sides of the cigarette pack separate the side panels of the body portion from the side panels of the lid portion. Each cut line extends to the hinge line and includes at least one uncut portion along its length, whereby when the lid portion is initially moved to its open position along the hinge line, the uncut portion of each diagonal cut is broken. This serves as an indicator of the initial opening of the cigarette pack.

[0009] The unitary blank used in forming the cigarette pack comprises a body forming portion and a lid forming portion. The body forming portion includes a back panel integrally connected to a left side panel and a right side panel while the lid forming portion includes a back panel integrally connected to a left side panel and a right side panel. An integral horizontally disposed hinge line is positioned between the back panel of the body forming portion and back panel of the lid forming portion. Diagonal cut lines extend between the left side panels and the right side panels of the body and lid forming portions of the blank. Each cut line extends to the hinge line and includes at least one small uncut portion along its length.

[0010] The length of the uncut portion is in the range of 0.020 to 0.065 inches, preferably 0.020 to 0.040 inches, and most preferably 0.030 inches.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] Novel features and advantages of the present invention in addition to those discussed above will become apparent to persons of ordinary skill in the art from a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein similar reference characters refer to similar parts and in which:

[0012] FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a cigarette pack blank, according to the prior art;

[0013] FIG. 2 is a partial top plan view of a cigarette pack blank, according to the present invention;

[0014] FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a cigarette pack formed from the blank of FIG. 2 with the lid closed and prior to initial opening thereof, with portions broken away to show interior details;

[0015] FIG. 4 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the cigarette pack with the lid in a partially open position;

[0016] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a beveled-edge type cigarette pack of the hinge-lid variety, according to the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a squared-off-edge cigarette pack of the hinge-lid variety according to the present invention; and

[0018] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] Referring in more particularity to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a unitary cigarette pack blank 10 according to the prior art. The unitary cigarette blank 12 of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 2-4, and in many respects is similar to blank 10 but significantly different in one major respect. Similar reference characters are used to identify similar parts, and a brief description of prior art blank will serve as helpful background to the detailed description of the present invention.

[0020] Prior art blank 10 is made of cardboard or other paper stock, as is well known, and comprises a body forming portion 14 including a front panel 16 and a back panel 18 integrally connected together by a bottom panel 20. A right side panel 22 and a left side panel 24 are integrally connected to the front panel, and a right side panel 26 and a left side panel 28 are integrally connected to the back panel, as shown.

[0021] Blank 10 also has a lid forming portion 30 including a back panel 32 and a front panel 34 integrally connected by a top panel 36. Lid forming portion 30 also includes a reinforcing panel 38 which when reverse bent forms a free front edge 40. Front panel 34 of lid forming portion 30 includes a right side panel 42 and a left side panel 44 integrally connected to the front panel 34 of the lid forming portion.

[0022] Right and left side panels 46, 48, respectively, are integrally connected to back panel 32 of lid forming portion 30. Side panels 46, 48 each include a dust flap 50, 52 which closes the edges between top panel 36 and the side panels of the lid forming portion. The dust flaps also reinforce the top of the lid.

[0023] A 45° or other appropriate angle cut line 54 extends between side panels 26, 28 of body forming portion 14 and side panels 46, 48 of lid forming portion 30. Cut lines 54 each include a generally horizontal portion 56 that merges into a hinge line 58 between the body and lid forming portions and about which the lid of the assembled cigarette pack articulates relative to the body of the pack. Cut lines 54 enable such articulating to occur. However, with fully cut lines 54, the side panels 46, 48 and the associated dust flaps 50, 52 present a rather weak profile with marginal attachment to the remainder of the blank. Attachment only occurs over the height of back panel 32. Prior to assembly into a cigarette pack, these side panels and the associated dust flaps may easily catch on one another as they are loaded into blank dispensing magazines. Also, during assembly of the blank into a cigarette pack these side panels can catch along the blank path and may be missed by the plows of the folding turret. These mishaps damage the blanks, cause rejects and defects in the manufactured blank, and production losses.

[0024] The present invention is significantly different from the prior art in that the blank 12 has diagonal cut lines 60, each with a small uncut portion 62 approximately midway along its length. These uncut portions 62 function to strengthen the side panels 46, 48 and the associated dust flaps 50, 52. Specifically, these uncut portions of the diagonal cut lines increase the area over which the side panels 46, 48 are connected to the main portions of blank 12. As a result, the damage described above in connection with the prior art is substantially eliminated.

[0025] In a different embodiment, there may be more than one uncut portion 62, such as shown in FIG. 7, for example, to provide a degree of resistance to pack opening beyond that provided by a single portion. A consumer may prefer a solid popping open action; an additional benefit afforded by the present invention.

[0026] FIG. 3 illustrates unitary blank 12 assembled into a cigarette pack 70 having a lid portion 72 and a body portion 74. The uncut portion 62 of each diagonal cut line 60 functions to hold lid portion 72 in a closed position relative to body portion 74. Additionally, uncut portion 62 is an indicator that the lid portion has not been opened. Cigarette pack 70 is a rounded-corner pack. The lid and body have rounded edges 76 formed from scored regions 54.

[0027] FIG. 4 shows the lid portion 72 in its open position with the uncut portion 62 of diagonal cut line 60 broken thereby indicating that the cigarette pack 70 has been opened.

[0028] Each uncut portion 62 of diagonal cut lines 60 is in the range of 0.020 to 0.065 inches, preferably 0.020 to 0.040 inches, most preferably 0.030 inches.

[0029] Cut lines 60 with uncut portions 62 may be included on a wide variety of cigarette pack blanks used to form a wide variety of cigarette packs, such as packs with square beveled or rounded corners, for example.

[0030] FIG. 5 illustrates a cigarette pack 80, according to the present invention, with beveled corners 82.

[0031] FIG. 6 illustrates a cigarette pack 90, according to the present invention, with squared-off corners 92.

[0032] FIG. 7 illustrates a cigarette pack 100 according to the present invention with a plurality of uncut portions 62.

[0033] It may be seen that the present invention will work with virtually all varieties of the so-called hinge-lid pack.