Title:
Potted plant container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sleeve like container for wrapping a potted plant or floral display wherein the sleeve is formed from an integral, suitably cut blank of sheet material joined at two sides thereof to form an open ended container, the container having a tapered side wall. The container is shaped to support a pot holding a plant or floral display. A window formed in the side wall of the container provides access to the pot thereby enabling convenient placement of a label or for reading a label previously affixed to the pot.



Inventors:
Denbraver, Dinant Bastiaan (San Marcos, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/061579
Publication Date:
06/13/2002
Filing Date:
02/01/2002
Assignee:
DENBRAVER DINANT BASTIAAN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/52; (IPC1-7): B65B13/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CHUKWURAH, NATHANIEL C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MR. DINANT B. DENBRAVER (SAN MARCOS, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A sleeve for wrapping a potted plant or floral display, comprising: a blank of sheet material joined at two sides thereof to form a container, said container having a tapered side wall, said container further being open at a top and at a bottom thereof, wherein said container is shaped to support a pot holding a plant or floral display; and a window formed in the side wall of said container to provide access to said pot for attachment of a label thereto or for reading a label previously affixed thereto.

2. The sleeve according to claim 1, wherein said blank of sheet material includes a first portion and a second portion whereby said container is formed when said first portion and said second portion are attached together.

3. The sleeve according to claim 2, wherein said first portion includes means for attaching said first portion and said second portion.

4. The sleeve according to claim 1, wherein said container has a frustoconical shape.

5. The sleeve according to claim 1, wherein said container includes a top opening and a bottom opening, said top opening having a diameter greater than the diameter of said bottom opening.

6. The sleeve according to claim 2, wherein said blank of sheet material first portion and second portion each include a leading edge wherein each leading edge includes a leg helping to define said window.

7. The sleeve according to claim 6, wherein each leg includes a notch for helping to define said window.

8. The sleeve according to claim 6, wherein each leading edge and its respective leg forms an angle of about 135°.

9. A method of wrapping a potted plant or a floral display with a sheet of material, comprising the steps of: providing a blank of flexible, sheet material; forming said material into an open ended container having a tapered side wall wherein said tapered side wall is shaped to support a pot holding a plant or floral display; and forming a window in the side wall of said container to provide access to said pot for attachment of a label thereto or for reading a label previously attached thereto.

10. The method according to claim 9, wherein said first forming step includes attaching one portion of said blank of sheet material to another portion thereof.

11. The method according to claim 9, wherein said first forming step includes bending said blank of sheet material into a frustoconical shape.

12. The method according to claim 9, wherein said first forming step includes providing a blank of sheet material having a first portion and a second portion wherein each portion including a leading edge and each leading edge includes a leg.

13. The method according to claim 12, wherein said providing step includes forming a notch in each leg thereby help in defining said window.

14. An integral, suitably cut blank of sheet material adapted to be formed into a sleeve for wrapping a potted plant or floral display, comprising: a trapazoidally shaped panel, said panel including a first edge and a parallel, opposite edge wherein said second edge includes a notch therein formed.

15. The blank according to claim 14, wherein said second edge includes a pair of notches therein formed.

16. The blank according to claim 15, wherein each one of said notches includes a first straight leg and a longer second straight leg.

17. The blank according to claim 16, wherein each one of said notches includes an arcuate shaped portion interconnecting said first straight leg and said second straight leg.

18. The blank according to claim 14, wherein said first edge has a length about twice the length of said opposite second edge.

19. The blank according to claim 14, wherein said panel includes a pair of side edges the lengths of each one thereof being about equal to the length of said second edge.

20. The blank according to claim 14, wherein said panel includes a glue strip.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to plant and floral display carrying and protective devices and, more particularly, to sleeves for potted plants and floral displays.

[0002] It is the practice in the wholesale plant industry to place potted plants, especially those in four or six inch pots, paper sleeves, prior to transportation of the plant from the grower to the distributor and, in turn from the distributor to the retailer. The sleeve is usually formed from a single blank of kraft paper glued at edges to form a suitably shaped open ended sleeve. The sleeve is open at top and bottom and the round opening at the bottom has a diameter that is smaller than that of the opening at the top. As a result, the typical plant pot, having a tapered side wall, fits readily into the sleeve where it is securely held. In most cases, about an inch or more of the tapered side wall of the pot extends from the sleeve bottom opening.

[0003] The sleeve protects the plant during transport and, in addition, the top of the sleeve affords a convenient handle for employees moving the plant during various phases of the transportation process. In this regard, the technique of grasping the sleeve near the top thereof, known as “pulling”, enables one to move the potted plant quickly and efficiently while substantially reducing the likelihood of damage to the plant.

[0004] A widespread practice in modern commerce is the use of bar code labels on goods. Such labels, the plant industry known a “SKU” or “UPC” labels, can contain the bar code and other information such as the identity of the retailer and the of type of plant. In many cases, the retailer receives the sleeved plant and must affix the label to the pot. Since it is desirable to place the label on the pot at a location convenient to a bar code reader and the most convenient location is on the pot side wall, the sleeve presents a problem.

[0005] Since the sleeve covers a substantial amount of the pot side wall, there is often not enough room to affix the label with the sleeve in place. Removing the sleeve is not a viable option since removing and replacing it are time consuming and expensive. Thus, the retailer is generally unwilling to remove the sleeve. Instead, a common practice is to tear enough of the sleeve to expose the pot side wall sufficiently for application of the label. This weakens the sleeve and, in some cases, the sleeve becomes so weakened that if an attempt is made to pull the potted plant, the plant falls through the weakened sleeve, with consequent damage to both pot and plant. Of course, where the sleeve has been torn to permit label placement, and the sleeve is no longer suitable for pulling, labor costs increase because the potted plant now requires additional handling.

[0006] In view of the foregoing, there is a need for a plant sleeve that has the requisite strength to support a potted plant while enabling convenient access to the pot side wall for label placement and reading. Desirably, such a sleeve would be low in cost and effective in use.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

[0007] According to the present invention there is provided a sleeve like container for wrapping a potted plant or floral display wherein the sleeve is formed from an integral, suitably cut blank of sheet material joined at two sides thereof to form an open ended container, the container having a tapered side wall. The container is shaped to support a pot holding a plant or floral display. A window formed in the side wall of the container provides access to the pot thereby enabling convenient placement of a label or for reading a label previously affixed to the pot.

[0008] The sleeve of the present invention affords several advantages Importantly, it permits convenient access to the pot without requiring removal of the sleeve, or tearing of the sleeve, for placement of a label. In addition, the sleeve enables the label to be read during the transportation process by a bar code reader conveniently, without any need for tearing the sleeve material. Thus, the window formed in the sleeve represents economical and effective solution to an ongoing problem.

[0009] Other aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrating by way of example the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is an illustrative view of the sleeve of the present invention showing a portion of a pot supported within the sleeve, the pot including a label (shown in phantom);

[0011] FIG. 2 is a plan view of the sleeve of the present invention showing a portion of a pot supported within the sleeve, the pot including a label (shown in phantom);

[0012] FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the of the sleeve of the present invention showing a portion of a pot supported within the sleeve, the pot including a label (shown in phantom);

[0013] FIG. 4 is a plan view of a blank of sheet material used in forming the sleeve of the present invention; and

[0014] FIG. 5 is a plan view of another embodiment of the sleeve of the present invention showing a portion of a pot supported within the sleeve, the pot including a label (shown in phantom).

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0015] The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes, which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims, are to be embraced within their scope.

[0016] In the following detailed description and in the several figures of the drawings, like elements are identified with like reference numerals.

[0017] As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the invention is embodied in a novel sleeve like container for wrapping a potted plant or floral display. With reference to FIGS. 1-4 of the drawings, there is shown a generally frustoconically shaped sleeve 10. The sleeve is formed from an integral, suitably cut blank 9 of sheet material (FIG. 4). The blank 9 includes a panel 11 having a first portion 13 on one side thereof and a second portion 15 on an opposite side. The sleeve 10 is formed when the first portion 13 overlaps and is attached to the second portion 15. Attachment of the portions can be accomplished in a conventional manner such as gluing and, for this purpose conventional glue strips, such as the glue strips 15a-15c, are provided.

[0018] The blank 9 includes an edge 14 and an opposite edge 14. In a preferred embodiment, the edge 14 has a length L that is about twice as long as a length 1 of the edge 14a. In addition, the length 1 of the edge 14a is about equal to a length 11 of the first portion 13 and of the second portion 15. When the portions 13 and 14 are attached in the manner shown in FIG. 1, the sleeve 10 has an upper opening 14c, defined by the upper edge 14, and a bottom opening 19 that is defined by the bottom edge 14a. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the upper opening 14c is substantially larger than the bottom opening 19. With the sleeve 10 thus assembled, a pot, such as the pot 21, can be inserted conveniently into the sleeve 10 where it can be protected during transport. In this regard, the upper parts of the portions 13 and 15 provide an excess of material 18 where the sleeve 10 can be grasped for pulling the potted plant.

[0019] In a typical arrangement and as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the pot 21, usually having a tapered side wall, can be inserted into the sleeve 10 so that the bottom portion thereof extends through the bottom opening 19 of the sleeve 10. A window 20 is formed in the sleeve 10 to enable ready access to the pot 21 so that a label 22 can be affixed thereto. It may be noted that after the label has been affixed the pot 21, the window 22 enables bar code reader access to the label 22 without any necessity of tearing any portion of the sleeve 10.

[0020] Considering now the window 22 in greater detail, the window is defined by extensions of edge 25 on the first portion 13 and a corresponding edge 25 of the second portion 15. At location M (FIG. 1) a leg 27 extends downwardly from the edge 23 at an angle of about 135° to join a generally arcuately shaped notch 27a which, in turn, is integrally connected to a third leg 27b. The third leg 27b extends from the notch 27a to the bottom of the sleeve 10 where it joins the panel 11. In a similar manner, at a location N (FIG. 1) a leg 29 extends downwardly from the edge 25 at an angle of about 135° to join a generally arcuately shaped notch 29a which, in turn, is integrally connected to a third leg 29b. The third leg 29b extends from the notch 29a to the bottom of the sleeve 10 where it joins the panel 11. As shown in FIG. 4, the notch 27a includes a first sight leg 27c and a second straight leg 27d while the arcuate leg 29a includes a first straight leg 29c a second straight leg 29d. It will be noted that the legs 27c and 29c are located laterally of their respective notches and the legs 27c and 29c are longer, respectively, than the legs 27d and 29d.

[0021] It will be apparent from the foregoing that the leg 27, the notch 27a and the leg 27b, in cooperation with the corresponding leg 29, the notch 29a and the leg 29b help to define the window 20 in a novel manner. Those familiar with the manufacturing arts recognize that the provision of the window 20 can be formed conveniently in plant supporting sleeves at low cost.

[0022] Referring now to FIG. 5 there is shown a sleeve 10 which is another embodiment of the present invention. The sleeve 10 is similar in structure and function to the sleeve 10 having, for example, a panel 111 including an upper edge 114 and a bottom edge 114a defining a bottom opening 119 through which a lower portion of a pot 121 extends. A window 120 is formed in the panel 111 to afford access to the pot 121 for affixation thereto of a label 122, or to permit convenient reading of the label 122 without any need to tear away any part of the sleeve 100.

[0023] It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the sleeves 10 and 100 are useful with pots of varying sizes, especially four and six inch pots. With respect to the material from which the sleeves are constructed, no limitations are intended. Thus, by way of example, the sheet material used in forming the sleeves can be composed of paper (untreated or treated in any manner), metal foil, cloth (natural or synthetic), denim, burlap, polymer films or combinations thereof.

[0024] From the foregoing it will be appreciated that the sleeve provided by the invention provides an efficient and convenient technique for enabling access to a sleeved pot for affixation or reading of a label, without any need to tear the sleeve material.

[0025] It will be evident that there are additional embodiments and applications which are not disclosed in the detailed description but which clearly fall within the scope of the present invention. The specification is, therefore, intended not to be limiting, and the scope of the invention is to be limited only by the following claims.