Title:
Multi-purpose container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention discloses a container formed from a blank that can retain a product, an information booklet, and an information storage media. In an exemplary embodiment the container is formed from a single blank than contains a plurality of body panels and flaps. The flaps are folded along fold lines and secured to various panel locations or to opposing flaps to form at least three regions. A first region is suitable for retaining a product. A second region is suitable for retaining a product information booklet. A third region is suitable for retaining an information storage media.



Inventors:
Block, Jason Alexander (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/041636
Publication Date:
07/10/2003
Filing Date:
01/10/2002
Assignee:
Westvaco Corporation. Packaging Group
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D5/42; B65D73/00; B65D75/32; B65D75/34; B65D85/57; (IPC1-7): B65D69/00; B65D71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PICKETT, JOHN G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WESTROCK COMPANY (Richmond, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A blank comprising: a plurality of body panels wherein a first body panel is secured to a second body panel and wherein said second body panel is secured to a third body panel; and a plurality of flaps wherein a first flap is secured to said first body panel; a second flap is secured to said second body panel; a third flap is secured to said second body panel on an opposite end from said second flap; a fourth flap is secured to said third body panel; and a fifth flap is secured to said third body panel on an adjacent side to said fourth flap.

2. The blank of claim 1, wherein a sixth flap is secured to said third body panel on an opposite end from said fourth flap.

3. The blank of claim 1, wherein said plurality of body panels are secured to each other by a hinge panel.

4. The blank of claim 2, wherein said plurality of flaps are secured to said plurality of body panels by a hinge means.

5. The blank of claim 1, wherein at least one side of said plurality of body panels and said plurality of flaps contains printed material or graphics.

6. The blank of claim 1, wherein said blank is formed from paperboard or plastic.

7. The blank of claim 1, wherein said first flap contains at least one aperture.

8. A container formed from the blank of claim 1.

9. The container of claim 8, wherein a sixth flap is secured to said third body panel on an opposite end from said fourth flap.

10. The container of claim 9, wherein at least some end portion of said first flap is secured to at least some end portion of said first body panel; wherein at least some portion of said second flap is secured to at least some portion of said third flap; wherein and at least some portion of said fifth flap is secured to at least some portion of said fourth flap; and wherein at least some portion of said sixth flap is secured to at least some portion of said third body panel.

11. The container of claim 10, wherein said container has an open and closed position.

12. The container of claim 10, wherein said flaps and said body panels are secured to each other by adhesive.

13. The container of claim 10, wherein at least one product is at least partially retained between said first body panel and said at least one aperture in said first flap.

14. The container of claim 10, wherein at least one product container is at least partially retained between said first body panel and said at least one aperture in said first flap.

15. The container of claim 10, wherein at least one booklet is retained between said second body panel and said second flap.

16. The container of claim 10, wherein at least one information storage media device is retained between said third body panel and said fourth flap and said fifth flap.

17. The container of claim 10, wherein at least one information storage media tray is secured to said third body panel.

18. A method of forming a container comprising: providing a substrate; forming a container blank from said substrate wherein said container blank has a plurality of body panels wherein a first body panel is secured to a second body panel and said second body panel is secured to a third body panel; cutting said container blank to form a plurality of flaps secured to said body panels wherein a first flap is secured to the top of said first body panel, a second flap is secured to the top of said second body panel; a third flap is secured to the bottom of said second body panel; a fourth flap is secured to the top of said third body panel; a fifth flap is secured said third body panel on an adjacent side to said fourth flap; and a sixth flap is secured to said third body panel on an opposite end from said fourth flap; folding said container blank to form fold lines between said plurality of flaps and said plurality of body panels; and securing a top portion of said first flap to a bottom portion of said first body panel; securing at least some portion of said second flap to at least some portion of said third flap; securing at least some portion of said sixth flap to at least some portion of said third body panel; and securing at least some portion of said fifth flap to at least some portion of said fourth flap.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein said plurality of flaps and plurality of body panels are secured to each other by adhesive.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a container for holding product samples, information booklets and information storage media.

[0002] In general there exist a wide range of conventional containers for holding product samples with an information booklet or pamphlet. An exemplary conventional container is described in U.S. Pat No. 5,820,165. There are also conventional containers for holding an information booklet and an information storage media device, such as a compact disc (CD), digital video disc (DVD), a 3.5 inch computer disk, and the like. An exemplary conventional container is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,092,650. However these conventional containers are designed for a limited function and are not designed or able to store a product, information booklet, and an information storage media device at the same time.

[0003] It is often desirable to include additional information, such as product information, advertising, and the like, along with a product or product sample to the end user of the product, such as a consumer or potential customer. One potential means of sharing additional information such as sound, video, pictures, etc. is the placement of an information storage media device along with a product or product sample and an information booklet. However there is a need for a suitable container that can adequately retain a product or product sample, information booklet or sales literature, and an information storage media device. What is needed is a single container that can retain a product, information booklet, and information storage media device at the same time.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The invention discloses a container formed from a blank that can retain a product, information booklet, and an information storage media device at the same time. In an exemplary embodiment the container is formed from a single blank than contains a plurality of body panels and flaps secured to the body panels. The body panels and flaps are exemplary formed from the blank by a series of cut and folded lines. The flaps and panels are hinge secured to each other at the fold lines to form at least three regions. A first region is suitable for retaining a product. A second region is suitable for retaining a product information booklet. A third region is suitable for retaining an information storage media device. In an exemplary embodiment the blank has one side that is printed while the other side is not. By folding the blank in the manner described in the specification, both the interior and exterior of the container will have printed surfaces. In addition, the container can be folded between the three regions via the use of hinge panels to provide a compact container in the closed position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0005] The features of the invention will become more apparent in the description below in conjunction with the following drawings, wherein like characters represent like parts through out the figures:

[0006] FIG. 1 is a plan view of a blank for a container according to the invention;

[0007] FIG. 2 is a plan view of a container formed from the blank of FIG. 1; and

[0008] FIG. 3 is a plan view of a container holding a product sample, an information booklet, and information storage media.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0009] FIG. 1 is a plan view of an exemplary blank 200 used to form container 300 of FIG. 2. Blank 200 is shown with three exemplary body panels 10, 20, and 30. The blank 200 is shown with six exemplary flaps 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90. In addition the blank 200 is shown with two exemplary hinge panels 100, 110 that assist with folding the blank 200 into a container 300. It is to be understood that the blank 200 could contain additional or fewer body panels, flaps, and hinge panels.

[0010] The blank 200 is shown as a single blank; however it is to be understood that blank 200 could have multiple parts that are secured to each other by any means known in the art. In an exemplary embodiment blank 200 is formed by cutting a single piece of paperboard or any other suitable substrate, such as plastic or a laminate substrate, to form the blank 200 as shown. It is to be understood that the shapes and dimensions of the panels 10, 20, 30, flaps 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and hinge panels 100, 110 are exemplary and that the invention covers a wide range of shapes and dimensions and should not be limited by the exemplary shapes and dimensions shown. In an exemplary method a container 300 is formed by folding the various flaps 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and panels 10, 20, 30 of the blank 200 along the fold-lines 12, 22, 32, 16, 24, 26, 32, 36, 34, 72, 74 and securing the various flaps and panels to each other as described below.

[0011] The use of a single blank 200 offers the advantage of providing ease of fabrication, eliminates the need to secure the various panels and flaps to each other and generally results in an economical use of materials. In an exemplary embodiment blank 200 has at least one coated side to enhance the appearance of graphics printed on the blank 200. It is to be understood that graphic and advertising information could be printed on at least one or both sides of the blank 200 prior to or after forming the blank 200. Blank 200 as illustrated in FIG. 1 allows efficient display on both the exterior and interior of the container 300 of information printed on one-side as will be explained later. In an exemplary embodiment the back-side of blank 200 (not visible in FIG. 1) is printed with graphics, such as product information and advertising.

[0012] Flap 40 is shown with two exemplary apertures 120, 130. In an exemplary embodiment the apertures 120, 130 retain a product, item, or product sample 420 (FIG. 3), such as product sealed in a blister container between the flap 40 and panel 10 of container 300. An exemplary product 420 could include a pharmaceutical or cosmetic product. It is to be understood that the apertures 120, 130 could be sized and located in numerous places along flap 40 based on the shape and size of the particular product 420 to be placed in the container 300.

[0013] An exemplary method of forming container 300 is by folding or manipulating the various flaps and panels of blank 200 as described below. In an exemplary method, a first section is formed by folding the top 42 of flap 40 along fold line 12 and securing it to the bottom 14 of panel 10. An exemplary method for securing the various flaps and panels of the container 300 is the use of adhesives, such as glue or hot melts, although numerous well known techniques are available to secure the various flaps and panels to each other. Flap 40 and panel 10 should be secured so that a product 420, such as a product contained within a conventional blister pack, can be easily placed between panel 10 and flap 40; yet fit securely within the exemplary apertures 120, 130.

[0014] An information booklet section can be formed by folding the top 52 of flap 50 along fold line 22 and folding flap 70 along fold line 72 and securing the two flaps 50, 70 to each other. An exemplary method for securing flap 50 and flap 70 to each other is the use of adhesives. In an exemplary method flap 50 is secured over top of flap 70 to conceal the presence of flap 70. After the two flaps 50, 70 are secured an open cavity or pocket (not shown) exists between panel 20 and flaps 50, 70. An exemplary use of the pocket formed between the panel 20 and flap 50 is to retain an information booklet 430 (FIG. 3) or pamphlet. The exemplary cavity provides a means to retain a booklet when the container 300 is closed; yet allows for easy removal of an information booklet 430 when the container 300 is open. In an exemplary method, a portion of the booklet 430 is placed behind flaps 50, 70 and a portion of the booklet is placed in front of flaps 50, 70. The booklet 430 is ideally secured along the spine of the booklet 434.

[0015] An information storage media 440 section can be formed by folding the top 62 of flap 60 along fold line 32 and securing it to panel 30. This can be dimensioned to provide a printed surface above flap 90 once it is folded over panel 30. In an exemplary method flap 90 is folded along fold line 34 and secured over flap 80 to conceal the presence of flap 80. An exemplary method for securing flap 90 and flap 80 to each other is the use of adhesives. In an exemplary container 300, flap 90 is also dimensioned to cover the top portion of flap 60. As a result of securing the two flaps 80, 90 to each other a two-sided pocket is formed. An exemplary use of the two-sided pocket is to retain an information storage media 440 (FIG. 3), such as a compact disc (CD), digital video disc (DVD), mini CD, or the like. The exemplary pocket provides a means to retain information storage media when the container 300 is closed; yet allows for generally easy removal of the information storage media when the container 300 is open.

[0016] In another exemplary embodiment, an information storage media tray (not shown), such as CD tray or holder, which is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,709,812 can be mounted to body panel 30 and or flap 60 to secure the information storage media 440 in the container 300. It is to be understood that such an embodiment might eliminate the need for flaps 80, 90 and may alter the dimensions of the container 300 as well as the hinge panels 100, 110. It is to be understood that an information storage media tray of various shapes, sizes, and dimensions could be used.

[0017] The formed container 300 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 is shown in an open position. It is to be understood that the container 300 has an open and closed position (not shown). It is to be understood that an exemplary method of using the container 300 is to fold the three regions (product sample 520, information booklet 530, and information storage media 540) of the container 300 into a closed position. An exemplary method is to fold the three regions along the hinge panels 100, 110 using fold lines 16, 24, 26, 36. An exemplary method for closing the container 300 includes securing the product sample region 520 and information storage media region 540 at approximately the container perimeters 44 and 94. The two regions 520, 540 can be secured to each other by adhesives, various fasteners, or other conventional methods to close a folding container. In addition, a closed container could also be wrapped into a packaging material such as a plastic shrink wrap to close and protect the container 300 and its contents.

[0018] One advantage of the layout of the blank 200 as described above is that if information is printed on only one side of the blank 200, then the container as formed in FIGS. 2 and 3 will contain printed information on both sides. As illustrated in FIG. 2, flaps 40, 50, 60, and 90 could all potentially displayed printed information or graphics, such as advertising, on the inside of the container 300 (visible) as well as the back-side of the container 300 which is not visible in the Figures.

[0019] Once given the above disclosure, many other features, modifications or improvements of the invention will become apparent to the skilled artisan. Such features, modifications or improvements are, therefore, considered to be a part of the invention, the scope of which is to be determined by the following claims.