Title:
Transportation and display container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A blank for assembly to form a container. The blank is cut and scored so that when assembled a container having a base and walls dependent upon the base is provided. The base is constructed from a plurality of base panels provided in the blank. The blank is arranged such that the base can be assembled such that the base can be assembled without manual manipulation by a user of the individual base panels.



Inventors:
Cozens, Daphne Lyn (Auckland, NZ)
Donovan, Pamela J. (Memphis, TN, US)
Application Number:
10/315081
Publication Date:
08/21/2003
Filing Date:
12/10/2002
Assignee:
COZENS DAPHNE LYN
DONOVAN PAMELA J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A01G9/02; A47G7/06; A47G23/02; B65D5/02; B65D5/36; B65D5/60; (IPC1-7): B65D25/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ELKINS, GARY E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A blank for assembly to form a container, the blank being cut and scored so that when assembled a container having a base and walls dependent upon the base is provided, the base being constructed from a plurality of base panels provided in the blank, and the blank being arranged such that the base can be assembled without manual manipulation by a user of the individual base panels.

2. A blank as claimed in claim 2, wherein at least four base panels are provided.

3. A blank as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the blank is provided with two pairs of adjacent base panels attached to each other.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to containers for transportation and display of objects such as flower bouquets or bottles, however the invention is not limited to these applications.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A device which is known for displaying or transporting flowers has a cardboard base and walls within which a plastic liner is placed. A floral arrangement for example is placed within the plastic liner so as to be held at its base in the container and water is added to keep the flowers fresh. Since the liner is waterproof the water does not damage the cardboard container body. In use, the presence of water within the container also provides a form of ballast to help prevent the flower arrangement from falling over. The cardboard container is usually provided in an attractive shape or is decorated so as to be aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, the apparatus provides an effective form of packaging for transporting fresh flowers and also provides an attractive display for flowers. It has the advantage that it is cheap and easy to manufacture and is disposable.

[0003] However, a difficulty with the container arrangement is locating the waterproof liner properly within the container. The liners that are used are usually plastic bags, and a part of the upper rim of the bag can be mispositioned in the container or fall to a lower position within the container which allows water to spill out of the liner. Also, if the rim of the liner is located too far inwardly from the container rim, water may be spilt between the liner and the walls of the container when a user is trying to add water to the liner.

[0004] Another problem is accommodating various size bouquets. The opening at the top of the container in existing instructions is of a predetermined dimension. However, various bouquets have varying stem thicknesses. It would be advantageous to have a container construction which had a rim that could sit closely about the base of a bouquet for a variety of different bouquet sizes.

[0005] The container is usually assembled from a blank of sheet material, so it would be desirable to provide a design that reduces assembly time.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

[0006] It is an object of the present invention to provide a container which will at least go some way toward overcoming disadvantages associated with the prior art, or which will at least provide the public with a useful choice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In a further aspect the invention may broadly be said to consist in a blank of sheet material cut or scored for assembly to provide a disposable container, the blank having attached thereto a bag of a substantially waterproof material whereby the blank may be assembled to create the disposable container with the bag arranged in the container so as to be attached at or about a rim of the container.

[0008] In a further aspect the invention may broadly be said to consist in a disposable container assembly, the container being constructed from a blank of sheet material to provide a container having a base, at least one wall dependent therefrom and providing an upper rim,

[0009] a bag attachment means being provided at or about the upper rim, and

[0010] a bag for location within the container, the bag having an opening and having container attachment means provided about the opening to in use engage with the bag attachment means provided on the container.

[0011] In a further aspect the invention may broadly be said to consist in a container assembly including a container and a rim crown, the rim crown being adapted to engage with a rim of the container, and the rim surround including a waterproof bag dependent therefrom.

[0012] In a further aspect the invention may broadly be said to consist in a blank for assembly to form a container, the blank being cut and scored so that when assembled a container having a base and walls dependent upon the base is provided, the base being constructed from a plurality of base panels provided in the blank, and the blank being arranged such that the base can be assembled without manual manipulation by a user of the individual base panels.

[0013] Preferably at least four base panels are provided.

[0014] Preferably the blank is provided with two pairs of adjacent base panels attached to each other.

[0015] The invention also consists in features disclosed herein, whether individually or in combination. The disclosure and descriptions herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

DRAWING DESCRIPTION

[0016] The invention consists of the foregoing and also envisages constructions of which the following gives examples only.

[0017] One presently preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein;

[0018] FIG. 1 is a front elevation in cross section of a disposable container

[0019] FIG. 2 is a front elevation of a hexagonal container

[0020] FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the container of FIG. 2

[0021] FIG. 4 is a front elevation of another embodiment of a hexagonal container

[0022] FIG. 5 is a side elevation of FIG. 4

[0023] FIG. 6 is an elevation of a blank of the container of FIG. 1

[0024] FIG. 7 is an elevation of FIG. 6 in a partially folded configuration

[0025] FIG. 8 is a plan view of the container of FIG. 1

[0026] FIG. 9 is a blank view of the containers of FIGS. 2-5

[0027] FIGS. 10 & 11 are front elevations in cross section showing use of the container of FIG. 1 to hold a floral arrangement

[0028] FIG. 12 is a front elevation in cross section of the container of FIG. 2 used to hold a bottle

[0029] FIG. 13 is a plan view from below of another embodiment of the present invention

[0030] FIG. 14 is an elevation of a blank used to form the container of FIG. 13

[0031] FIG. 15 is a plan view from below of another embodiment of the invention, and

[0032] FIG. 16 is a front elevation of a blank for the container of FIG. 15.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0033] Referring, to FIG. 1, a container is shown in cross section. The container has a base 2 from which the four walls extend. Only two walls can be seen in FIG. 1 and these are referenced 4 and 6. The walls are shaped so as to be able to be directed inwardly after they extend upwardly from the base, they flare outwardly to form an upper rim 8. Although FIG. 1, and the other Figures in this document, show the walls all extending upwardly, then inwardly, and then flaring outwardly again, this construction is not necessary for the invention to work. The walls may extend straight upwardly from the base to the rim 8. Also, throughout the drawings the containers are shown and described with four or six walls. However, there may only be one wall i.e. the base may be substantially circular and there may be substantially a cylindrical wall one end of which extends from the base and the other end of which provides the rim. Also, there may be a plurality of walls from three onwards to any reasonably desired number.

[0034] The general construction as shown in FIG. 1 is that a liner which is in the form of a bag 10 is arranged within the container so that the opening 12 of the bag is provided attached to or attached somewhere near the rim 8 of the container. In practice the bag 10 comprises a plastic bag which is substantially watertight. This allows objects or items to be placed within the container, for example a bouquet of flowers the stems of which may be provided within water placed in the bag 10. The container construction is sufficiently strong to support the bag and its contents together with other articles placed in the container, for example the bouquet of flowers.

[0035] The container is preferably constructed from a sheet material such as cardboard for example. Other materials such as plastic sheeting and the like may be used, or combinations of plastics and fibrous materials. The sheet material may be a laminate for example. Preferably, the container is disposable and the flaps thereof are coated with a water resistant material chosen from wax, plastic material, or comprising a water resistant material chosen from a plastic material or plastic laminate material

[0036] The result is that the container and liner are constructed from materials which are sufficiently inexpensive and readily available for them to be disposable. Therefore, the container may be provided in the form of a blank such as a cut and scored cardboard blank which can then be assembled, and (prior art embodiments have the bag or liner stuffed into the container without being attached to the container) then a bouquet for example can be placed in the assembled container and water may be added. The water gives the flowers a longer life and also provides ballast so that the container is stable when being transported, for example when flowers are being delivered. Since the container is capable of being decorated in a variety of ways, it not only provides an appropriate delivery package, but it is also aesthetically pleasing and can therefore be used to display the flowers before subsequent disposal.

[0037] A variety of different forms of container may be provides Thus referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, a six sided container is shown in those figures. In FIGS. 4 and 5 a further six sided container of lower height is illustrated.

[0038] Turning now to FIG. 6, a front elevation of a blank for the container of FIG. 1 is shown. The blank contains the appropriate cuts and folds for assembly of the container. Panels which may for example form walls 4 and 6 have references 4 and 6 thereon in FIG. 6. Attachment of tabs 20 and 22 to regions 30 and 32 results in the arrangement shown in FIG. 7 where the blank is provided in a flat orientation but having two sides and is ready for quick assembly by having the edges shown at the left and right of FIG. 7 pushed toward each other to thereby form the blank inter substantial square having four sides. From this orientation the base can be folded into position and the appropriate parts of the sides can be pressed inwardly to form the overall desired shape as illustrated in FIG. 1. A rubber band may be used about the “waist” portion to maintain the desired shape. Referring again to FIG. 6, bag 10 may be attached to the blank by fixing the upper rim of the bag to the internal surface of at least two of the walls adjacent to the rim portion as shown by shaded area 40 in FIG. 6. This can be achieved by laying the bag flat, then attaching an outer upper surface of the flat bag to area 40. Then the blank can be folded into the orientation as shown in FIG. 7 and the other outer surface of the bag can be attached to region 42 of the remaining walls. To enable the invention to work, it will be seen that the bag does not need to be attached to all of regions 14 and 42, but could be attached to one central point on each wall, or to a number of individual points if desired. When the bag is attached, it will be seen that in the orientation of FIG. 7, the bag will be provided between the two sides of the blank in that position, so that when the blank is pushed into a generally square cross sectional shape, the bag opening will generally conform to that cross section which makes the container and liner assembly much easier to assemble.

[0039] The bag may be attached to the blank in a number of different ways.

[0040] Gluing

[0041] The upper outer edge of the bag, or various portions of the walls may be coated with an adhesive so that contact of the bag with the appropriate wall surface adheres the bag to the wall. The adhesive could be provided continuously along the relevant wall portions, or intermittently. Also, adhesive could be provided continuously about an upper part of the bag, or intermittently. Again, the adhesive could be provided on one or the other i.e. on the blank or the bag, or on both.

[0042] Adhesive Tape

[0043] A blank may be provided with an adhesive tape thereon, for example a double sided adhesive which may or may not have a backing surface thereon which can be peeled away to reveal the adhesive so that the bag can be adhered to it. Alternatively, or in addition, the bag may also have a similar adhesive applied to it to make it quickly adhere to the container.

[0044] It will be seen that if a bag or container is provided with an adhesive tape or the like, the bag could be adhered to the container wall after the blank has been assembled rather than having to be adhered to container while it is still in the form of a blank.

[0045] Stapling

[0046] A simple process which could occur during manufacture of the blank is to staple the bag into position by using at least one staple for example on each of the two walls when the blank is laid out as shown in FIG. 6. Then when the blank is in the orientation shown in FIG. 7, a further staple can be placed on each of the two remaining walls to staple the bag to those walls. Furthermore, the bag may be stapled to the container after the blank has been assembled.

[0047] Velcro TM

[0048] An attachment material such as that sold under the trade mark Velcro may be used to affix the bag to the wall. Thus one of the wall bag has one part of the mating Velcro material while the other of the wall of the bag has the other part. The Velcro material may be provided in discreet parts, for example at the centre of each wall, or could be provided continuously about areas 40 and 42 and continuously or intermittently about the opening of the bag.

[0049] Mechanical Support

[0050] Another method envisaged by the invention for maintaining the bag in the appropriate orientation is to provide hooks or projections that extend from the blank. These may be cut parts of cardboard, for example portions 50 in FIG. 6 which are normally folded in so as to extend into the container and these may have further cuts so as to provide an upwardly extending projection which is received in a number of apertures provided about the upper rim of the bag. Alternatively, rather than having apertures in the bag, there may some external pockets provided on the bag within which the projections could be located to mechanically support the bag.

[0051] Rim Surround or Crown

[0052] The bag may be affixed (eg by gluing or stapling) to a member (for example folded cardboard) that engages with the rim of the container. Thus the blank can be provided without upper flaps or panels (referred to further below) and instead have a rim engaged portion or crown with upper flaps or panels, and have the bag affixed thereto. This crown is then placed over or on the assembled rim so that the bag is provided in the container.

[0053] Rather than having the blank include the projections shown for forming the base, it will be appreciated that the base panels may be contoured so as to provide a “crash” assembly whereby a blank is provided in a form substantially similar to that shown in FIG. 7, (having different base panel arrangement) so that simply pressing the sides of the blank to make it conform to the desired orientation automatically creates the base structure.

[0054] Examples of a “crash” assembly are shown and described with reference to FIGS. 13-16. Referring now to FIG. 8 the container of FIG. 1 is shown in plan view. It will be seen that four inwardly direct panels 81 to 84 are provided. Each panel extends from an adjacent wall, and the panels are arranged such that the left hand side of panel 81 overlaps the right hand side of panel 82, the left hand side of panel 82 overlaps the right hand side of panel 88 etc. This arrangement of overlapping panels means that the panels can be folded slightly upwardly away from the centre of the container, or inwardly toward the container (when the container is viewed in elevation) and this will expand the size of opening 85 beyond that shown when the panels are in a substantially flat (i.e. horizontal elevation) orientation as illustrated in FIG. 8. Therefore, this panel arrangement allows a variety of different container opening sizes to be provided whilst still providing a substantially continuous barrier between the rim of the container and the object or item protruding from the container. In practice, this means that when used to contain flowers for example one container may accommodate a variety of different bouquet sizes while still keeping the bouquet in place by the container mouth closing about the stems of the bouquet.

[0055] Also, each panel preferably has a number of cuts 90 therein which provide an array of fingers at the end of each of the flaps. The flaps define a mouth and are arranged to support one or more items placed in the container but extending outwardly through the mouth. The fingers provide some flexibility to the peripheral edges of the flaps that help some object such as the stems of a bouquet to be maintained in desired orientation. With other objects, the fingers provide some additional flexibility to assist the object to be held in a desired orientation by allowing the edges of the flaps to be bent or moved with greater ease.

[0056] Referring now to FIG. 9, finger orientation as described above with reference to FIG. 8 is shown. In FIG. 9, the individual panels are referenced 91 to 96, and it will be seen that the hexagonal shape corresponds to a plan view of the container shapes referred to above with reference to FIG. 2 to 5. It will be appreciated that a large number of different flaps could be provided and still have the same effect as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.

[0057] Finally referring to FIGS. 10 and 11, these are the container FIG. 1 to contain a bouquet of flowers is shown. In FIG. 10, the arrangement of flaps is shown in a slightly inwardly disposed orientation to provide a sufficient aperture to contain the stems of the flowers. In FIG. 11 the flaps have been arranged in a slightly upwardly directed orientation to provide the required aperture at the top of the container.

[0058] In FIG. 12 the container of FIGS. 2 and 3 is shown for another object or item in this case a bottle such as a wine bottle. It will be seen that the liner allows ice for example to be placed within the container so that the container acts as a cooler for transporting and chilling wine or whatever beverage the bottle may contain.

[0059] From the foregoing it will be seen that the flap arrangement provides means for securely retaining or locating an object or item relative to the container. It also provides an aesthetic appearance to the container because the arrangement of flaps and the overlapping arrangement is aesthetically pleasing and has a “petaled” appearance. The aesthetics of the device is also improved in that the flap arrangement prevents the inner surfaces of the container from being observed. Therefore, no expense is required in decorating the internal surfaces of the container.

[0060] The manner in which the invention provides for the lining bag to be affixed to the container is also advantageous. Having the lining bag affixed to the container saves time when assembling the container. It also has the advantage that the goods are unlikely to be spilled between the bag and the container wall when the bag is being topped up with liquid. Also, affixing the bag to the container means that there is less risk of the bag falling to the base of the container when objects or items are placed in the container. This is particularly so with the arrangement of flaps shown in the present invention since the flaps do not always allow a user to see whether the bag is in the correct orientations.

[0061] As illustrated in FIG. 12, the invention also provides a form of disposable ice bucket and bottle transport/packaging container.

[0062] In FIGS. 13 to 16 a container having four sides and a container having six sides and blanks for those container are shown. The main difference between the containers and blank of FIGS. 13 to 16 is that they provide a blank having a “crash” base. In other words, the base can be assembled in effectively one movement rather than having to manually manipulate the base panels. FIG. 13 shows the assembled base. FIG. 14 has base panels 141, 142 143 and 144. The blank is provided so that areas B are glued to the underside of areas A and areas D are glued to areas E. The same construction applies to the six sided container of FIGS. 15 and 16. When the blanks are provided in this fashion, they need only be “squeezed together” by a user in order for the base to slide into the assembled orientation as shown in FIGS. 13 and 15.





 
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