Title:
Packaging of cosmetic products, typically a case with side clasp
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Packaging for cosmetic products, typically including a case having a cover provided with a first hinge portion, a recessed bottom possibly including an intermediate support fixed to the said bottom and a receptacle in which the cosmetic products will be placed, the bottom or the mesh being provided with a second hinge portion, a hinge with an axis of rotation R formed by cooperation between the first and second portions of the hinge, a means of locking and unlocking the said cover with respect to the bottom or mesh, typically a clasp, and if possible an applicator for the cosmetic product. The packaging has a driving means to at least partially open the cover, and an opposing braking means, the driving means and braking means respectively applying a driving torque CM=M(α) and a braking torque CF=F(α) on the cover in opposite directions and with a predetermined force depending on the opening angle α of the cover. The driving means and the braking means cooperate with the first hinge portion and second hinge portion.



Inventors:
Petit, Robert (Savigny sur Orge, FR)
Application Number:
10/628576
Publication Date:
03/25/2004
Filing Date:
07/29/2003
Assignee:
Techpack International
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C13/34; A45D33/02; A45D40/22; (IPC1-7): A45D33/00
View Patent Images:
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20050229943Hair control accessoryOctober, 2005Parker
20010042552Personal holograph nailsNovember, 2001Dempsey et al.
20090065018Typically Spherical Applicator Tip For Application Of Cosmetic ProductsMarch, 2009Berhault
20040084058Multifunctional disposable oral hygiene applianceMay, 2004Tyndal
20070028942Hair decoration toolFebruary, 2007Leung
20070267038Device Provided with Plurality of Makeup ElementsNovember, 2007Maille



Primary Examiner:
SMALLEY, JAMES N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Arlington/LADAS & PARRY LLP (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Packaging for cosmetic products, typically including a case (6) comprising a cover (8) provided with a first hinge portion (2), a recessed bottom (7) possibly including an intermediate support fixed to the said bottom and a receptacle in which the said cosmetic products will be placed, the said bottom (7) or the said mesh being provided with a second hinge portion (3), a hinge (1) with an axis of rotation R (10) formed by cooperation between the said first (2) and second (3) portions of the hinge, a means of locking and unlocking the said cover with respect to the said bottom or the said mesh, typically a clasp (9), and if possible an applicator of the said cosmetic product, characterized in that: a) the said packaging comprises a said driving means (4) to open the said cover (8) at least partially, b) in addition to the said “driving” means (4), the said packaging comprises an opposing “braking” means (5), the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) respectively applying a driving torque CM=M(α) and a braking torque CF=F(α) on the said cover, in opposite directions and with a predetermined force depending on the opening angle α of the cover, c) the said driving means (4) and the said braking means (5) cooperate with the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3), d) the said packaging comprises at least one clasp (9), typically comprising a pushbutton (90) located on a side part (61) of the said packaging, laterally offset from a central plane P (60) perpendicular to the said axis R, such that the said bottom (7) is typically gripped between the thumb and one finger of one hand, applying pressure on the said pushbutton (90) along a direction D (61) typically parallel to the said axis of rotation R (10), the said thumb and the said finger trigger the said opening of the cover without coming into contact particularly with the said hinge (3), and this without hindering opening of the said cover (8) under the action of the said driving means (4).

2. Packaging according to claim 1 in which the said driving torque CM=CM(α) and the braking torque CF=F(α) are chosen to obtain firstly the relation CM≧CF for an opening angle α varying from 0° to α0, the angle at which the said opposing torques are balanced, the said cover then tending to open under the action of the said driving torque, and secondly the relation CM<CF for an opening angle α more than α0, possibly as far as a cover stop position, the said cover then having a resistance to opening or possibly tending to close again under the action of the braking torque, such that regardless of the opening angle α of the cover, at least one of the said opposing driving torque CM and braking torque CF is active on the said cover, such that the angle α0 is within the angular range α varying from 60° to 160°.

3. Packaging according to claim 2 in which the said hinge (1) introduces sufficiently large friction forces between the said first hinge portion (2) and the second hinge portion (3), so that the said cover can be in an equilibrium position for an opening angle α varying from approximately α0−β to α0+β, so that angular equilibrium is possible with a range equal to 2.β, typically between 30 and 90°, where β is larger when the said friction forces are higher.

4. Packaging according to claim 1 in which the said driving torque CM=M(α) and braking torque CF=F(α) are chosen firstly such that the relations CM>0 and CF=0 are satisfied for an opening angle α varying from 0° to α1, the said cover then tending to open under the action of the said driving torque, and such that the relations CM=0 and CF>0 are satisfied for an opening angle α greater than α2 possibly as far as a stop position of the cover, the said cover then having a resistance to opening or possibly tending to close under the action of the braking torque, such that the angles α1 and α2 define the limits of an angular equilibrium range α12 typically within the angular range 60°-160°, with the range α21 equal to at least 30°.

5. Packaging according to claim 4 in which the said hinge (1) introduces sufficiently large friction forces between the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) so that the said cover has an equilibrium position for an opening angle α varying from approximately α1-β to α2+β so as to form an angular equilibrium range typically between 30 and 90°, where the angle β is larger when the said friction forces are higher.

6. Packaging according to any one of claims 1 to 5, in which the said driving means (4) and/or braking means (5) form annular or tubular elements (40, 50), typically in the form of rings, cooperating on the inside with either a first hinge portion (2) or a second hinge portion (3) forming a central hinge pin (11) of these annular or tubular elements, and cooperating on the outside with the other hinge portion forming a tubular portion (12).

7. Packaging according to claim 6 in which the said driving means (4) and/or braking means (5) form cylindrical elements (41, 51) typically in the form of pins, cooperating with the first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) forming a central axis for these hinge portions.

8. Packaging according to any one of claims 1 to 7, in which the first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) comprise two parts, a right part (11D, 12D) and a left part (11G, 12G), and in which one of the driving means (4) or braking means (5) cooperates with one of the two parts, and the other means cooperates with the other part.

9. Packaging according to claim 8, in which each of the said driving means (4) and braking means (5) forming the said cylindrical elements (41, 51), cooperates with the first and second hinge portions forming a central axis for these hinge portions acting as the right pins (41D, 51D) and the left pins (41G, 51G) to fix the said first and second hinge portions forming the right part (12D) and the left part (12G) of the said hinge (1).

10. Packaging according to any one of claims 7 to 9, in which the driving means (4) and/or the braking means (5) comprise an angular adjustment range (410, 510) in particular enabling modifications to the torques CM and CF.

11. Packaging according to any one of claims 1 to 10, in which the said driving means (4) and/or the said braking means (5) comprise one or more springs (44, 54) typically with helical turns in which the axis is the axis (10) of the said hinge, one of its two ends (440, 550) cooperating with one of the two portions of the hinge, the other end (441, 551) cooperating with the other portion of the hinge, so as to obtain the said driving torque CM=M(α) and braking torque CF=F(α).

12. Packaging according to any one of claims 1 to 11, in which the said braking means (5) include axial cooperation between two non-cylindrical elements forming a friction element (56): a cam (560) typically forming a rigid internal element and a tubular element (561), typically made of an elastically and reversibly deformable material, with an internal profile facing the said cam chosen so as to obtain the said braking torque CF=F(α), and in which one of the non-cylindrical elements (560, 561) cooperates with one of the two hinge portions (2, 3), the other element (561, 560) cooperating with the other hinge portion (3, 2).

13. Packaging according to any one of claims 1 to 12, in which each of the driving means (4) and the braking means (5) comprises two parts fixed in rotation, one part (42, 52) comprising a means (420, 520) of fixing it to one of the hinge portions (2) and the other part (43, 53) forming a means (430, 530) of fixing it to the other hinge portion (3).

14. Packaging according to claim 13, in which each means of fixing to one portion of the hinge is typically formed by an axial assembly of a male part and a female part belonging to the said fixing means and the said hinge, along the axis of the said hinge.

15. Packaging according to claim 14, in which the said male and female parts are typically grooved, with a number N of ribs or grooves (20, 30, 45, 55) for the male part cooperating with a number N of grooves or ribs (20, 30, 45, 55) for the female part, where N typically varies from 3 to 18.

16. Packaging according to any one of claims 1 to 15, composed of cases, make-up powder compacts, cream pots, perfume receptacles with hinge.

17. Packaging according to any one of claims 1 to 16, the said packaging forming a typically round or oval shaped case (6), in which the said clasp (9) and possibly the said pushbutton (90) are placed outside a so-called prohibited area (71) of the said bottom (7), the said prohibited area (71) corresponding to a front and back part of the said case between the planes P1 and P2, parallel to the said plane P, and that surround the said hinge.

18. Packaging according to any one of claims 1 to 17, the said packaging forming a typically square or rectangular case, in which the said clasp, and possibly the said pushbutton (90) are placed on one side or a side wall (72) of the bottom (7) of the case (6).

19. Packaging according to any one of claims 1 to 17, comprising two clasps (9) or pushbuttons (90) placed symmetrically with respect to the said central plane P, the said two clasps (9) or pushbuttons (90) also forming manual areas for gripping the said packaging.

20. Process for manufacturing a packaging according to any one of claims 7 to 19, in which the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) act as right pins (41D, 51D) and left pins (41G, 51G) to fix the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) together, and after the said first and second hinge portions have been put into position, the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) are obtained and then assembled to the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3), typically by axial click fitting at zero or almost zero stress, the opening angle α of the cover being close to 0° during assembly of the so-called braking means (5) and the opening angle α of the cover being close to 900 for the so-called driving means (4).

21. Process for manufacturing a packaging according to any one of claims 10 to 19, in which the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) act as first and second pins to fix the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) together, and after the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) have been put into position, the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) are obtained and then assembled to the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3), typically by axial click fitting at zero or almost zero stress, the so-called driving means (4) and/or braking means (5) comprising an accessible fixing means (420, 430, 520, 530) at one end and comprising an angular adjustment means (410, 510) such that, after it has been assembled, the angle of the said accessible fixing means can be adjusted later, particularly by orientation of the said ribs and grooves (20, 30, 45, 55) enabling rotation with respect to each other, to obtain the so-called opposing driving torque CM=M(α) and braking torque CF=F(α).

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The field of this invention is packaging of cosmetic products, and typically powder compacts for face care.

STATE OF THE ART

[0002] In general, cases typically comprise:

[0003] a hollow cover usually provided with a mirror on the inside,

[0004] a recessed bottom, typically provided with an intermediate support for at least one receptacle in which the said cosmetic product will be placed,

[0005] a hinge, forming the connecting device between the said cover and the said bottom, hinging the said cover and allowing opening of the said case,

[0006] a clasp or any means of locking and unlocking the said cover with respect to the said bottom, to open and to close the said case, the clasp typically being a pushbutton. This clasp, located opposite the hinge of the case, is normally formed by cooperation between a closing element fixed to the cover and a closing element fixed to the bottom or to the support fixed to the bottom, to ensure that the compact will remain closed except when it is opened intentionally.

[0007] There are very many methods known for making cases, which may apply to one or more constituents of the case, particularly to the clasp or opening of the case.

[0008] Thus, the applicant has a number of patents including:

[0009] patent FR 2 661 080 that describes a makeup case with a small clasp,

[0010] patent FR 2 725 958 that applies to a case with a flush fitting clasp with assisted opening,

[0011] patent FR 2 737 192 that describes a case with a pivoting cover provided with a hinge and flexible tabs,

[0012] patent FR 2 755 352 that describes a case with assisted opening,

[0013] patent FR 2 755 353 that describes a case with an unlocking and pre-opening pushbutton,

[0014] and patent FR 2 794 723 that describes a case with improved preliminary opening.

[0015] Problems that Arise

[0016] Firstly, when cases according to the state of the art include assisted opening means, typically these means only enable rotation of the cover through a certain angle or automatic tipping of the cover once the opening pressure is applied to the pushbutton.

[0017] A serious problem that occurs with this type of case is due to the fact that the manual opening gesture and/or the manual gripping gesture of the case can hinder assisted or automatic opening of the cover, since the fingers are instinctively placed in front of and behind the back of the case to make it easier to grip.

[0018] Another problem is due to the fact that these assisted opening means usually include an elastic element that is compressed when the cover is closed and expands when the cover is opened.

[0019] Although these methods have their advantages, the user may perceive them as being “mechanical” means more like a child's jack-in-the-box in which a spring suddenly opens the cover, than a suitable means of conveying the image of a high quality product.

[0020] Therefore, the applicant had the idea of searching for a means of keeping a preliminary opening means, and making opening of the cover more “supple”, perceptible when the cover is rotated manually, possibly to open it further and rotate the mirror, or to close it again.

[0021] As illustrated in the state of the art mentioned above, the variety of assisted opening means already used in the state of the art is very large, and each of these relatively specific means requires different modifications for each different case, which are therefore expensive.

[0022] Therefore, the applicant looked for a general means that is applicable to a wide range of cases without needing to modify the design of each individual case.

[0023] Finally, another problem is to offer cases that are obviously different from cases according to the state of the art in terms of their appearance, but also their “feel”, in other words the tactile perception of the manual opening force of the case.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0024] The packaging according to the invention, typically a case, is designed for packaging cosmetic products and comprises a cover provided with the first portion of a hinge, a recessed bottom possibly including an intermediate fixed to the said bottom and a receptacle in which the said cosmetic products will be placed, the said bottom or the said being provided with a second hinge portion, a hinge with an axis of rotation R formed by cooperation between the said first and second portions of the hinge, a means of locking and unlocking the said cover with respect to the said bottom or the said mesh, typically a clasp, and possibly an applicator of the said cosmetic product.

[0025] It is characterized in that:

[0026] a) the said packaging comprises a said driving means to open the said cover at least partially, as soon as the said clasp is activated manually,

[0027] b) the said packaging comprises at least one clasp, typically comprising a pushbutton located on a side part of the said packaging, laterally offset from a central plane P perpendicular to the said axis R, such that the said bottom is typically gripped between the thumb and one finger of one hand, applying pressure on the said pushbutton along a direction D typically parallel to the said axis of rotation R, the said thumb and the said finger trigger the said opening of the cover without coming into contact particularly with the said hinge, and this without hindering opening of the said cover under the action of the said driving means.

[0028] By thus orienting the manual grip of the case along a direction D typically parallel to the axis of rotation R of the hinge of the case, the invention discourages a user from putting her fingers on the rear part of the case where the hinge is located and/or the front part of the case.

DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0029] All figures are related to the invention.

[0030] FIGS. 1a and 1b are diagrams in which the ordinate shows the driving torque CM=M(α) and the braking torque CF=F(α) as a function of the angle α on the abscissa.

[0031] These curves intersect in the case shown in FIG. 1a, whereas they do not intersect in the case shown in FIG. 1b.

[0032] These curves correspond to a theoretical situation with a lack of friction. If friction is added, the behaviour is similar, except that the abscissa axis is offset upwards, as shown by the dashed line A-A parallel to the abscissa axis.

[0033] FIG. 2 is a partly exploded perspective view illustrating an example of a driving means and an example of a braking means according to the invention, and a typical layout of this driving means and this braking means on a hinge.

[0034] In this case, the hinge is formed from two annular or tubular elements, the driving means and the braking means acting as cylindrically shaped axial pins.

[0035] FIG. 3 shows a section along the centreline of the hinge showing the case in which one hinge element is a female annular or tubular element and the other hinge element is a male axial element, the driving means and the braking means are annular and adjacent to each other and are placed in the concentric space located between the two concentric hinge elements.

[0036] FIG. 4 is a variant of FIG. 3, in which the first and second hinge portions comprise two parts, a left part and a right part, and in which either the driving or braking means cooperates with one of the two parts, the other means cooperating with the other part.

[0037] FIGS. 5a and 5b are sections through a driving means and a braking means of the annular type as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.

[0038] FIG. 5a is a section in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the driving means or the braking means (centreline of the hinge), while FIG. 5b shows a section along this axis.

[0039] FIGS. 6a and 6b are sections through a driving means and a braking means of the axial type acting as a pin as shown in FIG. 2.

[0040] FIG. 6a diagrammatically illustrates a driving means shown in section along the axis of the hinge, while FIG. 6b diagrammatically illustrates a braking means, shown as a section perpendicular to the axis of the hinge.

[0041] FIG. 7 is a sectional view along the axis of the hinge showing an embodiment that uses the embodiment in FIG. 4 (only the left part) and the embodiment in FIG. 2 (only the right part).

[0042] FIG. 8 is similar to FIG. 1a, but the preliminary opening torque CM has been replaced by a closing torque C′M.

[0043] FIGS. 9a and 9b are perspective views of a rectangular case (6) according to the invention, FIG. 9a showing a view of the case when closed, and FIG. 9b a view of the case when open.

[0044] FIGS. 10a and 10b are top views of oval-shaped bottoms (7), with a single pushbutton (90) in FIG. 10a and two symmetrical pushbuttons (90) in FIG. 10b.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0045] According to the invention, the said packaging may comprise the said “driving” means (4), and also an opposing “braking” means (5), the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) respectively applying a driving torque CM=M(α) and a braking torque CF=F(α) on the said cover, in opposite directions and with a predetermined force depending on the opening angle α of the cover.

[0046] Thus, the applicant found that inserting two opposing means, one acting as “driving” to open the cover and the other as “braking” to oppose the opening movement, in a packaging, typically a case (6) comprising a cover (8) free to rotate around a hinge, makes the packaging very flexible when opening, to the extent that the means according to the invention make it possible to obtain the required “touch” or tactile feel simply by choosing the values of the driving torque CM=M(α) and the opposing braking torque CF=F(α), so that the packaging can be adapted to suit the wishes of customers.

[0047] Furthermore, as will become clear later, the means according to the invention are typically centred and located on or in the hinges (1) formed by cooperation of portions of the hinge (2, 3), that may be formed either by cooperation of an axial male part and a tubular female part, or formed from two tubular female parts fixed together by a pin acting as a hinge pin.

[0048] Thus, any packaging forming a hinge closing means (1) may benefit from the invention, without needing to modify this packaging apart from its hinge. Therefore, the invention is of very general use.

[0049] According to the invention and as shown in FIG. 1a, the said driving torque CM=M(α) and the braking torque CF=F(α) may be chosen to obtain firstly the relation CM≧CF for an opening angle α varying from 0° to α0, the angle at which the said opposing torques are balanced, the said cover then tending to open under the action of the said driving torque, and secondly the relation CM<CF for an opening angle α more than α0, possibly as far as a cover stop position, the said cover then having a resistance to opening or possibly tending to close again under the action of the braking torque, such that regardless of the opening angle α of the cover, at least one of the said opposing driving torque CM and braking torque CF is active on the said cover, such that the angle α0 is within the angular range α varying from 60° to 160°.

[0050] But there may be friction forces in the said hinge (1) between the said first hinge portion (2) and the second hinge portion (3), sufficient so that the said cover can be in an equilibrium position for an opening angle α varying from approximately α0−β to α0+β, so that angular equilibrium is possible with a range equal to 2.β, typically between 30 and 90°, where β is larger when the said friction forces are higher. This case is shown diagrammatically by an intersection of the dashed line A-A in FIG. 1a with curves CM=M(α) and CF=F(α).

[0051] According to another embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1b, the said driving torque CM=M(α) and braking torque CF=F(α) may be chosen firstly such that the relations CM>0 and CF=0 are satisfied for an opening angle α varying from 0° to α1, the said cover then tending to open under the action of the said driving torque, and such that the relations CM=0 and CF>0 are satisfied for an opening angle α greater than α2 as far as a stop position of the cover, the said cover then having a resistance to opening or possibly tending to close under the action of the braking torque, such that the angles α1 and α2 define the limits of an angular equilibrium range α12 typically within the angular range 60°-160°, with the range α21 equal to at least 30°.

[0052] As in the previous case, the said hinge (1) may introduce sufficiently large friction forces between the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) so that the said cover has an equilibrium position for an opening angle α varying from approximately α1−βto α2+β so as to form an angular equilibrium range typically between 30 and 90°, where the angle β is larger when the said friction forces are higher. This case is shown diagrammatically by the intersection of the straight line A-A in dashed line in FIG. 1b with the curves CM=M(α) and CF=F(α).

[0053] Regardless of the embodiment of the invention, and as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 7, each of the said driving means (4) and braking means (5) may cooperate with the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3).

[0054] Thus, any rotation movement of one portion of the hinge with respect to the other is transmitted to the driving and braking means, which are potentially permanently active regardless of the said angle α, depending on the choices made for the opposing driving torque CM=M(α) and braking torque CF=F(α).

[0055] In the case of a case in which a mirror is fitted, the range in which the cover may be positioned by hand varying from α0−β to α0+β, or from α1−β to α2+β depending on the case, is approximately equal to an angle α varying from 100° to 150°.

[0056] According to one variant of the invention shown particularly in FIGS. 3, 4, 5a and 5b, the said driving means (4) and/or braking means (5) may form annular or tubular elements (40, 50), typically in the form of rings, cooperating on the inside with either the first hinge portion (2) or the second hinge portion (3) forming a central hinge pin (11) of these annular or tubular elements, and cooperating on the outside with the other hinge portion forming a tubular portion (12).

[0057] According to another variant of the invention, illustrated particularly in FIGS. 2 and 6a, the said driving means (4) and/or braking means (5) may form cylindrical elements (41, 51) typically in the form of pins, cooperating with the first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) forming a central axis for these hinge portions.

[0058] According to the invention, and as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) may comprise two parts, a right part (11D, 12D) and a left part (11G, 12G), one of the driving means (4) or braking means (5) cooperating with one of the two parts, and the other means cooperating with the other part.

[0059] These parts may be symmetrical as is the case in FIGS. 2 and 4, or asymmetric as is the case in FIG. 7. But this is in no way compulsory, and thus FIG. 3 illustrates the case of a “conventional” hinge that only includes a central part.

[0060] As shown specifically in FIG. 2, each of the said driving means (4) and braking means (5) forming the said cylindrical elements (41, 51), may cooperate with the first and second hinge portions forming a central axis for these hinge portions acting as the right pins (41D, 51D) and the left pins (41G, 51G) to fix the said first and second hinge portions forming the right part (12D) and the left part (12G) of the said hinge (1).

[0061] According to the invention, it is possible for the driving means (4) and/or the braking means (5) to comprise an angular adjustment means (410, 510) in particular enabling modifications to the torques CM and CF, for example by varying the tension of the spring forming the driving or braking means, even after final assembly of the packaging. These pins are preferably provided with a decorative head typically like the rest of the hinge (1) to conceal the hinge pin itself and its functional purpose.

[0062] As a non-limitative example, the said driving means (4) and/or the said braking means (5) may comprise one or two springs (44, 54) typically with helical turns in which the axis is the axis (10) of the said hinge, one of its two ends (440, 550) cooperating with one of the two portions of the hinge, the other end (441, 551) cooperating with the other portion of the hinge, so as to obtain the said driving torque CM=M(α) and braking torque CF=F (α). See FIG. 5b. These springs may be metallic and may be designed to generate the required torques CM and CF as a function of the angle α while occupying a small volume.

[0063] Similarly, as a non-limitative example shown in FIG. 6b, the said braking means (5) may comprise or may be composed of axial cooperation between two non-cylindrical elements forming a friction element (56): a cam (560) typically forming a rigid internal element and a tubular element (561), typically made of an elastically and reversibly deformable material, with an internal profile facing the said cam chosen so as to obtain the said braking torque CF=F(α), and in which one of the non-cylindrical elements (560, 561) cooperates with one of the two hinge portions (2, 3), the other element (561, 560) cooperating with the other hinge portion (3, 2).

[0064] Regardless of the type of driving means (4) and braking means (5), each of the driving means (4) and the braking means (5) may comprise two parts fixed in rotation, one part (42, 52) comprising a means (420, 520) of fixing it to one of the hinge portions (2) and the other part (43, 53) forming a means (430, 530) of fixing it to the other hinge portion (3).

[0065] As shown in FIG. 2, each means (420, 430, 520, 530) of fixing to one portion of the hinge (2, 3) may typically be formed by an axial assembly of a male part and a female part belonging to the said fixing means and the said hinge, along the axis of the said hinge.

[0066] The said male and female parts may typically be grooved, with a number N of ribs or grooves (20, 30, 45, 55) for the male part cooperating with a number N of grooves or ribs (20, 30, 45, 55) for the female part, where N typically varies from 3 to 18.

[0067] The invention is not limited to a particular packaging, except that it must comprise a hinge formed from two hinge portions. The packaging according to the invention may typically be composed of cases, make-up powder compacts, cream pots, perfume receptacles with hinge.

[0068] The said packaging may form a typically round or oval shaped compact (6), in which the said clasp (9) and possibly the said pushbutton (90) are placed outside a prohibited area (71) of the said bottom (7), the said prohibited area (71) corresponding to a front and back part of the said case between the planes P1 and P2, parallel to the said plane P, and that surround the said hinge. See FIGS. 10a and 10b.

[0069] The said packaging may form a typically square or rectangular case (6), in which the said clasp (9) and possibly the said pushbutton (90) are placed on one side or a side wall (72) of the said bottom (7) of the case (6). See FIGS. 9a and 9b.

[0070] As shown in FIG. 10b, and in order to orient the manual grip, the said packaging may comprise two clasps (9) or pushbuttons (90) placed symmetrically with respect to the said central plane P, the said two clasps (9) or pushbuttons (90) also forming manual areas for gripping the said packaging.

[0071] These pushbuttons (90) may form parts in relief, as shown in FIG. 10a, or recessed areas as shown in FIG. 10, or possibly parts that are flush with the bottom wall so as to avoid introducing a surface discontinuity with respect to the bottom, the contrast between the pushbutton and the bottom may typically be visual and based on a different colour.

[0072] Another purpose of the invention is a manufacturing process for a packaging according to the invention.

[0073] According to a first embodiment of the process, the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) act as right pins (41D, 51D) and left pins (41G, 51G) to fix the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) together, and after the said first and second hinge portions have been put into position, the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) are obtained and then assembled to the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3), typically by axial click fitting at zero or almost zero stress, the opening angle α of the cover being close to 0° during assembly of the so-called braking means (5) and the opening angle α of the cover being close to 90° for the so-called driving means (4).

[0074] According to another embodiment of the process, the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) act as first and second pins to fix the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) together, and after the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3) have been put into position, the so-called driving means (4) and braking means (5) are obtained and then assembled to the said first hinge portion (2) and second hinge portion (3), typically by axial click fitting at zero or almost zero stress, the so-called driving means (4) and/or braking means (5) comprising an accessible fixing means (420, 430, 520, 530) at one end and comprising an angular adjustment means (410, 510) such that, after it has been assembled, the angle of the said accessible fixing means can be adjusted later, particularly by orientation of the said ribs and grooves (20, 30, 45, 55) enabling rotation with respect to each other, to obtain the so-called opposing driving torque CM=M(α) and braking torque CF=F(α).

[0075] The ribs and grooves (20, 30, 45, 55) may be chosen to be sufficiently deep so that there is no sudden change from one groove to the next while opening the said packaging, the torque necessary for such a passage being more than the opposing torques CM=M(α) and CF=F(α), but not too deep so that the angle can be adjusted without destroying the ribs.

[0076] It is advantageous if the ribs are oriented so as to facilitate the said angular adjustment without damaging the said grooves.

EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

[0077] The figures contain example embodiments.

[0078] Rectangular shaped cases were made as shown diagrammatically in FIGS. 9a, 9b, and oval shaped cases were made corresponding to the bottoms (7) shown diagrammatically in FIGS. 10a and 10b.

[0079] The cross-hatched areas in FIG. 9b, FIGS. 10a and 10b show the recessed part of the bottom comprising the receptacle or the mesh (73). Similarly, crosshatching is used in FIG. 9b to show the mirror (81) on the cover (8).

[0080] The covers corresponding to the bottoms in FIGS. 10a and 10b are not shown in the figures, since the main geometric characteristics of these covers can be deduced from the characteristics of the corresponding bottoms, as shown in FIG. 9b.

[0081] The hinge (1) of the case (7) was materialised firstly by the axis of rotation R (10) in FIGS. 9a and 9b, and by materialization of the second portion of the hinge (3) of the bottom (7) in FIGS. 10a and 10b.

[0082] Concerning the clasp, the reference (9) in FIG. 9a denotes the clasp assembly (mostly invisible), while the reference (90) denotes the part of the clasp (typically a pushbutton) on which manual action can be applied, typically pressure by one finger to open the case, the references (70) and (80) more specially denoting the parts of the clasp fixed to the bottom (7) and the cover (8), respectively. The pushbutton (90) is fixed to the bottom (7), and it is marked with the reference (70); it is shown in relief in FIG. 10a, recessed in FIG. 10b, and in the plane of the bottom wall (72) in FIGS. 9a and 9b.

[0083] In cases (6) according to the invention, the central plane P (60) perpendicular to the hinge (1) and the axis R, was only materialized in FIG. 9b, to illustrate the lateral offset of the pushbutton (70, 90), the bottom (7) being gripped by the sides or lateral walls (72) that are typically parallel to the plane P in the case of a square or rectangular case.

[0084] On the other hand, in the case of round or oval cases, and as shown in FIGS. 10a and 10b, the front part and the back part form a prohibited area (71) delimited by planes P1 and P2 adjacent to the hinge (1) or portions of the hinge (2, 3), the said lateral wall (72) being defined as the part of the case or the bottom located outside the said prohibited zone (71).

[0085] The arrows shown in bold lines on the case (6) in FIG. 9a and the bottom (7) of the case in FIG. 10a, materialise the direction D (62) of gripping of the case, typically parallel to the direction R (10) of the hinge (1). When the case (6) is gripped, typically by its bottom (7) which is thicker than the cover (8), the finger appl pressure on the bottom closing element (70) that cooperates with the cover closing element (80) to form the clasp (9) of the case with its pushbutton (90) typically fixed to the bottom.

[0086] The cases in FIGS. 9a to 10 are fitted with hinges like those shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 7.

[0087] Spring loaded driving means (4) were made, like those shown diagrammatically in FIGS. 2, 5b and 6a. These means form an opening torque of the cover in FIGS. 1a and 1b, and a closing torque of the cover in FIG. 8.

[0088] Spring-loaded or friction braking means (5), that can always be treated like friction forces, were made as shown in FIG. 6b.

[0089] These means (4, 5) resulted in a driving torque CM and a braking torque CF similar to those shown in FIGS. 1a, 1b and 8.

[0090] The portions of the hinge (2, 3) and the driving means (4) and braking means (5) were assembled in two steps: firstly the hinge portions are oriented to assemble either the driving means (4) or the braking means (5) such that its torque is zero, and then once the first means has been assembled, the hinge portions are oriented so that the other means can be assembled. Thus, during assembly, there is no need to pretension the driving means or the braking means, particularly when they comprise a spring, which is an advantage.

[0091] FIG. 2 in particular illustrates details of the axial assembly of the different parts forming the driving means (4) and the braking means (5), and cooperation of these means with the hinge portions (2, 3) of the hinge (1).

ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION

[0092] With cases according to the invention, the user can grip the case with one hand, and then open it without the manual grip of the case hindering or even partially counteracting the rotation movement of the cover, and therefore automatic opening of the case due to the presence of a driving means (4).

[0093] Furthermore, the invention makes it possible to have very fine control over the manual force applied to the cover as a function of the opening angle α, so that almost any type of feel or sensation can be created while opening.

[0094] Furthermore, the means according to the invention may be adapted to any type or any form of case or packaging comprising a cover fixed to a body or a bottom through a hinge. 1

List of references
Hinge 1
Hinge centreline-axis of rotation R 10
Male or axial part 11, 11D*, 11G**
Female or tubular part 12, 12D*, 12G**
Means of fixing to the braking means 13
Means of fixing to the driving means 14
First portion of hinge (cover) 2
Groove or rib cooperating with 45 or 55 20
Second portion of hinge (bottom or mesh) 3
Groove or rib, cooperating with 45 or 55 30
Driving means 4
Annular or tubular driving means 40
Cylindrical driving means (pin) 41, 41D*, 41G**
Angular adjustment means410
Part fixed to 2 42
Fixing means (notches)420
Part fixed to 3 43
Fixing means (notches)430
Spring 44
End fixed to 42440
End fixed to 43441
Groove or rib of 42 or 43 45
Braking means 5
Annular or tubular braking means 50
Cylindrical braking means (pin) 51, 51D*, 51G**
Angular adjustment means510
Part fixed to 2 52
Fixing means520
Part fixed to 3 53
Fixing means to 3530
Spring 54
End fixed to 52540
End fixed to 53541
Groove or rib of 52 or 53 55
Friction element 56
Cam (central part)560
Tubular element561
Packaging or case 6
Central plane P 60
Lateral part 61
Gripping direction D of 6 or 7 62
Bottom 7
Closing element 9 70
Prohibited area 71
Side-side wall 72
receptacle 73
Cover 8
Closing element 9 80
Mirror 81
Clasp 9
Pushbutton 90
*D = right side
**G = left side