Title:
Closure for closing containers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a closure for closing containers, comprising a main plane (4) from the perimeter of which a side wall (5) projects, the main plane (4) defining a first inner surface (6) of the closure (1), the closure (1) comprising an interactive decorative element (3) associated with the first inner surface (6) of the closure (1).



Inventors:
Rossi, Roberto Amarante (Santana do Parnaiba, BR)
Application Number:
10/474247
Publication Date:
07/08/2004
Filing Date:
03/08/2004
Assignee:
ROSSI ROBERTO AMARANTE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
40/311
International Classes:
B65D51/24; B65D53/04; G09F19/14; (IPC1-7): B65D51/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGO, LIEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALSTON & BIRD LLP (CHARLOTTE, NC, US)
Claims:
1. A closure for closing containers, having a main plane (4) from the perimeter of which a side wall projects, the main plate (4) defining a first inner surface (6) and an interactive decorative element (3), the closure (1) being characterized in that it comprises a removable sealing element (2) on the first inner surface (6) of the closure (1), the interactive decorative element (3) being positioned between the first surface (8) and the sealing element (2).

2. A closure according to claim 1, characterized in that the sealing element (2) is a flexible material removable film.

3. A closure according to claim 2, characterized in that the sealing element (2) is substantially transparent.

4. A closure according to claim 2, characterized in that the sealing element (2) is substantially opaque.

5. A closure according to claim 2, characterized in that the sealing element (2) is substantially translucent.

6. A closure according to claim 1, characterized in that the interactive decorative element (3) is a reticular lens.

7. A closure according to claim 6, characterized in that the reticular lens (3) contains images or motifs that vary depending upon the angle of view of the consumer.

8. A closure according to claim 1, characterized in that it comprises at least one protuberant element (8) for fixation of the sealing element (2), located on the first inner surface (6) of the closure (1).

9. A closure according to claim 1, characterized in that the first inner surface (6) of the closure (1) comprises a recess (9) for association of the reticular lens (3).

Description:
[0001] The present invention relates of a closure provided with an internal reticular lens, especially for use on containers for holding liquid food products for human consumption. This application is equivalent of Brazilian patent case No. PI0101511-7 which is hereby incorporated by reference.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

[0002] Conventionally, closures for use on liquid-product holding containers, preferably such as beverages for human consumption, comprise a closure and a pellicle or flexible plastic film, which conforms to the container neck, sealing it and preventing the product from leaking, as well as maintaining the gas inside the container, in the case of gasified beverages such as soft drinks, for example.

[0003] However, with a view to leverage sales of their products, manufactures have developed various gift-giving systems, based on the surprise effect, by providing the closure of a determined product with internal sayings such as “You found it, you won it”.

[0004] However, in spite of containing gift-giving provisions inside them, such closures continued with a conventional external appearance.

[0005] Considering that the external appearance of a closure for liquid-product packing containers would be the best lure for selling a product, one proposed the closure described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,065,623 of May 23, 2000, which is a conventional closure, the only difference of which is the insertion of a reticular lens into its main end, this lens presenting an image that changes shape or gains movement as the angle of incidence of light onto ft surface varies. The lenses have various configurations, each of them with an different image or visual motif. However, although this configuration really makes the appearance of the closure more attractive, this reticular lens has not achieved the objectives of leveraging the sales of the product, since the consumer could buy the container provided with the closure which he liked or desired most. In this way, it became very easy to complete a collection of different closures by just looking for the product that would present the desired closure at the places of sale, since there was not surprise effect provided with by the reticular lens.

[0006] Another relevant prior art is the U.S. Pat. No. 5,896,686, which discloses a closure or cap of a holding container comprising a multi-image prize-award member. However, the closure does not have any kind of sealing element protecting the member, thus having some drawbacks.

[0007] A first drawback is that the multi-image prize-award member keeps in contact with be liquid product, which may damage it. This is particularly undesired in case the beverage is acid, as a soda or soft drink, which also liberate gases. The absence of the sealing element also increases be possibility of damage of the prize award member if the container is exposed to temperature variations or incorrect manipulations (i.e. falls, violent shakings, etc.), which are, unfortunately, usual occurrences.

[0008] A second drawback is that the absence of a sealing element reduces the efficiency of the closure to seal the holding container in order to prevent liquid and/or gas escape, particularly after a partial consumption of the liquid, which are also usual.

OBJECTIVES OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The objective of the present is to provide a closure for use on liquid-product holding containers, preferably beverages for human consumption, provided with elements that can provide a surprise effect that stimulates the consumer to buy the product without knowing what is inside it and that has a calling appearance. This stimulates the purchase of new products, enabling one to collect various closures, for instance. Another objective is that the lens may be inserted into the closure without the need to modify the production tools, which would entail an increase in production costs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The objectives of the present invention are achieved by means of a closure for containers, comprising a main plane from the perimeter of which a side wall projects, a main plane defining a first inner surface, the closure comprising a interactive decorative element associated with the first inner surface of the closure.

[0011] The present invention has the advantage the surprise effect provided by locating the reticular lens inside the closure, unlike the prior art. This causes an increase in the sale of consumption products that contain said closure. By virtue of the “You found it, you won it” type visual attraction and others, the consumer is tempted to buy another product in order to see which lens is located at this new closure. In addition, in the case of using lenses that can have various decorative motifs, one may arouse the in the consumer the desire to collect closures, which also increase the advantage of the thus-configured products.

[0012] Moreover, the present invention presents the fact that, from the technical point of view, the reticular lens between the bottom of the closure and the sealing film is easily feasible, without the need to change the tools for producing the closure, unlike what happens with the closure of the prior art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] The present invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to an embodiment represented in the drawings. The figures show:

[0014] FIG. 1: a cross-section view of a first variation of the closure of the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 2: a cross-section view of a second variation of the closure of the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 3: a cross-section view of a third embodiment of the closure of the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 4: a cross-section view of a fourth embodiment of the closure of the present application;

[0018] FIG. 5: is a cross-section view of a fourth variation of the closure of the present invention;

[0019] FIG. 6: is a cross-section view of a sixth variation of the closure of the present invention; and

[0020] FIG. 7: is a lower view of the closure illustrated in FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0021] According to a preferred embodiment and as can be seen in FIG. 1, the container closure 1 of the present invention, provided with an internal reticular lens 3, presents a substantially circular main plain 4, provided with a first inner surface 6 and a second outer surface and a substantially cylindrical side wall 5 projecting from the perimeter of the plane 4. In this way, the closure 1 has an internal cavity delimited by the side wall 5 and by the inner surface 6. Evidently, the plane 4 may assume other shapes than circular, and the side wall 5 may assume other shape than cylindrical.

[0022] The closure 1 is screwed onto the neck provided with a thread (not shown) of a container (also not shown) for holding liquid products, preferably food beverages for human consumption. In order to provide this fixation, the closure 1 has at least one inner thread 7, located on the inner surface of the side wall 5, cooperating with the thread existing on the neck, to enable one to open and close the container. The closure 1 further has a sealing element (not shown) in the form of a weakening region, preferably arranged at the side wall 5, to prevent one from opening the container without leaving traces.

[0023] Evidently, the closure may be conceived in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, but not provided with a thread, sealing, or even the side wall 5, without it failing to be within the protection scope of the present invention. So, any variation in this respect should be viewed as a mere alternative configuration.

[0024] With a view to prevent liquids and/or gas from leaking out of the container, for instance when packing gaseous beverages such as soft drinks, one provides a sealing element 2 in the form of a film made of a flexible material, preferably plastics. This film 2 is fixed to the inner surface 6 substantially adjacent the region of the plane 4 from which the side wall 5 projects. The film 2 may be substantially transparent, translucent or opaque.

[0025] Optionally, but not compulsorily, there is a plurality of protruding elements 8 for fixing the film 2 located on the first inner surface 6 of the closure 1, also arranged substantially adjacent the region of the plane 4 from which the side 5 projects. The protuberant elements 8 are arranged in such a way, that they configure a cylindrical fixation wall, substantially parallel to the side wall 5 and having the same longitudinal axis. As a variation, there may be a single cylindrical fixation wall, which, in this case, is composed of a single cylindrical protuberant element 8. The function of the protuberant element(s) 8 is to enlarge the area of fixation of the film 2.

[0026] The reticular lens 3 is substantially disc-shaped and is located between the first inner surface 6 of the closure 1 and the sealing film 2. Optionally, but not compulsorily, the first surface 6 has a recess or cavity 9 with a diameter that is substantially equivalent to that of the lens 3, in order to allow It to be associated with the closure 1. The depth of this cavity 9 may be lesser, equal or greater than the thickness of the lens 3. If one wishes to view the reticular lens 3 fully, one has to remove the sealing film 2, and then the lens 3 may be removed, as the case may be. Preferably, the lens 3 is fixed by means of an adhesive or glue, but it may be fixed by any physical or mechanical adhesion means. The lens 3 may also have any shape, diameter or thickness, provided that the objectives of the invention are achieved.

[0027] Since the sealing film 2 should be removed if one is to view the lens 3 totally, the film may be conceived totally opaque, in order to maximize the surprise effect for the consumer, who needs to remove the film for having an idea of the decorative motifs illustrated by the lens 3.

[0028] In the case of closures 1 that are already under production, one may insert the reticular lens 3 without having to adapt the tools used to produce them, and the production process will undergo only one alteration which is the step of placing the lens 3 inside the closure 1.

[0029] However, one may develop specific closures 1 for placing the reticular lens 3, which may have said recesses 9 for a better finish and integration of the lens 3.

[0030] In FIG. 1, the reticular lens 3 is fixed to the closure 1 by means of an adhesive or glue. In this configuration, no alteration is made in the tool used to produce the closure 1.

[0031] In FIG. 2, one can see a closure analogous to that of FIG. 1, but provided with at least one, preferably a plurality of protuberant elements 8 for fixation of the film 2, as described before.

[0032] In FIG. 3, the reticular lens 3 is placed in a recess 9 in the first surface 6; but the depth of the recess 9 is lesser than the thickness of the lens 3. In this case, two alterations are necessary in making the closure 1, namely:

[0033] to make the recess 9 in the closure 1;

[0034] to compensate for the loss of thickness of the plane 4 due to the recess 9 with an increase in the thickness of this plane 4, at the same value as the depth of the recess 9.

[0035] In FIG. 4, the closure is analogous to that of FIG. 3, with the only difference of the existence of protuberant elements 8 for fixing the film 2, as described before.

[0036] In FIG. 5, the reticular lens 3 is placed in a recess 9, the depth of which is exactly the value of the thickness of the lens 3.

[0037] In FIG. 6, the closure is analogous to that of FIG. 5, with the only difference of the existence of protuberant elements 8 for fixing the film 2, as described before.

[0038] The reticular lens 3 is an interactive decorative element, since the decorative images or motifs which it contains vary depending upon the angle of view of the consumer; it may also include movement of the images as the consumer moves the closure 1, changing the angle of view. This characteristic, beside being extremely amusing, is one more surprise element that contributes to arouse the curiosity of the consumer, since it may be used, for instance, in promotions when the change in angle of view causes the consumer to see a gift inscribed in the lens 3, is that lens 3 awarded a gift. This will tempt the consumer to buy other products to try and view a gift. It should be noted that this interactivity causes the reticular lens 3 to be somewhat different and much more elaborate than a mere painting or written words indicating gift-winning. When one uses lenses 3 that provide tridimensional effects, one may control the image which the consumer will see when the lens 3 is behind the film 2. And once this film is removed, the consumer, after changing the angle of view, can see another image or something that provides the feeling of movement; that is to say, the consumer will only have access to an image at the beginning, and it is necessary to remove the film 2 in order to see the other images. In a preferred embodiment, the lens 3 has a diameter of twenty millimeters.

[0039] The lens 3 may be optionally removable, a situation in which it may be removed from the closure 1, for instance to be collected, which increases the desire to buy the containers closed by the closure 1 of the present invention.

[0040] Alternatively, one may place the lens 3 within the film 2, a task that may be performed with multi-layer films 2, between which the reticulate lens 3 is inserted.

[0041] A preferred embodiment having been described, it should be understood that the scope of the present invention embraces other possible variations, being limited only by the contents of the accompanying claims, which include the possible equivalents.