Title:
Scratch-off cards
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Cards and tickets with scratch-off or other removable material present on both faces, as well as methods of making such cards and tickets, are detailed. The cards and tickets, when used as game cards, are designed to provide extended-play games without requiring additional paper or storage space beyond that presently required for single-play games.



Inventors:
Davis, Mark D. (Alpharetta, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/346211
Publication Date:
07/22/2004
Filing Date:
01/16/2003
Assignee:
DAVIS MARK D.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F1/02; A63F3/06; (IPC1-7): A63F1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - East Coast (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A card comprising: a. first and second opposed faces; and b. removable material applied to each of the first and second faces.

2. A card according to claim 1 further comprising a first release coating applied to the first face.

3. A card according to claim 2 in which at least part of the removable material is scratch-off material applied atop the first release coating.

4. A card according to claim 3 further comprising overprinting applied atop the scratch-off material.

5. A card according to claim 4 further comprising information hidden by the scratch-off material and revealed when the scratch-off material is removed.

6. A card according to claim 2 further comprising a second release coating applied to the second face.

7. A card according to claim 6 in which the scratch-off material is also applied atop the second release coating.

8. A single-ply game card comprising: a. first and second opposed faces; b. first information appearing on the first face; c. second information appearing on the second face; d. a first release coating applied atop at least a portion of the first information; e. a second release coating applied atop at least a portion of the second information; f. first removable material applied atop at least a portion of the first release coating so as to obscure from view at least a portion of the first information; and g. second removable material applied atop at least a portion of the second release coating so as to obscure from view at least a portion of the second information.

9. A game card according to claim 8 in which the first removable material comprises first scratch-off material and the second removable material comprises second scratch-off material.

10. A game card according to claim 9 further comprising third information appearing atop the first scratch-off material.

11. A game card according to claim 10 further comprising fourth information appearing atop the second scratch-off material.

12. A game card according to claim 8 in which the first and second information differ.

13. A game card according to claim 11 in which the third and fourth information differ.

14. A method of making a card, the method comprising: a. providing a substrate having first and second opposed faces; b. applying a release coating to each of the first and second faces; and c. applying removable material atop the release coatings applied to the first and second faces.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to game cards and more particularly, although not exclusively, to cards and lottery tickets having scratch-off or other removable material on multiple faces.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Numerous types of card games and lottery tickets have been developed for use. One such type of lottery ticket is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,076,860 to Holman, et al., whose contents are incorporated herein in their entirety by this reference. Detailed in the Holman patent is a ticket having two transparent layers atop one face of a substrate, one layer being colored and not adapted to be scratched-off and the other layer being clear and adapted to be scratched-off so as to remove both layers. According to the Holman patent, use of the dual layers provides visual indication as to which numbers of a “Bingo” game are being played and which are not.

[0003] U.S. Pat. No. 5,544,881 to Rua, Jr., et al., also incorporated herein in its entirety by this reference, illustrates another type of lottery ticket principally for use as part of a “Bingo” game. Included on one face of a substrate of the Rua, Jr. patent are coatings that may be marked either with “common writing instruments” or “merely by rubbing with ordinary U.S. coins.” Such coatings additionally may allow markings to be erased. See Rua, Jr., col. 2, 11. 42-45 and 62-66.

[0004] U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,887,906, 6,270,406, and 6,273,817 to Sultan, the contents of each of which are incorporated herein in their entireties by this reference, disclose additional types of lottery games or tickets. Contained on a face of these types of tickets are both scratch-off material and security codes, the latter present in a bar code format or a magnetic strip. The security codes themselves optionally may be covered with a scratch-off coating.

[0005] Yet other types of game cards with scratch-off materials are disclosed in commonly-owned U.S. Pat. No. 5,925,440 to Farag, et al., whose contents also are incorporated herein in their entirety. Included on a face of a substrate of the Farag patent are both scratch-off material and a selectively-employed release coating. Because the scratch-off material adheres directly to the substrate in areas lacking release coating, scratching the card may create either symbols or the background for symbols.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 6,347,794 to Scrymgeour, et al., finally, describes additional types of lottery tickets. Like the tickets described earlier, one face of each ticket of the Scrymgeour patent contains indicia covered by scratch-off material. However, rather than having blank reverses or printing mere rules-oriented textual information thereon, the reverses of the two-ply tickets of the Scrymgeour patent include “openable windows.” Opening such windows permits viewing of indicia printed on rear surfaces of upper portions of the tickets, providing additional information used to determine whether particular tickets are “winners” or otherwise associated with awards. The Scrymgeour patent likewise is incorporated herein in its entirety by this reference.

[0007] Lacking from existing commercial game cards and tickets is any contemplation of including scratch-off or other removable material on both faces of the cards and tickets. Indeed, prior attempts at creating “extended play” tickets with two scratch-off games typically were twice as large as regular tickets, as both games were presented on the same face of the tickets. This resulted from the configurations of printing units presently employed, in which scratch-off coatings are available for only one face of the tickets. Because these extended-play tickets were twice as large as regular tickets, they required twice the amount of paper (or other substrate) to be used and twice the amount of dispenser or storage space prior to being dispensed to consumers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The present invention, by contrast, provides game cards and tickets with scratch-off (or other removable) materials printed on both faces of the cards and tickets. Games associated with the scratch-off materials may be related or independent; regardless, however, the amount of paper or other substrate needed to create such games is approximately the same as that needed to create existing non-extended play tickets. Cards and tickets of the present invention thus need not require additional paper or dispenser or storage space, unlike conventional extended-play games.

[0009] Processing of cards and tickets of the present invention likewise proceeds differently than does processing of conventional tickets. Conventional printing processes for these tickets use three principal sets of print stations: one for the release coatings, one for the scratch-off materials, and one for any overprinting. The present invention, by contrast, uses six principal sets of stations as well as a web-turning device. After printing and coatings are applied to one face of the web using the initial sets of print stations, the web is turned or otherwise appropriately positioned and printing and coatings are applied to the opposite face of the web using the remaining sets of print stations.

[0010] Although preferred embodiments of cards and tickets of the present invention include both release coatings (between scratch-off materials and the substrates) and overprinting (atop any of the scratch-off materials, release coatings, or substrate), either or both may be omitted if desired. Similarly, even if used neither the release coatings nor the overprinting need be present on both faces of the cards. Generally, however, scratch-off or other removable material will be present on both faces.

[0011] It thus is an optional, non-exclusive object of the present invention to provide innovative cards and tickets.

[0012] It is also an optional, non-exclusive object of the present invention to provide cards and tickets containing multiple scratch-off materials.

[0013] It is another optional, non-exclusive object of the present invention to provide cards and tickets in which scratch-off material appears on each opposed face of the cards and tickets.

[0014] It further is an optional, non-exclusive object of the present invention to provide multi-play game cards and tickets that require no more substrate or storage or dispensing space than do conventional single-play cards and tickets.

[0015] It is, moreover, an optional, non-exclusive object of the present invention to provide methods for producing cards and tickets with scratch-off material present on opposed faces.

[0016] Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art with reference to the remaining text and drawings of this application.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] FIGS. 1A-B are plan views of opposite faces of an exemplary card or ticket of the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 2 is an edge view of an exemplary card or ticket structured similar to that of FIG. 1, with aspects of the card or ticket exaggerated for clarity.

[0019] FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of part of an exemplary process and equipment used to make the cards or tickets of FIGS. 1-2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0020] FIGS. 1A-B detail ticket or card 10 of the present invention. Throughout this description, the terms “ticket” and “card” may be used interchangeably. The invention is sufficiently broad to cover both “tickets” and “cards,” as well as similar objects however characterized.

[0021] As depicted in FIGS. 1A-B, card 10 may include opposite faces 14 and 18 of a substrate 20 (see FIG. 2). In the illustrated embodiment, face 14 contains removable portion 22 and other portion 26. Face 18, likewise, contains a removable portion 30 and may include another portion 34 as well. Hence, unlike analogous conventional cards, card 10 includes two scratch-off (or other removable) portions notwithstanding that its size is equivalent to those of cards currently incorporating only a single scratch-off portion on one face. Of course, those skilled in the art will recognize that more than one removable portion may appear on each of faces 14 and 18 if desired, although beneficially at least one such removable portion is included on each face 14 and 18.

[0022] In preferred embodiments of the invention, removable portions 22 and 30 constitute games played by scratching off, or otherwise removing, material to reveal previously-hidden information. Alternatively, they could comprise coupons, for example, or other devices as appropriate or desired. Games or other devices embodied in portions 22 and 30 need not be related in any way and indeed may be of different types. By contrast, games or devices embodied in portions 22 and 30 could be associated or related in some manner or share some characteristics of their structure or play.

[0023] As shown in FIGS. 1A-B, removable portions 22 and 30 need not be positioned identically on their respective faces 14 and 18. Removable portion 22, for example, is illustrated as positioned toward the left-hand edge 38 of face 14, while removable portion 30 is more centrally located on face 18. Those skilled in the art will, of course, recognize that portions 22 and 30 may be positioned on faces 14 and 18 in locations other than as shown in FIGS. 1A-B.

[0024] Also detailed in FIGS. 1A-B is optional overprinting 42 and 46. In the exemplary version of face 14 shown in FIG. 1A, overprinting 42 comprises the phrase “SCRATCH AND WIN!” printed in removable portion 22 together with a series of “GAME RULES” printed in other portion 26. Overprinting 46 (FIG. 1B) likewise comprises the phrase “SCRATCH AND WIN!,” albeit printed in removable portion 30, together with a series of “GAME RULES” and “PROMOTIONAL INFORMATION” printed in other portion 34. Overprinting 42 or 46 may, however, by modified or omitted in whole or in part.

[0025] FIG. 2 illustrates, in exaggerated form, components of an exemplary card 10. Detailed as present in removable portion 22 are release coating 50, on which removable material 54 is coated, printed, or otherwise placed, and overprinting 42 printed atop removable material 54. Shown in dotted lines in other portion 26 are release coating 50 and overprinting 42 which, as noted above, optionally may be omitted. Removable material 54 preferably is a latex or similar material conventionally used for scratch-off purposes. It could, however, be any removable ink or other suitable material.

[0026] Similarly, FIG. 2 discloses presence in removable area 30 of release coating 58, removable material 62, and overprinting 46. Removable material 62 is atop release coating 58, while overprinting 46 is atop the removable material 62. Again, shown in dotted lines in other portion 34 are release coating 58 and overprinting 46. Removable portions 22 and 30 of card 10 need not be configured identically as shown in FIG. 2, though, as either or both of release coatings 50 and 58, and either or both of overprinting 42 and 46, may be omitted. Likewise, even if present, either or both of release coatings 50 and 58, and either or both of overprinting 42 and 46, may be positioned on faces 14 and 18 other than as depicted in FIG. 2.

[0027] Alternatively, card 10 could comprise two substrates with their faces 18 attached (i.e. so that faces 14 would form the opposite sides of the card 10). Such card thus could include removable material 54 on both external faces 14. Nevertheless, this alternative version of card 10 is not preferred, as the amount of substrate required is twice that of the embodiment of card 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1-2.

[0028] FIG. 3 shows, in schematicized form, some of the operations and equipment that could be used for forming card 10. Consistent with FIG. 3, a paper or other web W of substrate 20 may be fed into a series of print stations (denominated “A,” “B,” and “C”), one set each to supply any release coating 50, removable material 54, and overprinting 46 for face 14. Thereafter web W may be repositioned, using rollers or otherwise, so that the positions of faces 14 and 18 are reversed. Web W thereafter is fed into a second series of print stations (“D,” “E,” and “F” in FIG. 3), one set each to supply any release coating 58, removable material 62, and overprinting 46 to face 18. Web W may then be fed to suitable perforating and finishing equipment for demarcation of cards 10. Web W typically remains as an integral web and is rolled for storage and subsequent dispersal of cards 10 to retail consumers. Alternatively, however, web 10 may be cut into cards 10, or sets of cards 10, prior to distribution to intermediaries or consumers.

[0029] The foregoing is provided for purposes of illustrating, explaining, and describing embodiments of the present invention. Further modifications and adaptations to these embodiments will be apparent to those skilled in the art and may be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.