Title:
Hanging display package
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A package assembly comprising a hangable card having first and second panels positioned in opposing face to face relation, and defining a main slot that communicates from an internal area between the two panels to the outside of the card. A flexible band is positioned between the first and second panels of the card and a forward portion of the band extends through the main slot from the internal area of the card and terminates in a tongue configured to be inserted into and retained by a receiving slot formed in one of the panels of the card.



Inventors:
Wall, Battle W. (Charlotte, NC, US)
Application Number:
10/705024
Publication Date:
05/12/2005
Filing Date:
11/11/2003
Assignee:
N.S. Packaging, LLC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D73/00; (IPC1-7): B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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20060169601Medicinal containerAugust, 2006Lyon



Primary Examiner:
MOHANDESI, JILA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALSTON & BIRD LLP (CHARLOTTE, NC, US)
Claims:
1. A display package comprising: a card having first and second panels positioned in opposing face to face relation, the panels being joined to one another along a first longitudinal edge and an opposing second longitudinal edge to provide an unbonded internal area; a main slot formed proximate the second longitudinal edge of the card and communicating between said internal area and the outside of the card; a receiving slot also formed in the card; and a flexible band protruding through said main slot and having a flanged rear end located within said internal area and cooperating with said main slot for retaining the rear end within said internal area, and said band having a forward end extending out of the card and terminating in a tongue configured to be inserted into and retained by the receiving slot.

2. The display package of claim 1, further comprising a feed slot formed proximate the first longitudinal edge of the card.

3. The display package of claim 1, wherein a first edge of the first panel is adhesively bonded to a corresponding first edge of the second panel to form the second longitudinal edge of the card, and wherein a segment of the first edges remains unbonded, thereby forming the main slot in said second longitudinal edge.

4. The display package of claim 1, wherein the card is formed from a single sheet of material having a first fold line between the first and second panels, and wherein the single sheet is folded about the fold line to form the card.

5. The display package of claim 4, wherein the first fold line forms the second longitudinal edge of the card.

6. The display package of claim 4, wherein the first fold line forms the first longitudinal edge of the card.

7. The display package of claim 4, including a second fold line in said sheet of material extending parallel to said first fold line, and a reinforcing panel joined to the second panel along said second fold line.

8. The display package of claim 7, wherein the reinforcing panel is a reverse-folded flap that is adhesively bonded to an opposing inwardly facing surface of the first panel.

9. The display package of claim 8, wherein said reverse-folded flap includes first and second bonded portions spaced apart from one another by a region that remains unbonded and thereby forms said main slot.

10. The display package of claim 9, wherein said first and second bonded portions of said reverse-folded flap are separated from one another by a cut-out that forms said main slot.

11. The display package of claim 1, including an adhesive bonding said first and second panels to one another in opposing face to face relation, the adhesive being located in at least two areas spaced apart from one another to provide said unbonded internal area.

12. The display package of claim 1, wherein said main slot extends along the second longitudinal edge of the card, and wherein said band is in a retracted storage position with the flanged rear end thereof abutting the first longitudinal edge of the card, the band being slidably movable from the retracted storage position to an extended operative position in which the flanged rear end engages and is retained by said second longitudinal edge of the card.

13. The display package of claim 12, additionally including an adhesive temporarily bonding the band to the card in the retracted storage position until it is moved to the extended operative position.

14. The display package of claim 12, wherein the band is in the extended position and the tongue of the band is inserted and locked into the receiving slot to form the band into a closed loop.

15. The display package of claim 14, further comprising a textile article held against said card by said looped band.

16. A display package comprising: a card comprising a sheet of paperboard having a first fold line defining first and second panels positioned in opposing face to face relation, the first fold line also defining a first longitudinal edge of the card, a second fold line in said sheet extending parallel to said first fold line and defining a second longitudinal edge of the card, and a flap joined to the second panel of the sheet along said second fold line, said flap being reverse-folded upon the second panel; areas of adhesive disposed between said flap and said first panel and forming first and second bonded portions spaced apart from one another by an unbonded region that forms a main slot extending longitudinally along said forward edge of the card; a receiving slot formed in one of said first or second panels; and a flexible band protruding through said main slot and having a flanged rear end located within the card and cooperating with said main slot for retaining the band in the card, and said band having a forward end extending out of the card and terminating in a tongue configured to be inserted into and retained by the receiving slot.

17. The display package of claim 16, wherein said first and second bonded portions of said reverse-folded flap are separated from one another by a cut-out in which a longitudinally extending portion of the flap has been removed to define said main slot.

18. The display package of claim 16, wherein said band is in a retracted storage position with the flanged rear end thereof abutting the first fold line, the band being slidably movable from the retracted storage position to an extended operative position in which the flanged rear end engages and is retained by portions of said second fold line located adjacent said cut-out.

19. The display package of claim 16, wherein a longitudinal slot extends along a portion of the first fold line to form a feed slot along the first longitudinal edge of the card.

20. A display package comprising: a card having front and rear panels positioned in opposing face to face relation, the panels being joined to one another along first and second longitudinal side edges of the card; an opening formed in the card adjacent an upper end thereof for hanging the display package on a display rack; a longitudinally extending main slot formed in one of said longitudinal side edges of the card; a receiving slot formed in said rear panel; a flexible band of transparent plastic protruding through said main slot and having a rear end located within the card and retained therein, and the band extending out of the card and terminating in a forward end inserted into and retained by said receiving slot, the band forming a closed loop in front of said front panel; and an article secured to the card against said front panel by said looped flexible band.

21. The display package of claim 20, wherein said receiving slot is a single slot extending longitudinally parallel to said main slot, and wherein the forward end of said flexible band terminates in a tongue of a width greater than the length of said receiving slot and with oppositely directed flaps arranged to engage the card and retain the flap in place.

22. The display package of claim 20, wherein said receiving slot comprises a pair of spaced apart slot segments, and wherein the forward end of said flexible band terminates in a tongue of a width greater than the spacing of said slot segments and with oppositely directed flaps arranged to be received respectively by the slot segments to retain the flap in place.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to packaging for use in the display of merchandise. More particularly, the invention relates to a package for use in hanging articles from a pegboard or similar display.

There are several available methods of packaging individual or small groupings of textile articles such as socks, undergarments, and the like. For purposes of display, the articles are often placed within hangable bags or attached to a hangable card or the like and suspended from pegs on a pegboard. The pegboard provides space for product and brand information and a versatile and space-saving manner for displaying the articles.

Potential purchasers may often desire to view and touch a product such as a textile article prior to purchase. A hangable package can offer advantages in this regard since articles may be placed upon a hangable structure, such as a card, such that a large portion of the article remains exposed for examination by the potential purchasers.

Typical hangable packages do have some drawbacks, however. Attaching the article to the hangable package often involves applying a band of paper, plastic or paperboard around the article. This obstructs the view of the article. Also, it is usually necessary to further secure the article to the hangable package, such as by using a pressure sensitive adhesive on the band, or by passing a barbed plastic fastener device through the hangable package and the article. Also, many of the existing hangable packages require complex manipulation by the packager in order to affix the article to the card. For example, in the package of U.S. Pat. No. 5,452,802, the packager is required to make multiple folds to a T-shaped card in order to form the plastic band of the package into a loop. In the package of U.S. Pat. No. 6,032,793, the bottom of the card must be repeatedly folded and secured with a band.

It is desired to provide a package for the display of textile articles that provides maximum viewability of the packaged article but that does not require complex manipulation by the packager in order to attach the article to the package.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a package and method of packaging that provides simple and efficient retention of an article against a hangable package for display of the article. The package requires only two simple manipulations in order to affix the article to the hangable card, and does not require complex folding of the package. Further, the package does not require the application of an adhesive or barbed fastener to the article, thereby avoiding problems associated with misapplication or removal of the adhesive or fastener. The package also provides optimum visibility of the displayed article from the face of the package that is visible to the shopping consumer.

More particularly, the invention comprises a hangable card having first and second panels positioned in opposing face to face relation, the panels being joined to one another along a pair of opposite edges to provide an unbonded internal area. The joined opposite edges form an opposing first longitudinal edge and second longitudinal edge of the card. A main slot is formed proximate the second longitudinal edge of the card, and the main slot communicates between the internal area and the outside of the card. Optionally, a feed slot is formed proximate the first longitudinal edge of the card, and the feed slot also communicates between the internal area and the outside of the card.

A flexible band is positioned so that a rear end of the band resides in the internal area of the card while a forward end of the band extends through the main slot to the outside of the card. The band is slidable with respect to the main slot. The band may be incorporated into the card as the card is assembled, or the band may optionally be inserted into a previously assembled card through the feed slot. The feed slot allows the band to be fed into the card by threading the forward end of the band into the feed slot and then out of the main slot of the card.

The rear end of the band is flanged, and the width of the flanged end is greater than the length of the main slot such that the flanged end is retained within the internal area of the card and the band can not slide free of the card through the main slot. If the band is inserted into the card through a feed slot, the width of the flanged end is less than the length of the feed slot such that the rear end of the band may completely enter the card. When the rear end of the band resides in the internal space of the card, the forward end of the band extends out of the card and terminates in a tongue configured to be inserted into and retained by one or more receiving slots formed in one of the panels of the card.

The package may be shipped in a knocked down condition prior to use in which the package lays flat and the band is partially retracted within the card. Alternatively, the card and the flexible band may be shipped separately, and the band may be threaded through the card prior to use. To package an article, the forward end of the band is simply pulled outward from the card through the main slot until the flanged end of the band engages the outer edges of the main slot, the band is curved around the article and a first outward facing face of the card, and the tongue of the band is locked into the receiving slot in the second outward facing face of the card. The flexible band is sufficiently tight and secure that no adhesive, tape, staples or barbed plastic fasteners are required to hold the band in place or to hold the article to the hangable card. Further, no machinery or equipment is required to fasten the article within the package.

The package provides a convenient and economical method of displaying an article. If a clear plastic band is used, almost the entire article is visible so that potential purchasers may easily inspect it. Thus, the package provides the purchaser with an opportunity to view a majority of the article and to touch at least a portion of the article.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

Having thus described the invention in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a display package in conjunction with a textile article;

FIGS. 2A-2D are plan views illustrating an embodiment of the package and how the band of the package is extended and formed into a loop in accordance with the described use of the package;

FIGS. 3A-3B are plan views illustrating the construction of the package according to one embodiment;

FIGS. 4A-4C are plan views illustrating the construction of the package according to an alternative embodiment;

FIGS. 5A-5B are plan views illustrating the construction of the package according to another alternative embodiment;

FIGS. 6A-6B are plan views illustrating the construction of the package according to yet another alternative embodiment; and,

FIGS. 7A-7C are plan views illustrating the construction of the package according to still another alternative embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which some, but not all embodiments of the invention are shown. Indeed, the present invention may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will satisfy applicable legal requirements. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.

FIG. 1 shows a display package in conjunction with a packaged article 70 in the form of a pair of socks. The primary components of the package are a hangable card 10 and a band 30. The card 10 has a substantially flat surface that forms the backing of the package. In use, the packaged article is placed against the front surface of the hangable card 10. The article 70 is retained against the card by the band 30, which has a first end fixed to a first edge of the card 10 and second end that is attachable to the card 10 at a location proximate an opposing edge of the card 10. In use, the band is wrapped around the article 70 and the second end of the band is attached to the card 10, forming the band into a loop from the first edge to the opposing edge of the card 10 and retaining the circumscribed article against the card 10.

Referring to FIGS. 2A-2D and 7C, the hangable card 10 is comprised of two panels of material attached to one another so as to be secured in face-to-face relation to one another. The panels are preferably of a common size and shape, and the edges of the panels preferably match up with one another to give the card two main edges, a first longitudinal edge 13 and an opposing second longitudinal edge 18. The two panels may be formed from two separate pieces of material, but are preferably formed from a single sheet of material folded about a fold line so as to form two panels of material from the single sheet.

The two panels are attached to one another along at least a portion of the first longitudinal edge 13 of the card 10 and along a portion of the second longitudinal edge 18 of the card 10. The panels remain unbound along a portion of the second longitudinal edge 18 and this unbound region defines a main slot 25. The panels optionally remain unbound along a portion of the first longitudinal edge 13 and this unbound region defines a feed slot.

There is a thin plane of space between the two panels, in an area where the panels are not attached to one another. The thin plane of space is referred to as the “inside” of the card, or as being “internal” with respect to the card. Any space that is not somewhere between the two panels is said to be “outside” of the card 10.

The band 30 comprises a thin piece of elongate, flexible material that extends in a main lengthwise dimension from a rear end 36 of the band to a forward end 38 of the band. The rear end of the band has flanges 32 extending beyond the major width of the band in a direction perpendicular to the band's main lengthwise dimension. The forward end of the band terminates in the shape of a tongue 34. Prior to use, the rear portion 36 of the band 30 resides within the internal space of the card 10 and the forward portion 38 of the band 30 extends from the inside of the card 10 through the main slot 25 to the outside of the card 10. The band 30 may be incorporated into the card 10 as the card is assembled, or the band 30 may optionally be inserted into a previously assembled card through the feed slot, discussed more fully in connection with FIGS. 7A to 7C.

The band 30 is slidable in one dimension with respect to the card 10. In the “retracted” position, shown in FIG. 2A, the rear end 36 and the flanges 32 of the band are proximate the first longitudinal edge 13 of the card and the forward end 38 of the band protrudes slightly through the main slot 25 of the card. In the “extended” position, shown in FIG. 2B, the major length of the band 30 protrudes through the main slot 25 from the inside of the card 10. When extended, the rear end 36 of the band is retained within the card by the flanges 32 that abut the outer edges of the main slot 25.

When the package is pre-assembled with the band already disposed within the card, the assembled package is preferably stored and shipped with the band in the retracted position for compactness. An adhesive dot may be used to temporarily hold the band in the retracted position. The unused package lies flat and may be easily stacked.

To use the package, the band is extended by pulling the band outward from the card 10 until the flanges 32 abut the edges of the main slot 25. As shown in FIGS. 2C-2D, the extended band 30 is then folded over and around the outside face of one of the panels to form the band into a loop. The tongue 34 of the band is then inserted into a receiving slot 27 on the opposing panel to close the loop.

The band 30 is preferably constructed from a clear plastic material so that the packaged article may be viewed through the band. However, the band may be paper or any other flexible material suitable for package manufacture, and the band may be preprinted with product information. The plastic may or may not be of a shrink-wrap variety. The band 30 may be scored near each end of the band so that the band is creased where it bends around the edges of the card 10 after assembly. This gives the package a more finished appearance.

Referring to FIGS. 3A-3B, the package according to one embodiment of the invention is shown in which the card is formed from a single paperboard divided by a fold line 23 into a first panel 22 and a second panel 24.

The band 30 is positioned upon the second panel 24 of the card such that the rear end 36 of the band is proximate the foldline 23 and the lengthwise dimension of the band extends from the foldline 23 out to and beyond the outer edge 28 (opposing the foldline 23) of the second panel 24.

The first panel 22 is then folded about the foldline 23 into a face-to-face relation with the second panel 24. Once folded, the foldline 23 becomes the first longitudinal edge 13 of the card 10. Areas of the first panel 22 and second panel 24 are affixed to one another so that the panels remain in face-to-face relation throughout the life of the package. Hot melt adhesive is the contemplated method of fixing the panels to one another. However, other methods may certainly be used. For example, the panels can be provided with a heat sealable surface, such as by coating and can be heat-sealed together in selected areas. It is preferred that adhesive lines 29 be deposited between the panels in locations that do not prohibit the side-to-side movement of the band 30 within the card, but which retain the band 30 within the card by the flanges 32 of the band 30.

By way of example, adhesive lines 29a are placed on the second panel 24 in areas sufficient to hold the first and second panels together. Adhesive is not placed in the area occupied by the band 30, or in the potential path of movement of the band within the card. The band 30 must be free to move side-to-side from the first longitudinal edge 13 to the second longitudinal edge 18 of the card, so adhesives are not placed in locations that would obstruct the side-to-side movement of the flanges 32 within the internal space of the card.

To retain the rear end 36 of the band within the card 10, a retaining adhesive line 29b is applied proximate the outer edge 28 of the second panel. The retaining adhesive line 29b adheres the outer edge 28 of the second panel 24 to the corresponding edge of the first panel 22. Once adhered, the outer edge of the second panel 28 becomes the second longitudinal edge 18 of the card. There is a gap in the application of the retaining adhesive line 29b at the location where the band 30 crosses over the second longitudinal edge 18 of the card. This gap forms a main slot 25 in the card that has a length greater than the width of the main body of the band 30 but less than the width of the flanged portion of the band such that the flanges 32 contact the adhesive line 29b when the band 30 is completely extended in the direction of the second longitudinal edge 18 of the card. Thus, the band 30 is movable side-to-side through the main slot 25, but when the band is extended, it is retained in connection with the card 10 by the contact of the flanges 32 with the retaining adhesive line 29b proximate the second longitudinal edge 18 of the card.

A receiving slot 27 is disposed within the face of the first panel 22. The receiving slot 27 is a cut out in a shape corresponding to the tongue 34 of the band 30 such that when the tongue 34 is inserted within the slot 27, the tongue 34 seats within the slot 27 and locks. Several shapes for corresponding tongue and slot arrangements are known in the art of container manufacture.

Referring to FIGS. 4A-4C, an alternative embodiment of the invention is shown. The panels of the card are defined as defined with respect to FIGS. 3A-3B. In addition, the edge of the second panel opposite the fold line 23 between the first 22 and second 24 panels defines a second fold line 43 dividing the second panel 24 from a reinforcing panel 42. The reinforcing panel 42 preferably extends longitudinally along the length of the second fold line 43 except for the region corresponding to the main slot 25. In this alternative embodiment, the reinforcing panel is a reverse-folded flap 42 which folds inward upon the second panel 24.

This embodiment is assembled in the same manner as described with respect to FIGS. 3A-3B, with the additional step that the reverse-folded flap 42 is folded inward upon the second panel 24 such that the reverse-folded flap 42 resides between the first panel 22 and second panel 24 after the first and second panels are placed in face-to-face relation with one another. The retaining adhesive line 29b may be applied between the reverse-folded flap 42 and the first panel 22.

When the band 30 is in the extended position, the flanges 32 of the band contact the crease 43 formed by the reverse-folded flap 42, and the crease of the reverse-folded flap 42 retains the flanges 32 within the card 10.

Referring to FIGS. 5A-5B, according to another alternative embodiment, the card is formed from a single layer of paperboard divided into a first panel and second panel by a fold line 23, as in the embodiment of FIGS. 3A-3B. However, in this alternative embodiment, the main slot 25 is defined between the first panel 22 and the second panel 24 along the first fold line 23 and the retaining adhesive line 29b is preferably a solid line. Thus, the first fold line 23 between the panels becomes the second longitudinal edge 18 of the card while the bonded outer edge 28 of the second panel 24 becomes the first longitudinal edge 13 of the card.

The band 30 is disposed within the card such that the tongue 34 and forward end of the band 30 extend through the main slot 25 to the outside from the inside of the card. The rear end of the band is retained within the card by the flanges 32 of the band 30 which contact the edges of the main slot 25 when the band 30 is in the extended position. When in the retracted position, the flanges 32 and rear end of the band 30 abut the retaining adhesive line 29b at the first longitudinal edge 13 of the card.

Referring to FIGS. 6A-6B, according to yet another embodiment, the package is assembled essentially as shown with respect to FIGS. 5A-5B but a reinforcing panel 42 is added as shown with respect to FIGS. 4A-4C. In this embodiment, the reinforcing panel 42 is of a similar size to the first panel 22 and second panel 24. The reinforcing panel 42 provides reinforcement to and stiffens the entire card. A cutout 44 is optionally placed within the edge of the reinforcing panel 42 corresponding in size and shape to the rear end 36, including the flanges 32, of the band 30.

The package is assembled by first placing the band 30 between the second panel 24 and the reinforcing panel 42 such that the rear end 36 of the band abuts the second fold line 43. The reinforcing panel 42 is then folded atop the second panel 24 such that the rear end 36 of the band resides between the two panels 24, 42. The forward end 38 of the band first is threaded through the main slot 25, and the first panel 22 is folded atop the reinforcing panel 42 such that the reinforcing panel 42 resides between the first and second panels 22, 24. When the band is in the extended position, the rear end 36 and flanges 32 of the band recess within the cutout 44 such that the card is uniformly flat when the band is in the extended position.

Referring to FIGS. 7A-7C, according to still another embodiment, the package is assembled essentially as shown with respect to FIGS. 4A-4C, except that the card need not have the band disposed within the internal area of the card as it is assembled. In this embodiment, a feed slot 50 is disposed along the fold line 23. The length of the feed slot 50 is greater than the width of the rear end 36 of the band, inclusive of the flanges 32, such that the band 30 may be inserted into the assembled card. To insert the band into the card, the forward end 38 of the band 30 is inserted lengthwise through the feed slot 50 into the card, and then out of the card through the main slot 25.

A feed slot 50 may be utilized with any of the earlier-described embodiments to provide for addition of the band 30 into the card 10 after assembly of the card 10. The feed slot 50 may be provided in a first longitudinal edge 13 of the card. When a folded edge forms the first longitudinal edge 13 of the card, the feed slot 50 is formed by providing a slot along that fold line, such as shown in FIG. 7A. When an adhesive line forms the first longitudinal edge 13 of the card, such as shown in FIG. 5A, the feed slot 50 is formed by providing a gap in the adhesive line with a length greater than the width of the rear end 36 of the band, inclusive of the flanges 32.

FIGS. 7A-7C also illustrate one of a number of possible alternative configurations for the receiving slot 27 and tongue 34. In this configuration the receiving slot 27, instead of being in the form of a single slot extending parallel to the longitudinal edges of the card, takes the form of a pair of spaced apart slot segments. In the embodiment shown, these slot segments extend diagonally at an approximately 45-degree angle with respect to the longitudinal edges 13, 18 of the card. The tongue 34 has a width greater than the spacing of said slot segments, and includes oppositely directed flaps 34a arranged to be received respectively by the slot segments to retain the flap in place. It will be appreciated that this alternative configuration for slot 27 and tongue 34 can be applied to any of the earlier-described embodiments of the display package.

Referring now generally to the various embodiments, one or more small holes or cutouts are preferably formed in the upper portion of the card so that the package may be hung from a standard pegboard display. Also, any region of the card or band may be colored or printed with product information.

The card 10 is preferably made of a paperboard material due to the relative affordability and availability of the material. However, the card may be constructed of any materials suitable for folding and packaging in accordance with the invention, including thin plastic sheets or laminates.

The package may be dimensioned to fit a wide variety of merchandise sizes. For example, a long slender card may be desirable for packaging socks while a wider card may be needed for the display of undershirts. The package may be selected from a range of lengths and widths.

Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention set forth herein will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which the invention pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.