Title:
Container with specialized indicia
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A liquid container has a transparent panel and one or more opaque panels. Indicia such as lettering is provided on the interior of at least one of the opaque panels. The characteristics of the indicia and the opacity of the liquid are selected such that the indicia is not visible through the transparent panel and the liquid but is visible through the transparent panel in the absence of liquid. The opaque panel or panels may comprise a multi-layer laminate, the inner layer of which is clear and includes the indicia thereon.



Inventors:
Kaufman, Richard Harry (Chappaqua, NY, US)
Fraguada, Karla (New York, NY, US)
Delcastillo, Alberto Francisco (Pleasantville, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/912214
Publication Date:
02/09/2006
Filing Date:
08/06/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
383/106
International Classes:
B65D85/00; B65D33/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
REYNOLDS, STEVEN ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STITES & HARBISON PLLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A liquid container having opposed a transparent panel and at least one opaque panel, indicia located on the interior of an opaque panel, a non-clear liquid within the container, the characteristics of the indicia, in combination with the level of opacity of the liquid being such that the indicia is not visible through the transparent panel when the liquid covers the indicia, and wherein the indicia is visible through the transparent panel when the liquid does not cover the indicia.

2. A liquid container according to claim 1, including opposed front and back panels which are curved panels attached at opposite sides.

3. A liquid container according to claim 2, including a bottom panel connecting the opposed front and back panels.

4. A liquid container according to claim 2, wherein the opposed front and back panels are connected along the top of the container.

5. A liquid container according to claim 2, wherein the container is generally triangular in side view, and wherein the opposed front and back panels form the sides of the triangle, attached along their top edges and spaced apart by the bottom panel at their lower ends.

6. A liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the indicia is located on the interior of the back panel.

7. A liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the indicia is located on the interior of the bottom panel.

8. A liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the indicia is located on interior of both the back panel and the bottom panel.

9. A liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the indicia constitutes lettering.

10. A liquid container according to claim 1, wherein the opaque panel is a multi-layer laminate comprising an outer opaque layer and an inner clear layer in contact with the liquid, the indicia being located on the clear layer.

11. A liquid container according to claim 10, wherein the indicia is on the side of the clear layer facing away from the liquid and toward the opaque layer.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to containers, and more particularly, it relates to a liquid container having specialized indicia.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Liquid containers are available in all sizes and shapes. However, there exists a continuing need for new ideas for associating a container, especially one having a liquid food product therein, with specialized indicia.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a purpose of the present invention to provide a new and improved liquid food container in combination with an arrangement for providing specialized indicia such as a message which is initially hidden from view.

In accordance with a preferred arrangement of the present invention, there is provided a liquid container having a transparent panel and opaque panels. Indicia of some type may be printed on the interior of one or more of the opaque panels such that when liquid is present in the container between the transparent panel and the indicia, the indicia is not visible through the transparent panel; and wherein when the liquid is no longer present in front of the indicia, the indicia is visible through the transparent panel.

Different approaches are possible for rendering the indicia non-visible when covered by liquid. The degree of visibility of the indicia would be a function of the brightness and color of the indicia, in combination with the color and opacity of the liquid. These parameters can be varied in many different ways to achieve the result of rendering the indicia non-visible. For example, if the indicia is the same color as the liquid, then the indicia may be faint and the liquid can be relatively clear, and still the indicia would not be visible. Conversely, if the liquid were opaque enough, it would of course cover any indicia of any color or level of brightness.

Indicia could be provided at a single location or at a plurality of vertically spaced locations. For example, in one arrangement the first indicia uncovered could be a question, a riddle or the like. Then as the user consumed more of the liquid, for example through a straw, the liquid level would go down and reveal a second indicia, for example the answer to the question or riddle.

In a preferred arrangement the opaque panel or panels would be a multi-layer laminate formed of an outer opaque material and a clear inner layer with the indicia located on the clear inner layer and preferably on the side of the clear inner layer facing towards the opaque layer so that the clear layer forms a barrier between printed ink of the indicia and the liquid within the container. Of course it is also possible to place the indicia on the liquid side of the clear layer since any ink used in this manner would be approved for food applications by the appropriate food regulatory agency.

The features of the present invention are adaptable for use on any liquid container having a transparent panel and one or more opaque panels, including a cylindrical container, a rectangular container or virtually any other shape.

In one preferred arrangement, the liquid container is in the form of a triangular shaped pouch, i.e., triangular in side view, wherein the front and back panels are sealed at their side edges and along the top and separated at the bottom by a bottom panel. Such containers are currently used for fruit juices and the like.

Thus, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved liquid container which includes initially hidden indicia.

These and other objects and purposes of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description to follows, taken together with the accompany drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

There follows a detailed description of preferred embodiments of the present invention, to be read together with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a container in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a right side elevational view of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a left side elevational view of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a front view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the container at a first stage of use.

FIG. 8 is a front view similar to FIGS. 1 and 7 but showing the container at a stage of use subsequent to that of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of one wall of the container, taken in the plane of line 9-9 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 10 is a top plan view similar to FIG. 5 with a portion cut away and showing the container at a first stage of use.

FIG. 11 is a top plan view similar to FIG. 10 and showing the container at a second stage of use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, like elements are represented by like numerals throughout the several views.

FIGS. 1-6 illustrate a container which is currently commercially available, especially for containing liquids such as fruit juices or the like. The liquid in the container is normally consumed through a straw which passes through an opening located near the top of the container.

As shown therein, a container 10 includes a transparent front panel 11, a rear opaque panel 20 and an opaque bottom panel 25. The front and back panels are adhered together along side edges 12 and 13 and top edge 14. The bottom of the front transparent panel 11 can be either transparent or opaque as shown at 15.

The container is illustrated in FIGS. 1-6 in a closed sealed condition containing a liquid 30, as represented by the dark shading, and as the package would be sold in commerce.

In accordance with the present invention, indicia is/are provided on the interior of the opaque rear panel 20. As discussed below, indicia could also be provided in the interior of the bottom panel 25. Referring to FIG. 1, illustrative indicia includes letters 32 and letters at a lower level at 33. The dotted lines in FIG. 1 represents the fact that indicia 32 and 33 are actually totally hidden from view when covered by the liquid 30.

Non-visibility of the indicia 32 and 33 can be a result of varying different parameters. For example, if the liquid 30 is dark enough, it would essentially cover any indicia. However, if the liquid were made lighter, it would still render non-visible indicia which would be faint and/or of the same color as the liquid. It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous combinations in the selection of the color and opacity of the liquid and the color and brightness of the indicia can achieve the result that the indicia is not visible through the transparent panel 11 when liquid covers the indicia.

FIG. 9 illustrates the construction of the rear panel 20 containing the indicia. As shown therein, the rear panel 20 is a multi-layer laminate including a completely opaque outer layer 20a, preferably of a metallic foil and a clear inner layer 20b. The indicia 32 and 33 are printed on a separate layer 20c attached to the layer 20b or printed directly on the layer 20b. As shown in FIG. 9, the indicia 32 and 33 are on the side of layer 20b away from the liquid and toward the layer 20a so that the layer 20b serves as a barrier between the indicia and the liquid. However, it is also possible to put the layer 20c or the ink on the liquid side of layer 20b if the liquid were approved for use with foods by the appropriate food regulatory agency.

Features of the present invention will now be described especially with respect to FIGS. 1, 7 and 8. As the package is sold in commerce, the indicia 32 and 33 will not be visible through the transparent panel 11. As noted above, they are shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1 to illustrate their location, although completely hidden from view.

The user would then open the container, generally by breaking a preformed weakened area 35 provided for insertion of the straw 31. As the consumer drinks the beverage, the liquid level goes down until it reaches a level as shown at FIG. 7 whereat the user can now see the upper indicia 32. This includes indicia 32, which is represented generically as A, B, C, could of course be any indicia including graphics, numerals or wording. For example, the indicia could comprise wording in the form a riddle, question or the like. As the consumer continued to drink the liquid, the level would then go down to uncover indicia 33 which again could be any form of indicia, but if indicia 32 is in the form of a question, one could provide the answer at indicia 33. Of course it is to be understood that there can be any number of levels of indicia, or a continuous spectrum of indicia any of which would gradually become visible as the liquid is consumed.

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate indicia 40 on the interior of the bottom panel 25. FIG. 10 illustrates the container 10 in its original unopened condition similar to FIGS. 1-6, but with a portion cut away to show the liquid. The indicia 40, in the form of letters X, Y and Z are shown in dotted lines but in fact the indicia would not be visible through the transparent front panel 11.

FIG. 11 illustrates the same container as in FIG. 10, also similarly cut away, wherein the liquid has been completely consumed, generally by the use of straw 31. The indicia 40, i.e., the letters X, Y and Z, would now be visible through the transparent panel 11. The bottom panel 25 with indicia thereon would be constructed in the same manner as described above and with reference to FIG. 9 for the back panel 20.

It will be apparent that the invention is capable of numerous modifications and variations, apparent to those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.