Title:
Cut flowers display window gift box with interlocked hydration cup base
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a tapered cut flowers gift box having a display window around a corner and on two sides of the box the box is combined with a tapered square cup which is perforated in the bottom to allow water to pass readily through the bottom into the interior of the cup. Flowers are disposed in the gift box for display purposes in a bucket of water. The bottoms of the flower stems are placed in the perforated cup. The perforated cup is interlocked into the bottom of the tapered box in a position so that most of its height is exposed beneath the bottom edges of the sides of the tapered box. The exposed height is sufficient to keep the bottom edges of the sides of the tapered box above the water line in the bucket. Interlocking of the perforated cup with the gift box is accomplished with four horizontal tabs placed on the lip of the four sides of the cup which are disposed within four slots cut into the four sides of the tapered gift box near its bottom. When a bouquet is picked up for purchase, the water in the perforated cup runs out into the bucket through the perforation, and the tapered box then becomes an attractive dry pack gift box in which the flowers are transported and delivered to the recipient.



Inventors:
Sutton, Elliot (Miami, FL, US)
Layne, Frank (Miami, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/883835
Publication Date:
03/23/2006
Filing Date:
07/06/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G7/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PALO, FRANCIS T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert J. Van Der Wall (Coconut Grove, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cut flower gift box which doubles as a display apparatus in a bucket of water comprising: a plurality of elongated walls to form an interior enclosure in which is selectively disposed a bouquet of cut flowers with stems bound together; a hydration cup having a cross section similar to that formed by the plurality of elongated walls near their bottoms, the cup being perforated in its bottom with a diameter smaller than the bound together stems and disposed at the bottom of the interior enclosure such that an interior of the cup is exposed to the water in the bucket, a height of which water remains beneath the elongated walls of the gift box when it doubles as the display apparatus thereby protecting the elongated walls of the gift box from the water when the hyration cup is in the water; and interlocking means to attach the hydration cup to the elongated walls.

2. The box and display apparatus of claim 1 in which the interlocking means comprises: a plurality of tabs on the upper peripheral edge of the hydration cup; and mating slots formed in the elongated walls near their bottoms into which the tabs are inserted.

3. The box of claim 1 which further comprises a display window formed in at least one of the elongated walls so that cut flowers selectively disposed in the box can be viewed in the box by prospective purchasers.

4. The box of claim 3 in which the display window is disposed around a corner and on two walls of the box.

5. The box of claim 1 in which the box is tapered.

6. The box of claim 1 in which the cup is tapered.

7. The box of claim 1 in which the elongated walls form a tapered square cross section and the cup is formed with a mating tapered square cross section, such that the cup forms a perforated bottom of the box.

8. (canceled)

9. The box and display apparatus of claim 1 in which stems of flowers are disposed in the box and the hydration cup down to the bottom of the hydration cup and by the water in the hydration cup when the box and display apparatus are disposed in the bucket of water, the box constituting a dry pack gift box for delivery to a recipient when the box and display apparatus are disposed outside of the bucket of water.

10. A cut flower tapered gift box which doubles as a display apparatus in a bucket of water comprising: four elongated walls to form a tapered substantially square cross section interior enclosure in which is selectively disposed a bouquet of cut flowers bound together, the four walls having substantially horizontal slots near their bottoms; and a hydration cup having a tapered cross section similar to that formed by the plurality of elongated walls near their bottoms, the hydration cup being perforated in its bottom with a diameter smaller than the bound together stems, disposed at the bottom of the interior enclosure such that an interior of the hydration cup is exposed to the water in the bucket, a height of which water remains beneath the elongated walls of the gift box when it doubles as the display apparatus thereby protecting the four elongated walls of the gift box from the water when the hydration cup is in the water; and the gift box having horizontal tabs on each of its four sides, the tabs being inserted into the slots to interlock the hydration cup to the four elongated walls, such that the hydration cup forms a perforated bottom of the box.

11. The box of claim 10 which further comprises a display window formed in at least one of the elongated walls so that cut flowers selectively disposed in the box can be viewed in the box by prospective purchasers.

12. The box of claim 11 in which the display window is disposed around a corner and on two walls of the box.

13. (canceled)

14. The box and display apparatus of claim 10 in which stems of flowers are disposed in the box and the hydration cup down to the bottom of the hydration cup and the water in the hydration cup when the box and display apparatus are disposed in the bucket of water, the box constituting a dry pack gift box for delivery to a recipient when the box and display apparatus are disposed out of the bucket of water.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the field of the packaging of live cut flowers, and more particularly to an apparatus that allows for the inexpensive hydration of bouquets of flowers displayed for sale in tapered gift boxes, without wetting of the boxes. The invention is particularly aimed at, but not limited to, bouquets of flowers such as displayed for sale in supermarkets and other retail establishments in buckets of water, which could not previously be displayed in gift boxes because of the necessity of keeping the flowers hydrated. The invention includes a water resistant cup perforated at the bottom for hydration of the flower stems. The cup is interlocked into the bottom of a tapered gift box. The perforated cup not only allows water to reach the flower stems, it keeps the bottom of the gift box elevated above the water line in the display bucket. The gift box also includes a display window over two of its four sides to permit the consumer to more readily view the flowers in the gift box.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Sale of bouquets or bunches of flowers in supermarkets and other retail establishments is well known to be done by display of the product in buckets of water. It is essential to keep the flowers hydrated so that they will not die while waiting to be purchased. The necessity for hydration has previously prevented display of the flowers in gift boxes, such as that disclosed and claimed in U.S. Pat. No. D 455,075. But the ability to sell flowers in gift boxes makes them a more desirable purchase and a more attractive gift. The use of a display window-on two of the four sides of the gift box facilitates the consumer viewing the flowers to improve salability.

There is a considerable amount of prior art in the field of packaging of cut flowers and other irregularly shaped products. Shore, U.S. Pat. No. 4,118,890, teaches a plant package that is hermetically sealed and does not allow for hydration of the plant. While the disclosure includes viewing panels, the entire structure is much more elaborate and expensive to serve the purposes of the present invention.

Witte, U.S. Pat. No. 4,333,267, teaches a protective tapered tubular sleeve to house a plant. The sheets from which the sleeve is made is of a porous, spun bonded synthetic fibrous material that permits circulation of air and hydration directly through the sheet material. Bruno et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,413,725, teaches a plant package with a decorative sheet held in position by a clear flexible sleeve. Also included a ribbon affixed to a message card to create an attractive package such as for a gift. No hydration is contemplated. Weder, U.S. Pat. No. 5,245,814, teaches a method of wrapping a floral grouping using a sheet of material that includes pressure sensitive coating that bonds to other adjacent portions of the same sheet material. No hydration is contemplated.

Stuck, U.S. Pat. No. 4,640,079, discloses a device for packaging plants that includes a base, a vertical column mounted on the base with a conical sleeve support. It is intended for potted plants and does not contemplate hydration. A second reference by Stuck is U.S. Pat. 4,280,314 which teaches a device for packaging plants and cut flowers in a protective bag, and includes a tubular frame with a support to support the plant or flowers, while opened ended bags or sleeves are supported by the frame and are then pulled up over the plant or flowers to package same. Hydration is not contemplated. Hetze et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,289,630, teaches a device to keep flowers fresh which does contemplate hydration with nutrients, but is not a packaging device as the gift box of the present invention. Finally, Honkawa et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,735,075, discloses a floral arrangement with a gift box support, but the gift box is not for the flowers, it for such things as CD box. Hydration is contemplated, but not in a tub with other bunches of flowers. So far as is known to the present inventors, there is no reference or combination of references which teach the ability to keep cut flowers hydrated in a common tub of water holding other bouquets of flowers, which flowers are prepackaged in a display window gift box ready to purchase and carry, and which gift box is kept dry even though the flowers in that box are hydrated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Bearing in mind the foregoing, it is a principal object of the invention to provide an apparatus that facilitates the display of bouquets of flower in water while also in gift boxes.

A related principal object of the invention is the display of bouquets of hydrated flowers in gift boxes without the expense of individual vials of water for each flower stem.

Another object of the invention is to enhance the desirability of hydrated bouquets of flowers sold inexpensively in supermarkets and similar retail establishments by display of them in gift boxes.

A further object of the invention is to render the sale of hydrated bouquets of flowers sold inexpensively in supermarkets and similar retail establishments into a more attractive gift by display and sale of the bouquets in gift boxes.

An additional object of the invention is to permit the viewing of cut hydrated flowers in a gift box that includes display windows on two of the four sides of the box.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reference to the following descriptions and the appended drawings.

In accordance with a principal aspect of the invention there is provided a tapered gift box of the type disclosed and claimed in U.S. Pat. No. D 455,075, except that the bottom best seen in FIG. 3 has been removed. The box is combined with a tapered square cup which is perforated in the bottom to allow water to pass readily through the bottom into the interior of the cup, in which is disposed the bottoms of flower stems that are placed there through the top of the tapered box. The perforated cup is interlocked into the bottom of the tapered box in a position so that most of its height is exposed beneath the bottom edges of the sides of the tapered box. The exposed height is sufficient to keep the bottom edges of the sides of the tapered box above the water line in a bucket in which box and cup are placed. Interlocking of the perforated cup with the gift box is accomplished with four horizontal tabs placed on the lip of the four sides of the cup which are disposed within four slots cut into the four sides of the tapered gift box near its bottom. When a bouquet is picked up for purchase, the water in the perforated cup runs out into the bucket through the perforation, and the tapered box then becomes an attractive dry pack gift box in which the flowers are delivered to the recipient.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion taken in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the inventive apparatus showing the perforated cup interlocked into the bottom of the tapered gift box.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the inventive apparatus showing the display window on two of the four sides of the tapered gift box and two of the four cup tabs disposed within two of the four slots near the bottom of the tapered gift box.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged top perspective view of the perforated cup showing the four tabs on the lip of the cup. The bottom perforation is seen in phantom.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged broken perspective view of the bottom of the tapered gift box showing two of the four slots which receive the horizontal tabs of the cup when it is inserted into the bottom of the tapered box.

FIG. 5 is a reduced size side elevation view of a tub of water such as found in supermarkets containing the present invention assembled with flowers contained therein on display, being hydrated, keeping the tapered box dry, and with a competing bouquet of flowers just rubber banded together with no gift box.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

Reference is now made to the drawings, wherein like characteristics and features of the present invention shown in the various figures are designated by the same reference numerals.

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the inventive apparatus 10 showing the perforated cup 12 wedged into the bottom 14 of the tapered gift box 16. Tapered gift box 16 preferably includes a window 18 through which can be viewed flowers. Near the bottom 14 of tapered gift box 16 is slot 20 containing tab 22. It can be seen that the width of the tapered gift box 16 is greater at the top 24 than it is at the bottom 14.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the inventive apparatus showing the display window 18 which extends across two sides 26 and 28 of the tapered gift box 16. Two of the four tabs 22 can be seen in two of the four slots 20.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged top perspective view of the perforated cup 12. The perforated cup 12 is generally square in cross section and has substantially the same degree of taper as the tapered gift box 16. The head portion 30 has dimensions substantially identical to the dimensions of the interior of the bottom 14 of tapered gift box 16 where the perforated cup 12 is placed. At the top edges 32 of the cup 12 are tabs 22 which snap into the slots 20 (FIGS. 1, 2, and 4). The combination of the dimensioning of the head portion 30 and the four tabs 22 in slots 20 result in interlocking the perforated cup 12 with the tapered gift box 16. The portion of the perforated cup 12 below the head portion 30 is fluted with three flutes 34 per side for strength and rigidity of the perforated cup 12. The bottom of the cup 12 includes a perforation 36 with a relatively large diameter hole 36 shown in phantom. The perforation 36 is to admit water into the cup 12 when the inventive gift box is placed in a tub of water for product hydration and sales display. When the product is picked up for purchase, the water runs back out the perforation 36 and the tapered gift box 16 with interlocked perforated cup 12 then acts as a dry delivery means.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged broken perspective view of the bottom 14 of the tapered gift box 16 showing two of the four slots 20 which receive the horizontal tabs 22 (FIG. 3) of the perforated cup 12 when it is inserted into the bottom 14 of the tapered gift box 16.

FIG. 5 is a reduced size side elevation view of a tub of water 38 such as found in supermarkets containing the present invention 40 assembled with flowers contained therein on display, being hydrated with water 42, keeping the tapered box dry, and with a competing bouquet of flowers just rubber banded together 46 with no gift box.

While the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in various terms or certain embodiments or modifications which it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention is not intended to be, nor should it be deemed to be, limited thereby and such other modifications or embodiments as may be suggested by the teachings herein are particularly reserved especially as they fall within the breadth and scope of the claims later appended.