Title:
Display and packing system for flora
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system is presented for packing and displaying flora, which includes a display for supporting the flora on multiple levels, and a receptacle in which the display and flora may be contained for storage and/or shipment. The display may include a side frame, top frames and holders for supporting the flora. The display may also include a header. The system may be disassembled into a side frame, holders, top frames and header to be contained with the flora in the receptacle. A method for displaying flora is presented, which includes removing a display and the flora from a receptacle, and arranging the display to support the flora on the multiple levels. Further, method for packing flora is presented, which includes disassembling a display with multiple levels into a side frame, holders, and top frames, and placing them along with the flora into a receptacle.



Inventors:
Torres, Joanne (Mission Viejo, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/455584
Publication Date:
01/25/2007
Filing Date:
06/19/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D5/52
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STEPHENS III, JOSE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLP (Chi) (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A system for packing and displaying flora comprising: a display including a plurality of levels configured to support the flora; and a receptacle configured to contain the display and the flora.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the display further includes a plurality of holders configured to support the flora.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein the plurality of levels include a plurality of top frames configured to support the plurality of holders.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the display further includes a side frame configured to define the plurality of levels.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the side frame includes a bottom.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein the display includes a header.

7. A system for packing and displaying flora comprising: a display including a plurality of levels configured to support the flora, wherein the display is configured to disassemble into a side frame, a plurality of holders, and a plurality of top frames; and a receptacle configured to contain the side frame, plurality of holders, plurality of top frames and the flora.

8. A method for displaying flora comprising: removing the flora and a display configured to provide a plurality of levels from a receptacle; and arranging the display to support the flora on the plurality of levels.

9. A method for packing flora comprising: disassembling a display including a plurality of levels configured to support the flora into a side frame, a plurality of holders, and a plurality of top frames; and placing the side frame, plurality of holders, plurality of top frames and the flora into a receptacle.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/691,462, filed Jun. 17, 2005, and entitled “Display and Shipping System for Flora,” which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

To display flora, such as flowers, many supermarkets have built in displays or coolers in which flowers can be stored. However, in many cases, plastic buckets placed on cubes or on the floor are used to display the flowers. In some cases, the boxes in which the flowers are shipped are used as disposable displays. The boxes only hold one container of flowers. In addition, the box in which the flowers are shipped makes an undesirable flower display because the box will have a shipping label and will be dirty from the shipping process. Further, when a relatively small number of flowers is displayed, the box tends to tip over.

SUMMARY

A system is presented for packing and displaying flora. The system generally includes a display that supports the flora, such as flowers, on multiple levels, and a receptacle in which the display and flora may be contained for storage and/or shipment. For example, the display may be used in many locations, such as on the floor and/or near register aisles of a store. The display may include a side frame, which may include a bottom, and multiple top frames that together with the side frame, create the levels on which the flora may be displayed. The levels enable more of the flora to be viewed simultaneously. The display may also includes a holders for supporting the flora on the top frames or within orifices in the top frames. In addition, the display may include a header that attaches to the side frame and may include a message and/or decoration. The system may be disassembled into the side frame, holders, top frames and, in some cases, a header in order to be contained with the flora in the receptacle. In general, the system may provide a display that is visually appealing, easily assembled and disassembled and/or disposable.

A method for displaying flora is presented, which includes removing flora and a display that provides multiple levels from a receptacle, and arranging the display to support the flora on the multiple levels. In addition, a method for packing flora is presented, which includes disassembling a display with multiple levels into a side frame, holders, and top frames, and placing the side frame, holders, top frames and the flora into a receptacle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings and description. The components in the figures are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention. Moreover, in the figures, like referenced numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the different views.

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a display and packing system for flora assembled for displaying cut flowers;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a step display displaying cut flowers;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the display and packing system for flora of FIG. 1 assembled for packing of cut flowers;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a step display frame;

FIG. 5 a top unassembled view of a side frame;

FIG. 6A is an isometric view of a side frame;

FIG. 6B is a side view of the side frame of FIG. 5;

FIG. 6C is a top view of the side frame of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7A is a top isometric view of a top frame;

FIG. 7B is an unassembled top view of the top frame of FIG. 6A;

FIG. 7C is a bottom isometric view of the top frame of FIG. 6A;

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a holder;

FIG. 9 is a diagram of an unassembled packing receptacle;

FIG. 10 is a diagram of a header; and

FIG. 11 is a step-by-step illustration of an unpacking of the display and packing system for flora holding cut flowers and the assembly of a step display contained therein for displaying the cut flowers.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

An example of a display and packing system for flora is shown in FIG. 1. The display and packing system 100 generally includes a step display 104 and a packing receptacle 102. The step display 104 enables the display of flora 216 on multiple levels and may be disassembled and inserted into the packing receptacle 102 to contain the flora 216 for storage or movement, such as shipping. FIG. 2 shows an example of a step display 904 used to display cut flowers 916 on two levels. The step display 904 may include a side frame 906, one or more top frames 908, one or more receptacles 910 (only one is visible), and may include a header 912. Although some of the examples of the display and packing system shown throughout this document are described and illustrated as displaying or packing cut flowers, the display and packing systems may display and store most types of flora. Further, the display and packing systems do not necessarily include the flora that they display.

As shown in FIG. 3, the display and packing system for flora 100 may be configured to store the step display 104 and/or flora 216 in the packing receptacle 102. Packing the step display 104 and/or the flora 216 in the packing receptacle 102 protects the packing receptacle 102 and/or the flora 216 against damage so that they may be stored. For example, the step display 104 and/or the flora 216 may be stored in the packing receptacle 102 so that the step display 104 and/or the flora 216 may be moved, for example shipped, to another location. To store the step display 104 and the flora 216 in the packing receptacle 102, the step display 104 may be disassembled and inserted into the packing receptacle 102 along with the flora 216. In general, the top frames 108 and the header 112 are removed from the side frame 106 of the step display 104. The side frame 106 may be partially disassembled and inserted into the packing receptacle 102 so as to contact the bottom and at least some of the sides of the packing receptacle 102. The header 112 may be inserted into the packing receptacle 102 between the side frame 106 and the side of the packing receptacle 102, as shown in FIG. 3, or against the inward-facing surface of the partially disassembled side frame 106. The holders 110 (in this example, there are two holders) may be placed within the packing receptacle 102 and the side frame 106. The flora 216 may be placed in the holders 110 before of after the holders 110 are placed within the packing receptacle 102. The tops of the flora 216 may protrude from the tops of the holders 108. In addition, water or other fluid may be placed in the holder 108 to provide nourishment to the flora 216 so that the flora 216 stays fresh during packing and/or display. Further, the holders 108 and/or the flora 216 may be encased by a plastic or other water tight material 218 to prevent any fluid in the holders 110 from, for example, spilling, splashing or leaking. However, the water tight material 218 may not totally cover the flowers. In contrast, the water tight material 218 may be sealed at the top to cover the flora 216.

An example of a side frame 306, two top frames 308, and a header 312 are shown in FIG. 4. These components 306, 308, 312 are assembled for displaying flora. The side frame 306 generally includes two or more levels or “steps” 320, 322 on which the top frames 308 are located. The flora may be displayed in holders (not shown) placed on or in the top frames 308. The header 312 may be attached to the back of the side frame 306 using, for example tabs, pins and/or Velcro®. The header 312 may be used to provide information and/or decoration.

The side frame 306 may be made from any suitable material. For example the side frame 306 may be made from a lightweight, foldable material such as cardboard. In general, the side frame 306 may be assembled from a single piece of material, as shown in FIG. 5. In the example of FIG. 5, a single piece of cardboard (although other materials may be used) has been cut so that it may be folded to form the side frame 306 as shown in FIGS. 6A-6C. Panels 442, 446, 444, and 448 may be folded to form the bottom of the side frame 306 as shown in FIG. 6C. Panels 446 and 448 may each include a hole 447, 449, respectively, which may provide drainage in the event fluid in the holders spills into the side frame 306 when a step display, such as that shown in FIG. 2, is supporting one or more holders 710 (FIG. 8) containing fluid. Panels 436, 432, 430 and 434 may be folded to form the sides of the side frame 306, with panel 430 forming the front of the lower level 320, and panels 452 and 432 forming a first side, as shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B. In addition, panels 434 and 454 form a second side, and panels 436 and 456 form the back of the side frame 306.

Panel 434 may include a flap 435 that may be folded and attached to the edge 437 of panels 436 and 456 to form the basic shape of the side frame 306 (FIG. 6C). Tab 435 and edge 437 may be attached using, for example, glue, staples, Velcro® and tape. Panels 450 and 451 may each include a detached or perforated edge 458 and 459, respectively, so that the panels 450 and 451 are detached or detachable from panels 432 and 434, respectively. Panels 450 and 451 may fold inward in an overlapping manner to form the front of the upper level 322. Panels 450 and 451 may include a hole 466 and a pair of tabs 464, respectively. When the side frame 306 is folded into its basic shape, the tabs 464 may be inserted into the hole 466 and folded to releasably connect the panels 450 and 451 together.

Panels 432 and 434 may include slots 460 and 462, respectively. Slots 460 and 462 provide a space into which one of the top frames 308 (FIG. 4) may fit. A slot 480 may be included between panels 452 and 456 to provide a space into which one of the top frames 308 (FIG. 4) may fit, as shown in FIG. 6A. A second such slot 481, shown in FIG. 6C, may be formed between panels 454 and 456 when these panels are attached via tab 435 and edge 437. Panel 456 may include holes 474 and 475. These holes 474, 475 may be used to attach the header 312 (FIG. 4) to the side frame 306. Additional holes, such as 468, 470 and 472, may be included in various panels to, for example, provide a space by which the side frame 306 may be lifted.

The top frame 308 of FIG. 4 is shown in more detail in FIGS. 7A, 7B, and 7C. The top frame 308 may include a hole 620 in which a holder, such as that shown in FIG. 8, may be supported. The hole 620 may be of any shape and size that is compatible with the shape and size of the holder that the top frame 308 may support. The top frame 308 may include one or more sides for enabling the top frame 308 to be removably connected with a side frame. For example, the top frame shown in FIGS. 7A-7C includes four sides, including a first pair of sides 622 and a second pair of sides 624. One or more of these sides may fit into one or more grooves (460, 462, 480, 481 in FIGS. 5 and 6A-6C) in the side frame 306 (FIGS. 6A-6C). Like the side frame, the top frame 308 may be made from any suitable material. For example the top frame 308 may be made from a lightweight, foldable material such as cardboard. In general, the top frame 308 may be assembled from a single piece of material, as shown in FIG. 7B. In the example shown in FIG. 7B, a single piece of cardboard (although other materials may be used) has been cut so that it may be folded to form the side frame 308 as shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B. The unassembled top frame 308, shown in FIG. 7B, may include a first pair of flaps 634 that includes tabs 633 and a second pair of flaps 630 that include arms 631. The first and second pairs of flaps 634 and 630, respectively, may be folded to form the first pair of sides 622 and the second pair of sides 630, respectively. In general, the second pair of flaps 630 may be folded inward and the arms 631 folded to be about parallel with the first pair of flaps 631. The first pair of flaps 631 may be folded inward and over arms 631. The tabs 633 may be inserted into slots 628 in the holder 308 to secure the first and second pairs of flaps 634, 630, respectively.

An example of a holder is shown in FIG. 8. The holder 710 may include a bucket or other vessel of any shape that may be supported within the hole 620 in the top frame 308 (FIG. 7A). The holder 710 may include a rim or lip 712 on any part of its outer surface. This rim 712 may rest on the surface of a top frame, while allowing some portion of the holder 710 to fit within a hole 620 in the top frame 308. Alternatively, the holder 710 may include tabs, arms, spikes or other protrusions in place of or in addition to the rim 712.

The packing receptacle 102 of FIG. 1 is shown in more detail in FIG. 9. The dimensions of the packing receptacle 102 may include any dimensions suitable for containing a step display and flora. The packing receptacle 102 may be made from any suitable material. For example the packing receptacle 102 may be made from a lightweight, foldable material such as cardboard. In general, the packing receptacle 102 may be assembled from a single piece of material, as shown in FIG. 9. A single piece of cardboard (although other materials may be used) may be cut so that it may be folded to form a packing receptacle 102, such as that shown in FIG. 1. The packing receptacle 102 may include bottom panels 820, 822, 824, 826 that form the bottom of the packing receptacle 102, side panels 810, 812, 814, 816 that form the sides of the packing receptacle 102, and top panels 830, 832, 834, 836 that form the top of the packing receptacle 102. Side panel 810 may include a side flap 818 that attaches to the side panel 816 to form the basic shape of the packing receptacle 102. The packing receptacle 102 may include one or more holes 802, in any number and/or configuration. These holes allow oxygen to reach the flora stored within. The packing receptacle 102 may include one or more slots 804 that allow the packing receptacle 102 to be lifted and/or handled.

As shown in FIG. 4, the step display 306 may include a header 312. The header 312 may provide decoration, information and/or other expressions. As shown in FIG. 10, one or more headers 1012, 1013 may be produced from a single piece of material. In the example of FIG. 10, a single piece of cardboard has been cut to form the header 1012. The dimensions of headers 1012, 1013 may include any dimensions suitable for attaching one of the headers 1012, 1013 to a side frame. The headers 1012, 1013 may be made from any suitable material. For example the headers 1012, 1013 may be made from a lightweight, foldable material such as cardboard. A header, for example header 1012 may include one or more slots 1050 for mounting the header 1012 on a side frame 306. For example, the slots 1050 may fit into slots 480 and 481 in side frame 306 as shown in FIGS. 6A-6C. Referring to FIG. 10, the header 1012 may include one or more tabs 1052 for attaching the header 1012 to a side frame 306. For example, tabs 1052 may fit through and around holes 474 and 475 in side frame 306 shown in FIG. 6C.

FIG. 11 shows an example of a manner by which the disassembled components of a step display 1106, 1108, 1110, 1112 and flora may be removed from a packing receptacle 1102 and assembled. A step display and flora may be included in the packing receptacle 1102, for example in the manner previously discussed in connection with FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 11, the side frame 1106 may be partially assembled in the packing receptacle 1102, as shown in steps 3 and 4. Holes in the side frame 1106 may align with those of the packing receptacle 1102 to allow oxygen to reach the flora stored within. After the packing receptacle 1102 is opened (step 1) and the contents are removed (steps 2, 3 and 4), the side frame 1106 may be assembled (step 5). The header 1112 and the top frames 1108 may be attached to the side frame 1106 (steps 7 and 8, respectively). The holders 1110, which may be holding the flora, may be placed in the step display (steps 9 and 10). If the flora and holders are wrapped in a water tight material, the material may be removed at any time (see step 4 for an example). The steps in FIG. 11 are shown in an exemplary order. The steps may be performed in numerous other orders.

While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of the invention. For example, the packing and display system and its components may come in any variety of shapes and sizes. In another example, the display may have any number of levels for displaying various numbers and types of flora and other items in a variety of holders. In addition, there are numerous ways in which the components may be produced and assembled and there are numerous materials and combinations of material that may be used. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims and their equivalents.