Title:
Article sleeve
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container has an article, such as a tray, and a sleeve wrapping the article. The sleeve has a first panel having an opening with a locking edge. A second panel of the sleeve has an interior cut line terminating at either end in a hinge line. The cut line has a section offset from the hinge line such that hinging the second panel about the hinge line extends a locking tab. The locking tab of the second panel locks to the locking edge of said first panel and an adhesive adheres an area of the second panel registered with the opening to the article.



Inventors:
Waldburger, Peter (Mississauga, CA)
Application Number:
11/433902
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
05/11/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DEMEREE, CHRISTOPHER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Miller Nash Graham & Dunn (Portland, OR, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A container, comprising: an article; a sleeve wrapping said article, said sleeve having: a first panel having an opening with a locking edge; a second panel having an interior cut line terminating at either end in a hinge line, said cut line having a section offset from said hinge line such that hinging said second panel about said hinge line extends a locking tab; said locking tab of said second panel locking to said locking edge of said first panel; an adhesive adhering an area of said second panel registered with said opening to said article.

2. The container of claim 1 wherein said area of said second panel is embossed, said embossed area extending into said opening.

3. The container of claim 2 wherein said opening is interior to said first panel.

4. The container of claim 2 wherein said first panel is hinged to a third panel of said sleeve along a first panel to third panel hinge line and wherein said locking edge is parallel to said first panel to third panel hinge line.

5. The container of claim 4 wherein said second panel hinge line is parallel to said first panel to third panel hinge line.

6. The container of claim 5 wherein said sleeve terminates at said first panel and at said second panel.

7. The container of claim 6 wherein said first panel opening is a first opening proximate one side of said sleeve and said second panel interior cut line is a first interior cut line proximate said one side of said sleeve and further comprising: a second first panel opening proximate an opposite side of said sleeve, said second opening having a second locking edge; a second second panel interior cut line proximate said opposite side of said sleeve, said second interior cut line terminating at either end in said second panel hinge line; said second cut line extending away from said second panel hinge line such that hinging said second panel about said second panel hinge line extends a second locking tab; said second locking tab locking to said second locking edge of said first panel; and an adhesive adhering an area of said second panel registered with said second opening to said article.

8. The container of claim 7 wherein said second panel hinge line extends from said one side to said opposite side of said sleeve.

9. The container of claim 8 wherein said article is a tray and said sleeve has a medial window overlying an open side of said tray.

10. The sleeve blank of claim 1 wherein said first panel locking edge bounds an end of said opening which is proximate a free end edge of said first panel and wherein said cut line section is offset from said axis of said hinge line is such that said hinge line is more proximate a free end edge of said second panel than said cut line section.

11. The sleeve blank of claim 10 further comprising a cut line extending from said free end edge of said second panel to said hinge line spaced from said area.

12. The sleeve blank of claim 2 wherein said embossed area is delimited by a line of perforation.

13. A sleeve blank comprising: a first end panel having at least one opening, said interior opening partially bounded by a first panel straight edge; a second end panel having at least one interior cut line having a straight edge section paralleling said first panel straight edge and laterally aligned with said first panel straight edge, ends of said cut line terminating in a second panel hinge line, said straight edge section being offset from an axis of said second panel hinge line; and at least one embossment in said second panel, each embossment laterally aligned with one of said at least one opening and longitudinally positioned such that when said sleeve blank is folded so that said second panel hinge line is substantially in line with said first panel straight edge, said each embossment overlies said one interior opening.

14. The sleeve blank of claim 13 wherein said first panel straight edge bounds an end of said opening which is proximate a free end edge of said first panel and wherein said straight edge section of said cut line is offset from said axis of said second hinge line such that said second hinge line is more proximate a free end edge of said second panel than said straight edge section of said cut line.

15. The sleeve blank of claim 14 further comprising a medial panel having a window therein.

16. The sleeve blank of claim 15 further comprising a first intermediate panel hinged between said medial panel and said first end panel and a second intermediate panel hinged between said medial panel and said second end panel.

17. The sleeve blank of claim 14 wherein said at least one interior opening comprises a pair of interior openings and wherein said at least one interior cut line comprises a pair of interior cut lines and said at least one embossment comprises a pair of embossments.

18. The sleeve blank of claim 17 further comprising a cut line extending from said free end edge of said second panel to said second hinge line spaced between said pair of embossments.

19. The sleeve blank of claim 18 further comprising a line of perforation bounding each embossment of said pair of embossments.

20. The sleeve blank of claim 13 further comprising a line of perforation bounding each of said at least one embossment.

Description:

BACKGROUND

This invention relates to a container and to a sleeve that forms part of the container.

It is known to package food stuffs (e.g., vacuum packed food stuffs) in a tray wrapped by a sleeve. A drawback with this type of container is the risk of an unscrupulous or mischievous shopper switching sleeves between containers. The tray and cover arrangement of U.S. Pat. No. 4,531,669 to Osborne avoids this problem by providing locking flaps which lock the tray within the cover. Removable tabs may be provided in the cover to expose the locking flaps so that they may be rendered ineffective in order to open the container. However, this effectively destroys the cover.

This invention seeks to provide an improved container of the type having a sleeve.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

A container has an article, such as a tray, and a sleeve wrapping the article. The sleeve has a first panel having an opening with a locking edge. A second panel of the sleeve has an interior cut line terminating at either end in a hinge line. The cut line has a section offset from the hinge line such that hinging the second panel about the hinge line extends a locking tab. The locking tab of the second panel locks to the locking edge of said first panel and an adhesive adheres an area of the second panel registered with the opening to the article.

According to the present invention, there is provided a container, comprising: an article; a sleeve wrapping said article, said sleeve having: a first panel having an opening with a locking edge; a second panel having an interior cut line terminating at either end in a hinge line, said cut line having a section offset from said hinge line such that hinging said second panel about said hinge line extends a locking tab; said locking tab of said second panel locking to said locking edge of said first panel; an adhesive adhering an area of said second panel registered with said opening to said article.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a sleeve blank comprising: a first end panel having at least one opening, said interior opening partially bounded by a first panel straight edge; a second end panel having at least one interior cut line having a straight edge section paralleling said first panel straight edge and laterally aligned with said first panel straight edge, ends of said cut line terminating in a second panel hinge line, said straight edge section being offset from an axis of said second panel hinge line; and at least one embossment in said second panel, each embossment laterally aligned with one of said at least one opening and longitudinally positioned such that when said sleeve blank is folded so that said second panel hinge line is substantially in line with said first panel straight edge, said each embossment overlies said one interior opening.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the figures which disclose an example embodiment of the invention,

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a container made in accordance with this invention,

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the container of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the sleeve of the container of FIG. 1,

FIG. 5 illustrates assembly of the container of FIG. 1,

FIG. 6 illustrates disassembly of the container of FIG. 1, and

FIG. 7 illustrates disassembly of a container in accordance with another embodiment of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Turning to FIGS. 1 to 3, a container 10 comprises a tray 12 and a sleeve 14. With reference to FIG. 4, which illustrates a sleeve blank 94, along with FIGS. 1 to 3, the sleeve 14 may be a serial arrangement of panels, namely, first end panel 20, first intermediate panel 24, medial panel 30, second intermediate panel 34, and second end panel 40. The first intermediate panel 24 is hinged between the first end panel 20 and the medial panel 30 by hinge lines 26 and 28, respectively. The second intermediate panel 34 is hinged between the second end panel 40 and the medial panel 30 by hinge lines 36 and 38, respectively.

The first end panel 20 has a pair of identical interior openings 50a, 50b, each equidistant from free end 52 of the first end panel 20. The bound of each opening 50a, 50b most proximate free end 52 of panel 20 comprises a locking edge 54a, 54b that parallels free end 52.

The second end panel 40 has a pair of identical interior cut lines 60a, 60b terminating at either end in a hinge line 64 which parallels free end 62 of second panel 40. Each cut line extends away from the hinge axis 66 of hinge line 64 and has a straight line section 68a, 68b offset from hinge axis 66 of hinge line 64. In consequence, hinge line 64 is more proximate to the second panel free end 62 than are the straight line sections 68a, 68b. With this arrangement, as best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, hinging the second panel 40 about hinge line 64 extends locking tabs 70a, 70b. The straight line sections 68a, 68b are laterally aligned with the locking edges 54a, 54b, respectively, of the first panel 20.

The second end panel 40 has a pair of oval embossments 80a, 80b laterally aligned with the openings 50a, 50b, respectively, of the first panel 20 and positioned between the interior cut lines 60a, 60b of the second panel 40 and the free edge 62 of the second panel 40. The longitudinal distance between the wall of the embossments 80a, 80b closest to free edge 62 of panel 40 and hinge line 64 is approximately equal to the longitudinal distance between locking edges 54a, 54b and the inner bound of openings 50a, 50b.

A cut line 88 extends from the free edge 62 of panel 40 to hinge line 64 between the embossments 80a, 80b. This forms two panels 90a, 90b at the end of panel 40, with one embossment 80a, 80b extending in each panel.

Hinge lines 26 and 36 have cut outs 72 to facilitate their hinging. Medial panel 30 is provided with a window 74 to allow viewing of the contents of tray 12.

Sleeve 14 may be wrapped about tray 12 from sleeve blank 94 as follows. The sleeve blank may be folded around the tray so that end panel 20 is folded against the bottom of the tray before end panel 40 and so that medial panel 30 overlies the open top of the tray. Next, adhesive 96 may be applied to both of the embossments 80a, 80b and/or to the tray 12 through openings 50a, 50b. Then, with reference to FIG. 5, flaps 90a, 90b may be folded about hinge line 64 to extend locking tabs 70a, 70b and panel 40 may be folded under the tray so that the locking tabs enter openings 50a, 50b and underlie locking edges 54a, 54b, respectively. Now the flaps may be flattened out which further inserts the locking tabs underneath the locking edges and, because of the longitudinal distance between the embossments and hinge line 64, registers the embossments with the openings 50a, 50b. Consequently, the embossments 80a, 80b may be pressed against the tray 12 through openings 50a, 50b whereupon the adhesive holds the flaps 90a, 90b against the tray 12.

In the result, the end panels 20, 40 of sleeve 14 are held together by a primary lock, namely the locking tabs 70a, 70b inserted under the locking edges 54a, 54b. This primary locking arrangement remains in a locking condition while flaps 90a, 90b are flat against the sleeve. Thus, the glued down embossments act as a secondary lock which maintains the primary lock.

Notably, the sleeve 14 cannot be removed from the tray while the embossments are glued to the tray. Further, visual inspection of the container 10 can indicate to the inspector whether the integrity of the container has been disturbed.

In order to open the container 10, as shown in FIG. 6, a user may grasp flap 90a and pull it away from the tray in order to overcome the adhesive bond between embossment 80a and tray 12. In a similar manner, a user may free embossment 90b from the tray. Once both embossments have been freed from the tray, the sleeve is free to slide off the tray. Additionally, if desired, flaps 90a and 90b may now be bent away from the remainder of the sleeve to withdraw locking tabs 70a, 70b from underneath their respective locking edges 54a, 54b such that the sleeve is free to be unfolded into a sleeve blank.

Turning to FIG. 7, in another embodiment, the embossments 180a, 180b are delimited by a line of perforation 192a, 192b, respectively. With this embodiment, when a user grasps flap 190a and pulls it away from the tray, the line of perforation 192a may give way. This separates the embossment 180a from the remainder of the flap 190a and thereby frees this remainder of the flap from sleeve panel 20 while leaving the embossment 180a adhesively attached to panel 20. In the same way, by pulling on flap 190b, line of perforation 192b may give way to free (all but the embossment on flap 190b from sleeve panel 20. Thereafter, the sleeve is free to slide of the tray or be unfolded.

Numerous additional modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, locking edges 54a, 54b need not be straight. They could be, for example, arcuate. Additionally, these locking edges need not parallel to the free end of first panel 20 but could have an alternative orientation, provided the locking tabs had a corresponding orientation. Also, there is no requirement that the locking edges (or openings 50a, 50b) be identical, it is only required that they be configured so as to form a lock with their respective locking tab of panel 40. As a further option, the locking edges could be at a bound of openings 50a, 50b which is most remote from free edge 52 of panel 20 if the locking tabs were oppositely oriented: that is, if the straight line sections 68a, 68b of the interior cut lines were between hinge line 64 and free edge 62 of panel 20. In this instance, it would also be possible for openings 50a, 50b to extend to the free edge 52 of panel 20 and (so not be interior openings). While two primary and secondary locks have been described, their number depends upon the dimensions of the article wrapped by the sleeve. For example, a narrow tray may require only one primary and second lock arrangement. Furthermore, while the sleeve has been described as wrapping a tray, it may be used with other articles, such as to wrap a pair of gable-topped cartons.

Therefore, the scope of the invention is defined by the claims.