Title:
Rigid Package Of Tobacco Articles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rigid package of tobacco articles, having two first containers, each housing a group of tobacco articles and housed inside a second container so as to slide with respect to the second container between a closed position, in which the first container is fully inserted inside the second container, and an open position, in which part of the first container projects from the second container.



Inventors:
Ghini, Marco (Monte San Pietro, IT)
Polloni, Roberto (Modigliana, IT)
Negrini, Stefano (Calderara Di Reno, IT)
Application Number:
10/592328
Publication Date:
12/06/2007
Filing Date:
03/10/2005
Assignee:
G.D Societa'Per Azioni (Bologna, IT)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/10; B65D5/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JENINE MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARSHALL, GERSTEIN & BORUN LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A rigid package of tobacco articles, the package (1) comprising: a first container (2) housing a group (3) of tobacco articles; and a second container (4) housing the first container (2), so that the first container (2) slides with respect to the second container (4) between a closed position, in which the first container (2) is fully inserted inside the second container (4), and an open position, in which part of the first container (2) projects from the second container (4); the package (1) is characterized by comprising at least two first containers (2), each of which houses a respective group (3) of tobacco articles, and is housed slidably inside the second container (4); each first container (2) is substantially parallelepiped-shaped, and comprises two, respectively bottom and top, end walls (13, 14), and a lateral surface (15) bounded by the end walls (13, 14) and defined by lateral walls (16, 17) separated from one another by longitudinal edges (18); the lateral surface (15) of each first container (2) comprising two opposite, parallel major lateral walls (16), and two opposite, parallel minor lateral walls (17) separated from the major lateral walls (16) by four longitudinal edges (18); the top end wall (14) of each first container (2) having an open portion (20) permitting withdrawal of the tobacco articles from the first container (2) when the first container (2) is in the open position; stop means (22, 23) are provided to limit slide of the first containers (2) with respect to the second container (4), and so prevent detachment of the first containers (2) from the second container (4); the stop means (22, 23) comprise at least one pair of first tabs (22), each projecting from a major lateral wall (16) of a respective first container (2) and outwards of the first container (2); and at least one pair of second tabs (23), each projecting from a major lateral wall (8) of the second container (4) and inwards of the second container (4), and each located close to the open end (11) of the second container (4); the first and second tabs (22, 23) being so positioned that a first tab (22) engages a corresponding second tab (23) as a first container (2) slides out of the second container (4); each first container (2) has a pair of first tabs (22) located symmetrically on the major lateral walls (16) of the first container (2), so that the two first containers (2) are identical.

2. A package as claimed in claim 1, wherein the second container (4) is substantially parallelepiped-shaped, and comprises two, respectively bottom and top, end walls (5, 6), and a lateral surface (7) bounded by the end walls (5, 6) and defined by lateral walls (8, 9) separated from one another by longitudinal edges (10); the lateral surface (7) of the second container (4) comprising two opposite, parallel major lateral walls (8), and a minor lateral wall (9) separated from the major lateral walls (8) by two longitudinal edges (10); an open end (11) being provided opposite the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4) to permit passage of the first containers (2).

3. A package as claimed in claim 2 wherein the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4) has at least one through push hole (21) sized to permit insertion of a user's finger.

4. A package as claimed in claim 3, wherein the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4) has two through push holes (21).

5. A package as claimed in claim 4, wherein each push hole (21) extends on both the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4) and on a major lateral wall (8) of the second container (4).

6. A package as claimed in claim 5, wherein the portion of each push hole (21) on the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4) is semicircular; the portion of each push hole (21) on the major lateral wall (8) of the second container (4) being rectangular and terminating with a semicircular portion.

7. A package as claimed in claim 4, wherein each push hole (21) extends over a limited portion of the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4), so as to only expose a portion of a minor lateral wall (17) of one respective first container (2).

8. A package as claimed in claims 4, wherein the two push holes (21) are not aligned with each other.

9. A package as claimed in claim 4, wherein at least one push hole (21) is at least partly covered by a tear-off tab.

10. A package as claimed in claim 4, wherein the push holes (21) are at least partly covered by respective tear-off tabs.

11. A package as claimed in claim 2, wherein each major lateral wall (8) of the second container (4) has a recess close to the open end (11).

12. A package as claimed in claim 2, wherein the four longitudinal edges (18) of the first container (2) and the two longitudinal edges (10) of the second container (4) are non-square, rounded or bevelled edges.

13. A package as claimed in claim 2, wherein the two longitudinal edges (10) of the second container (4), and the two longitudinal edges (18) of the first container (2) facing the two longitudinal edges (10) of the second container (4), are non-square, rounded or bevelled edges.

14. A package as claimed in claim 2, wherein the four transverse edges (19) of the first container (2) defined between the end walls (13, 14) and the major lateral walls (16), and the four transverse edges (12) of the second container (4) defined between the end walls (5, 6) and the major lateral walls (8), are non-square, rounded or bevelled edges.

15. A package as claimed in claim 2, wherein each major lateral wall (16) of the first containers (2) has an outwardly convex profile, is connected to each relative minor lateral wall (17) along a respective sharp longitudinal edge (18), and subtends with each relative minor lateral wall (17) a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle; each major lateral wall (8) of the second container (4) has an outwardly convex half-profile, is connected to the minor lateral wall (9) along a respective sharp longitudinal edge (10), and subtends with the minor lateral wall (9) a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle.

16. A package as claimed in claim 2, wherein each major lateral wall (16) of the first containers (2) has an outwardly convex profile, is connected to each end wall (13, 14) along a respective sharp transverse edge (19), and subtends with each end wall (13, 14) a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle; each major lateral wall (8) of the second container (4) has an outwardly convex profile, is connected to each end wall (5, 6) along a respective sharp transverse edge (12), and subtends with each end wall (5, 6) a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle.

17. A package as claimed in claim 2, wherein the second container (4) is formed from a second flat blank (27) having two transverse fold lines (28), and a number of longitudinal fold lines (29) defining, between the two transverse fold lines (28), a first panel (8′) defining one major lateral wall (8), a second panel (9′) defining the minor lateral wall (9), and a third panel (8″) defining the other major lateral wall (8); the first panel (8′) having two first wings (5′, 6′), which are located at opposite ends of the first panel (8′), are separated from the first panel (8′) by the transverse fold lines (28), and define inner portions of the ends walls (5, 6); the second panel (9′) having two second wings (5″, 6″), which are located at opposite ends of the second panel (9′), are separated from the second panel (9′) by the transverse fold lines (28), and define inner portions of the end walls (5, 6); and the third panel (8″) having two third wings (5′″, 6′″), which are located at opposite ends of the third panel (8″), are separated from the third panel (8″) by the transverse fold lines (28), and define outer portions of the end walls (5, 6).

18. A package as claimed in claim 17, wherein the first and second wings (5′, 6′, 5″, 6″) are shaped so as not to be superimposed when folded onto the third wings (5′″, 6′″) to define the end walls (5, 6) of the second container (4).

19. A package as claimed in claim 1, wherein each first container (2) is formed from a first flat blank (24) having two longitudinal fold lines (25), and a number of transverse fold lines (26) defining, between the longitudinal fold lines (25), a first panel (14′) defining part of the top end wall (14), a second panel (16′) defining one major lateral wall (16), a third panel (13′) defining the bottom end wall (13), a fourth panel (16″) defining the other major lateral wall (16), and a fifth panel (14″) defining part of the top end wall (14); the second panel (16′) having two first wings (17′), which are located on opposite sides of the second panel (16′), are separated from the second panel (16′) by the longitudinal fold lines (25), and define part of the minor lateral walls (17); and the fourth panel (16″) having two second wings (17″), which are located on opposite sides of the fourth panel (16″), are separated from the fourth panel (16″) by the longitudinal fold lines (25), and define part of the minor lateral walls (17).

20. A package as claimed in claim 1, wherein the two first containers (2) contain identical respective groups (3) of cigarettes.

21. A package as claimed in claim 1, wherein the two first containers (2) contain different respective groups (3) of cigarettes.

22. A rigid package of tobacco articles, the package (1) comprising: a first container (2) housing a group (3) of tobacco articles; and a second container (4) housing the first container (2), so that the first container (2) slides with respect to the second container (4) between a closed position, in which the first container (2) is fully inserted inside the second container (4), and an open position, in which part of the first container (2) projects from the second container (4); the package (1) is characterized by comprising at least two first containers (2), each of which houses a respective group (3) of tobacco articles, and is housed slidably inside the second container (4); the second container (4) is substantially parallelepiped-shaped, and comprises two, respectively bottom and top, end walls (5, 6), and a lateral surface (7) bounded by the end walls (5, 6) and defined by lateral walls (8, 9) separated from one another by longitudinal edges (10); the lateral surface (7) of the second container (4) comprising two opposite, parallel major lateral walls (8), and a minor lateral wall (9) separated from the major lateral walls (8) by two longitudinal edges (10); an open end (11) being provided opposite the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4) to permit passage of the first containers (2); the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4) has two through push holes (21), each of which is sized to permit insertion of a user's finger and extends on both the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4) and on a major lateral wall (8) of the second container (4).

23. A package as claimed in claim 22, wherein the portion of each push hole (21) on the minor lateral wall (9) of the second container (4) is semicircular; the portion of each push hole (21) on the major lateral wall (8) of the second container (4) being rectangular and terminating with a semicircular portion.

24. A package as claimed in claim 22, wherein the two push holes (21) are not aligned with each other.

25. A package as claimed in claim 22, wherein at least one push hole (21) is at least partly covered by a tear-off tab.

26. A package as claimed in claim 22, wherein the push holes (21) are at least partly covered by respective tear-off tabs.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a rigid package of tobacco articles.

The present invention may be used to particular advantage in a rigid packet of cigarettes, to which the following description refers purely by way of example.

BACKGROUND ART

Rigid, slide-open packets of cigarettes are known of the type described in Patent Application FR-2499947-A3, U.S. Pat. No. 4,534,463 A1, or U.S. Pat. No. 5,080,227 A1. A rigid, slide-open packet of cigarettes comprises a first container, which contains a group of cigarettes wrapped in a sheet of foil, and is housed inside a second container so as to slide, with respect to the second container, between a closed position, in which the first container is fully inserted inside the second container, and an open position, in which part of the first container projects from the second container.

Rigid, slide-open packets of cigarettes of the type described above are marketed, by being relatively easy to produce and popular with smokers, but have been found to be mechanically fragile when of larger than normal size to contain a large number of (normally over 25) cigarettes. Moreover, when a slide-open packet for a large number of cigarettes is almost empty, the last cigarettes, given the amount of space inside the packet, tend to topple over and are therefore difficult to extract.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a rigid package of tobacco articles, designed to eliminate the aforementioned drawbacks, and which, in particular, is cheap and easy to produce.

According to the present invention, there is provided a rigid package of tobacco articles, as claimed in claim 1 or in any one of the following claims depending directly or indirectly on claim 1.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A number of non-limiting embodiments of the present invention will be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a front view in perspective of a preferred embodiment of a rigid packet of cigarettes in accordance with the present invention and in a closed configuration;

FIG. 2 shows a front view in perspective of the FIG. 1 rigid packet of cigarettes in a partly-open configuration;

FIG. 3 shows an exploded view in perspective, with parts removed for clarity, of the FIG. 1 rigid packet of cigarettes;

FIG. 4 shows a plan view of a blank by which to form an inner container of the rigid packet of cigarettes in FIGS. 1-3;

FIG. 5 shows a plan view of a blank by which to form an outer container of the rigid packet of cigarettes in FIGS. 1-3;

FIGS. 6-10 show front views in perspective of further embodiments of a rigid packet of cigarettes in accordance with the present invention and in a partly-open configuration.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Number 1 in the accompanying drawings indicates as a whole a rigid packet of cigarettes comprising two containers 2, each containing a group 3 of cigarettes wrapped in a sheet of foil; and a single container 4 housing containers 2, so that each container 2 slides with respect to container 4 between a closed position (FIG. 1) in which container 2 is fully inserted inside container 4, and an open position (FIG. 2) in which part of container 2 projects from container 4. It should be pointed out that the two containers 2 slide independently with respect to container 4, so that either one or both of containers 2 may be in the open position (FIG. 2).

By way of example, each group 3 of cigarettes comprises 12 to 20 cigarettes normally arranged in two parallel rows, so that packet 1 contains a total of 24 to 40 cigarettes.

As shown in FIG. 3, container 4 is parallelepiped-shaped, and comprises a bottom end wall 5, a top end wall 6, and a lateral surface 7 bounded by end walls 5 and 6. Lateral surface 7 is defined by two opposite, parallel major lateral walls 8; by a minor lateral wall 9 separated from major lateral walls 8 by two longitudinal edges 10; and by an open end 11 opposite minor lateral wall 9 and enabling passage of containers 2 between said closed position (FIG. 1) and said open position (FIG. 2). Lateral walls 8 and 9 of container 4 are separated from end walls 5 and 6 by transverse edges 12, which comprise major transverse edges 12 located between major lateral walls 8 and end walls 5 and 6, and minor transverse edges 12.

Each container 2 is parallelepiped-shaped, and comprises a bottom end wall 13, a top end wall 14, and a lateral surface 15 bounded by end walls 13 and 14. Lateral surface 15 is defined by two opposite, parallel major lateral walls 16, and by two opposite, parallel minor lateral walls 17 separated from major lateral walls 16 by four longitudinal edges 18. Lateral walls 16 and 17 of container 2 are separated from end walls 13 and 14 by eight transverse edges 19, which comprise four major transverse edges 19 located between major lateral walls 16 and end walls 13 and 14, and four minor transverse edges 19 located between minor lateral walls 17 and end walls 13 and 14.

Top end wall 14 of container 2 has an open portion 20, which also extends over part of major lateral walls 16 to permit withdrawal of the cigarettes from container 2 when container 2 is in said open position (FIG. 2).

Obviously, when a container 2 is in said closed position (FIG. 1), a major lateral wall 8 of container 4 faces and is aligned with a corresponding major lateral wall 16 of container 2, and minor lateral wall 9 of container 4 faces and is aligned with a corresponding minor lateral wall 17 of container 2.

Each container 2 and container 4 are sized to house group 3 of cigarettes and containers 2 respectively, with a minimum amount of clearance, thus minimizing the packing material required to make containers 2 and 4, and also movement of group 3 of cigarettes inside each container 2, and movement of containers 2 inside container 4. Obviously, for the cigarettes to be extracted easily from each container 2, and for containers 2 to be expelled easily from container 4, the clearance between group 3 of cigarettes and container 2, and between containers 2 and container 4, cannot be eliminated entirely.

Minor lateral wall 9 of container 4 has two push holes 21, each shaped and sized to permit insertion of at least a finger of the user. The purpose of push holes 21 is to assist expulsion of containers 2 from container 4 by enabling the user to push the portion of minor lateral wall 17 of each container 2 facing respective push hole 21 when container 2 is in the closed position (FIG. 1). In a preferred embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings, each push hole 21 extends on both minor lateral wall 9 and a major lateral wall 8 of container 4; the portion of each push hole 21 on minor lateral wall 9 of container 4 is semicircular; and the portion of each push hole 21 on major lateral wall 8 of container 4 is rectangular and terminates with a semicircular portion.

Each push hole 21 preferably extends over a limited portion of minor lateral wall 9 of container 4, so as to only expose a portion of minor lateral wall 17 of one respective container 2, and so that each push hole 21 can only be used to push out one respective container 2. Finally, the two push holes 21 are offset vertically to increase the size, and therefore the mechanical strength, of the strip of minor lateral wall 9 of container 4 separating the two push holes 21.

In a different embodiment not shown, push holes 21 (or at least one of push holes 21) are initially covered (or at least partly covered) by respective tear-off tabs, each of which is attached to container 4 along a tear line, and must be torn off when first expelling respective container 2.

A further embodiment, not shown, comprises one push hole 21 involving only minor lateral wall 9 of container 4, or involving both minor lateral wall 9 and major lateral walls 8 of container 4.

In a further embodiment not shown, each major lateral wall 8 of container 4 has a recess close to open end 11 to assist extraction of each container 2 from container 4, as of the closed position, by enabling the user to grip and exert pull on the corresponding major lateral wall 16 of container 2.

Packet 1 comprises stop means for limiting slide of containers 2 with respect to container 4, and so preventing detachment of containers 2 from container 4. The stop means are defined by two tabs 22 projecting from major lateral walls 16 of each container 2, and by two tabs 23 projecting from major lateral walls 8 of container 4. Of each container 2, tab 22 facing a major lateral wall 8 of container 4 projects outwards of container 2 from respective major lateral wall 16 of container 2, while each tab 23 projects inwards of container 4 from a respective major lateral wall 8 of container 4, and is located close to open end 11 of container 4. Moreover, each tab 22 facing a major lateral wall 8 of container 4 is so located as to engage the corresponding tab 23 as container 2 slides out of container 4, thus preventing detachment of container 2 from container 4. It should be pointed out that each container 2 is arrested by a single tab 22 (i.e. the tab 22 facing a major lateral wall 8 of container 4), while the other tab 22 (i.e. the tab 22 facing the other container 2) is ineffective. The presence of the ineffective tab 22 is justified in that, if each container 2 comprises both tabs 22, then both containers 2 are identical and can be formed from identical blanks 24; whereas, if each container 2 comprises only the effective tab 22, the two containers 2 differ (in particulars one has tab 22 on the right, and the other has tab 22 on the left) and must therefore be formed from different blanks 24.

As shown in FIG. 4, each container 2 is formed from a flat blank 24 substantially in the form of an elongated rectangle, and the component parts of which are indicated, where possible, using the same reference numbers, with superscripts, as for the corresponding parts of container 2.

Blank 24 comprises two longitudinal fold lines 25; and a number of transverse fold lines 26 defining, between longitudinal fold lines 25, a panel 14′ defining an outer portion of top end wall 14, a panel 16′ defining one major lateral wall 16, a panel 13′ defining bottom end wall 13, a panel 16″ defining the other major lateral wall 16, and a panel 14″ defining an inner portion of top end wall 14. Panel 16′ has two wings 17′ located on opposite sides of panel 16′, separated from panel 16′ by longitudinal fold lines 25, and defining outer portions of minor lateral walls 17; panel 16″ has two wings 17″ located on opposite sides of panel 16″, separated from panel 16″ by longitudinal fold lines 25, and defining inner portions of minor lateral walls 17; and to wings 17″ are connected two tabs 13″ defining inner portions of bottom end wall 13.

As shown in FIG. 5, container 4 is formed from a flat, substantially rectangular blank 27, the component parts of which are indicated, where possible, using the same reference numbers, with superscripts, as for the corresponding parts of container 4.

Blank 27 comprises two transverse fold lines 28; and a number of longitudinal fold lines 29 defining, between transverse fold lines 28, a panel 8′ defining one major lateral wall 8, a panel 9′ defining minor lateral wall 9, and a panel 8″ defining the other major lateral wall 8. Panel 8′ comprises two wings 5′ and 6′ located at opposite ends of panel 8′, separated from panel 8′ by transverse fold lines 28, and defining inner portions of end walls 5 and 6; panel 9′ comprises two wings 5″ and 6″ located at opposite ends of panel 9′, separated from panel 9′ by transverse fold lines 28, and defining inner portions of end walls 5 and 6; and panel 8″ comprises two wings 5′″ and 6′″ located at opposite ends of panel 8″, separated from panel 8″ by transverse fold lines 28, and defining outer portions of end walls 5 and 6. As shown in FIG. 5, wings 5′ and 6′ and wings 5″ and 6″ are so shaped as not to be superimposed when folded onto wings 5′″ and 6′″ to define end walls 5 and 6 of container 4.

Container 4 preferably houses two containers 2, each containing a group 3 of cigarettes wrapped in a sheet of foil. In an alternative embodiment not shown, container 4 houses three or four containers 2, each containing a group 3 of cigarettes wrapped in a sheet of foil.

The cigarettes in both containers 2 are normally the same, i.e. the same type, but may differ in the sense that one container 2 contains one type of cigarette, and the other container 2 contains a different type of cigarette. When containing different types of cigarettes, the two containers 2 may also differ, i.e. one container 2 may be larger than the other.

In the FIG. 1-5 embodiment, longitudinal edges 18 of containers 2, transverse edges 19 of containers 2, longitudinal edges 10 of container 4, and transverse edges 12 of container 4 are all square edges.

In the FIG. 6 embodiment, the four longitudinal edges 18 of each container 2, and the two longitudinal edges 10 of container 4 are non-square, rounded edges, and transverse edges 12 and 19 of containers 4 and 2 are square. In an alternative embodiment not shown, one of or both longitudinal edges 10 of container 4 and/or one or more longitudinal edges 18 of containers 2 may be square, so as to have both non-square, rounded longitudinal edges 10 and 18, and square longitudinal edges 10 and 18. In a further embodiment not shown, some transverse edges 12 of container 4 and/or some transverse edges 19 of containers 2 may be non-square, rounded edges, so as to have both non-square, rounded transverse edges 12 and/or 19, and non-square, rounded longitudinal edges 10 and/or 18.

In the FIG. 7 embodiment, longitudinal edges 10 of container 4 and longitudinal edges 18 of containers 2 are non-square, bevelled edges, and transverse edges 12 and 19 of containers 4 and 2 are square edges.

In the FIG. 8 embodiment, each major lateral wall 16 of containers 2 has an outwardly convex profile, is connected to each minor lateral wall 17 along a respective sharp longitudinal edge 18, and subtends with each minor lateral wall 17 a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle. Each major lateral wall 16 of containers 2 in FIG. 8 comprises a flat central portion, and two lateral strips with preformed longitudinal fold lines; each lateral strip is curved with its concavity facing inwards to connect the central portion to the corresponding minor lateral wall 17, and to subtend with the minor lateral wall 17 a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle; and each end wall 13, 14 is substantially rectangular, and has bevelled corners to adapt to the outwardly convex profile of major lateral walls 16.

Each major lateral wall 8 of container 4 in FIG. 8 has an outwardly convex half-profile, is connected to minor lateral wall 9 along a respective sharp longitudinal edge 10, and subtends with minor lateral wall 9 a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle. More specifically, each major lateral wall 8 of container 4 in FIG. 8 comprises a flat central portion, and a lateral strip with preformed longitudinal fold lines; the lateral strip is curved with its concavity facing inwards to connect the central portion to minor lateral wall 9, and to subtend with minor lateral wall 9 a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle; and each end wall 5, 6 is substantially rectangular, and has two bevelled corners to adapt to the outwardly convex half-profile of major lateral walls 8.

Basically, the FIG. 8 embodiment resembles the packet of cigarettes described in Patent Application EP-A1-1066205.

In the FIG. 9 embodiment, each major lateral wall 16 of containers 2 has an outwardly convex profile, is connected to each end wall 13, 14 along a respective sharp transverse edge 19, and subtends with each end wall 13, 14 a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle. More specifically, each major lateral wall 16 of containers 2 in FIG. 9 comprises a flat central portion, and two lateral strips with preformed longitudinal fold lines; each lateral strip is curved with its concavity facing inwards to connect the central portion to the corresponding end wall 13, 14, and to subtend with end wall 13, 14 a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle; and each minor lateral wall 17 is substantially rectangular, and has bevelled corners to adapt to the outwardly convex profile of major lateral walls 16.

Each major lateral wall 8 of container 4 in FIG. 9 has an outwardly convex half-profile, is connected to end wall 5, 6 along a respective sharp transverse edge 12, and subtends with end wall 5, 6 a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle. More specifically, each major lateral wall 8 of container 4 comprises a flat central portion, and two lateral strips with preformed longitudinal fold lines; each lateral strip is curved with its concavity facing inwards to connect the central portion to end wall 5, 6, and to subtend with end wall 5, 6 a respective substantially obtuse dihedral angle; and minor lateral wall 9 is substantially rectangular, and has bevelled corners to adapt to the outwardly convex half-profile of major lateral walls 8.

Basically, the FIG. 9 embodiment resembles the packet of cigarettes described in Patent Application IT-BO01A000584.

Clearly, changes may be made to packets 1 in FIGS. 8 and 9, such as forming partly convex walls, or only one convex wall, as opposed to two opposite facing convex walls.

In the FIG. 10 embodiment, longitudinal edges 10 of container 4 and longitudinal edges 18 of containers 2 are square edges, and major transverse edges 12 of container 4 and major transverse edges 19 of containers 2 are non-square, rounded edges. Obviously, major transverse edges 12 of container 4 and major transverse edges 19 of containers 2 may be non-square, bevelled edges. Basically, the FIG. 10 embodiment resembles the packet of cigarettes described in Patent Application EP-A1-0764595.

Packet 1 as described above is particularly strong, by comprising two independent containers 2, which impart to packet 1 a high degree of rigidity. Moreover, each container 2 houses a group 3 containing a limited number of cigarettes, and therefore poses no difficulty in extracting the last cigarettes.

Given the numerous advantages of packets 1 of cigarettes as described above, the form of packets 1 may also be applied integrally to the manufacture of other types of rigid containers for tobacco articles, such as cartons of packets of cigarettes, or cigar packets.