Title:
Card and blister package
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A card and blister package for small articles of commerce has a clear plastic blister piece, a card and a retainer piece. The blister walls form an article-receiving cavity and a plurality of upwardly projecting spaced-apart male prongs extending along the upper edge of the blister piece. A generally rectangular card has shaped perforations for receiving there-through the prongs of the blister piece and the retainer comprises a generally rectangular ring having a plurality of sockets for receiving the prongs of the blister piece, whereby the prongs can be engaged through the perforations, snapped into engagement with the ring sockets, and UV-activated adhesive on the engaged parts illuminated by UV light so as to bond to the ring to the blister to secure the package.



Inventors:
Appelbaum, Paul (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/822890
Publication Date:
12/20/2007
Filing Date:
07/11/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ACKUN, JACOB K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul Appelbaum (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A card-and-blister package for small articles of commerce, including: a) a blister piece having walls that define a cavity for receiving said articles of commerce, and an upper edge perimeter portion; b) a card member adapted to engage said blister upper edge portion to cover said cavity; and c) a retainer ring adapted to make engagement with said perimeter portion to secure said card.

2. A package as defined in claim 1 wherein said card has a plurality of perforations and wherein said ring has attachment means and said upper blister perimeter portion has attachment means and said ring and blister attachment means engage each other by way of said card perforations.

3. A package as defined in claim 2 wherein said ring attachment means includes socket elements and said blister attachment means includes prong elements for engaging said sockets.

4. A package as defined in claim 2 wherein said ring attachment means includes prong elements and said blister attachment means includes socket elements.

5. A package as defined in claim 3 wherein said card perforations are configured and spaced for receiving there-through said blister prong elements.

6. A package as defined in claim 4 wherein said card perforations are configured and spaced for receiving there-through said ring prong elements.

7. A package as defined in claim 5 wherein said perforations have edges that engage said prongs to hold said card against relative lateral movement.

8. A package as defined in claim 6 wherein said perforations have edges that engage said prongs to hold said card against relative lateral movement.

9. A package as defined in claim 2 wherein said retainer ring is attached by a hinge to said blister edge portion and whereby said ring can be rotated to bring its attachment means into engagement with said corresponding blister attachment means.

10. A package as defined in claim 2 wherein said card perforations include first and second spaced apart slots, and said blister attachment means includes first and second flaps pivotally attached respectively to opposing sides of said perimeter portion, and the distal end of each said flaps having a male connector element and said flaps adapted to be engaged through said slots, and said ring having socket elements configured to engage said flap male elements, whereby each of said flaps can be fully inserted through said slots respectively and rotated through about 90 degrees, whereby the ring socket elements can engage the flap male elements to secure the card to said blister.

11. A package as defined in claim 10 including first and second additional spaced apart slots adapted to receive there-through said flap male elements, whereby each said flap can be fully inserted through said slots and rotated through about 90 degrees, to bring said flap male elements into engagement with said first and second additional slots

12. A package as defined in claim 1 including an inner blister module having an article-receiving portion with sidewalls and a bottom, and a flange extending around the upper edge of said module article-receiving portion, wherein said blister piece has a generally flat major surface with an opening for receiving said module article-receiving portion, to hold said module against relative lateral movement, and the flange engaging said major surface to hold said module against outward movement, and said flat major surface holding said flange against said card.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to apparatus and methods for packaging articles of commerce in card-and-blister packages.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Card and blister packages are widely used for packaging small articles of commerce. Typically such a package will have a clear plastic blister piece, i.e. an open topped enclosure having a flange that is bonded to the flat surface of a generally rectangular card commonly using ultrasonic or RF techniques. In spite of its popularity there remain some shortcomings with such packages. For example they are vulnerable to tampering since the card and blister interface can be defeated by pealing back the blister flange from the card or otherwise separating the two components.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing and other limitations it is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved card-and-blister package.

A more particular object is to provide a card-and-blister package that is strong, attractive, and resistant to tampering.

Yet another object is to provide such a package that lends itself advantageously to fast and efficient UV sealing technology.

These and other objects and advantages are provided by the present invention that comprises a card-and-blister package that includes a blister piece, a card, and a blister retainer ring.

The blister piece has walls that form an article-receiving cavity and includes an upper edge portion. The card is adapted to engage the blister upper edge perimeter portion to cover the cavity, and the ring is adapted to engage the blister perimeter portion to secure the card.

There is attachment means on the blister upper perimeter portion that, in one preferred embodiment, comprises a plurality of spaced apart upwardly projecting prongs. There is complementary attachment means on the ring that comprises a plurality of downwardly-opening socket elements spaced there-along for receiving the blister prongs. There are shaped perforations on the card whereby the prongs are engagable through them and pressed into engagement with the ring socket elements and adhesively bonded thereto to seal the package.

In a variant of the invention the ring has downwardly extending prongs that can engage upwardly opening socket elements located along the blister upper edge portion.

In another variant, the socket-equipped ring is hingedly attached to the blister upper edge portion in the fashion of a clamshell package, and it can be rotated to bring its sockets into engagement with the blister prongs, to secure the card and complete the package.

In another variant, a first and a second connector flap are hingedly connected to first and second opposing sides of the upper edge portion respectively of the blister, each flap having a male connecting feature on its distal end. The connector flaps can be engaged through spaced apart slots in the card, and then folded about 90 degrees along their hinge lines to hold the blister to the card. The ring has female features that can then engage the respective male features of the folded flaps and adhered thereto to secure the package.

A further variant, like the aforementioned variant, has a blister piece with pivotable flaps and a card with a pair of spaced slots that the flaps can extend through. The card of this version has a pair of additional slots through which the male features of the outwardly rotated flaps can protrude. The ring has elongate female sockets for engaging these male features to secure and seal the package.

Yet another variant of the invention includes a perforated card, and a retainer ring, and features an interchangeable “inner blister” or module, and a retainer for the module. The module has an article-receiving blister portion and a flange that extends around the upper perimeter of that portion. The module retainer has a generally flat major surface with a central opening adapted to snugly receive the blister portion of the module to stabilize it against lateral movement, and the flange which will engage the major surface to hold the module against relative outward movement. The outer periphery of the module retainer is characterized by a plurality of upwardly projecting prongs. With the module engaged in the module retainer, the prongs can be placed through the card perforations and engaged by and bonded to the socket elements of the retainer ring to secure the package.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a card-and blister package according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a sealed package according to the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the package of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of a variant of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the assembled package of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a bottom perspective view of the package shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of yet another variant of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing a card installed in the open package of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a top perspective view of the sealed package of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of a another variant of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view showing the variant of FIG. 10 in its sealed condition;

FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the package of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view of a further variant of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a front elevational view showing the partially assembled card and blister pieces of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is an exploded perspective view of the partially assembled package of FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is an exploded perspective view of a still further variant according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows that a preferred embodiment of a card-and-blister package 11 according to the present invention comprises three pieces: a card 13, a blister member 17 and a retaining ring 25 of which the blister member and ring are fabricated of a suitable, clear UV light transparent plastic using thermo-forming techniques known in the plastic molding industry. The blister member 17 includes an article-receiving portion 19 having a flange 21 that is characterized by a number of upwardly projecting, spaced apart male prongs or tongues 23 extending therealong.

The retainer ring 25 has a number of downwardly opening socket elements 27 that are arranged in corresponding relationship to the blister prongs 23 and are designed with conventional snap-lock features to receive and be snapped into engagement with the prongs.

The card portion 13 is comprised of a flat semi-rigid card-like sheet material such as a suitably strong compressed paper board, card board or plastic. Note that the perforations 16 are shaped and spaced so as to snugly receive the aforementioned blister prongs 23.

After articles of commerce are placed in the blister 17, the blister prongs 23 can be fully engaged through perforations 16 of card 13, and then the socket elements 27 of ring 25 snapped into engagement with the prongs 23. When liquid UV adhesive has been applied to the “proud points” of the prongs 23, the adhesive is spread over mutually engaged surfaces and UV illumination will cause the adhesive to instantly cure to secure the prongs to the ring cavities and seal the package.

A variant of the invention shown in FIGS. 4-6 features an interchangeable “inner blister” or module that, among other things, can have various shapes to accommodate different products without requiring changes in tooling for the major package components.

Accordingly FIG. 4 shows package 11(a) which has a perforated card 53, a ring 65, a module 75, and a blister retainer 67. The module 75 has flange 77 and a blister section 79 that can be snugly received through the opening 70 in the retainer 67 to hold it against lateral movement, and the undersurface of the flange 77 will engage the flat surface 69 to hold it against outward movement. The prongs 73 of the blister retainer 67 can then be applied through the perforations of the card 53, so as to “sandwich” the flange 77 between the card and retainer 67. Finally, the socket elements 66 of ring 65 can be pressed into engagement with adhesive-coated prongs 73 and subsequent UV curing will seal and secure the package.

Yet another advantageous variant of the invention is shown in FIG. 7, where the package 11(b) is shown to comprise blister piece 87 that is connected by “living” hinge 88 to a retainer ring 99, and a card 83 for covering the blister piece 87. Note the blister piece 87 has cavity 90 and flange 89 with an outer perimeter of spaced-apart prongs 93.

Note the tabs 86 that extend from the perimeter 81 of card 83, and as FIG. 8 best shows, when the card is placed in covering position, its perimeter 81 will seat against the inside surfaces of the prongs 93 to stabilize the card, while the tabs 86 engage the flange surfaces that lie between adjacent prongs.

The hinged retaining ring 99 has frame member 101 that is equipped with socket elements 103 which are configured to engage the prongs 93 when ring 99 is rotated from the position shown in FIG. 8 to a closed position . . . Thus, after articles of commerce are placed in cavity 90, card 83 can be positioned there-over, and the ring 99 rotated to a closed position to bring the prongs 93 into full engagement with corresponding socket elements 103. The frame 101 will thereby engage tabs 86 to hold the card in place against vertical movement. Securing of the package is completed by subsequent UV bonding as with the other variants of the invention.

FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 show a variant 111 of the invention that has ring 125, card 113, and blister piece 117, and is similar to the afore-described card-and-blister package 11 shown in FIG. 1 except that the ring 125 has downwardly facing prongs 127, and the blister 117 is equipped with socket elements 119. It should be appreciated how the prongs can be engaged through perforations 116 and into socket elements 119 to complete the package 111 as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12.

Yet another variant 213 is illustrated in FIGS. 13, 14 and 15 and includes a ring 225 that has a pair of elongate socket elements 227, a card 215 that features elongate slots 221, and a blister piece 217 that features attachment flaps 234 which have elongate male elements 235. Note that the flaps attach to the upper edges of the blister walls by integral “living hinges” 237. The card slots 221 are designed to receive therethrough the flaps 234. FIGS. 14 and 15 show that when the flaps are fully engaged through slots 221, they can be folded outwardly to a position against the card 115. As suggested by FIG. 15 the socket elements 227 of ring 225 can then be pressed into engagement with male elements 235 to complete the package.

FIG. 16 illustrates another variant of a card and blister package 311 and includes ring 325 with spaced downwardly-facing female elements 327, a blister piece 317 with attachment flaps 334 having elongate male elements 335. The card 315 has first elongate perforations 321 that are designed to receive therethrough the flaps 334, and second elongate perforations 322 for receiving therethrough the male elements 335 in a manner to be described.

FIGS. 17 and 18 show the flaps 334 of the blister piece fully inserted in the card slots 321 and the arrows in FIG. 17 illustrate how the flaps can be rotated outwardly to bring the male elements 335 into the outer slots 322. FIG. 19 best shows how the male elements protrude beyond the surface of card 315 so as to be accessible to the female elements 327. Thus it can be appreciated that when a suitable adhesive is applied to the male or female features, these parts can then be pressed into each other to secure the ring 325 in place as FIG. 20 illustrates, to complete the package.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown, it is not intended that the invention be limited thereto. Various modifications and variations of the invention will be evident to persons of ordinary skill in the art, given the benefit of this disclosure, and it is intended that the invention be given its full scope and breath as defined in the claims that follow.