Title:
Cleaning wipe container having content-specific display
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cleaning wipe container includes a bottom panel, a front panel, a rear panel, a pair of side panels and a lid. The cleaning wipe container may be filled with a plurality of cleaning wipes that are contained in a cartridge. The container also includes a slidably engaged window that cooperatively interacts with the cartridge to display a message on or through a portion of a panel of the container. The message is based on the wipes in the cartridge and may include a type of wipe, a list of ingredients of the wipes, and/or instructions for using the wipes.



Inventors:
Sawin, Philip Andrew (Wyoming, OH, US)
Sargent, Jeffrey Alan (West Chester, OH, US)
O'neill, Kilian John (Falkenstein, DE)
Application Number:
11/724083
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/14/2007
Assignee:
The Procter & Gamble Company
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
221/45, 221/46
International Classes:
A47K10/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JENINE MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A re-useable container for storing and dispensing cleaning wipes, the cleaning wipes container comprising: a. a container having an interior storage space defined by a bottom panel, a top panel and one or more side panels, the container including a lid covering an opening, the opening providing access to the interior storage space, the interior storage space being configured to receive a wipes cartridge, the container including a viewing area having indicia on a portion of at least one panel; b. a wipes cartridge at least partially disposed in the interior storage space, the wipes cartridge including a plurality of cleaning wipes; and c. a window slidably engaged with the container, the window being configured to enable a user to cover and/or uncover a portion of the viewing area.

2. The container of claim 1, wherein the window includes opaque, transparent and/or translucent portions.

3. The container of claim 1, wherein the indicia are located only in the covered and/or uncovered portions of the viewing area.

4. The container of claim 1, wherein the window includes an element for enabling a user to apply a force to slidably manipulate the window.

5. The container of claim 4, wherein the mechanism is selected from the group consisting of indentions, protrusions, handles, slots, grooves, rough areas and combinations thereof.

6. The container of claim 1, wherein the indicia include a content-specific message describing a characteristic of a type of cleaning wipes in the container.

7. The container of claim 1, further comprising two or more windows slidably engaged to the container, the two or more windows being configured to enable a user to cover and/or uncover a portion of the viewing area.

8. The container of claim 7, wherein the two or more windows are each configured to enable a user to display indicia that are part of a single content-specific message describing a characteristic of the type of cleaning wipes in the container.

9. The container of claim 7, wherein the two or more windows are each configured to enable a user to display indicia depicting a content-specific message describing a characteristic of a type of cleaning wipes in the container.

10. The container of claim 7, wherein at least one of the two or more windows is configured to enable a user to display indicia depict a single content-specific message describing a characteristic of a type of cleaning wipes in the container and at least one of the two or more windows is configured to enable a user to display indicia that are decorative.

11. The container of claim 1, wherein the indicia are selected from the list consisting of words, numbers, letters, characters, symbols, shapes, colors, patterns, raised portions and/or combinations thereof.

12. The container of claim 1, wherein the container further comprises indicia not disposed in the viewing area.

13. A cleaning wipes product, the cleaning wipes product comprising: a. a container having an interior storage space defined by a bottom panel, a top panel and one or more side panels, the container including a lid covering an opening, the opening providing access to the interior storage space, the interior storage space being configured to receive a wipes cartridge, the container including a viewing area on a portion of at least one panel, the viewing area including indicia that describe a characteristic of a type of cleaning wipes; b. a wipes cartridge at least partially disposed in the interior storage space, the wipes cartridge including a plurality of cleaning wipes, the wipes cartridge including indicia that describe a characteristic of a type of cleaning wipes included in the cartridge; and c. a window slidably engaged with the container, the window being configured to enable a user to cover a portion of the viewing area.

14. The cleaning wipes product of claim 13, wherein the indicia on the container and at least some of the indicia on the cartridge describe substantially the same characteristic or characteristics with substantially the same depictions.

15. The cleaning wipes product of claim 13, wherein the indicia on the cartridge and the indicia on the container have substantially the same positional arrangement.

16. The cleaning wipes product of claim 13, wherein at least some of the indicia on the cartridge are highlighted.

17. The cleaning wipes product of claim 13, wherein the highlighted indicia describe a characteristic of the type of wipes in the cartridge.

18. The cleaning wipes product of claim 13, wherein the indicia are arranged in one or more rows and/or columns.

19. The cleaning wipes product of claim 18, wherein the one or more rows and/or columns include one or more discreet portions.

20. A method of communicating a desirable positional arrangement of one or more windows on a wipes container, the method comprising the steps of: a. providing a container having an interior storage space defined by a bottom panel, a top panel and one or more side panels, the container including a lid covering an opening, the opening providing access to the interior storage space, the interior storage space being configured to receive a wipes cartridge, the container including a viewing area having indicia that describe a characteristic of wipes on a portion of one panel; b. providing a wipes cartridge at least partially disposed in the interior storage space, the wipes cartridge including a plurality of cleaning wipes, the wipes cartridge including indicia that describe a characteristic of a type of wipes, at least some of the indicia on the cartridge describing substantially the same characteristic or characteristics with substantially the same depictions as the indicia on the container; c. providing one or more windows slidably engaged with the container, the windows being configured to enable the consumer to cover and/or uncover one or more portions of the viewing area; d. arranging the indicia on the cartridge to have substantially the same positional arrangement as the indicia on the container; e. highlighting at least a portion of the indicia on the cartridge.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure generally relates to product dispensers that dispense cleaning wipes and, more particularly, to a wipes container that displays a content-specific message regarding the cleaning wipes housed in the cartridge.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Cleaning wipes generally are sold in plastic tubs, tubes or other containers, and a user typically extracts a wipe for use by pulling the wipe through a hole or slot in the container. Preferably, the hole or slot is covered by a lid. Commonly, the plastic container or tub is sold pre-loaded with a supply of wipes. Once a consumer depletes the original supply of wipes, the user may discard the empty container and purchase a new pre-loaded container or tub. Of course, discarding the empty containers and purchasing new containers just to get a new supply of wipes tends to waste a considerable amount of material, especially plastic. Further, retailers must set aside a great deal of shelf space in order to stock enough pre-loaded containers or tubs to meet demand.

To address some of these problems, manufacturers have recently introduced products that reuse the original wipes container. Instead of stocking exclusively pre-loaded containers or tubs, retailers now can stock a supply of pre-loaded containers, along with a supply of refill cartridges. Typically, these refill cartridges are made out of a lower cost packaging material. Often the refill cartridge package will be smaller than the pre-loaded container package. Consequently, retailers can stock many more refill cartridges than pre-loaded containers for a given shelf space, thus making better use of the available retail space. Also, because the cleaning wipes are substantially uniform in size and shape across different manufacturers, most refill cartridges made by one manufacturer can be used with the containers or tubs of other manufacturers.

Furthermore, because of widely differing consumer tastes, manufacturers tend to make a wide variety of cleaning wipes. For example, some consumers desire scented wipes, while other consumers demand wipes that are free of all dyes, scents, or perfumes. Still other consumers desire wipes having lotions such as aloe vera, lanolin, or other materials, often with or without the addition of alcohol. Still other consumers want gentle wipes, or wipes free of any lotion, alcohol, or other additives. However, because the plastic containers that hold the wipes are typically opaque and colored, the wipes within the containers must be identified by a label on the exterior of the container. Thus, it is possible for a consumer to mismatch the type of wipe in a refill cartridge with the type of label on the container, resulting in a situation where a consumer may not know what type of wipe is in the container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In order to provide a solution to the inconveniences set forth above, one embodiment of the present invention provides a re-useable cleaning wipe container comprising an interior storage space defined by a bottom panel, a top panel and one or more side panels. The container includes a lid covering an opening. The opening provides access to the interior storage space. The interior storage space is configured to receive a wipes cartridge. The container also includes a viewing area on a portion of at least one panel. The viewing area includes indicia. A wipes cartridge is at least partially disposed in the interior storage space. The wipes cartridge includes a plurality of cleaning wipes. The container also includes a window slidably engaged with the container. The window is configured to enable a user to cover a portion of the viewing area.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a prior art cleaning wipe container with an open lid.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the prior art cleaning wipe container of FIG. 1 with a closed lid and a wipe extending through the lid and ready for use.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the cleaning wipe container of FIG. 1 and a refill cartridge.

FIG. 4 is a front view of a cleaning wipe container and refill cartridge constructed in accordance with the teachings of the disclosure.

FIG. 5 is a front view of the cleaning wipe container FIG. 4 including indicia depicting content-specific messages.

FIG. 6 is a front view of a cleaning wipe container constructed in accordance with the teachings of the disclosure.

FIG. 7 is a front view of a cleaning wipe container constructed in accordance with the teachings of the disclosure.

FIG. 8 is a front view of a cleaning wipe container constructed in accordance with the teachings of the disclosure.

FIG. 9 is a front view of a cleaning wipe container and a refill cartridge constructed in accordance with the teachings of the disclosure.

FIG. 10 is a front view a cleaning wipe container and a refill cartridge constructed in accordance with the teachings of the disclosure.

While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter that is regarded as the present invention, it is believed that the invention will be more fully understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Some of the figures may have been simplified by the omission of selected elements for the purpose of more clearly showing other elements. Such omissions of elements in some figures are not necessarily indicative of the presence or absence of particular elements in any of the exemplary embodiments, except as may be explicitly delineated in the corresponding written description. None of the drawings are necessarily to scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The term “joined” refers herein to the attachment together of elements of the absorbent article, either by direct affixment of a first element to a second element or by affixment of the first element to an intermediate element that is affixed to the second element.

As used herein, the term “adhesive” refers to a composition which demonstrates connection when applied to another material or composition generally (e.g. material is not specially selected). Adhesive compositions connect to other materials or compositions generally and no particularly selected properties of the other material or composition are necessary to demonstrate a general tendency to adhere.

As used herein, the terms “indicia” and “indicium” are interchangeable, and generally refer to one or more visually detectable cues.

As used herein, the term “viewable” or “visible” are interchangeable and generally refer to an object or indicium that is detectable by the human eye at a distance of about 12 inches.

As used herein, the term “highlight” generally means to attempt to attract a viewer's attention to a particular portion of the indicia. Examples of various methods of highlighting are described in more detail below.

As used herein, the term “cover” and “covering” are interchangeable and generally refer to the position of a sliding window in relation to a viewing area on a container when the sliding window is positioned between a viewer and/or the viewer's line of sight and the viewing area. For example, when a sliding window includes an opaque portion and the opaque portion covers a portion of the viewing area, the covered portion is at least partially concealed from sight (i.e. less viewable). Conversely, if the sliding window includes a transparent portion and the transparent portion is positioned to cover a portion of the viewing area, the covered portion of the viewing area is generally visible, and may even be highlighted.

Cleaning wipe containers 10, shown in FIGS. 1-3, may include a bottom panel 12, a front panel 14, a rear panel 16, and a pair of side panels 18. The cleaning wipe containers 10 of FIGS. 1-3 may also include a lid 20 hingedly connected to the rear panel 16. In such a configuration, a storage space 2 may be defined above the bottom panel 12 and between the front, rear and side panels 14, 16, 18. The lid 20 may further include an aperture 22 through which cleaning wipes 24 can be extracted from the container 10 when the lid 20 is closed, as shown in FIG. 2. When a supply of cleaning wipes is depleted within the container 10, the container 10 may be refilled with a cartridge 26 that includes a plurality of cleaning wipes. The cartridge 26 may be configured to be at least partially disposed in the container 10. The container 10 is typically made of an opaque plastic material and may include a label 30 (see FIG. 3) on the front panel 12, as shown in FIG. 3. The label 30 may describe the type of cleaning wipes 24 in the container 10, ingredients used in the cleaning wipes 24 and/or instructions for using the cleaning wipes. The label 30 is typically made of a paper or plastic material that is adhesively attached to the front panel 12. As a result, if a consumer wishes to change the type of wipes being used, it may be necessary to purchase a new container 10 with a new label 30 to reflect the new type of wipes disposed in the container 10.

FIG. 4 shows an example of an embodiment of a cleaning wipe container 110 and cartridge 126 according to the present disclosure. The cleaning wipe container 110 has at least a portion of one panel, such as, for example the front panel 112, which includes a viewing area 132 for displaying indicia. While the viewing area 132 is provided by a portion of the front panel 112 in the present example, is it to be understood that an entire panel, or all panels (or portions thereof) of the container 110 may be suitable for providing one or more viewing areas 132.

The viewing area 132 according to the present disclosure may include a wide variety of indicia, such as, for example the indicia 134 shown in FIG. 5. The indicia 134 may be useful for communicating information to a user. The indicia 134 may include depictions of one or more content-specific messages, such as, for example the content-specific messages shown in FIG. 5. The content-specific messages may describe a characteristic of the wipes in the cartridge 126. For example, the content-specific messages may describe the type of wipes, the ingredients in the wipes, instructions for using the wipes, and/or the amount of wipes. The example of indicia 134 shown in FIG. 5 describe the characteristics of the wipes in the container 110 being unscented and including aloe vera.

In other embodiments, the indicia 134 may include more general information related to the wipes or type of wipes disposed in the container 110. For example, the indicia 134 may include one or more cartoon characters and/or anthropomorphic objects that a consumer may associate with wipes or type of wipes. Another example includes indicia 134 depicting a baby, a background color, and a shape resembling a water drop. In such an example, the indicia 134, by virtue of a single depiction or color or combination of depictions and/or colors may indicate to a user that the wipes are wet wipes and/or that the wipes or wet wipes may be useful for cleaning a baby. Still another example includes indicia 134 that depict the same or substantially the same indicia displayed on a particular refill cartridge 126 and/or its packaging. Non-limiting examples of indicia 134 suitable for use with the present disclosure include words, numbers, letters, characters, symbols, shapes, colors, patterns, raised portions and/or combinations thereof.

While the above examples may be generally directed to indicia 134 in the viewing area 132, it is to be understood that embodiments wherein other portions of the container 110 include indicia 134 that may or may not be related to the indicia 134 in the viewing area 132 or to wipes or a type of wipes are also contemplated by the present invention. For example, the viewing area 132 may include indicia 134 of a content-specific message of “scented,” while one or more other portions of the container 110 depict flowers. Another example is a viewing area 132 having indicia 134 of a content-specific message of “aloe vera,” while one or more other portions of the container 110 depict a manufacturer brand name.

FIG. 6 shows a container 210 having a slidably engaged window 240, according to the present disclosure. The window 240 may be configured such that it can be manipulated by a user to at least partially cover or uncover one or more portions of the viewing area 232. The window 240 in FIG. 6 includes an indented portion 245 that enables a user to apply the necessary force required to slide the window 240 from one portion of the viewing area 232 to another portion of the viewing area 232. In the present example, the indented portion 245 is substantially concave such that the concavity extends into the window 240 in a direction that is substantially perpendicular to the outward facing surface of the window 240. Other non-limiting examples of such configurations include windows 240 having protrusions, handles, slots, grooves and/or rough portions. Additionally, the window may be configured to have a surface whose frictional properties permit manipulation of the window without the need for other mechanisms such as those described above. For example, a portion of the window may include one or more areas having a higher coefficient of friction than the surrounding area or areas. However, it is to be understood that any suitable configuration, which enables a user to apply the force necessary to slidably manipulate the window 240, known to those of ordinary skill in the art is also contemplated by the present invention.

The window 240 may be configured to include one or more opaque portions. When an opaque portion is positioned to cover a region of the viewing area 232, the covered portion 255 of the viewing area 232 may be at least partially hidden from sight, or otherwise not readily visible. In such a configuration, a user may manipulate the opaque portion of the window 240 to be positioned over a portion of the viewing area 232 that displays undesirable indicia, for example indicia 234 that do not accurately describe the wipes or type of wipes that may be disposed in the container 210. The window 240 may be configured such that when the opaque portion is manipulated by a user to uncover a portion of the viewing area 232, the uncovered portion of the viewing area displays desirable indicia, for example indicia 234 that accurately describe the wipes or type of wipes that may be disposed in the container 210.

In another embodiment, the window 240 may be a translucent window 240. The window may be tinted to be a particular color, for example red. The indicia 234 may be disposed on the container 210 in the same color as the tint on the window 240. Thus, when the window 240 is positioned to cover a portion of the viewing area 232, the viewability of the indicia 240 in the covered area 255 will be at least reduced, and possibly not viewable at all.

The viewing area 232 may be configured such that, depending on which portions of the viewing area 232 are covered portions 255 and which portions of the viewing area 232 are uncovered portions 260, various indicia 234 or portions thereof may be viewable by a user. The indicia 234 may be disposed in the viewing area 232 such that the viewable portions of the indicia 234 display a message, such as, for example the content-specific message of “unscented.” In one example, the viewing area 232 may include indicia 234 that depict the words “scented” and “unscented.” In such an example, the window 240 may be manipulated by a user to cover the word scented, thereby providing an indication to people who observe the viewing area 232 that the particular type of wipes disposed in the container 210 are unscented wipes.

Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 7, the window 540 may be configured to highlight or increase the relative visibility the indicia 534 disposed on the viewing area 532 when the window 540 at least partially covers the indicia 534. The window 540 may include a border portion 542 and a see-through portion 541. The see-through portion 541 and the border portion 542 may be configured so that the see-through portion 541 highlights the indicia 534 in at least a portion of the covered area 560. Additionally, the border portion 542 may reduce the viewability or even substantially hide the indicia 534 covered by the border portion 542. The border portion 542 and the see-through portion 541 may be configured in a visually contrasting relationship that increases the likelihood that a viewer's attention will be drawn to the indicia 534 that are visible in the covered portion 560. In such an example, the border portion 542 may be opaque while the see-through portion 541 is transparent. When the window 540 is positioned to cover the indicia 534, the depiction or message viewable in the covered portion 560 of the viewing area 532 is highlighted because the viewer's attention may be drawn to the depiction visible in the see-through portion 541 of the window 540.

The border portion 542 may be made of any suitable material commonly known in the art, such as, for example plastic. The border portion 542 shown in FIG. 7 is opaque, however, embodiments wherein the border portion 542 is not opaque are also contemplated by the present invention. The border portion 542 of the window 540 may be configured by color, shape, transparency and/or translucency to define the spatial dimensions of the window 540 such that a user can position the see-through portion 541 of the window 540 to cover at least a portion of the viewing area 532, such as, for example covered portion 560. However, it is to be understood that embodiments wherein the window 540 does not include a border portion, such as, for example a window having only a see-through portion 541, are also contemplated by the present invention.

The see-through portion 541 of the window 540 may be dimensionally configured to enable a user to view at least a portion of the indicia 534 in the covered area 560. The see-through portion 541 may be configured to be transparent or translucent, as long as the indicia 534 in the portion of the viewing area 532 covered by the see-through portion 541 is visible. The see-through portion 541 may be made of any material commonly known in the art, such as, for example transparent plastic. On the other hand, the see-through portion 541 may be configured to not include any material, such as, for example an open area defined by the border portion 542. The see-through portion 541, the border portion 542 and the indicia 534 may be configured to work cooperatively such that the indicia 534 are highlighted.

In one example of an embodiment of the present invention, such as the example shown in FIG. 7, the indicia 534 are divided into a first group and a second group. The first group of indicia 534 is disposed in the covered portion 560 of the viewing area 532, and the second group of indicia 534 is disposed in the uncovered portions 555 of the viewing area 532. Due to the configuration of the border portion 542 and the see-through portion 541 of the window 540 and the spatial relation between the indicia 534 and the window 540, there may be a higher likelihood that a viewer's attention will be more attracted to the indicia 534 in the first group than the second group. Thus, the indicia 534 in the first group are said to be highlighted.

In another example the see-through portion 541 may include a transparent plastic sheet having a tint, such as, for example a red tint that obscures some of the indicia 534. The indicia 534 may be disposed in the viewing area 532 in one or more colors other than the color of the transparent plastic sheet. Thus, the transparent plastic sheet filters all colors of light (other than the color of the tint) and the content-specific message may appear in the viewing area 532 as, for example, black letters. Further, one portion of the indicia may include one or more colors that are different from the color of the tinted plastic sheet, while another portion of the indicia includes colors that are the same color as the tinted plastic sheet. In such a configuration, the indicia 534 covered by the see-through portion 541 may be relatively easier to view than the indicia 534 in the uncovered portion 555. For example, indicia 534 printed on a container 510 in ink that has both red and black components may be printed in such a way that a content-specific message depicted by the indicia 534 is difficult to view or read. However, when the window 540 has, for example, a red tint and is positioned such that the see-through portion 541 of the window 540 covers the indicia 534, the red component of the ink is at least partially removed and the content-specific message may be relatively easier to view or read.

Thus, by highlighting particular portions of the indicia 534, a user may be able to configure the container 510 to display a message, such as, for example a content-specific message, which describes the wipes or type of wipes disposed in the container 510. Further, the user may slidably manipulate the window 540 to highlight different portions of the indicia when the type of wipes disposed in the container 510 changes, such as, for example when the supply of wipes is depleted and a refill wipes cartridge including a different type of wipes is placed in the container 510.

The windows according to the present invention may be constructed from any material commonly known in the art. In some instances the windows of the present invention may be made from transparent plastic. Typically, the material from which the windows are made is not critical as long as the windows are manipulatable such that the windows enable a user to at least partially cover or uncover indicia in a viewing area. The windows according to the present invention may include one or more colorless transparent portions, one or more opaque portions, one or more translucent portions and/or one or more tinted transparent portions. The various combinations of opacity and transparency may enable a manufacturer or user to display or view indicia in a variety of styles and configurations. For example, a window having a colorless transparent portion, a colorless opaque portion and a tinted transparent portion may enable a user to display indicia of a particular color in a more desirable way due to the interaction of the colors of the indicia and the colors (or lack thereof) of the window.

FIG. 8 shows a container 310 having multiple windows 340, according to the present disclosure. The windows 340 may be manipulated by a user, such as, for example by applying the necessary force to the protrusion 345 to cause the window 340 to slide in the desired direction. The windows 340 may be slidably manipulated to display indicia 334 depicting one or more messages related to the wipes or type of wipes within the container 310, such as, for example the content-specific messages of “scented” and “alcohol free.” The windows 340 may be configured such that each window 340 can be manipulated to display a portion of a single message, or alternatively the windows 340 may be configured such that each window 340 can be manipulated to display multiple messages that describe or relate to one or more of the same or different characteristics of wipes or type of wipes. Further, multiple windows 340 may be configured such that one or more windows 340 display indicia 334 related to wipes or type of wipes, and one or more of the same or different windows 340 display indicia 334 generally considered to be decorative or aesthetic in nature.

FIG. 9 shows a wipes container 610 and a cartridge 626. The cartridge 626 may be a refill cartridge 626 that includes a plurality of wipes, such as, for example the cartridge 26 described in FIG. 3. The cartridge 626 may include indicia 635 that describe a characteristic of wipes or type of wipes. The indicia 635 may include depictions describing characteristics of the type of wipes disposed in the cartridge 626 and/or characteristics of a type of wipes not disposed in the cartridge 626. The indicia 635 may be arranged in one or more rows 636, 637 and 638. The rows 636, 637 and 638 may each be further divided into one or more discreet portions. The indicia 635 depicted in each discreet portion of each row 636, 637 and 638 may be related to the indicia 635 depicted in one or more of the other discreet portions of the same row and/or a different row. Alternatively, the indicia may be arranged in one or more columns and the columns further divided into one or more discreet portions. However, it is to be understood that the arrangement of the indicia 635 is not limited to rows and/or columns, but may be arranged in any suitable fashion that suggests to a user a characteristic of the wipes or type of wipes in the cartridge 626 and/or how to position the windows 640 on the container 610 such that a portion of the indicia 634 disposed on the container 610 are highlighted in order to describe one or more characteristics of the wipes or type of wipes in the cartridge 626.

The container 610 of FIG. 9 may include an interior storage space adapted to at least partially contain the cartridge 626. The container 610 may include a viewing area 632. The viewing area 632 may further include indicia 634. The indicia 634 may include depictions that are the same as, substantially the same as, similar to or related to the indicia 635 on the cartridge 626. Alternatively, the indicia 634 on the container 610 may be different than the indicia 635 on the cartridge 626. The indicia 634 on the container 610 may be arranged in the same, substantially the same, or similar manner as the indicia 635 on the container 610. Alternatively, the indicia 635 on the container 610 may be arranged differently than the indicia 635 on the cartridge 626. For example, the indicia may be arranged in rows 629, 627 and 628, which are further divided into discreet portions. The indicia 634 of each row 629, 627 and 628 and/or each discreet portion may be the same kind of indicia (e.g. all alphanumeric symbols, all non-alphanumeric symbols, etc.). Alternatively, the indicia of each row 629, 627 and 628 and/or each discreet portion may be different than some or all of the other rows 629, 627 and 628 and/or discreet portions.

The container 610 also includes one or more windows 640 that are slidably engaged with the container 610. The windows 640 may be manipulated to cover and/or uncover one or more portions of the viewing area 632. The window(s) 640 may be configured to highlight the indicia 634 disposed on the covered portion 660 of the container 610. Alternatively, the windows 640 may be configured to reduce the viewability of a portion of the indicia disposed on the covered portion 660 of the viewing area 632, for example by covering the indicia with an opaque window. Other suitable examples of windows 640 include the windows described above.

In one particular example of an embodiment of the present invention, the cartridge 626 may include three rows 636, 637, and 638 of indicia 635. The rows 636, 637, and 638 each may include three discreet portions. The discreet portions shown in FIG. 9 may appear to have about the same dimensions, however it is to be understood that discreet portions having different dimensions are also contemplated by the present invention. The indicia 635 of the first row 626 may depict symbols describing, for example, the characteristics of the wetness and/or the wetness composition of the wipes. In one discreet portion of the first row 636, shapes resembling water drops may be depicted. A consumer may understand the water drops to describe wet wipes including a water based composition. In another discreet area of the first row 636, a plurality of horizontal lines may be depicted. A user may understand the horizontal lines to describe wipes that are substantially dry. In still another discreet portion of the first row 636, symbols resembling snowflakes may be depicted. A consumer may understand the snowflake symbols to describe wet wipes that include an alcohol based composition.

Continuing with this particular example, the indicia 635 of the second row 637 may depict different shades and/or colors that describe the characteristic of, for example, the moisturizing level of the wipes. One discreet portion of the second row 637 may be lightly shaded, or alternatively may include a first color. A consumer may understand the lightly shaded discreet portion or first colored portion to describe the characteristic of lightly moisturizing. Another discreet portion of the second row 637 may be moderately shaded (relative to the lightly and darkly shaded discreet portions), or alternatively may include a second color. A consumer may understand the moderately shaded or second colored discreet portion to describe the characteristic of moderately moisturizing. Still another discreet portion of the second row 637 may be darkly shaded, or alternatively may include a third color. A consumer may understand the darkly shaded or third colored discreet portion to describe the characteristic of highly moisturizing.

Still continuing with this particular example, the indicia 635 of the third row 638 may depict a combination of alphanumeric and non-alphanumeric symbols that describe, for example, the characteristic of scent in the wipes. One discreet portion of the third row 638 may depict a non-alphanumeric symbol. A consumer may understand the non-alphanumeric symbol to describe the characteristic of unscented. Another discreet portion of the third row 638 may depict a first alphanumeric symbol. A consumer may understand the first alphanumeric symbol to describe the characteristic of a particular scent or level of scent in the wipes. Still another discreet portion of the third row 638 may depict a second alphanumeric symbol. A consumer may understand the second alphanumeric symbol to describe the characteristic of a particular scent or level of scent different than that described by the first alphanumeric symbol.

Continuing with the same particular example, the container 610 may include three rows 629, 627, 628 of indicia 634 disposed on the viewing area 632. The rows 629, 627, 628 each may include three discreet portions. The discreet portions shown in FIG. 9 may appear to have about the same dimensions, however it is to be understood that discreet portions having different dimensions are also contemplated by the present invention. The indicia 634 in each discreet portion of the container 610 may be substantially the same as the corresponding indicia 635 on the cartridge 626. For example, the indicia 634 depicting water droplets are positioned on the left side (as viewed) of the first row 629 on the container 610. Similarly, the indicia 635 depicting water droplets on the cartridge 626 are positioned on the left side (as viewed) of the first row 636. Likewise, the rest of the indicia 634, 635 have positional correspondence between the container 610 and the cartridge 626. Thus, a user can position the windows 640 on the container 610 so that the symbols viewable through the windows 640 describe the characteristics of the type of wipes disposed in the container.

In addition to describing the characteristics of the wipes or type of wipes contained in the cartridge 610, the indicia 635 disposed on the cartridge 610, when highlighted, may also provide a more desirable means of communicating to a consumer the positions in which the windows 640 on the container 610 should be placed. For example, the indicia 635 of FIG. 9 that are in a particular discreet portion of each row 636, 637, and 638 may include outlines 650 that are darker and/or thicker than the lines defining the other discreet portions. Relatively dark thick outlines are shown as examples in FIG. 9, but other nonlimiting means of highlighting a particular discreet portion include colored indicia, background colors, arrows, spaces, words, raised/lowered portions, texture differences, stickers, reflectors, darkened areas, brightened areas, combinations thereof and the like. By viewing the indicia 635 that are highlighted, a consumer need not take time to read and/or understand the indicia 635 in order to find the matching indicia 634 on the container 610. Rather, the consumer can simply note the position of the highlighted indicia with respect to the row 636, 637 and 638 in which the indicia 635 is disposed, and position the windows 640 on the container 610 to highlight the corresponding positions on the container 610.

While the example of FIG. 9 shows a container 610 having only one window 640 associated with each row 629, 627, and 628, it is to be understood that embodiments wherein each row 629, 627, and 628 has more than one window 640 are also contemplated by the present invention. Additionally, the number of windows 640 associated with each row 629, 627, and 628 need not necessarily be the same. For example, the first row 629 may include two windows 640, while the second row 627 and the third row 628 include more or less than two windows 640. When a row 629, 627, and 628 includes more than one window 640, the windows 640 may be adapted to work cooperatively such that a particular portion of the indicia 634 is made visible. For example, a row 629, 627, and 628 having three discreet portions may include two or more opaque windows 640 that can be slidably manipulated to cover one or more of the three discreet portions, and leave at least one discreet portion visible. Alternatively, the first row 629 may include one or more opaque windows 640 and/or one or more non-opaque windows 640, such as, for example transparent or translucent windows 640, adapted to work cooperatively to highlight a particular portion or portions of the indicia 634. Further, each row 629, 627, and 628 may be configured to include one or more windows that can be slidably manipulated to cover one or more other windows 640 in the same row 629, 627, and 628.

A cartridge, such as the cartridge 426 shown in FIG. 10, when configured to be placed in the container 410 may include a label 430 having indicia 434 useful for communicating information to a user, such as, for example one of the content-specific messages described above. The container 410 and cartridge 426 may be configured to act cooperatively such that the indicia 434 on the label 430 are viewable from outside the container 410. In one example, the container 410 is provided with a slidably engaged window 440, such as, for example one of the windows described above, such that when the window 440 is slidably manipulated by a user, at least a portion of the indicia 434 on the label 430 are viewable from the outside of the container 410 in the vicinity of at least one viewing portion 432.

The cartridge 426 will typically include a plurality of wipes. The cartridge 426 may provide packaging for the plurality of wipes, such as, for example by substantially surrounding the plurality of wipes with a flexible film, such as, for example a synthetic polymer film. Alternatively, the cartridge 426 may be configured as a cardboard or paperboard box with the wipes disposed inside the cartridge 426. However, it is to be understood that the cartridge 426 may be made of any suitable material commonly known in the art. The label 430 may be affixed to any suitable location on the cartridge 426 as long as it is visible in the vicinity of the viewing portion 432. Alternatively, the indicia 434 may be printed on the label 430 or otherwise configured to be an integral part of the label 430 by any suitable means commonly known to those of ordinary skill in the art.

This unique combination of container 410 and cartridge 426 allows a single container 410 to receive different types of cartridges 426 while accurately displaying the contents of the cartridge 426 to a user based on the packaging of the cartridges 426. Thus, the container could be made nearly universal such that the retailer need only stock one type of container 410. This ability would greatly simplify manufacturing and inventory management.

In some of the foregoing examples and/or figures it may appear that the sliding window only has a particular number of positions, such as, for example 2 or 3 positions, which enable a user to display the desired indicia. However, it is to be understood that the invention contemplates embodiments wherein the sliding window may have any number of positions in which it can be placed, such that a message describing a characteristic of wipes or type of wipes is depicted by the indicia. Additionally, while the examples shown in the figures may appear to enable a user to slidably manipulate the window(s) in only one plane, it is to be understood that embodiments wherein the windows can be slidably manipulated in one or more planes that are the same or different from those that may appear to be shown in the figures are also contemplated by the invention.

The dimensions and values disclosed herein are not to be understood as being strictly limited to the exact numerical values recited. Instead, unless otherwise specified, each such dimension is intended to mean both the recited value and a functionally equivalent range surrounding that value. For example, a dimension disclosed as “40 mm” is intended to mean “about 40 mm.”

All documents cited in the Detailed Description of the Invention are, in relevant part, incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention. To the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the same term in a document incorporated by reference, the meaning or definition assigned to that term in this document shall govern.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.