Title:
E-Z BOP BOX TOP a re-closable box with a spout
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved, re-closable spout device for use on a boxtop of a carton. The unique device allows the consumer to open and close with ease. This new box configuration with an integral and re-closable spout relates to containers for various items, particularly items that require a pour feature and a re-closable seal feature. These containers are of various material make-ups and may be used for containing and distributing a plethora of items. The new E-Z BOP BOX TOP—a re-closable box with a spout attached to the inner bag generally relates to all types of containers where either directed pouring (with the spout) or a re-closable seal proves beneficial.



Inventors:
Cole, Jennifer (Anderson, IN, US)
Clark, Zaida (Anderson, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/998325
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
11/29/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D5/74
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090194578SELF-SEALING RECLOSABLE CARTONAugust, 2009Forman et al.
20090084833Variable Internal Volume Container And Associated Container BlankApril, 2009Keefe Jr. et al.
20080116085Carton For BottlesMay, 2008Artis et al.
20020000446Cup-holder napkinJanuary, 2002Taylor
20080029586Paper BoxFebruary, 2008Liao
20090065560MULTI-PACK OF PRODUCT PACKAGESMarch, 2009Johnson
20060144913Rectangular box coverJuly, 2006Wang
20070228128Sheet Material and MethodOctober, 2007Kieser
20070164090Envelope-type container, in particular for small gifts, event favors, candy, gift certificates and the likeJuly, 2007Solomonson
20060231600CARTON WITH COMPOSITE WALL AND EXPANSION PANELSOctober, 2006Holley Jr.
20060054670Pack with a tear strip and device for production thereofMarch, 2006Focke et al.



Primary Examiner:
ELKINS, GARY E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RITCHISON LAW OFFICES, PC (Anderson, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is:

1. A container device for storing and dispensing a content of the container comprising: a) an exterior container with features and a predetermined configuration; b) a re-closable spout with features integral to the exterior container; c) an inner bag with features; and d) a means to secure the inner bag to the spout whereby these containers, spouts and bags are of various material and configured to be used for containing and distributing a plethora of items.

2. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the exterior container is made of cardboard.

3. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the exterior container is made of fiberboard.

4. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the exterior container is made of composite material.

5. The container device according to claim 4 wherein the composite material for the exterior container is plastic.

6. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the inner bag is made of composite material.

7. The container device according to claim 6 wherein the composite material is plastic.

8. The container device according to claim 7 wherein the plastic is polyethylene.

9. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the inner bag is made of a plastic-like film material.

10. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the inner bag is a waxed paper.

11. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the spout has a tab feature to constrict over pivoting of the spout.

12. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the spout is made of composite material.

13. The container device according to claim 12 wherein the composite material is plastic.

14. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the spout is made of cardboard.

15. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the spout is made of fiberboard.

16. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the means to connect the bag to the containers is an adhesive.

17. The container device according to claim 1 wherein the means to connect the bag to the containers is by a heat seal process.

18. A container device for storing and dispensing a content of the container comprising: a) an exterior cardboard container with features and a predetermined configuration; b) a re-closable cardboard spout with features integral to the exterior container; c) a waxed paper inner bag with flaps to permit a gluing of the inner bag to the spout; and d) an adhesive means to secure the inner bag to the spout whereby these containers, spouts and bags are of various configurations to be used for containing and distributing a plethora of items.

19. A container device for storing and dispensing a content of the container comprising: a) a container with features and a predetermined configuration; and b) a re-closable spout with features integral to the container; whereby this container and spout are of various material and configured to be used for containing and distributing a plethora of items.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Applications Ser. No. 60/957,194 filed Aug. 22, 2007. The Provisional Application was filed by Jennifer Cole and Zaida Clark and titled “E-Z BOP BOX TOP”. It is believed that this is the first teaching of the top-placed, integral and re-closable spout for a box such as a cereal box or the like with this unique configuration.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This new device relates directly to box tops and complete boxes. The unique device allows the consumer to open and close with ease. This may pertain to the disabled, elderly or consumers with arthritis. This new box configuration with an integral and re-closable spout relates to containers for various items, particularly items that require a pour feature and a re-closable seal feature. These containers are of various material make-ups and may be used for containing and distributing a plethora of items. These items, for example and not for limitation, may be food products—such a dry cereals, staples, pasta, and the like; minced herbs and spices such as onions, fennel, basil; or loose parts such as buttons, relatively small plastic building blocks, and the like. The new E-Z BOP BOX TOP—a re-closable box with a spout generally relates to all types of containers where either directed pouring (with the spout) or a re-closable seal proves beneficial.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

None.

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

None.

BACKGROUND—FIELD OF INVENTION

The new E-Z BOP BOX TOP—a re-closable box with a spout described in this specification is a container device with features that are designed to easily and quickly provide access to a product with an easy pour and re-closable/reseal able feature.

A. Introduction of the Problems Addressed

In prior art when a container has been designed, the box or container has not fully considered and integrated a spout with the “interior bag” device. The common referral to “simple or easy open containers” is normally without any consideration of the interior bag. The resultant device may provide an attractive outer container, but still lack in providing an easy open feature for the container with features with the bag and container to allow re-seal ability and easy use. The lack of the features often allows box tops to be “ripped” off and an inner bag to be torn or require roll-down of clip means to attempt to maintain freshness.

B. Prior Art

Historically, no known cartons and containers for dry goods and small parts have attempted to incorporate a spout into the container itself. There were attempts to add a spout with metal or plastic devices. These were limited and taught no attachment to the inner bag. These other prior art often added significant complexity to the process by using additional “component parts” to the carton. Other prior art of the inner bag itself attempted to form a funnel or spout with no rigidity to the feature. Also, some used complex “zippers or sides” to re-close the bag within the carton. An early device for cartons is described in U.S. Pat. No. 1,539,985 (1925) issued to Allen which teaches a side pouring spout built into the cardboard of the carton. No teaching of adhering to inner bags is mentioned possibly due to the limited use of inner bags for sales directly to consumers. This would not have been obvious to carton makers at the time. Another packaging device is described in U.S. Pat. No. 1,907,939 which was issued to Venning et al (1932) which teaches a side spout but does not show or describe an inner bag or liner as shown with the new E-Z BOP BOX TOP.

A biodegradable spout device for containers is taught by U.S. Pat. No. 5,372,301 issued to Besson (1994). This art discloses a side spout with no inner bag adhesion. A pour spout formed by the liner is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 5,680,986 issued to Botterman (1997). It teaches away from the adhesion of the liner and spout utilized by the E-Z BOP BOX TOP.

A somewhat integral pour spout is taught in the U.S. Pat. No. 5,660,324 issued to Rowland (1997) with the spout separate from the bag. A re-sealable spout on a side gusset of a bag is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,164,826 issued to Petkovsek (2000). Here the spout is part of the bag, but no outer carton is described or shown.

A pair of spouted bag patents were issued to Olin. U.S. Pat. No. 6,206,571 (2001) and U.S. Pat. No. 7,025,504 (2006) showed and taught bags with a top portion “torn away” to get to a feature for resealing. Neither showed the integral bag and spout feature unique to E-Z BOP BOX TOP. A complex and relatively more expensive way to manufacture than the E-Z BOP BOX TOP is shown in the U.S. Pat. No. 6,773,163 issued to Ichikawa, et al (2004). The zippered varies greatly in the configuration and resultant simplicity featured in the E-Z BOP BOX TOP.

A relatively complex apparatus for a re-closable zippered pouch is taught by Barmore, et al in the U.S. Pat. No. 6,820,391 (2004). A container with an integral spout is taught by Heise in U.S. Pat. No. 7,156,287 (2007). Both devices by Barmore and Heise are somewhat complex but neither teaches the attachment between the spout and inner bag as featured with the E-Z BOP BOX TOP.

None of the prior art teaches all the features and capabilities of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP—a re-closable box with a spout attached to the inner bag. As far as known, there are no devices at the present time which fully meet the need for an easy pour and re-closable container as demonstrated by the E-Z BOP BOX TOP.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An E-Z BOP BOX TOP—a re-closable box with a spout has been developed for use in the food and small items container industry. This new box configuration with an integral and re-closable spout relates to containers for various items, particularly items that require a pour feature and a re-closable seal feature. These containers are of various material make-ups and may be used for containing and distributing a plethora of items. The new E-Z BOP BOX TOP—a re-closable box with a spout generally relates to all types of containers where either directed pouring (with the spout) or a re-closable seal proves beneficial.

OBJECTS, ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS

There are many benefits and advantages of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP device. For example, this new device:

A. allows the food or stored product to stay fresh longer;

B. will allow existing manufactures to implement this to their existing boxes with minimal sustained cost to the manufacture;

C. permits the inside plastic bag to be glued to the integral spout to ensure freshness and to keep contents from falling outside of the bag while stored in the box;

D. permits easy opening of the box which may contain a pull strip seal to ensure the consumer of product freshness;

E. will allow a box top or complete box to open and close with little effort from the consumer;

F. may be used for any product—food and non-food—distributed from box to container, by allowing the item to pour easily out of the box;

G. will eliminate the destruction of the existing box caused by repeated opening and closing of the top of the box. This non-destructive means will allow the box to keep its intended form. By preserving the box it will allow the manufacturer to ensure its advertisements and product identification to remain intact;

H. will allow cost effective manufacturing using either cardboard and or ECO (Ecology/Environmentally) friendly plastic for the spout;

I. will provide an attractive and consumer friendly access to the food and other items that they purchase;

J. will keep items fresh and free of excess moisture when closed in place;

K. will help minimize the spreading of germs to the contents of the box by allowing consumer to pour contents into hand rather than place hand in box to grab contents while snacking

TABLE A shows a list of additional advantages and benefits of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP over the prior art of the currently available containers in the marketplace.

TABLE A
OTHER DISTINCT ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS of the E-Z
BOP BOX TOP DEVICE
ITEMDESCRIPTION
1Eliminates hard to open boxes
2Improves hard to open interior bags
3Reduces waste of spilled foods or stale containerized foods
4Eliminates mutilated containers and discarded containers
5Provides an alternative storage means
6Improve freshness to consumer
7Simplify opening and using container
8Reduce need for extra containers once package is opened

For one skilled in the art of containers and other “box” devices it is readily understood that the features, advantages and benefits shown in the examples with this device are readily adapted to other types of improvements for container products.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS-FIGURES

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP. It is understood, however, that the E-Z BOP BOX TOP is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIGS. 1A and 1B show a sketch of the configuration for an E-Z BOP BOX TOP—a re-closable box with a spout device and the spout itself.

FIGS. 2A through 2C show components of the device.

FIGS. 3A and 3B are sketches to demonstrate the method of how to seal the new E-Z BOP BOX TOP for various containers.

FIG. 4 is a sketch that shows the general cut template for a cardboard piece or equal for the E-Z BOP BOX TOP exterior container.

FIG. 5 is a sketch of an interior container “bag” for the E-Z BOP BOX TOP.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

The following list refers to the drawings:

Ref No.Description
31E-Z BOP BOX TOP: a re-closable box with a spout
32Spout
33Sides of spout
34Top/Bottom of spout
35Spout tab
36General “plastic, composite material, wax paper
or the like” bag
37Extended bag flap
38Box Top
39Means to secure spout such as a Slot on Box top
or the like
40Fold or break lines for container or bags
41Cut points for container or bag
42Means to secure such as adhesive, glue, hot melt
or equal
43General container “cut” or flat configuration
44General bag “cut” or flat configuration
45Container
46Optional stop tabs
47Pivot line

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention is a container device called an E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31. This new box/container configuration 45 with an integral and re-closable spout 32 relates to containers for various items, particularly items that require a pour feature and a re-closable seal feature 35. These containers are of various material make-ups and may be used for containing and distributing a plethora of items. The new E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 is a re-closable container 45 with a spout 32 that generally relates to all types of containers where either directed pouring (with the spout) or a re-closable seal proves beneficial. This device is comprised essentially of a sealed container 45, a sealed interior bag 36 to the container, a spout mechanism 32 with re-closable features, a means to seal the bag to the container 42, and a means to seal the bag to the spout of the container 42. The many advantages over other containers and prior art have been described, above.

There is shown in FIGS. 1 through 5 a complete operative embodiment of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 and many uses and applications for the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31. In the drawings and illustrations, one notes well that drawings and sketches demonstrate the general configuration of this invention and its uses. The preferred embodiment of the device is comprised of only a few parts as shown. Various important features of these components are also delineated and are described below in appropriate detail for one that is skilled in the art to appreciate the importance and functionality of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31.

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 that are preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31. It is understood, however, that the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIGS. 1A and 1B show a sketch of the configuration for an E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31—a re-closable box 45 with a spout 32 device and the spout itself. FIG. 1A shows the container with the spout and FIG. 1B shows the spout 32. One skilled in the art of containers appreciates the container 45 and the spout 32 may be made from various types of materials. For example and not as a limitation, these may be of card board or pressed fiber, other paper composites, plastics, and other synthetic composites related to plastics. The configuration of the spout 32 may be made from similarly stated materials such as pressed cardboard, fiber board, a multiplicity of plastics, composite materials and or/the like. The spout 32 is configured on the top surface of the box 45 and the spout 32 area. The bag 44 and spout 32 are affixed securely by a means 42 to the container 45. The spout 32 is rotatably connected to the container 45 on the uppermost surface known as the box top 38. One skilled in the art of containers 45 appreciates the many connection and pivotable means that might be utilized to provide the rotational spout 32 and flexible box 45 connection. An optional stop 46 is described below.

FIGS. 2A through 2C show components of the device. FIG. 2A shows the general container 45 with the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 on the uppermost panel (top) of the box with the spout 32 extended. FIG. 2B shows the box top 38 with the spout 32 extended. Components of the pivotable spout 32 include the spout sides 33 and the spout top 34 which becomes the spout back 34 when opened and in the extended position. The back 34 is an extension of the box 45 side panel (See FIG. 4). An alternative embodiment shows the optional feature of stops 46 that may be part of the cut container. This feature may be configured to prevent the spout 32 from extending beyond the box side at the pivot point.

FIGS. 3A and 3B are sketches to demonstrate the method of how to seal the new E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 for various containers. The top 38 has the slot or closing means 39 integral to the top 38. When open as in FIG. 3A, the back 34 of the spout 32 is extended and forms one side of the spout 32. The top 34 of the spout 32 becomes the rest of the box top 38, 34 when closed and the tab 35 is inserted into slot 39 as shown in FIG. 3B. The preferred embodiment of this E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 will be comprised of cardboard spout 32 that will be integrally part of the whole manufactured boxes 45. Alternatively, a cardboard or plastic spout 32 could be individually added and applied to existing boxes. The spout may also be adhered using an existing bag 36 within the container 45. The bag 36 may have one or more flaps 37 that may be secured by a means 42 such as adhesive, glue, hot melt or equal. One or both of the items will be used to keep the spout 32 in place and ensure that the product moves from the container 45 in a controlled and mannerly fashion. The spout 32 may be firmly closed with the spout 32 and the box top 38 join in place at tab 35 and slot 39. This tab 35 and slot 39 is an example of one enabling means to secure the spout 32. Other means may be used and still be within the scope and spirit of this device.

FIG. 4 is a sketch that shows the general cut template 43 for a cardboard piece or equal for the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 exterior container. The glue areas 42, the cuts 41 and the fold lines 40 are dependent on the actual configuration desired for the container 45. One skilled in the art of containers also appreciates that various nuances and sizes may be used depending on the grade and thickness of the materials and method of securing 42. The ultimate folds 40 and cuts 41 permit a plethora of shapes to be provided for the container 45.

FIGS. 5 is a sketch of an interior container “bag” 36 for the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31. The interior bag 36 may be made in varying configurations with cut points 41 and fold lines 40 placed as the ultimate configuration requires. The example general bag 44 as shown in FIG. 4 is an example and not limitation. In this example, the inner bag 36 fits inside the general carton or container 45. The optional one or more flaps 37 on the bag 36 permit an area for the bag 36 to be secured and affixed to the carton 45, especially at the spout 32 area. As mentioned, the securing means 42 may be by adhesive, glue, hot melt or the like. The sealed interior bag 36 may be made of various materials. General “plastic, composite material, wax paper or the like” are suitable. Other plastic films and plastic such as a thin polyethylene may be used. These are examples and not limitations of the materials.

For the overall E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31, there are also several materials and featured structural configurations that may feasibly be used to manufacture the device. The details mentioned here are exemplary and not limiting. Any desired combination, shape or pattern can be assembled. Also, well appreciated by one skilled in the art of container devices are that all the examples of the materials may be substituted with other plastics, fiber and composite materials that have similar properties and still be within the scope and spirit of this E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31. Other components specific to describing a E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 may be added as a person having ordinary skill in the field of containers and boxes or the like as being obvious from the above described embodiment.

Operation of the Preferred Embodiment

The new E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 has been described in the above embodiment. The manner of how the device operates is described below. One notes well that the description above and the operation described here must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31. The preferred embodiment of this E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 will be comprised of cardboard spout 32 that will be integrally part of the whole manufactured boxes 45. Alternatively, a cardboard or plastic spout 32 could be individually added and applied to existing boxes.

In operation, the spout will open on one end at the top of the box 38 using a slight lifting motion pulling upward. The spout may be adhered using small tabs 46 located at the inside of the spout grabbing on to the top of the box. The spout may also be adhered using an existing bag 36 within the container 45. The bag 36 may have one or more flaps 37 that may be secured by a means such as adhesive, glue, hot melt or equal. One or both (the bag 36 and flaps 37) of the items will be used to keep the spout in place and ensure that the product moves from the container 45 in a controlled and mannerly fashion. The spout 32 will be firmly closed using a downward motion until the spout and the box top 38 join in place at tab 35 and slot 39. This tab and slot is an example of one enabling means to secure the spout 32. Other means may be used and still be within the scope and spirit of this device. The opening and closing of this box top spout 32 will be opened and closed with ease using one hand or even one finger. The spout 32 pivots at the pivot line 47 of the box panel.

The manufacture of the bag 36 and carton 45 with the integral spout 32 is anticipated to be accomplished with standard carton making equipment with the unique spout configuration and the gluing of the spout 32 to the inner bag 36 being the additional process steps.

With this description of the detailed parts and operation it is to be understood that the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment. The features of the E-Z BOP BOX TOP 31 are intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the description.





 
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