Title:
CARTON FOR DISPENSING PRODUCTS AND METHOD OF USING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A carton for packaging containers is provided. The carton includes a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls. At least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end. The carton includes at least one detachable portion to be detached from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls. The at least one detachable portion to be detached from the carton defining an opening at the exiting end through which containers may be removed. The exiting end opening has a size. The carton includes upper and lower retention portions formed from the end wall at the exiting end. At least one of the upper and lower retention portions is hingedly connected to at least one of the top wall and the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers.



Inventors:
Learn, Angela Elizabeth (Gilbertsville, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/845610
Publication Date:
03/05/2009
Filing Date:
08/27/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
229/122.1
International Classes:
B65D5/72; B65D5/42; B65D5/46; B65D5/54
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BYRD, LATRICE CHENELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON (US) LLP (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A carton for packaging a plurality of containers in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row, the carton comprising: a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls, at least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end; at least one detachable portion detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls, the at least one detachable portion to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed, the exiting end opening having a size; an upper retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end, the upper retention portion extending downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the detachable portion; and a lower retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end, the lower retention portion extending upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the detachable portion, wherein at least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion is hingedly connected to at least one of the top wall and the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

2. A carton in accordance with claim 1 wherein the lower retention portion is hingedly connected to the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

3. A carton in accordance with claim 2 wherein the lower retention portion further comprises a portion of the end wall at the exiting end extending upwardly from the bottom wall to the lower tear line of the detachable portion, a portion of the side walls, and a portion of the bottom wall.

4. A carton in accordance with claim 2 wherein the lower retention portion is defined by the lower tear line of the detachable portion extending substantially horizontally across the exiting end, a first hinge line extending from the detachable portion away from the exiting end through a first side wall of the two side walls to the bottom wall, a second hinge line extending from the detachable portion away from the exiting end through a second side wall of the two side walls to the bottom wall, and a portion of the bottom wall proximate to the exiting end.

5. A carton in accordance with claim 4 wherein the first hinge line comprises a first curvilinear portion defined within the bottom wall, the second hinge line comprises a second curvilinear portion defined within the bottom wall, the first and second curvilinear portions facilitate rotation of the lower retention portion about the bottom wall and reduce accidental tearing of the bottom wall.

6. A carton in accordance with claim 5 wherein the bottom wall comprises at least one bottom panel and at least one glue panel, the first curvilinear portion is defined within the at least one bottom panel and the second curvilinear portion is defined within the at least one glue flap.

7. A carton in accordance with claim 1 wherein the upper retention portion is hingedly connected to the top wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

8. A carton in accordance with claim 7 wherein the upper retention portion further comprises a portion of the end wall at the exiting end extending downwardly from the top wall to the upper tear line of the detachable portion, a portion of the side walls, and a portion of the top wall.

9. A carton in accordance with claim 7 wherein the upper retention portion is defined by the upper tear line of the detachable portion extending substantially horizontally across the exiting end, a first hinge line extending from the detachable portion away from the exiting end through a first side wall of the two side walls to the top wall, a second hinge line extending from the detachable portion away from the exiting end through a second side wall of the two side walls to the top wall, and a portion of the top wall proximate to the exiting end.

10. A carton in accordance with claim 9 wherein the first hinge line comprises a first curvilinear portion defined within the top wall, the second hinge line comprises a second curvilinear portion defined within the top wall, the first and second curvilinear portions to facilitate rotation of the upper retention portion about the top wall and reduce accidental tearing of the top wall.

11. A carton in accordance with claim 1 wherein the at least one detachable portion includes a first arcuate section defined within a first side wall of the two side walls, a second arcuate section defined within a second side wall of the two side walls, and a horizontal section extending between the first and second arcuate sections.

12. A carton in accordance with claim 11 wherein the at least one detachable portion further comprises a first insertion flap adjacent the first arcuate section, and a second insertion flap adjacent the second arcuate section.

13. A carton in accordance with claim 12 wherein at least one of the first and second insertion flaps is an opening.

14. A carton in accordance with claim 1 wherein at least one fold line is defined between the bottom wall and at least one of the two side walls, at least one retrieval opening is defined along the at least one fold line.

15. A carton in accordance with claim 1 wherein a tear line defines a handle within the top wall, the handle extending transversely across the top wall of the carton.

16. A carton in accordance with claim 1 wherein each of the two closed end walls comprises two side flaps each side flap attached along a fold line to one of the two side walls, a top flap attached along a fold line to the top wall, and a bottom flap attached along a fold line to the bottom wall.

17. A blank for forming a carton for packaging a plurality of containers arranged in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row, the blank comprising: a sheet of foldable material having first, second, third and fourth parallel fold lines therein, defining areas of the sheet corresponding to a top panel, two side panels and a bottom panel of the carton; at one end of the parallel fold lines, a fold line transverse to the parallel fold lines, and a side end flap connected by the transverse fold line to each of the areas corresponding to the two side panels; a tear line extending through each of the two side panels and each of the side end flaps to define a detachable portion, an upper retention portion, and a lower retention portion at an exiting end of the carton, wherein the detachable portion may be detached from the carton to define an opening through which the containers may be removed, the tear line including first and second arcuate sections and a horizontal section extending between the arcuate sections; a pair of hinge lines hingedly connecting at least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion to at least one of the top panel and the bottom panel for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

18. A blank in accordance with claim 17 further comprising an insertion flap in the area corresponding to each of the side panels, each insertion flap adjacent the arcuate section of the tear line.

19. A blank in accordance with claim 17 wherein the pair of hinge lines hingedly connects the upper retention portion to the top panel.

20. A blank in accordance with claim 17 wherein the pair of hinge lines hingedly connects the lower retention portion to the bottom panel.

21. A blank in accordance with claim 17 wherein each hinge line of the pair of hinge lines extends from the tear line defining the detachable portion away from the exiting end.

22. A blank in accordance with claim 17 wherein the fold lines of the sheet of foldable material further define an area corresponding to a glue flap for attaching to the bottom panel, a first hinge line of the pair of hinge lines comprises a first curvilinear portion defined within the bottom panel, a second hinge line of the pair of hinge lines comprises a second curvilinear portion defined within the glue flap.

23. A blank in accordance with claim 17 wherein each hinge line of the pair of hinge lines comprises at least one curvilinear portion defined within the top panel.

24. A method of opening a carton containing a plurality of containers arranged in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row, the carton having a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls, at least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end; at least one detachable portion detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls; an upper retention portion formed from the end wall extending downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the detachable portion; and a lower retention portion formed from the end wall extending upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the detachable portion, the method comprising: removing the at least one detachable portion to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed, the exiting end opening having a size; separating at least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion along a pair of hinge lines such that at least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion is hingedly connected to at least one of the top wall and the bottom wall; rotating at least one of the hingedly connected upper retention portion and lower retention portion for increasing the size of the exiting end opening when removing the containers from the carton.

25. A method in accordance with claim 24 wherein each of the pair of hinge lines includes at least one curvilinear portion defined within the top wall, the method further comprising rotating the upper retention portion to increase the size of the exiting end opening wherein each of the curvilinear portions facilitate rotation of the upper retention portion about the top wall and reduce accidental tearing of the top wall.

26. A method in accordance with claim 24 wherein each of the pair of hinge lines includes at least one curvilinear portion defined within the bottom wall, the method further comprising rotating the lower retention portion to increase the size of the exiting end opening wherein each of the curvilinear portions facilitate rotation of the lower retention portion about the bottom wall and reduce accidental tearing of the bottom wall.

27. A method in accordance with claim 24 wherein the at least one detachable portion includes at least one finger flap in the area corresponding to at least one of the side walls, the method further comprising removing the at least one detachable portion utilizing the at least one finger flap.

28. A carton for packaging a plurality of containers in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row, the carton comprising: a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls, at least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end; at least one detachable portion detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls, the at least one detachable portion to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed, the exiting end opening having a size; and an upper retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end, the upper retention portion extending downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the detachable portion; wherein the upper retention portion is hingedly connected to the top wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

29. A carton for packaging a plurality of containers in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row, the carton comprising: a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls, at least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end; at least one detachable portion detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls, the at least one detachable portion to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed, the exiting end opening having a size; and a lower retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end, the lower retention portion extending upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the detachable portion, wherein the lower retention portion is hingedly connected to the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

30. A carton for packaging a plurality of containers in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row, the carton comprising: a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls, at least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end; at least one region of weakness detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls, the at least one region of weakness to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed, the exiting end opening having a size; an upper retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end, the upper retention portion extending downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the region of weakness; and a lower retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end, the lower retention portion extending upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the region of weakness, wherein at least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion is hingedly connected to at least one of the top wall and the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

31. A carton in accordance with claim 30 wherein the upper tear line of the region of weakness extends substantially horizontally across the exiting end, a first hinge line extends from the region of weakness away from the exiting end through a first side wall of the two side walls to the top wall, a second hinge line extending from the region of weakness away from the exiting end through a second side wall of the two side walls to the top wall, a fold line extends between the first and second hinge lines across the top wall to facilitate rotation of the upper retention portion about the top wall.

32. A carton in accordance with claim 30 wherein the lower tear line of the region of weakness extends substantially horizontally across the exiting end, a first hinge line extends from the region of weakness away from the exiting end through a first side wall of the two side walls to the bottom wall, a second hinge line extending from the region of weakness away from the exiting end through a second side wall of the two side walls to the bottom wall, a fold line extends between the first and second hinge lines across the bottom wall to facilitate rotation of the lower retention portion about the bottom wall.

33. A carton in accordance with claim 30 wherein the at least one region of weakness is a zipper strip.

34. A carton for packaging a plurality of packages, the carton comprising: a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls, at least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end; at least one detachable portion detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls, the at least one detachable portion to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the packages may be removed, the exiting end opening having a size; an upper retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end, the upper retention portion extending downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the detachable portion; and a lower retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end, the lower retention portion extending upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the detachable portion, wherein at least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion is hingedly connected to at least one of the top wall and the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the packages through the exiting end opening.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to cartons for packaging a product and, more particularly, to a carton having a closed end and an exiting end for dispensing containers stored within the carton and a method for using the carton.

Cartons are oftentimes used to store, display, dispense and/or transport a product or a plurality of products, such as canned goods, pouched goods, or goods in flexible packages. Such cartons are usually at least partially constructed, filled with the products, and then sealed closed for transporting the products to a home, restaurant, or retail store. At least some known cartons are fashioned from a unitary blank of paperboard and are used by consumers to store the products either on a shelf, in a refrigerator, or in a pantry. At least some known cartons include a tear-away portion that allows a user to remove the tear-away portion from the carton to gain access to the products within the carton. These tear-away portions are often detached from the carton to create an opening within the carton for providing access to the products.

In at least some known cartons, after the tear-away portion is detached and access to the products is provided, the carton is used to provide storage to the remaining products. In these known cartons, the size of the access opening must be limited so that the carton is able to continue to be used to store the remaining product. Accordingly, these known cartons typically provide restricted access to the remaining products because of the rigidity of the carton and because of the limited size of the access opening.

Additionally, some known cartons with tear-away portions include a handle defined within a portion of the carton. Specifically, these handles allow the cartons to be transportable and stackable. However, these handles are easily torn or damaged, leaving the user with limited means to carry the carton.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, a carton for packaging a plurality of containers in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row is provided. The carton includes a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls. At least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end. The carton further includes at least one detachable portion detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls. The at least one detachable portion is to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed. The exiting end opening has a size. The carton also includes an upper retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end. The upper retention portion extends downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the detachable portion. The carton further includes a lower retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end. The lower retention portion extends upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the detachable portion. At least one of the upper and lower retention portions is hingedly connected to at least one of the top wall and the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

In a further aspect, a blank for forming a carton for packaging a plurality of containers arranged in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row is provided. The blank includes a sheet of foldable material having first, second, third and fourth parallel fold lines therein, defining areas of the sheet corresponding to a top panel, two side panels and a bottom panel of the carton. At one end of the parallel fold lines, the blank further includes a fold line transverse to the parallel fold lines, and a side end flap connected by the transverse fold line to each of the areas corresponding to the two side panels. The blank also includes a tear line extending through each of the two side panels and each of the side end flaps to define a detachable portion, an upper retention portion, and a lower retention portion at an exiting end of the carton. The detachable portion may be detached from the carton to define an opening through which the containers may be removed. The tear line includes first and second arcuate sections and a horizontal section extending between the arcuate sections. The blank further includes a pair of hinge lines hingedly connecting at least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion to at least one of the top panel and the bottom panel for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

In another aspect, a method of opening a carton containing a plurality of containers arranged in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row is provided. The carton has a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls. At least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end. At least one detachable portion is detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls. An upper retention portion is formed from the end wall extending downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the detachable portion, and a lower retention portion is formed from the end wall extending upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the detachable portion. The method includes removing the at least one detachable portion to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed. The exiting end opening has a size. The method further includes separating at least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion along a pair of hinge lines such that at least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion is hingedly connected to at least one of the top wall and the bottom wall. The method also includes rotating at least one of the hingedly connected upper retention portion and lower retention portion for increasing the size of the exiting end opening when removing the containers from the carton.

In a further aspect, a carton for packaging a plurality of containers in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row is provided. The carton includes a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls. At least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end. The carton also includes at least one detachable portion detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls. The at least one detachable portion to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed. The exiting end opening has a size. The carton further includes an upper retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end. The upper retention portion extends downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the detachable portion. The upper retention portion is hingedly connected to the top wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

In another aspect, a carton for packaging a plurality of containers in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row is provided. The carton includes a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls. At least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end. The carton also includes at least one detachable portion detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls. The at least one detachable portion to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed. The exiting end opening has a size. The carton further includes a lower retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end. The lower retention portion extends upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the detachable portion. The lower retention portion is hingedly connected to the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

In a further aspect, a carton for packaging a plurality of containers in at least two rows including a top row and a bottom row is provided. The carton includes a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls. At least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end. The carton further includes at least one region of weakness detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls. The at least one region of weakness to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the containers may be removed, the exiting end opening having a size. The carton also includes an upper retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end. The upper retention portion extends downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the region of weakness. The carton further includes the lower retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end. The lower retention portion extends upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the region of weakness. At least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion is hingedly connected to at least one of the top wall and the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the containers through the exiting end opening.

In yet another aspect, a carton for packaging a plurality of packages is provided. The carton includes a top wall, two side walls, a bottom wall, and two closed end walls. At least one of the closed end walls is an exiting end. The carton further includes at least one detachable portion detachably formed from at least a portion of one of the end walls and the side walls. The at least one detachable portion is to be detached from the carton to define an opening at the exiting end through which the packages may be removed. The exiting end opening has a size. The carton also includes an upper retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end. The upper retention portion extends downwardly from the top wall to an upper tear line of the detachable portion. The carton further includes a lower retention portion formed from the end wall at the exiting end. The lower retention portion extends upwardly from the bottom wall to a lower tear line of the detachable portion. At least one of the upper retention portion and the lower retention portion is hingedly connected to at least one of the top wall and the bottom wall for increasing the size of the exiting end opening to facilitate removal of the packages through the exiting end opening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a blank of sheet material for constructing a carton according to one embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a carton in a closed configuration constructed from the blank shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a carton in an open configuration constructed from the blank shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a blank of sheet material for constructing a carton according to a first alternative embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a carton in a closed configuration constructed from the blank shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a carton in an open configuration constructed from the blank shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a blank of sheet material for constructing a carton according to a second alternative embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a carton in a closed configuration constructed from the blank shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a carton in an open configuration constructed from the blank shown in FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The carton described herein includes at least one exiting end having a dispensing feature. The carton is configured to easily dispense containers or products stored within the carton. The containers or products are dispensed one at a time from the carton. For example, the containers or products may be, but are not limited to, canned products, products stored in pouches or other flexible packaging, bottled goods, and the like, and/or any combination thereof. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art and guided by the teachings herein provided that the invention is likewise applicable to any suitable storage and/or display carton including, without limitation, a container, a tray or a box.

The present application describes in detail, several specific embodiments of the carton, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

When referring to the plan illustrations of the blanks, the usual drawing conventions are applied. That is, unless otherwise noted, broken lines indicate fold lines; scalloped lines indicate lines of weakness forming a tear strip or similar structure; and interior solid lines indicate through-cuts. In preferred embodiments, the blanks are fabricated from paperboard material, although other materials having similar suitable performance characteristics may be employed if desired.

In one embodiment, the carton is fabricated from a paperboard material. The carton, however, may be fabricated using any suitable material, and therefore is not limited to a specific type of material. In alternative embodiments, the carton is fabricated using cardboard, corrugated board, plastic and/or any suitable material known to those skilled in the art and guided by the teachings herein provided.

The carton may have any suitable size, shape and/or configuration, i.e. number of sides, whether such sizes, shapes and/or configurations are described and/or illustrated herein. For example, in one embodiment, the carton includes a shape that provides functionality, such as a shape that facilitates transporting the carton and/or a shape that facilitates stacking and/or arrangement of a plurality of cartons.

FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 illustrate the formation of one embodiment of a carton having a dispensing end. Specifically, FIG. 1 is a top plan view of one embodiment of a blank of sheet material designated in its entirety by element reference number 10. FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a carton in a constructed configuration designated in its entirety by element reference number 11 constructed from blank 10 shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 3 is a perspective view of carton 11 in a constructed configuration from blank 10 shown in FIG. 1 with a portion of carton 11 torn away.

Referring to FIG. 1, blank 10 is configured to form a carton 11 including at least one perforated line for forming an opening that allows access to the contents of the carton. In one embodiment, blank 10 is made of paperboard. In an alternative embodiment, blank 10 is made of cardboard, corrugated board, plastic and/or any suitable material.

Blank 10 has an exterior surface 12 and an opposing interior surface 14. In one embodiment, blank 10 includes a first bottom panel 20, a first side panel 22, a top panel 24, a second side panel 26, and a second bottom panel 28. First bottom panel 20 is hingedly coupled to first side panel 22 along a fold line 30. In one embodiment, fold line 30 includes a hinge line and/or a line of separation, such as a die cut, defined along a portion of fold line 30. It is apparent to those skilled in the art and guided by the teachings herein that fold line 30, as well as other fold lines described herein, may include any suitable line or lines of weakening. In one embodiment, at least two openings 32 and 34 formed along fold line 30. Openings 32 and 34 are sized to receive a user's finger therein. Openings 32 and 34 can be used to retrieve the carton from a shelf or other storage device when the carton is packed with at least one side wall exposed to the user. Openings 32 and 34 allow the user to insert a finger inside the carton for ease of retrieval.

First bottom panel 20 includes a first end panel 36, and an opposing second end panel 38. In one embodiment, first and second end panels 36 and 38 extend outwardly from first bottom panel 20 and are hingedly coupled to first bottom panel 20 along substantially parallel fold lines 40 and 42, respectively. Fold lines 40 and 42 are transverse to fold line 30. In one embodiment, first end panel 36 includes a panel 44 including at least three edges 46, 48, and 50. Panel 44 is substantially rectangular in shape including at least three suitable lines of separation, such as perforated lines, defined along edges 46, 48, and 50. In one embodiment, edge 48 extends between edges 46 and 50.

First side panel 22 includes a first end panel 52, and an opposing second end panel 54. First and second end panels 52 and 54 extend outwardly from first side panel 22 and are hingedly coupled to first side panel 22 along substantially parallel fold lines 56 and 58, respectively. Fold lines 56 and 58 are transverse to fold line 30.

In one embodiment, first side panel 22 further includes a line of perforation 60 that forms a first tear-away portion or a detachable portion 61 having an arcuate shape. Line of perforation 60 extends between a first end 62 and a second end 64 wherein first end 62 and second end 64 are formed along fold line 58. A finger opening 66 extends outward from line of perforation 60 and is sized to receive a user's finger therein. Finger opening 66 may include a panel positioned within the opening. Moreover, two substantially parallel lines of perforation or tear lines 68 and 70 extend outwardly from first and second ends 62 and 64, respectively, a distance D1 into second end panel 54. Lines of perforation 68 and 70 form a second tear-away portion or a detachable portion 72 within second end panel 54. Furthermore, first side panel 22 includes a line of perforation or a hinge line 74 that extends outwardly from line of perforation 60 to fold line 30. An angle θ is defined between hinge line 74 and fold line 30. For example, angle θ can range between approximately 90° and 150°. In a preferred embodiment, angle θ is between approximately 110° and 120°. Angle θ is any suitable angle that enables carton 11 to function as described herein. Hinge line 74 includes a hook portion or a curvilinear portion 76 that extends into and is defined within a portion of first bottom panel 20. Hook portion 76 facilitates rotation of a portion of carton 11 and prevents excessive tearing of the panels.

First side panel 22 is hingedly coupled to top panel 24 along a fold line 78. In one embodiment, top panel 24 includes a handle 80. Handle 80 includes a first handle panel 82 and an opposing second handle panel 84 that are separated by a line of separation 86. In one embodiment, handle 80 is configured to form an opening 88 (shown in FIG. 6). Opening 88 is defined by lines of perforation 90 and 92 with lines of separation 94 and 96 extending between lines of perforation 90 and 92. In one embodiment, line of perforation 90 extends into a portion first side panel 22, and line of perforation 92 extends into a portion of second side panel 26 to prevent tearing of handle 80. Moreover, top panel 24 includes reinforcing lines 98 and 100 formed at a distance D2 from lines of perforation 90 and 92, respectively. In one embodiment, reinforcing lines 98 and 100 are formed with a slight curvature wherein reinforcing line 98 extends across top panel 24 and into a portion of first and second side panels 22 and 26, and reinforcing line 100 extends across top panel 24 and into a portion of first and second side panels 22 and 26.

Top panel 24 further includes a first end panel 102, and an opposing second end panel 104. In one embodiment, first and second end panels 102 and 104 extend outwardly from top panel 24 and are hingedly coupled to top panel 24 along substantially parallel fold lines 106 and 108, respectively. Fold lines 106 and 108 are transverse to fold line 78. Handle 80 is positioned between fold lines 106 and 108. Specifically, in one embodiment, handle 80 is defined at a distance D3 from fold line 106, and at a distance D4 from fold line 108. Distances D3 and D4 are determined based upon the number of containers, products, or cans within carton 11. Handle 80 and line of separation 86 are strategically placed such that line of separation 86 is positioned between the containers, products, or cans within carton 11. Specifically, a user may insert their fingers into handle 80 along line of separation 86 such that their fingers are positioned between the containers, products, or cans enabling the user to carry and/or transport carton 11. For example, if carton 11 has a top row of containers or products including approximately three containers or products, line of separation 86 may be positioned between the first and second containers or between the second and third containers. As such, the position of handle 80 may be dependent upon the number of containers, products, or cans within carton 11.

In one embodiment, first end panel 102 includes a panel 110 including at least three edges 112, 114, and 116. Panel 110 is substantially rectangular in shape including at least three suitable lines of separation, such as perforated lines, defined along edges 112, 114, and 116. In one embodiment, edge 114 extends between edges 112 and 116.

Top panel 24 is hingedly coupled to second side panel 26 along a fold line 118. Top panel 24 includes a first end panel 120, and an opposing second end panel 122. First and second end panels 120 and 122 extend outwardly from second side panel 26 and are hingedly coupled to second side panel 26 along substantially parallel fold lines 124 and 126, respectively. Fold lines 124 and 126 are transverse to fold line 118. In one embodiment, first end panel 120 includes a pair of cut-away corners 128 and 130 to ease assembly of carton 11.

Second side panel 26 is hingedly coupled to second bottom panel 28 along a fold line 131. In one embodiment, second side panel 26 further includes a line of perforation 132 that is substantially similar to line of perforation 60. Line of perforation 132 forms a first tear-away portion or a detachable portion 133 having an arcuate shape. Line of perforation 132 extends between a first end 134 and a second end 136 wherein first end 134 and second end 136 are formed along fold line 126. A finger opening 138, substantially similar to opening 66, extends outward from line of perforation 132 such that opening 138 is sized to receive a user's finger therein. Finger opening 138 may include a starting tab positioned within the opening. Moreover, two substantially parallel lines of perforation 140 and 142 extend outwardly from first and second ends 134 and 136, respectively, a distance D5 into second end panel 122. Lines of perforation 140 and 142 form a second tear-away portion or a detachable portion 144 within second end panel 122. Furthermore, a line of perforation or a hinge line 146 extends outward from line of perforation 132 to fold line 131. Angle θ is defined between hinge line 146 and fold line 131. Hinge line 146 includes a hook portion or a curvilinear portion 148 that extends into and is defined within a portion of second bottom panel 28. In one embodiment, hook portion 148 facilitates rotation of a portion of carton 11 and prevents excessive tearing of the panels. Moreover, in one embodiment, distances D1 and D5 are substantially equal.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of carton 11 constructed from blank 10 shown in FIG. 1. More specifically, FIG. 2 shows carton 11 in a constructed and closed configuration. Generally, the panels of blank 10 are folded along respective fold lines towards interior surface 14 of blank 10. First bottom panel 20, first side panel 22, top panel 24, second side panel 26, and second bottom panel 28 are folded along fold lines 30, 78, 118, and 131, respectively, towards interior surface 14. Exterior surface 12 of second bottom panel 28 is affixed to interior surface 14 of first bottom panel 20 using a suitable adhesive material. It is apparent to those skilled in the art and guided by the teachings herein provided that any suitable material and/or mechanism may be used to affix portions of blank 10 together to form carton 11. In one embodiment, bottom panels 20 and 28 define a bottom wall 135. First side panel 22 defines a first side wall 137, second side panel 26 defines a second side wall 129, and top panel 24 defines a top wall 141.

End panels 36 and 102 are folded along fold lines 40 and 106, respectively, towards interior surface 14. End panels 52 and 120 are then folded along fold lines 56 and 124, respectively, towards interior surface 14. Interior surface 14 of end panel 120 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 36 and 102, and interior surface 14 of end panel 52 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 36, 102, and 120. End panels 36, 52, 102, and 120 define an end wall 139. In one embodiment, end wall 139 forms a closed end 145. Moreover, end panels 38 and 104 are folded along fold lines 42 and 108, respectively, towards interior surface 14, and end panels 54 and 122 are folded along fold lines 58 and 126, respectively, toward interior surface 14. Interior surface 14 of end panel 122 is affixed to exterior surfaces of end panels 38 and 104, and interior surface 14 of end panel 54 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 38, 104, and 122 to maintain carton 11 in a constructed configuration. In one embodiment, in the constructed configuration, end panel 120 overlaps a portion of end panel 52, and end panel 54 overlaps a portion of end panel 122. End panels 38, 54, 104, and 122 define an end wall 151. In one embodiment, end wall 151 forms an exiting end 147. Alternatively, end wall 139 forms an exiting end. In a further alternative embodiment, end wall 139 forms a closed end. Constructed carton 11 is configured to retain a set of containers or products, such as, for example, at least two rows of canned goods, pouched goods, or beverage containers.

Alternatively, interior surface 14 of end panel 52 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 36 and 102, and interior surface 14 of end panel 120 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 36, 52, and 102 forming closed end 145. Interior surface 14 of end panel 54 is then affixed to exterior surfaces of end panels 38 and 104, and interior surface 14 of end panel 122 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 38, 54, and 104 to maintain carton 11 in a constructed configuration forming exiting end 147. In this alternative embodiment, in the constructed configuration, end panel 52 overlaps a portion of end panel 120, and end panel 122 overlaps a portion of end panel 54.

In the constructed configuration, lines of perforation 70 and 140 are coaxial, and lines of perforation 68 and 142 are coaxial defining a detachable portion or a region of weakness 170. Detachable portion 170 may be a zipper strip. Detachable portion 170 is defined by portions 61, 72, 133, and 144. Detachable portion 170 is configured to detach from at least one of end walls 139 and 151 and at least one of side walls 129 and 137. Specifically, in one embodiment, detachable portion 170 includes a horizontal portion 172. Horizontal portion 172 includes tear-away portions 72 and 144 and extends horizontally across end wall 151. Moreover, tear-away portion 61 is defined within side wall 137, and tear-away portion 133 is defined within side wall 129. Alternatively, detachable portion 170 is defined such that portion 172 extends across end wall 139.

As shown in FIG. 2, constructed carton 11 is shown in a closed configuration 149. As shown in FIG. 3, constructed carton 11 is shown in an open configuration 150. In use, in one embodiment, a user detaches detachable portion 170 from carton 11 forming an opening 152 that allows access to the contents of carton 11. In one embodiment, opening 152 has a size and is defined within exiting end 147. Specifically, a user may insert a finger into opening 66 to tear portions 61 and 72 away from carton 11 along lines of perforation 60, 68 and 70, respectively, in a first direction 153 to form a portion of opening 152. In one embodiment, the user further forms opening 152 by tearing tear portion 144 in first direction 153 along lines of perforation 140 and 142, and by tearing tear portion 133 away from carton 11 along line of perforation 132.

Alternatively, a user may insert a finger into opening 138 to tear portions 133 and 144 in a second direction 155, opposite first direction 153, and away from carton 11 along lines of perforation 132, 140 and 142, respectively, to form a portion of opening 152. In one embodiment, the user further forms opening 152 by tearing tear portion 72 in second direction 155 along lines of perforation 68 and 70, and by tearing portion 61 away from carton 11 along line of perforation 60. In a further alternative embodiment, a user may insert a finger into opening 66 and insert a finger into opening 138 to simultaneously tear portions 61 and 72 and portions 133 and 144 away from carton 11 to form opening 152.

When detachable portion 170 is detached from carton 11, a first portion or an upper retention portion 154 is formed and a second portion or a lower retention portion 156 is formed from end wall 151 at exiting end 147. Alternatively, when portion 172 of detachable portion 170 extends across end wall 139, first and second portions 154 and 156 are formed from end wall 139 at closed end 145. In one embodiment, first portion 154 extends downwardly from top wall 141 to lines of perforation 70 and 140, and second portion 156 extends upwardly from bottom wall 135 to lines of perforation 68 and 142. Portion 154 includes a portion of top wall 141 and a portion of side walls 129 and 137 proximate exiting end 147. Second portion 156 includes a portion of bottom wall 135 and a portion of side walls 129 and 137 proximate exiting end 147.

During use, in one embodiment, portion 154 is stationary and includes an overhang 157 configured to retain the contents of carton 11. In one embodiment, second portion 156 also includes an overhang 159 configured to retain the contents of carton 11. However, in contrast to portion 154, portion 156 is configured to separate from side wall 137 along hinge line 74 and to separate from side wall 129 along hinge line 146. Portion 156 is hingedly connected to bottom wall 135 such that portion 156 rotates outward from carton 11 while remaining attached to carton 11. Alternatively, portion 156 separates completely from carton 11. As portion 156 is rotated outward, size of opening 152 increases to facilitate removal of the containers or products within carton 11.

In use, a user removes contents 161 from carton 11 through opening 152 by rotating second portion 156 outwardly and forming a first gap 160 between second portion 156 and carton 11 along hinge line 74 and a second gap (not shown) between second portion 156 and carton 11 along hinge line 146. In one embodiment, as second portion 156 is rotated away from carton 11, hook portions 76 and 148 prevent excessive tearing of carton 11 and facilitate the rotation of second portion 156. Moreover, rotating second portion 156 away from carton 11 eases the removal of contents from carton 11 through opening 152.

Carton 11 is shaped such that carton 11 may be conveniently stored on shelves, cupboards, or as is often desired, in a refrigerator once the carton is purchased. When carton 11 is stored on a shelf, carton 11 is easily retrieved or removed from the shelf through use of openings 32 and 34. Specifically, a user may insert a finger or multiple fingers within opening 32 and/or opening 34 to remove carton 11 from the shelf by pulling carton 11 towards the user. Carton 11 optimizes the storage of various contents while providing easy access to the contents.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a blank of sheet material 200 for constructing a carton 201, according to a first alternative embodiment. FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a carton in a constructed configuration or closed configuration 149 designated in its entirety by element reference number 201 constructed from blank 200 shown in FIG. 4. FIG. 6 is a perspective view of carton 201 in an open configuration 151 constructed from blank 200 shown in FIG. 4.

As shown in FIG. 4, blank 200 is substantially similar to blank 10 and like components are identified with like reference numerals. However, blank 200 does not include hinge lines 74 and 146. Rather, blank 200 includes lines of perforation or hinge lines 210 and 212. Moreover, blank 200 includes starting tabs 266 and 238 positioned within openings 66 and 138. Starting tabs 266 and 238 include lines of separation 240 and 242, respectively, such that a user may easily penetrate starting tabs 266 and 238 with a finger.

In one embodiment, first side panel 22 includes hinge line 210 that extends outward from line of perforation 60 to fold line 78. An angle φ is defined between hinge line 210 and fold line 78. For example, angle φ can range between approximately 30° and 90°. In a preferred embodiment, angle φ is between approximately 60° and 70°. Angle φ is any suitable angle that enables carton 201 to function as described herein. Hinge line 210 includes a hook portion or a curvilinear portion 214, similar to hook portion 76, extending into a portion of top panel 24. Hook portion 214 prevents excessive tearing of the panels. Moreover, hinge line 212 extends outward from line of perforation 132 to fold line 118. An angle φ is defined between hinge line 212 and fold line 118. Hinge line 212 includes a hook portion 216, similar to hook portion 148, extending into a portion of top panel 24. Hook portion 216 prevents excessive tearing of the panels.

In use, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, a user detaches detachable portion 170 from carton 201 to form opening 152 that allows access to the contents of carton 201. Specifically, a user may detach portion 170 from carton 201 by inserting a finger through starting tab 266 to form opening 66. After forming opening 66, the user may tear portions 61 and 72 along lines of perforation 60, 68, and 70, respectively, in first direction 153 to form a portion of opening 152. In one embodiment, the user further forms opening 152 by tearing tear portion 144 in first direction 153 along lines of perforation 140 and 142, and by tearing tear portion 133 away from carton 11 along line of perforation 132.

Alternatively, a user may penetrate carton 201 by inserting a finger through starting tab 238 to form opening 138. After forming opening 138, the user may tear portions 133 and 144 in second direction 155 away from carton 201 along lines of perforation 132, 140 and 142, respectively, to form a portion of opening 152. In one embodiment, the user further forms opening 152 by tearing tear portion 72 in second direction 155 along lines of perforation 68 and 70, and by tearing portion 61 away from carton 201 along line of perforation 60. In a further alternative embodiment, a user may insert a finger into starting tab 266 forming opening 66 and insert a finger into starting tab 238 forming opening 138 to simultaneously tear portions 61 and 72 and portions 133 and 144 away from carton 201 forming opening 152.

When detachable portion 170 is detached from carton 201, first portion 254 and second portion 256 are formed. In one embodiment, first and second portions 254 and 256 are formed from end wall 151 at exiting end 147. Alternatively, when portion 172 of detachable portion 170 extends across end wall 139, first and second portions 254 and 256 are formed from end wall 139 at closed end 145. In one embodiment, first portion 254 extends downwardly from top wall 141 to lines of perforation 70 and 140, and second portion 256 extends upwardly from bottom wall 135 to lines of perforation 68 and 142. Portion 254 includes a portion of top wall 141 and a portion of side walls 129 and 137 proximate exiting end 147. Portion 256 includes a portion of bottom wall 135 and a portion of side walls 129 and 137 proximate exiting end 147.

During use, in one embodiment, portion 256 is stationary and includes overhang 259 configured to retain the contents of carton 201. In one embodiment, portion 254 includes overhang 257 configured to retain the contents of carton 201. However, in contrast to portion 256, portion 254 is configured to separate from side wall 137 along hinge line 210 and to separate from side wall 129 along hinge line 212. Portion 254 is hingedly connected to top wall 141 such that portion 254 rotates outward from carton 201 while remaining attached to carton 201. Alternatively, portion 254 separates completely from carton 201. As portion 254 is rotated outward, size of opening 152 increases to facilitate removal of the containers or products within carton 201.

In use, the user removes contents 161 from carton 201 through opening 152 by rotating portion 254 outwardly and forming a first gap 260 between portion 254 and carton 201 along hinge line 210 and a second gap (not shown) between portion 254 and carton 201 along hinge line 212. In one embodiment, as portion 254 is rotated away from carton 201, hook portions 214 and 216 prevent excessive tearing of carton 201 and facilitate the rotation of first portion 254. Moreover, rotating portion 254 away from carton 201 eases the removal of contents from carton 201 through opening 152.

Carton 201 is shaped such that carton 201 may be conveniently stored on shelves, cupboards, or as is often desired, in a refrigerator once the carton is purchased. When carton 201 is stored on a shelf, carton 201 is easily retrieved or removed from the shelf through use of openings 32 and 34. Specifically, a user may insert a finger or multiple fingers within opening 32 and/or opening 34 to remove carton 201 from the shelf by pulling carton 201 towards the user. Carton 201 optimizes the storage of various contents while providing easy access to the contents.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a blank of sheet material 300 for constructing a carton 301, according to a second alternative embodiment. FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a carton in a constructed or closed configuration designated in its entirety by element reference number 301 constructed from blank 300 shown in FIG. 7. FIG. 9 is a perspective view of carton 301 in an open configuration constructed from blank 300 shown in FIG. 7. As shown in FIG. 7, blank 300 is substantially similar to blank 10 and like components are identified with like reference numerals.

Blank 300 includes has exterior surface 12 and opposing interior surface 14. In one embodiment, blank 300 includes first bottom panel 20, first side panel 22, top panel 24, second side panel 26, and second bottom panel 28. First bottom panel 20 is hingedly coupled to first side panel 22 along fold line 30. In one embodiment, fold line 30 includes a hinge line and/or a line of separation, such as a die cut, defined along a portion of fold line 30. It is apparent to those skilled in the art and guided by the teachings herein that fold line 30, as well as other fold lines described herein, may include any suitable line or lines of weakening. In one embodiment, at least four openings 31, 32, 33, and 34 are formed along fold line 30. Openings 31, 32, 33, and 34 are sized to receive a finger therein.

First bottom panel 20 includes first end panel 36, and opposing second end panel 38. In one embodiment, first and second end panels 36 and 38 extend outwardly from first bottom panel 20 and are hingedly coupled to first bottom panel 20 along substantially parallel fold lines 40 and 42, respectively. Fold lines 40 and 42 are transverse to fold line 30. In one embodiment, first and second end panels 36 and 38 include panel 44 including at least three edges 46, 48, and 50. Panel 44 is substantially rectangular in shape including at least three suitable lines of separation, such as perforated lines, defined along edges 46, 48, and 50. In one embodiment, edge 48 extends between edges 46 and 50.

First side panel 22 includes first end panel 52, and opposing second end panel 54. First and second end panels 52 and 54 extend outwardly from first side panel 22 and are hingedly coupled to first side panel 22 along substantially parallel fold lines 56 and 58, respectively. In one embodiment, first end panel 52 extends from fold line 56 a length L2 to an edge 302. Fold lines 56 and 58 are transverse to fold line 30.

In one embodiment, first side panel 22 further includes an opening 303 that is sized to receive a finger therein. Opening 303 may include a panel positioned within the opening. A zipper strip, a region of weakness, or a detachable portion 304 is defined by at least two substantially parallel lines of perforation or tear lines 306 and 308 that extend from opening 303 a distance D7 through fold line 56 to edge 302 of first end panel 52. Furthermore, a line of perforation or a hinge line 310 extends outward from line of perforation 308 to fold line 78. An angle δ is defined between hinge line 310 and fold line 78. For example, angle δ can range between approximately 10° and 90°. In a preferred embodiment, angle δ is between approximately 60° and 70°. Angle δ is any suitable angle that enables carton 301 to function as described herein.

First side panel 22 is hingedly coupled to top panel 24 along fold line 78. Top panel 24 includes handle 80. Handle 80 includes first handle panel 82 and second handle panel 84 that are separated by line of separation 86. In one embodiment, handle 80 is configured to form opening 88 (shown in FIG. 3). Opening 88 is defined by lines of perforation 90 and 92 with lines of separation 94 and 96 extending between lines of perforation 90 and 92. In one embodiment, line of perforation 90 extends into a portion first side panel 22 to prevent tearing, and line of perforation 92 extends into a portion of second side panel 26 to prevent tearing. Moreover, top panel 24 includes reinforcing lines 98 and 100 formed at distance D2 from lines of perforation 90 and 92, respectively. In one embodiment, reinforcing lines 98 and 100 are formed with a slight curvature wherein reinforcing line 98 extends across top panel 24 and into a portion of first and second side panels 22 and 26, and reinforcing line 100 extends across top panel 24 and into a portion of first and second side panels 22 and 26.

Top panel 24 further includes first end panel 102, and opposing second end panel 104. In one embodiment, first and second end panels 102 and 104 extend outwardly from top panel 24 and are hingedly coupled to top panel 24 along substantially parallel fold lines 106 and 108, respectively. Fold lines 106 and 108 are transverse to fold line 78. Handle 80 is positioned between fold lines 106 and 108. Specifically, in one embodiment, handle 80 is defined at a distance D3 from fold line 106, and at a distance D4 from fold line 108. Distances D3 and D4 are determined based upon the number of containers, products, or cans within carton 301. Handle 80 and line of separation 86 are strategically placed such that line of separation 86 is positioned between the containers, products, or cans within carton 301. Specifically, a user may insert their fingers into handle 80 along line of separation 86 such that their fingers are positioned between the containers, products, or cans enabling the user to carry and/or transport carton 301. For example, if carton 301 has a top row of containers or products including approximately three containers or products, line of separation 86 may be positioned between the first and second containers or between the second and third containers. As such, the position of handle 80 may be dependent upon the number of containers, products, or cans within carton 301.

In one embodiment, first and second end panels 102 and 104 include panel 110 including at least three edges 112, 114, and 116. Panel 110 is substantially rectangular in shape including at least three suitable lines of separation, such as perforated lines, defined along edges 112, 114, and 116. In one embodiment, edge 114 extends between edges 112 and 116.

Top panel 24 is hingedly coupled to second side panel 26 along fold line 118. Second side panel 26 includes first end panel 120, and opposing second end panel 122. First and second end panels 120 and 122 extend outwardly from second side panel 26 and are hingedly coupled to second side panel 26 along substantially parallel fold lines 124 and 126, respectively. Fold lines 124 and 126 are transverse to fold line 118. In one embodiment, first end panel 120 extends from fold line 124 a length L2 to an edge 311. Moreover, in one embodiment, each first and second end panel 120 and 122 includes a pair of cut-away corners 128 and 130 to ease assembly of carton 301.

Second side panel 26 is hingedly coupled to second bottom panel 28 along fold line 131. In one embodiment, second side panel 26 further includes an opening 312 that is sized to receive a finger therein. A zipper strip, a region of weakness, or a detachable portion 314 is defined by at least two substantially parallel lines of perforation 316 and 318 that extend from opening 312 a distance D8 through fold line 124 to edge 311 of first end panel 120. Furthermore, a line of perforation or a hinge line 320, substantially similar to hinge line 310, extends outward from line of perforation 316 to fold line 118. Angle δ is defined between hinge line 320 and fold line 118. In one embodiment, top panel 24 includes a fold line 322 that extends across top panel 24 between hinge lines 310 and 320.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of carton 301 constructed from blank 300 shown in FIG. 7. More specifically, FIG. 8 shows carton 301 in a constructed and closed configuration. Generally, carton 301 is constructed in a similar manner to that of carton 11. The panels of blank 300 are folded along respective fold lines towards interior surface 14 of blank 300. First bottom panel 20, first side panel 22, top panel 24, second side panel 26, and second bottom panel 28 are folded along fold lines 30, 78, 118, and 131, respectively, towards interior surface 14. Exterior surface 12 of second bottom panel 28 is affixed to interior surface 14 of first bottom panel 20 using a suitable adhesive material. It is apparent to those skilled in the art and guided by the teachings herein provided that any suitable material and/or mechanism may be used to affix portions of blank 300 together to form carton 301. In one embodiment, bottom panels 20 and 28 define a bottom wall 135. First side panel 22 defines a first side wall 137, second side panel 26 defines a second side wall 129, and top panel 24 defines a top wall 141.

End panels 36 and 102 are folded along fold lines 40 and 106, respectively, towards interior surface 14. End panels 52 and 120 are then folded along fold lines 56 and 124, respectively, towards interior surface 14. Interior surface 14 of end panel 120 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 36 and 102, and interior surface 14 of end panel 52 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 36, 102, and 120. End panels 36, 52, 102, and 120 define end wall 139 forming exiting end 147. Moreover, end panels 38 and 104 are folded along fold lines 42 and 108, respectively, towards interior surface 14, and end panels 54 and 122 are folded along fold lines 58 and 126, respectively, toward interior surface 14. Interior surface 14 of end panel 122 is affixed to exterior surfaces of end panels 38 and 104, and interior surface 14 of end panel 54 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 38, 104, and 122 to maintain carton 301 in a constructed configuration. End panels 38, 54, 104, and 122 define end wall 151 forming closed end 145. In one embodiment, in the constructed configuration, end panel 52 overlaps a portion of end panel 120, and end panel 54 overlaps a portion of end panel 122. Furthermore, in the constructed configuration, lines of perforation 70 and 140 are coaxial, and lines of perforation 68 and 142 are coaxial. In one embodiment, constructed carton 301 is configured to retain a set of containers or products, such as, for example, at least two rows of canned goods, pouched goods, or beverage containers.

Alternatively, interior surface 14 of end panel 52 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 36 and 102, and interior surface 14 of end panel 120 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 36, 52, and 102 forming exiting end 147. Interior surface 14 of end panel 54 is affixed to exterior surfaces of end panels 38 and 104, and interior surface 14 of end panel 122 is affixed to exterior surfaces 12 of end panels 38, 54, and 104 to maintain carton 301 in a constructed configuration forming closed end 145. In this alternative embodiment, in the constructed configuration, end panel 120 overlaps a portion of end panel 52, and end panel 122 overlaps a portion of end panel 54.

As shown in FIG. 8, constructed carton 301 is shown in closed position 149. As shown in FIG. 9, constructed carton 301 is shown in open position 150. In the constructed configuration, lines of perforation 308 and 316 are coaxial, and lines of perforation 306 and 318 are coaxial defining detachable portion, zipper strip, or region of weakness 170. Detachable portion 170 is defined by portions 304 and 314. Detachable portion 170 is configured to detach from at least one of end walls 139 and 151 and at least one of side walls 129 and 137. Specifically, in one embodiment, detachable portion 170 includes a horizontal portion 172. Horizontal portion 172 includes tear-away portions 304 and 314 and extends horizontally across end wall 151. Moreover, a portion of tear-away portion 314 is defined within side wall 137, and a portion of tear-away portion 304 is defined within side wall 129. Alternatively, detachable portion 170 is defined such that portion 172 extends across end wall 139.

In use, in one embodiment, a user tears zipper strips 304 and 314 away from carton 301 forming opening 152 that allows access to the contents of carton 301. Specifically, a user may insert a finger into opening 303 to strip 304 away from carton 301 along lines of perforation 306 and 308 in first direction 153 to form a portion of opening 152. In one embodiment, the user further forms opening 152 by tearing strip 314 in first direction 153 along lines of perforation 316 and 318 towards opening 312. Openings 303 and 312 act as starting tabs to aid in tearing strips 304 and 314 away from carton 301. In operation, openings 303 and 312 facilitate forming opening 152 along lines of perforation 306, 308, 316, and 318 for allowing access to the contents stored within carton 301.

Alternatively, a user may insert a finger into opening 303 to tear strips 304 and 314 in a second direction 155, opposite first direction 153, and away from carton 301 along lines of perforation 306, 308, 316, and 318, respectively, to form opening 152. In a further alternative embodiment, a user may insert a finger into opening 303 and insert a finger into opening 312 to simultaneously tear strips 304 and 314 away from carton 301 to form opening 152.

When detachable portion 170 is detached from carton 301, a first portion or an upper retention portion 354 is formed and a second portion or a lower retention portion 356 is formed from end wall 151 at exiting end 147. Alternatively, when portion 172 of detachable portion 170 extends across end wall 139, first and second portions 354 and 356 are formed from end wall 139 at closed end 145. In one embodiment, first portion 354 extends downwardly from top wall 141 to lines of perforation 308 and 316, and second portion 356 extends upwardly from bottom wall 135 to lines of perforation 306 and 318. Portion 354 includes a portion of top wall 141 and a portion of side walls 129 and 137 proximate exiting end 147. Second portion 356 includes a portion of bottom wall 135 and a portion of side walls 129 and 137 proximate exiting end 147.

During use, in one embodiment, portion 356 is stationary and includes overhang 359 configured to retain the contents of carton 301. In one embodiment, portion 354 includes overhang 357 configured to retain the contents of carton 301. However, in contrast to portion 356, portion 354 is configured to separate from side wall 137 along hinge line 310 and to separate from side wall 129 along hinge line 312. Portion 354 is hingedly connected to top wall 141 such that portion 354 rotates outward from carton 301 while remaining attached to carton 301. Alternatively, portion 354 separates completely from carton 301. As portion 354 is rotated outward, size of opening 152 increases to facilitate removal of the containers or products within carton 301.

In use, the user removes contents 161 from carton 301 through opening 152 by rotating portion 354 outwardly and forming a first gap 360 between portion 354 and carton 301 along hinge line 310 and a second gap (not shown) between portion 354 and carton 301 along line of perforation 312. In one embodiment, as portion 354 is rotated away from carton 301, a fold line 322 extending across top wall 141 is formed. Rotating portion 354 away from carton 301 eases the removal of contents from carton 301 through opening 152.

Carton 301 is shaped such that carton 301 may be conveniently stored on shelves, cupboards, or as is often desired, in a refrigerator once the carton is purchased. When carton 301 is stored on a shelf, carton 301 is easily removed from the shelf through use of openings 31, 32, 33, and 34. Specifically, a user may insert a finger or multiple fingers within opening 31 and/or openings 32, 33, and 34 to remove carton 301 from the shelf by pulling carton 301 towards the user. Carton 301 optimizes the storage of various contents while also providing easy access to the contents.

The above-described carton and method of constructing the carton allow contents of the carton to be easily stored and removed using an opening formed in an exiting end of the carton. More specifically, a detachable portion extending across at least one end wall and a pair of side walls is detached to form an opening formed in an exiting end of the carton. By detaching the detachable portion, an upper retention portion and a lower retention portion are formed. The retention portions provide for the retention of the contents. At least one of the retention portions is hingedly coupled to the exiting end such that at least one retention portion may be rotated outwardly from the carton increase the size of the opening. Moreover, the carton includes at least one curvilinear portion defined within either the top or bottom wall to facilitate rotation of the at least one retention portion and prevent excessive tearing of the carton. As such, the opening and the retention portions provide easy removal of the contents of the carton by any user. As a result, consumers can store the contents of the carton within the carton, and remove the contents easily when so desired.

Exemplary embodiments of a carton have been described above in detail. The apparatus is not limited to the specific embodiments described herein, but rather, components of the carton and/or steps of the method may be utilized independently and separately from other components and/or steps described herein. Further, the described apparatus components and/or method steps can also be defined in, or used in combination with, other apparatus and/or methods, and are not limited to practice with only the apparatus and method as described herein.

While the invention has been described in terms of various specific embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the claims.