Title:
POCKET-SIZED CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pocket-sized container for consumer items comprises a cylindrical base, a cylindrical lid and a window. The cylindrical base includes a bottom sidewall and a bottom wall. The bottom sidewall includes a recessed surface at an upper portion thereof. The cylindrical lid includes a top sidewall and a top wall. An inner surface of the top sidewall slidingly engages the recessed surface of the bottom sidewall so as to close the container with the outer surface of the bottom sidewall flush with the outer surface of the top sidewall. The lid includes an opening in the top wall and a window fits inside the lid such that a domed portion of the window extends into the opening. The pocket-sized container can hold both tobacco products or non-tobacco products, including orally consumed pouches such as snus.



Inventors:
Thiellier, Rutger (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/367199
Publication Date:
09/17/2009
Filing Date:
02/06/2009
Assignee:
Philip Morris USA Inc. (Richmond, VA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/37, 206/265
International Classes:
B65D85/00; A45C11/00
View Patent Images:
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20050086787Method for manufactuirng a case and product thereofApril, 2005Choe et al.



Primary Examiner:
DESAI, KAUSHIKKUMAR A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Harness, Dickey & Pierce Altria (BIR) (Reston, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pocket-sized container for consumer items, comprising: a cylindrical base including a bottom sidewall and a bottom wall, the bottom sidewall including a recessed surface at an upper portion thereof; a cylindrical lid including a top sidewall and a top wall, an inner surface of the top sidewall slidingly engaging the recessed surface of the bottom sidewall so as to close the container with the outer surface of the bottom sidewall flush with the outer surface of the top sidewall, the lid including an opening in the top wall; and a window fitted inside the lid such that a domed portion of the window extends into the opening.

2. The pocket-sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the window is transparent or translucent.

3. The pocket-sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the window is of tinted see-through polymer material.

4. The pocket-sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the window is held in the lid with a snap-fitting and/or adhesive.

5. The pocket-sized container for consumer items of claim 4, wherein the window includes an annular rim surrounding the domed portion, the annular rim underlying a portion of the lid defining the opening.

6. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the window includes an annular rim and a convex section inwardly of the annular rim.

7. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the base includes a depression in an outer surface of the bottom sidewall suitable for receipt of labeling.

8. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the base and lid are of polymer material.

9. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the base and lid are of metal.

10. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the base and lid are of polymer coated metal.

11. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the sidewall of the base includes an annular projection and the lid includes at least one recess which engages the projection when the lid is in a closed position on the base.

12. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the container includes a tobacco product therein.

13. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 12, wherein the tobacco product is a plurality of orally consumed tobacco pouches.

14. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the container includes a non-tobacco product therein.

15. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 14, wherein the non-tobacco product is a plurality of orally consumed pouches.

16. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 1, wherein the container includes a tamper evident label around the bottom sidewall and the top sidewall then the container in a closed position.

17. The pocket sized container for consumer items of claim 16, wherein the tamper evident label is a shrink wrap plastic strip.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119 to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/006,982 entitled POCKET-SIZED CONTAINER and filed on Feb. 8, 2008, the entire content of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

SUMMARY

A pocket-sized container for consumer items comprises a cylindrical base, a cylindrical lid and a window. The cylindrical base includes a bottom sidewall and a bottom wall. The bottom sidewall includes a recessed surface at an upper portion thereof. The cylindrical lid includes a top sidewall and a top wall. An inner surface of the top sidewall slidingly engages the recessed surface of the bottom sidewall so as to close the container with the outer surface of the bottom sidewall flush with the outer surface of the top sidewall. The lid includes an opening in the top wall and a window is mounted inside the lid such that a domed portion of the window extends into the opening. The pocket-sized container can hold both tobacco products or non-tobacco products, including orally consumed pouches.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pocket-sized container in a closed position.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the container shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a pocket-sized container in a closed position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective three-dimensional view of pocket-sized container 100 in a closed position, which includes a cylindrical base 10, a cylindrical lid 20 and window 30. FIG. 2 is a top view of the container shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of pocket-sized container 100 in a closed position. The container can have a diameter of two to four inches, preferably about 2½ inches, and a height of ½ to 2 inches, preferably about ¾ inch. The height of the sidewall of the lid is smaller than the height of the sidewall of the base such that the mating edges of the lid and base form a parting line above the midpoint of the sidewall. An optional tamper evident seal 40 (shown partially in FIG. 1) covers the parting line.

Cylindrical base 10 includes bottom sidewall 12 and a planar bottom wall 14. Bottom sidewall 12 includes a step at an upper end thereof forming recess 16 for engaging a lower portion of the lid. A depression 18 is located in the bottom wall 14 inwardly of an annular wall 18A having a narrow width, e.g., ¼ to ½ inch. Depression 18 can have a depth sufficient to protect the labeling from direct contact with cylindrical lids 20 or cylindrical bases 10 of identical pocket-sized containers 100 (e.g., during stacking of a plurality of pocket-sized containers 100). However, for containers wherein the window 30 extends above the plane of the top wall of the lid, the depression 18 has a depth large enough to allow stacking of containers with the domed portion of a lower container received in the depression of an overlying container.

Cylindrical lid 20 includes planar top wall 22 in the form of an annular rim and cylindrical top sidewall 24. Top wall 22 of cylindrical lid 20 includes opening 28 which extends across at least 50% of the width of the cylindrical lid 20. The top wall 22 can have a width of ¼ to ½ inch and the opening 28 can have a diameter of ½ to 3 inches, preferably about 2 inches. Top sidewall 24 is recessed on the inner surface thereof to form annular projection 26. Projection 26 has a length equal to or greater than the length of recess 16, e.g., ⅛ to ⅜ inch. The inner surface of projection 16 is adapted to slidingly engage the recess 16 of bottom sidewall 12, such that the outer surface of top sidewall 24 is flush with the outer surface of bottom sidewall 12 when pocket-sized container 100 is closed.

Window 30 includes domed portion 34 and annular rim 32 surrounding domed portion 34. For example, domed portion 34 can be a convex section and annular rim 32 can be a planar section of window 30, with the domed portion 34 located inwardly of annular rim 32. Window 30 fits inside cylindrical lid 20, such that domed portion 34 extends into opening 28. The window 30 can be attached to the inside of top wall 22 with bonding (such as adhesive or thermal welding) and/or held via a snap fitting (e.g., the sidewall 24 can include one or more projections to engage an underside of annular rim 32 to securely hold the window 30 in place). In one embodiment, the domed window does not extend above the plane of the upper surface of the top wall 22. However, the domed portion 34 may extend slightly above (e.g., 1/16 to ¼ inch) the plane of the top wall 22 if desired. Window 30 is preferably transparent or translucent.

Cylindrical base 10 and cylindrical lid 20 can be made of various materials such as metal, polymer, ceramic or polymer-coated metal. Window 30 can be made of a see-though polymer material that is either tinted (e.g., green, red, blue, orange, yellow, etc.), clear or translucent.

Suitable polymers include, polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene, nylon, polysulfone, polyester, polyurethane, and combinations thereof. Because some polymers absorb flavors, the preferred polymer is polypropylene if the enclosed product includes flavors.

Suitable metals, include without limitation aluminum, aluminum alloys, steel, stainless steel alloys, titanium, titanium alloys, magnesium, magnesium alloys, tin, tin alloys, copper, copper alloys, brasses, and combinations thereof.

Pocket-sized container 100 can hold both tobacco products or non-tobacco products, such as a plurality of orally consumed pouches such as snus. To prevent tampering pocket-sized container 100 can include a tamper evident label 40 around the bottom sidewall 12 and top sidewall 24 when the container 100 is in a closed position, as illustrated in FIG. 1. In one embodiment, the tamper evident label 40 can be a plastic shrink-wrap strip.

While the foregoing has been described in detail with reference to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made, and equivalents thereof employed, without departing from the scope of the claims.





 
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