Title:
Protective container for razor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A novel razor package suitable for protectively storing a razor with a cartridge and adjoining handle is disclosed. The package includes at least one container with upper and lower portions. The upper portion includes a cartridge-receiving recess and the lower portion includes a handle-receiving recess. A cover sheet covers the container's top perimeter and is sealed to the container such that a user can peel it back to open and access the razor. With two or more containers in the razor package the cover sheets may have a sheet separability line area (e.g., perforations) between them to allow for easy peeling. Additionally, these containers may be secured together via a container separability line area, allowing a user to also pull off one container from the package at a time. The container and sheet separability line areas may be aligned and may or may not be formed at the same time.



Inventors:
Prudden Jr., John (Manchester, MA, US)
Bridges, Kelly Daniel (Quincy, MA, US)
Application Number:
12/215818
Publication Date:
12/31/2009
Filing Date:
06/30/2008
Assignee:
The Gillette Company (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/471, 53/412
International Classes:
A45C11/00; B65B61/18; B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRANO, ERNESTO ARTURIO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A razor package comprising: a first container comprising a storage region capable of protectively storing a razor, said razor having a cartridge and a handle; and at least one cover sheet removably attached to a top perimeter of said storage region of said first container.

2. The package of claim 1 wherein said package further comprises said first container secured to a second container.

3. The package of claim 2 wherein said cover sheet covers said first and second containers.

4. The package of claim 2 wherein said package comprises a first cover sheet removably attached to a first container and a second cover sheet removably attached to said second container.

5. The package of claim 2 wherein said cover sheet comprises a cover sheet separability line area.

6. The package of claim 5 wherein said cover sheet separability line area comprises perforations.

7. The package of claim 1 wherein said cover sheet comprises plastic.

8. The package of claim 1 wherein said at least one cover sheet is adhesively sealed onto said top perimeter of said storage region of said first container.

9. The package of claim 8 wherein said cover sheet is capable of being peeled off by a user.

10. The package of claim 6 wherein said cover sheet is capable of being peeled off at said perforations.

11. The package of claim 1 wherein said cover sheet is transparent, opaque, colored or any combination thereof.

12. The package of claim 1 wherein said cover sheet further comprises a tab at one end or outside corner of said first container.

13. The package of claim 1 wherein said cover sheet is resealable with said first container.

14. The package of claim 2 wherein said first container is removable from said second container.

15. The package of claim 2 wherein said first container is not removable from said second container.

16. The package of claim 14 wherein said first and second containers are removably secured at a container separability line area.

17. The package of claim 16 wherein said container separability line area is a mechanical interconnection.

18. The package of claim 1 or 2 wherein said first container and second container comprises a plastic material.

19. The package of claim 1 wherein said first container is transparent, opaque, colored or any combination thereof.

20. The package of claim 1 wherein said storage region further comprises an upper portion having a cartridge-receiving recess.

21. The package of claim 1 wherein said storage region further comprises a lower portion having a handle-receiving recess.

22. The package of claim 20 wherein said cartridge-receiving recess comprises slot guides.

23. The package of claim 21 wherein said handle-receiving recess comprises handle guides.

24. The package of claim 2 wherein said package further comprises one or more containers secured to said first or said second container.

25. The package of claim 1 wherein said cover sheet prevents environmental elements from entering said container with said razor.

26. The package of claim 1 wherein said cartridge comprises soap, lubricant, shaving aid or any combination thereof.

27. The package of claim 1 wherein said handle is not easily removable from said cartridge.

28. The package of claim 1 wherein said handle is easily removable from said cartridge.

29. The package of claim 1 wherein said cartridge has a pivot mechanism.

30. The package of claim 1 wherein said cover sheet is flexible.

31. A method of making a razor package comprising the steps of: molding at least one container from a polypropylene material; placing a razor having a cartridge and an adjoining handle within a storage region of said at least one container; and sealing a top perimeter of said at least one container with a plastic cover sheet.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a razor package suitable for storage of a razor or plurality of razors each having a cartridge and an adjoining handle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Some razors or razor systems, such as non-disposable razors, generally have a detachable handle and a cartridge, and are typically sold in plastic packages, containers, or cases, and often individually with some packages including space for additional cartridges. In general, the plastic package itself is bulky and often difficult for a consumer to open. This difficulty is enhanced as consumers become more mobile in their daily lives, such that the packaging of products they commonly use needs to be robust to protect the razors inside, but also tailored for improved ease of use, transport and/or potential storage for future use.

In many instances, disposable razors (e.g., razors in which the handle is not easily removable from the cartridge or may be permanently attached to the cartridge) are packaged for presentation to the consumer in a thermoformed package having a piece of cardboard in the back. Typically, this package is formed of a thin thermoformed polyethylene (PET) material and generally multiple disposable razors may be contained in the same package. For instance, some plastic packages have three disposable razors displayed in one package.

Although the packaging for a disposable razor is advantageous in that it often provides a clear, transparent view of the entire razor(s) including the cartridge and the handle, and is capable of protecting the razor and its components while also being fairly cost-effective, the advantages of this “disposable” package and method of packaging may not transfer easily to “non-disposable” or other razors to provide the consistent protection necessary for both the mechanical and environmental aspects of these razors.

Individually sealed containers for shaving cartridges are known in the prior art; for instance, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,499,595 and 6,886,690. These extra cartridges are typically packaged and sold together with a razor using the thin PET packaging.

There is a need to provide a unique package and method of packaging for razors that enable the consumer to view the product at the point of purchase while also providing mechanical and environmental protection to the handle and cartridge simultaneously.

There is a need for such a package to also be as compact as possible and easy to open.

There may be a further desire to store more than one razor in such a package in a manner that allows a user to purchase more than one razor at a time, but to only open and use an individual razor, keeping the other razor(s) intact for future use, while still also providing protection from unintended contact with the cutting edges of the razor blades when accessing the razor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a novel razor package includes a first container having a storage region capable of protectively storing a razor, said razor having a cartridge and adjoining handle and at least one cover sheet removably attached to a top perimeter of said storage region of the first container.

The novel package may include the first container secured to a second container where the cover sheet can cover the first and second containers. The package can include a first cover sheet removably attached to a first container and a second cover sheet removably attached to the second container. The cover sheet can have a cover sheet separability line which may include perforations or continuous slits and can be made of plastic which is adhesively sealed onto the top perimeter of the storage region of the first container. In this way, the cover sheet is capable of being peeled off by a user. The cover sheet may be peeled off at the perforations or slits. The cover sheet can be transparent, opaque, colored or any combination thereof. It may have a tab at one end or outside corner of the container and it may be resealable with the container.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the first container is removable from said second container. The first and second containers may be removably secured at a container separability line which may be a mechanical interconnection. In another embodiment, the first container is not removable from said second container.

The novel container(s) may be made from a polypropylene material and may be transparent, opaque, colored or any combination thereof. The storage region may include an upper portion having a cartridge-receiving recess with slot guides and may include a lower portion having a handle-receiving recess with handle guides.

In another embodiment, the razor package may include one or more containers secured to the first or the second container. In a novel aspect of the present invention, the cover sheet prevents environmental elements from entering the container with the razor. The cover sheet is generally flexible.

The cartridge may include a pivot mechanism and/or soap. The handle may or may not be easily removable from the cartridge.

In another aspect of the present invention, a method of making a razor package includes molding at least one container from a polypropylene material, placing a razor having a cartridge and an adjoining handle within a storage region of the at least one container, and sealing a top perimeter of the at least one container with a plastic cover sheet.

Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, suitable methods and materials are described below. All publications, patent applications, patents, and other references mentioned herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety. In case of conflict, the present specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description, and from the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as forming the present invention, it is believed that the invention will be better understood from the following description which is taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like designations are used to designate substantially identical elements, and in which:

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a dual razor package of the present invention, a first container in a partially opened condition showing a razor inside and a second container in a sealed or closed position.

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of FIG. 1A showing the first container being separated or detached from the second container in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1C is a perspective view of FIG. 1A showing no capability of detachment between containers in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1D is a perspective view of a single razor package in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top internal view of the dual razor package of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 3 is side view of the razor package of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the razor package of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a dual razor package in accordance with an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a triple razor package in accordance with yet another alternate embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a quadruple razor package in accordance with still yet another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to novel razor packaging for a razor having a handle and a cartridge. The package is comprised of a robust material, such as plastic (e.g., polypropylene), and includes at least one container for enclosing a razor with a cover seal that is peeled off to access the razor inside. The package is capable of protectively storing a razor, providing both mechanical and environmental protection for its path from manufacturing to retail store to consumer's home. As mentioned above, the prior art packaging does not provide this unique combination.

The mechanical protection in the present invention includes protecting the mechanical aspects of the razor cartridge, such as the pivot mechanism and/or leaf springs. For instance, one important mechanical aspect of a non-disposable razor such as the Gillette® Venus® Breeze™, not typically found in a disposable razor, is this pivot point and/or leaf spring mechanism of the cartridge. It is extremely desirable to keep the natural position of the pivot point intact from the point the product is placed in its package and then along its shipping path from the manufacturer to the retail store to the consumer's home. The natural position is the position of the cartridge pivot point is the position having no pressure or bias. The package should be able to sustain significant outside force, pressure, drops, etc. and still remain intact, as well as inhibit movement of the razor handle and the cartridge inside. By keeping the razor position intact, it is well protected during transport and storage. If the pivot point is somehow pushed, offset or forced to be disposed in a different position, it may cause the cartridge leaf spring to be compromised or damaged, and hence the razor may not be functional in turn leading to consumer disappointment at the time of use. With the prevalent use of thin PET as packaging material, this risk of movement of the razor inside and in particular, the cartridge pivot mechanism increases.

Moreover, having multiple non-disposable razors in one big bag or package, though desirable, may present a risk to the pivot position unless the razors were suitably spaced apart.

Additionally, one important environmental aspect of the non-disposable razor in particular, is keeping any soap or lubricant (e.g., “soap wings” attached at top and bottom portions of a cartridge such as the Gillette Venus Breeze) intact. Again, the packaging has to be able to sustain the environment and any weather related elements such that the soap wings are not compromised. For instance, steam, moisture, humidity and other environmental entrants can significantly affect the character or chemistry of the soap wings. If the package used for shipping a razor with soap wings were the type typically used for disposable razors, the steam or humidity or other environmental elements would be able to permeate through the prior art cardboard back and would compromise the soap wings' effectiveness. Accordingly, another important aspect of the present invention deals with properly protecting any soap (e.g., the Gillette® Venus® Breeze™ soap wings) in the cartridge area or any anti-bacterial material areas of the handle.

In the prior art multiple razor packaging, typically, once opened, all the razors in the package can be accessed or come out of the package at the same time. It is possible to restore the razors in the opened package, however, there is no mechanical and environmental protection for the remaining new razors were they to include pivot mechanism and soap wings, for instance. Moreover, a user would not easily recognize which razors were new and which razors were used already, particularly if they stored their used razor within the opened package. As such the instant invention packages multiple razors individually such that not all new razors come out of the package at its initial opening.

Referring now to FIG. 1A, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, there is shown a dual razor package 10 including formed or molded plastic first and second containers 12a and 12b, cover sheets 14a and 14b covering exposed razor 16a and enclosed razor 16b (exposed razor 16b shown in FIG. 2) stored inside containers 12a and 12b in storage regions 18a and 18b, respectively. Containers 12a and 12b may be substantially identical to each other or substantially mirror images of each other. Containers 12a, 12b assist in protecting the razors both mechanically and environmentally as will be described below.

Firstly, with one razor per container, the razors are spaced apart decreasing the risk to the pivot position and other mechanical aspects.

Secondly, the cover sheets 14a, 14b assist in protecting the enclosed razors from the environment. The cover sheets may each comprise a separate tab, notch or an extended piece of the cover sheet 11a, 11b on one end or outside corner of the respective container. By peeling back the cover sheets 14a, 14b (at the tabs 11a, 11b if present) a consumer is able to individually open the containers 12a, 12b to access the razors 16a, 16b. The razors are stored such that the handle portion 15a, 15b (15b shown in FIG. 2) of the razor is at the area of access formed when the cover sheet is peeled back in the storage region 18a, 18b so as to protect a consumer from unintended contact with the cutting edges of the razor blades in the cartridge portion 19a, 19b. The area of access however, may be the entire area of the storage region if the cover sheet is substantially peeled off (or peeled off entirely).

The shape of the containers 12a, 12b or the shape of the storage regions 18a, 18b may outline the general shape of a razor with an adjoining handle. These shapes are wider than the actual periphery of the razor within the storage regions such that a consumer can easily access the handle once the cover sheet is peeled back or off. The razor 16a has a handle portion 15a and a cartridge portion 19a while razor 16b has a handle portion 15b and a cartridge portion 19b.

Cover sheets 14a, 14b may be individually removably attached around the top periphery of containers 12a, 12b or the containers may be covered by one cover sheet across the package 10, such that the peel back occurs along a separability line 13a which may include perforations or continuous slits. In the latter instance, the containers may still be individually sealed.

Cover sheets may be made of any generally flexible, impermeable material, multilayered laminate or any type of plastic, such that each cover sheet prevents the contents of the container from coming out while also preventing environmental elements from entering the container. Hence, a cardboard type material for the cover sheet might not serve this purpose. The sheets should be made of a sturdy and robust material so as to also prevent any stabs or jabs from puncturing or making holes in the sheets or seal. The sheets may be adhesively sealed onto the package 10 via heat and pressure or via any other suitable manner.

The cover sheet may be transparent, opaque, colored or any combination thereof. With a transparent or partially transparent cover sheet, a user is able to view the razor product at the point of purchase while still providing mechanical and environmental protection to the handle and cartridge simultaneously.

Additionally, cover sheets 14a, 14b may be sealed onto the container such that only a portion of the cover sheet is capable of being peeled back while still allowing access of the razor.

The enclosed razor may be a disposable razor such that the handle and cartridge are disposed of after use. Alternatively, the razor may be the type where the handle is reused and a removable cartridge is disposed of after use and replaced with a new cartridge. Regardless of whether the razor is disposable or not, it is likely, since the razor in package 10 includes both a cartridge and a handle, that the same razor may be used by a consumer for several subsequent shaves. Therefore, in an alternate embodiment of the present invention, it is contemplated that the cover sheets 14a, 14b, may be formed such that they reseal or close back down onto containers 12a, 12b respectively as a means of storing the razor within the package for the next shave. Alternatively, the underside or an aspect of tabs 11a, 11b may provide a way for tacking the cover sheet 14a, 14b back down at the corner or any of the periphery of the container. For instance, the underside of the tab may have a button, snap, or Velcro® fastener or the tab itself may be substantially a button, snap, or Velcro fastener.

The containers 12a, 12b in the present invention may be formed or molded using a plastic such as polypropylene or polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) or any other suitable plastic, elastomer, or derivative thereof. The polypropylene material is generally a thick material and in many instances, thicker than thermoformed PET material and therefore provides both mechanical and environmental protection as described above for the razor inside the package. A container made of cardboard or paper may not be as effective at protecting mechanical aspects of the razor nor preventing environmental entrants. Accordingly, if the container were made with cardboard it may also need additional materials to make the container more robust, such as combining with plastics.

The present invention keeps the natural or neutral position of the pivot point and other mechanical attributes intact after the product is placed in its package and then along its shipping path from the manufacturer to the consumer's home. The package can sustain significant outside forces, pressure, drops, etc. and will remain intact, as well as inhibit movement of the razor handle and the cartridge inside. By keeping the razor position intact, it is well protected during transport and storage such that the pivot point is not pushed, offset or forced to be disposed in a different position, and does not cause damage. Hence, the razor is functional and the consumer is not disappointed at the time of use.

The containers 12a, 12b in the present invention may be transparent, opaque, colored or any combination thereof. With a transparent or partially transparent container, a user is able to view the razor product at the point of purchase while the container is still providing mechanical and environmental protection to the handle and cartridge simultaneously. For instance, the containers 12a, 12b, may contain transparent upper windows 35 where the razor cartridges are visible with the rest of the container remaining opaque as shown in FIG. 4.

In another embodiment of the present invention, containers 12a, 12b are removably attached or removably secured to each other along container separability line 13b centrally located along the length of the razor package 10 between containers 12a and 12b such that, as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. The separability line 13b allows the container 12a to be separated from container 12b. For instance, as shown in FIG. 1B, a consumer could tear off or separate container 12a from the dual package 10 having razor 16a inside for initial use while leaving razor 16b stored inside container 12b for later use. The separation or detachment at container separability line 13b of one container from the other may be accomplished via mechanical means, such as with interconnections, interlocking arms or ribs, snap-off connections, hinges, pins, or openings, perforations or continuous slits formed via laser cutting or other methods. Because the containers 12a, 12b may be made of a thicker polypropylene material, which in some instances may also be a fairly flexible material, separating the containers via perforations, as discussed above with regard to the cover sheet separability line 13a for cover sheets 14a, 14b, may not be feasible.

Accordingly, the sheet separability line 13a may or may not be formed at the same time via the same means as the container separability line 13b. However, in the present invention, the cover sheet separability line 13a is generally aligned on top of the containers' separability line 13b as shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B.

In another embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1C, the package is manufactured or integrally molded as a single component such that containers 12a and 12b are attached but are not removable or detachable from each other in that there is no capability to detach, tear-off one from the other and there is no container separability lines 13b as described above while there may be a cover sheet separability line 13a.

In still another embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1D, a package 10 is shown having only one container 12 enclosing one razor, having a cartridge (not shown) and an adjoining handle 15 along with a cover sheet 14. It is also contemplated that the razor package 10 may have more than two containers, with or without separability lines in between for tearing off individual containers. This will be described below in conjunction with FIGS. 6-7.

Referring back now to FIG. 2, a top view of package 10 is shown without cover sheets 14a, 14b, where container 12a has razor 16a positioned inside storage region 18a in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Container 12b would also have a razor positioned similarly in region 18b as shown in region 18a, but is shown empty to depict the recess 23b and overall shape of the storage region 18b.

Cover sheet 14a, (removed in FIG. 2) in the present invention covers and may be individually sealed onto the entire periphery 22a of container recess or opening 23a formed at the top of the container 12a which contains storage region 18a. Storage region 18a has an upper portion 24a and a lower portion 25a. The upper portion 24a forms a cartridge-receiving recess 26a for receiving the cartridge portion 19a of razor 16a and the lower portion 25a forms a handle-receiving recess 27a for receiving the handle portion 15a of the razor 16a. Similarly, cover sheet 14b (not shown in FIG. 2) generally covers and is sealed onto the recess of the container 12b which contains storage region 18b. Storage region 18b has an upper portion 24b and a lower portion 25b. The upper portion 24b has a cartridge-receiving recess 26a for receiving cartridge portion 19b of razor 16b (not shown) and the lower portion 25b has a handle-receiving recess 27b for receiving handle portion 15b of razor 16b (not shown).

Slot guides 28 formed along the edges of cartridge-receiving recesses 26a, 26b allow for clearance between the cartridge portions 19a, 19b and the container while also assisting in centering the cartridge portions within the recess. Further, the clearance would allow for potential drying of any shaving aid that is integrated within the cartridge portion and is also useful in preventing unnecessary wear of a cutting edge of a shaving blade in the razor cartridge portion. In addition to the slot guides 28, the container may also include handle guides 29 and 30 to provide stability for the razor handle and to minimize movement of the razor within the container both in transit and also allow the user to easily snap fit the razor back into place in the container for later use.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a side view of a razor package 10 is shown in accordance with the present invention including a “see through” view of the razor situated within the container. Side wall 40 may be of equal width throughout the length of the container as shown or it may be slightly elevated or wider at the upper portion than at the lower portion to allow more room for the cartridge portion.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a bottom view of razor package 10 is shown in accordance with the present invention. As mentioned above, transparent windows 35 are formed in containers 12a, 12b revealing the razor cartridges 19a, 19b while the remaining portion of the container remains opaque. This is useful for a consumer at the point of purchase, and in particular if the cover sheet is not transparent.

In an alternate embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 5, package 10 is molded into a container to enclose a razor 16a (shown with dotted lines) with a cartridge and an adjoining handle but formed such that the cover sheet seals a smaller area of access. In FIG. 5, the containers 12a, 12b effectively are vertically placed, again with the handle at the area of access.

With a plurality of containers, the containers may be attached together in any fashion desired or required. For instance, a “serial” attachment (e.g., three containers 12a, 12b, 12c in a row) is shown in FIG. 6 while a parallel “back to back” attachment (e.g., peel off sides, not shown, adjacent to each other), is shown in FIG. 7. In FIG. 7, the first and second containers 12a, 12b may be removably attached to each other forming dual container package 73 and third and fourth containers 12c, 12d may be removably attached to each other forming dual container package 77 wherein dual container packages 73, 77 are attached at the top via a hanger 75. Hanger 75 may run across the width of the packages or may be more centrally located, however, any feasible method of attaching the two dual container packages together as well as being used for hanging the package are also contemplated in the present invention.

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

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

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