Title:
PACKET FOR ARTICLES OF ELONGATED SHAPE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A packet filled with articles of elongated shape comprises a substantially parallelepiped outer wrapper presenting a front wall, a rear wall or back, two flank walls, a top and a base, and scored or punched with a cutout delimiting a closure flap; the cutout appears as transverse line occupying a central area of the front wall, and two lines extending from the ends of the transverse line, at a predetermined distance from the corner edges of the relative flank walls, along the front wall and at least across the width of the top. The area of the wrapper occupied by the cutout is covered by an adhesive label furnished with a pull tab. The packet comprises an inner element serving to fill two longitudinal and substantially parallelepiped spaces within the wrapper, each coinciding positionally and dimensionally at one end with a relative portion of the top lying outside the line of the cutout.



Inventors:
Polloni, Roberto (Modigliana, IT)
Bertuzzi, Ivanoe (Casalecchio Di Reno, IT)
Application Number:
12/478535
Publication Date:
12/31/2009
Filing Date:
06/04/2009
Assignee:
G.D S.p.A. (Bologna, IT)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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20030192891Paper cup sip adaptorOctober, 2003Ziegler
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20040129702Handle for containersJuly, 2004Jensen
20090152278INNER SHELL FOR A PRESSURE VESSELJune, 2009Lindner



Primary Examiner:
ORTIZ, RAFAEL ALFREDO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHUTTLEWORTH & INGERSOLL, P.L.C. (CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A packet for articles of elongated shape, comprising: an outer wrapper of substantially parallelepiped appearance containing articles arranged parallel to a longitudinal axis of the packet, presenting a front wall, a rear wall or back, two flank walls, a top and a base, also a cutout, serving to delimit a closure element or tongue, composed of a portion lying transversely to the longitudinal axis of the packet and occupying a central area of the front wall, and two portions extending from the ends of the transverse portion, at a predetermined distance from the corner edges of the relative flank walls, along the front wall and at least across the width of the top; an adhesive label covering the area occupied by the cutout, and furnished with a pull tab; an inner element serving to fill two longitudinal and substantially parallelepiped spaces within the wrapper, each coinciding positionally and dimensionally at one end with the relative portion of the top located externally of the cutout.

2. A packet for articles of elongated shape as in claim 1, wherein the cutout comprises a portion disposed transversely to the longitudinal axis of the packet, occupying a central area of the front wall, also two portions disposed substantially parallel one with another and extending from the ends of the transverse portion at a predetermined distance from the corner edges of the relative flank walls, along the front wall and at least across the top, of which the respective free ends are located on the back of the wrapper.

3. A packet for articles of elongated shape as in claim 1, wherein the inner element is fashioned from stiff or semi-stiff material.

4. A packet for articles of elongated shape as in claim 3, wherein the inner element comprises a flat central portion of dimensions identical to those of the front wall and, associated with each longitudinal edge of the flat central portion, a rib of depth substantially equal to the depth of the wrapper, in such a way as to fill two substantially parallelepiped spaces within the wrapper, each coinciding positionally and dimensionally at one end with the relative portion of the top lying between the cutout and the flank wall.

5. A packet for articles of elongated shape as in claim 4, wherein the inner element is fashioned from a flat blank of cardboard or paperboard.

6. A packet for articles of elongated shape as in claim 5, wherein the flat blank appears symmetrical in relation to a longitudinal axis, and is divided by longitudinal crease lines into a plurality of panels consisting in a central panel connected on either side to a respective second panel, also to a third panel, a fourth panel and an end flap, of which the second, third and fourth panels on each side are subjectable to a folding operation resulting in the formation of a respective rib.

7. A packet for articles of elongated shape as in claim 6, wherein the flat blank presents a transverse crease line coinciding with one end of the central panel and delimiting a bottom flap designed to engage in contact with the base of the wrapper when the packet is assembled.

8. A packet for articles of elongated shape as in claim 7, wherein the flat blank comprises a further panel, joined along a further transverse crease line to the bottom flap on the side opposite from the central panel, designed to engage in contact with the back of the wrapper when the packet is assembled.

9. A packet for articles of elongated shape as in claim 5, wherein the flat blank presents appendages, each serving to enclose one end of a respective rib.

10. A packet for articles of elongated shape as in claim 8, wherein the further panel is furnished with two lateral flaps delimited by respective crease lines and designed to engage in contact with the flank walls of the wrapper when the packet is assembled.

Description:

This application claims priority to Italian Patent Application No. BO2008A000411, filed Jun. 27, 2008, which application is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a packet for articles of elongated shape such as cigarettes, for example, or sticks of chewing gum, or pouches of smokeless tobacco (snus).

Packets or wrappers of the type in question are fashioned from substantially rectangular leaves of pliable packaging material, generally affording a high degree of impermeability to air and moisture, and appear substantially parallelepiped in shape, presenting a rectangular section.

The packet is delimited by four side walls extending parallel to the longitudinal axis of the parallelepiped, namely a front wall, a rear wall or back, and two narrow walls or flanks, also by two walls disposed transversely to the selfsame axis, the one upwardly directed, identifiable as a top, the other downwardly directed, identifiable as a base.

Certain packets of this type provide the subject matter of U.S. Pat. No. 4,300,676, which discloses and depicts packets containing cigarettes, inserted into cardboard outer wrappers of the type appearing as a box with a hinged lid.

The cigarettes in the packet are disposed alongside one another, and parallel to the aforementioned longitudinal axis.

The topmost part of the packet presents a cutout substantially of letter “U” outline, including an arcuate central portion occupying the front wall, and two parallel portions extending from the ends of the arcuate portion along the front wall, across the top and onto the uppermost part of the back.

The cutout delimits a closure element on the wrapper, resembling a flap or tongue, positioned over an opening through which the user can draw out an article contained in the packet by taking hold of one end and pulling.

The closure element and an area around the selfsame element are covered completely by an adhesive label that extends across an area including a top portion of the front wall, the top of the packet, and an adjoining portion of the back.

The part of the label positioned on the front wall is furnished with a tab that both facilitates the operation of pulling back the tongue and allows the user to reclose the packet each time a cigarette, or other article, is taken from the packet.

Importantly, in order to ensure that the adhesive label will cover the entire area occupied by the cutout completely, and consequently guarantee an airtight closure of the wrapper, the parallel portions of the cutout are placed at a predetermined distance from the corner edges along which the front wall, the top and the back of the packet are joined to the two flanks.

This means that when the closure element is pulled back, the top of the packet will not be raised in its entirety to expose the top ends of all the articles contained in the packet, as would be the case, conversely, when a conventional hinge-lid packet is opened.

As a result, the articles of which the top ends are positioned at the two ends of the top, lying outside the line of the cutout, are not exposed to view; moreover, given that the contents of the packet are generally enveloped by the wrapper in a tight fit, these same endmost articles can prove difficult to access and extricate.

The object of the present invention is to provide a packet for articles of elongated shape such as will enable all of the articles contained in the selfsame packet to be removed without the drawbacks typical of prior art packets as described above, and which also affords cost advantages compared to conventional hinge-lid packets.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The stated object is realized in a packet for articles of elongated shape according to the invention, which comprises an outer wrapper of substantially parallelepiped appearance containing articles arranged parallel to a longitudinal axis of the packet, presenting a front wall, a rear wall or back, two flank walls, a top and a base, also a cutout, serving to delimit a closure tongue, composed of a portion lying transversely to the longitudinal axis of the packet and occupying a central area of the front wall, and two portions extending from the ends of the transverse portion, at a predetermined distance from the corner edges of the relative flank walls, along the front wall and at least across the width of the top. The area occupied by the cutout is covered by an adhesive label with a pull tab.

The packet further comprises an inner element serving to fill two longitudinal and substantially parallelepiped spaces within the wrapper, each coinciding positionally and dimensionally at one end with a relative portion of the top located externally of the cutout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described in detail, by way of example, with the aid of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 are perspective views of a packet according to the present invention;

FIGS. 4 and 5 show two possible embodiments of a flat blank from which to fashion an element forming part of the packet illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 shows a further embodiment of the packet illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 shows a possible embodiment of a flat blank from which to fashion an element forming part of the packet illustrated in FIG. 6;

FIGS. 8 and 9 are perspective views showing two further embodiments of the packet illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 shows a possible embodiment of a flat blank from which to fashion an element forming part of the packet illustrated in FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view showing a further embodiment of the packet illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 12 shows a possible embodiment of a flat blank from which to fashion an element forming part of the packet illustrated in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view showing a further embodiment of the packet illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 14 shows a stack of flat blanks, viewed edgeways-on, used to fashion the aforementioned elements forming part of the packets according to the present invention;

FIGS. 15 and 16 are perspective views, front and rear respectively, showing one of various elements that could form part of a packet according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 6, numeral 1 denotes a packet, in its entirety, serving to contain a group of articles 2, arranged side by side and disposed parallel to a longitudinal axis A of the selfsame packet 1.

In the example of FIG. 3, the articles 2 are shown as cigarettes 3 arranged in three layers 4, whereas in the example of FIG. 6, the packet 1 contains a group of cigarettes 3 arranged in two layers 4. As will become clear in due course, the articles 2 in question might also consist, for example, in sticks 5 of chewing gum (see FIG. 13) or pouches 6 of smokeless tobacco (see FIG. 11).

The packet 1, which is manufactured on a cigarette packer or other packaging machine (not illustrated), comprises an outer wrapper 7 substantially of parallelepiped appearance and rectangular section, made from a pliable material affording a high degree of impermeability to air and moisture, and typically heat-sealable.

The wrapper 7 is delimited by four side walls, extending parallel to the longitudinal axis A, comprising a front wall 8, a rear wall or back 9 and two narrower walls or flanks 10, also by two walls disposed transversely to the selfsame axis A, one upwardly directed, identifiable as a top 11, the other downwardly directed, identifiable as a base 12.

The top part of the wrapper 7 presents a cutout 13 substantially of letter “U” outline, including a central portion 14 that occupies the front wall 8, and two parallel portions 15 extending from the ends of the central portion 14 across the front wall 8, the top 11, and the uppermost part of the back 9.

On the back 9 of the wrapper, the two free ends of the parallel portions 15, denoted 16, are curled in toward one another.

The U-shaped cutout 13 delimits a closure element, or tongue 17, complementary to an opening 18 through which the articles 2 are taken from the packet 1.

The part of the wrapper 7 presenting the cutout 13 is covered by an adhesive label 19, of which the part positioned over the front wall 8 is furnished with a tab 20 designed to facilitate the operation of pulling back the tongue 17 when the packet 1 is opened.

The packet 1 also comprises an inner element 21 of stiff or semi-stiff paper material, interposed between the articles 2 and the outer wrapper 7, presenting a flat central portion 22 breasted in contact with the front wall 8 and of similar height and width dimensions (see also FIGS. 15 and 16).

The inner element 21 presents a rib 23 along each longitudinal edge, of depth substantially equal to the depth of the wrapper 7, and more exactly to the transverse dimension presented by the flanks 10 of the packet 1. Accordingly, the ribs 23 occupy two substantially parallelepiped spaces internally of the wrapper 7, each coinciding cross-sectionally with a portion of the top 11 lying between the cutout 13 and the flank 10.

Referring also to FIG. 4, the inner element 21 is fashioned from a flat blank 24 appearing substantially rectangular in general outline, configured symmetrically relative to a longitudinal axis, denoted A′, and divided by longitudinal and transverse crease lines into a plurality of panels.

More exactly, the blank 24 is divided by four longitudinal crease lines 25, 26, 27 and 28, on two opposite sides of a central panel 29, into respective second, third and fourth panels denoted 30, 31 and 32, and respective end flaps denoted 33.

Finally, a single crease line denoted 34 extends transversely to the axis A′ across one end of the central panel 29, delimiting a bottom flap 35 that will be breasted in contact with the base 12 of the assembled packet 7.

The edge 36 of the central panel 29 remote from the bottom flap 35 might present a U-shaped cutaway 37, designed to facilitate the removal of the articles 2 from the packet 1, in which case the two end flaps 33 likewise will present respective complementarily shaped cutaways 38.

The process whereby the panels and flaps of the flat blank 24 are bent along the respective crease lines to form the inner element 21, in a succession of folding steps, will be readily discernible from the drawings.

In particular, along each of the two longitudinal edges delimiting the central panel 29, the adjoining panels 30, 31 and 32 combine with a portion of the selfsame central panel 29 to form the longitudinal walls of one of the aforementioned ribs 23; more exactly, the second panel 30 becomes an outer wall breasted in contact with the relative flank 10 of the wrapper 7, the third panel 31 becomes a wall breasted in contact with the back 9, and the fourth panel 32 becomes a wall directed toward the inside of the packet 1, offered in contact to the articles 2.

Once bent into shape, the inner element 21 is secured by affixing the two end flaps 33 to the central panel 29 with an adhesive, in such a way that the thickness of the aforementioned flat central portion 22 will be doubled.

The inner elements 21 are supplied to the packaging machine aforementioned as flat blanks stacked one on top of another (see FIG. 14) and, at the moment of their assembly with the wrapper 7, subjected to a forming operation causing them ultimately to assume the configuration illustrated in FIGS. 15 and 16.

FIG. 5 illustrates a blank 39 differing from the blank 24 described previously in that it comprises a further panel 40, joined along a further transverse crease line 41 to the bottom flap 35, on the side opposite from the central panel 29.

One face of the panel 40 in question is designed to engage in contact with the back 9 of the wrapper 7, and the other face with the third panels 31 of the two ribs 23.

Another difference between the blank 39 of FIG. 5 and the blank 24 of FIG. 4 is that the two third panels 31 are furnished, at the ends adjacent to the additional panel 40, with respective appendages 42 substantially of L-shaped outline.

When bent at right angles to the two respective panels 31, these same appendages 42 provide closure elements for corresponding open ends presented by the ribs 23 of the inner element 21.

FIG. 6 illustrates a packet 1 designed to accommodate two layers 4 of cigarettes 3, of which the blank 44, shown in FIG. 7, differs from the blank 39 of FIG. 5 in that the additional panel 40 is furnished with two lateral flaps 45, delimited by respective crease lines 46, that will be breasted with the flanks 10 of the outer wrapper 7.

Furthermore, the free end of the panel 40 presents a cutaway 37 designed to facilitate the removal of artikel 2.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a packet 1 containing pouches 6 of smokeless tobacco (snus) stacked on edge and disposed parallel to the front and rear walls 8 and 9.

The relative blank 47 illustrated in FIG. 10 differs materially from the blank 44 of FIG. 7 only in that the cutaways 37 of the panels 40 and 29 are of dissimilar dimensions, and not aligned axially one with another.

FIG. 11 illustrates a further packet 1 containing pouches 6 of tobacco, stacked on edge and disposed transversely to the front and rear walls 8 and 9.

The relative blank 48, illustrated in FIG. 12, is substantially similar to the blank of FIG. 10.

FIG. 13 illustrates a packet 1 holding sticks 5 of chewing gum, stacked on edge and disposed transversely to the front and rear walls 8 and 9.

Self-evidently, in a packet 1 furnished with the inner element 21 described and illustrated, the problems connected with accessing and extracting the articles located nearest to the flank walls of the wrapper are overcome entirely.

It will be appreciated also that the quality and strength of the packet can be determined selectively, on the basis of the type of blank utilized to fashion the inner element 21.

The position of the inner element 21 within the wrapper 7 might equally well be rotated through 180° about the longitudinal axis A′ from the position illustrated in the accompanying drawings, that is to say with the flat central portion 22 offered in contact to the back 9 of the wrapper 7.