Title:
Color coded identification system for a pack of containers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A color coded identification system for a pack of a plurality of food containers is disclosed. Each container has a receptacle member and a lid member. The receptacle member defines a first rim that includes a sealing member adapted to hermetically seal contents of the container. The receptacle member and the lid member respectively include a first identifier portion and a second identifier portion that respectively include a first and second color indicia. The lid member defines a second rim that represents a third color indicia that has a color identical with the first and second color indicia. The color of first, second, and third indicia are identical, distinct and unique for each container of the pack. The second rim includes an indentation and a plurality of protrusions to respectively facilitate a primary locking and a secondary locking between the lid member and the receptacle member.



Inventors:
Klein, Judy (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/284544
Publication Date:
03/25/2010
Filing Date:
09/23/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
426/87
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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20090145796Cake-shaped decorative product made of a towelJune, 2009Matsuoka et al.



Primary Examiner:
REYNOLDS, STEVEN ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FELDMAN LAW GROUP, P.C. (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A color coded identification system for a pack of a plurality of food containers comprising: a receptacle member that has a sidewall and a bottom wall adapted to respectively define an open top end and a closed bottom end, the sidewall defines a cavity adapted to accommodate contents to be packed, the open top end defines a first rim that includes a sealing member adapted to hermetically seal the receptacle member, the bottom wall of the receptacle member includes a first identifier portion adapted to define a first color indicia; a lid member that has a second identifier portion that includes a second color indicia, the lid member defines a second rim that includes a third color indicia, the first color indicia, the second color indicia and the third color indicia have an unique identical color that identifies and distinguishes characteristics of contents of the containers.

2. The pack of the containers of claim 1, wherein the second rim of the lid member defines an indentation that engages with the first rim to facilitate primary locking between the receptacle member and the lid member.

3. The pack of the containers of claim 2, wherein the indentation has a width that is exactly equal to a width defined by the first rim to improve the primary locking between the receptacle member and the lid member.

4. The pack of the containers of claim 2, wherein the second rim includes a plurality of protrusions adapted to be engaged under the first rim to facilitate a secondary locking between the receptacle member and the lid member.

5. The pack of the containers of claim 2, wherein the indentation has a diameter that is approximately equal to a diameter of the first rim.

6. The pack of the containers of claim 1, wherein the unique color codes of the containers advantageously save time and efforts of the user in identifying the particular container from the pack.

7. The pack of the containers of claim 1, wherein the distinct color codes of the containers eliminate need of separating the containers after removing them from the pack.

8. The pack of the containers of claim 1, wherein the color codes can be viewed from bottom, top and side views that advantageously allow the user to identify the containers from any location and by the user of any height.

9. The pack of the containers of claim 1, wherein the first color indicia, the second color indicia and the third color indicia together ensure that each container contains respective contents per the information provided on the first and second identifier portions of the respective receptacle member and lid member.

10. The pack of the containers of claim 1, wherein the sealing member has a diameter equal to the diameter of the first rim thereby providing a leak proof hermetic seal for the containers.

11. The pack of the containers of claim 1, wherein the first identifier portion has a diameter that is two-thirds the diameter of a bottom end defined by the receptacle member.

12. The pack of the containers of claim 1, wherein the second identifier portion has a diameter that is three-fourths of the diameter of the second rim.

13. The pack of the containers according to claim 1, wherein said characteristics of said contents of the containers include taste.

14. The pack of the containers according to claim 1, wherein said characteristics of said contents of the containers include look.

15. The pack of the containers according to claim 1, wherein said characteristics of said contents of the containers include preparedness.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to food containers, and more particularly, to an identification system for the food containers.

2. Description of the Related Art

It is normal practice to use a pack of identical transparent containers to store food products that have a similar look but varying tastes. These prior art containers generally include identification means such as, tags, bands and indices that allow the user to distinguish the contents of these containers.

While selecting a particular container from the pack, the user normally has to put substantial efforts in exploration and interpretation of the identification means that as a result unnecessarily wastes a user's time while selecting the container from the pack. The user may appreciate an identification system that allows them to put less effort while identifying the container from the pack.

The identification means have a tendency to get ruined or lost under such circumstances such as, a transportation of the packs in bad weather or improper handling of the containers. The inability of the prior art containers to be identified in absence of their identification means limits their convenience to many users.

A color coded identification system for the containers is needed that has an inbuilt color coded identification system that allows the user to identify the container in minimum time and without much effort.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A color coded identification system is described for a pack of a plurality of identical food containers. Each container of the pack includes a receptacle member and a lid member. The receptacle member of each container is adapted to accommodate or store content that has an identical appearance but varying taste. Each receptacle member has an open top end and a closed bottom end. The closed bottom end of the receptacle member defines a first identifier portion that includes a first color indicia. The lid member defines a second identifier portion that includes a second color indicia. The lid member defines a rim that includes a third color indicia. The first color indicia, second color indicia, and third color indicia have an identical color. The color code for each container of the pack is distinct and predetermined per the respective characteristics of the contents. The color codes allow the user to identify and distinguish the contents of varying characteristics such as by way of non limiting examples tastes, look, e.g. glazed, or level of preparedness e.g. raw. The identical color codes on the lid member and receptacle member ensures appropriateness between the receptacle member, receptacle contents, and the lid member.

The receptacle member includes a first rim that is provided with a food grade sealing member that hermetically seals the receptacle member to preserve freshness and crispiness of the contents. The lid member defines an indentation on the undersurface that can be engaged with the first rim of the receptacle member to facilitate a primary locking between the receptacle member and lid member. The lid includes a second rim that has an undersurface with a plurality of protrusions that are adapted to be engaged under the first rim of the receptacle member to facilitate a secondary locking between the lid and receptacle member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The above mentioned and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to following description, appended claims and accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to similar parts throughout the several views where:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pack of a plurality of containers that includes constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of one of container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of an empty receptacle member of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the filled and sealed receptacle member of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the receptacle member of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of a lid member of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the lid member of the container of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of the pack of the containers of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Although specific terms are used in the following description for sake of clarity, these terms are intended to refer only to particular structure of the invention selected for illustration in the drawings, and are not intended to define or limit the scope of the invention.

Referring initially to FIG. 1, a pack 10 of a plurality of containers 12 is shown. Each container 12 in pack 10 includes a receptacle member 14 and a removably attachable lid member 16. In this one preferred embodiment, containers 12 are preferably adapted to store contents 17 such as nut and fruit products, however, it is understood that containers 12 can be used to store any contents 17 that have an identical appearance but varying characteristics such as taste. Each container 12 is identical in all dimensions to adjacent container 12 in the pack 10, however, it is understood that the dimensions of containers 12 may vary as per intended application of pack 10.

Referring to FIG. 2, one of the containers 12 of pack 10 is shown. Container 12 includes a receptacle member 14 and a lid member 16 that are bilaterally disposed along a central longitudinal axis-X. In this one preferred embodiment, receptacle member 14 is of cylindrical shape and lid member 16 is of spherical shape, however, it is understood shapes of receptacle member 14 and lid member 16 may vary as per intended application of pack 10. Receptacle member 14 and lid member 16 preferably longitudinally extend along the central longitudinal axis-X to define a length of container 12. Receptacle member 14 and lid member 16 preferably laterally extend along a central transverse axis-Y to define a diameter or width of container 12. The central transverse axis-Y is substantially perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis-X. The receptacle member 14 and lid member 16, in this preferred embodiment, are preferably made of a food grade plastic, such as, polyethylene, polypropylene and high density polypropylene, however, it is understood that their material of construction may vary as per intended use of pack 10.

Referring to FIG. 3, receptacle member 14 has a side wall 18 that defines a proximal end portion 20 and a distal end portion 22. The proximal end portion 20 includes a first rim 24 that preferably defines an open top end 26 of receptacle member 14. The distal end portion 22 includes a bottom wall 28 that defines a closed bottom end 30 of receptacle member 14. Bottom wall 28 is preferably substantially perpendicular to side wall 18. Side wall 18 has an outer surface 32 and an inner surface 34 that define a thickness 36 that defines a cavity 38 in receptacle member 14. Cavity 38 has a predetermined volume and is preferably adapted to accommodate measured amount of contents 17.

First rim 24 preferably laterally extends from sidewall 18 along a plane that is substantially perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis-X. First rim 24 has a top surface 40 and a bottom surface 42 that are substantially flat and define a thickness 44 that is approximately equal to the thickness 36 of sidewall 18. First rim 24 has an inner diameter 46 and an outer diameter 48 adapted to define a width 50 that allows first rim 24 to comfortably get engaged with an indentation defined by lid member 16. It is understood, however, that the dimensions of rim 24 may vary in other alternative embodiments.

Proximal end portion 20 includes a marking 52 adapted to define a highest level up to which the ingredient can be filled within receptacle member 14. Marking 52 preferably laterally protrudes inward from sidewall 18 to define a step 54 within a receptacle member 14 to be easily get identified by a user. Step 54 advantageously adds an aesthetic look to receptacle portion 14.

Proximal end portion 20 also includes a sealing member 56 that is preferably adapted to be positioned over top surface 36 of rim 22 to hermetically store the contents in container 12. Sealing member 56 has a top surface 58 and a bottom surface 60 that define a thickness 62 that advantageously allows sealing member 56 to enclose open top end 26 of receptacle member 14.

As shown in FIG. 4, bottom surface 60 (Refer FIG. 3) of sealing member 56, in this one preferred embodiment, is stretched over rim 24 to hermetically seal receptacle member 14. The hermetic sealing facilitated by sealing member 56 advantageously allows receptacle member 14 to preserve characteristics of content 17, for example, freshness and taste for a longer period of time. Sealing member 56, in this one embodiment, is a stretchable food grade plastic wrap such as Saran wrap, however, it is understood that seal 56 can be made of other composites of food grade plastic.

Referring to FIG. 5, in one embodiment, bottom end 30 of receptacle member 14 has a diameter 64 that is relatively less than a diameter 66 defined by top end 26 of receptacle member 14. This allows receptacle member 14 to have a tapered structure. Bottom wall 28 of bottom end 30 may include a circular notch 68 that is preferably adapted to receive a first identifier portion 70. Notch 68 and first identifier portion 70, in this one preferred embodiment, have diameters 69, 71 that are approximately equal to each other and preferably two thirds the diameter 64 of bottom end 30. First identifier portion 70 includes a ring 72 that represents a first color coded indicia 74. In this preferred embodiment, the first color coded indicia 74 is predetermined with respect to flavor or taste of nut or food product to be stored in the container 12. In addition, first identifier portion 70 includes information such as name of the content, nutrition chart, certification from Natural Food Certifiers Inc., Barcode, Packaging date, best sell by date and name of the distributor.

Referring to FIG. 6, in one embodiment, lid member 16 has top surface 76 and a bottom surface 78 that are substantially flat and define a thickness that is approximately equal to thickness 36 (Refer FIG. 3) of side wall 18 (Refer FIG. 3). Lid member 16 has a second rim 80 that has an inner diameter 82 and an outer diameter 84 that define a width 86 of second rim 80. Second rim 80 defines a first configuration that preferably longitudinally upwardly protrudes from inner diameter 82 along the central longitudinal axis-X to rest at a first distance 88 above top surface 76. Second rim 80 has a second configuration that preferably longitudinally downwardly protrudes from first distance 88 to rest at a second distance 90 below bottom surface 78.

Top surface 76 of lid member 16 includes a second identifier portion 92 that is preferably of circular shape and has a diameter 94 that is approximately three fourths the inner diameter 82 of second rim 80. Second identifier portion 92 includes information such as name and type of the content, name of manufacturer, address and trademark, net weight of the content and barcode.

Second identifier portion 92 includes a second color coded indicia 96 that is substantially identical to the first color coded indicia 74 (Refer FIG. 4). In addition, second rim 80 is preferably molded or coated with a color that is identical to first color coded indicia 74 (Refer FIG. 5) and second color coded indicia 96. This allows second rim 80, itself, to represent a third color coded indicia 98. Indicia 74, 96 and 98 are non-verbal, passive and obtrusive. The identical color on indicia 74, 96 and 98 indicate the respective characteristic of content 17 that may have identical appearance but varying characteristics such as taste. The identical color of indicia 74 disposed on receptacle member 14 and indicia 96 and 98 disposed on lid member 16 advantageously assure the user that the content 17 in receptacle member 14 is exactly the same per the name of content 17 mentioned on lid member 16.

As shown in FIG. 7, first distance 88 (Refer FIG. 6) defined by top surface 76 (Refer FIG. 6) of second rim 80 advantageously forms an indentation 100 on bottom surface 78. In this one preferred embodiment, indentation 100 has a depth that is substantially equal to height of first distance 88. Indentation 100 has a width that is substantially equal to width 50 (Refer FIG. 3) defined by rim 24 (Refer FIG. 3) of receptacle member 14 (Refer FIG. 3). The width and depth of indention 98 allow lid member 16 to get firmly engaged with rim 24 of receptacle member 14 to facilitate a primary locking between receptacle member 14 and lid member 16.

Second rim 80 has an inner surface 102 that includes a plurality of protrusions 104 positioned along a perimeter of outer diameter 84. Protrusions 104 preferably inwardly extend towards the central longitudinal axis-X. Protrusions 104 have a configuration that is preferably adapted to be engaged under rim 24 of receptacle member 14 to facilitate a secondary locking between receptacle member 14 and lid member 16.

As shown in FIG. 8, pack 10, in this one preferred embodiment, includes five containers 12 that are adapted to store item 17. Item 17, in this one preferred embodiment, is cashews, however, it is understood that item 17 can be any food product that has an identical appearance but varying taste.

Containers 12 of pack 10, in this one preferred embodiment, have five distinct colors 106, 108, 110, 112 and 114 on their colored indicia 74, 96 and 98. The colors 106, 108, 110, 112 and 114, in this one embodiment, are respectively red, blue, purple, green and gold, however, it is understood that they may vary as per intended application of pack 10. The colors 106, 108, 110, 112 and 114 are preferably formed by combination of appropriate proportions of predefined four base colors such as Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, but it is understood that the base colors and their proportions may vary in other alternative embodiments with respective change in colors 106, 108, 110, 112 and 114.

Red color 106 of indicia 74, 96 and 98, in this one embodiment, represents salted item 17. Blue color 108 of indicia 74, 96 and 98, in this one embodiment, represents unsalted item 17. Purple color 110 of indicia 74, 96 and 98, in this one embodiment, represents raw item 17. Green color 112 of indicia 74, 96 and 98, in this one embodiment, represents fruit granola mix item 17. Gold color 114 of indicia 74, 96 and 98, in this one embodiment, represents glazed or confectionary item 17. It is understood, however, that colors 106, 108, 110, 112 and 114 of indicia 74, 76, and 98 may substantially vary in other alternative embodiments of pack 10 depending upon characteristics of item 17 being contained in containers 12. For example, Green color 112 of indicia 74, 96 and 98, in other alternative embodiments of pack 10, can have other shade of green color such as pantone color 112 to represent organic item 17 or Gold color 114 of indicia 74, 96, and 98, in other alternative embodiments of pack 10, can be replaced with Saffron color 114 to represent honey item 17.

Referring to FIGS. 1-8, pack 10, in operation, includes sealing member 56 that is advantageously used to hermetically store content 17. Colors 106, 108, 110, 112 and 114 on the indicia 74, 96 and 98 of each container 12 advantageously save time and mental efforts of the user in identifying a particular container 12 from pack 10. Colors 106, 108, 10, 112 and 114 are distinct and dedicated to particular item 17 that eliminates the need of storing containers 12 separately after removing them from the pack 10. This advantageously saves physical efforts of the user. Indicia 74, 96 and 98 can be respectively viewed from bottom, top and side views to advantageously allow containers 12 to be identified from any position by the user of any height.

The embodiments of the invention shown and discussed herein are merely illustrative of modes of application of the present invention. Reference to details in this discussion is not intended to limit the scope of the claims to these details, or to the figures used to illustrate the invention.