Title:
Compact Tissue Dispenser
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Packaging of tissues such as facial tissues such that the final package is compact and reduces exposure of stored tissues to contamination by hand contact. The tissues are folded several times to attain a footprint considerably smaller than the original footprint and of conventionally packaged tissues. Folded tissues are interleaved to cause withdrawal of one tissue to expose the next. The package may comprise paper, semirigid plastic, or transparent film packaging. Optionally, a carabiner enables attachment of the package to an environmental object such as apparel of a person.



Inventors:
Gaspari, Seda (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Ananighian, Mike H. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/291491
Publication Date:
05/09/2013
Filing Date:
11/08/2011
Assignee:
GASPARI SEDA
ANANIGHIAN MIKE H.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D75/52
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT LAW & VENTURE GROUP, PLLC (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:
1. 1-16. (canceled)

17. The dispensing pack of tissues of claim 15, wherein the receptacle comprises a deep portion and a cover which fits closely over and is live hinged to the deep portion.

18. The dispensing pack of tissues of claim 17, wherein the receptacle comprises a first lateral flange bearing at least a first depression and the cover comprises a second lateral flange bearing at least a second depression which said second lateral flange overlies the first lateral flange when the cover is moved to a closed position over the deep portion of the receptacle, and the first depression interfits with the second depression to maintain the cover in the closed position.

19. (canceled)

20. A method of adapting a plurality of planar single ply tissue papers for dispensing from a package, the method comprising: preparing the package with a rectangular, planar, interior, base having a length in a first direction and a width in a second direction; preparing each one of said papers with a first pair of parallel edges aligned with the first direction, and a second pair of parallel edges aligned with the second direction, the first edges having a length equal to an integer multiple of the length of the base of the package, the second edges having a length equal to an integer multiple of the width of the base of the package; for each one of said papers, placing a first fold in the paper in the first direction, the first fold forming two first equal portions of the paper, the first portions in face-to-face contact; placing a second fold in the paper, the second fold in the first direction, forming two second equal portions of the first equal portions, the second equal portions in face-to-face contact; placing a plurality of third folds in the paper, the third folds aligned with the second direction, the third folds dividing the second equal portions into an integer number of rectangular third portions arranged in a Z-fold accordion arrangement.

21. The method of claim 20 wherein the length of each of the second edges is twice that of the width of the base of the package.

22. The method of claim 20 wherein the length of each of the second edges is quadruple that of the width of the base of the package.

23. The method of claim 20 further comprising inserting a terminal one of the third portions of one of said papers between a penultimate and terminal ones of the third portions of a further one of the papers.

24. The method of claim 20 further comprising forming a chain of said papers, the chain arranged in an ordered sequence by inserting a terminal one of said third portions of each of said papers between a penultimate and terminal ones of said third portions of each available next said paper in the ordered sequence.

25. The method of claim 24 further comprising placing the chain of said papers into the package with a terminal one of said papers in said chain of said papers into contact with the base of the package and aligning a further terminal one of said papers in said chain of said papers with an access opening of the package.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to paper type cleaning and sanitary webs, and more particularly to packaging of such webs enabling storing and dispensing the webs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Paper type cleaning and sanitary webs such as napkins, facial tissues, and the like (hereinafter called tissues for brevity) are typically stored and sold in and dispensed from paperboard boxes. The paperboard box typically has a removable prescored panel which once removed provides an opening in the box through which the user may insert his or her hand to retrieve a tissue. For many purposes, this presents no complications. However, where sanitary conditions must be maintained, it becomes objectionable to require that the user insert his or her hand into the head space of the box in order to retrieve a tissue, due to potential transfer of contamination into the remaining supply of tissues.

Another issue for packaged tissues is that of compactness. Most tissues are sold at retail in boxes which leave a footprint of about nine inches by five inches. While this is not objectionable in a household, there are situations in which it is desired to carry about a more compact supply of tissues. For example, in automobiles and when traveling on foot, it may be desirable to have a compact supply of tissues for frequently recurring use. Small tissue supplies have been commercially available, but these are usually small tissues rather than the standard size that usually occupies a nine inch by five inch box, and moreover are typically enclosed within a thin, flaccid cellophane film or the like. Once the cellophane film is torn open, it may not properly enclose and protect the remaining tissues.

There exists a need for improved packaging of tissue type webs for individual use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention addresses the above stated need by providing novel folding schemes in combination with packaging which is both compact for the size of the individual enclosed tissue, and also does not require insertion of most of the hand to retrieve a tissue. To these ends, tissues which are enclosed are folded more than the typical one time, and are interleaved so that withdrawal of one tissue pulls the next tissue such that it partially projects from the packaging. This overcomes the necessity of inserting the hand into the packaging to withdraw subsequent tissues.

The folding pattern also allows for a packaging footprint which is reduced relative to the footprint of the tissue, compared to conventional practice. The novel folding and packaging scheme thus accomplishes the twin goals of maintaining hygienic condition of tissues, while minimizing packaging size for tissues of a given area.

In a further aspect, a tissue dispensing package may be attached to a person's apparel by a snap hook or carabiner.

It is an object of the invention to improve on hygienic conditions of stored tissues.

Another object of the invention is to provide more compact packaging for stored tissues.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof by apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable, and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various objects, features, and attendant advantages of the present invention will become more fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1a is a perspective view of a tissue which may be incorporated into the invention.

FIG. 1b is a perspective view showing a first fold formed in the tissue of FIG. 1a.

FIG. 1c is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 1b after a second fold.

FIG. 1d is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 1c after a further fold.

FIG. 1e is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 1d after a further fold.

FIG. 1f is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 1e in a further state of folding.

FIG. 1g shows the tissue of FIG. 1f as it is being interleaved with a second tissue.

FIG. 1h1 is a perspective view of a package which may enclose a stack of tissues such as the tissues of FIG. 1g.

FIG. 1h2 is a perspective view of a second type of package which may enclose a stack of tissues such as the tissues of FIG. 1g.

FIG. 2a is a perspective view of a tissue which may be incorporated into the invention.

FIG. 2b is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 2a after being folded.

FIG. 2c is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 2b after a second fold.

FIG. 2d is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 2c after a further fold.

FIG. 2e is a slightly exploded perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 2d after another fold.

FIG. 2f is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 2e as it is being interleaved with a second tissue.

FIG. 2g is a perspective view of a package which may enclose a stack of tissues such as the tissues of FIG. 2f.

FIG. 3a is a perspective view of a tissue which may be incorporated into the invention.

FIG. 3b is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 3a after being folded.

FIG. 3c is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 3b after a second fold.

FIG. 3d is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 3c after further folding.

FIG. 3e is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 3d as it is being interleaved with a second tissue.

FIG. 3f is a perspective view of a package which may enclose a stack of tissues such as the tissues of FIG. 3e.

FIG. 4a is a perspective view of a tissue which may be incorporated into the invention.

FIG. 4b is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 4a after being folded.

FIG. 4c is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 4b after a second fold.

FIG. 4d is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 4c as it is being interleaved with a second tissue.

FIG. 4e is a perspective view of a package which may enclose a stack of tissues such as the tissues of FIG. 4d.

FIG. 5a is a perspective view of a tissue which may be incorporated into the invention.

FIG. 5b is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 5a after being folded.

FIG. 5c is a perspective view showing the tissue of FIG. 5b as it is being interleaved with a second tissue.

FIG. 5d is a perspective view of the tissues of FIG. 5c as they would appear in a stack of tissues ready for dispensing.

FIG. 5e is a perspective view of a package which may enclose a stack of tissues such as the tissues of FIG. 3e.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another package which may enclose a stack of tissues according to at least one aspect of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of still another package which may enclose a stack of tissues according to at least one aspect of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing an optional attachment feature which may be incorporated into packaged tissues according to a further aspect of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring first to FIG. 1a, according to at least one aspect of the invention there is shown a tissue 10 which may be incorporated into a dispensing pack of tissues (shown hereinafter). The tissue 10 may be of any type which is dispensed for use by consumers for example, and is typically used for personal cleaning or grooming, but may also be used for general cleaning. The tissue 10 may be a non-woven cellulosic web for example, but may be a woven fabric or may take still other forms. Facial tissues, napkins, cleaning wipes impregnated with detergent or antimicrobial agents are all examples of known webs which may be used as the tissue 10.

A plurality of tissues such as the tissue 10 are folded and interleaved to form a stack which may then be packaged for retail distribution. The tissue of FIG. 1a is folded once along its length, the fold line being shown in FIG. 1b as a projection line 12. There is no criticality to the fold being along the length 12, this description being only a semantic convenience. The tissue 10 is folded again in half, parallel to the line 12 along a line 14. Three folds will then be made along respective transverse lines 16, 18, 20, 22 as shown in FIG. 1c. The transverse lines 16, 18, 20, 22 are in an orthogonal direction different from that of the fold line 12, thereby dividing the tissue 10 into constituent panels.

FIGS. 1d and 1e show progressive stages of folding. At each fold line 16, 18, 20, or 22, the tissue 10 is folded in a direction opposite that of the prior or subsequent fold. In FIG. 1f, the tissue 10 is shown prior to the last fold, along the line 16. The folds in the second direction will be said to be arranged in a Z-fold pattern. Referring to FIG. 1g, prior to making the last fold, a second tissue 24 is laid on the folded sections of the tissue 10, below the uppermost panel 26, which is an end panel, as is the lowermost panel 28. The second tissue 24 will be folded over or alternatively stated, interleaved with the uppermost panel 26, then Z-folded the same way as the first tissue 10, with one end panel 30 interleaved with the tissue 10, and having another end panel 32 which will entrap another tissue (not shown). Interleaving end panels 26, 30 and those of subsequent tissues causes a subsequent tissue to project partially from the receptacle, or final retail package.

After a suitable number of tissues such as the tissue 10 are Z-folded and interleaved, they may be placed into a receptacle or final retail packaging. FIG. 1h1 shows one optional form of final retail packaging, in the form of a paper or paperboard box 34. In the plurality of stacked tissues so packaged, each tissue is folded to define at least four adjoined panels, such as the end panels 26 and 28. Of course, each tissue has at least one interior panel, such as the panels 36, 38, 40 (shown for the tissue 24 in FIG. 1g). The paper box 34 may have an opening 42. As an alternative to the preformed full opening 42, a receptacle such as the receptacle 534 (see FIG. 6) may have a scored or frangible panel 535 formed in the upper face 548 of the receptacle 534, which frangible panel 535 may be fully or partially removed to form an opening to afford access to the tissues enclosed within. Where partially removed, and as depicted in FIG. 6, the frangible panel 535 may form a closure which is retained to the upper face 548 of the receptacle 534.

FIG. 1h2 shows another optional form of final retail packaging, in the form of a transparent, flexible film which may be shrink wrapped to form a receptacle 44. The receptacle 44 may have an opening 46 or alternatively, a scored or frangible panel which may form an opening.

This arrangement causes the stack of tissues to be quite compact, from the standpoint that each tissue when folded and spread flat has an area no greater than one fourth of the area of the same tissue when unfolded and spread flat (as is seen in FIG. 1a). It will be appreciated that the footprint, or length and width of the receptacle, which has an area just greater than the area of the folded tissues enclosed within the receptacle. The footprint of the receptacle is that panel bearing an opening for withdrawing tissues, such as the upper panel 48 of the paper box 34, or the upper panel 50 of the receptacle 44.

It should be noted at this point that orientational terms such as upper refer to the subject drawing as viewed by an observer. The drawing figures depict their subject matter in orientations of normal use, which could obviously change with changes with the way the receptacle such as the receptacle 34 is held. Therefore, orientational terms must be understood to provide semantic basis for purposes of description, and do not limit the invention or its component parts in any particular way.

In the packaging shown in FIGS. 1h1 and 1h2, each one of the tissues has at least two folds in a first direction and at least four folds in a second direction which is orthogonally different from the first direction.

Turning now to FIG. 2a, a tissue 110 is shown spread out and flat. A fold line 112 is shown extending along the length of the tissue 110. In FIG. 2b, the tissue 110 has been folded along the fold line 112, and a second fold line 114 is shown parallel to the fold line 112. When the once folded tissue 110 is folded again along the fold line 114, it will assume the configuration seen in FIG. 2c. The twice folded tissue 110 may have fold lines 116, 118, 120 designated thereon, which lei in a second direction which is orthogonally different from the direction of the fold lines 112 and 114. This creates an elongated construction four plies in thickness, as seen in FIG. 2d. The tissue 110 may then be folded along the fold lines 116, 118, 120. An initial stage of folding is shown in FIG. 2e, which is exaggerated to emphasize the many resulting plies. The tissue 110 may be Z-folded and interleaved with a similarly folded tissue 124. Additional tissues may be similarly folded and interleaved to form a stack of Z-folded and interleaved tissues. These tissues may then be placed in a final retail package such as the paper box 134. The paper box 134 may have an access opening 142, shown with one tissue 135 projecting therethrough. In summary, each one of the Z-folded tissues of the stack enclosed within the paper box 134 has at least two folds in a first direction and at least three folds in a second direction which is orthogonally different from the first direction.

FIG. 3a shows a tissue 210 having a fold line 212. When folded along the fold line 212, the tissue 210 is considerably elongated compared to the width, as seen in FIG. 3b. FIGS. 3c and 3d show progressive stages of Z-folding of the tissue 210. The tissue 210 has end panels 230 and 232, and interior panels 236 and 238, for a total of four total panels 230, 232, 236, 238. The tissue 210 may be interleaved with a similarly folded tissue 224 and then with additional tissues (not shown) to form a stack of Z-folded, interleaved tissues which may then be enclosed within a receptacle such as a paper box 234 bearing an opening 242 for removing tissues.

The folding scheme of the tissues of the paper box 234 is similar to that of the paper box 34 of FIG. 1, except that each individual tissue has, in addition to the single lengthwise fold, at least three folds in the second orthogonal direction, rather than the four folds of the tissues of the paper box 34.

FIG. 4a shows a tissue 310 having a fold line 312. The tissue 310 is folded once along the fold line 312, as seen in FIG. 4b, and subsequently will be folded along transverse fold lines 316, 318. FIGS. 4c and 4d show progressive stages of Z-folding of the tissue 310. The tissue 310 has end panels 330 and 332, and one interior panel 336, for a total of three panels 330, 332, 336. The tissue 310 may be Z-folded and interleaved with a similarly folded tissue 324 (FIG. 4d) and then with additional tissues (not shown) to form a stack of Z-folded, interleaved tissues which may then be enclosed within a receptacle such as a paper box 334 bearing an opening 342 for removing tissues.

FIG. 5a shows a tissue 410 having a fold line 412. The tissue 410 is folded once along the fold line 412, as seen in FIG. 5b, and subsequently will be folded along a transverse fold line 414. The tissue 410 is then one fourth its original footprint in area. The tissue 410 is then interleaved with a similarly folded tissue 424 (FIGS. 5c and 5d show progressive stages of Z-folding) and then with additional tissues (not shown) to form a stack of Z-folded, interleaved tissues which may then be enclosed within a receptacle such as a paper box 434 bearing an opening 442 for removing tissues (FIG. 5e).

In summary, in FIGS. 5a-5e each of the tissues has at least one fold in a first direction and at least one fold in a second direction which is orthogonally different from the first direction.

It should be mentioned that any of the folding arrangements may be packaged within any type of receptacle or retail packaging presented herein. In addition to the paper material and film packages of FIGS. 1h1 and 1h2, other types of packaging may be utilized. Also, configuration of packaging may be varied from parallelepiped form illustrated for the receptacles 34, 134, 234, 334, and 434. Where parallelepiped forms are used, they may be substantially square, wherein the length of the receptacle is substantially equal to the width of the receptacle such that the largest face bearing the access opening, such as the upper panel 48 of the paper box 34, is substantially square. Alternatively, the receptacle such as the receptacle 34 may be rectangular at the largest face, as seen in FIG. 2g.

Turning now to FIG. 7, another form of packaging may comprise a receptacle which is fabricated from a semirigid synthetic polymer. For example, a receptacle 634 may be formed to have a deep portion 637, a cover 639 which fits closely over the deep portion 637, and a live hinge 641 which hinges the cover 639 to the deep portion 637. The receptacle 634 may be transparent.

The cover 639 of the receptacle 634 may have a laterally projecting flange 653 bearing depressions 643 and 645. The deep portion 637 of the receptacle 634 may have a lateral flange 651 bearing depressions 647 and 649. The lateral flanges 651, 653 may overlie one another when the cover 639 is moved to a closed position (as depicted in FIG. 7) over the deep portion 637 of the receptacle 634. Depressions 643 and 647 may mutually interfit, and the depressions 645 and 649 may mutually interfit to maintain the cover 639 in the closed position.

FIG. 8 shows an optional feature which may be incorporated into any receptacle of the invention where feasible. A receptacle R may be adapted to comprise a carabiner or snap hook 700 and a flexible tether 702 coupling the snap hook 700 to the receptacle. The snap hook 700 may be utilized to releasably couple the receptacle to belt loops or other suitable components (none shown) of the apparel of a user for example. This feature enables a compact supply of tissues to be kept on the person and not constantly hand held for example.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the present invention is not to be limited to the disclosed arrangements, but is intended to cover various arrangements which are included within the spirit and scope of the broadest possible interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all modifications and equivalent arrangements which are possible