BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to improvement to bubble packaging systems for various articles. Bubble packs are well known in the art of packaging. Such bubble packs generally are formed by a flat panel and completed by a clear plastic bubble secured to the front panel by means of an adhesive or heat and sealing or other fastening means. The bubble is spaced apart from the underlying base panel by a spaced distance to allow for a packaged item to be positioned there between. In this manner, the packaged item may be easily displayed for marketing purposes and to permit the consumer to view the article without having to open or otherwise destroy the package.
The flat base panel includes a front surface to which the plastic bubble is attached, and a back surface. In most applications, the flat base panel is dimensioned to have a greater width and length in the area covered by the bubble. In this manner, the front surface which bounds the peripheral edge where the bubble is attached may be utilized for printing product information. In addition, since the front surface only has limited space for imprinting product information, the back surface of the base panel is generally utilized for detailed information relative to the packaged article.
It is also well known that another utilitarian purpose of the bubble pack system is to permit the racking of the packaged article. In racking systems, the flat base panel is aperture along the top edge to allow the package to be hung from an extended rack finger. With this method, several packages may be mounted or carried on a single rack. Indeed, racking systems have been created to accommodate several types of bubble packs which contain particular types of packaged items. The racks are generally dimensioned in size to accommodate particular sized bubble packs that are presently widely distributed in the retail industry.
It is well know that various forms of medications are packaged in single dose packages for the ultimate consumer and carried in small sized bubble packs. For example, such medications as aspirins, cold pills, and pain relievers, some forms of gels, bandages and the like and other types of medications are packaged in this manner and displayed on point-of-purchase display racks. Such display racks have been produced with specific size dimensions to accommodate the typical sized packages used for such medications.
It is also well known that there are various requirements in place for informing a purchaser of the affects of any medication sold to the general public. Heretofore, the package size permitted the required information to be printed on the front and pack panels of the package. However, recent changes in the legal requirements for product disclosure have been enacted which require a great deal of additional information to be disclosed for each packaged medication. It has been determined that the size of the flat base panel is insufficient to allow for any additional imprinting thereon thereby requiring the package to increase in size in order to accommodate the additional product information. The problem that is encountered is that all of the existing point-of-purchase display racks have been sized to the sizing of the bubble packages as they presently exist. Hence, any increase in the package size will not be accommodated on the existing racks. This problem would therefore require that the retail establishments that vend such products purchase new racking systems. It is apparent that this would require a great deal of additional expenditure which would have a negative effect on the marketing of such products. Hence, as opposed requiring new racking systems to be created and sold to the retail industry, it has been determined that a far more advisable method would be to maintain the same package and find ways to increase the area where imprinted informational data be contained and maintain the same package size.
Due to the re-enactment of such new legal requirements for product disclosure, the prior patented art is reasonable devoid of solutions to this problem. One attempt at resolving the problem has been to create a package wherein the base panel includes an adhesively secured product information sheet thereon, and permits the consumer to peel away the information sheet in order to read all of the data regarding the product. The information sheet is designed with adhesive on the back side of the sheet, and an adhesive receiving surface positioned on the rear surface of the back panel. The attention is that the adhesive sheet can be lifted up by the consumer so that the information contained on the front and back side of the lifted sheet as well as a view of the adhesive receiving surface can be reviewed by the consumer, and supposedly, the sheet then can be resealed if the consumer does not wish to purchase the product. The problem that has been determined with this package is that once the sheet has been lifted from the adhesive sheet by peeling away the bottom edge, even when one tries to secure the sheet back into position, corners of the lift off sheet are now bent, and will not adhesively re-secure themselves to the rear surface of the base panel. In addition, there is an additional cost involved in printing on a separate sheet, and then securing it to the rear surface of the base panel. It has therefore been determined that that solution to the problem has not been widely entertained.
In terms of the patented art, various patents illustrate various specimens of specific packages intended to package specific certain items. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,915,564 is directed to a folded cardboard article for packaging spurs.
The package contains a foldable panel which is intended to fold up against the base panel, in a spaced apart relation in order to accommodate the spurs there between. The back panel includes a lock flange which locks the back panel in position. However, the subject package is really intended to package an item between the front panel and back panel and therefore the two panels are space apart in order to accommodate the spur or other packaged item there between. Furthermore, once the back panel is removed from the base panel, it is questionable whether the integrity of the package will remain given the manner in which the lock flange is designed relative to the lock aperture. Finally, there is no mention made of any manner or method of imprinting product information on the foldable panel, nor was it the patentee's intention to have any such information imprinted thereon.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,493,801 is directed to a package for packaging a series of articles in horizontal alignment, and designed to be rack able including an aperture for passing a hook through the aperture in order to accommodate the racking. However, the subject of the package does not resolve the problems associated with imprinting product indicia and information on a panel having a size sufficient to accommodate all of the necessary information.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,976,354 is directed to a carrier package for biological specimen slides. The package is designed with a fold over flap, which is intended to contain the biological packaged item there between. Mainly, the use of a base panel and a fold over flap is intended merely for accommodating a packaged article there between, and does not look towards solving the problem of adding additional product informational space to an existing package. Furthermore, the sizing of the package as displayed in the U.S. Pat. No. 4,976,354 patent would not accommodate the predicaments referenced herein since the package sizing would not fit the racks presently in existence for packaged single dose medications.
OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES
It is therefore the principle object of the present invention to improve upon the existing bubble pack packages of the type intended to package a single item in a bubble pack suitable for consumer display, and yet providing additional panel space for product information.
In conjunction with the foregoing object, it is the object of the present invention to provide an improved bubble pack system which has provided with a lower extendable pivotally mounted lower panel that may be pivoted relative to the base panel, and locked in position against the rear wall of the base panel, but easily folded out for consumer view of product information.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a an improved bubble pack system for packaging items, which includes an extendable lower panel pivotally secured to a base panel containing the bubble pack, the lower extendable panel being secured by means of a fold line along the bottom edge of the base panel to permit the easy pivoting movement of the lower panel in order to provide the consumer with a review of product information contained thereon.
In conjunction with the foregoing object, a further object of the present invention is to provide an improved bubble pack system wherein the lower extendable panel may be pivotally secured to the bottom edge of the base panel by means of a serrated line thereby to permit the removal of the lower panel for marketing purposes.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide an improved bubble pack system for packaging items therein wherein a lower extendable panel is provided pivotally secured to the base panel, with the base panel provided for lock means for lockingly engaging the lower extendable panel in position against the rear surface of the base panel while nevertheless permitting the easy locking and folding of the lower rear panel for viewing purposes, and easy relocking the lower panel back into its locked position without destroying the integrity of the package.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In summary, the present invention is intended to resolve the difficulty and problem encountered in the marketplace with packages which require additional product information indicia imprinted thereon, because of requirements now enacted especially in connection with medications. The present invention is intended to resolve the problem to avoid the necessity and expenditure by retail establishments of purchasing all new racking systems which would require considerable expenditure, to resolve the problem by improving upon the package design in order to maintain the same package size, while expanding the area provided for the imprinted informational indicia. This is accomplished by providing the same sized package with a lower extendable panel pivotally secured to the bottom edge of the existing package, which permits indicia to be printed on the panel on both front and rear surfaces, and wherein the base panel includes a lock flange for locking the lower extendable panel in position so that when racked, the package will consume the same area on the existing racks as existing packages.
A further benefit of the present invention is that the lower extendable panel may be pivotally secured to the bottom edge of the base panel by means of a serrated fold line such that the lower extendable panel is easily removable there from. In this manner, the lower panel may not only be used for printed indicia, but could be used as a vehicle for marketing purposes.
The above objects and advantages will be better understood by reference to the company drawings taken in conjunction with the following specifications.