US 20040124102 A1
A display package is provided for the display of a promotional item on a bottle having closure. The display package is formed from a first piece of a plastic material and a second piece of a plastic material that are sealed together defining a volume wherein a promotional item may be placed. The display package has an aperture that has a fastening means to connect the display package to bottle. The display package is formed by molecular fusing or welding the two plastic pieces together providing increased security measure against pilferage. Preferably the promotional package is at least partially transparent so that the item inside can be seen.
1. A package for the display of a promotional item on a bottle having a finish having an annular mouth and a closure having a bottom rim, said package comprising:
(i) a first piece of a plastic material,
(ii) a second piece of a plastic material wherein said first piece and said second piece are sealed together defining a volume wherein a promotional item may be placed.
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 The invention relates to a package for display of promotional items and more particularly to a package for the display of promotional items that are attached to the packaging of other sale items.
 Marketers have used a variety of techniques to get consumers to sample their new or existing products. Such techniques have included the mailing of samples to households, as well as the distribution of samples or free products to potential consumers in stores, sidewalks or other public places.
 Another known technique used by marketers is giving away free products or product samples with the purchase of other products. For example, marketers sometimes give free samples of related products such as an after shave product with the sale of shaving cream. It is also well known for marketers to give a free product or product sample of an unrelated product with the sale of products. For example, a stuffed animal may be given to a customer with the purchase of a cleaning product.
 Sometimes the free product or product sample is provided by the salesperson at the checkout counter. On other occasions the product or product sample is attached to the sale item.
 Retailers invite and enjoy the opportunity to give away free products or product samples as this tends to lead to increased sales. However, retailers have encountered problems of pilfering of products or product samples that are attached to sale items.
 For example, retailers have encountered problems with the packaging of the sale item being tampered with by a consumer or even an employee and the product or product sample is separated and taken without the purchase of the sale item. While this may obviously cost the retailer a potential sale of an item, it may also make the shelving look untidy as wrapping from the packaging may sit loosely on the store shelves and the products on the shelf do not look alike. Additionally, the primary product that is for sale may be damaged. However, retailers enjoy the opportunity to give away a free product or product sample with the sale of an item as this acts to entice consumers to purchase a product that is on sale they may not otherwise purchase.
 Marketers also enjoy the opportunity to give away free products or product samples as this may entice a consumer to purchase the marketer's product thus increasing the sale of their products in lieu of competitors products and further provides them with the opportunity to get a consumer to try a new or existing product in hopes of future sales of that product to that consumer.
 Therefore, retailers and marketers have a need for a package that will enable a product, product sample or the like to be attached to and displayed on a sale item for display on the store shelf that provides increased security measures against pilferage.
 Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a package for attachment to a sale item that displays a product or product sample and provides security against pilferage of the free products or product samples that are being given away.
 According to the invention there is provided a package for the display of a promotional item on a bottle having a finish having an annular mouth and a closure having a bottom rim. The display package comprising:
 (i) a first piece of a plastic material,
 (ii) a second piece of a plastic material wherein the first piece of plastic material and the second piece of plastic material are sealed together defining a volume wherein a promotional item may be placed. The display package has an aperture that has a fastening means to connect the display package to bottle. The display package is formed by molecular fusing or welding the two plastic pieces together providing increased security measure against pilferage.
 Preferably the promotional package is at least partially transparent so that the item inside can be seen.
 The features, advantages and objects of the present invention will more fully be understood by consideration of the drawings describing embodiments thereof in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a package in accordance with the present invention in combination with a bottle and closure.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a package in accordance with the present invention in combination with a bottle with the closure removed.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the pieces that make up the package of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view along line 4-4 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of a package in accordance with the present invention.
 In each of the figures above, like numerals indicate like items.
 The term “comprising” is meant not to be limiting to any subsequently stated elements but rather to encompass non-specified elements of major or minor functional importance. In other words the listed steps, elements or options need not be exhaustive. Whenever the words “including” or “having” are used, these terms are meant to be equivalent to “comprising” as defined above.”
 With reference to FIG. 1, an embodiment of the display package 10 of the present invention is shown. A bottle 1 is shown having a display package 10 attached thereto. The bottle 1 has an annular mouth 3 and a closure 5 having a bottom rim 7. The bottom rim 7 is the bottom rim of the closure that is exposed when the closure is placed on the bottle 1. Thus, any inner sleeve or the like of the closure is not considered to be the inner rim of the closure. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, inner sleeve 9 of closure 5 is not considered to be the bottom rim 7 of the closure 5.
 The display package 10 is comprised of a first piece of plastic material 14 and a second piece of plastic material 16. The first piece of plastic material 14 and a second piece of plastic material 16 define a volume 18 therein. The package 10 is shown having a promotional item 12 contained within the volume 18. The volume 18 is where the article to be displayed in the display package 10 is to be held. The volume 18 may be of any size or shape that is desired and depends upon the article to be held in the display package 10. Preferably, the volume 18 is of a size and shape such that the outermost edges of the display package 10 do not extend past the outermost edges of the bottle and/or cap. By this it is meant that the display package does not extend above the highest part of the bottle and/or cap that the display package is attached to and does not extend beyond the width and depth of the bottle and/or cap. Thus, the display package will not require any changes to any existing secondary packaging that is based upon the dimensions of the bottle and is used for shipping or display of the bottles. Accordingly, during shipping or display in secondary packaging, the display package will consume what is otherwise empty space in the secondary packaging.
 The two plastic pieces 14, 16 that make up the display package 10 of the present invention are permanently sealed together to provide a package that is not easily opened thereby creating greater security against pilfering. By “permanent” it is meant that the two pieces 14, 16 are not readily separable from each other along the seal.
 Thus, in order for the package 10 to be opened, the package must be cut or torn. The package may be opened along the seal but the two plastic pieces are not readily separable from each other. As discussed herein, the two pieces of plastic are sealed such that there is no orientation to the separation of the sealed pieces. Thus, one must make a cut in the display package in order to open the display package. Once a cut is made in the display package, the package may be torn open. This makes it more difficult for one to pilfer the contents of the package as it is more difficult to open the package without a tool to make a cut in it.
 A preferred method of permanently sealing the two pieces together is by means of molecular fusing or welding. The molecular fusing or welding of two plastic materials together is known in the art. Such molecular fusing or welding is performed by numerous companies such as Oliner Fibre Co., Inc. The molecular fusing or welding of two plastic pieces together is commonly done in the art by means of heat sealing. In this process, the two pieces are placed together such that they overlap in the areas that are to be sealed together. The pieces are held together at the point of sealing by a heat sealing machine. Then heat is applied to the areas to be sealed. Preferably heat is provided via radio frequency energy. Radio frequency energy is known in the art as a method of providing heat to such sealing processes and is used by companies such as Oliner Fibre Co., Inc. to seal two pieces of plastics together. Once sealed, the two pieces 14, 16 form sealed portions 20, where the two pieces 14, 16 are not readily separable. These sealed portions 20 are shown in FIG. 4 is being around the aperture as well as around the outside edge of the display package.
 In order for the display package to be opened, at least one of the two plastic pieces must be pierced and the package then torn open. As previously mentioned, while the package may be torn open along the seal, there is no orientation to the separation thus making the sealed pieces not readily separable and making it more difficult to open the packaging. This provides increased security over other packaging methods such as a shrink wrap or a rigid case with a soft readily removable cover which may be more easily torn open and the product removed.
 As shown in the figures, the display package 10 also has an aperture 22 for fastening the package 10 to the bottle 1. Preferably, the aperture 22 is circular in shape. The diameter of the aperture 22 should be slightly smaller than the maximum outside diameter or dimension of the bottle closure 5 from the bottom rim 7 and above to the top of the closure 5. By slightly smaller it is meant that the diameter of the aperture 22 is up to 35% smaller than the maximum outside diameter or dimension of the bottle closure 5 from the bottom rim 7 and above to the top of the closure 5. It is preferable that the diameter of the aperture 22 is up to 25% smaller than the maximum outside diameter or dimension of the bottle closure 5 from the bottom rim 7 and above to the top of the closure 5. It is more preferable that the diameter of the aperture 22 is up to 15% smaller, and even more preferably 10% smaller, and even more preferably 5% or 2% smaller than the maximum outside diameter or dimension of the bottle closure 5 from the bottom rim 7 and above to the top of the closure 5. The aperture 22 has fastening means 24 which comprises a flange 26 that protrudes inwardly from the inner wall 28 of the aperture 22. The flange 26 extends inwardly from the inner wall 28 of the aperture 22. The flange 26 runs along at least part of the inner wall 28 of the aperture 22. The inner wall 28 of the aperture 22 has at least one recessed region 30 where the flange 26 continues along the recessed region 30. The recessed region 30 or regions are areas where the inner wall 28 of the aperture 22 are recessed away from center of the aperture 22. The recessed region(s) provides an area of greater flexibility for the flange 26 so that the flange 26 may flex enabling the display package to be inserted over the closure 5. The areas of the inner wall 28 of the aperture 22 that are not recessed have a wall that is generally perpendicular to the flange 26. This region is less flexible than the recessed regions 30 and provide added resistance when the display package is attempted to be removed. This provides an additional security measure against pilferage of the display package and its contents. The combination of more flexible recessed regions and less flexible non-recessed regions has been found to provide the flexibility to secure the display package on the bottle by simply sliding over the bottle closure while providing resistance for removal of the display package without removal of the bottle cap. Thus, the aperture with the flange along the inner wall flexes enough to enable the display package to be put onto the bottle with the closure attached and provides resistance to removal without removal of the bottle closure. This makes the use of the display package more cost effective as the bottle does not need to be disassembled to attached the display package to the bottle. The display package can easily be placed on the bottle with the bottle in its finished, ready for condition.
 Preferably the plastic material for the first piece 14 and second piece 16 is rigid or semi-rigid as is typical of molded plastics. By rigid or semi-rigid it is meant that the material retains it shape after manufacture. Accordingly, products such as paper or paper like films and shrink wrap would nit be considered to be rigid or semi-rigid.
 It is also preferable that at least one of plastic pieces 14 and 16 is transparent. It is even more preferable if both pieces of plastic are transparent. However, while not the preferable embodiment, it is still within the scope of the present invention if both pieces are translucent or opaque.
 The term “transparent” as used in this specification is intended to connote its usual dictionary definition. Thus, a transparent piece of plastic, like glass, allows ready viewing of objects behind it. By contrast, a translucent plastic, although allowing light to pass through, causes the light to be so scattered that it will be impossible to clearly identify objects behind the translucent plastic.
 Within the context of this invention, a plastic material is deemed to be transparent if the maximum transmittance of light of any wavelength in the range of 200 to 800 nm through a sample 10 cm thick is at least 1%. A plastic material is deemed translucent if the maximum transmittance of such light through the sample is between 0.01% and 1%. Finally, a sample is deemed opaque if the maximum transmittance of such light is below 0.01%. This transmittance can be easily measured by placing a solid sample of the required thickness in the light beam path of a UV-VIS Spectrophotometer such as the Hewlett-Packard 8451A Diode Array Spectrophotometer. This method of assessing transparency is highly sensitive to optical clarity while independent of color.
 The display package may be made of any molded plastic material including without limitation polymers and monomers. Preferably the display package is made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), polypropylene or HDPE (high density polyethylene).
 The display package of the present invention may be used with any type of bottle that has a closure. For example, without limitation, the display package may be used with bottles for laundry detergent, liquid soaps, shampoos and conditioners, food products, and home care products such as cleaning products.