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Publication numberUS20050115849 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/847,210
Publication dateJun 2, 2005
Filing dateMay 17, 2004
Priority dateMay 17, 2004
Publication number10847210, 847210, US 2005/0115849 A1, US 2005/115849 A1, US 20050115849 A1, US 20050115849A1, US 2005115849 A1, US 2005115849A1, US-A1-20050115849, US-A1-2005115849, US2005/0115849A1, US2005/115849A1, US20050115849 A1, US20050115849A1, US2005115849 A1, US2005115849A1
InventorsMichael Nally
Original AssigneeSportcraft, Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Play and stow lawn game packaging
US 20050115849 A1
Abstract
Packaging for a lawn game such as croquet is described herein. The packaging includes a container having an interior sized for enclosing game components including disassembled mallets. The container may be constructed of rigid material such as wire mesh or of flexible material. A plurality of receptacles are provided on the container for receiving a stick portion of an assembled mallet for facilitating ease of storage of the game components after the mallets are assembled. The receptacles may be constructed of loops affixed to an outside of the container, such as on the door or on an opposite surface of the container. Alternatively, the receptacles may be orifices defined by the container. Flexible restrictors located in the orifices engage radial grooves formed in the sticks of the mallets when the sticks are located within the receptacles to assist in securing the assembled mallets within the packaging.
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Claims(7)
1. Packaging for a lawn game having game components and mallets, said packaging comprising:
a container having an interior sized for enclosing game components including disassembled mallets;
wherein said container comprises a door for providing access to said interior;
a plurality of receptacles on said container for receiving a stick portion of an assembled mallet for facilitating ease of storage of said game components after said mallets are assembled.
2. The packaging according to claim 1 further comprising:
a visible portion on said container to facilitate viewing of said game components when said door is closed.
3. The packaging according to claim 1 wherein:
said container is comprised of wire mesh.
4. The packaging according to claim 1 wherein:
said container is comprised of flexible material.
5. The packaging according to claim 1 wherein:
said receptacles are comprised of fabric loops affixed to an outside of one of said container.
6. The packaging according to claim 1 wherein:
said receptacles are comprised of orifices defined by said container.
7. The packaging according to claim 7 further comprising:
flexible restrictors in said orifices for engaging said sticks of said mallets when said sticks are located within said receptacles.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to packaging for a lawn game. More particularly, the invention relates to packaging that may be used to hold game components in a disassembled state for point of sale display. The packaging may also be used to store assembled game components by a purchaser once the components have been assembled.

2. Background

Lawn games are a popular form of recreation. An example of a popular lawn game is croquet. In croquet, play involves striking a ball with a mallet. The player, or striker, directs the mallet to strike the striker ball. By striking the striker ball the player may cause the striker ball, or any other ball hit by the striker ball to move and/or to score a point.

During play, a player is afforded one shot in a turn, after which the turn ends unless the striker ball has scored a wicket point or hit another ball. When a wicket is scored, the striker is entitled to play an additional or continuation shot. When any other ball is hit by the striker ball, the striker is said to have made a “roquet” on that ball and the striker ball is entitled to two extra shots and becomes “dead” on that ball. The first of these two shots is known as the “croquet” shot, and is made after placing the striker ball in contact with the roqueted ball. The second shot is a continuation shot. If, in the croquet shot, the croqueted ball is sent off the court or the striker ball is sent off the court without first having made another roquet, the turn ends. During a turn, each ball the striker ball is “alive” on may be roqueted once, and the striker ball may make another roquet on each ball provided that since last roqueted, the striker ball has scored a wicket point for itself and has thus cleared itself of its “deadness”. Thus, by a series of shots, roquets, croquets and continuation shots it is possible to make many points during one turn. Such a series is known as “making a break”.

Commonly accepted rules of croquet define croquet equipment as including wickets, stakes, balls and mallets. Wickets must be 12 inches in height above the ground, measured from the ground to the top of the crown of the wicket. The crown must be straight and at right angles to the uprights. A distance between the inside of the uprights for normal play must not be less than 3{fraction (11/16)}, or more than 4 inches apart. The stake must be vertical and extend 12 inches above ground level when fixed in the ground. Croquet balls must be 3⅝ inches in diameter with a milled surface and of even weight, not less than 15¾ ounces, nor more than 16¼ ounces. The head of the mallet must be of wood or any other material, provided that the player gains no advantage over wood.

As can be appreciated from the above described equipment, the purchase of a complete croquet set involves the purchasing of a substantial amount of bulky equipment including balls, mallets and wickets. Such an assortment of equipment presents problems for a retailer who is desirous of minimizing shelf space for individual items. One solution is to provide disassembled mallets to minimize the size of a container that is required to contain playing equipment. By disassembling the mallets, the mallet heads, mallet handles and stakes may be stacked in a parallel arrangement to minimize container size.

A problem with containers sized to contain disassembled components is that after the equipment is purchased and the purchaser desires to replace the equipment in the storage container, the purchaser must disassemble the components so that the components will fit once again within the container. Repeated assembly and disassembly of game components is both bothersome and potentially damaging to the playing equipment.

Therefore, packaging that functions to minimize space for retail purposes and that also functions to easily store assembled components for a purchaser after use is desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention there is provided an improvement in packaging for a lawn game having game components and mallets, such as croquet. The packaging includes a container having an interior sized for enclosing game components including disassembled mallets. The container includes a door for providing access to the interior. The container is provided with a visible portion to facilitate viewing of the game components when the door is closed for the benefit of prospective purchasers. In one embodiment, the container is constructed of wire mesh. In another embodiment, the container is constructed of flexible material.

A plurality of receptacles are provided on the container for receiving a stick portion of an assembled mallet for facilitating ease of storage of the game components after the mallets are assembled. In one embodiment, the receptacles are constructed of fabric loops affixed to an outside of the container, such as on the door or on an opposite surface of the container. In another embodiment, the receptacles are orifices defined by the container. Flexible restrictors may be located in the orifices for engaging radial grooves formed in the sticks of the mallets when the sticks are located within the receptacles.

A better understanding of the present invention, its several aspects, and its advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the attached drawings, wherein there is shown and described the preferred embodiment of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated for carrying out the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of packaging in accordance with the invention wherein a door is in a closed position;

FIG. 2 is a side view of packaging in accordance with the invention wherein a door is in an opened position;

FIG. 3 is a side view of packaging in accordance with the invention wherein a door is in an opened position and equipment is located therein;

FIG. 4 is a side view of packaging in accordance with the invention wherein a door is in a closed position and equipment is located therein;

FIG. 5 is a side view of packaging in accordance with the invention viewed from an enclosed side and equipment is located therein;

FIG. 6 is an end view of packaging in accordance with the invention wherein a door is in a closed position;

FIG. 7 is an end view of packaging in accordance with the invention wherein a door is in a partially open position;

FIG. 8 is a side view of packaging in accordance with the invention wherein a door is in a closed position, equipment is located therein, and assembled mallets are in a stowed location;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a mallet stick;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a mallet head;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an assembled mallet and various playing equipment;

FIG. 12 is a side view of a second embodiment of the packaging invention;

FIG. 13 is a side view of a second embodiment of the packaging invention, wherein a door is opened;

FIG. 14 is a side view of a second embodiment of the packaging invention, wherein a door is opened and equipment is located therein;

FIG. 15 is a side view of a second embodiment of the packaging invention, wherein a door is in a closed position, equipment is located therein, and assembled mallets are in a stowed location;

FIG. 16 is an end view of a second embodiment of the packaging invention, wherein mallets in a stowed location.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is important to understand that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the embodiments and steps described herein. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in a variety of ways. It is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

Referring to FIGS. 1-16 shown is packaging 10 for a lawn game such as croquet. Packaging 10 is for enclosing a plurality of mallets 12 (shown assembled in FIGS. 8 and 11). Each mallet 12 typically has a head 14 (FIGS. 3, 4, 8 and 11) and a stick 16 (FIGS. 3-5, 8). Sticks 16 of mallets 12 preferably have threaded tips for threadably engaging holes formed in mallet heads 14. Also included is a plurality of stakes 18 (FIGS. 3, 11) and a plurality of wickets 20 (FIGS. 3-5, 8) and balls 22.

In one embodiment, packaging 10 (FIGS. 1-8) is constructed of wire members. Wire members allow for a sturdy packaging container and allow for viewing container contents. Packaging 10 includes a wire frame member 26 (FIGS. 6, 7) having a straight longitudinal bottom portion 28 and a curved longitudinal upper portion 30. Packaging 10 additionally includes a front side wire frame member 32. Front side wire frame member 32 also has a straight longitudinal bottom portion 34 and a curved longitudinal upper portion 36. Center wire frame member 38 is not continuous to accommodate handle 40 (FIG. 1).

Referring now to FIGS. 2, 3, 5, first border vertical brace members 52 and second border vertical brace members 54 are also positioned in a coplanar relationship with backside wire frame member 26. First and second border vertical brace members 52, 54 span between the straight longitudinal bottom portion 34 and the curved longitudinal upper portion 30 of backside wire frame member 26.

Central vertical brace members 60 are positioned in a coplanar relationship with the backside wire frame member 26. Central vertical brace members 60 span between the straight longitudinal bottom portion 34 and curved longitudinal upper portion 30 of backside wire frame member 26.

Wire mesh panels 70 are located in a coplanar relationship with backside wire frame member 26. Wire mesh panels 70 are bounded by the straight longitudinal bottom portion 34 of backside of frame member 26, the curved longitudinal upper portion 30 of backside wire frame member 26 and by first and second vertical brace members 54.

Package 10 has a top surface 80, (FIGS. 6 and 7), end surfaces 82, 84 and bottom surface 86. A plurality of circular openings 120 (FIGS. 6, 7) may be found on first end 82 of packaging 10. A second plurality of circular openings 130 are preferably located on second end 84 of packaging 10. A flexible restrictor 140 is preferably located in each of the first plurality of circular openings 120 and in the second plurality of circular openings 130. In the preferred embodiment, sticks 16 of the mallets 12 of a lawn game are preferably provided with circumferential grooves 150 (FIGS. 3, 10) for engaging flexible restrictors 130, 140 to assist in maintaining mallets 12 is a desired position within openings 120.

A plurality of clasps 190 are preferably provided on upper surface 80 of packaging 10. A plurality of hinges 194 are preferably provided on longitudinal bottom portion 34 of front side wire frame member 32.

A door wire frame member 200 is provided that has a straight longitudinal bottom portion 202 with a curved longitudinal upper portion 204. Straight longitudinal bottom portion 202 of door wire frame member 200 is connected to hinges 194. Curved longitudinal upper portion 204 of the door wire frame member 200 selectively engages clasps 190.

Additionally, central vertical brace members 220 are coplanar with the door wire frame member 200. Central vertical brace members 220 span between the straight longitudinal bottom portion 202 and curved longitudinal upper portion 204 of the door wire frame member 200. Wire mesh door panels 230 are coplanar with the door wire frame member 200. Wire mesh panels 230 are bounded by straight longitudinal bottom portion 202 and top portion 204 of door wire frame member 200. First and second vertical brace members 242 and 244 are coplanar with door wire frame member 200 and span between bottom portion 202 and top portion 204 of door 200.

Referring now primarily to FIG. 3, in the preferred embodiment a leg retainer 260 is provided for retaining legs of a wicket 20. The first leg retainer 260 is preferably located on an inner surface of wire mesh panels 230 of door frame member 200. Additionally a first top retainer 264 is provided for retaining a top portion of a wicket 20. The first top retainer 264 is preferably located on an inner surface of a wire mesh panels 230 of door frame member 200. A door mounted horizontal member 266 is preferably affixed to an inner surface of door frame member 200. Further, a ball rack 268 is preferably affixed to first border vertical brace members 52 for receiving a plurality of balls 22 (FIGS. 3-5, 8).

A second embodiment of packaging 10 is shown in FIGS. 12-16. Soft sided packaging 300 is also designed to contain mallets 12, mallet heads 14, sticks 16, stakes 18, wickets 20, and balls 22. Packaging 300 includes a fabric exterior 302 having a bottom surface 304, a first side surface 306, a second side surface 308, and a top surface 310.

A first panel 312 has a border 314 and a see-through interior 316. See-through interior 316 is preferably constructed of mesh. Interior 316 allows for visibility of contents of the packaging 300. A second panel 320 also has a border 322 having a see-through interior 324. Bottom surface 304, first side surface 306, second side surface 308, top surface 310, first panel 312 and second panel 320 define interior space 326. A zipper 330 is provided on first side surface 306, second side surface 308 and top surface 310 for selectively securing first panel 312 to exterior 302.

A first fabric handle 334 has a first length 336 proximate a first end 338. First length 336 is sewn onto first panel 312. First fabric handle 334 additionally has a second length 340 proximate a second end 342. Second length 340 is also sewn onto first panel 312.

A second fabric handle 344 has a first length 346 proximate first end 348. First length 346 is sewn onto second panel 320 and is preferably affixed to first reinforcing strap 347 (FIG. 13). Second fabric handle 344 additionally has a second length 350 proximate a second end 352. Second length 350 is sewn onto the second panel 320 and is preferably affixed to second reinforcing strap 351 (FIG. 13). A plurality of loops 360 (FIG. 15) are affixed to first length 346 and second length 350 of second fabric handle 344.

Referring now to FIG. 14, a plurality of mallets 12 are located within interior space 326, which is defined by fabric exterior 302. Additionally, a plurality of balls 22 may be located within interior space 326. Further, a plurality of wickets 20 may be located within the space defined by the fabric exterior. Once mallets 12 have been assembled as shown in FIG. 11, sticks 16 may be conveniently stored by inserting them within loops 360.

Advantages of the packaging of the invention include attractive and functional packaging for displaying game hardware wherein the packaging also functions as a storage device for game hardware after purchase. In a preferred embodiment, head and stick mallet components are disassembled for shipping to assist in minimizing packaging size. However, the packaging of the invention allows for consumer assembled mallets to be easily affixed to and stored with the packaging of the invention. The result is packaging that is functional for sales and marketing and also is convenient and functional for storage and use by the consumer.

While the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiment(s) set for herein for purposes of exemplification, but is to be limited only by the scope of the attached claim or claims, including the full range of equivalency to which each element thereof is entitled.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7458920Jun 8, 2006Dec 2, 2008Target Brands, Inc.Weight case
US8409035Oct 5, 2009Apr 2, 2013Winsor Fun, LLCMethod of playing a field game
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/315.1
International ClassificationB65D85/00, B65D85/20, A63B67/00, A63B71/00, A63B59/10
Cooperative ClassificationA63B71/0036, B65D85/00, A63B67/002, A63B71/0045, A63B59/10
European ClassificationA63B71/00K, A63B67/00B, B65D85/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 3, 2010ASAssignment
Owner name: SPORTCRAFT, LTD., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:WELLS FARGO CAPITAL FINANCE, INC., AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:025441/0295
Effective date: 20101203
Owner name: CLASSIC SPORT COMPANIES, INC., NEW JERSEY
Oct 19, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: SPORTCRAFT, LTD., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: RELEASE OF PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC. ACTINGTHROUGH ITS DIVISION MERRILL LYNCH CAPITAL;REEL/FRAME:019990/0161
Effective date: 20070928
Oct 16, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: GUGGENHEIM CORPORATE FUNDING, LLC, NEW YORK
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:SPORTCRAFT, LTD.;CLASSIC SPORT COMPANIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019965/0421
Effective date: 20070928
Oct 9, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, INC., AS COLLATERAL AGENT, M
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:SPORTCRAFT, LTD.;CLASSIC SPORT COMPANIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019943/0526
Effective date: 20070928
May 17, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC, AS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:SPORTCRAFT, LTD.;REEL/FRAME:016016/0948
Effective date: 20050329
Jul 8, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: SPORTCRAFT, LTD., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NALLY, MICHAEL;REEL/FRAME:014828/0968
Effective date: 20040624