Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20050241976 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/835,918
Publication dateNov 3, 2005
Filing dateApr 30, 2004
Priority dateApr 30, 2004
Publication number10835918, 835918, US 2005/0241976 A1, US 2005/241976 A1, US 20050241976 A1, US 20050241976A1, US 2005241976 A1, US 2005241976A1, US-A1-20050241976, US-A1-2005241976, US2005/0241976A1, US2005/241976A1, US20050241976 A1, US20050241976A1, US2005241976 A1, US2005241976A1
InventorsJames Britto, Sherry Thomas, Michelle Aubin
Original AssigneeBritto James J, Sherry Thomas, Michelle Aubin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flexible container
US 20050241976 A1
Abstract
A flexible container includes a pouch having flexible sidewalls defining therebetween a volume to contain content, the pouch having a fill opening for placing the content in the pouch. The sidewalls are joined to form a side edge of the pouch and a fin flange extends along the side edge. A reclosable seal is disposed below the fill opening for sealing the pouch, with the flexible sidewalls extending above the seal at a side edge opposite the fin flange to form a pour spout.
Images(11)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(60)
1. A flexible container suitable for holding and pouring content, the container comprising:
a pouch having flexible sidewalls defining therebetween a volume to contain content, the pouch defining a bottom and a fill opening for placing the content in the pouch, the sidewalls being joined to form a side edge of the pouch;
a fin flange extending along the side edge of the pouch; and
a reclosable seal disposed adjacent the opening for sealing the pouch;
wherein the fin flange extends outward to define a graspable region for lifting and tilting the pouch to pour content from an opposite side edge of the pouch, the graspable region disposed to allow grasping of the graspable region at an elevation along the pouch that is at most half a height measured between the bottom of the pouch and the reclosable seal.
2. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the fin flange extends outwardly along the entire length of the associated side edge.
3. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the fin flange is disposed along the side edge of the pouch between the reclosable seal and the bottom of the pouch.
4. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the fin flange includes a texturized surface disposed in the graspable region.
5. The flexible container of claim 4 comprising an array of projections extending outwardly from a surface of the fin flange.
6. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the bottom of the pouch is configured to support the pouch in an upright, standing position when content is placed within the pouch.
7. The flexible container of claim 1 further comprising a gusset extending between the sidewalls, the gusset being disposed at the bottom of the pouch.
8. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the sidewalls form a pour spout disposed at a side edge opposite the fin flange.
9. The flexible container of claim 8, wherein the spout is sealed to inhibit egress of content from the pouch through the spout.
10. The flexible container of claim 9, wherein the spout includes a frangible region for tearing and opening the spout.
11. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the sidewalls include a frangible region for tearing the sidewalls.
12. The flexible container of claim 11, wherein the frangible region extends between the side edges of the pouch.
13. The flexible container of claim 12, wherein the frangible region is disposed between the fill opening and the reclosable seal.
14. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the reclosable seal comprises an interlocking rib and groove.
15. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the fin flange includes a frangible region extending along a length of the fin flange for tearing the fin flange.
16. The flexible container of claim 15, wherein the frangible region extends along the entire length of the fin flange for tearing the fin flange from the associated side edge of the pouch.
17. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein at least one sidewall includes a surface configured to be written on by a writing instrument.
18. The flexible container of claim 17, wherein the surface is disposed between the reclosable seal and the opening.
19. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein at least one sidewall includes an array of removable tabs.
20. The flexible container of claim 19, wherein the tabs are disposed between the reclosable seal and the opening.
21. The flexible container of claim 19, wherein each tab includes a value corresponding to one of a month and a date.
22. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein at least one sidewall includes an array of ordered marks disposed at fixed intervals for use as a reference for measuring an amount of content placed in the pouch.
23. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the sidewalls comprise a food grade material.
24. The flexible container of claim 1, wherein the fin flange has a rounded periphery.
25. A flexible container suitable for holding and pouring content, the container comprising:
a pouch having flexible sidewalls defining therebetween a volume to contain content, the pouch defining a bottom and a fill opening for placing the content in the pouch, the sidewalls being joined to form a side edge of the pouch;
a fin flange extending along the side edge of the pouch; and
a reclosable seal disposed below the fill opening for sealing the pouch;
wherein the flexible sidewalls extend above the seal at a side edge opposite the fin flange to form a pour spout.
26. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the graspable region is disposed to allow grasping of the graspable region at an elevation along the pouch that is at most half a height measured between the bottom of the pouch to the reclosable seal.
27. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the fin flange extends outwardly along the entire length of the associated side edge.
28. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the fin flange is disposed along the side edge of the pouch between the reclosable seal and the bottom of the pouch.
29. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the fin flange includes a texturized surface disposed in the graspable region.
30. The flexible container of claim 29 comprising an array of projections extending outwardly from a surface of the fin flange.
31. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the bottom of the pouch is configured to support the pouch in an upright, standing position when content is placed within the pouch.
32. The flexible container of claim 1 further comprising a gusset extending between the sidewalls, the gusset being disposed at the bottom of the pouch.
33. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the sidewalls include a frangible region for tearing the sidewalls.
34. The flexible container of claim 33, wherein the frangible region extends between the side edges of the pouch.
35. The flexible container of claim 34, wherein the frangible region is disposed above the reclosable seal.
36. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the reclosable seal comprises an interlocking rib and groove.
37. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the fin flange includes a frangible region extending along a length of the fin flange for tearing the fin flange.
38. The flexible container of claim 37 wherein the frangible region extend along the entire length of the fin flange for tearing the fin flange from the associated side edge of the pouch.
39. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein at least one sidewall includes a surface configured to be written on by a writing instrument.
40. The flexible container of claim 39, wherein the surface is disposed above the reclosable seal.
41. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the sidewalls include a texturized region disposed above the reclosable seal.
42. The flexible container of claim 41 comprising an array of projections extending outwardly from a surface of the sidewalls within the texturized region.
43. The flexible container of claim 25 wherein at least one sidewall includes an array of removable tabs.
44. The flexible container of claim 43, wherein the tabs are disposed above the reclosable seal.
45. The flexible container of claim 44, wherein each tab includes a value corresponding to one of a month and a date.
46. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein at least one sidewall includes an array of ordered marks disposed at fixed intervals for use as a reference for measuring an amount of content placed in the pouch.
47. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the sidewalls comprise a food grade material.
48. The flexible container of claim 25, wherein the fin flange has a rounded periphery.
49. A flexible container suitable for holding and pouring content, the container comprising:
a pouch having flexible sidewalls defining therebetween a volume to contain content, the pouch having a bottom and a fill opening opposite the bottom for placing the content in the pouch, the sidewalls being joined along a side edge of the pouch; and
a first seal disposed adjacent the opening for sealing the pouch; and
a second, reclosable seal disposed between the first seal and the bottom of the pouch, the second seal configured to seal the pouch to define first and second chambers disposed within the volume.
50. The flexible container of claim 49, wherein the sidewalls include a frangible region disposed between the first and second seals for tearing the sidewalls, the frangible region extending between opposite side edges of the pouch.
51. The flexible container of claim 49 further comprising content disposed within at least one of the first and second chambers.
52. The flexible container of claim 51, wherein content is disposed within each of the first and second chambers.
53. The flexible container of claim 52, wherein a powder is disposed within one of the first and second chambers and a liquid is disposed within the other of the first and second chambers.
54. The flexible container of claim 49, wherein the first seal is a reclosable seal.
55. The flexible container of claim 54, wherein the reclosable seal comprises an interlocking rib and groove.
56. The flexible container of claim 1 further comprising a fin flange extending along the side edge to define a graspable region for lifting and tilting the pouch to pour content from an opposite side edge of the pouch.
57. A method of placing content in a container, the method comprising:
providing a flexible liner comprising a pouch having flexible sidewalls defining therebetween a volume to contain content, the pouch defining a fill opening for placing the content in the pouch, the sidewalls being joined to form a side edge of the pouch, the liner including a fin flange extending along the side edge;
placing content within the pouch;
adjusting a position of the fin flange;
placing the liner including the content within the container through a container opening;
folding the sidewalls of the liner over an outer surface of the container; and
covering the container opening with a cap, the sidewalls being sandwiched between the cap and the container.
58. The method of claim 57 further comprising tearing the sidewalls along a frangible region extending between the side edges of the pouch, the frangible region being exposed outside the container during tearing.
59. The method of claim 58, wherein the frangible region is disposed outside the container while the sidewalls are torn.
60. The method of claim 57 further comprising tearing the fin flange along a frangible region extending along a length of the fin flange to separate the fin flange from the pouch.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to containers, and more particularly to containers suitable for holding and pouring content.

BACKGROUND

Containers, such as bags, are frequently employed to store or carry contents. Containers can be carried and rotated for pouring stored contents with handles that can be grasped using an opening extending through the handle. Improved container constructions are desired, particularly for flexible containers having a pour spout.

SUMMARY

In aspects, the invention features a flexible container suitable for holding and storing content and one or more of the features described herein.

In an aspect, the invention features a flexible container suitable for holding and pouring content. The flexible container includes a pouch that has flexible sidewalls defining therebetween a volume to contain content, the pouch defining a bottom and a fill opening for placing the content in the pouch. The sidewalls are joined to form a side edge of the pouch and a fin flange extends along the side edge of the pouch. A reclosable seal is disposed adjacent the opening for sealing the pouch. The fin flange extends outward to define a graspable region for lifting and tilting the pouch to pour content from an opposite side edge of the pouch. The graspable region is disposed to allow grasping of the graspable region at an elevation along the pouch that is at most half a height measured between the bottom of the pouch and the reclosable seal.

In another aspect, the invention features a flexible container suitable for holding and pouring content. The container includes a pouch having flexible sidewalls defining therebetween a volume to contain content, the pouch having a fill opening for placing the content in the pouch. The sidewalls are joined to form a side edge of the pouch and a fin flange extends along the side edge. A reclosable seal is disposed below the fill opening for sealing the pouch, with the flexible sidewalls extending above the seal at a side edge opposite the fin flange to form a pour spout.

In some embodiments, the fin flange extends outwardly along the entire length of the associated side edge. In certain cases, the fin flange is disposed along the side edge of the pouch between the reclosable seal and the bottom of the pouch. The fin flange can include a texturized surface disposed in the graspable region. In some cases, an array of projections extend outwardly from a surface of the fin flange.

In some embodiments, the bottom of the pouch is configured to support the pouch in an upright, standing position when content is placed within the pouch. In some cases, a gusset extends between the sidewalls with the gusset disposed at the bottom of the pouch.

In some embodiments, the sidewalls form a pour spout disposed at a side edge opposite the fin flange. The spout can be sealed to inhibit egress of content from the pouch through the spout. The spout can include a frangible region for tearing and opening the spout.

In certain cases, the sidewalls include a frangible region for tearing the sidewalls. In these cases, the frangible region can extend between the side edges of the pouch. In certain embodiments, the frangible region is disposed between the fill opening and the reclosable seal.

In some embodiments, the reclosable seal comprises an interlocking rib and groove. The fin flange, in some embodiments, includes a frangible region extending along a length of the fin flange for tearing the fin flange. In these embodiments, the frangible region extends along the entire length of the fin flange for tearing the fin flange from the associated side edge of the pouch.

In certain embodiments, at least one sidewall includes a surface configured to be written on by a writing instrument. The surface can be disposed between the reclosable seal and the opening. In some cases, at least one sidewall includes an array of removable tabs. The tabs can be disposed between the reclosable seal and the opening. Each tab may include a value corresponding to one of a month and a date. In some embodiments, at least one sidewall includes an array of ordered marks disposed at fixed intervals for use as a reference for measuring an amount of content placed in the pouch.

In certain embodiments, the sidewalls comprise a food grade material. The fin flange, in some embodiments, has a rounded periphery.

In another aspect, the invention features a flexible container suitable for holding and pouring content. The flexible container includes a pouch having flexible sidewalls defining therebetween a volume to contain content, the pouch having a bottom and a fill opening opposite the bottom for placing the content in the pouch. The sidewalls are joined along a side edge of the pouch. A first seal is disposed adjacent the opening for sealing the pouch and a second, reclosable seal disposed between the first seal and the bottom of the pouch. The second seal is configured to seal the pouch to define first and second chambers disposed within the volume.

In some embodiments, sidewalls include a frangible region disposed between the first and second seals for tearing the sidewalls, the frangible region extending between opposite side edges of the pouch.

In some cases, content disposed within at least one of the first and second chambers. In certain cases, content is disposed within each of the first and second chambers. A powder may be disposed within one of the first and second chambers and a liquid may be disposed within the other of the first and second chambers.

In some embodiments, the first seal is a reclosable seal. In certain cases, the reclosable seal comprises an interlocking rib and groove. The sidewalls may joined to form a fin flange, the fin flange extending outward to define a graspable region for lifting and tilting the pouch to pour content from an opposite side edge of the pouch.

In another aspect, the invention features a method of placing content in a container that includes providing a flexible liner comprising a pouch having flexible sidewalls defining therebetween a volume to contain content. The pouch has a fill opening for placing the content in the pouch and the sidewalls being joined to form a side edge of the pouch. The liner includes a fin flange extending along the side edge. Content is placed within the pouch and a position of the fin flange is adjusted. The liner including the content is placed within the container through a container opening. The sidewalls of the liner are folded over an outer surface of the container and the container opening is covered with a cap with the sidewalls being sandwiched between the cap and the container.

In some embodiments, the sidewalls are torn along a frangible region extending between the side edges of the pouch, the frangible region being exposed outside the container during tearing. In certain cases, the frangible region is disposed outside the container while the sidewalls are torn. In some embodiments, the method includes tearing the fin flange along a frangible region extending along a length of the fin flange to separate the fin flange from the pouch.

The details of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, objects, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a flexible container embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the flexible container embodiment of FIG. 1 in use.

FIG. 3 is a front view of another flexible container embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the flexible container embodiment of FIG. 3 in use.

FIG. 5 is a front view of another flexible container embodiment.

FIG. 6 is a front view of another flexible container embodiment.

FIGS. 7, 8 and 10 are front views of flexible container embodiments having a compartmented fin flange.

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic top view of the flexible container embodiment of FIG. 8.

FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate flexible container embodiments having indication tabs.

FIGS. 13 and 14 illustrate the flexible container of FIG. 5 in use as a liner.

Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a flexible container 10 includes a pouch 12 having a pair of flexible sidewalls 14, 16 that are joined along a side edge 18 by a fin flange 20. The fin flange 20 is disposed to allow a user to grasp and tilt the flexible container 10 to pour contents, such as baby formula, from a pour spout 22 at an opposite side edge 24 of the container 10. In one embodiment, the fin flange 20 is integrally formed with the flexible sidewalls 14, 16. In another embodiments, the fin flange 20 is separately formed and attached to the side edge 18.

The container 10 includes a fill opening 26 at the top of the container 10 and a reclosable seal 28 that is attached to the sidewalls 14, 16. The reclosable seal 28 can be opened, e.g., to place content within the pouch through the fill opening 26 and closed, e.g., to seal the content within the pouch 12 from the atmosphere. A suitable reclosable seal is a rib and groove seal, for example such as a ZIPLOC® brand closure available from SC Johnson and Son, Inc. Single-use seals (e.g., a rupturable heat seal or membrane) may be employed as an alternative to a reclosable seal, e.g., in embodiments where the container 10 is a single-use container (i.e., a disposable container).

The container 10 can be self-standing. By “self-standing”, we mean that the container 10, once filled to a selected level, is capable of supporting itself in an upright, standing position. Extending between the sidewalls 14, 16 at a bottom 30 of the pouch 12 is a gusset 32. The gusset 32 aids in supporting the container 10 in the upright, standing position, when filled.

As noted above, the fin flange 20 allows a user to grasp and tilt the container 10 to pour contents placed within the pouch 12. The fin flange 20 extends along the side edge 18 from the reclosable seal 28 to the bottom 30 of the pouch 12. In one embodiment, the fin flange 20 is formed of two sheets that are joined along a periphery 21 of the fin flange 20. In other cases, the sheets are joined only along the side edge 18. The fin flange 20 includes a graspable region 34 that has sufficient width W and length L to allow a user to grasp and handle the container 10 with the user's fingers. As shown, the graspable region 34 is disposed along the fin flange 20 to allow the user to grasp the fin flange at a location nearer the bottom 30 of the pouch 12 than the reclosable seal 28. In other words, the graspable region 34 is disposed to allow grasping of the graspable region 34 at an elevation along the pouch 12 that is at most about half the height H measured between the bottom of the pouch 12 to the reclosable seal 28. Extending from a surface 38 of the fin flange 20 within the graspable region 34 are an array of projections 39 that provide a texturized surface for enhanced graspability. The graspable region 34 is positioned to allow grasping at an elevation along the pouch 12 that is at most half the height H. The container 10 can then be tilted with sufficient support, using only the fin flange 20, to allow contents to be poured from the spout 22 and into, for example, a baby bottle 23.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, the spout 22 is formed by the sidewalls 14, 16 and is located above the reclosable seal 28. The spout 22 aids in controllably pouring the contents from the pouch 12 through the fill opening 26. In one embodiment, the spout is integrally formed with the sidewalls 14, 16.

The flexible container 10 can include a writing surface 36 disposed between the reclosable seal 28 and the top of the container 10. Permanently printed on the writing surface 36 are regions for indicating desirable information, such as date, time and name, for example. The writing surface 36 can allow printing thereon by a pen, marker, pencil and/or crayon, as examples. The writing surface 36 can also be formed to allow erasable marking, using a dry erase marker, for example. Horizontal markings forming a graduated scale 38 can be permanently printed on the sidewall 14, to provide visual indication of content in the pouch 12. As shown, the scale 38 can display the volume of a liquid placed in the pouch 12 in ounces and milliliters.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, a self-standing, flexible container 40 includes a pour spout 42 that is located below a reclosable seal 28 and separate from a fill opening 44. The container 40 includes many of the features described above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. Unlike the container 10 described above, however, the reclosable seal 28 need not be opened to pour contents from the pour spout 42 due to the location of the spout 42.

Pour spout 42 is formed by sidewalls 14, 16 of the flexible container 40. The pour spout 42 includes a frangible region 46 for tearing and opening the pour spout 42, e.g., to allow for pouring of contents therethrough. Prior to tearing along the frangible region 46, the pour spout 42 is sealed (e.g., during formation of the container 40) to inhibit egress of contents from pouch 12.

The container 40 can be filled through the fill opening 44 and the contents can be dispensed through the spout 42. As above, the container 40 includes a fin flange 20 having a graspable region 46 extending from the reclosable seal 28 toward a bottom 48 of the pouch 12 for grasping and tilting the container 40.

Referring to FIG. 5, a flexible container 50 is shown having tabs 52, 53 to facilitate grasping and retaining of sidewalls 54, 56, when the container 50 is placed within a bottle (as shown in FIGS. 13 and 14. With specific reference to FIG. 13, tab 52 can be formed to extend beyond an opening 102 of the bottle 100 when the container 50 is inserted into the bottle 100 so that the user may grasp the tab 52 and fold the sidewalls 54 and 56 over opening 102 and outer surface 104 of the bottle 100. A cap 106 having a nipple 107 (FIG. 14) and a threaded inner circumference can be secured to the bottle opening 102 having a threaded outer circumference and over the sidewalls 54, 56. The container 50 also includes a frangible region 58 for tearing and removing a portion of the sidewall 54 and 56, e.g., located outside the bottle 100.

Referring again to FIG. 5, the container 50 includes many of the features of the container 10 of FIG. 1, including the reclosable seal 28, pour spout 22, gusset 32 and fin flange 20. Extending along the length of the fin flange 20 is a frangible tear line 60, e.g., for removing the fin flange 20 from side edge 62. Removing the fin flange 20 may be desirable prior to placing the container 50 within a bottle or other container (i.e., when the container 50 is to be used as a liner). The fin flange 20 can also be folded proximate the sidewall 54 or 56 as an alternative to removing the fin flange 20.

The container also includes a spout frangible tear line 64 for tearing the sidewalls 54, 56 above the reclosable seal 28, e.g., to form a spout contour similar to the spout 22 of FIG. 1. In another embodiment, tab 66, shown in phantom, extends upward to a height substantially greater than the height of the spout 22.

Referring now to FIG. 6, a flexible container 70 includes, in addition to features of the container 50 of FIG. 5, a bifurcated pouch including separate compartments 72 and 74 having a seal 76 to provide a sealed barrier therebetween. In some embodiments, the seal 76 is reclosable (e.g., a rib and groove closure) or the closure may be a rupturable membrane or other type of single-use, rupturable seal. Positioned at a fill opening 78 of the container 70 is a second seal 80 (e.g., a reclosable or single-use seal) spaced-apart and extending generally parallel to seal 76. The second seal 80 can seal compartment 74 from the atmosphere. Extending between the seals 76 and 80 is a frangible region 82 for tearing and removing an upper portion of sidewalls 84, 86. As shown, the frangible region 82 is contoured to form a pour spout similar to the pour spout 22 of FIG. 1. However, the frangible region can be of any desirable contour including a line extending 30 generally parallel to the seals 76, 80.

Multi-compartment containers, such as the container of FIG. 6, may be desirable where the contents and container are to be placed in a relatively harsh environment such as within a freezer or in boiling water, as examples, to seal isolate pouring surfaces from the harsh environment. For example, prior to sealing the compartments 72 and 74, the content, such as baby formula, can be placed in compartment 72 and seals 76 and 80 (or only seal 80) can be formed and/or closed and then the container 70 can be placed in the freezer, e.g., to freeze the contents for storage. The container 70 can thereafter be removed from the freezer and the sidewalls 84, 86 can be torn along frangible region 82 to remove material exposed to the freezer air (i.e., the material between seal 80 and fill opening 78). Because seal 80 is air-tight, inner surfaces between the seals 76 and 80 remain unexposed to the cool air trapped within the freezer, e.g., so that the contents are not exposed to surfaces exposed to the freezer air during pouring, for example.

As another example, the container 70 can hold contents within each of compartments 72 and 74, the seal 76 maintaining separation of the contents while the seal 76 is closed. For example, compartment 74 can hold a pre-measured amount of powdered baby formula, while compartment 72 contains a pre-measured amount of liquid to be mixed with the powder to form, e.g., a single serving or pre-selected amount of servings of baby formula. To separate or break seal 76, e.g., without opening or breaking seal 80, a pull tab 90 extends from each of the sidewalls 84 and 86 to aid in pulling the sidewalls away from each other to break or open the seal 76. Once the seal 76 is opened, the powdered contents within compartment 74 are allowed to fall into the liquid contents of compartment 74 and mix within compartment 72. Fin flange 20 can then be grasped, as described above, to tilt and pour the mixed contents from the container. Or, in some embodiments and as noted with reference to FIG. 5, the container 70 may be used as a liner for, e.g., a disposable bottle. Accordingly, the container 70 can separately store mixable constituents that can readably and neatly be combined for use.

FIGS. 7-10 illustrate container embodiments having a compartmented fin flange. Referring to FIG. 7, container 92 includes, along with features described above with reference to FIG. 1, a fin flange 94 (shown in section) having a single, inflated (e.g., with air or liquid) chamber 96. By inflating chamber 96, the rigidity and functionality of the fin flange 94 can be increased. The fin flange 94 can extend along the entire length of side edge 98, above the reclosable seal 28. Extending across the width of sidewalls 97 and 99 and also across the width of the fin flange 94 is a frangible region 101 for tearing and removing an upper portion of the sidewalls and the fin flange. Additionally, by tearing through the fin flange 94, fluid trapped within the chamber 96 can escape from the chamber to allow the fin flange to deflate. In some cases, the user may simply puncture the fin flange 94 to release fluid contained within the chamber to deflate the fin flange. Deflating the fin flange can allow the container 92 to be used as a liner as above with reference to FIG. 5, for example. In some embodiments, the fin flange 94 may extend along only a portion of the length of the side edge 98 (shown by dotted lines). As shown by FIGS. 8 and 9, illustrating container 150, the chamber 96 can be spaced from the side edge 98. In some embodiments, as shown by container 120 of FIG. 10, the fin flange 94 may include multiple chambers 122 and 124 to provide additional rigidity and functionality. The multiple chambers may be in fluid communication with each other or they may be isolated (as shown).

The containers described above can be formed of a single sheet (or multiple sheets) of film of any suitable material including, e.g. high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), etc. Suitable materials include food grade materials, e.g., to form container embodiments suitable for food storage.

A number of embodiments of the invention have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, referring to FIGS. 11 and 12, other indication means can be used such as punch tabs 126 along the sidewall 128, 130 between the fill opening 44 and the reclosable seal 28. The tabs can be labeled with suitable alphanumeric information to denote the date of content storage, for example. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7643378 *Jul 23, 2007Jan 5, 2010Amir GenosarPackage showing elapsed time since opening
US8231272Jul 15, 2008Jul 31, 2012Goglio S.P.A.Stand-up, easy-open and easy-close package of flexible material, particularly for liquid, viscous, pasty, granular or powdered products
EP2050688A1 *Oct 15, 2007Apr 22, 2009Goglio S.p.A.Stand-up package of flexible material, particularly for granular or powdery products
WO2012069311A1 *Nov 8, 2011May 31, 2012Hindustan Unilever LimitedPackage for tea concentrate
WO2012071391A1 *Nov 22, 2011May 31, 2012Method Products, Inc.Refill bag
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/459.1, 206/459.5
International ClassificationB65D75/00, B65D75/56, A61J9/00, B65D85/816, B65D75/58, B65D33/25, B65D75/52, B65D85/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D33/2508, B65D75/5866, A61J9/001, B65D85/816, B65D33/2533, B65D33/2566, B65D75/008, B65D75/563, B65D75/52
European ClassificationA61J9/00A, B65D75/00E, B65D75/58G1, B65D33/25A, B65D85/816, B65D75/52, B65D75/56A, B65D33/25A5, B65D33/25A1C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 5, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: BANK OF MONTREAL, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT, ILLINOI
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:LEARNING CURVE BRANDS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:021785/0451
Effective date: 20081103
Oct 29, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: FIRST YEARS INC., THE, MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BRITTO, JAMES J.;THOMAS, SHERRY;AUBIN, MICHELLE;REEL/FRAME:015315/0790;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040723 TO 20041019