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Publication numberUS20070012711 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/486,038
Publication dateJan 18, 2007
Filing dateJul 14, 2006
Priority dateJul 18, 2005
Also published asWO2007026256A2, WO2007026256A3
Publication number11486038, 486038, US 2007/0012711 A1, US 2007/012711 A1, US 20070012711 A1, US 20070012711A1, US 2007012711 A1, US 2007012711A1, US-A1-20070012711, US-A1-2007012711, US2007/0012711A1, US2007/012711A1, US20070012711 A1, US20070012711A1, US2007012711 A1, US2007012711A1
InventorsJohn Kutsch, Rutger Thiellier, Andrew Vest
Original AssigneeKutsch John H, Rutger Thiellier, Andrew Vest
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container for consumer article
US 20070012711 A1
Abstract
A pocket-sized container for use with consumer products includes a frame forming a storage portion which includes a storage compartment and a front access opening for the compartment. A lid is attached to the storage portion for respectively opening and closing the access opening. A manually openable latch structure releasably holds the lid in the closed state. The lid can be pivotably attached to the storage portion by a living hinge and can be opened by being pried open at one end thereof, or by applying inward pressing forces to opposite sides of the container or applying inward pressure to the front of the container.
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Claims(6)
1. A pocket-sized container for use with consumer products, comprising a frame forming:
a storage portion including a storage compartment and a front portion forming an access opening for the compartment,
a lid attached to the storage portion by a living hinge to be pivotable between open and closed states for respectively opening and closing the access opening, and
a manually openable latch structure for releasably holding the lid in the closed state.
2. The container according to claim 1 wherein the lid includes a pin engageable in a recess formed in a front of the frame, the recess formed by a pair of fingers disposed on opposite sides of the recess; the fingers being elastically displaceable away from one another in response to the application of pressure to the front to enable the pin to exit the recess.
3. The container according to claim 1 further including a pair of latch-release mechanisms disposed on opposite sides of the container at a location between the hinge and the latch structure, the latch release mechanisms being responsive to inward pressure applied to the sides in a direction parallel to a pivot axis defined by the hinge, to push the lid upwardly in a manner releasing the latch.
4. The container according to claim 3 wherein the hinge axis is located adjacent one end of the container.
5. The container according to claim 3 wherein the hinge axis is located adjacent a midpoint of the container as measured perpendicular to the hinge axis.
6. A pocket-sized container for use with consumer products, comprising:
first and second sections interconnected by a living hinge, each of the first and second sections including a side wall structure, the side wall structures being brought into superimposed relationship in response to pivoting of the first and second sections about an axis defined by the living hinge, wherein there is formed a storage compartment having an access opening in a front portion of the container; and
a pair of check members formed of a softer material than the first and second sections and being inserted onto respective sides of the folded-over first and second sides to hold the first and second sections in the folded-over state.
Description
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119 to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/700,014 entitled CONTAINER FOR CONSUMER ARTICLE, filed Jul. 18, 2005, the entire content of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    This disclosure generally concerns a container for one or more consumer articles. More particularly, this disclosure relates to a pocket-sized container having a lid that opens to reveal a storage compartment containing a plurality of articles.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0003]
    In a first embodiment, a pocket-sized container for use with consumer products includes a frame forming a storage portion which includes a storage compartment and a front portion forming an access opening for the compartment. A lid is attached to the storage portion by a living hinge to be pivotable between open and closed states for respectively opening and closing the access opening. A manually openable latch structure releasably holds the lid in the closed state.
  • [0004]
    In another embodiment, a pocket-sized container comprises first and second sections interconnected by a living hinge. Each of the first and second sections includes a sidewall structure. The sidewall structures are brought into superimposed relationship in response to pivoting of the first and second sections about an axis defined by the living hinge, wherein there is formed a storage compartment having an access opening in a front portion of the container. A pair of cheek members, formed of a softer material than the first and second sections, are inserted onto respective sides of the folded-over first and second sides to hold the first and second sections in the folded over state.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0005]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a container according to a first embodiment.
  • [0006]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective plan view of FIG. 1.
  • [0007]
    FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 4 is a schematic view of a junction between a lid and a perspective view of the container.
  • [0009]
    FIG. 5 is an exploded view of an encircled portion of FIG. 3.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 6 is a sectional taken along the line 6-6 in FIG. 3.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view of an encircled portion of FIG. 8.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along the line 8-8 in FIG. 6.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view of a living hinge portion of the container.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 10 is a schematic view of the container frame in an unfolded state.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the container showing the lid in an open state.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a container showing the lid in an open state.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the second embodiment of the container.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 14 is a sectional view taken along the line 14-14 in FIG. 15.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken along the line 15-15 in FIG. 13.
  • [0020]
    FIGS. 16 and 17 are enlarged fragmentary views of respective encircled portions of FIG. 15.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 18 is a sectional view taken along the line 18-18 in FIG. 13.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 19 is an enlarged fragmentary view of an encircled portion of FIG. 18.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of a container.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 21 is a perspective view of the third embodiment of a container.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 22 is a sectional view taken through FIG. 21.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0026]
    A first embodiment of a container 20 (see FIGS. 1-11) for consumer products, includes a frame formed by a first section 22 and a second section 24 (see FIG. 10) which can be folded onto one another in superimposed relationship to form the container. The sections can be held together by cheek members 25, 25 placed onto respective lateral edges of the container. The two cheek members 25 preferably are fabricated from a material that is relatively soft to touch, as disclosed in copending application Ser. No. 11/142,420 filed Jun. 2, 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein. Elastomeric materials are particularly suitable for the cheek members. For example, 95 durometer polypropylene comprises a suitable material, although other conventional materials with comparable properties may also be advantageously used. The cheek members preferably snap into position on the folded sections 22, 24 and provide generally smooth, rounded sides for the container.
  • [0027]
    Alternatively, suitable pins and holes (not shown) could be formed on the sections 22, 24 which mate with one another in the folded state to secure the sections together.
  • [0028]
    The first section 22 includes a storage part 26 and a lid 28 which can be swung open and closed about a hinge 30 formed between the lid and the storage part 26. The hinge 30 is preferably a living hinge formed integrally during a molding step, as shown more graphically in FIG. 9.
  • [0029]
    The first section 22 includes a floor 32 and side walls 34, and the second section 24 includes a front 36 and side walls 38 that mate with the side walls 34. The front 36 extends only partially along a longitudinal axis A of the container to form a gap defining an access opening 37 that is to be covered by the lid 28.
  • [0030]
    The front 36 includes a hole 40 formed between two downwardly projecting fingers 42 that converge downwardly as shown in FIG. 5. The lid 28 includes a pin 44 sized to be removably received in the hole 40 to be gripped functionally by the fingers. In that way, the lid can be held in a secured position. In order to open the lid, a user inserts a finger nail between the front 36 and an edge 46 of the lid 28, in order to pry the pin 44 from the hole 40 (see FIGS. 4 and 11).
  • [0031]
    Various expedients can be provided to facilitate opening of the lid. For example, the portion 48 of the front 36 located beneath the edge 46 can be beveled to facilitate insertion of the user's finger nail. The bevel can extend completely (as shown in FIG. 1) or only partially along the container's width. Optionally, or additionally, the underside of the front 36 can be provided with a weakening in the form of a slot 47 that extends from the fingers 42 and enables the fingers 42 to separate from one another when a user applies a downward force F to the front 36 at a point adjacent the hole 40 (see FIG. 6). In that way, the pin 44 will “pop” out of the hole due to an inherent upward bias applied to the lid by the living hinge 30.
  • [0032]
    A second embodiment of a container 70, depicted in FIGS. 12-19, includes a lid 72 that is hinged adjacent a longitudinal end of the container, by means of a living hinge similar to that of FIG. 9. The lid can be latched to the front by a snap coupling shown in FIG. 19, wherein a projection 74 located at a free edge of the lid is able to be snapped beneath a tongue defined by a respective edge 76 of the front.
  • [0033]
    In order to open the lid, a user presses inwardly on opposite sides of the container between the hinge and the latched end, preferably close to the latched end as shown in FIG. 12. Those pressing forces are transmitted to posts 78 projecting horizontally outwardly from respective side walls 34 b of the first section of the container, thereby elastically bending those side walls inwardly toward one another. As a result, beveled surfaces 80 located at the upper free edges of the side walls slide across corresponding beveled surfaces of the lid 72 to cam the lid upwardly to unlatch the lid and enable the bias of the living hinge to pop the lid open.
  • [0034]
    A third embodiment of a container 90, depicted in FIGS. 20-22, is similar to that of FIGS. 12-19, except that the lid 92 is hinged adjacent the midpoint of the container by means of a living hinge formed between the lid and the front 36 c. The free end of the lid is latched to the first section 22 c by a latching structure similar to that described at 74, 76 in connection with FIG. 19, and the lid is opened by mechanisms 78A similar to that shown at 78, 80 in FIGS. 15-17, except that the opening mechanisms 78A are located close to the end of the container. By pressing inwardly as shown in FIG. 20, the lid is forced upwardly, thereby de-latching the lid and enabling the living hinge to pop the lid open.
  • [0035]
    It will be appreciated that there are disclosed herein a number of embodiments of a container which are relatively simple and economic to make and assemble while providing an effective way of storing items which can be quickly and easily accessed.
  • [0036]
    The particular proportions of the containers disclosed herein are not critical. The proportions are preferably selected to provide a container suitably sized to accommodate the particular articles to be package therein. Thus, the actual container could be more elongated than the container shown in the drawings. Or, the actual container could be more nearly square, i.e., shorter than shown in the drawings. Preferably, however, the container is sized so that it can be conveniently carried in a user's pocket.
  • [0037]
    The containers can, of course, be used for a variety of products. One specific product for which the container can be used is commercially available smokeless pouched tobacco. Such tobacco pouches are sometimes known as “snus” and comprise an individual packet of tobacco material encased in a pouch material. A predetermined number of such pouches (e.g., 5-10, 10-15, 15-20, or more) can be held in the container in loose form or they can be held in a sealed package such as a bag or tray.
  • [0038]
    It will now be apparent to those skilled in the art that a new container has been disclosed which has new, useful, and nonobvious features and characteristics. It will further be apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications, variations, substitutions, and equivalents for features of the appended claims, are embraced thereby.
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Referenced by
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US7584843May 1, 2006Sep 8, 2009Philip Morris Usa Inc.Pocket-size hand-held container for consumer items
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US7878324Nov 21, 2008Feb 1, 2011Philip Morris Usa Inc.Pocket-size container for consumer items
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USD665253Oct 3, 2011Aug 14, 2012Philip Morris Usa Inc.Container
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Classifications
U.S. Classification220/826, 220/4.23, 220/839
International ClassificationB65D43/14, B65D51/04, B65D6/28
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2251/1025, B65D1/22, B65D83/04, B65D11/10, B65D43/162, B65D2251/1058
European ClassificationB65D1/22, B65D83/04, B65D43/16B, B65D11/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 12, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: PHILIP MORRIS USA INC., VIRGINIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KUTSCH, JOHN H.;THIELLIER, RUTGER;VEST, ANDREW;REEL/FRAME:018261/0636;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060814 TO 20060828