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Publication numberUS20070119742 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/442,769
Publication dateMay 31, 2007
Filing dateMay 30, 2006
Priority dateNov 28, 2005
Publication number11442769, 442769, US 2007/0119742 A1, US 2007/119742 A1, US 20070119742 A1, US 20070119742A1, US 2007119742 A1, US 2007119742A1, US-A1-20070119742, US-A1-2007119742, US2007/0119742A1, US2007/119742A1, US20070119742 A1, US20070119742A1, US2007119742 A1, US2007119742A1
InventorsSarah Thielman, Jennifer Westermeyer
Original AssigneeThe Procter & Gamble Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Packaging incorporating sensory elements
US 20070119742 A1
Abstract
A package includes a body, at least one disposable absorbent article within the and a first sensory element. The body has an opening therein, and the first element communicates a first performance attribute of the package.
Images(9)
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Claims(20)
1. A package containing a plurality disposable absorbent articles, the package comprising:
a body having an opening therein;
a first sensory element disposed on the package, wherein the first sensory element communicates a first performance attribute of the package.
2. The package of claim 1 wherein the first sensory element comprises a graphic.
3. The package of claim 1 further comprising a cover, wherein the cover comprises an attachment region and a liftable region, wherein the attachment region is joined to the body such that in the closed position, the opening is covered by the cover, and wherein the first sensory element is disposed subjacent to the cover in the closed position, and wherein the cover is transparent.
4. The package of claim 1 further comprising a grasping sensory element.
5. The package of claim 4 wherein the grasping sensory element comprises a graphic.
6. The package of claim 4 wherein the grasping sensory element communicates a grasping area to a consumer by visual perception and tactile perception.
7. The package of claim 3 further comprising a cover sensory element.
8. The package of claim 3 further comprising a grasping sensory element.
9. The package of claim 1 wherein the first sensory element communicates a characteristic and the performance attribute of the package.
10. The package of claim 1 further comprising a second sensory element, wherein the second sensory element communicates a characteristic of the package.
11. The package of claim 10 wherein the second sensory element communicates a second performance characteristic of the package.
12. A flexible package containing a plurality of wipes, the flexible packaging comprising:
a body;
a cover having an attachment region and a liftable region, wherein the attachment region of the resealable cover is joined to the body;
a grasping sensory element disposed on a portion of the liftable region of the cover, wherein the grasping sensory element communicates a grasping area of the liftable region of the cover;
a first sensory element disposed on the cover, wherein the first sensory element communicates a first performance attribute of the flexible package; and
a cover sensory element communicating the first performance attribute of the flexible package.
13. The flexible package of claim 12 wherein the grasping sensory element comprises a graphic.
14. The flexible package of claim 12 wherein the first sensory element comprises a graphic.
15. The flexible package of claim 12 wherein the first sensory element further communicates a functional feature of the flexible package.
16. The flexible package of claim 12 further comprising a second sensory element, wherein the second sensory element communicates a second performance attribute.
17. The flexible package of claim 12 further comprising a second sensory element, wherein the second sensory element communicates the first performance attribute and wherein the first sensory element and the second sensory element differ.
18. A line up of flexible packages, each containing a plurality of wipes therein, the line up of flexible packages comprising:
(a) a first flexible package containing a plurality of wipes, the first flexible package comprising:
(i) a first body;
(ii) a first cover having a first attachment region and a first liftable region, wherein the first attachment region of the first cover is joined to the first body; and
(iii) a first sensory element communicating a first characteristic of the first flexible package; and
(b) a second flexible package containing a plurality of wipes, the second flexible package comprising:
(i) a second body;
(ii) a second cover having a second attachment region and a second liftable region, wherein the second attachment region of the second cover is joined to the second body; and
(iii) a second sensory element communicating the first characteristic of the second flexible package; and
wherein the first sensory element differs from the second sensory element.
19. The line up of claim 18 wherein the first flexible package further comprises a first cover sensory element and the second flexible package comprises a second cover sensory element, and wherein the first cover sensory element differs from the second cover sensory element.
20. The line up of claim 18 wherein the first flexible package further comprises a first cover sensory element and the second flexible package comprises the first cover sensory element.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure generally relates to a package containing disposable absorbent articles. More specifically, the present invention relates to a package containing disposable absorbent articles wherein the package incorporates sensory elements which communicate a characteristic of the package to a consumer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The field of disposable absorbent articles includes a wide variety of consumer products which includes diapers, bibs, wipes, sanitary napkins, tampons, etc. Within each category, i.e. diapers, wipes, etc., the number of different product offerings is typically large. For example, in the diapers category product offerings may include pull-on diapers, taped diapers, training pants, newborn diapers, etc.

Packaging for each of these disposable absorbent articles typically includes the brand name of the disposable absorbent article plus some iconography or design which allows the consumer to readily recognize a particular brand. Additionally, packaging for these disposable absorbent articles may include a description on the number of absorbent articles within the package and a description of how to use the disposable absorbent article. In some cases, particularly, in how to use the disposable absorbent article, communication with the consumer may be through visual images without the use of alpha-numeric characters.

Visual images, excluding alpha-numeric characters, can be an effective means of communication with consumers. For example, in the context of diapers and/or wet wipes, consumers often shop with babies or small children, resulting in less ability to intently focus upon various product offerings of disposable absorbent articles. Additionally, because the number of product offerings within each category can be large, it may become increasingly difficult for consumers to self-select the product or products which most appropriately meet their needs.

Unfortunately, in some instances, a consumer may select an inappropriate product simply based on the package. For example, the consumer may select a product containing wet wipes which are suitable for their needs. However, the consumer may inadvertently select a package which cannot retain the moisture of the wet wipes after being opened. After a period of use, the wipes which were formerly wet would become dry. This could cause discomfort and/or injury when using the dried out wipe. Conversely, the consumer may, after realizing that they have chosen a product which does not suit their needs, have to drive back to the place of purchase and try to return the inappropriate product and subsequently purchase the appropriate product.

Therefore, it is advantageous to provide a package incorporating sensory elements communicating a characteristic of the package. These sensory elements may help the consumer make better decisions when purchasing packages containing disposable absorbent articles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The package of the present invention may include a sensory element which communicates a characteristic of the package to a consumer, thereby allowing the consumer to choose an appropriate product for their particular needs. In some embodiments of the present invention, a package containing at least one disposable absorbent article may comprise a body and a first sensory element. The body has an opening therein, and the first sensory element communicates a first performance attribute of the package.

In other embodiments, a flexible package may comprise a plurality of wipes therein, a body, a cover, a grasping sensory element, a first sensory element, and a cover sensory element. The cover may have an attachment region and a liftable region. The attachment region of the cover can be joined to the body. The grasping sensory element can be disposed on a portion of the liftable region of the cover, and the grasping sensory element can communicate a grasping area of the liftable region of the cover. The first sensory element can be disposed on the cover, wherein the first sensory element communicates a first characteristic of the flexible package. The cover sensory element communicates the first performance attribute of the flexible package

Other embodiments of the present invention include a line up or array of packages. The line up of packages, along with each of the packages in the line up comprising a plurality of wipes, may further comprise a first package and a second package.

The first package may comprise a first body, a first cover, and a first sensory element. The first cover includes a first attachment region and a first liftable region. The first attachment region of the first cover can be joined to the first body. The first sensory element can communicate a first characteristic of the first package to a consumer.

The second package may comprise a second body, a second cover, and a second sensory element. The second cover includes a second attachment region and a second liftable region. The second attachment region can be joined to the second body. The second sensory element can communicate the first characteristic of the second package. The first sensory element and the second sensory element can differ.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is an isometric view showing a flexible package constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 1B is an isometric view showing the flexible package of FIG. 1A where a cover of the flexible package is in an open position.

FIG. 2A is a plan view showing an embodiment of a cover of the flexible package of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 2B is an elevation view showing another embodiment of the flexible package of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 3 is a plan view showing the cover of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 4 is a plan view showing another embodiment of the flexible package of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view showing a plastic tub constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an isometric view showing another plastic tub constructed in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Definitions

The present invention, in some embodiments, is directed to packages comprising disposable absorbent articles or to an array or a line up of packages containing disposable absorbent articles. As used herein, the terms “line up” and “array” are intended to be interchangeable. An “array” or “line up” refers to two or more “products” which are each sold individually, but which are each part of a broader collective offering. The individual offerings in the line up or array are associated with each other by some commonality or connection. Examples of such a commonality or connection may include, but are not limited to: a common brand name, a common logo, a common color scheme, a common graphic, or any other indicia which signal that the products are related and are offerings to sub-groups within the overall group to which the line up or array as a whole is offered.

As used herein the term “characteristic” shall refer to a functional feature and/or a performance attribute that helps to distinguish a product. For example, characteristics of the package can include re-sealable lids/covers, ability to retain moisture, impeding the loss of moisture from the contents of a package, facilitation of opening the package, and/or the like.

As used herein the term “performance attribute” refers to a benefit provided by the package to content within the package and/or to the end user when the content is used in accordance with expected use. For example, in the context of wet wipes, a package may retain the moisture of the wet wipes within the package or impede the loss of moisture from the wet wipes within the package provided that the package is used in accordance with expected use.

The term “functional feature” refers to the capabilities of the package when used in accordance with expected use. For example, the package may have a re-closable cover, float in the tub, glow in the dark, provide audible feedback in response to user action, and/or the like.

As used herein the terms “differ” and “different”, in the context of sensory elements, shall include perceptible dissimilarities in appearance, color, shape, design, feel, and/or sound between two elements. In the context of characteristics, the terms “differ” and “different” shall include functional dissimilarities and performance attribute dissimilarities. For example, a first characteristic may pertain to a package's ability to impede the loss of moisture from the wipes within the package, and a second characteristic may pertain to a package's re-closable cover. In this example, the first characteristic differs from the second characteristic.

The term “disposable” is used herein to describe products, which generally are not intended to be laundered or otherwise restored and reused for their original function. They are typically intended to be discarded after about 1 or 2 uses. It is preferred that such disposable articles be recycled, composted or otherwise disposed of in an environmentally compatible manner.

A “disposable absorbent article” refers to an article device that normally absorbs and/or retains fluids. In certain instances, the phrase refers to articles that are placed against or in proximity to the body of the wearer to absorb and contain the excreta and/or exudates discharged from the body, and includes such personal care articles as baby diapers, baby training pants, adult incontinence articles, feminine hygiene articles, baby swim diapers, wound dressings, and the like. In certain instances, a disposable absorbent article may be worn by infants and other incontinent persons about the lower torso. In other instances, a disposable absorbent article may include wipes, bibs, sanitary napkins, tampons, tissue, paper towels, and the like.

As used herein the term “joined” encompasses configurations whereby an element is directly secured to another element by affixing the element directly to the other element, and configurations whereby an element is indirectly secured to another element by affixing the element to an intermediate member(s) which in turn are affixed to the other element. Additionally configurations where an element is permanently secured to another element or removably secured to another element are included.

As used herein the term “product” shall refer to a package containing disposable absorbent articles.

As used herein the term “wet wipe” means a wipe having moisture content of greater than about 10% by weight of the substrate. Some wipes are delivered in an apparent “dry” state although they have measurable moisture content. For example, some cleansing wipes (such as for bathing, face washing, or makeup removal) have a low moisture content (typically less than about 10%) cleansing solution which is impregnated or otherwise integrated with the wipe substrate. This solution may be released from the wipe upon immersing the wipe in water. Wet wipes often have higher moisture content as packaged, such as moisture content in the range from about 50% to about 350% or more by weight. For purposes of this application the moisture content imparted into the substrate will be referred to generically as “lotion.” Such lotions may be solutions, emulsions, or any other type of composition, and are typically some sort of aqueous cleansing formulation. A wide variety of such lotions is known in the art and is suitable.

Description

The packages of the present invention incorporate sensory elements to communicate one or more characteristics of the package to a consumer. The communication of the one or more characteristics of the package to the consumer may aid the consumer in choosing a product which is beneficial rather than detrimental to them.

The packages of the present invention, in some embodiments, include flexible packages and rigid plastic containers, e.g. plastic tubs. Examples of each are provided below. The present invention is applicable to packages comprising content. For example, in some embodiments, the present invention pertains to packages comprising a plurality of disposable absorbent articles. However, the description provided hereafter will pertain to packages comprising a plurality of disposable wet wipes.

Packages constructed in accordance with the present invention may comprise a body which substantially encloses the contents of the package. The body may comprise an opening therein. The opening may be opened and closed by any suitable means, e.g. a cover. For example, as shown in FIG. 1A, in some embodiments, a package in accordance with the present invention may comprise a flexible package 100. The flexible package 100 may comprise a body 110 and a cover 112. The cover 112, as shown, in some embodiments, can be disposed on a top surface 130 of the body 110. However, the cover 112 can be disposed on any suitable surface(s) of the body 110. In general the cover 112 is disposed on the body 110 such that an opening 1015 (shown in FIG. 1B) is at least partially covered by the cover 112 when the cover 112 is in the closed position.

As shown, in some embodiments, the body 110 can be formed from a sheet of packaging film that is wrapped around the plurality of disposable wipes (not shown). Adjacent ends of the packaging film can be sealed together to completely enclose the disposable wipes. Accordingly, a rear seal (not shown) may extend along a length L of the body 110 and two side seams 126 may extend across a lateral width W of the body 110.

The cover 112 may comprise an attachment region 120 and a liftable region 122. The attachment region 120, in some embodiments can be joined to the body 110. Additionally, in the closed position, the liftable region 122 is joined to the body 110. To expose the wipes within the body 110, a person can lift the liftable region 122 of the cover 112. Generally, the cover 112 is not lifted to such an extent that the attachment region 120 of the cover 112 becomes unsecured from the body 110.

In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 1B, when the cover 112 is lifted, a portion 170 of the body 110 can be joined to the cover 112 such that the portion 170 of the body 110 can be lifted with the cover 112, thereby exposing the wipes within the body 110. In some embodiments, the body 110 may comprise a preexisting opening which is covered by the cover 112. Thus, upon lifting the cover 112, the wipes within the package body 110 become exposed. In the latter embodiments, upon lifting of the cover 112, no portion of the body 110 is lifted with the cover 112.

Referring back to FIG. 1A, as stated previously, when the cover 112 is in a closed position, both the attachment region 120 and the liftable region 122 can be joined to the body 110. There are various means of joining the attachment region 120 and the liftable region 122 to the body 110 while still allowing the liftable region 122 to be unsecured and subsequently re-secured to the body 110. For example, in some embodiments, the liftable region 122 may comprise a first adhesive while the attachment region 120 comprises a second adhesive. The first adhesive can be selected such that the liftable region 122 of the cover 112 can be unsecured and subsequently re-secured to the body 110 while the second adhesive can be selected such that the attachment region 120 is permanently secured to the body 110. In another example, the liftable region 122 may comprise the same adhesive as the attachment region 120. However, the liftable region 122 may comprise a lower basis weight of applied adhesive than the attachment region 120. In yet another example, the liftable region 122 may comprise no adhesive while the attachment region 120 comprises an adhesive. In yet another example, the liftable region 122 and the attachment region 120 may each comprise adhesive. However, the liftable region 122 may further comprise an adhesive deadening agent. Additionally, embodiments are contemplated where the adhesive is disposed on the package body 110 and attaches to the cover 112. Any suitable deadening agent known in the art can be used. Similarly, any suitable adhesive known in the art can be used. Examples of suitable adhesive include acrylic-based or rubber-based adhesives. Re-sealable covers and package bodies utilizing adhesive based systems are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,309,105.

Embodiments are contemplated where the body 110 and/or the cover 112 comprise other fastening element systems. For example, embodiments are contemplated where the body 110 and/or the cover 112 comprise adhesives, mechanical fastening elements, magnetic members, or combinations thereof. These embodiments are described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/157,663 filed on Jun. 21, 2005, entitled “RESEALABLE PACKAGE WITH SEPARABLE FASTENING ELEMENT”.

As shown in FIG. 1A, the cover 112, in some embodiments, may comprise a grasping sensory element 160 which is disposed in the liftable region 122 of the cover 112. The grasping sensory element 160 can communicate a grasping area 162 of the liftable region 122 of the cover 112. The grasping area 162 is that portion of the liftable region 122 which the consumer can grasp, thereby allowing the consumer to lift up the cover 112. As such, the grasping sensory element can communicate to the consumer where to grasp the cover 112 in order to lift the cover 112. Additionally, the grasping sensory element 160 may communicate to the consumer that the flexible package 100 comprises a feature which facilitates the opening and closing of the cover 112.

Embodiments are contemplated where the grasping sensory element 160 communicates through visual perception. For example, the grasping sensory element 160 may comprise a graphic. For example, the graphic may include an anthropomorphic image which points to a grasping area 162 and/or in the direction in which the consumer should lift the cover 112. The graphic may be any suitable visual image or images. For example, the graphic may include pictorial symbols and/or images, such as, but not limited to, photographs, drawings, embossments, or any other suitable materials utilized to create pictorial symbols and/or images. The pictorial symbols and/or images may include an image of a child, an anthropomorphic image of an animal or object, images of cartoons including well known cartoon characters, images of well known brand logos or the like, and/or images characters specifically created to be associated with the implement of commerce, symbols, such as, but not limited to arrows, indications or motion or movement, and the like, and combinations thereof. Suitable examples of graphics are discussed in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0129743A1, U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0125923A1, and U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0125877A1. As used herein, the term “graphic” does not include alpha-numeric characters unless otherwise specified.

In conjunction with or independently of the graphic, the grasping sensory element 160, in some embodiments, may include a color which is perceptibly different than the color of the attachment region 120, which is perceptibly different from a portion of the liftable region 122, or which is perceptibly different from the attachment region 120 and a portion of the liftable region 122. For example, in one particular embodiment, the attachment region 120 and a portion of the liftable region 122 may comprise a color which is not perceptibly different than the color of the body 110. In this particular embodiment, the grasping sensory element 160 may comprise a color which is perceptibly different than the color of the attachment region 120 and the body 110.

In some embodiments, the grasping sensory element 160 may be limited to communicating the location of the grasping area 162 by visual perception. However, embodiments are contemplated where the grasping sensory element 160 communicates with the consumer by way of visual perception and/or tactile perception. For example, the grasping sensory element 160 can be embossed upon the cover 112 such that in addition to a perceptible visual difference between the grasping sensory element 160 and other portions of the cover 112, a perceptible tactile difference may also exist between the grasping sensory element 160 and other portions of the cover 112. As another example, the grasping sensory element 160 may communicate with the consumer by tactile perception.

There are many means by which the grasping sensory element 160 may communicate by visual and/or tactile perception. For example, as stated previously, the grasping sensory element 160 may be embossed onto the cover 112. As another example, material may be added to the grasping sensory element 160 such that a perceptible tactile difference and/or a perceptible visual difference are created. Any suitable means known in the art can be utilized to create a perceptible tactile difference and/or a perceptible visual difference.

Other characteristics of the flexible package 100 can be communicated to the consumer. As shown in FIG. 2A, for example, the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B), in some embodiments, may comprise a first sensory element 260. In some embodiments, the first sensory element 260 may be disposed on the cover 112. As shown in FIG. 2B, in some embodiments, the first sensory element 260 may be disposed on the body 110. In some embodiments the first sensory element 260 can be disposed subjacent to the cover 112. The first sensory element 260 can be disposed in any suitable location on the cover 112 and/or the body 110 of the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2B). The first sensory element 260 can communicate a characteristic of the flexible package 100 to the consumer as shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B.

In some embodiments, the cover 112 can be substantially transparent such that the first sensory element 260 can be perceived by the naked eye when the cover 112 is in the closed position. Alternatively, the cover 112 can be substantially opaque such that the first sensory element 260 or a portion thereof cannot be perceived by the naked eye when the cover 112 is in the closed position.

As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, in some embodiments, the first sensory element 260 may comprise an image of a bivalve which is capable of opening and subsequently re-closing thereby communicating to the consumer that the flexible package 100 comprises a cover 112 which is capable of opening and re-closing. Additionally, the image of a bivalve may communicate to the consumer that the flexible package 100 is capable of retaining the moisture of the wipes within the flexible package 100 or impeding the loss of the moisture of the wipes within the flexible package 100.

As described above with regard to FIGS. 2A and 2B, the first sensory element 260, in some embodiments, can communicate a functional feature of the flexible package 100 to the consumer. Additionally, in some embodiments, the first sensory element 260 can communicate a first characteristic which is a functional feature and a second characteristic which is a performance attribute of the flexible package 100 to the consumer. Embodiments are contemplated where first sensory element 260 communicates to the consumer a characteristic of the flexible package 100 wherein the characteristic is a performance attribute. Furthermore, embodiments are contemplated wherein the first sensory element 260 communicates more than one functional feature and/or performance attribute. Also, embodiments are contemplated wherein the first sensory element 260 also communicates properties of the contents of a package, e.g. wet wipes within a package in addition to a characteristic of the package.

The first sensory element 260 may include an image of any suitable object known in the art capable of communicating a characteristic of a package to a consumer. For example, in some embodiments, the first sensory element 260 may include an image of bivalves, suitable examples of which include oysters, clams, and the like. Additionally, embodiments are contemplated where the first sensory element comprises a graphic as described above. Moreover, embodiments are contemplated where the first sensory element 260 communicates to the consumer by visual and/or tactile perception as described above with regard to the grasping sensory element 160 (shown in FIG. 1A).

As shown in FIG. 3, in some embodiments, the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2B) may comprise a cover sensory element 360 which communicates a characteristic of the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2B) to the consumer. For example, the cover sensory element 360 may communicate to the consumer that the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2B) can retain the moisture of the wipes disposed within the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2B) or impede the loss of the moisture from the wipes within the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2B). As such, embodiments are contemplated where the cover sensory element 360 communicates a performance attribute to the consumer. Additionally, embodiments are contemplated where the cover sensory element 360 communicates a functional feature of the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2B) in addition to a performance attribute of the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2B). For example, the cover 112 may include a shape similar to a bivalve or a portion thereof thereby communicating to the consumer that the package 100 comprises a re-closable cover 112. Moreover, embodiments are contemplated wherein the cover sensory element 360 communicates one or more performance attributes of a package and/or one or more functional features of a package.

As shown, in some embodiments, the cover sensory element 360 may comprise a droplet shaped cover 112. The cover 112 may include any suitable shape known in the art which is capable of communicating a characteristic and/or performance attribute of a package. In some embodiments, the cover 112 and the first sensory element 260 (shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B) may correlate. For example, in some embodiments, the cover 112 may comprise the shape of a bivalve or half of a bivalve and the first sensory element 260 (shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B) may comprise an image of a bivalve. Moreover, embodiments are contemplated where the cover sensory element 360 communicates to the consumer by visual and/or tactile perception as described above with regard to the grasping sensory element 160 (shown in FIG. 1A).

Additionally, the cover sensory element 360, in some embodiments, may communicate to the consumer a property of the wipes along with at least one characteristic of the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2B). For example, in some embodiments, the cover sensory element 360 can communicate to the consumer that the wipes within the flexible package 100 (shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2B) are wet.

As shown in FIG. 4, in some embodiments, the flexible package 100 may comprise a second sensory element 460 which communicates a characteristic of the flexible package 100 to the consumer. The second sensory element 460 can be configured similar to the first sensory element 260 (shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B) described heretofore.

As shown, in some embodiments, the second sensory element 460 may comprise an image which depicts a liquid droplet falling into a body of liquid. The second sensory element 460 may comprise any suitable image which is capable of communicating to the consumer a characteristic of a package. Additionally, in some embodiments, the second sensory element 460 may communicate properties of the contents within the flexible package 100 in addition to a characteristic of the flexible package 100.

As stated previously, a package in accordance with the present invention may comprise a flexible package and/or a plastic tub. As shown in FIG. 5, in some embodiments, a plastic tub 500 constructed in accordance with the present invention may comprise a container body 11, a closing device 10, a stationary housing 12, and a movable cover 13. In some embodiments, the plastic tub 500 may further comprise a locking mechanism 14 which holds the movable cover 13 in the closed position and a spring element 15 which allows the movable cover 13 to automatically open. The plastic tub 500 may further comprise a gas-tight means 16 which may prevent drying out of the wipes during storage.

As shown, in some embodiments, the container body 11 may comprise a bottom wall 17, a back 18, a front 19, a right side wall 20, and a left side wall 21, which define a substantially parallelepipedic hollow receptacle. As shown, the container body's top side is wide open so as to define an upper opening. A flange may extend along an outer peripheral edge of the opening onto which the closing device 10 is fitted.

In some embodiments, the front wall 19 may comprise a protruding portion 25 which may cooperate with a second protrusion 26 disposed on the movable cover 13 so as to form the releasable locking mechanism 14. In operation, upon depressing a deformable portion 27, the movable lid 13 can be automatically opened via the spring element 15 thereby exposing an opening 23 in the top surface of the stationary housing 12. The operation and construction of the plastic tub 500 are discussed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,902,077.

The plastic tub 500 of the present invention may comprise a first sensory element as described heretofore. In conjunction with the first sensory element or independently of the first sensory element, the plastic tub 500 may comprise a second sensory element, a grasping sensory element, and/or a cover sensory element, as described heretofore. For example, the first sensory element may communicate to the consumer that the plastic tub 500 can retain the moisture of the wipes disposed within the plastic tub 500, or that the plastic tub 500 at least impedes the loss of moisture of the wipes within the plastic tub 500.

The first sensory element and/or the second sensory element may be disposed on any suitable surface of the plastic tub 500. For example, the first sensory element and the second sensory element may be disposed on the front wall 19 and the movable cover 13, respectively. In order to communicate the characteristics of the plastic tub 500 effectively, the first sensory element and/or the second sensory element should be disposed on an exterior surface of the plastic tub 500 such that the first sensory element and/or the second sensory element are visible from the store shelf to the consumer. However, embodiments are contemplated where the plastic tub 500 may comprise sensory elements which are disposed on the interior of the tub which may communicate further characteristics of the plastic tub 500 to the consumer.

As shown in FIG. 6, in some embodiments, a plastic tub 600 may comprise a cover 674 hingedly associated with a container body 662 and a base 678. The container body 662 may comprise a pair of side walls (only one is shown, i.e. side wall 634), a front face 632 and top surface 684. Additionally, the container body 662 may comprise an opening 680 which, in some embodiments, is disposed on the top surface 684 of the container body 662. The opening 680 may be disposed in any suitable location on the container body 662.

The container body 662 may be removably associated with the base 678 such that the combination of the container body 662 and the base 678 form an enclosure having the opening 680. Wipes may be placed within the enclosure by removing the container body 662 from the base 678 and placing the wipes on the base 678. Subsequently, the container body 662 may be re-joined to the base 678 thereby enclosing the wipes.

As shown, the cover 674 is in the open position. However, being hingedly associated with the container body 662, the cover 674 is capable of closing thereby covering at least a portion of, if not all, the opening 680. The cover 674 can be held in the closed position by the latching element 682. In some embodiments, by depressing the latching element 682, the cover 674 can be released and may be subsequently opened by the consumer. Opening the cover 674 may expose at least a portion of the opening 680 thereby exposing the wipes within the enclosure.

Similar to the plastic tub 500 (shown in FIG. 5), the plastic tub 600, in some embodiments, may comprise a first sensory element, a second sensory element, a grasping sensory element, and/or a cover sensory element. For example, the first sensory element may communicate to a consumer a that the plastic tub 600 can retain the moisture of the wipes disposed within the plastic tub 600 or impede the loss of moisture from the wipes within the plastic tub 600. The first sensory element, the second sensory element, the grasping sensory element, and/or the cover sensory element can be configured as described heretofore. Additionally, the first sensory element and the second sensory element may be disposed on the plastic tub 600 in any suitable location. Additionally, as described above with regard to the plastic tub 500 (shown in FIG. 5), the plastic tub 600 may further comprise sensory elements disposed within the container body 662 and/or inner facing surface of the base 678 which communicate further characteristics of the plastic tub 600.

Another aspect of the present invention is directed to line ups and arrays of products. A line up of products according to the present invention may comprise two or more packages as described heretofore. For example, a first package may comprise a first sensory element, and a second package may comprise a second sensory element. In some embodiments, the first sensory element may communicate a functional feature of the first package while the second sensory element communicates a performance attribute of the second package. As an example, the functional feature may be that the package includes a re-closable cover while the performance attribute may be that the package impedes the loss of moisture from the wipes within the package.

In some embodiments, the first package may comprise a first sensory element, and a second package may comprise a second sensory element. However, the first sensory element and the second sensory element, in some embodiments, may communicate the same characteristic and be perceptibly different from one another. Additionally, embodiments are contemplated where the first package further comprises a first grasping sensory element, and the second package comprises a second grasping sensory element. In some embodiments, the first grasping sensory element and the second grasping sensory element may be perceptibly different from one another. Similarly, embodiments are contemplated where the first package comprises a first cover sensory element, and a second package comprises a second cover sensory element. In some embodiments, the first cover sensory element and the second cover sensory element can be perceptibly different.

Embodiments are contemplated where a first package and/or a second package comprise a combination of at least one of a first sensory element, a second sensory element, a grasping sensory element, and a cover sensory element. Moreover, embodiments are contemplated where at least one of the first sensory element, the second sensory element, the grasping sensory element, and the cover sensory element, between the first package and the second package are perceptibly different. In these embodiments, differing sensory elements may communicate the same characteristic and/or performance attribute or may communicate differing characteristics and/or performance attributes of their respective packages.

Multiple characteristics of a package constructed in accordance with the present invention may be communicated via a combination of the grasping sensory element, the first sensory element, the cover sensory element, and/or the second sensory element. For example, embodiments are contemplated where the first sensory element 260 (shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B) communicates a first characteristic of a package and the second sensory element 460 (shown in FIG. 4) communicates a second characteristic of the package which is different from the first characteristic. For example, in some embodiments, the first sensory element 260 (shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B) may communicate to functional feature while the second sensory element 460 (shown in FIG. 4) may communicate a performance attribute of the package.

Additionally, embodiments are contemplated where a synergy exists between two or more sensory elements. For example, the grasping sensory element 160 (shown in FIG. 1A) may comprise a first graphic. Similarly, the first sensory element 260 (shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B) may comprise the first graphic or a portion of the first graphic. Other synergistic relationships are contemplated. For example, in some embodiments, the cover sensory element 360 (shown in FIG. 3) may comprise a shape which generally conforms to that of a bivalve, and the first sensory element 260 (shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B), the second sensory element 460 (shown in FIG. 4), and/or the grasping sensory element 160 (shown in FIG. 1A) may comprise an image of a bivalve. Additionally, in some embodiments, the first sensory element and the second sensory element, in some embodiments, may communicate the same characteristic and be perceptibly different from one another. However, the first sensory element and the second sensory element, in some embodiments, may communicate the same characteristic and be perceptibly different from one another.

Embodiments are contemplated where the first sensory element, the second sensory element, the grasping sensory element, and/or the cover sensory element, communicate a characteristic of a package by audible perception. Any suitable audible device known in the art can be used.

In addition to the sensory elements described herein, packages constructed in accordance with the present invention may comprise targeted sensory elements, targeted scent elements, targeted tactile elements, and targeted auditory elements as described in U.S. application Ser. No. 11/066,091 entitled “Line Up of Wipes Products Incorporating Targeted Sensory Elements”, filed on behalf of Joshua James Norman.

Additionally, embodiments are contemplated where a package or a portion thereof comprises a gender specific color. For example, a package may comprise a color which is a shade of pink. As another example, a package may comprise a color which is a shade of blue. In yet another example, a package may comprise a color which is gender neutral, such as shades of purple or shades of green. Further examples are discussed in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0129743A1, U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0125923A1, and U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0125877A1.

Each of the packages of the present invention includes a wet wipe or a plurality of wet wipes. A wet wipe may comprise at least a substrate. No particular design for such a substrate is required, and those of skill in the art will readily appreciate that all manner and variety of substrates are suitable. Nonwoven materials are typical, though not required, for substrates. Additionally, the substrates may be formed into sheet-like material by any of a variety of well known processes including: airlaying, carding, spunbonding, spunlacing, hydroforming, and the like.

The properties of the substrate according to the present invention may be homogeneous or non-homogeneous. For example, while a single uniform web is suitable, it may be desired to have a layered substrate where fiber composition is different among some or all of the various layers. Additionally, zones of varying properties are also possible. Substrates may be made from a variety of conventional natural and/or synthetic fibers including cellulosic based fibers (such as rayon, cotton, pulp, lyocell, and variations of these), or polyethylene, polypropylene, bicomponent or other synthetic fibers.

Wipes suitable for use in the presented invention may be provided in a wide variety of convenient shapes and sizes although there is no particular shape or size which is necessary. For ease of manufacture and dispensing, rectangular sheets of wipe material may be used, although wipes can also be rounded, circular, or other shapes. Individual sheets can be separately packaged (such as in an interleaved “pop up” configuration) or the wipes can be packaged in a continuous stack or roll to be separated later by the user (e.g., by perforations or the like).

The substrate material of a wipe may be impregnated with a liquid or semi-liquid composition that may enhance cleaning, provide a smooth feeling, or perform some other function. The composition may include an emollient, a surfactant, an emulsifier, a soothing agent, a rheology modifier, a preservative or preservative system, water, or other component. Suitable examples of each component and additional details regarding substrates and compositions for wet wipes, are described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/878,875, filed on Jul. 9, 2004, and entitled “A Composition for Wet Wipes that Enhances the Efficacy of Cleansing While Being Gentle to the Skin”.

The dimensions and values disclosed herein are not to be understood as being strictly limited to the exact numerical values recited. Instead, unless otherwise specified, each such dimension is intended to mean both the recited value and a functionally equivalent range surrounding that value. For example, a dimension disclosed as “40 mm” is intended to mean “about 40 mm”.

All documents cited in the Detailed Description of the Invention are, in relevant part, incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention. To the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this written document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the term in a document incorporated by reference, the meaning or definition assigned to the term in this written document shall govern.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20110139649 *Dec 15, 2009Jun 16, 2011Stanley Michael MarcinkowskiPackage with External Sensory Elements
US20110163100 *Jun 30, 2009Jul 7, 2011Uni-Charm CorporationPackage
US20110216987 *Feb 22, 2011Sep 8, 2011Maria Alexandra HernandezPackaging Containing Improved Dispensing And Carrying Elements
EP2028128A1 *Aug 23, 2007Feb 25, 2009Alcan Technology & Management Ltd.Packaging bag with an opening aid
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/494, 206/459.5, 206/459.1
International ClassificationB65D73/00, B65D85/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D75/5838, B65D2571/00919
European ClassificationB65D75/58E1A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 17, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY, THE, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:THIELMAN, SARAH LOUISE;WESTERMEYER, JENNIFER LEA;GEIGER,DENNIS (REPRESENTATIVE OF LIBBY PERSZYK KATHMAN);REEL/FRAME:018134/0500;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060707 TO 20060810