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 numberUS20070138248 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/669,780
Publication dateJun 21, 2007
Filing dateJan 31, 2007
Priority dateJan 31, 2007
Publication number11669780, 669780, US 2007/0138248 A1, US 2007/138248 A1, US 20070138248 A1, US 20070138248A1, US 2007138248 A1, US 2007138248A1, US-A1-20070138248, US-A1-2007138248, US2007/0138248A1, US2007/138248A1, US20070138248 A1, US20070138248A1, US2007138248 A1, US2007138248A1
InventorsThomas Wallen, Nancy Cox, Susan Klopfenstein, Betty David, Nicholas Heng, Robert Pavlu
Original AssigneeHallmark Cards, Incorporated
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gift packaging
US 20070138248 A1
Abstract
Gift packaging is provided that employs lines of weakness in order to facilitate the creation of an opening for accessing items held within the packaging. In certain embodiments, the gift packaging, as containment structure, has a first opening through which gift items may be inserted into the packaging, and a second opening generated by separation of adjacent sections of material along one or more lines of weakness for access to the items. This material separation may be facilitated by use of a separation member defined by the one or more lines of weakness.
Images(18)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(36)
1. A gift container, comprising:
an enclosure having an interior region and a being formed with a first closeable opening; and
a line of weakness formed on the enclosure and adapted to at least substantially define a separation strip, wherein the separation strip has a terminal end;
whereby pulling on the terminal end of the separation strip in an outward direction with respect to the gift container causes the separation strip portion to move away from the remainder of the enclosure and form a second opening in the enclosure.
2. The gift container of claim 1, wherein the at least one line of weakness is a curvilinear perforation line.
3. The gift container of claim 2, wherein the separation strip is spiral shaped and presents the terminal end thereof at an innermost portion of the spiral.
4. The gift container of claim 1, wherein a reinforcing member is disposed on the separation strip portion.
5. The gift container of claim 1, wherein the enclosure includes a first panel and a plurality of sidewall panels extending from the first panel, the line of weakness being formed in at least the first panel such that the separation strip forms a portion of the first panel and the second opening in the enclosure extends through the first panel.
6. The gift container of claim 5, wherein the line of weakness is formed in the first panel and at least one of the plurality of sidewall panels such that the separation strip forms a portion of both the first panel and a portion of at least one of the sidewall panels and the second opening in the enclosure extends through the first panel and at least one of the sidewall panels.
7. A gift container, comprising:
an enclosure having design elements disposed thereon;
at least one nonlinear line of weakness formed on the enclosure and adapted to define a separation strip for controlling access to an interior region of the enclosure, the at least one line of weakness presenting a pattern associated with the design elements of the enclosure.
8. The gift container of claim 7, wherein the enclosure includes a base and a lid extending from the base and pivotably moveable with respect to the base, and wherein at least a portion of the at least one nonlinear line of weakness is formed in the lid.
9. The gift container of claim 8, further comprising means for securely positioning the lid with respect to the base of the enclosure.
10. The gift container of claim 7, wherein the enclosure includes a base and a multi-panel cover structure extending from the base, and wherein the separation strip extends through at least some panels of the multi-panel cover structure, such that removal of the separation strip from at least some of the respective panels of the cover structure enables the cover structure to be pivoted with respect to the base to provide access to the interior region of the enclosure through an opening formed between the cover structure and the base.
11. A gift container, comprising:
a plurality of panels interconnected with one another, each panel having a lower region and an upper region such that the upper region of each panel converges with the upper region of adjacent panels of the plurality of panels, and wherein at least some panels of the plurality of panels are interconnected with one another along one or more lines of weakness;
a base connected to at least one of the plurality of panels at the lower region thereof and adapted for positioning proximate to the lower region of each panel of the plurality of panels, thereby functioning as a closure panel for an interior region of the gift container defined by the plurality of panels and the base;
whereby separation of at least one of the plurality of panels from the remaining panels of the plurality of panels along the one or more lines of weakness exposes an opening to the interior region of the gift container.
12. The gift container of claim 11, wherein the base and plurality of panels combine to form a pyramidal structure.
13. The gift container of claim 11, further comprising means for securely positioning the base with respect to the at least one of the plurality of panels.
14. A gift container, comprising:
an enclosure having an interior region and being formed with a first opening;
a closure panel structure coupled with the enclosure for covering the first opening; and
at least one nonlinear line of weakness formed on the enclosure, whereby separation at the at least one nonlinear line of weakness of adjacent enclosure portions flanking the respective line of weakness forms a second opening of the enclosure.
15. The gift container of claim 14, wherein the closure panel structure includes a sealable closure panel.
16. The gift container of claim 14, wherein the closure panel structure includes a plurality of individual closure panels releasably coupleable with one another and adapted to support in an upright arrangement a structural element within the enclosure.
17. The gift container of claim 14, wherein design elements are disposed on the enclosure, and wherein the at least one nonlinear line of weakness presents a pattern associated with the design elements of the enclosure.
18. The gift container of claim 14, wherein the enclosure has a plurality of panels such that the first opening extends between the plurality of panels, and wherein the at least one nonlinear line of weakness is formed in at least one of the plurality of panels.
19. The gift container of claim 18, wherein the at least one nonlinear line of weakness forms a separation strip in at least one of the plurality of panels such that at least partial removal of the separation strip from the respective at least one of the plurality of panels forms the second opening of the enclosure.
20. The gift container of claim 18, wherein the plurality of panels include a set of sidewall panels, and wherein the separation strip is formed in the set of sidewall panels such that complete removal of the separation strip from the set of sidewall panels forms the enclosure into physically separate first and second sections.
21. A gift container, comprising:
an enclosure having a plurality of panels and a top opening, the plurality of panels defining an interior region of the enclosure accessible through the top opening; and
at least one line of weakness formed in at least one of the plurality of panels, whereby separation at the at least one line of weakness of adjacent panel portions flanking the respective line of weakness forms a second opening of the enclosure.
22. The gift container of claim 21, further comprising means for substantially closing the top opening of the enclosure.
23. The gift container of claim 21, wherein the at least one line of weakness is defined by a pull cord attached to the at least one of the plurality of panels.
24. The gift container of claim 23, further comprising design elements disposed on the enclosure, wherein the at least one line of weakness presents a pattern associated with the design elements of the enclosure.
25. The gift container of claim 21, wherein the at least one line of weakness is formed as a nonlinear feature.
26. The gift container of claim 25, wherein the plurality of panels include a plurality of upright sidewalls having an upper region forming the perimeter of the top opening, and wherein at least two of the plurality of upright sidewalls are adapted to be securely positioned with respect to one another so as to substantially close the top opening.
27. The gift container of claim 25, wherein the at least one nonlinear line of weakness defines a separation item on at least one of the plurality of panels such that at least partial removal of the separation item from the respective at least one of the plurality of panels forms the second opening of the enclosure.
28. A gift package assembly, comprising:
a first gift container including,
an enclosure having a plurality of panels and a first opening, the plurality of panels defining an interior region of the enclosure accessible through the first opening,
a closure panel structure connected to at least one of the plurality of panels for covering the first opening,
at least one nonlinear line of weakness formed in at least one of the plurality of panels, whereby separation at the at least one line of weakness of adjacent panel portions flanking the respective line of weakness forms a second opening of the enclosure; and
a second gift container including,
an enclosure having a plurality of panels and a first opening, the plurality of panels defining an interior region of the enclosure accessible through the first opening;
wherein the second gift container is adapted to fit within the interior region of the first gift container.
29. The gift package assembly of claim 28, wherein the second gift container further includes:
closure panel structure connected to at least one of the plurality of panels of the second gift container for covering the first opening of the second gift container; and
at least one nonlinear line of weakness formed in at least one of the plurality of panels of the second gift container, whereby separation at the at least one line of weakness of adjacent panel portions flanking the respective line of weakness forms a second opening of the enclosure of the second gift container.
30. A gift card holding package, comprising:
a first panel;
a second panel extending from the first panel along a shared common edge such that the second panel is moveable in relation to the first panel and is juxtaposed the first panel to define a concealment area between the first panel and the second panel; and
at least one line of weakness formed on one of the first panel and the second panel;
wherein the second panel is adapted for physical coupling with the first panel away from the shared common edge to establish concealment of a gift card located in the concealment area, and whereby separation at the at least one line of weakness of adjacent panel portions of the one of the first panel and the second panel flanking the respective line of weakness forms an access point through which the gift card located in the concealment area is revealed.
31. The package of claim 30, wherein the at least one line of weakness forms a separation strip in one of the first panel and the second panel such that at least partial removal of the separation strip from the respective one of the first panel and the second panel forms the access point.
32. The package of claim 31, wherein the respective one of the first panel and the second panel having the separation strip further includes a fold line spaced from the at least one line of weakness such that upon fully removing the separation strip, the panel portion of the respective one of the first panel and the second panel located between the fold line and the at least one line of weakness is pivotable to more fully reveal the gift card located in the concealment area.
33. The package of claim 30, wherein a first adhesive strip is disposed on the second panel more distal with respect to the shared common edge than the at least one line of weakness for accomplishing the physical coupling between the first panel and the second panel establishing concealment of the gift card located in the concealment area.
34. The package of claim 33, further comprising a second adhesive strip disposed on the second panel more proximal with respect to the shared common edge than the at least one line of weakness.
35. The package of claim 30, wherein at least one line of weakness is formed on the first panel and a set of spaced apart slits are formed in the second panel, the slits being adapted for supporting and positioning the gift card on the second panel and in the concealment area.
36. The package of claim 35, further comprising a third panel extending from the second panel along a shared common edge such that the third panel is moveable in relation to the second panel and is juxtaposed the second panel on a side thereof opposite of the first panel to alternately conceal and reveal the gift card positioned in the set of spaced apart slits.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to gift packaging. More specifically, the present invention is directed to gift containers and concealing devices as packaging which include a feature that enables the recipient to access the packaging contents through an opening generated by the recipient's interaction with the packaging.

Gift boxes, gift bags, and other similar containers and gift concealing devices have proven to be popular for holding and presenting gift items to a recipient. A typical gift container may have graphical or other design elements formed directly on or otherwise attached to the container, to provide the recipient with an initial point of interest before the gift held in the container is revealed. Still, certain methods of, and containers facilitating, gift giving have a number of drawbacks for both the gift giver and receiver. For instance, the process of wrapping a boxed gift in wrapping paper, to prove a visually pleasing gift package, can require considerable time and effort for the gift giver. On the other hand, while gift bags having preformed design elements are often an easy purchase and “wrapping” convenience for the gift giver, recipients of such gift bags are frequently disappointed at the lack of anticipation surrounding opening of the bag to reveal the gift. This is because the bag contents are revealed with little effort, such as by removing a few pieces of tissue paper that have been stuffed into the top opening of the bag. Therefore, it would be beneficial to provide gift packaging that would heighten the enjoyment and anticipation surrounding the receiving of a gift held in the container and which would still be easy and convenient for the gift giver.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Gift packaging disclosed herein enables a gift giver to place an item within the packaging so that a recipient may engage a feature on the packaging to gain access to the contents held within the packaging. The gift packaging, as a containment and/or concealing structure, provides for increased interaction of the recipient with the packaging holding the gift during the opening process.

In one aspect, a gift container includes an enclosure having an interior region and formed with a first closeable opening. A line of weakness is formed on the enclosure to substantially define a separation strip. When a terminal end of the separation strip is pulled in an outward direction, the separation strip moves away from the remainder of the enclosure to present a second opening in the enclosure of the gift container.

In another aspect, a gift container in which items may be placed includes an enclosure and one or more nonlinear lines of weakness formed on the enclosure. Certain design elements are disposed on the enclosure, while the one or more lines of weakness function to define a separation strip that controls access to an interior region of the enclosure. Furthermore, the one or more lines of weakness present a pattern that is associated with the design elements on the enclosure. As one example, the one or more lines of weakness may continue a theme presented by the design elements on the enclosure.

In yet another aspect, a gift container includes a plurality of panels interconnected with one another along a plurality of lines of weakness, as well as a base. Each panel has a lower region and an upper region, such that the upper region of each panel converges with the upper region of adjacent panels. The base is connected with one or more of the panels at the lower region of the respective one or more panels. In this arrangement, the base functions as a closure panel for the gift container through being positioned proximate to the lower region of each of the panels. Separation of one or more of the panels from the remaining panels exposes an opening through which the interior region of the gift container may be accessed.

In still another aspect, a gift container includes an enclosure formed with a first opening and a closure panel structure coupled with the enclosure for covering the first opening. One or more nonlinear lines of weakness are formed on the enclosure. Upon the user causing separation, at one of the lines of weakness, of adjacent enclosure portions flanking the respective line of weakness, a second opening of the enclosure is formed. Optionally, the one or more lines of weakness may form a separation strip in one or more of the panels. In such an arrangement, partial or full removal of the separation strip from the respective panels thereby forms the second opening of the enclosure. The aforementioned gift container may also serve as a component of a gift package assembly, whereby one or more additional gift containers are adapted to fit within the interior region of the first gift container and within one another.

Continuing with another aspect, a gift container includes an enclosure having a plurality of panels and a top opening. The plurality of panels combine to define an interior region of the enclosure accessible through the top opening. One or more nonlinear lines of weakness are formed in one or more of the panels. Upon the user causing separation, at one of the lines of weakness, of adjacent panel portions flanking the respective line of weakness, a second opening of the enclosure is formed.

Furthermore, in another aspect, a gift card holding package includes first and second panels and one or more lines of weakness formed on one of the panels. The second panel extends from the first panel along a shared common edge such that the second panel is moveable in relation to the first panel and is juxtaposed the first panel to define a concealment area between the panels. The first panel is adapted for physical coupling with the second panel away from the shared common edge to establish concealment of a gift card located in the concealment area. Upon the user causing separation, at one of the lines of weakness, of adjacent panel portions flanking the respective line of weakness, an access point is formed through which the gift card located in the concealment area is revealed.

Additional advantages and novel features of the present invention will in part be set forth in the description that follows or become apparent to those who consider the attached figures or practice the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the specification and are to be read in conjunction therewith and in which like reference numerals are employed to indicate like parts in the various views:

FIGS. 1A-1E show various views of one embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 1A presenting a perspective view of the gift container, FIG. 1B presenting a front elevational view of the gift container, FIG. 1C presenting a reverse perspective view of the gift container with a closure panel in the open position, FIG. 1D presenting a view similar to FIG. 1A with a separation strip pulled away from the remainder of the gift container, and FIG. 1E presenting a side view of the gift container with the separation strip pulled away from the remainder of the gift container;

FIGS. 2A-2D show various views of another embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 2A presenting a perspective view the gift container, FIG. 2B presenting a reverse perspective view of the gift container with a closure panel in the open position, FIG. 2C presenting a side view of the gift container with a separation strip pulled away from the remainder of the gift container, and FIG. 2D presenting a perspective view of the gift container with the separation strip pulled away from the remainder of the gift container;

FIGS. 3A-3C show various views of another embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 3A presenting a perspective view of the gift container, FIG. 3B presenting a view similar to FIG. 3A with a panel partially separated from the remainder of the gift container, and FIG. 3C presenting a perspective view of the gift container with a closure panel in the open position;

FIGS. 4A-4C show various views of another embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 4A presenting a perspective view of the gift container, FIG. 4B presenting a view similar to FIG. 4A with a lid pivoted upwardly from the remainder of the gift container upon creating separation at a line of weakness, and FIG. 4C presenting a view similar to FIG. 4A with a lid pivoted upwardly from the remainder of the gift container prior to sealing the lid with a base of the gift container;

FIGS. 5A and 5B show various views of another embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 5A presenting a perspective view of the gift container and FIG. 5B presenting a view similar to FIG. 5A with a separation strip pulled away from the remainder of the gift container;

FIGS. 6A and 6B show various views of another gift package assembly of the present invention, with FIG. 6A presenting a perspective view of an outermost gift container of the assembly and FIG. 6B presenting a view similar to FIG. 6A with a separation strip pulled away from the remainder of the outermost gift container to expose another gift container housed within the outermost gift container;

FIGS. 7A and 7B show various views of yet another gift package assembly of the present invention, with FIG. 7A presenting an exploded perspective view of a gift container in the open position with a panel element adapted to fit within the container and FIG. 7B presenting the gift container of 7A in the closed position supporting the panel element in an upright arrangement;

FIGS. 8A and 8B show various views of another embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 8A presenting a perspective view of the gift container and FIG. 8B presenting a view similar to FIG. 8A with a separation item pulled away from the remainder of the gift container;

FIGS. 9A and 9B show various views of another embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 9A presenting a perspective view of the gift container and FIG. 9B presenting a view similar to FIG. 9A with a separation item pulled away from the remainder of the gift container;

FIGS. 10A and 10B show various views of another embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 9A presenting a perspective view of the gift container and FIG. 9B presenting a view similar to FIG. 9A with a separation item pulled away from the remainder of the gift container; and

FIGS. 10A and 10B show various views of another embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 10A presenting a perspective view of the gift container and FIG. 10B presenting a view similar to FIG. 10A with a separation item pulled away from the remainder of the gift container;

FIGS. 11A and 11B show various views of another embodiment of a gift container of the present invention, with FIG. 11A presenting a perspective view of the gift container and FIG. 11B presenting an exploded view of the gift container with a separation item and a pull cord pattern removed from the remainder of the gift container;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged view taken generally in the area identified by numeral 12 in FIG. 11A, showing a line of weakness and corresponding pull cord;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a gift card holding package in a partially expanded position;

FIG. 14 is a front view of the gift card holding package of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 14, with a separation item partially pulled away from the remainder of the gift card holding package;

FIG. 16 is a back view of the gift card holding package of FIG. 13 in a fully expanded position; and

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the gift card holding package of FIG. 13 in a closed position with a separation item completely separated from the remainder of the gift card holding package to reveal the gift card.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The gift packaging of the present invention employs certain opening features to provide increased interaction of the recipient with the packaging. In certain embodiments, the gift packaging allows the user to place items within the packaging through a first opening that may be closed or otherwise sealed off. A line of weakness serves as a feature that enables the recipient to create a second opening or access point in the packaging through which the contents of the packaging are revealed.

A line of weakness, as the term is used herein, refers to a location on a gift container panel or other packaging structure where the integrity of the material is less than the integrity of the material forming the packaging structure portions immediately flanking or adjacent to the line of weakness. Thus, application of a force in the area of the line of weakness causes structural failure along the line of weakness and the formation of an opening through the packaging structure in a preselected pattern. As one example, a preperforated line or other series of slits through a panel of a gift container may serve as a line of weakness. Such a preperforated line, in one example, is formed by stitching or sewing a pull cord in the desired pattern of the line of weakness. Alternatively, a line of weakness may connote a portion of a container panel or other packing structure where the material thickness is less than respective material thickness of panel portions immediately flanking or adjacent to the line of weakness. A line of weakness may also be formed by placing reinforcing material on a selected portion of the packaging structure, so that the portion of the packaging without the reinforcing material would be more likely to structurally fail upon a sufficient force being applied to the container panel. Accordingly, certain areas of the packaging without the reinforcing material could serve as the lines of weakness.

Depending on the particular pattern and arrangement of the lines of weakness, a separation “strip” or “item” may be formed in a section of packaging structure by one or more lines of weakness, as can be appreciated with reference below to various embodiments of the gift packaging and containers of the present invention. The one or more lines of weakness facilitate the removal of the separation strip from the remainder of the packaging structure, enabling access to the interior through a newly formed opening in the respective gift container. The term “separation strip” is not meant to limit the actual configuration of the piece of material being separated to a particular length or width, but merely of a configuration that is practical for creating an opening or access point in gift packaging for exposure and removal of a gift item that has been placed within or concealed by the packaging structure. As used herein, “separation strip” or “separation item” may include one or more individual pieces of material that are joined together. It should also be understood that the generic construction of gift bags and boxes as gift containers is known to those of skill in the art. Accordingly, the discussions herein regarding the formation of gift containers in general from paper card stock, plastic sheeting, and the like, will be abbreviated. One practical example of gift container formation involves the process of cutting a particular die pattern into a flat sheet and forming fold lines to generate individual panel sections. The panel sections are then folded together to create an enclosure, with some of the panel sections secured together (e.g., by adhering overlapping sections with one another) to maintain the structural integrity of the enclosure.

With initial reference to FIGS. 1A-1E, an embodiment of a gift container 100 is depicted. The gift container 100 takes the form of an enclosure 102 having a line of weakness 104, which defines a separation strip 106 portion of the enclosure 102. Upon the user pulling the separation strip 106 away from the remainder of the enclosure 102, a new opening 108 is produced in the enclosure 102 (as seen in FIG. 1D) separate from a preformed opening 110 (seen in FIG. 1C) of the enclosure 102. Accordingly, the gift container 100 is particularly well suited for use as a gift holding structure where the gift giver can place one or more items through the preformed opening 110 in the enclosure 102, utilize a closure panel 112 to cover the preformed opening 110, and the gift recipient interacts with the separation strip 106 to reveal the new or second opening 108 through which the items can be retrieved.

Turning in particular to FIGS. 1A-1C, the enclosure 102 of the gift container 100 takes a box-like form, and includes a base 114, a panel structure 116 in the form of a front panel 118, a rear panel 120, and a set of sidewall panels 122 extending from the perimeter of the base 114, as well as the closure panel 112. The closure panel 112 extends from an upper region 124 of the front panel 118, and includes a primary covering panel 126 and a set of secondary interfacing flaps 128. As can be understood, the closure panel 112 may alternatively extend from the rear panel 120 or one of the sidewall panels 122. A first set of fold lines 130 form the common edges joining the panel structure 116 with the perimeter of the base 114, while a second fold line 132 forms the common edge joining the primary covering subpanel 126 of the closure panel 112 with the front panel upper region 124. Additionally, common edges shared between front panel 118 and the sidewalls panels 122, as well as between the rear panel 120 and the sidewall panels 122, are each formed by fold lines 133 except for one of the common edges. In the case of the exception, the common edge is formed by adhering or otherwise attaching adjacent free edges of the respective portions of the panel structure 116 together, thereby completing the structure of the enclosure 102. A third set of fold lines 134 also forms the common edges joining the primary covering subpanel 126 with the set of secondary interfacing flaps 128. The base 114 is formed by a set of overlapping support panels 136 adhered or otherwise folded together to support the weight of gift items and the like placed within the gift container 100.

The line of weakness 104 extends across the front panel 118 of the enclosure 102 in a preselected pattern that dictates the shape of the separation strip portion 106. The particular pattern for the line of weakness 104 shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1D and 1E is a curvilinear shaped spiral, though other patterns may be selected as a matter of design choice. In this configuration, the separation strip 106 is the portion of the front panel 118 located between adjacent sections of the line of weakness 104. The separation strip 106 has a first, terminal end region 138 near the innermost portion of the spiral in the line of weakness 104, as well as a second end region 140 where the separation strip 106 opens up to merge with the remainder of the front panel 118. It should be understood that that apertures or other openings through the front panel 118, or other points of material weakness, may be implemented along with the lines of weakness 104 to create the terminal end region 138 of the strip 106. Additionally, a pull element 142 may be coupled to the strip terminal end region 138 to assist the user in starting the separation of the strip 106 from the remainder of the front panel 118 along the line of weakness 104.

In use, the gift giver or other user places one or more gift items within the enclosure 102 through the preformed opening 110 and pivots the closure panel 112 to the closed position covering the opening 110. One or more of the secondary interfacing flaps 128 of the closure panel 112 may be secured with the rear panel 120 and/or the sidewall panels 122 when the closure panel 112 is in the closed position. For instance, in the embodiment of the gift container 100 shown in FIG. 1C, an adhesive strip 144 is placed on an outside exposed surface 146 of the rear panel 120 to enable one of the secondary interfacing flaps 128 to overlap and adhere to the rear panel 120 to ensure that the closure panel 112 securely covers the preformed opening 110.

Thereafter, the gift receiver can pull on the pull element 142 or otherwise on the terminal end region 138 of the separation strip 106 in an outward direction with respect to remainder of the enclosure 102. This causes the separation strip 106 to break away from the front panel 118 along the line of weakness 104, as seen FIGS. 1D and 1E, exposing an interior region 148 of the enclosure 102. The user may continue pulling until the material on one lateral side of the line of weakness 104 is substantially or completely separated from the material on the other lateral side of the line of weakness 104. Thus, the degree to which the separation strip 106 is pulled away from the front panel 118 dictates the size of the second opening 108 formed in the front panel 118, as the second opening 108 is formed where the separation strip 106 was previously attached to the remainder of the enclosure 102. Subsequent to pulling of the separation strip 106, the user can retrieve the items held with in the interior region 138 of the enclosure 102 through the second opening 108.

With reference to FIGS. 2A-2D, another embodiment of a gift container 200 is illustrated. The gift container 200, similar to the gift container 100 shown in FIGS. 1A-1E, serves as an enclosure 202 employing a line of weakness 204 to define a separation strip 206 portion of the enclosure 202. In particular, the enclosure 202 includes a base 208, a set of sidewall panels 210 extending from a first set of fold lines 212 at the perimeter of the base 208, and a top closure panel 214 extending from a second fold line 216 formed at a common edge between the top closure panel 214 and one of the sidewall panels 210. Common edges shared between the sidewall panels 210 are each formed by fold lines 218, except in the case of one of the common edges. The particular common edge of the exception is formed by adhering or otherwise attaching adjacent free edges of a pair of the sidewall panels 210, thereby completing the structure of the enclosure 202. The base 208 of the enclosure 202 may be formed with the same construction as the base 114 in the gift container 100 of FIG. 1. Likewise, the top closure panel 214 includes a primary covering subpanel 220 and a set of secondary interfacing flaps 222 for overlapping with some of the sidewall panels 210. This configuration enables one of the secondary interfacing flaps 222 to overlap and adhere to an adhesive strip 224 disposed on an outside exposed surface 226 of the respective sidewall panel 210, in order to securely cover a preformed opening 228 in the enclosure 202.

The line of weakness 204 shares many similarities with the line of weakness 104 of the gift container 100 shown in FIGS. 1A-1E, except that the line 204 extends across multiple panels of the enclosure 202, including one or more of the sidewall panels 210 and the top closure panel 214. Accordingly, the separation strip 206 also extends across one or more of the sidewall panels 210 and the top closure panel 214, and is defined between adjacent sections of the line of weakness 204. The separation strip 206 has a first, terminal end region 230 with a pull element 232 coupled thereto, as well as an opposed second end region 234. The separation strip 206 may be formed from more than a single piece of material, due to the fact that the strip 206 extends across more than one panel of the enclosure 202. In such a case, each piece of material that forms the separation strip 206 (e.g., a portion of the top closure panel 214) is adhered to or otherwise connected with another section of material of the strip 206 (e.g., a portion of a sidewall panel 210).

A reinforcing member 236, such as plastic or vinyl sheeting, may be adhered to an inwardly facing surface of the top closure panel 214 directly beneath the separation strip 206 portion of the flap 214. The reinforcing member 230 provides structural integrity to the portion of the separation strip 206 that is located on the top closure panel 214. This integrity is beneficial because the pulling force necessary to continue the pulling away of the separation strip 206 from the one or more of the sidewall panels 210 once the line of weakness 204 breaks off of the top closure panel 214 can be quite high. Without the reinforcing member 236, there is a risk that the forces applied by pulling on the pull element 232 might cause portions of the separation strip 206 proximal to the first end region 230 to structurally fail. It should be readily understood that the reinforcing member can be readily applied to any of the other embodiments disclosed herein. Additionally, the reinforcing strip can be reconfigured for the other embodiments by closely following the separation strip or line of weakness therein. A corresponding reinforcing member may also be placed on an opposite side of the line of weakness such that the two reinforcing members cooperate to bound the line of weakness to direct any tearing or separating to follow the line of weakness.

By pulling the separation strip 206 a sufficient distance, such as to the position shown in FIGS. 2C and 2D, a second opening 238 in the enclosure 202 of a significant size can be formed. The size of the second opening 238 is dictated by the degree of separation of the separation strip 206 from the remainder of the enclosure 202. Through the second opening 238, the user (i.e., a gift recipient) can access an interior region 240 of the enclosure 202 for retrieval of items held within the gift container 200.

FIGS. 3A-3C illustrate a gift container 300 employing lines of weakness 302 formed along common edges shared among a set of upright panels 304. Each panel 304 has a lower region 306 and an upper region 308. A base 310 of the gift container 300 serves as a closure panel, and extends from a first fold line 312 formed along a common edge between a primary covering panel 314 of the base 310 and one of the upright panels 304, as seen in FIG. 3C. Upon pivoting the base 310 from the open position shown in FIG. 3C to a closed position where the primary covering panel 314 covers a first preformed opening 316 defined by the lower regions 306 of the set of panels 304, a sealing flap 318 overlaps with and adheres to the covering panel 314. The sealing flap 318 extends from a second fold line 320 formed at a common edge between the flap 318 and one of the upright panels 304 other than the panel 304 from which the base 310 extends. An adhesive strip 322 disposed on the sealing flap 318 attaches with an outwardly facing surface of the primary covering panel 314 when the base 310 is in the closed position, while a set of secondary interfacing panels 326 of the base 310 overlap with the upright panels 304 and extend into an interior region 328 of the gift container 300. It should be understood that some of the common edges shared by the upright panels 304 may take the form of fold lines without functioning as lines of weakness 302. Additionally, at least one common edge between a pair of the upright panels 304 is formed by adhering or otherwise attaching together adjacent panels 304 to form the upright panel arrangement. In this construction, the upper regions 308 of the upright panels 304 converge with one another to form a small secondary opening 330 at the top of the gift container 300. Certain ornamental items 332 may be attached to the upper panel regions 308 over the secondary opening 330 to inhibit viewing of items held within the container 300 prior to opening of the container 300 along one or more of the lines of weakness 302.

Once the user has placed items within the interior region 328 of the gift container 300 and sealed the base 310 over the first preformed opening 316, the gift recipient may then grasp one of the upright panels 304 at the upper region 308 thereof and pull outwardly to create separation along the lines of weakness 302 bordering the respective panel 304, as shown in FIG. 3B. Continued pulling of the upright panel 304 exposes the items held within the gift container 300 and separation of the particular panel 304 from the remaining panels 304. Additional upright panels 304 may also be separated from the remaining panels along the respective bordering line or lines of weakness 302 to more fully expose the interior region 328 of the gift container 300.

With reference to FIGS. 4A-4C, a gift container 400 is depicted that takes the form of an enclosure 402 utilizing one or more lines of weakness 404 adapted to present a design pattern associated with certain design elements 406 formed on the enclosure 402. In particular, the act of creating separation along one or more of the lines of weakness 404 generates the design pattern presented by the lines of weakness 404. This separation associated with the lines of weakness 404 can occur either by removing a separation strip 408 defined by the lines of weakness 404 from the remainder of the enclosure 402, or by otherwise applying a force to cause the portion of the enclosure 402 adjacent to one line of weakness 404 opposite of the separation strip 408 to break away from the strip 408 itself.

The enclosure 402 takes a box-like form, and includes a base compartment 410 defining an interior region 412 for the enclosure 402, as well as a lid 414 for enclosing the base compartment 410. The base compartment 410 is formed by a bottom panel 416 and a set of sidewall panels 418 extending from a first set of fold lines 420 at the perimeter of the bottom panel 416 in an upward direction. Common edges 422 shared between the sidewall panels 418 may be secured together with adhesive or by other known attachment methods. The lid 414 extends from a second fold line 424 formed at a common edge between the one of the sidewall panels 418 and the lid 414, enabling the lid 414 to pivot at the fold line 424 with respect to the base compartment 410. The construction of the lid 414 is generally a reverse of the base compartment, being formed by a top panel 426 and a set of sidewall panels 428 extending from a third set of fold lines 430 at the perimeter of the top panel 426 in a downward direction. The lid 414 pivots from an open position shown in FIG. 4C where access to the interior region 412 of the enclosure 402 is enabled, to a closed position shown in FIG. 4A where the top panel 426 of the lid directly covers the enclosure interior region 412 and the lid sidewall panels 428 overlap with the base compartment sidewall panels 418. This overlapping enables an adhesive strip 432 disposed on an outwardly facing surface of one or more of the base compartment sidewall panels 418 to attach with a mating inwardly facing surface of one or more of the lid sidewall panels 428. Thus, the adhesive strip 432 serves to maintain the lid 414 in the closed position, thereby concealing gift items that have been placed into the base compartment 410.

The separation strip 408 is formed by lines of weakness 404 that extend across the sidewall panels 428 of the lid 414 and join with one another to establish opposed terminal ends 434 of the strip 408. Additionally, because the configuration of sidewall panels 428 causes the separation strip 408 to be formed from distinct pieces of material, each section of the separation strip 408 is adhered to or otherwise connected with another section of material. For instance, first separation strip section 408 a and second separation strip section 408 b are coupled together so that as the user pulls the terminal end 438 of the first strip section 408 a away from the lid sidewall panel 428, continued pulling around the perimeter of the lid 414 removes the second strip section 408 b, and any further sections of the separation strip 408, from the remaining panels 428 of the lid 414.

Upon creating separation along one or more of the lines of weakness 404 (i.e., by removing the separation strip 408 or by otherwise applying a force to cause separation along one of the lines of weakness 404 between the strip 408 and the remaining portion of lid sidewall panels 428, as seen in FIG. 4B), a secondary opening 440 is formed between the base compartment 410 and the remaining portion of the lid 414 above the line of weakness 404. The secondary opening 440 thus provides access to interior region 412 of the enclosure 402 for retrieval of items held within the gift container 400. In the exemplary embodiment shown, the design elements 406 of the enclosure 402 include facial features for an animal, while the pattern traced by the lines of weakness 404 represents a set of teeth 442 for the animal. It should be understood that although individual portions of each of the lines of weakness 404 may trace linear, straight lines, at least one of the lines of weakness 404 may present a pattern that is not defined solely by a straight line of no slope or constant slope. Additionally, in addition to the design elements 406 that represent facial features, it is within the scope of the present invention that design elements may also include design components or indicia on the surface of a gift container that correspond with the lines of weakness such that the lines of weakness follow elements of the design. For example, a gift container may have a dotted line as part of the design on the container, wherein the dotted line is wavy and represents a flight path of a bumble bee. A bumble bee cut-out may be used as a pull element such that as the recipient pulls the bumble bee away from the container, the container opens along the line of weakness which corresponds with the flight path of the bumble bee represented in the design or illustration on the side of the container.

Illustrated in FIGS. 5A and 5B is a gift container 500 formed by an enclosure 502 and a circumferentially extending separation strip 504 defined between spaced apart lines of weakness 506. The enclosure 502 includes a top panel 508, a bottom panel 510, and a set of sidewall panels 512 extending between the top panel 508 and the bottom panel 510 to define an interior region 511 for the enclosure 502. The separation strip 504 is preferably formed on multiple sidewall panels 512 so that removal of the strip 504 enables the enclosure 502 to be opened by pivoting an upper region 514 of the enclosure 502 away from a lower region 516 of the enclosure 502, as seen in FIG. 5B. Alternatively, the separation strip 504 may be formed on all of the sidewall panels 512, enabling the enclosure 502 to be completely split apart by complete removal of the strip 504.

In one particular arrangement, a first sheet of material is partially folded along diverging first and second fold lines 518 and 520 to form the top panel 508 therebetween, and is further partially folded along a third fold line 522 to form one of the sidewall panels 512 between the second and third fold lines 520 and 522. The remaining portion of the first sheet adjacent to the first fold line 518 serves as a sealing flap 524, with the remaining portion adjacent to the third fold line 522 serving as the bottom panel 510. A second sheet of material is partially folded to create the remaining sidewall panels 512 of the enclosure 502. Each of the sidewall panels 512 formed from the second sheet of material has certain edges that are adhesively bonded or otherwise attached to portions of the top panel 508, the bottom panel 510, and one of the other sidewall panels 512.

For instance, lowermost edges of the sidewall panels 512 formed from the second sheet of material are attached with the bottom panel 510 proximal to a pair of diverging perimeter edges 528 and 530 of the bottom panel 510, while uppermost edges of the such sidewall panels 512 are attached with the top panel 508 at both the sealing flap 524 (e.g., with adhesive) and proximal to a first perimeter edge 532 of the top panel 508. Further, first and second common vertical edges 534 and 536 formed at the intersection of adjacent sidewall panels 512 are secured by attaching the respective panels 512 together proximal to such edges 534 and 536. A first reinforcing flap 540 extends from one of the sidewall panels 512 that does not have the separation strip 504 to provide structural support to the enclosure 502 proximal to a first terminal end 538 of the separation strip 504. In this configuration, the first reinforcing flap 540 is located inwardly of the separation strip terminal end 538. A second reinforcing flap 542 extends upwardly from the perimeter edge 530 of the bottom panel 510 along a fold line to provide structural support to the enclosure 502 in the region where the bottom panel 510 intersects with the sidewall panel 512 that does not have the separation strip 504.

The lines of weakness 506 trace a nonlinear path, such as the zigzag configuration shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. Separation along one or both of the lines of weakness 506 may be accomplished in the same manner as the gift container 400 of FIGS. 4A-4D, such as by pulling the separation strip 504 away from the respective sidewall panels 512 or by otherwise applying a force to cause separation along one of the lines of weakness 506 between the strip 504 and the remainder of the respective sidewall panel 512. Prior to attaching the sealing flap 524 with the respective sidewall panel 512, the user can insert items into the enclosure through a top opening (not shown) formed between the sidewall panels 512 (i.e., the location spanned by the top flap 508 as seen in FIG. 5A). The top flap 508, functioning as a closure structure, is then folded downwardly to seal off the interior region 511 of the enclosure 502, and the sealing flap 524 is attached with the respective sidewall panel 512. The gift recipient may then create the desired amount of separation along the lines of weakness 506 to generate an access opening 544 for retrieval of items held within the enclosure 502, such as by pulling on the separation strip 504 to the position shown in FIG. 5B.

With reference to FIGS. 6A and 6B, a gift package assembly 600 is illustrated that employs multiple, individual gift containers 602 housed within one another. For instance, in the exemplary embodiment shown, a first gift container 602 a houses a second gift container 602 b. It should be understood that additional gift containers 600 may be housed within the second gift container 602 b, and within one another, in the same fashion as the first and second gift containers 602 a and 602 b. Each of the gift containers 602 a and 602 b has the same general panel configuration as the gift container 100 shown in FIGS. 1A-1E, including a base 604, a top panel 606 functioning as a closure structure, and a set of sidewall panels 608 extending between the base 604 and the top panel 606 to define an interior region 610 for the respective gift container 600. However, instead of the particular line of weakness and separation strip configuration of the gift container 100, the gift containers 602 a and 602 b of the gift package assembly 600 each include a circumferentially extending separation strip 612 defined between spaced apart lines of weakness 614, in the same fashion as the gift container 500 shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. Accordingly, the separation strip 612 is preferably formed on multiple, or all, of the sidewall panels 608, such that removal of the strip 612 enables the respective gift container 600 to be opened by pivoting an upper region 616 of the gift container 600 away from a lower region 618 thereof, as seen for the first gift container 602 a in FIG. 6B, or alternatively by completely separating the upper and lower regions 616 and 618. As with the gift container 500 of FIGS. 5A and 5B, the gift containers 600 have a reinforcing flap 620 extending from one of the sidewall panels 608 that does not have the separation strip 612. The reinforcing flap 620, located inwardly of a terminal end 622 of the separation strip 612, provides structural support to the container 600 in the region around the separation strip terminal end 622.

In use, one or more items are first placed within the smallest of the gift containers (e.g., second gift container 602 b) through a top opening (not shown) in the respective container 602 b. Thereafter, the top panel 606 of the container 602 b is secured with one or more of the sidewall panels 608 in the same manner as the closure panel 112 of the gift container 100 of FIGS. 1A-1E (i.e., by adhesively bonding or otherwise attaching). The second gift container 602 b is then placed within the interior region 610 of the next larger gift container (e.g., first gift container 602 a) through a top opening 624 in the respective container 602 a. The top panel 606 of the container 602 b is then secured in the manner described for the second gift container 602 b. The gift containers 602 a and 602 b may then be opened in sequence via creating separation along one or both of the lines of weakness 614 for the respective container 600 (e.g., by pulling the separation strip 612 away from the respective sidewall panels 608). The lines of weakness 614 may trace a linear pattern, as shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B, a nonlinear pattern, such as the zigzag configuration shown in the gift container 500 of FIGS. 5A and 5B, a curvilinear pattern, or any other desired pattern.

Another version of a gift container 700 is illustrated FIGS. 7A and 7B. Similar to the gift container 500 shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, the gift container 700 is formed by an enclosure 702 and a circumferentially extending separation strip 704 defined between spaced apart lines of weakness 706. The enclosure 702 also has the same general panel configuration as the gift containers 602 shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B, except for the top panel 606. Instead, the enclosure 700 includes a base 708, a set of sidewall panels 710 extending upwardly from the perimeter of the base 708, and a set of closure panels 712 extending from an upper edge 714 of each of the sidewall panels 710. The closure panels 712 are configured to both mate with one another to close off an interior region 716 of the enclosure 702, as well as support in an upright arrangement a separate structural member 718 within the enclosure 702. Additionally, the separation strip 704 is formed across some or all of the sidewall panels 710 in the same manner as with the gift container 600 shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B.

The enclosure 702 may be assembled from a single piece of material. Accordingly, the base 708 is formed by a set of overlapping support panels 722 adhered or otherwise folded together, with each sidewall panel 710 extending upwardly from a fold line 724 forming a common edge with one of the respective support panels 722. The upper edge 714 of each of the sidewall panels 710 is also in the form of a fold line from which each of the closure panels 712 extends. To create the enclosure 702, the common edges between adjacent sidewall panels 710 each take the form of fold lines 724, with one exception. In the case of the exception, the particular common edge is formed by adhering or otherwise attaching adjacent free edges of the respective sidewall panels 710 together, thereby completing the structure of the enclosure 702 seen in FIG. 7A. The enclosure 702 also includes a reinforcing flap 726 extending from one of the sidewall panels 710 adjacent to where free edges of respective sidewall panels 710 are attached together. The reinforcing flap 726, located inwardly of a terminal end 728 of the separation strip 704, provides structural support to the enclosure 702 in the region around the separation strip terminal end 728.

The closure panels 712 control access to the interior region 716 of the enclosure 702 via releasable coupling with one another. Each closure panel 712 has a slit 730 sized to receive a perimeter protrusion 732 of an adjacent panel 712. The frictional engagement between the slit 730 and the corresponding protrusion 732 holds the closure panels 712 together in the closed position shown in FIG. 7B. A pair of opposed sidewall panels 712 a and 712 b also each have a slot 734 extending inwardly along the respective panel 712 a or 712 b from the perimeter thereof. When the closure panels 712 are moved towards the closed position to conceal items placed within the interior region 716 of the enclosure 702, the protrusions 732 engage with the corresponding slits 730. Concomitant with the coupling of the closure panels 712 together, the user aligns the structural member 718 with the slots 734 of the panels 712 a and 712 b. As the slots 734 move towards one another, the structural member 718 is held in place and supported in an upright manner by the slots 734, as can be seen in FIG. 7B.

Opening of the gift container 700 by the recipient is accomplished by either decoupling of the closure panels 712 from one another and spreading the panels 712 apart to reveal the contents of the enclosure 702, or by creating material separation along one or both of the lines of weakness 706. For instance, separation along the lines of weakness 706 is accomplished by pulling the separation strip 704 away from the respective sidewall panels 710, in the same manner depicted for the gift container 500 shown in FIG. 5B. In the exemplary embodiment depicted in FIGS. 7A and 7B, the enclosure 702 takes the form of a cupcake and the structural member 718 is in the form of a candle for the cupcake. As can be appreciated, design themes other than birthday type themes may be employed as well.

Turning to FIGS. 8A and 8B, a gift container 800 is illustrated that takes the form of an enclosure 802 employing a separation item 804. The enclosure 802 has the same general panel configuration as the gift container 100 shown in FIGS. 1A-1E, including a base 806, a top panel 808 functioning as a closure structure, and a set of sidewall panels 810 extending between the base 806 and the top panel 808 to define an interior region 812 for the enclosure 802. On the other hand, the separation item 804 substitutes for the spiral-like separation strip 106 of the gift container 100 of FIGS. 1A-1E. A line of weakness 814 extends across one or more of the sidewall panels 810 in a preselected pattern that dictates the shape of the separation item 804. Thus, the separation strip 804 is the portion of one or more of the sidewall panels located between adjacent sections of the line of weakness 814. In the exemplary embodiment of the gift container 800 shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B, the line of weakness 814 is located on one of the sidewall panels 810 and traces a complete loop to fully enclose the separation item. 804. As with the other embodiments, artwork (not shown) placed on the container 800 may be of a coordinating nature with the design of the line of weakness 814 and/or with the separation item 804.

In use, items are inserted through a top opening 816 in the enclosure 802 defined between the upper edges 818 of the sidewall panels 810. Thereafter, the top panel 808 is pivoted downwardly to the position illustrated in FIG. 8A to cover the top opening 816 and secured with one or more of the sidewall panels 810 in the same manner as the closure panel 112 of the gift container 100 of FIGS. 1A-1E (i.e., by adhesively bonding or otherwise attaching). The gift recipient may then create separation along the line of weakness 814 by pulling the separation item 804 away from the remainder of the enclosure 802, as shown in FIG. 8B. A second opening 820 in the enclosure 802 is created where the separation item 804 pulls away from the enclosure 802. Accordingly, the second opening 820 takes the shape outlined by the line of weakness 814 upon the separation item 804 being fully broken away from the enclosure 802. Items held within the interior region 812 of the enclosure 802 may then be accessed through the second opening 820.

Illustrated in FIGS. 9A and 9B is a gift container 900 formed as a bag-type enclosure 902 employing a separation item 904 to create a secondary opening 905 for the enclosure 902. The enclosure 902 is formed by a base 906 and a set of sidewall panels 908 to define an interior region 910 for the enclosure 902, in a similar configuration to the gift container 800 shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B. However, the gift container 900 differs from the gift container 800 of FIGS. 8A and 8B, in that the bag-type enclosure 902 relies on a distinct set of fold lines 912 formed on opposed sidewall panels 908 a and 908 b to bring upper regions 914 of each of the sidewall panels 908 together, as shown in FIG. 9B. By moving the sidewall panels 908 from an open position shown in FIG. 9A, where the sidewall panel upper regions 914 define a top opening 916 having a bounding perimeter 918, to the closed position shown in FIG. 9B enables the user to conceal items placed in the interior region 910 through the top opening 916. An adhesive strip 920 is disposed on an inwardly facing surface of one of the sidewall panels 908 in order to secure the enclosure 902 in the closed position by attachment with an opposed sidewall panel 908. It should be understood that other attachment structures besides adhesives may be employed. Preferably, if opposed pairs of the sidewall panels 908 do not have the same width, the adhesive strip 920 is disposed on one of the sidewall panels 908 of a given pair having a larger width than the other sidewall panel 908 pair. For instance, in the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B, the adhesive strip 920 is disposed on one of sidewall panels 908 other than the sidewall panels 908 a and 908 b having the fold lines 912, because the panels 908 a and 908 b have a width that is insufficient for the panels 908 to be brought together when the enclosure is moved to the closed position depicted in FIG. 9B. A pair of handles 922 in the form of looped cords are also secured to opposed sidewall panels 908.

As with the gift container 800 of FIGS. 8A and 8B, a line of weakness 924 extends across one or more of the sidewall panels 908 in a preselected pattern that dictates the shape of the separation item 904. Likewise, the separation item 904 is the portion of one or more of the sidewall panels located between adjacent sections of the line of weakness 924. Upon receiving the gift container 900 in the closed position depicted in FIG. 9B, the user may then create separation along the line of weakness 924 by pulling the separation item 904 away from the remainder of the enclosure 902, thus forming the secondary opening 905. The second opening 905 thus takes the shape outlined by the line of weakness 924 upon the separation item 904 being fully broken away from the enclosure 902, enabling access through the second opening 905 to items held within the enclosure 902.

With reference to FIGS. 10A and 10B, another embodiment of a gift container 1000 is illustrated. The gift container 1000 has a similar construction as the gift container 900 shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B, generally taking the form of a bag-type enclosure 1002. However, the gift container 1000 employs a unique separation item in the form of a pull cord 1004 for initiating structural failure along a line of weakness 1006 to create a secondary slotted opening 1008 for the enclosure 1002, as explained more fully below.

The enclosure 1002 is formed by a base 1010 and a set of sidewall panels 1012 to define an interior region 1014 for the enclosure 1002. Opposed sidewall panels 1012 a and 1012 b each include a set of fold lines 1016 to facilitate bringing upper regions 1018 of the sidewall panels 1012 together, as shown in FIG. 10B. Additionally, the sidewall panel upper regions 1018 define a top opening 1020 for the enclosure 1002 having a bounding perimeter 1022, as shown in FIG. 10A. Upon the user placing items in the interior region 1014 of the enclosure 1002 through the top opening 1020, the sidewall panels 1012 may be moved from the opening position shown in FIG. 10A to the closed position shown in FIG. 10B. As can be seen in FIG. 10A, an adhesive strip 1024 may be disposed on an inwardly facing surface of at least one of the sidewall panels 1012 a and 1012 b having fold lines 1016, as well as one or more of the adjacent panels 1012 c and 1012 d, to seal off the top opening 1020 and conceal any items placed within the enclosure 1002, as shown in FIG. 10B. In the particular exemplary embodiment illustrated, the sidewall panels 1012 a and 1012 c have adhesive strips 1024, so that the sidewall panel 1012 a bonds with the panel 1012 c with one strip 1024 and the sidewall panel 1012 c bonds with the opposed panel 1012 d with another strip 1024. Secured to opposed sidewall panels 1012 of the enclosure 1002 are a pair of handles 1026 in the form of looped cords or the like.

As with the gift container 900 of FIGS. 9A and 9B, the line of weakness 1006 extends across one or more of the sidewall panels 1012 in a preselected pattern. However, the particular pattern of the line of weakness 1006 is formed by the stitch pattern of the pull cord 1004 when the cord 1004 is sewn or otherwise threaded into the particular one or more sidewall panels 1012. A length of pull cord 1004 is selected that is preferably longer than the length of the line of weakness 1006, so that a portion of the cord 1004 hangs freely from the sidewall panel 1012 of the enclosure 1002. A pull element 1028 is attached to the free portion of the cord 1004 to facilitate the pulling action necessary to cause structural failure along the line of weakness 1006 and movement of the cord 1004 away from the enclosure 1002 to form the secondary slotted opening 1008 depicted in FIG. 10B. The user may then access items placed within the enclosure 1002 through the opening 1008.

The gift container 1000 can also have design elements 1030 formed thereon, in the same way as the gift container 400 of FIGS. 4A-4C. Additionally, the particular pattern of the line of weakness 1006 can be selected to coordinate with the design elements 1026. For instance, with the exemplary design elements 1026 disposed on the gift container 1000, such as the flying insects and flowers, the line of weakness 1006 may depict the flight pattern of one of the insects. Other variations may be envisioned by those of skill in the art, and are within the scope of the present invention.

Turning to FIGS. 11A and 11B, another embodiment of a gift container 1100 is depicted that is a variation of the embodiment of the gift container 1000 of FIGS. 10A and 11B. The gift container 1100 takes the form a bag-type enclosure 1102 employing a pull cord 1104 separation item integrated with the enclosure 1102 along a preselected line of weakness 1106. The enclosure 1102 is formed by a base 1110 and a set of sidewall panels 1112 defining an interior region 1114 thereof, with opposed sidewall panels 1112 a and 1112 b each including a set of fold lines 1116 to facilitate bringing upper regions 1118 of the sidewall panels 1112 together, as shown in FIG. 11B. An adhesive strip 1120 is disposed on one or more of the sidewall panels 1112 at the upper regions 1118 to seal off a top opening 1122 for the enclosure 1102 when the upper panel regions 1118 are moved from the open position shown in FIG. 11A to the closed position shown in FIG. 11B. A pair of handles 1124 are secured to opposed sidewall panels 1112 of the enclosure 1102.

The line of weakness 1106 takes the form of a closed loop to define a separation item 1126 portion of the one or more sidewall panels 1112 where the respective line 1106 is located. A reinforcing member 1128 (e.g., plastic sheeting) is adhered to an inwardly facing surface of the separation item 1126 and takes the same shape as the separation item 1126. Thus, when the user pulls on a pull element 1130 attached to a free end of the pull cord 1104, the reinforcing member 1128 ensures that structural failure is directed along the line of weakness 1106 and not onto the separation item 1126 itself. A secondary opening 1132, enabling access to the interior region 1114 of the enclosure 1102, is exposed where the separation item 1126 moves away from the remainder of the enclosure 1102 (i.e., through pulling on the pull cord 1104 a sufficient distance to cause a degree of failure along the line of weakness 1106).

As seen in FIG. 12, the portion of the sidewall panel 1112 designated as the separation item 1126 is dictated by the stitching pattern for the pull cord 1104. A set of perforation holes 1132 are formed by the stitching action of attaching the pull cord 1104 to the sidewall panel 1112, thus forming the line of weakness 1106. The stitching pattern may form a complete loop, as shown in the embodiment of the gift container 1100 depicted in FIGS. 11A and 11B, or an incomplete loop whereby the separation item 1126 functions more as an access flap and does not completely separate from the remainder of the enclosure 1102 upon pulling of the pull cord 1104 to the fullest extent.

With reference to FIGS. 13-17, an embodiment of a gift card holding package 1300 is illustrated. The gift card holding package 1300 employs a separation strip 1302 defined between adjacent lines of weakness 1304 to enable the gift receiver to expose a gift card 1400 held by the package 1300. A first panel 1306, a second panel 1308, and an optional third panel 1310 makeup the body of the package 1300, with a first fold line 1312 forming a common edge between the first panel 1306 and the second panel 1308 and a second fold line 1314 forming a common edge between the second panel 1308 and the third panel 1310. In the particular example of the package 1300 illustrated in FIGS. 13-17, the first panel 1306 and the third panel 1310 extend from opposed end regions 1316 and 1318, respectively, of the second panel 1308. However, it should be understood that one of the panels can alternatively extend from one of the side regions 1320 and 1322 of the second panel 1308. The first and second fold lines 1312 and 1314 function as folding points, enabling the first and second panels 1306 and 1308, as well as the second and third panels 1308 and 1310, to pivot with respect to one another in moving the package 1300 between an extended position depicted in FIG. 16 for attaching the gift card 1400 thereto and a closed position depicted in FIGS. 14 and 15 for concealing the gift card 1400.

The first panel 1306 has an exposed front surface 1324 and an opposed back surface 1326 that is hidden from view when the package 1300 is in the closed position. Certain design elements 1328 may be formed on the first panel front surface 1324, with the lines of weakness 1304 optionally selected to coordinate a design theme with the design elements 1328. The second panel 1308 likewise has opposed front and back surfaces 1330 and 1332. A first adhesive strip 1334 is disposed on the second panel front surface 1330 generally within the end region 1316, while a second adhesive strip 1336 is disposed on the front surface 1330 generally within the opposite end region 1318. In this arrangement, when the first panel 1306 is folded over the second panel 1308 to establish a concealment area 1338 between the panels (as seen in FIGS. 15 and 17), the first adhesive strip 1334 adheres to a lower panel portion 1340 of the first panel 1306 while the second adhesive strip 1336 adheres to an upper panel portion 1342 of the first panel 1306 on an opposite side of the separation strip 1302. The adhesive strips 1334 and 1336 keep the first and second panels 1306 and 1308 together in the closed position to conceal the gift card 1400. Additionally, the adhesive force provided by the strips 1334 and 1336 provides resistance to the pulling of the separation strip 1302 away from the lower and upper panel portions 1340 and 1342, so that the strip 1302 breaks cleanly along the lines of weakness 1304, as depicted in FIG. 15. The second panel 1308 also has a set of spaced apart slits 1344 designed to accept corner regions of the gift card 1400, to hold the card 1400 in place. The location of the slits 1344 is selected so as to position the gift card 1400 for partial exposure upon the separation strip 1302 being pulled away from the lower and upper panel portions 1340 and 1342 of the first panel 1306. The third panel 1312 folds over to cover the second panel back surface 1332 and conceal the corner regions of the gift card 1400 extending into the slits 1344.

In use, the gift giver places the gift card 1400 into the slits as shown in FIG. 16, and then removes any protective film from the first and second adhesive strips 1334 and 1336. The package 1300 is then folded together along the first and second fold lines 1312 and 1314, as shown in FIG. 13, such that the first and second adhesive strips 1334 and 1336 contact and adhere to the lower panel portion 1340 and upper panel portion 1342, respectively, of the first panel 1306. At this point, the package 1300 is maintained in the closed position by the first and second adhesive strips 1334 and 1336, concealing the gift card 1400 in the concealment area 1338 between the first panel 1306 and the second panel 1308. The gift recipient, upon receiving the sealed package 1300, may choose to fold back the third panel 1310 along the second fold line 1314 away from the position of covering the second panel back surface 1332, exposing the corner regions of the gift card 1400. This is the only “opening” motion of the package 1300 that can be accomplished prior to removing the separation strip 1302. The gift recipient, desiring to access the gift card 1400, then pulls the separation strip 1302 away from the low and upper panel portions 1340 and 1342 of the first panel 1306 to expose the card 1400. Preferably, the user grabs and pulls from one of the opposed terminal end regions 1346 of the separation strip 1302 to induce structural failure along the lines of weakness 1304. The gift card 1400 is then partially exposed, and the user can then fold or pivot the first panel upper panel portion 1342 outwardly away from the second panel 1308, as shown in FIG. 17, for better access to the card 1400. A fold line 1348 is formed in the upper panel portion 1342 at a location proximate to where the second adhesive strip 1336 bonds with the upper panel portion 1342. The fold line 1348 facilitates the pivoting of the upper panel portion 1342 without encountering significant resistance from the bond with the second adhesive strip 1336.

It should be understood that alternative physical coupling mechanisms may be implemented in place of the adhesive strips 1334 and 1336 to secure the first and second panels 1306 and 1308 in covering relation with respect to one another, such as a tab (not shown) extending from one of the panels and a mating slit (not shown) in the other panel for receiving the tab, as one example. Furthermore, adhesives and the like may be utilized instead of the set of slits 1344 to securely position the gift card 1400 with the second panel 1308. This would, however, prevent the gift recipient from viewing the gift card 1400 when the third panel 1310 is folded back and the back surface 1332 of the second panel 1308 is being viewed by the user prior to opening the package 1300 via the separation strip 1302.

As can be appreciated, various embodiments of the gift packaging disclosed herein provide for increased interaction of a recipient with the packaging during the opening process. Since certain changes may be made in the above invention without departing from the scope hereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. It is also to be understood that the following claims are to cover certain generic and specific features described herein.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7882951Nov 25, 2008Feb 8, 2011American Greetings CorporationPreconfigured gift wrap and packaging assembly
US7883004Jul 18, 2007Feb 8, 2011Target Brands, Inc.Transaction product with separable pieces
US8696203 *Oct 14, 2008Apr 15, 2014American Greetings CorpoationGift bags with removable, configurable and wearable parts
WO2011067542A1 *Dec 2, 2010Jun 9, 2011Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (Cnrs)Thin packaging film having an incipient tear
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/243, 206/457, 206/459.5, 229/116.1, 229/200
International ClassificationB65D17/00, B65D5/54, B65D85/00, B65D73/00, B65D25/34
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2203/00, B65D5/54, B65D75/5833
European ClassificationB65D75/58E1, B65D5/54
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 28, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: HALLMARK CARDS, INCORPORATED, MISSOURI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WALLEN, THOMAS ALLEN;COX, NANCY;KLOPFENSTEIN, SUSAN KATHLEEN;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:019079/0260;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070219 TO 20070301