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Publication numberUS20080290144 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/804,845
Publication dateNov 27, 2008
Filing dateMay 21, 2007
Priority dateMay 21, 2007
Publication number11804845, 804845, US 2008/0290144 A1, US 2008/290144 A1, US 20080290144 A1, US 20080290144A1, US 2008290144 A1, US 2008290144A1, US-A1-20080290144, US-A1-2008290144, US2008/0290144A1, US2008/290144A1, US20080290144 A1, US20080290144A1, US2008290144 A1, US2008290144A1
InventorsMarvin A. Makofsky
Original AssigneeMakofsky Marvin A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flat-sized flexible envelope with insert
US 20080290144 A1
Abstract
The flat oversize mail piece includes an envelope of expandable nature, a flexible insert within the pocket of the envelope and an item that may be rigid or non-rigid. The insert is provided with a cutout that is asymmetrical to one side of the insert an envelope to matingly receive the item being shipped.
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Claims(24)
1. In combination,
a flat envelope including a front panel, a back panel, a pair of side flaps disposed in folded relation relative to said front panel and said back panel to define a pocket therewith and a closure flap for closing over said pocket; and
a flexible insert within said pocket of said envelope, said insert being of a height and width to substantially fill said pocket, said insert having a cut-out of predetermined shape for receiving an item to be shipped in said envelope.
2. The combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said insert is secured to at least one of said panels.
3. The combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said insert is made of self-supporting plastic foam.
4. The combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said insert is of L-shape and said cut-out is disposed asymmetrically to one side of said insert.
5. The combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said envelope has a dimension of at least ten inches on one side thereof.
6. In combination
an expandable envelope construction comprising
a pair of panels folded over each other along a horizontal fold line;
at least a first panel of said panels having a horizontally disposed score line spaced from a bottom edge thereof, a horizontally disposed score line spaced from a top edge thereof, a vertically disposed score line spaced from one side edge thereof, a vertically disposed score line spaced from another side edge thereof and a plurality of angularly disposed score lines, each said angularly disposed score line extending from an intersection of a respective horizontally disposed score line and a vertically disposed score line to a respective corner of said first panel;
a pair of side flaps at opposite sides of one of said pair of panels, each said flap being folded over said one panel along a vertical fold line therebetween and being secured to the other of said pair of panels to form a pocket; and
a closure flap extending from said one of said pair of panels along a horizontal fold line therebetween for folding over the other of said pair of panels to close said pocket, said closure flap having a horizontally disposed score line spaced from said fold line between said closure flap and said one of said pair of panels whereby upon insertion of materials into said pocket, said panels are expandable from each other to enlarge the thickness of said pocket while said pocket is maintained in a sealed condition; and
a flexible insert within said pocket of said envelope, said insert extending between said score lines of said first panel, said insert having a cut-out of predetermined shape for matingly receiving an item to be shipped in said envelope, said cut-out being disposed asymmetrically of said insert.
7. The combination as set forth in claim 6 wherein each said flap has a vertical score line spaced from said first panel and wherein the other of said panels is secured to each said side flap between said score lines thereof to seal said pocket at at least each of two corners of said envelope construction.
8. The combination as set forth in claim 6 wherein said insert is secured to at least one of said flaps.
9. The combination as set forth in claim 6 wherein said insert has a thickness of from 1/16 inches to 1¼ inches.
10. In combination,
an envelope including a front panel, a back panel, a pair of side flaps disposed in folded relation relative to said front panel and said back panel to define a pocket therewith and a closure flap closing over said pocket;
a flexible insert within said pocket of said envelope, said insert having a predetermined thickness and being of an overall height and width to substantially fill said pocket, said insert having a cut-out of predetermined shape disposed asymmetrically of said insert; and
an item matingly disposed in said envelope within said cut-out of said insert, said item having a shape corresponding to said predetermined shape of said cut-out and a thickness corresponding to said predetermined thickness of said insert.
11. The combination as set forth in claim 10 wherein said item is flexible.
12. The combination as set forth in claim 11 wherein, with an uppermost half of said envelope supported on a horizontal plane, a lowermost half of said envelope is bendable relative to said horizontal plane about a longitudinal axis located at mid-height thereof to deflect a lowermost edge thereof for a vertical distance of at least one inch from said horizontal plane.
13. The combination as set forth in claim 10 wherein said item is rigid.
14. The combination as set forth in claim 13 wherein, with an uppermost half of said envelope supported on a horizontal plane, a lowermost half of said envelope is bendable relative to said horizontal plane about a longitudinal axis located at mid-height thereof to deflect a lowermost edge thereof for a vertical distance of at least one inch from said horizontal plane.
15. The combination as set forth in claim 14 wherein, with one side of said envelope supported on said horizontal plane and five inches of the opposite side of said envelope projecting in an unsupported manner, said opposite side of said envelope is bendable relative to said horizontal plane to deflect an edge thereof for a vertical distance of at least two inches from said horizontal plane.
16. The combination as set forth in claim 15 wherein, with said opposite side of said envelope supported on said horizontal plane and five inches of said one side of said envelope projecting in an unsupported manner, said one side of said envelope is bendable relative to said horizontal plane to deflect an edge thereof for a vertical distance of at least two inches from said horizontal plane.
17. The combination as set forth in claim 10 wherein said item is a CD holder.
18. The combination as set forth in claim 10 wherein said item is a DVD.
19. The combination as set forth in claim 10 wherein said insert is made of self-supporting plastic foam.
20. The combination as set forth in claim 10 wherein said insert is of L-shape and said cut-out is disposed to one side of said insert to prevent shifting of said item in said envelope.
21. The combination as set forth in claim 10 wherein said insert and said item are of equal thickness.
22. In combination,
a flat envelope having a dimension of at least ten inches on one side thereof and including a front panel, a back panel, a pair of side flaps disposed in folded relation relative to said front panel and said back panel to define a pocket therewith and a closure flap closing over said pocket;
a flexible insert within said pocket of said envelope, said insert having a predetermined thickness and being of an overall height and width to substantially fill said pocket, said insert having a cut-out of predetermined shape; and
an item matingly disposed within said cut-out of said insert, said item having a shape corresponding to said predetermined shape of said cut-out and a thickness corresponding to said predetermined thickness of said insert.
23. The combination as set forth in claim 22 wherein said cut-out is disposed asymmetrically of and to one side of said envelope and said item is rigid.
24. The combination as set forth in claim 22 wherein said insert is of L-shape.
Description
  • [0001]
    This invention relates to a flat-sized flexible envelope with an insert. More particularly, this invention relates to an expandable envelope having an insert for receiving an item to be mailed that conforms to USPS requirements for flexibility of flat-size pieces.
  • [0002]
    As is known, various types of envelopes have been constructed for use in mailing items, such as digital video disks (DVDs) and compact disks (CDs). In some cases, the envelopes have been provided with padding, such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,662,420, wherein a macerated paper layer is sandwiched between two layers of paper.
  • [0003]
    In still other cases, as described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,544,473 and 7,108,650, it has been known to provide envelopes in which a packing material is inserted to receive an item for shipping.
  • [0004]
    Still other constructions have been known for use in shipping medical tests specimens wherein a receptacle is provided to receive a test specimen and the receptacle placed in an envelope, such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,620,097.
  • [0005]
    Recently promulgated United States Postal Service (USPS) regulations (see 39 CFR Part 111) provide standards for domestic mailing services that set forth minimum flexibility criteria for flat-sized pieces.
  • [0006]
    Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide an envelope construction that satisfies the criteria for flat-sized pieces of the USPS.
  • [0007]
    It is another object of the invention to provide an expandable envelope construction with a flexible insert for shipping items of rigid or non-rigid nature.
  • [0008]
    It is another object of the invention to provide an expandable envelope for mailing a DVD that qualifies for flat-sized piece postage.
  • [0009]
    Briefly, the invention provides a flat envelope having a pocket and a flexible insert within the pocket of the envelope that is of a height and width to substantially fill the pocket. In addition, the insert is provided with a cut-out of predetermined shape for receiving an item to be shipped in the envelope so that the item is prevented from shifting within the envelope.
  • [0010]
    In accordance with the invention, the insert may be fixed within the envelope by a glue or adhesive or the insert may be slidably mounted within the envelope in an unsecured condition.
  • [0011]
    The insert may be made of any suitable material, such a self-supporting plastic foam, corrugated paper board or the like.
  • [0012]
    The item to be received within the envelope may be of rigid nature or non-rigid nature.
  • [0013]
    In one embodiment, wherein the envelope has a dimension of at least 10 inches on one side, the cut-out in the insert may be located symmetrically within the insert and still meet the criteria of the USPS for flat-sized pieces with a rigid insert.
  • [0014]
    In another embodiment, the cut-out in the insert is made asymmetrical and to one side of the insert. For example, the insert is made of L-shape.
  • [0015]
    The envelope may be any conventional flat envelope or may be an expandable envelope as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,227,444. Further, the envelope may be pre-lined with padding to protect fragile contents.
  • [0016]
    These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
  • [0017]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an envelope construction in accordance with the invention;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1; and
  • [0019]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a view of a blank for making the envelope of FIG. 1 with an insert secured in place in accordance with the invention.
  • [0020]
    Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, the envelope 10 is an expandable envelope constructed in a manner as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,227,444 from a flat blank 11.
  • [0021]
    Referring to FIG. 3, the blank 11 includes a front panel 12 of rectangular shape and a back panel 13 that is secured to the front panel 12 along a horizontal fold line 14. In addition, the front panel 12 is provided with a rectangular array of score lines 15, each spaced inwardly from the respective edge of the panel 12 to define a rectangle within the panel 12 and diagonally disposed score lines 16 that connect the corners of the rectangle of score lines 15 with the corners of the panel 12.
  • [0022]
    The back panel 13 has a score line 17 spaced parallel to the fold line 14 to separate a trapezoidal section 18 located between the fold line 14 and score line 17 from a rectangular section 19.
  • [0023]
    The blank 11 also includes a pair of side flaps 20 each of which is separated from the front panel 12 by a fold line 21 and each of which includes a score line 22 at an intermediate point parallel to the front panel 12.
  • [0024]
    Each side flap 20 has a rounded end 23 at each end as well as a score line 24 that extends from the score line 22 on a side flap 20 to the corner of the front panel 12.
  • [0025]
    Each flap 20 is to be folded over the fold line 21 into folded over relation to the front panel 12. The back panel 13 is sized to be secured, as by an adhesive, to the folded over side flaps 20 to extend to and between the score lines 21 of the flaps 20.
  • [0026]
    The blank 11 also has a closure flap 25 that is secured to the front panel 12 along a horizontal fold line (as viewed) 26 and that includes a score line 27 spaced from the fold line 26 to separate a trapezoidal section 28 from a rectangular section 29.
  • [0027]
    Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, the closure flap 25 includes a strip of adhesive or glue 30, such as a gummed or latex adhesive, for closing onto the back panel 13 as well as a removable strip 31 that covers over the adhesive 30 until the adhesive 30 is ready for use.
  • [0028]
    Referring to FIG. 3, each side flap 20 is provided with a line of adhesive (not shown) on the underside (as viewed) of the section between the score line 22 and the free edge of the flap 20 for securement to the underside of the back panel 13.
  • [0029]
    In order to form the envelope 10 of FIG. 1, the blank 11 of FIG. 3 is manipulated manually and/or mechanically in an automated manner in the following manner.
  • [0030]
    First, the side flaps 20 are folded along the fold lines 21 over the front panel 12. Next, the back panel 13 is folded about the fold line 14 onto the exposed adhesive on the side flaps 20. In this respect, the back panel 13 is of a width to extend to and between the score lines 22 of the side flaps 20, as indicated in FIG. 1. At this time, the trapezoidal section 18 of the back panel 13 covers over the lower ends 23 of the side flaps 20 in an overlapping manner and completely seals the two lower corners of the envelope 10. Also, the two upper corners of the back panel 13 lie over the rounded ends 23 of the side flaps 20 to leave the uppermost rounded ends 23 of the side flaps 20 exposed.
  • [0031]
    Once the back panel 13 is secured in place as shown in FIG. 1, a pocket is formed within the envelope 10.
  • [0032]
    Referring to FIG. 3, a flexible insert 32 is secured to the front panel 12, for example by a suitable adhesive. As illustrated, the insert 32 is of L-shape and defines a cut-out located asymmetrically to one side of the insert 32 for receiving an item 33 (see FIG. 1) to be shipped in the completed envelope 10.
  • [0033]
    The insert 32 is made of any suitable material, such as a self supporting plastic foam, cardboard or the like. Preferably, a lightweight plastic foam is used.
  • [0034]
    As indicated in FIG. 3, the insert 32 extends width-wise to and between the vertical score lines 15 of the front panel 12 and extends height-wise to and between the horizontal score lines 15 of the front panel 12 in order to substantially fill the pocket of the envelope 10.
  • [0035]
    Referring to FIG. 2, the insert 32 has a thickness of from 1/16 inches to 1¼ inches and preferably a thickness of ½ inch. The thickness of the insert 32 may be up to ¾ of an inch.
  • [0036]
    Alternatively, the insert 32 need not be secured to either the front panel 13 or the back panel 13. In this case, the insert 32 may be slid into the pocket of the envelope 10 after the envelope has been fabricated. For example, the insert 33 may be inserted into the envelope by a user when the item 33 is being inserted.
  • [0037]
    Further, the insert 32 may be dropped onto a die cut flat sheet and then the sheet closed around the insert 32 and rigid inserted item 33 creating an envelope.
  • [0038]
    When the insert 32 is in place, the pocket of the envelope 10 is expanded into the condition as indicated in FIG. 2. As viewed, the insert 32 extends to and between the vertical score lines 15 of the front panel 12 and to and between the score lines 22 of the side flaps 20. Also, the edges of the front panel 12 beyond the vertical score lines 15 bend downwardly, as viewed, and the sections of each side flap 20 between the respective fold line 21 and score line 22 bend upwardly, as viewed, to define V-shaped side edges to the envelope 10. A similar V-shaped bottom edge to the envelope 10 is also formed. As a result, the insert 32 being of a thickness equal to the largest width of the V-shaped side and bottom edges of the envelope 10 is restrained from shifting sideways or vertically, and particularly, no more than 1 inch in an envelope 10 of a 9 inch×12 inch size with score lines 15 on the front panel 12 being spaced ¼ inch from the edges of the front panel 12 and the insert 32 being ½ inch in thickness.
  • [0039]
    Insertion of the insert 32 may be accomplished manually or automatically through suitable mechanical equipment.
  • [0040]
    Referring to FIG. 1, the item 33 may be rigid, such as a DVD holder or a CD holder, or the item may be non-rigid, i.e. flexible. In either case, the item 33 is matingly disposed within the cut-out of the insert 32. In this respect, the item 33 has a shape corresponding to the shape of the cut-out and a thickness corresponding to the thickness of the insert 32.
  • [0041]
    The item 33 may be inserted into the cut-out of the insert 32 within the pocket of the envelope 10 manually or automatically. Further, the item 33 and insert 32 may be inserted in the same operation by any suitable means. After the item 33 has been inserted into the cut-out of the insert 32, the removable cover strip 31 is removed and the closure flap 25 folded via the fold line 26 over the back panel 13 in order to close the pocket and seal the item 33 therein.
  • [0042]
    Upon closing over of the closure flap 25, the trapezoidal section 28 of the closure flap 25 over lies the rounded ends 23 of the side flaps 20 to seal the two upper corners of the envelope 10. At the same time, the remainder of the closure flap 25 is of a width equal to the width of the back panel 13 to form a neat closure herewith.
  • [0043]
    The envelope 10 may be of any suitable size. For example, for shipping a DVD holder, the envelope, when closed, has a width of 12-½″ and a height of 10″. In addition, the insert 32 is of ½″ thickness and the DVD holder 33 has a corresponding ½″ thickness, a width of 7.5″ and a height of 5.25″.
  • [0044]
    The envelope 10 with the insert 33 therein conforms to the recently promulgated United States Postal Service (USPS) requirements for minimum flexibility criteria for fiat-size pieces. The test for flats is as follows:
      • 1. Place the piece with the length parallel to the edge of the flat surface and extend piece half way off the surface;
      • 2. Press down on the piece at a point 1 inch from the outer edge, in the center of the piece's length, exerting steady pressure;
      • 3. The piece is not flexible if it cannot bend at least 1 inch vertically without being damaged;
      • 4. The piece is flexible if it can bend at least 1 inch vertically without being damaged and it does not contain a rigid insert.
  • [0049]
    If the piece is a flat 10 inches or longer and contains a rigid insert, the following tests are to be conducted:
      • 1. Place the piece with the length perpendicular to the edge of a flat surface and extend the piece 5 inches off the surface;
      • 2. Press down on the piece at a point 1 inch from the outer edge, in the center of the piece's length, exerting steady pressure;
      • 3. Turn the piece around and repeat steps 1 and 2. The piece is flexible if both ends can bend at least 2 inches vertically without being damaged.
  • [0053]
    The following test is for flats less than 10″ and that contains a rigid insert:
      • 1. Place the piece with the length perpendicular to the edge of a flat surface and extend the piece one-half of its length off the surface;
      • 2. Press down on the piece at a point one inch from the outer edge, in the center of the piece's width, exerting steady pressure;
      • 3. Turn the piece around and repeat steps 1 and 2; the piece is flexible if both ends can bend at least 1 inch vertically without being damaged.
  • [0057]
    The envelope 10 as shown in FIG. 1 that is stuffed with a DVD holder 33 as described above and being of a size of 12½″ wide and 10″ high passes the minimum flexibility criteria for flat-sized pieces of the USPS for flats 10 inches or longer that contain a rigid insert.
  • [0058]
    An envelope having dimensions of 9⅞ inches wide and 8 inches high with a CD holder 5⅞ inches wide×4⅞ inches high asymmetrically to one side of the cut-out in the insert 32 also passes the USPS minimum flexibility criteria for flats less than 10 inches long and that contain a rigid insert.
  • [0059]
    The combination of envelope, flexible insert and packaged item may have different relative sizes in order to pass the flexibility tests of the USPS. For example, the envelope may have a maximum size of 12″ high and 15″ wide.
  • [0060]
    Further, the insert 32 may have one or more cutouts for receiving rigid items other than rectangular items, such as DVD holders and CD holders. For example, for a large size envelope, the insert may have a cut-out that is symmetrically placed. Further, such a cut-out may be of any suitable shape such as rectangular, circular, or otherwise, to receive a circular item or otherwise Further, the insert 32 may be provided with a slit in order to receive a slender item, such as a pencil.
  • [0061]
    As noted above, the envelope may be pre-lined with padding. In such an embodiment, the insert 32 may be fixed or not in place.
  • [0062]
    The invention thus provides a combination of envelope and insert that is able to receive and retain rigid or non-rigid items, as defined by the USPS, in place for shipment through the USPS as a flat-sized piece.
  • [0063]
    The envelope and insert satisfies the USPS requirement that a flat-sized mail piece be uniformly thick so that any bumps, protrusions or other irregularities do not cause more than ¼″ variance in thickness.
  • [0064]
    Excluding the outside edges of a mail piece, i.e., one inch from the edge, when determining variance in thickness, the insert secures the item within the cutout of the insert 32 so as to prevent shifting of more than 2″ within the envelope.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7565975Aug 26, 2008Jul 28, 2009Holland Usa, Inc.Mail flat assembly for automated processing and method of distributing promotional items using same
US8162141Apr 24, 2012Holland Usa, Inc.Mail flat assembly for automated processing and method of distributing promotional items using same
US8496186 *Jan 21, 2011Jul 30, 2013Seiko Epson CorporationBarcode label and method of using the same
US9004345 *Jun 28, 2012Apr 14, 2015Conformer Products, Inc.Blank for making a mailer and mailer made thereby
US9352879 *Feb 26, 2015May 31, 2016Conformer Products, Inc.Blank for making a mailer and mailer made thereby
US20080245695 *Mar 7, 2008Oct 9, 2008Ronald BakerMail flat assembly for automated processing and method of distributing promotional items using same
US20080302698 *Aug 26, 2008Dec 11, 2008Ronald BakerMail flat assembly for automated processing and method of distributing promotional items using same
US20090121000 *Dec 16, 2006May 14, 2009Daniel GollerEnvelope
US20110180616 *Jul 28, 2011Seiko Epson CorporationBarcode label and method of using the same
US20140001252 *Jun 28, 2012Jan 2, 2014Marvin A. MakofskyBlank for Making a Mailer and Mailer Made Thereby
US20150175311 *Feb 26, 2015Jun 25, 2015Conformer Products Inc.Blank for Making a Mailer and Maler Made Thereby
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/68.1
International ClassificationB65D27/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D81/107, B65D81/03
European ClassificationB65D81/107, B65D81/03
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 5, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: PAMA ENTERPRISES INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MAKOFSKY, MARVIN A;REEL/FRAME:019380/0995
Effective date: 20070523
Jul 25, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: CONFORMER EXPANSION PRODUCTS, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PAMA ENTERPRISES INC.;REEL/FRAME:019605/0376
Effective date: 20070628
Mar 24, 2010ASAssignment
Owner name: CONFORMER PRODUCTS, INC.,NEW YORK
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:CONFORMER EXPANSION PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:024128/0152
Effective date: 20091201
Owner name: CONFORMER PRODUCTS, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:CONFORMER EXPANSION PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:024128/0152
Effective date: 20091201
Nov 30, 2012ASAssignment
Owner name: CONFORMER PRODUCTS, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:PAMA ENTERPRISES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:029395/0848
Effective date: 20121031
Owner name: PAMA ENTERPRISES, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:CONFORMER PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:029389/0175
Effective date: 20121019