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 numberUS20090134111 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/277,374
Publication dateMay 28, 2009
Filing dateNov 25, 2008
Priority dateNov 27, 2007
Publication number12277374, 277374, US 2009/0134111 A1, US 2009/134111 A1, US 20090134111 A1, US 20090134111A1, US 2009134111 A1, US 2009134111A1, US-A1-20090134111, US-A1-2009134111, US2009/0134111A1, US2009/134111A1, US20090134111 A1, US20090134111A1, US2009134111 A1, US2009134111A1
InventorsMichael D. Schroeder
Original AssigneeSchroeder Michael D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Package system
US 20090134111 A1
Abstract
A package system is provided for combining an article and a container in an integrated package with the article in nested relationship within an elongated, vertically oriented recess formed in the wall of the container. The container includes one or more reliefs in communication with, or located proximate to, the recess to facilitate supporting the article in the recess with a covering material.
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(21)
1. A package system, comprising:
a container having an elongated, vertically oriented recess configured to receive an article in nested relationship within the recess, a first relief portion communicating with the elongated recess and being configured to facilitate supporting the article received in the recess; and
a covering material covering at least a portion of the container and engaging the first relief portion, the covering material being adapted to secure the article within the recess when the article is placed in nested relationship with the recess.
2. The package system of claim 1 wherein the covering material covers the first relief portion.
3. The package system of claim 1 wherein the first relief portion is a convex ridge.
4. The package system of claim 1 wherein the first relief portion is a concave groove.
5. The package system of claim 1 further comprising a second relief portion communicating with the elongated recess and being configured to facilitate supporting the article received in the recess.
6. The package system of claim 5, wherein the covering material covers at least a portion of the container and engages the second relief portion.
7. The package system of claim 6 wherein the covering material covers the second relief portion.
8. The package system of claim 5 wherein the second relief portion is a convex ridge.
9. The package system of claim 5 wherein the second relief portion is a concave groove.
10. A package system, comprising:
a container having an elongated, vertically oriented recess configured to receive an article in nested relationship within the recess,
a first relief portion located proximate to the elongated recess and being configured to facilitate supporting the article received in the recess; and
a covering material covering at least a portion of the container and engaging the first relief portion, the covering material being adapted to secure the article within the recess when the article is placed in nested relationship with the recess.
11. The package system of claim 10 wherein the covering material covers the first relief portion.
12. The package system of claim 10 wherein the first relief portion is a convex ridge.
13. The package system of claim 10 wherein the first relief portion is a concave groove.
14. The package system of claim 10 further comprising a second relief portion located proximate to the elongated recess and being configured to facilitate supporting the article received in the recess.
15. The package system of claim 14, wherein the covering material covers at least a portion of the container and engages the second relief portion.
16. The package system of claim 15 wherein the covering material covers the second relief portion.
17. The package system of claim 14 wherein the second relief portion is a convex ridge.
18. The package system of claim 14 wherein the second relief portion is a concave groove.
19. A package system, comprising:
a container having an elongated, vertically oriented recess having an open first end and being configured to receive an article in nested relationship within the recess; and
a first flare provided at the open first end of the recess.
20. The package system of claim 19 wherein the recess has an open second end opposite the open first end.
21. The package system of claim 20 further comprising a second flare provided at the second opposite end.
Description
  • [0001]
    The present application claims the filing benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/990,374, filed Nov. 27, 2007, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to package systems and, more particularly, to a package system which combines an article and a container in an integrated package with the article secured in nested relationship within a recess of the container.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Consumers are showing preference and demand for new ways to eat and drink their meals. In response to this demand, suppliers of beverages and snack foods, for example, have developed new ways of packaging and marketing these items together in a “bundled” package as a convenient meal option for consumers. This allows consumers the convenience of purchasing and handling an integrated package including both a snack item and beverage and provides consumers with convenient “grab and go” portability of their meals. This packaging arrangement also provides significant advantages to the beverage and snack food suppliers as well since it permits them to market newer or less-preferred brands to consumers in a “bundled” package with the supplier's stronger brands. In this way, the beverage and snack food suppliers are able to introduce newer products to the market with less risk and also increase sales of weaker brands by relying on the market strength and consumer desirability of the supplier's stronger brands.
  • [0004]
    In the past, suppliers have “bundled” snack food and beverage items together by shrink-wrapping, taping or otherwise attaching or packaging the snack food item to the outside of the beverage container. However, this method of packaging presents a significant drawback as it oftentimes leaves fragile snack items susceptible to damage during packaging, transport and distribution of the “bundled” package from the supplier to consumer. Many snacks, such as snack bars, are conventionally packaged inside of a flexible wrapper for such things as protection from environmental factors. This wrapper, however, offers little to no protection in subsequent packaging, transport and distribution of the “bundled” package, and therefore requires a secondary package made of paperboard, corrugated or other packaging processes and materials to protect it. This requires additional equipment, materials and labor which add cost to the product and make the packaging process inefficient.
  • [0005]
    In the past, other types of “bundled” packages have been offered to consumers as well. For example, suppliers have offered market premiums and various other articles in nested relationship within a recess formed in a wall of a container. In these instances, the container recess is defined by recess walls and the article may be glued or loosely placed within the recess and covered with a transparent film so as to secure and/or protect the item within the recess. However, known configurations of recesses which completely enclose the item and/or the use of a covering film over the item present a significant drawback as the item is typically obscured by shadows within the recess, or condensation or glare which occurs on the film, and so cannot be easily seen by the consumer. Also, such recesses and covering films complicate access and dislodgement of the article by the consumer and typically require hand assembly of the “bundled” package which adds to the cost of the assembled package.
  • [0006]
    Accordingly, there is a need for an improved package system for combining an article and a container in an integrated package with the article secured in nested relationship within a recess of the container.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    The present invention overcomes the foregoing and other shortcomings and drawbacks of package systems and methods of packaging heretofore known. While the invention will be described in connection with certain embodiments, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to these embodiments. On the contrary, the invention includes all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the present invention.
  • [0008]
    In accordance with the principles of the present invention, a package system is provided for combining an article and a container in an integrated package with the article secured in nested relationship within an elongated, vertically oriented recess formed in a wall of the container.
  • [0009]
    In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the recess is configured to receive an article within the recess so that the article is supported or contained in nested relationship within the recess. In this way, the article may be protected against damage during packaging, shipping, display and transport of the package system until its use by a consumer. The container may be formed to be vendable from a vending machine or other automatic merchandising system so as to meet the strict size and shape requirements for vendable products.
  • [0010]
    In one embodiment of the present invention, the elongated recess opens vertically at its opposite ends and may be sized and shaped to compliment the shape of the article nested within the recess. The open-ended recess improves visibility of the article within the recess so that light is able to enter the recess through the open ends. The open-ended recess also simplifies the insertion and removal of the article relative to the recess which is particularly advantageous for fragile articles such as snack foods.
  • [0011]
    According to one aspect of the present invention, the container may include one or more reliefs in communication with, or located proximate to, the recess to facilitate supporting the article in the recess with a covering material. The relief may be concave, such as a groove, or convex, such as a ridge. The groove and/or ridge allows the covering material, such as a shrink film, to conform to and better accommodate the shape of the article nested in the recess. As the covering material engages the groove and/or ridge it effectively captures the necessary parts of the article nested in the recess, while allowing a sealed portion of the wrapper of the article, which is thinner and less necessary to containment of the article in the recess, to lay more freely for improved shelf appearance.
  • [0012]
    In several embodiments, the covering material may extend only to the relief portions. In other embodiments, the covering material may extend past the relief portions. The covering material may also include one or more tear strips to provide selective removal of portions of the covering material to thereby allow the article to be removed from the recess.
  • [0013]
    The above and other objects and advantages of the present invention shall be made apparent from the accompanying drawings and the description thereof.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with a general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a package system in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 2 is a side view of an alternate embodiment of the package system of FIG. 1.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 3 is a side view of another alternate embodiment of the package system of FIG. 1.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 4 is a side view of still another alternate embodiment of the package system of FIG. 1.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 5 is a front view of a package system in accordance with an alternate embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0020]
    Referring now to the Figures, and to FIG. 1 in particular, a package system 10 is shown in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The package system 10 includes a sealed container 12 having a bottom wall 14 (also seen in the embodiments in FIGS. 2-4) and an arcuate side wall 16 which, in one embodiment, converges at an upper end of the container to define a container neck 18. In one embodiment, the neck 18 of the container 12 provides an opening (not shown) into the body of the container 12 and is sealed in a conventional manner by an internally threaded cap 20 mating with external threads (not shown) provided on the container neck 18.
  • [0021]
    The container 12 may comprise a generally rigid glass or molded plastic bottle, jar, metal can or carton by way of example. Alternatively, the container 12 may comprise a flexible package such as a bag, stand-up pouch, aseptic package or squeeze tube, or any other suitable type of rigid or flexible container known by those of ordinary skill in the art having an internal cavity (not shown) which is adapted to safely store the contents of the container 12 for an extended period of time until use of the package system 10 by a consumer. In the case of generally rigid cartons and flexible containers, it will be appreciated that the container may not have a neck as described above. Instead, the container may have converging side walls that are glued or otherwise sealed or joined together at the top of the container, or the container may be folded into a box-like shape having a flat top, so that the top of the container can be peeled or cut open, opened through a conventional recloseable seal, or pierced with a straw by way of example.
  • [0022]
    The container 12 may be filled with a variety of different liquids such as fruit juice, milk, isotonics, water, beer, a soft drink, petroleum products or other liquid chemical products, by way of example. Alternatively, as will be described in detail below, the container 12 may be filled with a variety of different loose solids such as salty snacks, sweet snacks, cereal, nuts, granola and dried fruit, toys, trinkets or various chemical products by way of example.
  • [0023]
    In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the package system 10 includes at least one elongated, vertically oriented recess 22 (one shown) which is formed in the arcuate side wall 16 of the container 12 and is configured to receive an article 24 (shown in FIGS. 2-4) within the recess 22 so that the article 24 is supported or contained in nested relationship within the recess 22. The article 24 may comprise a variety of different packaged or wrapped solids or loose solids, such as described above, or an energy bar, snack bar, granola bar, a market premium or some other type of suitable edible or non-edible article.
  • [0024]
    The recess 22 may be sized and shaped to complement the shape of the article 24 nested within the recess 22 so that the recess 22 is generally congruent with an inner surface of the article 24. In this way, the container 12 and article 24 may sufficiently contact each other to allow them to be joined together through an intermediate adhesive or other fixative as will be described below. In several embodiments, the recess 22 extends upwardly into a shoulder portion of the container 12 near the container neck 18 and is open vertically at opposite ends. The open-ended recess 22 provides several distinct advantages, including improved visibility of the article 24 within the recess 22 since light is able to enter the recess 22 through the open ends. The open-ended recess 22 also simplifies insertion and removal of the article 24 relative to the recess.
  • [0025]
    In one embodiment, one or both of the open ends of the recess 22 may widen at that point to allow the wrapper of the article 24 to “flare out.” This improves shelf appearance of the package system 10 as the wrapper may otherwise distort or lose integrity as it is held against the container 12 by a covering material as described in detail below.
  • [0026]
    The container may also include a relief 26 in communication with, or located proximate to, the recess to further facilitate supporting the article 24 with a covering material 27. The relief 26 may be concave, such as a groove, or convex, such as a ridge. The relief 26 may be formed in the arcuate side wall 16 near the bottom wall 14 as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1. With continued reference to the embodiment in FIG. 1, the relief 26 is in the form of a concave groove which facilitates the capture of the bulk of the article 24 with the covering material 27 while allowing any packing material of the article 24, such as a wrapper to flare out. The groove 26 allows the covering material 27, such as a shrink film, to conform to and better accommodate the shape of the article 24 nested in the recess 22. As the covering material 27 engages the open recess it effectively captures the necessary parts of the article 24 nested in the recess 22, while allowing a sealed portion of the wrapper of the article 24, which is thinner and less necessary to containment of the article 24 in the recess 22, to lay more freely for improved shelf appearance. For example, if the article 24 is shrink wrapped to a surface that does not appreciated its shape, density, etc., the wrapper of the article 24 may be crushed against the surface resulting in a loss of shelf appeal. It should be understood that the relief 26 may be formed near the bottom wall 14 as shown in FIG. 1 or near the container neck 18 or any other point in between to facilitate the proper degree of pressure required to hold the article 24 in the recess 22.
  • [0027]
    In several embodiments, such as the embodiments in FIGS. 3 and 4, the covering material 27 may extend only to the relief portions. In other embodiments, such as the embodiment in FIG. 2, the covering material 27 may extend past the relief portions. In this embodiment, the covering material 27 may optionally include tear strips 29 a, 29 b. The optional tear strips 29 a may be located near the upper relief portion 30 or the optional tear strips 29 b may be located near the lower relief portion 26. Some embodiments, such as the one shown in FIG. 2, may include tear strips 29 a, 29 b at one or both the upper and lower relief portions 30, 26. When a portion of the covering material 27 is removed at the tear strip 29 a or 29 b, a pocket is formed with the remaining covering material 27 and the recess 22. This allows the article 24 to be removed from the package system 10. If the article 24 or any portion thereof is returned to the package system, the pocket frictionally engages the article 24, holding it place. The article 24 may then be removed again at a later time.
  • [0028]
    In several embodiments of the package system 10, and as seen in FIGS. 2-4, a second relief may be utilized. In FIG. 2, container 28 contains a groove 26 in the arcuate side wall 16, near the bottom 14, similar to the embodiment in FIG. 1. Container 28 additionally includes a second relief 30 in communication with the recess 22 near the container neck 18. It should be understood that the placement of the reliefs 26 and 30 may exist along any point of the arcuate side wall 16 and that their positions may be driven by the size and shape of the article 24. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the second relief 30 is also concave in the form of a groove.
  • [0029]
    As described above and as seen in the embodiment of the package system 10 in FIG. 3, the reliefs 34 and 36 may also be convex in shape. In this embodiment, the container 32 includes two reliefs 34 and 36, each in the form of a convex ridge that are located in communication with, or proximate to, the recess 22. The convex ridges 34, 36, when engaged by the covering material 27, such as shrink wrap, may hold the article 24 underneath and on the top. The reliefs may also be a combination of concave and convex shapes. For example, in the embodiment in FIG. 4, the container 38 contains two reliefs 40, 42 positioned similar to the embodiments in FIGS. 2 and 3. The relief 40 is a concave groove, while the relief 42 is a convex ridge. In other embodiments the reliefs 40 and 42 may be convex and concave in nature respectively. Similar to the previous embodiments, the location of the reliefs along the arcuate side wall 16 between the container neck 18 and the bottom wall 14 may be dependent on the size, shape, and density of the article 24 to be contained in the recess 22. In some embodiments of the package system 10, the recess 22 may additionally flare near an end of the recess 44 as seen generally in FIG. 1. The flare at the end of the recess 44 may work in conjunction with a ridge relief, such as the relief 34 in FIG. 3, to position and stabilize the article 24 in the recess 22 by allowing it to rest on the ridge and/or by inducing friction upon the nested article 24 when it is covered by a covering material. The flared end may accommodate the thinner end of the packing material of the article 24 as well as facilitate removal and replacement of the article 24 in the recess.
  • [0030]
    In an alternate package system 50 as shown in FIG. 5, the package may include a sealed container 52 having a bottom wall 54 and an arcuate side wall 56. A radius of the arcuate side wall 56 tapers from a first end of the wall 58 to a second end of the wall 60. The arcuate side wall 56 at the first end of the wall 58 at an upper end of the container 52 converges to define a container neck 62, forming a shoulder 64. In one embodiment, the neck 62 of the container 52 may provide an opening (not shown) in the body of the container 52 which is sealed in a conventional manner by an internally threaded cap 66 mating with external threads (not shown) provided on the container neck 62.
  • [0031]
    The container 52 in this embodiment, includes at least one elongated, vertically oriented recess 68 which is formed in the arcuate side wall 56 of the container 52 and is configured to receive an article (not shown) similar to the article 24 in the embodiments in FIGS. 1-4 within the recess 68 so that the article is supported or contained in a nested relationship with the recess 68. In this embodiment, the container 52 may also include a relief 70 formed in the arcuate side wall 56 and in communication with the recess 68. The relief 70 may be positioned so that it is also in communication with the bottom wall 54, although the relief may be positioned at different locations along the arcuate side wall 56 to accommodate different articles. The shoulder 64 in the embodiment may act similar to a second relief in supporting the article when packaged with the covering material 27. When covered by the covering material 27, the relief 70 may support the article from underneath with the covering material 27 while the covering material 27 on the shoulder 64 of the arcuate side wall 56 may hold the top of the article nested in the recess 68.
  • [0032]
    While all of the present invention has been illustrated by a description of various embodiments and while these embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicants to restrict or in anyway limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. The invention in its broader aspects is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and method, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of the applicant's general inventive concept.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US180132 *Jan 12, 1876Jul 25, 1876 Improvement in bottle attachments
US251566 *Aug 17, 1881Dec 27, 1881 William h
US353600 *Jul 6, 1880Nov 30, 1886 Bottle
US1425217 *Jul 26, 1921Aug 8, 1922Herman Scheuer & SonsHand bag
US1993978 *Feb 20, 1932Mar 12, 1935Benjamin H HarrisonMerchandising package
US2362807 *Nov 22, 1943Nov 14, 1944Fannie PosterLuggage
US2604917 *Jan 29, 1949Jul 29, 1952Evans Case CoHandbag
US2780225 *Mar 3, 1953Feb 5, 1957Courtland H Barr SrBlood packaging unit
US3369688 *Aug 8, 1966Feb 20, 1968Climalene CompanyBottle construction
US3732999 *May 3, 1971May 15, 1973Ethyl Dev CorpBottle with external compartment
US4235343 *Jul 30, 1979Nov 25, 1980Thompson Harold EContainer assembly
US4243162 *Aug 15, 1979Jan 6, 1981Illinois Tool Works Inc.Vessel structure
US4263951 *Jun 18, 1979Apr 28, 1981Amba Marketing Systems, Inc.Interchangeable accessory system for handbags
US5050757 *Sep 28, 1990Sep 24, 1991Hidding Daniel PContainer system
US5054631 *Sep 25, 1989Oct 8, 1991Robbins Edward S IiiDisposable beverage containers having integral drinking straws
US5065875 *Jul 3, 1990Nov 19, 1991Revlon, Inc.Composite containers
US5078286 *Dec 27, 1990Jan 7, 1992Tokyo Glass Seiki Kabushiki KaishaContainer for a soft drink
US5135116 *Apr 2, 1991Aug 4, 1992Franco PanzettiPackage containers for liquid products
US5244106 *Dec 5, 1991Sep 14, 1993Takacs Peter SBottle incorporating cap holder
US5316398 *Mar 4, 1993May 31, 1994Conros CorporationCombination bottle and stick
US5351851 *Mar 7, 1994Oct 4, 1994Kablooe Products, Inc.Container with insert area
US5782358 *Mar 30, 1995Jul 21, 1998Walker; Kenneth C.Container
US6415624 *Aug 25, 2000Jul 9, 2002Frank R. ConnorsDrinking bottle having a separate thermally regulating container
US6427890 *Oct 10, 2000Aug 6, 2002Horizon Garrison Peter MengBicycle-used flow deflecting article cabinet
US7025924 *Jul 3, 2003Apr 11, 2006Lowance Philip DDual container system and method of manufacturing the same
US7225937 *Dec 22, 2003Jun 5, 2007Schroeder Michael DPackage system
US20040226904 *Dec 22, 2003Nov 18, 2004Schroeder Michael D.Package system
USD100412 *Oct 15, 1934Jul 14, 1936 Design for a combination
USD270429 *Jul 2, 1981Sep 6, 1983Britt Tech CorporationLiquid dispensing container
USD274698 *Jan 18, 1982Jul 17, 1984Invention Development Equity Associates, Inc.Nestable container for liquids
USD288530 *Aug 7, 1984Mar 3, 1987 Bottle
USD319181 *Sep 11, 1989Aug 20, 1991Revlon, Inc.Combined bottle and ampule
USD319182 *Sep 11, 1989Aug 20, 1991Revlon, Inc.Combined bottle and ampule
USD353330 *Feb 26, 1993Dec 13, 1994Shiseido Company, Ltd.Combined bottle and cap
USD354683 *Nov 15, 1993Jan 24, 1995Ecco, Inc.Beverage container
USD362799 *Nov 15, 1994Oct 3, 1995Apothecary Product, Inc.Combined bottle and spoon
USD479985 *Jan 28, 2003Sep 30, 2003Philip D. LowanceMulti-bottle container system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8662328Sep 22, 2011Mar 4, 20149224-9838 Quebec Inc.Interconnecting container system
US9144933Jan 26, 2011Sep 29, 2015James D. GillingwaterReceptacle for attaching to a product having a curved wall
US20130153591 *Dec 14, 2011Jun 20, 2013Matthew J. GrimesBeverage Container with Hand-Line
USD768507 *May 12, 2015Oct 11, 2016Nice Reusables, Inc.Modular fluid drinking bottle
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/10, 206/499, 215/383
International ClassificationB65D21/00, B65D90/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D33/004, B65D5/4212, B65D23/12, B65D25/20, B65D75/54
European ClassificationB65D5/42E, B65D25/20, B65D23/12, B65D75/54, B65D33/00E