US 3230649 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 25, 1966 A. B. KARN 3,230,649
CONTINUOUS, CUT-BACK, PRESSU SENSITIVE LABEL STOCK AND LAB Filed July 12, 1963 2 SheetsSheet 1 FIG].
f INVENTOR ANDREW B.KARN
HIS ATTORN EYS Jan. 25, 1966 A. B. KARN 3,230,649
CONTINUOUS, CUT-BACK, PRESSURE-SENSITIVE LABEL STOCK AND LABELS Filed July 12, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. AN DREW B. KARN his A TTORNEYS United States Patent fihee Patented Jan. 25, 1966 3,230,649 CONTINUOUS, CUT-BACK, PRESSURE-SENSITIVE LABEL STOCK AND LABELS Andrew B. Karn, 420 E. 86th St., New York 28, N.Y. Filed July 12, 1963, Ser. No. 295,s01 Claims. (Cl. -2)
This invention relates to improvements in pressuresensitive labels and label stock and it relates particularly to an improved form of label stock having a single backing or liner thereon and to the labels produced from such label stock.
This is a continuation-in-part of my application Serial No. 208,990, filed July 11, 1962'.
Conventional pressure-sensitive label stocks include a sheet of material having a printable surface thereon, such as paper, plastic or the like provided with a back surface coating of a pressure-sensitive adhesive and a removable liner or backing overlying and protecting the adhesive and provided with a plurality of splits or slits extending across the liner and dividing it into a plurality of separate sections. Labels cut from such stock are usually provided with one split so that the label can be flexed to allow one of the edges of the liner adjacent to the split to be raised and stripped or peeled from the pressure-sensitive adhesive. The other section of the liner is stripped from the adhesive in a similar way. Usually printers prefer label stocks from which labels having a single split therein can be produced, primarily for the reason that the consumer dislikes to remove the liner in more than two sections. Since the single split liner is preferred and labels are of many different sizes, a large number of label stocks having splits in different spaced relations must be manufactured and carried in stock by the supplier and the printer or must be custommade to enable a variety of sizes and shapes of labels to be produced by the printer, without delay.
The presence of the split in the liner introduces another problem of considerabledifiiculty in the label field. Inasmuch as the label stock has a plurality of splits in its liner, the liner sections sometimes shift or slide somewhat with the result that, in some areas, edges of the liner sections overlap at one split and a gap is formed along an adjacent split. These irregularities in thickness cause the printing on the label to be marred and allow the labels to stick together.
In accordance with the present invention, an improved label stock is provided which overcomes the disadvantages pointed out above of the prior conventional split label stocks by enabling labels of almost any desired size to be cut from a single type of label stock and providing a liner which can be removed in one or two pieces with a minimum of difficulty.
More particularly, the new label stock is provided with a continuous backing or liner which is provided with a series of discontinuous cuts which are so arranged that almost any size of label cut from the stock will have one or more of the cuts within the area of the label or intersecting an edge thereof. The presence of the cuts along the edge of the label liner enables a portion of the liner to be released and gripped so that the liner can then be torn apart to remove one section and the remaining section then removed in the same manner as with the conventional single-split liner.
The cuts in the label liner may extend entirely through the liner from the adhesive-contacting side to the opposite side, in which case they are slits, or they may extend only part way through, in which case they are channels. In either case, and regardless of whether the cuts are straight or curved or have some other shape, the liner is continuous, so that shifting of the portions of the liner between the cuts therein cannot occur. Thus, both overlapping of adjacent portions of the label liner and the formation of gaps therebetween are impossible, so that fiat label stock of uniform thickness is provided, enabling the printing of labels without marring due to discontinuities, bumps, ridges, or indentations in the labels or label stocks.
For a better understanding of the present invention reference may be had to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a typical label stock embodying the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of a typical label cut from the label stock;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of a label shown flexed to illustrate the manner in which a liner removing tab is freed;
FIGURE 4 is a plan view of a modified label stock embodying the present invention; and
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary and greatly enlarged sectional perspective view of another modified label stock embodying the present invention.
FIGURE 1 illustrates a typical label stock which includes a printable sheet of material 10 which may be provided with the usual priming coat (not shown) and a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive 11 united therewith. Covering the pressure-sensitive adhesive is a liner 13 which may be of an adhesive-repellent material or may be provided with a coating of repellent material enabling the liner 13 to be stripped from the pressure-sensitive adhesive 11, when desired, but adhering lightly to it so that the liner will not be inadvertently detached. In accordance with the present invention, the liner 13 is provided with a multiplicity of short curved or arcuate cuts. The cuts may be either slits or channels, as indicated above, and are shown in FIGURE 1 as slits 14, 15, 16 and so forth over its entire surface. The spacing between the slits and the shape of the slits are such as to permit labels of many different shapes and sizes to be cut therefrom while including within the boundary thereof at least one of the slits 14, 15 and 16 and/or having one or more of the slits intersecting an edge of the label. Thus, in a typical label stock, the slits may be spaced between /2" and 2" apart, preferably 1" to 1 /2" apart and may be of any suitable length, such as A" to 1%", so long as they do not divide the liner into separate sections. With a slit spacing and length of the order of 1", labels 17 of long and narrow shape (as shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 1) cut from the stock, include slits within their areas and other slits intersecting their edges. Regardless of the number of labels 17 cut from the sheet, one or more of the slits 14, I5 and 16 or parts thereof will be within the area of the label.
Similarly, a broader and shorter label 18 illustrated in dotted lines in FIGURE 1 may include one complete slit within the area of the label and other slits intersecting the edges thereof.
Larger labels such as the label 19 also shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 1 will include a multiplicity of the slits 14, 15 and 16 within the area thereof and also intersecting the edges of the label.
Arcuate slits 14, 15 and 16 facilitate the removal of the liner from the pressure-sensitive layer 11 of the labels. Referring to FIGURE 2, a label 20 is shown which has several of the slits 14, 15 and 16 intersecting its edges or within its area. If a slit intersects the edge of the label, the label can be flexed or its edge rubbed with a finger to raise one corner of the liner adjacent to a slit at the edge, thereby forming a gripping tab which enables the liner to be torn apart and a portion of it removed. In so tearing the liner, another portion thereof will ordinarily be lifted up so that it can be gripped and the remainder of the liner stripped from the label. If, as shown in FIGURE 3, a slit 14 is wholly within the area of the liner and no slit intersects the edge of the liner, a tab formed by the arcuate slit 14 can be erected by flexing the label and can be gripped and a portion of the liner 13 then torn from the label, leaving a second portion which can be gripped and removed. Before the tab is erected by such external force, all portions of the liner 13 adjacent to the cut lie flush against the pressure-sensitive adhesive 11, inasmuch as the cuts are devoid of sharp curves, as shown in the drawing-s.
Other arrangements of the slits in the backing are possible, such as, for example, V-shaped, zigzag, or other discontinuous slits, or, as shown in FIGURE 4, a plurality of straight slits 21, 22 and so forth may be cut in a plurality of echelon rows across the liner 23 either normal or obliquely to one edge of the-stock. The arrangement of these slits issuch that ends of adjacent slits or slits which are several columns removed overlap along any line transversely of the sheet. When labels are cut from this stock, they will have at least one of the slits intersecting an edge thereof regardless of the size, of the label, provided only that the label is not so small as to be impractical. The liner 23 thus can be stripped from the label in the manner described above and in the preferred two pieces.
, While some pressure-sensitive adhesives are sufficiently dry and will not ooze through the slits under pressure and cause sticking together of adjacent sheets, or blocking, it may be desirable at times to use adhesives of special characteristics that do have some tendency to ooze, under pressure. One important advantage of the present invention .is that it makes possible the prevention of bleeding of the pressure-sensitive adhesive.
In one embodiment of the invention, bleeding is prevented by means of a separately applied barrier layer having low shear strength. Inasmuch as the lining is continuous, the presence of a barrier layer does not cause wrinkling or unevenness in the backing. A typical barrier layer may be composed of wax applied to the inner and/orouter surfaces of theliner to fill the slits and at the same time provide light adhesion to the pressure-sensitive adhesive. Inasmuch as the wax fills and/or covers the slits, the pressure-sensitive adhesive cannot flow or ooze therethrough, even under relatively war-m conditions and under conditions when the label is subjected to pressure as is frequently the case when the stock .is being stored in stacks prior to use.
An equally effective barrier may be provided by making cuts almost, but not completely, through the liner, forming channels 25, 26, 27, etc. (FIGURE rather than slits and leaving thin membranes 25a, 26a, 27a, etc., which preclude oozing. of the adhesive and which are easily torn or ruptured when the label is bent to release a corner by means of which the liner can be lifted and removed in one or more pieces. The channels 25, 26, 27 can be formed by crush-cutting rotary knives which impinge upon the liner 13 before it is laminated to the printable sheet 10, etc., to form the label stock. The liner 13 is passed around a hardened-steel anvil roller, and the knives are adjusted so that a layer of liner fibers remains unruptured on the side of the liner in contact with the roller. An adhesive-repellent or other coating 28 may if desired be applied to the liner before the die-cutting operation in order to strengthen and consolidate the unruptured liner fibers.
In any event, however, the liner of course remains sufiiciently weak at the channels to be readily ruptured when it is desired to form a tab for facilitating removal of the liner.
In order to form such a tab, the label need merely be sharply bent to induce a high degree of convexity in the liner at a channel. The thin membrane 25a, 26a, or 27a, etc., is thus ruptured.
Another method of liner removal is to stress one of the channels where it meets the edge of the liner in order to form a tab, then to remove a first section of the liner by peeling it from the label in a direction parallel to the channel, progressively rupturing the membrane at the bottom of the channel, and finally to remove the second section by peeling it off in a direction perpendicular to the channels.
In many instances, when the liner and the pressuresensitive adhesive are adhered relatively lightly, the entire liner can be removed as a single piece thereby providing improved convenience for the user. As indicated above, the strength of adhesion of the liner can be adjusted so that it will release from the pressuresensitive adhesive more readily than it will tear so that when a tab is raised either by bending the label or by lifting up the corner formed at an intersection of a slit with the edge of the backing the entire liner can be peeled off in one piece, thereby providing a superior and more acceptable product.
From the foregoing description of typical forms of label stocks and labels embodying the present invention, it will be apparent that'universal label stocks are provided which enable the printing and cutting of labels of any reasonable size from a single type of label stock. Inasmuch as a wide variety of labels can be made from a single type of label stock, with'full utilization of the sheet and without special care in laying out. the labels on the stock, the manufacturer can maintain an inventory of the new stock and can supply the requirements of the distributor and the printer immediately. Likewise, the printer can conduct his business much more expedi-. tiously since the need for special or custom split stocks is unnecessary. Moreover, the new label stocks enable printing with less marring and without bleeding of the pressure-sensitive adhesive and adhesion to each other or to other articles, until the liner is removed.
Inasmuch as the present invention is susceptible of considerable modification in the arrangement and shape of the slits in the liner, the forms of the invention described above should be considered as illustrative, and the invention should not be considered as limited other than as defined in the following claims.
1. Label stock from which a variety of sizes of labels greater than a given minimum size can be cut, compris ing a sheet of material having a printable surface and an opposite surface, \a layer of pressureasensitive adhesive adhered to said opposite surface, and a continuous labelstock liner adhered to said layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive less strongly than is said sheet, said label-stock liner having a multiplicity of short spaced-apart .cuts therein throughout the area of said label-stock liner, each cut in said label-stock liner which intersects an edge of said label-stock liner. terminating short of the other edges o-fsaid label-stock liner to maintain the continuity of said labelastock liner, said cuts being devoid of sharp curves, and all portions of said label-stock liner adjacent to said cuts being adapted in the absence of an external separating force to lie flush against said adhesive.
2. Label stock according to claim 1 wherein there is a large number of said cuts in said label-stock liner, said cuts overlapping each other so that every line drawn: across said label-stock liner parallel to. one of the dimensions of said label-stock liner will intersect a large number of said cuts at points spaced apart a distance less than the corresponding dimensiono-f said label of minimum size and each label cut from the label stock will include; a label liner having at least one cut intersecting an edge of said label liner to facilitate removal of said label liner fro-m said label;
3. Label stock comprising a sheet of material having a printable surface andan opposite surface, a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive adhered to said opposite surface, a continuous label-stock liner adhered to said layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive less strongly than is said sheet, said label-stock liner having a multiplicity of short spaced-apart cuts therein throughout the area of said label-stock liner, any of said multiplicity of cuts in said label-stock liner intersecting an edge of said label-stock liner terminating short of the other edges of said labelstock liner to maintain the continuity of said label-stock liner, and the label stock including a barrier layer blocking said cuts to prevent bleeding of said adhesive through said cuts.
4. A label comprising a sheet of material having a printable surface and an opposite surfiace, a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive adhered to said opposite surface, and a continuous label liner adhered to said layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive less strongly than is said sheet and having at least one short cut therein of length less than the shortest transverse and lengthwise dimensions of said label liner and intersecting not more than one edge thereof, said cut being devoid of sharp curves and all portions of said label liner adjacent to said cut being adapted in the absence of an external separating force to lie flush against said adhesive.
5. Label stock from which a variety of sizes of labels greater than a given minimum size can be printed and cut, the label stock comprising a sheet of material having a printable surface and an opposite surface, the sheet of material having sufiicient length and width that a large number of labels of desired size can be cut therefrom,
a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive adhered to said opposite surface, and a continuous liner adhered to said layer less strongly than is said sheet, said liner being separable from said sheet when a free edge thereof is grasped and having a multiplicity of cuts therein which are short relative to said length and Width, there being a large number of said short cuts on said liner and the cuts overlapping each other so that lines drawn across said liner parallel to one of said length and width intersect a large number of said cuts at points spaced apart a lesser distance than the corresponding dimension of said label of minimum size, the liner of each label made from said label stock therefore having at least one cut intersecting an edge of said liner to provide a free edge of said liner which can be grasped tofacilitate removal of the liner from the label.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,023,829 12/1935 Wright -2 X 2,180,808 11/1939 Jacobstein 283-6 2,246,984 6/ 1941 Palmer 40-125 X 2,391,539 12/1945 Avery 40-2 X 2,896,351 7/1959 Hinder 128l56 FOREIGN PATENTS 402,870 12/ 1933 Great Britain.
EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner.-
JEROME SCHNALL, Examiner.