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Publication numberUS3333729 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 1, 1967
Filing dateNov 14, 1966
Priority dateNov 14, 1966
Publication numberUS 3333729 A, US 3333729A, US-A-3333729, US3333729 A, US3333729A
InventorsRabb Irving L
Original AssigneeRabb Irving L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bottle carrier
US 3333729 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

I. L. RABB Aug. 1, 1967 BOTTLE CARRIER 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 14. 1966 7 RM l 0R J m T. a R N L 0 W M v m w# Wm mm RN I. L. RABB Aug. 1, 1967 BOTTLE CARRIER I Filed Nov. 14, 1966 I 4 Sheets-Sheet 22 AM w w R N d E 6 vs M 4 W m V m ll-Ill.

ATTORNEYS.

I. L. RABB Aug. 1, 1967 BOTTLE CARRIER 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 14, 1966 u -i a I VE Om;

s RB. v OB E T N Rw R W m l- G NW A mun

I. L. RABB Aug. 1, 1967 BOTTLE CARRIER 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Nov. 14, 1966 FIG. I2.

INVENTOR IRVING L. B /uaqpzu ATTORNEYS.

United States Patent 3,333,729 BOTTLE CARRIER Irving L. Rabb, 20 Ellis Drive, Worcester, Mass. 01609 Filed Nov. 14, 1966, Ser. No. 593,908 8 Claims. (Cl. 220116) This application is a continuation-in-part of my earlier application Ser. No. 347,403, now Patent number 3,298,563, filed by me on Feb. 26, 1964, for Bottle Carrrer.

This invention relates to container-carrier devices, and more particularly to containers for carrying a group of articles such as bottles of soda.

Many items to be found on the shelves of retail stores are packed together in groups, e.g., in six-packs. These containers are provided to enable a purchaser to conveniently carry away the goods. Such containers are especially useful for carrying soda bottles or similar products. The containers are also used to carry the empties back to the store in the event the bottles are returnable. In such cases, the bottles, in the container, are returned by the retailer to the bottler for refilling. The same container is used again for the refilled bottles. Present day containers, however, have a relatively short life, an average of only about three uses, due to their inherent destructibility.

A primary object of this invention is to provide a more durable, longer-lasting container.

It is another object of this invention to provide a container for more rigidly and simply securing the enclosed bottles, cans, etc. than has been the practice in the prior art.

It is another object of this invention to provide a container, which in combination with the enclosed bottles, will allow a group of filled containers to be rigidly stacked whereby the possibility of a pile of six-packs or similar containers being toppled over is minimized.

It is another object of this invention to provide a container which, while rigid when enclosing bottles, is capable of being folded when empty for occupying less space.

It is still another object of this invention, in one embodiment thereof, to provide a container with a removable carrier portion for the purpose of achieving a minimum bulk when the container is folded.

In accordance with the principles of my invention the container is formed from an integral unit of plastic material, such as polyethylene or polypropylene, prepared by injection molding technique. Fold lines in the material allow it to be bent easily into the desired container configuration. In one embodiment of the invention complementary snap fasteners are formed in the plastic during the molding thereof for enabling the plastic to provide a rigid container-carrier shape. In another embodiment of the invention a separate carrier portion is provided which, when attached to the container, forms a rigid containercarrier combination.

The base portion of the container, in the first illustrative embodiment of the invention, is provided with peripheral sidewall which completely encircle it. These sidewalls are high enough to completely secure the enclosed bottles. The base and sidewalls comprise a semi-rigid pan, a result of the molding or forming process, which provide a heretofore unobtainable sturdy bottom for the container.

The base portion of the container of the invention need not be fiat as are those in the prior art. A multiplicity of ridge support a group of annular rings or squares, all being an integral unit of plastic material. The number of rings is equal to the number of bottles which the container is designed to carry, e.g., six for a six-pack. The rings have upwardly offset portions with apertures in the centers thereof. The bottles rest on these apertures. Thus looking at the container from below, it has the appearance of a flat ridged surface with six circular indentations. The diameters of these indentations are such that each indentation is adapted to receive the top of a bottle in a container directly below. Thus each container fits securely on the bottles in the container directly below, and a group of containers may be rigidly stacked, e.g., on the shelves of a store, with little chance of them all being toppled over by a customer inadvertently brushing against them.

It is a feature of this invention to form a container from an integral unit of plastic material prepared by injection molding, vacuum forming, or other molding, forming or fabricating technique, and having fold lines thereon for enabling the plastic to be easily bent into either a container shape or a less bulky configuration when not in use.

It is another feature of this invention, in one embodiment thereof to provide complementary snap fasteners in the. plastic material to secure its ends and thereby provide a semi-rigid container shape.

It is another feature of this invention, in another embodiment thereof, to provide a separate carrier portion, attached to the container, whereby the container is capable of being folded into a minimally bulky shape when not in use.

It is still another feature of this invention to provide a number of indentations in the base portion of the container, equal in number of the number of bottles enclosed by the container and arranged in a pattern similar to that of the bottles, for allowing the tops of the bottles in a similar container below it to fit into the indentations.

Further objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent after consideration of the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying illustrative drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of one illustrative embodiment of the invention in its unfolded or molded condition;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view along the line 22 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing the left end portion thereof in enlarged scale;

FIG. 4 is an end view of the container of FIG. 1 in assembled condition, with a phantom showing of the bottles contained both within it and within the container immediately beneath it in the same vertical stack;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the cantainer of FIG. 1 in assembled condition;

FIG. 6 is a side view of a second embodiment of the invention comprising separate container and carrier parts;

FIG. 7 is a top view of the container part of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is an end view of the container part of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of the carrier part of FIG. 6;

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of the now presently preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along a line 1111 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is an end view of the container of FIG. 10 in assembled condition; and

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary end view similar to FIG. 12, but showing a modified container.

Referring now to FIG. 1 in detail, it is seen that the container 10 is formed from one integral unit of molded plastic material. As already indicated, while injection molding is presently preferred, other molding, forming or fabricating techniques may be employed to make container 10 without departing from the invention. The base 11 includes a peripherally continuous sidewall 12 and a multiplicity of ridges 15 which extend in from the bottom of the sidewall 12 to the annular rings 16. To divide the base into compartments for holding bottles against internal movement, base 11 is provided with a longitudinal partition 74 and two transverse partitions 76 and 78. Sidewall 12 may be seen more fully in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5. In FIG. '2' it is seen that the upwardly offset portions 17 connect rings 16 to circular sections 18. In FIG. 4 bottles 33 are shown as being supported by these sections. Members 14 in FIGS. 1 and 5, horizontal extensions from the tops of the two end sidewalls, serve to stiffen the base 11 and to absorb shocks administered to the ends of the container to prevent breakage of bottles 33.

Sides 19, connected to the tops of the two longer portions of peripheral sidewall 12 of .base 11 are folded up to form'the sides of the container. Sides 19 are vertical when the plastic is in its container shape. Sections 20, each containing three apertures 21, hexagonal in configuration in the illustrative embodiments of the invention, are then bent inward at an angle as shown in FIG. 4. The necks of the bottles pass through the apertures 21. Sections 22 and 25 are then bent into a vertical position. Securing means, here shown as complementary snaps 23 and 24, formed during the molding process, allow sections 22 and 25 to be secured to each other, as seen in FIG. 4. Aperture 26 is cut out of section 25 to allow the fingers of a human carrier to grip the container. The elongated head 27 is provided for the comfort of the consumer.

The magnified view of FIG. 3 shows in detail the manner in which the plastic material is shaped for allowing the effortless bending of the semi-rigid plastic into the container shape. Wherever a fold is required, a groove or fold line is provided. The fold lines are defined by thinned out sections of plastic to permit hinging action. The grooves are preferably formed on that side of the plastic away from which the fold is made. However they may be provided on the opposite side or on both sides. For example, in FIG. 3, section 19 is bent in a clockwise direction, and it is seen that fold line 30 permits this bending to be easily effected. Section 2 is similarly bent in a clockwise direction, and fold line 31 is formed as is fold line 30. Section 22, on the other hand, is bent in the counter-clockwise direction, and fold line 32 is accord ingly formed on the opposite side of the plastic material.

FIGS. 2 and 4 show how the containers of the invention, when holding bottles, may be securely stacked one upon the other. Bottles 34, in a lower container, fit into respective indentations in the base .11 of an upper container formed by the upwardly offset portions 17. The weight of the upper'bottle-filled containers insures that a rigid stack is obtained.

The second illustrative embodiment of the invention, shown in FIGS. 6-9, comprises two distinct parts, a carrier or handle portion 41 and a container portion 40. The two portions are shown assembled together in FIG. 6, the container being shown alone in FIGS. 7 and 8, and the carrier being shown alone in FIG. 9.

The container 40 has a base section 42 similar to that in the first illustrative embodiment of the invention. The only diiference is the addition of a longitudinal central fold line 44, to be explained below. Above the base section the container has twosides 46 of T shape, interconnected at their upper 'outer extremities by two end sections 48. These end sections are provided to, connect the T-shaped sides to one another and to allow the handle 41 to engage the container. The top of the container is also provided with two partitions 50 to secure the enclosed bottles.

The two partitions 50 contain respective vertical fold lines 52 and 54. The two ends 48 of the container contain respective vertical fold lines 56 and 58. These four fold lines, together with fold line 44, in the base section 42, allow the container 40 to be folded flat when not in use. The base folds downward asshown by dotted line in FIG. 8. The two vertical end sections fold outward, as to partitions 50. (It is also possible to mold fold lines 56 and 58 on the in side of the end sections, thereby allowing the end sections to fold inward to achieve an even lesser bulk in the unused condition.) The container section 40 is detachable from the handle 41 and the container can thus be folded flat.

The handle is preferably made of a relatively rigid yet elastically deformable material such as metal or plastic, for example, phenol formaldehyde plastic, vinyl plastic, or polyolefin plastic. The handle 41 has a horizontal carrying portion 60 and two vertical legs 62 and 64. The legs 62 and 64 have at their free ends inwardly extending abutments 66 and 68, respectively, which abutments are adapted to fit under the base 42 of the container portion 40 in supporting relation therewith. To give more stability between the connection of the handle to the container portion each of the legs 62 and 64 is provided intermediate its two ends with hook-like portions 70 and 72, respectively, which are designed to receive within them the bottom edges of the two ends 48. Thus the carrier or container portion is provided with four areas of connection with the handle portion 41.

To effect the connection between the handle and the container, the legs 62 and 64 are flexed outwardly and the handle is then brought into overlying relation with the container portion and moved downwardly so that the tops of the hooks 70 and 72 clear the bottoms of the sides 48. At this point the handle legs 62 and 64 may be released to cause them to move into surface engaging relation with the ends 48 of the container. Thereafter, the handle maybe moved upwardly to cause the hooks to move around the ends 48 as may be seen in FIG. 6 and to cause the abutments 66 and 68 to move into underlying supporting relation with the base portion 42. In this manner the handle may be detachably connected to the container. It will be obvious that a reversal of these steps will elfect a detachment of the handle from the container. I

As previously indicated it is preferred that the containers hereinbefore described be made of a plastic material such as, for example, polyethylene or polypropylene.

Such materials are inexpensive and have sufficient rigidity in practical cross-sections to Withstand excessive deformation in the present application as a bottle carrier. However, it will be recognized that the container portions cannot be absolutely rigid in the sense that a metal rod is rigid. The plastic material must have some degree of flexibility and still be sufficiently rigid to serve the present function. Such flexible materials, such as the suggested material polyethylene and polypropylene, as well as polyvinyl chloride and other vinyl resins, are herein referred to as semi-rigid. These semi-rigid materials have suflicient strength to serve as a container yet sufficient flexibility to give the hinge action necessary at the fold lines. Thus a semi-rigid material may be defined as a flexible material having suflEicient strength and stiffness to retain its shape under no load conditions.

The presently preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 10 through 12 and is a modification of the construction illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 5. The presently preferred embodiment is generally designated by the reference numeral which includes a base 111, two side sections 119, two apertured sections 120, a connector section 122 and a connector-handle section 125.

The base section 111 may be substantially identical to the base 11 of FIG. 1 although as shown it is slightly modified in that there are less ribs supporting annular sections 117 at each bottle receiving compartment. As shown only four ribs extend outward from the peripheral side wall 113 of the base 111 or from the partition walls 174, 176 and 178 which extend between confronting portions of the peripheral side wall to provide stiffness for the base 111.

The side sections 119 extend from opposed portions of the peripheral side wall 113 of the base 111 in opposite directions and are integral with the top of the peripheral side wall, being joined by portions of reduced cross section to form integral hinges. It will be noted in FIG. 10 that the sides 119 are inverted trapezoids in configuration although the rectangular structure of the sides 19 of FIG. 1 would be suitable for the present construction.

In accordance with one feature of the present embodiment, each side 119 is provided with a pair of reinforcing ribs 180 and 182 which extend from the top of the peripheral side wall 113 of base 111 to a point close to, but spaced from, the fold lines 131 joining the sides 119 to their associated apertured sections 120. The ribs are disposed along planes which are between apertures 121 (and hence the bottles which will extend therethrough). The ribs 180 and 182 tend to stiffen the sides 119 to prevent any bulging thereof and also serve to further partition the bottles disposed within the container to prevent engagement therebetween.

Each of the apertured sections 120 is provided with three apertures 121 here shown to be slightly rounded rectangles although the hexagonal shape of the embodiment of FIG. 1 could be employed. As is true for the embodiment of FIG. 1, the bottles extend upwardly through apertures 121 and are limited in movement by the portions of the sections 120 surrounding said apertures. Preferably the portions of the sections 120 between adjacent apertures 121 and along the outsides thereof are provided with reinforcing ribs 184 which stiffen the sections 120 and provide better division between bottles contained within the container 110.

The handle section 125 of the present embodiment is substantially identical to the handle section 25 of the embodiment of FIG. 1 save for the provision of four snap-receiving apertures 124 rather than the three of the embodiment of FIG. 1. Likewise the connector section 122 of the present embodiment is identical to the connector section 22 of FIG. 1 save for the inclusion of four protrusions 123 which are complementary to the apertures 124 to form snap fastener means therebetween.

In accordance with one additional feature of the present embodiment, divider means 186 are provided to give separation between bottles on opposite sides of the 1ongitudinally extending rib 174 of base 111. The dividers 186 are tab-like in configuration and extend coplanarly (as molded) with the sections 120 into the apertures 121 from the ends of these apertures adjacent the connector section 122. The juncture of the dividers 186 with the sections 120 could be along fold lines although the inclusion of the fold line at the juncture is not necessary. Of course, if desired, the dividers 186 could be associated with the apertures 121 adjacent the handle section 125 and the result would be precisely the same. The dividers are arranged to extend vertically along the longitudinal vertical plane of the assembled carrier 110 as shown best in FIG. 12. When the sides 119 are bent upwardly along their hinges 130, and the apertured sections 120 are bent at angles to the sides 119 along the hinges 131, and the connector sections 122 and 125 are bent into a vertically extending surface to surface relationship along their hinges 132, the dividers 186 will extend vertically downwardly along a plane substantially the same as the plane defined by the connector section 122 and the handle section 125 whereby to be disposed between adjacent bottles 133 as can be seen from FIG. 12.

In accordance with another feature of the present invention, stiffening means are provided to reduce the tendency of the base 111 to sag under the weight of a full load of bottles 133 by maintaining the apertured sections 120 in substantially fixed relation. This is accomplished by extending between the two apertured sections 120 at both ends of the folded bottle carrier 110 bracing tabs 188 which are secured to both apertured sections 120 when the carrier is in its folded condition. As shown the two tabs 188 are integrally formed with one of the sections 120 and are joined thereto along the edge thereof by fold lines or integral hinges 190. Each of the tabs 188 is provided at its free end with an aperture 192 which forms a part of a snap fastener means as will be apparent hereinafter. Extending outward from both sides of the other section 120 of the carrier 110 are circular studs 194 which are adapted to be inserted into the apertures 192 on the tabs 188 for securement thereto in the manner of a snap fastener. Thus when the bottle carrier is folded to the condition shown in FIG. 12, the tabs 188 can be folded along their respective fold lines 190 to bring the apertures 192 thereon into register with the studs 194 and thence joined to said studs 194 to provide the transverse bracing for the bottle carrier. It will be obvious that the tabs 188 need not be formed integrally with the carrier 110 but could be formed separately therefrom and connected to each of the sections (or if desired to the side sections 119) as by a pair of snap fastener means on each end of the carrier.

To assemble the carrier 110 of FIGS. 10 through 12, the sides 119 are folded 90 along their fold lines 130 to have them extend vertically, and then the sections 120 are folded approximately 30 from the vertical along the fold lines 131, whereby to bring the fold lines 132 substantially into coincidence wtih one another. The connector section 122 and the handle-connector section 125 are then bent along the fold lines 132 to make them extend vertically from said fold lines 132 in which condition the studs 123 and the apertures 124 will be in register for securement as snap fasteners. By so bending the structure 110 the dividers 186 will now extend vertically downwardly along the central vertical plane of the assembled carrier 110 as may best be seen in FIG. 12. Finally the tabs 188 are bent along their respective fold lines 190 to bring the apertures 192 into register with the studs 194 and then the aperture-stud arrangements are connected as like snap fasteners to provide the transverse bracing for the construction. The carriers are then in condition to receive the bottles and prevent undue engagement or rattling thereof.

In FIGS. 1 through 5 and 10 through 12, the side panels 19 are hingedly connected to the upper edge of the peripheral side wall 12 of the base, said hinge connection being affected by the line 30 of reduced thickness. However, in FIG. 13, an alternative manner of connecting the sides 119 of the base to the carrier is shown. This method is to connect the sides 119 to the bottom of the peripheral side wall of the base of the carrier.

Thus it will be seen that in FIG. 13 the lines of reduced thickness serving as integral hinge connectors between sides 119 and the peripheral side wall 113 of the base 111 are located along the bottom edge of the peripheral side wall 113 rather than at the upper edge as in FIGS. 4 and 12. This brings the lower marginal portion of the side wall 119 of the embodiment of FIG. 13 into surface to surface engagement with the peripheral side wall 113 to give a further stiffening effect to the assembled carrier.

While I have herein shown and described the preferred form of the present invention and various modifications thereof, other changes and modifications may be made therein within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.

What I claim is:

1. A plastic bottle carrier, comprising a base section; a pair of side sections pivotally connected to said base section; and a handle, said base section having a plurality of annular rings interconnected and supported by a plurality of ridges, and a plurality of circular section-s connected to said annular rings by respective ones of a plurality of upwardly offset supporting members.

2. The plastic bottle carrier of claim 1, further comprising a pair of apertured sections connected respectively to the ends of said sides remote from said base; a pair of complementary connector sections connected respectively to the ends of said apertured sections remote from said sides; and a handle section; said base section including a substantially upstanding peripheral side wall.

3. The plastic bottle carrier of claim 2, wherein all of said sections are integrally formed of a semi-rigid plastic.

4. The plastic bottle carrier of claim 3, wherein said apertured sections, said side sections and said base are joined to one another by lines of reduced thickness which yield pivotal joints.

5. The plastic bottle carrier of claim 2, wherein each of said sides is provided with a rib disposed in a plane which is perpendicular to said base and between two apertures in the apertured section connected to' the side.

6. The plastic bottle carrier of claim 2, further comprising a tab at an end of said bottle carrier and connected at one end to one of said apertured sections or side sections on one side of said base and connected at its other end to one of said apertured sections and side sections on the other side of said base.

7. The plastic bottle carrier of claim 6, wherein one of said connections is effected by an integrally formed snap fastener means part of which is on said tab and part of which is on said section. 1

8. The plastic bottle carrier of claim 6, wherein said tab is integrally formed with a section to which it is connected and is pivotal with respect thereto.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,563,065 8/1951 Price 220-111 2,804,234 8/1957 Lachance 220-116 3,219,233 11/ 1965 Whiteford 220102 JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.

D. F. NORTON, Assistant Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/196, 206/203
International ClassificationB65D71/52, B65D71/00, B65D71/60
Cooperative ClassificationB65D71/0029, B65D71/0003, B65D2571/0029, B65D2571/00475, B65D2571/00777, B65D2571/00697, B65D2571/00154, B65D2571/00493, B65D2571/00753, B65D2571/00716, B65D2571/00265
European ClassificationB65D71/00B4, B65D71/00B