|Publication number||US3352479 A|
|Publication date||Nov 14, 1967|
|Filing date||May 12, 1965|
|Priority date||May 12, 1965|
|Publication number||US 3352479 A, US 3352479A, US-A-3352479, US3352479 A, US3352479A|
|Inventors||Mohs Thomas J|
|Original Assignee||Monsanto Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (10), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Nov. 14, 1967 T. J. MOHS 3,352,479 I PACKAGE OPENER FOR SEALED PACKAGES I Filed May 12, 1965 3 Sheets-$heet 1 THOMAS J. MOHS- INVENTOR.
Nov. 14, 1967 T. J. MOHS PACKAGE OPENER FOR SEALED PACKAGES 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 12, 1965 a u I l a w THOM AS J. M 0 HS INVENTOR.
AGE T Nov. 14, 1967 v T. J'. MOHS 3,352,479
PACKAGE OPENER FOR SEALED PACKAGES Filed May 12,1965 3 Sheets-Sheet a THOMAS J. MOHS. INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,352,479 PACKAGE OPENER FOR SEALED PACKAGES Thomas J. Mohs, Avon, Conn., assignor to Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Mo., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 12, 1965, Ser. No. 455,680 13 Claims. (Cl. 229-51) This invention relates to a container and an opening device therefor. More specifically the invention is directed to tray type containers having a tearable lid closure thereon and an opening device for readily opening the package and providing easy access to its contents.
Packaging and related industries have turned to packaging foodstuffs and numerous other small quantity commodifies in shallow tray packages. These packages are enclosed by a sheet across the top of the tray that is hermetically sealed to the top edge of the tray around the periphery thereof. Moreover, numerous similar packages have been in use when the lid is not hermetically sealed to the tray or container body, but is merely crimped or in tight fitting relationship around the periphery of the top edge of the tray or sandwiched between portions of the side walls of the tray.
Packages of these types have enjoyed widespread acceptance and success, but as yet have not been completely perfected. This invention is directed to overcome one of the disadvantages of this type package, namely, opening of the package. The closure which may be referred to as top wall, or lid is generally of a unitary structure. The lid has heretofore been removed by various and sundry ways including cutting with a knife or some other sharp instrument or prying the lid apart from the side wall, but these means for opening the package are both awkward and inconvenient for the consumer.
A particular object of this invention is to provide a container having incorporated therewith a noval means for opening the container.
Another object of this invention is to provide a sealed container of the tray type having incorporated therewith a rigid package opening member.
Another object of this invention is to provide a novel container opener.
' container opener fixed to the lip of a container.
FIGURE III isa fragmentary perspective view of the package showing the container opener in a partially raised position.
FIGURE IV is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line AA which shows the package opening member in the raised position.
FIGURE V is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line AA which depicts an acceptable package sealing arrangement between the lid and the side wall.
FIGURE VI is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line AA that shows another acceptable sealing arrangement between the lid and the container side wall. FIGURE VII is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line AA that shows a modification of the package opening member.
FIGURE VIII is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line AA that shows still another modification of the package opening member.
3,352,479 Patented Nov. 14, 1967 Generally speaking the container of the present invention comprises a body portion of a tearable material which may be a tray or a base with upstanding side walls which terminate at the upper end in a lip. A closure member or lid of tearable material is sealed to the body portion in some conventional manner. The closure opener member or clip is positioned around a portion of the lip and closure member sealed thereto and extends along the seal from one bend in the periphery of the lip to a second bend in the periphery of the lip.
The container of the subject invention may be constructed of any material which is capable of being torn by application of a positive transverse stress thereto. More specifically, the tray of the container depicted generally as 1 may be constructed of rigid or semi-rigid materials being limited in that the lip of the container be tearable upon application of a positive transverse stress thereto. On the other hand, the top wall which may also be referred to as the lid or closure member 2 may be constructed of any material which may be torn with relative ease after the initial break in the material has been accomplished, understanding of course, that the tray and lid must be 7 sealably compatible to each other in some form.
The materials from which the container is constructed may be the same throughout or the lid material may be dissimilar to the tray material. The bottom portion or tray of the container 1 may be a cellulosic material such as paper board, molded pulp, or the like. Furthermore, the tray may, for example, be constructed of a rigid or semirigid plastic material exemplified by polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, as well as numerous other plastic materials. Also, the tray of the container may be constructed of a light gage metal foil such as aluminum or laminates of any of the above. The lid of the container, as stated before, may be similar or dissimilar as the situation dictates, and may be constructed, for example, from any of the materials listed above.
The container body generally described as 1 may be a tray of unitary construction or may be a base to which at least one side wall has been affixed. The shape of the container is not critical so long as it has definite bends in the peripheral edges of lip 3'. Tray 1 is adapted to receive a lid or closure member 2 in any suitable arrange ment wherein the container opening member may engage a protruding edge of the container lip and/ or the container closure member. A preferred arrangement is set forth in FIGURE II wherein the side wall 3 of the container tray or base terminates as a lip defined by an outwardly transverse extending portion 5 and a downwardly extending skirt portion 6.
This preferred arrangement is illustrative of the final shape of the container. Initially, skirt 6 may appear as a further outward extension of member 5 (not shown) which during the sealing operation is biased downwardly to depend from member 5. The lid or closure member is then sealed to the lip of the container peripherally along skirt 6. The manner of sealing the lid to the container wall is not a part of this invention and may be so accomplished in any conventional way.
Referring now to FIGURES I and II, the container opener member generally described as 7 is affixed to the container lip in such a way as to at least partially surround skirt portion 6 of the side wall 3 and downwardly extending member 4 of the lid 2. The container opener member 7 must be rigid, but there is no further restriction as to selection of materials from which the opener may be constructed. A preferred material may be a very rigid plastic such as polystyrene, however, a metal clip is equally effective. The container opener or clip may be constructed in any conventional way such as extrusion or injection molding if the clip is constructed of plastic.
As shown in FIGURE II, clip 7 is generally U-shaped and is shown as a unitary structure, This invention, however, does not dictate that the clip 7 be of unitary construction. Instead, the clip may comprise a base and two upstanding legs attached thereto. As shown in FIGURE II, the clip comprises legs 8 and 9 of the U that terminate in outwardly transverse converging members and 11. More specifically, the outwardly transverse member 10 engages the surface of member 6 of the container in a clamping arrangement whereby members 4 and 6 are sandwiched between legs 8 and 9 of clip 7 and the clip is firmly attached to the container and associated lid. The outwardly transverse member 11 of the clip 7 acts as a lever to increase the stress on the container wall and closure as the clip 7 is twisted upwardly to open the container. It is not necessary, however, that the clip 7 is in a clamping engagement with the container wall and closure.
Instead, upstanding wall members 8 and 9 of clip 7 may be attached to the container wall and closure in any suitable way such as by heat sealing or adhesives and the like. It may even be an integral part of the container.
Opening of the container by means of the present invention proceeds as follows: Clip 7 is attached to the depending skirt portion of the container side wall 6 and the descending portion of the container closure member 4 in clamping engagement by member 10 of clip 7. The clip member is grasped by the consumer and twisted upwardly whereby the clip pivots about a point 15. Stress is applied to the container side wall and closure members at corners 13 and 14 of the clip member 7 until. the materials of the container and closure member are torn along edges 13 and 14 of the clip to produce the original tear in the material. Stress applied to the material is increased by virtue of leverage attained from coaction between member 11 and the lid 2. After the original tear in the lid 2, t 1e clip may then be pulled across the top of the container and the lid will continue to tear along broken lines 16 and 17 to expose the contents of the container to the consumer. These broken lines do not appear on the surface of the lid, but are shown only to illustrate the approximate line of tear.
If, however, the lid of the container is constructed of materials that are normally not torn with ease, then lines 16 and 17 could represent score lines in the lid to provide a definite line of tear and to reduce the force required to produce the tear.
Modifications of the sealing relationship between the container 1 and lid 2 are set forth in FIGURES V and VI. In FIGURE V, member 4 of lid 2 is further extended and curved inwardly to envelope the lower portion of skirt 6. In FIGURE VI the side wall 3 terminates at its upper end in a U shape defined by members 6, 6, and 6". The U in this modification receives downwardly extending member 4 of the lid 2 in some type of sealing engagement.
Modification of the clip member 7 are likewise considered as may be seen in FIGURES VII and VIII. In FIGURE VII, a modified clip 7 is illustrated and is heat sealed or adhesively attached to skirt 6. In this modification, clip 7' is simply a rigid tab member which like clip 7 extends along the periphery of the lip 3 almost substantially from one bend in container contour to another bend in the container contour.
FIGURE VIII illustrates the same container and lid arrangement as set forth in FIGURE II, but illustrating a modified clip 7". Clip 7 is shown as a U without the convergent angular transverse members 10 and 11. In this modification clip 7 is heat sealed or adhesively sealed to v. skirt 6 and materials of construction of the containerand lid are such that the extra stress produced by coaction beclude a clip where either one of members 10 or 11 are 4 present t n born.
While in the foregoing specification, specific materials and steps have been set out in considerable detail for the purpose of illustrating the invention, it should be understood that such details of materials and procedure may be varied widely by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A container comprising:
(a) a base;
(b) a plurality of sides on said base;
(c) a lip at the upper end of at least one of said sides having a tearable portion;
(d) a closure member in sealing engagement with the outer surface of the lip, having a tearable portion; and
(e) a U-shaped rigid container opening member extending along a portion of said lip, at least a portion of one leg of which engages the inner surface of the lip, with at least a portion of the other leg engaging the outer surface of an edge portion of the closure member whereby on twisting the opening member upward, said tearable portion of the lip is first torn from the remainder of said lip, and then said tearable portion of the closure member is torn from V the remainder of said closure member. 7
2. The container of claim 1 wherein said container is made of polystyrene.
3. The container of claim 1 wherein said container body is constructed of a cellulosic material, and said closure member is polystyrene.
4. The container of claim 1 wherein the lip is comprised of an outward transverse member extending from the side wall and terminates in a downwardly extending skirt member.
5. The container of claim 1 characterized in that the closure member is hermetically sealed to the body of the container.
6. The container of claim 1 characterized in that the rigid container opening member is comprised of a base, two members integral with and extending upwardly from said base and terminating in angularly transverse members.
7. The container of claim 1 characterized in that the rigid container opening member is comprised of a base, two members integral with and extending upwardly from said base and terminating in angularly transverse ends.
8. A container comprising:
(b) a plurality of sides on said base; a
(c) a tearable lip at the upper end of at least one of said sides;
(d) a closure member of tearable material in sealing engagement with the outer surface of the lip; and
(e) a U-shaped rigid containeropening member of extruded plastic sealed to and extending along a portion of said lip, said opening member comprising a base, first and second upwardly extending legs connected to said base, said legs terminating in substantially parallel outwardly transverse ends, said opening member having at least-a portion of the first leg engaging the inner surface of the lip, with at least a portion of the second leg engaging the outer surface of an edge portion of the closure member, the transverse end of the first leg of the container opening member residing between the container lip and side engaging the inner surface of the lip, and serving as a gripping member, and the transverse member on the second leg of the container opening member serving as a lever, whereby on twisting the container opening member upwardly, a stress is applied to the container lip and closure member to facilitate initially tearing a portion of the lip, followed by a portion of the closure member, from the remainder of the lip and closure member, along is made of polystyrene.
10. The container of claim 8 wherein said container body is constructed of a cellulosic material, and the closure member is constructed of polystyrene.
11. The container of claim 8 wherein the lip is comprised of an outward transverse member from the body and terminates in a downwardly extending skirt member.
12. The container of claim 8 characterized in that the closure member is hermetically sealed to the body of the container.
13. A container comprising:
(a) a bottom wall;
(b) at least one side wall connected to said bottom wall and extending upwardly therefrom;
(c) said side wall terminating in an inverted U and forming a lip around the periphery of the container; said inverted U comprising an extension of the side wall in an outwardly transverse direction and a further extension of the side wall in a downward direction, substantially parallel to the upwardly extending portion of the side wall, said downward extension having a tearable portion;
(d) a continuous closure member of sheet material in sealing engagement with the outer surface of the lip having a tearable portion engaging that of the downward extension of the lip; and
(e) a U-shaped rigid container opening member extending along a portion of said lip, one leg of which engages the tearable portion of inner surface of the lip with the other leg engaging the outer surface of an edge portion of the sheet, whereby on twisting the opening member upward, said tearable portion of the lip is first torn from the remainder of said lip, and then said tearable portion of the closure member is torn from the remainder of said closure member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,300,161 10/1942 Mather 229-47 3,073,479 1/1963 Brouerman et al 220-67 3,151,799 10/ 1964 Engles et a1. 229-25 JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner. R. PESHOCK, Assistant Examiner.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,352,479 November 14, 1967 Thomas J. Mohs It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Column 1, line 26, for "overcome" read overcoming column 6, line 7 strike out "tearable portion of"; line 8, before "the",first occurrence, insert the tearable portion of Signed and sealed this 1st day of April 1969.
EDWARD J. BRENNER Edward M. Fletcher, J r.
Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2300161 *||Sep 7, 1939||Oct 27, 1942||Marketing Service Corp||Cover fastener|
|US3073479 *||Oct 7, 1960||Jan 15, 1963||Gen Electric||Hermetic seal|
|US3151799 *||Apr 4, 1962||Oct 6, 1964||Dow Chemical Co||Packaging tray|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3398876 *||Feb 6, 1967||Aug 27, 1968||Anderson Bros Mfg Co||Reclosable package|
|US3398877 *||Apr 10, 1967||Aug 27, 1968||Anderson Bros Mfg Co||Reclosable package|
|US3580478 *||Jul 24, 1969||May 25, 1971||Robert P Bemiss||Packaging|
|US3753512 *||Oct 27, 1970||Aug 21, 1973||Phoenix Closures Inc||Container and closure|
|US4261505 *||Feb 4, 1980||Apr 14, 1981||Sekisui Kaseihin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha||Packaging container|
|US4494654 *||Nov 3, 1982||Jan 22, 1985||Pizza Hut, Inc.||Salad bar insert|
|US4799591 *||Sep 12, 1986||Jan 24, 1989||Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd.||Sheet film package and method and device for loading sheet film|
|US8376176 *||Jun 8, 2010||Feb 19, 2013||Jokey Plastik Gummersbach Gmbh||Container having a flange with a pivotable tab indicating tamper evidence|
|US20100243654 *||Jun 8, 2010||Sep 30, 2010||Jokey Plastik Gummersbach Gmbh||Container with a cover indicating previous opening|
|US20110229610 *||Nov 24, 2009||Sep 22, 2011||Cascades Canada Inc.||Anti-leak meat pack, food packaging tray therefore, and associated methods|
|U.S. Classification||229/123.2, 206/557, 220/270|
|International Classification||B65D77/40, B65D77/22|