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Publication numberUS3371848 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 5, 1968
Filing dateOct 24, 1966
Priority dateOct 24, 1966
Also published asDE1295469B
Publication numberUS 3371848 A, US 3371848A, US-A-3371848, US3371848 A, US3371848A
InventorsFrank A Ward, William P Jacobson
Original AssigneeAnderson Bros Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reclosable package
US 3371848 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 5, 1968 F. A. WARD ETAL RECLOSABLE PACKAGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 24, 1966 March 5, 1968 F. A. WARD ETAL 3,3

RECLOSABLE PACKAGE Filed Oct. 24 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 1 3,371,848 RECLOSABLE PACKAGE Frank A. Ward and William P. Jacobson, Rockford, Ill., assignors to Anderson Bros. Mfg. 'Co., Rockford, 11]., a corporation of Illinois Filed Oct. 24, 1966, Ser. No. 588,825 15 Claims. (Cl. 229-45) This invention relates generally to packages and more particularly to a package having a sealed cover which may be reclosed after opening.

It is an important object of the present invention to provide a reclosable package having means for holding the cover in reclosed position.

Another object is to provide a container having an outwardly projecting flange and a cover overlying the open end and sealed to the flange and in which at least a portion of the flange may be separated from the remainder of the container while the cover remains sealed thereto.

Still another object is to provide a package in accord ance with the foregoing and having a weakened area defining a path along which the separation occurs.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a package having a separable flange portion and means on the portion to hold the cover in reclosed position.

A further object is to provide a package in accordance with the foregoing object in which the cover is stretched across the open end when reclosed.

It is another object to provide a package having a separable flange portion and means on the portion to hold the cover in reclosed position and which means is engageable prior to the separation.

Other objects of the present invention are to provide a reclosable package which is attractive, which can be used for a variety of materials, and which can be manufactured at little or no increase in cost over ordinary packages.

These, and other objects and advantages of the present invention, will become apparent as the same becomes better understood from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partial top view taken generally along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIGS. 4-7 are partial sectional views of the embodiment of FIG. 1 and illustrating the package in various stages of use;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention; 1

FIG. 9 is a partial sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9 but illustrating the flange prior to folding;

FIG. 11 is a partial sectional view, similar to FIG. 10, showing still another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a partial sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 11 and showing the relationship of the parts when the cover is in reclosed position;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary perspective view of yet another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a partial top view of the embodiment of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a partial sectional view taken along line 15-15 of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a view similar to FIG. 15 and showing the flange in a folded position; and

FIG. 17 is a partial end view illustrating a modification of the embodiment of FIG. 13.

Reference is now made more particularly to the drawings which illustrate the best presently .known mode of carrying out the invention and wherein similar reference characters indicate the same parts throughout the several views.

The package advantageously includes a rectangular container made of synthetic resin material and having side Walls 22 and 24 and end walls 26 and 28 rising upwardly from a bottom 29. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-7, side walls 22 and 24 have inclined lower portions 22a, 24a to provide a package which is adaptable for a sliced product such as bacon. The upper ends of the walls define an open end of the container, and flanges 32, 34, 36 and 38 extend outwardly from the upper ends of walls 22, 24, 26 and 28, respectively. As can be seen, flange 32 is advantageously wider than the other flanges for a purpose which will hereinafter become apparent. A flexible cover member 40 overlies the open end of the container and is sealed to the flanges to provide a sealed package. Cover member 40 is preferably, but not necessarily, of a stretchable material for a purpose hereinafter described.

In accordance with the present invention, at least a portion of flange 32 is adapted to be separated from the rest of the container along a preselected line while cover member 40 remains sealed to the flange 32. For this purpose the container is advantageously formed of a breakable material, such as polystyrene or the like, and the separation is easily accomplished by deflecting flange 32 relative to the remainder of the container. The preselected line, or break line, is advantageously defined by providing notches, as at 42 (see FIGS. 1 and 13), or a groove, as at 44 (see FIGS. 10 and. 11). It is contemplated that the break line may be provided by other arrangements such as score lines, perforations, or other weakened cross-sections. It is also contemplated that groove 44 need not extend entirely across the container and that it may be located at the top of flange 32 or in opposed pairs on the top and bottom of the flange, if desired.

After flange 32 has been separated or severed from the remainder of the container, flexible cover member 40 may be peeled off end flanges 36 and 38 by lifting upwardly on flange 32 as shown in FIG. 6. For this purpose, cover member 40 is advantageously sealed to the flanges as by heat which is controlled so that there is a limited amount of fusion between the cover memher and container. In this manner the peeling may be accomplished by the cover member separating from the container at the seal line. It is also contemplated that the peeling of the cover may be accomplished by tearing or the like as along a score line adjacent the seal. In accordance with the present invention, flexible cover member 40 is to remain sealed to flange 34 to secure the cover member to the container adjacent the side opposite flange 32. It is deemed obvious that peeling back cover member 40, as described above, provides initial access through the open end of the container.

After opening, the package may be reclosed and, for this purpose, first and second interfitting means are provided to hold cover member 40 overlying the open end of the container in a reclosed position. One of the interfitting means is provided on flange member 32 outwardly of the break line and the other interfitting means is provided on the container inwardly of the break line. These inter fitting means may take different forms as will hereinafter be described.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-7, the break line is at the juncture of side wall 22 and flange 32 and the inter-fitting means on flange 32 is a pair of elongate protuberances 52. The protuberances are disposed generally parallel to side Wall 22 and each having a plurality of ribs 54 extending outwardly therefrom. A pair of elongate slots 48 extends inwardly from side wall portion 22a to engage and retain the respective protuberance. Slots 48 are arranged crosswise of the container and generally parallel with the protuberances for this purpose. The ribs 54 are arranged for a snug fit with opposite sides 48a, 48b of the respective slot 48. Thus it can be seen that the interfitting means on the flange has its opposite sides engaged by the interfitting means on the container and provides a snap-type retention. Protuberances 52 or slots 48 can also be provided with a wavy or snake-like elongation rather than providing ribs 54. It is deemed obvious that the ribs may be provided on the sides 48a, 48b of slots 48 rather than on protuberances 52, if desired. Protuberances 52 also advantageously serve to stiffen flange 32.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the interfitting means may be engaged after sealing and prior to severance of flange 32 from the remainder of the container to reduce the overall size of the package during shipment and display. For this purpose, the flange 32 is foldable along the break line and, in the embodiment shown, also resiliently bends along .a line 55 located outwardly of the break line. Flange 32 is advantageously formed with a slight deflection to define line 55, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. After severance of the flange 32 from the remainder of the container, the deflection at line 55 remains, but the bend at 55 no longer exists. When the cover is reclosed, and the interfitting means again engaged as shown in FIG. 7, it can be seen that there is a gap between the matching edges on opposite sides of the break line. The gap is provided by a pivoting of flange 32 about the juncture of side wall 22 and its lower portion 22a. To further accomplish this, side wall 22 is inclined inwardly as best shown in FIG. 2. The angle designated A is approximately when formed. As a result of the gap, cover member 40 will be stretched somewhat when the interfitting means is again engaged. Thus cover member 40 is stretched taut over the open end. A tab 57 is advantageously provided at the extremity of flange 32 adjacent each protuberance 52 to provide a finger-grip means for disengaging the protuberances from slot 48 as for breaking off the flange or reopening the container afterit has been reclosed as shown in FIG. 7.

It has been found that inclining side wall 22 inwardly at approximately 10 advantageously provides a weakened juncture of side wall 22 and flange 32. This weakening aids in severing the flange as described above. This container is .advantageously pressure formed, and it is theorized that the sharp angle thins the material at the juncture during the forming and thereby provides a weakened juncture.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 8-10, groove 44 is located in the central portion of flange 32 and hence the break line is located outwardly of wall 22. In this embodiment, both interfitting means are located on the flange 32 but on opposite sides of the break line. As shown, a depending boss 62 extends a substantial distance along flange 32 outwardly of the break line and generally parallel thereto. Boss 62 has elongate ribs 63 on opposite sides thereof. An elongate opening 65 is provided through the flange 32 and cover member 40 at a location inwardly of the break line and generally parallel thereto. If desired, a female-type interfitting means can be provided rather than opening 65. Opening 65 and boss 62 .are both located approximately the same distance from the break line and thus opening 65 is arranged for passage of the boss 62 theret-hrough. When inserted through opening 65, elongate ribs 63 engage the upper surface of the cover member 40 at opposite sides of opening 65 to provide another snap-type retention arrangement. This relative locations of boss 62 and opening 65 may be reversed, if desired. In a manner similar to that described above, flange 32 is foldable along groove 44 for insertion of boss 62 through opening 65 prior to shipping, for example, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. In this embodiment, should the outer portion of flange 32 be accidentally severed along the break line, the seal of the package is not affected since cover member 40 is still sealed to the flange 32 inwardly of the break line and opening 65. In this embodiment, boss 62 is disengaged by pressing downwardly through the opening 65; hence a finger-grip means is not required.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 11 and 12, groove 44 is located generally at the junction of flange 32 and side wall 22 and hence the break line is at this location. The interfitting means on flange 32 is herein illustrated as an opening 72 which conveniently extends through the cover member 40. The cover member is advantageously sealed to flange 32 inwardly of opening 72. The interfittin-g means on the container is in the form of a hook 74 extending from side wall 22. Hook 74 has a depending end 75 arranged to engage the outer edge of opening 72 after flange 32 has been severed from the remainder of the container. In this embodiment, the depending end 75 is located a greater distance from the break line than is the outer edge of opening 72. In this manner, when flange 32 is hooked onto hook 74, a gap is created between the matching edges at the break line and cover member 40 is advantageously stretched across the open end of the container and the gap, as illustrated in FIG. 12. A tab 77, similarly arranged as tab 57, is provided for ease in removal of the hook-type retention.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 13-16, the container is advantageously made of polyvinyl chloride and the break line is defined by a plurality of spaced slits 45 extending through flange 32. Since vinyl does not break easily, the slits are closely spaced so that severing can be accomplished by a consumer. In this embodiment, the interfitting means on flange 32 is in the form of a pair of depending projections 82, each having ribs 83, 84 on opposite sides thereof. Each of a pair of upright channels extends inwardly of side wall 22 to snugly engage the respective projection 82 when it is inserted therein. The opposite sides 85a, 85b of each upright channel 85 compressibly engage the ribs 83, 84 of each projection 82 to provide a snap-type retention of flange 32 in a position adjacent side wall 22. Each upright channel 85 conveniently extends to bottom 29 and thereby provides an opening between the back wall 850 of the groove and the back side of flange 32. This provides an access of the fingers for disengaging each projection 82 from its respective channel 85. Flange 32 may be folded at its junction with side wall 22 for engagement of the projections with upright channels 85 prior to shipping with the attending advantages described above. Flange 32 may be severed from the remainder of the container by flexing about the above described break line and the package opened and reclosed in the manner described above. The use of vinyl provides a particularly advantageous arrangement in keeping the reclosed cover taut. Vinyl is flexible and hence the portion of flange 32 inwardly of the break line is flexible. This is particularly true when a thin flange is formed. After severing, the inward portion of flange 32 tends to assume the outwardly extending position, in which it was formed. By positioning the projections 82 and channels 85 so that flange portion will be caused to deflect downwardly when they are interfitted, the resiliency of the inner flange portion will keep cover member 40 taut. Since this flange portion extends crosswise of the container, the tautness is generally uniform in this arrangement. Additionally, the cover member 40 need not be of stretchable material in such an arrangement. Obviously, the use of a flexible material, such as vinyl, for

the container is not limited to this embodiment, nor isthis embodiment limited to such a material.

In the modification illustrated in FIG. 17, depending projection 82 has no ribs. Rather, ribs 87 and 88 are advantageously provided at opposite sides of upright groove 85' to engage opposite sides of boss 82' and provide a snap-type retention of flange 32 closely adjacent side wall 22.

It can be seen that the present invention provides a reclosable package in which at least a portion of the flange 32 may be separated while the cover member 40 remains sealed thereto. Preferably, a groove 44, notches 42, slits 45, or similar means are provided to define a preselected line along which this severance may occur when the flange 32 is deflected relative to the remainder of the container. It can also be seen that cover member 40 may be peeled from the container to permit access through the open end thereof. First and second interfitting means, or cooperating retention mean-s, are provided one on either side of the break line for engaging each other to hold the cover member 40 in a reclosed position overlying the open end. Preferably, the interfitting means may be advantageously engaged after sealing and prior to shipping to reduce the overall size of the package and prevent accidental severance along the break line. The interfitting means on the container can be on the side wall, either on a vertical or inclined portion thereof, or it can be located on flange 32 inwardly of the break line, or it can be otherwise located. The retention means may be, for example, a snap-type or a hook-type. Preferably the cover member 40 is held taut in its reclosed position either by being stretched somewhat or by deflection of the inner portion of flange 32.

While it is contemplated that the present invention may be manufactured in various ways, it may be conveniently formed, filled, and sealed by the apparatus described in Patent No. 3,000,157, issued to Ollier et al. When so formed, thermoplastic materials of types previously described may be utilized for the container, and cover member 40 may be of a flexible thermoplastic material of any type compatible with the container for heat sealing thereto. If desired, however, the cover member can be formed of sheets of material, such as paper or aluminum foil, coated with a material for scaling to the container. When a generally transparent cover is used, flange 32 can be top printed during the forming operation and, when folded, the printing is then disposed at another side of the package. Thus the label can be presented on two sides of the package by an operation which prints only on one side of the package. The same advantage results if the cover member 40 contains the printing.

While preferred embodiments of the invention have herein been illustrated and described, this has been done by way of illustration and not limitation, and the invention should not be limited except as required by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A reclosable package comprising: a container having means defining an open end and an outwardly extending peripheral flange at the open end, a flexible cover member sealed to the flange and providing a sealed closure for the open end, said flange arranged for breaking ofi one portion thereof from the remainder of the container along a preselected line while the cover member remains sealed thereto, the cover member being peelable from a part of the remainder of the flange as said one flange portion is lifted, first and second interfitting means for holding the cover member in a reclosed position overlying the open end, the first interfitting means being on the one flange portion outwardly of said preselected line and the second interfitting means being on the remainder of the container inwardly of the preselected line, and the one flange portion movable downwardly after peeling of the cover member to a position adjacent the second interfitting means for engagement of the first interfitting means therewith to hold the cover in a reclosed position. 2. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 including means defining a weakened portion in the flange at said 'ment of said first and second interfitting means during shipping and display.

4. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 wherein the first interfitting means is located a preselected distance from said preselected line, and the second interfitting means is located on the flange on the opposite side of the preselected line a distance approximating said preselected distance.

5. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 wherein the second interfitting means is located on the means defining the open end of the container.

6. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 wherein one of the interfitting means comprises a protuberance, and the other interfitting means is arranged to frictionally engage at least opposite sides of the protuberance.

7. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 wherein one of the interfitting means comprises a hook for engaging and retaining the other interfitting means.

8. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 wherein the cover member is made of a stretchable material, and the one flange portion has its edge formed by breaking along the preselected line spaced from the matching edge when the first and second interfitting means are engaged to stretch the cover member in its reclosed position.

9. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 including means defining a weakened portion in the flange at said preselected line, and wherein the cover member is made of stretchable material, the flange is foldable generally along said preselected line prior to breaking off of the one flange portion for engagement of the first and second interfitting means during shipping and display, and the edge of the one flange portion formed by breaking along the preselected line is spaced from the matching edge when the first and second interfitting means are engaged after said breaking whereby the cover member is stretched in its reclosed position.

10. A reclosable package comprising: a generally rectangular container having means defining an open end and an outwardly extending flange across one side of the container, means defining a line along which at least a portion of the flange may be separated from the remainder of the container, a flexible cover member overlying the open end and peripherally sealed to the container and the flange, the cover member so constructed and arranged that the flange may be separated while the cover member remains sealed thereto and a portion of the cover member may be peeled from the container to permit access to the container, and first and second interfitting means on the separable flange and container respectively for engaging each other and holding the cover member in a reclosed position overlying the open end.

11. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 10* wherein the second interfitting means is on said one side of the container and located to receive the first interfitting means when the flange portion is bent out of the plane of the flange and alongside the one side of the container.

12. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 10 whereing the separation line is intermediate said one, side of the container and the outer edge of the flange thereby leaving an inner flange portion at said one side of the container after separation, said inner flange portion being resiliently deflectable in a direction toward said one side of the container, and said second interfitting means being located farther from the separation line than said first interfitting means so'that the inner flange is deflected by the cover member when the interfitting means are engaged, whereby the resiliency of the inner flange portion holds the cover member taut.

13. A reclosable package comprising: a container having means defining an open end and an outwardly extending flange at the open end, a cover member overlying the open end and peripherally sealed to the container and flange, said flange arranged for separation of at least a portion thereof from the remainder of the container along a preselected line while the cover member remains sealed thereto, a hook on said remainder of the container and spaced from the preselected line, and said flange having means spaced outwardly from the preselected line for engaging the hook when the flange is moved downwardly after said separation thereby holding the cover in a reclosed position.

14. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 13 wherein said last-mentioned means comprises an opening through the flange, the outer edge of which opening is engaged by the hook, and wherein the cover member is sealed to the flange inwardly of the opening.

15. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 13 wherein the cover member is formed of a stretchable material, and the last-mentioned means is spaced from the preselected line a distance less than the spacing of the hook from the preselected line whereby the cover member is stretched in said reclosed position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,048,299 8/ 1962 Hutchinson 22054 3,069,273 12/ 1962 Wayne. 3,096,904- 7/1963 Hutchinson 2 20-54 XR 3,101,870 8/1963 Betner. 3,108,708 10/1963 Betner 22054 3,276,616 10/ 19 66 Lurie 2205 3 DAVIS T. MOORHEAD, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3398876 *Feb 6, 1967Aug 27, 1968Anderson Bros Mfg CoReclosable package
US3398877 *Apr 10, 1967Aug 27, 1968Anderson Bros Mfg CoReclosable package
US3467244 *Mar 10, 1967Sep 16, 1969Mahaffy & Harder Eng CoEvacuated package with semirigid shell and flexible closure
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US8088421Jun 25, 2010Jan 3, 2012Kraft Foods Global Brands LlcFood package having a reclose mechanism
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US8468786Dec 9, 2011Jun 25, 2013Kraft Foods Group Brands LlcMethod for forming a reclose mechanism on a reclosable package
EP1140653A1 Dec 9, 1999Oct 10, 2001Convenience Food Systems B.V.Resealable plastic packaging container with at least one knob
EP1652791A1 *Oct 26, 2004May 3, 2006Cryovac, Inc.Reclosable food package
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Classifications
U.S. Classification220/270, 229/406, 229/125.35, 383/63, 229/123.1, 426/121, 229/927, 426/122, 426/123
International ClassificationB65D77/20
Cooperative ClassificationB65D77/2088, B65D2577/2083, B65D77/20, Y10S229/927
European ClassificationB65D77/20E2B2, B65D77/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 21, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: APV ANDERSON BROS. INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:ANDERSON BROS. MFG. CO.;REEL/FRAME:004279/0280
Effective date: 19840131
Apr 17, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: ANDERSON BROS. MFG CO A DE CORP
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ANDERSON BROS. MFG CO;REEL/FRAME:004245/0696
Effective date: 19840103