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Publication numberUS3495759 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 17, 1970
Filing dateApr 24, 1968
Priority dateApr 24, 1968
Publication numberUS 3495759 A, US 3495759A, US-A-3495759, US3495759 A, US3495759A
InventorsRoger C Bergstrom, William P Jacobson
Original AssigneeAnderson Bros Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reclosable package
US 3495759 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. c; BERGSTROM ETAL l RECLOSABLE PACKAGE 'Feb. 17, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 24 1968 Feb. 17, 1970 R. c. BEGSTRQM ET AL 3,495,759

, RECLOSABLE PAC KAGE Filed April 24 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 f0 .lA/ 4722..) wi $16.15,

United States Patent i 3,495,759 RECLOSABLE PACKAGE Roger C. Bergstrorn and William P. Jacobson, Rockford,

Ill., assignors to Anderson Bros. Mfg. (10., Rockford,

11]., a corporation of Illinois Filed Apr. 24, 1968, Ser. No. 723,734 Int. Cl. 1565:] /54 U.S. Cl. 22945 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A container having a peripheral flange with first and second outer flange portions at opposite sides of the container. The flange portions may be lifted to peel and completely remove a sealed cover member. Retaining means are provided at opposite sides of the container for engaging the outer flange portions and holding the cover member in a reclosed position.

BACKGROUND The invention relates generally to packages and more particularly to reclosable packages.

There are many commodities which are not ordinarily consumed at one time, such as luncheon meats, cheese, b-utter, etc. Under such circumstances, it is desirable to reclose the package to protect the produce. In the prior art, Patent No. 3,371,848 shows various embodiments for accomplishing this result. In those embodiments, however, it was not possible to completely remove the cover member without destroying the reclosing feature. Complete removal of the cover member is frequently desirable, as when the container is to be used as a servlng dish in informal dining.

SUMMARY The present invention provides a reclosable package including a container having flange portions, a cover member which is completely removable from the container while the flange portions remain secured to the cover member, and means for holding the cover member in reclosed position.

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

Another object is to provide a container having an outwardly projecting flange and a cover member overlying the open end and sealed to the flange, and in which portions of the flange at opposite sides of the container may be utilized to hold the cover member in reclosed position.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a container, a removable cover member sealed thereto with a peelable-type seal, and first and second re taining means at opposite sides of the container for holding the cover member in reclosed position.

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

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

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof and showing the cover member being removed;

FIGS. 3-6 are small-scale top views of the embodiment of FIG. 1 and showing steps in opening and reclosing the package;

3,495,759 Patented Feb. 17, 1970 FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the relationship of the parts in reclosed position;

FIG. 8 is a longitudinal sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 when in reclosed position;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view on a larger scale than FIG. 8 and showing the retaining means in greater detail;

FIG. 10 is a top view of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken generally along line 11-11 of FIG. 10 but showing the reclosed position;

FIG. 12 is a top view of still another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 13 is a side view as seen from the right of FIG. 12 and showing a strip being removed from the flange.

DESCRIPTION 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.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-9, the package includes a rectangular container having side walls 2124 rising upwardly from a bottom wall 26. The container illustrated is advantageously made of thin thermoplastic material; however, it is contemplated that other materials may be utilized within the spirit of the present invention. The upper ends of walls 21.2-4 define an open end of the container, and preferably the upper ends of the walls are generally coplanar. Flanges 31, 32, 33, and 34 extend outwardly from the upper ends of walls 21, 22, 23, and 24, respectively, to define an outwardly extending peripheral flange. Adjacent the outer edge of flange 31 at one lateral side of the container is an outer flange portion 37. Similarly, adjacent the outer edge of flange 33 at the other lateral side of the container is an outer flange portion 39. The purpose of these outer flange portions will hereafter become apparent.

A flexible cover member 40 overlies the upper end of the container and is sealed to the peripheral flange to provide a sealed package. Cover member 40 is also sealed to the outer flange portions 37, 39 for a purpose hereafter described. The cover member may be sealed to the peripheral flange in any convenient manner, and may be a transparent thermoplastic material compatible with the material of the container and heat-sealed to the flanges, if desired. In any event, the seal between the cover member and the peripheral flange is preferably a peelable-type seal so that the cover member may be manually peeled from the peripheral flange by a consumer.

Outer flange portions 37 and 39 may be separate strips having their inner edges adjacent the outer edges of flanges 31 and 33, or may be initially connected to the respective flanges as illustrated in the drawing. If so connected, the outer flange portions 37, 39 are adapted to be separated from their respective flanges at the outer extremity thereof while cover member 4-0 remains sealed to the outer flange portions. For this purpose, the container shown in FIGS. 19 is advantageously formed of a breakable material, and the separation is accomplished by deflecting the outer flange portions at their juncture with the adjacent flange. As shown, this juncture is indicated at 41 and 43 (see FIG. 1) and defines a generally straight break line. Preferably, lines 41 and 43 are generally parallel to aid in reclosing the container as hereafter described. Depending on the material used, the break line may be provided by a groove, a plurality of slots, notches, or the like.

In accordance with the present invention, the flexible cover member 40 may be peeled off the peripheral flange by lifting upwardly on either outer flange portion, for example, outer flange portion 37 as shown in FIG. 2. Thus, the outer flange portions 37 and 39 provide alternative grips for peeling of the cover member. For this purpose, cover member 40 is advantageously sealed to the peripheral flange in such a manner that the seal may be broken by a peeling force advantageously in the range of about 3 to 5 pounds. The peeling is then accomplished by the cover member separating from the container at the seal. In accordance with this invention, the cover member is to be removed from the entire peripheral flange so that it is completely separate from the container. In so doing, a consumer obtains initial access to the open end of the container.

After opening, the package may be reclosed by first and second retaining means on opposite sides of the package. Several typical retaining means are illustrated in the aforementioned Patent No. 3,371,848. In the embodiment illustrated, the package is reclosed by moving outer flange portions 37 and 39 to a position underlying flanges 32 and 34 (see FIG. 6) and holding the outer flange portions in that position to hold cover member 40 in closed position. As best illustrated in FIG. 8, the retaining means is in the form of a groove 52 formed closely adjacent the underside of flange 32 and formed in wall 22 at the front of the container, to engage the outer edge of outer flange portion 37 in said underlying position. Similarly, a groove 54 is formed in wall 24 at the rear of the container to engage the outer edge of outer flange portion 39.

In viewing FIGS. 3-6, it can be seen that the cover member 40 in the attached outer flange portions 37 and 39 are rotated 90 from their initial position (FIG. 3) to their reclosed position (FIG. 6). It has been found that, when cover member 40 is a substantially non-stretchable material, the outer flange portions 37 and 39 cannot be disposed in underlying relationship of flanges 31 and 33 where the outer flange portions were initially attached. This is because the thickness of the flanges takes up some of the cover material 40 as can be seen in FIGS. 7-9. Thus, it has been found that the distance between the inner edges of outer flange portions 37 and 39 must be greater than the distance between the outer edges of flanges 32 and 34 by about four times the thickness of the flange. Thus, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-9, the outer flange portions 37 and 39 are initially formed adjacent the lateral sides of the container and, after the cover member 40 has been removed by a consumer, the cover member is rotated 90 so that the outer flange portions are adjacent the front and rear of the container (FIG. 5). The flange portions may then be moved to underlying relationship of the flange at the front and rear of the container and held in reclosed position.

Another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. and 11. As shown, the container is relatively longer than the prior embodiment and is substantially long as compared to the flange thickness to accomplish the reclosing feature, as hereafter described. As shown, the container includes walls 121-124 rising upwardly from a bottom wall 126. A peripheral flange consists of flanges 131-134 extending outwardly from the top of the wall. Outer flange portions 137 and 139 lie adjacent the outer edge of flanges 132 and 134, respectively, or may be connected thereto as previously described. A cover member 140 is sealed to the peripheral flange and to the outer flange portions with a peelabletype seal. In this embodiment, cover member 140 is preferably made of resilient material and may be removed from the peripheral flange by lifting upwardly on either of the outer flange portions.

As described above, the package may be reclosed by moving the outer flange portions to a position underlying flanges 132 and 134. To accommodate the aforedescribed thickness of the flanges, it is necessary that the resilience of the cover member be sufficient to allow it to stretch a dimension approximating four times the thickness of the flange over the length of the container. When the outer flange portions are in reclosed position, the cover member is pulled tight, and the resiliency asserts an uplift on the flanges 132 and 134. In this manner, the effect is similar to that described in application Ser. No. 629,445, filed Apr. 10, 1967, now Patent No. 3,398,- 877, and assigned to the assignee of the present invention. That application describes means for providing reinforcing for flanges against such an uplift and thus provides an improved reclosing of the container. This reinforcing, in the embodiment of FIGS. 10 and 11, is in the form of ribs 141. Reference is made to the aforementioned application for a more complete description of the structure and function of the reinforcing means. In this manner, flanges 132 and 134 are reinforced or stiffened adjacent the side walls 122 and 124 to retain the flanges in a general planar position and hold the cover member 140 closely adjacent the side flanges 131 and 133. The central portion of the cover member 140 and of flanges 132 and 134 may tend to lift as shown in FIG. 11; however, this does not defeat the purpose of a generally tight cover in reclosed position since the cover member does not uplift adjacent the sides.

Still another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13. This embodiment relates to another means for providing the preferable difference in distance between the inner edges of the outer flange portions, and the outer edges of the flanges under which the outer flange portions are disposed in the reclosed position. As shown, the container includes walls 221-224 rising upwardly from a bottom wall 226. A peripheral flange extends outwardly from the upper ends of the walls and includes flanges 231234. Outer flange portions 237 and 239 are provided adjacent flanges 232 and 234, respectively. As can be seen, the inner edge of outer flange portion 237 is spaced from the outer edge of flange 232. In the embodiment illustrated, this space is in the form of a tear strip 242 which may be torn from the flange and outer flange portion to provide the initial separation and to provide the additional difference in distance previously mentioned. Of course, tear strips can be provided on both sides of the container, if desired, with their total width equalling about four times the thickness of the flange. In this manner, a generally rectangular container can be reclosed without the necessity of rotating the cover member and without the necessity of providing a resilient cover. The removal of cover 240 and the reclosing .of the container of this embodiment is accomplished in the same manner as the previous described embodiment.

It can be seen that the present invention provides a reclosable package having a cover member which is completely removable from the container while flange portions remain secured to the cover member, and which can be reclosed over the open end of the container. Means is provided on opposite sides of the container for engaging the outer flange portions and holding the cover member in reclosed position.

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 a]. When so formed, thermoplastic materials of various types may be utilized for the container, and the cover member may be of flexible thermoplastic material of any type compatible with the container for sealing thereto. If desired, however, the cover member can be formed of sheets of material which otherwise meet the requirements of the present invention and which is coated with a material for sealing to the container. While various 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.

As one example of a specific package made in accordance with the present invention, the container is formed of thermoplastic material having a thickness of about mils. Thus, four times the flange thickness equals about .08 inch, and the cover member must be able to stretch this amount over its length, or the difference in distance between the inner edge of the outer flange portions and the outer edge of the flanges under which the outer flange portions lie in reclosed position must have this difference. As an example, a difference of about 7 52 of an inch (.094 inch) has been utilized with satisfactory results.

What is claimed is:

1. A reclosable package including a container having wall means defining an open end; said container having front and rear sides generally opposite each other; an outwardly extending peripheral flange at the open end; first and second outer flange portions at opposite sides of the container and separate from the remainder of the container; a cover member overlying the open end and sealed to the peripheral flange and to the first and second outer flange portions; said package so arranged that at least one of the outer flange portions may be lifted to peel the cover member from the entire peripheral flange to remove the cover member and provide access to the container; the first and second outer flange portions movable to positions underlying the peripheral flange at the front and rear sides, respectively, to reclose the cover member over the open end; first retaining means on the container for holding the first outer flange portion in said reclosed position; and second retaining means on the container for holding the second outer flange portion in said reclosed position; whereby the cover member is removable from the container while the first and second outer flange portions remain secured to the cover member, and after opening the outer flange portions are retained at opposite sides of the container to hold the cover member in reclosed position.

2. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 wherein the outer flange portions are initially connected to the outer edges of the peripheral flange at opposite sides of the container but separable therefrom while the cover member remains sealed to the outer flange portions.

3. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 1 wherein the peripheral flange has generally straight outer edges at the front and rear sides and said outer edges being generally parallel; and wherein the first and second outer flange portions each have a generally straight inner edge and said inner edges being generally parallel.

4. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 3 wherein the peripheral flange has a preselected thickness; and wherein the inner edges of the outer flange portions are spaced from each other a distance approximating the distance between said front and rear outer edges of the peripheral flange plus about four times the thickness of the peripheral flange.

5. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 4 wherein the first and second outer flange portions are initially adjacent the front and rear outer edges of the peripheral flange; and including means having a width about four times the thickness of the peripheral flange and disposed between at least one inner edge of the outer flange portion and the adjacent peripheral flange for providing the difference in distance between the inner edges of the outer flange portions and the front and rear outer edges of the peripheral flange.

6. A reclosable package as set forth in claim 4 wherein the peripheral flange has lateral side outer edges extending between the front and rear outer edges and therewith defining a rectangle; wherein the outer flange portions are initially adjacent the lateral side edges of the peripheral flange; and wherein the first and second retaining means are on the container wall means at the front and back of the container, respectively, whereby the reclosed position of the cover member and the attached first and second outer flange portions are disposed about from the initial position thereof.

'7. A reclosable package including a container having wall means defining front and rear sides of the container and an open end; an outwardly, extending peripheral flange at the open end; a flexible cover member overlying the open end and peripherally sealed to the peripheral flange with a peelable-type seal; said peripheral flange having first and second flange portions on opposite sides of the container and separable from the remainder of the container along preselected lines while the cover member remains sealed to said flange portions; the cover member being peelable from the remainder of the peripheral flange to remove the cover member and provide access to the container; means for holding the cover member in a reclosed position overlying the open end; and said last-mentioned means including first and second retaining means on the container at the front and rear sides thereof, respectively, for engagement by the respective first and second flange portions, and means on the first and second flange portions for interfitting With the first and second retaining means to hold the cover member in the reclosed position.

8. A reclosable package according to claim 7 wherein: the cover member is made of generally non-stretchable material; the container is generally rectangular and has lateral sides extending between the front and rear sides; the first and second flange portions are initially at the lateral sides of the container; the pres-elected lines are generally parallel and at the lateral sides of the container; the peripheral flange has a pres-elected thickness and has generally parallel outer edges at the front and rear sides of the container; the distance between said preselected lines is approximately the distance between the front and rear outer edges of the peripheral flange plus about four times the thickness of the peripheral flange; and the first and second flange portions underlie the peripheral flange at the front and rear of the container in reclosed position.

9. A reclosable package according to claim 7 wherein: the cover member is made of resilient material; the first and second flange portions are initially at the front and rear sides of the container; and the flange portions are movable to a position underlying the peripheral flange at the front and rear of the container in reclosed position and stretch the cover member in reclosed position.

10. A reclosable package according to claim 7 wherein: the first and second flange portions are initially at the front and rear sides of the container; the peripheral flange has an outer edge at the front and rear of the container after the flange portions are separated; the flange portions each have an inner edge after being separated; and at least one of said inner edges being spaced outwardly of the adjacent outer edge of the peripheral flange in the initial position thereof.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 606,471 6/1898 Morfoot 220-54 2,998,158 8/ 1961 Tupper 220-54 3,096,904 7/1963 Hutchinson 22054 X 3,101,870 8/1963 Betner 22054 X 3,108,708 10/1963 Betner 229-51 X 3,371,848 3/1968 Ward et al. 229-45 3,398,876 8/1968 Ward 229-45 3,398,877 8/1968 Jacobson 229-45 DAVIS T. MOORHEAD, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US606471 *Jun 28, 1898F OneKey-opening can-head
US2998158 *Dec 31, 1954Aug 29, 1961Rexall Drug ChemicalSeverable sealing means for reusable packages
US3096904 *Dec 15, 1959Jul 9, 1963Plastomatic CorpSealed plastic containers
US3101870 *Oct 12, 1960Aug 27, 1963Plastomatic CorpFilm sealed container with pouring spout
US3108708 *Nov 10, 1959Oct 29, 1963Plastomatic CorpSealed plastic containers
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4524870 *Sep 6, 1983Jun 25, 1985Champion International CorporationVisible and easy accessible package
US4946038 *Dec 20, 1989Aug 7, 1990Rolland EatonMedicine container and cover therefor
US5011006 *Apr 26, 1990Apr 30, 1991General Mills, Inc.Container with lid closure having an improved flared stand feature
US5135127 *Dec 27, 1991Aug 4, 1992Gary RossSmall storage canister for raw food articles with improved airtight covering members
US5228678 *Feb 24, 1992Jul 20, 1993Minolta Camera Kabushiki KaishaDisposable sheet cassette and image forming apparatus designed to employ same
US5459548 *May 23, 1994Oct 17, 1995Minolta Co., Ltd.Information forming apparatus with mechanism for unsealing and sealing a cover of recording material
US5474169 *Apr 18, 1994Dec 12, 1995Bauman; Robert C.Disposable contact lens storage container
US5515964 *Apr 13, 1995May 14, 1996Bauman; Robert C.Contact lens package with lens retaining recess
US5964368 *Aug 5, 1997Oct 12, 1999Schramm; Michael A.Elastic loop closure holder
US6119862 *Mar 26, 1997Sep 19, 2000Sara Lee CorporationPackage for a food product with display tabs
US7762421 *Aug 7, 2006Jul 27, 2010Fujimura Kogyo Co., Ltd.Easy-open sealed container
US7913870 *May 1, 2006Mar 29, 2011Pactiv CorporationTamper evident container
US8028851Oct 16, 2009Oct 4, 2011Pwp IndustriesEnhanced tamper evident container with tear-apart parts
US8083089Sep 20, 2005Dec 27, 2011Pwp Industries Inc.Versatile tamper-evident food container
US8251242Nov 25, 2009Aug 28, 2012Pwp IndustriesTamper-evident container with extended band
DE4004417A1 *Feb 13, 1990Aug 23, 1990Minolta Camera KkSheet cassette for laser primer - has photosensitive sheets prevented from exposure by cover rolled back during loading
EP1930253A1 *Dec 6, 2007Jun 11, 2008Pregis Rigid Packaging LimitedContainer and method
EP2774873A1 *Mar 6, 2014Sep 10, 2014C.G.L. Pack ServiceTray with resealable lid
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/270, 206/525, 220/377, 229/125.35, 229/125.41, 229/927, 229/123.1, 220/265
International ClassificationB65D77/20
Cooperative ClassificationB65D2577/2083, Y10S229/927, B65D77/2084
European ClassificationB65D77/20E2B1D
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