US 3545669 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 2,405,511 8/1946 Moen 229/73X 2,018,984 10/1935 Van Mackelenbergh 229/92.8
3,195,802 7/1965 Jacobs 229/71 3,365,117 l/l968 Powell, Jr. 229/71 3,368,741 2/1968 Mercur 229/70 FOREIGN PATENTS 141,902 10/1930 Switzerland 229/73 Primary Examiner-David M. Bockenek AttorneyBuckhorn, Blore, Klarquist and Sparkman ABSTRACT: A mailing envelope having a removable returnaddress tab portion on one panel defined by a perforate tear line except for die-cut line portions for facilitating removal of the return-address tab from the panel. The back side of the tab is coated with pressure-sensitive adhesive which also extends in surrounding relationship to the tab. The adhesive coating is covered with a release paper sheet which also extends in surrounding relationship to the tab to reinforce the envelope at this point and thereby prevent premature separation of the tab from the envelope.
 Inventors Louis C. Kinkade;
Sharon A. Kinkade, P.O. Box 605, Madras, Oregon 97741  Appl. No. 756,572  Filed Aug. 30, 1968  Patented Dec. 8, 1970  ENVELOPE CONSTRUCTION 2 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 229/73, 229/70  Int. Cl 365d 27/06  Field of Search 229/73, 70, 68,71,72, 92.8
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 759,382 5/1904 Klugh 229/73 892,675 7/1908 Morrison.. 229/73UX 1,709,126 4/1929 Gentile 229/71 l I t... 72
ENVELOPE CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an improvement in mailing envelopes having removable return-address portions adapted for use as a directing address portion of another envelope.
2. Description of the Prior Art Mailing envelopes having removable return-address portions which may be applied as a directing address label on another envelope to speed up and simplify the reply to correspondence have been suggested heretofore. However, such prior envelope constructions have had serious disadvantages which have prevented their widespread adoption. One such disadvantage has been premature failure of the envelope of which the removable return-address portion forms an integral part because of the coincidence of a perforate tear line of such portion with marginal folds of the envelope. Another disadvantage has been the difficulty in removal of the return-address tab from its parent envelope caused by the use of an exclusively perforate tear line to delineate the bounds of the return-address portion to be removed. This feature has also contributed to the previously mentioned problem of premature envelope failure. Still another disadvantage has resulted from the use of an adhesive backing on the return-address por tion requiring the application of moisture as by licking with the tongue.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The foregoing problems of prior return-address envelope constructions have been overcome by the present invention through the provision of a removable return-address tab which is spaced inwardly from the marginal folds of the envelope and which is delineated by a tear line having a continuous die-cut along at least one boundary to facilitate removal of the tab from the envelope. A further novel feature is the reinforcement of the return-address portion of the envelope by a pressure-sensitive adhesive applied not only to the back of the return-address tab itself but also to the area surrounding the back of the tab and a release paper sheet which adheres lightly to the adhesive and extends beyond the limits of the tab inside the envelope. The foregoing features prevent premature separation of the return-address tab from the remainder of the envelope, even though there may be considerable pressure applied to the envelope by bulky papers within the envelope, yet permit ready removal of the tab from the envelope at the appropriate time.
Principal objects of the invention are to provide:
I. an envelope having a removable return-address tab portion which is more readily removable from an envelope of which it forms a part and more readily applicable as a direct ing-address label to another envelope than prior such tabs;
2. an envelope having a removable return-address portion as aforesaid which does not weaken the envelope of which it forms a part;
3. an envelope construction as aforesaid having a reinforcing release sheet backing which also serves as a window panel for a window portion of the same envelope;
4.an envelope construction wherein the envelope is provided with both a removable return-address tab portion and a removable directing-address tab portion whereby the two tabs serve reverse purposes when applied as labels to a reply envelope;
5. an envelope construction as aforesaid including a printed indicium in the region of the directing-address portion of the envelope to indicate the exact positioning for application of a return-address label from another envelope to facilitate scanning of zip codes on such labels by automatic scanning and sorting apparatus in post offices; and
6. an envelope construction as aforesaid which is economical to manufacture, and simple and convenient to use.
cordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view of the front panel of the envelope of FIG. 1 with a portion of the front panel removed to reveal a portion of the inner face of the back panel;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view of the back panel of the envelope of FIG. 1 illustrating the method of removing the return-address tab from the remainder of the panel;
FIG. 5 is a view of the back panel of a modified form of en velope in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view of the front panel of the envelope of FIG. 5 with a major portion of such front panel removed to reveal the inner face of the back panel of the envelope; and
FIG. 7 is a view of a further. envelope modification in accordance with the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION With reference to the drawing, FIGS. 1 through 4 illustrate a mailing envelope 10 having a back panel 12 and a front panel 14, with the front panel including a front flap 16 attached along a top marginal edge fold 17 to the back panel. The flap is normally coated with an adhesive along its free inside edge so that it can be affixed to the front panel for closing the envelope. The main portion of front panel 14 is joined to the back panel along marginal edge folds 18, I9 and 20 defining the outer marginal limits of the front and back panels.
The envelope construction as described thus far is conventional. However, a departure from conventional construction is a return-address tab portion 22 of generally rectangular shape provided near the upper left-hand corner of the back panel ofthe envelope as viewed in FIG. 1. Tab 22 is defined by a tear line which includes perforate tear line portions 24, 25 defining the horizontal pair of opposite sides of the rectangle. The ends of the rectangular tab are defined by continuous diecut lines 26, 27. Both the die-cut end lines and the perforate tear lines extend completely through the back panel but not through the front panel of the envelope. The tear lines join the die-cut lines at rounded corners 28. The tab as thus defined is spaced inwardly from the marginal edge folds l7 and 20 of the back panel so as not to reduce the strength of the envelope along such fold lines. As shown in FIG. 1, the outer face of the return-address tab has return-address indicia 30 such as the name and address of the sender printed thereon, including a zip code 31 in accordance with postal requirements.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the back or inner face 32 of the return-address portion is coated with a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive 34 of a type which does not require the prior application of moisture. Adhesive coating 34 extends beyond the outer bounds of the return-address tab in surrounding relationship to the tab to the outer limits 36 as indicated in FIG. 2. Completely covering the adhesive coating is a sheet 38 of release paper. Sheet 38 forms a backing for the return-address tab and is held in place by the pressure-sensitive adhesive. Release sheet 38 is of a type which will normally adhere lightly to the pressure-sensitive adhesive coating but which easily can be separated from such coating without removing the adhesive from the back side of the return-address tab. In other words, the adhesive coating should have a greater affinity for the envelope material than it does for the release sheet. Because both the pressure-sensitive adhesive coating 34 and the release sheet backing 38 extend beyond the outer limits of the return-address tab, and the release sheet adheres to the inner face of the envelope surrounding the tab, the coating and release sheet together act as a structural reinforcement for the envelope in the region of the tab. This reinforcement is particularly effective to withstand internal pressures from inside the envelope which develop when the envelope is filled with bulky papers. Without such reinforcement these pressures could be sufficient to cause premature failure of the envelope at the tab. Of course this reinforcement function of the coating and release paper is in addition to its other important function of preventing the pressure-sensitive adhesive from adhering to the front panel and contents of the envelope.
A further important feature of the return-address tab is its spacing inwardly of the marginal folds of the envelope. In prior constructions perforate tear lines for the tab coincided with the marginal edge folds of the panel, causing premature parting of the envelope along the fold lines. The above-mentioned feature avoids any decrease in envelope strength along the fold lines.
Despite the foregoing-described reinforcing provided by the pressure-sensitive adhesive coating and the release paper backing, the return-address tab can be more easily removed from the envelope than prior such tabs, for application as a directing address label to another envelope because of the provision of the die-cut end lines 26, 27 of the tab. Referring to FIG. 4, the recipient of the envelope initiates removal ofthe tab from the envelope at the die-cut ends by gripping a tab end and then pulling the tab toward the opposite die-cut end, thereby separating the tab from the remainder of the panel along perforate tear lines 24 and 25. The provision of the diecut ends thus simplifies the starting and finishing of the tab removal operation by eliminating the necessity for starting the tear by punching out the tab from inside the envelope and by eliminating the need for tearing in more than one direction. In this manner, the tab can also be removed from the envelope panel without first removing the release sheet from inside the envelope since the tab and its pressure-sensitive adhesive coating are easily separated from the release paper while such paper remains intact with the remainder of the envelope.
Another feature of the envelope of FIG. 1 is the provision of a printed indicium in the form of a right-angular line 40 with line portions 41 and 42 paralleling the bottom marginal fold l9 and right-hand marginal fold 18 near the lower right-hand corner of the envelope of FIG. 1. Line 40 indicates the correct position for applying a directing address label to the envelope. This feature ensures that directing-address labels bearing zip codes applied to all such envelopes will be applied in about the same position, thereby enabling the use of automatic reading and sorting equipment by post offices in sorting such envelopes by zip code.
FIG. discloses an envelope 50 having a construction generally similar to that of the envelope of FIG. 1 including a removable return-address tab portion 52. However, the back panel 54 of the envelope of FIG. 5 has a window opening 56 through which a directing address on a paper within the envelope can be viewed. As shown in FIG. 6, the inner face 58 of the back panel of envelope 50 has a pressure-sensitive adhesive coating 60 throughout an area which is in surrounding relationship to window 56 as well as on the back face of tab 52 and in surrounding relationship to such tab. Furthermore, a sheet of release paper 62 not only extends over the tab 52 and in surrounding relationship thereto, but also covers the window opening 56 and is coextensive with the area of the coating. Release sheet 62 is sufficiently light pervious to enable a directing address placed within the window opening to be viewed through the release paper. Thus the release paper serves a dual function as a reinforcing backing for the returnaddress tab 52 and as a window panel for window opening 56. A suitable backing material capable of fulfilling both functions is silicone-coated glassine.
FIG. 7 illustrates a further envelope modification having a removable return-address tab portion 72 and also a removable directing-address tab portion 74. The return-address portion 72 may have a construction as described with respect to the tab portion of the envelope of FIG. 1. Similarly, the directingaddress tab portion 74 may also have a construction similar to the construction of the return-address tab portions previously described, including a ressure-sensitive adhesive backing which extends beyond t e bounds of the tab, and a release sheet which also extends beyond the bounds of the tab to reinforce the tab portions of the envelope. In fact, to simplify the manufacture of an envelope of the type shown in FIG. 7, the release backing for both tabs may comprise a single large release sheet applied in the manner shown with respect to FIG. 6.
The envelope of FIG. 7 is used in the following manner. A person receiving correspondence within envelope 70 of FIG. 7 would, in replying to the sender, place the reply in a conventional reply envelope (not shown), remove the return-address tab 72 from the envelope 70 and apply it as the directing address on the reply envelope. The directing address portion 74 of envelope 70 would also be removed and applied as the return-address portion of'the reply envelope. Thus an inexpensive, plain reply envelope could be used, without the correspondent having to print or type any addresses whatsoever on the reply envelope.
1. A mailing envelope comprising:
front and back panels including marginal edge folds defining the outer limits of said panels, each of said panels having inner and outer faces;
at least one of said panels including an integral but removable return-address tab portion spaced inwardly from said marginal edge folds;
said tab portion being defined by a boundary line including a perforate tear line portion and a continuous die-cut line portion;
said tab portion having an outer face bearing return-address indicia and an inner face,
a pressure-sensitive adhesive coating on the inner face of said return-address tab portion and on the inner face of said one panel in surrounding relationship to said tab portion;
a sheet of release material covering all of said pressure-sensitive adhesive coating and being held in position over and in surrounding relationship to said tab portion by said coating throughout the area of said coating;
said sheet extending outwardly beyond said boundary line of said tab portion whereby said sheet (1) reinforces said envelope in the region of said tab portion to prevent premature separation of said tab portion from the remainder of said envelope, (2) prevents adhesion between said panels and between said one panel and the contents of said envelope, and (3) preserves the adhesive until ready for use when the tab portion is removed;
a second integral but removable tab portion on one of said panels positioned inwardly of said marginal edge folds in a position for indicating a directing address on said envelope, but removable for placement as a return-address label on a second envelope;
said second tab portion being delineated by a perforated tear line portion, and a continuous die-cut line portion;
a pressure-sensitive adhesive coating on the inner face of said second tab portion and on the inner face of the panel having said second tab portion in surrounding relationship to said second tab portion; and
a sheet of release material between said front and back panel and extending over and in surrounding relationship to said second tab portion so that all adhesive coating on the inner faces of said panels is covered by release material.
2. An envelope according to claim 1 wherein said second removable tab portion is on the same panel as said return-address tab portion, said sheet of release material for said return address tab portion and said sheet of release material for said second tab portion comprising one and the same continuous sheet of release material.