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Publication numberUS3580482 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 25, 1971
Filing dateFeb 17, 1969
Priority dateFeb 17, 1969
Publication numberUS 3580482 A, US 3580482A, US-A-3580482, US3580482 A, US3580482A
InventorsRichard F Witte
Original AssigneeReynolds Metals Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Latch for reclosable carton and blank therefor
US 3580482 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Richard F. Witte 2,872,036 2/1959 Forrer 229/40 Henrico, Va. 1,988,582 1/1935 229/51(D) [21] Appl. No. 799,760 3,223,308 12/1965 Weiss 229/40 [22] Filed Feb. 17,1969 3,368,738 2/1968 Roccaforte et a1. 229/51(RC) [45] Patented May 25, 1971 [73] Assignee Reynolds Metals Company Srlmary g g y' 3:: er d Th Richmond, Va ttorneyenn, a mer, yne, 1 s an ompson T F E L [54] R CLOSAB E CARTON AND BLANK ABSTRACT: A latch for a reclosable carton construction and 12 Claims 14 Drawing Figs blank therefor wherein means are provided to engage a reclosable tab on a male locking member so as to resist its U.S. natural tendency to pring ba k when it is in its locked posi- [5 i 1 Int. on In the referred form of the invention the female locking 565d 17/00 member as well as the means to prevent spring back of the [50] Field of Search 229/51 l l ki ber are ach formed in a conventional glue (15), 51(D),40, 39, 37 line panel. The male and female locking members are so positioned and arranged in an overlapping relationship that the [56] References cued male locking member snaps into its locked position. A novel UNlTED STATES PATENTS pushbutton-type unlatching member is provided integral with 3,438,565 4/ 1969 Lugt et a1 229/17 a male locking member to reopen the closed carton.

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SHEET Q 0F 6 INVENTOR R/chardFW/ffe ATTORNEYS PATENTEDmzsugn I $5 0 4 INVENTOR R/ChardFW/We LATCH FOR RECLOSABLE CARTON AND BLANK THEREFOR This invention relates to a latch for a reclosable carton construction and blank therefor and, more particularly, to such a reclosable carton construction and blank wherein the male locking member is initially folded or bent into its locked position and thereafter positively maintained under stress in its folded or bent locked position.

It has been known heretofore in the manufacture of paperboard cartons and the like to provide a reclosable feature wherein a tongue is inserted into an aperture. In these instances the male locking member or tongue is not positively held in position. As a result, it has been found that the male locking member will not always stay in place. When such a carton is turned upside down, either by accident or by inadvertence when it is being carried, such prior art reclosable cartons will almost always open, frequently with disastrous results for its contents.

When the locking tongue is provided with locking ears, it has been found that a somewhat more secure package results. However, when it is also desired to open and close the carton repeatedly, it has been found that the ears are frequently torn off in order to gain access to the contents of the carton, thereby producing a very unsatisfactory reclosure thereafter.

In accordance with the present invention the foregoing disadvantages and shortcomings are effectively overcome in that a reclosable carton is provided which not only closes the first time satisfactorily, but may be reopened and closed repeatedly without adverse effects. Moreover, at all times the reclosed carton may be turned upside down without having the contents thereof falling from within the carton.

In accordance with a preferred form of the present invention, the female locking member is formed integrally with a conventional glue line or flap for the carton and therefore is brought into position underlying the reclosable panel. The latter is formed in one of the major panels of the carton and is provided with a score line opening. A male locking member is provided integral with the reclosable panel. In its locked position, a reclosable tab of the reclosable panel is bent out of the plane of the panel in its locked position. Means are provided which are engageable with the reclosable tab and which resist the normal spring back thereof when the tab is in its locked position. In the preferred form of the invention the means to prevent the normal spring back of the locking tab comprises a flap which is struck from the glue line panel.

The invention includes a novel pushbutton-type unlatching member which is provided integrally with the male locking member and effectively permits and facilitates the release of the reclosable tab from its locked position.

As a further feature of the present invention, the reclosable panel is made to snap into its locked position. This snap action is accomplished by two provisions in the construction of the carton. First, the relative positioning of the male locking member with respect to the underlying female locking member is carefully controlled. Second, an abutment means is provided on the female locking member in order to prevent the male-locking member from being readily inserted therein and means are provided on the male locking member which permits the male locking member to clear the abutment means. The specific means on the male locking member which permits it to clear the abutment on the female locking member and snap into its position comprises slit means which extend substantially laterally outwardly from a score line securement of the reclosable tab to the male locking member so that a portion of the male locking member flexes in order to clear the abutment means on the female locking member and to snap into locking position.

The inherent advantages and improvements of the present invention will become more readily apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description of the invention and by reference to the drawings in which:

FIG. I is a plan view of a carton blank made in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a carton erected and sealed from the blank of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2 showing a first step in the opening of the carton;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2 showing a later step in the initial opening procedure;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2 illustrating the grasping and prepositioning of the male locking member preparatory to effecting a reclosure of the carton;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a semilocked condition subsequent to that illustrated in FIG. 5 in the reclosure operation;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2 showing the manner in which the reclosed carton may be reopened;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 7 showing a step subsequent to the FIG. 7 illustration in opening the carton;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view illustrating a still further step in the opening procedure wherein the reclosable panel is completely separated from the female locking member;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary perspective view drawn to an enlarged scale illustrating the male and female locking in greater detail;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view in vertical elevation showing the manner in which a reclosable tab in the male locking memberis prevented from springing back while in its locked position;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view, fragmentary in nature, taken along the line 12-12 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 11 with the carton turned upside down and an article contained therein; and

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary top plan view drawn to an enlarged scale showing the position of the male and female locking members prior to the initial opening of the carton.

While the various features of this invention are hereinafter illustrated and described with respect to specific embodiments of a reclosable carton construction with a male locking member and reclosable panel in the top panel and with the female locking member in a glue line panel, it is to be understood that the various features of this invention can be utilized singly or in various combinations thereof with the male locking member in other panels and with the female locking member in an auxiliary panel rather than in a glue line panel.

Therefore, this invention is not to be limited merely to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings because the drawings are utilized herein merely to illustrate one of a wide variety of uses of this invention.

Referring now to FIG. I of the drawings, there is illustrated a carton blank, indicated generally at I0. Carton blank 10 is provided in conventional manner with a top panel 12, rear panel 14, bottom panel 16, front panel 18 and glue line panel 20, all of which are secured sequentially by means of transversely extending fold or crease score lines 22. Each major panel 12-18 is provided with end flap panels. Thus top panel 12 is provided with a pair of end flap panels 24 secured to the top panel 12 by means of fold or crease score lines 26. Similarly, end flap panels 28, 30, and 32 are provided for the rear panel 14, bottom panel 16 and front panel 18, respectively.

A handle means indicated generally at 34 is provided in alternate end flap panels 24 and 30. One suitable handle means is provided by score line 36 and cut line 38 combining therewith to provide a closed loop and therefore a convenient handle for carton 10. Any suitable handle means may be used in connection with this invention and the handle per se formsno part of the invention. The construction of the blank to-the extent of the description thus far is completely conventional.

In accordance with the present invention, a reclosable panel 40 is provided integral with one of the main panels, such as top panel 12, by providing a fold line 42 and a pair of .I-cut line patterns 44 therein. The specific reclosable panel is depicted to be tapering or converging although this is not critical insofar as the instant invention is concerned. The .l-cut line patterns 44 terminate in cut lines 45, each end of which is terminated in a knick 47 (FIG. 114) which serves merely to attach spaced ends of a male locking member, indicated generally at 46, to top panel 12 and thereby hold male locking member 46 in closed position until such time as it is desired to open the carton. At the opposite end of the blank a female locking member is indicated generally at 48.

Referring to FIGS. and 14, the male and female locking members 46 and 48 will be described in greater detail. Thus there is illustrated a reclosable tab or flap 50 on the male locking member 46 which after being opened in the manner illustrated sequentially in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 may be folded about its securement to the reclosable panel 40 along fold line 52a, 52b. Intermediate fold line 52c constitutes the attachment of a finger opening tab 54 to the reclosable tab or flap 50. As is seen best in FIG. 14, the finger opening tab 54 extends toward the reclosable panel 40 on the opposite side of the score line 52a, 52b and 520 by which the reclosable tab 50 is secured to reclosable panel 40. Prior to opening the carton, the finger opening tab 54 is attached to the reclosable panel 40 solely by knicks 58 in that a cut line pattern 56 defines the finger opening tab.

Whereas the reclosable tab or flap 50 is secured to the reclosable panel 40 by means of a fold score line 52a, 52b, the male locking member 46 is further separated from the reclosable panel 40 by means of cut lines 60 and 62 on each side thereof. These cut. lines 60 and 62 extend substantially laterally outwardly from the score line securement of the reclosable tab 50 to the male locking member 46 and permit the male lockingmember to snap into locking engagement with the female locking member 48 in a manner to be described hereinafter.

Turning now to the female locking member illustrated best in FIGS. 10 and 14, a pressure flap is illustrated at 64 secured to the glue line panel by means of fold line 66. The pressure flap 64 is so designated because it exerts pressure on the reclosable tab 50 in its locked position so as to resist the normal spring back of the reclosable tab 50 in this position. This position is shown best in FIGS. 11 and 12. When the pressure flap 64 is depressed downwardly by means of the reclosable tab 50 out of the plane of the glue line panel 20 there remains opposed cantilevered portions 68 of the glue line panel 20 further obtained by having a portion 70 of the female locking member removed therefrom as can be seen best in FIG. 1. This removed portion 70 together with the downward depression of pressure flap 64 provides a spatial clearing for the finger opening tab 54 which overlies pressure flap 64 and the removed portion 70 as can be seen in FIG. I14.

Pressure flap 64 is defined by a series of cuts on all sides except one remaining side which is attached along fold line 66 to the glue line panel 20. The pattern of the cuts which define the pressure flap 64 is such as to provide a pair of opposed abutment shoulders 72 (FIGS. 10 and 14). These abutment shoulders 72 on the female locking member 48 prevent the male locking member 46 from being readily inserted therein as can be seen by the relative plan positions of the abutment shoulders 72 with respect to the cut lines 62 which define edge surfaces of reclosable tab 50, (FIG. 14).

Because reclosable tab 50 is provided with the cut portions 60 and 62 on each side thereof there is provided a sufficiently flexible portion thereof which permits the reclosable tab 50 to flex over abutment shoulders 72 as the male locking member 46 is inserted into the female locking member 48. However, in order to obtain a proper latching of the male locking member 46 with female locking member 48, it is necessary, as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, to turn the reclosable tab 50 downwardly and present it in sliding Contact with pressure flap 64 as it is inserted into the female locking member 48. In so doing, there occurs a flexing of a portion of the reclosable tab 50 and a separation thereof along the cut lines 60 and 62 from reclosable panel 40 to permit the tab 50 to pass over the abutment shoulders 72 of the female locking member 48. This passing of the male locking member into snapping engagement with the female locking member is further facilitated by the fact that the abutment shoulders 72 are located on cantilever portions 68 of the female locking member 48. This further ensures that adequate flexure occurs so that the male locking member may be secured in proper locking position.

If the carton is turned upside down after the tab 50 is locked in place the weight of the contents upon the flap cannot force the tab out of its locked position. This is largely due to a 30 taper provided between cut edge 74 and a line drawn perpendicular to the edges of the glue line panel 20. This 30 angle is illustrated in FIGS. I0 and 14. The cut edge 74 leads to the abutment shoulders 72.

In order to achieve satisfactory operation of the male and female locking members of the present invention, it is important that the members shall not be hindered or impaired by any adhesive contact therebetween. For this purpose it is important to provide the customary adhesive such as a hot melt adhesive 76 (FIGS. 14) either in registry with the locking member so as to provide terminal lines of a conventional hot melt adhesive or the like at 78 or to provide a protective overcoat between the male and female locking members on the glue line panel 20 in the region of the male and female locking members.

While many of the features of the present invention will be apparent from the foregoing description, a brief summary of the operation of the initial opening, reclosing and reopening will be given. Thus, beginning with the completely closed carton as illustrated in FIG. 2, the first step in the initial opening is for the consumer to pry open the reclosable tab 50. This may be effected by severing the knicks 47 at the terminus of each cut line edge thereof (FIG. 14) and lift the reclosable tab 50 to the position illustrated in FIG. 3. Thereafter, the consumer continues to pull upwardly on the tab 50 effecting an opening of the tear line along J-cut lines 44, thereby attaining the position illustrated in FIG. 4 at which a desired amount of the contents of the carton may be removed.

In order to reclose the carton, the consumer bends the reclosable tab 50 downwardly to a position of approximately 90 with respect to the reclosable panel 40 in the position illustrated in FIG. 5. Thereafter the consumer urges the male locking member downwardly as illustrated in the semilocked position of FIG. 6 until the reclosable tab 50 snaps beneath abutments 72 on the female lock by virtue of the flexure of the reclosable tab 50 along cut lines 60 and 62 and the separation thereof from the reclosable panel 40. In this position the reclosable tab 50 is engaged by the pressure flap 64 which resists the normal spring back of the reclosable tab 50 and thereby provides a positive lock therefor.

In order to reopen the reclosable panel, the consumer presses downwardly on the finger opening tab 54 as indicated in FIG. 7, severing the knick attachments thereof at 58 to panel 40 and causing a slight rotation of the reclosable tab 50 about its hinged score line attachment to the reclosable panel 40. By then exerting pressure forwardly toward the underside portion of the reclosable tab 50 and upwardly, the consumer causes the tab 50 to clear the abutment shoulders 72 thereby freeing the male locking member and permitting the carton to be opened as illustrated progressively in FIGS. 8 and 9. With the carton open, all or a desired amount of contents of the carton may be removed.

The reclosable carton construction illustrated and described with respect to the present invention may be used over and over again without substantial damage to the reclosable elements. In addition, as illustrated in FIG. 13, the reclosable locking members will not open when the carton is carried upside down with the articles or contents therein urging against the pressure flap 64 which in turn contacts the flap 50. A portion of one such article is shown at 80 in FIG. 13. In addition, the 30 angle provided at adjacent cut lines 74 provides a bearing surface preventing the reclosable panel from opening when the carton is turned upside down.

While presently preferred embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it will be recognized that the invention may be otherwise variously embodied and practiced within the scope of the claims which follow.

lclaim: l. A latch construction for a reclosable carton, said latch comprising a. a first panel constituting a reclosable panel,

b. a second panel underlying at least a portion of said reclosable panel,

c. a male locking member integral with said reclosable panel,

d. a female locking member formed in said underlying panel into which said male locking member is inserted in its locked position,

e. said male locking member including a reclosable tab secured to said reclosable panel along at least one score line,

. said reclosable tab being bent out of the plane of said reclosable panel when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

g. carton means engageable with said reclosable tab and resisting the normal spring back thereof when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

h. said female locking member having abutment means thereon which prevents said male locking member from being readily inserted therein,

i. and said male locking member being provided with slit means which extend substantially laterally outwardly from the score line securement of said reclosable tab to said male locking member whereby said male locking member may clear said abutment means on said female locking member.

2. A latch construction for a reclosable carton as defined in claim 1 wherein said carton means engageable with said reclosable tab and resisting the normal spring back thereof comprises a flap struck from said underlying panel and secured thereto along a first score line thereof.

3. A latch construction for a reclosable carton as defined in claim 1 wherein said underlying panel also functions as a glue line panel for said carton.

4. A latch construction for a reclosable carton as defined in claim 1 including means integral with said male locking member for releasing said reclosable tab from its locked position.

5. A latch construction for a reclosable carton, said latch comprising a. a first panel constituting a reclosable panel,

b. a second panel underlying at least a portion of said reclosable panel,

c. a male locking member integral with said reclosable panel,

d. a female locking member formed in said underlying panel into which said male locking member is inserted in its locked position,

e. said male locking member including a reclosable tab secured to said reclosable panel along at least one score line,

f. said reclosable tab being bent out of the plane of said reclosable panel when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

g. carton means engageable with said reclosable tab and resisting the normal spring back thereof when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

h. and means integral with said male locking member for releasing said reclosable tab from its locked position,

I. said means integral with said male locking member for releasing said reclosable tab extending toward said reclosable panel on the opposite side of said score line by which said reclosable tab is secured to said reclosable panel.

6. A latch construction for a reclosable carton, said latch comprising a. a first panel constituting a reclosable panel,

b. a second panel underlying at least a portion of said reclosable panel,

c. a male locking member integral with said reclosable panel,

d. a female locking member formed in said underlying panel into which said male locking member is inserted in its locked position,

said male locking member including a reclosable tab secured to said reclosable panel along at least one score line,

f. said reclosable tab being bent out of the plane of said reclosable panel when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

g. carton means engageable with said reclosable tab and resisting the normal spring back thereof when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

h. said underlying panel providing a glue line panel for said carton,

i. and means integral with said male lockingmember for releasing said reclosable tab from its locked position,

1. said means integral with said male locking member for releasing said reclosable tab extending toward said reclosable panel on the opposite side of said score line by which said reclosable tab is secured to said reclosable panel.

7. A carton blank construction for a reclosable carton comprising a. top, rear, bottom and front panels hingedly secured by transversely extending score lines,

b. one of said panels being at one end of said blank,

c. a reclosable panel defined in said one end panel,

d. a glue line panel hingedly secured at the other end of said blank,

e. a male locking member integral with said reclosable panel,

f. a female locking member formed in said glue line panel into which said male locking member is inserted in its locked position,

g. said male locking member including a reclosable tab secured to said reclosable panel along at least one score line,

h. said reclosable tab being bent out of the plane of said reclosable panel when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

i. carton means engageable with said reclosable tab and resisting the normal spring back thereof when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

j. said female locking member having abutment means thereon which prevent said male locking member from being readily inserted therein,

k. and said male locking member being provided with slit means which extend substantially laterally outwardly from the score line securement of said reclosable tab to said male locking member whereby said male locking member may clear said abutment means on said female locking member.

8. A carton blank construction for a reclosable carton as defined in claim 7, wherein said carton means engageable with said reclosable tab and resisting the normal spring back thereof comprises a flap defined by score line means and cut line means in said glue line panel.

9. A carton blank construction for a reclosable carton as defined in claim 7, including means integral with said male locking member for releasing said reclosable tab from its locked position.

10. A carton blank construction for a reclosable carton as defined in claim 7, including a. abutment means on said female locking member which prevents said male locking member from being readilyinserted therein,

b. and means on said male locking member which permits said male locking member to clear said abutment means.

11. A latch construction for a reclosable carton as defined in claim 7, including a. abutment means on said female locking member which prevents said male locking member from being readily inserted therein,

b. said male locking member being provided with slit means which extend substantially laterally outwardly from the score line securement of said reclosable tab to said male locking member whereby a portion of said male locking member may clear said abutment means.

12. A carton blank construction for a reclosable carton comprising g. said male locking member including a reclosable tab secured to said reclosable panel along at least one score line,

h. said reclosable tab being bent out of the plane of said reclosable panel when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

i. carton means engageable with said reclosable tab and resisting the normal spring back thereof when said reclosable tab is in its locked position,

j. and means integral with said male locking member for releasing reclosable tab from its locked position,

1. said means integral with said male locking member for releasing said reclosable tab extending toward said reclosable panel on the opposite side of said score line by which said reclosable tab is secured to said reclosable panel.

Patent Citations
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US1988582 *Dec 6, 1933Jan 22, 1935Robert Gair Co IncReclosable carton
US2872036 *Aug 6, 1956Feb 3, 1959Mead Atlanta Paper CompanyPaperboard wrapper having strengthened edges
US3223308 *Sep 27, 1962Dec 14, 1965Continental Can CoCan carrier with reinforcing means
US3368738 *Mar 10, 1967Feb 13, 1968Weyerhaeuser CoReclosable carton with zipper opening
US3438565 *Dec 26, 1967Apr 15, 1969Brown CoRecloseable carton with tear open spout
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3712533 *Jan 29, 1971Jan 23, 1973Somerville Ind LtdTear top opening carton
US4417661 *Jul 5, 1979Nov 29, 1983Champion International CorporationReclosable carton and blank therefor
US4921105 *Mar 20, 1989May 1, 1990Automation Industries, Inc.Shipping, storage and dispensing container for flexible duct and the like
US5292061 *Mar 11, 1993Mar 8, 1994R C LBox which can be opened for the removal of a portion
US5549243 *Feb 1, 1995Aug 27, 1996Eastman Kodak CompanyBlank for easily opened box and the box formed from such blank
US5577612 *Jun 21, 1994Nov 26, 1996Lever Brothers Company, Division Of Conopco Inc.Fabric softener sheet dispenser cartons
US6912798May 28, 2003Jul 5, 2005Schreiber Foods, Inc.Removable boxing tape
US6926195Aug 29, 2003Aug 9, 2005World Kitchen (Ghc), LlcBox with tab closures
US7000824 *Mar 14, 2003Feb 21, 2006Meadwestvaco Packaging Systems, LlcCarton and carton blank therefor
US7021468Mar 21, 2003Apr 4, 2006Meadwestvaco Packaging Systems, LlcShipping and display carton
US7163139Aug 9, 2004Jan 16, 2007Meadwestvaco Packaging Systems, LlcCarton and carton blank
DE102006031159A1 *Jul 4, 2006Jan 10, 2008Beiersdorf AgDurch Spannverschluss wiederverschließbare Faltschachtel mit Originalitätsverschluss
EP1876105A1 *Jun 25, 2007Jan 9, 2008Beiersdorf AGResealable folding box with seal of origin using a clamping seal
Classifications
U.S. Classification229/229, 229/237, 229/925, 229/232, 229/155
International ClassificationB65D5/54
Cooperative ClassificationB65D5/5435, Y10S229/925
European ClassificationB65D5/54B3C