US 3756384 A
In the preferred embodiment, a paperboard carton is formed from a blank including a leading flap with a tapered tongue, a trailing flap with a groove removed therefrom, a bottom member with a tab upstruck therefrom, a plurality of fold lines, four sidewalls connected to the bottom member along the fold lines, sidewall overlapping and top support segments for increasing the structural rigidity of the carton, and a plurality of thermoformed plastic blisters supported by a rigid insert with one pill retained by each blister. The insert is secured to a tab extending upwardly from the bottom member so that the pills are in a face-up orientation within the erected carton. Identifying indicia imprinted on the insert, such as a batch number that indicates the batch from which the pills were formulated, is visible from the exterior of the carton through the viewing window formed by upstriking or die cutting the tab from the bottom member.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Stone 1451 Sept. 4, 1973 VIEWING WINDOW IN CARTON WITH PILL PACKAGE INSERTER  Inventor: .Orison W. Stone, Valley Cottage,
 Assignee: R. A. Jones Company, Inc.,
 Filed: Aug. 12, I971  Appl. No.: 171,124
 US. Cl. 206/42, 40/312, 206/DIG. 29  Int. Cl. B65d 83/04  Field of Search 40/16, 124.1, 312,
40/313, 325, 329; 206/42, 45.31, 46 P, 56 AB, 78 R, 79, 80 R, DIG. 29; 220/31 S;
Primary Examiner--l-Ierbert F. Ross Assistant Examiner-Steven E. Lipman Attorney-Schellin et a1.
57 ABSTRACT In the preferred embodiment, a paperboard carton is formed from a blank including a leading flap with a tapered tongue, a trailing flap with a groove removed therefrom, a bottom member with a tab upstruck therefrom, a plurality of fold lines, four sidewalls connected to the bottom member along the fold lines, sidewall overlapping and top support segments for increasing the structural rigidity of the carton, and a plurality of thermoformed plastic blisters supported by a rigid insert with one pill retained by each blister. The insert is secured to a tab extending upwardly from the bottom member so that the pills are in a face-up orientation within the erected carton. Identifying indicia imprinted on the insert, such as a batch number that indicates the batch from which the pills were formulated,.is visible from the exterior of the carton through the viewing window formed by upstriking or die cutting the tab from the bottom member.
In an alternative embodiment, arcuate slots are die cut in the comers of the bottom member so as to form triangularly shaped tab members extending upwardly above the bottom member. The ends of the rigid insert are slipped through the slots and into engagement with the underside of the tas so that the insert is retained in fixed position by a friction fit defined between the tabs and the bottom member. Identifying indicia imprinted on the insert is visible from the exterior of the carton through the viewing windows formed by upstriking the corners from the bottom member. Both embodiments of the carton can be rescaled, after removal of the desired number of pills from the insert, by slipping the leading flap into the groove in the trailing flap.
3 Claims, 9 13mm PATENTEBSEP 4m 3.756384 SHEET 1 0F 2 FIG. 3.
INVENTOR ORISON W. STONE BY Z y y ATTORNEYS PATENIEDsEP 4 ms SHEET 2 BF 2 FIG].
INVENTOR ORISON W. STONE BY MM) ATTORNEYS VIEWING WINDOW IN CARTON WITH PILL PACKAGE INSERTER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates generally to resealable paperboard cartons with pill package inserts, and more particularly to unique carton configurations that produce viewing windows for observing identifying indicia on the insert from the exterior of the carton.
2. Description of the Prior Art The need for an inexpensive, mass-produced, easily fabricated, resealable carton for storing, displaying and dispensing pill samples in a sanitary manner has been recognized for many years. Since several million pills are distributed annually as samples to physicians, pharmacists, testing laboratories and allied medical personnel, the saving of even a fraction of a cent per carton has become a paramount consideration for the manufacturer and distributor of the pill sample. The quest for a suitable carton with a satisfactory pill sample holder has produced a multitude of diverse configurations for both the carton and for the pill holders. A pill sample holder comprising a plurality of thermoformed, clear plastic blisters joined to a rigid foil support member has met with widespread commercial and consumer acceptance; thus more recently, the quest has been channeled toward finding suitable cartons that were compatible with the rigid foil support member.
One compatible carton is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,556,388, issued on Jan. 19, 1971 to Karl Klein. The pill holder, which assumes the desirable form of a plurality of plastic blisters on a rigid foil insert, is secured to such carton by a glue line extending along the longitudinal dimension of the trailing edge of the blank, as seen in FIG. 12 of the patent. The carton is sealed to the top wall of the erected carton prior to usage by dots of adhesive on the leading flap. After being opened, the carton is resealed by inserting the tapered tongue of the leading flap into an appropriate groove in the upper surface of the assembled carton.
In its commercial embodiment, the batch number that identifies the pill sample is printed on the interior face of the trailing edge adjacent to the glue line. The batch number is employed to control the distribution of the sample and to enable the recall of all samples made from the same batch if subsequent, in-house testing procedures reveal shortcomings in the efficacy, composition, or sanitary condition of the pills.
While the carton disclosed by the Klein patent is generally well-suited for distributing pill samples, it does possess several shortcomings. For example, due to the configuration of the blank, the control number is visible only after the carton has been opened. Additionally, the pills are held within a plurality of downwardly facing thermoformed plastic blisters and the rigid insert must be turned over before the pills can be removed from the individual plastic blisters. Additionally, the glue line or strip joining the rear face of the insert to the trailing flap extends across the entire length of the flap, and a considerable amount of relatively expensive hot melt adhesive is consumed by this joining procedure.
SUMMARY With the above discussed defects of conventional cartons for dispensing pill samples clearly in mind, the
instant invention contemplates two embodiments of resealable paperboard cartons that enable the control number printed on the pill supporting insert to be visible at all times from the exterior of the carton. Additionally, the instant invention discloses cartons that can be formed, filled and sealed with existing packaging machinery. Such cartons are attractive in appearance, insure product security, and display the pills in a faceup orientation when the package is opened. Furthermore, the configurations of the blanks of the instant invention are designed so that the inserts are secured to the paperboard package by reduced amounts of hot melt adhesive with attendant cost savings. The instant invention further contemplates unique methods of forming such cartons in an expeditious fashion.
In the preferred embodiment, the advantages enumerated above are attributable to the provision of a tab upstru ck, or partially severed, from the bottom member of the carton blank. The insert is secured to the reduced area at the free end of the tab with the plastic blisters containing the pills in an upright position. The striking of the tab creates a window in the bottom member of the carton, and the control number printed on the insert is always visible through such window.
In the alternate embodiment, the advantages enumerated above are attributable to the provision of triangularly shaped tab members partially severed from the corners of the bottom member of the carton blank by arcuate slots. The insert is retained in fixed position by a friction fit defined between the slightly raised tab members and the bottom member. The striking of the tab members creates windows in the bottom member of the carton, and the control number printed on the insert is always visible through one or more of such windows.
Other subjects and advantages of the instant invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention when construed in connection with the accompanying sheet of drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a developed plan view of a preferred embodiment of the carton blank with the insert secured thereto, such blank being constructed in accordance with the principles of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross section through a fragment of the preferred embodiment of the carton blank and the insert, such view being taken along line 2-2 in FIG. 1 and in the direction indicated;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the erected carton, such view being taken from the left front comer of the carton prior to opening same;
FIG. 4 is another perspective view of the preferred embodiment of theerected carton, such view being taken with the carton rotated from the position of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view identical to FIG. 3, but showing the carton being resealed;
FIG. 6 is a developed plan view of an alternative em bodiment of the carton blank with the insert retained therein;
FIG. 7 is a vertical cross section through the alternative embodiment of the carton blank and the insert, such view being taken along line 77 in FIG. 6 and in the direction indicated;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing the manner in which the insert is slipped into engagement with the alternative embodiment of the carton blank; and
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the alternative embodiment of the erected carton.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now in greater detail to the drawings in which identical elements are designated by identical reference numerals, the preferred embodiment of the unique carton blank is indicated generally by reference numeral 10 in FIG. 1. Considering the top of blank 10 to be the leading end of the blank, blank 10 comprises a leading flap 12 with a triangular edge, a first fold line 14, a first overlapping segment 16, a second fold line 18, a rectangular bottom member 20, a third fold line 22, a first sidewall 24, a fourth fold line 26, a rectangular trailing flap 28, a fifth fold line 30, and a second sidewall 32. Leading flap 12 has a single spot of adhesive 34 located thereon at a point below the apex of its triangular leading edge, while trailing flap 28 has a groove 36 removed therefrom. The rightwardly extending segment of blank 10 is completed by sixth fold line 38 adjacent to bottom member 20, third sidewall 40, seventh fold line 42, and first top support segment 44. The leftwardly extending segment of blank 10 is completed by eighth fold line 46 adjacent to bottom member 20, fourth sidewall 48, ninth fold line 50, and second top support segment 52.
A tab 54 is partially upstruck or severed from bottom member adjacent to fold line 38, which forms one boundary of the rectangular bottom member. Tab 54 resembles a truncated triangle, and edges 55, 57 and 59 are freed from bottom member 20. The outer, fixed end of tab 54 is defined by a segment of fold line 38, and the inner free end of the tab can be pivoted 180 about the fold line. A rigid foil insert or card 56 is secured by hot melt adhesive (not shown) to the inner free end of tab 54 adjacent to edge 55, the smallest area of the tab.
Card 56 is generally rectangular in configuration and fits within fold line 18, 38, 22 and 46 that define the boundaries of bottom member 20. A tear line 58 extends down the center of the card, so that it may be divided into two equal segments. Four thermoformed, clear plastic blisters or enclosures 60, 62, 64 and 66 are spaced about card 56, and a pill P is retained within each blister. The blisters function to keep the pills P in a sanitary and moisture proof atmosphere, so that the efficacy of the pills is maintained for the life of the carton.
FIG. 2 shows the manner ofjoining card 56 to tab 54 with increased clarity. Since tab 54 has been upstruck or partially severed from bottom member 20 with one edge defined by fold line 38, the tab, with card 56 secured thereto, is pivotable through an angle of 180. Consequently, printed matter appearing on the lower face of card 56, such as the batch number, can be observed without turning the carton over.
FIGS. 3-5 depict the erected carton of the preferred embodiment wherein leading flap 12 rests upon the planar surface defined by rectangular trailing flap 28. Top support segments 44 and 52 extend beneath and parallel to flap 28, and sidewall segment 32 folds interiorly of sidewall segment 16 for increasing the rigidity of the erected carton. Adhesive spot 34 joins leading flap 12 to flap 28 with the forward triangularly shaped edge of flap 12 covering cut-out 36 (see FIG. 3).
After the carton has been opened by separating flap 12 from the planar surface of flap 28, card 56 is visible in a face-up orientation with the pills P clearly displayed. After removing the prescribed or desired dosage, the carton is resealed by inserting the forward, triangularly shaped edge of flap 12 into cut-out 36 (see FIG. 5).
FIG. 4 shows that a portion of the rear face of card 56 is visible at all times through the window 68 left in bottom 20 by the die cutting operation that formed and struck tab 54. The dimensions of window 68 are identical to the dimension of tab 54. The batch number from which pills P within the carton have been taken is always visible. Thus, if subsequent testing procedures reveal a substandard batch of pills or if the expiration date for efficacious use has passed, the batch numbers for the pills in the erected cartons can be visually inspected through window 68 and only samples with selected batch numbers will be recalled.
FIGS. 6-9 illustrate an alternative embodiment of a carton constructed in accordance with the principles of the instant invention. Thus, FIG. 6 shows the alternative configuration of the carton blank, such blank being indicated generally by reference numeral 70. Considering the top of blank 70 to the leading edge of the blank, blank 70 comprises a leading flap 72, a first fold line 74, a first sidewall 76, a second fold line 78, a rectangular bottom member 80, a third fold line 82, a second sidewall 84, a fourth fold line 86, and a trailing flap 88. Leading flap 72 has a single spot of adhesive placed thereon below the apex of its triangular leading edge, while trailing flap 88 has a groove 92 removed therefrom. The rightwardly extending segment of blank 70 is completed by fifth fold line 94, third sidewall 96, sixth fold line 98, and first top support segment 100. The leftwardly extending segment of blank 70 is completed by seventh fold line 102, fourth sidewall 104, eighth fold line 106, and second top support segment 108.
Triangularly shaped tab members and 112 are formed in the corners of bottom member 80 by die cutting or slitting arcuate slots extending from fold line 78 to fold lines 94 and 102, respectively. The fixed edges of tab 110 are coextensive with a portion of fold lines 78 and 102, while the fixed edges of tab 112 are coextensive with a portion of fold lines 78 and 94. The forming of the slots raises the curved free edge of each tab slightly above the plane of bottom member 80, as shown in FIG. 7. Consequently, a rigid foil insert or card 114 that is identical to insert or card 56 shown in FIGS. 1-3, can be inserted into the slots and retained in fixed position by tabs 110 and 112. The thickness of insert 114 is slightly greater than the spacing between the underside of tabs 110 and 112 and bottom member 80 so that insert 114, once slipped therebetween, is retained in fixed position by a force fit. Such force fit obviates the need for securing the insert to the tab with hot melt adhesive. Furthermore, although insert 114 is illustrated as being manually inserted into engagement with tabs 110 and 112, the inserting operation can be effectuated with equal facility by conventional automated machinery.
As shown in FIG. 9, the formation of tabs 110 and 112 simultaneously creates viewing windows through which printed matter appearing on the lower face of card 114, such as the batch number, can be observed without opening the carton. Consequently, as previously noted, a substandard batch of pills can easily be identified and recalled without opening the cartons.
Manifestly, numerous modifications will be suggested to the artisan regarding the size, number, location and configuration of the tabs, flaps, fold lines, etc., of the above described blanks. Additionally, the artisan will realize various techniques for erecting the carton. Obviously, merchandise other than pills could be stored within the individual plastic blisters. Consequently, the subject matter hereinabove described or depicted in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative in nature and not in a limiting sense.
1. A carton for retaining and dispensing pills in a sanitary fashion, said carton comprising a. a paperboard blank including a leading flap, a plurality of sidewalls, a trailing flap, a bottom member and fold lines separating the flaps from the bottom member and the sidewalls.
b. said blank being erected into a carton of rectangular configuration with said leading flap being secured to said trailing flap,
c. a rigid insert being smaller in size than the bottom member of said carton,
d. a plurality of pockets joined to said insert, each pocket being adapted to retain a pill therein,
e. identifying indicia imprinted on said insert, the invention being characterized by:
l. tab means partially severed from said bottom member,
2. said tab means including a fixed edge coextensive with at least one of the fold lines demarcating the boundaries of the bottom member of the carton,
3. viewing means defined within said bottom member by the partial severance of said tab means,
4. said insert being retained in fixed position by said tab means with its pockets in a face-up orientation and the identifying indicia in a facedown orientation so that the identifying indicia on said insert can be observed through said viewing means from the exterior of the erected carton without opening the carton to expose the pockets on said insert.
2. A carton as defined in claim 1 wherein said tab means comprises a tab that assumes the form of a truncated triangle, said bottom member being cut to release at least the free end of said tab from said bottom memher.
3. A carton as defined in claim l wherein said tab means comprises a pair of spaced, triangularly shaped tabs, said bottom member having slots formed therein to release the free end of the tabs from said bottom member, the formation of said slots elevating the tabs above the plane of said bottom member.