US 3835564 A
Disclosed is the novel combination of a packaged product and a label attached thereto and having a water-soluble decal printed thereon, the decal being outlined by a perforated tear line along which a part of the label bearing the decal can be torn free from the label.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Gottschalk 1*Sept. 17, 1974 COMBINATION LABEL FOR PACKAGED  References Cited PRODUCT AND PRINTED-ON REMOVABLE UNITED STATES PATENTS DECAL 577,804 2/1897 Wittcmann 283/21  Inventor: Lawrence A. Gottschalk, Montrose, 1,004,055 9/1911 Martin et 0/2 R NY. 1,054,826 3/1913 Cole 1 283/21 2,091,346 8/1937 Wright 40/2 R  Ass1gnee: Union Carbide Corporation, New 2,116,411 5/1938 Philipson 200/010. 22 York, N.Y. 2,185,983 1/1940 Humphner 161/406 T 2,240,758 5 1941 C 283 21 1 1 NOUCEI The P of the Ofthls 2,363,472 11/1944 R1 32: l l 40/2 R P fiq to 1, 1989, 2,654,170 10/1953 Nestor 283/21 has been d1scla1med. 3,638,340 2/1972 Gottschalk 40/306  Filed: Oct. 29, 1971 Primary ExammerWm, H. Gneb PP No.5 193,625 Attorney, Agent, or FirmJohn R. Doherty Related US. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 873,574, Nov. 3, ABSTRACT 1969, 333381340- Disclosed is the novel combination of a packaged product and a label attached thereto and having a  US. Cl. 40/306, 40/306 water soluble decal printed thereon, the decal being  Int. Cl. G09f 3/02 outlined by a perforated tear Hr: along which a Part  Field Of Search 40/2 R, 306, 310, 312, of the label bearing decal can be torn free from 40/21 R, 21 A, 21 B, 21 C; 283/18, 21; the label.
1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures Pmmw 3,835,564
LAWRENC .GOTT HALK 194 I COMBINATION LABEL FOR PACKAGED PRODUCT AND PRINTED-ON REMOVABLE DECAL This application is a continuation-in-part of my earlier copending application Ser. No. 873,574, filed on Nov. 3, 1969, now US. Pat. No. 3,638,340 issued on Feb. 1, 1972.
This invention relates generally to labels for packaged products to be sold commercially and more particularly to the combination of a label and a removable decal.
Decals are a popular way of promoting a commercial product. Usually, the decals are given away gratuitously to the consumer who is encouraged to apply the decals to some conspicuous area, such as to the windshield of an automobile.
Considerable sums of money are spent each year by manufactures of various kinds of products for the distribution of decals. The decals may be shipped in bulk quantities to wholesalers and retailers of the product for distribution to the consumer or the decals may be loosely attached to the package or carton containing the product in some way such as by means of rubberbands, tape, string, glue or the like. The problem most often encountered in the case where decals are loosely attached to the packaged product is that the decals can be too easily removed either by accident or pilferage and lost before the decals reach the consumer.
In my above-referred to copending application Ser. No. 873,574, I disclose and claim a novel means for more effectively distributing decals to the consumer. Thus in accordance with the teachings of my said application, I provide a packaged product with a label made of paper, for example, having a water-soluble decal printed thereon. The decal may be printed onto the label using a conventional silkscreen process as well known in the art. Since the decal is printed directly onto the label, there is no chance for the decal to become lost by accident or through pilferage. Moreover, the cost of distributing the decals is significantly reduced.
The water-soluble decal can be easily released from the label simply by applying moisture or water to the area of the label containing the decal. Usually this can be accomplished without removing the label from the packaged product. However, it has been found more convenient in some cases to first remove the label before applying the decal. This is particularly true in the case where the product is packaged in a round can or container having the label cylindrically wrapped around its side walls. In such applications, the consumer may find it advantageous to remove the label entirely from the can or container and then moisten the label with water and slip off the decal onto the surface to be decorated. However, the problem most often encountered when the label is first removed before applying the decal is that the can or container, which may still contain some of the product, is left without a label to identify the product. This of course can be a source or serious annoyance in the household.
It is therefore the principal object of this invention to provide an improved means for removal of the decal from the label without having to remove the label itself from the packaged product.
The above and other objects of this invention are achieved by providing a perforated tear line around at least a major portion of the decal along which part of the label containing the decal can be torn free from the label for use by the consumer. When the decal has thus been removed, the label itself remains intact on the package in order to identify the product.
In the practice of the invention, 1 have found that the size of both the cut and uncut portions of the perforated tear line may be critical. This is particularly true in the case where the product is packaged in a round can or container. The paper label blank used for the printed-on decal must of necessity be relatively thick in order to provide a suitable base for the decal. It has been found, for example, that the paper label blank should be at least about 6 or 7 mils thick as opposed to conventional paper labels used for canned goods or the like which are usually about 3 mils thick. The stiffness of the relatively thick paper label may in some cases cause the perforated tear line to prematurely break when the label is wrapped around the can or container and even after the label is in place. It will be seen then that at least in the case of a round can or container, the size of the cut and uncut portions, which actually determine the relative strength of the perforated tear line, should be such as to resist premature breaking when the label is wrapped around the can or container. It will be further seen, on the other hand, that the size of the cut and uncut portions should not be such as to increase the strength of the perforated tear line beyond that at which the decal can be easily torn from the label without accidentally tearing or destroying the label.
In the accompanying drawing:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a typical packaged product in the form of a cylindrical metal can having a paper label with A printed-on water-soluble decal outlined with a series of perforations forming a tear line for removal of the decal, a part of the decal being shown torn away for purposes of illustration;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the label used for the can shown in FIG. 1, the label being flattened out as it appears before application to the can; and
FIG. 3 is a schematic view showing the arrangement of the different layers of material which make up the label and removable decal.
Referring now to the drawing in detail, there is shown in FIG. 1 a typical packaged product in the form of a metal can 10 containing a liquid product to be sold commercially. The can 10 has cylindrical side walls 12 and an upper conical shaped neck portion 14 terminating in an opening which is sealed by a removable screw cap 16. It will be understood that the particular design or configuration of the can 10, which is shown here merely for purposes of illustration, actually forms no part of the invention, it being significant only that the can 10 or packaged product carries a label 18 which may be composed of paper or other fibrous material conventionally used for labels as will readily occur to those skilled in the art.
The label 18 is shown in FIG. 2 in the form of a flat sheet as it appears prior to being wrapped around the cylindrical side walls 12 of the can 10. It will be seen from the view of FIG. 2 that the label 18 carries thereon the usual printed matter including the name of the product, trade name, a description of the product and its ingredients, methods of use, etc., which may be grouped into several or more panels, there being three panels of printed matter 20, 22 and 24 shown here for purposes of illustration. In the embodiment of the label shown in FIG. 2, the two panels 20 and 22 are spaced apart and arranged substantially parallel to one another, one panel 20 being located near the top edge of the label 18 and the other panel 22 being located near the bottom edge of the label 18. The two panels 20 and 22 occupy substantially one-half section of the label 18 and may be described as forming the front side portion of the label 18. The third panel 24 which is considera bly larger in size than the other two panels and which occupies substantially the other half section of label 18, may be described as forming the rear side portion of the label 18.
Disposed between the two panels 20 and 22 on the front side portion of the label 18 is the removable, water-soluble decal 26. The decal 26 is printed onto the label 18 in the manner as shall be described in detail hereinafter and may be of any distinctive shape or configuration carrying the usual printed matter for promotion of the product including a trade name and/or some insignia if desired.
The label 18 including the printed-on water-soluble decal 26 is wrapped around the cylindrical side walls 12 of the can suitably by means of a conventional wrapping machine as well known in the art. During the wrapping operation, the marginal edge portions of the label 18 are made to overlap one another and an adhesive or glue is used to adhere the overlapping marginal edges together and thus secure the label 18 in place on the can 10. As shown in the view of FIG. 2, an adhesive or glue may be applied to the label 18 before the wrapping operation in the form of a continuous adhesive strip 28 along one marginal edge portion of the label 18. A suitable adhesive or glue for this purpose is an aqueous solution of a vinyl copolymer resin.
The decal may be printed onto the label for the packaged product using a conventional silkscreen process as well known in the art. Thus, as shown schematically in the view of FIG. 3, the paper label blank indicated at 30, which may be a single ply of paper coated with a water-soluble adhesive (i.e., super flat-on ply paper with dextrine coat) is first coated with a thin layer 32 of an alkyd resin base synthetic enamel on that portion only of the paper blank 30 to which the decal is to be applied. Another layer or successive layers 34 of printed copy including that of the decal is applied to the paper label blank 30 using the silkscreen process and paint as the medium. The printed copy forming the decal is applied over the enamel coated area on the paper label blank 30. A clear lacquer coat 36 is then applied over the area of the decal. In application of the clear lacquer coat, the silkscreen process is again used in order to mask off those areas of printed copy on the label.
In accordance with the invention, a perforated tear line 38 formed by a series of cut and uncut portions 40, 42 on the label 18 outlines the extremities of the decal 26. The decal 26 may be torn from the label 18 along the perforated tear line 38 without removal of the label from around the side walls of the can 10. It will be seen that the decal 26 is removed with a portion of the label 18 on which the decal is printed and which serves as the decal base from which the decal 26 can upon moistening with water be slipped off onto the surface to be decorated.
Although in the preferred embodiment of the invention as shown in the view of FIG. 1 the perforated tear line 38 outlines the whole decal 26, this is not necessary. So long as the decal can be at least partially torn from the label through the perforated tear line and then wholly removed by other means such as by cutting the remaining untorn portion with a knife or other instrument, the perforated tear line need not completely outline the decal. In most cases depending upon the particular configuration of the decal, for example. the perforated tear line need only be provided around a major portion of the decal. Of course, it will also be understood that the perforated tear line need not exactly coincide with the outer extremities of the decal such as shown in FIG. I. It is fully within the contemplation of the invention, for example. to outline an area on the label with the perforated tear line which is larger than the area occupied by the decal itself. This may be recommended in some cases in order to protect the decal from being inadvertently torn during the process of removing the decal from the label.
When the label 18 is wrapped around the cylindrical side walls 12 of the round can 10, there is a tendency for the perforated tear line 38 surrounding the decal 26 to prematurely break away owing to the stress placed thereon by bending the relatively stiff paper label. This problem is particularly troublesome in the case where the label 18 is applied to relatively small round cans or containers of a size less than about 5 inches in diameter, for instance, cans or containers conventionally used for packaging foods, automobile oils, oil treatments and the like. With round cans or containers of this type, it has been found that the label can be provided with a perforated tear line to facilitate removal of the decal which is strong enough to resist being prematurely broken upon wrapping the label around the side walls of the can or container if the size of the uncut portions is maintained within the range of from about 13 to 18 thousandths of an inch. It has been further found that in order to provide a perforated tear line which at the same time is weak enough to permit easy removal of the decal by tearing along the series of perforations without accidentally tearing the label or the decal itself, the size of the perforations or cut portions should be within the range of from about 40 to thousandths of an inch in length.
In one example of the invention, three sample labels for an automobile oil treatment product contained within a 2 inch diameter plastic bottle were prepared with printed-on water-soluble decals in the shape of an oil drop. The paper label blank used for all the labels was about 6 mils thick. The decals printed on each one of the labels were outlined with a perforated tear line, the size of the cut and uncut portions of which were varied for each sample label. The perforations or cut portions of the tear line in the first sample measured about thousandths of an inch and the uncut portions measured about 15.6 thousandths of an inch. In the second sample label, the perforations or cut portions measured about 62.5 thousandths of an inch and the uncut portions were the same as in the first sample, i.e., about 15.6 thousandths of an inch. In the third sample label, the perforations or cut portions measured about 156 thousandths of an inch while the uncut portions measured about 31 thousandths of an inch. All of the labels were applied to the round plastic bottles using the same wrapping technique. The only label which proved satisfactory was the second sample label. The perforated tear line used in this label remained intact while those used in both the first and third sample labels prematurely broke upon wrapping the label label bearing said decal can be torn free from said label, the cut portions forming said perforated tear line measuring from about 40 to thousandths of an inch and the uncut portions measuring from about 13 to 18 thousandths of an inch, and the decal bearing part of said label forming the decal base from which said decal upon moisturing with water can be slipped off onto the surface to be decorated.