US 3913734 A
This invention relates to a package assembly including a container generally known as the plastic blister-type wherein the blister may be formed into a plurality of different configurations and which is generally surrounded by an outwardly extending flange. The flange is secured to a backing means wherein the backing includes a plurality of laminated sheets arranged relative to the container such that the innermost of said sheets at least partially defines the interior of the container and comes into contact with the material contained therein. The backing means is also formed into a substantially arcuate cross sectional configuration, transverse to the longitudinal axis of the package. The backing means may include at least one sheet of material inherently having a memory characteristic or property. An opening means which includes a weakened segment which may be in the form of a score line or alternately a plurality of V-shaped cutouts positioned on the package in adjacent or contiguous relation to a nozzle of the container such that a predetermined force serves to sever a lid from the container or alternately have the lid hingedly attached thereto.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Siegel [451 Oct. 21, 1975 PACKAGE ASSEMBLY  Inventor: Harold B. Siegel, Clearwater, Fla.
 Assignee: Pharmacare, Inc.
 Filed: Mar. 7, 1974  Appl. No.: 448,962
Related [15. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 277,586, Aug. 3,
 US. Cl. 206/498; 229/51 TC; 206/484; 206/469  Int. Cl. B65D 5/54  Field of Search 206/469, 484, 498;
229/51 TC, 51 SC; 222/541  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,036,700 5/1962 Krug 206/469 3,215,333 11/1965 Stelzer 229/51 3,301,393 l/1967 Regan, Jr. et al 206/484 3,689,458 9/1972 Hellstrom 206/56 AA D185,229 5/1959 OConnor D58/2 Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton Assistant ExaminerDouglas B. Farrow Attorney, Agent, or FirmStein & Orman  ABSTRACT This invention relates to a package assembly including a container generally known as the plastic blister-type wherein the blister may be formed into a plurality of different configurations and which is generally surrounded by an outwardly extending flange. The flange is secured to a backing means wherein the backing includes a plurality of laminated sheets arranged relative to the container such that the innermost of said sheets at least partially defines the interior of the container and comes into contact with the material contained therein. The backing means is also formed into a substantially arcuate cross sectional configuration, transverse to the longitudinal axis of the package. The backing means may include at least one sheet of material inherently having a memory characteristic or property. An opening means which includes a weakened segment which may be in the fonn ofa score line or alternately a plurality of V-shaped cutouts positioned on the package in adjacent or contiguous relation to a nozzle of the container such that a predetermined force serves to sever a lid from the container or alternately have the lid hingedly attached thereto.
9 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 Sheet1of3 3,913,734
U.S. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 Sheet 2 of3 3,913,734
Sheet 3 of 3 U.S. Patent 0a. 21, 1975 PACKAGE ASSEMBLY This is a continuation-impart application of my presently copending application Ser. No. 277,586 filed Aug. 3, 1972.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a blister type package assembly having a lid capable of being hingedly connected to the remainder of the container so as to be reclosable in a fluid seal relation to the package or alternately being completely detachable from the container.
2. Description of the Prior Art It is quite well known that the packaging industry is extremely versatile in designing a wide variety of packages to accommodate the shipping, storing, selling, dispensing, etc., of widely different products. While a number of these package and wrapping structures are particularly designed to accomplish a specific purpose, there are a number of problems common to all of the various specific purpose packaging. When designing and manufacturing packaging containers there are certain problem areas which are of upmost importance. Such areas include cost of manufacture, durable design and structure, efficient dispensing and space saving configuration for efficient shipping and storage.
An area of the packaging industry which has grown rapidly, particularly in the last few years, is blister-type packages designed for the packaging and dispensing of unitary doses. Such blister-type package structures are particularly common in the handling of food and pharmaceutical products. Since these types packages must be capable of efficiently dispensing the package contents, it is necessary for the structural means for opening of the package to accomplish this efficient dispensing. Various types of opening means utilized today include score line, tear strips, breakaway packages and the like which, while accomplishing an acceptable means of opening a given container or package and dispensing its products, is generally considered unnecessarily complicated from a structural standpoint and therefore often times unnecessarily expensive.
Such prior art packaging structures are represented in the U.S. Pat. Nos. to Stelzer, 3,215,333; I-Ielstrom 3,472,367; 3,472,368 and 3,689,458; Ward 3,52l,805; and the U.S. Design Pat. to O'Connor, No. 185,229.
In reviewing the prior art structures of this type it is i obvious that there is a need in the packaging industry for a blister or like type of package or container, capable of handling unitary doses which is inexpensive to manufacture, capable of efficient dispensing of its contents and includes versatile features such as a reclosable lid or the like capable of providing a substantially fluid tight seal for the prevention of leakage or inadvertent dispensing of the contents of the container once it is opened. This allows a package assembly to be reused repeatedly if the contents is not consumed or dispensed upon the first few dispensings of the contents from the package.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a package assembly comprising one or more blister-type containers which may be arranged on a backing means and wherein the container further includes an opening means comprising a reclosable lid capable of establishing a substantially fluid tight seal when disposed in a closed position once the package has been opened.
More particularly, one embodiment of the present invention includes a blister integrally formed to an outwardly extending flange primarily provided for mounting the blister or container on the backing means. The backing itself includes a plurality of laminated sheets arranged in a conventional stacked array. The term sheet" with reference to the members or elements of the backing is not used as a technical term in this sense and does not specifically refer to any dimension of thickness of each of the elements comprising the backing. The backing means may comprise an innermost sheet connected directly to the container, as pointed out above. In this position, one surface of the inner sheet comes in direct contact with the contents of the container due to the fact that it at least partially defines the container interior. This inner sheet may be made from a liquid impermeable material which is sufficiently flexible to allow the back to bend for the reasons to be set forth hereinafter. The material of the inner backing sheet preferably may include an aluminum or applicable metal foil. Preferably the backing means comprises a plurality of sheets comprising an outer paper sheet, on which printing or other indicia may be placed; a sheet of polyester material having a memory" characteristic to be explained hereinafter; a foil sheet described above; a coating of adhesive means located between the foil sheet and polyester. The flange means integrally formed to the blister, which may be formed of polyvinyl chloride, is in direct engagement with the flange means.
It should be noted that the inclusion of all of the sheets as disclosed above is not necessary to define the backing means of the present invention. In addition, the backing means may comprise one or more of each of the sheets in combination with the other sheets described.
As stated above, the backing means may be in the form of an elongated strip having sufficient length to have mounted thereon at least two blisters arranged in opposed relation to one another in successive disposition along a common longitudinal axis. Each of the blisters includes opening means, to be described in detail hereinafter, which are positioned at opposite ends of the backing strip so as to provide for efficient dispensing of the contents of each blister either separately or simultaneously. The blister may be arranged in spaced relation to one another or alternately the bilsters may be integrally connected to one another such that each blister has its contents completely segregated from the contents of the other blister while at the same time sharing a common base.
The opening means of the present invention comprises a weakened segment formed in the container structure itself so as to intersect a predetermined portion of the blister. This predetermined portion is generally in the form of a nozzle and one embodiment of this invention is directed to the weakened segment comprising a score line extending transversely to the longitudinal axis of the container and intersecting substantially the entire width of the flange and a portion of the nozzle. In this embodiment, the score line is not formed in any portion of the backing. Accordingly, the score line defines the junction of the lid means of the container and the remainder of the container itself. A force applied to the lid means in the area of the weakened segment or score line causes a separation of the bubble portion or nozzle of the lid means and the rest of the bubble and an opening of the container.
The portion of the backing contiguous to the score line comprises a hinge means defined by a fold line in the backing. Since the bubble and integrally formed flange are the only portion of the package assembly actually severed. the lid is allowed to be reclosed on the container. It is important to note that, in one embodi ment of the present invention, the backing portion comprising the hinge means includes a sheet of material having the property of "memory." In the context of defining the present invention, the term memory" is utilized to describe the ability of a material to return, or tend to return to substantially the original or predetermined position. This provision of a sheet of mern ory material in the backing means facilitates the lid portion returning to a closed position and the establishment of a substantially fluid tight seal when the lid portion is closed. Another embodiment of the present in vention comprises the backing means being formed with a substantially curved or arcuate cross sectional configuration when viewed transversely to the longitu dinal axis of the package assembly. This predetermined configuration facilitates closure of the lid means and maintenance of the lid means in a closed position so as to at least partially establish a substantially fluid tight seal.
Another embodiment of the present invention comprises the weakened segment being in the form of de tent means arranged adjacent to the nozzle. The detent means may include a plurality of V-shaped cutout portions arranged such that the apex of each V is contiguous to the nozzle. This positions the nozzle in interconnecting relation between the lid means and the remainder of the container. When utilizing this embodiment. a rotational or functionally equivalent force applied to the lid in the area of the apex of the cutout portions causes the lid to be completely severed from the remainder of the container.
Yet another embodiment of the present invention comprises both the score line and the detent means being formed on the same container means in spaced relation to one another. More specifically, this embodiment comprises the nozzle portion of the container being somewhat extended in length and having the score line positioned generally adjacent the base of the nozzle. As previously described, this score line extends transversely to the longitudinal axis of the container and is formed in the flange and nozzle portions only of the container structure and does not extend into the backing. The detent means including a plurality of V- shaped cutout portions is arranged in spaced relation to the score line. This spaced distance between the detent means and the score line is sufficient to position the apex of each V-shaped cutout portion substantially adjacent to the upper portion of the nozzle means. When utilizing this embodiment the user therefore has the alternate choice of either having the lid pivotally attached to the remainder of the container and being movable into a reclosable position. In addition, the user may apply a rotational or other functionally equivalent force to the upper portion of the lid means thereby severing the lid from the remainder of the container substantially along the plane defined by the apexes of the V-shaped cutout portions.
Yet another embodiment of the present invention comprises the elimination of the backing so as to form a double bubble container which is formed by joining the peripheral edges of two correspondingly shaped blisters. A similar opening means as described above may be formed on the container of this embodiment such that a plurality of V-shaped cutout portions are positioned in interconnecting relation between the lid means of the container and the remainder of the container itself.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a front plan view of the package assembly of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the structure shown in FIG.
FIG. 3 is a detailed view of the opening means of the package assembly of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a detailed view of one embodiment of the opening means of the present invention.
FIG. 6 is a detailed view of yet another embodiment of the opening means of the present invention.
FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the backing.
FIG. 8 is a sectional view of another embodiment of the backing.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the container.
FIG. 10 is a front plan view of yet another embodiment of the present invention showing the pluarlity of blisters on the backing.
FIG. 11 is a front plan view of yet another embodiment showing a plurality of blisters on a backing.
FIG. 12 is a cutaway view showing a plurality of the package assemblies arranged in nested fashion.
FIG. I3 is yet another embodiment showing a plurality of the containers arranged in nested fashion relative to one another.
FIG. 14 is a side view of another embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 15 is an end view of another embodiment of a substantially arcuate configuration transverse to the longitudinal axis.
FIG. 16 is a detailed cross-sectional view of the back ing means of the present invention.
Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION This invention relates to a package assembly generally indicated as 10 in FIGS. 1 and 2 wherein the assembly comprises a container means 12 in the form of a blister-type package. The container means includes an outwardly extending flange 14 which is integrally formed as a part of the container [2. A predetermined portion of the container is formed into a nozzle 16. This nozzle is generally located along what may be considered the upper portion of the container 12, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Naturally, the nozzle or dispensing aperture can be located at any applicable location on the container for efficient dispensing of its contents.
The container means is mounted on a backing generally indicated as 18 in FIG. 7, 8, l4, l5 and 16. As shown in FIG. 14, the backing comprises a plurality of sheets including an inner sheet which is preferably made of aluminum or like metal foil positioned in direct engagement with flange 14. Preferably the remaining composition of the backing includes an adhesive coating of heat seal or like material 29. Sheet 23 is made from a polyester material having a memory" characteristic. Such memory material is adequately present in the polyester commercially available under the trademark MYLAR which has been determined by experience and experimentation of applicant. In addition, polyester material has been determined to be sufficiently flexible to resist rupture when folded or bent contiguous to score line 40 to be described in greater detail hereinafter with specific reference to the opening means of the package assembly. The outer backing sheet may also be made from a flexible material such as paper and preferably this material will be such as to allow printing or like indicia to appear thereon. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the flange l4 and each of the sheets of the backing are arranged in substantially stacked array and each has a substantially similar configuration. As noted above, the specific combination or number of sheets shown in FIG. 7 is not a necessary structural feature of the present invention.
Turning to the embodiments as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, the backings 18 are generally elongated relative to the length of the backing shown in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2. This elongated configuration is provided so that a plurality of containers 24 and 26, in the form of blister-type packages can be arranged in opposed relation to one another such that each of the blisters are co-axially aligned and have their opening means including nozzles 16 arranged at opposite ends of backing 18.
Referring specifically to the embodiment of FIG. 10 the blisters 24 and 26 are arranged in spaced relation to one another such that their bases 31 and 32 respectively are completely segregated. It is clear that each of the blisters 24 and 26 and the flange 14 may be integral and formed from one piece.
The embodiment of FIG. 11 is directed to the blisters 28 and also being co-axially aligned but differ in the fact that both of the blisters share a common base 34. This common base still allows complete segregation of the interiors and therefore the contents, of each of the blisters 28 and 30. Again, the nozzle 16 of blisters 28 and 30 are arranged at opposite ends of backing 18.
FIGS. 12 and 13 demonstrate that the container 12 of the package assembly, regardless of the embodiment utilized, may be formed into a plurality of configurations which readily lend themselves to nesting when the containers or package assemblies are aligned in 0pposed relation to one another for storing or shipping. As shown in FIGS. 12 and 13 the configuration of containers 12 may take the form ofa hemisphere (FIG. 12) or a substantially cubical configuration (FIG. 13).
In another embodiment of the present invention, FIGS. 1, 3, 7, 8, l4 and 15, the opening means comprises a weakened segment means in the form of score line or the like extending transversely relative to the longitudinal axis of the backing l8 and container 12 such that itintersects a predetermined portion of the container 12 and flange 14. This predetermined portion of container 12 defines nozzle 16. It is important to note that score line 40 is formed in flange I4 and nozzle 16 but does not extend through to any of the elements or sheets 20, 23, 25 or 29 of the backing 18. It is also important to note that at least one element or sheet of the backing 18 located immediately adjacent to score line 40 is sufficiently flexible to define a hinge means, generally indicated as 42. This hinge means is more specifically defined by a fold line or portion formed in the backing 18 immediately adjacent to score line 40, when lid means 44 is pivoted in the direction of arrow 47. The score line 40 is positioned so as to separate or interconnect the lid means 44. This lid means comprises the upper portion as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, of the backing l8, nozzle I6 and the flange 14. The hinge means 42 allows pivotal movement of the lid means 44 relative to the remainder of the container. This pivotal movement ability in turn allows the lid means 44 to be positioned in reclosable position atop the container. The lid means 44 may have a tendency to assume this reclosable position, in part because of the memory" feature inherent in sheet 23 as described above. The contents 51 of the container will be prevented from inadvertently being dispensed from the container 12 due to a substantially liquid tight seal formed when the lid 44 is in the reclosable position.
The substantially liquid tight seal means, generally indicated as 49 is provided, at least in part, by the ability oflid means 44 to snap" back into its original position and the ability and natural tendency to be maintained in this position. To reiterate, this ability is made available, at least in part, by the existence in the backing 18 of the sheet 23 having the "memory characteristic and which is preferably formed from a polyester material such as MYLAR.
The ability to form this seal is also enhanced by the structural configuration of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 14 and 15 directed to the non-planar configuration of the backing 18. More specifically, FIG. 15 clearly shows backing 18 formed to incorporate a substantially arcuate or curvilinear cross-sectional configuration transverse to the longitudinal axis of the package assembly 10. This bowed" configuration (FIG. 15) either singly or in combination with the memory" feature of sheet 23 facilitates the tendency of the lid means 44 to be disposed and maintained in a reclosed position. This is accomplished because of the generally greater force required to pivot lid means 44 in the direction indicated by arrow 47 (FIG. 4). Movement of lid means 44 into the reclosable position (FIGS. 1, 2, 14 and 15) forces the lid means 44 to reassume its natural or original non-planar configuration.
Utilizing a similar structural configuration as shown in FIG. 1 and 2, the backing may be formed on a nonflexible material which will completely sever upon a force being applied against score line 40. This will cause detachment of the lid means 44 and of course eliminate the reclosable feature of the lid means when attached by a flexible backing.
Turning to FIG. 5, another embodiment of the closing means of the present invention comprises the weakened segment being in the form of detent means 51 comprising substantially V-shaped cutout portions arranged immediately adjacent nozzle 16. The V-shaped cutout portions are positioned such that the apex 52 of each V is contiguous to the nozzle 16 as clearly shown in FIG. 5. The lid means 44 is interconnected to the remainder of the container and flange structure 12 and 14 respectively by the surfaces defining nozzle 16 and by the backing (now shown in FIG. i. In this particular embodiment a rotational or functionally equivalent force applied to lid means 14 would result in complete detachment of the lid means about score line 40 which extends along nozzle 16 as shown. It is clear that this particular embodiment does not include a reclosable lid feature as described with reference to the embodi ment of FIG. 4.
In order to overcome any disadvantages this detach able closing means may present, it is possible to combine both the detachable and non-detachable closing means in the structure shown in FIG. 6. More particularly, the lid means generally indicated at 44 comprises an upper portion 54 and a lower portion 56. In this embodiment the weakened segment includes both detents SI and score line 40. The nozzle 16 is somewhat elongated relative to the dimensions of the nozzles de scribed with specific reference to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 5. This elongated nozzle 16 allows the different weakened segments namely score line 40 and detent means 51 to be arranged in space relation to one another. Accordingly, the user has the choice of completely detaching upper lid portion 54 along score line 40' extending through nozzle 16 by merely applying a rotational force to lid portion 54. Alternately, the user may apply a force to score line 40 and thereby sever the nozzle along score line 40' extending through nozzle 16. However, when applying the force to score line 40 and 40 the lid portions 54 and 56 are still pivotally attached to the remainder of the container 12 and flange 14. Again, this allows the lid means 44 to be reclosable due to the hinge defined by backing 18 as previously described with reference to the embodiment of FIG. 4.
Yet another embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 9 and comprises a double bubble" container means generally indicated at 60. This container means essentially includes two blister type packages 62 and 64 connected to one another along their entire peripheral edge defined by the junction of seam 66. In this embodiment there is no backing 18 required since the interior of the container means 60 is defined by the interior surfaces of both blisters 62 and 64. The opening means in this embodiment is similar to that described with specific references to H6. 5 thereby allowing the lid means generally indicated as 68 to be completely detachable from the remaining portion of container means 60. The dispensing orifice or aperture of container means 60 is indicated as 70 and defines a nozzle type arrangement generally similar to that indicated as 16 in the remaining embodiments.
It will thus be seen that the objects made apparent from the preceeding description, are efficiently attained and since certain changes may be made in the above product without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
Now that the invention has been described, what is claimed is:
l. A package assembly comprising; backing means, container means mounted on said backing means, container opening means comprising a weakened segment formed on said container means in predetermined posi' tion, hinge means formed in said backing means adja' cent said weakened segment, lid means defined by predetermined portions of said backing means and said container means and interconnected to the remainder of said package assembly at least in part by said hinge means, nozzle means formed on said container means and including separable portions, said weakened segments disposed in transverse intercepting relation to said nozzle means, said nozzle means disposed and configured to be seperable along said weakened segment, said nozzle means including portions contiguous to said weakened segment having relative corresponding configurations, whereby said nozzle portions are reclosable in sealing relation to each other along said weakened segment, said backing means comprising a plurality of flexible elements integrally attached to one another in substantially stacked relation, at least one of said flexible elements comprising material incorporating memory capabilities, fold line means formed in said backing means and disposed adjacent to said weakened segment and at least partially defining said hinge means, said hinge means including a biasing means defined by said one flexible element of memory capabilities disposed within said fold line, whereby said lid means is biased in part toward its reclosable position after separation along said weakened segment; said backing means being flexible, whereby force applied to said lid means severs said weakened segment and allows pivotal movement of said lid means about said fold line relative to the remainder of said package assembly.
2. A package assembly as in claim 1 wherein said one element of said backing means comprises a polyester material.
3. A package assembly as in claim 2 wherein said polyester material consists of MYLAR.
4. A package assembly as in claim 1 wherein said backing means comprises a substantially curvilinear cross sectional configuration disposed transverse to the longitudinal axis of said package assembly, whereby force applied to said lid means severs said weakened segment and allows pivotal movement of said lid means relative to the remainder of said package assembly.
5. A package assembly as in claim I wherein said weakened segment comprises a score line formed in said container means in substantially transverse rela tion to the longitudinal axis of said container means, said score line disposed in interconnecting relation between said lid means and the remainder of said container.
6. A package assembly as in claim 1 wherein said backing means comprises a plurality of flexible elements arrangedin laminated relation to one another, said plurality of elements comprising an inner sheet disposed in direct engagement with said container means and positioned relative thereto so as to partially define the container interior.
7. A package assembly as in claim 1 wherein said inner sheet is formed of a liquid impermeable material.
8. A package assembly as in claim 6 wherein said liquid impermeable material comprises aluminum foil;
9. A package assembly as in claim 1 wherein said backing means comprises a plurality of flexible elements arranged in laminated relation to one another, said plurality of elements comprising an outer sheet including a surface area on which indicia can be disposed, said indicia bearing surface positioned to define the outer surface of said backing means.
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