|Publication number||USRE33680 E|
|Application number||US 07/244,032|
|Publication date||Sep 3, 1991|
|Filing date||Sep 14, 1988|
|Priority date||Jul 18, 1983|
|Publication number||07244032, 244032, US RE33680 E, US RE33680E, US-E-RE33680, USRE33680 E, USRE33680E|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (15), Referenced by (5), Classifications (11), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Recent trends in the greeting card market have seen the increased size, elaborateness and cost of greeting cards for special occasions. Whereas, formerly it was the practice to purchase low cost cards for special occasions such as Christmas, St. Valentine's Day, Easter and other widely celebrated occasions and mail such cards to a large number of acquaitences and friends, it has more recently become the practice to send greeting cards to only a selected few individuals on special occasions. Furthermore, the fourfold increase in the cost of postage in the last decade has made the mailing of cards to a substantial number of persons prohibitively expensive.
This trend has been evidenced by the marketing of highly decorative and enlarged, more costly greeting cards for special occasions. These highly elaborate, decorative and more costly greeting cards which are mailed on special occasions have become sufficiently valuable to make it worthwhile to the recipient to consider ways or means of reusing the card for mailing again to another intended recipient on a future special occasion. This idea is particularly attractive on the occasion of the anniversary of the original receipt of the card for a recurring special occasion. However, in order to reuse the greeting card, it is socially necessary to remove the indicia of the original sender in order that subsequent recipients will not be aware that the card has been reused by the immediate sender.
It has thus been desired to find a way or means of providing a space for the signature of the immediate sender of the greeting card and provide for the removal of the signature by the recipient for enabling the recipient to reuse the card. In particular, it has been desired to find a way to make a reusable card with a removable signature feature which is not readily apparent or particularly noticeable.
The present invention comprises a reusable greeting card and envelope ensemble which provides a solution to the above-described problem and enables the recipient of the card to remove the signature of the sender in a manner which maintains the appearance of the card as though it were a new card purchased by the immediate recipient for initial use. The present invention provides a greeting card and envelope ensemble wherein the card has a plurality of removable signature strips integrally formed at the bottom thereof extending across the width of a single fold card. The strips in one embodiment are formed by a line of spaced perforations extending across the full width of the single fold card. The lowermost strip is used as a signature area by the immediate sender and may thus be removed by the recipient with little or no trace of removal. The immediate recipient may then use the then next-above signature strip for sending the card to another recipient.
Since the card of the present invention has its largest size when used by the initial sender, subsequent usage reduces the size of the card by removal of the signature strip. Accordingly, a plurality of nested envelopes of progressively decreased size are provided with the initial purchase of the card for enabling the immediate sender to forward the card with sufficient envelopes to enable the recipient to reuse the card and forward same for subsequent usage.
In another embodiment of the invention, a reusable greeting card comprises a plurality of single layers joined at the left margin therein in superposed relationship with the top layer being the shortest in length and each successive layer thereunder of a sufficiently greater length to provide a signature portion visible from above. The layers are removable from the bottom by peeling apart the adhesive bond along the margin to remove the bottom layer having the signature of the most recent sender leaving the remaining layers with the signature portion thereof unused.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the single fold card of the invention having perforated signature strips along the bottom thereof;
FIG. 2 is another embodiment of the invention employing a plurality of superposed layers joined at the left margin thereof; and
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the nestable envelopes for the ensemble.
Referring now to FIG. 1, the invention is shown as embodied in a single fold greeting card, indicated generally at 10, which may have any appropriate decorative indicia and greeting message provided thereon for example, birthday wishes or a message for other special occasions. In the embodiment of FIG. 1 the decorative indicia and message are disposed on the upper portion of the card designated 12a, 12b for respectively, the left-hand and right-hand portions thereof. The region provided for signature comprises the lower portion of the card designated 14a, 14b.
The signature region 14a, 14b comprises a plurality of horizontally extending strips formed by spaced pre-weakened areas 16, 18 which extend across the full width of the card 12a, 12b in spaced parallel relationship to thereby form a plurality of signature strips 20, 22. In the presently preferred practice of the invention, the pre-weakened areas 16, 18 are formed by lines of perforations spaced therealong which lines extend across the width of the card. However, it will be understood that other preweakening techniques may be employed as for example, the formation of a plurality of frangible creases embossed in the card at the time of manufacture. Furthermore, it will be understood that the card 10 of FIG. 1 may be formed with more than two signature strips 20, 22 if desired for increased multiple usage.
In use, the initial sender signs the card on the strip indicated by reference numeral 22 in FIG. 1, or the lowermost strip, and sends the card, leaving blank the upper signature strip denoted by reference numeral 20 in FIG. 1. The first recipient of the card merely folds the used lower signature strip 22 along the pre-weakened area 18 and tears the strip 22 from the card leaving the entire card shorter in length by the width of the strip 22. The initial recipient then signs the card on the lowermost remaining blank signature strip, indicated by reference numeral 20 in FIG. 1, and sends the card to another recipient.
The second recipient merely folds the card along the pre-weakened area 16 and removes the used signature strip at the bottom of the card, and signs the card on the lowermost remaining signature space provided thereabove. It will be apparent that the final user of the card will sign the card less all removable signature strips in the signature region adjacent the lower margin thereof and the card will thus have no pre-weakened areas such as 16, 18 remaining thereon.
Referring now to FIG. 2, another embodiment of the invention is shown wherein a multiple layer card indicated generally at 30 has a plurality of layers 32, 34, 36 which are disposed in superposed relationship and aligned at the left margin thereof. The layers 32, 34 36 are joined at the left margin thereof by any suitable expedient in the region on each layer disposed beneath the portion to the left of the dashed line running vertically along the layer 32 in FIG. 2. In the presently preferred practice of the invention, the layers 32, 34 36 each have a progressively decreased length proceeding from the bottom layer 36 to the top layer 32 so that a portion of the immediately preceding layer extends outwardly from and .[.invisible.]. .Iadd.is visible .Iaddend.when the next superposed layer is in place. In the presently preferred practice of the invention, the layers 32, 34 36 are joined in the region indicated by numeral 38 with a suitable adhesive material which permits removal of the desired layer without evidence of defacing or damage to the superposed card layer.
In use, the initial purchaser of the card of FIG. 2 signs the card at the bottom of the portion of layer 36 which is visible from the top of the superposed layers and sends the card. The initial recipient removes the bottom layer of the card 36 by peeling the layer 36 away from the adhesively bonded left margin and signs the card on the visible signature strip at the lower margin of the layer 34 and sends the card on to another recipient. The second recipient then peels the card layer 34 away from the adhesively bonded region on the left margin and leaves the top layer of the card for subsequent use.
In the presently preferred practice of the invention, the top layer 32 of the card is provided with a pre-weakened area indicated by the dashed line at 40 in FIG. 2 which may be removed frangibly by tearing the card layer 32 along the left margin thereof. In the presently preferred practice of the invention, the pre-weakened area 42 comprises a line of spaced perforations extending vertically along the full length of the margin of card layer 32. It will be understood however, that other pre-weakening means may be employed as for example, a frangible region formed by embossing at the time the card is manufactured.
It will be apparent that the embodiments 10, 30 of the card described hereinabove grown progressively shorter as the card is used by each successive use. Accordingly, the initial purchaser of the card receives, along with the card, a set or plurality of envelopes each having a length corresponding to the length of the card as it appears to each recipient from the initial recipient to the final recipient. The envelopes are shown in FIG. 3 indicated by the numerals 44, 46, 48 and are shown as nested for the sake of illustrating the progressively reduced length of the envelopes. It will be understood however that the envelopes need not be nested other than to be included with the card; however, it will be understood that for convenience the shorter envelopes may be contained within the larger envelopes if desired, the choice being in accordance with the particular marketing practice of the card vendor.
The present invention thus comprises a reusable greeting card ensemble comprising a card having a plurality of removable signature portions which leave the card successively shorter in length for each recipient to sign and reuse. The card is supplied with a plurality or set of envelopes sized to accommodate the card at each stage of its reduced length. The present invention thus provides a reusable greeting card which shows little evidence of previous usage and yet provides a card which may have an attractiveness and decorativeness of an elaborate single use throw-away card.
Although the inventions has hereinabove been described with respect to the presently preferred practice, it will be understood to those skilled in the art that modifications and variations may be made in the practice of the invention without departing from the limits of the following claims.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US460472 *||Oct 16, 1890||Sep 29, 1891||Envelope book|
|US814843 *||Jul 11, 1905||Mar 13, 1906||Winfield S Hawes||Combined envelop and souvenir-album.|
|US970943 *||Jun 1, 1910||Sep 20, 1910||Peter S H Newell||Illustrated book and pamphlet.|
|US1031521 *||Feb 12, 1912||Jul 2, 1912||John Cameron||Postal mailing-card.|
|US2169932 *||Mar 29, 1937||Aug 15, 1939||Howard Parish||Newspaper assembly|
|US2417982 *||Jun 19, 1944||Mar 25, 1947||Histed George B||Greeting card|
|US2497064 *||May 22, 1947||Feb 14, 1950||Baynes William C||Greeting card and envelope assembly|
|US3259304 *||May 25, 1965||Jul 5, 1966||Tichnor Lawrence F||Postcards|
|US3330581 *||Apr 27, 1965||Jul 11, 1967||Statistikbyran Ab||Set of blanks|
|US3525469 *||Oct 17, 1968||Aug 25, 1970||Kimberly Clark Co||Multiform envelopes|
|US3941309 *||Apr 3, 1973||Mar 2, 1976||United States Envelope Company||Combined brochure and return envelope package|
|US4070778 *||Apr 12, 1976||Jan 31, 1978||Mahler Harry H||Greeting card|
|US4435001 *||Mar 12, 1982||Mar 6, 1984||American Standard Inc.||Envelope assembly|
|US4538833 *||Dec 8, 1983||Sep 3, 1985||P I E International Inc.||Publication|
|CH79660A *||Title not available|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5437478 *||May 22, 1992||Aug 1, 1995||Gaines; Alfred L.||Gift card with receipt|
|US6203070||May 8, 2000||Mar 20, 2001||Starsend Creations, Inc.||Card including instructions for making a product and method of making such card|
|US20070039215 *||Aug 16, 2006||Feb 22, 2007||Sheridan Aidan J D||Reusable greeting card|
|US20070085327 *||Mar 17, 2006||Apr 19, 2007||Fashion Accessory Bazaar Llc||Folder with removable bookmark|
|US20110031736 *||Aug 5, 2010||Feb 10, 2011||Eichers Christine J||Method and apparatus for repurposing consumer materials|
|U.S. Classification||281/5, 283/101, 283/105, 283/102, 283/117, 283/116, 229/92.8, 281/11|
|May 3, 1994||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Sep 25, 1994||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|