US20040232039A1 - Multi-purpose shipping and display container - Google Patents

Multi-purpose shipping and display container Download PDF

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Publication number
US20040232039A1
US20040232039A1 US10/459,930 US45993003A US2004232039A1 US 20040232039 A1 US20040232039 A1 US 20040232039A1 US 45993003 A US45993003 A US 45993003A US 2004232039 A1 US2004232039 A1 US 2004232039A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
panel
panels
divider
multi
top
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/459,930
Inventor
Hollis Daniels
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CORRFLEX DISPLAY & PACKAGING LLC
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CORRFLEX DISPLAY & PACKAGING LLC
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US10/442,514 priority Critical patent/US20040232038A1/en
Application filed by CORRFLEX DISPLAY & PACKAGING LLC filed Critical CORRFLEX DISPLAY & PACKAGING LLC
Priority to US10/459,930 priority patent/US20040232039A1/en
Assigned to CORRFLEX DISPLAY & PACKAGING, LLC reassignment CORRFLEX DISPLAY & PACKAGING, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: DANIELS, HOLLIS KENT
Publication of US20040232039A1 publication Critical patent/US20040232039A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/42Details of containers or of foldable or erectable container blanks
    • B65D5/54Lines of weakness to facilitate opening of container or dividing it into separate parts by cutting or tearing
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/32Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper having bodies formed by folding and interconnecting two or more blanks each blank forming a body part, whereby each body part comprises at least one outside face of the box, carton or tray
    • B65D5/321Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper having bodies formed by folding and interconnecting two or more blanks each blank forming a body part, whereby each body part comprises at least one outside face of the box, carton or tray at least one container body part formed by folding up portions of a single blank connected to a central panel from all sides
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/42Details of containers or of foldable or erectable container blanks
    • B65D5/44Integral, inserted or attached portions forming internal or external fittings
    • B65D5/48Partitions
    • B65D5/48002Partitions integral
    • B65D5/48018Partitions integral formed by folding extensions of side panels of a "cross-like" body blank
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/42Details of containers or of foldable or erectable container blanks
    • B65D5/44Integral, inserted or attached portions forming internal or external fittings
    • B65D5/52External stands or display elements for contents
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B2100/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers made by folding single-piece sheets, blanks or webs
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B2120/00Construction of rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B31B2120/20Construction of rigid or semi-rigid containers provided with two or more compartments
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B2120/00Construction of rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B31B2120/30Construction of rigid or semi-rigid containers collapsible; temporarily collapsed during manufacturing
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B2241/00Making bags or boxes intended for a specific use
    • B31B2241/001Making bottle carriers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B50/00Making rigid or semi-rigid containers, e.g. boxes or cartons
    • B31B50/74Auxiliary operations
    • B31B50/76Opening and distending flattened articles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B31MAKING ARTICLES OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER; WORKING PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31BMAKING CONTAINERS OF PAPER, CARDBOARD OR MATERIAL WORKED IN A MANNER ANALOGOUS TO PAPER
    • B31B50/00Making rigid or semi-rigid containers, e.g. boxes or cartons
    • B31B50/74Auxiliary operations
    • B31B50/81Forming or attaching accessories, e.g. opening devices, closures or tear strings
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65BMACHINES, APPARATUS OR DEVICES FOR, OR METHODS OF, PACKAGING ARTICLES OR MATERIALS; UNPACKING
    • B65B43/00Forming, feeding, opening or setting-up containers or receptacles in association with packaging
    • B65B43/26Opening or distending bags; Opening, erecting, or setting-up boxes, cartons, or carton blanks
    • B65B43/265Opening, erecting or setting-up boxes, cartons or carton blanks

Abstract

A packaging blank capable of forming a multi-purpose shipping and display container comprises in one embodiment a bottom panel, first and second side panels connected to opposing edges of the bottom panel, a back panel connected to the bottom panel, first and second divider support panels connected to the side panels, first and second divider panels connected to the side panels by the divider support panels, and first and second side reinforcement panels connected to the side panels opposite the divider support panels. Upon construction the packaging blank provides a multi-purpose shipping and display container having more than one internal compartment that is convertible into an open-sided tray. A method of packaging articles comprises in one embodiment the steps of folding the blank to form a container having more than one internal compartment, positioning the articles in the compartments, and removably securing a lid to the container.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This is a continuation-in-part application claiming benefit of copending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/442,514, filed May 21, 2003, for Packaging Blank.[0001]
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to a packaging blank. In particular, the invention relates to a packaging blank capable of forming a multi-purpose shipping and display container. The invention further relates to a container formed from the blank that includes multiple internal compartments. Still further, the invention relates to a method of packaging articles in the container. [0002]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • As known to those skilled in the art, packaging is typically formed from packaging blanks, or blanks for short. It will be understood that as used herein the term “blank” may include cardboard, rigid paper, flexible plastic, or similar products made of paperboard or plastic. In particular, the packaging industry favors the use of one-piece flexible blanks, which are readily incorporated into automated processes for forming containers. [0003]
  • Today, the construction of packaging blanks into containers, and the subsequent insertion of products to be packaged in the container, is managed in the product manufacturers' facilities. Manufacturers employ automated equipment that is capable of folding the blank to form a container, inserting the product into the container, sealing the container, and then shipping the container by various means of transportation. For example, manufactures use in-line processes for accomplishing the steps of folding, inserting, sealing, and shipping as described above. Thus there is a need for a container that is capable of being formed in automated processes. [0004]
  • Further, manufacturers seek efficiencies in the packaging and display of products. Specifically, manufactures desire a packaging blank that can serve as a shipping container as well as a display container. By supplying a blank that is foldable into a dual-purpose shipping and display container, the need for manual removal of products from shipping containers and placement onto store shelves is eliminated, thus creating significant efficiencies in production and shipping processes. Product manufacturers in selected industries, such as the pesticide or liquid consumables industry, require shipping containers that are sturdy, yet are capable of being converted into attractive display containers. A preferred container would thus permit the purchasing consumer to view and then select the desired product from a multi-purpose shipping and display container. However, most shipping containers do not permit the viewing of its contents. Specifically, most known containers incorporate end flaps or closure flaps that seal the container with adhesive (e.g., glue). Such end flaps and closure flaps destroy or mar the surface of the container when opened. Thus, once sealed, it is necessary to destroy the package in order to view or remove the products contained therein. Accordingly, known shipping containers are not suitable for display upon opening. Therefore, it is desirable to provide a container that is suitable for both shipping and display. [0005]
  • Limited shelf space requires that manufacturers and storeowners seek alternative means for displaying products. For example, a popular area for displaying products is located at the ends of store aisles. Stackable display containers are preferred for this type of product display because they allow the storeowner to maximize useable floor space. Thus, it is further desirable to provide a container that is stackable. [0006]
  • In a related aspect, it is also desirable to provide a packaging blank capable of forming a container that includes reinforced side panels and top panels to support the stacked containers. When stacked in this fashion, it is therefore desirable to provide a packaging blank capable of forming a container that permits viewing of one or more of the packaged products contained therein when the containers are stacked one on top of the other. It will be understood that as used herein, the term “viewing” may include reading with the human eye or scanning with a bar code scanner. [0007]
  • As an alternative to stackable containers, select storeowners may wish to display an open-sided tray on a shelf. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the term “tray” refers to a structure developed from a flat blank that includes a base (e.g., bottom panel) and at least three hinge-connected side or end panels, which are in turn connected at the corners by adhesive to form an open-top carton. In other words, it is more efficient to convert a shipping container into a tray that can be placed directly on store shelves as compared to removing individual products from a shipping container and placing the product on the shelf. This method of stocking shelves, i.e., removing individual products from a shipping container and placing the product on the shelf, is labor and time intensive. Thus, it is desirable to provide a container that is convertible into a tray. [0008]
  • As discussed above, it is more efficient to place a container directly onto a shelf than to remove product from a container and place the product on the shelf. Accordingly, in a related aspect, it is also desirable to provide a container that permits the frontal viewing of one or more of the packaged products contained therein when the container is placed on a shelf. [0009]
  • Manufacturers also seek shipping containers that minimize damage to goods during shipment. Thus, it is also desirable to provide a container that includes a dividing panel for preventing the lateral movement of products during shipment. [0010]
  • OBJECT AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a container that is capable of being formed in automated processes. [0011]
  • Another object of the invention is the provision of a container that is suitable for both shipping and display. [0012]
  • A further object of the invention is to provide a container that is stackable. [0013]
  • Still another object of the invention is to provide a packaging blank capable of forming a container that includes reinforced side panels and top panels. [0014]
  • Another object of the invention is to provide a container that permits the viewing of one or more of the packaged products contained therein when the containers are stacked one on top of the other. [0015]
  • Yet another object of the invention is to provide a container that is convertible from a container into a tray. [0016]
  • Still another object of the invention is the provision of a container that permits frontal viewing of one or more of the packaged products contained therein when the container is placed on a shelf. [0017]
  • Yet another object of the invention is to provide a container that includes a dividing panel for preventing the lateral movement of products during shipment. [0018]
  • The invention meets these objectives with a multi-purpose shipping and display container. In particular, the invention is a multi-purpose shipping and display container having divider panels, divider support panels, side reinforcement panels, top reinforcement flaps, corner support flaps, a pull tab assembly, and strips of tear tape that permit the removal of the top section of the container to provide a view of the internal compartments of the container upon construction. [0019]
  • The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the invention and the manner in which the same are accomplished will become clearer based on the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:[0020]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a container formed from a preferred embodiment of the blank. [0021]
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the container formed from a preferred embodiment of the blank depicting the frontal view of the packaged products provided by the container. [0022]
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of multiple containers formed from a preferred embodiment of the blank stacked one on top of the other illustrating the view of the packaged products provided by stacked containers. [0023]
  • FIG. 4 is a top planar view of a preferred embodiment of the blank depicting the bottom panel, back panel, side panels, divider support panels, divider panels, side reinforcement panels, back lip flap, front lip flap, corner support flaps, top support flaps, top panels, top glue flaps, top reinforcement flaps, glue flaps, divider panel cut-outs, divider support panel pull tabs, strips of tear tape, and back panel pull tabs. [0024]
  • FIGS. 5A-5I are perspective views of a method for packaging products that incorporates a preferred embodiment of the packaging blank and container. [0025]
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the container formed from a preferred embodiment of the blank illustrating the back panel pull tabs, divider panel cut-outs, and the strips of tear tape. [0026]
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the container formed from a preferred embodiment of the blank depicting a user pulling the back panel pull tabs, divider support panel pull tabs, and strips of tear tape attached thereto, outwardly, thereby separating portions of the container to form a tray. [0027]
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the tray formed from a preferred embodiment of the blank. [0028]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout. [0029]
  • As used herein, the term “panel” is used in conjunction with the packaging blank [0030] 10 of the present invention and refers to sections of the blank. With reference to the orientation of the blank 10 in FIG. 4, it will be understood that the term “width” refers to a distance measured from the lowermost portion of the first or second corner support flaps 32, 33 to the uppermost portion of the first or second divider panels 24, 25. It will also be understood by those of skill in the art that as used herein, the concept of a panel being “between” two other panels does not necessarily imply that the three panels or flaps are contiguous (i.e., in intimate contact). Rather, as used herein, the concept of one panel being between two other panels is meant to describe the relative positions of the panels within the blank structure, respectively. Similarly, the concept of a first panel being connected to a second panel by a third panel, “opposite” the second panel, merely describes the relative positions of the first and second panels within the blank structure. It will further be understood that the term “finished” means coated with a material to produce an attractive glossy finish. The term “finished” will also be understood to mean the inclusion of printed material or other identifying indicia (e.g., a company's logo). Those skilled in the art will also appreciate that panels include edges defined as the line of intersection of two surfaces or a border. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the term “perforations” refers to a series of holes or impressions formed by a cutting tool (e.g., a punch or die) that permits easy separation of, for example, panels. Those skilled in the art will also appreciate that the term “adjacent” refers to two or more, for example, panels that have a common border or are in close proximity to one another. Nevertheless, it will be understood that adjacent may or may not imply contact, but always implies the absence of anything of the same kind in between. Furthermore, as used herein, it will be understood that the term “article” will refer primarily to consumer products that are packaged for shipment (e.g., bottles, bags, consumables, etc.). It will be understood, however, that “article” may also refer to any number of goods such as house wares or toys.
  • An overall view of a preferred embodiment of a packaging blank [0031] 10 which incorporates features of the present invention is set forth in FIG. 4. As depicted in FIG. 4, the packaging blank 10 includes a bottom panel 11, first and second side panels 12, 13, a back panel 14, a front lip flap 15, a back lip flap 16, first and second divider support panels 20, 21, first and second top reinforcement flaps 22, 23, first and second divider panels 24, 25, first and second top panels 26, 27, first and second top glue flaps 28, 29, first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31, first and second corner support flaps 32, 33, first and second top support flaps 34, 35, and first and second glue flaps 40, 41.
  • Another aspect of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 1, includes a container [0032] 43 formed from the packaging blank 10. Specifically, the blank 10 is capable of forming a multi-purpose shipping and display container 43 upon construction. The container 43 is capable of receiving a removable lid 46 that includes a top section 47, a front section 48, and side flaps 49. In a preferred embodiment, the lid 46 may further include cut-outs that permit a user to grasp the lid and easily remove the same from the container 43 (see FIG. 1). For ease of reference, the various aspects of the container 43 will be described contemporaneously with the description of the packaging blank 10.
  • With reference to FIG. 4 depicting the blank, the first and second side panels [0033] 12, 13 of the preferred embodiment are connected to the opposing edges of the bottom panel 11. The back panel 14 of the blank 10 is connected to the bottom panel 11 along one of the fold lines 42 in the blank. Specifically, the back panel 14 is connected to the edge of the bottom panel 11 that is adjacent to the opposing edges to which the first and second side panels 12, 13 are connected. The front lip flap 15 is connected to the bottom panel 11 opposite the back panel 14, and the back lip flap 16 is connected to the back panel opposite the bottom panel.
  • Upon construction of the container [0034] 43, the front lip flap 15 provides a retaining structure for the front section 48 of the removable lid 46 to thereby hold the lid in position. Furthermore, the front lip flap 15 retains the articles 17 positioned in the container and prevents the same from sliding out of the container 43 when the lid 46 is removed and the container is placed on a shelf.
  • The first and second divider support panels [0035] 20, 21 are connected to the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively, adjacent to the back panel 14. Stated differently, the first and second divider support panels 20, 21 are positioned between the first and second divider panels 24, 25, respectively, and the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively. Thus, as depicted in FIG. 4, the back panel 14 is positioned between the first and second divider support panels 20, 21. The first and second divider support panels 20, 21, as configured, provide reinforcement to the back panel 14 and assist in positioning the divider panels 24, 25 to extend the width of the bottom panel 11 during construction of the blank 10 into the container 43.
  • The first and second top reinforcement flaps [0036] 22, 23 are connected to the first and second divider support panels 20, 21, respectively, opposite the back panel 14. Thus, the first and second divider support panels 20, 21 are positioned between the first and second top reinforcement flaps 22, 23, respectively, and the back panel 14. The first and second top reinforcement flaps 22, 23 strengthen the top surfaces of the container 43 formed from the blank 10.
  • The first and second divider panels [0037] 24, 25 are connected to the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively, by the first and second divider support panels 20, 21, respectively. In other words, the first and second divider support panels 20, 21 connect the first and second divider panels 24, 25 to the first and second side panels, 12, 13, respectively. Upon construction of the container, the first and second divider panels 24, 25 form a divider or dividing panel structure 37. The first and second divider panels 24, 25 not only prevent lateral movement of packaged articles 17 during transit, but also reinforce the container 43 for stacking purposes. The first and second divider panels 24, 25 of the container may be secured to the back panel 14, bottom panel 11, or one of the top panels 26, 27.
  • The first and second top panels [0038] 26, 27 are connected to the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively, opposite the bottom panel 11. With reference to FIGS. 5F-5I, during construction of the container 43 the lid 46 is partially folded and placed over the internal compartments of the container such that the top section 47 and front section 48 of the lid rest against the top and front portions of the dividing panel structure 37, respectively, and the side flaps 49 rest against an internal planar side 45 of the first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31. The first and second top reinforcement flaps 22, 23 and the first and second top support flaps 34, 35 are then folded over and against the top section 47 of the lid 46. Subsequently, the back lip flap 16 is folded against the top reinforcement flaps 22, 23. Upon construction, the first and second top reinforcement flaps 22, 23 and the first and second top support flaps 34, 35 form a top reinforcement assembly of the container 43. Next, the first and second top panels 26, 27 are folded over and against the top section 47 of the lid 46. Accordingly, the top reinforcement assembly is positioned between at least one of the top panels 26, 27 and at least a portion of the first and second divider panels 24, 25. It will be understood that upon construction, the top panels 26, 27 form a single top panel. As depicted in FIG. 1, the top panel of the container may be substantially V-shaped.
  • The first and second top glue flaps [0039] 28, 29 are connected to the first and second top panels 26, 27, respectively, adjacent to the edges of the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively, that are connected to the first and second divider support panels 20, 21. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the first and second top glue flaps 28, 29 and the first and second top reinforcement flaps 22, 23 are positioned adjacent one another. As positioned, the top glue flaps 28, 29 are foldable against and secured to the back panel 14 when the blank 10 is constructed into the container 43.
  • The first and second side reinforcement panels [0040] 30, 31 enhance the strength of the container to prevent tensile and compressive stresses from tearing or otherwise destroying the container during shipment and display (e.g., stacking). Specifically, the first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31 provide additional support to the side panels 12, 13 upon construction of the blank 10 into the container 43. The side reinforcement panels 30, 31 are connected to the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively, opposite the first and second divider support panels 20, 21, respectively.
  • The first and second corner support flaps [0041] 32, 33 are connected to the first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31, respectively, opposite the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively. The corner support flaps 32, 33 are foldable against the divider support panels 20, 21, upon construction of the container 43.
  • The first and second top support flaps [0042] 34, 35 are connected to the first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31, respectively. In particular, the first and second top support flaps 34, 35 are positioned adjacent to the edges of the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively, that are opposite the bottom panel 11. Stated differently, the first and second top support flaps 34, 35 are positioned adjacent to the first and second top panels 26, 27, respectively. Upon construction of the container 43, the top support flaps 34, 35 are foldable inwardly and situated adjacent (i.e., beneath) the top panels 26, 27. In particular, the top support flaps 34, 35 are foldable against the top section 47 of the lid 46 when the lid is removably secured over the interior of the container 43. In this fashion, the top support flaps 34, 35 associated with the side reinforcement panels 30, 31 and the top panels 26, 27 associated with the side panels 12, 13 enhance the structural integrity of the sides of the container 43 during shipment and stacking.
  • The first and second glue flaps [0043] 40, 41 are connected to the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively. Specifically, the first and second glue flaps 40, 41 are positioned opposite the first and second divider support panels 20, 21, respectively, and between the bottom panel 11 (more specifically the front lip flap 15) and the first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31, respectively. The glue flaps 40, 41 are foldable, upon construction, against the front section 48 of the lid 46 when the lid is positioned over the interior of the container 43. Accordingly, the glue flaps 40, 41 secure the front lip flap 15 in an upright position when the front lip flap is folded upward and against the glue flaps and portions of the lid 46.
  • As illustrated in the preferred embodiment of FIG. 4, the packaging blank [0044] 10 may be a one-piece flexible blank formed from corrugated paperboard. Accordingly, the first and second side panels 12, 13, back panel 14, front lip flap 15, back lip flap 16, first and second divider support panels 20, 21, first and second top reinforcement flaps 22, 23, first and second divider panels 24, 25, first and second top panels 26, 27, first and second top glue flaps 28, 29, first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31, first and second corner support flaps 32, 33, first and second top support flaps 34, 35, and first and second glue flaps 40, 41 are foldable along fold lines 42 formed in the blank 10. The blank 10 also includes an external planar side 44 and an internal planar side 45. The external planar side 44 is preferably finished.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the first and second side panels [0045] 12, 13, first and second divider panels 24, 25, first and second top panels 26, 27, first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31, and first and second corner support flaps 32, 33 are substantially trapezoidal. Advantageously, the trapezoidal shape of the top panels 26, 27 permits viewing of the contents of the container 43 formed from the blank 10. Further, the bottom panel 11, back panel 14, and first and second divider support panels 20, 21 are preferably rectangular. The rectangular shape of these panels ensures the substantially rectangular shape of the container. A rectangular shaped container is preferred for shipping and stacking purposes. Nevertheless, it will be understood that the first and second side panels 12, 13, first and second divider panels 24, 25, first and second top panels 26, 27, first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31, and first and second corner support flaps 32, 33 are not limited to a trapezoidal shape and may be triangular or rectangular in shape. It will also be understood that the bottom panel 11, back panel 14, and first and second divider support panels 20, 21 are not limited to a rectangular shape and may be trapezoidal in shape.
  • Advantageously, the blank [0046] 10 is capable of being folded into the container 43 having an interior space defined by the bottom panel 11, the back panel 14, and the first and second side panels 12, 13. Thus, upon construction, the first and second divider panels 24, 25 divide the interior space to form more than one internal packaging compartment (see FIGS. 2 and 6). Thus, the blank 10 is capable of forming a container 43 that has at least two internal compartments for separately receiving a number of articles 17 (e.g., bottles).
  • In order to facilitate the formation of a substantially rectangular container [0047] 43 having reinforced sides, the widths of the first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31 of the preferred embodiment of the blank 10 are less than the widths of the first and second side panels 12, 13. Advantageously, the width differentials permit the folding of the corner support flaps 32, 33 against the divider support panels 20, 21 to thereby reinforce the corners of the container 43 formed from the blank 10. In a related aspect, the preferred trapezoidal shape of the first and second corner support flaps 32, 33 further facilitates the folding of the corner support flaps against the divider support panels 20, 21 while providing reinforcement of the corners as described above.
  • The preferred embodiment of the blank [0048] 10 also provides for the conversion of the container 43 formed from the blank into an open-sided tray 18 (see FIG. 8). As illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 7, the present invention provides a first and second divider support panel pull tab 50, 51 formed by perforations in the first and second divider support panels 20, 21, respectively. The first and second divider support panel pull tabs 50, 51 are positioned adjacent to the edges of the first and second divider support panels 20, 21, respectively, that are connected to the first and second divider panels 24, 25, respectively. The preferred embodiment further provides a first and second back panel pull tab 53, 54 formed by perforations in the back panel 14. The first and second back panel pull tabs 53, 54 are positioned next to one another and adjacent to the edge of the back panel 14 that is connected to the bottom panel 11. Upon construction, the first and second divider support panel pull tabs 50, 51 and the first and second back panel pull tabs 53, 54 each form a pull tab assembly of the container 43. Each pull tab assembly may also include a strip of tear tape 63, 64 as discussed herein.
  • In this configuration, the first divider support panel pull tab [0049] 50 and the first back panel pull tab 53 are aligned to contact one another when the blank 10 is constructed into the container 43. Further, the second divider support panel pull tab 51 and the second back panel pull tab 54 are likewise aligned to contact one another when the blank 10 is constructed into the container 43. In other words, the first and second divider support panel pull tabs 50, 51 and the first and second back panel pull tabs 53, 54 are paired respectively, upon construction, so that the first divider support panel and back panel pull tabs 50, 53 and second divider support panel and back panel pull tabs 51, 54 are positioned against one another, respectively.
  • Referring to FIGS. 4, 7, and [0050] 8, the first and second divider panels 24, 25 define first and second cut-outs 60, 61, respectively. As illustrated in the preferred embodiment of FIG. 4, the first and second cut-outs 60, 61 are substantially circular. Nevertheless, it will be understood that the first and second cut-outs 60, 61 are not limited to a circular shape and may be oval, polygonal, triangular, or elliptical in shape. The first and second cut-outs 60, 61 are positioned adjacent to the edges of the first and second divider panels 24, 25, respectively, that are connected to the first and second divider support panels 20, 21, respectively.
  • As configured, the first and second cut-outs [0051] 60, 61 are aligned to correspondingly form an opening 62 in the first and second divider panels 24, 25, respectively, when the blank 10 is constructed into the container 43. As depicted in FIG. 7, the opening 62 is positioned adjacent to the first and second divider support panel pull tabs 50, 51 and first and second back panel pull tabs 53, 54. Thus, the opening 62 provides an empty space (i.e., void) into which the divider support panel pull tabs 50, 51 and the back panel pull tabs 53, 54 move when a user pushes against the pull tabs. Further, the opening 62 provides room for the user to insert a finger into the interior of the container 43 and grasp the pull tabs 50, 51, 53, 54 when converting the container into the tray 18.
  • The preferred embodiment of the present invention also provides a first and second strip of tear tape [0052] 63, 64 that extend from the first and second divider support panel pull tabs 50, 51, respectively, to the edges of the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively, that are opposite the first and second divider support panels 20, 21 (see FIG. 4). One end of the strips of tear tape 63, 64 is secured to the first and second divider support panel pull tabs 50, 51. The first and second strips of tear tape 63, 64 may be secured to the first and second divider support panels 20, 21 and the first and second side panels 12, 13, respectively, with adhesive 66. In an alternative embodiment, the strips of tear tape 63, 64 may be partially or fully embedded in the divider support panels 20, 21, and side panels 12, 13. The tear tape is formed from material of sufficient strength to detach a portion of the surface of the panels formed, for example, from corrugated paperboard.
  • In this preferred embodiment, the back panel [0053] 14 defines perforations 65 that are positioned to correspondingly align with the first and second strips of tear tape 63, 64 when the blank 10 is constructed into a container 43 (see FIGS. 4 and 6). Advantageously, this configuration permits a user to form the open-sided tray 18 from the container 43. Specifically, the first and second divider panel pull tabs 50, 51, the first and second back panel pull tabs 53, 54, and the perforations 65 facilitate the separation of the first and second divider panels 24, 25, the first and second divider support panels 20, 21, the first and second side panels 12, 13, and the back panel 14 from the blank 10 when the blank is formed into the container 43. The separation of the above referenced panels necessarily separates the first and second top reinforcement flaps 22, 23, the first and second top panels 26, 27, the first and second top glue flaps 28, 29, the first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31, the first and second top support flaps 34, 35, and the first and second corner support flaps 32, 33.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8, a user is able to push the pull tabs [0054] 50, 51, 53, 54 inwardly, grasp the pull tabs, and then pull the pull tabs and the associated strip of tear tape 63, 64 away from the exterior surface of the container 43 formed from the blank 10 to thereby separate the top section of the container from the bottom panel 11. The resulting action converts the container 43 into the open-sided tray 18.
  • As depicted in FIG. 4, adhesive [0055] 66 is provided on select surfaces of the internal planar side 45 of the preferred embodiment of the packaging blank 10 to secure various panels and flaps during construction of the container. Specifically, adhesive 66 (e.g., glue) is provided on the internal planar side 45 of the back panel 14 to include areas adjacent to the back lip flap 16 and the edge of the back panel that connects to the bottom panel 11. During construction, adhesive 66 on the back panel 14 secures the back panel to the first and second divider support panels 20, 21. Adhesive 66 is also provided on the internal planar side 45 of the first and second top glue flaps 28, 29, the front lip flap 15, and the first and second side panels 12, 13. Accordingly, during construction, the top glue flaps 28, 29 are secured to the back panel 14, the front lip flap 15 is secured to the first and second glue flaps 40, 41, and the first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31 are secured to the first and second side panels 12, 13.
  • Another aspect of the invention includes the use of the packaging blank [0056] 10 of the present invention in conjunction with a method for packaging articles (see FIGS. 5A-5I). This method is preferably accomplished at a manufacturer's packaging facility.
  • In a preferred method, the side reinforcement panels [0057] 30, 31 are folded over the first and second side panels 12, 13 (see FIG. 5A). The first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31 are preferably folded to a position substantially adjacent the first and second side panels 12, 13 and then adhered to the side panels with, for example, adhesive.
  • The first and second divider panels [0058] 24, 25 are then folded to form more than one internal packaging compartment (see FIGS. 5B and 5C). In particular, the first and second divider panels 24, 25 are folded over the first and second side reinforcement panels 30, 31 such that the first and second divider panels are oriented in a plane that is substantially parallel to the side reinforcement panels and side panels 12, 13. Next, the side panels 12, 13 are folded towards the bottom panel 11 such that the divider panels 24, 25 are adjacent one another (see FIGS. 5C and 5D).
  • Upon completing the initial steps of construction, the container [0059] 43 is presented for receiving at least one article 17. Accordingly, the method may incorporate the step of positioning an article 17 on the internal planar side 45 of the blank. In other words, the article 17 is positioned in one of the internal compartments. The step of positioning the article 17 may incorporate an automated device or a manual procedure. For example, an article 17 may be retrieved and then selectively placed on the blank 10.
  • In a subsequent step, the container [0060] 43 is configured to receive the removable lid 46. Specifically, the lid 46 is positioned over the internal packaging compartments to cover the same (see FIGS. 5F and 5G). Upon positioning the lid 46 over the compartments, the first and second top reinforcement flaps 22, 23 are folded over and against the lid. The first and second top support flaps 34, 35 are then folded over and against the lid 46 such that the top support flaps are adjacent the top reinforcement flaps 22, 23 (see FIG. 5G). Next, the back panel 14 is folded upward and against the first and second divider support panels 20, 21. In a preferred method, the back panel 14 is adhered to the divider support panels 20, 21. The back lip flap 16 is subsequently folded over and against the top reinforcement flaps 22, 23 (see FIG. 5H). The top panels 26, 27 are then folded against the top section 47 of the lid 46, the top reinforcement flaps 22, 23, and the top support flaps 34, 35. The top glue flaps 28, 29 are then folded and secured to the back panel 14.
  • In this configuration, the top glue flaps [0061] 28, 29 secure the top reinforcement flaps 22, 23, top support flaps 34, 35, back lip flap 16, and top panels 26, 27 adjacent to the lid 46 so as not to interfere with the attachment and removal of the lid. Stated differently, the top reinforcement flaps 22, 23, top support flaps 34, 35, back lip flap 16, and top panels 26, 27 are not adhered to the lid. As depicted in FIGS. 5G-5I, the top glue flaps 28, 29 are adhered to the back panel 14 after the steps of folding the top reinforcement flaps 22, 23, top support flaps 34, 35, back lip flap 16, and top panels 26, 27 against the top section 47 of the lid 46.
  • In the final steps of a preferred method, the first and second glue flaps [0062] 40, 41 are folded inwardly against the front section 48 of the lid 46, and the front lip flap 15 is folded upwardly and against the glue flaps and the front section of the lid. The front lip flap 15 is preferably adhered to the glue flaps 40, 41 but not to the front section 48 of the lid 46. In the drawings and specification, there have been disclosed typical embodiments on the invention and, although specific terms have been employed, they have been used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being set forth in the following claims.

Claims (37)

That which is claimed is:
1. A substantially rectangular multipurpose shipping and display container having a substantially open front and that is capable of being converted into an open-sided tray, said container comprising:
a substantially rectangular bottom panel;
substantially rectangular first and second side panels connected to opposing edges of said bottom panel, said first and second side panels defining substantially parallel planes;
a substantially rectangular back panel connected to said bottom panel and to respective edges of said first and second side panels;
a front lip flap connected to said first and second side panels and said bottom panel opposite said back panel; and
a pull tab assembly formed by perforations in said back panel, said pull tab assembly facilitating the conversion of said container into the open-sided tray.
2. A substantially rectangular multipurpose shipping and display container according to claim 1, wherein said pull tab assembly comprises:
first and second back panel pull tabs formed by perforations in said back panel, said pull tabs adjoining one another; and
first and second strips of tear tape that extend from said first and second back panel pull tabs, respectively, along portions of said back panel to portions of said first and second side panels, respectively;
wherein said first and second strips of tear tape facilitate the separation of upper portions of said back panel and said side panels to thereby form an open-sided tray.
3. A multipurpose shipping and display container having a substantially open front and that is capable of being converted into an open-sided tray, said container comprising:
a substantially rectangular bottom panel;
first and second side panels connected to opposing edges of said bottom panel, said first and second side panels defining substantially parallel planes;
a substantially rectangular back panel connected to said bottom panel and to respective edges of said first and second side panels;
at least one divider panel positioned between said first and second side panels, said divider panel dividing an interior space of said container formed by said bottom panel, said back panel, and said side panels to thereby form more than one internal packaging compartment in said container; and
at least one pull tab formed by perforations in said back panel, said pull tab facilitating the conversion of said container into the open-sided tray.
4. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, wherein said divider panel and said first and second side panels define substantially parallel planes.
5. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, wherein said divider panel is secured to said back panel.
6. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, wherein said divider panel is secured to said bottom panel.
7. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, wherein said back panel includes at least one strip of tear tape that extends from said back panel pull tab to at least one edge of said back panel adjacent to said side panels, said back panel strip of tear tape facilitating the separation of an upper portion of said back panel from said container.
8. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, further comprising at least one divider support panel secured to said back panel, said divider support panel positioned adjacent to said back panel.
9. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 8, further comprising at least one pull tab formed by perforations in said divider support panel.
10. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 9, wherein said divider support panel and said first and second side panels include at least one strip of tear tape that extends from said divider support panel pull tab along said divider support panel and to at least one of said first and second side panels, said divider support panel strip of tear tape facilitating the separation of an upper portion of said divider support panel and an upper portion of at least one of said first and second side panels from said container to thereby form an open-sided tray.
11. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, wherein:
said first and second side panels are substantially trapezoidal; and
said divider panel is substantially trapezoidal.
12. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, wherein said container consists essentially of a one-piece blank.
13. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 12, wherein said one-piece blank has an external planar side and an internal planar side, said external planar side being finished.
14. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, wherein said container is made from corrugated paperboard.
15. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, further comprising a top panel connected to said first and second side panels and said back panel such that said top panel and said bottom panel define substantially parallel planes;
wherein said top panel covers at least a portion of the interior space of said container.
16. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 15, wherein said top panel is substantially V-shaped.
17. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 3, further comprising a removable lid that is releasably securable to said container, said lid having a top section, a front section connected to said top section along a fold line, and side flaps connected to opposing edges of said front section.
18. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 17, wherein said top section and said front section of said lid are foldable against said divider panel such that said side flaps are adjacent to interior portions of said first and second side panels to thereby cover the internal packaging compartments.
19. A multi-purpose shipping and display container that is capable of forming an open-sided tray, said container comprising:
a substantially rectangular bottom panel;
first and second side panels connected to opposing edges of said bottom panel, said first and second side panels defining substantially parallel planes;
a substantially rectangular back panel connected to said bottom panel and secured to opposing edges of said first and second side panels;
first and second divider support panels connected to said first and second side panels, respectively, and secured to said back panel, said divider support panels positioned adjacent to said back panel;
first and second divider panels connected to said first and second side panels, respectively, by said first and second divider support panels, respectively, said first and second divider panels and said first and second side panels defining substantially parallel planes;
a top panel connected to said first and second side panels and secured to said back panel opposite said bottom panel; and
a front lip flap connected to said bottom panel opposite said back panel, said front lip flap secured to at least a portion of said first and second side panels.
20. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 19, wherein said container consists essentially of a one-piece blank.
21. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 20, wherein said one-piece blank has an external planar side and an internal planar side, said external planar side being finished.
22. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 19, wherein:
said first and second side panels are substantially trapezoidal;
said first and second divider support panels are substantially rectangular;
said first and second divider panels are substantially trapezoidal; and
said top panel is substantially V-shaped.
23. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 19, wherein:
said bottom panel, said back panel, and said first and second side panels define an interior space of said container; and
said first and second divider panels divide the interior space to form more than one internal packaging compartment.
24. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 19, further comprising a pull tab assembly formed by perforations in said first and second divider support panels and said back panel, said pull tab assembly positioned adjacent to the edge of said back panel that is connected to said bottom panel;
wherein said pull tab assembly facilitates the separation of said first and second divider panels, said first and second divider support panels, said first and second side panels, and said back panel from said container to thereby form an open-sided tray.
25. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 24, wherein said pull tab assembly comprises:
first and second divider support panel pull tabs formed by perforations in said first and second divider support panels, respectively, said first and second divider support panel pull tabs positioned adjacent to the edges of said first and second divider support panels, respectively, that are connected to said first and second divider panels, respectively; and
first and second back panel pull tabs formed by perforations in said back panel, said first and second back panel pull tabs adjoining one another and positioned adjacent to the edge of said back panel that is connected to said bottom panel.
26. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 25, wherein:
said first divider support panel pull tab and said first back panel pull tab are positioned adjacent to one another; and
said second divider support panel pull tab and said second back panel pull tab are positioned adjacent to one another.
27. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 25, wherein:
said first and second divider panels define first and second cut-outs, respectively, said first and second cut-outs positioned adjacent to the edges of said first and second divider panels, respectively, that are connected to said first and second divider support panels, respectively; and
said first and second cut-outs are aligned to correspondingly form an opening in said first and second divider panels, respectively, whereby said opening is positioned adjacent to said first and second divider support panel pull tabs, and said first and second back panel pull tabs.
28. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 25, further comprising first and second strips of tear tape that extend from said first and second divider support panel pull tabs, respectively, to at least a portion of said first and second side panels, respectively;
whereby said back panel defines perforations that are correspondingly aligned with said first and second strips of tear tape.
29. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 19, further comprising:
a top reinforcement assembly secured to said top panel opposite said bottom panel, said top reinforcement assembly positioned between at least a portion of said top panel and at least a portion of said first and second divider panels; and
a back lip flap connected to said back panel opposite said bottom panel;
wherein said back lip flap is positioned between said top panel and said top reinforcement assembly.
30. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 29, wherein said top reinforcement assembly comprises:
a first top reinforcement flap secured to said top panel adjacent to the edge of said top panel that is connected to said back panel;
a second top reinforcement flap secured to said top panel adjacent to the edge of said top panel that is connected to said back panel, said first and second top reinforcement flaps positioned adjacent one another;
a first top support flap secured to said top panel adjacent to the edge of said top panel that is connected to said first side panel; and
a second top support flap secured to said top panel adjacent to the edge of said top panel that is connected to said second side panel, said first and second top support flaps positioned opposite one another relative to said top panel.
31. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 19, further comprising:
a first side reinforcement panel secured to said first side panel; and
a second side reinforcement panel secured to said second side panel, said first and second side reinforcement panels defining substantially parallel planes.
32. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 31, wherein said side reinforcement panel is substantially trapezoidal.
33. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 19, further comprising:
a first corner support flap secured to a corner of said container defined by said first side panel and said back panel; and
a second corner support flap secured to a corner of said container defined by said second side panel and said back panel;
wherein said first and second corner support flaps extend from said bottom panel to said top panel.
34. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 33 wherein said first and second corner support flaps are substantially trapezoidal.
35. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 19, further comprising a lid that is removably securable to said container.
36. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 35, wherein said lid has a top section, a front section connected to said top section along a fold line, and side flaps connected to opposing edges of said front section.
37. A multi-purpose shipping and display container according to claim 36, wherein said top section and said front section of said lid are foldable against said first and second divider panels such that said side flaps are adjacent interior portions of said first and second side panels when said lid is releasably secured to said container.
US10/459,930 2003-05-21 2003-06-12 Multi-purpose shipping and display container Abandoned US20040232039A1 (en)

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