US20140197052A1 - Electronic circuits for product packaging and game pieces - Google Patents

Electronic circuits for product packaging and game pieces Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20140197052A1
US20140197052A1 US14/155,503 US201414155503A US2014197052A1 US 20140197052 A1 US20140197052 A1 US 20140197052A1 US 201414155503 A US201414155503 A US 201414155503A US 2014197052 A1 US2014197052 A1 US 2014197052A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
product package
conductive ink
blank
configured
contact pads
Prior art date
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
US14/155,503
Inventor
Steven J. Block
Alexander M. Kronk
Brian W. McKee
Ryan Ramer
Joseph P. Yock
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Zumbiel C W Co
Original Assignee
Zumbiel C W Co
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201361753253P priority Critical
Priority to US201361822613P priority
Application filed by Zumbiel C W Co filed Critical Zumbiel C W Co
Priority to US14/155,503 priority patent/US20140197052A1/en
Assigned to THE C.W. ZUMBIEL COMPANY reassignment THE C.W. ZUMBIEL COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: RAMER, RYAN, YOCK, JOSEPH P., BLOCK, STEVEN J., KRONK, ALEXANDER M., MCKEE, BRIAN W.
Publication of US20140197052A1 publication Critical patent/US20140197052A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • 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
    • B65D81/00Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • B65D81/36Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • 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
    • B65D25/00Details of other kinds or types of rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D25/34Coverings or external coatings
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00643Electric board games; Electric features of board games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/001Games or toys connected to, or combined with, other objects; Objects with a second use as a toy or game
    • 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
    • B65D5/4212Information or decoration elements, e.g. content indicators, or for mailing
    • B65D5/4216Cards, coupons or the like formed integrally with, or printed directly on, the container or lid
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00697Playing pieces
    • A63F2003/007Design of classical playing pieces, e.g. classical chess, draughts or go
    • A63F2003/00712Scissors, paper, stone or rock
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/001Games or toys connected to, or combined with, other objects; Objects with a second use as a toy or game
    • A63F2009/0012Games or toys connected to, or combined with, other objects; Objects with a second use as a toy or game the other object being a container or part thereof
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/24Electric games; Games using electronic circuits not otherwise provided for
    • A63F2009/2401Detail of input, input devices
    • A63F2009/2402Input by manual operation
    • A63F2009/241Touch screen
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/24Electric games; Games using electronic circuits not otherwise provided for
    • A63F2009/2448Output devices
    • A63F2009/245Output devices visual
    • A63F2009/2451Output devices visual using illumination, e.g. with lamps
    • A63F2009/2454Output devices visual using illumination, e.g. with lamps with LED
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2250/00Miscellaneous game characteristics
    • A63F2250/26Miscellaneous game characteristics the game being influenced by physiological parameters
    • A63F2250/265Miscellaneous game characteristics the game being influenced by physiological parameters by skin resistance
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2250/00Miscellaneous game characteristics
    • A63F2250/50Construction set or kit
    • A63F2250/505Construction set or kit made from a blank
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00173Characteristics of game boards, alone or in relation to supporting structures or playing piece
    • A63F3/00261Details of game boards, e.g. rotatable, slidable or replaceable parts, modular game boards, vertical game boards

Abstract

Product packages and methods of making same, and unpowered conductive circuits for use, for example, as game pieces and methods of making the same. The product package includes a paperboard blank configured to be formed into a box. An electrical circuit is printed with conductive ink pattern onto a surface of the blank. A user may interact with the electrical circuit by, for example, pressing tabs cut into the box. The tabs may include conductive contacts that activate sections of the electrical circuit, thereby producing one or more desirable effects in response to various combinations of tabs being pressed by the user. The electrical circuit may be powered by a battery inserted into a battery compartment of the product package. The blank may include a removable section with a printed electrical circuit, or a portion thereof, that may be separated from the blank and used separately from the product package.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 61/822,613, filed May 13, 2013, and Provisional Application No. 61/753,253, filed Jan. 16, 2013, which are each hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The invention relates generally to packaging for consumer products that incorporates electrical circuitry and, more particularly, to paperboard boxes that include electrical circuitry that is integrated with the box, and methods of making the same, as well as unpowered conductive circuits for use, for example, as game pieces and methods of making the same.
  • Point-of-sale product marketing is a highly competitive process. When shopping for consumer goods in a retail environment, consumers often make choices based largely on the appearance of the product packaging. Customers of commodities, such as breakfast cereals, tend to be especially receptive to being influenced by product packaging. In particular, children may be attracted to products that are packaged in interesting ways, or that include a stimulating toy or prize, and may attempt to persuade their parents to buy the product based primarily on the appearance of the product package or the inclusion of the toy in the product package. Consequently, there is a need for cost-effective, new, and improved product packages that entice customers to buy the product, and methods for making these cost-effective, new, and improved product packages.
  • SUMMARY
  • In one embodiment, a product package includes a paperboard blank having a surface and a conductive ink pattern printed on the surface of the paperboard blank. The blank is configured to define the product package (e.g., upon uprighting or erecting). The conductive ink pattern defines at least part of an electrical circuit that is integrated with the product package.
  • In another embodiment, a method of making a product package includes printing a conductive pattern on a surface of a paperboard blank. The conductive ink pattern defines at least part of an electrical circuit that is integrated with the product package.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate various embodiments of the invention and, together with the general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description of the embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
  • FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of an exemplary game application.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a circuit that implements the game application of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a top view of a blank of packaging material configured to be formed into a box that includes a printed conductive ink pattern which defines a lower level of printed electrical circuitry for implementing the circuit of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 4 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 3 illustrating a dielectric layer pattern for isolating the lower level of printed electrical circuitry from an upper level of printed electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 5 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 4 that includes a printed conductive ink pattern that defines the upper level of printed electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 6 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 5 illustrating a dielectric over-layer pattern for protecting the underlying electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 7 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 6 illustrating the layers defined in FIGS. 3-6.
  • FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a multi-level portion of a printed circuit showing a vertical structure for the conducting and insulating layers.
  • FIG. 9 is a top view of a blank of packaging material configured to be formed into a box that includes a printed conductive ink pattern which defines a lower level of printed electrical circuitry for an alternative implementation of the circuit in FIG. 3.
  • FIGS. 10 and 11 are diagrammatic views showing additional detail of contact pads comprising a switch of the circuitry in FIG. 2 in accordance with embodiments of the invention.
  • FIG. 12 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 9 illustrating a dielectric layer pattern for isolating the lower level of printed electrical circuitry from an upper level of printed electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 13 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 12 that includes a printed conductive ink pattern that defines the upper level of printed electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 14 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 13 illustrating a dielectric over-layer pattern for protecting the underlying electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 15 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 14 illustrating the layers defined in FIGS. 9 and 12-14.
  • FIG. 16 is diagrammatic view of a side of a box formed from the blank in FIG. 7 showing tabs and a cavity configured to receive a battery.
  • FIG. 17 is diagrammatic view of the side of the box in FIG. 16 showing the tabs in a folded position.
  • FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a product package in the form of a cereal box.
  • FIG. 19 is diagrammatic view of an image that may be printed on a side of the box in FIG. 18 consistent with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 20 is a schematic view of a circuit that implements an electronic feature on a package.
  • FIG. 21 is a top view of a blank of packaging material configured to be formed into a box that includes a printed conductive ink pattern which defines a level of printed electrical circuitry for the circuit in FIG. 20.
  • FIG. 22 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 21 illustrating a dielectric over-layer pattern for protecting the underlying electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 23 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 22 illustrating the layers defined in FIGS. 21 and 22.
  • FIG. 24 is diagrammatic view of an image that may be printed on a side of a box formed from the blank in FIG. 23 consistent with an alternative embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 25 is a schematic view of a circuit in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 26 is a top view of a blank of packaging material configured to be formed into a box that includes a printed conductive ink pattern which defines a lower level of printed electrical circuitry for the circuit in FIG. 25.
  • FIG. 27A includes a top view of a section of the blank in FIG. 26 that may be formed into a game piece for use with a touch sensitive device, and a perspective view of the assembled game piece.
  • FIG. 27B is a top view of the section of the blank in FIG. 27A including a printed image.
  • FIG. 27C is a perspective view of the game piece of FIG. 27B.
  • FIG. 27D is a perspective view of a section of the blank in accordance with an alternative embodiment in which the contact pads have been embossed to provide raised contact surfaces.
  • FIG. 27E is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 27E-27E in FIG. 27D.
  • FIG. 28 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 26 illustrating a dielectric layer pattern for isolating the lower level of printed electrical circuitry from an upper level of printed electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 29 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 28 that includes a printed conductive ink pattern that defines the upper level of printed electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 30 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 29 illustrating a dielectric over-layer pattern for protecting the underlying electrical circuitry.
  • FIG. 31 is a top view of the blank of FIG. 30 illustrating the layers defined in FIGS. 26, and 28-30.
  • FIG. 32 is a top view of a game that may be printed on the blank in FIG. 31.
  • FIG. 33 is a perspective view of the game in FIG. 32 showing a user activating a switch with a game stylus.
  • FIG. 34 is a top view of a game in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 35 is a perspective view of the game in FIG. 34 showing a user activating a switch with a game stylus.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Embodiments of the invention are directed primarily to product packaging that incorporates printed electrical circuitry applied to one or more interior or exterior surfaces of the package. The printed electrical circuitry may be configured to provide the consumer with a variety of applications, such as a game or other sensory stimulating apparatus. To this end, applications provided by embodiments of the invention may provide a plurality of sensory stimulations, such as light and sound.
  • For example, the product package may be a cereal box configured to provide an interactive game or other electronic entertainment once the goods have been removed from the product package. The product package may also be configured so that the electrical circuit draws attention to the product or otherwise enhances the appeal of the product when displayed in a retail environment. To this end, embodiments of the invention may include a variety of printed electrical circuits and electrical components, including lines, switches, and terminals. These circuits may be operatively coupled with light-emitting diodes, power sources, programmable chips, audio transducers, and electronic displays to provide a desired application or effect. Power sources may include an internal power source (e.g., a battery integrated into the product package) or an external power source (e.g., an alkaline battery that is coupled to the product package externally and/or provided by the user).
  • The printed electrical circuitry may be printed either directly on a surface of the product package, or on a secondary carrier substrate, such as a flexible film, that can then be attached to the product package. The inks used to print the circuitry may include any suitable printable material, such as metallic (e.g., silver) ink, conductive carbon ink, silver chloride ink, or any other suitable ink. In addition, dielectric ink, such as an acrylic, may be deposited over a lower layer of conductive ink so that another layer of conductive ink may be deposited over the lower conductive ink layer to form electrical circuits having multiple layers. Additional dielectric layers may be printed between the conductive layers to increase the isolation between the conductive layers. These additional dielectric layers may include layers having dissimilar materials. The conductive ink may be printed on the product package material using a conventional printing technique, such as screen print, flexo, gravure, photo-pattern, pad printing, and jet printing to form traces and other components of the printed electrical circuitry. Carriers for the ink (known as film formers) may be based on acrylics, urethanes, water, latex, and/or any other suitable carrier.
  • The ink may typically comprise carbon in a water-based carrier so that the resulting product satisfies the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) model legislation regarding allowable levels of heavy metals in solid municipal waste. These materials may also prevent contamination of food products contained in the product package, and may contribute to bio-degradable and/or recyclable features of the package. The application of sustainable environmental stewardship in the recyclability of the package and printed circuits sharply contrasts with normal printed circuits that include metallic content.
  • After the traces defining the electrical circuit are printed on a blank comprised of a packaging material, the blank may be cut to define openings for discrete electronic components, e.g., light emitting diodes (LEDs), battery contact pads, or other features of the desired application. The discrete electronic components may be coupled to the traces using a suitable conductive material, such as a conductive tape (e.g., copper tape) or a conductive adhesive (e.g., a conductive epoxy). In an embodiment of the invention, holes may be cut in the packaging material so that the product package is configured to receive LEDs, which may be coupled to traces printed on an interior surface of the product package. The openings may allow the LEDs to be visible from outside of the product package. In an alternative embodiment, the LEDs may be attached to an outside surface of the package, in which case the holes for the LEDs may be omitted. The packaging material may also be cut to define a receptacle configured to receive a battery, such as a 9-volt battery, for powering the electrical circuitry. Further cuts may define detachable game components configured to interact with a game board portion of the box, or other external devices such as a touch screen of a tablet computer or smart phone. Embodiments of the invention may also include other electrical circuits, such as a processor, that are coupled to the traces. These additional circuits may be coupled to the interior surface of the product package so that they are not visible from the exterior of the product package. Embodiments of the invention may thereby bring added value in a post-use application to consumer product package at a reasonable cost.
  • Referring now to FIG. 1, an exemplary embodiment of the product packaging provides an electronic version of a “rock-paper-scissors” game 10. In rock-paper-scissors, each of two players simultaneously indicates the selection of one of a rock 12, a sheet of paper 14, or a pair of scissors 16 with a respective hand gesture 18, 20, 22. If one of the players selects a rock and the other paper, the player selecting paper wins. If one of the players selects paper and the other scissors, the player selecting scissors wins. If one of the players selects scissors and the other rock, the player selecting rock wins. If both players select the same object, the game is a push, and there is no winner.
  • The embodiments of the invention are not limited to the “rock-paper-scissors” game 10. Generally, other types of multi-player or single player games may be provided by the inventive product packaging and printed electrical circuitry. The games may possess educational value appropriate for a self-guided teaching session, may be geared toward amusement purposes, or a combination of these objectives.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a circuit 30 for implementing the electronic version of rock-paper-scissors of FIG. 1. The circuit 30 includes LEDs 38, 40 and a plurality of double-pole switches 32-37 that selectively couple LEDs 38, 40 to a power source 42 (e.g., a battery). The power source may be coupled to the circuit 30 through a resistor 44 to control the amount of current that flows through the LEDs 38, 40. The switches 32-37 are coupled by conductive traces 46 so that the switches 32-37 define a logic circuit that illuminates an appropriate LED 38, 40 in response to the game players each activating one pair of the switches 32-37. In an embodiment of the invention, switches 32 and 37 are labeled as representing scissors, switches 33 and 35 are labeled as representing paper, and switches 34 and 36 are labeled as representing rock.
  • To play the game, one player (player “A”) activates one of switches 32-34, and another player (player “B”) activates one of switches 35-37. If both players activate switches representing the same type of object, a circuit is not completed through either of the LEDs 38, 40, and neither of the LEDs is illuminated (or optionally both LEDs 38, 40 can be simultaneously illuminated). If player A activates switch 32 (scissors) and player B activates switch 35 (paper), a circuit is completed that couples LED 38 to power source 42. In response to being connected to power source 42, LED 38 illuminates, indicating player A is the winner. If player A activates switch 32 (scissors) and player B activates switch 36 (rock), a circuit is completed that couples LED 40 to power source 42. In response to being connected to power source 42, LED 40 illuminates, indicating player B is the winner. In a similar manner, if player A activates switch 33 (paper) and player B activates switch 36 (rock), LED 38 illuminates indicating player A is the winner. If player A activates switch 33 (paper) and player B activates switch 37 (scissors), LED 40 is illuminated indicating player B is the winner. If player A activates switch 34 (rock) and player B activates switch 37 (scissors), LED 38 is illuminated indicating player A is the winner. Finally, if player A activates switch 34 (rock) and player B activates switch 35 (paper), LED 40 is illuminated indicating player B is the winner.
  • LEDs 38, 40 represent one type of discrete electronic component that can be integrated into the circuit 30. Other types of discrete electronic components, such as sound chips and memory chips, may also be integrated into the circuit 30. The discrete electronic components may be coupled to the traces using a suitable conductive material, such as a conductive tape (e.g., copper tape) or a conductive adhesive (e.g., a conductive epoxy). Alternatively, the electronic component may be mounted to a thin, flexible board (e.g., an FR-4 printed circuit board), which includes conductive material (e.g., amounts of the conductive ink) applied at the contact points with the traces of the circuit 30. The board (and the attached electronic component) may be positioned in a pick-and-place operation, and then the board may be adhesively bonded (e.g., tacked) to the paperboard blank using, for example, a hot melt adhesive.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 3-7, in an embodiment of the invention, the circuit 30 may be implemented on a substrate or blank 50 of packaging material having a surface 51. The blank 50 may be comprised of a substrate of a cellulose-based material commonly referred to as paperboard or cardboard, which has a thickness (e.g., 0.022 inches) suitable for a product package. The blank 50 may include score or fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 configured so that the blank 50 may be formed into a carton or box, such as a cereal box 200, 230 (FIGS. 16-18), having one or more tabs 56 and openings 57.
  • As best shown in FIG. 3, a conductive ink pattern 58 may be deposited on the surface 51 of the blank 50, which may correspond to an interior surface of the product package, to form a printed circuit. The conductive ink pattern may be comprised of a plurality of traces 62 printed on the surface 51, with each trace 62 having a width W, a length L, and a thickness T (FIG. 8). The traces 62 may be configured so that there are gaps 63 between exposed sections, or contact pads 65 of selected traces 62 that comprise the double-pole switches 32-37, as will be described in more detail below. Selected traces 62 may also include regions that provide contact pads 65 configured to interact with other sections of the conductive ink pattern 58 and/or external circuit components, such the power source 42. For example, contact pads 65 a and 65 b (FIG. 5) may be configured to engage terminals of a battery.
  • The conductive ink pattern 58 may be printed the front side of the blank 50, the back side of the blank 50, or both sides of the blank 50. The conductive ink pattern 58 may appear on the inside of the package, the outside of the package, or on both sides of the package after the blank 50 is uprighted or erected to form the package.
  • The width W, length L, and thickness T of the traces 62 may be controlled by adjusting the amount of ink, and the pattern in which the ink is applied to the surface 51. By adjusting the dimensions of the traces 62, the resistances of the circuit 30 may be controlled. In one embodiment, the resistor 44 of circuit 30 may be provided by the resistance of the traces 62 so that the need for a discrete electrical component is negated. In addition, the width W and/or thickness T of each trace 62 may be adjusted independently of the other to balance resistances between different sections of the conductive ink pattern 58 and/or to compensate for varying lengths L of the traces 62. The trace thickness may be measured relative to the plane of the surface 51 on which the traces 62 are printed.
  • The fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 may be configured so that the blank 50 can be formed into a box suitable for containing a consumer product, such as a breakfast cereal. Additional fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 may also be included in the blank 50 to define features of the product package that facilitate operation of the circuit 30. For example, the fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 may be configured in a pattern 67 configured to define a battery cavity or compartment 204 (FIG. 16) in the finished product package 200 (FIG. 16). Electrical power may be supplied from a battery held in the battery compartment 204 to a printed circuit configuration on the top side, the back side, or both sides of the blank 50 which allows, in certain embodiments, for the mounting of devices or the implementation of circuitry inside, outside, or both (i.e., on the interior and/or the exterior) of a package formed from the folded and uprighted blank 50.
  • The carton formed from the blank 50 defines a three-dimensional platform characterized by a height, a width, and a depth with folding about the scores (e.g., fold lines 52) for erection/set-up. On the platform, a myriad of end-use applications are achievable through design and placement of a customized circuit configuration.
  • The integrity of the printed circuit defined by the conductive ink pattern 58 may be maintained regardless of whether the surface 51 is the back side (which is porous) of the substrate selected as the blank 50 or the top side of the selected substrate (which may be less porous than the backside) when the printed circuit is flexed over structural score lines 52. The ability to maintain the integrity may depend, among other factors, upon the width-to-thickness aspect ratio of the traces 62.
  • It has been observed that, if the thickness T of the traces 62 is greater than a few microns, the traces 62 tend to fracture (i.e., crack) and/or flake off in areas where the traces 62 cross score or fold lines 52 when the blank 50 is folded (e.g., folding by 90° at the fold line 52). It has also been determined that traces 62 having an insufficient thickness T tend to be unreliable conductors when printed on interior surfaces of paperboard blanks 50. This unreliability may be due, at least in part, to the roughness of the interior surfaces of the paperboard blanks 50 typically used in product packaging. These conflicting requirements for fabricating traces 62 with conductive ink have discouraged persons having ordinary skill in the art of package engineering from using conductive ink to form circuits on cardboard blanks. However, it has been discovered that by increasing the width W of the traces 62 so that the traces have a large width-to-thickness aspect ratio, printed conductive ink traces may be formed that provide reliable circuits on interior surfaces of folded cardboard blanks 50. The resistance of the traces is proportional to the length, width and height of the traces 62, in addition to the resistivity of the material comprising the conductive ink. Depending on the appropriate print technique and circuit configuration different dimensioning specifications are applied. For example, in an embodiment of the invention, a gravure plate may have an etch effect described as BCM (billion cubic microns) and, in this application, may reach a 100 Billion Cubic Microns (BCM) of ink per cm2 in the gravure pattern in combination with a trace width W of between 0.375 and 0.750 inches. In another embodiment of the invention, rotogravure printing may use a 60 Lines per Inch (LPI) screen and a volume application for the conductive ink of 60 Billion Cubic Micron (BCM) to provide a sheet resistance value of about 100 ohms per square. Circuit resistors, such as resistor 44, may be integrated into the conductive ink pattern 58 by adjusting the width (i.e., the resistance) of the traces 62.
  • Moreover, by adjusting the width of the traces 62, the resistance of the traces 62 may be adjusted to a desired level, and circuit resistances may be balanced while maintaining an optimum trace thickness T to resist cracking. The LEDs 38, 40 may thereby be illuminated equally (i.e., nominally equal intensities of output visible light) by the circuit 30 regardless of the collective length of the traces 62 that are coupling the LEDs 38, 40 to the power source 42. In certain circuit configurations, circuit design requires the application of “Sheet Resistivity” (ohms per square) calculations to create matching resistance levels in balancing luminosity between the mutually-illuminated LEDs 38, 40. As an example, if a circuit is interacting with a device such as a LED, a two (2) volt forward voltage and rated at 20 mA and powered in a circuit with a nine (9) volt battery, the circuit must provide a performance of no more than 350 ohms as provided by the thickness and width of the conductive material in the traces 62 from a printing application.
  • As best shown in FIG. 4, a dielectric pattern 64 may be deposited over one or more regions of the conductive ink pattern 58 to isolate selected traces 62 from later deposited conductive ink patterns. The dielectric pattern 64 may be comprised of a plurality of dielectric regions 66 defined using a conventional printing technique, such as the aforementioned screen print, flexo, gravure, photo-pattern, pad printing, and jet printing to deposit an acrylic or other suitable material on the surface 51 of blank 50. The dielectric regions 66 may be configured to cover sections of the traces 62 of conductive ink pattern 58 so that additional conductive ink traces may be applied in a crossing pattern without undesired shorting to the conductive ink pattern 58. The insulating cross-over points providing for circuit-over-circuit configurations, and may permit the use of one or more switches, such as switches 32-37, in a portion or portions of a circuit. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the dielectric regions 66 may be defined by applying tape, a decal, or other suitable dielectric film to the surface 51.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a conductive ink pattern 68 that includes a plurality of traces 70 and plurality of contact pads 72. The contact pads 72 may be defined on the tabs 56 so that when the blank 50 is formed into a box and the tabs 56 are folded along their respective fold lines 52, the contact pads 72 of tabs 56 are aligned with corresponding gaps 63 to form the double-pole switches 32-37 of circuit 30. The tabs 56, traces 62, 70, and contact pads 65, 72 are thereby configured so that each of the double-pole switches 32-37 may be closed by pressing a corresponding tab 56 into contact with a respective set of contact pads 65. Pressing the selected tab 56 into contact with the respective contact pads 65 may cause the contact pads 72 of the selected tab 56 to bridge the respective gaps 63. A set of contact pads 65 comprising one of the double-pole switches 32-37 may thereby be electrically coupled by the contact pads 72 to close the selected double-pole switch 32-37.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a dielectric pattern 80, which may be deposited over sections of the conductive ink patterns 58, 68 to define a protective layer over regions of the traces 62, 70. The dielectric pattern 80 may be comprised of a plurality of dielectric regions 82 defined in a similar manner as describe with respect to dielectric pattern 64. The dielectric regions 82 may be configured to cover sections of the conductive ink patterns 58, 68 while leaving contact pads 65, 72 exposed to allow operation of the circuit 30, and to facilitate coupling of additional circuit components, such as the LEDs 38, 40 and power source 42 to the circuit 30.
  • FIG. 7 is a top view of the surface 51 of blank 50 before the blank 50 is formed into the product package, and includes the conductive ink patterns 58, 68 and the dielectric patterns 64, 80. The illustrated blank 50 is configured so that the tabs 56 are arranged into two rows 84, 86 of tabs 56. The blank 50 may be further configured so that when the blank 50 is formed into the product package, row 84 of tabs 56 aligns with two rows 88, 90 of contact pads 65, and row 86 of tabs 56 aligns with two rows 92, 94 of contact pads 65. In response to pressure on one of the tabs 56, the cut lines 54 defining edges of the tab 56 may give way, allowing the tab 56 to pivot on a hinge formed by the fold line 52 connecting the tab 56 to the blank 50. As tab 56 pivots, each contact pad 72 of tab 56 may contact one pad 65 in each of rows 90 and 92, or rows 94 and 96 of contact pads 65, which are separated by the gap 63. Two sets of opposing contact pads 65 in opposing rows (e.g., rows 88 and 90, or rows 92 and 94) may thereby be electrically coupled through the contact pads 72 of the tab 56. Each tab 56 may thereby engage a corresponding set of contacts 65 to provide one of the double-pole switches 32-37 of circuit 30.
  • Through the printing of conductive ink patterns 58, 68 and/or the dielectric patterns 64, 80, circuits may be created of non-connected, connected, and circuit-over-circuit configurations. The conductive ink pattern 58 and the dielectric pattern 64 may be comprised of non-metallic materials. The development of printing techniques and the use of conductive non-metallic material facilitates the successful creation of the circuit 30 on either side of the folding carton material, which may be coated or uncoated, as well as crossing through folding or scoring lines for box or carton erection/set up. In particular, the printing techniques and the use of conductive non-metallic material in the embodiments disclosed herein promote the printing of the circuit 30 on the uncoated backside of uncoated paperboard, which is porous.
  • Referring now to FIG. 8 a cross-sectional view of a portion of circuit 30 is depicted showing a plurality of layers including the lower conductive trace 62, the dielectric region 66 isolating the lower conductive trace 62 from the upper conductive trace 70, and the top dielectric region 82, which forms an over-layer or “rub layer” that protects the lower layers. The dielectric region 66 may be comprised of a plurality of vertically stacked layers, including barrier layers 93, 95, and a plurality of insulating layers 97-99. The barrier layers 93, 95 may be deposited as a water-based ink containing cationic polymer particles to form a barrier between the trace 62 and subsequently deposited layers. The barrier layers 93, 95 may reduce unwanted interactions between the traces 62, 70 and insulating layers 97-99, as well as fill voids in the underlying layers to provide a smooth surface for receiving subsequently deposited layers. The barrier layers 93, 95 may thereby provide improved adhesion and ink holdout as compared to dielectric regions 66 lacking the barrier layers 93, 95. The insulating layers 97-99 may be formed by depositing a suitable insulating ink, such a ceramic ink including alumina and/or barium titanate (BaTiO3). In a specific embodiment of the invention, three insulating layers are deposited using barium titanate ink at a rate of about 60 Billion Cubic Microns per square centimeter (BCM/cm2) using a gravure, silk screen, or other suitable process. The resulting ink layers may be air dried, or energy cured using heat and/or ultraviolet light.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 9-11, an alternative embodiment of the circuit 30 is depicted as being implemented on a blank 100 of packaging material. The blank may include fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 configured so that blank 100 may be formed into a box in a similar manner as described above with respect to blank 50. FIG. 9 illustrates a conductive ink pattern 102 deposited on a surface 104 of blank 100. The surface 104 of blank 100 may correspond to an interior surface of the product package. The conductive ink pattern 102 may be comprised of a plurality of traces 106 printed on the surface 104. The traces 106 may be configured to have interlocking features that define a winding gap 108 between exposed sections of selected traces 106 that comprise contact pads 110 of double-pole switches 32-37. The gap 108 is marked by repeated turns along its length.
  • FIGS. 10 and 11 present detailed views of two exemplary embodiments of the contact pads 110, which include a plurality of interlocking projections 112. The projections 112 may be configured so that they extend outward from a respective base line 114 toward an adjacent trace 106, which has projections 112 similarly extending from the respective baseline 114 in an opposing direction. The projections 112 of the adjacent traces 106 may thereby form the interlocking projections 112 that define the winding gap 108 between the contact pads 110 of opposing traces 106 and thereby comprise a switch.
  • The projections 112 may be configured to define the gap 108 as including a plurality of interconnected linear segments, as shown in FIG. 10. The gap 108 may have a width defined by a distance separating opposing projections 112, and a length defined by the distance required to traverse from one end 109 of the gap 108 to another end 111 of the gap 108. By defining the gap 108 to have a winding shape, the length of the gap 108 may be increased as compared to gaps having a parallel configuration of opposing contact pads 65, such as gap 63. The gaps 108 shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 are generally depicted as being defined by a plurality of straight segments joined at right angles. Alternatively, the projections 112 may be configured to define a plurality of straight gap segments joined at angles other than right angles. The projections 112 may also be configured to define one or more curved segments such as shown in FIG. 11. Hence, a person having ordinary skill in the art would understand that embodiments of the invention are not limited to the exemplary configurations of the gap 108 shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. This person would further understand that other shapes may be used to provide the interlocking features that define the winding gap 108. Thus, embodiments of the invention may include gaps 108 defined using projections 112 having numerous shapes that increase the length of the gap 108. The configuration of the gap 108 is therefore not limited to the exemplary embodiments shown and described herein. In any case, the gaps 108 formed by contact pads 110 having interlocking projections 112 may provide an increased length across which the contact pads 110 may be coupled as compared to gaps between contact pads lacking the interlocking feature.
  • Similarly as described above with respect to FIG. 5, the contact pads 72 may be defined on the tabs 56 so that, when the blank 100 is formed into a box and the tabs 56 are folded along their respective fold lines 52, the contact pads 72 of tabs 56 are aligned with corresponding gaps 108 to form the double-pole switches 32-37 of circuit 30. The contact pads 72 may be defined by the same process used to define the traces 106.
  • Referring now to FIG. 12, the dielectric pattern 64 may be deposited over one or more regions of the conductive ink pattern 102 to isolate selected traces 106 from later deposited conductive ink patterns as described above with respect to FIG. 4. The dielectric regions 66 may be configured to cover sections of the traces 106 of conductive ink pattern 102 so that additional conductive ink traces may be applied in a crossing pattern without undesired shorting to the conductive ink pattern 102.
  • FIG. 13 illustrates a conductive ink pattern 116 that includes a plurality of traces 118 and the plurality of contact pads 72. The contact pads 72 may thereby include an additional conductive layer deposited during the process that defines the traces 118. The tabs 56, traces 106, 118, and contact pads 110 are thereby configured so that each of the double-pole switches 32-37 may be closed by pressing a corresponding tab 56 into contact with respective contact pads 110. Pressing the selected tab 56 into contact with the respective contact pads 110 may cause the contact pads 72 of the selected tab 56 to bridge the respective gap 108. A set of contact pads 110 comprising one of the double-pole switches 32-37 may thereby be electrically coupled by the contact pads 72 to close the selected double-pole switch 32-37.
  • FIG. 14 illustrates a dielectric pattern 120, which may be deposited over sections of the conductive ink patterns 102, 116 to define a protective over-layer over regions of the traces 106, 118. The dielectric pattern 120 may be comprised of a single dielectric layer, or a plurality of dielectric layers defined in a similar manner as describe above with respect to dielectric pattern 80. The dielectric regions 122 may be configured to cover sections of the conductive ink patterns 102, 116 while leaving the contact pads 72, 110 exposed to allow operation of the circuit 30. The dielectric pattern 120 may also be configured to leave regions of the traces 106 exposed to facilitate coupling of additional circuit components such as the LEDs 38, 40 and power source 42 to the circuit 30.
  • FIG. 15 is a top view of the surface 104 of blank 100 before the blank 100 is formed into the product package, and includes the conductive ink patterns 102, 116 and the dielectric patterns 64, 120. The blank 100 may be configured so that the surface 104 of blank 100 faces the interior of the assembled product package. Similarly to the blank 50, the blank 100 is configured so that the tabs 56 are arranged into two rows 124, 126 of tabs 56. The blank 100 may be further configured so that when the blank 100 is formed into the product package, row 124 of tabs 56 aligns with a row 128 of contact pads 110, and row 126 of tabs 56 aligns with a row 130 of contact pads 110. In response to pressure on one of the tabs 56, the cut lines 54 defining edges of the tab 56 may yield, thereby allowing the tab 56 to pivot on a hinge formed by the fold line 52 connecting the tab 56 to the blank 100. As tab 56 pivots, each contact pad 72 of tab 56 may contact a set of contact pads 110 of row 128, or contact pads 110 of row 130, thereby bridging the respective gaps 108. Two sets of opposing projections 112 of the respective contact pads 110 may thereby be electrically coupled through the contact pads 72 of the tab 56. Each tab 56 may thereby engage a set of corresponding contact pads 110 to provide one of the double-pole switches 32-37 of circuit 30.
  • FIGS. 16 and 17 illustrate a side view of an exemplary embodiment of the product package 200 showing a side 202 of the product package 200 that includes the row of tabs 56 corresponding to switches 35-37 of circuit 30. The product package 200 may include the battery compartment 204 formed from the battery compartment pattern 67 of blank 50, 100. The battery compartment 204 may include a chock 206 formed by pressing on a section 208 of a corner 210 of product package 200 so that the section 208 extends into the battery compartment 204. The chock 206 may be configured to provide pressure or tension on a battery 212, thereby urging terminals (not shown) of battery 212 into contact with contacts 65 a, 65 b. The tabs 56 may include indicia such as images 214-216 and/or text 220-222 identifying each tab as being associated with one of paper (214, 220), rock (215, 221), or scissors (216, 222). In FIG. 16, the tabs 56 are shown in a position that is essentially coplanar with the side 202 of product package 200. In FIG. 17, the tabs 56 are shown pressed inward so that they extend into the interior of the product package 200.
  • FIG. 18 illustrates a perspective view of a product package 230 consistent with an embodiment of the invention. The product package includes one side 232 having the openings 57 configured to accept LEDs, and another side 238 having tabs 56. Similarly to the product package 200 in FIGS. 16 and 17, the product package 230 includes a battery compartment 240 and battery 242.
  • Referring now to FIG. 19 an exemplary image 244 that may be printed or otherwise applied to side 232 of product package 230 is illustrated. Image 244 may be associated with the rock-paper-scissors game electrical circuit 30 described in detail above. To this end, each opening 57 may include one of the LEDs 38, 40, which are configured to illuminate in response to a player activating a tab 56 corresponding to the switch 32-37 for a winning selection of rock, paper, or scissors. The LED 38, 40 may thereby indicate that the player identified by one of arrows 248, 250 is the winner for a particular round of rock-paper-scissors.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 20 and 21, an alternative embodiment of the invention including a circuit 254 comprising a switch 255, a power source 256, a resistor 257 and one or more LEDs 258, 259 is presented. The circuit 254 may be realized as a conductive ink pattern 260 deposited on a surface 262 of a blank 264 (which is similar to blank 50), which may correspond to an interior surface of a product package. The conductive ink pattern 262 may be comprised of a plurality of traces 266 printed on the surface 262. The traces 266 may be configured so that contact pads 268 define a winding gap 270 between exposed sections of selected traces 266 that comprise a portion of the switch 255. Portions of the traces 266 crossing fold lines 52 may be configured with an increased width to provide improved robustness in those areas. The blank 264 may also include a tab 272 having a contact pad 274 that provides another portion of the switch 255, and contact pads 276-281 configured to couple the conductive ink pattern 262 to external components of the circuit 254, such as a power source 256 and LEDs 258, 259. For example, contacts 276 and 277 may be configured to engage terminals of a battery. The resistor 257 of circuit 254 may be provided by the resistance of the traces 266. The value of the resistor 257 may be defined by adjusting the width, length, and thickness of the traces 266 as described above with respect to circuit 30.
  • Referring now to FIG. 22, a dielectric pattern 290 may be deposited over sections of the conductive ink pattern 260 to define a protective over-layer over regions of the traces 266. The dielectric pattern 290 may be comprised of a plurality of dielectric regions 292 defined in a similar manner as describe with respect to dielectric pattern 80. The dielectric regions 292 may be configured to cover sections of the conductive ink pattern 260 while leaving contact pads 268, 274, 276-281 exposed to allow operation of the circuit 254, and to facilitate coupling of additional circuit components, such as the LEDs 258, 259 and power source 256.
  • FIG. 23 is a top view of the surface 262 of blank 264 before the blank 264 is formed into the product package, and includes the conductive ink pattern 260 and the dielectric pattern 290. Similarly to blanks 50, 100, blank 264 may be configured so that when the blank 264 is formed into the product package, the surface 262 of blank 264 faces the interior of the package, and the tab 272 aligns with the contact pads 268. In response to pressure on the tab 272, the cut lines 54 defining the edges of the tab 272 may give way, allowing the tab 272 to pivot on a hinge formed by the fold line 52 connecting the tab 272 to the blank 264. As the tab 272 pivots, the contact pad 274 may come into contact with contact pads 268, thereby bridging the respective gap 270. The opposing contact pads 268 may thereby be electrically coupled through the contact pad 274 of the tab 272 to close the switch 255 of circuit 254.
  • FIG. 24 presents an exemplary image 294 that may be printed or otherwise applied to an exterior side of a product package formed from the blank 264. The image 294 may include a feature 296 (e.g., eyes) aligned with the openings 57 so that the product package is configured to attract attention to the feature 296 in response to a user activating the tab 272. To this end, each opening 57 may include one of the LEDs 258, 259, which are configured to illuminate in response to a user activating the tab 272 corresponding to the switch 255. The LEDs 258, 259 may be energized one at a time or multiple illuminations to create special effects. End uses that utilize switched illumination may include, but are not limited to, annunciation of a game winner, a response to a challenge (e.g., a question), or adding special effects to a graphic design, such as “glowing eyes” on the graphic design of a face. In another embodiment, one of the LEDs 258, 259 may be omitted such that a single LED is illuminated when the tab 272 is activated.
  • Referring now to FIG. 25, a circuit 300 for a game according to an alternative embodiment of the invention may include a power source 302, a resistor 304, a plurality of LED's 306-309, and a plurality of switches 314-327. The circuit 300 may be configured so that the switches 314-327 selectively couple one or more of the LED's 306-309 to the power source 302 through the resistor 304 in response to activation by a user. Activation of the switches 314-327 may thereby illuminate one or more LED's in a predetermined manner. The circuit 300 may further be configured to provide an indication of a game result based on the user's activation of a selected switch 314-327.
  • Referring now to FIG. 26, the circuit 300 may be implemented on a blank 330 in a similar manner as described above with respect to blanks 50, 100, and 264. To this end, a conductive ink pattern 332 may be deposited on a surface 334 of blank 330. The surface 334 of blank 330 may correspond to an exterior surface of a product package. The conductive ink pattern 332 may be comprised of a plurality of traces 336 printed on the surface 334. The traces 336 may be configured to define a gap 338 (illustrated in this exemplary embodiment as a winding gap) between exposed sections of selected traces 336 to define contact pads 340 of switches 314-327. Fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 may be configured to allow the blank 330 to be formed into a product package. The fold lines 52 and cut lines 54 may also define a portion 341 of the blank 330 configured to form a compartment for receiving the power source 302, which may be a battery (not shown). The compartment may include various features, e.g., terminals and tabs, for mating with the battery terminals.
  • The blank 330 may also include a section 342 defined by one or more cut lines 54. The section 342 may include a contact pad 344, and may be configured to be punched out of the product package by the user and assembled into a game stylus. The game stylus may be used to activate a selected switch by pressing the contact pad 344 against the contact pads 340 comprising one of the switches 314-327 so that the contact pad 344 of the stylus bridges the gap 338 separating the selected contact pads 340. The user may thereby selectively activate one of the switches 314-327. The stylus acts as a switch device by closing certain circuit points, thus illuminating LED's, or powering additional add-on devices.
  • The blank 330 may also include a section 346 having a plurality of contact pads 348-352 electrically coupled through one or more traces 354. The section 346 may also be defined by one or more cut lines 54. The section 346 may be in a portion of the blank 330 that is separate from the portion used to form the product package, and may be removed prior to forming the product package for inclusion inside the product package as a toy or prize. As best shown in FIG. 27A, the section 346 may also include fold lines 52 configured so that when the section 346 is removed from the product package and folded along the fold lines, the section 346 provides a game piece 357 suitable for use with a touch-sensitive device, such as a tablet computer or a smart phone having a touch screen. To this end, the section 346 of blank 330 may be configured so that the fold lines 52 define a bottom portion 356 including contact pads 349-351 and side portions 358, 360 including contact pads 348 and 352, respectively. Each of the contact pads 348-352 may be electrically coupled to the other contact pads 348-352 by the traces 354.
  • When folded along the fold lines 52, the side portions 358, 360 may form a gripping portion 362 of the game piece 357 that extends from the bottom portion 356 so that the contact pads 349-351 of bottom portion 356 are on an outer surface of the game piece 357. One or more of the traces 354 may be located along the length of the fold lines 52 to provide robust coupling (i.e., coupling that is resistant to damage caused by folding) between the traces 356 on the bottom portion 356 of game piece 357 and the traces 356 on the side portions 358, 360 of game piece 357. The game piece 357 may be further configured so that the contact pads 346, 352 of side portions 358, 360 face outward. The game piece 357 may thereby be configured so that when the user grips the gripping portion 362 of game piece 357, the user's fingers are in contact with contact pads 346, 352. The user may thereby be electrically coupled to the contact pads 349-351 on the bottom portion 356 of game piece 357 so that the touch screen may sense a change in electrical loading of areas of the touch screen that come into contact with the contact pads 349-351.
  • The contact pads 349-351 may be configured to form a unique footprint that is recognized by an application running on the touch sensitive device, such as a game running on a tablet computer. Generally, games can be purchased or downloaded for free directly onto a touch sensitive device, such as a mobile computing device, from an online application store, commonly known as an “app store” or “app market”. The use of game pieces with touch sensitive devices is described in detail in U.S. Application Publication No 2012/0007808, entitled “GAME PIECES FOR USE WITH TOUCH SCREEN DEVICES AND RELATED METHODS”, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • The number, size, shape, and positions of the contact pads 349-351 of game piece 357 may be varied from one product package to another so that multiple such different structurally-created game pieces may be defined that are each individually recognizable by the application. In operation, the user may grip the gripping portion 362 of game piece 357, and press the bottom portion 356 against the touch screen. In response, the application may sense a change in capacitance, impedance, or loading in regions of the touch screen that are in contact with the contact pads 349-351. The application may then provide a response to the user based on the configuration of the contact pads 349-351. For example, the application may display a particular image or cartoon character based on the sensed configuration of the contact pads 349-351, or may take the user to a specific portion of a game.
  • FIGS. 27B and 27C present an exemplary embodiment of the invention in which the game piece 357 includes an image of a car 363. This exemplary embodiment of the game piece 357 may be used, for example, in a game involving a car moving along a track displayed on a touch sensitive device 355 (e.g., a capacitance touch screen). In use, the user may place the game piece 357 between their thumb and index finger as shown in FIG. 27C. The game piece 357 may then be placed in contact with the touch screen, which may determine the type of game piece 357 based on the size, shape, position, and number of contact pads 349-351 on the bottom portion 356 of the game piece 357. In this way, the application may be made to respond differently to different game pieces 357. Different game pieces 357 could be provided in the product container over a period of time, thereby providing an incentive to purchase the same product multiple times so as to collect each variation of the game piece 357.
  • With reference to FIGS. 27D, 27E in which like reference numerals refer to like features in FIGS. 27A-C, the contact pads 349-351 of game piece 357 may embossed so that each includes a respective contact surface 349 a-351 a that is raised relative to the background defined by the top surface 330 a of the section 346 of the blank 330. The configuration of the contact pads 349-351 may provide a relatively high relief avoid inappropriate contact (signal noise) to the screen of the touch sensitive device 355 with the connecting circuit runs. The relief provided by the embossing increase the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio by elevating or raising the traces 354 away from the surface of the screen of the touch sensitive device 355, when the game piece 357 is in use, so traces 354 do not interrupt the contact surfaces 349 a-351 a themselves and/or contact the surface of the screen of the touch sensitive device 355.
  • Each of the contact pads 349-351 includes a surface 349 c-351 c that is a plane parallel to the plane of the surface 330 a of the blank 330 and an inclined connecting surface 349 b-351 b. The surfaces 349 a-351 a and 349 b-351 b of the contact pads 349-251 reflect the contour of the bosses formed in the underlying and supporting material of the blank 330. For example, the surfaces 349 a, 349 b reproduce the contour of the surfaces 347 a, 347 b of a boss 347 impressed by an embossing die in the blank 330 at the location of the contact pad 349. The embossing die includes a protruding feature that applies pressure to the board 330 at the location of the boss 347. The board 300 plastically deforms to form the boss 347 when pressure is applied by the embossing die. Only a portion of the contact pad 349 is embossed (i.e., displaced from the plane of the board 330 by the boss 347) such that, for example, the conductive material of the contact pad 349 is present on each of the surfaces 347 a, 347 b, and 330 a, as well as on surfaces 349 a-351 a.
  • Characteristics of the boss 347, such as the included angle, θ, of the surface 347 b relative to a bottom surface 330 b of the blank 330, the height of the surface 347 a relative to the top surface 330 a of the blank 330, dimensions or area of the surface 347 a (e.g., diameter if the surfaces 347 a is round), and the relative size of the contact pad 349 to the surface 347 a, may be selected to avoid fracturing the continuity of the circuit by cracking the conductive material of the contact pad 349. In one embodiment, the surface 347 b may be characterized by an included angle, θ, of 30° and the surface 347 a may be flat or planar.
  • In one embodiment, the height of the top surface 347 a at the boss 347 relative to the top surface 330 a is less than or equal to about 80% of the thickness, t, of the blank 330. Limiting the height of the top surface 347 a (i.e., the depth of the boss 347) to this extent may reduce the risk of fracturing the conductive material comprising the contact pad 347. In another embodiment, the height of the top surface 347 a relative to surface 330 a is less than or equal to the thickness, t, of the blank 330. Limiting the level of the relief to this extent may reduce the risk of fracturing the board comprising the blank 330 in addition to fracturing the conductive material comprising the contact pad 347. In yet another embodiment, the height of the top surface 347 a at the boss 347 relative to the top surface 330 a is less than or equal to about 80% of the thickness, t, of the blank 330 and greater than or equal to about 45% of the thickness, t, of the blank 330. Limiting the lower limit on the height of the top surface 347 a may provide a threshold for preventing the surface 347 c and the traces 354 from contacting the surface of the screen of the touch sensitive device 355.
  • The contact surfaces 350 a and 351 a are formed by bosses similar or identical to boss 347 and, in each instance, each of the contact pads 350, 351 is only partially embossed similar to contact pad 349. The selection of the relative size of the contact pads 349-351 to the dimensions of their bosses may be used to account for inaccuracies in feature registration during the printing and embossing processes. As the size of the contact pads 349-351 increases, the level of embossing can be increased. Nearby score or fold lines 52 may be debossed into the section 346 of the blank 330 due to their proximity to the contact pads 349-351.
  • Referring now to FIG. 28, a dielectric pattern 364 comprising one or more dielectric regions 366 deposited over one or more regions of the conductive ink pattern 332 may be used to isolate selected traces 336 from later deposited conductive ink patterns in a similar fashion as described above with respect to FIG. 4. The dielectric regions 366 may be configured to cover sections of the traces 336 of conductive ink pattern 332 so that additional conductive ink traces may be applied in a crossing pattern without undesired shorting to the conductive ink pattern 332.
  • FIG. 29 illustrates a conductive ink pattern 368 that includes a plurality of traces 370 as well as the contact pad 344 of section 342, the plurality of contact pads 348-352 and traces 354 of section 346. The contact pads 344, 348-352 and traces 354 may thereby include an additional conductive layer deposited during the process that defines the conductive ink pattern 368. The traces 336, 370 and contact pads 340, 344 may be configured so that each of the switches 314-327 may be selectively closed by pressing a conductive member, such as the contact pad 344 of section 342, into contact with a respective set of contact pads 340. Pressing the conductive member into contact with the contact pads 340 of a switch 314-327 may cause the contact pad 344 to bridge the respective gap 338. A set of contact pads 340 comprising one of the switches 314-327 may thereby be electrically coupled by the contact pad 344 to close the selected switch 314-327.
  • FIG. 30 illustrates a dielectric pattern 380, which may be deposited over sections of the conductive ink patterns 332, 368 to define a protective over-layer over regions of the traces 336, 354, 370. The dielectric pattern 380 may be comprised of a plurality of dielectric regions 382 defined in a similar manner as described with respect to dielectric pattern 80. The dielectric regions 382 may be configured to cover sections of the conductive ink patterns 336, 368 while leaving contact pads 340, 344, 348-352 exposed to allow operation of the circuit 300, and to facilitate coupling of additional circuit components, such as the LEDs 306-309 and power source 302. FIG. 31 provides a top view of the blank 330 before the blank 330 is formed into the product package, and includes the conductive ink patterns 336, 368 and the dielectric patterns 364, 380.
  • FIG. 32 is a top view of the blank 330 after an exterior printing process. The resulting printed exterior surface includes an exemplary game board printed over the circuit 300. The printed game board may include openings (i.e., areas in which ink is not deposited) over the LED's 306-309 and contact pads 340 corresponding to the switches 314-327. The game may include a path 384, a plurality of questions 386-390, and instructions 392 on how to play the game. A plurality of switches (e.g., two) may be associated with each question. For example, switches 326 and 327 may be associated with question 386 (e.g., “2+2+?”), with activation of switch 326 indicating one answer (e.g., “1”), and activation of switch 327 indicating another answer (e.g., “4”). In response to activating switch 326, LED 306 may illuminate, indicating that the user should turn left to continue up the path 384 in one direction. Similarly, in response to activating switch 327, LED 309 may illuminate, indicating that the user should proceed up the path 384 by turning right. In the illustrated exemplary embodiment, providing a sufficient number of correct answers may lead the user to switch 317. In response to activating switch 317, LED 307 may be illuminated indicating that the user has won the game. In contrast, incorrect answers may lead the user to one of switches 314-316, activation of which may illuminate LED 308 indicating that the user should go back and try again. FIG. 33 presents a detailed perspective view of a user playing the game by activating switch 318 using the stylus to answer question 389, which would illuminate LED 306 and indicate that the user should proceed up the path to the left.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 34 and 35, a blank 400 including an exemplary game is depicted in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the invention. The game may include a plurality of switches 402-406 and a plurality of LED's 410, 412 configured so that one LED of the plurality of LED's 410, 412 illuminates in response to activation of one of the switches 402-406. In the illustrated game, a printed ink circuit (not shown) may be configured so that activation of one of the switches 402-406 causes LED 410 to be illuminated to indicate the user has selected the correct answer (e.g., the correct location of a pot of gold). The remaining switches 402-406 may be configured so that activation causes LED 412 to be illuminated to indicate that the user has selected an incorrect answer (e.g., an incorrect location for the pot of gold). As best shown in FIG. 35, the user may activate a switch 402-406 by pressing the contact pad 344 of the game stylus against the contact pads of the switch in question. Games may thereby be configured so that the user is required to select from multiple (e.g., more than two) choices or answers.
  • The circuits of the various embodiments of the invention may be printed directly on the package and, as a consequence, is not laminated or inserted. In one embodiment, the circuit may be printed on the backside of the package, which is the side opposite to the frontside that is typically displayed on a product shelf. The circuit may be comprised of materials that conform to CONEG regulations for landfill that are intended to reduce the sum concentration levels of incidentally-introduced heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium, present in package or packaging components. The circuit may be a multi-level construction formed by overprinting the discrete functional layers over one another. The circuit may be comprised dielectric (insulating) layers between adjacent conductive layers of the circuit. The circuit may be comprised of alternating layers of chemical formulations to achieve dielectric (insulating) effectiveness and qualities. The package may include a battery compartment, which may be accessible to a consumer from the exterior of the package for inserting a battery (e.g., a nine-volt battery) to functionally energize the circuit for operation. The package may include a plurality of integrated switch gates printed directly on the package, which are printed directly on the backside of the package in one embodiment.
  • The circuit may be printed by a rotogravure print process, which involves engraving an image of a level of the circuit pattern onto an image carrier, such as a cylinder, and using a rotary printing press to print the circuit. Cylinder engravings are known as an abnormal configuration for direct print in packaging applications. A different engraving configuration may be used for each circuit level printed with the rotogravure print process. The engravings may include cross-hatched (i.e., intersecting) channels for carrying ink. This is in contrast to conventional intaglio printing, which includes isolated incisions into the surface of the image carrier.
  • The circuit design may incorporate a specific line width and ink film deposits sufficient to cause a light emitting diode to emit light of a given brightness without the utilization of an in-line resistor. The on-package printed circuit may be operational within itself (i.e., self-contained) in that no external input is required to, for example, play the game embodied in the circuit or to otherwise utilize the package.
  • The circuit may be printed from roll form to sheet. The package may be die cut and/or scored with scoring (i.e., score lines) going through or across the multiple circuits without rendering the circuits inoperative. The package may be first printed on the backside of a paperboard substrate, and then inverted and re-printed on the coated/top side of the substrate.
  • The package is multi-use in that not only is the actual product protected, but a secondary use is achieved in providing additional consumer value, such as a functional game or an enhanced visual presence, for amusement and/or education. Because of the addition of the circuit, the package may be offered to consumers as an incentive to buy a particular foodstuff contained inside the package, such as breakfast cereal. The package may be offered as an in-store or point-of-sale prize that is immediately received by the customer with the purchase of the foodstuff, and with no apparent increase in the price of the foodstuff. Moreover, because the amusing/educational features are part of the package, the package may continue to circulate after the product has been consumed so that persons other than the original purchaser may be exposed to product marketing included on the package.
  • The integrity of the printed circuit may be maintained when printed on either the backside (porous interior) of the selected substrate or the top side of the selected substrate (which may be less porous than the backside), and flexed over structural score lines. Circuits may be bent at 90 degrees or more crossing over score lines singularly or multiple times in “X”, “Y” and “Z” coordinate directions, and the bending may be achieved without loss of conductivity.
  • The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. As used herein, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises” and/or “comprising,” when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. Moreover, references herein to terms such as “vertical”, “horizontal”, etc. are made by way of example, and not by way of limitation, to establish an absolute frame of reference.
  • It will be understood that when an element is described as being “connected” or “coupled” to or with another element, it can be directly connected or coupled to the other element or, instead, one or more intervening elements may be present. In contrast, when an element is described as being “directly connected” or “directly coupled” to another element, there are no intervening elements present. When an element is described as being “indirectly connected” or “indirectly coupled” to another element, there is at least one intervening element present.
  • As used herein, the term “in response to” means “in reaction to” and/or “after” a first event. Thus, a second event occurring “in response to” a first event may occur immediately after the first event, or may include a time lag that occurs between the first event and the second event. In addition, the second event may be caused by the first event, or may merely occur after the first event without any causal connection.
  • While the invention has been illustrated by the description of one or more embodiments thereof, and while the embodiments have been described in considerable detail, they are not intended to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. The invention in its broader aspects is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the scope or spirit of Applicant's general inventive concept.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A product package comprising:
a paperboard blank including a first surface, the paperboard blank being configured to define the product package; and
a first conductive ink pattern printed on the first surface of the paperboard blank, the first conductive ink pattern defining at least part of an electrical circuit integrated with the product package.
2. The product package of claim 1 wherein the paperboard blank is configured so that the first surface forms an interior surface or an exterior surface of the product package.
3. The product package of claim 1 further comprising:
a dielectric pattern applied to the first surface of the paperboard blank; and
a second conductive ink pattern printed on the first surface of the paperboard blank,
wherein the dielectric pattern electrically isolates a portion of the first conductive ink pattern from a portion of the second conductive ink pattern.
4. The product package of claim 1 further comprising:
an electronic component coupled to the conductive ink pattern.
5. The product package of claim 1 wherein the first ink pattern includes a first contact pad, a second contact pad separated by a gap from the first contact pad, and a third contact pad configured to selectively couple the first and second contact pads in response to being pressed into contact with the first and second contact pads.
6. The product package of claim 5 wherein the paperboard blank includes a cut line and a fold line configured to define a tab, the tab including the third contact pad and being located so that the third contact pad is pressed into contact with the first and second contact pads in response to the tab being folded along the fold line.
7. The product package of claim 5 wherein gap has a length, the first contact pad has a width and includes a first projection, the second contact pad has a width and includes a second projection, and the projections are configured to define the gap so that the length of the gap exceeds the width of the first contact pad and the width of the second contact pad.
8. The product package of claim 7 wherein the first projection is one of a first plurality of projections, the second projection is one of a second plurality of projections, and the first and second pluralities of projections are configured to define the gap so that the gap has a winding characteristic.
9. The product package of claim 1 wherein the paperboard blank includes a plurality of cut lines and a plurality of fold lines configured to define a battery compartment, the battery compartment including a chock defined by a section of the paperboard blank defined by two non-intersecting cut lines and three non-intersecting fold lines.
10. The product package of claim 9 wherein the fold lines defining the chock are intersected by the cut lines defining the chock.
11. The product package of claim 1 wherein the electrical circuit is printed on a section of the paperboard blank defined by one or more cut lines so that the section is removable from the paperboard blank, the conductive ink pattern includes a first set of one or more contact pads, and the first set of contact pads include a shape, a number, or an arrangement that is recognizable by a touch sensitive device.
12. The product package of claim 11 wherein the section of paperboard blank is configured to be formed into a game piece.
13. The product package of claim 12 wherein the electrical circuit includes a second set of one or more contact pads configured to electrically couple the first set of one or more contact pads to a user holding the game piece.
14. The product package of claim 12 wherein the game piece is configured to be used with an application executing on the touch sensitive device and visible on a screen of the touch sensitive device.
15. The product package of claim 11 wherein the paperboard blank includes a boss at the location of each contact pad, and a portion of each contact pad is raised by the boss to define a contact surface.
16. The product package of claim 1 wherein the paperboard blank includes a score line, the printed circuit includes a trace crossing the score line and having a width-to-thickness aspect ratio,
wherein the width-to-thickness aspect ratio is selected so that a conductive ink comprising the first conductive ink pattern does not fracture maintained when flexed by bending of the paperboard blank at the score line.
17. A method of making a product package including an integrated electrical circuit, the method comprising:
printing a conductive pattern on a first surface of a paperboard blank, the first conductive ink pattern defining at least part of an electrical circuit integrated with the product package.
18. The method of claim 17 further comprising:
applying a dielectric pattern applied to the first surface of the paperboard blank; and
printing a second conductive ink pattern on the first surface of the paperboard blank,
wherein the dielectric pattern electrically isolates a portion of the first conductive ink pattern from a portion of the second conductive ink pattern.
19. The method of claim 17 further comprising:
coupling an electronic component to the conductive ink pattern.
20. The method of claim 17 wherein the conductive ink pattern includes one or more contact pads, and the contact pads include a shape, a number, or an arrangement that is recognizable by a touch sensitive device.
US14/155,503 2013-01-16 2014-01-15 Electronic circuits for product packaging and game pieces Abandoned US20140197052A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US201361753253P true 2013-01-16 2013-01-16
US201361822613P true 2013-05-13 2013-05-13
US14/155,503 US20140197052A1 (en) 2013-01-16 2014-01-15 Electronic circuits for product packaging and game pieces

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US14/155,503 US20140197052A1 (en) 2013-01-16 2014-01-15 Electronic circuits for product packaging and game pieces

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20140197052A1 true US20140197052A1 (en) 2014-07-17

Family

ID=51164362

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US14/155,503 Abandoned US20140197052A1 (en) 2013-01-16 2014-01-15 Electronic circuits for product packaging and game pieces

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US20140197052A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140202051A1 (en) * 2012-08-06 2014-07-24 American Greetings Corporation Interactive Greeting Card
US20160184722A1 (en) * 2015-07-17 2016-06-30 Srinivas Krishnarao Kathavate Advanced technology real life toys

Citations (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4528222A (en) * 1981-04-24 1985-07-09 Pervel Industries, Inc. Conductively printed flexible sheet material
US20030130015A1 (en) * 2002-01-09 2003-07-10 Mctaggart Stephen I. Paper printed radio
US20060144747A1 (en) * 2003-06-10 2006-07-06 Thanhhung Le Package with electronic circuitry
US20060159899A1 (en) * 2005-01-14 2006-07-20 Chuck Edwards Optimized multi-layer printing of electronics and displays
US20070085685A1 (en) * 2005-10-18 2007-04-19 Rf Identics, Inc. Label with electronic components and method of making same
US20070239461A1 (en) * 2006-04-10 2007-10-11 Michael Poninski Interactive package system
US20080053222A1 (en) * 2005-10-06 2008-03-06 Cypak Ab Single use, self-contained assay device for quantitative and qualitative measurements
US20090194452A1 (en) * 2008-02-04 2009-08-06 Christopher Hession Unit dose packaging system with reusable electronics component
US20090206163A1 (en) * 2005-01-07 2009-08-20 Kate Jessie Stone Game Card without Semiconductor Chip
US7585216B2 (en) * 2003-08-26 2009-09-08 Hasbro, Inc. Sound generating puzzle
US20090315258A1 (en) * 2008-06-20 2009-12-24 Michael Wallace Interactive game board system incorporating capacitive sensing and identification of game pieces
US20110140888A1 (en) * 2008-04-15 2011-06-16 Novalia Ltd Printed Article
US20110212429A1 (en) * 2008-10-17 2011-09-01 Kate Jessie Stone Printed article
US20110259953A1 (en) * 2010-04-08 2011-10-27 Access Business Group International Llc Point of sale inductive systems and methods
US20120062490A1 (en) * 2010-07-08 2012-03-15 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Game Pieces for Use with Touch Screen Devices and Related Methods
US20120092844A1 (en) * 2007-10-18 2012-04-19 Novalia Ltd Product Packaging
US20120295684A1 (en) * 2010-06-30 2012-11-22 R2Z Innovations, Inc. Electronic board game creator
US20130284813A1 (en) * 2012-04-25 2013-10-31 Ronald Steven Cok Altering conductor in electronic storage system
US20130283650A1 (en) * 2011-01-11 2013-10-31 American Greetings Corporation Blow sensor foam novelties
US20130284812A1 (en) * 2012-04-25 2013-10-31 Ronald Steven Cok Electronic storage system with environmentally-alterable conductor
US20140033583A1 (en) * 2012-08-06 2014-02-06 American Greetings Corporation Interactive greeting card
US20150014923A1 (en) * 2013-07-11 2015-01-15 Board Of Regents, The University Of Texas System Electronic gaming die

Patent Citations (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4528222A (en) * 1981-04-24 1985-07-09 Pervel Industries, Inc. Conductively printed flexible sheet material
US20030130015A1 (en) * 2002-01-09 2003-07-10 Mctaggart Stephen I. Paper printed radio
US20060144747A1 (en) * 2003-06-10 2006-07-06 Thanhhung Le Package with electronic circuitry
US7585216B2 (en) * 2003-08-26 2009-09-08 Hasbro, Inc. Sound generating puzzle
US20090206163A1 (en) * 2005-01-07 2009-08-20 Kate Jessie Stone Game Card without Semiconductor Chip
US20060159899A1 (en) * 2005-01-14 2006-07-20 Chuck Edwards Optimized multi-layer printing of electronics and displays
US20080053222A1 (en) * 2005-10-06 2008-03-06 Cypak Ab Single use, self-contained assay device for quantitative and qualitative measurements
US20070085685A1 (en) * 2005-10-18 2007-04-19 Rf Identics, Inc. Label with electronic components and method of making same
US20070239461A1 (en) * 2006-04-10 2007-10-11 Michael Poninski Interactive package system
US20120092844A1 (en) * 2007-10-18 2012-04-19 Novalia Ltd Product Packaging
US20090194452A1 (en) * 2008-02-04 2009-08-06 Christopher Hession Unit dose packaging system with reusable electronics component
US20110140888A1 (en) * 2008-04-15 2011-06-16 Novalia Ltd Printed Article
US20090315258A1 (en) * 2008-06-20 2009-12-24 Michael Wallace Interactive game board system incorporating capacitive sensing and identification of game pieces
US20110212429A1 (en) * 2008-10-17 2011-09-01 Kate Jessie Stone Printed article
US20110259953A1 (en) * 2010-04-08 2011-10-27 Access Business Group International Llc Point of sale inductive systems and methods
US20120295684A1 (en) * 2010-06-30 2012-11-22 R2Z Innovations, Inc. Electronic board game creator
US20120062490A1 (en) * 2010-07-08 2012-03-15 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Game Pieces for Use with Touch Screen Devices and Related Methods
US20130283650A1 (en) * 2011-01-11 2013-10-31 American Greetings Corporation Blow sensor foam novelties
US20130284813A1 (en) * 2012-04-25 2013-10-31 Ronald Steven Cok Altering conductor in electronic storage system
US20130284812A1 (en) * 2012-04-25 2013-10-31 Ronald Steven Cok Electronic storage system with environmentally-alterable conductor
US20140033583A1 (en) * 2012-08-06 2014-02-06 American Greetings Corporation Interactive greeting card
US20150014923A1 (en) * 2013-07-11 2015-01-15 Board Of Regents, The University Of Texas System Electronic gaming die

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140202051A1 (en) * 2012-08-06 2014-07-24 American Greetings Corporation Interactive Greeting Card
US9434202B2 (en) * 2012-08-06 2016-09-06 American Greetings Interactive greeting card
US20160184722A1 (en) * 2015-07-17 2016-06-30 Srinivas Krishnarao Kathavate Advanced technology real life toys

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
CN101837193B (en) A gaming machine comprising a cocktail table
US10438454B2 (en) Amusement device including means for processing electronic data in play of a game of chance
AU680726B2 (en) Prize holding container assemblies
US6835131B1 (en) Game apparatus for supplying power to playing elements
AU763343B2 (en) Integrated lottery pouch
US6954199B2 (en) Three dimensional interactive system
CN102905765B (en) Gesture enhanced input device
JP2014121624A (en) Foodware system having sensory stimulating, sensing and/or data processing components
CA2286817C (en) Carton with integral promotional material
KR101073719B1 (en) Sheet dispensers and methods of making and using the same
US6347794B2 (en) Combination instant scratch-off / break-open ticket
US8102275B2 (en) Package and merchandising system
JP2005509501A (en) Object recognition toy and game
JP5593321B2 (en) Planar data carrier
TW460350B (en) Processing method of printed wiring board
CN103797444B (en) The method that presentation tactile is felt
USD479720S1 (en) Display for an electronic information device
EP1904197A2 (en) Arrangement for electronically carrying out board role-play and card games
EP2073909B1 (en) Multiple touchscreen sensors on a monolothic structure
WO1992002421A1 (en) Wrap around body with promotional flap extension
CN101166563B (en) Game apparatus
WO2005072247A3 (en) Gaming machine supporting a virtual dealer and virtual cards
EP1324931B1 (en) Interactive food packaging
US5944355A (en) Multi-ply label
US8373672B2 (en) One sided thin film capacitive touch sensors

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: THE C.W. ZUMBIEL COMPANY, KENTUCKY

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BLOCK, STEVEN J.;KRONK, ALEXANDER M.;MCKEE, BRIAN W.;AND OTHERS;SIGNING DATES FROM 20140122 TO 20140129;REEL/FRAME:032201/0647

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION