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US3540579A - Individualized dispensing packages - Google Patents

Individualized dispensing packages Download PDF

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US3540579A
US3540579A US3540579DA US3540579A US 3540579 A US3540579 A US 3540579A US 3540579D A US3540579D A US 3540579DA US 3540579 A US3540579 A US 3540579A
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Prior art keywords
member
backing
package
item
fig
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Harold Richard Hellstrom
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HAROLD RICHARD HELLSTROM
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Hellstrom Harold R
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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
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/52Details
    • B65D75/58Opening or contents-removing devices added or incorporated during package manufacture
    • B65D75/5827Tear-lines provided in a wall portion
    • B65D75/585Tear-lines provided in a wall portion the tear-lines being broken by deformation or bending
    • 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
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/28Articles or materials wholly enclosed in composite wrappers, i.e. wrappers formed by associating or interconnecting two or more sheets or blanks
    • B65D75/30Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding
    • 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
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/28Articles or materials wholly enclosed in composite wrappers, i.e. wrappers formed by associating or interconnecting two or more sheets or blanks
    • B65D75/30Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding
    • B65D75/32Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding one or both sheets or blanks being recessed to accommodate 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
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/28Articles or materials wholly enclosed in composite wrappers, i.e. wrappers formed by associating or interconnecting two or more sheets or blanks
    • B65D75/30Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding
    • B65D75/32Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding one or both sheets or blanks being recessed to accommodate contents
    • B65D75/36Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding one or both sheets or blanks being recessed to accommodate contents one sheet or blank being recessed and the other formed of relatively stiff flat sheet material, e.g. blister packages, the recess or recesses being preformed
    • B65D75/366Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding one or both sheets or blanks being recessed to accommodate contents one sheet or blank being recessed and the other formed of relatively stiff flat sheet material, e.g. blister packages, the recess or recesses being preformed and forming one compartment
    • 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
    • B65D2575/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D2575/28Articles or materials wholly enclosed in composite wrappers, i.e. wrappers formed by associationg or interconnecting two or more sheets or blankes
    • B65D2575/30Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding
    • B65D2575/36One sheet or blank being recessed and the other formed or relatively stiff flat sheet material, e.g. blister packages
    • B65D2575/361Details
    • B65D2575/362Details with special means for gaining access to the 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
    • B65D2575/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D2575/28Articles or materials wholly enclosed in composite wrappers, i.e. wrappers formed by associationg or interconnecting two or more sheets or blankes
    • B65D2575/30Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding
    • B65D2575/36One sheet or blank being recessed and the other formed or relatively stiff flat sheet material, e.g. blister packages
    • B65D2575/361Details
    • B65D2575/362Details with special means for gaining access to the contents
    • B65D2575/366Details with special means for gaining access to the contents through a preformed opening in the recessed sheet, e.g. the opening being defined by weakened lines
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S206/00Special receptacle or package
    • Y10S206/82Separable, striplike plural articles

Description

o a United States Patent u 13,540,579

[72] Inventor "no" Ri [hum- 3,207,299 9/ 1965 Sparks 206/56A3 center Aye, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 3,216,562 1 1/1965 LOCkWOOd 15232 Primary Examiner-James B. Marbert PP 716,554 Attorney-Buell, Blenko and Ziesenheim [22] Filed March 27, 1968 [45] Patented Nov.l7, 1970 54 INDIVIDUALIZED DISPENSING PACKAGES ABSTRACT; P e an individualiged p g mp g 25 Claims, 50 Drawing Figs a relatively rigid backing member, an item for dispensing positloned within a central area of said backlng member, and a [52] [LS- Cl 206/56 frangible membrane lightly stretched over said item and [51] 8654 85/00 joined about the periphery of said backing member, the struc- [50] Field ofSearch tum] strength of Said backing member being in excess of the 206/56M1SCw56A2,56A356A442 rupture strength of said membrane so that said membrane breaks upon angulation of said backin member generally [56] References Cited away from said item. Means are also pr vided for modifying UNITED STATES PATENTS the rupture characteristic of the membrane or the angulation 2,499,313 2/1950 Hoag 206/56A2 characteristic of the backing member for controlling the 2,889,922 6/1959 Clarvoe 206/56A3 dispensing characteristic of the item Patented Nov. 17, 1970 Patented Nov. 17, 1970 Z of 6 Sheet rm R n 7 ma w N4 2 E 0 a W F ma g M Patented Nov. 17, 1970 Sheet '5 of 6 Patented Nov. 17, 1970 3,540,579

Hal/"06d 1?. I191! 562 0122.

Hi6 ATTIORNEJ/I Patented Nov. 17, 1970 3,540,579

Sheet 6 of6 3y Havold 6'. 1785800172:

packaged. lndividual packets The present-inventionrelates to dispensers, means for rnaking dispensers, and more particularly to dispensing means and methods capable of handling individualized dosages. and/or portions.

Although my' invention is described primarily in relationship to the pharmaceutical arts, it-will be apparent asthis description proceeds that the dispensing package ofmy invention can be employed with equal facility for packaging and dispensing individual portions or servings of condiments, including coffee cream and sugar, and similar items such as table salt; orfor packaging and dispensing many types of small articles of merchandise, for example, nuts and bolts and other hardware items or items of jewelry such as rings.

In the pharmaceutical and related arts, requirements for individualized packages or dosages of various pharmaceuticals including pills, tablets, capsules and the like havelong posed a problem. Although such pharmaceuticals have been provided in a myriad of individual packets, strip .packages,,and compartmentized containers; these packages and thc'like have failed to overcome the difficulties involved in individualized dispensing of pharmaceuticals. Almost" invariably, known forms of individualized packages or packets have required the use of two hands of the user in order to open the packages and extract the pill or capsule. Frequently, the pill or capsule is crushed or broken in the opening operation. In many cases it is difficult to prevent the packages item from dropping to the floor or other surface'and becoming contaminated during the opening process. It is difficult, with known packages for the user to avoid touching and possibly contaminating the item. Where the patient requires assistance the packaged .item'must often be handled by the nurse or other administeringperson. Thus, although sterile, individualized packages for various types of drugs are well known, it is virtually impossible to maintain the sterile character of the packaged items during opening of the packet.

Many pill dispensing cartons sold for home use, include an outer sleeveinto which a compartmentized package is inserted. This requires additional and difficulty in withdrawing the package, opening the compartmentized package with two hands, and replacing it. Sleeve-type packages suffer from the additional disadvantage that bulky-and inconvenient means must be provided for preventing the sleeve from bearingly engaging the top and bottom surfaces of the items contained in compartmentized packages in the sleeve.

For hospital use,'pills'and thelike are conventionally stripmust be separated from the strip, opened (-with two hands), and the items extracted and administered :individually to patients. In a large, modern hospital these minor delaysare. multiplied many times over. Frequently, the items arezdropped while opening at considerable risk of contamination.

Known forms of individualized packets and other pharmaceutical packages present the common disadvantage of being readily opened when-carelessly left within the reach of small children. As-iswell known, very nearly all known drug packages, particularly individualized packets, although .difficult to open" properlywithout spillage or breakage of their contents, can be opened bysimple tearing motions to which children are usually accustomed..Such packages, therefore, can be opened in this-manner withoutany unduemental-efl fort, and so are usually. within the capabilities of even very young children. Cases of drug-poisoning in children are legion, and in most of the larger cities, organizations have been formed to combat this serious-problem. Recently, the Federal .Foodand DrugaAdministration has become interested in :this

problem, and has proposed a study of safer drug packaging.

In conventional, individualizeddispensingpackets, labeling for identification and dosage-informationbecomes a problem. In many casesone solution is the provision of an outer carton forone or moreindividual packages such as the sleevementioned above'This solutionv of course complicates the package and increases the time and difficulty in opening, dispensing and closing the package. Because of thematerials employed-in conventionahseverable strippackages it is difficult to print dire'ctly;upon the strip packages. The problem is complicated by lack of spaceandthe smallness of the packages.- Many such packages aremade from transparent wrapping materials. so .that any-printing applied thereto is difficult to read especially when reduced in sizeto conformto packagesizes. s

' For-hospitaluse and even for home, consumption it is desira- "-blegll'l .CflSCOfi-th more commondrugs-such as'aspirin, cold 10.- tablets,-birth control pills to packagethe items in individual packets connected in the form of a=stri p for withdrawal from a suitable dispenser. ln many cases the individual packets are in- .advertently opened when removed from the strip (before it is intended to give the pill or other item to the patient), since the number of pills or tablets mustbe dispensed to a large number same tearing motion is involved. This increases thechances of spreading. communicable disease, particularly when s large of patients.

dividuals. Obviously, then the individual pill. packets or the compartmentized dispenser cannot be preprinted by the manufacturer to-indicate the day of the week on which taking of the pills-mustbe commenced.

Known individualized packets are not useful for dispensing free flowing liquids or solids such as granulated materials-or powders except in the form of capsules. Certain of thesecapsules. are large and difficult for many patients to swallow. Thus, thereis considerable need for an individualized package capable of containing measurable quantities of a' liquid-or powder which can for example be mixed with water before ad-- ministration. Y l

Typical and known packages are disclosed in the U.S. Pats. to Sparks No. 3,207,299; Sorensen No. 2,3l7,860; and Hartman No. 3,054,503. These patents are designed primarily for pills or.capsules and-are not capable of modification for use with liquids or powders. Most importantly, the disclosed packets, as in the case of many such packages-on the market at the present time, are easily opened by'simple tearing motions, and therefore offer inadequate child-proofing". ln tearing or .rupturing, thesepackages, printed matter thereon is often deletedwhen the; package is opened, although tabs, ribbons, perforations or other tearing facilitating devices are utilized.

In the package disclosed in Sparks US. Pat. No. 3,207,299 a backing portion of the package is perforated to rupture the backing upon bending for dispensing purposesThe use of such-"perforations renders sealing of the package difficult.

. Moreover; Sparks employs an opaque'material which prevents observation of the'pill or capsule during dispensing-.Hartman U.S. Pat. No. 3,054,503 discloses a similar arrangement-hav- .ing an opaque foil backing and for the most part. exhibits the disadvantages-mentioned above. The same considerations apply to-Sorensen' U.S. Pat. No. 2,317,860which discloses-a two-part tablet container having upper and lower frangible portions.

The cited prior art, together, with other. known individualized packages,-does not disclose means for conveniently openingthepackagewith one hand. Nor'are means disclosed for protecting frangibleitems contained-within the package during transportation and subsequent opening of the package. ln= sofar as I am aware, there'is no known package which permits the item to be observed during the opening so that the-item is not inadvertently dropped or otherwise contaminated.

l overcome these disadvantages of the priorart-with the provision of easily and conveniently opened,-individtia'lized .packetsfwhich can be joined in strip form if desired Individual dosages or portions can be completely sealed within the package of myinvention, so that contamination is avoided which .may .result when dispensing from bulk packages. My

novel packet; whether in strip form or otherwise permits accurate premeasuring of the substances or items dispensed therefrom. The containers can be readily transported and stored without damage to the items contained therein. In most applications the necessity for outer cartons is eliminated. The packets provide a more or less rigid surface on which labels or printing can be applied and easily read. In the commercial area, the packages of my invention permit purchase of sealed single or multiple units. 7

Certain features of my package can be utilized for the containment of individual dosages or portions of liquid, semiliquid and powdered materials. Most importantly, my novel package can be opened quickly with the use of one hand only. The other hand of the user can be employed'to catch the pill or other item dispensed (either directly or with a water glass or other container) or the item can be dispensed directly into a patients hand or mouth.

The hand movements required in opening my novel package are not readily apparent to children who are thus not able to manipulate the package. Moreover, small children do not have the physical strength necessary to tear open the package by brute force. My package can be arranged so that differing degrees of manual strength or dexterity are required to open the package to render tampering by children even less likely. Therefore, my package can be readily opened by a knowledgeable user, but can be made virtually child-proof.

In certain arrangements of my invention, where the packages are joined in strip formation, selected or individual ones of the packages can be opened with one hand and without detaching the package from the strip. Where, however, the packages are individually detached from the strip there is no likelihood of inadvertently tearing through the package at this time. My packages are relatively rigid and therefore more readily adapted for sequential numbering and correlation to days of the week or other instructions.

I also provide means for preventing the crushing of frangible items contained within the package, such as certain types of pills, and capsules. In other aspects of my invention, the package can be sealed in various modes against the entry of moisture or foreign materials.

l accomplish these desirable results by providing an individualized package comprising a relatively rigid backing member, an item for dispensing positioned within a central area of said backing member, and a frangible membrane stretched over saiditem and joined about the periphery of said backing member, the structural strength of said backing member being in excess of the rupture strength of said membrane so that said membrane breaks upon angulation of said backing member generally away from said item.

I also desirably provide a similar package wherein means are provided for modifying the rupture characteristic of said membrane to control the dispensing characteristic of said item.

I also desirably provide a similar package wherein means are provided for modifying the angulation characteristic of said backing member to control the dispensing characteristic of said item.

I also desirably provide a similar package wherein a protective member at least partially surrounds said item for at least partially preventing the application of membrane-rupturing forces to said item.

I also desirably provide a similar package wherein said membrane is provided with at least one line of weakening extending generally over saiditem and generally parallel to the angulation fold of said backing member.

I also desirably provide a similar package wherein said backing member is provided with at least one line of weakening to determine said angulation fold therein.

I also desirably provide a similar package wherein a plurality of saidpackag'es are joined in strip formation, and means are provided on said formation to permit individual angulation of said packages for individual dispensing therefrom.

During the foregoing discussion, various objects, features and advantages of the invention have been set forth. These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention together with structural details thereof will be "elaborated upon during the forthcoming description of certain presently preferred embodiments of the invention and presently preferred methods of practicing the same.

In the accompanying drawings I have shown certain presently preferred embodiments of the invention and have illustrated certain presently preferred methods of practicingthe same,wherein:

FIG. I is an isometric view, ofoneform of individualized package arranged in accordance with my invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the package as shown in FIG. 1 and taken along reference line'lI-Il thereof;

FIG. 2A is a similar view showing the package of FIGS. I and 2 with a modified backing member; J

FIG. 2B is a similar view showing a package having modified frangible membrane means;

FIG. 3 is a similar view representing a step in the opening of my novel package;

FIG. 4 is a similar view showing another form of my novel package;

FIG. 4A is a similar view illustrating a step in the opening of the package of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view showing still another modification of my package;

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of still another form of my package and illustrating one arrangement for partially dispensing the contents thereof;

FIG. 6A is a cross-sectional view of the package as shown in FIG. 6 and taken generally along reference line VIA-VIA thereof. FIG. 6A also illustrates a step in the opening of the package of FIG. 6;

FIG. 7 is an isometric view illustrating another form of my novel means for partial dispensing;

FIG. 8 is an isometric view showing still another modification of my novel package structure;

FIG. 8A is an isometric view showing still another modification of my novel package structure;

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of another form of my package having protective means associated therewith for minimizing the amount of force applied to the contained item during opening;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along reference line X-X of FIG. 9, but illustrating a step in the opening of the package;

FIG. 10A is a similar view but illustrating a modified backing member for the package of FIG. 9 and a step in the opening of the package;

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of still another form of my novel package and illustrating additional protective means for preventing the application of forces to the contained item;

FIG. 11A is an isometric view of still another arrangement of item protection means for use in my novel package;

FIG. 12 is a similar view showing protective means for the containment of liquids and other relatively free flowing materials;

FIG. 12A is an enlarged partial cross-sectional view of a modified form of the package shown in FIG. 12;

FIG. 13 is an isometric view of still another form of my novel package and illustrating another form of the backing member therefor;

FIG. 13A is generally a cross-sectional view of the package shown in FIG. 13 but illustrating its opened condition;

FIG. 13B: is another isometric view of another form of my invention; v

FIGS. 14A, 14B and 14C illustrate means for providing variations in force required in the opening of my novel package, and an illustration of one means for increasing the child-proofing" characteristics of the package;

FIGS. 15 and 16 are isometric views illustrating steps in the strip form;

FIGS. 17 and 18 are isometric views showing my novel packages assembled in strip form and illustrating various means for facilitating the opening of individual packages without detachment from the strip;

FIG. 18A is an isometric view of another form of my novel strip package having means for partial or complete severance of the individual packets;

FIGS. 19 and 19A illustrate various means for dispensing my strip packages;

FIG. 20 is a partial isometric view illustrating still another novel means for dispensing my novel strip packages;

FIGS. 21A, 21B and 21C are isometric views of individual packets of my invention and illustrating additional novel means for controlling the dispensing characteristics of the package;

FIGS. 22A and 22B are isometric views illustrating final steps in the opening of the packages of FIGS. 21A and 218, respectively;

FIG. 23A is an isometric view of still another form of my novel individualized package;

FIG. 23B is a cross-sectional view of the package shown in FIG. 23A but illustrating the opened condition thereof;

FIG. 23C is a partial cross-sectional view of a modified joining means for use with my novel blister package;

FIG. 23D is a partial cross-sectional view of another modified joining means for use with the novel blister package ofthe invention;

FIG. 24 is a partially exploded view of a strip package arranged in accordance with my invention and having novel means associated therewith for correlating the numbered packets thereof with days of the week or month;

FIG. 25 is an isometric view of yet another form ofmy novel package;

FIG. 25A is a longitudinally sectioned view showing the package ofFIG. 25 in its partially opened condition;

FIG. 26 is an isometric view of a modified item protecting means suitable for use with certain of the packages shown in the preceding figures;

FIG. 27 is a sectional view of the package as shown in FIG. 26 and taken along reference line XXVII-XXVII thereof;

FIG. 28 is a similar view but showing the use of a modified, protective backing member; and

FIG. 28A is a similar view showing the package of FIG. 28 in its opened condition.

Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 13 of the drawings, my novel package 30 includes a relatively rigid backing member 32 fabricated from cardboard and the like. In this example the contained item, such as a pill, capsule or tablet 34 desirably is positioned centrally upon the backing member 32. A frangible membrane 36 is lightly stretched over the item 34 and is joined, preferably sealingly joined, directly to the backing member 32 on either its front or back side. Alternatively the membrane 36 can be lapped upon itself (not shown) around the back of the backing member 32 and sealed as by heat or solvent welding or by gluing at its lapped edges.

To facilitate opening of the package 30 in the manner to be described the backing member 32 can be provided with a crease or score line or other area of weakening 38 which desirably extends beneath the contained item 34.

In order to open the package 30 as better shown in FIG. 3 the backing member 32 is angulated by the application of forces to the edges of the backing member 32 as denoted by arrows 40 of FIG. 2. Additional force, denoted by arrow 42 is applied in the generally opposite direction to the central region of the backing member 32 usually to that portion juxtaposed to the contained item 34. These forces, which can be applied by the thumb and two fingers of one hand as better shown in FIG. 3, cause the backing member 32 to angulate to the extent that longitudinal forces developed in the frangible membrane 36 cause the latter to rupture as denoted by reference character 36a. Rupturing of the membrane frees or partially frees the contained item 34 as discussed more fully below. The package 30 at this time can be held so that the Y 6 item 34 is easily caught in the other hand (not shown) of the user. Alternatively, the item 34 can be dispensed directly into the hand or mouth of a patient or other recipient of the item 34.

For larger items and correspondingly larger packages (in most cases outside of the pharmaceutical field) it will be obvious that the package can be angulated with the use of both hands, if necessary.

In fabricating the package 30 the backing member 32 must be afforded sufficient structural rigidity so that upon its angulation (FIG. 3) the forces required to rupture themembrane 36 do not exceed the structural strength of the angulated backing member 32, which for example may be fabricated from cardboard, stiff plastic, thin wood or metal, or the like. When made of cardboard and similar materials, a coating of known plastic material can be applied to increase the rigidity of the backing member 32 or its scalability to the membrane To avoid excessive opening forces, the membrane 36 can be provided with at least one line of weakening desirably located adjacent the area 44 in which the backing member will be folded as denoted in FIG. 3. Such line of weakening, for example can be a single score line or a narrow band of thinned area lapped surfaces 31 (FIG. 2B). For non pharmaceutical applications, or where scaling is not required or desired, edges of the sections 33 can be merely overlapped, without gluing or sealing, to provide the aforementioned line of weakening. The overlappage in such cases can be minimal or the edges of the membrane section simply can be abutted.

In many applications it will be desirable to ensure folding of the backing member 32 along a line generally parallel to the membrane weakened portion 46 when so used. This can be accomplished by providing the backing member 32 with a precreasc or score line along the intended fold 38 to ensure folding of the backing member in the proper direction. The use of the precreased backing member is also useful in those cases where the backing member is of such rigidity that angulation thereof otherwise would be difficult with the use of one hand. Alternatively, as better shown in FIG. 2A backing member 32a can be fabricated from two or more layers 52 of cardboard, plastic or the like, the upper layer of which can be provided with a slit or area of discontinuity 54 adjacent the item to facilitate angulation of the backing member 32a and rupture of the membrane 36.

In FIG. 4 of the drawings a similarly constructed package 56 is illustrated for packaging a pair of items to be dispensed either at the same or different times of administration. Thus, a pair of items 34 are disposed generally on the opposite sides of the backing member 32. Desirably the items 34' are centrally located on the associated side of the backing member 32'. A membrane 58 is lightly stretched over the peripheral edges 60 of the backing member and over the items 34' on either side thereof. The membrane 58 otherwise is similar to the membrane 36 of FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings. Alternatively, overlapped membrane sections, such as the section 33 of FIG. 2B, can be employed here. Desirably the membrane is sealed by heat sealing if the backing member 32' is fabricated from an appropriate plastic or is otherwise joined, as by glu ing, to the edges 60 of the backing member 32. The backing member is further provided with a pair of score lines or precreases 62 so that the backing member can be angulated as better shown in FIG. 4A around the remaining items 34b when dispensing the first item 34'a.

To facilitate assembly of my novel package, and to prevent subsequent movement of the contained item 34', the item 34', as better shown in FIG. 5 can be recessed into the material of the backing member 32'. A slight depression can be used for this purpose when the membrane is lightly stretched over the item. If desired, the backing member recess 64 can be extended across the width of the backing member as denoted by chain outlines thereof 66 to afford an area of weakening 63. In the latter case, the membrane is more easily sealed at the back of the backing member 32.

FIGS. 6 and 6A illustrate another arrangement of my novel package 30' for the partial dispensing of the contained item 34'. In this arrangement of my invention the frangible membrane 36' is provided with a first line of weakening 46' extending substantially across the adjacent width of the backing member 32'. A relatively short line of weakening 68 is provided on the membrane 36' and preferably adjoins the longer score line or the like 36 at right angles thereto and generally above the contained item 34'.

With this arrangement angulation of the backing member 32 as better shown in FIG. 6A ruptures the membrane 36 along the score lines 46' and 68 leaving the left half 36'a of the membrane substantially intact. This membrane half retains the item 34' upon the backing member 32' until the protruding portion 34'a thereof is shucked out or extracted by the fingers of the user. In any event, the item can be ejected by pressing on the remaining membrane half to avoid direct contact with the item and possible contamination.

A similar arrangement for dispensing is shown in FIG. 7. In this example membrane 36' is provided with a partial line of weakening 65 and the backing member 32' is partially creased or otherwise preferentially weakened along line 67 disposed directly below the membrane weakening 65 as viewed in FIG. 7. With this arrangement, upon angulation of the right hand portion of the backing member 32' (as viewed in FIG. 7) the membrane 36' is partially ruptured along line 65 to expose a sufficient portion of item 34' for subsequent withdrawal by the fingers.

FIG. 8 illustrates another modification of the backing member 32' having an area of weakening 63 for angulation purposes such as that described alternatively in connection with FIG. and a recess or cruciform section 70 extending transversely thereof to receive an elongated contained item 72. The membrane 36' lightly stretched thereover may or may not be provided with a score line or other area of weakening depending upon the strength of the frangible membrane 36' and of the item 72. The cruciform depression (or alternatively an irregularly shaped depression) can be used, also, to position a similarly shaped item (not shown).

FIGS. 9- l2 illustrate various means for packaging relatively free flowing materials such as liquids, semiliquids and powders and protective means for preventing the application of undue forces to easily broken items such as certain pills, capsules and tablets. FIGS. 9 and 10, for example, illustrate a package 74 designed for packaging items such as items 34 of intermediate strength. In furtherance of this purpose an auxiliary backing member 76 is interposed between the packaged item 34 and the backing member 32. The package 74 is otherwise constructed in accordance with one or more of the preceding FIGS.

With this arrangement upon angulation of the backing member 32', the forces which would otherwise be applied to the item 34' by the stretched and frangible member 36' are transferred to the edges 78 of the rigid intermediate backing member 76. The auxiliary backing member edges 78 reduce but do not entirely remove the rupturing force applied to the item 34. If desired, the auxiliary backing member 76 can be stabilized by providing the angulatable backing member 32' with a pair of laterally displaced creases, slits or other lines of weakening 80 as better shown in FIG. 10A. The auxiliary backing member 76 can be fabricated from stiffened cardboard, plastic or other suitable rigid material.

In FIG. 11 of the drawings a fragile item 34' is protected by means of a relatively rigid channel member 82 of U-shaped configuration. The fragile item 34' is laid upon the bight portion of the channel member 82 and the latter is positioned desirably centrally upon the backing member 32. Package 84 is completed by lightly stretching a membrane 36' over the item 34'. If desired the backing member 32 can be provided with two creases to stabilize the channel member 82.

FIG. 8A illustrates a modified backing member provided with a preferential line of weakening 200, which does not extend to the lateral edges of the backing member 202. Accordingly, uninterrupted peripheral areas 204 (defined by chain outline 206) remain for heat-sealing or otherwise attaching membrane 208 to the backing member 202. The latter can be formed from two layers 210, 212 of cardboard, plastic or the like, of which the upper layer is slotted at 200. The slit 200 desirably terminates short of the sealed area 204 to prevent possible contamination or entry of moisture through the end portions of the slit. In furtherance of these purposes the lower layer 212 can be sealed to the upper layer 210.

A similar arrangement is shown in FIG. 11A and is useful for low profile items such as the relatively flat pill 83. A pair of spaced ridge members are formed on the backing member 32' and disposed one on each side of the item 83. The item can be further protected by a depression denoted by chain outline 87 formed in this example centrally of the backing member 32. The'ridge members 85, together with either depression 87 or the adjacent sloping surfaces of the membrane, prevent shifting of the item 83 before the package is opened.

The protection ridge members 85 can be made by gluing or otherwise securing strips of material similar to that of the backing member 32' to the backing member. Alternatively, if the backing member is fabricated from plastic or other moldable material the ridges 85 can be form ed integrally.

As in several other modifications of my novel package the item 83, and the depression 37 therefor, if used can be disposed concentrically of the backing member 32' if quick and complete dispensing is desired. On the other hand the item 83 can be disposed eccentrically if some degree of retention is desired. If the item 83 or 34 or 34' is elongated as shown in FIG. 11A complete dispensing can be assured by paralleling the long axis of the item 83 with the angulation fold when the package is manipulated. On the other hand retention can be had by placing the item 83 transversely of the angulation fold of the backing member.

FIG. 12 of the drawings illustrates a package 90 adapted for conveying liquids, semiliquids and powders and other relatively free flowing materials. In this modification a protective, open top cup member or similar container 92 is positioned on the backing member 32'. Desirably the cup member 92 is glued or otherwise adhered to the backing member 32' to minimize the possibility of spillage when the package 90 is opened. A measured quantity of a liquid or powder 94 is placed within the cup member 92, preferably for a single dosage or portion. Adhering the cup member 92 to the backing member 32 also prevents the cup member from dropping into a glass or other container into which the contents 94 may be dispensed. A variety of substances can be dispensed in this fashion in addition to pharmaceuticals, for example, coffee cream, sugar, salt and condiments.

The cup member 92 desirably is fabricated from a suitable plastic or other compatable material to avoid leakage or contamination of the contents. The membrane 36 is readily stretched over the cup member 92 and is sealed or otherwise joined to the backing member 32 in the manner mentioned previously. The engagement of the membrane 36 with the open edges 96 of the cup member 92 provides a closure for the cup member to prevent release of the contents 94 until the package 90 is opened. In furtherance ofthis purpose the membrane 36' can be cemented or welded to the cup member edges 96 or otherwise sealed thereto if a sterile package is desired.

To ensure complete uncovering of the cup member 92', as better shown in FIG. 12A, the cup member can be sealed by adhering the membrane 36' to the outer upper edges 98 of the cup member 92'. Desirably an adhesive is employed for this purpose, whose adherent characteristic is exceeded before rupture of the membrane 36, when the backing member 32 is angulated as described previously. As better shown in FIG. 12 the backing member 32' can be provided with one or more lines of angulation as denoted by chain outlines 100.

A modified form of backing member is employed in connection with that form of my novel package 102 shown in FIGS. 13 and 13A of the drawings. In this arrangement of my invention, backing member 104 is provided in preangulated form as shown in FIG. 13. Membrane 106 is lightly stretched over the contained item 34 and is joined or sealed to the backing' member 104. The package 102 is joined or sealed to the backing member 104. The package 102 is opened substantially as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings, except that the backing 104 is straightened to its planar condition as shown in FIG. 13A. This manipulation of the backing member 104 likewise applies rupturing forces to the frangible membrane 106.

The arrangement of FIG. 13 is particularly appropriate for the controlled dispensing of item 34. Thus, if the item 34' be arranged for partial dispensing in the flattened position of backing member 104 (FIG. 13A), for example by one of the arrangements of FIGS. 6, 6A, 7 or 21A22B, the item 34' thereafter can be fully dispensed without using two hands and without changing the position of the users hand (FIG. 3) by further angulation or bending of the backing member 104 away from the item 34', for example, to the position substantially as shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings. In furtherance of this purpose the backing member can be provided with two or more creases or prefold lines to cause the item 34' to rupture the remaining portion of the membrane 36'.

Also contemplated is the initial angulation of the backing member 105 (FIG. 13B) away from the contained item 34 such that further angulation breaks the membrane 107. This arrangement which requires only pressing of the backing member wings 109 together is suitable for use by very weak patients for example.

FIGS. 14A, 14B and 14C illustrate means for varying the forces necessary to be exerted upon the outer surfaces of my novel package during the opening steps. As illustrated, variation in opening force is accomplished by changing the physical sizes of the backing member 32 in relation to the item 34' contained in the package 30'. Thus a relatively large backing member 32'a (FIG. 14A) and a relatively small contained item 34'a provide considerable mechanical advantage when the backing member is angulated in the manner described above. On the other hand FIGS. 14B and 14C illustrate progressively smaller mechanical advantages with varied sizes of the contained items 34'b and 34's relative to the backing members 32'b and 32'c. The physical aspects of the package 34'a renders the package particularly useful by semi-invalid patients or other persons having weak manual strength. On the other hand FIGS. 14B and 14C particularly the latter illustrate further means for child-proofing" my novel package. The relationship between the physical sizes of the backing members 32c and of the contained item 34'c makes the package of FIG. 14C virtually impossible to open by very young children.

FIGS. 15 and 16 illustrate one arrangement for joining an indeterminate number of my individualized packages in strip formation. The strip package 108 is formed by a pair of elongated membranes 110, 112 between which are inserted a spaced tandem array of backing members 32" with pills or other items 34" positioned centrally thereon. With the described components so positioned the upper membrane 110 is sealed to the lower membrane 112, as better shown in FIG.

16, at areas 114 extending perimctrically around each of the backing members 32". During the sealing process the upper membrane is lightly stretched over each of the backing members 32" and the item 34" positioned thereon.

In use, individual ones of the strip-joined packages 116 thus formed can be severed by tearing along the sealed areas 114 therebetween. If desired these areas can be scored or perforated as denoted by chain outlines 118 thereof in FIG. '16. If it is desired not to detach the individual packages 116 the items can be dispensed from any position along the length of the strip 108' through angulation of the desired backing member 32" along a fold extending longitudinally of the strip 108', as denoted by chain outline 120. It will be understood of course that even backing member 32" of the strip package 108' can be precreased or partially slitted along the fold line 120 in accordance with any of the several appropriate arrangements described previously. It is also intended that easily crushed items 34" can be provided with the protective means illustrated in FIGS. 9-12 also, for example, liquid or other relatively free flowing materials can be packaged in individual cups spaced along the length of the strip package 108' but otherwise arranged as set forth in FIG. 12 or 12A.

In FIGS. 17 and 18 of the drawings the strip packages 122 are formed with a more or less continuous rigid backing member 124 and a single strip of membrane l26. In FIG. 17 of the drawings the backing member 124 is divided into discrete segments 128 with a contained item 130 deposited upon each one of the segments. The elongated membrane can be perimetrically sealed to each of the segments 128 as denoted by reference characters 133. Thus, each contained item 130 is individually sealed between the associated backing member segment 128 and the adjacent portion of the strip membrane 126.

To permit facile angulation of the backing member segments 128 the areas therebetween are partially slit or deeply indented. Slits 132 permit the backing member segments 128 to be angulated along a fold line denoted by chain outline 134, extending longitudinally of the backing member 124. If desired clearances between the backing member segments 128 can be afforded by the use ofrelatively deep transverse indentations 136 instead ofslits 132.

The arrangement of FIG. 18 is similar to FIG. 17 but differs in that the slits 132 or the indentations 136 are provided only at one side of the backing member 124 and extend to the fold line 134' only. The item 130 on each backing member segment 128' can be dispensed by angulating one half of the related segment with respect to the balance of the strip package 122 along the fold line 134'. In those applications wherein it is desired to completely detach the segmental packages from the strip 122, the arrangement of FIG. 17 is more appropriate.

In FIG. 18A a single continuous membrane 138 is stretched over a number of closely spaced backing members 137 arranged in a single file array. An item 139 is disposed on each backing member 137. When angulated or prior to angulation, each packet can be partially or completely removed from the strip package of FIG. 18A by tearing the membrane along the contingent edges 137a of the backing members which desirably are of the same width as the strip membrane 135. The membrane 135 can be peripherally heat-sealed or otherwise joined to each of the backing members 137 as denoted by chain outline 143. The strip membrane 135 if desired can be provided with a continuous, longitudinally extending line of weakening 135a to increase the frangibility of the unsealed sections 135b of the membrane.

FIGS. 19 and 19A illustrate the provision of an outer sleeve type carton for one or more of the strip packages of FIGS. 15- 18. FIG. 19 illustrates the use of an outer sleeve 138 for a single strip package 140, while FIG. 19A shows an appropriately shaped outer sleeve 142 adapted to contain a pair of strip packages 140, in side-by-side relation. The carton 142' is adapted 'for receiving a pair of strip packages 140' although obviously a different number can be employed.

The carton and strip packages ih FIGS. 19 and 19A permit the strip package 140 to be withdrawn sufficiently to expose one of its segments 140a. This portion of the strip package i.e., the segment 1400 can be angulated as described in connection with FIGS. l-18, to dispense the pill 141 and the like without detaching the segment 140a from the strip, and without completely withdrawing the strip from the sleeve 138. Succeeding items can be similarly dispensed simply by withdrawing the strip 140 an appropriate additional distance from the sleeve 138. In this manner the precise number of tablets or pills or other items consumed or utilized can be enumerated without completely withdrawing the strip 140 to count the remaining items. The strip packages 145 of FIG. 19A can be formed from continuous and coextensive strips of membrane and backing. The backing strip in this case is somewhat flexible to permit angulation at any one of the items 141 for dispensing thereof. The backing strip, however, is easily straightened when the strip 145 is reinserted into sleeve 142.

For easily crushed pills or other items 144 the sleeve type carton 140' of FIG. 20 is provided with means for preventing contact of the items 144 by the adjacent surfaces of the carton 142'.

A plurality of runners 146 and 148 are desirably secured to the upper surfaces of the carton 142 and desirably extend along the length thereof. The bottom surfaces of the runners 146, 148 are closely spaced from the adjacent lateral edges of the strip packages 140 to permit easy withdrawal thereof but to prevent such upper movement, as viewed in FIG. 20 as to bring the upper surface of the item 144 into contact or near contact with the carton 142.

Referring now to FIGS. 21A, 21B and 21C additional means are provided for controlling the dispensing characteristic of the item such as pill 34 contained within packages 150, 152 and 154 respectively shown therein. In package 150 means are provided in combination with membrane 156 for retaining the item 34 after the membrane 156 is ruptured along its line of weakening 158. In many of the packages described herein it is usually desirable to lightly stretch the membrane over the item 34 or 34 in order to retain the item adjacent the center of the package so that it will be in a proper position for dispensing when the package is opened in the manner described previously. Of course, the provision of a depression adjacent the item 34', such as depicted in certain of the preceding FIGS. also aids in retaining the item 34 or 34 in its proper position.

In the package 150, however, membrane 156 is lightly stretched in a single direction relative to backing member 160 and preferably along a line of weakening 156, if used, or at least along the intended angulation fold, i.e., in the direction denoted by arrows 162. In the opposite direction the membrane is relatively loose as denoted by serpentine arrows 164. Thus, angulation of the backing member 160 as shown in FIG. 22A ruptures the membrane 156 but affords a relatively narrow opening between the membrane halves as denoted by arrows 166. This narrow opening 166 does not fully dispense the item 34 when of a predetermined shape, and the item is subsequently withdrawn by the fingers of the other hand of the user or by shucking the item 34 with the thumb or finger of the hand used to open the package. In the latter case, as mentioned previously, extrusion can be accomplished without direct contact with the item. Using a thicker membrane (desirably with a scored or thin area, overlapping membrane sections, or other line of weakening, FIG. 2B) will favor retention ofthe item.

The membrane 156 of package 152 (FIG. 21B) is likewise stretched in a single direction. In this example, however, the membrane 156 is stretched transversely of its line of weakening 158' if used, or the intended angulation fold. Upon angulation of backing member 160 to the position shown in FIG. 22B the membrane 156' is ruptured to form a wide opening 168 which fully dispenses the item 34, when of a given size, without further manipulation.

In the package 154 of FIG. 21C auxiliary lines ofweakening 170 are applied transversely of a major line of weakening 158. The auxiliary lines of weakening 170 have the effect of providing a larger opening, after the manner of opening 168 of FIG. 228, when the backing member ruptures the membrane 156.

The principles involved in opening my novel package such as illustrated in FIG. 28 can be applied for the quick-opening of a blister" type package 172, as shown in FIGS. 23A and 23B. Package 172 is formed from a relatively rigid backing member 174 in the manner described previously. A pair of relatively rigid blister sections 176, 178 are adhered, in this example, to the adjacent surfaces of the backing member 174, as denoted by reference characters 180. The blister sections 176, 178 can be fabricated from a relatively stiff transparent plastic sheet material known and used for conventional blister packages.

The blister sections 176, 178, however, are disposed alloquirally with their adjacent edge portions abutting or overlapping as denoted by reference character 182. When thus disposed, the blister sections 176, 178 enclose a pill or capsule 184 or other item therewithin. However, the package 172can be opened with one hand by angulating the backing member 174 along a fold line in general alignment with the aforementioned edge portions. In the example, the backing member 174 is angulated (FIG. 233) along its central axis (denoted by chain line 186) in the manner described previously. When this occurs the blister sections 176, 178 are separated as better shown in FIG. 238 to provide a dispensing opening 188. Item 184 can be temporarily held adjacent one of the blister sections 176, 178 until it is grasped with the fingers or the package is inverted to release the item through opening 188.

If desired, the overlapping edges 182 of the blister sections 176, 178 can be lightly joined or sealed, as denoted by reference character 189, to prevent inadvertent opening of the package, to increase the requisite opening force for further child-proofing, or to provide a completely sealed package 172. In either case, the overlapping edges 182 with or without the seal 189 define a line of weakening in the transparent portion of the package 172. When the overlapping edges are sealed, as by the use of rubber cement (e.g. Contact Cement made for Sears Roebuck & Company, Chicago, III.) or other suitable cement or glue or lightly welded by heat or solvent, the strength of the blister sections 176, 178 is such that the seal is broken without appreciable deforming the blister sections. If the item 184 is easily crushed, it is not bearingly contacted during the opening procedure, although additional protection means are not utilized.

As shown in FIG. 23C, additional joining means are contemplated for the adjacent edges of the blister sections 176', 178'. In this example, one of the blister sections e.g. 176 is provided with a grooved structure 191 into which the adjacent edge portion 193 of the other blister section 178' is inserted. The grooved structure 191 can be formed most readily by applying a suitably shaped strip 191a along the adjacent edge of one of the blister sections, for example, the section 176. The package of FIG. 23C is opened as set forth in FIG. 238. If desired, the tonque-and-groove joint 191-193 can be lightly sealed, as set forth in FIG. 23A.

Another form ofjoining means for the adjacent edges of the blister sections 176, 178' is shown in FIG. 23D of the drawings. In this example a flat strip 191b is secured to one of the blister sections, for example the section 178', so as to overlie or underlie the junction 189a therebetween. The other blister section, for example the blister section 176', is glued or otherwise sealed to the strip 1911; which desirably coextends with the junction 189a. The gluing or sealing is of a frangible nature such that. the seal is readily broken by the opening forces associated with angulation of the backing member 174 (FIG. 23B).

In those modifications of my invention wherein the backing member is provided with a line of weakening, as shown in certain of the aforedescribed FIGS., it is contemplated that the line of weakening need not extend entirely across the backing member but can extend (not shown) from an edge of the backingmember to a point adjacent the item. In such case only a portion of the backing member will be angulated to partially rupture the membrane for partial dispensation of the item whereupon the item can be extracted with the fingers. It is also considered, in those packages provided with a membrane having a preferential line of weakening formed therein that the line of weakening can be moisture-proofed by coating the line of weakening with a suitable glue or cement, the strength of which will not interfere with the opening or frangibility of the membrane.

The strip 191b may also take the form ofa relatively narrow strip of pressure sensitive tape or the like which is readily removed from one of the blister sections 176' or 178' by the opening forces involved in angulating the backing member. In certain cases it is desirable to place the strip or tape on the inside of the blister sections 176', 178 as denoted by chain outline 191a thereof so that the item does not contact the adhesive during opening of the package.

In FIG. 24 one of my novel strip packages 190 is subsequently numbered or otherwise provided with printed information on the opaque or relatively rigid backing members or segments 192 forming part of the individual packets 193. For birth control administration, a reminder" strip 194 of similar length is provided with the requisite number of severable sections 196 which are coextensive, at least in the longitudinal direction, with the individual packets 193 or backing members 192 of the strip 190. Desirably, the reminder strip 194 is transparent (except for printing thereon) or is of less width than the strip package 190 so as not to obscure the sequential numbering thereof. The sections 196 can be provided on their reverse side with suitable pressure sensitive adhesive for attachment to the backing segments 192 respectively. As the day of the week on which the birth control dosage commences obviously varies among individual users, it is not practical to print the days of the week directly upon the backing segments or members 192 of the strip package 190. Therefore, assuming the sequence begins on Tuesday the preceding one or more segments such as the Monday segment 196:: is removed and the remainder of the identification strip 194 is adhered to the number 1" package 192a and so on. To facilitate removing the one or more sections 196a rows perforations 200 desirably are provided between the sections 196. If needed, the removed day" segment or segments 196a can be adhered to backing member segments (not shown) at the other end of the strip package 190.

The strip package 190 can for example be formed from a single strip of frangible membrane and a plurality of closely spaced backing members 192. The individual packages 192 are thus held together merely by the narrow and readily severable portions 198 of membrane between the packets 192, which are thus easily separated from the strip 190. In furtherance of this purpose the membrane can be perforated (not shown) along the narrow portions 198 between the packets 192.

In FIGS. 25 and 25A another form of my novel package 202 is particularly adapted for handling larger items such as the item 204. In this example, backing member 206 is provided with a crease or other line of weakening 208 adjacent an end or edge 210 ofthe item 204. When the backing member 206 is angulated as better shown in FIG. 25A the item edge 210 aids in rupturing the frangible membrane 212 whereupon the item 204 can be readily withdrawn from the package 202 with the fingers. In manipulating the package 202 one or both hands of the user can be employed depending upon the size of the package.

Another form of my novel protective means is illustrated in FIGS. 26 and 27 of the drawings wherein a backing member 214 of the quick-opening package 216 is provided with a shaped, protective overlay 218. The overlay 218 is provided with one or more raised portions 220 which partially or completely surround item 222 as desired. The raised portions 220, for maximum protection can coextend with the height of the item 222 as better shown in FIG. 27. In the package 216, a very fragile item 222 can be shipped without danger of crushing when the package 216 is subsequently opened. If desired, the backing member 214 can be provided with a crease or other line of weakening 224 for the purposes described above.

A similar package 216 is shown in FIGS. 28 and 28A of the drawings. In the latter instance, however, the entire backing member 226 is molded or otherwise shaped to provide the protective protrusions 220' describedabove. To aid in opening the package 216' the molded backing member 226 can be provided with a crease 228 extending preferably along a planar'portion of the packing member 226 and adjacent the item 222'. a i

It will be understood of course that the protective protrusions 220 or 220' can be provided with differing shapes depending upon the shape and size of the item 222 or 222'. In the examples shown in FIGS. 2628A it will be appreciated that all of the membrane rupturing forces are distributed between the membrane 230 or 230' and the protective protuberances 220 or 220' in avoidance of the item 222 or 222'.

In the arrangements of FIGS. 2628A the protective protuberances 220 or 220 serve the additional function of preventing the rupture forces from forceably ejecting the item 222 or 222 as no opening forces are applied to the item. Thus, the item 222 or 222' is less likely to fly out of the package 216 or 216 in the event that the user carelessly opens the package.

In addition overlay 218 (FIG. 26) or the shaped backing member 226 (FIG. 28) positions the item 222 or 222 at its proper location within the package and affords additional moisture protection when the overlay 218 or the backing member 226 is formed from certain plastic materials. The shaped overlay 218 and the backing member.226 minimize the possibilities of inadvertent rupture of the membrane 230 or 230' as the preponderant proportion of the membrane is in contact with the protective protubcrances 220 or 220'.

Considering the forms of my invention as shown in the preceding figures particularly FIGS. 6, 6A, 7, 21A-22B, and 25, it is readily apparent that the package of my invention can be adapted for dispensing items having a wide variety of shapes and uses. Thus, a pill, tablet, capsule, or similar item can be dispensed either completely or partially with the package of my invention.

In view of the foregoing it will be apparent that novel and efficient forms of individualized packages'have beendisclosed herein. The packages can be provided in discrete form or can be interconnected for dispensing from a suitable carton. W hile I have shown and described certain presently preferred embodiments of the invention and presently preferred methods of practicing the same,"it is to be distinctly understood that the invention is not limited thereto but may be variously embodied and practice within the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. An individualized package comprising a relatively rigid backing member, an item for dispensing positioned within a central area of said backing member, and a frangible membrane lightly stretched over and in lightly pressured contact therewith and joined about the periphery of said backing member, the structural strength of said backing member being in excess of the rupture strength of said membrane so that said membrane breaks over said item upon angulation of said backing member generally away from said item.

2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said backing member is provided with a depression therein for positioning and partially receiving said item.

3. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said membrane is lightly stretched over said item only in a direction sub stantially parallel to a fold line of said angulation so that an item of predetermined shape is partially dispensed.

4. The combination according to claim I wherein said membrane is lightly stretched over said item.only in a direction transversely of a fold line of said angulation so that an item of predetermined shape is fully dispensed.

5. The combination according to claim 1 wherein means are provided for modifying the rupture characteristic of said membrane to control the dispensing characteristic of said item.

6. The combination according to claim 1 wherein means are provided for modifying the angulation characteristic of said backing member to control the dispensing characteristic of said item.

7. The combination according to claim 1 wherein a plurality of said packages are joined in strip formation, and means are provided on said formation to permit individual angulation of said packages at each of the items respectively contained therein for individual dispensing therefrom.

8. An individualized package comprising a relatively rigid backing member, an item for dispensing positioned within a central area of said backing member, a frangible membrane lightly stretched over said item and substantially in contact therewith and joined about the periphery of said backing member, the structural strength of said backing member being in excess of the rupture strength of said backing member being in excess of the rupture strength of said membrane so that said membrane breaks upon angulation of said backing member generally away from said item, and protective means disposed adjacent said item for at least partially preventing the application of membrane-rupturing forces to said item.

9. The combination according to claim 8 (wherein said protective means include) an auxiliary backing member interposed between said item and said first-mentioned backing member, said auxiliary backing member being disposed to rupture said membrane upon angulation of said first-mentioned backing member. 1

10. The combination according to claim 8 wherein said item includes a relatively free flowing material, said protective means include a cup member placed on said backing member, said material is deposited therein, and said membrane is lightly stretched thereover.

11. The combination according to claim 8 wherein said protection means include a pair of ridge members disposed one on each side of said item.

12. The combination according to claim 8 wherein said protective means include shaped backing means having protuberances extending into engagement with said membrane to protect said item.

13. A package comprising a pair of encapsulating members, one of said members being relatively rigid, the other of said members being frangible, an item for dispensing positioned within an area enclosed by said members, said frangible member being joined about its periphery to the other of said members, the structural strength of said one member being in excess of the rupture strength of said other member, and means for defining an angulation fold line across at least one of said members and across said item so that said frangible member breaks adjacent said fold line upon angulation of said package to expose said item at said fold line for dispensing purposes.

14. A package according to claim 13 wherein said frangible member is flexible and is lightly stretched over said item in contact therewith so that said frangible member is ruptured by said item upon said said angulation.

15. A package according to claim 13 wherein at least one of said encapsulating members is provided with line-of-weakening means disposed generally parallel to the angulation fold of said package.

16. The combination according to claim 15 wherein said line of weakening means is extended only partially across said membrane so that said item is not completely released by angulation of said backing member.

17. The combination according to claim 15 wherein said rigid member is provided with spaced lines of weakening, the space therebetween being generally equal to the adjacent width of said item.

18. The combination according to claim 15 wherein said weakening means includes lightly adhered overlapping edges ofdiscrete membrane sections.

19. The combination according to claim 13 wherein said one member is initially angled away from said item, and said item can be dispensed by further angulation of said one member away from said item.

20. The combination according to claim 15 wherein said weakening means include lightly stretched juxtaposed edges of discrete membrane sections.

21. An individualized package comprising a relatively rigid backing member, an item for dispensing positioned on said backing member, and a frangible housing secured to said backing member and enclosing said item therebetween, said housing including a pair of complementarily shaped and disposed blister sections, said sections having closely adjacent mating edge portions, said backing member being capable of angulation along a fold line disposed generally in alignment with said edge portions for opening said sections and dispensing said item.

22. The combination according to claim 21 wherein said blister sections are spaced outwardly of said item when said item is disposed on said backing member.

23. The combination according to claim 21 wherein said edge portions are overlapping.

24. The combination according to claim 21 wherein said mating portions are frangibly joined, and the structural strength of said blister sections is capable of rupturing said join without appreciably deforming said blister sections.

25. An individualized package comprising a relatively rigid backing member, an item for dispensing positioned with a central area of said backing member, and a frangible membrane lightly stretched over said item and substantially in contact therewith and joined about the periphery of said backing member, the structural strength of said backing member being in excess of the rupture strength of said membrane so that said membrane breaks upon angulation of said backing member generally away from said item, said backing member being provided with at least one line of weakening to determine said angulation fold therein, said line of weakening being juxtaposed to an edge portion of said item to aid in rupturing said membrane thereover.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION patent 3,540,579 Dated November 17 1970 Harold Richard Hellstrom Inventor(s) It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Claim 8, delete line 7.

Claim 9, lines 1 and 2, delete the parenthesis.

Claim 24, line 4, "join" should read joint Signed and sealed this 9th day of May 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Pat FORM PO-IOSO (IO-59] nr "mm

US3540579A 1968-03-27 1968-03-27 Individualized dispensing packages Expired - Lifetime US3540579A (en)

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Cited By (32)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3695419A (en) * 1969-05-24 1972-10-03 Anton Packert Hinged container
US3948394A (en) * 1973-09-28 1976-04-06 Hellstrom H Richard Child-proofed quick-opening package
US4432455A (en) * 1980-03-11 1984-02-21 Savoir Jean Claude Support for tablets, capsules, pills or the like
US4739881A (en) * 1986-08-14 1988-04-26 Beckton, Dickinson And Company Quick open syringe
US4781294A (en) * 1986-10-08 1988-11-01 Warner-Lambert Company Tear oriented package
WO1988008679A1 (en) * 1987-05-13 1988-11-17 Christie Sharon K Product sampling dispenser
WO1992020595A1 (en) * 1991-05-21 1992-11-26 Ronald Forster Condom package
US5273690A (en) * 1992-06-22 1993-12-28 Mcdowell John L Air-freshener device employing forced air
US5676245A (en) * 1996-04-02 1997-10-14 Jones; William Charles Article packaging kit, system and method
US5678695A (en) * 1995-10-11 1997-10-21 Sealed Air Corporation Packaging structure
US5694744A (en) * 1996-02-29 1997-12-09 Jones; William Charles Article packaging kit, and method
US5893462A (en) * 1998-07-01 1999-04-13 Sealed Air Corporation Retention package
EP0955851A1 (en) * 1995-11-23 1999-11-17 Toothpak Pty. Ltd. A toothpick dispenser for removing toothpicks individually
USRE36412E (en) * 1993-06-24 1999-11-30 Jones; W. Charles Article packaging kit, system and method
US6148590A (en) * 1995-10-11 2000-11-21 Sealed Air Corporation Packaging structure
US6302274B1 (en) 1999-12-01 2001-10-16 Sealed Air Corporation (Us) Suspension and retention packaging structures and methods for forming same
USRE37910E1 (en) * 1996-10-31 2002-11-26 C. Joyce Witt Three dimensional insert construction
US6490844B1 (en) 2001-06-21 2002-12-10 Emerging Technologies Trust Film wrap packaging apparatus and method
US20040137234A1 (en) * 2003-01-09 2004-07-15 Grzegorz Stachowiak Heat treatable coated article with niobium nitride IR reflecting layer and method of making same
US20040140242A1 (en) * 2003-01-15 2004-07-22 Julie Davies Innovative medication packaging system
US20040178113A1 (en) * 2003-01-03 2004-09-16 Ade, Inc. Suspension packages and systems, and methods of using same
FR2869024A1 (en) * 2004-04-16 2005-10-21 David Bruno Martiniere Product e.g. chocolate, packing and conditioning device, has pre-cut lines following cutting lines to reduce unnecessary projecting part of packing, and threads inserted in thickness of packing at chosen positions to cut packing portions
US7014041B1 (en) 2003-01-08 2006-03-21 American Grease Stick Company Method of applying flowable material and container therefor
US20080116104A1 (en) * 2004-11-23 2008-05-22 Ingo Lehrke Primary Packaging Unit for Flat Administration Forms
WO2012069758A1 (en) * 2010-11-25 2012-05-31 bioMérieux Article for biological analysis
USD687313S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2013-08-06 Aventisub Ii Inc. A-shaped blister card
USD693695S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2013-11-19 Aventisub Ii Inc. Package for product
USD694644S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2013-12-03 Aventisub Ii Inc. Clamshell package having blisters
USD695625S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2013-12-17 Aventisub Ii Inc. Package for product
USD697813S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2014-01-21 Aventisub Ii Inc. Clamshell having blisters received therein
US8899419B2 (en) 2012-03-28 2014-12-02 Aventisub Ii Inc. Package with break-away clamshell
US8919559B2 (en) 2012-03-28 2014-12-30 Aventisub Ii Inc. Package with break-away clamshell

Cited By (46)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3695419A (en) * 1969-05-24 1972-10-03 Anton Packert Hinged container
US3948394A (en) * 1973-09-28 1976-04-06 Hellstrom H Richard Child-proofed quick-opening package
US4432455A (en) * 1980-03-11 1984-02-21 Savoir Jean Claude Support for tablets, capsules, pills or the like
US4739881A (en) * 1986-08-14 1988-04-26 Beckton, Dickinson And Company Quick open syringe
US4781294A (en) * 1986-10-08 1988-11-01 Warner-Lambert Company Tear oriented package
WO1988008679A1 (en) * 1987-05-13 1988-11-17 Christie Sharon K Product sampling dispenser
WO1992020595A1 (en) * 1991-05-21 1992-11-26 Ronald Forster Condom package
US5273690A (en) * 1992-06-22 1993-12-28 Mcdowell John L Air-freshener device employing forced air
USRE36412E (en) * 1993-06-24 1999-11-30 Jones; W. Charles Article packaging kit, system and method
US6148590A (en) * 1995-10-11 2000-11-21 Sealed Air Corporation Packaging structure
US6311844B1 (en) 1995-10-11 2001-11-06 Sealed Air Corporation Packaging structure
US5678695A (en) * 1995-10-11 1997-10-21 Sealed Air Corporation Packaging structure
US6010006A (en) * 1995-10-11 2000-01-04 Sealed Air Corporation Packaging structure
US6289655B1 (en) 1995-10-11 2001-09-18 Sealed Air Corporation Packaging structure
US6148591A (en) * 1995-10-11 2000-11-21 Sealed Air Corporation Packaging structure
EP0955851A1 (en) * 1995-11-23 1999-11-17 Toothpak Pty. Ltd. A toothpick dispenser for removing toothpicks individually
EP0955851A4 (en) * 1995-11-23 2000-09-13 Toothpak Pty Ltd A toothpick dispenser for removing toothpicks individually
US5694744A (en) * 1996-02-29 1997-12-09 Jones; William Charles Article packaging kit, and method
US5676245A (en) * 1996-04-02 1997-10-14 Jones; William Charles Article packaging kit, system and method
USRE37910E1 (en) * 1996-10-31 2002-11-26 C. Joyce Witt Three dimensional insert construction
US5893462A (en) * 1998-07-01 1999-04-13 Sealed Air Corporation Retention package
US6302274B1 (en) 1999-12-01 2001-10-16 Sealed Air Corporation (Us) Suspension and retention packaging structures and methods for forming same
US6490844B1 (en) 2001-06-21 2002-12-10 Emerging Technologies Trust Film wrap packaging apparatus and method
US20060000743A1 (en) * 2003-01-03 2006-01-05 Ade, Inc. Suspension packages and systems, and methods of using same
US7290662B2 (en) 2003-01-03 2007-11-06 Ade, Inc. Suspension packages and systems, and methods of using same
US20040178113A1 (en) * 2003-01-03 2004-09-16 Ade, Inc. Suspension packages and systems, and methods of using same
US6920981B2 (en) 2003-01-03 2005-07-26 Ade, Inc. Suspension packages and systems, cushioning panels, and methods of using same
US6942101B2 (en) 2003-01-03 2005-09-13 Ade, Inc. Suspension packages and systems, and methods of using same
US7150356B2 (en) 2003-01-03 2006-12-19 Ade, Inc. Suspension packages and systems, cushioning panels, and methods of using same
US20050252825A1 (en) * 2003-01-03 2005-11-17 Ade, Inc. Suspension packages and systems, cushioning panels, and methods of using same
US7014041B1 (en) 2003-01-08 2006-03-21 American Grease Stick Company Method of applying flowable material and container therefor
US20040137234A1 (en) * 2003-01-09 2004-07-15 Grzegorz Stachowiak Heat treatable coated article with niobium nitride IR reflecting layer and method of making same
US20040140242A1 (en) * 2003-01-15 2004-07-22 Julie Davies Innovative medication packaging system
FR2869024A1 (en) * 2004-04-16 2005-10-21 David Bruno Martiniere Product e.g. chocolate, packing and conditioning device, has pre-cut lines following cutting lines to reduce unnecessary projecting part of packing, and threads inserted in thickness of packing at chosen positions to cut packing portions
US20080116104A1 (en) * 2004-11-23 2008-05-22 Ingo Lehrke Primary Packaging Unit for Flat Administration Forms
CN103370618A (en) * 2010-11-25 2013-10-23 生物梅里埃公司 Article for biological analysis
US9435789B2 (en) 2010-11-25 2016-09-06 Biomerieux Article for biological analysis
FR2968083A1 (en) * 2010-11-25 2012-06-01 Biomerieux Sa Article for biological analysis
WO2012069758A1 (en) * 2010-11-25 2012-05-31 bioMérieux Article for biological analysis
USD687313S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2013-08-06 Aventisub Ii Inc. A-shaped blister card
USD694644S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2013-12-03 Aventisub Ii Inc. Clamshell package having blisters
USD695625S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2013-12-17 Aventisub Ii Inc. Package for product
USD697813S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2014-01-21 Aventisub Ii Inc. Clamshell having blisters received therein
US8899419B2 (en) 2012-03-28 2014-12-02 Aventisub Ii Inc. Package with break-away clamshell
US8919559B2 (en) 2012-03-28 2014-12-30 Aventisub Ii Inc. Package with break-away clamshell
USD693695S1 (en) 2012-03-28 2013-11-19 Aventisub Ii Inc. Package for product

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