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Title:
ENVELOPE WITH FLAP FOR CLOSING AND MOUNTING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/093298
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Envelopes comprising: (1) a body comprising a storage cavity and having an opening communicating with such storage cavity; (2) a flap having a first segment and a second segment, the first segment connected to the body at a first foldable connection and the second segment connected to the first segment at a second foldable connection; and (3) an adhesive member on the second segment; wherein the flap is adapted to be configured in: (i) a closed position in which the opening is substantially covered by the flap and the adhesive member secures the flap in such closed position; and (ii) a mounting position in which the flap does not cover the opening.

Inventors:
MAHLI, David, M. (3M Center, Post Office Box 334427Saint Paul, 55133-3427, US)
MUELLER, Gerald, E. (3M Center, Post Office Box 334427Saint Paul, 55133-3427, US)
HARVEY PENNAZ, Jane, E. (3M Center, Post Office Box 334427Saint Paul, 55133-3427, US)
STARKEN, Lori, A. (3M Center, Post Office Box 334427Saint Paul, 55133-3427, US)
Application Number:
US2013/074037
Publication Date:
June 19, 2014
Filing Date:
December 10, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY (3M Center, Post Office Box 33427Saint Paul, MN, 55133-3427, US)
International Classes:
B65D27/14; B42F7/02; B65D33/16
Foreign References:
US4993624A1991-02-19
EP0078967B11986-12-03
US4323189A1982-04-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JORDAN, Robert, H. et al. (3M Center Office of Intellectual, Property CounselPost Office Box 3342, Saint Paul MN, 55133-3427, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An envelope comprising:

(1) a body comprising a storage cavity and having an opening communicating with such storage cavity;

(2) a flap having a first segment and a second segment, the first segment connected to the body at a first foldable connection and the second segment connected to the first segment at a second foldable connection; and

(3) an adhesive member on the second segment;

wherein the flap is adapted to be configured in:

(i) a closed position in which the opening is substantially covered by the flap and the adhesive member secures the flap in such closed position; and

(ii) a mounting position in which the flap does not cover the opening. 2. The envelope of claim 1 wherein the body comprises two or more panels connected so as to define the storage cavity.

3. The envelope of claim 2 wherein two panels are connected directly. 4. The envelope of claim 2 wherein panels are connected at their edges.

5. The envelope of claim 4 wherein such connections are substantially continuous.

6. The envelope of claim 1 wherein at least a portion of the body is sufficiently transparent or translucent to permit inspection by the unaided eye therethrough to determine the presence of articles in the storage cavity.

7. The envelope of claim 1 wherein the body is sufficiently non-light transmissive so as to prevent reading of the contents of the storage cavity.

8. The envelope of claim 1 wherein at least a portion of the body is writable.

9. The envelope of claim 8 wherein at least a portion of the body can be used as a dry erase surface. 10. The envelope of claim 1 wherein adhesive member is substantially continuous.

1 1. The envelope of claim 1 wherein adhesive member comprises two or more segments.

12. The envelope of claim 1 wherein such first foldable connection is selected from the group consisting of creases and hinges. 13. The envelope of claim 1 wherein such second foldable connection is selected from the group consisting of creases and hinges.

14. The envelope of claim 1 wherein when the envelope is in the open configuration the first foldable connection and the second foldable connection are each in open position and when the envelope is in closed configuration the first foldable connection and the second foldable connection are each in closed position.

15. The envelope of claim 1 wherein the flap has an aperture therein. 16. The envelope of claim 1 wherein when the envelope is in the open configuration the first foldable connection is in open position and the second foldable connection is in closed position and when the envelope is in closed configuration the first foldable connection is in closed position and the second foldable connection is in open position.

Description:
ENVELOPE WITH FLAP FOR CLOSING AND MOUNTING Field

The present invention relates to envelopes with flaps, particularly flaps adapted for dual purpose, i.e., closing the envelope and mounting the envelope.

Background

Envelopes and pouches for storing, inter-office mailing, postal mailing, etc. of papers, photographs, computer media, etc. with a variety of configurations and characteristics have been known. Illustrative examples are disclosed in US Patent Nos. 3,310,225 (Hoblit), 3,856, 198 (Daley), 4,180,168 (Hiersteiner), 4,549,658 (Sfikas), 4,565,317 (Kranz), 5,071,061 (Willis), 5,224,647 (Yanow), 5,779,137 (Coffey), 5,845,772 (Cieplak), 6,402,015 (Collins) and US Patent Appln. Publn. Nos. 2004/0134977 (O'Dwyer et al.) and 2007/0147712 (Ozdeger Donovan et al.)

The need exists for envelopes that provide improved convenience and performance.

Summary

The present invention provides novel envelopes or pockets that offer surprisingly greater utility and convenience than previously known articles.

The inventive articles of the invention are referred to herein as envelopes. It should be understood that the articles, particularly in embodiments having optimized features for certain uses, may also be referred to by other names such as, for instance, pouches, pockets, folders, etc.

Briefly summarizing, an envelope of the invention comprises:

(1) a body comprising a storage cavity and having an opening communicating with such storage cavity;

(2) a flap having a first segment and a second segment, the first segment connected to the body at a first foldable connection and the second segment connected to the first segment at a second foldable connection; and

(3) an adhesive member on the second segment;

wherein the flap is adapted to be configured in:

(i) a closed position in which the opening is substantially covered by the flap and the adhesive member secures the flap in such closed position; and

(ii) a mounting position in which the flap does not cover the opening.

Envelopes of the invention provide surprising, and heretofore unattained, utility and convenience.

Envelopes of the invention can be used with a variety of items or articles, illustrative examples including writing instruments, written documents, sheets or pads of paper, photographs, folios, credit cards, checkbooks, etc. Brief Description of Drawing

The invention is further explained with reference to the drawing wherein:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of envelope of the invention wherein its flap is in intermediate configuration to its closed and mounting positions;

Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment of envelope in Fig. 1 wherein is flap is in its closed position;

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the embodiment of envelope in Fig. 1 wherein its flap is in its mounting position and the envelope is mounted on a vertical support;

Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of envelope of the invention wherein its flap is in intermediate configuration to its closed and mounting positions;

Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the embodiment of envelope in Fig. 4 wherein is flap is in its closed position; and

Fig. 6 is a perspective view of the embodiment of envelope in Fig. 5 wherein its flap is in its mounting position and the envelope is mounted on a vertical support.

These figures are not to scale and are intended to be merely illustrative and not limiting.

Detailed Description of Illustrative Embodiments

Figs 1-3 show An illustrative embodiment of an envelope of the invention is shown in Figs. 1-3 wherein envelope 10 comprises:

(1) a body 12 comprising a storage cavity 14 and having an opening 16 communicating with such storage cavity to permit insertion into, and removal from, of items (not shown);

(2) a flap 18 having a first segment 20 and a second segment 22, the first segment connected to the body at a first foldable connection 24 and the second segment connected to the first segment at a second foldable connection 26; and

(3) an adhesive member 28 on the second segment.

The flap is adapted to be configured in:

(i) a closed position (shown in Fig. 2) in which the opening is substantially covered by the flap, i.e., so as to secure any contents within the storage cavity, and the adhesive member secures the flap in such closed position, i.e., adhering it releasably to the back panel; and

(ii) a mounting position (shown in Fig. 3) in which the flap does not cover the opening. In the mounting position, the adhesive segment 28 exposed so as to be able to be adhered to a vertical support 30, such as a wall, door, cubicle divider, etc.

In typical embodiments, the body comprises two or more main panels, e.g., front and back panels, connected so as to define the storage cavity, for example, two sheets of material bonded at the edges. As used herein, the term back panel refers to the major face or side of the envelope to which the flap is secured when the envelope is closed and the term front panel refers to the opposing major face of side of the envelope and the flap is connected to the front panel at the first foldable connection. In typical use, the front panel is used on which to record addressee information or other information. In Fig. 3, back panel 32 is visible; from this perspective the front panel which is facing vertical support 30 is obscured by the envelope 10. In Fig. 1, a portion of front panel 31 is visible.

Envelopes of the invention may be constructed of a single segment of material suitably shaped and folded into the form described herein, or made of two or more smaller segments that are attached or bonded together to form an envelope of the invention. The manner of attaching or bonding will be dependent in part upon the nature of the materials selected for use, e.g., heat sealing of thermoplastic materials, adhesive bonding, stapling, sewing, etc.

Selection of suitable materials for use in forming envelopes of the invention will be readily made by those skilled in the art, dependent in large part upon desired performance of the resultant envelope, e.g., in terms of durability, water resistance or impermeability, stiffness, weight, etc. Illustrative examples of materials suitable for use in envelopes of the invention include paper, cardboard, polymer films (e.g., polyolefins and polyesters), metal films, and combinations thereof.

As desired, the body may be substantially continuous, have one or more apertures or openings therein, or be open such as a mesh, web, or weave material. Those skilled in the art will be able to readily select suitable materials, dependent in part upon the purposes for which the envelope is intended.

In typical embodiments, such as shown in Figs. 1-6, the two panels are connected directly, i.e., at their edges. If the two panels are made from a single sheet, the edges may be defined by folds in the sheet. Where necessary, the front and rear panels may be attached or bonded together. Referring to Fig. 1 , envelope 10 has substantially rectangular configuration with the front and back panels connected at edges 33 to define the storage cavity 14 while opening 16 permits access to the storage cavity. In some embodiments, edge 35 of the back panel at opening 16 is preferably contoured away from flap 18, or a tab (not shown) extending from edge 35 is provided, to facilitate opening opening 16.

To make envelopes capable of greater capacity, the main panels may be connected by one or more additional, intermediately-located, side panels. In some instances the sides of the envelope may be gusseted.

The connections between the main panels, or main panels and intermediate panels, if any, may be substantially continuous or discontinuous as desired.

In some embodiments, at least a portion of the body is sufficiently transparent or translucent to permit inspection by the unaided eye therethrough to determine the presence of articles in the storage cavity, and in some instances permit inspection of the articles. In other embodiments, such as where more security or privacy is desired, the body is sufficiently non-light transmissive so as to prevent reading of the contents of the storage cavity.

In some embodiments, at least a portion of the body is writable. For instance, at least a portion of the body can be used as a dry erase surface.

Envelopes of the invention comprise an adhesive member on the second segment of the flap. The adhesive member may be a substantially continuous or single body or it may comprise a plurality of segments, as desired. The adhesive member is capable of being releasably bonded to the back side of the body of the envelope, permitting the envelope to be repeatedly opened and sealed closed. The adhesive member is preferably capable, when the flap is arranged in the mounting position, of releasably bonding to a vertical support, e.g., an office, home, or vehicle wall, file cabinet, cupboard, refrigerator, window, door, etc., supporting both the envelope and contents thereof. After removal from the vertical support, the envelope can be sealed shut by reconfiguring the flap back into its closed configuration. The adhesive member is preferably positioned so as to contact the back panel of the envelope when the flap is configured in its closed position without covering the opening or contacting the interior face of the front panel thereby avoiding undesired contact with any items that may be in the storage cavity.

The adhesive member preferably adheres more strongly to the second segment of the flap than to the back side of the envelope or to selected vertical walls and that upon removal preferably does not leave residue on surfaces to which it has been contacted. Suitable reusable or restickable adhesive materials can be readily selected by those skilled in the art from among numerous commercially available and other known materials. Illustrative examples of suitable adhesive materials include silicone adhesive, acrylic adhesives, e.g., as disclosed in PCT Application No. WO 92/1 1332 (Kreckel et al.).

Envelopes of the invention may be fabricated from a single sheet of selected film material or two or more pieces of the same or different selected materials as desired. Figs. 8A-8D show illustrative dimensions for fabricating envelopes of the invention from a single sheet of selected film material.

Envelopes of the invention may be made in a variety of sizes and configurations as desired. For instance, in order to hold several sheets of conventional office paper lying flat, the storage cavity should have width and length dimension of at least 8½ x 1 1 inches for American "letter" size documents, at least 8½ x 14 inches for American "legal" size documents, , at least 1 1 x 17 inches for American "ledger" size documents, and at least 210 x 297 millimeters for A4 documents. An envelope of the invention may be made in so-called "portrait" or "landscape" orientation with the dimension of the opening to the storage cavity and its orientation to the storage cavity selected accordingly. In some instances, to facilitate inserting items into the storage cavity and subsequently removing them therefrom, in addition to configuring the opening as merely an unconnected edge of the front and back panels, a portion of the back panel at the subject edge may be cut away as is visible in Figs. 3 and 4.

The first foldable connection connecting the body to the first segment of the flap is, e.g., selected from the group consisting of creases (e.g., fold or score lines) and hinges. The second foldable connection connecting the second segment of the flap to the first segment of the flap is, e.g., selected from the group consisting of creases (e.g., fold or score lines) and hinges.

Figs. 1-3 show a first embodiment of the invention wherein when the envelope is in the open configuration the first foldable connection and the second foldable connection are each in open position and when the envelope is in closed configuration the first foldable connection and the second foldable connection are each in closed position. Second segment 22 is folded about second foldable connection 26 toward first segment 20, and then flap 18 is folded about first foldable connection 24 toward body 12 to arrange the envelope in closed configuration.

Figs. 4-6 show a second embodiment of the invention wherein when the envelope 1 10 is in the open configuration (as in Fig. 3) to be mounted on a vertical support 30 the first foldable connection 124 is in open position and the second foldable connection 126 is in closed position and when the envelope is in closed configuration (Fig. 5) the first foldable connection 124 is in closed position and the second foldable connection 126 is in open position.

In some embodiments as shown in Figs. 1-3, the flap 18 may have one or more apertures 34 therein to permit hanging the envelope on a hangar, e.g., a peg or nail, (not shown) such as for instances where the weight of the envelope and contents exceeds the strength of adhesion of the adhesive member to the vertical surface.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to certain preferred embodiments, it is to be noted that various changes and modifications are apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications are to be understood as included within the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims unless they depart therefrom.

The complete disclosure of all patents, patent documents, and publications cited herein are incorporated by reference. The foregoing detailed description and examples have been given for clarity of understanding only. No unnecessary limitations are to be understood therefrom. The invention is not limited to the exact details shown and described, for variations obvious to one skilled in the art will be included within the invention defined by the claims.