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Title:
SEALABLE CONTAINER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/126446
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sealable container includes a first layer and a second layer coupled to the first layer to define a cavity therebetween. The second layer is coupled to the first layer at a first side sector, a lower sector, and a second side sector opposite the first side sector such that an opening in fluid communication with the cavity is defined between the first layer and the second layer at an upper sector opposite the lower sector. The second layer includes a flap portion at the upper sector extending beyond an upper edge of the first layer. A first coupling mechanism is coupled to an inner surface of the second layer generally facing the first layer at the upper sector, and a second coupling mechanism is coupled to an outer surface of the second layer generally facing away from the first layer at the upper sector.

Inventors:
WILLIAMS, Robert E. (5301 Horseshoe Lake RoadCollinsville, Illinois, 62234, US)
WILLIAMS, Mark (5301 Horseshoe Lake RoadCollinsville, Illinois, 62234, US)
Application Number:
US2018/066705
Publication Date:
June 27, 2019
Filing Date:
December 20, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
SEV-REND CORPORATION (5301 Horseshoe Lake Road, Collinsville, Illinois, 62234, US)
International Classes:
B65D27/14; B65D27/32; B65D33/16; B65D33/18; B65D75/30
Foreign References:
US20040013322A12004-01-22
US20150225126A12015-08-13
US20090152139A12009-06-18
US4988547A1991-01-29
US4509196A1985-04-02
US20070104395A12007-05-10
US20110235947A12011-09-29
GB389029A1933-03-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KAZMIERSKI, Steven T. et al. (Stinson Leonard Street LLP, 7700 Forsyth Boulevard Suite 110, St. Louis Missouri, 63105-1821, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A sealable container comprising:

a first layer;

a second layer coupled to the first layer to define a cavity therebetween, the second layer coupled to the first layer at a first side sector, a lower sector, and a second side sector opposite the first side sector such that an opening in fluid communication with the cavity is defined between the first layer and the second layer at an upper sector opposite the lower sector, the second layer including a flap portion at the upper sector extending beyond an upper edge of the first layer;

a first coupling mechanism coupled to an inner surface of the second layer generally facing the first layer at the upper sector; and

a second coupling mechanism coupled to an outer surface of the second layer generally facing away from the first layer at the upper sector.

2. The sealable container of claim 1, wherein the upper sector includes a pair of laterally- extending tabs.

3. The sealable container of claim 1, wherein the upper sector includes a pair of laterally- extending tabs, the second layer coupled to the first layer at least partially along a lower edge of the pair of laterally-extending tabs.

4. The sealable container of claim 1, wherein the first side sector includes a first cutout portion between the lower sector and the upper sector, and the second side sector includes a second cutout portion between the lower sector and the upper sector.

5. The sealable container of claim 1, wherein the lower sector has a lower width, and the upper sector has an upper width substantially equal to the lower width.

6. The sealable container of claim 1, wherein the first coupling mechanism has a coupling mechanism height, and the first layer includes another flap portion at the upper sector having a flap height substantially equal to the coupling mechanism height.

7. The sealable container of claim 1, wherein the first coupling mechanism has a first height, and the second coupling mechanism has a second height less than the first height.

8. The sealable container of claim 1, wherein the first coupling mechanism is spaced a first distance from an upper edge of the second layer, and the second coupling mechanism is spaced a second distance greater than the first distance from the upper edge of the second layer.

9. The sealable container of claim 1, wherein the first side sector includes a first tear notch portion, and the second side sector includes a second tear notch portion.

10. A sealable container comprising:

a first layer;

a second layer coupled to the first layer to define a cavity therebetween, the second layer coupled to the first layer at a first side sector, a lower sector, and a second side sector opposite the first side sector such that an opening in fluid communication with the cavity is defined between the first layer and the second layer at an upper sector opposite the lower sector, the second layer including a flap portion at the upper sector extending beyond an upper edge of the first layer; and

a coupling mechanism coupled to one of an inner surface of the second layer generally facing the first layer at the upper sector; and an outer surface of the second layer generally facing away from the first layer at the upper sector.

11. The sealable container of claim 10, further comprising an interference fit.

12. The sealable container of claim 10, wherein the upper sector includes a pair of laterally- extending tabs.

13. The sealable container of claim 10, wherein the upper sector includes a pair of laterally- extending tabs, the second layer coupled to the first layer at least partially along a lower edge of the pair of laterally-extending tabs.

14. The sealable container of claim 10, wherein the first side sector includes a first cutout portion between the lower sector and the upper sector, and the second side sector includes a second cutout portion between the lower sector and the upper sector.

15. The sealable container of claim 10, wherein the lower sector has a lower width, and the upper sector has an upper width substantially equal to the lower width.

16. The sealable container of claim 10, wherein the coupling mechanism has a coupling mechanism height, and the first layer includes another flap portion at the upper sector having a flap height substantially equal to the coupling mechanism height.

17. The sealable container of claim 10, wherein the coupling mechanism is spaced a first distance from an upper edge of the second layer, and the second coupling mechanism is spaced a second distance greater than the first distance from the upper edge of the second layer.

18. The sealable container of claim 10, wherein the first side sector includes a first tear notch portion, and the second side sector includes a second tear notch portion.

19. A method of manufacturing a sealable container, the method comprising:

extending a front layer at a first level and a rear layer at a second level, the rear layer including a flap portion extending beyond an upper edge of the front layer;

coupling the rear layer to the front layer to define a cavity and an opening in fluid communication with the cavity between the front layer and the rear layer, the opening at an upper sector;

coupling a first coupling mechanism to an anterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector; and

coupling a second coupling mechanism to a posterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein extending the front layer and the rear layer comprises folding a panel such that the front layer extends at the first level and the rear layer extends at the second level, the rear layer coupled to the front layer at a lower sector opposite the upper sector.

21. The method of claim 19, wherein coupling the rear layer to the front layer comprises:

sealing one or more lower edges at the upper sector; and

sealing one or more side edges at one or more side sectors.

22. The method of claim 19 further comprising:

removing a first portion to form a first cutout portion at a first side sector and a first laterally- extending tab at the upper sector; and

removing a second portion to form a second cutout portion at a second side sector opposite the first side sector and a second laterally-extending tab opposite the first laterally- extending tab at the upper sector.

23. The method of claim 19, wherein the rear layer is coupled to the front layer such that the front layer includes another flap portion having a flap height, the first coupling mechanism coupled to the anterior surface of the rear layer such that the first coupling mechanism has a coupling mechanism height substantially equal to the flap height.

24. The method of claim 19, wherein the first coupling mechanism is coupled to the anterior surface of the rear layer such that the first coupling mechanism has a first height, and the second coupling mechanism is coupled to the posterior surface of the rear layer such that the second coupling mechanism has a second height less than the first height.

25. The method of claim 19, wherein coupling the first coupling mechanism to the anterior surface comprises spacing the first coupling mechanism a first distance from an upper edge of the rear layer, and coupling the second coupling mechanism to the posterior surface comprises spacing the second coupling mechanism a second distance greater than the first distance from the upper edge of the rear layer.

26. The method of claim 19 further comprising:

identifying a midsection; and

removing one or more portions to form one or more tear notch portions below the midsection.

27. The method of claim 19 further comprising:

removing a first portion to form a first tear notch portion at a first side sector; and removing a second portion to form a second tear notch portion at a second side sector opposite the first side sector.

28. A method of manufacturing a sealable container, the method comprising:

extending a front layer at a first level and a rear layer at a second level, the rear layer including a flap portion extending beyond an upper edge of the front layer;

coupling the rear layer to the front layer to define a cavity and an opening in fluid communication with the cavity between the front layer and the rear layer, the opening at an upper sector;

coupling a coupling mechanism to at least one of an anterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector; and a posterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector.

29. The method of claim 28, wherein extending the front layer and the rear layer comprises folding a panel such that the front layer extends at the first level and the rear layer extends at the second level, the rear layer coupled to the front layer at a lower sector opposite the upper sector.

30. The method of claim 28, wherein coupling the rear layer to the front layer comprises:

sealing one or more lower edges at the upper sector; and

sealing one or more side edges at one or more side sectors.

31. The method of claim 28 further comprising:

removing a first portion to form a first cutout portion at a first side sector and a first laterally- extending tab at the upper sector; and

removing a second portion to form a second cutout portion at a second side sector opposite the first side sector and a second laterally-extending tab opposite the first laterally- extending tab at the upper sector.

32. The method of claim 28, wherein the rear layer is coupled to the front layer such that the front layer includes another flap portion having a flap height, the coupling mechanism coupled to the anterior surface of the rear layer such that the coupling mechanism has a coupling mechanism height substantially equal to the flap height.

33. The method of claim 28 further comprising:

identifying a midsection; and

removing one or more portions to form one or more tear notch portions below the midsection.

34. The method of claim 28 further comprising:

removing a first portion to form a first tear notch portion at a first side sector; and removing a second portion to form a second tear notch portion at a second side sector opposite the first side sector.

Description:
SEALABLE CONTAINER

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/608,042, filed on December 20, 2017, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Containers, such as sacks, pouches, or bags, are generally used to hold or store objects. Containers may be used, for example, to package merchandise for delivery to clients or customers. Some containers include a closing or sealing mechanism that allows the container to be sealed or closed. Some known containers are closed, for example, using twist ties, draw strings, zipper-like self-closing features, adhesive strips, and/or heat seals. At least some known containers, however, are prone to leaking. It can be onerous and/or costly to seal at least some known containers in a leak-proof manner.

SUMMARY

[0003] Examples of the disclosure enable one or more containers to be sealed in a leak- proof, tamper-evident, and user-friendly manner. In one aspect, a sealable container is provided. The sealable container includes a first layer and a second layer coupled to the first layer to define a cavity there between. The second layer is coupled to the first layer at a first side sector, a lower sector, and a second side sector opposite the first side sector such that an opening in fluid communication with the cavity is defined between the first layer and the second layer at an upper sector opposite the lower sector. The second layer includes a flap portion at the upper sector extending beyond an upper edge of the first layer. A first coupling mechanism is coupled to an inner surface of the second layer generally facing the first layer at the upper sector, and a second coupling mechanism is coupled to an outer surface of the second layer generally facing away from the first layer at the upper sector.

[0004] In another aspect, a sealable container is provided. The sealable container includes a first layer and a second layer coupled to the first layer to define a cavity there between. The second layer is coupled to the first layer at a first side sector, a lower sector, and a second side sector opposite the first side sector such that an opening in fluid communication with the cavity is defined between the first layer and the second layer at an upper sector opposite the lower sector. The second layer includes a flap portion at the upper sector extending beyond an upper edge of the first layer. In some embodiments, a coupling mechanism is coupled to an inner surface of the second layer generally facing the first layer at the upper sector. In some embodiments, a coupling mechanism is coupled to an outer surface of the second layer generally facing away from the first layer at the upper sector.

[0005] In another aspect, a method is provided for manufacturing a sealable container. The method includes extending a front layer at a first level and a rear layer at a second level. The rear layer includes a flap portion extending beyond an upper edge of the front layer. The rear layer is coupled to the front layer to define a cavity and an opening in fluid communication with the cavity between the front layer and the rear layer. The opening is at an upper sector. A first coupling mechanism is coupled to an anterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector, and a second coupling mechanism is coupled to a posterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector.

[0006] In another aspect, a method is provided for manufacturing a sealable container. The method includes extending a front layer at a first level and a rear layer at a second level. The rear layer includes a flap portion extending beyond an upper edge of the front layer. The rear layer is coupled to the front layer to define a cavity and an opening in fluid communication with the cavity between the front layer and the rear layer. The opening is at an upper sector. A coupling mechanism is coupled to one of an anterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector or a posterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector.

[0007] In yet another aspect, a method is provided for using a sealable container to contain one or more objects. The method includes using a first coupling mechanism at an upper sector to couple an anterior surface of a rear flap to a posterior surface of a front flap. The front flap and the rear flap include a pair of lateral portions and a pair of tab portions extending laterally from the pair of lateral portions. The rear flap includes an overhang portion extending upwardly beyond an upper edge of the front flap. The pair of tabs are folded medially to couple the anterior surface of the rear flap to itself. The overhang portion is folded downwardly to couple the anterior surface of the rear flap to an anterior surface of the front flap. A second coupling mechanism at the upper sector is used to couple the posterior surface of the rear flap to an anterior surface of the sealable container below the front flap.

[0008] In yet another aspect, a method is provided for using a sealable container to contain one or more objects. The method includes using a coupling mechanism at an upper sector to couple one of an anterior surface of a rear flap to a posterior surface of a front flap or an upper sector to couple the posterior surface of the rear flap to an anterior surface of the sealable container below the front flap. The front flap and the rear flap include a pair of lateral portions and a pair of tab portions extending laterally from the pair of lateral portions. The rear flap includes an overhang portion extending upwardly beyond an upper edge of the front flap. The pair of tabs are folded medially to couple the anterior surface of the rear flap to itself. The overhang portion is folded downwardly to couple the anterior surface of the rear flap to an anterior surface of the front flap.

[0009] This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 includes a front view of an example sealable container.

[0011] FIG. 2 includes a front view of an example layer that may be used with a container, such as the sealable container shown in FIG. 1.

[0012] FIG. 3 includes a front view of another example layer that may be used with a container, such as the sealable container shown in FIG. 1.

[0013] FIG. 4 includes a rear view of the layer shown in FIG. 3.

[0014] FIG. 5 includes a side view of the layers shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

[0015] FIG. 6 includes a flowchart of an example method of manufacturing a container, such as the sealable container shown in FIG. 1.

[0016] FIG. 7 includes a flowchart of an example method of using a container, such as the sealable container shown in FIG. 1.

[0017] FIGs. 8-11 include detailed schematic views of an example sealing system that may be used with a container, such as the sealable container shown in FIG. 1, in various states. [0018] Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the drawings. Although specific features may be shown in some of the drawings and not in others, this is for convenience only. In accordance with the examples described herein, any feature of a drawing may be referenced and/or claimed in combination with any feature of any other drawing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] The present disclosure relates to containers and, more particularly, to a leak- proof sealable container. Examples described herein include one or more panels arranged in multiple layers to define a cavity. Exemplary containers include a panel that includes a flap that has a coupling mechanism on each side of it such that one of the coupling mechanisms (e.g., the inner coupling mechanism) is between the layers. Other exemplary containers include a panel that includes a flap that has a single coupling mechanism on one side of it. An upper sector includes laterally-extending tabs that are foldable to facilitate keeping liquids inside the container. In this manner, the examples described herein enable a user to effectively and/or efficiently seal a container in a leak-proof manner.

[0020] In at least some examples, the container includes a first layer and a second layer coupled to the first layer to define a cavity between the first layer and the second layer. The second layer is coupled to the first layer along the side edges and along the lower edge such that there is an opening at the upper sector (e.g., proximate the upper edge of the first layer and/or second layer). The second layer includes a flap portion at the upper sector that extends beyond an upper edge of the first layer. A first coupling mechanism is coupled to an inner surface of the second layer, and a second coupling mechanism is coupled to an outer surface of the second layer. While the examples described herein are described using a rectangular-shaped container, one of ordinary skill in the art would understand and appreciate that the container may have any shape that enables a user to seal the container as described herein.

[0021] FIG. 1 shows an example sealable pouch, bag, and/or container 100. The container 100 includes a first layer 110 and a second layer 120 coupled to the first layer 110.

FIG. 2 shows a front view of the first layer 110. FIG. 3 shows a front view of the second layer 120. FIG. 4 shows a rear view of the second layer 120. FIG. 5 includes a side view of the first layer 110 and the second layer 120. The first layer 110 and/or second layer 120 may be fabricated, for example, from one or more liquid-impermeable, odor-neutralizing, and/or antibacterial materials. For example, the first layer 110 and/or second layer 120 may include a plastic film material. In this manner, the first layer 110 and/or second layer 120 may be used to prevent or restrict at least some liquid (e.g., water) from passing through the first layer 110 and/or second layer 120. Additionally or alternatively, at least a portion of the first layer 110 and/or second layer 120 may be fabricated from a breathable material that allows at least some gas (e.g., air) to pass through the first layer 110 and/or second layer 120.

[0022] The second layer 120 may be coupled to the first layer 110 to define a cavity between the first layer 110 and the second layer 120. One or more objects may be contained in the cavity between the first layer 110 and the second layer 120. The second layer 120 may be coupled to the first layer 110, for example, at a first side sector 122, a lower sector 124, and a second side sector 126 opposite the first side sector such that an opening in fluid communication with the cavity is defined between the first layer 110 and the second layer 120 at an upper sector 128 opposite the lower sector 124. In some examples, the second layer 120 is coupled to the first layer 110 along a right edge 132 of the first layer 110 and/or second layer 120, along a lower edge 134 of the first layer 110 and/or second layer 120, and/or along a left edge 136 of the first layer 110 and/or second layer 120 while an upper edge 138 of the first layer 110 is free from an upper edge 139 of the second layer 120. The second layer 120 may be coupled to the first layer 110 using one or more side seals 140, for example. Alternatively, the second layer 120 may be coupled to the first layer 110 using any closing or sealing mechanism that enables the container 100 to be sealed as described herein.

[0023] The first layer 110 includes a first flap portion 142 at the upper sector 128, and the second layer 120 includes a second flap portion 144 at the upper sector 128. The first flap portion 142 is free from the second layer 120 and/or the second flap portion 144 is free from the first layer 110 along the right edge 132, left edge 136, and/or upper edge 138. In some examples, the first flap portion 142 extends vertically a first height 146 from an upper edge 147 of the side seal 140, and the second flap portion 144 extends vertically a second height 148 greater than the first height 146 from the upper edge 147 of the side seal 140. That is, the second flap portion 144 may extend beyond an upper edge 138 of the first layer 110 (e.g., first flap portion 142). In some examples, the second height 148 is approximately twice the first height 146. For example, the first height 146 may be approximately 0.25-1.25 inches (in.), and the second height 148 may be approximately 0.50-2.50 in. In one example, the first height 146 is 1.0 in., and second height 148 is 2.0 in. Alternatively, the first flap portion 142 and/or second flap portion 144 may have any height that enables the container 100 to be sealed as described herein.

[0024] A first coupling mechanism 150 is coupled to an anterior or inner surface of the second layer 120 at the upper sector 128, and a second coupling mechanism 152 is coupled to a posterior or outer surface of the second layer 120 at the upper sector 128. The inner surface of the second layer 120 faces forward, generally toward the first layer 110, and the outer surface of the second layer 120 faces rearward, generally away from the first layer 110. In some examples, the first coupling mechanism 150 and/or second coupling mechanism 152 extend horizontally substantially across a width 154 of the container 100 at the upper sector 128 (an "upper width").

[0025] In some examples, the first coupling mechanism 150 extends vertically a first height 156 from the upper edge 147 of the side seal 140, and the second coupling mechanism 152 extends vertically a second height 158 less than the first height 156 from the upper edge 147 of the side seal 140. That is, the second coupling mechanism 152 may be smaller in area than the first coupling mechanism 150. In some examples, the first height 156 is substantially similar or equal to the second height 148 (i.e., the height of the second flap portion 144), and/or the second height 158 is substantially similar or equal to the first height 146 (i.e., the height of the first flap portion 142). For example, the first height 156 may be approximately 0.50-2.50 in., and the second height 158 may be approximately 0.25-1.25 in. In one example, the first height 156 is 2.0 in., and the second height 158 is 1.0 in. Alternatively, the first coupling mechanism 150 and/or second coupling mechanism 152 may have any height that enables the container 100 to be sealed as described herein. For example, the first coupling mechanism 150 may be spaced a first distance from the upper edge 139 of the second layer 120 (e.g., the first height 156 may be less than the second height 148), and/or the second coupling mechanism 152 may be spaced a second distance greater than the first distance from the upper edge 139 of the second layer 120 (e.g., the second height 158 may be less than the first height 146).

[0026] As shown in FIG. 5, the first coupling mechanism 150 includes one of more first adhesive strips coupled to an anterior surface of the second flap portion 144, and the second coupling mechanism 152 includes one or more second adhesive strips coupled to a posterior surface of the second flap portion 144. In some examples, the first coupling mechanism 150 can be an elongated interference fit (also known as a friction fit or press fit), which enables to container 100 to be sealed when the interference fit is pressed together. The first coupling mechanism 150 extends between the first layer 110 and second layer 120. In this manner, the container 100 may be at least partially closed or sealed using the first coupling mechanism 150. In some examples, the first coupling mechanism 150 and/or second coupling mechanism 152 include one or more release liners 159 (shown in FIG. 5) extended across the first adhesive strip and/or second adhesive strip, respectively. The release liners 159 are detachably coupled to the first adhesive strip and/or second adhesive strip.

[0027] The container 100 includes one or more tabs 160 at the upper sector 128. The tabs 160 may extend laterally outward from a core section 162 between the tabs 160 at the first side sector 122 and/or second side sector 126. The tabs 160 may extend laterally outward from a respective lateral portion of the core section 162, for example, a width 164 of approximately 0.50-1.00 in. Alternatively, one or more tabs 160 may extend laterally outward from the core section 162 any width that enables the container 100 to be sealed as described herein.

[0028] One or more side seals 140 may extend at least partially along a lower edge 166 of the tabs 160. That is, the second layer 120 may be coupled to the first layer 110 at least partially along the lower edge 166. In some examples, the side seals 140 extend vertically a height 168 of approximately 0.125-0.375 in. Alternatively, the side seals 140 may have any height at the lower edge 166 of the tabs 160 that enables the container 100 to be sealed as described herein.

[0029] The container 100 includes a midsection 170 between the lower sector 124 and the upper sector 128. The midsection 170 includes a first cutout portion 172 at the first side sector 122 and a second cutout portion 174 at the second side sector 126. The first cutout portion 172 and/or second cutout portion 174 may define one or more zones 176 between the tabs 160 at the upper sector 128 and a "body" of the container 100 at the lower sector 124. One or more portions of the first layer 110 and/or a second layer 120 may be removed from the zones 176, for example, to form the first cutout portion 172 and/or second cutout portion 174 at the midsection 170 and/or one or more tabs 160 at the upper sector 128. In this manner, the container 100 may extend horizontally a middle width 178 at the midsection 170 that is less than the upper width 154. The middle width 178 may also be less than a width 180 of the container 100 at the lower sector 124 (a "lower width"). In some examples, the lower width 180 is substantially similar or equal to the upper width 154.

[0030] One or more side seals 140 at the first cutout portion 172 and/or second cutout portion 174 may have a J-shaped configuration including a linear segment and a curved segment. In some examples, the linear segment extends vertically a height 182 greater than the second height 148 (i.e., the height of the second flap portion 144). For example, the height 182 may be approximately 0.75-3.00 in. Alternatively, the linear segment of the side seals 140 at the first cutout portion 172 and/or second cutout portion 174 may have any height that enables the container 100 to be sealed as described herein.

[0031] In some examples, the container 100 includes a first tear notch portion 192 at the first side sector 122 and a second tear notch portion 194 at the second side sector 126. The first tear notch portion 192 and/or second tear notch portion 194 may have one or more lines of weakness or notches 196 defined therein. One or more portions of the first layer 110 and/or a second layer 120 may be removed from the notches 196, for example, to form the first tear notch portion 192 and/or second tear notch portion 194.

[0032] FIG. 6 shows operations of a method 200 of manufacturing the container 100.

At operation 210, a front layer (e.g., first layer 110) is extended at a first level, and a rear layer (e.g., second layer 120) is extended at a second level. The front layer and/or rear layer are extended such that a rear flap (e.g., second flap portion 144) extends beyond an upper edge of the front layer (e.g., upper edge 138). In some examples, a single panel is folded such that one section of the sheet extends at the first level (e.g., the front layer) and another section of the sheet extends at the second level (e.g., the rear layer). The single panel may be folded, for example, so that the rear layer is coupled to the front layer along a lower edge at a lower sector (e.g., lower sector 124). That is, the lower edge of the front layer and rear layer may be a fold edge.

Alternatively, one sheet extending at the first level (e.g., the front layer) may be coupled to another sheet extending at a second level (e.g., the rear layer).

[0033] One or more portions (e.g., zones 176) may be removed from the front layer and/or rear layer to form a first cutout portion (e.g., first cutout portion 172) at a first side sector (e.g., first side sector 122) and a first laterally-extending tab (e.g., tab 160) at an upper sector (e.g., upper sector 128), and/or to form a second cutout portion (e.g., second cutout portion 174) at a second side sector opposite the first side sector (e.g., second side sector 126) and a second laterally- extending tab opposite the first laterally-extending tab (e.g., tab 160) at the upper sector. The portions may be cut, for example, using a die cutting press.

[0034] At operation 220, the rear layer is coupled to the front layer to define a cavity and an opening in fluid communication with the cavity between the front layer and the rear layer. The rear layer may be coupled to the front layer, for example, using a heat seal press. In some examples, the front layer and/or rear layer may be sealed along one or more side edges (e.g., right edge 132, left edge 136), including at a midsection (e.g., midsection 170), and/or along one or more lower edges at the upper sector (e.g., lower edge 166) such that the opening is defined at the upper sector. In some examples, the rear layer is coupled to the front layer such that the front layer includes another flap portion (e.g., first flap portion 142). The flap portion included in the front layer may have a flap height (e.g., first height 146), for example, that is less than a flap height of the flap portion included in the rear layer (e.g., second height 148).

[0035] A first coupling mechanism (e.g., first coupling mechanism 150) is coupled to an anterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector at operation 230. The first coupling mechanism may be coupled to the anterior surface of the rear layer, for example, such that the first coupling mechanism has a coupling mechanism height (e.g., first height 156) that is substantially equal to the flap height of the front layer. In some examples, the first coupling mechanism is spaced a first distance from an upper edge of the rear layer (e.g., upper edge 139).

[0036] A second coupling mechanism (e.g., second coupling mechanism 152) to a posterior surface of the rear layer at the upper sector at operation 240. The second coupling mechanism may be coupled to the posterior surface of the rear layer, for example, such that the second coupling mechanism has a coupling mechanism height (e.g., second height 158) that is less than that of the first coupling mechanism. In some examples, the second coupling mechanism is spaced a second distance from the upper edge of the rear layer that is greater than the first distance.

[0037] In some examples, the midsection is identified, and one or more portions of the front layer and/or rear layer (e.g., notches 196) are removed to form one or more tear notch portions (e.g., first tear notch portion 192, second tear notch portion 194) below the midsection. For example, a first portion may be removed to form a first tear notch portion at the first side sector, and/or a second portion may be removed to form a second tear notch portion at the second side sector.

[0038] FIG. 7 shows operations of a method 300 of using the container 100. FIGs. 8-11 show the container 100 after various operations of the method 300. At operation 310, a first coupling mechanism (e.g., first coupling mechanism 150) at an upper sector (e.g., upper sector 128) is used to couple an anterior surface of a rear flap (e.g., second flap portion 144) to a posterior surface of a front flap (e.g., first flap portion 142). In some examples, one or more release liners (e.g., release liner 159) are detached or uncoupled from the first coupling mechanism to expose the first coupling mechanism for coupling the anterior surface of the rear flap to the posterior surface of the front flap. FIG. 8 shows the container 100 after operation 310.

[0039] At operation 320, one or more tab portions of the rear flap and/or the front flap (e.g., tab 160) are folded inwardly (e.g., in a medial direction) to couple the anterior surface of the rear flap and/or front flap to itself (i.e., one area of the anterior surface is coupled to another area of the anterior surface). In some examples, a right tab portion extending rightward from a right lateral portion (e.g., at the core section 162) is folded in a leftward direction so that its anterior surface is re-oriented to face the anterior surface of the right lateral portion, and/or a left tab portion extending leftward from a left lateral portion (e.g., at the core section 162) is folded in a rightward direction so that its anterior surface is re-oriented to face the anterior surface of the left lateral portion. The tab portions may be securely coupled or secured to the lateral portions, for example, using the first coupling mechanism.

[0040] At operation 330, an overhang portion of the rear flap (e.g., a portion of the rear flap extending upwardly beyond the upper edge 138 of the front flap) is folded downwardly over the top (e.g., upper edge 138) of the front flap to couple the anterior surface of the rear flap to an anterior surface of the front flap. In some examples, the overhang portion is folded in a downward direction so that its anterior surface is re-oriented to face the anterior surface of the front flap. The overhang portion may be securely coupled or secured to the front flap, for example, using the first coupling mechanism. FIG. 9 shows the container 100 after operation 330.

[0041] At operation 340, a second coupling mechanism (e.g., second coupling mechanism 152) at the upper sector is used to couple the posterior surface of the rear flap to an anterior surface of the container 100 below the front flap. For example, the rear flap may be coupled to one or more cutout portions (e.g., first cutout portion 172, second cutout portion 174) at the midsection (e.g., midsection 170). In some examples, one or more release liners (e.g., release liner 159) are detached or uncoupled from the second coupling mechanism to expose the second coupling mechanism for coupling the posterior surface of the rear flap to the anterior surface of the cutout portions. FIG. 11 shows the container 100 after operation 340.

[0042] In some examples, the second coupling mechanism is spaced from the upper edge of the rear layer (e.g., upper edge 139) such that the posterior surface of the overhang portion is free from the second coupling mechanism. That is, the second coupling mechanism may have a height (e.g., second height 158) that is substantially similar to, equal to, or less than a height of the front flap (e.g., first height 146), and/or have an elevation (i.e., a height from the lower edge of the front layer and/or rear layer) that is substantially similar to, equal to, or less than an elevation of the front flap. In this manner, the second coupling mechanism may be desirably positioned by making successive folds or rolling the overhang portion in a downward direction. For example, after the overhang portion is brought over the front flap at operation 330, the second coupling mechanism may face rearward at an upper elevation of the container 100. FIG. 9 shows the container 100 after one fold of the overhang portion. On the next (e.g., second) fold of the overhang portion, the second coupling mechanism may be brought over the top and re-oriented to face forward at a new upper elevation of the container 100. FIG. 10 shows the container 100 after two folds of the overhang portion. And, on the next (e.g., third) fold of the overhang portion, the second coupling mechanism may be tucked in under the fold and re oriented to face the anterior surface of the cutout portions to couple the rear flap to the cutout portions. FIG. 11 shows the container 100 after three folds of the overhang portion.

[0043] In at least some examples, the container includes a first layer and a second layer coupled to the first layer to define a cavity between the first layer and the second layer. The second layer is coupled to the first layer along the side edges and along the lower edge such that there is an opening at the upper sector (e.g., proximate the upper edge of the first layer and/or second layer). The second layer includes a flap portion at the upper sector that extends beyond an upper edge of the first layer. In some embodiments, a coupling mechanism is coupled to an inner surface of the second layer. In other embodiments, a coupling mechanism is coupled to an outer surface of the second layer. While the examples described herein are described using a rectangular- shaped container, one of ordinary skill in the art would understand and appreciate that the container may have any shape that enables a user to seal the container as described herein.

[0044] As described herein, the first layer and/or second layer may be fabricated, for example, from one or more liquid-impermeable, odor-neutralizing, and/or antibacterial materials. For example, the first layer and/or second layer may include a plastic film material. In this manner, the first layer and/or second layer may be used to prevent or restrict at least some liquid (e.g., water) from passing through the first layer and/or second layer. Additionally or alternatively, at least a portion of the first layer and/or second layer may be fabricated from a breathable material that allows at least some gas (e.g., air) to pass through the first layer and/or second layer.

[0045] As described herein, the second layer may be coupled to the first layer to define a cavity between the first layer and the second layer. One or more objects may be contained in the cavity between the first layer and the second layer. The second layer may be coupled to the first layer, for example, at a first side sector, a lower sector, and a second side sector opposite the first side sector such that an opening in fluid communication with the cavity is defined between the first layer and the second layer at an upper sector opposite the lower sector. In some examples, the second layer is coupled to the first layer along a right edge of the first layer and/or second layer, along a lower edge of the first layer and/or second layer, and/or along a left edge of the first layer and/or second layer while an upper edge of the first layer is free from an upper edge of the second layer. The second layer may be coupled to the first layer using one or more side seals, for example. Alternatively, the second layer may be coupled to the first layer using any closing or sealing mechanism that enables the container to be sealed as described herein.

[0046] As described herein, the first layer includes a first flap portion at the upper sector, and the second layer includes a second flap portion at the upper sector. The first flap portion is free from the second layer and/or the second flap portion is free from the first layer along the right edge, left edge, and/or upper edge. In some examples, the first flap portion extends vertically a first height from an upper edge of the side seal, and the second flap portion extends vertically a second height greater than the first height from the upper edge of the side seal. That is, the second flap portion may extend beyond an upper edge of the first layer (e.g., first flap portion). In some examples, the second height is approximately twice the first height. For example, the first height may be approximately 0.25-1.25 inches (in.), and the second height may be approximately 0.50-2.50 in. In one example, the first height is 1.0 in., and second height is 2.0 in. Alternatively, the first flap portion and/or second flap portion may have any height that enables the container to be sealed as described herein.

[0047] Some example containers include a coupling mechanism 150 is coupled to an anterior or inner surface of the second layer at the upper sector. Some example containers include a coupling mechanism coupled to a posterior or outer surface of the second layer at the upper sector. The inner surface of the second layer faces forward, generally toward the first layer, and the outer surface of the second layer faces rearward, generally away from the first layer. In some examples, the coupling mechanism extends horizontally substantially across a width of the container at the upper sector (an "upper width"). Some example containers include an elongated interference fit (also known as a friction fit or press fit), which enables to container 100 to be sealed when the interference fit is pressed together.

[0048] In some example containers, the coupling mechanism extends vertically a first height from the upper edge of the side seal. In some example containers, the coupling mechanism extends vertically a second height less than the first height from the upper edge of the side seal. Alternatively, the coupling mechanism may have any height that enables the container to be sealed as described herein. For example, the coupling mechanism may be spaced a first distance from the upper edge of the second layer (e.g., the first height may be less than the second height), and/or the coupling mechanism may be spaced a second distance greater than the first distance from the upper edge of the second layer (e.g., the second height may be less than the first height). In some example containers, the coupling mechanism can be combined with an elongated interference fit (also known as a friction fit or press fit), which enables to container 100 to be sealed when the interference fit is pressed together, and further sealed as described herein.

[0049] The coupling mechanism includes one of more adhesive strips coupled to an anterior surface of the second flap portion. Alternatively, the coupling mechanism includes one or more adhesive strips coupled to a posterior surface of the second flap portion. The coupling mechanism extends between the first layer and second layer. In this manner, the container may be at least partially closed or sealed using the coupling mechanism. In some example containers, the coupling mechanism can be combined with an elongated interference fit (also known as a friction fit or press fit), which enables to container 100 to be sealed when the interference fit is pressed together. In some examples, the coupling mechanism includes one or more release liners extended across the adhesive strip. The release liners are detachably coupled to the adhesive strip.

[0050] As described herein, the container includes one or more tabs at the upper sector. The tabs may extend laterally outward from a core section between the tabs at the first side sector and/or second side sector. The tabs may extend laterally outward from a respective lateral portion of the core section for any width that enables the container to be sealed as described herein.

[0051] As described herein, one or more side seals may extend at least partially along a lower edge of the tabs. That is, the second layer may be coupled to the first layer at least partially along the lower edge. The side seals may have any height at the lower edge of the tabs that enables the container to be sealed as described herein.

[0052] As described herein, the container includes a midsection between the lower sector and the upper sector. The midsection includes a first cutout portion at the first side sector and a second cutout portion at the second side sector. The first cutout portion and/or second cutout portion may define one or more zones between the tabs at the upper sector and a "body" of the container at the lower sector. One or more portions of the first layer and/or a second layer may be removed from the zones, for example, to form the first cutout portion and/or second cutout portion at the midsection and/or one or more tabs at the upper sector. In this manner, the container may extend horizontally a middle width at the midsection that is less than the upper width. The middle width may also be less than a width of the container at the lower sector (a "lower width"). In some examples, the lower width is substantially similar or equal to the upper width.

[0053] As described herein, one or more side seals at the first cutout portion and/or second cutout portion may have a J-shaped configuration including a linear segment and a curved segment. In some examples, the linear segment extends vertically a height greater than the second height (i.e., the height of the second flap portion). Alternatively, the linear segment of the side seals at the first cutout portion and/or second cutout portion may have any height that enables the container to be sealed as described herein.

[0054] As described herein, in some examples, the container includes a first tear notch portion at the first side sector and a second tear notch portion at the second side sector. The first tear notch portion and/or second tear notch portion may have one or more lines of weakness or notches defined therein. One or more portions of the first layer and/or a second layer may be removed from the notches, for example, to form the first tear notch portion and/or second tear notch portion.

[0055] Example containers are described herein and illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The examples described herein provide a container that is sealable in a leak-proof, tamper-evident, and user-friendly manner. The cavity may be accessed, for example, by tearing the container 100 (e.g., at the notches 196). This written description uses examples to disclose aspects of the disclosure and also to enable a person skilled in the art to practice the aspects, including making or using the above-described systems and executing or performing the above- described methods. For example, the examples described herein include a sealable closure including a panel or flap having an adhesive on both sides of the flap. Additionally, the examples described herein include a container with cutouts forming tabs that do not extend wider than the rest of the container and tear notches below the cutouts.

[0056] Having described aspects of the disclosure in terms of various examples with their associated operations, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the disclosure as defined in the appended claims. That is, aspects of the disclosure are not limited to the specific examples described herein, and all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. For example, the examples described herein may be implemented and utilized in connection with many other applications such as, but not limited to, sacks, pouches, and/or bags.

[0057] Components of the systems and/or operations of the methods described herein may be utilized independently and separately from other components and/or operations described herein. Moreover, the methods described herein may include additional or fewer operations than those disclosed, and the order of execution or performance of the operations described herein is not essential unless otherwise specified. That is, the operations may be executed or performed in any order, unless otherwise specified, and it is contemplated that executing or performing a particular operation before, contemporaneously with, or after another operation is within the scope of the disclosure. Although specific features of various examples of the disclosure may be shown in some drawings and not in others, this is for convenience only. In accordance with the principles of the disclosure, any feature of a drawing may be referenced and/or claimed in combination with any feature of any other drawing.

[0058] When introducing elements of the disclosure or the examples thereof, the articles“a,”“an,”“the,” and“said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. References to an“embodiment” or an“example” of the present disclosure are not intended to be interpreted as excluding the existence of additional embodiments or examples that also incorporate the recited features. The terms“comprising,”“including,” and“having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be elements other than the listed elements. The phrase“one or more of the following: A, B, and C” means“at least one of A and/or at least one of B and/or at least one of C.” [0059] The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal language of the claims.