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Title:
TAMPER-EVIDENT RECLOSABLE PACKAGES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/070975
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention is directed to packages having a peelable/resealable tamper-evident label adhesively sealed to the portion of packaging body with a line of weakness. The peelable/resealable tamper-evident label comprises an unsealed pull tab and a plurality of adjacent tear slits positioned at or near the periphery of the peelable/resealable tamper-evident label. The tear slits are slanted towards the unsealed pull tab. The packages provide evidence of tampering when one Improperly attempts to open the package by removing the label at a corner or a side of the label. When the label is lifted anywhere other than the unsealed pull tab, it will tear at one or more tear slits which indicates that the label has been tampered with.

Inventors:
CALEMAN, Reinaldo (1591 Kingswood Drive, Neenah, WI, 54956, US)
Application Number:
US2016/056221
Publication Date:
April 19, 2018
Filing Date:
October 10, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BEMIS COMPANY, INC. (One Neenah Center, 4th Floor134 E. Wisconsin Avenu, Neenah WI, 54956, US)
International Classes:
B65D5/43; B32B7/06; B32B7/14; B65B61/18; B65D27/30; B65D33/34; B65D75/52
Foreign References:
US20070275133A12007-11-29
US20100002963A12010-01-07
US20100018974A12010-01-28
US20140000219A12014-01-02
US20080156861A12008-07-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HALL, Tom, J. (Bemis Company, Inc.Office of Intellectual Property Counsel,PO Box 66, Neenah WI, 54957, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A package comprising:

a package body having a top portion, a bottom portion and side portions connecting the bottom portion to the top portion:

a portion of the package body having a tine of weakness therein;

a peeiable/reseaiable tamper-evident labei adhesively sealed to the portion of the package body having the line of weakness;

wherein the labei comprises an unsealed pul! tab and a plurality of adjacent tear slits positioned at or near the periphery of the label, wherein the tear slits are slanted towards the unsealed pu!i tab, and

upon peeling the label with the pull tab, the label can be removed in its entirety with the tear slits intact on the label.

2. A package of the claim 1 , wherein the top portion of the package body comprises a lidding film and the bottom portion and side portions of the package body comprise a thermoformed tray.

3. A package of the ciaim 1 , wherein the package is configured as an over-wrap.

4. A package of the claim 1 , wherein the package is configured as a pouch.

5. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein upon lifting or pulling the Iabel without the use of the unsealed pull tab, a portion of the label is torn away without the label being removed in its entirety with the tear slits intact on the Iabel.

6. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein each tear slit is separated from an adjacent tear slit by a distance within a range from 0.5 mm to 50 mm.

7. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein each tear slit is separated from an adjacent tear s!it by a distance within a range from 5 mm to 10 mm.

8. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein each tear slit has a lengih within a range from 0.5 mm to 50 mm.

9. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein each tear slit has a length within a range from 1 mm to 10 mm.

10. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein each tear slit has a length within a range from 1 mm to 5 mm.

11. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the label comprises a multilayer film.

12. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the label encompasses an area greater than the area defined by the portion of the package portion having the line of weakness.

13. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the Sine of weakness comprises a continuous perforation extending through the entire thickness of the package body.

14. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein a majority of the tear slits are slanted towards the unsealed pull tab.

15. A package of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the tear slits are substantially straight.

Description:
TAMPER-EVIDENT REC LOS ABLE PACKAGES

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to primary packaging, and in particular to packages having a tamper-evident pee!abie/resealab!e label, The following description of the background and embodiments of the invention thereafter is provided to aid in understanding the invention, but is not admitted to describe or constitute prior art to the invention. The contents of the articles, patents, and patent applications, and all other documents and electronically available information mentioned or cited in this application, are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety to the same extent as if each individual publication was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference, including any references cited in the articles, patents, patent applications and documents cited herein, except to the extent they may directly contradict the present disclosure. Applicant reserves the right to physically incorporate into this application any and all materials and information from any such articles, patents, patent applications, or other documents The use of labels for accessing and/or repeatedly accessing the contents of a package are known. For example, US Patent No. 4,879,693 (Forman) discloses a reseaiable container with a tearable face opened and resealed by a label. The label includes multiple layers and, for tamper evidence, requires that an end-user remove a layer covering or overlaying a pull fab in order to access a label to open the package. Other forms tamper-evidence have been integrated into the packaging films. For example, US Patent 7,681 ,732 {Moehienbrack et at.) discloses a laminated lidstock including a substrate film, a support film, a pressure sensitive adhesive disposed between the substrate and support films, a first die cut in the substrate film, a second die cut in the support film, a pull tab and a tamper evidence device. To open the package, the tamper evidence device, i.e., a first end portion of the support fiim must be removed from the substrate film in order to access the pull tab which then can be used to peel back the support fiim. The tamper evidence is indicated when printed indicia is revealed upon removal of the end portion of the support fiim from the substrate film. The package requires printing indicia in registration onto the surface of the substrate film. This package does not include a Eabei.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Embodiments of the present invention are directed to packages comprising a package body having a top portion, a bottom portion and side portions connecting the bottom portion to the top portion; and a line of weakness in a portion of the package body. The packages include a peeiabie/resealable tamper-evident label adhesively sealed to the portion of packaging body having the Sine of weakness. The peeiabie/resealable tamper-evident label comprises an unsealed put! tab and a plurality of adjacent tear slits positioned at or near the periphery of the peeiabie/resealable tamper-evident label, it should be understood that the tear slits are positioned at the periphery of the label where the Sabei is not intended to be properly removed, i.e., anywhere other than the unsealed pull tab. The plurality of adjacent tear slits should be slanted towards the unsealed pull tab. Upon peeling the labei with the pull tab, the label can be removed in its entirety with the tear slits intact on the label. The packages provide a means for indicating if the peeiabie/resealable tamper- evident label have been tampered with. The orientation of the tear slits, i.e., slanted towards the unsealed pull tab, Indicate whether someone has attempted to improperly open the package. In some embodiments, a majority of the tear sifts are sianted towards the unsealed pull tab. in other embodiments, the tear slits are substantially straight. For example, when the peeiabie/resealable tamper-evident label is lifted or pulled without the use of the unsealed pu!l tab, the label becomes self-destructive such that only a portion of the label will be torn away from the package without the label being removed in its entirety. But, when the unsealed pull tab is used as intended, the shape and orientation of the tear slits permit the peeiable/reseaiable tamper-evident label to be removed in its entirety thereby opening the package, it should be understood that removal of the label in its entirety may include removing most of the label except for a portion of the label opposite the unsealed pull tab which may be affixed to the package. When the peeiable/reseaiable tamper-evident label is removed in this manner, an exposed section of pressure sensitive adhesive on the face of the label may then be used to reclose the package.

The packages may include a monolayer film or a multilayer film for the package body depending upon the requirements of a particular packaging application. Film layers may include, but are not limited to oxygen barrier layers, moisture barrier layers, chemical barrier layers, abuse layers, tie or adhesive layers, bulk layers, and odor and oxygen scavenging layers, it is contemplated that the packages can be formed from many different materials such as, but not limited to, thermoplastics, papers, non-woven materials, metal foils and combinations thereof. In some preferred embodiments, the packages include oxygen barrier film and have an oxygen transmission rate (O 2 TR) value of less than or equal to 10 cm 3 /100in 2 / 24 hours at 1 atmosphere, 23 °C and 0% RH.

The peeiable/reseaiable tamper-evident label can be formed from any thermoplastic material including, but not limited to polyoiefin polymers such as polyethylene, ethylene copolymers and polypropylene; polyamide, polyethylene terephtha!ates and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the label may include an oxygen and/or moisture barrier material The labei utilizes an exposed area of pressure sensitive adhesive to peelab!y reseal to the package body. In some embodiments, the peeiable/reseaSabie tamper-evident label comprises at least a pattern-applied coating of pressure sensitive adhesive or a co-extensive Iayer of pressure sensitive adhesive. In some embodiments, the peelable/resealabie tamper-evident label comprises a iayer of pressure sensitive adhesive and an oxygen barrier layer. In other embodiments, the peelable/resealabie tamper-evident !abei includes a layer of pressure sensitive adhesive and an abuse iayer. it is further contemplated that the line of weakness in the package body and the peelable/reseaiabSe tamper-evident iabel can be combined in various packaging configurations, including but not limited to bags, pouches, stand-up pouches, quad pouches, over-wraps, lidding film and rigid or semi-rigid ihermoformed trays, vacuum packages, vacuum skin packaging and the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in combination with the appended drawings, in which;

FIG, 1 illustrates a schematic view of one embodiment of a package in a "closed state". FIG. 2 illustrates a schematic top view of one embodiment of the package depicted in FIG. 1 . FIG. 3 illustrates a schematic view of one embodiment of the package depicted in FIG. 1 in an "open state". FIG. 4 illustrates a schematic view of another embodiment of a package in a "closed state". FIG. 5 illustrates a schematic view of one embodiment of a Iabel for use with a package. FfG. 6 illustrates a schematic view of the embodiment of a label in FIG. 5 in a "self-destructive state". FIG. 7a through 7d illustrate various label designs not of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The present inventions now wit! be described more fuliy hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which some, but not all embodiments of the inventions are shown. Indeed, these inventions may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will satisfy applicable legal requirements. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout One embodiment of the package 10a is illustrated in FIG. 1. Package 10a includes a package body 11a having a top portion 12a, a bottom portion 13a and side portions 14a connecting the bottom portion to the top portion. In this embodiment, the top portion 12a includes a lidding film 20, while the combined bottom portion 13a (not shown) and side portions 14a are in the form of a tray 30. Tray 30 may be of any shape desired, such as, for example, rectangular, square, and circular or polygon depending on both functional and aesthetic requirements. St will be appreciated that tray 30 is thermoformed to any depth as desired depending upon type and amount of food or non-food product to be packaged. St should also be appreciated that tray 30 may be configured to include two or more recessed areas (not shown) depending again on both functional and aesthetic requirements of a particular packaging application. In some preferred embodiments, tray 30 includes a sealing flange 31 extending around the periphery of a recessed cavity 32 to facilitate the sealing of a lidding film 20, The package 10a also comprises a line of weakness 15 in a portion of the package body 11a. As is illustrated in this FIG. 1, package 10a is shown in the "closed state" with the portion of the package body 11a having the line weakness 15, intact, in this embodiment, the Sine of weakness 15 is a continuous perforation extending through the entire thickness of lidding fiim 20. in other embodiments, the perforations may not extend through the entire thickness of the lidding film 20. In other embodiments, the line of weakness 15 may include a series of intermittent perforations extending through the entire thickness and/or through less than the entire thickness of the lidding fiim, FIG, 2 is a top-down view of package 10a. In this embodiment, the Sine of weakness 15 has a rectangular shape. In other embodiments, line of weakness 15 may have any shape or pattern as desired including, but not limited to "V"~shaped, a U"~shaped, rectangular-shaped, square-shaped, circular-shaped and ovat-shaped patterns, in some embodiments, when the peeSabte/reseaSabSe tamper-evident label SO is peeled away from the package, the portion of the package body 11a having the line weakness 15 may be completely removed from the package, in other embodiments, the portion of the package body 11a having the tine weakness 15 may fold backwards and remain attached to the package when the peelab!e/reseatable tamper-evident label 50 is peeled away from the package, it should be understood that the term "Sine of weakness" refers to a line of perforations, cuts or the like in the packaging body material which may be continuous and/or intermittent. In some embodiments, the line of weakness extends through the entire thickness of the packaging body material. In other embodiments, the line of weakness extends through less than the entire thickness of the packaging body material. Peelable/resealable tamper-evident label 50 is adhesively seated to the portion of the package body 11a having the tine of weakness 15 and includes an unsealed pult tab 51 and a plurality of adjacent substantially straight tear slits 52 arranged at or near the periphery of the label. In this embodiment, each of the adjacent substantially straight tear slits 52 terminates at the periphery of the peelable/reseaiab!e tamper-evident label. When the unsealed put! tab 51 is grasped and the label SO is pulled away for the package, the portion of the package body 11a having the iine weakness 15 ruptures to expose an access opening 53 as shown in FIG. 3, In this embodiment, the size of iabei SO is larger than the area define by the line of weakness 15. When label 50 is peeled away, the face of the label has an area of exposed pressure sensitive adhesive 54 around its margin. This exposed area of adhesive 54 permits iabei 50 to reseal to the package and dose opening 53,

FIG. 4 illustrates another embodiment of package 10b configured as a pouch in its "closed state". Package 10b comprises a package body 11b having a top portion 12b, a bottom portion 13fo (not shown) and side portions 14b connecting the bottom portion to the top portion, in this embodiment, the top portion 12b, a bottom portion 13b and side portions 14b are formed from a single packaging film. In this embodiment, package 10b includes a Sine of weakness 15 is a continuous perforation extending through the entire thickness of the package body 11b. The package 10b also includes a peeiabie/resealabie tamper-evident label 50 with an unsealed pull tab 51 and a plurality of adjacent substantially straight tear slits 52 as described above for package 10a.

Turning now to FiG. 5, there is shown a close-up view of an embodiment of a peeiabie/resealabie tamper-evident label 50. The overall size and shape of label 50 can vary depending upon the overall size and shape of the package. While label 50 is shown as having a rectangular shape in FIG. 5, it should be understood that peeiabie/resealabie tamper-evident label may be of any shape. As depicted, the plurality of adjacent substantially straight tear slits 52 are arranged at or near the periphery of peeiabie/resealabie tamper-evident label 50. Each tear slit is substantially straight and is slanted towards the unsealed pull tab 51. in some embodiments, the angle of slant relative to the nearest peripheral edge of the label can vary within a range from 5 to 85 degrees, from 10 to 45 degrees, from 15 to 40 degrees, or from 20 to 35 degrees. The length of each tear s!it can also vary to any desired distance. For maximum benefit, each tear slit has a length within a range from 0.5 mm to 50 mm, from 1 mm to 10 mm, or from 1 mm to 5 mm, In order for the label to be removed in its entity with the tear slits unbroken on the label, adjacent tear slits should be spaced apart by a distance within a range from 0.5 mm to 50 mm or 5 mm to 10 mm. Si should be understood that the term "tear slit" is intended to encompass a perforation, cut or score-line in the peelable/resealable tamper-evident label which may have any width. In some embodiments, the depth of each tear slit may extend through the entire thickness of the peelable/resealable tamper-evident label, in other embodiments, the depth of each tear slit may extend through less than the entire thickness of the peelable/resealable tamper-evident !abei.

The geometry and orientation of the tear slits in the label are important in terms of how the label can be removed in its entirety when properly removed with the unsealed pull tab as illustrated in FIG. 3. These aspects aiso provide evidence of tampering when one improperly attempts to remove the !abe! at a corner or a side of the label. When the label is lifted anywhere other than the unseated puil tab, it will tear at one or more tear slits, i.e., becomes "self-destructive" which indicates that the label has been tampered with as illustrated in FIG, 6.

FIGS. 7a, 7b, 7c and 7d illustrate four comparative sets of fear slits which are not of the present invention. In FIG. 7a, label 60 is shown having substantially straight tear slits 62 which are not slanted towards the towards the unsealed puil tab 51. FIG. 7b illustrates label 70 having tear slits 72 with a "T-shaped" geometry which are aiso not slanted towards tab 51. FIGS. 7c and 7d depict labels 80 and 90 each having tear slits with an "L-shaped" geometry, 82 and 92, respectively. The shorter Sine segment of the "L-shaped !! geometry of slits 82 of label 80 are oriented towards tab 51 , while those of slits 92 of label 90 are oriented away from tab 51. To demonstrate the importance of the tear slit geometry and its orientation relative to pull tab 51, tests were performed on labels 50 (shown in FIGS. 1-6), 60, 70, 80 and 90. Labels were fabricated by cutting a 4 inch by 8 inch specimen from an oriented polypropylene film coated on one face with a pressure sensitive adhesive. Tear slits having a length within a range from 2 to 4 mm were cut into to the sides of each label as depicted in FIGS 5, and 7a-7d, Before testing, the Sabe! was affixed to a smooth rubber surface by manual pressure. Test #1 determined whether the label tears across the label when lifted anywhere other than the unseated pull tab. This test was performed by peeling a portion the lower corner of the Iabel opposite the unsealed pull tab 51 and pulling the Iabel towards the unsealed pull tab 51. A positive result ("+") was indicated when the label tore without the Iabel being removed intact, i.e., becomes self-destructive. A negative result {"-") was indicated when the label was removed in its entirety with the tear slits intact. Test #2 determined whether the label can be removed In its entirety with the tear slits intact when peeled by the unsealed pull tab, A positive result {"+") was indicated when label was removed intact with tear slits unbroken. A negative result ("-") was indicated when the label tore without the Iabel being removed intact. Each label design was tested in triplicate for each test. The results of both tests for each label 50, 60 5 70, 80 and 90 are reported below in TABLE 1.

As was demonsirated, iabei 50 having substantially straight tear slits slanted towards the unsealed pull tab 51 is compleiely tamper-evident compared to the other label designs.

The above description and examples illustrate certain embodsments of the present invention and are not to be interpreted as limiting, Seiection of particular embodiments, combinations thereof, modifications, and adaptations of the various embodiments, conditions and parameters normally encountered in the art will be apparent to those skilled in the art and are deemed to be within the spirit and scope of the present invention.