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1. WO2017134569 - PACKAGE FOR SMOKING ARTICLES

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters
"Package for smoking articles"

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to a package for smoking articles, for example cigarettes, of the type comprising:

- a container, with two opposite main faces, two end faces and two longitudinal faces, and

- at least one inner wrapping, arranged within said container, to enclose the smoking articles.

- wherein said container has a container body having an open side on one of said faces, and a lid articulated to the container body and movable between an open position, for access to said open side of the container body, and a closed position of said container body, and

- wherein said inner wrapping is provided with an opening for extracting the smoking articles, said opening being completely closed by a closing flap operatively connected, directly or indirectly to said lid, so that said closing flap is automatically moved between a closed condition and an open condition as a result of the movement of the lid between its closed position and its open position, and

wherein said container body is open on one side corresponding to a first main face of the container and said articulated lid has a main wall that defines said first main face of the container in the closed condition of the lid.

Prior art

A package for smoking articles of the type indicated above is known by DE 10 2008 035473 A1 . Similar packages are described in EP 2 256 048 A1 , US 2008/087712 A and DE 10 2010 035939 A1 .

Object of the invention

The object of the present invention is that of producing a package for smoking articles of new conception, which combines the advantages of the known solutions mentioned above and which is also more functional, and more convenient and easier to use compared to the known solutions.

An additional object of the invention is that of producing a package that has a simple and inexpensive structure.

Summary of the invention

In view of achieving the aforesaid object, the invention relates to a

package for smoking articles having all the characteristics that have been indicated at the start of the present description and further characterized in that said closing flap is a portion of a wall of said inner wrapping that is operatively connected, directly or indirectly, to said lid, and which is configured to be automatically separated, when the lid is opened, from the remaining wall portion of the inner wrapping, along a separation line formed in the inner wrapping, in such a way as to define an opening for extracting the smoking articles, said wall portion of the inner wrapping constituting the closing flap, being further configured to automatically reposition itself, in a substantially complementary manner, within said opening for extracting the smoking articles when the lid is closed, so as to restore a substantial continuity of the inner wrapping.

As is evident, the package according to the invention has a closing flap integrated within the inner wrapping, which automatically moves between its closed position and its open position when the lid is opened and closed, so as to ensure the correct re-closure of the inner wrapping without involving additional operations for the user.

The aforesaid separation line is defined, for example, by a cut formed in the wall of the inner wrapping, preferably a cut interrupted by wall portions constituting frangible bridges, so that the closing flap is separated by tearing from the remaining portion of the said wall of the inner wrapping at the first opening of the lid. Alternatively, the separation line is formed by an incision line formed in the wall of the inner wrapping and penetrating for a part of the wall thickness, in such a way that the closing flap is separated by tearing from the remaining portion of the said wall of the inner wrapping at the first opening of the lid.

In an embodiment of the invention, said closing flap operatively connected, directly or indirectly, to said lid includes an adhesive portion, or is provided with an adhesive label, configured to overlap with the outer surface of the inner wrapping.

In the case of a further embodiment, the closing flap is connected to an auxiliary panel connected to the inner wrapping, said auxiliary panel having a proximal portion connected to the inner wrapping and a distal portion connected to said lid, in such a way that when the lid is moved between its closed condition and its open condition it causes the movement of said closing flap between the open and closed conditions by means of said auxiliary panel.

In a particular embodiment, the closing flap has one face connected at

least partially, for example by gluing or by interlocking engagement, to said auxiliary panel, and the auxiliary panel is connected in an articulated manner to the inner wrapping along an articulation axis parallel to and spaced apart from the articulation axis of the lid, in such a way that said auxiliary panel is elastically arched during the movement of the lid and draws the lid toward the closed position or toward the open portion, according to whether it is situated at one side or the other with respect to a dead-center position, in which said auxiliary panel assumes a maximum arched configuration.

Detailed description of some embodiments

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the description that follows with reference to the attached drawings, provided purely by way of non-limiting example, wherein:

- Figure 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the package according to the invention, with the lid in the closed condition,

- Figure 2 shows a perspective view of the package of Figure 1 , with the lid in the open condition,

- Figures 3 and 4 are exploded perspective views of the package of Figures 1 and 2,

- Figure 5 is a cross-sectioned perspective view of the package of Figures 1 -4, with the lid in the open condition, and

- Figure 6 shows a variant of figure 2, corresponding to a second embodiment of the invention, and

- Figure 7 shows a further variant.

With reference to the drawings, reference number 1 generally indicates a package for smoking articles, particularly for cigarettes. As is more clearly visible in the exploded views of Figures 3 and 4, the package 1 comprises an outer container 2, formed for example of cardboard or plastic or other material suitable for essentially maintaining the shape of the container, and a wrapping 5 arranged within the container 2, to enclose a group of cigarettes 6. The inner wrapping 5 is made of a sheet material, for example, of one or more sheets of aluminum or paper or a plastic film or any other suitable material to preserve the smoking articles.

The outer container 2 has two opposite main faces 201 , 210, two end faces 202 and two longitudinal faces 203, 204. In the illustrated example, the container 2 is produced with dimensions similar to those of a conventional

cigarette pack. As visible in Figures 3 and 4, the cigarettes 6 are arranged aligned in the direction of the longitudinal faces 203, 204 of the container 2, so that the container 2 has a length defined by the longitudinal dimension of the cigarettes 6 and a width and a height of its end faces 202 that are determined as a function of the number of cigarettes 6 intended to be received within the package.

These aspects are, however, illustrated here purely by way of example. A different shaped and/or sized container could also be provided, with the cigarettes 6 having an orthogonal arrangement with respect to that illustrated in the attached drawings.

The outer container 2 comprises a container body 3 and a lid 4 articulated to the container body 3. In the preferred embodiment illustrated here, the container body 3 and the lid 4 articulated to it are obtained from a single blank of cardboard with flaps folded around the creasing lines and glued together. However, the structure of the outer container 2 and the manner in which it is obtained can also be entirely different from that illustrated here, purely by way of example, the only essential aspect being constituted by the fact that the container must include a container body and a lid articulated to it.

Still with reference to the example illustrated (see in particular Figures 3 and 4), the container body 3 comprises a bottom wall 301 , the outer surface of which defines the lower main face 210 of the container 1 (with reference to Figure 1 ). In addition to the bottom wall 301 , the container body 3 includes two end walls 302 and a longitudinal wall 303.

Still with reference to the embodiment illustrated here, the lid 4 comprises a main wall 401 , the outer surface of which defines the upper main face 201 (with reference to Figure 1 ) of the package. The lid 4 also comprises two end walls 402 that, in the closed condition of the lid, overlap the end walls 302 of the container body 3, and two longitudinal walls 403, 404. In the closed condition of the lid 4, the longitudinal wall 403 of the lid overlaps the longitudinal wall 303 of the container body 3, while the longitudinal wall 404 of the lid is arranged on the side opposite to the longitudinal wall 301 of the container body 3. The wall 403 includes a recess 430 to facilitate the grasping of the lid 4 and its opening.

In the illustrated embodiments, the lid 4 is articulated to the container body 3 around an articulation line 40 that extends along the common edge of the longitudinal wall 404 of the lid 4 and the bottom wall 301 of the container body 3.

In the case of the illustrated example, in which the container body 3 and lid 4 are made from a single blank of cardboard, the articulation axis of the lid is defined by a crease line of the cardboard. The end walls 402 and the side walls 403, 404 of the lid 4 define, in the closed condition of the lid, the end faces 202 and the side faces 203, 204 of the package (Figure 1 ).

With reference now to the inner wrapping 5, as already indicated, it is formed, for example, of one or more flexible sheets of a suitable material to preserve the aroma and freshness of the tobacco of the cigarettes 6. For example, the inner wrapping 5 can be formed of one or more sheets of aluminum, or paper, or a film of a synthetic material suitable for this purpose. The drawings illustrate, for simplicity, the inner wrapping 5 as having a geometric shape defined by rigid walls, but in fact, as already indicated, the material forming the inner wrapping 5 is flexible and has a shape that is dictated by the group of cigarettes 6 contained within it. Gradually as the cigarettes are consumed, the inner wrapping 5 empties and its walls therefore do not retain a taut configuration. It is however understood that the structure illustrated here for the inner wrapping 5 is provided purely by way of example, without excluding, in any way, the use of a relatively rigid structure, for the inner wrapping as well.

The inner wrapping 5 also has opposite major faces 501 , 510, end faces 502 and longitudinal faces 503, 504. The inner wrapping 5 is positioned within the container 1 , with its lower main face 510 resting on the bottom wall 301 of the container body 3, and its upper main face 501 covered by the main wall 401 of the lid 4 when it is closed.

As shown, for example, in Figure 3, the inner wrapping 5 has a wall defining the upper main face upper 501 in which an opening 7 is arranged for extracting the cigarettes 6 from the inner wrapping.

In the example illustrated in Figure 3, the opening 7 extends for the entire longitudinal dimension of the inner wrapping 5 adjacent to the longitudinal wall 503, to facilitate extraction of the cigarettes. The opening 7 retains the maximum longitudinal dimension for a short stretch of its width, essentially slightly greater than the diameter of the cigarettes, again in order to facilitate extraction of the cigarettes. The opening 7 then progressively tapers in the direction of the opposite end to the wall 503, in order to reduce the risk of an undesired spillage of the cigarettes from the opening 7 when the lid 4 is open.

Of course, the shape of the opening 7 illustrated in Figures 2-5 is

indicated here purely by way of example. In particular, the opening 7 does not necessarily have to extend only on the main face 501 of the inner wrapping 5. It could also extend on one or more of the faces 503, 502 adjacent to the main face of the inner wrapping, or only on one or more of said faces adjacent to the main face 501 , which are covered by the lid 4 in its closed condition.

Figure 6 illustrates, for example, a variant of the embodiment, in which the extraction opening 7 leaves a major portion of the length of the cigarettes 6 contained in the inner wrapping 5 free, for the entire dimension of the inner wrapping, transversely to the cigarettes. In the case of the embodiment of Figure 6, the cigarettes are extracted by pulling them axially from the part of the inner wrapping that covers them, while in the case of the embodiment of Figures 2-5, the cigarettes are extracted with a movement in the transverse direction with respect to the longitudinal direction of the cigarettes.

The opening 7 for extracting the cigarettes 6 is closed by a closing flap 8 when the lid 4 is closed.

In the embodiment that is illustrated here, the closing flap 8 is a portion of a wall of the inner wrapping 5 that is operatively connected, directly or indirectly, to the lid 4, and which is configured to be automatically separated, when the lid 4 is opened, from the remaining wall portion of the inner wrapping 5, along a separation line formed in the inner wrapping 5, so as to define a complementary opening 7 for extracting the smoking articles 6, of shape and dimensions essentially corresponding to those of said separate portion 8 of the wall of the inner wrapping. The portion 8 of the inner wrapping constituting the closing flap is configured so as to automatically reposition in a complementary manner within said opening 7 for extracting the smoking articles 6 when the lid is closed, so as to restore the continuity of the inner wrapping 5. The separation line defining the opening 7 is formed, for example, by a cut formed in the wall of the inner wrapping and preferably interrupted by wall portions constituting frangible bridges, so that the closing flap 8 is separated by tearing from the remaining portion of the said wall of the inner wrapping 5 at the first opening of the lid 4.

As already indicated above, an embodiment is also envisaged in which the closing flap 8 includes an adhesive portion, or is provided with an adhesive label, configured to overlap the outer surface of the inner wrapping 5.

Returning to the embodiment illustrated here, the closing flap 8 has a face glued to an auxiliary panel 9, which is articulated to the inner wrapping 5 and is operatively connected to the lid 4 (in the manner which will be described in detail hereinafter) in such a way that the flap 8 is operatively connected to the lid 4 by means of the auxiliary panel 9. Upon opening the lid 4, the flap 8 is separated from the remaining portion of the upper wall of the inner wrapping 5, leaving the opening 7 for extracting the cigarettes 6 free.

As already indicated above, an alternative to this solution can be envisaged in that the closing flap 8 has a portion directly connected to the lid 4, so as to obtain, in this case as well, an automatic movement of the closing flap 8 between its closed position and its open position when the lid is moved between its closed position and its open position.

With reference in particular to Figures 4 and 5, the auxiliary panel 9 carrying the closing flap 8 is preferably obtained from a blank of cardboard or plastic material or of any other material suitable for the purposes indicated here. Still with reference to the illustrated example, the auxiliary panel 9 constitutes a portion of said blank that is folded around a crease line 90, which defines the articulation axis of the panel 9. The blank includes an anchoring strip 91 that is glued to the upper face 501 and to the two end faces 502 of the inner wrapping 5. The auxiliary panel 9 has, on the opposite side to the articulation axis 90, a folded wing 93 defining a longitudinal edge 92. The wing 93 is glued to the inner surface of the main wall 401 of the body of the lid 4.

The auxiliary panel 9 is made of a material selected in order to obtain sufficient rigidity, at the same time rendering a certain flexibility to the panel, which allows it to elastically arch due to a mutual approach of its two opposite edges corresponding to the articulation axis 90 and the edge 92. As already indicated, the closing flap 8 is glued onto the face of the panel 9 facing the upper surface of the inner wrapping 5. In the illustrated example, the closing flap 8 has a face that is glued to the panel 9 for the whole of its extension.

As clearly visible in the cross-sectional view of Figure 5, which shows the lid in its open condition, the articulation axis 40 of the lid 4, and the articulation axis 90 of the wing 9, are parallel and spaced apart in such a way that the panel 9 is elastically arched during the movement of the lid and draws the lid 4 toward the closed condition or toward the open condition, according to whether the lid is on one side or the other with respect to a dead-center position, in which the articulation axes 40 and 90 and the extreme edge 92 of the panel 9 are all contained in the same plane. In this dead-center position, the panel 9 has a

maximum arched configuration, resulting from the fact that the edge 92, which must rotate around the articulation axis 40 of the lid 4, reaches its position nearest to the articulation axis 90 of the panel 9. Beyond this position, the panel 9 tends to return toward its non-arched configuration, elastically drawing the lid toward the closed position or the open position, according to whether it is located on this side or the other of the aforesaid dead-center position.

Of course, as already indicated, this arrangement is particularly advantageous, but is not essential for the purposes of implementing the disclosure of the present invention, as it is possible to arrange any other type of operative connection, direct or indirect, between the flap 8 and the lid 4. The auxiliary panel 9 may also have a configuration and an arrangement that is different from those illustrated here purely by way of example and can, in particular, be extended alongside the inner wrapping 5 adjacent to the main face 501 .

As apparent from the above description, the package according to the invention retains all the advantages of the known packages in which the opening of a lid automatically causes the removal of a closing flap of the opening that is formed in the inner wrapping of the package, to allow extraction of the cigarettes, while the re-closure of the lid automatically brings the said closing flap into a condition of closing of the aforesaid opening for extracting the cigarettes. At the same time, however, the package according to the invention is characterized in that the lid makes a main face of the package accessible, instead of one of its end faces, which makes the operation of extracting the cigarettes easier and more convenient, and at the same time gives rise to a general configuration of the package that is more elegant and more appealing than traditional packages.

In the variant of Figure 7, the inner wrapping 5 is formed of a double-layer wrapping sheet material and comprises an outer layer and an inner layer. A separation line is formed in said outer layer and in said inner layer so as to define an outer portion 80 of the closing flap, movable with the lid 4 and inner portions 81 of the closing flap. One of these inner portions 81 is integral with the outer portion 80 of the closing flap, while the other portion 81 is not connected to the portion 80 and must be opened manually, after opening of the lid 4. The different inner portions 81 of the closing flap can correspond to different compartments within the inner wrapping 5, for example, separated by one or more dividing walls, possibly made from the same inner layer of the inner wrapping.