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1. WO2020231931 - CARTRIDGE HAVING AN INTERNAL CAPSULE, METHOD OF USING SUCH A CARTRIDGE AND HAIR TREATMENT SYSTEM

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[ EN ]

CARTRIDGE HAVING AN INTERNAL CAPSULE, METHOD OF USING SUCH A CARTRIDGE AND HAIR TREATMENT SYSTEM

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Application No. 16/409,716, filed May 10, 2019, the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

SUMMARY

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 of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

In an aspect, a cartridge configured for use in a hair treatment device includes a pouch having an outlet, a capsule located within the pouch, and a fitment sealed within the outlet of the pouch. The pouch may contain a first product and the capsule may contain a second product. In an embodiment, the first product may be a colorant and/or the second product may be a developer. In an embodiment, the cartridge may include a filter affixed to the fitment, and/or the pouch may be lined with polypropylene and heat sealed to the fitment. In an embodiment, at least one of the first product or the second product may be liquid. In an embodiment, at least one of the first product or the second product may be cream. In an embodiment, at least a portion of the pouch may be gas-permeable and liquid impermeable. In an embodiment, the cartridge may include a second capsule located within the pouch that contains a third product. The second capsule may have a different shape and/or surface texture than the capsule. In an embodiment, the first product may have a first volume and the second product may have a second volume. The ratio of the first volume to the second volume may be between 0.1 to 10.0, inclusive. In an embodiment, the capsule may be frangible or may have a flexible membrane. In an embodiment, the pouch may contain a mixing element.

In another aspect, a method of using a cartridge configured for use in a hair treatment device includes providing a cartridge having a pouch, breaking a capsule located in the pouch, and shaking the cartridge. The pouch may have a fitment sealed within an outlet and may contain a first product. The capsule may contain a second product. In an embodiment, breaking the capsule may include using a component of the hair treatment

device. In an embodiment, breaking the capsule may include inserting the capsule into the hair treatment device.

In another aspect, a hair treatment system for applying a formulation includes a hair treatment device and a cartridge configured for installation in the hair treatment device. The cartridge may include a pouch having an outlet, a capsule located within the pouch, and a fitment sealed within an outlet of the pouch. The pouch may store a first product and the capsule may store a second product.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of disclosed subject matter will become more readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It shall be appreciated that the figures below are not necessarily to scale, and are intended to facilitate understanding of the inventive concepts discussed herein:

FIGURE 1 is an isometric view of a cartridge formed in accordance with a representative embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIGURE 2 is an isometric view of the cartridge of FIGURE 1, shown with certain surfaces hidden.

FIGURE 3 is an exploded partial isometric view of the cartridge of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 4 is an isometric partial view of the cartridge of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 5 is an isometric view of another cartridge formed in accordance with a representative embodiment of the present disclosure, shown with certain surfaces hidden.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description provides several examples that relate generally to hair and scalp treatment applicators and formulation delivery appliances. Application of a wide variety of treatment formulations to human hair and scalp tissue is a common practice. In some instances, it is beneficial for the treatment formulation to be applied to a targeted portion of the hair or scalp tissue. In one example, applying a treatment formulation to a portion of the hair near the scalp may be desired, for instance, when applying a coloring dye to roots of hair during a color maintenance procedure. In another example, applying a treatment formulation directly to the scalp tissue, while minimizing contact with the hair, may be desired.

Hair coloring formulation typically includes at least one dye and a separate developer, which must be mixed in controlled proportions for effective and predictable results. As used herein, the term "coloring formulation" refers generally to any of the dye, developer, formulation, fluid, or any mixture thereof. Examples of formulations include: permanent hair dye; semi-permanent hair dye; developer; conditioner; hair growth treatment, such as minoxidil manufactured under the trade name ROGAINE®; hair protein treatment; disulfide bond repairing hair treatment, such as OLAPLEX®; fluid hair treatment; fluid scalp treatment, and the like. Although any hair and scalp treatment formulation is contemplated herein, the present disclosure generally refers to hair coloring formulation as the exemplary formulation. However, it should be appreciated that any of the listed hair and scalp treatment formulations are interchangeable with the coloring formulation described herein.

Systems for the application of hair and scalp treatment formulations may utilize one or more cartridges that store formulation. Representative systems for the application of hair and scalp treatment formulations include those disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Nos. 15/721659, 15/721668, 15/721678, and 15/721682, each of which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety. Such cartridges may be transported through a supply chain, for example in boxes containing a supply of refill cartridges. Such supply chains may present a number of environmental challenges to the cartridges, including varying temperatures, physical shocks, and prolonged periods without movement (during which time components of the formulation could settle and separate). For at least these reasons, it may be desirable to keep components of the formulation (e.g., the dye and developer) separated within the cartridge for a period of time, e.g., until shortly before use. When it is time to combine components of the formulation, those components must ordinarily be mixed in controlled proportions and mixed uniformly for effective and predictable results. Additionally, a formulation may have a limited useful lifespan after the components are mixed, for example, due to oxidization.

The following discussion provides cartridges, systems, and methods that address the foregoing challenges. The cartridges reliably keep components of the formulation separated until a user purposefully mixes the components. The mixing process occurs entirely within the cartridge in order to ensure quick and accurate mixing, with no mess

and no oxidization. The cartridges may be modular and consumable, for reduced cost and increased convenience.

Referring to FIGURES 1-4, a representative and non-limiting cartridge 20 includes a pouch 24 having an outlet 28, and a fitment 32 sealed within the outlet 28.

As shown in FIGURES 1-3, the pouch 24 has an elongate and relatively flat, rectangular shape. The pouch 24 has a first side 36 and a second side 40. Some embodiments may have a different shape, such as a square or round shape. Some embodiments are not relatively flat, but may have a thickness that approaches or exceeds other dimensions. The first side 36 and the second side 40 of the pouch 24 may be mutually sealed around one or more edges. For example, referring to FIGURE 1, the first and second sides 36, 40 of the pouch 24 are sealed along a first edge 52, a second edge 56, a third edge 60, and along a portion of a fourth edge 64.

Referring to FIGURES 1 and 2 together, the first and second sides 36, 40 of the pouch 24 may define a cavity 68 therebetween in areas where the first and second sides 36, 40 are not mutually sealed. In use, the cavity 68 may contain at least one product, and may also contain one or more capsules 76, mixing elements (e.g., a bead, beater, or magnet), and potentially other items as described below. As used herein, the term "product" may refer to a liquid, a cream, a solid (e.g., a powder), or another type of product.

One or more edges of the pouch 24 may not be completely sealed, thereby leaving the first and second sides 36, 40 separated and forming the outlet 28 through which contents contained within the cavity 68 may exit the pouch 24. In the pouch 24 of FIGURES 1-4, the outlet 28 is formed between the first and second sides 36, 40 along the fourth edge 64.

The pouch 24 may be formed from one or more relatively flexible materials, such as a metallic foil (e.g., an aluminum foil) or a thin polymer (such as polypropylene). The first and second sides 36, 40 of the pouch 24 of FIGURES 1-4 each include an outer layer 80 and an inner layer 84. The outer layer 84 is formed from a metallic foil (to prevent light from entering the cavity and to prevent oxidation) and the inner layer 84 is formed from polypropylene to prevent chemical reactions between the outer layer 80 and contents contained within the cavity 68. In some embodiments, one or more of the materials forming the pouch 24 may have a laminated structure with a plurality of layers of similar or dissimilar materials. For example, one or more of the materials forming the pouch 24 may be gas-permeable, e.g., to relieve pressure within the pouch 24 that may otherwise be caused by off-gassing of contents contained within the pouch 24. Additionally or

alternatively, one or more of the materials forming the pouch 24 may be liquid-impermeable, e.g., to securely contain liquid contents within the pouch without leakage. One or more of the materials forming the pouch 24 may be both gas-permeable and liquid impermeable. One or more of the materials forming the pouch 24 may be opaque or impenetrable to light. The pouch 24 may have some rigidity, but may generally deform and deflect in response to an applied force.

As noted above, the cartridge 20 includes a fitment 32 that enables contents contained within the pouch 24 to exit the cartridge 20 in certain circumstances. To ensure a liquid-tight fit with the pouch 24, the fitment 32 may be sealed within the outlet 28 of the pouch. The fitment 32 of FIGURES 1-4 is heat-sealed within the outlet 28. In some embodiments, the fitment 32 may be sealed within the outlet 28 using one or more of an adhesive, a mechanical fastener, a gasket, or other sealing means. The fitment 32 may be formed from one or more materials selected to prevent undesirable chemical reactions with products contained within the cartridge 20. For example, the fitment 32 of FIGURES 1-4 is substantially formed from polypropylene. As shown in FIGURE 4, the fitment 32 includes an orifice 88 that establishes fluid communication between the cavity 68 and the surrounding environment, thereby enabling products contained within the pouch 24 to exit the cartridge 20. The orifice 88 may include a penetrable membrane, a valve (e.g., a check valve), and/or other structure that may selectively allow contents contained within the pouch 24 to exit, such as when the cartridge 20 is loaded into a device for dispensing formulation. The fitment may also include engagement structure that is configured to engage a device for dispensing formulation. For example, the fitment of FIGURES 1-4 includes a plurality of annular flanges that radially surround the outlet. These flanges may engage complementary structure in a device for dispensing formulation.

As shown in FIGURES 2-3, the fitment 32 may further include a filter assembly 92 for allowing passage of product through the fitment 32, and to prevent passage of certain solids therethrough. The filter assembly 92 of FIGURES 2-3 includes a filter 96 and a cage 100. The filter 96 abuts an upstream end of the orifice 88 that passes through the fitment 32, and is held in place by the cage 100. The filter 96 is substantially made from batting (e.g., polyester batting) and prevents passage of solids. In some embodiments, the filter 96 may be formed from one or more different materials. In the assembled state shown in FIGURE 2, the cage 100 is adhesively bonded to the fitment 32, thus securing the filter 96 in place. In some embodiments, the cage 100 may be affixed to the fitment through

mechanical means (e.g., a threaded or pronged connection) or may be formed integrally with the fitment 32.

The cavity 68 may contain a first volume of product 104 therein. The first volume of product 104 is separate from any product contained within the capsule 76 that is also contained within the cavity 68, as described below. The first volume of product 104 may include a colorant, a developer, a lotion, a cream, a diluter, a liquid, and/or combinations thereof. The first volume 104 may range from about 1 ml to about 100 ml, e.g., about 5 ml, about 10 ml, or any other value in that range.

As shown in FIGURE 2, the capsule 76 is contained within the cavity 68 of the pouch 24. In use, the capsule 76 contains a second volume of product 108, which may differ from other products contained within the cavity 68. The second volume of product 108 may capsule include colorants, developers, lotions, creams, diluters, other liquids, and/or combinations thereof. The second volume 108 may range from about 1 ml to about 100 ml, e.g., about 5 ml, about 10 ml or any other value in that range. The second volume

108 may be selected such that a ratio between the first volume and the second volume (i.e., first volume . ma
about ] Q or another ratio, for example from about 0.1 to about 10.0, second volume

e.g., about 2.0, about 3.0, about 4.0, about 5.0, about 6.0, about 7.0, about 8.0, about 9.0, or about any other value in that range.

The cartridge 20 of FIGURE 2 includes a single capsule 76. Some embodiments may include a plurality of capsules within the cavity, for example about two capsules to about ten capsules, e.g., 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 capsules. In embodiments with more than one capsule, each capsule may contain a same or different product as other products contained within the cavity, and each capsule may contain the same or different volume of product as other capsules. For example, an embodiment may include two capsules contained within the cavity; a first capsule may contain a first volume of a first product, and a second capsule may contain a second volume of a second product. As another example, an embodiment may include three capsules contained within the cavity; a first capsule may contain a first volume of a first product, a second capsule may contain a second volume of a second product, and a third capsule may contain a second volume of a third product. In any embodiment, the volume of product in each capsule may be selected in order to create a precise ratio in relation to one or more other products; this ratio may range from about 0.1 to about 10.0. For example, in the embodiment of FIGURES 1-4, the first volume 104 may be a colorant and the second volume 108 (in the capsule) may be a developer. The ratio

between the first volume 104 (of colorant) and the second volume 108 (of developer) may be about 1.0.

The capsule 76 of FIGURE 2 is a frangible ampoule, such as may be formed substantially from glass. In some embodiments, the capsule may be frangible, but may have a form other than an ampoule, e.g., a glass bead or another shape. As such, the capsule 76 is designed to rupture or break with the application of a sufficiently large crushing force or bending force. For example, the capsule 76 may be designed to rupture as a result of application of a crushing force or a bending force. However, the capsule 76 may be resistant to crushing and bending forces likely to be experienced during commerce, such as during e-commerce fulfillment. In embodiments with more than one capsule, at least one capsule may be selected to rupture as a result of application of a different crushing force or a different bending force as compared to another capsule. For example, an embodiment may include a first capsule and a second capsule, with the first capsule configured to rupture from the application of a first crushing force or a first bending force, and the second capsule configured to rupture from the application of a second crushing force or a second bending force that is different (greater or lesser) than the first crushing force or first bending force. For safety, the capsule(s) may be substantially formed from a material selected such that when ruptured, the capsule does not form particles, shards, or other debris having a smaller size than will be captured by the filter. In any embodiment, any capsule may include one or more features, for example a particular shape or one or more bumps, ridges, or other textures formed upon the surface that may be felt with a human hand through the first and/or second outer layers. For example, a cartridge may include a first capsule having a first shape and a first texture, and a second capsule having a second shape and a second texture. The ability to identify a particular capsule or type of capsule may be necessary in certain embodiments, such as those with more than one capsule. The identification of certain capsules may additionally or alternatively be facilitated if capsules have different shapes and sizes. In an embodiment, the pouch may contain a first component and a second component that are configured to break a capsule when moved away from each other.

In some embodiments, the capsule may not be frangible (e.g., may not be an ampoule), but instead may be relatively soft, such as a bead having a flexible membrane that encloses a volume of product. In such embodiments, the flexible membrane may be substantially formed of one or more materials that are selected to avoid adverse chemical

reactions with products contained within the cavity. In some embodiments, the capsule may be a solid composition of product.

In use, a user may selectively rupture at least part of the one or more capsules to release product contained therein into the cavity, where the released product may mix with other products in order to create a mixed formulation, which may then be dispensed through the fitment. Referring to the cartridge of FIGURES 1-4, the user may rupture the capsule 76 by applying a crushing force to the capsule 76 through the first side 36 and/or the second side 40 of the pouch 24, or by applying a bending force to the capsule 76. This causes the capsule 76 to release the second volume of product 108 into the pouch 24, where it mixes with the first volume of product 104. To uniformly mix the first and second volumes of product 104, 108 after breaking the capsule 76, the user may shake the cartridge 20 for a time period, e.g., at least 5 seconds, at least 10 seconds, at least 30 seconds, or about 5 second to about 30 seconds. To facilitate uniform mixing, some embodiments may include one or more beads or other solid components within the cavity.

Subsequently to rupturing the capsule 76 and mixing the contents of the pouch 24, the user may dispense the mixed product from the pouch 24. As one example, the user may apply pressure to the pouch 24 (such as with a hand or device) in order to expel the mixed formulation from the fitment 32. As another example, the user may apply negative pressure to the fitment 32 (such as with a pump or other device) in order to draw the mixed product therefrom. As the mixed product is dispensed from the pouch 24, the filter 96 prevents certain solids from being dispensed from the pouch 24, e.g., glass shards from the ruptured capsule 76.

Any of the cartridges described herein may be utilized in conjunction with a device and/or system, for example a hair coloration system that includes a device that configured to apply formulations to a subject's hair and/or scalp. Referring to FIGURE 1, the cartridge 20 is shown schematically as part of hair coloration system 112, which includes a hair coloration device 116. The cartridge 20 is configured for use with the device 116. Representative systems for the application of hair and scalp treatment formulations include those disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Nos. 15/721659, 15/721668, 15/721678, and 15/721682. Such devices may include a handle configured to be grasped by the hand of a user, and a head having a plurality of nozzles from which the coloring formulation is discharged. Cartridges described herein may be received within a chamber located with the head, the handle, or another component of such devices. In particular, cartridges may be coupled with the device, such as by engaging the fitment of the cartridge with complimentary structure of the device in order to establish fluid communication between the cavity of the cartridge and the device, such that products contained within the cartridge may be dispensed through the device. When the products contained within the cartridge are exhausted, the cartridge may be removed from the device and replaced with another cartridge. Further, installation of the cartridge within the device may break the capsule within the cartridge, such as by using a component of the handle of the device to break the capsule.

Referring now to FIGURE 5, a cartridge 200 is formed in accordance with another representative embodiment of the present disclosure. The cartridge 200 is similar to the cartridge 20 of FIGURES 1-4 in many respects. For example, the cartridge 200 has a first side 204 and a second side 208 forming a cavity 212 therebetween, each side 204, 208 being formed by a laminated material. The first side 204 includes a vent apparatus 216 to facilitate the release of gasses that may accumulate within the cavity 212. A portion of the first side 204 is hidden in FIGURE 5 to reveal the cavity 212, which contains a first volume 220 of a first colorant. Unlike the cartridge 20 of FIGURES 1-4, the cartridge 200 of FIGURE 5 contains a plurality of capsules within the cavity. A first capsule 224 contains a second volume of a developer. A similar second capsule 228 contains a third volume of a second colorant. A similar third capsule 232 contains a fourth volume of a third colorant. The cavity 212 also contains a mixing bead 236. In use, the first, second, and third capsules 224, 228, and 232 may be ruptured by a user to mix the products.

The detailed description set forth above in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of exemplary embodiments of the disclosed subject matter and is not intended to represent the only embodiments. The exemplary embodiments described in this disclosure are provided merely as examples or illustrations and should not be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments. The illustrative examples provided herein are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the disclosure to the precise forms disclosed. Similarly, unless stated otherwise, any features and/or process steps of any embodiments described herein may be interchangeable with other features and/or process steps of other embodiments, or combinations of features and/or process steps, in order to achieve the same or substantially similar result.

In the foregoing description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure.

It will be apparent to one skilled in the art, however, that many embodiments of the present disclosure may be practiced without some or all of the specific details. In some instances, well-known features, subassemblies, and/or process steps have not been described in detail in order not to unnecessarily obscure various aspects of the present disclosure. Further, it will be appreciated that embodiments of the present disclosure may employ any combination of features described herein. For instance, any feature or configuration described above with respect to one wiping assembly may be adapted for use with any other wiping assembly.

Although certain descriptive terms have been used to illustrate or describe certain aspects or benefits of the present invention, they should not be seen as limiting. For instance, the present disclosure also includes references to directions, such as "first," "second," "third," etc. These references and other similar references in the present disclosure are only to assist in helping describe and understand the exemplary embodiments and are not intended to limit the claimed subject matter to these directions. The term "formulation" should be interpreted broadly to include any cosmetic formulation, beauty product, lotion, lacquer, etc., generally applied to the skin, eyes, nails, or other body part of a person. Moreover, it should be appreciated that the cosmetic applicators may also be adapted for other non-cosmetic uses, such as applying medicine, paint, etc., to a desired body part or surface.

The present disclosure may also reference quantities and numbers. Unless specifically stated, such quantities and numbers are not to be considered restrictive, but exemplary of the possible quantities or numbers associated with the present disclosure. Also in this regard, the present disclosure may use the term "plurality" to reference a quantity or number. In this regard, the term "plurality" is meant to be any number that is more than one, for example, two, three, four, five, etc. The terms "substantially," "about," "approximately," etc., mean plus or minus 5%. For the purposes of the present disclosure, the phrase "at least one of A, B, and C," for example, means (A), (B), (C), (A and B), (A and C), (B and C), or (A, B, and C), including all further possible permutations when greater than three elements are listed.

The principles, representative embodiments, and modes of operation of the present disclosure have been described in the foregoing description. However, aspects of the present disclosure, which are intended to be protected, are not to be construed as limited to the particular embodiments disclosed. Further, the embodiments described herein are to

be regarded as illustrative rather than restrictive. It will be appreciated that variations and changes may be made by others, and equivalents employed, without departing from the spirit of the present disclosure. Accordingly, it is expressly intended that all such variations, changes, and equivalents fall within the spirit and scope of the present disclosure as claimed.