Following the thread (or the chain of polyhedrons) of our last post, today we have patents for three, very similar, multiple packages or multi-packs with trapezoidal portions.
Their structural similarity, however, goes beyond the separable trapezoidal containers. Each is also designed to be rolled up into a polyhedral prism.
While these designs make ingenious use of space by “close-packing” their individual compartments, they also turn the backing(s) into an exterior package, which has the effect of concealing the product.
I wonder: is this concealment a feature or an unintended consequence?
(Details about each of them follow, after the fold…)
1. Thordore J. Furman’s patent for a “Package and Method of Packaging” was filed in 1987.
His design drawings show 6 rows of containers, making his multi-unit package’s “reverse folded position” a hexagonal prism.
“The self-contained package units each are individually separably joined to all adjacent self-contained package units and the multi-unit package is disposed in a reverse-folded position. Further, the reverse-folded position is such that the receptacles extend interiorly thereof in confronting relation with the cover portion facing exteriorly thereof such that remote rows of the receptacles are in closely adjacent relation with the multi-unit package maintained in the reverse-folded position.”
2. The patent filed in 1998 for a “Mulitple Section Package” was assigned to Danisco Flexible France. Here, the drawings show an arrangement of 4 rows of containers which form a square prism shaped mulit-pack. In this design the individual trapezoidal containers also include a ridge & groove locking feature.
“The invention concerns a multiple section package comprising a set of trays, each provided with an opening, sealed with a foil lid. The trays are arranged side by side to form a polyhedron, over at least two side surfaces from which, said tray openings emerge. The foil lids of all the trays define each at least partially one polyhedron surface. The invention is applicable to food product packaging.”
3. Joe Breen’s patent, “Container for Product Portions” was filed in 2009. Here there are 8 rows of containers, making the rolled up container an octagonal prism, although the shape is described as “substantially cylindrical” in Breen’s patent.
“… the shape and dimension of each of the receptacles allows the tray to be folded or rolled into the cylindrical storage shape, without adjacent rows of receptacles contacting or deforming one another. If the receptacles did not taper between the mouth and the base it would not be possible to form the substantially cylindrical storage shape, or in order to do so it would be necessary to deform the receptacles…”