Patent application title: ENVELOPE HAVING FLAVORED MOISTENABLE ADHESIVE
Christopher Freeman Dunbar (La Canada, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D2714FI
Class name: Envelope closures sealing
Publication date: 2012-09-13
Patent application number: 20120228365
An envelope having a sealing flap and a zone bearing remoistenable
adhesive, flavoring incorporated at the zone bearing remoistenable
adhesive, and either readable indicia or characteristic coloring disposed
at the zone bearing remoistable adhesive. Where characteristic coloring
is provided, that coloring will be different from coloring located
elsewhere on the envelope. The flavoring may be thematically linked to
either or both of the readable indicia and the characteristic coloring.
1. An envelope comprising a body, a sealing flap, an adhesive zone
disposed on at least one of the sealing flap and the body, flavoring
disposed at the adhesive zone, and readable indicia disposed at the
2. The envelope of claim 1, wherein the indicia is thematically linked to the flavoring.
3. The envelope of claim 1, wherein the indicia comprises the name of a natural person rendered in text.
4. The envelope of claim 3, wherein the natural person is a commercial entity.
5. The envelope of claim 1, wherein the indicia comprises a symbolic logo of a natural person.
6. An envelope comprising a body, a sealing flap, an adhesive zone disposed on at least one of the sealing flap and the body, wherein the adhesive zone bears remoistenable adhesive, flavoring disposed at the adhesive zone, and coloring disposed at the adhesive zone, the envelope being devoid at places other than the adhesive zone of coloring similar to the coloring disposed at the adhesive zone.
7. The envelope of claim 7, further comprising indicia disposed at the adhesive zone.
8. The envelope of claim 8, wherein the indicia is thematically linked to the flavoring.
9. The envelope of claim 8, wherein the indicia is commercially linked to the flavoring.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to envelopes having gummed sealing flaps, and more particularly wherein a sealing flap bears flavoring and a discernible feature related to the flavoring, such as for example coloring, indicia, and embossing.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Envelopes for mailing and other purposes are usually provided with gummed flaps, which may be moistened and folded against the body of the envelope to seal the latter. Ordinary commercial gums or adhesives may present a bitter or unpleasant taste to users who moisten the gum by licking. It has been proposed to provide pleasant flavors in a gum to overcome such problems.
 The prior art falls short of further exploitation of flavored adhesive for envelopes.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention provides a way of exploiting flavoring of adhesives for the purpose of overcoming any unpleasantness of the natural flavor of envelope sealing gums Notably, the gummed zone of an envelope may be enhanced not only by incorporating pleasant or recognizable flavoring, but by further imparting a visual feature to the gum which visual feature is associated with a specific theme.
 One significant application of selecting a specific theme is that of commercial promotion. For example, the gummed zone of an envelope could be flavored with a product of a commercial producer of confections, such as Mars. The gum could be imbued with a chocolate flavor and indicia such as the legend "Mars" or "M & M"®. Thus, the act of licking the gum of an envelope, which is a routine element in handling an envelope, and is not inherently related to a commercial or corporate entity, may become a way of promoting the products of that entity.
 The visual feature may be generated in any suitable way. The name of the company or its product may appear as text, as a logo, as a symbol. These visual features may be imprinted on the envelope at the gummed zone, formed in coloring patterns in the gum or on the paper of the sealing flap, embossed into the flap, or in any other suitable way.
 It is an object of the invention to provide envelopes having distinctive flavoring and visual elements, where flavoring sensation is invoked by licking or other routine handling of the envelope.
 Another object of the invention is to facilitate promotion of commercial and other products by using distinctive flavoring and visual elements.
 It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof by apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable, and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.
 These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 Various objects, features, and attendant advantages of the present invention will become more fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
 FIG. 1 is a plan view of an envelope according to at least one aspect of the invention.
 FIG. 2 is a plan view of an envelope according to at least one other aspect of the invention.
 Referring first to FIG. 1, according to at least one aspect of the invention, there is shown an envelope 10 comprising a body 12 which defines a receptacle therein for receiving articles such as papers (not shown), a sealing flap 14 connected to the body 12, and an adhesive zone 16 disposed on the sealing flap 14. The envelope 10 may be fabricated from any suitable material such as paper, cardboard, a synthetic resin, natural rubber, or any material suitable for the contemplated uses of the envelope 10. Envelopes are typically used for mailing or otherwise transporting generally flat objects (not shown), for enclosing objects to conceal the objects from casual view, to keep plural objects organized at times when they are not in use, and as a label. The sealing flap 14 may be demarcated at its juncture with the body 12 by a seam 18, such as a fold or by scoring, although the seam 18 is not critical to the invention. The body 12 may be formed conventionally, having a rear panel 20 and an overlying front panel (concealed from view in FIG. 1).
 The adhesive zone 16 will be understood to bear a suitable remoistenable adhesive (not separately shown), which when moistened restores the adhesive properties of the adhesive, thereby enabling the sealing flap 14 to be joined to the rear panel 20.
 The envelope 10 as described thus far is of frequently encountered conventional nature. The envelope 10 may take other forms, such as having the adhesive zone imposed on the body 20 (this option is not shown), or alternatively, having adhesive zones on both the sealing flap 14 and the rear panel 20.
 The adhesive used in the adhesive zone 16 has a flavoring imparted thereto. Illustratively, an essential oil of a selected flavoring may be blended with the other components of the adhesive. The flavoring may also be imparted in other ways.
 The sealing flap 14 may have readable indicia 22 disposed at the adhesive zone 16. The readable indicia 22 may be imprinted on the constituent material of the sealing flap 14, or of course on the rear panel 20 should an adhesive zone be located on the rear panel 20. Alternatively, the readable indicia 22 may be imposed on the adhesive rather than the constituent material of the sealing flap 14 or the rear panel 20.
 The readable indicia 22 is readable in the sense that it is exposed to the view of an observer when the sealing flap 14 is not in the closed position (not shown). The readable indicia 22 may if desired be in a form which requires activation or introduction of appropriate conditions to render the readable indicia 22 discernible or readable. For example, the manufacturer of the envelope 10 may wish to introduce special effects such as rendering the readable indicia 22 in a form requiring a so-called black light, or light from an ultraviolet lamp, or a heat activated ink, such as might be done to produce a novelty product.
 The readable indicia 22 may be thematically linked to the flavoring. For example, the flavoring may be that of a product which is commonly associated with the legend annunciated by the readable indicia 22. In the example of FIG. 1, the legend may include the name of a confection known to the public as M and M® and the company name, i.e., Mars®, the maker of that confection. The selected flavor may be that of chocolate. The flavor of chocolate is the dominating flavor of M and M® confections. Hence, the legend M and M® and the selected flavor are thematically linked.
 The association of chocolate and M and M® confections may have a reinforcing effect on a person who holds the envelope 10 up to view such that the readable indicia 22 is read, and the flavoring becomes apparent to the person when licking the adhesive. This reinforced experience, when introduced to an object (i.e., the envelope 10) and an activity (i.e., sealing the envelope 10) which are not inherently related to confections generally, or to that confection identified with the legend and the selected flavor, provides a promotional effect in that the attention of the person sealing the envelope 10 is directed to the subject of the readable indicia. This promotional effect may be exploited by parties to increase popularity of and demand for their products.
 In the example of FIG. 1, the readable indicia 22 appears as the name of a natural person rendered in text. Obviously, as seen in the examples set forth herein, the natural person may be a commercial entity. If desired, non-textual symbols or a symbolic logo could be used in place of text. For example, a depiction of one or more individual M and M® confections could be reproduced along the adhesive zone 16.
 FIG. 2 shows another implementation of the invention, wherein an envelope 110 generally has the attributes of the envelope 10 of FIG. 1, comprising a body 112, a sealing flap 114 connected to the body 112, and an adhesive zone 116 disposed on the sealing flap 114. The body 112 may be formed conventionally, having a rear panel 120 and an overlying front panel (concealed from view in FIG. 2). The adhesive zone 116 will be understood to bear a suitable remoistenable adhesive (not separately shown), which when moistened restores the adhesive properties of the adhesive, thereby enabling the sealing flap 114 to be joined to the rear panel 120.
 The envelope 110 as described thus far may be similar in construction, performance, attributes, and purposes to the envelope 10. The envelope 110 may or may not have readable indicia such as the readable indicia 22 of the envelope 10. The envelope 110 has flavoring and coloring disposed at the adhesive zone 116. The envelope 110 is devoid at places other than the adhesive zone of coloring similar to the coloring disposed at the adhesive zone.
 The coloring disposed at the adhesive zone 116 may take the form of an affirmatively introduced hue or shade of gray or of a hue used elsewhere on the envelope 110. The coloring may alternatively be produced by rendering the adhesive zone 116 as the only part of the envelope 110 not having color affirmatively introduced at all other areas of the envelope 110. In the latter example, an area of the color of the base constituent material of the body 112 of the envelope 110 may be configured to depict, for example, a symbolic logo of a natural person, such as the logo of a corporate entity.
 Examples of symbolic commercial logos may include the generally eyebrow shaped curved line adopted by Nike® or the figure of a greyhound dog running, adopted by Greyhound® as a symbol of their bus transportation services, could be used in place of or in addition to text.
 Regardless of how the effect is achieved, the perceived coloring at the adhesive zone 116 is discernibly different to an observer from coloring of the balance of the envelope 110. This sets the adhesive zone 116 apart from the balance of the envelope 110 so as to draw attention to the adhesive zone 116.
 In addition to merely establishing a distinguishing feature, coloring may be selected to impart specific identity, incorporating for example trade dress colors used by a commercial entity, or colors associated with the products of a commercial entity. As seen in FIG. 2, the adhesive zone 116 of the envelope 110 may bear representations 124, 126, 128, 130, 132 of M and M® confections, for example, rendered in their typical or representative colors of brown, red, green, and yellow, or any other colors which have come into use with these confections.
 Of course, the principles of the present invention may have applications beyond the Mars® brand. Other established makers of foods such as Altoid®, Baskin Robbins® , and Ferrero USA, known for their Tic Tac® confections, Hershey®, known for chocolates, and Starbucks®, known for coffee, represent a partial listing of commercial entities which could use the principles of the present invention for promotional purposes.
 While one significant contemplated goal of the invention is commercial promotion, this can be done independently of including corporate identity in the appeal. For example, and as would be applied to the color based concept of the envelope 110, the coloring at the adhesive zone 116 could include red and white striping, with the flavoring being typical of generic candy canes (this option is not shown). This may be utilized for example by a retail outlet which wishes to draw attention to a theme such as Christmas, without association with any particular corporate entity.
 It will be appreciated that strictly speaking, the sense of taste is limited to salty, sweet, sour, and the like. Sensations of flavoring generally ascribed to taste are actually olfactory in nature. Therefore, terms such as "taste" and "flavoring" will be understood to encompass the proper sensations of taste as well as olfactory constituents of what the public regards as flavor or taste. With this in mind, it will be considered the equivalent to flavoring to impart olfactory elements at the adhesive zone (such as the adhesive zone 16 or the adhesive zone 116), either as the entire flavoring source or as a partial flavoring source. Where provided as olfactory in whole or in part, the olfactory elements may be frangibly activated. That is, olfactory elements may be provided in encapsulated form which must be ruptured to release the olfactory effects. This concept is popularly known as "scratch-and-sniff".
 While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the present invention is not to be limited to the disclosed arrangements, but is intended to cover various arrangements which are included within the spirit and scope of the broadest possible interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all modifications and equivalent arrangements which are possible.
Patent applications in class Sealing
Patent applications in all subclasses Sealing