Patent application title: Re-Usable Carafe System with Re-Closable Pouches
Julie Corbett (Oakland, CA, US)
Julie Corbett (Oakland, CA, US)
Ecologic (Oakland, CA, US)
Romeo Graham (Chelsea, CA)
Romeo Graham (Chelsea, CA)
Robert Watters (Ottawa, CA)
Robert Watters (Ottawa, CA)
Michael Sirois (Ottawa, CA)
Michael Sirois (Ottawa, CA)
IPC8 Class: AB65D2514FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package with indicia or area modified for indicia
Publication date: 2013-08-01
Patent application number: 20130193020
An environmentally efficient packaging/delivery system that is cost
effective, carbon effective and readily recyclable while being very
usable for dispensing pourable materials (primarily dairy and juice) is
disclosed. The system leverages light-weight flexible refill pouches with
re-sealable closures that are securely installed in re-usable carafes in
the home. Single-use packaging is reduced since light-weight flexibles
are used as distribution and retail packaging, and a durable carafe is
used repeatedly in the home.
1. A material holding apparatus comprising: a re-usable container
comprising: a receiving feature for receiving a fitment on a re-closeable
pourable material containing pouch wherein the receiving feature is
adapted to allow the fitment to be: securely held to support the pouch,
resist twisting of the pouch, and to release the fitment if desired;
positioned optimally for dispensing the pourable material; and a
translucent window that permits an estimate to be made of the level of
pourable material in the pouch; the re-closeable material containing
pouch for holding and dispensing pourable material comprising: a fitment
that fits securely into the receiving feature of the container to support
the pouch and deter it from twisting but is removable from the receiving
feature with adequate force; an opening for dispensing the pourable
material that is re-closable and indicates whether the opening has been
opened previously; and a recyclable material that holds the pourable
2. The material holding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the re-usable container comprises a material that is capable of holding a pourable material of a weight that is appropriate for the volume of the container.
3. The material holding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the re-usable container comprises a shape that permits a first container to be nested inside an additional container.
4. The material holding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the reusable container comprises a shape to fit in an A×B space.
5. The material holding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the reusable container further comprises a separate handle that can be remove-ably attached to the reusable container.
6. The material holding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the reusable container further comprises a lid that communicates with the fitment and assists in holding the re-closeable material containing pouch in place.
7. The material holding apparatus of claim 6, wherein the reusable container further comprises a securing mechanism that release-able holds the lid in a closed position.
8. The material holding apparatus of claim 7, wherein the hinged lid is release-ably held in place with a snap fitment.
9. The material holding apparatus of claim 8, wherein the lid further comprises a handle.
10. The material holding apparatus of claim 9, wherein the handle further comprises a retention device to assist in securing the material containing pouch.
11. The material holding apparatus of claim 6, wherein the lid adjusts from a first open position to a second closed position to secure the fitment.
12. The material holding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lid is made of the same material as the material holding container.
13. The material holding apparatus of claim 9, wherein the fitment is adapted to snap fit into the lid.
14. The material holding apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a logo imprinted in the material holding container.
15. The material holding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the material holding liner further comprises a communication form.
16. The material holding apparatus of claim 15, wherein the communication form further comprises a coupon.
17. The material holding apparatus of claim 15, wherein the communication form further comprises a prize.
18. The material holding apparatus of claim 1, wherein the material holding container is dishwasher safe.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application No. 61/569,032, filed Dec. 9, 2011.
 A problem with current dairy and juice packaging is that virtually all of the materials associated with distribution, retailing, and use are single-use, in that the entire consumer purchased container is disposed of in either recycling or trash (with the exception of returnable dairy crates & pallets, and glass dairy bottles in limited use in some areas). There is a significant amount of monetary resources committed to a full featured container. This is includes the necessary materials to fulfill both the structural/mechanical and the content preservation roles.
 Current options in many areas are blow-molded plastic (HDPE or PET, PP) bottles, laminated paperboard packages from TetraPak, (TetraBrik, TetraTop, etc.), SIG, EloPak, gable top cartons etc. While most options are technically recyclable, there is wide variety in access to recycling facilities for consumers globally which reduces the actual recyclability of the packages. Laminated packages are often of very dis-similar materials and excessively complex, or require high energy use to separate into more usable single material streams.
 While the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) industry is aggressively pursuing sustainability initiatives, more can be done to reduce the amount of virgin material used in single-use packaging, and in un-recyclable packages. CPGs are light-weighting packaging and products across the board. Even for the packaging materials that are recyclable however, many are not recycled, because there is not equal access to recycling facilities in every municipality.
 Disclosed is an environmentally efficient packaging/delivery system that is cost effective, carbon effective and readily recyclable while being very usable for dispensing pourable materials (for example dairy and juice) in consumers' homes. The system leverages light-weight flexible refill pouches with reseal-able closures that are securely installed in re-usable carafes. Single-use packaging is reduced as light-weight flexibles are used as distribution and retail packaging, and a durable carafe is used repeatedly.
INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
 All publications, patents and patent applications mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
 FIG. 1 illustrates one of the many embodiments of a carafe;
 FIG. 2 illustrates a historic carafe and pouch;
 FIG. 3a illustrates a pouch connecting to a carafe with a hinged lid;
 FIG. 3b illustrates a pouch connecting to a carafe with a snap fit lid;
 FIG. 3c illustrates a pouch connecting to a carafe with a hinged lid;
 FIG. 4a illustrates the nesting ability of the carafes from a first view;
 FIG. 4b illustrates the nesting ability of the carafes from a second view;
 FIG. 5 illustrates a window to see how much pourable material is in the pouch;
 FIG. 6a illustrates an embodiment of a pouch being placed into a carafe;
 FIG. 6b illustrate an embodiment of a pouch attached to a carafe of FIG. 6a;
 FIG. 7a illustrate a carafe with a closing receiving feature in an open position;
 FIG. 7b illustrates the carafe of FIG. 7a with a closing receiving feature in a closing position
 FIG. 7c illustrates the carafe of FIG. 7a with a closing receiving feature in a closed position;
 FIG. 8 illustrates a carafe with a closing receiving feature;
 FIG. 9a illustrate another embodiment of a pouch with a fitment;
 FIG. 9b illustrates another embodiment of a carafe with a complementary receiving feature to the fitment of FIG. 9a;
 FIG.10 illustrates an alternative receiving feature and a handle;
 FIG. 11 illustrates another embodiment of the receiving feature;
 FIG. 12[a] illustrates another embodiment of the receiving feature;
 FIG. 12b illustrates the receiving feature of FIG. 12a receiving a fitment;
 FIG. 13a illustrate another embodiment of a carafe and pouch where the carafe is open;
 FIG. 13b illustrates the carafe of FIG. 13b being closed around a pouch;
 FIG. 14a illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch where the pouch is placed in a study carafe;
 FIG. 14b illustrates the pouch inside the carafe of FIG. 14a;
 FIG. 14c illustrates a strengthening band as a receiving feature that is placed around the carafe of FIG. 14a and the pouch;
 FIG.15a illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch with a removable receiving feature that connects around a side of the carafe;
 FIG. 15b illustrates a separate receiving feature that snaps around the carafe of FIG. 15a and the pouch;
 FIG. 15c illustrates a separate receiving feature in communication with the carafe of FIG. 15a;
 FIG. 16a illustrate another embodiment of a carafe and pouch which has a sliding receiving feature in an open position;
 FIG. 16b illustrates the carafe of FIG. 16a with the sliding receiving feature in the closed position;
 FIG. 16c illustrates the carafe of FIG. 16a with the sliding receiving feature locking in a fitment of a carafe;
 FIG. 17a illustrate an additional embodiment of a carafe and pouch with a sliding receiving feature and a sliding fitment;
 FIG. 17b a cutaway view of the pouch fitting into the receiving area of the carafe of FIG. 17a;
 FIG. 17c illustrates the carafe and the receiving feature of FIG. 17a;
 FIG. 17d illustrates the carafe and the receiving feature of FIG. 17a with a cap being removed and a seal cap being removed;
 FIG. 18a illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch using a retention notch to control the pouch;
 FIG. 18b illustrates the pouch with the retention feature that communicates with the carafe of FIG. 18a;
 FIG. 18c illustrates the pouch with the retention feature that communicates with the carafe of FIG. 18a and the spout at an angle;
 FIG. 19a illustrates another embodiment of pouch with retention notches;
 FIG. 19b illustrates the carafe adapted to receive the pouch of FIG. 19a;
 FIG. 20a illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch with a pouch holder with the pouch being placed in the pouch holder;
 FIG. 20b illustrates the pouch inside the pouch holder of the carafe of FIG. 20a;
 FIG. 21a illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch with a pouch holder with the pouch holder in an open position;
 FIG. 21b illustrates the pouch being placed inside the pouch holder of the carafe of FIG. 21a
 FIG. 22a illustrates a carafe with a control notch from a first view;
 FIG. 22b illustrates the carafe of FIG. 22a with a control notch from a second view;
 FIG. 23 illustrates another embodiment of a carafe with a lid and a pouch;
 FIG. 24a illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch with a pouch holder;
 FIG. 24b illustrates the pouch inside the pouch holder of the carafe of FIG. 24a;
 FIG. 25 illustrates another embodiment of a carafe of FIG. 24a with the pouch in place;
 FIG. 26 illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch;
 FIG. 27a illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch from a first perspective;
 FIG. 27b illustrates the carafe and pouch of FIG. 27a from an additional perspective;
 FIG. 27c illustrates the carafe and pouch of FIG. 27a from yet an additional perspective;
 FIG. 28 illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch;
 FIG. 29 illustrates a fitment;
 FIG. 30 illustrates a fitment and a receiving feature;
 FIG. 31 illustrates a fitment and a receiving feature;
 FIG. 32 illustrates a pourable material holding vessel and a detachable handle;
 FIG. 33 illustrates a pourable material holding vessel and a detachable handle attached at an attachment point;
 FIG. 34a illustrates a pourable material holding vessel and a detachable handle with the handle being attached at one point;
 FIG. 34b illustrates the pourable material holding vessel of FIG. 34a and the detachable handle with the handle being snapped into attachment at a second point;
 FIG. 34c illustrates the pourable material holding vessel of FIG. 34a and the detachable handle with the handle snapped into place at a second point;
 FIG. 35a illustrates a pourable material holding vessel and a detachable handle from a first perspective;
 FIG. 35b illustrates the pourable material holding vessel of FIG. 35a and the detachable handle from a second perspective;
 FIG. 36 illustrates one embodiment of the pouches on display;
 FIG. 37 illustrates another embodiment of pouches on display;
 FIG. 38 illustrates another embodiment of pouches on display;
 FIG. 39 illustrates an embodiment of pouches being shipped;
 FIG. 40a illustrates another embodiment of a carafe and pouch with a top cover being attached; and
 FIG. 40b illustrates the embodiment of FIG. 40a with the top cover attached.
 Although the following text sets forth a detailed description of numerous different embodiments, it should be understood that the legal scope of the description is defined by the words of the claims set forth at the end of this patent. The detailed description is to be construed as exemplary only and does not describe every possible embodiment since describing every possible embodiment would be impractical, if not impossible. Numerous alternative embodiments could be implemented, using either current technology or technology developed after the filing date of this patent, which would still fall within the scope of the claims.
 It should also be understood that, unless a term is expressly defined in this patent using the sentence "As used herein, the term `______` is hereby defined to mean . . . " or a similar sentence, there is no intent to limit the meaning of that term, either expressly or by implication, beyond its plain or ordinary meaning, and such term should not be interpreted to be limited in scope based on any statement made in any section of this patent (other than the language of the claims). To the extent that any term recited in the claims at the end of this patent is referred to in this patent in a manner consistent with a single meaning, that is done for sake of clarity only so as to not confuse the reader, and it is not intended that such claim term by limited, by implication or otherwise, to that single meaning. Finally, unless a claim element is defined by reciting the word "means" and a function without the recital of any structure, it is not intended that the scope of any claim element be interpreted based on the application of 35 U.S.C. §112, sixth paragraph.
 It is clear that consumers are supporting the environmental initiatives where these options are generally cost competitive while still offering a level of product functionality that remains high and meets expectations. FTC, SPC, and other regulatory bodies are beginning to stipulate that package labeling clearly communicates the TRUE recyclability of the package's materials in the region where it is used. In addition, significant retailer initiatives are underway to minimize packaging materials or simplify package so that there are a greater number of good quality, end of life options for materials reuse.
 An approach to reduce the amount of single-use packaging in dairy products is to increase the proportion of reusable components relative to single-use components. It is critical to address this opportunity through consideration of a system that reaches from producers though distributors & retailers to consumer's homes and through to participation in recycling programs and re-processing of waste materials.
 There are several functions of a package for dairy products. First and foremost, it must ensure product safety through the stated shelf life. To do this, it has a barrier component, a closure component, and a structural component. In the laminate paperboard structures such as Tetra packages, the barrier and structural component are laminated to one another into a single-walled, paper-based structure. In a blow molded bottle, the functions of structure and barrier are performed by a single-walled structure. There is a problem with this approach, as barrier properties and structural integrity are derived from different types of materials. When materials are comingled or laminated, they are more difficult to recycle.
 The described holding system 100 separates the functions of barrier from the function of structure. Since the pouch (barrier) 120 is not required to provide structural characteristics, it can be thinner, and use less virgin material to produce. In many countries, a durable, reusable carafe 110 is paired with a single-use refill pouch. 120. The pouch 120 is purchased on the usual high frequency, repeat basis. The carafe 110 stays at the point of use such as the home, office or restaurant and initially is either purchased by the user or is given to the user free as a promotional item. FIG. 2 may illustrate a sample system. There are several variations on the system, for example and not limitation:
 The pouch 120 is a simple pillow-pouch (VFFS, etc.) with no fitment 140 or spout. The corner is removed with scissors and it is not possible to re-close the pouch 120 between uses; or
 The carafe 110 could be a very simple open-top jug or a complex, multi-part jug.
 A carafe 110 and pouch 120 system scores very high on sustainability rankings. Significant contributing features include light weighting of single-use items due to a reusable structural component. As a result there is a reduction of energy inputs on the manufacturing side. With high product to packaging ratio, the distribution system energy costs are expended on moving and merchandizing product.
 There are shortcomings inherent with the current pouch and carafe system that contribute to its limited consumer acceptance. First, there is a need for a cutting device to open the pouch. If the cutting device is absent, there is a barrier to entry. In addition, there is no way to close the cut opening. Once the pouch is open, it stays open as there is no sealing or closing mechanism. The size of the corner cut has a significant effect on the actual pouring characteristics. This can range from slower or faster than desired. The cut also may be a rough cut and this can result in an unpredictable stream of exiting liquid. Errors lead to spills, waste and a less than satisfactory user experience. In addition, the opened pouch may be unstable at the upper end and may shift during the pouring process. It is not uncommon for the opening to shift during pouring as the user tilts the carafe and the content load then shift to the orifice end of the pouch.
 Shortcomings with other types of systems that have sought to improve upon the carafe and pouch system have resulted in systems that have additional problems. Jugit is an example and it is complex, finicky, material-intensive, requires cleaning, has loose parts and requires assembly on-shelf or in the user's home or other space.
 There are some systems 100 where the pouch 120 is dropped into a jug with a piercing member in the bottom, and the pouch 120 opens, releasing the contents into the jug. The pouch 120 is removed, and the milk is dispensed from the jug. The down sides are that the jug requires cleaning, emptying the pouch is potentially messy and keeping the contents "clean" is a challenge. Even existing bottles also have shortcomings. Due to the single use nature and the desire to minimize materials and overall shipping volume to reduce cost, handles on typical HDPE milk jugs are often undersized. This, in combination with the opening size, can result in sloshing and sudden dispensation of liquids.
 The carafe system 100 contemplated herein includes a carafe 110 or container with integrally molded receiving features 130 for a fitment 140 on a pouch 120. The carafe 110 nests for efficient shipping and storage prior to sale to a customer. The carafe 110 may be made from injection-molded plastic, as an example and not limitation, the plastic could be PP, HDPE, ABS, etc. Of course other manufacturing methods and materials are possible and are contemplated.
 FIG. 1 may illustrate a sample pourable material holding apparatus 100 which also is referred to as a carafe system 100. The word "carafe" is not meant to be limiting in that carafes may have open tops and certain known shapes but the word "carafe" is used to present the concept that an outside shell is used to support an inner liner. The apparatus 100 may include a re-usable container 110 or carafe. The carafe 110 may be a durable, re-usable carafe 110 for the home or institutional/commercial use and may be injection-molded plastic, molded with an open bottom to take advantage of draft angles to achieve fitment lock features in top open end of carafe. In some embodiments, a bottom part may be assembled to the carafe 110 post-molding.
 The carafe 110 may be blow molded plastic, and molded entirely closed, with spout snap-in features die-cut out of the enclosed area afforded by the blow molding process. In other embodiments, the carafe 110 could be sheet metal, ceramic, glass, or any other material well-suited to the kitchen environment. Of course, other materials are possible and are contemplated. About the only limitation on the material is that it be capable of holding a pourable material of a weight that is appropriate for the volume of the container or carafe 110. This carafe 110 and pouch 120 system in not meant to be limited to certain materials or processes.
 The pouches 120 may be produced in several volume capacities. By example and not limitation, the following volumes: 0.5 L, 0.75 L, 1.00 L, 1.3 L 1.5 L, 2.0 L etc. are possible. The pouch 120 may be lightweight and flexible and could be made from one type of plastic resin (LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, blends etc.). The lightweight flexible film pouch 120 and fitment 140 could both be made from the same family of resins. As an example and not limitation, the pouch 120 and the fitment 140 could both be made from LDPE. As another example and not limitation, the pouch 120 could be made from a mostly LDPE film with barrier layers of other materials suitable for dairy packaging and with an appropriate sealing layer and the fitment 140 could be made from LDPE.
 The pouches 120 to be used in the carafe 110 can be made by VFFS (Vertical Form Fill and Seal) process with fitment 140 installation, HFFS (Horizontal Form Fill and Seal) with fitment installation or platen forming with fitment 140 installation. The pouches 120 could be pillow style or be formed into flat bottom pouches, sidewall pouches, side weld, etc. The pouch 120 film could be single material such as a Polyethylene or constructed as a laminated film structure. In addition, the film could be a co-extrusion alloy of more than one type of plastic. Film materials could include, but are not limited to, HDPE, LDPE, PP, PET, Nylon, Metallocene, LLDPE, etc. Pouches 120 could be multi walled (i.e., two thin layers make each wall) but a preferred embodiment may be a single walled material. Pouches 120 could also be made by a thin wall extrusion blow molding (i.e., windshield washer fluid containers) process or injection stretch blow molding (similar to PET Coke® bottles) with and integrated fitment 140. These could be layered structures or single wall structures with a range of material option.
 The pouch 120 could have features in the film, formed by a combination of thermal welding or ultrasonic welding and or die-cutting, that assist with or promote the following (the features may include holes, sealed flat areas, formed loops, slits, die-cuts, calendared textures, profiled edges, etc.):
 handle for picking up, carrying, inserting into carafe 110
 insertion to carafe 110,
 locking into carafe 110,
 better evacuation of beverage from pouch 120 when in carafe 110,
 structural integrity of carafe 110 when pouch 120 is installed.
 The pouch 120 could be a simple pillow-pouch style (essentially flat when not filled). The pouch 120 could have formed/overlapped/shaped areas to assist standing up on shelf for merchandising or storage in refrigerator in the home and the pouch 120 may fully-deploy and fill the internal volume available in the carafe 110, providing friction or other mechanical means to improve retention in the carafe 110 and promote evacuation of beverage from pouch 120.
 The carafe 110 may be of virtually any shape. Of course, the carafe may be designed to hold a pouch of pourable material. The carafe cannot be so thin that a pouch cannot be inserted. As illustrated in FIGS. 4a and 4b, in one embodiment, the shape of the carafe 110 permits a first container to be nested inside an additional container. As an example, the opening of the carafe 110 may be wide enough to accept the base of another carafe 110 and allow the carafes to fit inside each other for easy transport.
 In FIGS. 1 and 2, the carafe 110 may be a pitcher sort of shape. In some embodiments, the carafe 110 may have a lid 200 that may close over the pouch 120. In some embodiments, the lids may help secure the fitment 140 to the carafe 110.
 FIGS. 3a and 3b may illustrate some additional holding vessel 100 embodiments. In FIG. 3a, the pouch 120 may be placed vertically into the carafe 110 and the lid 200 may assist in keeping the pouch 120 in place. In FIG. 3b, the lid 3200 has a pivot point which creates a hinge like action for the lid 200 as it close down onto the carafe 100 and holds the pouch 120 in place.
 The carafe 110 may have a window 500 (FIG. 5) that permits an estimate to be made of the level of pourable material in the pouch. The window may be molded into the carafe 110 or may be an opening in the carafe 110 itself.
 The carafe may also be designed to fit into a regionally appropriate refrigerator. As an example, the door on a US refrigerator may accept a 6 inch wide and 12 inch tall container. Logically, the carafe may be 6 inches wide and 12 inches tall.
 FIGS. 6a and 6b may illustrate another possible design for the carafe 110 and pouch 120. The pouch 120 may be slid into the carafe 110 with the pouch fitment 140 registering in a release-able manner with the receiving feature 130. FIG. 6b may illustrate the pouch 120 being release-ably connected to the carafe 110.
 The carafe 110 may include a receiving feature 130 for receiving a fitment 140 on a re-closeable pourable material containing pouch 120 where the receiving feature 130 allows the fitment 140 to be securely held to support the pouch 120, may assist in resisting twisting of the pouch 120, may bring the pouch/fitment 140 in working position, compared to its natural manufacturing position/orientation/angle and may allow the release of the fitment 140 if desired. The carafe's receiving feature 130 may be cylindrical in shape, arranged with its axis at some angle to the long axis of the carafe 110, so as to position the fitment 140 in an optimal use angle and position. The receiving feature 130 may also position a lug on the fitment 140, for the purpose of preventing rotation during capping/uncapping. The receiving feature 130 may have an open end slightly smaller than the maximum outside diameter of the fitment 140 ("E" dimension). Due to the flexible and compliant nature of the fitment 140 material and the carafe material 110, this restricted opening allows insertion of the fitment 140, but provides resistance to removal of fitment 140. The receiving feature 130 may be integrated to any carafe 110 design/material. A non restricted opening is also contemplated where the fitment inserts easily and is release-ably retained to the carafe with and additional feature such and a snap, a sliding lock, a threaded collar, etc.
 The receiving feature 130 may be a separate part that is purchased (by a carafe-manufacturer) and assembled to match the fitment 140. Similarly, the rights to the receiving features may be purchased for manufacture or directly incorporate the features into the carafe by the carafe manufacturer. The receiving feature 130 may be produced in a manufacturing method that allows high tolerances required for proper engagement with features of a pouch fitment 140 and assembled to a carafe 110 produced in a manufacturing method with that produces parts with lower tolerances. Of course other methods for retention of the fitment are possible and are contemplated.
 The carafe 110 could have fitment 140 snap-in features 700 that are molded in a first position and shipped in that position, efficiently nested. FIGS. 7a, 7b and 7c may illustrate one possible embodiment. A flap 720 with corresponding features 700 to the snap in features 710 could be part of a foldable receiving feature 130. The user may fold and snap the fitment snap-in features 700 into the corresponding snap in features 710, creating the receiving feature 130 in the proper location for the fitment 140 (FIG. 7c). The integral snap features 710 that hold the "snap-in" features 700 in the second use position could be one-time snaps, i.e. the user would not be able to reverse the process. In another embodiment, the snaps 700 and corresponding snaps 710 could be releasable connected. FIG. 8 may illustrate another embodiment where a second flap 730 may also be used to full close the top of the carafe 110, further ensuring that the pouch 120 will not remove itself unwillingly.
 FIGS. 9a and 9b may illustrate yet another embodiment of the pourable material holding vessel 100. The pouch 120 (FIG. 9a) may have a fitment 140 that snaps or locks into a corresponding receiving feature 130 in the carafe 110 (FIG. 9b). In one embodiment, the fitment 140 slides and locks using rails and slides into the receiving feature 130. In other embodiments, the fitment 140 may simply fit tightly into the receiving feature 130.
 FIG. 10 illustrates another embodiment of the carafe 110. The carafe 110 may have a top 1000 that has a receiving feature 130 built into it along with a handle 1010. The fitment 120 may fit and lock into the receiving feature 130 and the handle 1010 may be used to manipulate the pourable material holding vessel 100.
 FIGS. 11, 12a and 12b may be yet another embodiment of the pourable material holding vessel 100. In FIGS. 11, 12a and 12b, the fitment 140 may be held in place using connecting members. For example, the fitment 140 may have one or more male members 1100 and the carafe 1200 may have a corresponding number and shape of female members 1200. These female members may be created easily within the carafe tooling line of draw, if made in injection molded plastic. The male members 1100 may connect with the female members 1200 (FIG. 12b) and hold the fitment 140 in the desired location until the user is prepared to recycle the pouch 120.
 The fitment may have a cylindrical body, with a welding flange at an end and at another end, threads or other features to receive a closure. There could also be an integrally-molded closure, or an integrally-molded closure on a flexible strap. There are features (ribs, protrusions, flanges etc) for secure fit with the inside surface of the container when fitment is in use position. There is a feature to prevent rotation during capping/uncapping that fits into a receiving feature in the carafe. This could be a lug, block, rib, etc. The fitments could be made of a range of materials, including PP, LDPE, HDPE, LLDPE and they can be attached to the pouches by heat welding, ultrasonic welding, or other processes. Of course other features for facilitation of insertion and for retention of the fitment are possible and are contemplated.
 FIG. 13 is an illustration of another embodiment of the pourable material holding device 100. The carafe 110 may have a parting line of may be two parts. The two parts may be brought together around the pouch 120, thereby locking the fitment 140 into the receiving feature 130. Of course, the carafe 110 may be more parts, but the complexity of the carafe 110 may make its use less desirable.
 FIG. 14 is an illustration of yet another possible embodiment of the pourable material holding vessel 100. The pouch 120 may be placed in a carafe 110. Then the carafe of one material 110 holding the pouch 110 may be placed inside a band 130 of the same or an alternate material that may include the receiving feature to hold the fitment 140 as desired.
 FIG. 15 illustrates an embodiment where the receiving feature 1500 is a separate piece. In some embodiments, the receiving feature 1500 is a separate piece and in other embodiments, the receiving feature 1500 is connected to the carafe 110 in a pivoting fashion. In its open position, it may allow for a less obstructed installation of the pouch into the carafe. The fitment 140 may be locked in place using the separate receiving feature 130 and the receiving feature 130 may be connected to the carafe 110 using mechanical, physical or any other appropriate fastening system.
 FIGS. 16a, 16b and 16c illustrate another possible embodiment of the pourable material holding vessel 100. In FIG. 16a, the retention feature 130 is attached to the carafe 110 using a sliding connection. The retention feature 130 may slide closed (FIG. 16b) and thereby lock the pouch 120 and fitment 140 in place (FIG. 16c). The retention feature 130 may lock in place using mechanical, physical or any other appropriate closing system. Similarly, FIGS. 17a, 17b, 17c and 17d may illustrate another embodiment where the fitment 140 slides into the receiving feature 130 on the carafe 110. The guides on the fitment 140 ensure that the fitment 140 is at a desire angle and is securely in position.
 FIGS. 18a, 18b and 18c illustrate another possible embodiment of the pourable material holding vessel 100. The carafe 110 may have a retaining point 1800 that connects with a corresponding retention receiver 1810 in the pouch 120. As illustrated in FIGS. 18b and 18c, the shape of the pouch 120 may be varied but the retaining point 1800 and retention receiver 1810 may still operate effectively. FIGS. 19a and 19b illustrate a variation where the retention points 1800 are on the side of the carafe 110 and the retention receivers 1810 are on two flaps attached to the pouch 120. Of course, additional retention designs are possible and are contemplated.
 FIGS. 20a and 20b illustrate another embodiment of the pourable material holding vessel 100. The fitment 140 attached to the pouch 120 may be angled into the receiving feature 130 and secured into position as shown in FIG. 20b. FIGS. 21a and 21b may illustrate another embodiment where the receiving feature 130 may be movable to better receive the fitment 140. Once the fitment 140 is secured in the receiving feature 130, the receiving feature may be moved to a locking position thereby holding the liner 120 and fitment 140 in place (FIG. 21b).
 FIG. 22 may illustrate the carafe 110 along with the retention feature 130 and a control notch 2200. The control notch 2200 may receive a fitment notch 2210 (FIG. 29) that assists in securing the fitment 140 and prevents the fitment from spinning when a cap 3100 or other closure device is screwed onto the fitment 140.
 FIG. 23 illustrates another embodiment of the pourable material holding vessel 100. The vessel 100 may have a lid 2300 that assists in holding the pouch 120 in place. FIGS. 24a and 24b provide additional detail, illustrating that the pouch may be attached to a pouch holder 2400 which may slip into the carafe 110, with the alignment device 2410 following the alignment crease 2420 in the carafe 110 to ensure that the fitment 140 fits accurately in the receiving feature 130 (FIG. 24b). FIG. 25 may illustrate that the carafe 110 may also have the alignment notch 220 such that the fitment 140 may accurately fit the receiving feature 130.
 The fitment 140 may be reclose-able, such as with a flip cap or a screw cap 3100. The fitment 140 on the pouch 120 may also have tamper-evident seal and a re-usable closure. The fitment 140 may have features that securely snap in to and engage with the receiving feature 130 on the carafe 110. The fitment 140 may be face mounted or edge mounted to the pouch 120. Face-mounted fitments are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,237,308, 5,288,531,4,709,528, 7,076,935, 6,874,299, 6,826,892, 6,794,053, 6,237,308, 5,363,966, and U.S. Patent Application No. 20060111224, which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
 The fitment 140 may also have features such as holes, hooks, snaps, ridges, fins, flanges, etc. for improving merchandising options, securing fitment 140 to carafe 110, guiding fitment 140 into correct location/position/orientation in carafe receiving feature 130, providing audible feedback when the fitment 140 is locked into place in carafe 110, providing tactile feedback when the fitment 140 is locked into place in carafe 110, providing a location for hang-tag or other labeling for any purpose, creating a hanging pouch 120 from features in carafe 110, stabilizing the top of the pouch 120 while the pouch 120 rests in carafe 110, providing a hang pouch 120 on a shopping cart during transit from dairy case to checkout to car, etc.
 In some embodiments of the fitment 140 used in the carafe 110, the same fitment 140 could be designed to fit into a molded pulp shell; the resulting rigid vessel 100 with polymer liner could be suitable for distribution, retailing, and dispensing of beverages or other fluid or aggregate materials for engagement to a pulp molded bottle shell 110. This could leverage tooling capital, suppliers, distribution, etc., in place for one type of package (the refill pouch 120 for carafe 110) for use in another type of packaging.
 The fitment 140 may provide secure closure after initial opening and the fitment 140 may provide medium-level of security in closure after initial opening. In addition, the fitment 140 may, through color variations, communicate different products carried in the pouch 120 (e.g.: blue fitment may indicate Skimmed Milk, pink fitment may mean 2% Milk, white fitment may mean 3.25% Milk, or any other designated product, according to the dairy/retailer's current color scheme). The fitment 140 may promote complete evacuation of beverage from pouch 120, without undue rotation of package 110 and the fitment 140 may prevent the pouch 120 from falling out of carafe 110 when pouring the last part of beverage out (and when carafe 110 may be upside down).
 The fitment 140 may be made from a single material, may be made in a single part and may be closed with a separate closure (screw-type, snap, etc). The fitment 140 may also be in a single part including an integral tamper-evident device; and have a separate closure. The closure may be a snap-type closure, molded in a first "open" position, then moved into a second "closed" position for distribution, retailing, and use. The second "closed" position may also create the appropriate closure after the package is first opened by the user.
 FIG. 26 illustrates one embodiment where the fitment 140 slides down and is secured in the receiving feature 130. FIGS. 27a, 27b and 27c illustrate the pouched 120 locked into the carafe 110 from a variety of angles while FIG. 28 illustrates a more detailed view of the fitment 140 and the receiving feature 130. FIG. 40 may illustrate a carafe 100 with a top cover 180 where the receiver feature 130 may be located mainly or fully in the top cover 180. After the connection is made between the fitment 140 and the receiver feature 130, the cover 180 may be closed for use. Such an arrangement may be beneficial with keeping the more complex receiving feature 130 in the smaller upper cover part 180 and in allowing a smart cover part with the receiver feature 130 to be attached to a plurality of different carafe 110 material types.
 FIG. 29 illustrates one embodiment of the fitment 140, along with the alignment notch 2210. FIG. 30 illustrates how the alignment notch 2210 may fit into the alignment notch 220 in the receiving feature 140 of the carafe 110. The result of the notch is that when a cap 3100 is screwed onto the fitment 140, the fitment 140 may not spin. Alternately, a wedge shape receiving feature may accept a matching wedge shaped fitment and be both self aligning and anti-spin. FIG. 31 illustrates how the fitment 140 may be locked into the receiving feature 130 and how a cap 310 may fit on the fitment 3100. Other shapes and detailing for fitments 140 have been contemplated.
 FIGS. 32-35a & 35b illustrate that the vessel 100 may have a detachable handle 1010. Referring to FIG. 33, the handle 1010 may attach at an attachment point 3700 on the carafe 110. FIGS. 34a-34c illustrates that the handle 1010 may be attached at the attachment point 3700 and then angled down to snap over the alignment creases 2420 in the carafe 110. As a result, the handle 1010 may attach at the upper attachment point 3700 and on each side by connecting to the alignment creases 2420 (FIG. 35b). In other embodiments, the handle 1010 may be a strap or a long handle that connects at the upper area of the carafe 110 and into a receiving area or crease molded into the bottom of the carafe 110. Of course, other manners of attaching a handle 1010 may be possible and are contemplated.
 FIGS. 36-39 illustrate the various ways in which the pouches 120 may be displayed and sold. The pouches 120 may be merchandised in cardboard display boxes 3500 (FIG. 39) in a dairy case. The pouches 120 may be standing up (FIG. 38), with dividers in box, lying down, loose-packed in box, etc. In this last option, the fitment is designed such that is generally smooth will ensure that fitments do not perforate pouches when loose packed.
 The pouches 120 may be sold in multi-packs of 2, 3, 4 or more pouches of various capacities (e.g.: 3×1.3 L pouches). Multi-pack configurations may result in total volumes typically sold in dairy: 1/2 gallon, 1 gallon, 2 gallon, etc. Multi-packs may be packed in thin polymer bags and the bags may be thin LDPE. The arrangement may give the multi pouches double wall security and can immobilize fitments and keep them from abrading neighboring pouches.
 The multi-packs may be secured with a strap that also functions as a carry/hang handle. Other methods of securing and merchandising multi-packs may be possible and are contemplated. FIGS. 36 and 37 may illustrate a system using a re-usable carafe 110, several hanging fixtures installed in a refrigerator, and single-use refill pouches 120 that engage into the carafe 110 and the fixtures on the refrigerator door.
 The pouches 120 may be stored hanging from the fixtures on the door, both before they are opened, and after they are opened, but before they are consumed completely. The user may store the partially-used pouches 120 in the refrigerator, and only put the pouch 120 that they needed into the carafe 110 when they needed to use it. Several products may be available for purchase in the refill pouches 120 (milk, juice, etc). This may save refrigerator space for storage.
 The benefits of the described pourable material holding vessel 100 are many. At a high level, less trash may be created as more of the pourable material delivery vessels will be recycled. In addition, the described embodiments may create a clean and safe device that is easy and reliable to use for transporting and dispensing pourable materials. Users will be pleased with the ease of use, reliability and re-use-ability of the described vessel 100.
Patent applications by Julie Corbett, Oakland, CA US
Patent applications by Michael Sirois, Ottawa CA
Patent applications by Robert Watters, Ottawa CA
Patent applications by Romeo Graham, Chelsea CA
Patent applications by ECOLOGIC
Patent applications in class WITH INDICIA OR AREA MODIFIED FOR INDICIA
Patent applications in all subclasses WITH INDICIA OR AREA MODIFIED FOR INDICIA