Patent application title: MERCHANDISE STORAGE AND DISPLAY CONTAINER WITH SECURITY INSERT
Douglas Robert Wynalda (Kennedale, TX, US)
David Wynalda (Belmont, MI, US)
Wynalda Litho, Inc.
IPC8 Class: AB65D7554FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package with structural locking modification
Publication date: 2016-05-26
Patent application number: 20160145022
An anti-shoplifting security insert is configured to fit within aligned
openings of a merchandise storage container to prevent ready access to
the container. The security insert includes a one-way thread that assists
in the installation of the insert without damaging the material of the
container that defines the aligned openings. An exemplary merchandise
storage container configuration includes a container body that defines a
merchandise storage chamber. The container has at least first and second
panels that at least partially overlap and define aligned security
openings which receive the security insert.
1. A merchandise storage container with a security insert comprising: a
foldable container body defining a merchandise storage chamber; the
container having at least first and second panels that have panel
portions that overlap when the first and second panels are in a closed
configuration; the overlapping panel portions defining security openings
that are aligned when the panels are in the closed configuration; and a
polymer security insert disposed in the security openings; the security
insert defining a one-way thread that allows the security insert to be
twisted into the security openings.
2. The container of claim 1, wherein the foldable container body is made from a paperboard.
3. The container of claim 1, wherein the foldable container body is made from a polymer-based material.
4. A merchandise storage container with a security insert comprising: a foldable container body defining a merchandise storage chamber; the container having at least first and second panels that have panel portions that overlap when the first and second panels are in a closed configuration; the overlapping panel portions defining security openings that are aligned when the panels are in the closed configuration; and a polymer security insert disposed in the security openings; the security insert defining a structure that prevents the security insert from being readily removed from the security openings.
5. The container of claim 4, wherein the foldable container body is made from a paperboard.
6. The container of claim 4, wherein the foldable container body is made from a polymer-based material.
7. A merchandise storage container with a security insert comprising: a container body defining a merchandise storage chamber; the container having at least first and second portions that overlap when the first and second portions are in a closed configuration; the overlapping portions defining security openings that are aligned when the portions are in the closed configuration; the security openings having maximum widths; a security insert disposed in the security openings; the security insert including a shaft extending from a head and a one-way thread disposed around the shaft; the one-way thread having a top end that is spaced from the head by a gap; the head having a width larger than the maximum width of the security openings; and the shaft having a maximum width smaller than the maximum width of the security openings.
8. The container of claim 7, wherein the container body is made from a paperboard.
9. The container of claim 7, wherein the container body is made from a polymer-based material.
10. The container of claim 7, wherein the one-way thread is tapered from a large diameter at its top end to a smaller diameter at its bottom end.
11. The container of claim 7, wherein the shaft is tapered from a large diameter at the top end of the one-way thread to a smaller diameter at its bottom end.
12. The container of claim 7, wherein the one-way thread has an upper surface that is perpendicular to the shaft.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/068,615 filed Oct. 24, 2014; the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
 1. Technical Field
 The disclosure generally relates to merchandise storage and display containers and, more particularly, merchandise storage and display containers having a security feature that limits access to the container. Specifically, the disclosure relates to a fold up merchandise storage and display container that includes a security insert that maintains at least a pair of closure panels in adjacent and closed configurations to prevent undesired access to the container through those panels.
 2. Background Information
 Companies that sell consumer goods in storage and display containers sell their goods to a variety of retail establishments. These retail establishments have different security protocols and storage and display containers that provide ready access to the interior storage chamber of the container are not desired by all establishments. These establishments use security devices such as wraps to prevent undesired access to the contents of the containers. One such security wrap is sold under the SPIDER WRAP and includes security wires and modules that hold the wires around the container to prevent ready access to the container. Some companies do not like to use these products because the modules change the look of the container and can block information displayed on the container. These companies desire a different type of security feature that limits interference with the look of the container.
SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
 The disclosure provides a merchandise storage and display container having a security insert that prevents ready access to the container when the security insert is installed. The security insert does not entirely prevent access to the container because the security insert can be defeated with overwhelming force that destroys the insert of the portions of the container contacting the insert or by destroying a different portion of the container.
 The disclosure provides a fold up storage and display container configuration wherein a security insert is placed through aligned openings of closure panels to hold the closure panels closed. In one exemplary configuration, the security insert is manufactured from a polymer. The insert also can be manufactured from another material such as a metal, a ceramic, a paper-based material, a wood, or a fiber-based material.
 The disclosure provides a fold up storage and display container configuration wherein a threaded security insert threaded through aligned openings of closure panels to hold the closure panels closed. The thread of the insert is configured to be a one-way thread configuration that allows the insert to be rotated into the container but not rotated back out. The thread is wide enough to prevent the insert from being pulled directly back out of the openings.
 In one configuration, the disclosure provides a six-sided, fold-up paperboard-based or poly-board merchandise storage and display container that defines a storage chamber. The container includes aligned openings that receive a security insert. The aligned openings may be disposed in overlapping closure panels so that the security insert prevents ready access to the storage chamber through the closure panels. The aligned openings also may be disposed in one closure assembly and a main panel.
 The preceding non-limiting aspects, as well as others, are more particularly described below. A more complete understanding of the processes and the security insert and packaging configuration can be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawings, which are not intended to indicate relative size and dimensions of the assemblies or components thereof. In those drawings and the description below, like numeric designations refer to components of like function. Specific terms used in that description are intended to refer only to the particular structure of the embodiments selected for illustration in the drawings, and are not intended to define or limit the scope of the disclosure.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a plan view of a blank for an exemplary container that uses the security insert.
 FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary container using a security insert on the top closure panels.
 FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of an exemplary security insert that can be used with the container of FIGS. 1 and 2.
 FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the security insert of FIG. 3.
 FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the security insert of FIG. 3.
 Similar numbers refer to similar parts throughout the specification.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE
 The exemplary configuration of the container and security insert combination described herein is indicated generally by the numeral 1. The exemplary configuration of combination 1 includes a container 2 and a security insert 3. In the exemplary configuration, container 2 is a six-sided fold-up container formed from paperboard or polymer-based boards (or any other material that can be cut, scored, and folded into containers) and may be used with a variety of items of merchandise. Container 2 also may be injection molded with overlapping panels. The exemplary six-sided container 2 can be provided in a wide variety of widths, lengths, and depths. In other embodiments, container 2 is provided is different configurations such as seven-sided or eight-sided containers. Container 2 may be used with belly bands 4 and in one configuration security insert 3 helps retain belly band 4.
 Container 2 includes front wall 10, rear wall 12, a pair of sidewalls 14, a top wall 16, and a bottom wall 18. A glue flap 20 extends from the edge of rear wall 12 opposite the connection of rear wall 12 to sidewall 14. Glue flap 20 is adhered to the inner surface of sidewall 14 that is not already connected to rear wall 12 to define a four-sided generally rectangular tube. In the exemplary configuration shown in the drawings, the front wall 10 and rear wall 12 are bowed outwardly. Bowing the walls outwardly is optional.
 The material for the panels of container may be paperboard or polymer-based board materials provided in a variety of thicknesses suitable for fold up packaging. A 0.014 inch WYN-PET is one exemplary material. Various outer surfaces of container 2 are free of interruptions to allow for printing.
 In order to provide bowed front and rear walls, the upper and lower edges of the front 10 and rear 12 walls are curved such that the front and rear edges of the top 16 and bottom 18 walls are bowed outwardly when container 2 is formed. When top 16 and bottom 18 walls are folded to be generally perpendicular to front 10 and rear 12 walls, the curved edges bow the front 10 and rear 12 walls outwardly.
 Locking flaps 22 extend from top 16 and bottom 18 walls at the edge of top and bottom wall opposite to the connections between top and bottom walls and front wall 10. Each locking flap 22 is connected to top 16 or bottom 18 wall along a fold line 24 that may define a slit 26 sized to receive a locking tab 28 that extends from rear wall 12.
 Dust flaps 30 extend from the lower ends 32 of sidewalls 14. Dust flaps 30 are folded perpendicular to sidewalls 14 and are positioned under bottom wall 18 when container 2 is assembled. Dust flaps 30 stabilize container 2 and help to seal the corners of container 2 against dust. Dust flaps 30 also may be connected to the top ends of sidewalls 14 to extend under top wall 16.
 Container 2 defines at least a pair of security openings 50 in portions of panels that are overlapped when container is closed. Security openings 50 are positioned in the panel portions such that openings 50 are aligned when the panels are in the closed configurations. Security insert 3 can be positioned in these security openings 50 when they are aligned. This configuration is depicted in FIG. 2. Openings 50 may be round. In one configuration, security openings 50 are disposed in top panel 16 and an inner top panel 60 that is connected to rear wall 12. Top wall 16 and inner top panel 60 are disposed against each other when container is erected and closed. This allows security insert 3 to be installed. In another configuration, security openings 50 are disposed in locking flap 22 and rear wall 12. These are disposed against each other when container is erected and closed. This allows security insert 3 to be installed. In this position, security insert 3 functions as a belly band retainer because belly band 4 cannot readily slide over security insert 3. Openings 50 can be defined by any of the panel portions that are overlapped when container 2 is erected and closed. Multiple security inserts 3 can be used with a single container if such is desired. For example, both the upper and lower openings can be closed with security inserts. In another configuration, one of the upper and lower opens can be sealed with adhesive and a security insert can be used with the other. The configurations of the upper and lower portions of container 2 may be swapped or duplicated such that inner panels 60 may be used at the top, the bottom, or both the top and bottom of panel 12.
 Security insert 3 is a member that can be fit into openings 50 while having a structure that prevents security insert 3 from being readily removed from openings 50. When insert 3 is inserted, the panels that define openings 50 cannot be readily opened without damaging portions of the panels or damaging insert 3. Insert 3 can be pushed directly into openings 50, rotated into openings 50, or twisted back and forth into openings 50. The structure that prevents security insert 3 from being readily removed from openings 50 can be a rigid structure or a biased structure that moves outwardly to lock insert 3 in place. The structure prevents extraction even when insert 3 is rotated 360 degrees while being pulled outwardly. A security insert 3 that is pushed directly into openings 50 can be a Christmas tree-style insert having flexible flanges that bend to allow insertion while spreading out to prevent extraction.
 In an exemplary configuration of security insert 3, a one-way thread 70 is disposed about a shaft 72 that extends from a head 74. The one-way thread 70 stops short of head 74 to define a gap 76 between the top end 78 of thread 70 and the underside of head 74. Gap 76 is sized to be larger than the combined thicknesses of the two panels that define openings 50. Once insert 3 is fully inserted such that the panel portions are trapped between top end 78 and head 74, rotating insert 3 in the opposite direction of the insertion direction will not remove insert from container 2. Insert 3 is not removed because thread 70 is no longer engaged with the panels once it is fully inserted. Even if one pulls outwardly (or upwardly) of insert 3 while twisting insert 3, thread 70 will not re-engage with openings 50 because thread 70 is larger than the diameter of openings 50 (shaft 72 being just slightly smaller than openings 50).
 Shaft 72 can be tapered from a large diameter at head 74 to a smaller diameter at the bottom end 80 of thread 70. This tapered configuration allowed security insert to be rotated into the panel portions even when openings 50 are not perfectly aligned. In other configurations, shaft 72 has a constant diameter and thread 70 changes diameter.
 Thread 70 has an upper surface that is flat or perpendicular to shaft 72 so that it engages the inner surface of the innermost panel when installed to prevent insert 3 from being pulled out. The upper surface of thread 70 can be angled down or dished to enhance the grip of thread. The bottom surface of thread 70 can be tapered to help the insertion of insert 3.
 Security insert 3 is not removed when combination 1 is sold to the customer. The customer takes security insert 3 home with container 2 and accesses the storage chamber of container 2 by cutting portions of container 2.
 In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed. Moreover, the above description and attached illustrations are an example and the disclosure is not limited to the exact details shown or described. Throughout the description this specification the words "comprise" and "include" as well as variations of those words, such as "comprises," "includes," "comprising," and "including" are not intended to exclude additives, components, integers, or steps.