|Número de publicación||US20030196413 A1|
|Tipo de publicación||Solicitud|
|Número de solicitud||US 10/123,300|
|Fecha de publicación||23 Oct 2003|
|Fecha de presentación||17 Abr 2002|
|Fecha de prioridad||17 Abr 2002|
|Número de publicación||10123300, 123300, US 2003/0196413 A1, US 2003/196413 A1, US 20030196413 A1, US 20030196413A1, US 2003196413 A1, US 2003196413A1, US-A1-20030196413, US-A1-2003196413, US2003/0196413A1, US2003/196413A1, US20030196413 A1, US20030196413A1, US2003196413 A1, US2003196413A1|
|Cesionario original||Michael Schapiro|
|Exportar cita||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citas de patentes (5), Citada por (4), Clasificaciones (7)|
|Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet|
 The present invention relates to garment cleaning and preservation and more particularly to a wedding gown cleaning and preservation system and to the components for such a system.
 A wedding gown and associated garments such as a veil, headpiece, detachable train may be among the most expensive articles of clothing which a woman purchases in her lifetime. These garments are associated with a special occasion and may have important memories associated with it. As a consequence, wedding gowns and associated articles are often cherished possessions that are considered to be family heirlooms and are handed down from one generation to the next.
 For those reasons, the proper cleaning and preservation of a wedding gown and associated articles after they are worn are of great importance. Because of the size and delicacy of the dress and of the associated articles, special techniques and processes are necessary to protect the gown against yellowing and deterioration over time.
 Most retail dry cleaning establishments do not have the expertise or equipment to properly care for such garments. Accordingly, many retail dry cleaners will simply package and ship wedding gowns to specialized facilities which have the expertise and equipment to perform this function. After processing, the gown is delivered to the retail dry cleaner, who will then return it to the customer.
 Often, customers do not even know that a retailer dry cleaner is capable of providing this service. They may not trust the retail dry cleaner to perform the service adequately, given the delicate nature, large size and high cost of the garments, as well as the sentimental value.
 Further, the retail dry cleaner in this situation acts only as a conduit or “middle-man” for the transaction between the customer and the establishment which performs the work. For this, the retail dry cleaner collects a fee, without adding any value to the transaction. Accordingly, the presence of the retail dry cleaner simply raises the cost to the customer with any benefit to the customer.
 My invention is a system which makes the cleaning and preservation of the wedding gown and associated articles easier and less expensive for the customer by providing the customer, at the time and place of purchase of the garments, with information as to how to have the garments cleaned and preserved by those capable of expertly performing this service. At the same time, the customer is provided with everything needed to safely package and ship her garments, in kit form, along with easy to follow instructions.
 The kit provided to the customer at the point of a purchase of the gown includes a shipping box and prepaid shipping label. The shipping box may come in folded form, requiring the customer to unfold and assemble the box. Whether the box requires assembly or not, prior to shipping, the flaps on the top of the box must be sealed after the gown and associated articles are placed in the box.
 The kit includes one or more strips of tape to complete the assembly of the box, if required and seal the top flaps to close the box, whether or not assembly of the box is required. Conventionally, sealing tape of this nature is provided with a layer of adhesive protected by a removeable cover sheet. The cover sheet must be removed prior to applying the tape.
 I have found that providing the tape strips with a removeable cover sheet sometimes presents a difficulty to the consumer. Accordingly, in the present invention, I have eliminated the cover sheet and provided tape strips coated with a moisture activated adhesive. Those tape strips are easier for the customer to apply. All that is necessary is that the adhesive layer be moistened and the tape be placed on the box in the appropriate location. To make this even easier for the customer, the box has indicia on it directing the customer as to what locations on the box require tape. Thus, the customer need only look at the box, moisten the adhesive and place the tape on the box in the locations indicated.
 For simplicity sake, we use the term “wedding gown” to include wedding garments of any kind, including gowns and dresses and all associated items, such as the veil, headpiece, detachable train and the like. Thus, the term “wedding gown” as used throughout this specification should be construed in its broadest sense.
 It is, therefore, a prime object of the present invention to provide a wedding gown cleaning and preservation system.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a wedding gown cleaning and preservation system in the form of a kit designed to be provided to the customer at the point of purchase of the gown.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a wedding gown cleaning and preservation system wherein the customer deals directly with the facility providing the services, eliminating the cost of the retail dry cleaning middle-man.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a wedding gown cleaning and preservation system in which the customer is provided with all components necessary to package and ship the garments, along with prepaid shipping labels and easy to understand instructions.
 In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a wedding gown cleaning and preservation method is provided. The method includes the steps of providing a kit to the customer at the point of purchase of the gown. The kit contains a shipping box, order and shipping documents, a bag, sealing tape with a moisture activated adhesive layer and instructions. The customer fills out the order and shipping documents. Then the order documents and the wedding gown are placed in the bag. The box is assembled. The bag is placed in the box. The assembled box is sealed by moistening and applying the sealing tape. The shipping documents are applied to the box. The box is shipped to the cleaning and preservation establishment.
 In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a wedding gown cleaning and preservation method is provided. The method includes the steps of providing an assembled shipping box to the customer at the point of purchase of the wedding gown. The box contains order and shipping documents, a bag, sealing tape with a moisture activated adhesive layer and instructions. The customer fills out the order and shipping documents. The wedding gown and order form are placed in the bag. The bag is placed in the box. The box is sealed by moistening and applying the sealing tape. The shipping documents are applied to the box. The box is then shipped to the cleaning and preservation establishment.
 In accordance with another object of the present invention, a wedding gown cleaning and preservation shipping kit is provided. The kit includes a shipping box, order and shipping documents, a bag, sealing tape with a moisture activated adhesive layer and instructions. The kit is provided to the customer at the point of purchase of the gown. The customer fills out the order and shipping documents. The wedding gown and order form are placed in the bag. The bag is placed in the box. The box is sealed by moistening and applying the sealing tap. The shipping documents are applied to the box. The box is shipped to the cleaning and preservation establishment.
 The box may be pre-assembled. Alternately, the box may be provided in folded form.
 To these and such other objects of which may hereinafter appear, the present invention relates to a wedding gown cleaning and preservation system as described in detail in the following specification and recited in the annexed claims, taken together with the accompanying drawing which is a flow diagram schematically showing the steps of the method of the present invention and the various components of the kit provided the customer to practice the present invention.
 As illustrated in the drawing, the kit of components is provided to the bride at the point of purchase of the gown, generally designated A. This may be a bridal store or a retail clothing store which sells wedding gowns and related items. The store may charge the customer extra for the kit or may include the cost of the kit as a part of the price of the gown.
 The kit includes a cardboard shipping box 10. Box 10 may be provided in collapsed or folder form, in a shrink wrap covering. Alternatively, the box may be provided in assembled form, with the top unsealed.
 In either case, enclosed within box 10 are easy to follow instructions 12, an order document 14, a prepaid shipping label 16 and a transparent plastic bag 18, strips of sealing tape 20 with a moisture activated adhesive layer are also provided to seal the box for shipping. Further, stickers 22 for indicating areas on the garment which require stain removal may be provided.
 When the gown is ready for processing, the customer fills out the order form 14, which is provided in triplicate with white, yellow and pink copies, and the pre-paid shipping label 16, with the customer name, address, etc. Stain stickers 22 are placed on the gown in the areas which require special attention.
 The gown is then placed in the plastic bag 18. The white and yellow copies of the order documents 14 are also placed in the bag. Bag 18 is closed with a twist tie, also provided. Next, if box 10 is not preassembled, the box is unfolded and assembled. The adhesive layer on the strips of sealing tape 20 is moistened and the strips of tape 20 are applied to the box in areas which are indicated on the surface of the box.
 Bag 18 is placed in the assembled box. The top flaps of the box are then sealed by moistening and applying a strip of tape 20.
 The prepaid shipping label 16 has a tracking number on it, preferably on a removeable portion. That portion is removed and placed on the pink copy of the order document 14. Alternately, the customer may write the tracking number on the pink order document copy. The customer keeps the pink copy of the order document, with the tracking number, for her records.
 The backing of shipping label 16 is removed by peeling it from the label and the label is affixed to box A. The box is then brought to the shipper, as indicated by arrow 24, such as Mail Boxes, Etc. or other mailing facility. If a courier or a shipper such as UPS or Fed Ex is used, a pick up may be arranged or the box may be dropped off at the appropriate facility.
 Processing the garment takes about ten to fifteen business days. After processing is complete, the cleaned and preserved gown is delivered to the customer's home in a storage container, which may include a transparent window, so the gown can be inspected upon receipt.
 It should now be appreciated that the present invention relates to a system for cleaning and preserving a wedding gown and to the components for such a system. The present invention provides the customer with easy to understand and follow instructions as to how to package and ship her gown directly to the cleaning and preservation facility and all of the necessary components to do so, including prepaid shipping documents and moisture activated sealing tape strips. It permits the customer to bypass the retail dry cleaner middle-man, saving time and costs.
 While only a limited number of preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed herein, it is obvious that many variations and modifications could be made thereto. It is intended to cover all of these variations and modifications which fall within the scope of the present invention, as recited in the following claims:
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|Clasificación de EE.UU.||53/449|
|Clasificación internacional||B65B51/02, B65B51/06|
|Clasificación cooperativa||B65B51/02, B65B51/067|
|Clasificación europea||B65B51/02, B65B51/06F|