K-C Worldwide's US patent application for 'personal wear absorbent article with tab' published online

WASHINGTON , December 6, 2013 () – From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Faulks, Michael J. (Neenah, WI); Popp, Robert Lee (Greenville, WI); Sperl, Michael D. (Waupaca, WI); Meetz, Nancy (Appleton, WI); Rogers, Sandra M. (Appleton, WI), filed on July 25, 2013, was made available online on November 28, 2013.

The patent's assignee is Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to absorbent articles intended for personal wear, and more particularly to disposable absorbent articles.

"Many absorbent articles intended for personal wear, such as diapers, training pants, feminine hygiene products, adult incontinence products, bandages, medical garments and the like are designed to be sufficiently absorbent to pull moisture from liquid body exudates including urine, menses, blood, etc. away from the wearer to reduce skin irritation caused by prolonged wetness exposure. Diapers, as an example, are typically placed and secured on a wearer using a set of primary fastening tabs, such as adhesive tabs or mechanical (e.g., hook or loop) fastening system tabs and left in place to absorb insults as well as to contain fecal waste. When the diaper is to be disposed of, the caregiver will sometimes fold the diaper into a more compact configuration and secure the diaper in this configuration using the primary fastening tabs.

"Training pants, unlike diapers, typically come pre-assembled in a wear configuration to more closely resemble conventional underpants. In particular, front and back waist regions of such training pants are typically attached either permanently or refastenably (such as by a primary fastening system) to define a wear configuration of the pants having a waist opening and leg openings.

"For such articles where the attachment is refastenable, such as diapers and training pants, pop-opens (separation of the fasteners) can sometimes occur as a result of stresses placed on the attachment by movement of the wearer. For training pants, when a refastenable arrangement is used, the pants may be removed without unfastening, thereby also leaving no fasteners for use in holding the pants compact for disposal. Also, because the fastening components are not visible when the pants are worn there is no positive visual awareness provided to the consumer of such refastenability. Where a permanent attachment is used in such training pants, no fastening system is available for retaining the pants in a compact disposal configuration.

"The fastening tabs provided on diapers are relatively small in the longitudinal direction of the diapers. Rather, they are typically much longer in the transverse direction because they are used for pulling the back of the diaper around the wearer and fastening to the front of the diaper. The sides of the diaper are relatively short in length (e.g., from waist opening to leg opening) so control of the sides of the diaper is simple using the small (in the longitudinal direction) fastening tabs provided on diapers. The sides of training pants, however, are typically much longer from the waist opening to the leg openings and therefore more difficult to manipulate with a tab as small as those used on diapers.

"In addition, the sides of the training pants (e.g., side panels), as mentioned above, are often constructed to be highly flexible to allow freedom of motion of the wearer while maintaining a comfortable fit. However, such flexibility renders the sides of the training pants more difficult to manually manipulate (for refastening alignment, disposal, etc.).

"There is a need, therefore, for a disposal fastening system provided on an absorbent article such as training pants for improved resistance to pop-opens, and for securing the article in a compact disposal configuration while providing a sufficient visual awareness to the consumer of the presence of such a fastening system and sufficient operability and use of such a fastening system."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one aspect, an absorbent article for personal wear about a wearer's waist generally comprises a central absorbent assembly comprising a liquid permeable inner layer for facing the wearer, an outer layer for facing away from the wearer, an absorbent body disposed therebetween, a front waist region, a back waist region and a crotch region extending longitudinally between and interconnecting the front and back waist regions. A pair of transversely spaced panels extends transversely outward from the back waist region of the central absorbent assembly. The panels are attachable to the front waist region of the central absorbent assembly to define a wear configuration of the absorbent article having a waist opening and a pair of leg openings spaced from the waist opening. Each tab of a pair of tabs has an attachment region attached to one of the panels and a tab region extending transversely outward from the attachment region. Each of the panels is directly attached to the front waist region of the central absorbent assembly in the wear configuration of the absorbent article by engagement of fastener components mounted on the front waist region of the central absorbent assembly with the attachment region of the tabs. The tab region of each of the tabs is directly attached to the front waist region of the central absorbent assembly in the wear configuration of the absorbent article by fastener components mounted on the respective tab.

"In another aspect, an absorbent article for personal wear about a wearer's waist generally comprises a liquid permeable bodyside liner for facing the wearer, an outer cover for facing away from the wearer, and an absorbent body disposed between the liner and the outer cover. The article further comprises a front waist region, a back waist region and a crotch region extending longitudinally between and interconnecting the front and back waist regions. A first fastening system for releasably attaching the back waist region directly to the front waist region comprises a pair of spaced-apart hook fastening components mounted on the front waist region and a pair of loop fastening components mounted on the back waist region for selectively receiving the hook fastening components. A second fastening system comprises a pair of tabs with each of the tabs being attached to one side of the back waist region of the article to define an attachment region of each of the tabs. Each tab has a hook fastener spaced transversely outward from the respective attachment region. Each of the hook fasteners is releasably attachable to loop fasteners disposed on the front waist region to thereby releasably attach the back waist region directly to the front waist region. Each of the attachment regions defines a portion of the first fastening system. The hook fasteners of the tabs are located closer to a longitudinal centerline of the article than the hook fastening components mounted on the front waist region when the back waist region is attached to the front waist region by both the first and second fastening systems.

"In yet another aspect, an absorbent article for personal wear about a wearer's waist generally comprises a liquid permeable bodyside liner for facing the wearer, an outer cover for facing away from the wearer, and an absorbent body disposed between the liner and the outer cover. A primary fastening system is provided for securing the article in a wear configuration having a waist opening and a pair of leg openings spaced from the waist opening. A secondary fastening system comprises a pair of tabs having a fastener region selectively attachable to the article and an attachment region defining a portion of the primary fastening system.

"Other features of the invention will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a side perspective of one embodiment of a personal wear article in the form of a pair of training pants having a secondary or disposal fastening system illustrated in a fastened condition thereof;

"FIG. 2 is a side perspective similar to FIG. 1 with a primary, or article fastening system of the training pants in an unfastened condition on one side of the training pants and the disposal fastening system also in an unfastened condition;

"FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the training pants of FIG. 1 in an unfastened, unfolded and laid flat condition, and showing the surface of the training pants that faces away from the wearer;

"FIG. 4 is a top plan view similar to FIG. 3 showing the surface of the training pants that faces the wearer when worn and with portions cut away to show underlying features;

"FIG. 5 is a an enlarged fragmented view of the encircled area of FIG. 4;

"FIG. 6 a side perspective of a second embodiment of a personal wear article in the form of a pair of training pants with a primary, or article fastening system of the training pants in a unfastened condition on one side of the training pants and a secondary, or disposal fastening system also in an unfastened condition on that same side of the training pants;

"FIG. 7 a side perspective of a third embodiment of a personal wear article in the form of a pair of training pants with a primary, or article fastening system of the training pants in a unfastened condition on one side of the training pants and a secondary, or disposal fastening system also in an unfastened condition on that same side of the training pants;

"FIG. 8A is a schematic of the training pants of FIG. 1 in a partially compacted discard configuration;

"FIG. 8B is a schematic of the training pants of FIG. 8A in a fully compacted discard configuration with the disposal fastening system in a fastened condition to secure the pants in the discard configuration;

"FIG. 9 is a side perspective of a fourth embodiment of a personal wear article in the form of a pair of training pants having a secondary or disposal fastening system illustrated in a fastened condition thereof; and

"FIG. 10 is a side perspective of a fifth embodiment of a personal wear article in the form of a pair of training pants with a primary, or article fastening system of the training pants in an unfastened condition on one side of the training pants and a secondary, or disposal fastening system also in an unfastened condition on that same side of the training pants.

"Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Faulks, Michael J.; Popp, Robert Lee; Sperl, Michael D.; Meetz, Nancy; Rogers, Sandra M. Personal Wear Absorbent Article with Tab. Filed July 25, 2013 and posted November 28, 2013. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1355&p=28&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20131121.PD.&OS=PD/20131121&RS=PD/20131121

Keywords for this news article include: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc.

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