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(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,290,262 Bi
Petkovsek (45) Date of Patent: *Sep. 18,2001
U.S. Patent Sep. 18,2001 Sheet 1 of 2 US 6,290,262 Bl
(54) CONTINUOUS SPECIAL SERVICE LABELS AND A METHOD FOR PREPARING A MAILPIECE FOR DELIVERY BY SPECIAL SERVICE
(76) Inventor: Glenn Petkovsek, 2 Saverne Cir., Little Rock, AR (US) 72211
( * ) Notice: This patent issued on a continued prosecution application filed under 37 CFR 1.53(d), and is subject to the twenty year patent term provisions ol 35 U.S.C. 154(a)(2).
Subject to any disclaimer, the term ol this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 180 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 08/905,072
(22) Filed: Aug. 1, 1997
Related U.S. Application Data
(63) Continuation-in-part of application No. 08/725,856, filed on Oct. 4, 1996.
(51) Int. C I. B42D 15/00
(52) U.S. CI 283/81; 229/300; 283/79;
283/101; 428/40.1; 428/41.8; 428/43
(58) Field of Search 283/80, 79, 116,
283/101, 105, 81; 229/300; 428/40.1, 41.8,
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,501,365 * 3/1970 Marshall 161/38
3,974,311 * 8/1976 Cherrin 428/43
4,061,808 * 12/1977 Sato 428/42
4,204,706 * 5/1980 Blum et al 283/21
4,418,865 12/1983 Bowen .
4,491,334 1/1985 Dicker .
4,565,317 1/1986 Kranz .
4,682,793 7/1987 Walz .
4,925,716 * 5/1990 Haas 428/41
4,952,433 * 8/1990 Tezuka et al 283/81
5,183,203 * 2/1993 Sanders 229/300
5,190,210 * 3/1993 Walz 283/81
5,413,383 * 5/1995 Laurash et al 283/81
5,476,420 12/1995 Manning .
5,501,393 * 3/1996 Walz 229/300
5,507,526 4/1996 Petkovsek.
5,520,990 * 5/1996 Rotermund 283/81
5,573,277 * 11/1996 Ptekovsek 283/81
5,633,071 * 5/1997 Murphy 283/81
5,664,725 * 9/1997 Walz 229/300
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
259498 * 3/1988 (EP) . 2143204 * 2/1985 (GB) 283/101
* cited by examiner
Primary Examiner—A. L. Wellington
Assistant Examiner—Monica Carter
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Patents+TMS, PC.
A continuous assembly ol special service mailing labels and a method for preparing mailpieces requiring delivery by a special service are provided. The labels are adhesively secured to a backer and removable therefrom for application to a mailpiece. The labels include at least one area that may be printed, and a designation area that is distinct from a majority of the remainder of the label. The designation area identifies the type of special service required for the mailpiece to which the label is attached. In addition, the labels include a detachable auxiliary information portion which may serve as either a return address label or a customer receipt.
24 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
CONTINUOUS SPECIAL SERVICE LABELS
AND A METHOD FOR PREPARING A
MAILPIECE FOR DELIVERY BY SPECIAL
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This application is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/725,856, filed on Oct. 4, 1996.
The present invention generally relates to continuously printed labels. More specifically, the present invention relates to pre-printed labels designating a special service delivery for a mailpiece on which the label is adhered following removal from a backer on which the labels are 15 provided. In addition, the present invention relates to a method for preparing mailpieces requiring delivery by a special service.
It is, of course, generally known to provide labels on a backer. These labels are typically pre-printed; however, the 20 labels are typically not capable of receiving printed, variable information thereon.
It is further generally known to deliver mailpieces that require special services. Such services include certified mail, return receipt for merchandise mail, registered mail, insured 25 mail and the like. Preparation for special service mail is, however, complex. Currently, the Postal Service requires numerous forms to be completed and secured to the mailpiece prior to payment and delivery thereof. For example, for certified mail delivery, a receipt for certified mail is first 30 completed. The form is often attached to a certified mail form that requires attachment to an envelope or mailpiece. Then, if return receipt is required, a separate return receipt postcard must be completed and separately attached to the envelope prior to delivery of the mailpiece. 35
Many situations exist in which a receipt for the certified mail and/or a return postcard are not necessary for a particular delivery. Further, article numbers printed identifying the mailpiece can be electronically stored rather than requiring a separate receipt identifying each article number. 40 Therefore, an article number can be tracked without maintaining a separate receipt for each mailpiece.
Still further, in a batch of mailpieces requiring special service delivery, often only one or a few of the mailpieces may require that return receipt is provided. Therefore, providing a capability for identifying specific article numbers that require return receipt is beneficial for particular applications within a mailing.
A need, therefore, exists for an improved assembly that 5Q simplifies delivery and processing of special service mailing, particularly for large batches of mailing requiring identical special services for the mailpieces as well as a simplified method for preparing mailpieces for delivery by special service. 55
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides an assembly and a method for simplifying special service delivery of mailpieces. More specifically, the present invention provides labels attached to go a backer wherein the labels identify the specific type of special service required for a mailpiece following removal of the label from the backer and subsequent attachment to the mailpiece.
To this end, in an embodiment of the present invention, a 65 continuous assembly is provided which includes a plurality of labels adhesively connected to a backing sheet. Each of
the labels includes a mailing portion which is detachably connected to an auxiliary portion.
In an embodiment, the mailing portion of the assembly includes a distinctly colored section.
In an embodiment, the mailing portion of the assembly further includes identifying information which is indicative of the special service required for the mailpiece.
In an embodiment, the mailing portion of the assembly also includes a printable area for printing an indicia thereon.
In an embodiment, the mailing portion of the assembly includes a first printable area for printing an indicia thereon and also a second printable area for printing special instructions wherein the first printable area is separated from the second printable area.
In an embodiment, the mailing portion includes a distinctly colored section which separates the first printable area from the second printable area.
In an embodiment, the assembly also includes a plurality of primary tear lines which extend through the backing sheet and which are aligned to separate adjacently positioned labels on the backing sheet.
In an embodiment, the assembly also includes a plurality of secondary tear lines which extend through both the backer and the labels and which are aligned to separate the mailing portions of a label from the associated auxiliary portions of the same label.
In another embodiment of the present invention, a method for preparing a mailpiece requiring delivery by a special service is provided. The method comprises the steps of: providing a backer; providing a plurality of labels adhesively attached to the backer wherein each of the labels has both a mailing portion and a detachably connected auxiliary portion; removing the mailing portion from the backer; and attaching the mailing portion to a corresponding mailpiece.
In an embodiment, the method further compromises the steps of: removing the auxiliary portion from the backer; and attaching the auxiliary portion to the corresponding mailpiece as an addressee address label.
In an embodiment, the method further comprises the steps of: removing the auxiliary portion from the backer; and attaching the auxiliary portion to the mailpiece as a return address label.
In an embodiment, the method further comprises the steps of: detaching the auxiliary portion, together with an associated portion of the backer to which the auxiliary portion is removably secured, from a remainder of the backer; and retaining the auxiliary portion for general mailing verification purposes.
In an embodiment, the method further comprises the step of: providing a plurality of tear lines in the backer to facilitate the detaching of the auxiliary portion.
In an embodiment, the method further comprises the steps of: providing a plurality of primary tear lines through the backer and aligned to separate adjacently positioned labels; and providing a plurality of secondary tear lines through both the backer and the labels which are aligned to separate the mailing portion from the auxiliary portion of the label.
In an embodiment, the method further comprises the step of: printing an identifier on the mailing portion which corresponds to the particular mailpiece.
In an embodiment, the method further comprises the step of: providing an area on the mailing portion which is distinctly colored from a remainder of the mailing portion.
In an embodiment, the method further comprises the step of: printing an indicia on a printable area on the mailing portion of the label.