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Multicolored Absorbent Articles: A Brief History

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019928D
Publication Date: 2003-Oct-10
Document File: 18 page(s) / 2M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Jeffrey D. Lindsay: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Colored absorbent articles have become a global trend in consumer products. For example, black pantiliners have been introduced to better match black underwear, and combination packs of color-coded or multi-colored absorbent articles such as pantiliners or tampons have been marketed. Colors can be used to help attract consumers, differentiate product forms, create the perception of depth or texture, and improve packaging aesthetics on the shelf or in the home. For those interested in understanding the prior development of such concepts in the literature and market place, an overview is provided of historical trends in the use of color in absorbent articles and packages containing articles having more than one color. While white and non-dyed absorbent articles have long dominated the market, a small sampling of an extensive body of prior art shows that colored absorbent articles in a variety of forms, groupings, and packaging types have been known for many years in the market place. This review highlights a small portion of the patent art, marketed products, and publications on the use of color in absorbent articles and packaging.

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Multicolored Absorbent Articles: A Brief History

Jeffrey D. Lindsay and Beth A. Lange

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Neenah, Wisconsin

Introduction

Colored absorbent articles have become a global trend in consumer products. For example, black pantiliners have been introduced to better match black underwear, and combination packs of color-coded or multi-colored absorbent articles such as pantiliners or tampons have been marketed. Colors can be used to help attract consumers, differentiate product forms, create the perception of depth or texture, and improve packaging aesthetics on the shelf or in the home. For those interested in understanding the prior development of such concepts in the literature and market place, an overview is provided of historical trends in the use of color in absorbent articles and packages containing articles having more than one color.

While white and non-dyed absorbent articles have long dominated the market, a small sampling of an extensive body of prior art shows that colored absorbent articles in a variety of forms, groupings, and packaging types have been known for many years in the market place. This review highlights a small portion of the patent art, marketed products, and publications on the use of color in absorbent articles and packaging.

Patent Art

Several patents highlight the use of color to match the absorbent product with an article of clothing. As an example, US Patent No. 6,264,640, “Catamenial Device,” issued to Wanda Sutton on July 24, 2001 after being filed Jan. 22, 1999. According to the abstract, this patent describes:

“A catamenial device having a portion which faces and/or contacts the garment worn by the user wherein the catamenial device is colored to match the color of the garment worn directly over the device by the user of the device.”

Sutton further discloses the concept of multiple articles of differing colors in a single package to allow the user to select a color to best match the color of the undergarments (col. 2, lines 14-20, 47-51):

“It is another object of the invention to provide a plurality of catamenial devices, such as but not limited to a package of said devices, each device having a garment-facing or contacting portion of a different color so that a user can select a device having a garment-facing or contacting portion that will match the color of the close-fitting garment to be worn….

”In a preferred embodiment a plurality of devices each having a different colored garment-facing or contacting portion is provided so that a selection of colors are available to a catamenial device user to match the garment worn by the user over the device.”

A black absorbent article is shown in Figure 3 of Sutton, apparently intended to be suitable with black underwear. Sutton discloses examples both for tampons and sanitary napkins, and indicates that if a sanitary napkin has tabs extending from it for wrapping around underwear or adhesive strips, then the tabs or strips should...