Title:
Retail display case for glasses
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A retail display case for glasses is a shoebox-like device. The box has openings in the top where glasses can be inserted for display. The openings are located at the rear of the box, to display the glasses at the front of the box. Extra pairs of glasses are stored inside the box itself. In addition, the openings snugly fit the glasses, so that the display cannot be easily removed by unauthorized persons, but can be removed for fitting to a customer or sale. In use, only a single pair of glasses is displayed on the box, and the displayed pair of glasses does not interfere with opening of the box to retrieve extra pair of glasses. The glasses retained inside the box are kept secure from unauthorized persons. The box is made from flexible plastic and the corners of the box are beveled to provide a more refined “hexagonal-type” appearance.



Inventors:
Zeuner, David (Sewell, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/170362
Publication Date:
12/18/2003
Filing Date:
06/14/2002
Assignee:
ZEUNER DAVID
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/04; A45D44/00; (IPC1-7): A45C11/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BLANK ROME LLP (1825 Eye Street NW, WASHINGTON, DC, 20006-5403, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A case for use with articles comprising: a top having at least one opening aligned to secure a first article to the top to display the article; and an internal chamber storing a second article while the first article is secured to said top of the case.

2. The case of claim 1, wherein said top has a top surface, and wherein the at least one opening is located toward a rear of the case, and the first article rests on the top surface of said top toward a front of the case.

3. The case of claim 1, wherein the second article can be retrieved from said internal chamber while the first article is secured to said top of the case.

4. The case of claim 1, wherein the articles comprises pairs of glasses.

5. The case of claim 1, wherein the at least one opening frictionally secures the first article.

6. The case of claim 1, wherein said case is formed of flexible plastic, and the at least one opening comprises a slit in said top for removably securing the first article.

7. The case of claim 6, wherein the slit forms at least one member which bends inward to receive the first article and substantially returns outward when the first article is removed from the opening.

8. The case of claim 1, wherein a front of the case has beveled corners.

9. The case of claim 1, wherein said top has side panels and a front panel with tabs that couple to the side panels.

10. A case for displaying a pair of glasses with ear pieces, the case comprising a top having at least one pair of openings aligned to each receive one of the ear pieces, the at least one opening securing the pair of glasses to said top to display the pair of glasses.

11. The case of claim 10, wherein said top has a top surface, and wherein the at least one pair of openings is located toward a rear of the case, and the pair of glasses rests on the top surface of said top toward a front of the case.

12. The case of claim 10, wherein the at least one pair of openings frictionally secures the pair of glasses.

13. The case of claim 10, wherein said case is formed of flexible plastic, and the at least one pair of openings comprise a slit in said top for removably securing the pair of glasses.

14. The case of claim 13, wherein the slit forms at least one member which bends inward to receive the pair of glasses and substantially returns outward when the pair of glasses is removed.

15. The case of claim 10, wherein a front of the case has beveled corners.

16. The case of claim 10, wherein said top has side panels and a front panel with tabs that couple to the side panels.

17. A case for storing pairs of glasses, each pair of glasses having a pair of ear pieces, said case comprising: a top having at least one pair of openings aligned to each receive one of the pair of ear pieces of a first pair of glasses, the at least one pair of openings securing the first pair of glasses to said top to display the first pair of glasses; and a bottom for receiving said top to form an internal chamber therebetween, the internal chamber storing at least a second pair of glasses while the first article is secured to said top of the case.

18. The case of claim 17, wherein said top has side panels and a front panel with tabs that couple to the side panels.

19. The case of claim 18, wherein said bottom has a front panel and side panels with tabs that couple to the front panel.

20. The case of claim 17, wherein a front of the case has beveled corners.

21. The case of claim 17, wherein the second pair of glasses can be retrieved from the internal chamber while the first pair of glasses is secured to said top of the case.

22. The case of claim 17, wherein said top has a top surface, and wherein the at least one pair of openings is located toward a rear of the case, and the first pair of glasses rests on the top surface of said top toward a front of the case.

23. A case comprising a top having side panels and a front panel with tabs that couple to the side panels, the case further having a bottom for receiving said top to form an internal chamber therebetween, said bottom having a front panel and side panels with tabs that couple to the front panel.

24. The case of claim 23, wherein a front of the case has beveled corners.

25. A case comprising: a top formed from a single piece comprising; a substantially rectangular center section with front corner sections that fold inward; side panels, each side panel having a main panel connected to the center section and a flap at the front of the side panel, the main panel having a slot; and a front panel having a mid-section connected to the center section, connector members connected to opposite ends of the mid-section and tabs connected to the connector members for coupling with the slot in said side panels; wherein the front of said top has beveled corners.

26. The case of claim 25, further comprising a bottom formed form a single piece, said bottom comprising; a substantially rectangular center section with front corner sections that fold inward; side panels, each side panel having a main panel connected to the center section, a connector member at the front of the side panel, and a tab connected to the connector member; and a front panel having a mid-section connected to the center section, and flaps connected to opposite ends of the mid-section, the midsection having slots for coupling with the tabs of said side panels; wherein the front of said bottom has beveled corners.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention relates to cases which can be used to store a product, and can also be used to display that product. More particularly, the invention relates to a product display case that displays a product and also stores product supply, and which has a beveled front.

[0003] 2. Description of Related Art

[0004] Cases, such as boxes or cartons, have been developed which can be used to transport merchandise, and also display those articles for sale. Examples of boxes are shown, for instance, in U.S. Pat. No. 1,304,020 to Calef; U.S. Pat. No. 3,754,642 to Stidolph; U.S. Pat. No. 2,333,715 to Hahnemann; U.S. Pat. No. 1,176,932 to Smith; U.S. Pat. No. 1,296,158 to Bonham; and, U.S. Pat. No. 2,205,332 to Aste. Those boxes generally provide openings in the top of the box which are used to retain product for display.

[0005] In addition, boxes have been developed with tabs and angled fronts. Examples of boxes are shown, for instance, in U.S. Pat. No. 2,062,949 to Taylor; U.S. Pat. No. 2,858,013 to Vines; U.S. Pat. No. 5,060,853 to Gulliver et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,961,035 to Correll; and, U.S. Pat. No. 6,109,512 to Morrison. However, those boxes are formed from a single piece having a complex construction. In addition, the display boxes of Calef and Stidolph have an overly simplified construction and therefore are difficult to operate.

[0006] However, none of those boxes are suitable for securely storing and displaying glasses, and especially for retaining different types of glasses that are to be displayed adjacent one another. Moreover, none of those boxes are suitable for use with a mobile display cart, such as described in co-pending application entitled Collapsible Retail Display Cart, U.S. Ser. No. ______, to David Zeuner, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

[0007] Accordingly, there is a need for a case that can securely store glasses, and can also display those glasses to customers. In addition, there is a need for a case which can be positioned adjacent to one another, or to display a product on top of the box while at the same time storing additional product inside the box which are readily retrievable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a case that can store product and also display product. It is a further object of the invention to provide a case that can display a pair of glasses on the top of the case, while at the same time storing additional pairs of glasses inside the case which are readily retrievable. It is a further object of the invention to provide a case that has simple construction, is easy to use, and has sufficient strength and durability for long-term and repeated use.

[0009] In accordance with these and other objectives, a retail display case is provided which is a shoebox-like device, and is especially useful for glasses. The box has openings in the top where glasses can be inserted for display. The openings are located at the rear of the box, to display the glasses at the front of the box. Extra pairs of glasses are stored inside the box itself. In addition, the openings snugly fit the glasses, so that the display cannot be easily removed by unauthorized persons, but can be removed for fitting to a customer or sale. In use, only a single pair of glasses is displayed on the box, and the displayed pair of glasses does not interfere with opening of the box to retrieve extra pair of glasses. The glasses retained inside the box are kept secure from unauthorized persons. The box is made from flexible plastic and the corners of the box are beveled to provide a more refined “hexagonal-type” appearance.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective of the case in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a perspective showing the top and bottom of the case.

[0012] FIG. 3 is a top view of the case top blank.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a top view of the case bottom blank.

[0014] FIGS. 5-8 are perspective drawings showing the assembly of the case top blank of FIG. 3.

[0015] FIGS. 9-11 are perspective drawings showing the assembly of the case bottom blank.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] In describing a preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings, specific terminology will be resorted to for the sake of clarity. However, the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific terms so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific term includes all technical equivalents that operate in similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose.

[0017] Turning to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows the case 10 in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention. The case 10 has a top 20 and a bottom 40, each of which are generally rectangular in shape. The bottom 40 is slightly smaller than the top 20, so that the top 20 can slide down and frictionally fit over the bottom 40. The case 10 has a front section 12 and a rear section 14. FIGS. 1 and 2 show the top 20 and bottom 40 in an operating or folded position. FIGS. 3 and 4 show the top blank 20 and bottom blank 40 in the storage position, where the blanks are flat for easy storage and shipment.

[0018] As shown in FIG. 2, the top 20 and bottom 40 of the case define an internal storage chamber or cavity 16 for the case 10. Multiple glasses can be stored within the storage chamber 16, and preferably the case 10 can store up to 12 pairs of glasses. The case 10 can be opened by removing the top 10 from the bottom 40 to retrieve the glasses, even while the display glasses is secured to the top 10 of the case 10. The case 10 is preferably used to store the glasses at the retail location. The cases 10 with the glasses stored therein can be shipped in a master cart which holds about 25 cases 10. Thus, the case 10 can be disposed of when it is empty, and a new case 10 of glasses can be ordered.

[0019] FIG. 3 shows the blank for the top 20 of the case 10. The top blank 20 is formed as a single piece having side fold lines (fold lines are shown by a dashed line and cuts are shown by a solid line), a top fold line and a rear fold line which collectively define a middle or center section 22. The side fold lines further define side panels 24, 26, and the front and rear fold lines respectively define a front panel 28 and a rear panel 30. The corners at the front portion of the center section 22 are separated from the side panels 24, 26 and the front panel 28. Diagonal fold lines are formed in the center section 22 to form a triangular-shaped corner piece 23 at the corners of the center section 22.

[0020] The center section 22 also has one or more pairs of openings 32 located at the rear of the top blank 20. The openings 32 are formed by cutting 0.5 inch in length slits through the top blank 20 from the outside. The slits 32 are crossed at the middle to create four triangular members that are slightly depressed inward. The openings 32 form a friction fit with the ear piece of a pair of glasses. The triangular members bend inward when the glasses are received, and return to their original position when the glasses are removed. Thus, the openings 32 can be repeatedly used.

[0021] The openings 32 are spaced to align with the standard distance for ear pieces when the glasses are in an opened position. The openings 32 are positioned toward the rear 14 of the case 10, so that the glasses face forward and are located toward the front 12 of the case 10 for easy viewing by customers and passersby. The front of the glasses rests on the top surface of the top 20 of the case 10.

[0022] Preferably, more than one pair of openings 32 is provided, so that the case 10 can display multiple glasses at one time. More than one pair of glasses can be fitted to each pair of openings 32, so that more than 3 glasses can be displayed at once. When multiple glasses are displayed, they are stacked upon one another. The attendant can also use the various openings 32 to move the glasses to various positions from the front of the case 10, and to account for any difference in the length or size of the glasses.

[0023] The openings 32 are positioned toward the rear 14 of the case 10 so that the side arms of the glasses can be viewed by the customer. However, the openings 32 can alternatively be located toward the front 12 of the case and aligned to receive the ear pieces of the glasses in a folded position. The ear piece of the glasses, when positioned in the openings 32, only extend into the interior of the case 10 a short distance, and therefore do not interfere with any glasses being stored inside the case 10.

[0024] Since the opening is depressed inward, it is easy to push the ear piece into the opening, and the glasses remain there due to the friction fit. Since the case is made of flexible plastic, the attendant must hold the ear piece close to the case, and place his other hand about the opening in order to withdraw the glasses from the top 20. Thus, the glasses cannot be quickly grabbed by an unauthorized person, without disturbing the case 10 and drawing attention, and cannot be blown around by the wind. In addition, the case 10 can be removed from the display shelf without having to remove the display glasses.

[0025] The side panels 24, 26 each have a fold line toward the front of the case 10 that creates respective side panel flaps 25, 27. The side panel flaps 25, 27 are separate from the center section 22, and extend along the corner pieces 23 of the center section 22. The sides of the side panel flaps 25, 27 are angled slightly outward so that the interior edge of the side panel flaps 25, 27 do not interfere with the center section 22 when in the side panel flaps 25, 27 are folded inward. It should be appreciated that the flaps 25, 27 are not essential, and can be omitted, though cover the outside edge of the corner pieces 23.

[0026] The side panel flaps 25, 27 have a boss that projects outward at the front of the side panel flap 25, 27. The boss extends the width of the side panel flaps 25, 27 to lend further support to the corner pieces 23. The front edge of the boss is angled, so that the outward portion projects further outward from the side panel flap 25 than the inward portion.

[0027] The front panel 28 has a mid-section, connector members 29 and hooked tabs. The mid-section is formed with the center section 22 between the triangular corner pieces 23. The front panel connector members 29 are located on opposite ends of the mid-section and connect the mid-sections to the hooked tabs. The front panel connector members 29 extend the length of the corner pieces 23 of the center section 22.

[0028] The inside edge that extends along the connector members 29 and the hooked tabs is angled outward, so that that connector members 29 and hooked tabs do not interfere with the center section 22 when folded. In addition, the tabs are angled so that the case is easy to assemble, and the tabs fit tight when tucked in to fit flush so the case is not loose. The hooked tabs cooperate with slots formed at the front of the side panels 24, 26 to secure the front panel 28 to the side panels 24, 26 in the folded or operating position.

[0029] The rear panel 30 has a rectangular mid-section which extends the entire width of the center section 22. Hook tabs are located at each end of the mid-section. The hook tabs cooperate with slots formed at the rear of the side panels 24, 26 to secure the rear panel 30 to the side panels 24, 26 in the folded or operating position.

[0030] FIGS. 5-8 show the assembly of the top blank 20. Starting with FIG. 5, the side panels 24, 26 are folded upward (downward in the embodiment of FIG. 5) and the side panel flaps 25 are folded to extend over the corner pieces 23. The corner pieces 23 are then folded up to cover the side panel flaps 25. As shown in FIG. 6, the front panel 28 is then folded up, and the connector members 29 and the hooked tabs are wrapped around the corner pieces 23 and side panel flaps 25 to extend along the side panels 24, 26.

[0031] The hooked tabs are then inserted into the respective slots at the front of the side panels 24, 26. As best shown in FIG. 8, the side panel flaps 25 seal the sides of the corner pieces 23 and the connector members 29 seal the front of the corner pieces 23. The hooked tabs reach downward (in the embodiment of FIG. 6) to create a tight fit with the slots of the side panels 24, 26. Turning to FIG. 7, the rear panel 30 is then folded up (or down, in the embodiment of FIG. 7), and the hooked tabs inserted into the respective slots at the rear of the side panels 24, 26. Of course, the order of the assembly is not critical with respect to the rear panel 30, which can be assembled before or after the front panel 30. In addition, the corner pieces 23 can be folded before the side panels 24, 26.

[0032] Turning back to FIG. 4, the bottom blank 40 also has a center section 42 with corner pieces 43, side panels 44, 46, front panel 48 and rear panel 50. The bottom blank 40 differs from the top blank 20, however, in that the tabs are moved from the front and rear panels 28, 30 of the top blank 20 to the side panels 44, 46 of the bottom blank 40. Thus, the tabs of the bottom blank 40 couple with slots in the front and rear panels 48, 50, whereas the tabs of the top blank 20 couple with slots in the side panels 24, 26.

[0033] This is done so that the tabs of the bottom blank 40 are not aligned with the tabs of the top blank 20. Accordingly, the tabs of the bottom blank 40 will not interfere with the tabs of the top blank 20 when the top 20 is positioned over the bottom 40. In addition, the tabs on the top blank 20 connect to the side panels 24, 26, so that the connection is not made at the front of the box, and therefore the connection for the top 20 is not visible to the consumer. The top 20 covers the bottom 40, so that the tabs of the bottom 40 are also not visible to the consumer.

[0034] Hence, the side panel flaps 25, 27 are positioned as front panel flaps 49 with respective bosses. The front panel connector members 29 are positioned as side panel connectors 45, 47. Otherwise, the purpose and operation of the tabs, connector members 45, 47 and flap 49 of the bottom blank 40 are the same as described for the respective elements of the top blank 20. Therefore, the operation of those elements will not be repeated.

[0035] As shown in FIGS. 9-11, the bottom blank 40 is assembled by first folding the front panel 48. As shown in FIG. 9, the flaps 49 are folded over the corner pieces 43, and the corner pieces 43 are folded up to cover the flaps 49. At FIGS. 10 and 11, the side panels 44, 46 are then folded up and the tabs coupled with the respective slots in the front and rear panels 48, 50.

[0036] For each of the top and bottom blanks 20,40, the hooked tabs and slots are configured to require that the case be bent or folded over in order to insert the tabs into the slots. Accordingly, the case cannot come apart simply by pulling on the front or rear panels 28, 30. The outside ends of the slots are angled inward to form an arm, so that the hooked tabs can be moved into the arm during insertion and removal of the hooked tabs by rotating the front panel 28 inward.

[0037] As best shown in FIG. 1, the corner pieces 23 and connector members 29 cooperate to form beveled corners at the front of the assembled case 10. This allows cases 10 to be easily slid onto a shelf adjacent one another without obstruction. This is especially important to have ready access to the product contained within the case 10, and be able to quickly replace the case 10 on the shelf. The beveled corners also add strength to the front of the case 10. The beveled corners also provide a more finished look, and distinguish the cases 10 from each other.

[0038] It should be recognized that the pieces 23 need not be triangular in shape, but rather, any suitable shape can be provided. For instance, the tops of the triangles can be removed, so that the pieces 23 are rectangular. In addition, the pieces 23 and connector members 29 need not be single pieces, but can be several pieces, such as two or more sections or members that form a top having a front that has two or more angled sections. Still yet, the pieces 23 and connector members 29 can be curved, to form a curved front to the case 10. However, the front of the case 10 should be beveled or angled so that cases 10 can be easily slid into position adjacent one another.

[0039] The case 10 is made of a flexible plastic for easy handling and durability. The plastic also allows the openings 32 in the case 10 to form a friction fit with the glasses ear piece. The case 10 can be pre-folded to form the fold lines in the case 10 so that the user can easily assemble the case 10. The fold lines can be formed, for instance, by a press.

[0040] The foregoing description and drawings should be considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. The invention may be configured in any shape and size and is not intended to be limited by the preferred embodiment. Numerous applications of the invention will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Therefore, it is not desired to limit the invention to the specific examples disclosed or the exact construction and operation shown and described. Rather, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.