Title:
Archive for memory cards
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An album-like package and storage container is formed of two housing sections that pivot into (and out of) mating engagement. To motivate retention of the memory card package for subsequent storage application, one housing section contains multiple open receptacles or compartments for post-sale storage of a number of memory cards. Prior to the sale the housing section need contain only the single memory card being offered. In one embodiment, recessed compartments that hold memory cards are arranged in rows and columns. With an additional feature, recessed ramp regions on the exterior of the package provide a terminus for ends of a protective tape applied about the periphery of the album-like package, making it impossible for a person to remove the tape by hand.



Inventors:
Begim, Moshe (Calabasas, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/514598
Publication Date:
01/18/2007
Filing Date:
08/31/2006
Assignee:
AVC CORPORATION
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/308.1, 211/40
International Classes:
B65D85/57
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RONALD M. GOLDMAN;ROTH & GOLDMAN (SUITE 500, 21535 HAWTHORNE BLVD., TORRANCE, CA, 90503, US)
Claims:
1. A reusable package and storage album for memory cards, comprising: a rectangular body of plastic material formed from a thin sheet of plastic material; said rectangular body including front and rear sides, first and second housing sections and a straight album spine; said first and second housing sections protruding from said front side of said rectangular body; and said straight album spine located in-between said first and second housing sections; said straight album spine being integrally joined along one side to said first housing section along a first bend line to permit said first housing section to be manually pivoted relative to said spine and being integrally joined along an opposite side to said second housing section along a second bend line to permit said second housing section to be manually pivoted relative to said spine, whereby said first and second housing sections may be manually pivoted relative to and pressed into frictional engagement with one another; and said rear side of said rectangular body including a rectangular frame integrally formed in said rear side of said rectangular body defining a shallow rectangular recessed region extending over said rear side of said rectangular body; a thin rectangular sheet of opaque printable material, said sheet of opaque printable material having front and rear sides and being bendable in physical characteristic; said thin rectangular sheet of opaque printable material being of a size and shape to fit inside and substantially fill said shallow rectangular recessed region in the rear side of said rectangular body, whereby said rectangular body overlaps the peripheral edges of said rectangular sheet of opaque printable material by a slight amount; said thin rectangular sheet of opaque printable material including at least text imprinted on at least one side; said second housing section including: an inside region for receiving at least one memory card, said inside region comprising: a relatively thin flat bottom surface, a plurality of open recessed compartments in and recessed from said bottom surface, each said open compartment having thin flexible walls and being of a size and shape to receive and frictionally hold a respective memory card.

2. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 1, further comprising: a plurality of open inter-compartment passages in and recessed from said thin flat bottom surface; and each of said recessed compartments in a respective row being connected to each immediately adjacent recessed compartment in said row by a respective one of said plurality of inter-compartment passages; wherein said plurality of open recessed compartments are arranged in rows and columns over said inside region of said second housing section; and wherein said first housing section includes at least an inside region containing a relatively thin flat bottom surface; and a stiffening bar; said stiffening bar vertically extending from said bottom surface of said inside region of said first housing section and extending transverse the width of said inside region of said first housing section for stiffening said first housing section and dividing said inside region of said first housing section into first and second parts.

3. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 2, wherein said thin sheet of plastic material comprises a transparent plastic material and wherein said rectangular body of plastic material comprises a transparent rectangular body of plastic material.

4. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 2, wherein said thin sheet of plastic material comprises an opaque plastic material and wherein said rectangular body of plastic material comprises an opaque rectangular body of plastic material.

5. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 4, wherein said second part of said first housing section includes a window opening; and further comprising: a window of transparent plastic material; said window overlying said window opening in said second part of said first housing section.

6. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 5, wherein said thin rectangular sheet of opaque printable material contains a cut-out portion defining a window located in said second part.

7. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 2, further comprising a second rectangular thin flat sheet of plastic material, said second rectangular thin flat sheet of plastic material being of a like rectangular shape and size as said rectangular body and being bendable in physical characteristic;

8. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 7, wherein said second rectangular thin flat sheet of plastic material comprises a transparent plastic material; and wherein said second rectangular thin flat sheet is fused to said rectangular body along said rectangular frame of said rectangular body to confine said sheet of opaque printable material between said second rectangular thin flat transparent sheet and said rectangular body and form a backing to said first and second housing sections and said spine; said thin rectangular sheet of opaque printable material including a layer of printers ink on each of said front and back side at locations on each said front and back side underlying said first and second housing sections and said spine, said printers ink defining any of text and graphics; and said printers ink on each said sheet of printable material being visible through said second rectangular thin flat sheet and, when said first and second housing sections are separated, through said rectangular body; said first and second housing sections defining a closed internal region within which to confine memory cards when said first and second housing sections are pivoted into and pressed into mating frictional engagement.

9. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 7, wherein said second rectangular thin flat sheet of plastic material comprises a transparent plastic material; and wherein said second rectangular thin flat sheet of transparent plastic material is fused to said rectangular body along said rectangular frame of said rectangular body to permanently confine said sheet of opaque printable material between said second rectangular thin flat transparent sheet and said rectangular body and form a backing to said first and second housing sections and said spine.

10. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 7, wherein said sheet of opaque printable material including a layer of printers ink on at least one of said front and back sides at locations on each said front and back side underlying said first and second housing sections and said spine, said printers ink defining any of text and graphics; and wherein said sheet of opaque printable material is visible from the exterior of said housing sections through said second rectangular thin flat sheet of transparent plastic material and, when said first and second housing sections are separated, through said rectangular body of transparent plastic material.

11. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 7, wherein said second rectangular thin flat sheet of plastic material comprises an opaque vinyl.

12. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 11, and further comprising: a window opening in said second part of said first housing section; a transparent plastic window located in said window opening in said second part of said first housing section; and wherein said thin rectangular sheet of opaque printable material contains a cut-out in said second part defining a window opening located overlying said transparent plastic window; and wherein said second rectangular thin flat opaque vinyl sheet includes a cut-out defining said window opening, located overlying said window opening in said sheet of opaque printable material.

13. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 11, further comprising: a layer of plastic sponge material, said layer of plastic sponge material sandwiched in between said layer of opaque printable material and said rectangular thin flat opaque vinyl sheet.

14. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 11, further comprising: a layer of cardboard material, said layer of cardboard material sandwiched in between said thin sheet of opaque printable material and said rectangular thin flat opaque vinyl sheet.

15. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 7, wherein said second rectangular thin flat sheet of plastic material comprises a transparent plastic material.

16. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 7, wherein said rectangular thin flat sheet of opaque printable material comprises any one of paper board, chipboard and cardboard.

17. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 7, wherein said rectangular thin flat sheet of opaque printable material comprises a printable plastic material;

18. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 2, wherein said plurality of open recessed compartments comprises nine in number; and wherein said nine open recessed compartments are evenly arranged in said thin flat bottom surface in three rows and three columns.

19. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 2, wherein said plurality of open recessed compartments comprises nine in number; and wherein said nine open recessed compartments are evenly arranged in said thin flat bottom surface in three rows and three columns; and wherein said plurality of inter-compartment passages comprises six in number.

20. The reusable package and storage album for memory cards as defined in claim 7, wherein said plastic material comprises a member selected from the group consisting of: polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polyethylene and polystyrene

21. A reusable package and storage album for a product, comprising: a rectangular body of plastic material formed from a thin sheet of plastic material; said rectangular body having front and rear sides and defining first and second housing sections; said first and second housing sections protruding from said front side of said body; and a straight spine of predetermined width located in-between a side of each of said first and second housing sections, said straight spine being integrally joined along one side to said first housing section along a first bend line to permit said first housing section to be manually pivoted relative to said straight spine and being integrally joined along an opposite side to said second housing section along a second bend line to permit said second housing section to be manually pivoted relative to said straight spine, wherein said first and second housing sections may be manually pivoted relative to one another and pressed into engagement with one another; said first and second housing sections each containing a peripheral rim bordering said respective section, said peripheral rim of one section being of a size to at least partially fit within and frictionally engage said peripheral rim of the other section when said first and second housing sections are pressed together to frictionally hold said sections together thereby placing said package and storage album in a closed condition; said first and second housing sections defining a peripherally extending side to the two housing sections and defining a peripherally extending slit between confronting surfaces of said first and second housing sections when said housing sections are placed in said closed condition, said peripherally extending side and said peripherally slit extending over four sides in a rectangular loop and possessing a thickness that is essentially the same as said width of said spine; and said first and second housing sections defining first and second recessed surfaces when said housing sections are positioned in said closed condition, said first and second recessed surfaces being located on opposite sides of said peripherally extending side and proximate said spine and are recessed inwardly in a direction toward the interior of said housing sections, said first and second recessed surfaces overlying said slit and defining inwardly sloped ramps, each of said ramps providing a tape end receiving location in which to position a respective one of the first and second ends of a piece of protective tape that is applied over the length of said peripherally extending slit.

22. A reusable package and storage album for a memory card as defined in claim 21, further comprising: at least one elongate strip of tape for permanently binding said first housing section to said second housing section to prevent said housing sections from being pivoted from said closed condition, said elongate strip of tape extending along and overlying said peripherally extending slit, said strip of tape having one end located in said tape end receiving location of said first recessed inwardly sloped ramp surface and tape having the opposite end of said strip of tape located in said tape end receiving location of said second recessed inwardly sloped ramp surface; said elongate strip of tape being severable in the lengthwise direction when penetrated by a cutting blade drawn along said slit to break said binding between said housing sections to free said housing sections for relative manual pivotal movement to an open condition.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This non-provisional application for patent is related to an earlier-filed provisional application for patent by the inventor, Ser. No. 60/714,658, filed Sep. 6, 2005, entitled Archive for Memory Cards, the entire contents of which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference. Applicant claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) and 35 U.S.C. 120 of the foregoing provisional application. This non-provisional application is also related to an earlier-filed non-provisional application for patent by the inventor, Ser. No. 11/181,624, filed Jul. 13, 2005, entitled Reusable Environmentally Friendly Package and Storage Album, the entire contents of which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference, of which the present application is a continuation-in-part. Applicant claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 120 of the foregoing non-provisional application

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to storage cases for memory cards and, more particularly, to storage cases for memory cards that also serve as retail packages for memory cards.

BACKGROUND

Memory cards, such as flash memory, contain a semiconductor memory chip, an electrical connector, and printed circuitry on a card for connecting the terminals of the semiconductor memory chip to the electrical connector. The memory card serves as a small size portable memory, typically about one square inch in area, that can be used with digital cameras, MP3 players and various computers. Memory cards of that type are referred to by letter designation and vary between types in size and shape. These are the SD cards, the CF cards, The XD cards and the Sony Memory Stick®. The present invention is directed to the storage of those kinds of cards.

Storage containers for small size, high value products in general are not new. Nor is retail sale packaging for that kind of product, such as the plastic clamshell package. That package has received wide acceptance in the retail trade because the package provides a high level of security against in-store pilfering and product damage. The clamshell package is fabricated of a strong plastic and cannot be opened with one's bare hands. Even after the packaged product is purchased by the customer and taken to the customer's residence, in order to extract the memory card from the clamshell package the person is required to cut the plastic of the package with a sharp knife, scissors or other tool. In so doing the clamshell package is essentially destroyed and cannot be later put to use as a storage container.

In a prior patent application I address the benefit to the person and to the environment of being able to retain the retail package in which the product is displayed for sale for subsequent use as the storage container for the product. Instead of destroying and discarding the package, the package may continue to be of use serving other needs. That storage function is explored at some length in my prior pending application Ser. No. 10/371,361, filed Feb. 24, 2003, entitled Reusable Environmentally Friendly Package and Storage Album, and now U.S. Pat. No. 6.959,809 B2, granted Nov. 1, 2005. That subject is also explored at some length in another application, Ser. No. 11/181,624, filed Jul. 13, 2005, also entitled Reusable Environmentally Friendly Package and Storage Album, of which the present application may be considered a continuation-in-part. The contents of the foregoing patent and application are incorporated herein in their entirety by reference.

Book-like storage containers, sometimes referred to as albums, were heretofore known for storing individual video tapes, but nothing was known to applicant that provides albums for storage of multiple memory cards.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a retail package for at least an individual memory card in which the retail package subsequently serves as an album-like storage container to store multiple memory cards and vice-versa.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An album-like package and storage container contains two housing sections that are joined together by a spine for pivotal movement into (and out of) mating frictional engagement. One of the two housing sections contains multiple receptacles or compartments for post-sale storage of a number of memory cards. Prior to sale the package need contain only a single memory card in one of the receptacles or compartments in the one housing section, while motivating retention of the package for storage application. That housing section includes an inside region that contains a relatively thin flat bottom surface, and a plurality of spaced, open compartments located in and recessed from that bottom surface. Each of those compartments contains thin flexible walls and is of a size and shape to receive and frictionally hold a respective memory card.

In one specific embodiment, the recessed compartments are arranged in rows and columns over the inside region of the respective housing section. As an additional feature, recessed ramp regions on the exterior of the side of the package provide a terminus for the ends of a protective security tape that may be applied about the periphery of the album-like package to make it impossible for a person to pull up and remove the tape by hand.

The foregoing and additional objects and advantages of the invention, together with the structure characteristic thereof, which were only briefly summarized in the foregoing passages, will become more apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, which follows in this specification, taken together with the illustrations thereof presented in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of the package and storage album invention in a closed condition;

FIG. 2 illustrates the storage container of FIG. 1 in a fully open position, as viewed from the top;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the container as viewed from the bottom edge in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference is made to FIG. 1, which illustrates the novel storage album 1 in a closed condition. The album possesses a book-like appearance and contains two housing sections, a first housing section 3 and a second one 5. Those housing sections are joined together by a spine 7, the latter of which is not fully visible in this figure. Each section is joined to the spine 7 by a living hinge that is formed in the plastic by a bend line, also not visible in FIG. 1, but shown in later figures. When closed, the two housing sections are configured to frictionally engage in a confronting abutting relationship with confronting portions of the adjacent surfaces defining both a seam 9 and the thickness of the album. Seam 9 extends about the periphery of the sidewalls of sections 3 and 5. However, when the album is closed only three sides of that periphery are accessible, effectively making the seam semi-peripheral in character as described later herein in connection with the discussion of a protective tape, not illustrated.

Upper section 3 in this embodiment contains a transparent window 11 that is formed from a flat layer of transparent plastic. The window is sealed about the edges to the plastic material of section 3 as shown in the exploded view of FIG. 4 the window is useful if the plastic material used to construct one or more elements of the housing section is opaque. Continuing with FIG. 1, a portion of the contents stored inside the container, a memory card 13, such as that represented in dash lines, may be viewed from the exterior and identified by the customer. Typically, only a single memory card is packaged in album 1 for retail sale, but the album may be subsequently used to store that memory card and additional memory cards as well. Other elements that may be viewed through that window are omitted in this figure. Thus, should any labeling of spine 7 be inadequate to describe the contents of the album to the satisfaction of the customer, the album may be withdrawn from the shelf by the customer for a quick inspection through the window. That capability avoids any need to try to open the album or seek out a sales clerk to do so.

Reference is made to FIG. 2, which shows the album of FIG. 1 in a fully open condition as viewed looking down onto the album. For convenience, elements that were previously identified by a number and described in connection with FIG. 1 are identified by the same number in this and succeeding drawing figures where they appear in this (and/or succeeding) drawing figures.

The hinges 15 and 17 that respectively connect sections 3 and 5 to spine 7 are visible in the figure and are represented in the figures as straight lines, mere indentations in the plastic material. As shown to the right, album section 5 contains a peripherally extending vertically stepped wall, with respective first and second wall portions, lower 19A and upper 19B that border the section and a lip or seam 9 that appears along the upper surface of wall 19B. A generally flat surface 21, bordered by upper stepped wall 19B, is located inside the album section 5 and is recessed below the top of wall 19. Nine small size generally rectangular compartments or regions 23, only one of which is labeled, are located in and recessed below surface 21, punctuating the surface of the album section. Those compartments are evenly arranged in three rows of three compartments each. Those small rectangular recessed receptacles or compartments, as variously termed, are of a shape and dimension to each receive via the open upper end and frictionally grip a SD memory card 13, pictorially illustrated in FIG. 1, by the sides. The album embodiment of FIG. 2 holds a maximum of nine such memory cards. In the other drawing figures, the single memory card 13 is omitted from its place in the left-most region in the lowest row in the section to avoid unnecessarily complexity in the drawing figures. As one appreciates other numbers and sizes of small recessed receptacles or open compartments may be used and or organized differently than in this embodiment. The number and size of the regions depends in part upon the size of the available space, the size and shape of the memory cards, and the particular goals the album designer seeks to aftain.

Continuing with FIG. 2, album section 3, to the left in the figure also contains a peripherally extending wall 25 that also borders a region that is vertically recessed from the upper edge of the wall. That recessed region includes region 27 and a second region that contains the transparent window 11. Region 27 is a planar surface and may be used for printing, posting or attaching advertising or informational material or to expose such informational matter to view when the album is open. Alternatively, the region may be used to hold a small size printed paper booklet or brochure with information on the memory card.

Wall 25 defines an area that is the same shape as the area defined by peripheral wall potion 19A in album section 5 on the right. Wall 25 is also as thin as wall portion 1 9A and slightly larger in area than wall portion 1 9B so that with the album closed as in FIG. 1, wall 25 overlies wall 19A. Further, as closed the top edge of wall 25 abuts the step or top edge of wall 19A and a side surface of wall 25 frictionally engages the side of wall portion 19B.

A stiffening bar 29 traverses and divides the recessed inner region integrally formed in section 3, separating region 27 from the region that contains window 11. The flat upper surface of that stiffening bar is at a vertical level slightly higher than the upper edge of wall 25 the height of that bar is better viewed in the side view of FIG. 3. The foregoing physical features of the album may be more easily visualized by making brief reference to the exploded view of FIG. 4. Recessed portions 18 and 20 of wall portion19A and the corresponding sideways recessed portions, defining an inwardly directed ramp-like structure, (and the corresponding ramp-like structures 22 and 24 in section 3 that align with the foregoing when the album is closed) are discussed later herein.

Reference is made to the side view of FIG. 3, which illustrates a view from the bottom edge of the fully open album in FIG. 2. When the album is pivoted closed, spine 7 is pivoted from the horizontal position shown in the figure to a vertical position and wall 25 is inverted and fits over wall portion 1 9A and frictionally engages the outer side of wall 1 9B, with the upper edge of wall 25 positioned in abutment with the upper edge 9 that extends along the outer side of wall 19A. That edge acts as a stop, but also defines the seam 9, referred to in connection with FIG. 1. Additionally, stiffening bar 29, anchored in the first housing or album section, protrudes inside the recessed interior region in the second housing or album section 5, bounded by wall 19B.

Reference is again made to FIG. 4, which illustrates the embodiment in an exploded view. Housing sections 3 and 5 and spine 7 are formed from a single thin sheet of flat plastic material that is vacu-formed to the shape illustrated, producing a plastic body or blank, as variously termed, containing hollow regions on both top and bottom sides. Vacuforming is a conventional process widely used in the industry and does not require detailed discussion. Preferably, the plastic material in the preferred embodiment is transparent. In other embodiments, where the see-through quality of the plastic material is not necessary to the particular design, the plastic material may be opaque. And In those packages formed of opaque plastic blanks, a transparent window should be included to permit a customer to view the memory card being sold in the package. The foregoing process of forming the plastic body concurrently produces the cutout 31 in which window 11, a separate piece of transparent plastic, is ultimately installed.

The underside of the vacu-formed piece is necessarily weak. To add strength a chipboard or cardboard piece 33 formed with a cutout for the window is applied to the backside of the vacu-formed blank. Advantageously that cardboard piece may also be used as an advertising and promotional medium containing printed text and graphics. In the preferred embodiment cardboard piece 33 is formed in one-piece. In alternative preferred embodiments in which relatively thick pieces of cardboard are used for piece 33, element 33 may be formed in three separate pieces, one to apply against each of sections 3 and 5 and spine 7, respectively. A cover 35, suitably of vinyl material, in turn covers the cardboard material 33. The pieces are sandwiched together in a jig, not illustrated, the window 11 is set in place, and the assembly is placed inside an RF heating device, a conventional device in the industry, and the unit is heated to seal the edges of the cover 35 to the vacu-formed member and the window 11 to that member. Thereafter the unitary assembly is placed in a press, the hinges 15 and 17 are press-formed along the spine and the one section 3 is folded over onto the other section 5 to press close the archive. Typically, to save steps, the memory card 13 may be introduced into one of the card storage regions 23 before the package is placed in the press and pressed closed.

The underside or rear side of the formed rectangular plastic body containing housing sections 3 and 5 shown in the exploded view of FIG. 4 contains an outer frame like portion formed in the plastic that contains a shallow rectangular recessed portion of slightly smaller length and width dimension than the frame. That rectangular recessed portion extends about the entire rear side. The paperboard, chipboard or cardboard piece 33 may be made slightly small in length and width to permit that piece to fit in the foregoing rectangular recessed region on the underside of the plastic body, leaving the outer rim or edges of the frame unobstructed. The rectangular outer layer of plastic or, in this embodiment, vinyl 35 is larger in the length and width dimension of piece 33, and about the same size as the length and width of the formed rectangular frame in the plastic body. That allows the peripheral edge of plastic layer 35 to overlie the unobstructed edge of the frame. The edge of plastic layer 35 may then be sealed to the peripheral rim on the underside of the rectangular plastic body, suitably by conventional RF sealing processes to confine the paperboard or chipboard sheet 33 there between.

As an alternative, where one desires to give the album a luxurious feel, and feel soft to the touch, a rectangular layer of plastic foam material, not illustrated, may be added to the combination. The rectangular foam layer is bonded to the side of the cardboard member 33 that faces cover 35. For the embodiment of FIG. 1, the foam layer would also contain a cutout for the window aligned with the cutouts in sheets 33 and 35. The thin outer covering layer of vinyl 35 is bonded or sealed over layers 33 and the plastic foam, giving the outer cover of the album a plush cushioned feel. As those skilled in the art appreciate, the foregoing elements are easily to disassemble and separate in reclamation processes, making the storage album environmentally friendly.

The final step in the packaging is to place a strip of protective bonding tape, not illustrated, over the accessible portion of the slit or seam 9 between the two housing sections 3 and 5 to permanently prevent the two sections from being opened prior to customer purchase. The sections of the package may then be secured by a sealing device to prevent a customer from tampering with the product at retail. The preferred seal in this embodiment a strip of plastic tape to provide a tamper evident seal. A strip of the tape is placed along the seam 9 and extends generally about the periphery of walls 25 and 19, over the three accessible sides of that periphery, which are referred to as the semi-periphery.

The protective tape preferably commences and terminates in respective ones of the recessed ramp sections 18 and 20 formed in the housing sections. As example the tape strip is started in one of the recessed ramp sections 18 and 20 of wall 19 shown in FIG. 2 and the corresponding recessed ramp sections, not labeled, in wall 25, and ends in the other one of those ramp sections. By starting and ending in those recessed portions it becomes difficult or impossible for a person to grasp and lift the end of the tape with one's fingers and attempt to pull the tape off the album to unseal the two sections. The only effective way to open the package then is to slide a knife along seam 9 cutting through the plastic tape.

The vacu-formed one-piece body containing sections 3 and 5 and connecting spine 7 of the package and window 11 shown in the exploded view of FIG. 4 is vacu-formed of the plastic material polyvinylchloride (“PVC”) and, preferably is of a thickness of 0.020 through 0.030 inches. Other available plastic materials may be substituted, such as polypropylene (“PET”), polystyrene and any other equivalent material that gives the container sections a slightly stiff, yet flexible, form and is used for packaging, whether currently existing or which may be developed hereafter. The cardboard or chipboard layer 33 is preferably of a thickness of between 0.020 thorough 0.100 inches.

In the foregoing embodiment the vinyl cover 35 is preferably an opaque material of a dark color and doesn't contain any printing. That gives the appearance of a valuable leather covered album, worthy of ones library. However, other embodiments may be of other colors, be translucent or even transparent. Other embodiments may also contain printed material on the outer cover, such as advertising, informational material or the like, all of which come within the scope of my invention.

The foregoing invention can be produced in a variety of forms. As example, referring to the exploded view of FIG. 4, the choice of and outer vinyl covering 35 provides an opaque colored outer surface to the storage album. With that opaque layer, the formed plastic body containing housing portions 3 and 5 may be formed from either a transparent plastic material or from an opaque one.

If the transparent plastic material is used to form the rectangular body, then one side of the paperboard sheet 33 will show through the inside of the album. If that is the case, then advertising, instruction and/or promotional materials in text and/or graphic forms may be printed on the one side of sheet 33 that is visible through the walls of the case. That printed material could contain a number located behind each of the receptacles 23 in the second housing portion, while the name, model number and warranty information could be printed on sheet 33 underlying the left most housing section 3. The paperboard sheet is an example of a printable material. Paper, cardboard, chipboard are other examples of known printable materials, that can be printed upon with printers ink, ink used for printing.

If on the other hand the rectangular body is formed from a thin opaque plastic sheet, then there's no purpose in printing anything on the paperboard or chipboard layer 33. In that case we have a somewhat dull album in which the information would be printed in a small brochure that fits within the region 27 in the housing section 3. The entire outside surface may be wrapped in printed paper or have printed labels attached to the outside of layer 35.

As a still further alternative, layer 35 could be formed of a transparent plastic material while the rectangular plastic body is formed of a transparent plastic material. In that alternative, the paperboard sheet 33 could be printed on both sides exposing text and graphics to the customer when the package is on the store shelf or rack mount and later exposing the printed information and/or cross sell advertising to the customer through the inside transparent walls of the plastic body when the package is opened initially and later when used as the storage album the album is opened to withdraw a memory card. In that alternative, a window 11 becomes unnecessary and may be deleted.

Likewise in a still further alternative, the rectangular plastic body with sections 3 and 5 may be formed of an opaque plastic material and the outer cover layer 35 may be formed from transparent plastic. In this alternative the outside surface of the paperboard or chipboard layer 33 may be imprinted with text and/or graphic material that will be visible through the transparent cover layer 35 to a store customer from the outside of the package.

It is believed that the foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the invention is sufficient in detail to enable one skilled in the art to make and use the invention without undue experimentation. However, it is expressly understood that the detail of the elements comprising the embodiment presented for the foregoing purpose is not intended to limit the scope of the invention in any way, in as much as equivalents to those elements and other modifications thereof, all of which come within the scope of the invention, will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading this specification.