Title:
Medium Disc Filing Means and Disc Storage Means Incorporating Same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A medium disc filing means comprises a filing rail (20) and a plurality of detachable disc holders (30), the filing rail comprises a rail body and a pair of transversally protruding flanges (21,22), each disc holder comprises an attachment member and a medium disc receptacle, the attachment member comprises a clipping aperture (37) which is resiliently deformable so that the clipping aperture can be deformed to overcome the transversal width of the pair of flanges when a disc holder is to be attached to or detached from the filing rail. Such a filing means provides improved reliability and convenience since medium discs can be placed at selective locations on the filing rail and a filing order can be reasonably maintained due to clipping engagement between the filing rail and the disc holders.



Inventors:
Lau, Wai Ming (Hong Kong, CN)
Application Number:
11/547665
Publication Date:
11/01/2007
Filing Date:
04/04/2005
Assignee:
Sunhing Millennium Ltd. (9th Floor Kowloon Plaza, 485 Castle Peak, Kowloon, CN)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
G9B/33.014, G9B/33.019
International Classes:
A47G29/00; G11B33/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHEUNG, CHUN HOI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BUCHANAN, INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC (POST OFFICE BOX 1404, ALEXANDRIA, VA, 22313-1404, US)
Claims:
1. A medium disc filing means comprises a filing rail and a plurality of detachable disc holders, the filing rail comprises a rail body and a pair of transversally protruding flanges, each disc holder comprises an attachment member and a medium disc receptacle, the disc receptacle is attached to one side of the attachment member, the other side of the attachment member which is not attached to the disc receptacle comprises a clipping aperture for detachably attaching the disc holder to the filing rail, the clipping aperture is resiliently deformable so that it can be deformed to overcome the transversal width of the pair of flanges so that the disc holder can be attached to or detached from the filing rail.

2. A medium disc filing means according to claim 1, wherein the clipping aperture comprises an entry aperture and a latching aperture, the latching aperture is intermediate the entry aperture and the disc pocket and is in communication with the entry aperture, the entry aperture is narrower than the transversal width of the filing rail, the latching aperture is wider than the entry aperture and is adapted for bracketing the transversal ends of the filing rail.

3. A medium disc filing means according to claim 1, wherein the clipping aperture comprises a pair of oppositely facing teeth which protrude away from the attachment member, the free ends of the pair of oppositely facing teeth define the entry aperture and the portions of the teeth between the free ends and the attachment member defines the latching aperture.

4. A medium disc filing means according to claim 2, wherein each of the flanges has a rounded outer edge and each of protruding teeth comprises an arcuate indentation intermediate its free end and the attachment member and facing the other opposite tooth, the corresponding arcuate portions of the pair of protruding teeth together forms a latching aperture with arcuate transversal ends.

5. A medium disc filing means according to claim 2, wherein the attachment member is made of durable plastics and the teeth are integrally moulded thereon.

6. A medium disc filing means according to claim 2, wherein the medium disc receptacle comprises an aperture through which a medium disc is inserted or removed, the aperture being opposite the filing rail.

7. A medium disc filing means according to claim 1, wherein the medium disc receptacle comprises a disc pocket with a substantially circular profile and dimensioned to receive a medium disc to be placed inside the disc pocket, the attachment member comprises an attachment clip which is attached to a minor outer circumferential portion of the pocket.

8. A medium disc filing means according to claim 6, wherein the side of the attachment clip which is attached to the disc pocket comprises an arcuate rim portion, the arcuate rim portion is shaped and dimensioned to support a circumferential portion of a medium disc when the medium disc is inserted inside the disc pocket during normal use so that said disc rests on said attachment member.

9. A medium disc filing means according to claim 7, wherein the disc pocket is flexible and comprises a transparent window with a opaque back-sheet, a radially extending aperture is provided on the transparent window to allow finger access to a medium disc being formed on the transparent window to facilitate removal of a medium disc from said pocket.

10. A medium disc filing means according to claim 2, wherein the filing rail comprises a concave portion which is intermediate the pair of flanges, the side of the attachment member which is adapted for clipping on to the filing rail comprises a convex portion which is shaped to correspond to the curvature of the concave portion of the filing rail.

11. A medium disc filing means according to claim 1, wherein the attachment clip comprises a clipping aperture with a pair of opposing catches defining the clipping aperture between them, the catches are disposed at the transversal ends of the clipping aperture and are adapted for clipping on the flanges of the filing rail transversally in a snap-on manner.

12. A medium disc filing means according to claim 10, wherein each of the opposing catches comprises a curved hook, the curved hooks of the opposing catches curve towards each other to form the clipping aperture.

13. A medium disc filing means according to claim 12, wherein each flange has a rounded outer edge, the curvature of each curved hook of said catch substantially follows the curvature of the rounded outer edge of the flange.

14. A medium disc filing means according to claim 10, wherein the medium disc receptacle comprises a disc pocket with a substantially circular profile and dimensioned to received a medium disc to be placed inside the disc pocket, the attachment member comprises a main body with an arcuate profile and with the opposing catches protruding from the main body to form the clipping aperture, the main body comprises two moulded plastic pieces which are fastened together in a back-to-back manner with a minor circumferential portion of the disc pocket sandwiched between the moulded plastic pieces to hold the disc pocket.

15. A medium disc filing means according to claim 13, wherein the opposing catches are integrally moulded on one of the moulded pieces, the spacing between the catches is adapted to allow the attachment member to slide along the rail when the disc holder has been attached on the rail.

16. A medium disc filing means according to claim 13, wherein the disc pocket comprises an aperture which is adapted for insertion or removal of a medium disc from the disc pocket, the aperture being diametrically opposite the attachment clip.

17. A medium disc filing means according to claim 10, wherein the pair of opposing catches being disposed so that the distance between the opposite approaching ends is less than the width of the filing rail, the pair of opposing catches being resiliently deformable and can be forced apart upon engaging and disengaging from the filing rail.

18. A medium disc filing means according to claim 10, wherein the disc holder is detachably clipped on the filing rail with the disc holder immediately above the filing rail, the catch comprises a curved hook, the curvature of the hook substantially follows that of the flange and the pair of hooks clamp on the underside of the flanges, whereby the disc holder is slidable along the filing rail but is restrained from detaching from the filing rail.

19. A medium disc filing means according to claim 17, wherein the disc holder comprises a pair of back-to-back disc pockets each having a transparent window and sharing a common opaque back sheet, the disc holder can swing between first and second inclination planes relative to a transversal orthogonal plane of the filing rail so that information appearing on medium discs stored in the disc pockets can be viewed, the extent of swinging of the disc holder being co-operatively defined by the curved hooks and the flanges.

20. A medium disc storage means comprising medium disc filing means of claim 1, the storage means further comprising a re-closable enclosure surrounding the medium disc filing means.

21. A medium disc storage means of claim 20, wherein the re-closable enclosure comprises a flexible and generally cylindrical body with a longitudinally extending zip.

22. A medium disc storage means of claim 20, further comprising a flexible handle which extends longitudinally.

23. A medium disc holder adapted for attaching to a filing rail, comprising a disc pocket and an attachment, the attachment clip comprises a pair of opposing catches defining a clipping aperture between them, the catches are disposed at the transversal ends of the clipping aperture and are adapted for snap-type clipping on the filing rail, the pair of opposite catches are adapted so that the disc holder can slide along the filing rail, one side of the attachment member is attached to the disc pocket and the clipping aperture is formed on the other side, the clipping aperture is adapted so that the disc holder can slide along the filing rail so that its longitudinal clipping location can be changed by a user, wherein, the disc holder is adapted so that a medium disc is held above the filing rail during normal use.

24. A medium disc holder according to claim 23, wherein each of the opposing catches comprises a curved hook, the curved hooks of the opposing catches curving towards each other and are adapted to catch the filing rail between them.

25. A medium disc holder according to claim 23, wherein the attachment member comprises a main body and the opposing catches protrude from said main body to from said main body to form the clipping aperture, the main body being arcuate and comprising two moulded pieces which are fastened together with a minor circumferential portion of the disc pocket sandwiched between the moulded pieces to hold the disc pocket.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to filing means for medium discs and, more particularly, to means, devices and apparatus for filing optically readable medium discs, such as CDs. This invention also relates to medium disc storage means incorporating such filing means.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Medium discs, especially optically readable medium discs such as CDs, CD ROMs, CD RAV, MDs, DVDs, VCDs, are widely used in information technology and multi-media applications for information storage. Optically readable medium discs (in short “optical discs”) are advantageous because of their high data density, their reliability, their robustness as well as their being compact and slim. Due to the versatility of optical discs, they are used in many applications and there is a practical need to provide more efficient and useful filing means so that a large number of information carrying optical discs can be stored in a relatively small storage space and can be carried around relatively easily.

Jewel—or other boxes are widely used for storing medium discs. However, they are not space efficient since the thickness of a jewel box is many times that of the medium disc itself. In additional, Jewel boxes are usually stored on shelving units such as CD-racks and such shelf-type filing and storage systems are bulky. More space efficient medium disc storage means such as the envelope-type, the sleeve-type and other flexible pocket-type storage means have been increasingly used for optical discs storage and filing. Typically, an information-carrying medium disc is placed inside a pocket-type storage means. A number of so pocketed medium discs are loosely placed inside a disc drawer or are bound together by a ring-clip type system. When a drawer containing a large number of information carrying optical discs is carried around or transported for some distance, it is very likely that the optical discs are randomly shuffled and displaced so that re-filing or re-organization would be necessary. Reorganization of the medium discs may mean removal of all discs from the drawer which can be an exhaustive and time consuming exercise. On the other hand, when pocketed discs are filed using the ring-clip system, the optical discs have to be sequentially accessed and re-arrangement of the discs would usually involve the repetitive steps of opening of the ring clip, removal of a disc and then replacing the disc to another selected location. Hence, it will be desirable if a more user friendly and efficient filing means can be provided.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide means, devices and apparatus for more conveniently filing and retrieving medium discs while alleviating aforementioned shortcomings of conventional medium disc filing means. More specifically, it is an object, although not an exclusive one, of this invention to provide means, devices and apparatus for filing medium discs with enhanced disc filing and retrieval flexibility while maintaining a reasonable degree of filing robustness so that medium discs will maintain in good filing order during transportation. At a minimum, it is an object of this invention to provide the public with a useful choice of medium disc filing and storage means, devices and apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a medium disc filing means comprises a filing rail and a plurality of detachable disc holders, the filing rail comprises a rail body and a pair of transversally protruding flanges, each disc holder comprises an attachment member and a medium disc receptacle, the disc receptacle is attached to one side of the attachment member, the other side of the attachment member which is not attached to the disc receptacle comprises a clipping aperture for detachably attaching the disc holder to the filing rail, the clipping aperture is resiliently deformable so that it can be deformed to overcome the transversal width of the pair of flanges so that the disc holder can be attached to or detached from the filing rail. Such a filing means provides improved reliability and convenience since medium discs can be placed at selective locations on the filing rail and a filing order can be reasonably maintained due to clipping engagement between the filing rail and the disc holders.

In a preferred embodiment, the clipping aperture comprises an entry aperture and a latching aperture, the latching aperture is intermediate the entry aperture and the disc pocket and is in communication with the entry aperture, the entry aperture is narrower than the transversal width of the filing rail, the latching aperture is wider than the entry aperture and is adapted for bracketing the transversal ends of the filing rail.

More particularly, the clipping aperture may comprise a pair of oppositely facing teeth which protrude away from the attachment member, the free ends of the pair of oppositely facing teeth define the entry aperture and the portions of the teeth between the free ends and the attachment member defines the latching aperture. A pair of protruding teeth with a curvature concaving towards each other forms an efficient clipping aperture for maintaining a disc holder on the filing rail and is suitable for fast snap clipping.

Preferably, each of the flanges has a rounded outer edge and each of protruding teeth comprises an arcuate indentation intermediate its free end and the attachment member and facing the other opposite tooth, the corresponding arcuate portions of the pair of protruding teeth together forms a latching aperture with arcuate transversal ends. The attachment member can be made of durable plastics with the teeth integrally moulded thereon as a convenient example. The resilient deformability of durable plastics ensures easy clipping and removal.

To facilitate easy removal of a disc from the disc receptacle, the medium disc receptacle comprises an aperture through which a medium disc is inserted or removed, the aperture being opposite the filing rail so that a medium disc can be inserted or removed from above the rail.

In a preferred example, the medium disc receptacle comprises a disc pocket with a substantially circular profile and dimensioned to receive a medium disc to be placed inside the disc pocket, the attachment member is attached to a minor outer circumferential portion of the pocket.

Preferably, the side of the attachment member which is attached to the disc pocket comprises an arcuate rim portion, the arcuate rim portion is shaped and dimensioned to support a circumferential portion of a medium disc when the medium disc is inserted inside the disc pocket during normal use so that said disc rests on said attachment member.

Preferably, the disc pocket is flexible and comprises a transparent window with a opaque back-sheet, a radially extending aperture is provided on the transparent window to allow finger access to a medium disc being formed on the transparent window to facilitate removal of a medium disc from said pocket.

In an example, the filing rail comprises a concave portion which is intermediate the pair of flanges, the side of the attachment member which is adapted for clipping on to the filing rail comprises a convex portion which is shaped to correspond to the curvature of the concave portion of the filing rail.

In one perspective, the attachment member comprises an attachment clip which comprises a clipping aperture with a pair of opposing catches defining the clipping aperture between them, the catches are disposed at the transversal ends of the clipping aperture and are adapted for clipping on the flanges of the filing rail transversally in a snap-on manner. For example, each of the opposing catches comprises a curved hook, the curved hooks of the opposing catches curve towards each other to form the clipping aperture.

For easy clipping, each of the flange is provided with a rounded outer edge, the curvature of each of the curved hook of said catch substantially follows the curvature of the rounded outer edge of the flange.

In an example, the medium disc receptacle comprises a disc pocket with a substantially circular profile and dimensioned to receive a medium disc to be placed inside the disc pocket, the attachment member comprises a main body with an arcuate profile and with the opposing catches protruding from the main body to form the clipping aperture, the main body comprises two moulded plastic pieces which are fastened together in a back-to-back manner with a minor circumferential portion of the disc pocket sandwiched between the moulded plastic pieces to hold the disc pocket.

Conveniently, the opposing catches are integrally moulded on one of the moulded pieces, the spacing between the catches is adapted to allow the attachment member to slide along the rail when the disc holder has been attached on the rail. Likewise, the disc pocket comprises an aperture which is adapted for insertion or removal of a medium disc from the disc pocket, the aperture being diametrically opposite to the attachment clip.

Preferably, the pair of opposing catches is disposed so that they are coplanar and the distance between the opposite approaching ends is less than the width of the filing rail, the pair of opposing catches being resiliently deformable and can be forced apart upon engaging and disengaging from the filing rail.

In an exemplary application, the disc holder is detachably clipped on the filing rail with the disc holder immediately above the filing rail, the catch comprises a curved hook, the curvature of the hook substantially follows that of the flange and the pair of hooks clamp on the underside of the flanges, whereby the disc holder is slidable along the filing rail but is restrained from detaching from the filing rail.

Of course, the disc holder may comprise a pair of back-to-back disc pockets each having a transparent window and sharing a common opaque back sheet, the disc holder can swing between first and second inclination planes relative to a transversal orthogonal plane of the filing rail so that information appearing on medium discs stored in the disc pockets can be viewed, the extent of swinging of the disc holder being co-operatively defined by the curved hooks and the flanges.

In another aspect of this invention, there is described a medium disc storage means which comprises medium disc filing means described in this specification in which the storage means further comprises a re-closable enclosure surrounding the medium disc filing means. The re-closable enclosure may comprise a flexible and generally cylindrical body with a longitudinally extending zip. This feature facilitates enhanced portability of the storage means. In addition, the enclosure may further comprise a flexible handle which extends longitudinally.

In yet another aspect of this invention, there is described a medium disc holder adapted for attaching to a filing rail, comprising a disc pocket and an attachment, the attachment clip comprises a pair of opposing catches defining a clipping aperture between them, the catches are disposed at the transversal ends of the clipping aperture and are adapted for snap-type clipping on the filing rail, the pair of opposite catches are adapted so that the disc holder can slide along the filing rail, one side of the attachment member is attached to the disc pocket and the clipping aperture is formed on the other side, the clipping aperture is adapted so that the disc holder can slide along the filing rail so that its longitudinal clipping location can be changed by a user, wherein, the disc holder is adapted so that a medium disc is held above the filing rail during normal use.

Similarly, each of the opposing catches may comprise a curved hook, the curved hooks of the opposing catches curving towards each other and are adapted to catch the filing rail between them. Also, the attachment member may comprise a main body and the opposing catches protrude from said main body to form the clipping aperture, the main body being arcuate and comprising two moulded pieces which are fastened together with a minor circumferential portion of the disc pocket sandwiched between the moulded pieces to hold the disc pocket.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred embodiments of the present invention will be explained in further detail below by way of examples and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:—

FIG. 1 shows a top perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a medium disc filing means of the present invention,

FIG. 2 is a side view taken from a lateral side of the filing rail of the disc filing means of the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1 with a plurality of detachable disc holders being clipped on the filing rail,

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view showing the embodiment of disc FIG. 1 with the disc holder and the filing rail detached,

FIG. 4A is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 taken from one longitudinal end of the filing rail,

FIG. 4B shows the side view of FIG. 4A with the attachment clip partially clipped on the flange of the filing rail and the other side of the attachment member moving towards the other longitudinal flange of the filing rail for clamping engagement,

FIG. 4C is a side view showing a cross-section of the rail and the side view of a disc holder when the attachment clip is clipped on the filing rail during normal use conditions,

FIG. 4D shows an exemplary disc holder of the present invention approaching the other lateral side of the filing rail for engagement clipping,

FIG. 4E shows the disc holder of FIG. 4D in partially clipped mode during transition to fully clipped mode,

FIG. 5 shows a transversal cross-section of a preferred embodiment of a medium disc storage container incorporating an exemplary embodiment of a disc filing means of the present invention,

FIG. 6 shows a side view of the disc storage container of FIG. 5 with the enclosure opened and reviewing a disc holder,

FIG. 7 shows a top view of the opened disc storage container and showing a plurality of disc holders being clipped on the rail,

FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing the disc storage container of FIG. 6 and a plurality of disc holders,

FIG. 9 is a transversal cross-section of the disc storage container of FIG. 6,

FIG. 10 shows the storage container of FIG. 6 in the fully closed or zipped configuration,

FIG. 11 is a top side view of the storage container of FIG. 10,

FIG. 12 is a bottom view of the disc storage container of FIG. 11,

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the disc storage container of FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring firstly to FIGS. 1 to 4E, there is shown a first preferred embodiment of a medium disc filing means 10 of this invention. The disc filing means comprises a filing rail 20 and a plurality of disc holders 30 (although only a single disc holder is shown in some of the Figures for convenience). The filing rail comprises an elongated body with a pair of longitudinally extending flanges 21, 22. Each of the flanges 21, 22 protrudes transversally from the body of the filing rail and has a rounded outer edge. The filing rail 20 is made of durable plastics and the pair of flanges 21 and 22 are integrally moulded to the top lateral sides of the filing rail. Of course, the filing rail and the flanges can be formed from metal by, for example, metal stamping. Stopping means 23 are disposed at the longitudinal ends of the filing rail so that a disc holder clipped on the rail can slide on the rail and between the boundary defined by the stopping means. In this example, the filing rail has a substantially uniform cross-section along its length so that a disc holder attached to the filing rail can slide along the length of the filing rail. Of course, graduations may be formed on the filing rail to define discrete disc storage locations.

A plurality of fastener-receiving apertures 24 for fastening the filing rail to the base of a disc storage container or disc filing shelf are distributed along the length of the filing rail. The fastener-receiving apertures 24 are formed at depressions 25 moulded along the length of the filing rail so that fasteners for attaching the rail to a supporting base will not obstruct the sliding movement of the disc holders which are clipped on the rail.

As can be seen from the cross-sectional views of FIGS. 4A, 4C, 4D and 4E, the portion of the rail intermediate the lateral flanges are curved concavely. The curvature of the concaved portion substantially follows that of the corresponding portion on the attachment member. As is shown in the Figures, the curvature on the upper side of the attachment member substantially follows the curvature of the outer periphery of the circular disc pocket described below. Hence, the upper side of the attachment member provides a more robust support to a medium disc. In addition, the rail is designed so that a plurality of disc holders can be clipped on the filing rail at the same time and supported by the filing rail, as more particularly shown in FIGS. 2 and 7.

Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1, 3 and 4A, the disc holder 30 comprises a disc receptacle 31 and an attachment member 32. The attachment member comprises a first side 33 for attaching to the disc receptacle and a second side 34 for detachably attaching to the rail. An attachment clip is formed on the second side of the attachment member for clipping on to the filing rail. The disc receptacle comprises a flexible disc pocket adapted for accommodating a medium disc. As can be seen more clearly in FIG. 4C, the plane of the disc pocket is substantially orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the rail when the disc pocket is supported on the rail with the attachment clip clamped on the rail under normal use conditions.

The attachment member comprises first 35 and second 36 moulded pieces which are connected together, for example, by plastic riveting or bolting. The disc pocket is sandwiched between the two moulded pieces on the first side of the attachment member. The first side of the attachment member comprises an arcuate portion which generally follows the curvature of the optical disc to be held. The radial width of the arcuate portion is adapted so that there is adequate overlapping between the disc and the moulded pieces for a sufficient and reliable securing.

As can be seen from the Figures, the arcuate portion of the first side of the attachment member extends circumferentially along the directions so that it overlaps with a minor portion of the outer circumference of the disc pocket. The free end of the first side of the arcuate portion of the attachment member has a curvature which follows the curvature of the outer parameter of the optical disc to be held so that the rim of the edge can rest and be supported by the attachment member when placed inside the disc pocket uprightly.

As can be more clearly seen in FIGS. 1 to 4E, the second side of the attachment member comprises the attachment clip which juxtaposes the clipping aperture 37 for clipping on to the rail. The clipping aperture is defined by a pair of opposing catches 38, 39 which are disposed at the transversal ends of the clipping aperture. The clipping aperture, and therefore the opposing catches, is adapted to enable snap clipping of the disc holder onto the rail while the attachment clip is adapted for loosely clamping the clip on to the rail so that a clipped disc holder can be slidable along the rail and change its position along the rail. Each of the catches includes a curved hook which extends away from the main body and away from the first side of the attachment member. The curved hooks of the pair of catches curve towards each other to form a clipping aperture with a narrowed entry aperture. The portion of the curved hook intermediate the free end and the main body of the attachment member comprises a concavely curved indentation 40. The pair of concaved indentations and the second side of the attachment member together form an enlarged clipping aperture with rounded lateral ends.

The combination of the narrowed entry aperture formed by the curved free ends of the hooks and the enlarged clipping aperture formed by the concaved portions of the hooks and the convex free side of the second side of the attachment member together form an attachment clip with a clipping aperture. With such an aperture, the first and the second flanges of the rail member are confined between the rounded ends of the clipping aperture. Since the separation between the free ends of the hooks are designed to be smaller than the lateral extent of the first and second flanges, the flanges will be tracked within the rounded end clipping aperture. The width of the aperture is comparable to the non-data camping portion of a medium disc to provide stable support.

In another perspective, the pair of catches can be visualised as a pair of oppositely facing teeth which protrude away from the attachment member. The free ends of the pair of oppositely facing teeth define the entry aperture and the portions of the teeth between the free ends and the attachment member define the latching aperture. Since each of the flanges has a rounded outer edge and each of protruding teeth comprises an arcuate indentation intermediate its free end and the attachment member and facing the other opposite tooth, the corresponding arcuate portions of the pair of protruding teeth together forms a latching aperture with arcuate transversal ends.

The main body of the attachment member, comprising the first and second moulded pieces, is moulded from hard or durable plastics with a degree of elastic resilience, for example, PVC, PP and PC, so that the free ends of the hooks will be slightly and resiliently forced apart on negotiating with the first and the second flanges during attachment or detachment.

The disc pocket is adapted for providing a storage space for a medium disc. The storage compartment of the disc pocket comprises a backing member and a front member. The backing member 41 is a flexible opaque sheet and the front 42 member is flexible and transparent so that the label on one side of the medium disc can be seen. Both the backing member and the front member are usually made from soft plastics so that the disc pocket is reasonably thin and flexible.

In the present example, both the opaque backing member and the transparent front member are circular and stitched along a portion of their outer circumference, leaving a disc transit aperture 43 for medium disc transit at the upper half of the storage compartment, so that a medium disc can be inserted or removed into the disc storage compartment through the upper aperture of the storage compartment. To facilitate easy transit, the width of the disc transit aperture is comparable and slightly larger than the diameter of the medium disc to be held in the storage compartment and a radially extending aperture 44 is formed on the transparent front member between the 12 o'clock position and the centre of the transparent window for finger access during removal of the medium disc from the disc pocket. To provide a comfortable storage compartment, the back and front members are stitched at the lower circumferential portion of the disc pocket so that a substantially semi-circular stitched boundary is formed to restrain a disc during normal storage and use.

When a disc holder has been clipped onto the rail member and used under normal conditions, the disc holder is supported on the rail and maintained in a substantially upright configuration with the disc transit aperture at the top, as shown in FIGS. 1, 4C and 5. The hook members which define the clipping aperture are configured so that the attachment clip will clamp loosely on the rail and is slidable along the rail. As can be seen in FIG. 4E, the free end of the hook will engage with the underside of the flanges, with the rounded portion of the hooks slightly spaced apart from the flanges so as to allow sliding movement of the attachment clip along the rail. Because of the small space or gap maintained between the lateral sides of the flanges and the attachment clip, the disc holder, while in the clipped configuration, is swingable away from the vertical plane or the plane which is orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the rail for a pre-determined extent depending on the shape and curvature of the curved hooks so that the contents on one side of a medium disc can be read at an elevation as shown in FIG. 2.

The operation of the medium disc filing means will be explained in further detail below.

Referring to FIGS. 3 to 4C, a disc holder is to be attached onto the rail. The disc holder is moved towards the rail with the disc transit aperture at the top and the clipping aperture moving towards the rail. On approaching the rail, as shown in FIG. 4A, the attachment member is slightly tilted with respect to the vertical longitudinal plane of the rail so that one of the hook members can catch and engage with the flange, as shown in FIGS. 4D and 4E. After the first hook member has engaged with one of the flanges, as shown in FIGS. 4B and 4E, the other hook member will be pushed downwards to the other flange to make complete engagement. As the hook members are slightly elastic resilient, it will be slightly deformed on being pushed downwards towards the flange but will restore to its pre-deformed catching configuration after passing through the flange and having engaged with the underside of the flange, as shown in FIG. 4C. When the disc holder is to be removed from the rail, one side of the attachment member is lifted away from the flange, as shown, for example, in FIGS. 4B and 4E, until the hook member is cleared of the flange. Once a hook member has been disengaged, the other hook can be easily disengaged.

FIGS. 5 to 13 illustrate an exemplary embodiment of a disc storage container 50 comprising a disc filing means of the present invention. As can be seen from FIGS. 5-8, the disc storage container comprises an enclosure 51 which surrounds the medium disc filing means comprising a plurality of disc holders being held on a rail. The enclosure comprises a flexible cylindrical body with a sliding fastener, for example, a zip, distributed longitudinally at the half cross-section so that the enclosure body can be split into two substantially equal semi-circular prismatic enclosures. It will be appreciated that the overall dimensions of the disc storage container are comparable to the overall dimensions of the totality of the discs which can be stored inside the enclosure and gives a very good storage space efficiency.

As can be seen from FIGS. 7 and 8, a plurality of disc holders, which can be filled with medium discs or empty, are clamped between the two stopping plates and are maintained in a substantially upright configuration since the disc holders are closed packed between the stopping plates. It will be appreciated that under such circumstances, the disc holders do not have sufficient space to swing or incline with respect to the vertical plane which is substantially orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the rail. As the disc holders are clipped on the rail, the disc container can be carried around or transported with the disc holders maintained in the same order relative to the rail and each other.

If a disc holder or a disc is to be removed from the filing means, it can be selectively removed by disengaging the clipped member from the rail in the manner described above. If a disc holder is to be replaced, it can be inserted at selected or randomly selected positions, and, if the user wants to re-arrange the sequence of the disc, the disc holder adjacent to a randomly selected position can be pushed aside to allow a space for insertion. Hence, it will be appreciated that a disc can be removed from the rail and inserted to the disc filing system at random selected positions at the will of a user.

While the present invention has been explained by reference to the examples or preferred embodiments described above, it will be appreciated that those are examples to assist understanding of the present invention and are not meant to be restrictive. The scope of this invention should be determined and/or inferred from the preferred embodiments described above and with reference to the Figures where appropriate or when the context requires. In particular, variations or modifications which are obvious or trivial to persons skilled in the art, as well as improvements made thereon, should be considered as falling within the scope and boundary of the present invention.

Furthermore, while the present invention has been explained by reference to a flexible enclosure, it should be appreciated that the invention can apply, whether with or without modification, to other enclosures, including rigid plastic housings, without loss of generality.





 
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