Title:
Printed Paperboard Retainer for Storage of Recording Media
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A printed paperboard retainer for holding compact discs, DVDs and the like includes a front panel, a back panel, inner panels, and a spine. At least one inner panel has an alignment opening for receiving a retaining button to snap-engage a recording medium. The spine is formed by a gap disposed between the inner panels, wherein the gap can be wider or narrower according to the number of recording media the retainer is arranged to hold.



Inventors:
Fitzsimons, Brenda (Fairport, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/608661
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
12/08/2006
Assignee:
Information Packaging Corporation (Macedon, NY, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/784, 229/100
International Classes:
B65D85/57; B65D5/50; B65D75/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IP Practice Group (Harter Secrest & Emery LLP 1600 Bausch & Lomb Place, Rochester, NY, 14604-2711, US)
Claims:
1. A paperboard retainer assembly comprising: (a) a single piece blank folded to define a retainer having a front panel, a back panel, a first and a second inner panel, and a spine, wherein said spine is formed by a gap disposed between said first and second inner panels and two vertical fold lines corresponding to said gap, said first inner panel including an alignment opening for insertion of a retaining button for forming at least a one-disc storage retainer.

2. The paperboard retainer assembly of claim 1, wherein said blank includes a base and at least two flaps, said flaps are laterally spaced apart by said gap and are integrally connected to said base along a horizontal fold line which transverses said blank.

3. The paperboard retainer assembly of claim 1, wherein the width of said spine corresponds to the number of recording media to be stored.

4. The paperboard retainer assembly of claim 1, wherein the width of said spine corresponds to the number of said retaining buttons.

5. The paperboard retainer assembly of claim 3, wherein said alignment opening is operatively positioned on at least one flap, and wherein periphery of said recording medium is within perimeter of said at least one flap.

6. A paperboard retainer for recording media storage comprising: (a) a blank having a base with a horizontal fold line to define a first flap and a second flap, said first and second flaps are laterally spaced apart by a gap and are integrally connected to said base along said horizontal fold line, wherein said first and second flaps are foldable to form a planar surface; (b) at least one pair of vertical fold lines disposed on said base corresponding to said gap, wherein said at least one pair of vertical fold lines define a spine, and wherein said spine is foldable to form said retainer having a front panel, a back panel, a first inner panel, a second inner panel, and said spine; and, (c) an alignment opening on said first flap for receiving a retaining button.

7. The paperboard retainer for recording media storage of claim 6, wherein the width of said spine corresponds to the number of recording media to be stored.

8. The paperboard retainer for recording media storage of claim 6, wherein the width of said spine corresponds to the number of said retaining buttons.

9. The paperboard retainer for recording media storage of claim 6, wherein said blank further comprises a printed surface and a non-printed surface, said base and said first and second flaps each having said printed surface and said non-printed surface.

10. The paperboard retainer for recording media storage of claim 9, wherein said first and second flaps are superimposed on said base, and wherein said non-printed surface of said base is adhesively secured to said non-printed side of said first and second flaps.

11. The paperboard retainer for recording media storage of claim 10, wherein said spine has printed material thereon.

12. The paperboard retainer of recording media storage of claim 6, wherein said alignment opening is operatively positioned on at least one flap such that periphery of said recording medium is within perimeter of said at least one flap.

13. The paperboard retainer of recording media storage of claim 6, wherein said alignment opening is a circular aperture.

14. A paperboard retainer for recording media storage comprising: (a) a blank having a base with a horizontal fold line to define a plurality of flaps, said plurality of flaps are laterally spaced apart by a plurality of gaps and are integrally connected to said base along said horizontal fold line; wherein said plurality of flaps are foldable to form a planar surface; (b) a plurality of pairs of vertical fold lines disposed on said base corresponding to said plurality of gaps, wherein said plurality of said pairs of vertical fold lines define a plurality of spines, and wherein said plurality of spines are foldable to form said retainer having a front panel, a back panel, a plurality of inner panels, and said plurality of spines; and, (c) an alignment opening on each of said plurality of flaps for receiving a retaining button.

15. The paperboard retainer for recording media storage of claim 14, wherein said plurality of spines are foldable in alternating directions to allow said retainer to hold a plurality of recording media.

16. The paperboard retainer for recording media storage of claim 14, wherein said plurality of spines are foldable inwardly from right to left to allow said retainer to hold a plurality of recording media.

17. A blank for forming a retainer for recording media storage, the blank comprising: (a) a base, a first flap and a second flap, said first and second flap foldably connected to said base and spaced by a gap; (b) at least two vertical fold lines to define a spine between said gap; and, (c) an alignment opening on said first flap for receiving a retaining button, said retaining button operatively positioned on said base for securing a recording medium within the perimeter of said first flap.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A “SEQUENCE LISTING”

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a holder for storing compact discs, DVDs and the like, and more particularly to a blank for forming such holder, wherein the blank has at least two flaps having an alignment opening for receiving a retaining button, and wherein the retaining button is operatively arranged to snap-engage at least one recording medium within the perimeter of a flap.

2. Description of Related Art

A number of recording media holders are known in the art. Many of the holders are constructed with a plastic molded tray secured to a panel or case for safe storage of a compact disc. However, these storage containers are bulky and expensive to manufacture. Further, the plastic molded trays are unfriendly to the environment as they are usually not recyclable. Additionally, it is difficult to print materials on the tray, thereby requiring additional inserts for advertisements, logos, and the like.

Others have attempted to construct recording media holders of paperboard. These holders are foldable to form a sleeve or pocket for storing a recording media. However, over time the recording medium becomes scratched or marked from the frequent sliding of the recording medium across the paperboard surface when inserting it into the sleeve or pocket.

Therefore, the need exists for a recording medium retainer made of paperboard, which can safely store compact discs, DVDs, and the like, without scratching or otherwise marking the surface of the medium. The need also exists for a retainer that is aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly, and which only requires printing on one side of the paperboard surface. Further, a retainer for holding a plurality of recording media is needed.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a paperboard container assembly comprising a blank folded to define a retainer having a front panel, a back panel, a first and second inner panel, and a spine, wherein the spine is formed by a gap disposed between the first and second inner panels. At least one inner panel includes an alignment opening for the insertion of a retaining button for engaging a compact disc, DVD, or other similar type of recording medium having an aperture.

The blank comprises a base with a horizontal fold line defining at least two flaps, wherein the flaps are laterally spaced apart by a gap and are integrally connected to the base along the horizontal fold line. In one configuration, the base has a pair of vertical fold lines, corresponding to the gap, which define the spine. The spine is foldable to form the retainer, wherein a recording medium is received by a retaining button that is secured to the base and protrudes through an alignment opening on the flap.

In another configuration, the blank comprises a base with a horizontal fold line defining a plurality of flaps. The flaps are laterally spaced apart by a plurality of gaps and are integrally connected to the base along the horizontal fold line. Each flap is foldable, wherein a planar surface is formed when each flap is folded inwardly. The base also has a plurality of pairs of vertical fold lines each pair corresponding to a gap and each defining a corresponding plurality of spines. The spines are foldable to form the retainer. The blank, in its folded configuration, has a front panel, a back panel, a plurality of inner panels, and a plurality of spines, wherein the inner panels each have an alignment opening for receiving a retaining button.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a blank of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing flaps folded along horizontal fold line;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the present invention showing the inner panels of an assembled retainer;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the present invention showing the front and back panels of the assembled retainer;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 1 only showing a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the second embodiment of the present invention showing recording media being stored in retainer;

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the second embodiment of the present invention showing a first folding sequence for retainer;

FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of a third embodiment of the invention showing a second folding sequence for retainer;

FIG. 9 is a bottom plan view of a fourth embodiment of the invention showing a third folding sequence for retainer;

FIG. 10 is a bottom plan view of a fifth embodiment of the invention showing a fourth folding sequence for retainer;

FIG. 11 is a bottom plan view of a sixth embodiment of the invention showing a fifth folding sequence for retainer;

FIG. 12 is a bottom plan view of a seventh embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 13 is a bottom plan view of an eighth embodiment of the invention; and,

FIG. 14 is a bottom plan view of a ninth embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the figures, FIG. 1 is a top plan view of blank 10 of the present invention. Blank 10 can be formed from any of a variety of paperboard type materials as well as plastic or thermoplastic laminates or coated board such as a poly-coated paperboard. Preferably, blank 10 is made of paperboard having a thickness in the range of 0.016-0.020 inches. Blank 10 broadly comprises base 12, first flap 14, and second flap 16, wherein blank 10 can be folded to define a retainer for holding compact discs, DVDs, and the like. For the purpose of orientation, the reverse surface 17, a non-printed surface, of blank 10 is shown in FIG. 1. Base 12 further comprises horizontal fold line 18 which foldably connects flaps 14, 16 to base 12. In a preferred embodiment, horizontal fold line 18 transverses and is centrally positioned on blank 10. Flaps 14, 16 are laterally spaced apart by gap 20, wherein gap 20 is centrally positioned on base 12 and perpendicular to horizontal fold line 18.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing flaps 14, 16 folded along horizontal fold line 18, wherein flaps 14, 16 are superimposed on base 12. Flaps 14, 16 in a folded configuration form a planar surface. Preferably, blank 10 is rectangularly shaped when flaps 14, 16 are folded. However, it should be apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art that blank 10 can be operatively arranged to form other shapes when flaps are folded, such as an oval, square, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, etc. Blank 10 further comprises at least one pair of vertical fold lines 22, 24, which define spine 26. The distance between vertical fold lines 22, 24 corresponds with the width of gap 20, wherein the distance between vertical fold lines 22, 24 increases or decreases proportionately with the width of gap 20. Width of gap 20 and thus, width of spine 26, widens or narrows according to the number of recording media to be stored therein. Spine 26 and fold lines 22, 24 are defined by a single layer (thickness) of material. Blank 10, folded along horizontal fold line 18 and vertical fold lines 22, 24, forms assembled retainer 28 for recording media. In the embodiment shown, flap 14 includes alignment opening 30 for receiving retaining button 32. However, it should be appreciated that each flap 14, 16 may have at least one alignment opening 30 for receiving a retaining button such that retainer 28 can hold a plurality of recording media. In one configuration, button 32 is similar to the Clear CD Hub Center with Adhesive Backing product which can be purchased on-line at http://www.cddimensions.com/cd_dvd_packaging/asa-cdcnt-clr.asp, Product code # ASA-CDCNT-CLR. Retaining button 32 is adhered to base 12 and received by alignment opening 30. By “alignment opening” it is meant that opening 30 is a reference for operable placement of retaining button 32. Since opening 30 indicates where to place retaining button 32, retainer 28 can be hand-assembled while still ensuring the periphery of a recording medium will be within the perimeter of the flap when snap-engaged with retaining button 32. Alternatively, alignment opening 30 can be used in conjunction with an automated assembly process. Alignment opening 30 also effectively reduces the necessary thickness of the spine by a layer of thickness. In the embodiment shown, alignment opening 30 is operatively positioned on flap 14 and is a circular aperture. However, it should be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that alignment opening may be other shapes such as an oval, ellipse, catenary-shape, parabola-shape, etc. In another configuration, retaining button 32 can be adhered directly to a flap having no opening.

It should be appreciated that the width of spine 26 may also correspond to the number of retaining buttons 32 and hence retained media.

Blank 10 further comprises a printed surface 34 and non-printed surface 36, wherein base 12, and first and second flaps 14, 16, each have printed surface 34 and non-printed surface 36. Non-printed surface 36 of first and second flaps 14, 16 is contiguous with non-printed surface 36 of base 12 described in more detail herein below. In one configuration, retaining button 32 comprises an annular seat and a protruding surface having the shape of a triangle with rounded corners, which snap-engages the aperture of a compact disc, DVD, or other similar type of recording medium. The annular seat is slightly raised such that the recording medium rests slightly above surface 36. This feature allows the recording medium to be safely stored in retainer 28 without scratching or otherwise marking the surface of the recording medium.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the assembled retainer 28 is shown having first and second inner panels 38, 40, respectively, (see FIG. 3) and front and back panels 42, 44, respectively (see FIG. 4). Non-printed surface 36 (shown in FIG. 2) of flaps 14, 16, are contiguous with, and adhesively secured to, non-printed surface 36 of base 12. Therefore, first and second inner panels 38, 40, and front and back panels 42, 44 each have printed surface 34. Spine 26 is formed by gap 20 disposed between first and second inner panels 38, 40 and two vertical fold lines 22, 24, corresponding to gap 20. First inner panel 38 is shown having alignment opening 30 for insertion of retaining button 32 for forming a one-disc storage retainer. However, it is understood that second inner panel 40 may also have alignment opening 30 for insertion of retaining button 32 for forming at least a two-disc storage retainer. First and second flaps 14, 16 (shown in FIG. 2) are fixedly secured to base 12 by an adhesive. One example of an adhesive that can be used to secure flaps 14, 16 to base 12 is a commercially available FDA approved water soluble cold adhesive. In one configuration, inner part of spine 26 remains a non-printed surface. However, it should be appreciated that inner part of spine 26 may have printed material thereon.

Referring to FIG. 5, blank 100 broadly comprises base 102 and four flaps 104, 106, 108, 110. Base 102 has horizontal fold line 112 to define flaps 104, 106, 108, 110 which are laterally spaced apart by gaps 114, 116, and 118. Specifically, gap 114 is disposed between flaps 104 and 106, gap 116 is disposed between flaps 106 and 108, and gap 118 is disposed between flaps 108 and 110. Each flap 104, 106, 108, 110 is integrally connected to base 102 along horizontal fold line 112 and flaps 104, 106, 108, 110 are foldable to form a planar surface. For the purpose of orientation, the obverse surface 119, or non-printed side, of blank 100 is shown in FIG. 5.

Base 102 further comprises pairs of vertical fold lines 132 and 134, 136 and 138, and, 140 and 142 disposed on base 102 to correspond to gaps 114, 116, and 118, respectively. Vertical fold lines 132 and 134, 136 and 138, and, 140 and 142 define spines 144, 146, and 148 as discussed infra. Generally, the width of spines 144, 146, 148 (and the associated gaps 114, 116, 118) are each sized to accommodate the number of retaining buttons, and hence retained media, disposed between the respective panels.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the second embodiment of the present invention showing recording media 150 being stored in retainer 152. Spines 144, 146, and 148 are foldable. It should be appreciated that while four flaps are shown in this embodiment, a greater or fewer number of flaps are possible such that retainer 152 can hold a corresponding greater or fewer number of recording media. For example, retainer 152 may have 2 flaps, 3 flaps, 4, flaps, 5 flaps, etc. It should be appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that retainer 152 can be folded in a number of different configurations. Examples of some folding sequences are provided infra.

Referring to FIG. 7, retainer 152 can be folded in a fan-like folding sequence. Retainer 152 in this embodiment has front panel 120a, back panel 122a, inner panels 124, 126, 128, and 130, and spines 144, 146 and 148. Panels 124, 126, 128, and 130 are foldable in alternating directions such that spines 144 and 148 are positioned in the opposite direction of spine 146. To fold retainer 152 in this configuration, panel 124 can be folded inwardly in a first rotational direction (for example, counter-clockwise) such that panel 124 is adjacent to panel 126. By “inwardly” it is meant that the panel(s) is folded toward the inside of another panel. Then, panels 124 and 126 can be outwardly folded in a second rotational direction (for example, clockwise) so that panels 124 and 126 are adjacent to the back of panel 128. By “outwardly” it is meant that panel(s) is folded toward the back side of another panel. Finally panel 130 can be inwardly folded in the second rotational direction. It should be appreciated by one having ordinary skill in the art that the width of spines 144, 146, 148 are each sized to accommodate the number of retaining buttons 153, and hence retained media 150, disposed between the respective panels. It should be appreciated that in this configuration retaining buttons 153 on panels 124, 126, 128, and 130 are received by alignment openings (not shown), while retaining buttons 153 on back panels 122d, 122e are merely adhesively secured directly to the surface of panels 122d, 122e.

Referring to FIG. 8, retainer 152 is shown and a second folding sequence is indicated. Retainer 152 in this embodiment has front panel 120b, back panel 122b, inner panels 124, 126, 128, and 130, and spines 144, 146 and 148. To fold retainer 152 in this configuration, panel 124 can be folded inwardly along arrow a in the first rotational direction described supra such that panels 124 and 126 are adjacent to each other. Then, panels 124 and 126 are folded inwardly along arrow b in the first rotational direction such that panel 128 is adjacent to panels 124 and 126. Finally, panel 130 is folded inwardly in the second rotational direction described supra so that panel 130 is adjacent to panels 124, 126, and 128. Retainer 152, therefore, can form a book-like configuration having front panel 120b, back panel 122b, and inner panels 124, 126, 128, and 130 wherein retainer 152 can hold a plurality of recording media. In the embodiment shown, retainer 152 is operatively arranged to hold up to six recording media. It should be appreciated that in this configuration, upwardly facing retaining buttons 153 are received by alignment openings (not shown) on panels 124, 126, 128, and 130, while downwardly facing retaining buttons 153 are merely adhesively secured directly to the surface of back panels 122f, 122g. The width of spine 148 in this embodiment is wider than spines 144 and 146 to accommodate the number of retaining buttons, and hence retained media, disposed between the respective panels. Similarly, the width of spine 146 can be wider than spine 144 to accommodate the number of retaining buttons, and hence retained media disposed between the respective panels.

FIG. 9 shows retainer 152 folded in a third folding sequence. Retainer 152 in this embodiment has front panel 120c, back panel 122c, inner panels 124, 126, 128, and 130, and spines 144, 146 and 148. First, panel 124 is folded outwardly in the second rotational direction described supra. Then, panels 124 and 126 are folded inwardly together in the first rotational direction described supra. Finally, panel 130 is folded inwardly in the second rotational direction. Using this folding sequence, retainer 152 forms a book-like configuration having front panel 120c, back panel 122c, and inner panels 124, 126, 128, and 130. In this embodiment, the width of spine 148 is wider than spines 144 and 146 to accommodate the number of retaining buttons, and hence retained media, disposed between the respective panels. It should be appreciated by one having ordinary skill in the art that the width of spines 144 and 146 can be equal, as spines 144 and 146 accommodate the same number of retained media. In this configuration, retaining buttons 153 on panels 124, 126, 128, and 130, are received by alignment openings (not shown) while retaining buttons 153 on back panels 122h, 122i are merely adhesively secured directly to the surface of panels 122h, 122i.

FIG. 10 shows retainer 152 folded in a fourth folding sequence. Retainer 152 in this embodiment has front panel 120d, back panel 122d, inner panels 124, 126, 128, and 130, and spines 144, 146 and 148. First, panel 124 is folded inwardly in the first rotational direction as described supra. Then, panel 130 is folded inwardly in the second rotational direction described supra. Finally, panels 128 and 130 are folded inwardly in the second rotational direction. Using this folding sequence, retainer 152 forms a configuration having front panel 120d, back panel 122d, and inner panels 124, 126, 128, and 130. In this embodiment, the width of spine 146 is wider than spines 144 and 148 to accommodate the number of retaining buttons, and hence retained media, disposed between the respective panels. It should be appreciated by one having ordinary skill in the art that the width of spines 144 and 148 can be equal, as spines 144 and 148 accommodate the same number of retained media.

FIG. 11 shows retainer 252 folded in a fifth folding sequence. Retainer 252 in this embodiment has front panel 220e, back panel 222e, inner panels 226, 228, and 230, and spines 246 and 248. Panel 226 is folded inwardly in the first rotational direction as described supra. Then, panel 230 is folded inwardly in the second rotational direction described supra. In this embodiment, the width of spine 248 is wider than spine 246 to accommodate the number of retaining buttons 253, and hence retained media, disposed between the respective panels.

FIGS. 12-14 show alternative embodiments of containers 152. In the embodiments shown, selected retaining buttons were removed such that retaining buttons 153 are arranged on the same side of panels 124, 126, 128, 130. It should be appreciated by one having ordinary skill in the art that other configurations are possible wherein different selected retaining buttons are removed.

Blank 10 thus forms a retainer 28 having base 12, and flaps 14, 16, wherein flaps 14, 16, foldably connect to base 12 and are spaced by gap 20. Base 12 further comprises two vertical fold lines 22, 24 to define spine 26 between gap 20. Alignment opening 30 on flap 14 and/or flap 16 receives retaining button 32 which is operatively positioned on base 12 for securing a recording medium within the perimeter of flap 14 and/or flap 16.

While the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications, and variations as fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.