Title:
Display Assembly and Method for Use
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to a display assembly. The display assembly of the present invention may be used to display and/or store a wide variety of objects having different dimensions. The display assembly may enable a user to display an object in a plurality of different manners. Additionally the display assembly may incorporate protective structure for ensuring the safety and preservation of the displayed objects.



Inventors:
Gunther, Eric Ford (Jersey City, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/027787
Publication Date:
08/07/2008
Filing Date:
02/07/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KIM, SHIN H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KNOBLE, YOSHIDA & DUNLEAVY (EIGHT PENN CENTER, SUITE 1350, 1628 JOHN F KENNEDY BLVD, PHILADELPHIA, PA, 19103, US)
Claims:
1. A display assembly comprising: a display means for receiving at least one object positioned for display; said display means further including: at least one divider which defines at least two locations in said display means for receiving an object; and a first window for viewing an object located in one said location in said display means; and a protective means which, when operatively associated with said display means prevents removal of at least one said object from said display means, said protective means further including: a second window for viewing said object positioned in a location in said display means for viewing, wherein said display means is slidably received within said protective means.

2. The display assembly of claim 1, further including a mounting means operatively associated with said protective means for mounting said display assembly.

3. The display assembly of claim 2, wherein said mounting means enables mounting of said display assembly either substantially vertically or substantially horizontally onto a non-horizontal surface.

4. The display assembly of claim 2, wherein said mounting means is selected from the group consisting of: a bracket, a hook, a threaded mechanism, a fastening mechanism and a combination thereof.

5. The display assembly of claim 1, wherein said display means further includes a gripping element selected from the group consisting of: a protrusion, a notch, a finger hold and a combination thereof, to facilitate removal of said display means from said protective means.

6. The display assembly of claim 1, further including at least one retaining means comprising a viewing window for viewing at least one object and a retaining structure for retaining said at least one object positioned for viewing in said viewing window of said retaining means, wherein said retaining means is sized to fit in a location defined by said at least one divider.

7. The assembly of claim 6, wherein said retaining means further includes a gripping element selected from the group consisting of: a protrusion, a notch, a finger hold and a combination thereof, to facilitate gripping of said retaining means.

8. The assembly of claim 1, wherein said protective means further comprises a slot for receiving a second object for display and a third window and wherein said slot is located in said protective means at a location which permits insertion of said object into said protective means for viewing through said third window.

9. A display assembly comprising: a display means for receiving at least one object positioned for display; said display means further including: at least one divider which defines at least two locations in said display means for receiving an object; a first window for viewing a first object; and a second window for viewing a second object; and a protective means which, when operatively associated with said display means prevents removal of at least one said object from said display means, said protective means further including: a third window for viewing said first object; and a fourth window for viewing said second object; wherein said display means is slidably received within said protective means.

10. The display assembly of claim 9, further including a mounting means adapted to engage an edge of said protective means that partially defines said third window.

11. The display assembly of claim 10, wherein said mounting means enables mounting of said display assembly either substantially vertically or substantially horizontally onto a non-horizontal surface.

12. The display assembly of claim 10, wherein said mounting means is selected from the group consisting of: a bracket, a hook, a threaded mechanism, a fastening mechanism and a combination thereof.

13. The display assembly of claim 9, wherein said display means further includes a gripping element selected from the group consisting of: a protrusion, a notch, a finger hold and a combination thereof, to facilitate removal of said display means from said protective means.

14. The display assembly of claim 9, further including at least one retaining means comprising a viewing window for viewing at least one object and a retaining structure for retaining said at least one object positioned for viewing in said viewing window of said retaining means, wherein said retaining means is sized to fit in a location defined by said at least one divider.

15. The display assembly of claim 14, wherein said retaining means further includes a gripping element selected from the group consisting of: a protrusion, a notch, a finger hold and a combination thereof, to facilitate gripping of said retaining means.

16. The display assembly of claim 9, wherein said protective means further comprises a slot for receiving a second object for display and wherein said slot is located in said protective means at a location which permits insertion of said object into said protective means for viewing through said third window.

17. The display assembly of claim 16, further comprising a retaining means located at a location in said protective means in alignment with said slot in said protective means to permit insertion of an object via said slot through said protective means and into said retaining means in alignment with said slot.

18. A method for using the display assembly of claim 1 to display at least one object, comprising the steps of: placing one said object in a location in said display means defined by a divider; inserting said display means into said protective means in a manner whereby said protective means prevents said object from being removed from said display means; and displaying said display assembly.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein said protective means includes a slot for receiving at least a second object and further comprising the step of inserting said second object into said display means while said display means is located within said protective means

20. The method of claim 18, further comprising the step of positioning one or more retaining means in said display means, each said retaining means being adapted to position at least one object in said display means for viewing.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION DATA

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) based on U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/899,771, filed Feb. 7, 2007, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth fully herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention of the present application relates to a display assembly. Specifically, the invention may be used to display and/or store a wide variety of objects including documents, photographs, three-dimensional objects, such as dioramas or shadowbox creations, or combinations thereof.

2. Description of the Related Technology

Display assemblies, such as picture frames, photo albums or shadow boxes, are well known in the prior art. Conventional display assemblies, however, generally fail to provide multiple display means or multiple means for protecting an object being displayed.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,553,704 (Pigg) discloses a picture frame having two display windows. The frame includes a number of partitions having notches to facilitate removal and insertion of picture holders. The picture holders also have notches to facilitate removal and insertion of a plurality of images. In addition to locating and displaying at least one image in the various partitions, the picture frame may also be used to storage images not on display.

U.S. Patent Publication No. 2007/0006504 (Kao) discloses a picture frame having an outer frame and an inner frame. The inner frame has a number of multi-directional slotted grooves for displaying planar, two-dimensional art work as well as three-dimensional art work.

These patents, however, fail to disclose an assembly capable of enabling a user to easily arrange, rearrange and display a plurality of objects in a wide variety of different orientations and presentation styles. Furthermore, these patents do not adequately preserve the object being displayed or protect the arrangement of the stored and displayed objects. Therefore there exists a need to provide an improved display assembly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a novel display assembly. In one aspect, the assembly includes a display assembly having a display means that may be slidably received within a protective means. The display means includes at least one divider for defining locations for receiving an object and at least one window for displaying a select object. The protective means includes a frame and at least one window for displaying the select object.

In another aspect, the invention includes a display assembly having a display means that may be slidably received within a protective means. The display means includes at least one divider defining locations for receiving an object and at least two windows for displaying an object. The protective means includes a frame and at least two windows also for displaying objects.

In another aspect, the invention pertains to a method for using a display assembly comprising the steps of: selecting an object for display, placing the selected object in a recess of the display means, inserting the display means in the protective means, displaying the display assembly and optionally rearranging the objects within the display means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the display assembly showing the display means, protective means and retaining means.

FIG. 2 is another perspective view of one embodiment of the display assembly, showing how the display means is slidably received in the protective means.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a display means in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the display means showing a plurality of dividers defining locations for receiving a plurality of objects.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the display means shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the display assembly showing how the retention means is slidably received in the display means.

FIG. 7 is a front view of a retention means.

FIG. 8 is a back perspective view of the retention means showing the mounting structure.

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of one embodiment of protective means 3.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of one embodiment of protective means shown in FIG. 9 having two display windows.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the protective means showing a display window and an external slot.

FIG. 12 is another perspective view of the protective means shown in FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a partial cutaway view of a protective means shown in FIGS. 11-12 showing a slot.

FIG. 14 is an exploded view of an embodiment of the protective means shown in FIGS. 11-13.

FIG. 15 is a perspective front view of one embodiment of a mounting means.

FIG. 16 is a perspective rear view of one embodiment of a threaded mounting means.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the mounting means used to mount the display assembly including the protective means shown in FIG. 10 to a wall.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For illustrative purposes, the principles of the present invention are described by referencing various exemplary embodiments thereof. Although certain embodiments of the invention are specifically described herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that the same principles are equally applicable to, and can be employed in other apparatuses and methods. Before explaining the disclosed embodiments of the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of any particular embodiment shown. The terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. Further, although certain methods are described with reference to certain steps that are presented herein in certain order, in many instances, these steps may be performed in any order as may be appreciated by one skilled in the art, and the methods are not limited to the particular arrangement of steps disclosed herein.

It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an”, and “the” include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to “a mounting means” includes a plurality of mounting means and equivalents thereof known to those skilled in the art, and so forth. As well, the terms “a” (or “an”), “one or more” and “at least one” can be used interchangeably herein. It is also to be noted that the terms “comprising”, “including”, and “having” can be used interchangeably.

For purposes of the present application, the terms “object” or “objects” refer to two-dimensional objects, such as documents and photographs or other images, three-dimensional objects, such as dioramas or shadowbox creations, or a combination thereof.

Additionally, for purposes of the present application, the term “window” or “windows” refers to a transparent face of or any sized opening in display assembly 1, display means 2, protective means 3 or retaining means 10, which may or may not be covered with a transparent material. Alternatively, window may refer to the absence of a face or a side comprising the structure of display assembly 1, display means 2, protective means 3 or retaining means 10. The term window may refer to any of the above structures or a combination thereof.

The present invention is directed to a display assembly and a method for using it. Display assembly 1 of the present invention may be designed to enable a wide variety of different display means and/or storage capabilities. Display assembly 1 may accommodate at least one object, preferably a plurality of objects, which may have different dimensions. Display assembly 1 may also be designed to incorporate at least one protective measure, preferably a plurality of protective measures for ensuring the safety and/or preservation of the displayed objects. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, display assembly 1 may include a display means 2 removably housed within a protective means 3, optionally at least one, preferably two, retaining means 10, and optionally at least one mounting means 4.

Display means 2 of display assembly 1 may include any structure capable of displaying and/or storing at least one object. Preferably, display means 2 may be used to display and/or store a plurality of objects, which may have a wide variety of different sizes or shapes. The structure of display means 2 may have any suitable dimension or structure that accommodates the displayed or stored objects.

In an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 3, display means 2 includes a box-like structure having any geometric configuration, such as a square, a rectangle, a circle, an oval or a triangle capable of retaining a plurality of objects of different dimensions. The box-like structure may have a plurality of faces 5. In one embodiment, the box-like structure may include fewer than about four faces 5, preferably, fewer than about five faces 5, more preferably, fewer than about six faces 5 and most preferably, six faces 5. The box-like structure may also contain at least one opening 6 or at least a removable face to enable the insertion and removal of an object. Additionally, display means 2 may further include a handle 14, preferably a collapsible hinged handle 14, for facilitating removal of the display means 2 from protective means 3.

As shown in FIGS. 4-5, a plurality of locations for receiving objects are defined by dividers 7 for retaining and separating the objects within the box like structure may be provided in display means 2. Dividers 7 may have any suitable structure and configuration for retaining and separating a plurality of objects, including raised ledges, protrusions, notches, slotted grooves or a combination thereof. Preferably, dividers 7 may be located on at least one face 5, preferably on at least two faces 5 and more preferably on at least three faces 5 of the box like structure. The box like structure may also include at least one, preferably at least two windows 8 for displaying at least one, preferably at least two objects. Preferably, a front face of the box like structure and an opposing face include a window 8. Windows 8 may have any dimension equal to or smaller than that of face 5, and the various windows 8 of display means 2 may have different dimensions and configurations. An object selected for display may be placed between any set of dividers 7 or between a divider 7 and a wall of display means 2. Additional objects not intended for display may be stored between the remaining dividers 7 located behind the displayed object.

Optionally, as shown in FIG. 6, at least one, preferably a plurality of retaining means 10 for mounting and displaying an object may be used in combination with display means 2. In addition to aesthetically presenting an object, retaining means 10 helps to ensure the preservation of the displayed objects and facilitates the insertion, removal arrangement of the objects within display assembly 1.

As shown in FIGS. 7-8, retaining means 10 may include at least one presentation means 11 for displaying an object and a mounting structure 12 for retaining an object. Retaining means 10 may have any structure and dimension capable of retaining an object and cooperating with dividers 7. Display means 2 may accommodate a wide variety of retaining means 10. In an exemplary embodiment, display means 2 may include at least two, preferably a plurality of retaining means 10 having different structures, dimensions or aesthetic designs. In a preferred embodiment, retaining means 10 may include various forms of matting, transparent sleeves or glass frames. By displaying an object within retaining means 10 framed by display means 2 and/or protective means 3, it is possible to create a telescoping window, multiple matting or shadow box like effect. This effect may be enhanced by placing at least one empty retaining means 10, preferably a plurality of empty retaining means 10, between the displayed object and window 8. Additionally, retaining means 10 may also include at least one, preferably a plurality of gripping elements 9, such as protrusions, notches, finger holds or a combination thereof, to facilitate the selection of and arrangement of the displayed objects. Additionally, a plurality of gripping elements 9 may be located on at least one face 5 of display means 2 to enable a user to more easily grip, retain and manipulate retaining means 10 within display means 2. Gripping elements 9 may be located on any portion of retaining means 10 and display means 2, preferably, the location of retaining means 9 on display means 2 corresponds to the location of gripping elements 9 on display means 2.

In an exemplary embodiment, retaining means 10 may include at least one, preferably a plurality of presentation means 11, such as a window 8 or other transparent display means. In a preferred embodiment, retaining means 10 includes two presentation means 11, such that retaining means 10 appears to be a completely transparent sleeve. Two images placed back to back may therefore be retained and displayed by the transparent sleeve. Presentation means 11 may also be customized to aesthetically frame the object being displayed.

In an exemplary embodiment for retaining two-dimensional objects, mounting structure 12 may include an adhesive means, a backing, a sleeve, a slot, a groove, a means for otherwise propping-up a two dimensional object or a combination thereof. Preferably, mounting structure 12 is configured to removably retain an image without requiring that the image be fixedly adhered to mounting structure 12 or a matt. In an exemplary embodiment for displaying three-dimensional objects, mounting structure 12 may include an adhesive, a ledge, a platform, a raised stage, preferably having a set of gripping elements for retaining the displayed object or a combination thereof.

Display means 2 may be removably housed in protective means 3. In an exemplary embodiment, display means 2 may include a seal to ensure a secure fit between display means 2 and protective means 3. The seal may line an edge of display means 2, which may also have a corresponding groove for receiving the seal. More preferably, the seal may be placed along all edges in which display means 2 contacts protective means 3. The seal may be any suitable sealing means capable of securely retaining display means 2 within protective means 3. Preferably, the seal is a compression seal, more preferably an elastic O ring.

Display assembly 1 also includes a protective means 3, as shown in FIG. 10, which may be any structure that facilitates the preservation of and the display of an object as well as display means 2. Protective means 3 may function as a housing for display means 2 and may be designed such that a user may easily insert and remove display means 2. Furthermore, should a user drop display means 2, protective means 3 also functions to ensure that the objects within display means 2 are not inadvertently rearranged.

In an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 10, protective means 3 may include a housing structure that is slightly larger than, but corresponds to, the shape and structure of display means 2. Therefore, when display means 2 is a box-like structure, protective means 3 may have a similar box-like geometry. The box-like structure may be constructed from a plurality of faces 5 and may include about five or about six faces 5. The box like structure may also contain at least one opening 6 or at least a removable face to enable the insertion and removal of display means 2. At least one, preferably at least two, windows 8 may be included to display at least one object, preferably at least two objects. In exemplary embodiment, a front and an opposing face of protective means 3 may include a window 8 for presenting the objects displayed in display means 2. Windows 8 may have any dimension equal to or smaller than that of face 5, and the various windows 8 of protective means 3 may have different dimensions and configurations. FIG. 9 shows an exploded view of one embodiment of the protective means 3 as shown in FIG. 10, displaying its layered two window construction.

In another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 11-13, protective means 3 may include a window 8 may for displaying at least one object. On an opposing face of protective means 3 is an external slot 15, which is set apart from the space used to house display means 2. The external slot may have any shape, size or configuration for receiving a second object. A top surface of protective means 3 includes a slot opening 13 in direct communication with external slot 15. A user may therefore remove, switch and/or insert an object in display means 2 without having to first disengage display means 2 from protective means 3. FIG. 14 shows an exploded view of protective means 3, displaying its layered construction and the components of external slot 15.

Display assembly 1 may also include any suitable mounting means 4 capable of mounting display assembly 1 vertically and/or horizontally to a wall. Mounting means 4 may include a bracket, a wire, a hook, a threaded mechanism, a fastening mechanism, any other suitable, conventional mounting means or a combination thereof. Mounting means 4 may be attached to a side or face of protective means 3. In an exemplary embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 15-16, mounting means 4 is a bracket that may be attached to a wall or other surface using a threaded means. The lip 16 of the bracket may be used to retain a ledge of window 8, as shown in FIG. 17. The display assembly may be mounted such that protective means 3 may be freely detached from the bracket, enabling protective means 3 to be displayed vertically or horizontally. The bracket may have any dimension suitable for retaining display means 2 and/or protective means 3.

Display assembly 1 is useful in that it: (1) provides a user with multiple, easily interchangeable display options and (2) ensures the protection of the object being displayed. The present invention may be used to create a number of different displays for objects of different sizes and configurations. Specifically, it is envisioned that display assembly 1 may be used to display two-dimensional objects such as documents or images, three-dimensional images, such as dioramas or shadowbox creations, or a combination thereof. In accordance with the present invention, an object may be displayed using display means 2 alone or by using display means 2 and protective means 3. Additionally, retaining means 10 may be used to further create additional visual effects to the object arrangement. For example, by framing an object with multiple retaining means 10 or by using a combination of retaining means 10, display means 2 and protective means 3, it may be possible to achieve a telescoping framing effect. The resultant framed object may then be displayed by vertical or horizontal wall mounting. Alternatively, the object may be displayed in a freestanding formation in multiple orientations, resting on any side or face 5 of display assembly 1.

Display assembly 1 also provides numerous means of object protection. Specifically, an object may be protected by its secure placement in mounting structure 12 of retaining means 10. The object may then be further protected by display means 2, which orders and securely retains retaining means 10. Finally, protective means 3 houses display means 2 and ensures that the objects are both protected and prevented from becoming disordered. The present invention therefore advantageously enables the preservation and storage of multiple images while allowing a user to easily arrange and rearrange an object display.

A method for using display assembly 1 of the present invention involves selecting at least one, preferably two objects for display. The then selected objects may be placed between any dividers 7 or a divider 7 and a wall of display means 2. Additional objects not intended for display may be stored unseen between the remaining dividers 7 with the objects located behind the displayed object. Optionally, the objects may be mounted in retaining means 10 prior to insertion in display means 2. To create a telescoping effect, at least one, preferably a plurality of empty retaining means 10 may be placed between a display object and windows 8 of display means 2. Display means 2 may then be slidably received in protective means 3, such that a solid face of protective means 3 covers the primary opening 6 of display means 2. A user may therefore remove, switch and/or insert an object in the display assembly without having to first disengage display means 2 from protective means 3. Display assembly 1 may then be wall mounted or allowed to stand on a side or face of protective means 3 to display the selected objects.

Having described the preferred embodiments of the invention which are intended to be illustrative and not limiting, it is noted that modifications and variations can be made by persons skilled in the art in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that changes may be made in the particular embodiments of the invention disclosed which are within the scope and spirit of the invention as outlined by the appended claims. Having thus described the invention with the details and particularity required by the patent laws, the intended scope of protection is set forth in the appended claims.