Title:
Portable case for displaying collectible articles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A display case for selectively displaying an article includes a case housing and an article retainer. The case housing includes a first housing cover, a second housing cover, a spine that couples the second housing cover to the first housing cover, and a retainer receiver. The second housing cover has a substantially planar surface. The spine has a longitudinal axis. The retainer receiver can include a transparent or open viewing window for viewing the article. The article retainer retains the article and can be slidable between a first position in which the article retainer is fully received by the retainer receiver, and a second position wherein the article retainer is extended away from the retainer receiver. In certain embodiments, movement of the article retainer is in a direction that is substantially parallel to the surface of the second housing cover and/or substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the spine. Movement of the article retainer is guided by the retainer receiver. The article retainer can include a retainer bottom and a removable transparent retainer top that enclose the article.



Inventors:
Gilstrap, Michael R. (Vista, CA, US)
Ramirez, Waldo L. (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/999331
Publication Date:
06/04/2009
Filing Date:
12/04/2007
Assignee:
Upper Deck Company
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/775
International Classes:
B65D25/54
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Roeder & Broder LLP (5560 Chelsea Avenue, La Jolla, CA, 92037, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A display case for selectively displaying an article, the display case comprising: a case housing including (i) a first housing cover, (ii) a second housing cover that is coupled to the first housing cover, the second housing cover being movable relative to the first housing cover, the second housing cover having a substantially planar surface, and (iii) a retainer receiver that is fixed relative to the second housing cover, the retainer receiver having a viewing window that allows viewing of the article; and an article retainer that retains the article, the article retainer being slidable between a first position in which the article retainer is fully received by the retainer receiver, and a second position wherein the article retainer is at least partially extended away from the retainer receiver, wherein movement of the article retainer is in a direction that is substantially parallel to the surface of the second housing cover.

2. The display case of claim 1 wherein movement of the article retainer is guided by the retainer receiver.

3. The display case of claim 1 wherein the article retainer includes a retainer bottom and a removable retainer top that selectively enclose the article.

4. The display case of claim 3 wherein the retainer top is formed at least partially from a transparent material.

5. The display case of claim 1 wherein the viewing window is formed at least partially from a transparent material.

6. The display case of claim 1 wherein the viewing window includes an opening.

7. The display case of claim 1 wherein the first housing cover is selectively secured to the retainer receiver with an engagement device.

8. The display case of claim 7 wherein the engagement device includes a magnet.

9. The display case of claim 1 wherein the first housing cover moves between a closed first position that conceals the viewing window and an open position that reveals the viewing window.

10. The display case of claim 1 wherein the case housing includes a spine the couples the first housing cover to the second housing cover, the spine having a longitudinal axis, and wherein movement of the article retainer is in a direction that is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the spine.

11. A display case assembly including the display case of claim 1 and an article retained by the display case.

12. A display case for selectively displaying an article, the display case comprising: a case housing including (i) a first housing cover, (ii) a second housing cover that is movable relative to the first housing cover, (iii) a spine that couples the first housing cover to the second housing cover, the spine having a longitudinal axis, and (iv) a retainer receiver that is fixed relative to the second housing cover, the retainer receiver having a window that allows viewing of the article; and an article retainer that retains the article, the article retainer being slidable between a first position in which the article retainer is fully received by the retainer receiver, and a second position wherein the article retainer is at least partially extended away from the retainer receiver, wherein movement of the article retainer is in a direction that is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the spine.

13. The display case of claim 12 wherein movement of the article retainer is guided by the retainer receiver.

14. The display case of claim 12 wherein the article retainer includes a retainer bottom and a removable retainer top that selectively enclose the article, the retainer top being formed at least partially from a transparent material.

15. The display case of claim 12 wherein the viewing window is formed at least partially from a transparent material.

16. The display case of claim 12 wherein the viewing window includes an opening.

17. The display case of claim 12 wherein the first housing cover is selectively secured to the retainer receiver with an engagement device.

18. The display case of claim 17 wherein the engagement device includes a magnet.

19. The display case of claim 12 wherein the first housing cover moves between a closed first position that conceals the viewing window and an open position that reveals the viewing window.

20. A display case assembly including the display case of claim 12 and an article retained by the display case.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Clothing articles from famous sports personalities or other famous people are increasingly being displayed for viewing by fans. For example, jerseys, pants, hats, gloves or other sportswear from noted athletes are often presented in protective floor display cases or wall-mounted cases for easy viewing by sports aficionados. Further, other clothing items from actors or other well-known celebrities are frequently shown or maintained in exhibits or other presentation cases. Unfortunately, existing display cases can have drawbacks since they may not be portable and thus would not allow the owners of the sportswear items to easily transport and show the items to others while also providing adequate protection for the items.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to a display case for selectively displaying an article. In one embodiment, the display case includes a case housing and an article retainer. The case housing can include one or more of a first housing cover, a second housing cover and a retainer receiver. The second housing cover is coupled to the first housing cover with a spine. The second housing cover is movable relative to the first housing cover. Further, the second housing cover has a substantially planar surface. In one embodiment, the retainer receiver is fixed relative to the second housing cover. The retainer receiver can include a viewing window that allows viewing of the article through the viewing window.

The article retainer retains the article. The article retainer can be slidable between a first position in which the article retainer is fully received by the retainer receiver, and a second position wherein the article retainer is at least partially extended away from the retainer receiver. In certain embodiments, movement of the article retainer is in a direction that is substantially parallel to the surface of the second housing cover.

In another embodiment, the spine has a longitudinal axis. In certain embodiments, movement of the article retainer relative to the retainer receiver is in a direction that is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the spine.

In some embodiments, movement of the article retainer is guided by the retainer receiver. The article retainer can include a retainer bottom and a removable retainer top that combine to selectively enclose the article. In one embodiment, the retainer top is formed at least partially from a transparent material. In another embodiment, the viewing window is formed at least partially from a transparent material. Alternatively, the viewing window can include an opening. The first housing cover can move between a closed first position that conceals the viewing window and an open position that reveals the viewing window.

In one embodiment, the first housing cover is selectively secured to the retainer receiver with an engagement device. The engagement device can include one or more magnets.

The present invention is also directed toward a display case assembly that includes one of the display cases described above and an article that is retained by the display case.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, both as to its structure and its operation, will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a portable display case having features of the present invention, shown in a closed first position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an article to be displayed and the portable display case illustrated in FIG. 1, shown in an open first position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the portable display case illustrated in FIG. 1, shown in an open second position; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the portable display case shown in the open second position.

DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portable display case 10, (also sometimes referred to as “display case”) in a closed first position. The display case 10 is designed to retain and/or display an article 30 (illustrated in FIG. 2), such as an article of clothing, for example. The dimensions of the display case 10 can vary to suit the design requirements of the article to be retained and/or displayed. In various embodiments, the display case 10 can be sized and/or shaped to accommodate different types of clothing articles, such as collectible apparel worn by athletes, celebrities or other types of people. Further, the display case 10 can retain and/or display other varieties of collectible articles 30, such as memorabilia. In the closed first position, the display case 10 can have the appearance and/or feel of a hardcover novel or other type of book. Alternatively, the display case 10 can have a somewhat different appearance. Further, the display case 10 can be sized and shaped to be positioned on a bookshelf (not shown) or some other structure upon which books are commonly stored.

In one embodiment, the display case 10 includes a case housing 12 and an article retainer 14. The case housing 12 houses the article retainer 14. Further, the case housing 12 can provide a decorative or informative casing that may graphically, pictorially, or otherwise describes the article 30 retained in the display case 10. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the case housing 12 includes a first housing cover 16, a second housing cover 18, a spine 20 and a retainer receiver 22. One or more of the covers 16, 18 can protect the article 30 from light, heat or other elements that can have a detrimental effect on the article 30.

In one embodiment, the first housing cover 16 can include an outer first surface 24, an inner first surface 26 (illustrated in FIG. 2). The outer first surface 24 can include an outer first indicia 28. The outer first indicia 28 can include one or more of graphics, pictures and/or writing that describe the contents of the display case 10 in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

The second housing cover 18 is coupled or otherwise attached to the first housing cover 16 with the spine 20. The second housing cover 18 can also include a second indicia (not shown) that may also include one or more of graphics, pictures and/or writing that can describe the contents of the display case 10. In an alternative embodiment, graphics, pictures and/or writing may be omitted from one or more of the first housing cover 16 and the second housing cover 18. In one embodiment, the covers 16, 18 are substantially flat and are relatively inflexible and durable, in a somewhat similar fashion as a hardcover book. Alternatively, the covers 16, 18 can be flexible. The spine 20 can have a curvature, as illustrated in FIG. 1. Alternatively, the spine 20 can have a more square or linear type of appearance. The materials used to form the article retainer 14, the first housing cover 16, the second housing cover 18, the spine 20 and/or the retainer receiver 22 can be varied to satisfy the design requirements of the display case 10. For example, these components can be formed from one or more of paper, cardboard, pressboard, plastic, metal, wood, glass, various composites, or any other suitable materials.

As described in greater detail below, the retainer receiver 22 selectively receives the article retainer 14. In one embodiment, the article retainer 14 can slidingly move in and out of the retainer receiver 22. The retainer receiver 22 can snugly hold the article retainer 14 in place while the article retainer 14 is fully received by the retainer receiver 22. In another embodiment, the retainer receiver 22 can include a locking mechanism (not shown) that selectively locks the article retainer 14 in place until the article 30 is desired to be removed. The locking mechanism can include a clasp, one or more pairs of magnets, a snap, or any other suitable type of device that can temporarily hold the article retainer 14 in place within the retainer receiver 22.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the article 30 to be displayed and the portable display case 10 illustrated in FIG. 1, shown in an open first position. As used herein, the closed first position and the open first position are sometimes collectively referred to as the “first position”. Further, the combination of the display case 10 and the article 30 as illustrated in FIG. 2 is referred to herein as a display case assembly 100.

In the open first position, the first housing cover 16 is moved relative to the second housing cover 18 and/or the spine 20. In one embodiment, in the open first position, the first housing cover 16 is moved relative to the retainer receiver 22 and the article retainer 14. In addition, in the open first position, the article retainer 14 is fully positioned within the retainer receiver 22, as illustrated in FIG. 2.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the inner first surface 26 can include an inner first indicia 32 having one or more of graphics, pictures and/or writing that describe the contents of the display case 10, such as providing a history of the article 30, a story about the wearer of the article 30, etc.

In certain embodiments, the retainer receiver 22 includes a viewing window 34 through which the article 30 can be viewed without removing the article retainer 14 from the retainer receiver 22. The dimensions of the viewing window 34 can vary to suit the design requirements of the display case 10 and the article 30. The viewing window 34 can include an opening so that the article retainer 14 and/or the article 30 can actually be touched through the viewing window 34. Alternatively, the viewing window 34 can include a transparent material such as a clear plastic, glass or other suitable translucent material that inhibits a user from touching the article retainer 14 and/or the article 30 through the viewing window 34. In this type of embodiment, the transparent material can be colorless, or it can be colored to suit the design requirements of the display case 10 and/or the article 30 to be displayed.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the portable display case 10 illustrated in FIG. 1, shown in an open second position. As used herein, the open first position and the open second position are sometimes collectively referred to as the “open position”. In the open second position, the article retainer 14 is at least partially or fully removed from the retainer receiver 22.

In this embodiment, the spine 20 has a longitudinal axis 50 (shown as a dashed line) as illustrated in FIG. 3. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the second housing cover 18 includes a substantially flat inner second surface 36 that can at least partially support the article retainer 14 when the article retainer 14 is in the open first position (illustrated in FIG. 2). In certain embodiments, the inner second surface 36 can be substantially planar. In one embodiment, the article retainer 14 slidingly moves away from the retainer receiver 22 in a direction (indicated by arrow 38) that is substantially parallel to the inner second surface 36. In another embodiment, the article retainer 14 slidingly moves away from the retainer receiver 22 in a direction that is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis 50 of the spine 20.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the retainer receiver 22 includes a viewing window 34 having an opening so that the article retainer 14 can actually be touched through the viewing window 34 while the article retainer 14 is positioned within the retainer receiver 22. Further, in this embodiment, the retainer receiver 22 includes a plurality of sides 40 and an open top 42. The article retainer 14 moves into and out of the retainer receiver 22 through the open top 42.

Although the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 shows one specific open top, it is understood that any one or more of the sides 40 of the retainer receiver 22 can be open in a somewhat similar manner as the open top 42, either in addition to the open top 42 illustrated in FIG. 3, or in the alternative. Stated another way, with these alternative designs, the article retainer 14 can be slidingly removed from the retainer receiver 22 in directions other than that shown and described relative to FIG. 3. As one non-exclusive example, the article retainer 14 can be removed in a direction that is substantially perpendicular to arrow 38, but is still substantially parallel with the inner second surface 36 and/or the viewing window 34.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the article retainer 14 includes a retainer bottom 44 and a retainer top 46. In one embodiment, the retainer bottom 44 and the retainer top 46 fit together to completely enclose the article 30 (illustrated in FIG. 2). The retainer bottom 44 can support the article 30 in a somewhat similar manner as a drawer, for example. The retainer top 46 can be somewhat similarly shaped as the retainer bottom 44, although oriented in an opposing direction so that the article 30 is substantially or completely covered by the retainer top 46.

In one embodiment, the retainer top 46 can be formed from a transparent material such as a clear plastic, glass or other suitable translucent material that inhibits a user from touching the article 30 without removal of the retainer top 46 from over the article 30. With this design, the article retainer 14 can be completely removed from the case housing 12, and can still protect the article 30 from direct handling or other types of damage. In this type of embodiment, the transparent material can be colorless, or it can be colored to suit the design requirements of the display case 10 and/or the article 30 to be displayed. The materials used to form the retainer top 46 can include protective materials, such as those that shield the article 30 from excessive moisture or dryness, fading due to ultraviolet or other types of light, heat, insects, and/or any other potentially damaging causes.

Further, in certain embodiments, the article retainer 14 can be removed from the retainer receiver 22 without opening the first housing cover 16. Stated another way, in the closed first position illustrated in FIG. 1, the article retainer 14 can be slidingly moved away from the retainer receiver 22 as illustrated in FIG. 3. Thus, even when a plurality of display cases 10 are positioned adjacent to one another on a shelf or in a stacked manner, for example, the article retainer 14 can be easily removed from the case housing 12 for viewing or removal of the article 30.

In some embodiments, the first housing cover 16 and/or the retainer receiver 22 can include one or more engagement devices 48 that fasten the first housing cover 16 to the retainer receiver 22. For example, in one embodiment, the engagement devices 48 can include two or more magnets that attract one another to maintain the first housing cover 16 in the closed first position, illustrated in FIG. 1. The engagement devices 48 inhibit unwanted opening of the first housing cover 16 during transport or storage, for example. Alternatively, the engagement devices 48 can include clasps, locks or any other engagement device 48 known to those skilled in the art.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the portable display case 410 shown in the open second position. In this embodiment, the display case 410 includes a case housing 412 and an article retainer 414. The case housing 412 includes the receiver retainer 422, which has a viewing window 434 through which the article 30 (illustrated in FIG. 2) can be viewed without removing the article retainer 414 from the retainer receiver 422. In this embodiment, the viewing window 434 is formed from a transparent material such as a clear plastic, glass or another suitable translucent material that guards against touching the article retainer 414 and/or the article 30 through the viewing window 434. The transparent material can be colorless, or it can be colored to suit the design requirements of the display case 410 and/or the article 30 to be displayed.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, the article retainer 414 includes a retainer bottom 444, but does not include a retainer top 46 (illustrated in FIG. 3). With this design, once the article retainer 414 is removed from the retainer receiver 422, the article is exposed and can be handled. In an alternative embodiment (not specifically shown), the display case 410 can include both the viewing window shown and described relative to FIG. 4, as well as the article retainer having both the retainer bottom 444 and the retainer top 46, such as that shown and described relative to FIG. 3.

It is recognized that although the article retainer 14, the first housing cover 16, the second housing cover 18 and the retainer receiver 22 illustrated and described herein are substantially rectangular in shape, these components can have any suitable configuration, such as square, triangular, circular, elliptical, rhomboidal, trapezoidal or any other suitable polygonal shape, whether regular or irregular, provided the intent of the invention is carried out as stated herein.

While the portable display case assembly 10 and the case housing 12 as shown and disclosed herein are fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages herein before stated, it is to be understood that they are merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as described in the appended claims.