Title:
Desktop Insert
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A desktop insert to be installed at an opening formed in a desktop and in which can be stored stationery supplies, electronic devices or hanging files so as to provide for a better use and organization of desktop space. The desktop insert includes a removable storage tray that is suspended below the desktop for receipt of the stationery supplies or electronic devices. Wire routing openings are provided through the desktop insert to enable an electronic device in the storage tray to be connected to a computer seated on the desktop or to a source of power. When the storage tray is removed, one or more hanging files can be suspended from the desktop insert so as to lie below the desktop for receipt of a corresponding number of paper files, or the like.


Inventors:
Krause, Steven T. (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, US)
Tamara, George (Glendale, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/655372
Publication Date:
06/30/2011
Filing Date:
12/31/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/25
International Classes:
A47B13/08
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
1. A desktop insert to be attached to a desktop at an opening formed therein, said desktop insert including a storage tray having an open top and a bottom for receiving and storing at least one article, the bottom of said storage tray moving downwardly and through the opening formed in the desktop such that said bottom lies below the desktop.

2. The desktop insert recited in claim 1, also including a base having an open top, a bottom and a lip projecting outwardly from said top, the bottom of said base moving downwardly and into the opening formed in the desktop prior to the bottom of said storage tray being moved downwardly and through said opening, such that the lip at the top of said base is seated upon said desktop, said storage tray being received within and mated to said base by way of the open top of said base.

3. The desktop insert recited in claim 2, wherein the bottom of said base is open, said storage tray being received within said base such that the bottom of said tray moves downwardly through and past each of the open top and the open bottom of said base.

4. The desktop insert recited in claim 3, wherein said storage tray has an ear extending from each of the opposite ends thereof and said base has a catch located at each of the opposite ends thereof, said storage tray being received within and moving downwardly through said base such that the catches of said base engage the ears of said tray, whereby said tray is suspended from said base so that the bottom of said tray lies below the bottom of said base.

5. The desktop insert recited in claim 4, wherein the storage tray is removable from said base when the ears of said tray are lifted upwardly and away from the catches of said base.

6. The desktop insert recited in claim 5, wherein the catches located at the opposite ends of said base are hanging rails, said hanging rails adapted to receive and support a hanging file therebetween when said storage tray is first removed from said base and the hanging file is then moved downwardly through the open top and open bottom of said base.

7. The desktop insert recited in claim 2, also including a cover extending across and closing the open top of said storage tray after said tray is received in and mated to said base.

8. The desktop insert recited in claim 7, wherein said cover is removable from the top of said storage tray in order to place within or remove the at least one article from the tray.

9. The desktop insert recited in claim 8, wherein the at least one article stored within said storage tray is an electronic device and wherein said top has at least one wire routing opening formed therein through which to receive an electrical wire from the electronic device stored within said storage tray for connection to a different electronic device seated on the desktop.

10. The desktop insert recited in claim 7, wherein said base has a cover seat located at each of the opposite ends thereof, said cover laying upon the cover seats of said base so as to extend across and close the open top of said storage tray.

11. The desktop insert recited in claim 1, wherein the bottom of said storage tray is closed, said closed bottom having a hole formed therein and at least one wire catching slot projecting from said hole, said hole adapted to receive therethrough an electrical wire having a terminal end to be captured and held in place by said wire catching slot.

12. The combination comprising: a desktop, said desktop having an opening formed therethrough; and a desktop insert being moved into the opening in said desktop such that said insert is attached to and suspended from said desktop, said desktop insert including a compartment in which to store at least one electronic device at a location below said desktop, said desktop insert also including at least one wire routing opening through which to receive an electrical wire to be connected from the electronic device below said desktop to a source of electrical power or to a different electronic device located on said desktop.

13. The combination recited in claim 12, wherein there is a groove formed in said desktop around the opening therein, said desktop insert being attached to said desktop within said groove, whereby a portion of said desktop insert is located substantially flush with said desktop.

14. The combination recited in claim 12, wherein the compartment of said desktop insert is a storage tray having a closed bottom and an open top, said storage tray being located below said desktop to removably receive and store the at least one electronic device.

15. The combination recited in claim 14, wherein said desktop insert also includes a base having a frame surrounding an open drop-through window, said frame moving downwardly and into engagement with said desktop at the opening formed therein, and the storage tray of said desktop insert moving downwardly and into engagement with said base, the closed bottom of said tray moving downwardly through the drop-through window surrounded by the frame of said base.

16. The combination recited in claim 15, wherein said desktop insert also includes a top extending across and covering the open top of said storage tray after said tray is moved downwardly and into engagement with said base.

17. The combination recited in claim 16, wherein said wire routing opening is formed through said top.

18. The combination recited in claim 16, wherein the frame of said base has a cover seat located at each of the opposite ends thereof, said top laying upon said cover seats so as to extend across and cover the open top of said storage tray.

19. The combination recited in claim 15, wherein there are a pair of hanging file rails located at opposite ends of said base and extending laterally across the frame thereof adjacent said drop-through window.

20. The combination recited in claim 19, further comprising at least one hanging file having a jacket and a hanging hook attached to said jacket, said storage tray being moved upwardly and out of engagement with said base such that the closed bottom of said storage tray is removed from the drop-through window surrounded by the housing of said base, whereupon the jacket of said at least hanging file is moved through said drop-through window and the hanging hook attached to said jacket is moved into surrounding engagement with the hanging file rails of said base, whereby said hanging file is suspended from said hanging file rails.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a desktop insert to be installed at a desktop and in which to store at an out-of-the-way location below the desktop stationery supplies and/or a variety of electronic devices to be charged or connected to a computer laying on the desktop. In the alternative, the desktop insert is adapted to receive one or more conventional hanging files as part of a hanging file storage system.

2. Background Art

With the advent of smaller portable and desktop computers, it is not uncommon to find such a computer sitting on a desktop alongside a variety of books, papers, pens, peripherals, electronic equipment, and the like. By way of example, in addition to the computer, a set of files, a cell phone, a digital player, a digital memory device, etc. may find their way onto the desktop. As a consequence of the foregoing, the desktop may become cluttered resulting in an inefficient use of desktop space. Moreover, many electrical wires and cables may stretch over the desktop so that the peripherals and electronic equipment can be connected to the computer or to an electrical power receptacle when the equipment is being charged. Therefore, it may be difficult to quickly and easily access particular files and work-related accessories when needed. What is more, there may be little or no additional free space available on the desktop should there be a need to use other large equipment (e.g., a printer) or reference more books and files.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to have a means by which to locate certain stationery supplies, electronic equipment and hanging files at a readily-accessible, out-of-the-way location so as to create a neat and organized desktop appearance and provide a more efficient use of desktop space.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, and in general terms, a desktop insert is disclosed to be installed at a desktop and in which to store at a readily-accessible, out-of-the-way hidden location below the desktop stationery supplies, one or more hanging files or a variety of electronic devices to be charged or connected to a computer sitting on the desktop. By virtue of the foregoing, clutter can be better avoided to reduce wire runs and achieve an efficient use of desktop space and a neat and organized desktop appearance.

According to a preferred embodiment, the desktop insert includes a lower file receiving base, an intermediate storage tray, and an upper cover. The lower file receiving base includes an open drop-through window within which to receive the storage tray. A cover seat is located at each end of the file receiving base. A hanging file rail extends across each end of the base inwardly of the cover seat. The intermediate storage tray has a closed bottom and an open top by which to receive and hold stationery supplies and/or a number of electronic devices (e.g., a cell phone or a digital camera) to be charged from an electrical wall receptacle or to be connected to the computer on the desktop. The storage tray is moved downwardly into and through the drop-through window of the lower file receiving base such that bent ears formed at opposite ends of the tray are located over respective ones of the hanging file rails of the base. The upper cover is laid upon the cover seats of the file receiving base to extend over top the storage tray to thereby close the desk top insert. The upper cover has wire routing openings formed at opposite ends thereof.

The assembled desktop insert is installed in a correspondingly sized and shaped opening formed through the desktop. That is, the lower file receiving base is mounted within the desktop opening, the intermediate storage tray is removably received by the file receiving base, and the upper cover is placed across the storage tray. Wires or cables from any electronic devices located in the storage tray are connected to the computer on the desktop by way of the wire routing openings through the upper cover. When the intermediate storage tray and the upper cover thereover are removed from the lower file receiving base, one or more hanging files can be moved downwardly and through the drop-through window and suspended from the file receiving base. In this case, supporting hooks which run across the tops of the hanging files are positioned over and supported from the hanging file rails at the ends of the file receiving base.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a desktop insert according to a preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the desktop insert of FIG. 1 in the assembled configuration;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the desktop insert of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the desktop insert of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 illustrates the desktop insert in the assembled configuration of FIG. 2 being moved towards and into receipt by an opening formed in a desktop;

FIG. 6 shows the desktop insert of FIG. 5 located within the desktop opening;

FIG. 7 shows an upper cover removed from the desktop insert after installation of the insert at the desktop with an electronic device located within the insert and electrically connected to a computer laying on the desktop;

FIG. 8 shows the upper cover of FIG. 7 attached to the desktop insert over the electronic device and a wire running from the electronic device within the insert to the computer laying on the desktop; and

FIG. 9 shows a set of hanging files being moved towards and into receipt by the desktop insert at the desktop.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A desktop insert 1 according to a preferred embodiment of this invention is initially described while referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings. As will soon be explained, the insert 1 is adapted to be installed at a desktop (designated 50 in FIGS. 5-9) to enable stationery supplies as well as certain electronic devices and accessories which are to be charged from a source of power or electrically connected to a computer on the desktop to be relocated off the desktop and stored at an out-of-the-way and out-of-sight location below the desktop. In this manner, the usable free space that is available on the desktop will be maximized in order to create a clutter-free area at which to place books, papers, a printer, etc. that are needed when the computer is operated.

The desktop insert 1 includes a lower file receiving base 3, an intermediate storage tray 5, and an upper cover 7. The file receiving base 3, storage tray 5 and cover 7 can be manufactured from plastic (e.g., nylon or polypropylene) or any other suitable material. However, the material from which the aforementioned components of the desktop insert 1 are manufactured is not to be considered a limitation of this invention. As will also soon be explained, the lower base 3, intermediate tray 5, and upper cover 7 of desktop insert 1 are detachably connected to one another and removably received by the desktop (50 of FIGS. 5-9) in order to better manage the usable area on the desktop.

The lower file receiving base 3 of desktop insert 1 includes a preferably rectangular frame 9 which surrounds an open drop-through space or window 10. A peripheral lip 12 which runs around the window 10 projects outwardly from the top of the frame 9. A cover seat 14 extends inwardly from the peripheral lip 12 at each end of the frame 9. A hanging file rail 16 extends laterally across each end of the frame 9 inwardly of a cover seat 14. The hanging file rails 16 are spaced from the cover seats 14 by gaps 18 (only one of which being visible in FIG. 1) which lie at opposite ends of the drop-through window 10.

The intermediate storage tray 5 of desktop insert 1 includes a rectangular housing 20. The housing 20 of intermediate storage tray 5 is sized and shaped to be received downwardly and through the drop-through window 10 of the frame 9 of the lower file receiving base 3. That is to say, the housing 20 of the storage tray 5 is surrounded by the frame 9 of file receiving base 3 in the assembled configuration of the desktop insert 1 (best shown in FIG. 2).

A hook-shaped ear 22 bends outwardly and downwardly from each end of the housing 20 of the storage tray 5. In the assembled configuration (of FIG. 2), when housing 20 is received through the window 10 of frame 3, the hook-shaped ears 22 of housing 20 are positioned over the hanging file rails 16 of frame 9 and into the gaps 18 thereof between rails 16 and cover seats 14. Accordingly, the intermediate storage tray 5 will be suspended from the lower file receiving base 3 when the ears 22 of housing 20 are moved into surrounding engagement with the hanging file rails 16 of frame 9.

The housing 20 of the intermediate storage tray 5 has pairs of upstanding side walls 24 and end walls 26. The top of the housing 20 is opened. The bottom 28 of the housing 20 of the intermediate storage tray 5 is closed to establish a compartment within which to receive and store at an out-of-the-way and out-of-sight location with respect to the desktop stationery supplies as well as any one or more of a variety of electronic devices including, but not limited to, a cell phone, PDA, digital camera, memory stick, power strip, etc. that are to be either charged from a remote source of AC power or coupled to a computer laying on the desktop. A hole 30 (best shown in FIG. 4) is formed in the closed bottom 28 of housing 20 to receive therethrough one or more electrical wires (not shown) to be connected to a remote source of power. A set of relatively narrow wire catching slots 32 are distributed around and project radially outwardly from the hole 30. The wire catching slots 32 permit a corresponding set of relatively wide plugs or terminal ends of the electrical wires to be captured and held in place within the compartment of the storage tray 5 so as to be ready for connection to respective electronic devices. The electrical wires connected to the terminal ends that are captured by the wire catching slots 32 will thusly be prevented from dropping downwardly and falling out of the storage tray 5.

The upper cover 7 of the desktop insert 1 includes a generally flat lid 36 that is sized and shaped to fit within the housing 9 of the lower file receiving base 3 so as to lie over and close the open top of the housing 20 of the intermediate storage tray 5. More particularly, opposite ends of the lid 36 of cover 7 are laid upon and supported at respective ones of the cover seats 14 at opposite ends of the lower file receiving base 3. A wire routing opening 38 is formed at each end of the lid 36 of cover 7. As is best shown in FIG. 7, the wire routing openings 38 enable wires or cables from any electronic devices being stored inside the compartment of intermediate storage tray 5 to be fed through the cover 7 and connected to a computer on the desktop. Moreover, the wire routing openings 38 through the cover 7 and the hole 30 through the closed bottom 28 of the housing 20 of storage tray 5 cooperate to establish a wire routing path for a wire or cable to be connected between the computer or any other electronic device on the desktop and a remote source of power.

FIGS. 2-4 of the drawings show the desktop inset 1 in the assembled configuration ready for installation at a desktop. Referring concurrently now to FIGS. 1-4, the assembled configuration is achieved when the intermediate storage tray 5 is removably received by (i.e., dropped into) the lower file receiving base 3 through the open window 10 thereof so that housing 20 lies below frame 9 and the ears 22 at the ends of tray 5 are positioned over and supported by the hanging file rails 16 at the ends of the lower file receiving base 3. The desktop insert 1 is closed when the upper cover 7 is laid over top the intermediate storage tray 5 that is suspended from the lower file receiving base 3 (at rails 16) such that the opposite ends of the cover lid 36 are removably received against the cover seats 14 at opposite ends of the lower base 3.

FIG. 5 of the drawings shows a desktop 50 common to a home or office desk. It is within the scope of this invention that desktop 50 is a tabletop rather than a desktop. A generally rectangular opening 52 is machined through the desktop 50 to conform to the size and shape of the desktop insert 1. A grooved edge 54 is formed (e.g., routed) around the opening 52 to establish a shelf upon which to receive and support the insert 1. The desktop insert 1 is lowered towards the desktop 50 to be received through the opening 52 thereof.

When the desktop insert 1 has been moved into and through the opening 52, the peripheral lip 12 which projects outwardly from the top of the frame 9 of the lower file receiving base 3 is seated upon the grooved edge 54 which surrounds the desktop opening 52. Thus, the desktop insert 1 will be suspended from and extended below the desktop 50 when the lip 12 of base 3 is laid against the edge 54. As shown in FIG. 6 of the drawings, the lid 36 of the upper cover 7 which closes the desktop insert 1 lies substantially flush with the desktop 50 once the insert 1 has been installed therein as just explained.

As previously described, a variety of electronic devices and stationery supplies can be stored within the intermediate storage tray 5 (of FIG. 1) of desktop insert 1 so as to be moved off the desktop 50 and out of the way of a computer in order to keep the desktop 50 uncluttered and free for other use. FIG. 7 of the drawings shows the lid 36 of the upper cover 7 removed from the lower base 3 of insert 1 and an electronic device 56 stored within the intermediate storage tray 5. The device 56 is interconnected to a computer 60 on the desktop 50 by means of a wire 58 running therebetween. As shown in FIG. 8 of the drawings, when the upper cover 7 is returned to insert 1 to close the top thereof, the wire 58 from the device 56 of FIG. 7 can be fed through one of the wire routing openings 38 at the ends of the lid 36 of cover 7 to enable the device 56 to communicate with the computer 60 without the device 56 having to consume desktop space. Thus, long wire runs and entanglements on the desktop 50 can be better avoided.

Turning now to FIG. 9 of the drawings, the lower file receiving base 3 of the desktop insert 1 is shown mated to the desktop 50. However, the intermediate storage tray 5 and the upper cover 7 have been lifted upwardly and removed from lower base 3. In this case, the lower file receiving base 3 is adapted to receive one or more conventional hanging files 62 of the kind having a supporting hook 64 running across the top and a jacket 66 hanging down from the hook 64 in which to receive a paper file or the like.

Referring concurrently in this regard to FIGS. 1 and 9, the hanging files 62 are moved downwardly towards the desktop 50 until the jackets 66 thereof are received through the open drop-through window 10 of the lower file receiving base 3. The opposite ends of the supporting hook 64 of each hanging file 62 are laid over and supported by the hanging file rails 16 at opposite ends of file receiving base 3. Such opposite ends of supporting hook 64 bend around the rails 16 to be removably received within the gaps 18 (best shown in FIG. 1) located between rails 16 and cover seats 14 at each end of the lower file receiving base 3. Individual hanging files 62 may be coupled to and suspended (or removed) from the file receiving base 3 in this manner on an as-needed basis.

It may thusly be appreciated that the lower file receiving base 3 of desktop insert 1 provides a dual function of being mounted upon a desktop 50 at an opening 52 formed therein to removably receive and support either the intermediate storage tray 5 (and the upper cover 7 extending thereover) to establish a closed storage compartment or one or more of the hanging files 62 to establish a hanging file storage system whereby to advantageously reduce clutter and provide a space-efficient desktop appearance. In either case, the storage tray 5 and the hanging files 62 will be hidden from view relative to the desktop once the upper cover 7 is returned to the lower base 3.