Title:
Pivotable disc holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a disc storage device with a horizontal base platform, which supports at least one platform support post rigidly attached to the base platform. The device also has rotatable disc-holding platforms with tubular spacers rotatably mounted on each post in a stacked spaced array. The stacked rotatable disc platforms rotate into a stacked storage array and pivot out of the array for easy access to and return of the discs. Each disc fits securely over a center post on the platform with the post friction fit into the center hole of the disc. More than one disc may be placed on each disc holding platform. The tubular spacers located between the disc platforms space apart the disc platforms to prevent the discs from contacting each other and contacting other disc holding platforms. The disc storage device may hold discs of different sizes.



Inventors:
Schulz, Eric (Cerritos, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/448956
Publication Date:
12/02/2004
Filing Date:
05/30/2003
Assignee:
SCHULZ ERIC
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/168, G9B/33.02, 211/163
International Classes:
G11B33/04; (IPC1-7): A47G29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Donald W. Meeker (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A disc storage device for storing and retrieving flat circular discs with center openings having electronic information storage capability, the disc storage device comprising: a horizontal base platform supporting at least one platform support post rigidly attached to the base platform; a series of disc holding platforms each individually mounted by a pivotable means in a spaced stacked array along the length of the at least one platform support post, each of the disc holding platforms having at least one flat storage surface with at least one upwardly protruding disc support post, each of the disc holding platforms capable of pivoting out of the spaced stacked array for receiving at least one flat circular disc mounted thereon with the disc support post in a center opening of the flat circular disc and each of the disc holding platforms further capable pivoting back into the spaced stacked array for storage.

2. The disc storage device of claim 1 wherein each of the disc holding platforms has a platform opening therethrough capable of fitting on the at least one vertical post, the platform opening comprising the pivotable means.

3. The disc storage device of claim 2 wherein each of the disc holding platforms further comprises at least one vertical tubular extension attached to the disc holding platform in communication with the platform opening and the at least one tubular extension is capable of fitting pivotally over the at least one vertical post and the at least one vertical extension spaces each of the disc holding platforms apart from an adjacent disc holding platform.

4. The disc storage device of claim 3 wherein each of the disc holding platforms is formed of molded synthetic material with the at least one tubular extension formed in the molding process.

5. The disc storage device of claim 2 further comprising a series of tubular elements, each of the tubular elements capable of fitting pivotally over the at least one vertical post and each of the tubular elements positioned between two adjacent disc storage platforms to space apart the two adjacent disc storage platforms.

6. The disc storage device of claim 2 wherein each of the at least one flat storage surfaces comprises a smooth circular plane defining at least one outer portion of the disc holding platform with the at least one upwardly protruding disc support post in the center of the smooth circular plane, the smooth circular plane configured with a smaller diameter than the circular disc so that the circular disc protrudes beyond an outer edge of the disc holding platform and the circular disc is easily grasped and removed from the circular plane.

7. The disc storage device of claim 6 wherein the smooth circular plane comprises the main structure of the disc support platform and further comprising a protruding tab extending from the smooth circular plane, the protruding tab having the platform opening therethrough.

8. The disc storage device of claim 6 comprising two spaced apart smooth circular planes comprising the main structure of the disc support platform and further comprising a connecting tab between the two smooth circular planes, the connecting tab having the platform opening therethrough.

9. The disc storage device of claim 1 further comprising a cover means attached to a top end of the at least one platform support post to retain the series of disc holding platforms thereon.

10. The disc storage device of claim 9 wherein the cover means covers at least a portion of the series of the disc holding platforms in a stacked storage position, the cover means being configured to match the configuration of the horizontal base platform.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a device for storing and displaying electronic storage media and, in particular, to a method and apparatus for convenient storage and display of circular electronic storage discs having central openings.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Compact discs are a well-known popular media for storing different kinds of information, such as audio, video and data. The discs themselves are relatively thin and are sold within a plastic protective case to prevent damage. Numerous compact discs can be quickly acquired by music enthusiasts and computer users, for example, which can lead to clutter and disorganization.

[0005] Jewel boxes and other cases for holding discs are often difficult to open and not easily accessed when stored together in a case or cabinet.

[0006] Prior art patents have not adequately addressed the problem of disc storage and retrieval.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 6,502,703, issued Jan. 7, 2003 to Scherer, provides a method and apparatus for storing and displaying electronic storage media that includes a longitudinally extending rod and a storage media container adapted to receive the rod. A bore is provided in the storage media container through which the rod engages the storage media container. A hinge provided such that the storage media container can be opened while in engagement with the rod. An end bulb adapted to pass through the bore in the storage media container and be in interference contact with the bore at a point during the passing and a base adapted to removably engage an end of the rod is also included. The longitudinally extending rod is mounted such that the rod is able to engage a plurality of storage media containers concurrently. The storage media container is adapted to hingedly open while in engagement with the longitudinally extending rod.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,439,119, issued Aug. 8, 1995 to Chow, indicates a storage rack that consists of a base, a substantially vertical support rod and a plurality of storage clips rotatably mounted on the rod. Each clip is adapted to retain the corner of a CD-case lying in a predetermined first plane relative thereto and to permit the CD-case so retained to be opened. The clip is arranged so that the retained CD-case and the axis of rotation of the clip about the support rod are positioned relative to one another that rotation by no more than about 90-degrees is sufficient to remove a CD-case from the stack and enable it to be opened. The clips consist of a support shelf, first and second retaining walls that engage the edges of the CD-case and a cantilevered gripping member which grips the hinge region of the case. Rotation by no more than about 90-degrees enables the rack to be used where space is at a premium and also means that the printed matter in a swung-out CD-case runs, from a user's point of view, from left to right, enabling convenient verification that the correct choice has been made.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,931,315, issued Aug. 3, 1999 to Lorentz, shows a modular storage and display device for essentially flat containers. The display device has a vertically retained column and a plurality of connecting members mounted on the column. The connecting members have a pair of resiliently displaceable gripping arms integrally formed at one portion of the connecting members. The arms are adapted to snap fit around the column so the connecting member is rotatable around and slidable along the longitudinal axis of the column. A system for gripping an edge portion of the container is disposed on another portion of the connecting member.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,697,684, issued Dec. 16, 1997 to Gyovai, claims a storage device for flat objects that includes a main body inform of a stack of overlying support members between a base and a cover. Each support member is formed by a tray for storing a flat object and a mounting part secured to the tray and swingably mounted to a vertical rod that extends eccentrically to a center axis of the main body between the cover and the base. Thus, the support members can be swung in substantial horizontal direction between a closed position and an open position in which the tray is accessible for depositing or removing a flat object.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,385,397, issued Jan. 31, 1995 to Chow, illustrates a stackable storage rack that receives thin, flat objects such as compact disc cases. The rack includes a turntable with radially extending grooves for receiving the objects. The base has portions thereof extending radially outwards beyond the turntable. There is a spindle and bearing for rotatably mounting the turntable on the base. A plurality of elongated rods extend perpendicularly from the top of the base on the portions thereof. There are sockets on the bottom of the base for releasibly receiving tops of rods of another rack. A plurality of racks can thereby be stacked one upon the other.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 5,370,244, issued Dec. 6, 1994 to Peng, describes a compact disk container storage device that comprises a bracket which has a left edge and a right edge, a plurality of horizontal arms extending from the left edge, and a plurality of tubular portions corresponding to the horizontal arms provided at the right edge. A plurality of spring clips are each pivotally connected between every two of the tubular portions of said bracket. Each of said spring clips are formed with a left side limb and a right side limb, each has an inwardly curved portion at the end. A central limb is located between the two side limbs and has a front lug at the end, a first rear lug between the central limb and the right side limb, a second rear lug between the central limb and the left side limb, and a loop portion between the right side limb and the first rear lug.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 5,344,028, issued Sep. 6, 1994 to Angele, discloses a storage apparatus particularly for compact discs that are arranged in hinge boxes that include a clip means. The clip means has a U-shaped bracket. There are at least two legs spaced to correspond to the depth of the box. The brackets include a hole with a ring extension for receiving a rod insertable to hold the clip means and thereby stack the CDs on the rod.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 5,584,397, issued Dec. 17, 1996 to Cheng, concerns a compact disk storage and dispensing rack that includes a base and, rising from the base in a use position of the rack, a support rod. A plurality of storage receptacles each for accommodating one of a plurality of compact disks is mounted on successive sections of the support rod for pivoting about mutually parallel axes along movement planes that are parallel to one another and inclined to a predetermined extent with respect to the horizontal as considered in the use position of the rack. Each of the storage receptacles is hollow and has a region that is remote from the support rod and is open to permit egress and ingress of the respective compact disk out of and into the respective receptacle. Each of the storage receptacles is movable between its storage position in which the remote region is situated higher and a dispensing position in which it is situated lower than the region surrounding the support rod. Each of the storage receptacles accommodates the respective compact disk with freedom of at least limited movement out of the other region and back so that the compact disk tends to slide out of the respective storage receptacle in the course of its movement towards its dispensing position. This movement is limited by respective detaining portions of the respective storage rack that are to be forced out of the path of movement of the disk during its ingress and particularly during its egress. A vertical wall serves as an abutment retaining the storage receptacles in their storage positions.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 4,875,743 issued Oct. 24, 1989 to Gelardi, depicts an apparatus for storing a plurality of disc-shaped recording media that includes a housing and a plurality of thin, substantially C-shaped lever members, each of which has an inner circumferential surface for holding a disc-shaped recording media by an outer circumferential surface of the recording media. Each lever member is pivotally connected to the housing by a pivot post and is pivotally movable into and out of the housing. A lock mechanism prevents the lever members from pivoting out of the housing, while a detent mechanism holds the unlocked lever members in either a closed or open position. The inner circumferential surface of the C-shaped lever members subtends an angle greater than 180-degrees in order to create a spring force in two arms of the lever member, the spring force acting to hold the disc-shaped recording media on the circumferential surface of the lever member.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 3,337,059, issued Aug. 22, 1967 to LeHoy, provides a disc holder that includes a series of peripheral frames pivotally mounted on a central holder; adjacent horizontal members that have upper and lower opposed grooves. The lower groove of each has a resilient, deformable foam plastic strip mounted therein. The adjacent horizontal members are closer together than the diameter of the disc or the width of a phonograph album so that when placed in the lower groove pressing on the disc depresses the plastic and the top of the disc may be placed in the upper groove. On release of pressure the plastic resumes its natural shape and the disc is releasably held in vertical position in the upper and lower grooves.

[0017] What is needed is a disc storage device that allows easy access and return of discs to the storage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0018] An object of the present invention is to provide rotatable disc-holding platforms with spacers rotatably mounted to posts for a disc storage device that allows easy access and return of discs to storage.

[0019] Another object of the present invention is to provide stacked rotatable disc platforms that rotate into a stacked storage array and pivot out of the array for easy access to the discs each of which fits securely over a center post on the platform with the post friction fit into the center hole of the disc.

[0020] One more object of the present invention is to provide tubular spacers between disc platforms spacing apart the disc platforms to prevent the discs from contacting each other and prevent the discs from contacting other disc holding platforms to prevent damage or scratching of the discs.

[0021] An additional object of the present invention is to provide stacked rotatable disc platforms that may hold different sized discs, such as GameCube™ size or standard uniform sizes.

[0022] A further object of the present invention is to provide stacked rotatable disc platforms that may hold more than one disc on each disc support platform.

[0023] A contributory object of the present invention is to provide stacked rotatable disc platforms that may be provided with plastic dust sleeves.

[0024] An added object of the present invention is to provide stacked rotatable disc platforms that may have a portion or portions made from a glow-in-the-dark material.

[0025] In brief, a disc storage device that has a horizontal base platform that supports at least one platform support post rigidly attached to the base platform. The disc storage device has rotatable disc-holding platforms with spacers rotatably mounted to one or more posts for a disc storage device that allows easy access and return of discs to the storage.

[0026] The stacked rotatable disc platforms rotate into a stacked storage array and pivot out of the array for easy access to the discs each of which fits securely over a center post on the platform with the post friction fit into the center hole of the disc. The tubular spacers located between the disc platforms space apart the disc platforms to prevent the discs from contacting each other and prevent the discs from contacting other disc holding platforms. The disc storage device may hold different sized discs, such as GameCube™ size or standard uniform sizes. The stacked rotatable disc platforms of the disc storage device may hold more than one disc on each disc support post.

[0027] An advantage of the present invention is that it allows easy access and return of the discs to storage.

[0028] Another advantage of the present invention is that it provides a neat and orderly way to store discs.

[0029] A still further advantage of the present invention is that it prevents damage and scratching of the discs.

[0030] An additional advantage of the present invention is that it may be used for different sizes of discs.

[0031] One more advantage of the present invention is that it is inexpensive to manufacture.

[0032] A further advantage of the present invention is that it may be broken down for compact shipping.

[0033] Yet another advantage of the present invention is that it is easily assembled.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0034] These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

[0035] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the disc holder of the present invention having an X-shaped base and top and four vertical posts with spaced horizontal disc storage platforms each with a center post to receive a disc, the disc platforms shown pivoted in various orientations to indicate the 360 degree rotation capability of each platform on each post;

[0036] FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the preferred embodiment of the disc holder of FIG. 1 with all of the disc platforms in the stored position;

[0037] FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the disc holder of FIG. 1 with all of the disc platforms in the stored position;

[0038] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the disc holder of the present invention having a FIG. 8-shaped base and top caps on each of two vertical posts with spaced horizontal disc storage platforms each with a center post to receive a disc, the disc platforms shown in the stored position with two disc platforms on the left post pivoted out for disc access;

[0039] FIG. 4A is a perspective view of an underside of one of the disc platforms with an attached tubular extension showing the circular platform opening;

[0040] FIG. 4B is a perspective view of an underside of one of the disc platforms with no attached tubular extension, showing the circular platform opening and a separate tubular element;

[0041] FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the alternate embodiment of the disc holder of FIG. 4 with all of the disc platforms in the stored position;

[0042] FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the alternate embodiment of the disc holder of FIG. 4 with all of the disc platforms in the stored position;

[0043] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the disc holder of the present invention having double horizontal disc storage platforms pivotable on each of two vertical posts, each platform with two circular disc storage spaces each with a center post to receive a disc, the disc platforms shown pivoted in various orientations to indicate the 360 degree rotation capability of each platform on each post;

[0044] FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the alternate embodiment of the disc holder of FIG. 7 with all of the disc platforms in the stored position;

[0045] FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the alternate embodiment of the disc holder of FIG. 7 with all of the disc platforms in the stored position.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0046] In FIGS. 1-9, a disc storage device 20A, 20B, and 20C is shown that is for storing and retrieving flat circular discs 30 with center openings 31, which have electronic information storage capability. The discs 30 may be CD's, DVD's, ROM's, game discs, etc. and may be of different sizes, such as GameCube™ size or normal uniform size. The disc storage device 20A, 20B, and 20C comprises a horizontal base platform 21A, 21B and 21C that supports at least one platform support post 22 which is rigidly attached to the base platform 21A, 21B and 21C.

[0047] The disc storage device 20A, 20B, and 20C also comprises a series of disc holding platforms 23 and 23A each has a pivotable means, preferably a circular platform opening 27 which is preferably formed in communication with a tubular extension 25 protruding orthogonally from the disc holding platform 23 and 23A. Each disc holding platforms 23 and 23A is individually mounted in a spaced stacked array along the length of the at least one platform support post 22. Each of the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A has at least one flat circular storage surface 28 with at least one upwardly protruding disc support post 24 in the center. The upwardly protruding disc support post 24 is capable of holding more than one disc 30. Each of the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A is capable of pivoting out of the spaced stacked array for receiving at least one flat circular disc 30 mounted thereon with the disc support post 24 in a center opening 31 of the flat circular disc 30. Each of the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A is further capable pivoting back into the spaced stacked array for storage, as shown in FIGS. 3, 6 and 9.

[0048] Each of the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A has a platform opening 27 therethrough and is capable of fitting on the at least one vertical post 22, the platform opening 27 comprises the pivotable means. Each of the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A may further comprise at least one vertical tubular extension 25 attached to the disc holding platform 23 and 23A in communication with the platform opening 27. The at least one tubular extension 25 is capable of fitting pivotally over the at least one vertical post 22 and the at least one vertical extension 25 spaces each of the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A apart from an adjacent disc holding platform 23 and 23A.

[0049] The disc holding platforms 23 and 23A may be formed of molded synthetic material with the at least one tubular extension 25 formed in the molding process, as shown in FIG. 4A. Alternately, the disc storage device 20A, 20B, and 20C may further comprise a series of tubular elements 15, as shown in FIG. 4B. Each of the tubular elements 15 are capable of fitting pivotally over the at least one vertical post 22 and each of the tubular elements 15 positioned between two adjacent disc storage platforms 23 and 23A to space apart the two adjacent disc storage platforms 23 and 23A. The tubular elements 15 may be used between disc holding platforms 23 with tubular extensions 25, as in FIG. 4A or disc holding platforms 23 without tubular extensions, as in FIG. 4B.

[0050] The at least one flat storage surfaces comprises a smooth circular plane 28 that defines at least one outer portion of the disc holding platform 23 and 23A with the at least one upwardly protruding disc support post 24 in the center of the smooth circular plane 28. The smooth circular plane 28 is configured with a smaller diameter than the circular disc 30 so that the circular disc 30 protrudes beyond an outer edge of the disc holding platform 23 and 23A and the circular disc 30 is easily grasped and removed from the circular plane 28, as shown in FIGS. 1, 4 and 7.

[0051] The smooth circular plane 28 comprises the main structure of the disc support platform 23 and 23A and further comprising a protruding tab 19 extending from the smooth circular plane 28. The protruding tab 19 has the platform opening 27 therethrough, as shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B.

[0052] In FIGS. 7-9, the disc storage device 20C includes two spaced apart smooth circular planes 28 that comprise the main structure of the disc support platform 23A and further comprise a connecting tab 18 between the two smooth circular planes 28. The connecting tab 18 has the platform opening 27 therethrough, not shown.

[0053] In FIGS. 4, 7 and 9, the disc storage device 20B and 20C further comprise a cover means 26B attached to a top end of the at least one platform support post 22 to retain the series of disc holding platforms 23 and 23A thereon.

[0054] In FIGS. 1-3, the disc storage device 20A comprises a cover means 26A that covers at least a portion of the series of the disc holding platforms 23 in a stacked storage position, as shown in FIG. 2. The cover means 26A is configured to match the configuration of the horizontal base platform 21A, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

[0055] In FIG. 5, retention posts 29 may be used to limit the movement of the disc holding platforms and align them evenly in a storage array.

[0056] The disc storage device 20A, 20B and 20C may be manufactured from a glow-in-the-dark material, and may be further provided with dust sleeves with each unit.

[0057] In practice, the disc storage device 20A, 20B or 20C would be assembled by affixing the vertical posts 22 to the base 21A, 21B or 21C. The disc holding platforms 23 and 23A would then be stacked onto the vertical posts 22 by aligning the platform openings 27 and tubular extensions 25 with the vertical posts 22 and lowering the disc holding platforms down onto the vertical posts 22 in a stacked array with the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A separated by the tubular extensions 25 and tubular elements 15.

[0058] The disc holding platforms 23 and 23A may be formed of molded synthetic material with the at least one tubular extension 25 formed in the molding process, attached to the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A. Alternately, tubular elements 15 may be used as spacers. Each of the tubular elements 15 may fit pivotally over the at least one vertical post 22 and positioned between two adjacent disc storage platforms 23 and 23A to space them apart. After the desired number of disc storage platforms 23 and 23A are stacked onto the vertical posts 22, a cover means 26A or 26B is attached to a top end of the vertical posts 22 to retain the series of disc holding platforms 23 and 23A, as shown in FIGS. 1, 4 and 7.

[0059] Once assembled, each of the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A is capable of pivoting out of the spaced stacked array for receiving at least one flat circular disc 30 mounted thereon with the disc support post 24 in a center opening 31 of the flat circular disc 30. The circular disc 30, which overlaps the circular edge of the circular plane 28 may also be easily grasped and removed from the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A. Each of the disc holding platforms 23 and 23A is further capable pivoting back into the spaced stacked array for storage, as shown in FIGS. 3, 6 and 9.

[0060] It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.