Title:
Modular carrier for flat items
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Carrier (10) forms part of a storage system for flat items (20) such as CD's, DVD's or Zip drives. The carrier has three engagement means, one means allowing a flat item holding sleeve with one or more cutouts (23) at one end to engage with round bars (11) of the carrier, a second means to allow carriers to be serially engaged together by end protrusions (14) of the bars (11) of one carrier snap fitting into receiving apertures (15) of another carrier, and a third means in the form of channels (16) to allow the carrier to be engaged with a suitable receiving device such as ribs (41) or rails (34) of a storage system for transportation, storage or filing.



Inventors:
Chapple, Bryn Lincoln (Auckland, NZ)
Application Number:
10/505567
Publication Date:
04/21/2005
Filing Date:
10/09/2003
Assignee:
CHAPPLE BRYN L.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/41.12, G9B/23.015, G9B/23.02, G9B/33.018, G9B/33.021
International Classes:
G11B23/023; G11B23/03; G11B33/04; (IPC1-7): B65D85/57
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
GEHMAN, BRYON P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Chicago) (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. 1-19. (canceled)

20. A carrier for holding computer, video or audio data media, the carrier comprising: a first side panel; a second side panel, the first and second side panels facing one another and spaced apart; a base disposed between and connected to the first and second side panels, the base having defined therein a channel shaped to engage a storage device, thereby permitting the carrier to be attached to and removed from the storage device; and a structure extending between the first and second side panels and adjacent to the base, the structure being configured to engage a plurality of sleeves so as to permit the plurality of sleeves to be attached to and removed from the carrier.

21. The carrier of claim 20, wherein the first side panel is connected to the base at substantially a right angle to the base.

22. The carrier of claim 20, wherein the first and second side panels are connected to the base at substantially right angles to the base.

23. The carrier of claim 22, wherein the first and second side panels are substantially parallel to one another.

24. The carrier of claim 20, wherein the structure is a first bar, the carrier further comprising a second bar that extends between the first and second panels, wherein the first and second bars are spaced apart from one another.

25. The carrier of claim 24, wherein the first and second bars are substantially parallel to one another.

26. The carrier of claim 24, wherein the second side panel has defined therein a first and a second aperture, wherein the first bar extends through the first aperture and the second bar extends through the second aperture.

27. The carrier of claim 26, wherein the first and second bars snap fit into the respective first and second apertures.

28. The carrier of claim 26, wherein the first and second bars are interference fit into the respective first and second apertures.

29. The carrier of claim 24, wherein the channel is a first channel, wherein the base has formed therein a second channel, and wherein the first and second channels are spaced apart from one another.

30. The carrier of claim 24, wherein the base extends along the width of each of the first and second side panels, wherein the bottom edge of the base forms a substantially straight edge that is interrupted by the first channel and the second channel, wherein the edge of the first panel extends from the substantially straight edge of the base, transitions into a first portion that is convex with respect to the base, then transitions into a portion that is concave with respect to the base, and then transitions second portion that is convex with respect to the base, wherein the edge of the second panel extends from the substantially straight edge of the base, transitions into a first portion that is convex with respect to the base, then transitions into a portion that is concave with respect to the base, and then transitions second portion that is convex with respect to the base, wherein the first bar extends from the first convex portion of the first panel to the first convex portion of the second panel, and wherein the second bar extends from the second convex portion of the first panel to the second convex portion of the second panel.

31. A carrier for holding computer-readable media, the carrier comprising: a base, the base having defined therein a first channel and a second channel; a first side panel; a second side panel; a first bar and a second bar each extending between the first and second side panels, the first and second bars being spaced apart, disposed above the first and second channels, and substantially parallel to one another, wherein: the first and second side panels are connected to the base at a substantially right angle such that the first and second side panels are facing one another, are spaced apart, and are substantially parallel to one another; the first and second channels extend from the first panel to the second panel, are spaced apart, and are substantially parallel to one another; the base extends along the width of each of the first and second side panels; the first side panel and the base form a first substantially straight edge that is broken by the cross-section of the first channel and the cross-section of the second channel; the second side panel and the base form a second substantially straight edge that is broken by the cross-section of the first channel and the cross-section of the second channel; the outer edge of the first panel extends from the first substantially straight edge of the base, transitions into a first portion that is convex with respect to the base, then transitions into a portion that is concave with respect to the base, and then transitions second portion that is convex with respect to the base; the outer edge of the second panel extends from the second substantially straight edge of the base, transitions into a first portion that is convex with respect to the base, then transitions into a portion that is concave with respect to the base, and then transitions second portion that is convex with respect to the base; the first bar extends from the first convex portion of the first panel to the first convex portion of the second panel; and the second bar extends from the second convex portion of the first panel to the second convex portion of the second panel.

32. The carrier of claim 31, wherein the first and second bars are cylindrical.

33. The carrier of claim 31, wherein the first and second channels have a bulbous cross-section.

34. The carrier of claim 31, wherein the first and second channels have a rectangular cross-section.

35. A storage system comprising: a plurality of substantially flat items, each item comprising: a sleeve, and an end section attached to the sleeve; a carrier for holding the plurality of substantially flat items, the carrier comprising: a first connecting portion, and a second connecting portion disposed opposite to the first connecting portion, wherein the end section of each of the plurality of substantially flat items and the first connecting portion of the carrier are configured to engage one another to temporarily attach the substantially flat item to the carrier; and a container comprising: a lid, a base, the base being disposed opposite to the lid when the container is in a closed position, and a connecting portion disposed between the lid and the base, wherein the connecting portion of the container and the second connecting portion of the carrier are configured to engage one another to temporarily attach the carrier to the container.

36. The storage system of claim 35, wherein the carrier is one of a plurality of carriers, each of which has a plurality of substantially flat items temporarily attached thereto, each of the plurality of carriers being temporarily attached to the container at the connecting portion.

37. A system for storing substantially flat articles, the system comprising: a carrier comprising a bar, and a base, wherein a channel is defined in the base; a plurality of sleeves, each of the plurality of sleeves comprising a pocket, wherein a cutout is defined on an edge of the sleeve, wherein the geometry of the cutout corresponds to that of the bar wherein the edge of each of the sleeves engages the bar at the cutout; and a storage device comprising a rail, wherein the geometry of the rail corresponds to that of the bar so as to allow the base of the carrier to engage the bar.

38. The system of claim 37, wherein the bar is a first bar, the carrier further comprising a second bar, wherein the cutout is a first cutout, a second cutout also being defined on the edge of the sleeve, the second cutout having substantially the same geometry as the first cutout; wherein the rail is a first rail, the storage device further comprising a second rail, the second rail having substantially the same geometry as the second rail.

39. The system of claim 38, wherein the storage device comprises a wallet comprising a base, a lid, and a hinge, the base and the lid being pivotally connected to one another by the hinge, and wherein the rails are disposed within the wallet.

40. The system of claim 38, wherein the storage device comprises a first adapter plate and a second adapter plate, the first and second rails being attached to, and extending between the first and second adapter plates, each adapter plate having a means for suspending the carrier.

41. The system of claim 40, wherein the means for suspending the carrier comprises a hook.

42. The system of claim 38, wherein the storage device further comprises a mounting plate, the first and second rails extending along a surface of the mounting plate.

43. The system of claim 42, wherein the storage device further comprises a pair of feet, each of the pair being attached to respective ends of the mounting plate.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a carrier and/or a system for carrying or storing substantially flat items. Such items could be CD's, Zip Drives, CD ROM's, DVD's or the like type of recording medium or devices such as sleeves in which they are stored. Of course other substantially flat items could comprise flat items that are intended to be carried or stored by means of this invention.

BACKGROUND ART

With substantially flat items such as, for example, CD's, Zip Drives, CD ROM's, DVD's or other substantially flat items such as sleeves for holding these items, it is often desired to transport them from one site to another. At present this requires that the items be unloaded from a first storage container, transferred to some form of carrying device, and then, usually, transferred to a second container or holder on site. This is of course disadvantageous in that in transferring the CD's or the like, damage can occur. Also there is always a risk of loss and groups of like items are not readily able to be grouped together. This is disadvantageous.

OBJECT

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a carrier which can also be used as a holding system for carrying objects which will obviate or minimise the foregoing disadvantages in a simple yet effective manner or which will at least provide the public with a useful choice.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the invention consists in a carrier for substantially flat items, the carrier having a first engagement means to removably receive one or more of the substantially flat items, in use, the carrier optionally being shaped and/or having at least a second engagement means to enable a number of carriers to be engaged one with another, and the carrier having a third engagement means to enable the carrier or a number of carriers to be placed in, or on, a selected one of a plurality of available receiving devices comprising transportation, storage or filing means.

Preferably the carrier comprises an elongated socket member having one or more webs or bars across the mouth thereof the webs or bars being engageable in use by a recess or recesses in the substantially flat item, or an item associated therewith.

Preferably the substantially flat item comprises a holder for CD's, Zip Drives, DVD's or the lice.

Preferably the second engagement means comprises co-operating apertures and protrusions on the carrier, such that two or more carriers can be removably serially connected.

Preferably the protrusions are a “snap” or interference fit within the co-operating apertures.

Preferably the third engagement means comprises one or more ribs or channels on the carrier engageable in use with channels or ribs on a receiving device.

Preferably the ribs have a bulbous end and the channels have a narrow mouth.

Preferably the channels are a “snap” or interference fit over the ribs.

Optionally the third engagement means comprises one or more apertures or protrusions on the carrier engageable with protrusions or apertures on the receiving device.

In a further aspect the invention to consists in a system for transporting substantially flat items, the system including at least a carrier according to any one of the preceding paragraphs.

Preferably the transportation means comprises one or more of a wallet, a container and/or a transportation plate.

Optionally the wallet, container or transportation plate is fitted with rails or channels or protrusions or apertures to connect with the third engagement means of the carriers.

In a still further aspect the invention consists in a system for storing or filing substantially flat items, the system including at least a carrier according to any one of the preceding paragraphs.

Preferably the system for storing or filing further includes a wallet, container, or mounting plate into or onto which the carrier can be positioned.

Preferably the wallet, container or mounting plate is fitted with rails or channels or protrusions or apertures to connect with the third engagement means of the carriers.

Optionally the mounting plate may be connected to adapter plates or legs, substantially at right angles to the mounting plate, such that the mounting plate complete with adapter plates or legs can sit or stand on a surface.

Optionally the adapter plates or legs are provided with hook means, such that the mounting plate complete with adapter plates or legs, can be supported within a typical office filing drawer, being supported on the rails contained therein.

Optionally the mounting plate may be curved.

Optionally the mounting plate whether flat or curved may be provided with end fittings to act as feet.

To those skilled in the art to which the invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. The disclosures and the description herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

One preferred form of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which,

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a carrier according to one preferred form of the invention,

FIG. 2 shows a flat item suitable for attachment to a carrier of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 shows a number of carriers of FIG. 1 connected together, and an unconnected carrier showing the protrusion used for engagement,

FIG. 4 shows the carrier of FIG. 1 in position inside a wallet or container,

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a number of carriers mounted on a transportation or storage device,

FIG. 6 shows a transportation or storage device fitted with adapter plates,

FIG. 7 shows a transportation or storage device fitted with mounting feet,

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention, and

FIGS. 9 to 11 are respectively plan, side elevation and end elevations of the embodiment of FIG. 8.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

With reference to FIG. 1, a carrier (10) is manufactured comprising at least a base portion (17) and two sides (12 and (13). Two spaced apart bars (11) and are supported by sides (12) and (13). Protrusions (14) extend from side (12) and apertures (15) are provided in side (13). Additionally two channels (16) preferably having a narrow mouth are set into the base portion (17).

With reference to FIG. 2, the carrier (10) is able to receive a substantially flat item (20) which in a preferred form comprises a sleeve with a cutout or number of cutouts (23) at one end thereof. The cut-out or cut-outs (23) have a narrow mouth. The cut-outs (23) of the substantially flat items which may comprise a sleeve to hold one or more CD's, Zip Drives, CD ROM's, DVD's or the like are engageable with the bars (11) of carrier (10).

The cut-out or cut-outs (23) are provided in an end section (21) of the substantially flat item (20) which is substantially narrower in thickness than the remainder of the substantially flat items in particular when one or more, such as two, CD's or the like are inserted in the sleeve.

FIG. 3 shows a construction wherein a number of carriers (10) are able to be connected together. This is achieved by the provision of suitable engagement means, which may comprise the protrusions (14) on one side of the carrier (10) and the corresponding apertures or sockets (15) on the other side. The protrusions (14) fit into the sockets (15) and may be a “snap” fit or interference fit, either of which is achieved by suitable shaping and sizing of the protrusions (14) and the receiving apertures (15).

Various carriers or storage components are provided in the system. FIG. 4 shows a wallet type construction (30), which has a base (31), and a lid (32) connected by a hinge at (33) such as a living plastic hinge. The channels 16 of the carrier 10 “snap” onto rails 34 provided in the wallet 30. That is to say the channels 16 and rails 34 are complementary. Alternatively an interference fit can be provided.

A transportation or mounting plate (40) or similar support is shown in FIG. 5 and inter-engagement means are provided to enable a carrier or carriers (10) to be engaged therewith. This may comprise, for example, the channels (16) having a narrow mouth on the underside of the carrier (10) which engage onto ribs (41), having a bulbous cross section. The ribs (41) and channels (16) can mate with a “snap” fit, or by introducing the (16) channels onto a section of the ribs (16) with a reduced cross section and then sliding the carrier (10) along the ribs (41). Generally a “snap” fit is preferred.

FIG. 5 shows a number of carriers (10) fitted to a plate (40) by these means, such that the carriers are substantially held onto the plate (40).

FIG. 6 shows a storage system for use in a typical office filing drawer. Two adapter plates (42) (only one shown) are attached to the ends of a mounting plate (40) The adapter plates are constructed with a book or hooks (44) on their top edges such that the storage system can be suspended from the side rails of a suspension drawer whilst allowing the storage system to be readily removed. The storage system can also be placed into an archiving box (not shown).

FIG. 7 shows a mounting plate (40) having a hump back shape, and also shows ribs (41) engaged with channels (16) on the underside of the carriers. Feet (43) are connected to the ends of the mounting plate (40).

In the embodiments of FIGS. 8 to 10, the channels (16) are differently shaped being substantially rectangular. A snap action is achieved by ribs (50) in the mouth of the channel (16) which snap over ribs (51) on a rail (52) (shown in FIG. 10). Alternatively the ribs (50) could be an interference or “squeeze” fit onto the side of a rail (51) which is not provided with ribs (51).

In summary, substantially flat items such as sleeves (20) may be engaged with the carrier (10). The carrier (10) may be contained in a wallet (30) for transportation or mounted on a plate (40) for transportation or storage. The plate may stand on a surface, be suspended in a drawer or placed into an archiving system. The carriers 10 may also be serially connected one to another.

Thus it can be seen that at least the preferred form of the invention a carrier and/or system for carrying and storage are provided which will enable substantially flat items such as carriers for CD's, Zip Drives, CD ROM's, DVD's or the like to be transferred from one place to another in a simple yet effective manner which frequently will not involve substantial separation and reconnection of the substantially flat items. This is advantageous. The construction is also economical in use of material, which is also advantageous.