Easy see CD/DVD & mini-disc case
Kind Code:

A movable panel (12) for cases but more specifically media cases for compact discs, digital video discs and mini-discs. Said panel is co-planer with top (10) in first position and non co-planer in second position. The bottom of the case (14) has a longitudinal channel (16) on the inside of the bottom sidewall. Each of these longitudinal channels is at an angle from the bottom of the case at an approximate 45-degrees. The channels are approximately one half inch in length and rise from the bottom of the case to the edge of the sidewall. There are offset radiuses (18) at each end of the longitudinal channels. The movable panel has extensions (22) on the bottom back surface of the panel that protrude down approximately ¼ inch. At the bottom of each of the extensions is a pin (20). The material constructing the parts is a styrene or resin plastic currently used in the manufacture of the commonly referred to jewel box. In the current case for compact disc is included a separate part that actually holds the compact disc inside the container: the disc tray (24). The movable panel design described above could be applied to the disc tray by way of an extension of the sidewalls of the disc tray. The mini-disc case (26) has smaller dimensions than the compact disc case or jewel box. The design elements above would still have an application to the case however. The mini-disc movable panel (28) would be a smaller area but would provide a surface to identify the content, which would not be available without physically handling each case. The movable panel of the mini-disc would have extensions along the rear of the panel (30) one on each side. The opposing sidewalls of the case toward the leading edge would have a longitudinal channel that the extensions from the movable panel would interact with to form a co-planer first position and a non co-planer second position.

Richardson, Craig Allen (Troy, MI, US)
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
I claim:

1. A easy see content identification media container comprising: a. top surface; bottom surface; sidewalls; first sidewall having first engagement feature; second sidewall having second engagement feature; a movable panel that operates between first position wherein said movable panel is co-planer with said top surface and a said second position where said panel is not co-planer with top position. b. media tray a single surface with extended sidewalls; first sidewall having first engagement feature; second sidewall having second engagement feature, and a moveable panel that operates between first position wherein said movable panel is co-planer with said top surface and a said second position where said panel is not co-planer with top position. c. a movable panel can be removed and replaced and can be produced in a variety of ways, shapes, colors, materials and present a surface for the application of various labels, shapes, colors and materials.



Provisional Patent Application Number 60/576,761 Filed Jun. 3, 2004


Not Applicable


Not Applicable


This invention relates to the ability to identify the content of cases, more specifically compact disc, digital videodisc, or mini-disc containers.


Cases for the purpose of holding, protecting and identifying compact discs, digital videodiscs, and mini-discs have been in existence in various designs since the “disc” format came into the public domain. The design of these cases has not been significantly changed since that time. The basic design incorporates a base, into which is placed a disc tray for the purpose of holding the compact disc, and a hinged top that pivots over the base and encloses the tray and forms the “case”. The problem that has existed from the onset with these designs and continues to this day is the ability to easily identify the content of the material contained within the each case. Currently without physically handling the containers to read the ¼ inch “spine label” area provided for this purpose or to expose the complete case to look at the front of the approximate 5 inch by 5 and a half inch top, or opening the case and removing the disc, there is no easy way to identify the contents. Identification of the content of these cases by the “spine label” area provided by the manufacturers of these containers while the cases are in a storage unit is very difficult for people with 20/20 vision and almost impossible for anyone with a sight issue unless physically handling each case. The existing design of the containers requires that in most instances each individual case is going to have to be physically touched to allow for the contents to be identified. This is inconvenient, time consuming, frustrating and demanding to the consumers. Data storage in these containers makes a argument that the design currently in use could be life threatening: the inability to rapidly locate data or information needed to react to a variety of situations because of content identification issues is directly related. Rapid data retrieval directly relates to safety in today's world.

The current design of these cases does not allow for any type of individualization, personalization or unique ways for identification. The standard 3-piece compact disc container or “jewel box” is constructed of a top, bottom and disc tray. The mini-disc container is usually 2 pieces: a top and bottom. These pieces are formed usually of clear plastic, or colored plastic. Sometimes the base and top are clear plastic with the disc tray either white or black. None of these designs, or combinations provides a way of clearly identifying the content contained within the case from the side or spine label area. Mini-disc containers have no spine label area due to their case design and size.


The patent applied for is a much needed design improvement over the cases currently in use because it provides identification surface that is, in most cases, more than two times larger than the stationary area currently used for content identification.

Jerry Long et al. reveal in U.S. Pat. No. 4,478,335 a diskette storage container formed of three molded plastic parts which are pivotally connected together. A substantially rectangular base member has upwardly rising side walls, a display operative in the bottom and cans adjacent the side walls. A cover member is pivotally connected to the base so that the rear edge of the cover passes into the bas and rests at a slightly obtuse angle against the cams. As will be seen herein below, this type of construction differs markedly from that of the present invention.

Isidore Philosophe et al. reveal in U.S. Pat. No. 4,702,369 a compact disc container that provides the design of most containers used today. It also fails as does all previous art in this area by not providing a way to rapidly and easily identify the content within the case from other than a frontal view. My invention does this through the addition of a movable panel integrated into the design elements of the previously produced containers yet, by adding this piece makes it totally new, unique and useful.

In U.S. Pat. No. 4,368,817, Louis Temesvary shows a unitary hinged box-type container for enclosing contents such as flexible disk packages including complementary top and bottom portions, connected by an intermediate hinge. The portions mate together to form an enclosed box in closed position and furthermore there is provided an open position locking device for securing the container in open position with the top portion rotated approximately 270 degrees about the hinge from the closed position. As will be see, this is substantially different from what is contemplated within the scope of the present invention.

Mini-Disc cases currently in use are too small for spine label and generally rely on the disc itself to provide content identification. My patent allows for easy content identification for Mini-Disc containers as well. My patent also allows more options for identification. My patent application consists of a movable part not currently manufactured in any compact disc, digital videodisc or mini-disc container. My patent application provides for this movable part to be a panel directly located above the current area commonly referred to as the spine label. (See drawing #02) This panel would be movable from its closed position to a fully extended position that would allow it to move out from resting or closed position to a position extending out and over at approximately a 45 degree angle to the flat spine label edge of the case (See drawing #04). This panel would be either attached to the base of the case or the disc tray. It would be done by way of an extension from the panel at each end with a pin extending outward from the extensions that would interface with a channel provided within the interior of the base. These channels would have a slight radius offset at each end to allow for a pressure fit in both the fully closed and fully extended position. The panel provides an additional surface for identification. This panel surface would provide an easy way of identifying the content within the subject cases. The surface of this movable panel is approximately one half inch which is approximately two times the surface currently allowed for spine label content identification. This additional “top” surface and larger area will allow for larger print labeling to be used and increase the potential uses for purposes of identification not currently available. The movable panel when extended to its full open position presents the content identification information in a easily readable size. And when the panel is fully extended the angle of the panel would not interfere with another container either above or below it even if that container should have the movable panel extended also. The design allows for containers to be stacked upon one another or side by side with the movable panel extended without interference to the containers above, below or to the side. The panel is removable and as a separate piece would offer a wide variety of uses and options. For instance: this panel could be manufactured in different colors thereby allowing for the content or case to identify by its color. The movable panel could be embossed with Braille so sightless persons would have the ability to “read” the panel instead of handling each individual compact disc or container, as they currently must do. Labeling, embossing, die cutting, or a variety of other ways would allow for content identification of the cases not available until this design. People, companies or organizations could personalize the panels.

This patent application design is an improvement that will allow for rapid, easy identification of the content within the cases of compact disc, dvd, and mini-disc containers. It will affect everyone and is a breakthrough design for those who may be visually impaired, or blind if Braille is used on the movable panel.

This patent application movable panel design is an improvement over existing compact discs or dvd containers commonly referred to as jewel boxes. My patent although offering tremendous advantages over previous designs does not change the outer dimensions of these jewel box containers or impact the opening or closing of the top over the base. My design retains all the current outside dimensions of the cases currently in use that are referred to as jewel boxes. As a result the benefit is that all current shipping, storage, packaging, display, and security items are not affected. Increases in raw material to implement the new design should not be an issue. Material used in the manufacture of the current container is rearranged. The movable panel piece can be automated and integrated into normal production methods.


In accordance with the present invention media cases that provide a movable (identification) panel that comprises the panel itself and a way of having said panel interact with a base through extensions from the panel to the base.


#02. Overview with dimensions listed for outer area of CD/DVD cases currently in use.

#04. Side view of inner case movable panel in motion

#06. Side view of inner case slide interaction with transparent view of base of case

#08. Isometric view of inner CD/DVD container with movable panel in full extension

#10. Overview of common CD/DVD container incorporating new “Easy See” design.

#12. Front and side view of movable panel.

#14. Overview showing dimensions and design related to mini-disc case.


  • 10 top of case
  • 14 bottom of case
  • 18 radius
  • 22 extensions
  • 26 mini-disc case
  • 12 movable panel
  • 16 longitudinal channel
  • 20 extension pin
  • 24 disc tray
  • 28 mini-disc movable panel


Preferred Embodiment

The commonly referred to jewel box or compact disc container is illustrated in FIG. 1. The dimensions are shown. The case is made of a styrene injection molded material or a similar material conducive to injection molding which is the manufacturing process used. The compact disc case is made up of three pieces: the top (1) that pivots over the base (2) that encloses the disc tray (3) forming an enclosed case for the disc inside. The patent applied for is reflected in both FIG. 2. and FIGS. 1A through 1D. The design reflects the addition to the standard jewel box case of longitudinal channels along one end of the case on opposing sidewalls of the base. These channels are approximately ½ inch long are 1/16 inch deep and are angled from the bottom of the case towards the front edge at approximately a 45 degree angle as shown in FIG. 2. In drawing #04; FIG. 1A to 1D the design is shown incorporated into the base with the panel in the fully open to the fully closed position. This view demonstrates the movement of the panel extensions with the extension pins interacting within the channel tracks described above. By a slight pressure to the panel, the pins will interact with the slightly offset radiuses at the end of the channel track and a pressure fit will occur at the fully open and fully closed position. Applying a slight forward pressure to the panel in the fully closed position will move the panel forward and down. When in the fully extended position the panel will rest at an approximate 45-degree angle from the stationary edge of the case or spine label area. The full surface of the movable panel of ½ inch width and approximately 4½ inches in length will be visible.

In drawing #06 the same design application is shown within the design of the disc tray that is inserted into the base and is supported by the base sidewalls and bottom. In this illustration the disc tray would have extensions on each side that would meet up with the front edge of the case. Into these opposing extensions the channels would be formed. The movable panel with extensions and pins would then interact with the channels and the panel would then be able to move as illustrated with the same result as in the above example of the case operation. The panel with its larger surface would be completely visible. In the drawing #26 the mini-disc case is illustrated with dimensions. The case consists of (normally) two parts: a top and bottom. The mini disc rests on a impression that is molded (normally) into the bottom of the case. The top of the case pivots open and closes over the base to form the case. In drawing #28 the new design is illustrated for the patent applied for. The result of the movable panel design would be a way to identify content of these containers that is not available now. Each container because of its small size demands that content be identified by physically touching each container. Implementation of my design would allow for stacking of these discs one upon the other with panels extended yet not interfering with the container to the top or bottom or if sideways to the container next to it. These designs would be implemented by injection molding the parts, which is the current common practice method of manufacturing the cases. Styrene or any of the materials used in the current process could continue to be used.


The panel presents a larger surface for content identification and the ability to move this panel to an outward angle provides a way to easily identify the contents contained within. The benefit of this panel at its fully opened position is the timesavings and convenience it is going to provide to the consumers. No longer will it be necessary for people with poor vision to require glasses to identify the material they want to select. The panel will allow for easy identification without handling each container for content. The panels offer unlimited opportunities for individualization and personalization that have never been available before this design. The panels can provide vast potential creative outlets in both the marketing and sales of entertainment products never before available.

Both sighted and sightless people will have the benefit of the larger surface labeling area for content identification. Braille labels because of the larger surface will now be able to be applied and allow the blind to “read” the label on the movable panel rather than handle each individual case as they do now. Large users of data material that are stored in these cases will have the ability to quickly retrieve the container of their needs because the larger panel surface will allow for more rapid identification. There is no end to the possible options, efficiencies, and convenience this design is going to provide. Virtually every individual on the planet will somehow be affected by this design. The design is unique, new and useful. It can be adapted to suit the needs of the consumer to make it more personally convenient for their use. Industry can use it and improve efficiency. Professionals will be able to utilize its easy identification to save time and possibly lives.

Conclusions, Ramifications and Scope

Accordingly, this movable identification panel will allow the content to be more easily identified. One of the major drawbacks to the current design of these media container is that the consumer has difficulty identifying the material they wish to purchase at the store and once they get it home being able to easily identify it from the spine label area. People over age 40 are the largest consumers of compact disc material by age. And although the larger surface provided will help everyone, the people who currently purchase most of the products on compact discs have indicated they would purchase more if they could easily identify the material in the cases both when they went to purchase and when they had it in their homes. The ramifications of this is that a whole industry would be impacted. The benefit to the industry would be enormous and the resulting implications to the economy would be positive beyond estimation when the related industries are taken into account. The problem of identification of the content of these containers is not confined to one geographical location. It is a worldwide problem. Therefore this design offers a worldwide solution. There is not a person in the world who would not in some way benefit from this design. Weather they take advantage of the new design when they purchase material or are the benefactor of the rapid, easy retrieval of data that is providing them a service. There is a problem with content identification of media cases. It affects an industry and the people who support that industry: US! It is a worldwide problem. This case design would solve the problem of identification, for the industry, for the people and for the world. Because of the implications of this design with regard to efficiency, time savings and convenience I have contacted the Federal Services Administration with regard to this design possibly impacting the Homeland Security issue.

The design by retaining the outside dimensions of the cases known as jewel boxes allows the ability for packaging, shipping, storage, racking, and security issues currently in use to be retained. Material used in the manufacture of the current case will not be impacted to a major degree. Installation of the movable panel could be automated and therefore minimizing the cost for the benefit and features the design provides.

Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.

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