Title:
Frame for displaying slips of sheet material
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Fortune cookie fortunes or other small slips of sheet material are displayed in a frame comprising: a base on which a fortune message is mounted, a transparent panel overlying the fortune message and a retaining rim which fits over the transparent panel and latches to the base. A strip of magnetic material is adhered to the back of the base for mounting the display on a surface, such as the door or side of a refrigerator.



Inventors:
Beigel, Winston Daniel (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/205030
Publication Date:
08/24/2006
Filing Date:
08/17/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENEZES, MARCUS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLEN, WHITE, ZELANO & BRANIGAN, P.C. (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A frame for displaying a slip of sheet material, comprising: a base having a front side, a rear side and a peripheral wall defining an area providing a compartment having a floor recessed with respect to the peripheral wall, the floor providing a backing for a slip of sheet material; a transparent panel received within the area defined by the peripheral wall and covering the floor to sandwich the slip between the floor and the transparent panel; a retaining rim defining a window therein and having at least one latch member for latching with a complimentary latch member on the base to hold the rim seated against the transparent panel with the slip visible through the window; and magnetic material fixed to the rear side of the frame for retaining the frame against a magnetizable surface.

2. The frame of claim 1, wherein the floor has an adhesive surface for holding the slip of sheet material.

3. The frame of claim 1, wherein the magnet is at least one strip of magnetic material adhered to the rear side of the frame.

4. The frame of claim 3, wherein the frame is made of plastic material.

5. The frame of claim 1, wherein the latch member on the retaining rim is a projecting detent which extends into a recess accessible from the rear side of the base and latches with a complimentary surface on the base adjacent to the recess.

6. The frame of claim 1, wherein there are two latch members configured as detents on opposed sides of the retaining rim which engage with complimentary surfaces adjacent to recesses through the rear side of the base.

7. The frame of claim 6, wherein the transparent plate abuts an internal shoulder projecting from the peripheral wall above the floor.

8. The frame of claim 1, wherein the transparent plate abuts an internal shoulder projecting from the peripheral wall above the floor.

9. The frame of claim 2, wherein the transparent plate abuts an internal shoulder projecting from the peripheral wall above the floor.

10. In combination with a slip of sheet material having a fortune or number thereon from a fortune cookie, a frame comprising: a base having a front side, a rear side and a peripheral wall defining an area providing a compartment having a floor recessed with respect to the peripheral wall, the floor providing a backing for a slip of sheet material; a transparent panel received within the area defined by the peripheral wall and covering the floor to sandwich the slip between the floor and the transparent panel; a retaining rim defining a window therein and having at least one latch member for latching with a complimentary latch member on the base to hold the rim seated against the transparent panel with the slip visible through the window; and magnetic material fixed to the rear side of the frame for retaining the frame against a magnetizable surface.

11. The frame of claim 10, wherein the floor has an adhesive surface for holding the slip of sheet material.

12. The frame of claim 10, wherein the magnet is at least one strip of magnetic material adhered to the rear side of the frame.

13. The frame of claim 10, wherein the frame is made of plastic material.

14. The frame of claim 10, wherein the latch member on the retaining rim is a projecting detent that extends into a recess accessible from the rear side of the base and latches with a complimentary surface on the base adjacent to the recess.

15. The frame of claim 10 wherein there are two opposed notched latch members on opposite sides of the retaining rim, each latch member being configured as a projecting detent that extends into a recess through the base and latches with a complementary surface on the base adjacent to the recess.

16. The frame of claim 10, wherein the floor has an adhesive surface for holding the slip of sheet material.

17. The frame of claim 15 wherein the frame is made of plastic material.

Description:

RELATED PATENT APPLICATION

U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/655,474, filed Feb. 2, 2005, to which Applicant claims priority.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a frame for displaying slips of sheet material. More particularly, the present invention is directed to frames for displaying slips of sheet material wherein the frames are magnetically attached to ferrous surfaces, such as the surfaces of a refrigerator.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Fortune cookies have slips of sheet material in the form of paper slips with fortunes printed on the paper slips or with other information such as selected lottery numbers printed on the paper slips. People tend to collect these paper slips for future reference. Some messages and numbers on these slips appear to have significance greater than others. Accordingly, there is a need to conveniently display these messages or numbers in a conveniently accessible location to remind and perhaps titillate people possessing these messages.

With the advent of relatively powerful permanent magnets, people tend to festoon their refrigerators with various messages and images. Fortune cookie messages are necessarily rather small. If held in place with a permanent magnets, portions of the messages may be obscured. Consequently, there is a need for an attractive, convenient way to display fortune cookie messages on locations such as refrigerators, wherein the messages are readily interchangeable and are attractively presented.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the aforementioned considerations, a frame is provided for displaying a slip of sheet material, wherein the frame comprises a base having a peripheral wall defining a compartment having a floor recessed with respect to the peripheral wall, the floor providing a backing for the slip of sheet material. The slip of sheet material is covered by a transparent panel, and is held in place on the base by a retaining rim having at least one latch member for latching with a complementary latch member on the base to hold the rim seated against the transparent panel with the slip visible through a window defined by the rim. Magnetic material is fixed to the rear side of the frame for retaining the frame against a magnetizable surface.

In a further aspect, the floor has an adhesive surface for preferably releasably holding the slip of sheet material.

In still a further aspect of the invention, the magnetic material is at least one strip of magnetic material adhered to the rear side of the frame, in which the frame is preferably made of plastic material.

In still a further aspect of the invention, the latch member on the retaining rim is a projecting detent which extends into a recess accessible from the rear side of the base, the latch member latching with a complementary surface on the base adjacent to the recess.

In still a further aspect of the invention, there are two latch members configured as detents on opposed sides of the retaining ring that engage complementary surfaces disposed adjacent to recesses through the rear side of the base.

In still a further aspect of the invention, the frame is in combination with the slip of material wherein the slip of material is a message or number from a fortune cookie.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various features and attendant advantages of the present invention will be more fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fortune cookie message shown being extracted from a fortune cookie;

FIG. 2 is perspective view of a refrigerator with a message, such as but not limited to, a fortune message from the fortune cookie of FIG. 1 mounted as a display in a frame in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the frame and fortune message display of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged front view of the display of FIGS. 2 and 3;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged rear view of the display of FIGS. 2-4;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged long side view of the fortune cookie display of FIGS. 2-5;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged short side view of the display of FIGS. 1-6, and

FIG. 8 is an elevational view taken on lines 8-8 of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIG. 1 there is shown a fortune cookie 10 which has a message 11 printed on a slip of sheet material 12. It is customary following a meal for fortune cookies 10 to be distributed to almost every Chinese restaurant in America as well as many locations internationally. The fortune cookie fortunes 11 on the slip of sheet material 12 often contain messages 11 or lucky numbers, such as lottery numbers, that people find to be fortuitous, inspiring, romantic, enlightening or even humorous. For these reasons, many people delight in retaining these slips of sheet material long after reading them.

Unfortunately, many people, for lack of an appropriate display for the messages 11, end up taping or magnetically holding with out a frame, the slips 12 to appliances such as refrigerators or stoves, or the slips 12 simply sit in their wallets or purses for long periods of time.

In accordance with the present invention, the slips 12, which are preferably made of paper, are mounted in a display 14 configured as a frame 15 having a window 16 behind which the slip 12 is mounted. The display 14 has a magnet associated therewith for mounting the display 14 on a magnetizable surface such as a ferrous surface 20 of a refrigerator door 21 or side panel 22 (see FIG. 2). As will be explained hereinafter, the display 14 is readily detachable from and mounted on the panel 20 and the slip 12 is conveniently replaceable. A purpose of the display 14 is to protect the slip 12 so that it will better stand the test of time.

Referring now mainly to FIG. 3 where the display 14 is shown in an exploded perspective view, it is seen that the display has a rectangular base 30 with a peripheral rim 32 having four sides 34, 35, 36 and 37, which have beveled outside surfaces that intersect a planar front surfaces 40. The planar front surface 40 defines a rectangular compartment 42 having a floor 44 surrounded by a shoulder 46 indented from the front surface 40. The shoulder 44 has an adhesive surface 48 upon which a slip of sheet material 12, preferably containing a message 11 in the form of a fortune from a fortune cookie, is mounted.

Preferably, the base 30 has a strip of magnetic material 50 attached on its rear side 52 by releasable adhesive. The magnet 50 is preferably a single strip magnet with sufficient magnetic force to hold the display 14 in place on the surface of a refrigerator or stove when subject to the occasional jarring due to closing an appliance door, yet being readily removable from the appliance by hand.

Preferably, an informational strip 55 informing the purchaser of the display 14 to place “YOUR FORTUNE HERE” is releasably placed over the adhesive area 48 and is peelable from the adhesive area 48 to place a slip of sheet material 12 containing “fortune” in the form of a message 11 thereon.

A transparent plate 60 covers the peel strip 55 prior to first use of the display 14 and has dimensions slightly less than the floor 44 so that the transparent plate 60 rests against the peel strip 55 prior to purchase of the display 14 after purchase, the transparent plate 60 abuts the slip of sheet material 12 when the fortune message 11 is mounted. The transparent plate 60 is surrounded by the shoulder 46.

A retaining rim 66 has the window 16 therein which is dimensionally smaller than the transparent plate 60 so that the rim 66 fits over the plate 60 and sandwiches the plate 60, peel strip 55 or message strip 12 between the adhesive surface 48 on the floor 44 of the base 30 and the retaining rim 66. A retaining rim 66 has an outer rectangular dimension greater than the rectangular dimension of the shoulder 46 so that the retaining rim 66 is received in the rectangular compartment 42 and rests on the shoulder 46, with the surface 68 of the retaining rim 66 being generally coplanar with the front face 40 of the base 30.

The assembled display 14 has a front view similar to FIG. 4, a back view similar to FIG. 5, a long-side view similar to FIG. 6, and a short-side view similar to FIG. 7 and a cross section similar to FIG. 8. As is evident from FIGS. 6 and 7, the depth of the display 14 is substantially less than the width and height providing a compact frame for mounting and displaying the slip of sheet material 12.

As is seen in FIG. 8 as well as FIGS. 3 and 5, to facilitate having a compact display 14 that is easily assembled and disassembled for inserting and replacing fortune messages 11 the retaining ring 66 has first and second latching members 72 and 74 in the form of detents having outwardly projecting latching shoulders 76 and 78, respectively. The detents 72 and 74 are received through recesses 80 and 82 in the floor 44 of the base 14 (see FIGS. 3 and 5). The shoulders 76 and 78 formed on the notched detents 72 and 74 snap over bottom surface portions 84 and 86 of the back surface 52 of the base 14 to keep the rim 66 latched to the base. The magnetic strip 50 fits between the recesses 80 and 82, and has a thickness T approximating the distance that the notched detents 72 and 74 project beyond the surface portions 84 and 86 of the back face 52 of base 14. Consequently, the detents 72 and 74 do not interfere with mounting of the display 14 on a flat surface such as the flat appliance surfaces 21 and 22 of the refrigerator 20 (see FIG. 2). When it is desired to replace the message 11, on the slip 12, the notched detents 72 and 74 are squeezed together between one's thumbnail and index fingernail so that the shoulders 76 and 78 clear the wall portions 84 and 86. This allows the retaining rim 66 to be removed from the base 14 so that the transparent plate 60 is also removable or can drop away from the floor 44 exposing the adhesive surface 48 and either the peel strip 55 or a mounted slip 12 for removal from the adhesive 48. After the slip 12 is replaced to change the message 11, the transparent plate 60 is placed over the slip 12 and the retaining rim 66 is pressed into the rectangular recess 42 so that the notched detents 72 and 74 pass through the recesses 80 and 82 and snap the shoulder 76 and 78 behind the surfaces 84 and 86 of the base 14.

It is preferable that the components of the display 14 be molded from plastic material.

From the foregoing description, one skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of this invention and, without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, can make various changes and modifications of the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions.