Title:
Disposable security frame
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable security frame for CDs, DVDs and the like having a frame with four walls and a shelf around the perimeter of the walls to hold the jewel case for the CD or DVD. A flap hingedly connected at the top and the bottom for covering a portion of the top of the frame for securing the jewel case therein. A locking mechanism for engaging a locking column on the hinge to a lock housing on the outside walls of the frame to lock the flap to the frame. A key for unlocking the flaps. A thinned portion of the frame for cutting though to release the jewel case. The flaps being of small length to covers small portion of the top, saving material, lowering the cost and reducing the amount of space needed to store open frames. The frame tilted by standing on tilted housing walls.



Inventors:
Sykes, Philip K. (Shoreview, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/258959
Publication Date:
04/26/2007
Filing Date:
10/26/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIDEI, DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DeWitt LLP (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A security frame comprising: A frame having a front wall, a back wall, a right side wall and a left side wall, a flange extending on the inside of the walls at the bottom thereof forming a support for objects placed inside the frame, a first flap hingedly attached to the top of the front wall and a second flap hingedly attached to the top of the back wall, a lock housing having locking tines therein attached to the outside of the right wall near the front wall, a lock housing having locking tines therein attached to the outside of the left wall near the front wall, a lock housing having locking tines therein attached to the outside of the right wall near the back wall, a lock housing having locking tines therein attached to the outside of the left wall near the back wall, the first flap and the second flap having a locking column extending upward from the flap at each end of the flap, such that as the flap is hingedly rotated the locking columns on the respective flaps engage the locking tines in the lock housing thereby locking the flaps to the top of the frame and preventing the object in the frame from being removed.

2. A security frame as in claim 1 wherein, an EAS tab on the first flap for inserting an EAS tag for deterring shoplifting.

3. A security frame as in claim 1 wherein, the right wall and the left wall have a curved thinned portion for ease of cutting the walls to open the frame, an indented portion of the shelf on the inside wall adjacent the curved thinned portion of the right and left walls such that cutting the walls and a small portion of the shelf on the right and left walls will cut open the frame and release the object inside the frame.

4. A security frame as in claim 1 wherein, the flaps have a locking column with an arrow head at the top for engaging the locking tines in the locking housing.

5. A security frame as in claim 4 wherein, the flaps have a wall adjacent the column aligned with the walls inside edge to align the flap with the right side and left side walls.

6. A security frame as in claim 4 wherein, the flaps have an aperture adjacent the front and back of the column for insertion of a key.

7. A security frame as in claim 1 wherein, the outer walls of the locking housings are angled such that the frame tilts from perpendicular when resting on the outer walls of the locking housings.

8. A security frame comprising: A frame having a front wall, a back wall, a right side wall and a left side wall, a flange extending on the inside of the walls at the bottom thereof forming a support for objects placed inside the frame, a flap hingedly attached to the top of the front wall, a lock housing having locking tines therein attached to the outside of the right wall near the front wall, a lock housing having locking tines therein attached to the outside of the left wall near the front wall, a housing attached to the outside of the right wall near the bottom wall, a housing attached to the outside of the left wall near the bottom wall, a flange across the top of the frame adjacent the bottom wall, the flap having a locking column extending upward from the flap at each end of the flap, such that as the flap is hingedly rotated the locking columns on the respective flaps engage the locking tines in the lock housing thereby locking the flaps to the top of the frame and preventing the object in the frame from being removed.

9. A security frame as in claim 8 wherein, an EAS tab on the flap for inserting an EAS tag for deterring shoplifting.

10. A security frame as in claim 8 wherein, the right wall and the left wall have a curved thinned portion for ease of cutting the walls to open the frame, an indented portion of the shelf on the inside wall adjacent the curved thinned portion of the right and left walls such that cutting the walls and a small portion of the shelf on the right and left walls will cut open the frame and release the object inside the frame.

11. A security frame as in claim 8 wherein, the flap has a locking column with an arrow head at the top for engaging the locking tines in the locking housing.

12. A security frame as in claim 11 wherein, the flaps have a wall adjacent the column aligned with the walls inside edge to align the flap with the right side and left side walls.

13. A security frame as in claim 11 wherein, the flap has an aperture adjacent the front and back of the column for insertion of a key.

14. A security frame as in claim 1 wherein, the outer walls of the locking housings and the housings are angled such that the frame tilts from perpendicular when resting on the outer walls of the locking housing and the housing.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to security packages used in retail sales of CDs and the like to deter theft of the packages, or tampering with or removal of the package and its contents.

2. Description of the Related Art

CDs and like products are currently offered in plastic jewel cases and then shrink-wrapped to secure the contents against tampering in stores.

Unfortunately, people have been entering stores and stealing the jewel case and its contents or slitting and discarding the shrink-wrap, removing the media contents from the jewel case and then replacing the empty jewel case on shelf. When a customer later selects the product and does not notice the shrink-wrap is slit, they may purchase the item and take it home only to discover the media is missing. Stores are subsequently embarrassed when they learn from an irate customer that they have sold an empty CD jewel case and that store personnel failed to notice the jewel case had been tampered with.

Store shelving displays for CDs and like products are built to mirror the studio package size of the CDs, resulting in the fact that there is not much additional room on the shelves for surrounding the CD with a security package.

Current security packages, in addition to being much larger than the CD product, are expensive and require intensive amounts of labor to install the product in the security package at the store and to remove the CD jewel case from the security package at the checkout counter, so that the security package can be reused. Existing security packages may also interfere with the visibility of CD program description the customer wants to read on the package. Further, current security packages have large hinged latches or covers to secure the CD, which requires substantial material and also occupies substantial space when the security package is opened after checkout.

The cost of prior art security packages have been high due to high material component costs and the volume of material required to inhibit media theft. Due to these design constraints, current CD type security packages must be repeatedly applied and then removed at check out so that the customer can take the product home unencumbered by the security packaging. The store must handle numerous unlocked security packages which occupy space under check out counters and in back rooms. It is desirable to have a smaller sized security package which deters theft and can be easily opened and recycled by consumers after purchase.

Presently, most CD security packages are designed to stand upright on shelving which is not the desired position on the shelf. It is desired that the security package tilt backwards to always display the CD title and to aid in grasping and removing the product from the shelf.

Security packages with large hinged frames offer leverage between the hinge and the leading edge of the cover of the security package for thieves to breach when prying packages open. It is desirable to reduce the distance from the hinge to the leading edge of the cover. Further the hinge to leading edge distance leads to alignment inaccuracies in the locking mechanism between the cover and the frame of the security package. A smaller hinge to leading edge distance results in less travel and more accurate alignment for locking the security package.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The security package deters tampering with the media contained in the package and protects the shrink-wrap from being slit open. The security package is minimally larger than the studio package containing the media so that it fits easily in existing display racks in the stores, which are designed for the size of the CD or other product contained in similar packaging. The security package is also made thin, economically reducing the amount of material employed, thus lowering the cost of the security investment. Further, the security package minimally surrounds the media making it easier to read portions of the packaging and allowing a complimentary reduction in the amount of material used.

The security packaging material can be made of a clear see-through material to allow the customer to read the CD program information without interference. This material also allows the automated scanning of UPC numbers through the security package for rapid purchasing and checkout at a store.

Since the security packaging is thin and uses less material, the cost is reduced, allowing the security packaging to be applied at the point of production, thus providing the retailers a cost reduction for the labor of applying the security packaging and avoiding the need to recycle the security package at the store. Since the security package is low cost, the store may elect not to remove the security packaging at the checkout register and reuse it.

The security package has a thinned cuttable portion such that a customer can remove the security package at home. This also saves time and expense at the store since keys and other devices do not have to be used at the store to remove the CD from the security package.

Since the security package surrounds the opening flaps of CD packages, it deters unauthorized removal of the media inside, reduces shoplifting and the associated returns resulting from customers' purchasing an empty package.

The security package has a key to unlock the security package at the store in cases where it is desired to remove the security package for the customer at check out, or where the store wishes to remove the product from the security package to reuse it on alternate CD inventory.

The security package may have a built-in pocket for an EAS (electronic article surveillance) tag to be placed inside to deter thefts.

The security package has an end flap, which closes and locks to secure the jewel case therein. The end flap has a short length between the hinge and the leading edge for a more accurate alignment with the locking mechanism and for providing less leverage for thieves to pry up the end flap.

The end flap being smaller than a cover extending over the entire front face of the security package uses less material and occupies less space when shipped or stored in the open position.

The security package has locking mechanism housings with outer walls that are angled to tilt the security package backwards when on the shelf to provide for easily lifting the security package off the shelf.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to reduce the cost of security packaging by reducing the amount of material used to make the packaging.

It is an object of the invention to increase the alignment accuracy of the security package locking mechanism.

It is an object of the invention to reduce the leverage available for prying the package open.

It is an object of the invention to reduce the size of an open security package.

It is an object of the invention to provide a space for an EAS tag on the security package.

It is an object of the invention to provide for a security package that will tilt backwards on the shelf.

It is an object of the invention to provide a security package that can easily be locked and unlocked,

It is an object of the invention to provide a security package that can be easily cut open and disposed of by the end user.

Other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of the disposable security frame with the flaps open.

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the disposable security frame with the flaps open.

FIG. 3 is a side view of a flap and lock mechanism in the open position.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a flap and lock mechanism in the closed position with a key for opening the lock.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the disposable security frame in the open position showing the tilt of the lock housing.

FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the disposable security frame in the closed position housing a CD jewel case.

FIG. 7 is a bottom perspective view showing the cuttable wall portion of the two flap security package.

FIG. 8 is a top perspective view of the disposable security frame having one flap with the flap open.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A two flap disposable security frame 10 for holding CD jewel cases is shown. It has a flap 20 on each end of the two flap disposable security frame 10 for folding over and securing in place a CD jewel case 30.

Each flap 20 is secured to the two flap disposable security frame 10 by a living hinge 12 composed of material having concave surfaces 14 for folding the material easily at the concave position which thins the material. The hinge 12 has alternating portions with spaces, 16 and material with concave surfaces 14.

One flap 20 has a tab 22 for placing an EAS for electronically detecting the security frame 10 in case of attempted theft. The contents of the tab 22 are secure when the flap 20 is in the locked position.

Although any locking mechanism to lock the flap 20 to the lock housing 40 on the two flap disposable security frame 10 may be used the embodiment shown has a locking column 50 with an arrow head 52 attached to the flaps 20, for engaging locking tines 62 in locking housing 60 other locking means such as in U.S. Pat. No. 6,311,531 entitled Security Strap, issued Nov. 6, 2001, U.S. Pat. No. 6,886,688 entitled Security Package issued May 3, 2005, U.S. Pat. No. 6,920,976 entitled Security Frame issued Jul. 26, 2005, U.S. Pat. No. 6,102,200 entitled Security Package with Asymmetric Lock issued Aug. 15, 2000, or U.S. Pat. No. 6,321,905 entitled Security Package, issued Nov. 27, 2001 which are attached hereto and made a part hereof by reference may be used.

As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4 when the two flap disposable security frame 10 is being locked the flap 20 is moved on living hinge 12 bending at the concave portion 14 until the arrowhead 52 on locking column 50 engages locking tines 62 in housing 60 which engages and locks the arrowhead 52 under the tines 62 as shown in FIG. 4 to lock the flap 20 onto the two flap disposable security frame 10.

To unlock the flap 20 a key 70 with arms 72 are inserted though apertures 56 on either side of column 50. The arms 56 push aside the tines 62 allowing the arrowhead 52 on column 50 to be withdrawn from the tines 62 allowing the flap 20 to be unlocked from the locking housing 60 and moved back on hinges 12 to an unlocked position.

As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 the living hinges 12 have spaces 16 to allow the material to bend more easily.

The flaps 20 are small compared to security frames which cover the entire frame with a hinged door. The flaps take less material than a door covering the entire frame and when open the frame requires less storage space than a door covering the entire frame.

Walls 54 on the flaps engage walls 64 on the locking housing to align the locking column 50 with the locking tines to strengthen flaps 20 and to help prevent tampering with the locking mechanism by holding the flap in place and preventing tampering tools from getting by the overlapping walls 54, 64.

Flap 20 has a short length 28 between the hinge 12 and the leading edge 26 such that it is easier to align the locking column 50 with the locking housing 60 to get the arrowhead 52 aligned with the locking tines 62. Further the short flap length denies a thief trying to pry open the two flap security package 10 leverage to pry up the flap.

If the customer is going to take the security package 10 home and remove it from the CD jewel case without the aid of a key 70 the security package has a cuttable portion which is a thinned indented thinned portion 80 of wall 86 combined with an indented portion 82 of shelf 84 which holds the CD jewel case in place. The indented portion 80 has a thinned material in wall 86 to make it easier to cut combined with the arch of the concave portion 80 for allowing a blade or scissors to get between the jewel case and the indented thinned portion 80 making the package 10 easier to cut open. The indented portion 82 of shelf 84 eliminates the need to cut through the entire width of the shelf material.

As best seen in FIG. 5 the two flap disposable security package 10 has housing 40 with slanting outer wall 42 such that when the security frame is set down on the slanting outer wall it tilts the security package 10 backwards on the shelf 95 it rest on the package will tilt backwards. In the embodiment as shown the outer wall 42 has a nine degree tilt compared to the horizontal to tilt the security frame backwards nine degrees 97, as seen in FIG. 5, however any angle, tilting forward or backward, may be used to tilt the security package a desired amount.

Alternatively the two flap security frame may be operated by leaving one flap in the locked position and locking and unlocking only one flap while still allowing a CD jewel case to be inserted into the two flap disposable security frame.

In yet another embodiment a one flap security frame 110 may be used where one end of the security frame replaces a flap 20 with a closed end flange 90 as in FIG. 8 with the other end having a single flap 20. In this embodiment the lock housing 40 on the flange end is replaced by a block 94 with a tilted wall 92 since no locking mechanism is required.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.





 
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