Title:
Apparatus For Holding A Disc-Shaped Article
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A CD case (1) has a drawer (3) which slides into and out of a housing (2) having hinged top and bottom parts. A drawer handle (10) has a cover wall (11) covering a front opening in the housing, and exposing a large surface (15) for a label. A finger grip (12) is formed from an integral web of material extending forwardly, and terminating in a downward lip (13). A disc retainer (19) has four resilient tabs (40) for gripping without use of an overhang lip. Movement of a CD is guided by a guide (41) which centres the CD and ensures uniform force applied by the tabs (40).



Inventors:
Hegarty, John (Dublin, IE)
Farrell, Brendan (County Wicklow, IE)
Application Number:
11/596183
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
05/13/2005
Assignee:
DUALBOX LIMITED (Dublin, IE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
G9B/33.011, G9B/33.015, 206/310
International Classes:
B65D85/57; B65D85/30; G11B33/04
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Primary Examiner:
CHEUNG, CHUN HOI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JACOBSON HOLMAN PLLC (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. 1-22. (canceled)

23. An apparatus for holding a disc-shaped article, the apparatus comprising: a housing, a drawer having a seat and a retainer for a disc-shaped article, the retainer being for engagement with a central aperture of an article; said drawer being movable through a front opening in the housing between a rearward closed position within the housing and a forward open position protruding from the housing exposing the article seat, and wherein the drawer further comprises a handle having a finger grip projecting forwardly.

24. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the housing comprises top and bottom walls, and the handle extends the full depth of the housing between said walls.

25. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the housing comprises side walls and the handle extends the width of the housing between the side walls.

26. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the handle comprises a cover covering the housing opening, and the finger grip extends forwardly from said cover.

27. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the handle comprises a cover covering the housing opening, and the finger grip extends forwardly from said cover; and wherein the handle cover comprises an exposed front display surface for supporting information for display.

28. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the finger grip extends forwardly from a top edge of the handle cover.

29. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the finger grip comprises a planar web of material.

30. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the finger grip extends across the full width of the housing opening.

31. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the finger grip is substantially parallel to the housing top surface.

32. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the finger grip comprises a lip extending from a forward extremity of the finger grip.

33. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the finger grip comprises a lip extending from a forward extremity of the finger grip; and wherein the ledge extends downwardly from a forward extremity of the finger grip.

34. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the housing comprises a front edge, and wherein the front edge abuts against the handle cover when the drawer is in the closed state.

35. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the handle is integrally formed with the drawer.

36. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the handle and the housing have formations for snap-fitting retention of the drawer in the closed position.

37. The apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the retainer comprises a plurality of resilient tabs mounted on the seat, each tab being resilient to exert a radial force against the edge of a central aperture of an article, and a guide for guiding movement of an article into and out of engagement with the tabs.

38. The apparatus as claimed in claim 37, wherein the guide comprises upstanding walls projecting from the seat, said walls having two diametrically opposed surfaces and being located with respect to the tabs to guide an article so that it is centered with the article's central aperture edge being in sliding contact with said surfaces.

39. The apparatus as claimed in claim 37, wherein the guide comprises upstanding walls projecting from the seat, said walls having two diametrically opposed surfaces and being located with respect to the tabs to guide an article so that it is centered with the article's central aperture edge being in sliding contact with said surfaces; and wherein the guide comprises two pairs of walls having opposed surfaces.

40. The apparatus as claimed in claim 37, wherein the guide comprises upstanding walls projecting from the seat, said walls having two diametrically opposed surfaces and being located with respect to the tabs to guide an article so that it is centered with the article's central aperture edge being in sliding contact with said surfaces; and wherein the guide comprises two pairs of walls having opposed surfaces; and wherein the guide walls are interconnected in a cross-shaped configuration in plan.

41. The apparatus as claimed in claim 37, wherein the guide wall surfaces extend at an obtuse angle to the surrounding seat surface.

42. The apparatus as claimed in claim 37, wherein the tab surfaces extend at an acute angle to the surrounding seat surface.

43. The apparatus as claimed in claim 37, wherein the tab surfaces extend at an acute angle to the surrounding seat surface; and wherein the tab surfaces extend at an angle of 86° to 89° to the surrounding seat surface.

44. An apparatus for holding a disc-shaped article, the apparatus comprising: a housing, a drawer having a seat and a retainer for a disc-shaped article, the retainer being for engagement with a central aperture of an article; said drawer being movable through a front opening in the housing between a rearward closed position within the housing and a forward open position protruding from the housing exposing the article seat, and wherein the retainer comprises a plurality of resilient tabs mounted on the seat, each tab being resilient to exert a radial force against the edge of a central aperture of an article, and a guide for guiding movement of an article into and out of engagement with the tabs.

45. The apparatus as claimed in claim 44, wherein the guide comprises upstanding walls projecting from the seat, said walls having two diametrically opposed surfaces and being located with respect to the tabs to guide an article so that it is centered with the article's central aperture edge being in sliding contact with said surfaces.

46. The apparatus as claimed in claim 44, wherein the guide comprises upstanding walls projecting from the seat, said walls having two diametrically opposed surfaces and being located with respect to the tabs to guide an article so that it is centered with the article's central aperture edge being in sliding contact with said surfaces; and wherein the guide comprises two pairs of walls having opposed surfaces.

47. The apparatus as claimed in claim 44, wherein the guide comprises upstanding walls projecting from the seat, said walls having two diametrically opposed surfaces and being located with respect to the tabs to guide an article so that it is centered with the article's central aperture edge being in sliding contact with said surfaces; and wherein the guide comprises two pairs of walls having opposed surfaces; and wherein the guide walls are interconnected in a cross-shaped configuration in plan.

48. The apparatus as claimed in claim 44, wherein the guide wall surfaces extend at an obtuse angle to the surrounding seat surface.

49. The apparatus as claimed in claim 44, wherein the tab surfaces extend at an acute angle to the surrounding seat surface.

Description:

INTRODUCTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an apparatus for holding a disc-shaped object such as a CD or DVD.

2. Prior Art Discussion

U.S. Pat. No. 6,237,763 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,241,089 describe cases for holding discs. In the case of U.S. Pat. No. 6,241,089 there is a retainer for a disc-shaped article in which there are eight resilient members with an overhang for retaining an article.

In general, many known CD or DVD cases present problems to the user from the point of view of handling and identification, in particular in the event that the user is managing a large number of cases. There is also a need to provide for more convenient insertion of a disc into a case and removal from the case.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention there is provided an apparatus for holding a disc-shaped article, the apparatus comprising a housing, a drawer having a seat and a retainer for a disc-shaped article, the drawer being movable through a front opening in the housing between a rearward closed position within the housing and a forward open position protruding from the housing exposing the article seat, wherein the drawer further comprises a handle having a finger grip projecting forwardly.

In one embodiment, the housing comprises top and bottom walls, and the handle extends the full depth of the housing between said walls.

In one embodiment, the housing comprises side walls and the handle extends the width of the housing between the side walls.

In one embodiment, the handle comprises a cover covering the housing opening, and the finger grip extends forwardly from said cover.

In one embodiment, the handle cover comprises an exposed front display surface for supporting information for display.

In one embodiment, the finger grip extends forwardly from a top edge of the handle cover.

In one embodiment, the finger grip comprises a planar web of material.

In one embodiment, the finger grip extends across the full width of the housing opening.

In one embodiment, the finger grip is substantially parallel to the housing top surface.

In one embodiment, the finger grip comprises a lip extending from a forward extremity of the finger grip.

In another embodiment, the ledge extends downwardly from a forward extremity of the finger grip.

In one embodiment, the housing comprises a front edge, and wherein the front edge abuts against the handle cover when the drawer is in the closed state.

In one embodiment, the handle is integrally formed with the drawer.

In one embodiment, the handle and the housing have formations for snap-fitting retention of the drawer in the closed position.

In one embodiment, the retainer comprises a plurality of resilient tabs mounted on the seat, each tab being resilient to exert a radial force against the edge of a central aperture of an article, and a guide for guiding movement of an article into and out of engagement with the tabs.

In one embodiment, the guide comprises upstanding walls projecting from the seat, said walls having two diametrically opposed surfaces and being located with respect to the tabs to guide an article so that it is centered with the article's central aperture edge being in sliding contact with said surfaces.

In one embodiment, the guide comprises two pairs of walls having opposed surfaces.

In one embodiment, the guide walls are interconnected in a cross-shaped configuration in plan.

In one embodiment, the guide wall surfaces extend at an obtuse angle to the surrounding seat surface.

In one embodiment, the tab surfaces extend at an acute angle to the surrounding seat surface.

In one embodiment, the tab surfaces extend at an angle of 86° to 89° to the surrounding seat surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Brief Description of the Drawings

The invention will be more clearly understood from the following description of some embodiments thereof, given by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view from above of an apparatus, namely a CD case of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a drawer of the case partially pulled out;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the apparatus with a housing top cover opened;

FIG. 4 is an underneath perspective;

FIGS. 5(a), 5(b) and 5(c) are cross-sectional side views through a mid point of the handle;

FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of the case;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view from above of a retainer of the case;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the retainer;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view along the lines X-X of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 10 is a sectional view along the lines Y-Y of FIG. 8.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 6, an apparatus 1 for holding a disc-shaped article comprises a housing 2 and a drawer 3 having a seat 4 for holding a disc (a CD) retained by a retainer 19. The drawer 3 comprises a handle 10 having a finger grip extending forwardly.

The handle 10 comprises a cover wall 11 covering a front opening in the housing 2. A ledge 12 extends forwardly, and together with the cover wall 11, has substantially an inverted L-form. A lower edge portion 14 of the cover wall 11 depends downwardly from the drawer.

The ledge 12 extends forwardly from the top of the cover wall 11 and comprises a downwardly-depending lip 13 which assists finger gripping for a user. The ledge 12 extends substantially parallel to the top surface of the housing 2.

The cover wall 11 is inclined relative to vertical at an angle of between 85° and 89°, in the embodiment 87°. The front of the cover wall 11 provides a display surface 15 of a large area suitable for displaying extensive information such as information indicating the disc being contained.

The housing 2 comprises a top 21, a bottom 23, a front edge 22, a back wall 26, and side walls 24 and 25. The side walls and top and bottom of the housing define the front opening. The drawer 3 is received in the housing and they interconnect or interlock in the closed state. The drawer 3 is movable relative to the housing 2 between a closed state, as shown in FIG. 1, a partially open state as shown in FIG. 2, and a fully open state (not shown). When the drawer extends out fully there is access to the article therein. As shown in FIG. 3, the top 21 and bottom 23 of the cover are connected by means of a hinge 27. Opening of the housing by rotation of the top 21 about the hinge 27 is facilitated by finger-grip ridges 35, shown most clearly in FIGS. 1 and 6.

The handle 10 extends the length and depth of the housing front opening. The handle 10 thus extends over the front opening when the apparatus is in the closed state.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 4, 5(c) and 6, in the closed state the front edge 22 of the housing 2 rests against the back of the handle 10. The front edge 22 abuts the housing wall 11 near the ledge 12 and at the lower edge portion 14. The front edges of the side walls 24 and 25 of the housing are inclined at the same angle as the wall 11 of the handle.

As shown in FIGS. 5(a) to 5(c) the drawer 3 has a projection 30 which causes a snap-fitting projection 31 of the housing to spring downwardly as the drawer is pushed in. When fully “home” there is a snap-fitting lock.

In the embodiments illustrated, the handle 10 has a substantially inverted L-form with the ledge extending from near the top of the apparatus. However, it will be appreciated that the handle may have another suitable form, for example an L-form, with the ledge extending from near the bottom of the apparatus.

Referring to FIGS. 7 to 10 the retainer 19 is shown in more detail.

The retainer 19 comprises four resilient tabs 40 arranged at 90° mutual separation, and facing radially centrally. A cross-shaped guide 41 separates the four tabs 40. Because the guide 41 is integral with the drawer 3 it has very little flexibility, and for practical purposes may be regarded as rigid. The guide 41 comprises four upstanding walls 42 and a horizontal cross-shaped (in plan) wall 43 interconnecting the upstanding walls 42. The retainer 19 is on a raised central part 50 of the seat 4 of the drawer 3.

Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, each tab 40 has an upstanding wall 55, the outer surface of which extends up at an acute angle in the range of 87° to 89° to the surrounding seat 4 surface. Because the tabs 40 are cantilevered from the seat 4 they have some flexibility.

Thus, the upstanding walls 55, without need for an overhang lip, grip and retain the disc with two mutually opposed pairs of gripping forces arising from the very slight upward-and-outward direction and their resilience. This is achieved without an overhang lip.

Movement of a disc onto the retainer 19 is assisted by virtue of the guide 41. As shown in FIG. 10 the upstanding walls 42 of the guide 41 are at an obtuse angle of c. 91°-92° to the surrounding seat 4 surface (are directed upwardly and inwardly in an overall tapered configuration). The diameter across the guide 41 is a tolerance fit for the central aperture of the disc and the slight inwardly and upwardly directed slope allows the guide 41 to guide the disc so that it is centred on the seat's 4 centre with a uniform force exerted by each of the four tabs 40. There is particularly good uniformity because the guide 41 is interleaved in a uniform manner with the resilient tabs 40.

It will be appreciated that the invention provides an apparatus for holding a disc shaped article which provides improved display, and improved ease of access, and improved and ease of handling. The handle 10 provides a finger-sized ledge which can be easily gripped by a user. The provision of a display area on the handle facilitates improved ease of identification of the contents.

Also, the retainer allows easy insertion and removal of an article with substantially uniform force applied to the edge of the central aperture of the article. The resilience of the tabs, their angle with respect to the surrounding seat, lack of an overhang, together with the interleaved guiding action of the guide 41 allow particularly convenient insertion and removal.

The invention is not limited to the embodiments described but may be varied in construction and detail. For example, the retainer may be used in an apparatus of a different type, possibly not having a drawer.