Title:
Ecofriendly package for CDs and DVDs
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An ecofriendly package for a standard optical disc such as CD or DVD is made exclusively or mainly from recycled/recyclable materials comprises a die cut generally rectangular cardboard divided by two pairs of crease lines into a central panel and two side panels. A chip board slightly thicker than a standard disc is die cut and provided with two partial cut lines dividing it into a base and two wings ending in arcs which, when the wings are folded over and secured to the base, form a partial circle of a diameter slightly less that the disc diameter. The base is secured to the central panel, the disc is pressed into a friction fit with the wing arcs, and the side panels are folded over the disc and secured with a wrapping and/or an adhesive.



Inventors:
Lenkeit, Gary (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/717229
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/12/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
493/56, G9B/33.01
International Classes:
B65D85/57
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REYNOLDS, STEVEN ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COOPER & DUNHAM LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A package containing an optical disc, said disc having a standard diameter, a standard thickness, and a standard central hole, and said package comprising: a continuous generally rectangular sheet of cardboard delineated by two pairs of parallel crease lines into a generally rectangular central panel and two side panels, said central panel having a height and width each at least as long as the disc diameter, and said side panels having areas that add up to at least the area of said central panel, wherein the creases of a pair are spaced from each other by a distance greater than twice but less than four times the disc thickness; a generally rectangular chip board having a thickness approximating the disc thickness and divided by a pair of parallel partial cuts therein into a base and two laterally extending wings, wherein the cuts of said pair of cuts are spaced from each other by a distance greater than the disc diameter but no greater than the length of a side of the central panel; said base having top and bottom sides that are scalloped with indentations extending toward a center of the base; said wings having lateral sides in the shape of arcs; said wings being folded over said base and adhered thereto such that at least portions of said arcs form a partial circle having a diameter that is sufficiently less than the disc diameter to accommodate said disc with a flat side thereof resting on said base and with portions of a circumference thereof friction fitted between and retained by said arcs of the wings without a need to engage said central hole of the disc, and said base being adhered to within an outline of said central panel; and said side panels of the cardboard sheet being folded over said disc and secured to form a package containing the disc bound on one flat side by the base and on the other flat side by the folded over panels and bound around its circumference by a friction fit between said wings; wherein said disc is removable from the package by unfolding said panels to expose the disc and releasing the disc from said friction fit with the wings by bending the base and/or grasping peripheral portions of the disc exposed at said indentations in the base.

2. A package as in claim 1 in which the standard disc diameter is 120 mm and the standard disc thickness is 1.2 mm.

3. A package as in claim 2 in which the radius of said arcs is 2+ 11/32 inches.

4. A package as in claim 3 in which the distance between said pairs of crease lines is 5+ 9/16 inches.

5. A package as in claim 4 in which the distance between the two partial cut lines is 5+ 7/16 inches.

6. A package as in claim 5 in which the thickness of said chipboard is between 1 and 2 mm.

7. A package as in claim 6 in which the thickness of said chipboard is approximately 1.5 mm.

8. A package as in claim 1 in which the distance between any two diametrically opposite points of said arcs is approximately 119 mm.

9. A package as in claim 1 in which the two side panels are the same in size and shape.

10. A package as in claim 1 in which the central hole of the disc is free of engagement with any hub.

11. A method of making a package containing an optical disc, said disc having a standard diameter, a standard thickness, and a standard central hole, and said method comprising: cutting a continuous generally rectangular sheet of cardboard and forming therein two pairs of parallel crease lines delineating the sheet into a generally rectangular central panel and two side panels, the central panel having a height and a width each greater than the disc diameter, and the side panels having areas that add up to at least the area of the central panel, wherein the creases of a pair are spaced from each other by a distance greater than twice but less than four times the disc thickness; cutting a generally rectangular chip board having a height greater than the disc diameter but no greater than a side of the central panel, said chip board having a thickness approximating the disc thickness, said chip board terminating laterally in a pair of oppositely facing arcs, forming two parallel partial cuts in the chip board spaced by distance greater than the disc diameter but less than the width of said central panel to delineate the board into a base and a pair of wings, and folding the wings over the base and adhering them to the base such that the two arcs face each other and at least portions of the arcs form a partial circle of a diameter less than that of the disc, and adhering the base to the central panel; friction-fitting the disc over the base and between the arcs of said wings; and folding the side panels over said disc and securing the folded over side panels to form a package containing the disc bound on one flat side by the base and on the other flat side by the folded over panels and bound around its circumference by a friction fit between said wings; wherein said disc is removable from the package by unfolding said panels to expose the disc and releasing the disc from said friction fit with the wings by bending the base and/or grasping peripheral portions of the disc exposed at said indentations.

12. A method as in claim 11 in which said disc is a compact disc (CD).

13. A method as in claim 11 in which said disc is a DVD.

14. A method of making a package for an optical disc, said disc having a standard diameter, a standard thickness, and a standard central hole, and said method comprising: cutting a continuous generally rectangular sheet of cardboard and forming therein two pairs of parallel crease lines delineating the sheet into a generally rectangular central panel and two side panels, said central panel having a height and a width each greater than said disc diameter, and said side panels having areas that add up to at least the area of said central panel, wherein the creases of a pair are spaced from each other by a distance greater than twice but less than four times the standard thickness of the disc; cutting a generally rectangular chip board having a height greater than the disc diameter but no greater than the length of a side of said central panel, said chip board having a thickness approximating the disc thickness, said chip board terminating laterally in a pair of oppositely facing arcs, forming two parallel partial cuts in the chip board spaced by distance greater than the disc diameter but less than the width of said central panel to delineate the board into a base and a pair of wings, and folding the wings over the base and adhering them to the base such that the two arcs face each other and at least portions of the arcs form a partial circle of a diameter less than that of the disc but sufficiently large for a friction fit of the disc over the base and between the arcs of said wings, and securing the base to the central panel within an outline thereof; folding said side panels over said disc and securing the folded over side panels to form a package for containing the disc bound on one flat side by the base and on the other flat side by the folded over panels and bound around its circumference by a friction fit between said wings; wherein said disc is removable from the package by unfolding said panels to expose a disc and releasing the disc from said friction fit with the wings by bending the base and/or grasping peripheral portions of the disc.

15. A method as in claim 14 in which at least portions of the arcs of the two wings folded over the base form a partial circle of a diameter approximately 119 mm and said standard disc diameter is 120 mm.

Description:

BACKGROUND AND FIELD

This patent specification pertains to packaging CDs and DVDs, and is specifically directed to packages made exclusively or mainly of ecologically friendly materials such as recycled and/or recyclable cardboard and chipboard.

BACKGROUND

Prerecorded CDs typically are sold in a “jewel box” made of injection-molded plastic material, and prerecorded DVDs typically are sold in plastic clam-shell boxes. There have been proposals for other types of packages, such as illustrated in the following U.S. patents, but for various reasons they do not appear to have gained wide acceptance: U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,372,253, 5,647,482, 5,662,217, 5,697,496, 6,068,117, 6,079,557, and 6,799,678. It is believed that a need still remains for a package that can be made of ecofriendly material conveniently and relatively inexpensively and can provide good protection for an optical disc and convenience for the merchandiser and ultimate user. This patent specification is directed to meeting such needs.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

This patent specification describes a non-limiting example of a package for an optical disc that has a standard diameter, standard thickness, and standard central hole, as in a prerecorded CD or DVD. The nominal values for these parameters are outside diameter=120 mm, thickness=1.2 mm, and central hole diameter=15 mm. These nominal dimensions are specified in industry standards—for prerecorded CDs the physical standard is specified in the Red Book provided by Philips Intellectual Property & Standards in the Netherlands (Compact Disc Digital Audio System Description), and for DVDs the physical standard is set forth in publications of the DVD Forum, an industry group. The standards allow for certain tolerances in these dimensions. In addition, there are optical discs that vary in specified manner from these basic dimensions. For example, there is a dual disc that is approximately 1.5 mm thick and is made of a thinner CD and approximately half the thickness of a DVD glued back to back such that a CD can be played from one side and a DVD from the other. In addition, there are new generation DVDs such as HD DVD and BD (blue ray DVD) and a combination disc with HD DVD on one side and BD on the other side, but they typically have the same nominal dimensions as conventional DVDs. Still in addition, there are recordable CDs and DVDs and rewritable CDs and DVDs, which have the same dimensions as prerecorded CDs and DVDs. This patent disclosure is directed to a package that is primarily for prerecorded CDs and DVDs having dimensions conforming to the industry standards but also is useful for other CDs and DVDs.

One example of the package is made by cutting a continuous generally rectangular sheet of cardboard, such as by a die cut, and forming therein two pairs of parallel crease lines to thereby divide the sheet into a generally rectangular central panel and two side panels. Each crease line is configured to facilitate folding the sheet along the line. The central panel has a height and a width each greater than the disc diameter. The side panels have areas that add up to at least the area of said central panel, and may but need not be nearly the same in size and shape as the central panel. The creases of a pair are spaced from each other by a distance typically greater than twice but less than four times the standard thickness of the disc, and preferably about 2-3 times the disc thickness. The sheet preferably is made of a cardboard material such as 0.024 inch thick C2S stock that is recycled or recyclable, but other cardboard that is reasonably thin and bendable and yet reasonably stiff may be used instead. Typical but non-limiting dimensions of the sheet, in inches, are: height=4+⅞, total width=16+ 29/32, side panel width=5+ 15/32, central panel width=5+ 9/16, and distance between the crease lines of a pair= 5/32 on one side and 3/16 on the other side of the central panel.

A generally rectangular chip board is cut, also for example by a die, to a height greater than the disc diameter but no greater than the height of the central panel. The chip board typically is made of paper-like material that is recycled or at least recyclable. Two indentations are made in the top and bottom of the chip board, centrally located along the width of the board, and generally arc-shaped. The chip board has a thickness approximating the disc thickness, typically but not necessarily slightly greater than the disc thickness. The cut chip board terminates laterally in a pair of oppositely facing arcs. Two parallel partial cuts are made in the chip board., either as a part of the die cut of the board or as a separate operation. The cuts are centrally located and spaced along the width of the board by a distance greater than the disc diameter but less than the width of the central panel of the cardboard sheet to thereby divide the board into a base and a pair of wings. These wings are folded over the base and adhered to the base by a suitable adhesive such that the two arcs of the wings face each other and at least portions of these arcs form a partial circle of a diameter slightly less than the disc diameter. Typical but non-limiting dimensions of the cut chip board, in inches, are: height=4+ 29/32, distance between the partial cuts=5+ 7/16, radius of arcs in the wings=2+ 11/32, radius of indentations in top and bottom sides=3+⅛, thickness of chip board= 1/16. The base of the chip board is secured to the central panel of the cardboard sheet, for example with a suitable adhesive.

The disc is friction-fitted over the base, between the facing arcs of the wings, and the side panels are folded over the disc. In order to ensure secure but convenient friction-fitting of the disc, at least portions of the wing arcs form a partial circle of a diameter slightly smaller that the disc diameter, such as a diameter of about 119 mm compared to the 120 mm diameter of the disc. The disc thus can remain securely resting on the base, bound around a part of its periphery by the wing arcs, and protected by the folded over side panels. The side panels can be secured in their folded-over positions in a number or ways, for example, by shrink-wrapping or otherwise wrapping material over the entire package, by wrapping a band around a part of the open top and bottom sides of the package, or by releasably adhering the upper to the lower side panel. The wrapping material can be a transparent film or non-transparent material such as paper that preferably also is recycled or recyclable. Graphics can be printed on any one of the visible sides of the package and/or on the sides that become visible only after one or both of the side panels are unfolded. Graphics also can be printed on the base side visible after the disc is lifted from the package and/or on the visible surfaces of the wings, and graphics can be provided on any wrapping or bands. Instead of or in addition to printing, graphics can be provided on material adhered or otherwise attached to the exterior or interior of the package, and one or more sheets of graphics can be inserted in the package between the disc and the folded over side panels and/or between the two side panels and/or between the exterior of the package and material that is over the package.

The disc is removable from the package by removing any material exterior to the package, then unfolding the side panels to expose the disc and releasing the disc from its friction fit with the wings by bending the base and/or grasping peripheral portions of the disc exposed at the indentations in the base portion of the chip board.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a cardboard sheet with crease lines delineating the sheet into a central panel and side panels, and with a chip board secured to the central panel to form an opening for a friction fit of an optical disc.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a chip board with partial cuts.

FIGS. 3a-3c are side view illustrating the folding of the chip board.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the folded chip board.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a package made of the sheet of FIG. 1 and the chipboard of FIG. 2 and enclosing an optical disc.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 illustrates a continuous generally rectangular cardboard sheet 10 that can be die cut into the illustrated shape and divided into a central panel 10a and two side panels 10b and 10c by two pairs of crease lines. The cardboard grain preferably is along the width of sheet 10. As seen in FIG. 1, a left pair of crease lines 10b1 and 10b2 starts at 5+ 15/32 inches from the left edge of sheet 10, and a right pair 10c1 and 10c2 starts at 5+ 17/32 from the right edge. As seen in FIG. 1, the crease lines 10b1 and 10b2 of the left pair are separated from each other by 5/32 inches and the crease lines 10c1 and 10c2 of the right pair by 3/16 inches. Those and all other dimensions of the package that are discussed here are only an example, and are nominal dimensions subject to manufacturing tolerances. It should be understood that variations are within the scope of this patent specification so long as they conform to and accomplish the purpose discussed here of securely and conveniently packaging a standard optical disc in a friction fit around its outer periphery. It should also be understood that these dimensions would be appropriately adjusted for different size discs, for example discs that have an outside diameter of 80 mm or to “business card” optical media. All dimensions referred to in this patent specification, including in the drawings, are in inches, except where specifically identified as being in mm.

Central panel 10a has a height and a width each greater than the diameter of a standard CD or DVD, which is nominally 120 mm. In this example, the height is 4+⅞ and the width is 5+ 9/16. Side panels 10b and 10c have areas that add up to at least the area of said central panel, and may but need not be nearly the same in size and shape as the central panel. In this example, the height and width of the panel 10b are 4+⅞ and 5+ 15/32, and those of panel 10c are 4+⅞ and 5+ 17/32. The creases of a pair are spaced from each other by a distance typically greater than twice but less than four times the standard thickness of the disc, and preferably about 2-3 times the disc thickness. In some cases, such as when thicker graphics or other material are inserted in the package in addition to a single standard disc, the distances between the crease lines of a pair can be greater.

Referring to FIG. 2, a generally rectangular chip board 20 is cut, also for example by a die cut, to a height greater than the disc diameter but no greater than the height of the central panel. In this example, the height is 4+ 29/32. Two parallel partial cuts 20a and 20b are made in the chip board, either as a part of the die cut of the board or as a separate operation. Cuts 20a and 20b are centrally located and spaced along the width of the board by a distance greater than the disc diameter but no greater than the width of the central panel to thereby divide the board into a base 22 and and a pair of wings 24 and 26. Indentations 22a and 22b are made in the top and bottom, respectively, of base 22, centrally located along the width of board 20, and generally arc-shaped. In this example, the base arc radius of each is 3+⅛. Board 20 has a thickness approximating the disc thickness, typically but not necessarily slightly greater than the disc thickness. In this example, the thickness of board 20 is 1/16. Wings 24 and 26 terminate laterally in oppositely facing arcs 24a and 26a, which in this example each have a radius of 2+ 11/32. Wings 23 and 26 are rounded at the top and bottom ends of arcs 24a and 26 as seen in FIG. 2. The pertinent width dimensions of board 20 will become apparent from the discussion below of FIG. 4.

These wings are folded over the base and adhered to the base by a suitable adhesive such that the two arcs face each other and at least portions of the arcs form a partial circle of a diameter slightly less than the disc diameter. Typical but non-limiting dimensions of the cut chip board, in inches, are: height=4+ 29/32. distance between the partial cuts=5+ 7/16, radius of arcs in the wings=2+ 11/32, radius of indentations in top and bottom sides=3+⅛, thickness of chip board= 1/16.

As seen in FIG. 3a, wings 24 and 26 are folded over base 10 along partial cut lines 20a and 20b, respectively. As seen in FIGS. 3b and 3c, wings 24 and 24 are secured flat against base 22, using for example a suitable adhesive.

As seen in FIG. 4, the finished assembly of base 22 and wings 23 and 26 forms a depression in the form of partial circle between the facing arcs 24a and 26a. At least portions of arcs 24a and 24 form a partial circle that has a diameter slightly smaller than that of a standard optical disc, for example a diameter of about 119 mm in the case of an optical disc diameter of 120 mm. The assembly illustrated in FIG. 4 is secured over central panel 10a as seen in FIG. 1, for example by adhering the underside of base 22 to the top side of panel 10a with a suitable adhesive. Indentations 22a and 22b can be at the top and bottom as seen in FIG. 1, or at the lateral sides of panel 10a.

A package with a disc inside is assembled by pressing a disc down into a friction fit over base 22, between the facing arcs 24a and 26a of wings 24 and 26, and side panels 10b and 10c are folded over the disc, into the configuration illustrated in FIG. 5.

As seen in FIG. 5, which is not to scale, a disc 50 rests on base 22, in friction fit between wings 24 and 26. A wrapping 52, which is only schematically illustrated, can surround the entire package, or can be in the form of a band around the package to keep panels 10b and 10c in the illustrated positions. Alternatively or in addition, adhesive can be applied between panels 10b and 10c to keep the package closed. This adhesive can be temporary and easily releasable, or permanent.

Disc 50 is removable from the package by removing any material such as wrapping 52 that is exterior to the package, and/or releasing any glue bond between panels 10b and 10c, then unfolding side panels 10b and 10c to expose disc 50 and releasing the disc from its friction fit with wings 24 and 26 by bending base 22 and panel 10a and/or grasping peripheral portions of the disc exposed at indentations 22a and 22b in base 22.

Note that there is no need for a hub that would engage a central hole of disc 50, thus simplifying manufacture of the package. Of course, a conventional hub can be provided if desired, glued to or otherwise secured to base 22, but disc 50 can be securely held by friction fit with wings 24 and 26 in the disclosed package even without a central hub.

It should be understood that persons skilled in the art will appreciate that there are variations that also accomplish the purposes set forth above and, therefore, the scope of the invention to which this patent specification is directed is limited only by the scope of the appended claims.