Title:
Portable display
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a portable exhibit display and to a kit for assembling the same. The portable display comprises a plurality of panels made from a sheet material and assembled to one another through a locking system. The locking system includes a plurality of tabs projecting from one panel and a corresponding plurality of locking slots defined in an adjoining panel, the slots being adapted to receive the tabs therein. The display of the present invention can carry a plurality of shelves or display members such as hook grids. The present invention also relates to panels for assembling a display.



Inventors:
May, Gregory (Saint Nicolas, CA)
Application Number:
11/729035
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/28/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B47/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20140251933SHELVING ASSEMBLYSeptember, 2014Old et al.
20130242608Assembled Mold Frame and Backlight Module Comprising SameSeptember, 2013Chen et al.
20110315643LAPTOP TRAYDecember, 2011Maimon
20070251905Shelving merchandising systemNovember, 2007Trotta
20060201895Remote control case-for 3 & 5September, 2006Jackson
20100059466Storage System and Locking System ThereforMarch, 2010Tanner et al.
20170112282WALL MOUNTED STORAGE SYSTEM AND RELATED COMPONENTS AND METHODSApril, 2017Will et al.



Primary Examiner:
BARNETT, DEVIN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FASKEN MARTINEAU DUMOULIN LLP (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A kit for a display, the kit comprising a first and a second panel: the first panel having a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of connection tabs extending therefrom; the second panel having a first and second edge, the first edge having a set of locking slots; the locking slots adapted to receive the set of connection tabs of the first panel when the first panel is oriented generally perpendicular to the second panel.

2. The kit of claim 1 wherein the set of locking slots of the second panel comprises first and second, spaced apart, locking slots.

3. The kit of claim 1 wherein the set of locking slots of the second panel comprises first and second pairs of locking slots, the first pair of locking slots being spaced apart from the second pair of locking slots.

4. The kit of claim 3 wherein each of the connection tabs comprises a head portion extending from the first edge of the first panel and at least one elongated finger portion extending from the head portion.

5. The kit of claim 4 wherein each member of the pair of locking slots comprises at least one finger-receiving portion sized to allow the passage of the at least one elongated finger portion and the head portion of one connection tab therethrough and a head-receiving portion adapted to receive the head portion of the connection tab.

6. The kit of claim 5 wherein the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots are aligned along a vertical axis extending generally parallel to the first and second edges of the second panel and the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis; and wherein the head-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first and second pair of locking slots are offset along the vertical axis.

7. The kit of claim 6 wherein the second edge of the first panel comprises a second set of connection tabs extending therefrom.

8. The kit of claim 7 wherein each of the first and second set of connection tabs comprises a pair of connection tabs, each pair including a first member and a second, spaced apart, member.

9. The kit of claim 8 wherein the elongated fingers of each first member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a first direction and each second member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a second direction, the first and second directions being opposite to one another.

10. The kit of claim 9 wherein the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is the same.

11. The kit of claim 9 wherein the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is opposite.

12. The kit of claim 9 wherein the first and second edges of the first panel further comprises a first pair of spaced apart recesses proximal to the first pair of connection tabs and a second pair of spaced apart recesses proximal to the second pair of connection tabs, each recess being adapted to receive a connection tab therein, the first and second members of the first pair of recesses being aligned along a horizontal axis extending generally perpendicularly to the first and second edges of the first panel with the first and second members of the second pair of connection tabs, the first and second members of the second pair of recesses being aligned along the horizontal axis with the first and second members of the first pair of connection tabs.

13. The kit of claim 12 wherein the second edge of the second panel comprises a set of connection tabs extending therefrom.

14. The kit of claim 13 wherein the kit further comprises a third panel, the third panel having a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of locking slots adapted to receive the connection tabs of the first panel or the second panel when the third panel is generally perpendicular to the first panel or the second panel.

15. The kit of claim 14 wherein the set of locking slots of the third panel comprise a first and second pair of locking slots, the first pair of locking slots being spaced apart from the second pair of locking slots.

16. The kit of claim 15 wherein each member of the pair of the locking slots of the third panel comprises a finger-receiving portion sized to allow the passage of the at least one finger portion and the head portion of the connection tab therethrough and a head-receiving portion adapted to receive the head portion of the connection tab.

17. The kit of claim 16 wherein the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots of the third panel are aligned along a vertical axis extending generally parallel to the first and second edges of the third panel and the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis; and wherein the head-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are offset along the vertical axis.

18. The kit of claim 16 wherein the head-receiving and the finger receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots of the third panel are aligned along a vertical axis of the third panel and the head-receiving and the finger receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis, the head-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots and the head-receiving portion of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots and the finger-receiving portion of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis.

19. The kit of claim 17 wherein the third panel further comprises a third and fourth spaced apart edges extending between the first and second edges thereof, wherein the width of the third edge along a horizontal axis extending generally perpendicularly to the first and second edges of the third panel is greater than the width of the fourth edge along the horizontal axis.

20. The kit of claim 19 wherein the kit further comprises a fourth panel, the fourth panel having a first and second edge and one set of locking slots adapted to receive the connection tabs of the first or second panel when the fourth panel is generally perpendicular to the first panel or the second panel, the set of locking slots being located between the first and second edge.

21. The kit of claim 20 wherein each member of the pair of the locking slots of the fourth panel comprises a finger-receiving portion sized to allow the passage of the finger portion and the head portion of the connection tab therethrough and a head-receiving portion adapted to receive the head portion of the connection tab.

22. The kit of claim 21 wherein the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots of the fourth panel are aligned along a vertical axis extending generally parallel to the first and second edges of the fourth panel and the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis; and wherein the head-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are offset along the vertical axis.

23. The kit of claim 21 wherein the head-receiving and the finger receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots of the fourth panel are aligned along a vertical axis of the fourth panel and the head-receiving and the finger receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis, the head-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots and the head-receiving portion of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots and the finger-receiving portion of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis.

24. A display comprising first and second, generally vertical, panels: the first panel having a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of connection tabs extending therefrom; each of the connection tabs including a head portion extending from the first edge of the first panel and at least one elongated finger portion extending from the head portion, the second panel being oriented generally perpendicular to the first panel and having a first and second edge, the first edge having at least two spaced apart locking slots for receiving the set of connection tabs of the first panel therein, each locking slot including at least one finger-receiving portion sized to allow the passage of the at least one elongated finger portion and the head portion of one connection tab therethrough and a head-receiving portion receiving the head portion of the connection tab, wherein the head-receiving portion of the at least two locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving thereof are offset along the vertical axis.

25. An expandable display comprising first and second, generally vertical, panels: the first panel having a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of connection tabs extending therefrom; each of the connection tabs including a head portion extending from the first edge of the first panel and at least one elongated finger portion extending from the head portion, the second panel being oriented generally perpendicular to the first panel and having a first and second edge, the first edge having a set of locking slots; the locking slots receiving the set of connection tabs of the first panel and including first and second pairs of locking slots, the first pair of locking slots being spaced apart from the second pair of locking slots and including at least one finger-receiving portion sized to allow the passage of the at least one elongated finger portion and the head portion of one connection tab therethrough and a head-receiving portion receiving the head portion of the connection tab, wherein the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots are aligned along a vertical axis of the second panel and the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis; and wherein the head-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first and second pair of locking slots are offset along the vertical axis.

26. The expandable display of claim 25 wherein the second edge of the first panel comprises a second set of connection tabs extending therefrom.

27. The expandable display of claim 26 wherein each of the first and second set of connection tabs comprises a pair of connection tabs, each pair including a first member and a second, spaced apart, member.

28. The expandable display of claim 25 wherein the elongated fingers of each first member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a first direction and each second member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a second direction, the first and second directions of the first and second members of one pair of connection tabs being opposite to one another.

29. The expandable display of claim 28 wherein the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is the same.

30. The expandable display of claim 28 wherein the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is opposite.

31. The expandable display of claim 28 wherein the first and second edges of the first panel further comprises a first pair of spaced apart recesses proximal to the first pair of connection tabs and a second pair of spaced apart recesses proximal to the second pair of connection tabs, each recess being adapted to receive a connection tab therein, the first and second members of the first pair of recesses being aligned along a horizontal axis extending generally perpendicularly to the first and second edges of the first panel with the first and second members of the second pair of connection tabs, the first and second members of the second pair of recesses being aligned along the horizontal axis with the first and second members of the first pair of connection tabs.

32. The expandable display of claim 31 wherein the second edge of the second panel comprises a set of connection tabs extending therefrom.

33. The expandable display of claim 32 wherein the display further comprises a third panel mounted to one of the first and second panel, the third panel having a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of locking slots receiving the connection tabs of the first panel or the second panel when the third panel mounted thereto.

34. The expandable display of claim 33 wherein the third panel further comprises a third and fourth spaced apart edges extending between the first and second edges thereof, wherein the width of the third edge along a horizontal axis extending generally perpendicularly to the first and second edges of the third panel is greater than the width of the fourth edge along the horizontal axis.

35. The expandable display of claim 34 wherein the display further comprises a fourth panel mounted to the other of first and second panel, the fourth panel having a first and second edge and one set of locking slots adapted to receive the connection tabs of the other of first or second panel when the fourth panel is mounted thereto.

36. The expandable display of claim 25 further comprising a shelf mounted to at least one of the first and second panel.

37. A panel for a display, the panel comprising a first and second edge, the first edge having a set of connection tabs extending therefrom; each of the connection tabs including a head portion extending from the first edge of the first panel and at least one elongated finger portion extending from the head portion.

38. The panel of claim 37 wherein the second edge of the first panel comprises a second set of connection tabs extending therefrom.

39. The panel of claim 38 wherein each of the first and second set of connection tabs comprises a pair of connection tabs, each pair including a first member and a second, spaced apart, member.

40. The panel of claim 39 wherein the elongated fingers of each first member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a first direction and each second member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a second direction, the first and second directions of the first and second members of one pair of connection tabs being opposite to one another.

41. The panel of claim 40 wherein the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is the same.

42. The panel of claim 40 wherein the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is opposite.

43. A panel for a display, the panel comprising a first and second edge, the first edge having at least two locking slots for receiving the set of connection tabs of the first panel therein, each locking slot including at least one finger-receiving portion sized to allow the passage of the at least one elongated finger portion and the head portion of one connection tab therethrough and a head-receiving portion receiving the head portion of the connection tab, wherein the head-receiving portion of the at least two locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions are offset along the vertical axis.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a portable and versatile display system. More particularly, the present invention relates to a display system for use with, for example, expositions, trade shows and the like, that can de easily assembled, disassembled and varied in its configuration.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Trade shows, conventions, expositions, conferences, and exhibitions often require exhibitors to provide self-standing displays, booths or kiosks to exhibit their promotional material. Exhibitors traveling from regions remote from the city in which such trade shows, conventions, expositions, etc. are to be held generally favour flying to the destination. As the exhibitors need to carry their exhibit material over long distances, displays or kiosks are often loaded on a plane or sent by courier ahead of the exhibitor travelling to the conference. Because most of the cost associated with transportation is based on the weight of the cargo shipped, exhibitors tend to prefer lightweight, compact and easy to transport displays.

It is also a desired characteristic to have a display suitably versatile in its configuration possibilities such that it can be adapted to the exhibition space available. Further, because a number of exhibitors distribute samples or brochures, or display their actual products, it is further contemplated to have horizontal surfaces such as shelves or racks on which such promotional material or actual product can be placed. Therefore, a display that is light, easy to assemble/dissemble and versatile would be appreciated by exhibitors.

Several attempts have been made to develop lightweight and portable displays or booths. In most attempts, the displays are configured so as to be collapsible, therefore significantly reducing their size, and are made from a low-cost sheet material such as cardboard or fluted plastic. An example of such display can be found in the prior art under U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,382,433, 4,372,086 and 3,113,392.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,382,433 generally discloses a display assembly comprising two spaced-apart triangular columns, a center wall extending therebetween and a header for laterally stabilizing the columns. The various components of U.S. Pat. No. 6,382,433 are made from folded blanks of the fluted plastic. The display taught may further include a number of square center columns allowing the addition of further center walls to expand the width of the display. While the configuration of this display enables extension of the display areas, its design only permits a generally linear configuration. Furthermore, the display of this patent has a generally flat display surface designed to carry sheet-like material such as posters and pictures. It is however not adapted to carry the weight of projecting display devices such as shelves or racks.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,372,086 discloses an exposition display comprising a plurality of generally horizontal display panels. Each panel includes a plurality of folding lines used to fold the panel in a zigzag configuration. Each panels further includes an arrangement of slots allowing the assembly of one horizontal panel onto another similar panel. While this display provides the possibility to install shelves, the size and position of the shelves cannot be varied from time to time. Further, the configuration of the display disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,372,086 does not provide the flexibility to modify the overall width of the display or to modify its shape with respect to the exhibition space available.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,113,392 discloses a display unit including two spaced-apart side columns and display section to be mounted therebetween. The various components of the display are assembled through the use of bracing and detachable connectors. While generally satisfactory, the use of such hardware is generally not encouraged since it tends to require tool for the assembly and the loss of small parts may impair the assembly of the unit and this tends not to be user friendly.

Further attempts were made to develop displays or shelf units specifically designed to accommodate displayed material. Examples of such devices are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,378,710, 5,669,683 and 3,559,814. U.S. Pat. No. 6,378,710 teaches an adjustable shelving unit including a vertical shelf support to which can be mounted a plurality of shelves. The support includes a plurality of slots and notches allowing vertical movement of the shelves relative to the support. The shelves and support are made from a folded corrugated paperboard blank. Although this type of device provides an interesting alternative to the earlier described portable displays, the shelving unit disclose in U.S. Pat. No. 6,378,710 does not permit variable horizontal position of the shelves relative to the support. Further, the capability of this unit to stand by itself is questionable and its particular configuration does not permit the modification of the overall size and shape of the display.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,669,683 also discloses a shelving unit made from folded blanks of corrugated paperboard. Despite the shelving unit being able to stands alone, the shelves cannot be adjusted once the unit is assemble and the shape and size of the unit cannot be modified.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,559,814 describes a collapsible display unit designed to rest on a table and having adjustable shelf means. This display unit requires hinges and vertical shelf brackets which may further contribute to its weight. Further, this unit cannot be joined other similar units to customize size and shape of the display area.

Therefore, it would be advantageous to be provided with a display made from a light sheet material that can be easily assembled/disassembled without the use of small fastening hardware or tools. It would be also advantageous to be provided with a display capable of supporting shelves, racks, baskets or a combination thereof in adjustable positions, both horizontally and vertically. Finally, it would be advantageous to be provided with a display that is versatile enough to permit modification of the size and/or the shape of the display.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to an aspect of an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a kit for a display. The kit comprises a first and a second panel, the first panel having a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of connection tabs extending therefrom. The second panel has a first and second edge, the first edge having a set of locking slots adapted to receive the set of connection tabs of the first panel when the first panel is oriented generally perpendicular to the second panel.

According to another aspect, a kit for a display is provided where the set of locking slots of the second panel comprises first and second, spaced apart, locking slots.

According to yet another aspect, there is provided a kit for a display wherein the set of locking slots of the second panel comprises first and second pairs of locking slots, the first pair of locking slots being spaced apart from the second pair of locking slots.

According to a further aspect, a kit for a display is provided where each of the connection tabs comprises a head portion and at least one elongated finger. The head portion extending from the first edge of the first panel and at least one elongated finger portion extends from the head portion.

According to an additional aspect, there is provided a kit for a display wherein each member of the pair of locking slots comprises at least one finger-receiving portion and a head-receiving portion. The at least one finger-receiving portion is sized to allow the passage of the at least one elongated finger portion and the head portion of one connection tab therethrough while the head-receiving portion is adapted to receive the head portion of the connection tab.

According to a further aspect, the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots are aligned along a vertical axis extending generally parallel to the first and second edges of the second panel. The head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis. The head-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are further aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first and second pair of locking slots are offset along the vertical axis.

According to yet a further aspect, the second edge of the first panel comprises a second set of connection tabs that extends therefrom.

According to another aspect, each of the first and second set of connection tabs comprises a pair of connection tabs. Further, each pair of connection tabs includes a first member and a second, spaced apart, member.

According to an additional aspect, the elongated fingers of each first member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a first direction and each second member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a second direction. The first and second directions are opposite to one another.

According to a further aspect, the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is the same.

According to yet a further aspect, the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is opposite.

According to an additional aspect, there is provided a kit for a display wherein the first and second edges of the first panel comprises a first pair of spaced apart recesses proximal to the first pair of connection tabs and a second pair of spaced apart recesses proximal to the second pair of connection tabs. Each recess is adapted to receive a connection tab therein and the first and second members of the first pair of recesses are aligned along a horizontal axis extending generally perpendicularly to the first and second edges of the first panel with the first and second members of the second pair of connection tabs. The first and second members of the second pair of recesses are aligned along the horizontal axis with the first and second members of the first pair of connection tabs.

According to another aspect, the second edge of the second panel comprises a set of connection tabs extending therefrom.

According to an additional aspect, there is provided a kit for a display further comprising a third panel. The third panel has a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of locking slots adapted to receive the connection tabs of the first panel or the second panel when the third panel is generally perpendicular to the first panel or the second panel.

According to a further aspect, the set of locking slots of the third panel comprise a first and second pair of locking slots. The first pair of locking slots are spaced apart from the second pair of locking slots.

According to yet a further aspect, each member of the pair of the locking slots of the third panel comprises a finger-receiving portion and a head-receiving portion. The finger-receiving portion is sized to allow the passage of the at least one finger portion and the head portion of the connection tab therethrough. The head-receiving portion is adapted to receive the head portion of the connection tab.

According to another aspect, the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots of the third panel are aligned along a vertical axis extending generally parallel to the first and second edges of the third panel and the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis; and wherein the head-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are offset along the vertical axis.

According to an additional aspect, the head-receiving and the finger receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots of the third panel are aligned along a vertical axis of the third panel. The head-receiving and the finger receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the head-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots and the head-receiving portion of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis. The finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots and the finger-receiving portion of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis.

According to yet an additional aspect, the third panel further comprises a third and fourth spaced apart edges. The third and fourth edges extend between the first and second edges of the third panel. The width of the third edge along a horizontal axis extending generally perpendicularly to the first and second edges of the third panel is greater than the width of the fourth edge along the horizontal axis.

According to another aspect, there is provided a kit for a display that further comprises a fourth panel. The fourth panel has a first and second edge and one set of locking slots adapted to receive the connection tabs of the first or second panel when the fourth panel is generally perpendicular to the first panel or the second panel. The set of locking slots is located between the first and second edge.

According to yet another aspect, each member of the pair of the locking slots of the fourth panel comprises a finger-receiving portion and a head-receiving portion. The finger-receiving portion is sized to allow the passage of the finger portion and the head portion of the connection tab therethrough. The head-receiving portion is adapted to receive the head portion of the connection tab.

According to a further aspect, the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots of the fourth panel are aligned along a vertical axis extending generally parallel to the first and second edges of the fourth panel. The head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis. The head-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are offset along the vertical axis.

According to an additional aspect, the head-receiving and the finger receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots of the fourth panel are aligned along a vertical axis of the fourth panel and the head-receiving and the finger receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis. The head-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots and the head-receiving portion of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots and the finger-receiving portion of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis.

According to another aspect of an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a display comprising first and second, generally vertical, panels. The first panel has a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of connection tabs extending therefrom. Each of the connection tabs includes a head portion extending from the first edge of the first panel and at least one elongated finger portion extending from the head portion. The second panel is oriented generally perpendicular to the first panel and has a first and second edge. The first edge has at least two spaced apart locking slots for receiving the set of connection tabs of the first panel therein, each locking slot including at least one finger-receiving portion and a head-receiving portion. The finger-receiving portion is sized to allow the passage of the at least one elongated finger portion and the head portion of one connection tab therethrough. The head-receiving portion receives the head portion of the connection tab and the head-receiving portion of the at least two locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis while the finger-receiving thereof are offset along the vertical axis.

According to a further aspect of an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided an expandable display comprising first and second, generally vertical, panels. The first panel has a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of connection tabs extending therefrom. Each of the connection tabs includes a head portion extending from the first edge of the first panel and at least one elongated finger portion extending from the head portion. The second panel is oriented generally perpendicular to the first panel and has a first and second edge, the first edge having a set of locking slots. The locking slots receive the set of connection tabs of the first panel and include first and second pairs of locking slots. The first pair of locking slots is spaced apart from the second pair of locking slots. The locking slots include at least one finger-receiving portion sized to allow the passage of the at least one elongated finger portion and the head portion of one connection tab therethrough, and a head-receiving portion receiving the head portion of the connection tab. The head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the first pair of locking slots are aligned along a vertical axis of the second panel and the head-receiving and the finger-receiving portions of the second pair of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis. The head-receiving portions of the first and second pairs of locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions of the first and second pair of locking slots are offset along the vertical axis.

According to another aspect, wherein the second edge of the first panel comprises a second set of connection tabs extending therefrom.

According to yet another aspect, each of the first and second set of connection tabs comprises a pair of connection tabs. Each pair includes a first member and a second, spaced apart, member.

According to an additional aspect, the elongated fingers of each first member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a first direction and each second member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a second direction. The first and second directions of the first and second members of one pair of connection tabs are opposite to one another.

According to a further aspect, the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is the same.

According to yet a further aspect, the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is opposite.

According to another aspect, the first and second edges of the first panel further comprises a first pair of spaced apart recesses proximal to the first pair of connection tabs and a second pair of spaced apart recesses proximal to the second pair of connection tabs. Each recess is adapted to receive a connection tab therein. The first and second members of the first pair of recesses are aligned along a horizontal axis extending generally perpendicularly to the first and second edges of the first panel with the first and second members of the second pair of connection tabs. The first and second members of the second pair of recesses are aligned along the horizontal axis with the first and second members of the first pair of connection tabs.

According to an additional aspect, the second edge of the second panel comprises a set of connection tabs extending therefrom.

According to yet another aspect, the display further comprises a third panel mounted to one of the first and second panel. The third panel has a first and second edge, the first edge having at least one set of locking slots receiving the connection tabs of the first panel or the second panel when the third panel mounted thereto.

According to an additional aspect, the third panel further comprises a third and fourth spaced apart edges extending between the first and second edges thereof. The width of the third edge along a horizontal axis extending generally perpendicularly to the first and second edges of the third panel is greater than the width of the fourth edge along the horizontal axis.

According to a further aspect, the display further comprises a fourth panel mounted to the other of first and second panel. The fourth panel has a first and second edge and one set of locking slots adapted to receive the connection tabs of the other of first or second panel when the fourth panel is mounted thereto.

According to yet a further aspect, there is provided a display comprising a shelf mounted to at least one of the first and second panel.

According to another broad aspect of an embodiment of the invention, there is provided a panel for a display. The panel comprises a first and second edge, the first edge having a set of connection tabs extending therefrom. Each of the connection tabs includes a head portion extending from the first edge of the first panel and at least one elongated finger portion extending from the head portion.

According to an additional aspect, the second edge of the first panel comprises a second set of connection tabs extending therefrom.

According to yet an additional aspect, each of the first and second set of connection tabs comprises a pair of connection tabs, each pair including a first member and a second, spaced apart, member.

According to a further aspect, the elongated fingers of each first member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a first direction and each second member of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is oriented in a second direction. The first and second directions of the first and second members of one pair of connection tabs are opposite to one another.

According to another aspect, the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is the same.

According to yet another aspect, the first direction of the first members of the first and second pairs of connection tabs is opposite.

According to a further broad aspect of one embodiment of the invention, there is provided a panel for a display, the panel comprising a first and second edge, the first edge having at least two locking slots for receiving the set of connection tabs of the first panel therein. Each locking slot includes at least one finger-receiving portion sized to allow the passage of the at least one elongated finger portion and the head portion of one connection tab therethrough. Each locking slot further includes a head-receiving portion receiving the head portion of the connection tab. The head-receiving portion of the at least two locking slots are aligned along the vertical axis and the finger-receiving portions are offset along the vertical axis.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The embodiments of the present invention shall be more clearly understood with reference to the following detailed description of the embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front right perspective view of a portable exhibit display according to a first embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the portable exhibit display shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front right perspective view of the portable exhibit display shown in FIG. 1, with the arch and shelves removed for purposes of clarity;

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of a back panel shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a front right perspective view of the back panel shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of the back panels shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of one tab shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a left elevation view of a side panel shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a rear right perspective view of the side panel shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged left elevation view of the top portion of the side panel shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a further enlarged left elevation view of the side panel shown in FIG. 8 illustrating the alignment of the tab receiving slots;

FIG. 12 is a front right perspective view of the portable exhibit display shown in FIG. 1 with an additional panel adjacent one of the side panel in an unassembled configuration;

FIG. 13 is a front perspective view of the portable exhibit display shown in FIG. 12 with the additional panel in an assembled configuration;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged view of a side panel and a back panel of the display shown in FIG. 1, placed side by side;

FIG. 15 is a right elevation view of the center support shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 16 is a right front perspective view of the center support of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is an enlarged view of a center support and a back panel of the display shown in FIG. 1, placed side by side;

FIG. 18 is a front elevation view of a front panel shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 19 is a right elevation view of a front panel shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 20 is a right front perspective view of the left hand corner shelf shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 21 is a back right perspective view of the left hand corner shelf of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is a bottom plan view of the left hand corner shelf of FIG. 20 showing the front lip unfolded;

FIG. 23 is a front right perspective view of the rectangular shelf of FIG. 1;

FIG. 24 is a bottom plan view of the rectangular shelf of FIG. 23 showing the side and front lips unfolded;

FIG. 25 is a back left perspective view of the arch of FIG. 1;

FIG. 26 is a top plan view of the arch of FIG. 25 in an unfolded configuration;

FIG. 27 is an enlarged perspective cross section view of the back panel shown in FIG. 1 showing the folding line;

FIG. 28 is a front right perspective view of the left front panel and the left side panel of the display shown in FIG. 1 in an unassembled configuration;

FIG. 29 is a front right perspective view of the left front panel and the left side panel of FIG. 28 in an assembled configuration;

FIG. 30 is an enlarged front right perspective view of the left back panel and the center support of the display shown in FIG. 1 in an unassembled configuration;

FIG. 31 is an enlarged front right perspective view of the of the left back panel and the center support shown in FIG. 30 in an assembled configuration;

FIG. 32 is a front right perspective view of the display shown in FIG. 1 showing the assembly of the left back panel and the left side panel;

FIG. 33 is a front right perspective view of the display shown in FIG. 32 showing the assembly of the center support to the left back panel;

FIG. 34 is a front right perspective view of the display shown in FIG. 33 showing the assembly of the right back panel to the center support and the left back panel;

FIG. 35 is a front right perspective view of the display shown in FIG. 34 showing the right back panel assembled to the center support and the left back panel;

FIG. 36 is an enlarged front right perspective view of the display sown in FIG. 35, showing the arrangement of tabs, recess and locking slots;

FIG. 37 is a front right perspective view of the display shown in FIG. 35 showing the assembly of the right side panel to the right back panel;

FIG. 38 is a front right perspective view of the display shown in FIG. 37 in an assembled configuration;

FIG. 39 is a front right perspective view of the display shown in FIG. 1 showing the assembly of a front panel to the side panel;

FIG. 40 is a front right perspective view of a portable exhibit display according to an additional embodiment;

FIG. 41 is a front right perspective view of a portable exhibit display according to another embodiment;

FIG. 42 is a front right perspective view of a portable exhibit display according to a further embodiment;

FIG. 43 is a front right perspective view of a portable exhibit display according to another embodiment; and

FIG. 44 is a front right perspective view of the portable exhibit display of FIG. 43 including shelves and arches.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The description that follows, and the embodiments described therein, are provided by way of illustration of an example, or examples, of particular embodiments of the principles and aspects of the present invention. These examples are provided for the purposes of explanation, and not of limitation, of those principles and of the invention. In the description, like parts are marked throughout the specification and the drawings with the same respective reference numerals. The drawings are not necessarily to scale and in some instances proportions may have been exaggerated in order more clearly to depict certain features of the invention.

In the description and drawings herein, and unless noted otherwise, the terms “vertical” and “horizontal”, can be references to a Cartesian co-ordinate system in which the vertical direction generally extends in an “up and down” or “bottom to top” orientation on the page. The use of the term “upright” can be used to refer to an object that is generally oriented upright or in a vertical direction. The horizontal direction generally extends in a “left to right” or “side to side” orientation on the page. “Front”, “back”, “left” and “right” can also be used in the specification in which the “front” typically refers to the surface, face or edge of an object generally oriented towards the lower left corner of the page or extending from the page towards the viewer; “back” typically refers to the surface, face or edge of an object generally oriented towards the upper right corner of the page or extending from the page away from the viewer; “left” typically refers to the surface, face or edge of an object generally oriented towards the left margin of the page; and “right” typically refers to the surface, face or edge generally oriented towards the right margin of the page. References to “top” generally refer to the surface, face or edge generally oriented towards the top or upper margin of the page, while “bottom” generally refers to the surface, edge or face generally oriented towards the bottom or lower margin of the page.

The embodiments of the present invention are comprised of a number of members or components that have similar structures. It will be understood that for the corresponding structures of similar members of the display, such as, for example, side, back or front panels, each structure will be identified by an alphanumeric reference number wherein the letter will identify with which corresponding member the structure is associated.

With reference to FIGS. 1 to 3, a portable, self-standing and versatile exposition display 10 is shown. The display 10 is designed to stand on a generally flat, horizontal, surface such as a floor or a stage (not shown). A person skilled in the art will appreciate that the display 10 could be adapted to fit on any horizontal surface such as, for example, a table or other surface.

According to a first embodiment, the display 10 includes two spaced-apart, generally parallel, upright or vertical side panels 12a, 12b, two adjacent, upright or vertical, back panels 14a, 14b extending between the side panels 12a, 12b and, as shown in FIG. 2 or 3, defining a junction 15 therebetween. The display 10 further includes a center support 20a connected to both back panels 14a, 14b, at the junction 15 thereof, and a pair of front panels 18a, 18b connected to the side panels 12a, 12b, respectively. A pair of shelves 21a, 21b and a rectangular shelf 23a are provided in the display 10. It will be understood that shelves 21a, 21b and 23a can be used for displaying a variety of material such as products, wares or marketing material, such as, brochures, pamphlet, samples of commercial products and the like (not shown). An arch 16a in mounted on the side panels 12a, 12b and extends therebetween, the arch 16a being designed to accommodate a variety of displays, which can include, for example, a lighting assembly (not shown) for providing the display 10 with lighting or to illuminate displays within arch 16a.

The display 10 is further provided with at least one universal interlocking system for interlocking, interconnecting or connecting a combination of one or more of a side panel, a back panel, a center support or a front panel. Such components of the display, when combined together with at least one universal interlocking system comprise the display system of the present invention. As will be understood by a person skilled in the relevant art, the side panels, back panels, center supports and front panels can be connected through the interlocking system so as to provide a user of the display 10 with the possibility of assembling displays in a plurality of configurations. Examples of the various configurations of the display system are provided in, for example, FIGS. 1, 41, 42, 43, and 44. As shown in FIG. 3, the universal interlocking system of the display 10 includes at least one connection assembly and at least one locking assembly; each connection and receiving/locking assemblies being provided in some combination thereon the panel components, as will become apparent below.

It will be understood by a person skilled in the relevant art that the various components of display 10, including the side panels, back panels, center supports, and front panels, can be made from a wide variety of suitable material, which is light, low cost and durable, such as fluted plastics or corrugated cardboard. Material that is sturdy, durable and lightweight can be used including plastic, cardboard and sheet metal. Preferred materials are plastics such as, for example, Coroplast™, Cintar™, ABS and similar types of materials that are commercially available. The various panels of display 10 are preferably cut from Coroplast™ using a machine tool controlled by a Computer Numerical Control (CNC). A skilled artisan will however acknowledge that such panels could be press cut from the sheet material using a die or by any suitable method known in the art.

Components of the Display System

Now turning to FIGS. 4 and 5, the back panels 14 will be described. Since back panels 14a and 14b of the display 10 can be generally identical in configuration, it will be understood that the detailed depiction of the back panel 14a will be sufficient for describing both panels 14a and 14b. It will be understood that the corresponding structures of panel 14b are referred to on panel 14b with the same alphanumeric reference number as panel 14a but with the letter “a” replaced with the letter “b” so as to denote the corresponding structure. As shown in FIG. 4, the back panel 14a has a top edge 25a, a bottom edge 27a, a left side edge 29a and a right side edge 31a, spaced apart from edge 29a. For greater clarity, it will be understood that the same structures on panel 14b will be referred to as edges 25b, 27b, 29b and 31b. The side edges 29a and 31a extend between the edges 25a, 27a and are provided with first and second connection assemblies 33a and 35a, respectively. The back panel 14a further includes a front or first face 28a and an opposed, back or second face 30a (not shown) defining a thickness therebetween. According to this first embodiment, the back panel 14a has a height H and a width W. A person skilled in the art will understand that the height H and the width W could vary without departing from the scope of the invention. In one example of this embodiment, the height H and the width W are 80 inches and 28⅞ inches, respectively.

The first connection assembly 33a, provided along edge 29a of the back panel 14a includes four spaced-apart mounting tabs (36a, 37a, 38a, 39a), four spaced-apart tab-receiving recesses 40a to 43a, two alignment tabs 44a, 45a, one upper tab 50a and one upper tab or hook-receiving recess 51a. The tabs 36a to 39a form an integral structure with the back panel 14a and extend away from the left edge 29a generally along the horizontal plane of the panel. The second edge connection assembly 35a includes four spaced-apart mounting tabs 52a to 55a, four spaced-apart tab-receiving recesses 56a to 59a and two stabilising tabs 61a, 62a. The tabs 52a to 55a form an integral structure with the back panel 14a and extend away from the right edge 31a. The second connection assembly 35a is also provided with one upper hook 63a and one upper tab-receiving recess 64a, the upper hook 63a and the upper tab-receiving recess 64a being adapted to mate with the upper hook-receiving recess 51b and the upper tab 50b, respectively of the adjacent back panel 14b, as shown in FIG. 6.

It will be understood that panel 14b can be generally identical in configuration to panel 14a. The first edge connection assembly 33b of panel 14b is provided on the left side edge 29b of the back panel 14b and includes four spaced-apart mounting tabs 36b to 39b, four spaced-apart tab-receiving recesses 40b to 43b, two alignment tabs 44b, 45b, one upper tab 50b and one upper hook-receiving recess 51b. The second edge connection assembly 35b of panel 14b includes four spaced-apart mounting tabs 52b to 55b, four spaced-apart tab-receiving recesses 56b to 59b and two stabilising tabs 61b, 62b. The second edge connection assembly 35b of panel 14b is also provided with one upper hook 63b and one upper tab-receiving recess 64b, the upper hook 63b and the upper tab-receiving recess 64b.

As shown in FIG. 4, mounting tabs 36a to 39a of connection assembly 33a are aligned along a horizontal axis generally parallel to upper and lower edges 25a and 27a with the recesses 56a to 59a of the connection assembly 35a. The spaced-apart tabs 52a to 55a of the connection assembly 35a are similarly aligned with the recesses 40a to 43a of the connection assembly 33a. This configuration of connections assemblies allows the accommodation of the mounting tabs of a second connection assembly (e.g. 35a) of a first back panel (e.g. 14a) within the tab-receiving recesses of a first connection assembly (e.g. 33b) of a second back panel (e.g. 14b) as well as the accommodation of the upper hook (e.g. 63a) of the second connection assembly of the first panel (e.g. 14a) within the hook-receiving recess (e.g. 51b) of the first assembly of second panel (e.g. 14b). This configuration of connections assemblies also allows the accommodation of the mounting tabs of a first connection assembly (e.g. 33a) of a first panel within the tab-receiving recesses of a second connection assembly (e.g. 35c) of the third panel (e.g. 14c) as well as the accommodation of the upper tab of the first connection assembly (e.g. 50a) within the tab-receiving recess (e.g. 64c) of the second assembly (e.g. 35c) of the third panel 14c. It will be understood, therefore, based on this configuration of first and second connection assemblies on each back panel, that a plurality of back panel segments can be linked depending on the needs of the user. For example, FIG. 43 provides a series of four back panels 14a to 14d so linked.

As shown in FIG. 4, the recesses 40a to 43a of the first edge connection assembly 33a are generally rectangular and are adapted to receive corresponding tabs 52b to 55b of the second edge connection assembly 35b of panel 14b therein (not shown). It will be understood that recesses 40a to 43a and tabs 52b to 55b can be any shape provided that the female (e.g. recess 40a) can mate with the male (e.g. tab 52b). Similarly, the recesses 56b to 59b of the second side edge connection assembly 35b are generally rectangular and are adapted to receive corresponding tab 36a to 39a of the first connection assembly 33a. Again, as it is apparent from FIG. 4, each of the tabs 52a to 55a of the second connection assembly of the first back panel 14a are horizontally aligned with corresponding recesses 40b to 43b of the first connection assembly 33b of the adjacent side panel 14b. In this configuration, it will be understood that recesses 40b to 43b and tabs 52a to 55a can be any shape provided that they can mate with each other.

The alignment tabs 44a, 45a, 61a and 62a are generally rectangular projections extending from the left and right edges 29a, 31a of the back panel 14a. As described in further detail below, each stabilising tab 44a, 45a, 61a and 62a is positioned to engage one corresponding alignment slot 150a to 153a of a locking assembly 140a of the side panel 12a (shown in FIG. 8), corresponding alignment slots 215a, 217a, 231a or 233a of a locking assembly 201a of center panel 20a (as shown in FIG. 15) or corresponding alignment slots of a locking assembly 221a of front panel 18a (as shown in FIG. 19). According to this first embodiment, the thickness of the panel 14a and the alignment tabs 44a, 45a, 61a and 62a generally corresponds to the thickness of the side panels 12a and 12b, center support 20a or front panels 18a, 18b.

As seen in FIG. 4, the bottom edge 27a of the back panel 14a defines a pair of spaced-apart feet 67a, 69a and a lower edge recess 68a extending therebetween. The recess 68a is adapted to accommodate irregularities of the horizontal surface on which the display 10 stands, and in one embodiment has a height from ⅝ inch and greater; more preferably ⅞ inch. Further, the configuration of feet 67a, 69a and recess 68a provides an enhanced stability of the back panel 14a on soft surfaces such as carpet. A person skilled in the art, however, will acknowledge that back panel 14a may be provided without the feet 67a, 69a and the upward recess 68a or having a recess 68a of different shape and size while fulfilling the same purpose.

As shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, back panel 14a further includes a plurality of generally T-shaped mounting slots 65a distributed on panel 14a for mounting shelves, such as, for example, 21a, 21b or 23a, to the back panel 14a in variable positions. A person skilled in the art will recognise that slots can be generally any shape provided that the female (e.g. slot 65a) can mate with a male projection (e.g. tab 184; as shown in FIG. 21). Further, the shelf-mounting slots 65a could accommodate other types of display members such as, for instance, grid hooks. The shelf-mounting slots 65a extend through the panel 14a, between the front and back faces 28a, 30a of the back panel 14a and can be distributed in any pattern, but preferably are distributed throughout the side panel 14a in series of columns and row so as to accommodate shelves. As can be seen in FIG. 5, there is provided a preferred arrangement of mounting slots 65a in three columns (I, II, and III) and nine rows (IV to XII). The slots 65a of each of rows IV to XII are generally aligned along the horizontal axis generally parallel to upper and lower edges 25a and 27a; the slots 65a of each column (I to III) are generally aligned along the vertical axis generally parallel to left and right edges 29a and 31a.

As seen in greater detail in FIG. 6, each slot 65a comprises an upper portion 71a and a lower portion 72a. The upper portion 71a is wider as extending along the horizontal axis, than the lower portion 72a. The wide portion 71a is sized to allow the passage of a head portion 116a and a pair of finger portion 112a of a shelf-mount tab 114a extending from the shelves 21a (See FIG. 21). The narrower portion 72a is adapted to receive the head portion 116a of the shelf mounting tab 114a while collaborating with the finger portions 112a of the tab 114a to prevent unwanted withdrawal of the shelf-mounting tab 114a from the shelf mounting slot 65a (See FIG. 21). The back panel 14a additionally includes a plurality of generally circular holes 73a distributed on panel 14a. As with slots 65a, holes 73a extend through the panel 14a, between the front and back faces 28a, 30a of the back panel 14a and can be distributed in any pattern, but preferably in series of columns and row. As can be seen in FIG. 5, there is provided six columns and sixteen rows of holes 73a of panel 14a. The holes 73a are designed to receive hook portions of display members such as a display basket (not shown). Also provided on panels 14a and 14b are a plurality of generally rectangular slots 74a randomly distributed and designed to receive hook grids.

Despite a particular arrangement of shelf-mounting slots 65a, circular holes 73a and rectangular slots 74a is provided according to the first embodiment, a person skilled in the art will recognise that the shelf-mounting slots 65a, circular holes 73a and rectangular slots 74a could be configured differently. For instance, the number and position of the shelf-mounting slots 65a in each column or row could vary. Alternatively, one or more of the tab-receiving slots 65a, circular holes 73a and rectangular slots 74a may not be present without departing from the scope of this embodiment.

The mating or accommodation of panels 14a and 14b is best shown in FIG. 6. As shown in FIG. 6, the upper half of panels 14a and 14b are shown for clarity, but it will be understood that the lower halves or portions of panels 14a and 14b will be configured in a similar manner to that described below. Mounting tab 52a of the second connection assembly 35a of the back panel 14a is accommodated in the recess 40b of the first connection assembly 33b of the adjacent back panel 14b; tab 36b of the first connection assembly 33b of the back panel 14b is accommodated in the recesses 56a of the second connection assembly 35a of the back panel 14a. FIG. 6 also provides that upper hook 50b of the first connection assembly 33b of the adjacent back panel 14b is accommodated in the hook-receiving recess 64a of the second connection assembly 35a of the back panel 14a.

A person skilled in the relevant art would understand that the back panels 14a and 14b could be alternated such that the second connection assembly 35b of the back panel 14b engages the first connection assembly 33a of the back panel 14a in a similar manner to that described above. It will also be understood that the first connection assembly 33a of panel 14a could be engaged with the second connection assembly of another panel segment (not shown) having a configuration of panel 14a or 14b. Similarly, it will be understood that the second connection assembly 35b panel 14b could be engaged with the first connection assembly of another panel segment (not shown) having the configuration of panel 14a or 14b. On this basis, it will be further understood that a plurality of back panels could be joined in the manner described herein.

As best shown in FIG. 7, there is provided a close-up view of one of mounting tabs 36a to 39a and 52a to 55a. As an example, mounting tab 52a is provided in FIG. 7 and will be described. Since mounting tabs 36a to 39a and 52a to 55a can be generally identical in configuration, except where noted below, it will be understood that the detailed depiction of the mounting tab 52a will be sufficient for describing the remaining tabs. Mounting tab 52a is generally L-shaped and includes a first head portion 80a extending from the right side edge 31a of back panel 14a and a second distal finger portion 86a extending from head portion 80. As shown in FIG. 10, the head portion 80a is adapted to be received in the head-receiving portion (e.g. 156a) of a mounting slot (e.g. 141a) of a locking assembly (e.g. 140a), while the finger portion 86a and the head portion 80a are receivable through a second or finger receiving portion (e.g. 158a) of the tab-receiving slot (e.g. 141a). As shown in FIG. 7, the distal finger portion 86a of mounting tab 52a is oriented towards the bottom edge 27a (not shown) of panel 14a and away from top edge 25a (not shown). The distal finger 86a is also offset from the right side edge 31a such that the head portion 80a, finger 86a and edge 31a define a slot 81a; the opening of slot 81a being oriented towards the bottom edge 27a (not shown) of panel 14a and the closed portion of the slot oriented towards top edge 25a (not shown). As shown in FIG. 7, the U shaped slot 81a is adapted to receive the thickness of panels between the finger portion 86a and the side edge 31a, as will be described in greater detail below. It will be understood that slot 81a can be shaped to accommodate the thickness of a panel, such as, for example, a general U-shape. The head portion 80a of the tab 52a is provided with a generally semi-circular notch 83a. The semi-circular notch 83a facilitates the assembly of the display 10, as will become apparent below. It will be understood that notch 83a could be of any shape that would facilitate the assembly of the display 10. It will be further understood that notch 83a could also be replaces by a strap (not shown) or any such apparatus.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the distal finger portions of tabs 36a, 38a, 52a and 54a are oriented towards the bottom edge 27a of panel 14a and away from top edge 25a such that the opening of each corresponding U-shaped slots of tabs 36a, 38a, 52a, 54a are oriented towards bottom edge 27a of panel 14a and the closed portion of the U-shaped slots are oriented towards top edge 25a. The distal finger portions of tabs 37a, 39a, 53a and 55a, however, are oriented towards the top edge 25a of panel 14a and away from bottom edge 27a such that the opening of each corresponding U-shaped slots of tabs 37a, 39a, 53a and 55a are oriented towards top edge 25a of panel 14a and the closed portions of the U-shaped slots are oriented towards bottom edge 27a. The mirror image orientation of tabs 36a and 37a, 52a and 53a, 38a and 39a, as well as 54a and 55a allows, in connection with the configuration of the locking assembly, the stabilization of the display 10 by minimizing the vertical movement of the various components relative to one another, as will be understood in greater detail below.

As it will become apparent below, the first and second connection assemblies 33 and 35 of the back panel 14 are adapted to interlock with locking assemblies of the present invention, such as, for example locking assemblies 140 of the side panels 12 as shown in FIG. 8.

It will be appreciated by a person skilled in the relevant art that the configuration of the tabs 36a to 39a and 52a to 55a of panel 14a could vary while maintaining their function. For example, tab 52a could be configured to have two distal finger portions (not shown), one distal finger portion oriented towards the bottom edge 27a of panel 14a and away from top edge 25a, while another distal finger portion could be oriented towards the top edge 25a of panel 14a and away from bottom edge 27a so as to define two generally U-shaped slots. Again, a person skilled in the art will recognise that the tabs 36a to 39a and 52a to 55a of panel 14a can be generally any shape provided they can mate with an adapted female counterpart (e.g. slot or recess).

It will be understood that any configuration of the connection tabs where the distal finger portions of the connection assemblies are generally oriented opposite one to another can be encompassed. For greater certainty, any combination where the elongated finger of each of the tabs 36a and 52a (as well as 38a and 54a) are oriented in the opposite direction to the elongated finger of each tabs 37a and 53a (as well as 39a and 55a) or where the tabs 36a and 52a, 37a and 53a, 39a and 55a and/or 38a and 54a are in opposite directions to each other, would be encompassed by the present invention.

A person skilled in the art would also appreciate that the number and position of the tabs, hooks and recesses of each of the first and second edge connection assemblies could vary while achieving similar results such as, for example, where there is a mounting tab or hook in the first connection assembly such that a recess is generally aligned therewith along the horizontal axis.

With reference to FIGS. 8, 9 and 10, the side panel 12a will now be described. As with back panels 14a and 14b, both side panels 12a and 12b of the display 10 can be generally identical in configuration, it will be understood that the detailed description of the side panel 12a will be sufficient for describing both panels 12a and 12b. It will be understood that the corresponding structures of panel 12a are referred to on panel 12b with the same alphanumeric reference number but with the letter “b” in place of “a” so as to denote the corresponding structure. As shown in FIG. 8, the side panel 12a has a top edge 101a, a bottom edge 103a on which the side panel 12a stands, a right side edge 105a and a spaced apart left side edge 107a, edges 105a and 107a extending generally perpendicular to the horizontal axis established by top and bottom edges 101a and 103a to define a height generally corresponding to the height of back panel 14a or 14b, while the right and left edges 105a, 107a of the side panel 12a define a width. As it will become apparent below, the first and second connection assemblies 33a and 35a of the back panel 14a are further adapted to interlock with the locking assemblies 140 of the adjacent, generally perpendicular, side panels 12. The width of the side panels need not correspond to the width of the back panels (See FIG. 1, for example). According to this first embodiment, the side panel 12a has a height H and a width W. A person skilled in the art, however, will understand that the height H and the width W could vary without departing from the scope of the embodiment. For most uses of the display 10, height H can be any height and the width W can be any width. In one example, the height H and the width W could be 80 inches and 22¾″ inches, respectively. The side panel 12a further includes first and second, opposed, side faces 109a and 111a, defining a thickness T′ therebetween. According to one embodiment, the side panel 12a and the back panel 14a are made from the same sheet material and therefore the thicknesses of each panel are generally identical.

Similarly to back panel 14a, the bottom edge 107a of the side panel 12a is provided with a pair of spaced-apart feet 113a, 115a and recess 117a extending therebetween. As with panel 14a, the recess 117a of side panel 12a fulfills a similar function to recess 68a (see FIG. 4). More specifically, recess 117a is adapted to accommodate therein irregularities of the horizontal surface on which the display 10 stands, having a height of ⅝ inch and greater and most preferably ⅞ inch. A person skilled in the art, however, will acknowledge that side panel 12a may be provided without the feet 113a, 115a and the upward recess 117a or having a recess 117a of different shape and size while fulfilling the same purpose.

The right edge 105a of the side panel 12a is provided with a connection assembly 121a. It will be understood be a person skilled in the relevant art that the connection assembly 121a of the side panel 12a generally corresponds to the second connection assembly 35a defined on the right edge 31a of the back panel 14a (see FIG. 4). Despite the connection assembly 121a of the side panel 12a having a generally similar configuration to that of the second connection assembly 35a of the back panel 14a, a person skilled in the art will understand that the connection assembly 121a need not be so configured and could be configured differently. For instance, the number and location of tabs and recesses of connection assembly 121a could be different than those of connection assembly 35a. As shown in FIG. 8, connection assembly 121a includes four spaced-apart tabs 122a to 125a, four spaced-apart tab-receiving recesses 127a to 130a and two alignment tabs 131a, 132a. The connection assembly 121a is further provided with one upper hook 133a and one upper tab-receiving recess 135a, the upper hook 133a and the upper tab-receiving recess 135a being adapted to matedly connect with an upper hook-receiving recess 51c and the upper tab 50c of an adjacent panel 14c, as best shown in FIGS. 12 and 13. Again, the tabs 122a to 125a of the connection assembly 121a form an integral structure with the side panel 12a.

The side panel 12a is also provided with a locking assembly 140a, adapted to interlock with the connection assemblies of; for example, the back panels 14a and/or 14b. The locking assembly 140a is generally located proximal to the left edge 107a of the side panel 12a and includes a plurality of tab receiving slots 141a to 144a and 145a to 148a, adapted to receive the tabs 36a to 39a, 36b to 39b, 52a to 55a and 52b to 55b of the first and second connection assemblies 33a, 35a. Each slot 141a to 144a and 145a to 148a extends between the first and second faces 109a (FIG. 8) and 111a (FIG. 9) of the side panel 12a. As it will be appreciated from FIGS. 8 and 10, the tab receiving slots 141a to 144a and 145a to 148a of the locking assembly 140a are horizontally aligned with at least one of the recesses 127a to 130a or mounting tabs 122a to 125a of the connection assembly 121a. The locking assembly 140a also includes four alignment slots 150a to 153a. Each alignment slot 150a to 153a is vertically aligned with the receiving portions 156a and 161a, as described below, of the tab-receiving slots 141a to 144a and 145a to 148a between lines A-A and A′-A′ (shown in FIG. 10) and is adapted to receive alignment tabs 44a, 45a 61a and 62a of a connection assemblies 33a, 35a. The alignment slots 150a to 153a comprise generally rectangular (elongated along the vertical axis generally parallel to sides 105a and 107a) apertures through the first and second faces 109a, 111a of the side panel 12a.

As can be seen in FIGS. 8, 10 and 11, slots 141a, 143a, 145a and 147a comprise uppercase generally P shaped (P-shaped) slots while slots 142a, 144a, 146a and 148a comprise lowercase generally D shaped (d-shaped) slots. Each of the generally P-shaped slots (141a and 143a; 145a and 147a) includes a head-receiving portion 156a and a finger-receiving portion 158a (see FIG. 11). As can be seen in greater detail in FIGS. 10 and 11, the head-receiving portion 156a of the generally P-shaped slots (141a and 143a; 145a and 147a) extends towards the right edge 105a and has an outer edge 157a extended further thereto than the outer edge 159a of the finger-receiving portion 158a. Each of the generally d-shaped slots (142a and 144a; 146a and 148a) is the inverse mirror image or the reversed mirror image of the generally P-shaped slots as each further comprises a head-receiving portion 161a (see FIG. 11) and a finger-receiving portion 163a (see FIG. 11). As can be seen in greater detail in FIG. 11, the head-receiving portion 161a of the generally d-shaped slots (142a, 144a, 146a and 148a) extends towards the left edge 107a and has an outer edge 165a extended further thereto than the outer edge 167a of finger-receiving portion 163a.

It will be understood that where the panel is inverted, flipped or rotated 180° along the vertical axis, the P-shaped slots will become lowercase q-shaped slots while the d-shaped slots will become lowercase b-shaped slots (as seen in FIG. 9). As shown in FIG. 9, the second or back surface 111a is now oriented towards the viewer.

As can be seen in FIG. 11, the edge 165a is aligned along a vertical axis parallel to the edges 105a and 107a (extending between lines A-A and A′-A′, as seen in FIG. 10) with edge 159a and the edge 157a is aligned with the edge 167a. As seen in FIGS. 10 and 11, it will be understood that the edges 157a and 167a of first receiving portions 156a and 161a are aligned along the vertical axis parallel to the edges 105a and 107a such that the head receiving portions 156a and 161a are aligned, while the finger receiving portions 158a and 163a are offset or staggered along the vertical axis so as to define an offset slot arrangement.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged view of the upper half of side panel 12a. As shown in FIG. 10, also aligned with the head-receiving portion 156a of the slots 141a, 145a, 146a and 142a, along lines A-A and A′-A′, is an upper stabilizing recess 160a. The stabilizing recess 160a is generally rectangular, vertically elongated and extends downwardly from the top edge 101a of the side panel 12a. The stabilizing recess 160a is adapted to simultaneously receive the upper tab 50 of a first connection assembly 33 of a panel and the upper hook 63 of a second connection assembly 35 of an adjacent panel. The upper stabilizing recess 160a cooperates with the upper hook 63 or the upper tab 50 to prevent unwanted movement (e.g. bending) of the top edge 25 of a back panel 14, such as that due to, for example, the display of material on a shelf 21a, 21b or 23 mounted proximate to the top edge 25, as, for instance, shelf 21a shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Proximate to the top edge 101a of the side panel 12a are found two pairs of spaced-apart, horizontally aligned, arch-mounting slots 171a, 173a and 175a, 177a. Each member of the first pair of arch mounting slots 175a and 177a are lowercase Q shaped (q-shaped) slots, while each member of the second pair of arch mounting slots 171a, 173a are uppercase P (P-shaped) slots. It will also be seen in FIG. 10 that slots 171a, 173a are located in an intermediate region between the first arch-mounting slots 175a, 177a and the upper stabilizing recess 160. Each arch mounting slot 171a, 173a, 175a, 177a includes a generally vertical, elongated, finger-receiving portion 166a and a narrower head-receiving portion 168a as seen in FIG. 10 and similar in configuration to the slots previously described. The finger- and head-receiving portions 166a, 168a are adapted to allow the passage of a head portion 170 of a leg 172 of the arch 16 and to receive a finger portion 174 of the leg 172 of the arch 16, in a slip fit engagement fashion.

Similarly to the back panel 14a, the side panel 12a includes a plurality of T-shaped shelf-mounting slots 176a for mounting shelves thereto in variable positions. Again, the shelf-mounting slots 176a extend between the first and second faces 109a, 111a of the side panel 12a and are distributed in a similar manner to that described with reference to FIG. 5, such as, for example, defining columns and rows. In a preferred embodiment, there are three columns and nine rows, the slots 176a being aligned therein. As best shown in FIG. 14, the rows of the side panel 12a are horizontally aligned with rows of the back panel 14a when the side and back panels 12a, 14a are interlocked with one another. This particular configuration of the slots 65a and 176a allows the levelled assembly of shelves having side and back mounting tabs 182, 184 to the display 10, such as the shelves 21a and 21b, as shown in FIG. 1.

The side panel 12a is also provided with a plurality of generally circular holes 186a and rectangular slots 188a randomly distributed, the circular holes 186a and the rectangular slots 188a extending between the first face 109a and the second face 111a of the side panel 12a. The function of circular holes 186a and rectangular slots 188a of the side panel 12a is similar to the function of circular holes 73a and rectangular slots 74a of the back panel 14a.

As best seen in FIG. 10, the slots 141a, 145a and 146a and 142a are adapted to allow the passage of the mounting tabs of connection assemblies therethrough. The height h of the head-receiving portions 156a and 161a is less than the height of h′ of the finger receiving portions 156a=163a (see FIG. 11). This arrangement provides that when forced is applied to move the mounting tabs within the slots, the U-shaped slot 81 slip fits the side panel 12a. More specifically, the head portion 80a is also engaged in a slip fit arrangement with head receiving portion 156a and 161a. The force may be applied by a user through the insertion of a finger through notch 83a and applying force thereto as to move the tab into the slip fit arrangement noted above. As appreciated in FIGS. 10 and 11, the finger receiving portions 158a of the slot 141a extends downwardly from the head receiving portion 156a to define a P-shape while the finger receiving portion 161a of the slots 146a extends upwardly to define a d-shape. The distribution of P-shaped and d-shaped slots 141a-144a and 145a-148a of the side panel 12a, in the offset configuration together with the opposing orientation of the tabs 36a to 39a or 52a to 55a engaged in slots 141a to 144a and 145a to 148a also provides greater stability of the display 10 by minimizing movement of the back panel 14a relative to the side panel 12a.

As will be described in greater detail below, the offset configuration of P and d slots allows a panel having a connection assembly to perpendicularly engage with the locking assembly 140a of the side panel 12a to create an L-shaped assembly that can remain erect, as can be seen in FIGS. 1 to 3 and FIGS. 12 and 13, while limiting horizontal and vertical movement relative to each panel. For example, when the connection assembly 33a of panel 14a engages with the locking assembly 140a of the side panel 12a the horizontal and vertical movement of each panel relative to one another will be limited, thus conferring to the display 10 enhanced stability. Indeed, the particular configuration of the locking assembly 140a has the advantage of providing simultaneously a front and back support for the interlocked back or side panel 14, 12.

As a further example, FIGS. 12 and 13 show a side panel 12a being aligned with back panel 14c so that it can be connected via connection assembly 121a and locking assembly 33c so as to extend the display 10. The panels 12a and 14c are connected by the locking assembly of panel 18a (described below). As seen in FIG. 13, side panel 12a has been connected to panel 14c so as to further expand the display 10 via panel 18a. It will be understood that through the use of the connection and locking assemblies of the present invention, the display 10 can be expanded in a plurality of directions resulting in a plurality of configurations, only one possibility being shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, 12 and 13. Other possibilities are provided in FIGS. 41 to 44.

With reference to FIGS. 15 and 16, the center support 20a of the display 10 includes a first or top edge 190a, a second or bottom edge 192a a third or right edge 194a extending between the top and bottom edges 190a, 192a and a fourth or left edge 196a. The edge 196a is extending angularly between bottom edge 192a and top edge 190a, being wider near the bottom edge 192a and narrower at the top edge 190a and tapering from the bottom edge 192a to the top edge 190a. It will be understood by a person skilled in the relevant art that the shape of center support 20a can vary. For example, center support 20a could also be generally L-shaped or any shape that would provide forward lean stability, provided that the bottom edge 192a is generally wider than top edge 190a in that its width extending along a horizontal axis parallel to bottom edge 192a and top edge 190a extends further that the width of top edge 192a along the same horizontal axis. As long as the bottom edge 192a is generally wider than the top edge 190a, the center support 20a will provide the display 10 with improved stability to prevent forward leaning thereof, since it will be understood by a person skilled in the art that the assembly of shelves 21a, 21b and 23 and display of promotional material thereon will tend to induce such forward leaning of the display 10. The center support 20a includes a locking assembly 201a that can be similar in configuration to the locking assembly 140a of the side panel 12a. The locking assembly 201a extends generally along the back edge 194a of the center support 20a.

The locking assembly 201a is comprised of a plurality of lower Q shaped (q-shaped) slots 211a, 213a, 225a and 239a, and d-shaped slots 219a, 223a, 235a and 237a. There is also provided a plurality of alignment slots 215a, 217a, 231a and 233a. In the case of the locking assembly 201a, each of the generally d-shaped slots is the mirror image (along the horizontal axis) of the generally q-shaped slots. When panel 20a is flipped inverted or rotation 180° along the vertical axis, the q-shaped slots will become P-shaped slots and the d-shaped slots will become b-shaped slots. Each of the q- and d-shaped slots further comprises a finger receiving portion and a head receiving portion. Unlike locking assembly 140a, the slots of locking assembly 201a are not provided in the offset slot arrangement. Instead, the finger receiving portions of each of the q- and d-shaped slots are aligned. Further, as shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, the alignment slots 215a, 217a, 231a and 233a are offset from the finger receiving portions of each of the q- and d-shaped slots. The alignment slots of locking assembly 201 are aligned vertically with the head receiving portions of each of the q- and d-shaped slots. This arrangement provides that when the connection assemblies of side or back panels are connected to the centre panel 20a, any forward motion (e.g. forward lean) of the panel segments will cause the head receiving portions of slots 211a, 213a, 255a and 239a to remain in the slip fit configuration thus providing increased stability.

The center support 20a is also provided with a plurality of generally T-shaped slots 198a. The generally T-shaped slots 198a are generally identical in configuration and location within center support 20a as the slots of panels 12a, 14a and 14b, which therefore does not require further description. The slots 198a are distributed so as to be in an aligned configuration with the slots 65a and 176a of the back and side panels 14a, 12a, upon assembly of the display 10, as, shown, for example, in FIG. 17. As can be seen from FIGS. 15 and 16, the bottom edge 192a of the center support 20a defines a pair of spaced-apart feet 203a, 205a and an upward recess 202a extending therebetween. The purpose of the feet 203a, 205a is generally similar to back and side panels 14a, 12a, which therefore does not require further description.

As shown in FIG. 18, the front panel 18a will be described. The front panels 18a, 18b having the same configuration such that only the front panel 18a will be described. Since back panels 18a and 18b can be generally identical in configuration, it will be understood that the detailed depiction of the front panel 18a will be sufficient for describing both panels 18a and 18b. It will be understood that the corresponding structures of panel 18a are referred to on panel 18b with the same alphanumeric reference number but with the letter “b” instead of “a” so as to denote the corresponding structure. With reference to FIG. 18, the front panel 18a generally includes a top edge 204a, a bottom edge 206a having a pair of spaced apart feet 208a, 209a and a recess 210a extending therebetween, and a pair of first and second, generally straight, side edges 212a, 214a extending between the top and bottom edges 204a, 206a (not shown). The front panel further includes a first face 216a (not shown) and a second, opposed face 218a. The front panel 18a further includes a locking assembly 221a generally identical to the locking assembly 201 as previously described, the locking assembly 221a extending along the side edge 212a of the front panel 18a. The locking assembly 221a is generally located proximal to the right edge 212a of the panel 18a and includes a plurality of tab receiving slots 225a, 229a, 237a, 241a, 243a, 245a, 251a and 253a, adapted to receive the tabs of the connection assemblies provided on various panel segments. There are also provided a plurality of alignment slots 231a, 235a, 247a and 249a. Each slot of the locking assembly 221a extends between the first and second faces 216a and 218a of the panel 18a. Each alignment slot 231a, 235a, 247a and 249a is vertically aligned with head-receiving portions as described above with respect to locking assembly 140a. The tab-receiving slots 225a, 229a, 237a, 241a, 243a, 245a, 251a and 253a are adapted to receive tabs of the connect assemblies of various panels. The alignment slots 231a, 235a, 247a and 249a are similar in configuration to the alignment slots noted above with respect to locking assembly 140a, and as such, will not be described further.

In addition, the front panel 18a includes a plurality of generally T-shaped slots 220a. The generally T-shaped slots 220a are generally identical in configuration and location within center front panel 18a as the slots within panels 12a, 14a, 14b and 20, which therefore does not require further description. The slots 220a are distributed so as to be in an aligned configuration with the rows of the side and back panels 12a, 14a upon assembly of the display 10.

As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the front panels 18a, 18b are respectively connected to side panels 12a, 12b. Despite front panels 18a, 18b being configured similarly (they are mirror images as in that the panel 18a is flipped, inverted or rotated 180° along the vertical axis to be panel 18b), their assembly with the side panels 12a, 12b differs in that the front or first face 218a of the front panel 18a adjoins the front edge 105a of the side panel 12a, while the back or second face 216b of the front panel 18b is adjoining the front edge 126b of the side panel 12b, the front panels 18a and 18b being mirror images of one another upon assembly of the side panels 12a, 12b.

In FIG. 19, there is provided front panel 18c. Since panel 18c can be generally similar in configuration with panels 18a and 18b, it will be understood that the detailed depiction of the front panel 18a will be sufficient for describing panel 18c. It will be understood that the corresponding structures of panel 18a are referred to on panel 18c with the same alphanumeric reference number but with the letter “c” instead of “a” so as to denote the corresponding structure. It will be seen from FIG. 19 that the locking assembly 221c of panel 18c is provided along the horizontal center of the panel. This is different than front panels 18a and 18b where the locking assembly is disposed towards the edge 212a or 212b. In addition, the locking assembly 221c includes a plurality of tab receiving slots 225c, 229c, 237c, 241c, 243c, 245c, 251c and 253c, adapted to receive the tabs of the connection assemblies provided on various panel segments. There are also provided a plurality of alignment slots 231c, 235c, 247c and 249c. Each slot of the locking assembly 221c extends between the first and second faces 216c and 218c of the panel 18c. Each alignment slot 231c, 235c, 247c and 249c is vertically aligned with the first or head receiving portions as described above with respect to locking assembly 140a. The tab-receiving slots 225c, 229c, 237c, 241c, 243c, 245c, 251c and 253c are adapted to receive tabs of the connection assemblies of various panels. The alignment slots 231c, 235c, 247c and 249c are similar in configuration to the alignment slots noted above with respect to locking assembly 140a in that they are provided in the offset arrangement, and as such, will not be described further.

The front panel 18c is also provided with two columns of generally T-shaped slots 220c. The generally T-shaped slots 220c are generally identical in configuration within front panel 18c as the slots with other panels noted herein, which therefore do not require further description, except that there are two columns. The slots 220c are distributed so as to be in an aligned configuration with the rows of the side and back panels 12c, 14c upon assembly of the display 11. As can be seen in FIG. 44, the provision of two columns of slots 220c allow for the assembly of additional shelves 21c and 21d.

As best shown in FIGS. 4, 8, 16 and 18, each back panel 14a, side panel 12a, center support 20a and front panels 18a is provided with a generally horizontal folding line 500a, 502a, 504a and 506a, respectively. Because each of the folding lines 500a, 502a, 504a and 506a are generally similar and fulfills an identical function, only the folding line 500a will be described in connection with the back panel 14a. A person skilled in the art will recognise that a similar description also applies to folding lines 502a, 504a and 506a.

As shown on FIG. 4, the folding line 500a is generally equidistant from the edge 25a and edge 27a of the back panel 14a and is aimed to allow folding of the back panel 14a in two parts. Referring to FIG. 27, the folding line 500a is defined by a partial cut extending linearly between the side edges 29a, 31a, generally parallel to the edge 25a. Since the back panel 14a is made from fluted plastic, the folding line may be produced by defining a generally straight cut on one of the front or back face 28a, 30a while keeping the integrity of the other of the front or back faces 28a, 30a. A person skilled in the art will appreciate that a folding line could be produced through weakening an area such as, for example, by creating a perforation or crimping the sheet material. Alternatively, the back panel could be made from two distinct sections connected to one another by a hinge or mounted with H-shaped connectors.

The shelves of the display 10 will now be described. As seen in FIGS. 20 and 21, the shelves 21a, 21b are generally each trapezoidal but it will be understood that other shapes, such as generally triangular would also be possible. The shelves 21a, 21b have the same configuration such that only the shelf 21a will be described. Since shelves 21a and 21b can be generally identical in configuration, it will be understood that the detailed depiction of the shelf 21a will be sufficient for describing both shelves 21a and 21b. It will be understood that the corresponding structures of panel 21a are referred to on panel 21b with the same alphanumeric reference number but with the letter “b” instead of “a” so as to denote the corresponding structure. As shown in FIG. 20, shelf 21a has a first edge 222a, a second edge 224a, generally parallel to the first edge 222a, a third edge 226a extending perpendicularly between the first and second edges 222a, 224a and a fourth edge 228a angularly extending from first edge 222a to second edge 224a. The edge 228a extends from the first edge 222a of the shelf 21a with a first angle of varying degrees relative to the size of the display, but should be 45 degrees or less. Together, the angular edge 228a and the first edge 224a define a second angle of varying degrees relative to the size of the display or 135 degrees or less. The first and second angles could however be configured in a manner, as it will be appreciated below, adapted to the relative width of the side panel 12a, back panel 14a and front panel 18a to which the shelf 21a is mounted. Together, the first edge 222a, the second edge 224a, the third edge 226a and the fourth edge 228a define a top, display face 230a upon which material can be placed, and a second, bottom face 232a (see FIG. 22). Extending away from display face 230a is lower flange or lip 227a. Flange 227a reinforces the shelf 21a such that it reduces or prevents unwanted bending or flexing of the shelf 21a when material is placed thereon.

The shelf 21a is folded from a blank 234a (best shown in FIG. 22) having lip 236a extending from the angular edge 228a. The lip 236a is folded to form flange 227a and includes a rectangular, elongated, first portion 238a having a first edge 240a flexibly connected to the angular edge 228a and a second edge 242a flexibly connect to a first edge of second portion 244a. Second portion 244a also has a second edge 248a. From the second edge 248a of the portion 244a is flexibly extending a fastening portion 250a. Despite the various portions 238a, 244a and 250a are flexibly connected to the angular edge of the shelf 228a or to one another, the various components of the lip 234a form an integral structure with the shelf 21a. In this embodiment, flexibility is provided through lines 252a, 254a and 256a weakening the strength of the sheet material along these lines 252a, 254a and 256a, and therefore providing increased flexibility.

The fastening portion 250a collaborates with the bottom face 232a of the shelf 21a to maintain the flange 227a in a folded position. More specifically, the bottom face 232a and the fastening portion 250a are both provided with fastening means, such as, for example, complementary hook-and-loop fasteners 258a, 260a (e.g. Velcro™). A person skilled in the art will acknowledge that hook-and-loop fasteners 258a, 260a could suitably be replaced by snap fasteners or other releasable fasteners known in the art. Upon folding of the lip 236a, the hook-and-loop fastener 260a of the fastening portion 250a engages the complementary hook-and loop fastener 258a of the bottom face 232a, therefore providing a releasable fastener. This particular configuration enables the unfolding of the lip 236a to obtain a generally flat blank 234a therefore facilitating the packaging and transport of the shelf 21a. Further, the lip 236a could be taken away from shelf 21a without departing from the scope of the embodiment.

As best shown in FIG. 21, the shelf 21a is provided with a plurality of shelf mounting tabs 114a. As shown in FIG. 21, the shelf mounting tabs 114a are distributed in three sets, namely the side mounting tabs 182a, the back mounting tabs 184a and the front mounting tabs 162a. The shelf 21a includes three, generally T-shaped, back mounting tabs 184a, three generally L-shaped side mounting tabs 182a and one generally T-shaped front mounting tab 162a. The tabs 182a, 184a, and 162a each include at least one finger portion 112a and a head portion 116a and are designed to simultaneously engage the tab mounting slots 176a, 65a and 198a of the side, back and front panels 12a, 14a and 18a, respectively. The head portions 116a of tabs 182a, 184a and 162a are sized to slip fit engagement in the head-receiving portions 72a of the tab mounting slots 176a, 65a and 220a while the finger portion 112a is adapted to pass through the finger-receiving portion 71a for allowing the assembly of the shelf 21a to the side, back and front panels 12a, 14a, 18a. The L-shaped tabs are so configured to allow the shelves to be inserted in the following order: 184a, 182a and 162a. When assembled with side and front panels, tab 162a engages in the slot 220c to provide additional stability to the display 10.

Similarly to shelf 21a, the shelf 23 (FIGS. 23 and 24) is generally rectangular but it will be understood that other shapes, such as generally square would also be possible. The rectangular shelf 23 includes a first or back edge 266, a second or front edge 268, generally parallel with first edge 266 and two side edges 270, 272 extending perpendicularly between the front and back edges 266, 268. Together, the front, back and side edges define a rectangular top face 274 on which promotional material can be displayed, and a bottom face 276 (see FIG. 24). The rectangular shelf 23 further includes a pair of lateral lips 278, 279 extending downwardly from the top face 274 at each side edge 270, 272, and a front lip 280, similarly extending downwardly from the top face 274, but from the front edge 268 thereof. The flanges or lips 278, 279 and 280 are aimed to provide increased strength to the rectangular shelf 23 and prevent undue bending thereof upon display of promotional material. Further, as it will be appreciated below, the side lips 278, 279 are designed to adjoin the front face 28a of the back panel 14a (or the second face 111a of the side panel 12a) so as to provide additional support to the shelf 23 upon assembly to the display 10.

As best shown in FIG. 24, shelf 23 is folded from a blank 264 having a front lip 280, which forms an integral structure with the rectangular shelf 23. The front lip 280 of the rectangular shelf 23 generally includes a rectangular, elongated, first or front portion 282 having a first or top edge 284 flexibly connected to the edge 268 and a second or bottom edge 286. The front lip 280 also includes a second portion 288 having a first top edge 290 flexibly connected to the bottom edge 286 of the front portion 282 and a second or bottom edge 292. From the bottom edge 292 of the second portion 288 is flexibly extending a fastening portion 294. Similarly to shelf 21a, hinge means is provided through lines 296, 298 and 300 to weaken the strength of the sheet material there along and therefore providing increased flexibility.

The fastening portion 294 of the front lip 280 collaborates with the bottom face 276 thereof to maintain the lip 280 in a folded position. Similarly to shelf 21a, the bottom face 276 and the fastening portion 294 of lip 280 are both provided with complementary hook-and-loop fasteners 302, 304, such as Velcro™. Upon folding of the lip 280, the hook-and-loop fasteners 302, 304 collaborate with one another to prevent undesired unfolding of the lip 280 while permitting unfolding for disassembly.

Since side flanges or lips 278, 279 are merely mirror images of one another, only the side lip 278 will be described with reference to FIG. 24. A person skilled in the art will understand that the same description applies to side lip 279, with relevant adaptations. The side lip 278 includes a first side portion 306 having a first or top edge 308 connected to the side edge 270 of the shelf 23 and a bottom edge 310 and a second side portion 312. The portion 312 includes a bottom end 314 flexibly connected to the bottom end 310 of the side portion 306, and a top end 316. From the top end 316 of the internal portion 312 extends a fastening portion 318. The side lip 278 forms an integral structure with the rectangular shelf 23. Similarly to front lip 280, hinge means is provided through dotted lines 320, 322, 324 to weaken the strength of the sheet material therealong and therefore providing increased flexibility.

The fastening portion 318 of the side lip 278 collaborates with the bottom face 276 thereof to maintain the lip 280 in a folded position. Similarly to lip 280, the bottom face 276 and the fastening portion 318 of lip 278 are both provided with complementary hook-and-loop fasteners 326, 328. Upon folding, the side lip 278 generally defines a tapering profile having a panel adjoining end 330, a distal end 332, the side edge 266 of the rectangular shelf 23 and bottom end 310 of external side portion 306 extending therebetween. The panel adjoining end 330 is relatively long while the distal end 332 is relatively short, both end extending generally vertically. Upon assembly of the rectangular shelf to the back panel 14a (or side panel 12a), the panel adjoining end 330 adjoins the front surface 28a of the back panel 14a, therefore providing a vertical support to the rectangular shelf.

The rectangular shelf 23 is provided with a plurality of generally T-shaped shelf mounting tabs 114 extending from the back edge 266. The tabs 114 each include a finger portion 112 and a head portion 116 and are designed to simultaneously engage the tab mounting slots 176a and 65a of a particular row of the side or back and front panels 12a, 14a and 18a, respectively. Again, the head portion of tabs 114 is sized to slip fit engagement in the head-receiving portion 72a of the tab mounting slots 176 and 65a while the finger portion 112 is adapted to pass through the finger-receiving portion 71a for allowing the assembly of the shelf 21a to the side and back panels 12a, 14a.

Now turning to FIGS. 25 and 26, the arch 16 will be described. The arch 16 generally includes a first or front face 332, a second or back face 334 including openings 336, top and bottom faces 338, 340 and two, opposed, side ends 342, 344. Extending downwardly from the bottom face 340, at each side end 342, 344 is a pair of supporting legs 346, 347, 348, 349 each leg carrying at a lower end 350 thereof an arch mounting foot 352.

As best shown in FIG. 26, the arch 16 is made from a folded blank 354. The blank 354 generally includes a front portion 356 and a back portion 358 connected to one another by a generally elongated, rectangular portion 360 that will define the top surface 338 of the arch 16 upon folding of the blank 354, as it will be appreciated in greater details below.

The rectangular centre portion 360 has a relatively large front edge 362, a parallel, back edge 364 and two relatively short side edges 366, 368 extending between said front and back edges 362,364. In an intermediate region 370 equidistant from each side edges 366,368 is defined a folding line 372 defining a right and a left top surface 374, 376 of the arch 16 upon folding of the blank 354 (As seen in FIG. 25).

The front portion 356 of the blank 354 includes a right front portion 378 and a left, adjacent portion 379. The left and right front portions 378, 379 being merely mirror images of one another and generally similar in configuration, it will be understood that the detailed depiction of the right front portion 378 will be sufficient for describing both front portions 378, 379. Similarly to the front portion 356, the back portion 358 of the blank 354 includes a right back portion 380 and a left, adjacent back portion 381, the left and right back portions 380, 381 being merely mirror images of one another along one axis and mirror images of the front portions 378, 379 respectively.

The right front portion 378 of the blank 354 is provided with a right front panel 382, a bottom flap panel 384, a first, upper, leg flap panel 386 and a second, lower, flap panel 388. The leg flap panel 386 is provided with hook-and-loop fastener adapted to matedly connect with corresponding hook-and-loop fasteners provided on another leg flap panel 386. Similarly, lower flap panel 388 is provided with hook-and-loop fastener adapted to matedly connect with a corresponding hook-and-loop fasteners provided on another lower flap panel 388. Together, the flap panels 386 and 388 contribute to maintain the shape of the arch 16 upon folding of the blank 354.

The right front panel 382 has a generally L-shape and includes a core portion 390 and a leg portion 392. The core portion 390 includes a first side end 394 defined by an angular edge 396, and a second opposed end 398, to which is connected to the leg portion 392, as described below. The core portion 390 further includes a top edge 400 having a length L corresponding to the distance separating the folding line 372 and the side edge 368 of the rectangular portion 360, and a bottom edge 402. The top edge of the core portion 400a is flexibly connected to the front edge 362 of the center portion 360, between the folding line 372 and the side edge 368 thereof.

As best shown in FIG. 26. the angular edge 396 of the core portion 390 extends from the top edge 400 thereof, at a location proximal to the folding line 372, away from the center portion 360. The angular edge 396 defines and angle with a virtual line extending from the folding line 372, so as to allow bending of the center portion 360 upon folding of the blank 354, as it will be described in the details below.

The bottom flap panel 384 has a generally rectangular shape defined by a front edge 404, an opposed back edge 406 and two side edges 408, 410 extending therebetween. The front edge 404a of the bottom flap panel 384a is flexibly connected to the bottom edge 402 of the core portion 390.

The back portion 358 is provided with openings 336 defined on the core portion 390 of the back portions 380 and 381. Further, the left back portion 381 is provided with and stabilising panel 416 flexibly extending from the edge 396 of the bottom flap panel 384. The stabilising panel 416 is provided with hook-and-loop fastener adapted to mate a complementary hook-and-loop fastener provided on the bottom flap panel 380 of the right back portion 378d so as to maintain the shape of the arch 16 upon folding of the blank 354.

Assembly of Display

Now turning to FIGS. 28 to 39, the assembly of the display 10 will be described. In a first step, as shown in FIGS. 28 and 29, the side 216a of front panel 18a is connected to the edge 105a of the side panel 12a. To do so, a user first engages the upper hook 133a of the side panel 12a in the upper recess 160a of the front panel 18a and moves the panels vertically relative to one another such that the finger portion 86a of the upper hook 133a engages the first and second faces 214a and 216a of the front panel 18a within the U-shaped slot 81a so as to prevent unwanted removal of the upper hook 133a from the upper recess 160a. The finger portion 86a of the first tab 122a of the connection assembly 121a is then inserted into one of the slots of locking assembly 221a. Similarly, the remaining tabs (123a to 125a) of the connection assembly 121a are inserted into the corresponding slots of the locking assembly 221a. As it will be understood by a person skilled in the art, the slots 229a, 237a, 245a and 251a will be engaged with tabs 122a, 123a, 124a and 125a respectively, as shown in FIG. 29. It will be further understood that slots 231a and 247a will be engaged with alignment tabs 131a and 132a. As shown in FIG. 29, slots 225a, 235a, 241a, 243a, 249a and 253a will be unoccupied and therefore be available for engagement with the connection assemblies of other panel members due to the configuration previously described.

Once the front edge 105a of the side panel 12a adjoins the second face 216a of the front panel 18a, the user gently slides via notches 83 the tabs 122a to 125a in the slots of the locking assembly 221a such that the U-shaped slot 81a of the tabs 122a to 125a slip fit engage the locking assembly slots of panel 18a. This can be accomplished with the user inserting his/her finger in the notch 83a and pulling towards the user. It will be understood that other pulling means (e.g. tabs) could be employed without departing from the invention. Upon engagement of the U-shaped slot 81a of the connection assembly tabs 122a to 125a, the side panel 12a will be secured in a perpendicular orientation relative to panel 18a (See FIG. 29).

Once the assembly of the first front panel 18a and the first side panel 12a is completed, the user can turn to assembling the first connection assembly 33a of the back panel 14a to the locking assembly 140a of the side panel 12a (FIG. 32). The upper stabilizing tab 50a is first introduced in the upper stabilizing recess 160a, after which the finger portion 86a of tabs 36a to 39a are inserted into corresponding slots 141a, 142a, 143a and 144a of the locking assembly 140a. As the finger-receiving portions of the slots of locking assembly are offset as shown in FIG. 32, the insertion of the finger portions 86a of tabs in the corresponding slots will require a slight curving of the back panel 14a. Because the head portion of the slots 141a, 144a are offset, the insertion of tabs 36a to 39a in slots 141a to 144a will require a slight curving of the side panel.

Once the left side edge 29a of the back panel 14a adjoins the first face 109a of the side panel 12a, the user gently slides the tabs 36a to 37a in the slots 141a to 144a such that the U-shaped slot 81a of the tabs 36a to 39a engages in a slip fit fashion the panel 12a. Upon engagement of the slot 81a, the slightly curved back panel 14a will also tend to become vertically straight, thus losing its slight curve, allowing the alignment tabs 44a, 45a to engage more securely the alignment slots 150a, 152a of the side panel 12a, respectively.

It will be understood that since slots 145a, 146a, 147a and 149a are left unoccupied, they can be engaged with other connection assemblies such that another panel can be added to the rear face 111a of the side panel 12a. This will allow the display to be extended in that orientation if the user so desires.

The assembly of the center support 20a is shown in FIG. 33. Briefly, the assembly of the locking assembly 201a of the center support 20a with the second connection assembly 35a of the back panel 14a is similar to the assembly of the first front panel 18a to the first side panel 12a described herein above. First, the user engages the upper hook 63a of the second connection assembly 35a of the back panel 14a in the upper recess 191a of the center support 20a and the panels are moved vertically relative to one another such that the upper hook 63a adjoins the first face 196a of the front center support 20a so as to prevent unwanted removal of the upper hook 63a from the upper recess 191a. The finger portion 86a of the first tab 52a of the second connection assembly 35a is then inserted into the slot 213a of the first set of controversial slots of the locking assembly 201. Similarly, the remaining tabs 53a to 55a are inserted into the remaining slots 219a, 229a and 235a, respectively. In addition, tabs 61a and 62a engage with slots 217a and 233a. Once the right edge 31a of the back panel 14a adjoins the first face 195a of the center support 20a, the tabs of connection assembly 35a are engaged in the slots of locking assembly 201a securing the center support 20 perpendicular to the back panel 14a, as seen in FIG. 33. In this configuration, any forward moment by panel 14a will further move the head portion of the tab into the head receiving portion, therefore securing the connection further.

It will again be understood that because slots 211a, 223a, 231a and 237a are free (e.g., unoccupied), then the first connection assembly of a second panel can be engaged therewith, as will be described in greater detail below.

Now turning to FIG. 34 to 36, the first connection assembly 33b of the second back panel 14b is interlocked with the locking assembly 201a of the center support 20a. As best shown in FIG. 36, the tab 52a of the second connection assembly 35a of the first panel 14a engages the recess 40b of the first connection assembly 33b of the second back panel 14b. Further, the upper stabilizing tab 50b of the second back panel 14b is engaged in the upper tab-receiving recess 64a of the second connection assembly 35a of the first back panel 14a and the upper hook 63a of the same is accommodated in the hook-receiving recess 51b of the first connection assembly 33b of the second back panel 14b. At the same time tab 36b is engaged in slot 211a of the center panel 20a and the other tabs are similarly engaged.

Shown in FIGS. 37 and 38 is the assembly of the second side panel 12b with the other, assembled, components of the display 10. The assembly of the locking assembly 140b of the side panel 12b with the second connection assembly 35b of the back panel 14b is generally similar to the assembly of the second connection assembly 33a of the first back panel 14a to locking assembly 140a of the side panel 12a. As seen in FIG. 39, the second front panel 18b is connected to the front edge 133a of side panel 12b, in a manner similar to the assembly of front panel 18a to side panel 12a.

Further to the assembly of the side, back and front panels 12a, 12b, 14a, 14b and 18a, 18b, the shelves 21a, 21b and 23 can be mounted thereto. To do so, the head portion 112a of each shelf-mounting tab 114a is passed through the head-receiving portion 71a of one slot 65a on either one of the side, back and front panels 12a, 12b, 14a, 14b and 18a, 18b or a combination thereof, as it is the case, for instance, with shelves 21a and 21b shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Once the head portion of the tabs 65a are properly positioned, the user causes the shelf to move vertically relative to the panel member such that the head portion 116 of each tab 114 engages the head-receiving portion 72a of the slot 65a.

The assembly of the arch 16 to the side panels 12a, 12b is performed by passing the head portion 170 of the legs 172 of the arch through the finger-receiving portion 166 of one of the pair of arch mounting slots 171a, 175a or 173a, 177a. Once the head portion 170 of the legs 172 is properly positioned, the legs 172 extending from a common side of the arch 16 are forced toward one another such that the finger portion 174 thereof will engage the head receiving portion 168 of the arch mounting slots 171a, 175a or 173a, 177a.

Despite the display 10 having two side panels 12a, 12b, two back panels 14a, 14b, two front panels 18a, 18b and one center support, a person skilled in the art will understand that this configuration can be modified in a number of ways to either extend or expand the display 10 (as shown in FIGS. 41 to 44) or to make it smaller (as shown in FIG. 40).

According to another embodiment shown in FIG. 40, there is provided a display generally designated with the reference numeral 600. As it will become apparent from FIG. 40, the display 600 is significantly abridged in that it includes only one side panel 602 and one back panel 604 that will be perpendicularly connected to one another by a simplified locking assembly. The display 600 could optionally be provided with an arrangement of slots allowing the assembly of shelves thereto. Optionally, display members such as baskets or grid hooks could be mounted differently. According to this embodiment the side panel 602 includes a top edge 606, a bottom edge 608 and two left and right edges 610, 612 extending between the top and bottom edges 606, 608 to define a generally rectangular shape. The side panel 602 further includes a first face 614, and a second, opposed face 616. As shown in FIG. 40, the side panel 602 includes a locking assembly 618 similar in configuration to the locking assemblies noted previously and a connection assembly 619, as noted previously. Because the display 600 includes only one side panel an only one back panels, a person skilled in the art will understand that only one locking assembly and only one connection assembly are required for this particular design. The back panel 604 includes a top edge 624, a bottom edge 626 and two side edges 628, 630 extending therebetween. As shown in FIG. 40, the back panel 604 includes a locking assembly 629 similar in configuration to the locking assemblies noted previously and a connection assembly 630, as noted previously. It will be understood by a person skilled in the relevant art that display 600 can be assembled based on the assembly of display 10 as described above and as such, will not be described further.

Other embodiments of the display are shown in FIGS. 41 to 44. As shown in FIGS. 43 and 44, there is provided display 11 having a number of side panels (12a, 12b, 12c) interlocked with a number of back panels (14a, 14b, 14c, 14d), front panels (18a, 18b, 18c), center panels (20a, 20b), archs (16a and 16b) and shelves (21a to 21d, 23a and 23b). As shown in FIG. 41, there is provided display 13 having a number of side panels (12a, 12b, 12c) interlocked with a number of back panels (14a to 14f), front panels (18a to 18d), center panels (20a, 20b), archs (16a and 16b) and shelves (21a to 21d, 23a and 23b). As shown in FIG. 42, there is provided display 15 having a number of side panels (12a, 12b, 12c) interlocked with a number of back panels (14a to 14g), front panels (18a to 18d), center panels (20a to 20c), archs (16a and 16b) and shelves (21a to 21d, 23a and 23b).

It will be understood that the displays 11 to 15 can be assembled based on the assembly of display 10 as described above and as such, will not be described further.

Although the foregoing description and accompanying drawings relate to specific preferred embodiments of the present invention as presently contemplated by the inventor, it will be understood that various changes, modifications and adaptations, may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.