Title:
LOCKABLE DISC STORAGE CONTAINER FOR INFORMATION STORAGE MEDIA
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lockable storage container for disc-like information storage media is disclosed. The storage container has a cover and a disc holder. The cover of the storage container has a notch structure formed on the inner surface at an open-side thereof. The disc holder has at least a projection element disposed around the annular sidewall. The storage container is locked by conjugating the projection element and the corresponding notch structure. In order to separate the cover and the disc holder, the projection element has to be broken. Accordingly, the storage container is lockable and prevents the disc-like storage media disposed therein from being stolen.



Inventors:
Liu, Fu-chu (Tao-Yuan City, TW)
Application Number:
11/930129
Publication Date:
02/05/2009
Filing Date:
10/31/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/1.5
International Classes:
B65D85/57; B65D55/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REYNOLDS, STEVEN ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NORTH AMERICA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CORPORATION (NEW TAIPEI CITY, TW)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A lockable disc package, comprising: a cover for encapsulating at least one discs, comprising at least a first notch of a first width, in which the first notch is connected to a second notch of a second width, in which the second width is larger than the first width; and a disc holder to be engaged with the cover, the disc holder comprising: a base for placing the disc; and at least a projection element of a third width, in which the third width is between the first width and the second width, disposed around an annular sidewall of the base; wherein while the cover and the disc holder are positioned in a first relative position, and the projection element is inserted into the first notch and is compressed to the first width; while the cover and the disc holder are positioned in a second relative position, and the projection element is relaxed to the third width and is wedged in the second notch to lock the cover and the disc holder.

2. The disc package of claim 1, wherein the disc holder comprises a cylindrical shaft installed on the base for being inserted through a center hole of the disc and setting the disc thereon.

3. The disc package of claim 1, wherein the projection element comprises a body and a first wing flexibly connected to a side of the body.

4. The disc package of claim 3, wherein a first included angle is formed between the first wing and the body.

5. The disc package of claim 3, wherein the projection element comprises a second wing flexibly connected to another side of the body.

6. The disc package of claim 5, wherein a second included angle is formed between the second wing and the body.

7. The disc package of claim 3, wherein the first notch has a knob for abutting against the body.

8. The disc package of claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a third notch connecting to the first notch, and the third notch has a fourth width that is larger than the first width.

9. The disc package of claim 8, wherein the third notch has a depth less than the thickness of the cover.

10. The disc package of claim 8, wherein the third notch is positioned on a first side of a sidewall of the cover.

11. The disc package of claim 1, wherein the first notch and the second notch have a respective depth less than the thickness of the cover.

12. A lockable disc package, comprising: a disc holder comprising: a base for holding at least a disc; and at least a first notch of a first width disposed on an annular sidewall of the base, and first notch connecting to a second notch of a second width, in which the second width is larger than the first width; a cover configured to engage with the disc holder; and at least a projection element of a third width, in which the third width is between the first width and the second width, projected from a sidewall of the cover; wherein while the cover and the disc holder are positioned in a first relative position, and the projection element is inserted into the first notch and is compressed to the first width; while the cover and the disc holder are positioned in a second relative position, and the projection element is relaxed to the third width and is wedged in the second notch to lock the cover and the disc holder.

13. The disc package of claim 12, wherein the disc holder comprises a cylindrical shaft installed on the base for being inserted through a center hole of the disc and setting the disc thereon.

14. The disc package of claim 12, wherein the projection element comprises a body and a first wing flexibly connected to a side of the body.

15. The disc package of claim 14, wherein a first included angle is formed between the first wing and the body.

16. The disc package of claim 14, wherein the projection element comprises a second wing flexibly connected to another side of the body.

17. The disc package of claim 16, wherein a second included angle is formed between the second wing and the body.

18. The disc package of claim 16, wherein the first notch has a knob for abutting against the body.

19. The disc package of claim 12, wherein the disc holder comprises a third notch, connecting to the first notch, disposed on the annular sidewall of the base, and the third notch has a fourth width that is larger than the first width.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is related to a disc storage container for storing information storage media, and particularly, to a lockable disc storage container for storing information storage media in disc format.

2. Description of the Prior Art

A disc storage container is a container for storing information storage media. The disc storage container has the space for storing various numbers of discs for customers' purchase convenience. A lot of discs are stored inside the disc storage container for selling on the market.

Please refer to FIG. 1, which shows a conventional disc storage container 10. The conventional disc storage container 10 has a base 12 and a cover 14. The base 12 is a disc-shaped object for holding the discs. A cylindrical shaft 16 is at the center of the disc base 12, and is to extend inside the cover 14. The cylindrical shaft 16 is high enough to be inserted through a center hole of discs for holding a quantity of discs on the base 12. The cover 14 is hollow in the center which is capable of holding a specific quantity of discs, and has an opening at the bottom thereof. The cover 14 includes a plurality of locking projections 18 formed at the bottom of the cover 14. The locking projections 18 are to be engaged with a plurality of locking grooves 19 disposed at the edge of the base 12. After the cover 14 is placed over and on the base 12, the cover 14 is fastened to the base 12 by means of rotating the cover 14 on the base 12 that shifts and engages the locking projections 18 into the corresponding locking grooves 19.

However, when the disc storage container 10 and the discs stored therein are kept in stores as when sold in the market, the base 12 and the cover 14 can be separated apart easily by means of rotating the cover and shifting to disengage the locking projections 18 out of the locking grooves 19, because the cover 14 is only fastened by simply inserting the locking projections 18 into the locking grooves 19. This is why those information storage media inside the disc storage container 10 may be easily taken out. The conventional disc storage container 10 cannot prevent information storage media displayed therein from being stolen. Some merchants wrapped over the disc storage container 10 with a plastic film 21, but the plastic film 21 can be torn off easily. For this reason, the present invention provides a lockable disc storage container to replace conventional disc storage containers, and to overcome the drawbacks of the conventional disc storage containers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of one or more aspects of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention, and is neither intended to identify key or critical elements of the invention, nor to delineate the scope thereof. Rather, the primary purpose of the summary is to present some concepts of the invention in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

It is therefore an objective of the present invention to provide a disc storage container, and particularly, to provide a lockable disc storage container that overcomes drawbacks of the conventional disc storage container.

According to the present invention, a lockable disc storage container for information storage media in disc format is provided. The lockable disc storage container has a cover for enclosing a plurality of information storage media and a disc holder which is configured to be engaged with the cover. The cover has at least a first notch having a first width positioned at inner side of a sidewall of the cover. The first notch is connected to a second notch, in which has a second width, and the second width is larger than the first width. The disc holder includes a base for holding information storage media, and at least a projection element, which has a third width, projected from an annular sidewall of the base. In addition, the third width is between the first width and the second width. When the cover and the disc holder are in a first relative position, the projection element is inserted into the first notch and is compressed to the first width. Subsequently, when the cover and the disc holder are in a second relative position, the projection element is expanded to the third width and is embedded in the second notch to lock the cover and the disk holder.

Accordingly, the lockable disc storage container of the present invention is locked when the projection element of the disc holder is securely locked by the second notch of the cover. Subsequently, the projection element has to be broken for separating the cover and the disc holder apart, and so that those information storage media can be taken out from the disc storage container. In conclusion, the lockable disc storage container of the present invention is capable of preventing accidental opening, and also preventing the information storage media from being stolen.

These and other objectives of the present invention will no doubt become obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art after reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment that is illustrated in the various figures and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a conventional disc storage container.

FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 are schematic diagrams illustrating a lockable disc package including a disc holder and a cover according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 to FIG. 7 show the mechanisms and method for locking the cover to the disc holder, and the mechanisms and method for separating apart the cover from the disc holder when locked.

FIG. 8a and FIG. 8b are schematic diagrams illustrating a lockable disc storage container according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Hereinafter, preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which components with substantially the same functions are identified by the same reference numeral for the sake of simplicity. It should be noted, however, that the present invention is in no way limited to the following illustrative embodiments.

Please refer to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, which are schematic diagrams illustrating a lockable disc container including a disc holder 22 (shown in FIG. 2) and a cover 24 (shown in FIG. 3) according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The disc holder 22 is made of a plastic material for holding a variety of disc-like information storage media, such as CDs, VCDs, or DVDs. The shape of the disc holder 22 may be customized, and not limited to the disc-shaped disc holder 22 shown in FIG. 2. The disc holder 22 also has a base 26 and a cylindrical shaft 28 installed at the center of the base 26. The cylindrical shaft 28 is formed with the base 26 and is to be inserted through a center hole of information storage media. The length of the cylindrical shaft 28 is to be positioned inside the cover 24. The length of the cylindrical shaft 28 may be varied depending on the number of information storage media packed and the height of the cover 24 of the lockable disc storage container. At least a projection element is formed on an annular sidewall of the base 26. For example, two projection elements 30 are disposed on the annular sidewall of the base 26, as shown in FIG. 2a. For the sake of simplicity, only one projection element 30 will be illustrated in the following description.

Please refer to FIG. 2b. FIG. 2b is a 3D diagram of the projection element 30 for illustrating the stereo structure of the projection element 30. Projection elements 30 are projected from the annular sidewall of the base 26, and each one of them has a third width d3. Each projection element 30 includes a body 32, and a first wing 341 and a second wing 342 respectively connected to either side of the body 32. A first included angle α is formed between the first wing 341 and the body 32. Since the first wing 341 connects to the body 32 at one end, the first included angle α is variable. Accordingly, a second included angle β is formed between the second wing 342 and the body 32. The way the second wing 342 connecting to the body 32 is similar to the way the first wing 341 and the body 32 connecting, and the second wing 342 has a second included angle β. In the present preferred embodiment, the first included angle α equals to the second included angle β, and is approximately 30 degrees. However, the first included angle α may be distinct from the second included angle β. The angular magnitude of the first included angle α may be distinct from the second included angle β having distinct values, and are not limited to those shown in the present preferred embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 3a, the cover 24 is made of a plastic material. The cover 24 is in a cylindrical-shape, is hollow in the center, and has an opening at the bottom. The inside portion of the cover 24 comprises space capable of containing a particular quantity of information storage media. The height of the cover 24 is matched with the length of the cylindrical shaft 28, in which the length of the cylindrical shaft 28 may be varied depending upon the number of information storage media intended to be packed. At a first side of the sidewall of the cover 24 nearby the opening, such as the inner side of the sidewall near the rim, two notch structures 35 are formed and each of them is corresponded to a projection element 30 disposed on the disc holder 22. Please refer to FIG. 3b. FIG. 3b shows a front view diagram of the notch structure 35. The notch structure 35 includes a first notch 36 with a first width d1, in which the first notch 36 is connected to a second notch 38 and a third notch 40 extended from the opening of the cover 24. The second notch 38 has a second width d2, which is larger than the first width d1. The third notch 40 has a fourth width d4, which is larger than the first width d1.

In addition, the cover 24 further has a knob 42 positioned nearby the boundary between the first notch 36 and the third notch 40. The knob 42 is a projected object so the first notch 36 has a width nearby the knob 42 less than the first width d1.

In the following description, FIG. 4 to FIG. 7 show the mechanisms and method for locking the cover 24 to the disc holder 22, and the mechanisms and method for separating the cover 24 from the disc holder 22 when locked. Please refer to FIG. 4. The diameter of the opening of the cover 24 is greater than the diameter of disk holder 26. When the cover 24 is placed on the disk holder 22, the cover 24 is engaged with the disk holder 22. Meanwhile, the projection element 30 is inserted inside the third notch 40 of the cover 24. Please refer to FIG. 4b, which is an enlarged diagram showing the relative position between the projection element 30 and the notch structure 35. As shown in FIG. 4b, when the projection element 30 is inserted inside the third notch 40, the knob 42 is abutting against the front end of the body 32. With reference to FIG. 5, the cover 24 and the disk holder 22 are positioned in a first position by means of rotating the cover 24 relative to the disk holder 22, for example, in a clockwise direction, and the projection element 30 is slid into the first notch 36. The first wing 341 and the second wing 342 are pressed to reduce the width of the projection element 30 from the third width d3 to the first width d1. Please refer to FIG. 6, further rotating the cover in the same direction so that the cover 24 (not shown) and the disk holder 22 (not shown) are positioned in a second relative position, and the projection element 30 is slid into the third notch 38. Consequently, the compressed first wing 341 and the second wing 342 are relaxed from the first width d1 back to the third width d3 as before the projection element 30 was slid into the first notch 36. Since the third width d3 is larger than the first width d1, the projection element 30 inside the second notch 38 is firmly stuck to lock the cover 24 and the disk holder 24.

Please refer to FIG. 7. When taking out the information storage media (not shown) stored from the disc storage container 20 (not shown), the cover 22 may be separated from the cover 24 (not shown) by rotating the cover 24 (not shown) in a counterclockwise direction. The rotating force pushes the projection element 30 and breaks off the first wing 341 and the second wing 342. After the first wing 341 and the second wing 342 are broken off, the body 32 of the projection element 30 moves out of the second notch 38 and shifts to the third notch 40 through the first notch 36. Consequently, the cover 24 (not shown) and the disc holder 22 (not shown) are separated.

According to aforementioned preferred embodiment, the storage container 20 of the present invention is engaged by the notches disposed on the cover 24 and the projection element 30 disposed on the disc holder 22. Those with intention to take out the information storage media from inside the disc storage container 20 have to rotate the cover 24 or the disc holder 22 to break off the first wing 341 or the second wing 342 of the projection element 30, and subsequently, to push the body 32 of the projection element 30 to the third notch 40 for separating the cover 24 from the disc holder 22. In addition, the disassembly of the cover 24 and the disc holder 22 which are locked together is irreversible. The disassembly of the cover 24 and the disc holder 22 may be regarded as providing a notice for informing others that the disc storage container 20 has been opened. It is impossible to take out the information storage media inside the disc storage container 20 without damaging or destroying the locked cover 24 and the disc holder 22. Consequently, the disc storage container 20 of the present invention is capable of preventing theft and accidentally opening.

The interaction between the projection element 30 and the notches of the disc storage container 20 is a two-step conjugation. Before information storage media are placed inside the storage container 20, the cover 24 and the disc holder 22 are positioned in the first relative position. The body 32 of the projection element 30 is abutted against the knob 42 near by the boundary of the first notch 36 and third notch 40 that prevents accidentally sealing of the disc storage container 20. After a desired number of information storage media are sequentially stacked inside the disc storage container 20, the cover 24 or the disc holder 22 may be rotated so that the cover 24 and the disc holder 22 are positioned in the second relative position. Consequently, the cover 24 and the disc holder 22 are locked by means of firmly abutting the first wing 341 and the second wing 342 of the projection element 30 inside the second notch 38.

Moreover, the first notch 36, the second notch 38, and the third notch 40 are concealed and positioned on the inner side of the sidewall near the opening of the cover 24. The depths of the notches are respectively less than the thickness of the sidewall of the cover 24. When the cover 24 is placed over the disc holder 22, the concealed notches and the projection element 30 cannot be observed. Consumers can only see the cover 24 with a smooth surface that shows integrity and consistence of its appearance. The cover 24 may also be marked with the trademark or the brand logo of factory customers for marketing. No plastic film is required for wrapping over the disc storage container 20, and therefore, reduces production costs and follows the environmental concepts of saving packaging.

Furthermore, a second preferred embodiment showing another lockable disc storage container of the present invention is provided with references to FIG. 8a and FIG. 8b. A lockable disc storage container 50 having a cover 52 and a disc holder 54 is provided. The cover 52 is hollow in the center, which is capable of holding a specific quantity of information storage media, and has an opening at the bottom thereof. At least a projection element 56 is projected from a first side of a sidewall near the opening of the cover 52, such as the inner side of the sidewall of the cover 52. The disc holder 54 includes a base 58, a cylindrical shaft 60 positioned in the center of the base 58, and at least a notch structure disposed around an annular sidewall of the base 58. For example, two notch structures 62 are disposed around the annular side wall of the base 58. Each notch structure 62 includes a first notch 64, a second notch 66, and a third notch 68. The connecting relationship between the notches is the same as those notches of the first preferred embodiment. As shown in FIG. 8b, the position of the projection elements and the notches are exchanged with each other in contrast to the projection element and the notches of the first preferred embodiment. The projection elements 56 are positioned on the inner side of the sidewall of the cover 54 nearby the opening. Consequently, the first notch 64, the second notch 66, and the third notch 68 are disposed around the annular sidewall of the base 58 of the disc holder 54. The mechanisms and the methods for locking and separating the cover 52 and the disk holder 54 are similar to those shown in the first preferred embodiment. The objective of the first and the second preferred embodiments of the present invention are to provide a concealed lock to show integrant appearance of the disk storage container 50 through its appearance.

According to aforementioned embodiments, the structure of the projected projection element and the concaved notches are engaged with each other in order to lock the disc storage container of the present invention. In addition, a nick may be formed at the site where the first wing or the second wing connecting to the body of the projection element. The quantity and the size of the projection element(s), the notch(s), or the wing(s) connecting to the body of the projection element(s) may be modified depending upon requirements, which are not limited to those shown in aforementioned preferred embodiment.

Those skilled in the art will readily observe that numerous modifications and alterations of the device and method may be made while retaining the teachings of the invention.