Title:
Floating Acrylic Magnetic Plaque
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An acrylic display tablet, a supporting base and magnetic elements for releasably interconnecting the display tablet with the supporting base. The magnetic elements comprise a plurality of permanent magnets that are embedded in the base, which magnets mate with a plurality of magnetic standoffs that, in turn, mate with a plurality of permanent magnets that are embedded in the acrylic tablet.



Inventors:
Keyes, Tyrone (Oxnard, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/211634
Publication Date:
03/18/2010
Filing Date:
09/16/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/08
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LOPEZ, RICARDO E.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James E. Brunton (Fallbrook, CA, US)
Claims:
1. 1-6. (canceled)

7. A decorative plaque comprising: (a) a base; (b) a plurality of spaced apart first magnets embedded within said base; (c) a plurality of spaced apart magnetic standoffs removably connected to said embedded first magnets; and (d) a display panel removably connected to said plurality of magnetic standoffs said display panel including a plurality of spaced apart third magnets embedded within said display panel, said spaced apart third magnets being mated with and magnetically attracted to said magnetic standoffs.

8. The decorative plaque as defined in claim 7 in which said spaced apart first magnets are disposed in the configuration of a rectangle.

9. (canceled)

10. The decorative plaque as defined in claim 7 in which said spaced apart third elements are disposed in the configuration of a rectangle.

11. The decorative plaque as defined in claim 7 in which said spaced apart third elements comprise permanent magnets in which said spaced apart second elements comprise standoffs.

12. (canceled)

13. The decorative plaque as defined in claim 7 further including a pair of spaced apart surface engaging elements connected to and extending from said base.

14. A decorative plaque comprising: (a) a base; (b) a plurality of spaced apart first permanent magnets embedded within said base in the configuration of a rectangle; (c) a plurality of spaced apart magnetic standoffs removably connected to said embedded first permanent magnets, each of said magnetic standoffs having a length of between about ⅛ inch and about ½ inch; (d) an acrylic display panel having a plurality of third permanent magnets embedded therein, said third permanent magnets being mated with and removably connected to said plurality of magnetic standoffs by magnetic attraction; and (e) a pair of spaced apart elongated, generally cylindrically shaped surface engaging elements connected to and extending from said base.

15. The decorative plaque as defined in claim 14 in which said spaced apart third permanent magnets are disposed in the configuration of a rectangle.

16. A decorative plaque comprising: (a) a base; (b) a plurality of spaced apart permanent magnets embedded within said base; (c) an acrylic display panel removably connected to said base, said display panel having a plurality of permanent magnets embedded therein; (d) a plurality of spaced apart magnetic standoffs removably connected to said permanent magnets, embedded in said base, said plurality of spaced apart magnetic standoffs being disposed between said permanent magnets embedded within said base and said permanent magnets embedded within said display panel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to achievement awards. More particularly, the invention concerns a novel decorative plaque that includes an engravable acrylic panel that is uniquely, removably connected to an attractive base by magnetic means.

2. Discussion of the Prior Art

Achievement awards of various types are frequently given to individuals and athletic teams for outstanding achievements in sports such as golf, bowling, tennis, baseball, basketball and the like. These awards include medals, small statues and a number of different types of plaques which frequently take the form of inscribed commemorative tablets.

In the prior art, the aforementioned types of plaques or tablets are typically affixed to a suitable supporting base by solvent welding or through the use of clips, screws or other types of mechanical fastening means. Exemplary of such a construction is that shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,419,940 issued to Wood et al.

Another type of achievement plaque and method of making same is. described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,060,171 issued to Greenblat. The Greenblat achievement award comprises a substantially transparent, injection molded acrylic plaque and a supporting base therefor. The display plaque is provided with ornamental designs comprising either or both a fossil-like, three-dimensional decorative design or image which appears to be embedded in the central body portion of the plaque and an upstanding ornamental design which extends outwardly from the front face of the plaque. The display plaque uniquely includes strategically located bevels that give the plaque the appearance of expensive cut glass and, at the same time, function to optically mask the mold lines which are formed during the injection molding process.

As will become apparent from the description which follows, the acrylic tablet of the decorative plaque of the present invention is uniquely, removably mounted oil an attractive base by means of a plurality of permanent magnets that are embedded in the base, which magnets mate with a plurality of magnetic standoffs, that, in turn, mate with a plurality of permanent magnets that are embedded in the acrylic tablet.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

By way of brief summary, the novel decorative plaque of the present invention comprises a base, a plurality of spaced apart first elements embedded within the base, a plurality of spaced apart second elements removably connected to the embedded first elements by magnetic attraction and a display panel, or tablet, removably connected to the plurality of said spaced apart second elements by magnetic attraction.

With the foregoing in mind, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel decorative plaque that includes an acrylic display tablet, a supporting base and magnetic means for releasably interconnecting the display tablet with the supporting base.

More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel, decorative plaque of the aforementioned character in which the magnetic means for releasably interconnecting the display tablet with its supporting base comprises a plurality of permanent magnets that are embedded in the base, which magnets mate with a plurality of magnetic standoffs, that, in turn, mate with a plurality of permanent magnets that are embedded in the acrylic tablet.

Another object of the invention is to provide a decorative plaque of the character described in the preceding paragraphs in which the permanent magnets that are embedded within the base are arranged in a generally rectangular configuration as are the permanent magnets that are embedded within the acrylic tablet.

Another object of the invention is to provide a decorative plaque of the aforementioned character that is markedly superior in appearance, construction and durability to similar prior art plaques made by traditional, prior art processes.

Another object of the invention is to provide a decorative plaque as described in the preceding paragraphs which can be attractively mounted on a supporting surface, such as a desktop, or alternatively can be hung on a wall.

Another object of the invention is to provide an award plaque of the character described which is versatile in use, is easy to assembly and is pleasing in appearance.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a generally perspective view of one form of the decorative plaque of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a generally perspective, exploded front view of the decorative plaque illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3A a greatly enlarged view of the area designated in FIG. 3 as 3A-3A.

FIG. 3B a greatly enlarged view of the area designated in FIG. 3 as 3B-3B.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, cross- sectional view taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged, cross- sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a generally perspective, exploded rear view of the decorative plaque illustrated in FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings and particularly the FIGS. 1 through 5, one form of the decorative plaque of the present invention is there shown and generally designated by the numeral 14. In this form of the invention, plaque 14 comprises a base 16 having spaced apart, generally planar front and rear faces 18 and 20. As best seen in FIG. 2 of the drawings, base 16 is provided with a plurality of spaced apart cavities 22 within which a plurality of small, generally cylindrically shaped first magnetic elements in the form of first permanent magnets 24 are embedded. In this form of the invention, first permanent magnets 24 are disposed in a generally rectangular configuration. However, it is to be understood that the first permanent magnets can be disposed in various configurations, such as triangular, hexagonal, octagonal and similar configurations. Base 16 can be constructed from various materials, but preferably is constructed from an attractive hardwood, such as cherry wood, that is appropriately finished with a high gloss surface.

Removably connected to the embedded first magnets 24 by magnetic attraction are a plurality of spaced apart second elements shown here as generally cylindrically shaped, second permanent magnets 26. As indicated in FIGS. 3 and 5, second permanent magnets 26 function as standoffs so that the display panel, or beveled tablet 28 of the decorative plaque can uniquely be mounted in a spaced apart relationship relative to the front face 18 of the base. Permanent magnets, or standoffs 26, can have a length “L” (FIG. 3B) of between about ⅛ inch and about ½ inch.

Display panel, or beveled tablet 28, is provided with a plurality of spaced apart cavities 30 within which a plurality of small, generally cylindrically shaped third magnetic elements, shown here as third permanent magnets 32, are embedded. In this form of the invention, third permanent magnets 32 are disposed in a generally rectangular configuration of the same shape and size as the rectangular configuration of first permanent magnets 24 so that the permanent magnets 32 can be mated with the permanent magnets 24 in the manner shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. However, it is to be understood that the third permanent magnets can also be disposed in various configurations, such as triangular, hexagonal, octagonal and the like, depending upon the configuration of first permanent magnets 24.

In the present form of the invention, the display panel, or beveled tablet 28, is constructed from a substantially clear acrylic material that can be engraved in a conventional manner with various indicia in a manner well understood by those skilled in the art. However, it is to be understood that tablet 28 can also be constructed from various other materials, including resin, brass, steel, and like metals.

To support the decorative plaque in the upright configuration illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings base 16 is provided with spaced apart cavities 36 and 38 which closely receive internally threaded sleeves 39 which, in turn, threadably receive elongated, generally cylindrically shaped surface engaging elements 40. As best seen in FIG. 1, when the surface engaging elements 40 are threadably connected to the base, they extend outwardly so as to support the plaque in the generally vertical orientation shown in FIG. 1. Base 16 is also provided with a cavity 42 that is spaced apart from cavity 38 and is adapted to receive an internally threaded sleeve 39 which, in turn, threadably receives an elongated, generally cylindrically shaped surface engaging elements 40. This novel feature of the decorative plaque permits the plaque to be positioned on a supporting surface in a generally horizontal, rather than vertical, orientation.

The rear surface 20 of base 16 is also provided with a pair of elongated spaced apart hanger receiving slots 44, each of which is provided with an enlarged diameter portion 44a that is adapted to receive the head of a screw or nail (not shown). Hanger receiving slots 44 enable the plaque to be mounted on a wall in a conventional manner.

Affixed to the rear surface 20 of base 16 by any conventional means, such as adhesive bonding, is a thin felt backing 46. As best seen in FIG. 2 of the drawings, backing 46 is provided with apertures 47 and elongated slots 49 that are located so as to index with cavities 36, 38 and 42 and with elongated slots 44, respectively.

In use, with magnets 24 positioned within cavities 22 provided in base 16, standoffs 26 can be interconnected with magnets 24 by means of magnetic attraction. With magnets 32 in position within cavities 30 provided in tablet 28 in the manner shown in FIGS. 3 and 5 of the drawings, the tablet can uniquely be removably affixed to the base as a result of the magnetic attraction between magnets 32 and standoffs 26. The decorative plaque can then be positioned on a flat surface such as a desktop, or the like, using surface engaging elements 40. Alternatively, the plaque can be hung on a wall using hanger slots 44.

Having now described the invention in detail in accordance with the requirements of the patent statutes, those skilled in this art will have no difficulty in making changes and modifications in the individual parts or their relative assembly in order to meet specific requirements or conditions. Such changes and modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention, as set forth in the following claims.