Title:
DOCUMENT FILING CASE WITH EXTERNALLY MOUNTED SLIDING COVER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A document filing case comprises a filing case body with a sliding cover. The cover includes a closure flap and a connecting or mounting panel having at least one track follower that is engaged in a track formed in the back panel. Each track is formed as a longitudinal slot in the back panel extending parallel to the side edges thereof. A latch mechanism is mounted on the free edge of the closure flap and is releasably engageable with a catch mechanism on the outside surface of the front panel of the filing case body. The track follower permits longitudinal, sliding movement of the filing case cover and allows it to be drawn over the top of the filing case body, whereupon the latch mechanism on the closure flap is secured to the catch mechanism on the front panel of the filing case body.



Inventors:
Ong, Bon Sang (Torrance, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/890591
Publication Date:
03/29/2012
Filing Date:
09/24/2010
Assignee:
ONG BON SANG
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
229/67.4
International Classes:
B65D27/00; B65D37/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
HELVEY, PETER N.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TW Inventors (Sugar Land, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A document filing case comprising: a filing case body having an interior enclosure and an exterior bounded by front and back panels, a bottom, and opposing side panels wherein said enclosure has an open top and a closed bottom, and said front and the back panels each have a top, a bottom and opposing side edges, wherein said side panels extend between said opposing side edges of said front and back panels; a filing case cover located entirely on said exterior of said filing case body and having a closure flap for extending entirely across said open top of said filing case body, and a mounting flap secured by an articulated hinge connection to said closure flap, and wherein said back panel of said filing case body defines at least one track having a top and a bottom and situated between said top and said bottom of said back panel; and at least one track follower secured to said mounting flap and engaged in said track and movable toward said bottom of said track as said closure flap is withdrawn from said open top of said filing case body and movable toward said top of said track when said closure flap is drawn away from said back panel to completely cover said open top of said filing case body.

2. The document filing case according to claim 1 further comprising a pair of tracks and track followers as aforesaid, and said tracks are mutually parallel to each other and are aligned perpendicular to said top and bottom of said back panel.

3. The document filing case according to claim 2, wherein said tracks are both formed as elongated, closed ended slots in said back panel, and said track followers are formed as structures that project from said mounting flap through said slots and said track followers have enlarged heads greater in width than said slots and reduced necks narrower in width than said slots, and said enlarged heads are located within said interior enclosure of said filing case body.

4. The document filing case according to claim 1, wherein said closure flap has a width at least as great as the distance between said opposing side edges of said front and back panels.

5. The document filing case according to claim 1, wherein said side panels are pleated and collapsible with accordion folds and further comprising divider panels located within said filing case body and between said front and back panels to define separate document storage pockets within said filing case body.

6. The document filing case according to claim 5, wherein said filing case body is further comprised of a floor panel extending between said bottoms of both said front and back panels to form said bottom of said filing case body.

7. The document filing case according to claim 1 further comprising a catch mechanism located on said front panel on said exterior of said filing case body and a latch mechanism engageable with said catch mechanism and located on said closure flap.

8. The document filing case according to claim 7, wherein said latch mechanism is also engageable with said top end of said back panel when said at least one track follower is at said bottom end of said at least one track.

9. A document filing case comprising: a filing case body having front and back panels, each of which has a top end, a bottom end, and mutually parallel opposing side edges, and said back panel is provided with at least one cover engagement channel extending parallel to and located between said back panel side edges and said at least one channel has top and bottom channel ends, and wherein said bottom ends of said front and back panels are joined to each other to form a closed bottom, side panels extending between and joining said side edges of said front and back panels, whereby said filing case body has opposing closed sides, a closed bottom and an open top; and a filing case cover movable between open and closed positions and having a closure flap that extends entirely across said open top of said filing case body and which wraps over at least said top end of said front panel when said filing case cover is in said closed position, and having a rear connecting panel joined in at least one articulated, hinged connection to said closure flap, and said rear connecting panel is located outside of said filing case body and has at least one channel follower that is engaged with and rides along the said at least one cover engagement channel in said back panel, whereby said channel follower is movable toward said bottom end of said channel when said filing case cover is in said open position and toward said top end of said channel when said filing case cover is in said closed position.

10. The document filing case according to claim 9 further comprising a pair of channels and channel followers as aforesaid and said channels are mutually parallel to each other and are aligned perpendicular to said top and bottom ends of said back panel.

11. The document filing case according to claim 10, wherein said channels are both formed as elongated, closed ended slots in said back panel, and said channel followers are formed as structures that project from said mounting flap through said slots and said channel followers have enlarged heads greater in width than said slots and reduced necks narrower in width than said slots.

12. The document filing case according to claim 10, wherein said closure flap is at least as wide as the distance between said opposing side edges of both said front and back panels.

13. The document filing case according to claim 9 further comprising a catch mechanism located on said front panel and a latch mechanism engageable with said catch mechanism and located on said closure flap.

14. The document filing case according to claim 13, wherein said latch mechanism is also engageable with said top end of said back panel when said channel follower is at said bottom end of said channel.

15. A document filing case comprising: a filing case body with front and back panels each having an interior surface and an exterior surface, opposing side panels extending between said front and back panels, said front and back panels both having bottom edges joined to each other and opposing top edges, whereby said filing case body has a bottom that is closed and an opposite top, and a filing case cover formed with a closure flap that can be extended across said top of said filing case body; and a cover mounting flap secured to said cover closure flap by at least one articulated hinged connection, and said cover mounting flap resides in sliding contact with said exterior surface of said back panel of said filing case body, and further comprising a track follower on said cover mounting flap directed toward said back panel, and said back panel has a track engaged by said track follower and extending in opposing directions toward said top and toward said bottom edges of said back panel, whereby said filing case cover can be opened so that said closure flap of said filing case cover resides in face-to-face contact with said exterior surface of said back panel and closed so that said closure flap extends across said top of said filing case body to reside in face-to-face contact with said exterior surface of said front panel.

16. The document filing case according to claim 15 further comprising a pair of tracks and track followers as aforesaid, and said tracks are mutually parallel to each other and are both aligned perpendicular to said bottom and top edges of said back panel.

17. The document filing case according to claim 16, wherein said tracks are both formed as elongated slots in said back panel, closed at both ends, and said track followers are formed as studs projecting from said mounting flap through said slots with enlarged heads greater in width than said slots and reduced necks narrower in width than said slots, and said enlarged heads reside within said the interior of said filing case body.

18. The document filing case according to claim 15 further comprising a catch mechanism located on said front panel on said exterior surface thereof and a latch mechanism engageable with said catch mechanism and located on said closure flap.

19. The document filing case according to claim 18, wherein said catch mechanism is also engageable with said top end of said back panel when said channel follower is at said bottom end of said channel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present intervention relates to a document filing case, and more particularly to a document filing case with an externally mounted sliding cover.

2. Description of the Prior Art

A conventional document filing case or folder normally comprises a filing case body having front and back panels, a bottom, opposing side panels, and a cover. Divider panels having labeling tabs are located within the filing case body and serve to divide the interior of the filing case body into a plurality of pockets into which documents are sorted and placed by the user. Most document filing cases have a cover which is often a cover flap projecting upwardly from the back panel of the filing case body. The cover typically has a hinged connection to the back panel and may be rotated about this connection to an open position in which the contents of the filing case are exposed, and alternatively to a closed position in which the cover flap overwraps at least a portion of the front panel to enclose the contents of the document filing case. Typically, the side panels of the filing case body are pleated and fold in accordion fashion to allow the front panel to be pulled out away from the back panel, thereby drawing the mouths of the pockets open, or folded back to compress the dividers and front panel onto the back panel, thereby collapsing the pockets.

With this conventional construction, the fabrication of the filing case may be quite economical by simply forming the folder cover as an extension of the back panel. That is, the back panel and the folder cover are simply two+parts of a single sheet of stiff material, folded to delineate the back panel from the folder cover.

One problem with this type of construction, however, is that the folder cover often tends to rotate downwardly and forwardly toward the front panel, even when a user is trying to open the cover to access documents from the folder pockets. The cover thereby interferes with the accessing of documents from the filing case. The user is forced to either push back and hold back the cover with one hand, or force the cover all the way back and restrain it from opening by lying the filing case on its back with the cover folded underneath. If this is done it becomes difficult to examine the contents of the folder due to the awkward position in which the folder is lying. Also, frequent excessive bending of the cover hinge is likely to lead to a fatigue fracture at the hinge connection between the cover flap and the back panel. This reduces the service life of the document filing case. In addition, the need to constrain the cover from interfering with accessing the document pockets is inconvenient and annoying.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One primary object of the present invention is to provide a document filing case with a cover that can be temporarily stored easily and conveniently so as not to interfere with access to the document pockets. The cover, while remaining attached to the filing case body, can be slid conveniently into a storage position in face-to-face contact with the exterior surface of the filing case back panel where it does not interfere with access to the filing case interior, irrespective of the position of the filing case. That is, the filing case cover slides into a storage position directly against the back panel, thereby fully exposing the open top of the filing case body.

A further object of the invention is to provide a filing case cover that can be moved into a storage position, while still remaining attached to the filing case body, and without undue flexing and fatigue stress on the hinge connection between the filing case cover and the back panel of the filing case body.

Another object of the invention is to provide a document filing case with a storable filing case cover that remains attached to the filing case body so that it cannot be misplaced.

A further object of the invention is to temporarily secure the filing case cover in a storage position where it will not flop out behind the back panel, yet where it remains in face-to-face contact with the exterior surface thereof in its storage position.

According to the present invention all of these objectives, and others, are achieved while still maintaining considerable economy of fabrication of a basic office supply item that is used in considerable quantities.

In one broad aspect the present intervention may be considered to be a document filing case comprised of a filing case body having a back panel, and a filing case cover attached to the back panel in sliding engagement with the exterior surface thereof by means of a track and track follower arrangement.

The filing case body has an interior enclosure and an exterior bounded by front and back panels, a bottom, and opposing side panels. The enclosure has an open top and a closed bottom. The front and back panels each have a top, a bottom and opposing side edges. The side panels extend between the opposing side edges of the front and back panels. The filing case cover is located entirely on the exterior of the filing case body. The filing case cover has a closure flap for extending entirely across the open top of the filing case body, and a mounting or connecting flap secured by an articulated hinge connection to the closure flap.

The back panel of the filing case body defines at least one track situated between the top and bottom of the back panel. A track follower is secured to the mounting or connecting flap and is engaged in a track. The track follower is movable toward the bottom of the track as the closure flap is withdrawn from the open top of the filing case body. The track follower is also movable toward the top of the track when the closure flap is drawn away from the back panel to completely cover the open top of the filing case body.

In another broad aspect the invention may be considered to be an improvement to a document filing case having a filing case body with front and back panels, each having an interior and an exterior surface, and opposing side panels extending between the front and back panels. The front and back panels both have bottom edges joined together and opposing top edges. The bottom edges may be coupled directly together, or to each other by means of an intervening filing case floor. With either construction a closed bottom to the filing case body is formed. The filing case is provided with a cover that is formed with a closure flap.

According to the improvement of the invention a cover mounting or connecting flap is provided and is secured to the cover closure flap by at least one articulated hinged connection. The cover mounting flap resides in sliding contact with the exterior surface of the back panel of the filing case body. Moreover, a track follower is provided on the cover mounting flap and is directed toward the back panel. The back panel has at least one track engaged by the track follower. The track extends in opposing directions toward the top and bottom edges of the back panel. As a result, the filing case cover can be opened and will slide down to allow the closure flap of the filing case cover to be stored residing in face-to-face contact with the exterior surface of the back panel. Alternatively the filing case cover can be closed so that the closure flap extends across the top of the filing case body to reside in face-to-face contact with the exterior surface of the front panel.

The invention may be described with greater clarity and particularity by reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a document filing case according to the invention with the cover shown in an extended position;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view illustrating the document filing case of FIG. 1 with the cover shown in an extended position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating the document filing case of FIG. 1 with the cover shown in a retracted, storage position;

FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view illustrating the document filing case of FIG. 1 with the cover shown in a retracted, storage position;

FIG. 5 is a sectional elevational view taken along the lines 5-5 in FIG. 1, with the cover shown approaching the retracted storage position of FIGS. 3 and 4;

FIG. 6 is an elevational detail view indicated at 6 in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an elevational detail view indicated at 7 in FIG. 5; and

FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of the document filing case of FIG. 1 with the cover in a closed position overwrapping the front panel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 illustrates a document filing case 10 with an externally mounted sliding cover comprising a filing case body 30 having any interior enclosure, indicated generally at 31, and an exterior bounded by a front panel 29, a back panel 33, a bottom formed by a floor 34, and opposing side panels 11. The front panel 29 has a top 35, a bottom 36, and opposing side edges 37. The back panel 33 has a top 38, a bottom 39 and opposing side edges 40. The side panels 11 extend between the opposing side edges 37 and 40 of the front panel 29 and the back panel 33. The side panels 11 are formed with pleated folds from top to bottom, as clearly illustrated in FIG. 1.

A filing case cover 20 is located entirely on the exterior of the filing case body 30. The filing case cover 20 has a closure flap 41 extending laterally entirely across the top of the filing case body 30, and a mounting or connecting flap 21. The mounting flap 21 is secured to the closure flap 41 at the top 38 of the back panel 33 by a laterally extending, articulated, linear hinge connection 42. The closure flap 41 is divided into a pair of articulated panels 50 and 51 by another laterally expanding, articulated, linear hinge connection.

The back panel 33 of the filing case body 30 defines at least one, and preferably a pair of linear tracks 44 that extend longitudinally in between the top 38 and bottom 39 of the back panel 33. The tracks 44 are oriented perpendicular to the back panel top 38 and the back panel bottom 39 and interiorly of and parallel to the back panel side edges 40. Preferably, the tracks 44 are located proximate to the opposing back panel side edges 40 and are formed as narrow, elongated, closed ended slots 18 extending entirely through the structure of the back panel 33.

At least one, and preferably a pair of track followers 210 are secured to the mounting flap 21 and are engaged in the tracks 44. The tracks 44 may be considered to be cover engagement channels that extend parallel to and are located between the back panel side edges 40. The track followers 210 may be considered to be channel followers that are engaged with and ride along the mutually parallel cover engagement channels formed by the slots 18 in the back panel 33.

The track followers 210 are movable toward the bottoms 16 of the slots 18 when the closure flap 41 is drawn away from a covering position relative to the open top of the filing case body 30. Alternatively, each track follower 210 is movable toward the top 17 of the respective slot 18 with which it is engaged. Upward movement of the track followers 210 to the tops 17 of the tracks 44 allows the closure flap 41 to be extended from the back panel 33 to completely cover the open top of the filing case body 30, and to be folded downwardly into contact with the exterior surface of the front panel 29, as illustrated in FIG. 8.

The elongated slots 18 forming the tracks or channels 44 in the back panel 33 are mutually parallel to each other and are aligned perpendicular to both the top 38 and bottom 39 of the back panel 33, as illustrated in both FIGS. 2 and 4. The engagement of the track followers 210 with the tracks 44 holds the mounting flap 21 in a plane parallel to the plane of the back panel 33. Preferably, the tracks 44 formed by the elongated slots 18 are located proximate to the side edges 40 of the back panel 33. This construction minimizes any twisting or torsional movement of the mounting flap 21 relative to the back panel 33 as the closure flap 41 is extended from the back panel 33, as illustrated in FIG. 1, or retracted relative thereto, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. That is, as the filing case cover 20 is moved relative to the filing case body 30, the linear hinge connection 42 remains parallel to the top edge 38 of the back panel 33 throughout the range of movement of the filing case cover 20 relative to the filing case body 30.

The track followers 210 are preferably either metal, plastic or even stiff cardboard stud structures. Each of the track followers 210 has a button shaped base 211 located on the exterior surface of the mounting flap 21, and a narrower shank 212 that extends through both the structure of the mounting flap 21 and the back panel 33. Each track follower 210 has a generally I-shaped configuration and is formed with a head 213 disposed against the interior surface of the back panel 33 and within the interior enclosure of the filing case body 30. The heads 213 are enlarged and are greater in width than the slots 18 forming the tracks 44. The stud shanks 212 are narrower in width than the slots 18 forming the tracks 44, thereby forming a neck between the head 213 and the base 211 of each of the track followers 210. This construction allows the connecting panel 21 to slide easily in face-to-face contact with the back panel 33 in a direction parallel to the back panel side edges 40 and perpendicular to both the back panel top edge 38 and the back panel bottom edge 39.

It should be noted that the connecting panel 21 is located entirely on the exterior of the filing case body 30. The connecting panel 21 and the closure flap 41 are both formed from a single sheet of stiff material with a laterally extending hinge connection 42 defined therein to delineate the closure flap 41 from the mounting flap 21. As a consequence, the closure flap 41 has a width at least as great as the lateral distance between the opposing side edges 40 of the back panel 33 and the opposing side edges 37 of the front panel 29. This allows the closure flap 41 to completely cover the top of the document filing case body 30. Consequently, small or narrow loose articles, such as pencils and pens, cannot fall out of the document filing case 10 when the filing case cover 20 is in the closed position illustrated in FIG. 8, even if they document filing case 10 is turned upside down and jostled.

Typically the side panels 11 of the document filing case 10 are pleated and collapsible with accordion folds, as illustrated in FIG. 1, and the filing case 10 is further comprised of divider panels 13 located within the filing case body 30 and between the front panel 29 and the back panel 33. The divider panels 13 define separate document storage pockets 130 within the filing case body 30. Pocket label tabs 14 are arranged in a laterally offset, stepped manner so that they do not obscure each other.

While the bottom 36 of the front panel 29 may be joined directly to the bottom 39 of the back panel 33, more typically the front panel 29 and back panel 33 are joined together by a floor 34. The front panel 29, floor 34 and back panel 33 are all typically formed as different regions or areas of a single sheet of stiff plastic or Manila card stock.

As illustrated, the document filing case 10 is provided with a female catch mechanism 15 located on the outer surface of the front panel 29 and with a male, latch mechanism 22 attached to the free edge of the closure flap 41. When the cover closure flap 41 is fully extended so that the connecting flap 21 is drawn upwardly as far as it will go in sliding relationship with the back panel 33, the prongs of the M-shaped insert member 220 of the latch mechanism 22 are engageable with a releasable coupling located in a socket in the catch mechanism 15, as illustrated in FIG. 8. With the catch mechanism 15 engaging the latch mechanism 22, the track followers 210 are drawn all the way up until the necks 212 of the track followers 210 reside in abutment against the top slot ends 17. On the other hand, when the latch mechanism 22 is disengaged from the catch mechanism 15, the closure flap 41 can be folded upwardly about the hinge connection 42 into parallel alignment with the back panel 33, and then pushed toward the bottom 39 of the back panel 33, sliding in face-to-face contact against the exterior surface of the back panel 33, as illustrated in FIG. 5. When moved in this direction as indicated by the directional arrow 49 in FIG. 5 the filing case cover 20 is moved into a storage position behind the back panel 33 but is still attached thereto and resides in face-to-face contact therewith by virtue of the engagement of the track followers 210 with the elongated slots 18.

Preferably, the latch mechanism 22 is formed with an edge engaging seat 223 in its underside, as best illustrated in FIG. 7. That is, the base 221 of the catch mechanism 22 forms an overhang extending toward and over the top 38 of the back panel 33. A recess with a U-shaped cross-section is formed in the underside of the overhang of the latch base 221, as illustrated in FIG. 7, so as to form a seat 223. The seat 223 of the catch mechanism 22 engages the top or upper edge 38 of the back panel 33 when the filing case cover 30 is fully retracted as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. The engagement of the catch mechanism 22 with the top edge 38 of the back panel 33 prevents the file closure flap 41 from flopping back away from the filing case body 30. The temporary engagement of the catch mechanism 22 with the top of the back panel 33 not only prevents undue flexing and therefore minimizes stress on the hinge connection 42, but prevents the closure flap 41 from falling down onto other articles located behind the filing case body 30.

Undoubtedly, numerous variations and modifications of the invention will become readily apparent to those familiar with document filing cases. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should not be construed as limited to this specific embodiment depicted and described, but rather is defined in the claims appended hereto.