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Publication numberUS20020148794 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/833,127
Publication dateOct 17, 2002
Filing dateApr 11, 2001
Priority dateApr 11, 2001
Publication number09833127, 833127, US 2002/0148794 A1, US 2002/148794 A1, US 20020148794 A1, US 20020148794A1, US 2002148794 A1, US 2002148794A1, US-A1-20020148794, US-A1-2002148794, US2002/0148794A1, US2002/148794A1, US20020148794 A1, US20020148794A1, US2002148794 A1, US2002148794A1
InventorsDaniel Marihugh
Original AssigneeMarihugh Daniel W.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Merchandise display tray with spring-loaded pusher plate
US 20020148794 A1
Abstract
An apparatus for displaying a plurality of merchandise packages is provided. The apparatus comprises a substantially horizontal lower surface, a substantially vertical front plate portion connected to the lower surface, and a substantially vertical rear plate portion connected to the lower surface. The front plate portion has at least one dimension substantially smaller than a corresponding dimension of each merchandise package. A substantially vertical pusher plate is slidably mounted to the lower surface and a resilient member attached to the tray, the resilient member being adapted to urge the pusher surface toward the front plate portion.
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Claims(18)
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for displaying a plurality of merchandise packages, the apparatus comprising:
a substantially horizontal lower surface;
a substantially vertical front plate portion connected to the lower surface, the front plate portion having at least one dimension substantially smaller than a corresponding dimension of each merchandise package;
a substantially vertical rear plate portion connected to the lower surface;
a substantially vertical pusher plate slidably mounted to the lower surface; and
a resilient member adapted to urge the pusher plate toward the front plate portion.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein, each merchandise package has a first width, and the front plate portion has a second width substantially smaller than the first width.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the front plate portion is integrally connected to the lower surface.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the rear plate portion is integrally connected to the lower surface.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the rear plate portion includes a stairstep-shaped region adapted to fit within a horizontal channel in a substantially vertical wall surface.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the resilient member is a coil spring.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the resilient member includes a hooked end attached to the forward plate portion and a coiled portion disposed between the pusher plate and the rear plate portion.
8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the forward plate portion includes a slot, and the hooked end of the resilient member engages the slot.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each merchandise package has a first height, and the front plate portion has a second height substantially smaller than the first height.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the forward plate portion includes an upper, substantially horizontal, flange extending toward the rear plate portion.
11. An apparatus for displaying a plurality of merchandise packages, the apparatus comprising:
a fixed tray portion, the fixed tray portion including a substantially horizontal lower surface, a substantially vertical front plate portion connected to the lower surface, the front plate portion having at least one dimension substantially smaller than a corresponding dimension of each merchandise package, and a substantially vertical rear plate portion connected to the lower surface;
a substantially vertical pusher plate slidably mounted to the lower surface; and
a resilient member adapted to urge the pusher plate toward the front plate portion.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein, each merchandise package has a first width, and the front plate portion has a second width substantially smaller than the first width.
13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the rear plate portion includes a stair step-shaped region adapted to fit within a horizontal channel in a substantially vertical wall surface.
14. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the resilient member is a coil spring.
15. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the resilient member includes a hooked end attached to the forward plate portion and a coiled portion disposed between the pusher plate and the rear plate portion.
16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the forward plate portion includes a slot, and the hooked end of the resilient member engages the slot.
17. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein each merchandise package has a first height, and the front plate portion has a second height substantially smaller than the first height.
18. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the forward plate portion includes an upper, substantially horizontal, flange extending toward the rear plate portion.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to an apparatus for holding and displaying merchandise packages, such as, for example, packages containing compact discs for audio, video discs (e.g., DVD's), software discs, or video game discs (e.g., video game discs for use with Sega Dreamcast®, Nintendo 64®, Sony Playstation®, or Sony Playstation 2® brand video game systems). More specifically, the present invention relates to a spring-loaded apparatus for holding and displaying merchandise packages.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Optical discs have proven to be an enduring and popular medium for storing large amounts of information for use by consumers, in the audio, video, computer software, and video game industries. Optical discs, although typically uniformly sized at about 4.6875 inches (about 11.91 cm) in diameter, are marketed and packaged using a variety of configurations, such as, for example, plastic “jewel box” cases, in cardboard packaging (such as in simple cardboard sleeves), in a combination of plastic and cardboard packaging, or plastic jewel box cases or cardboard sleeves that are in turn packaged within an outer cardboard box. Jewel box cases typically have the following dimensions: a thickness of about 0.41 inches (1.032 cm); a height of about 4.9 inches (12.46 cm); and a width of about 5.6 inches (14.21 cm). However, the dimensions of the other packaging configurations can vary considerably from one another, and from the jewel box dimensions.

[0003] Oftentimes, retailers display merchandise in relatively small packages, such as, for example, optical discs contained in jewel boxes, on a simple shelf, similar to a bookshelf, or in tabletop bins having dividers spaced horizontally by slightly more than the height of a standard jewel box case, with the jewel boxes arranged vertically within the bins or shelves, so that only the side edge of the jewel boxes (with the respective titles of the optical disc products marked thereon) are visible to the consumer.

[0004] Consequently, many display systems that are currently employed by retailers are unsatisfactory for adapting to varying packaging sizes used for optical discs, as well as for ensuring that information, such as ratings for video games appearing on the front surface of the optical disc packaging, is readily visible to the consumer in a retail setting.

[0005] Accordingly, a need exists for an apparatus that is capable of displaying a variety of different sized packaging for merchandise such as, for example, optical discs, and that ensures that important information in addition to title information (such as content rating information) is readily visible to the consumer.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0006] The present invention satisfies the aforementioned need by providing a display apparatus that is capable of holding a variety of packaging sizes and configurations for merchandise, such as, for example, optical discs, and which provides visibility of most of the front surface of the merchandise packaging.

[0007] In accordance with one aspect of the invention, an apparatus for displaying a plurality of merchandise packages is provided. The apparatus comprises a substantially horizontal lower surface, a substantially vertical front plate portion connected to the lower surface, a substantially vertical rear plate portion connected to the lower surface, and a substantially vertical pusher plate slidably mounted to the lower surface. The front plate portion has at least one dimension substantially smaller than a corresponding dimension of each merchandise package. The apparatus also includes a resilient member, such as, for example, a coil spring, adapted to urge the pusher plate toward the front plate portion.

[0008] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the front plate portion has a width and/or height substantially smaller than the respective width and/or height of a typical optical disc package. The front plate portion and the rear plate portion may be integrally connected to the lower surface. The rear plate portion may include a stair step-shaped region adapted to fit within a horizontal channel in a substantially vertical wall surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] For a more complete understanding of the disclosed apparatus, reference should now be made to the embodiments illustrated in greater detail in the accompanying drawings wherein:

[0010]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a display tray apparatus configured in accordance with the invention;

[0011]FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the display tray apparatus containing a plurality of merchandise packages, showing the apparatus suspended from a wall structure;

[0012]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a base portion, front plate portion, and rear plate portion of the display tray apparatus;

[0013]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an pusher plate of the display tray apparatus;

[0014]FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a coil spring of the display tray apparatus;

[0015]FIG. 6 is a plan view of the display tray apparatus; and

[0016]FIG. 7 is a front view of the display tray apparatus, also depicting a forward most merchandise package contained by the display tray apparatus.

[0017] It should be understood that the drawings are not necessarily to scale and that the embodiments are sometimes illustrated using phantom lines and fragmentary views. In certain instances, details which are not necessary for an understanding of the disclosed apparatus or which render other details difficult to perceive may have been omitted. It should be understood, of course, that the present invention is not necessarily limited to the particular embodiments illustrated herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0018] With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a display tray apparatus, generally indicated at 20, includes a generally vertical rear plate portion 22, attached to a generally horizontal base portion 24 at a rearward end 26 of the base portion 24. A generally vertical forward plate portion 28 is attached to a forward end 30 of the base portion 24. The base portion 24 includes an elongated slot 32 that extends from the rearward end 26 of the base portion 24 to a forward slot edge 34 near the forward end 30 of the base portion 24. The rear plate portion 22, the base portion 24, and the forward plate portion 28 together form a fixed tray portion 33, shown in isolation in FIG. 3.

[0019] With reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, a generally vertical pusher plate 36 is slidably mounted to the base portion 24 within the longitudinal slot 32. The pusher plate 36 includes a channel-shaped mounting portion, generally indicated at 38, having a pair of rearward extending flanges 40 and 42, each having a forward jaw opening 44 and a rearward jaw opening 46. The pusher plate 36 is secured within the longitudinal slot 32 by means of four roller pins: a lower rearward roller pin 48; a lower forward roller pin 50; an upper rearward roller pin 52; and an upper forward roller pin 54 (best seen in FIG. 2). The upper forward roller pin 54 and the upper rearward roller pin 52 are each disposed in the forward jaw opening 44 and the rearward jaw opening 46, respectively and are disposed above the base portion 24. The lower rearward roller pin 48 and the lower forward roller pin 50 are disposed within the rearward jaw opening 46, and the forward jaw opening 44, respectively, and are disposed below the base portion 24. Each roller pin, 48, 50, 52, and 54, includes two circumferential groves (not shown) adapted to mate with the flanges 40 and 42.

[0020] A coil spring 56 includes a coiled portion 57 that is disposed between the flanges 40 and 42 of the pusher plate 36 and includes a hooked end 58 that engages a slot 60 disposed in a central portion of the forward plate portion 28 along the forward end 30 of the base portion 24. The coil spring 56 is threaded between the upper roller pins 52, 54 and the lower roller pins 48 and 50 and urges the pusher plate 36 toward the forward plate portion 28. The coil spring 56 is shown in isolation in FIG. 5.

[0021] With reference again to FIG. 2, the rear plate portion 22 includes a stair step-shaped region 62 that is shaped so as to fit snugly within a horizontal channel 64 in a vertical wall surface 66, to enable the display tray apparatus 20 to hang from the wall surface 66. Merchandise packages 67 are supported by the horizontal plage portion 24 and held between the pusher plate 36 and the forward plate portion 28 due to the tension of the coil spring 56.

[0022] With reference to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 6, a horizontal flange 68 extends from the forward plate portion 28 in a rearward direction (toward the rear plate portion 22). The horizontal flange 68 serves to maintain the merchandise packages 67 in a slightly rearwardly angled position, as shown in FIG. 2, to thereby prevent the merchandise packages 67 from tending to flip over the forward plate portion 28. A transparent plastic clip 70 may be mounted to the forward plate portion 28 using adhesive (not shown) or any other suitable fastening means. The plastic clip 70 may be used to hold product information and/or price information cards (not shown).

[0023] As best seen in FIG. 7, the forward plate portion 28 has a height and width substantially less than the height and width of the merchandise packages 67. Accordingly, information that may be printed on the merchandise packages 67, such as, for example, rating information 72, is readily visible when the merchandise packages 67 are contained in the display tray apparatus 20.

[0024] Numerous modifications and alternative embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only is not to be limiting of the invention. For example, the roller pins can each have a smaller diameter, and plastic roller tubes (not shown) could be press-fit, adhesively bonded, or otherwise attached to the each end of each roller pin. (This would eliminate the need for any circumferential grooves in the roller pins.) Thus, the details herein given may be varied substantially without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the exclusive use of all modifications which are within the scope of the appended claims is reserved.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6955269 *Oct 13, 2003Oct 18, 2005Display Technologies, LlcWeighted pusher
US7458473 *Feb 28, 2006Dec 2, 2008New Dimensions Research CorporationDisplay shelf
US7497342 *Oct 25, 2005Mar 3, 2009Rtc Industries, Inc.Product management display system
US7819281 *Mar 13, 2008Oct 26, 2010Jofemar, S.A.Unitary extractor system of products for vending machines
US7905364 *Oct 12, 2007Mar 15, 2011Opher PailProduct display system, method and apparatus
US8016128 *Jul 16, 2008Sep 13, 2011Southern Imperial, Inc.Wheeled pusher system
US8448792 *Oct 4, 2010May 28, 2013Meadwestvaco CorporationProduct dispensing system with biasing assembly
US8646621 *Mar 16, 2011Feb 11, 2014Meadwestvaco CorporationProduct biasing and dispensing system with security engagement
US20110180498 *Jan 26, 2011Jul 28, 2011Lloyd, Gerstner & PartnersPusher System for Dispensing Articles
US20120080392 *Oct 4, 2010Apr 5, 2012John GelardiProduct Dispensing System With Biasing Assembly
US20120234851 *Mar 16, 2011Sep 20, 2012Zacherle Matthew EProduct Biasing and Dispensing System with Security Engagement
Classifications
U.S. Classification211/59.3, 211/51
International ClassificationA47F1/12
Cooperative ClassificationA47F1/126
European ClassificationA47F1/12D1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 11, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO., ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MARIHUGH, DANIEL W.;REEL/FRAME:011716/0633
Effective date: 20010409