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Publication numberUS20020157974 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/844,399
Publication dateOct 31, 2002
Filing dateApr 27, 2001
Priority dateApr 27, 2001
Also published asCA2345571A1
Publication number09844399, 844399, US 2002/0157974 A1, US 2002/157974 A1, US 20020157974 A1, US 20020157974A1, US 2002157974 A1, US 2002157974A1, US-A1-20020157974, US-A1-2002157974, US2002/0157974A1, US2002/157974A1, US20020157974 A1, US20020157974A1, US2002157974 A1, US2002157974A1
InventorsGerald Krahn
Original AssigneeKrahn Gerald C.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Prepaid internet CD package
US 20020157974 A1
Abstract
The present invention relates to a retail sale package consisting of a main panel card having a compact disc and a point-of-sale card removably attached to the main panel. The CD may be affixed by shrinkwrap, adhesive, plastic insert or other mechanical retainer. The point-of-sale card may be affixed by adhesive or shrinkwrap and may or may not contain a magnetic strip; the strip can be activated at the time of sale or by other means. The combination may be used in conjunction with the Internet to access a website for browsing and to download music or other desired electronic files onto a separate data storage device and to pay for this access with the point-of-sale card or a separate value account. The compact disc is activated by a PIN contained on the point-of-sale card or embedded in the CD itself. Additional value can be added to the point-of-sale card using a credit card, debit card checking account, or the like.
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Claims(20)
I claim:
1. A package, which comprises:
a) a main panel having a face surface and a back surface providing the main panel with a thickness;
b) a compact disc removably secured to the main panel; and
c) a point-of-sale card removably secured to the main panel.
2. The package of claim 1 wherein the main panel removably supports the compact disc laying against the face surface thereof and within a perimeter of the main panel.
3. The package of claim 2 wherein the compact disc is removably supported on the main panel by one of the group consisting of an adhesive tape, a deformable rivet, shrinkwrap, hook-shaped retainers and a retaining hub.
4. The package of claim 1 wherein the main panel removably supports the compact disc nested in a recess into the thickness of the main panel from the face surface thereof and within a perimeter of the main panel.
5. The package of claim 1 wherein the main panel removably supports the point-of-sale card laying against the face surface thereof.
6. The package of claim 1 wherein the point-of-sale card is removably supported on the main panel by an adhesive tape or shrinkwrap.
7. The package of claim 3 wherein a portion of the point-of-sale card extends beyond a perimeter of the main panel.
8. The package of claim 1 wherein the main panel removably supports the point-of-sale card nested in a recess into the thickness of the main panel from the face surface thereof.
9. The package of claim 8 wherein a portion of the point-of-sale card extends beyond a perimeter of the main panel.
10. The package of claim 1 wherein the main panel is of a paper stock or of a plastic material.
11. The package of claim 1 further comprising an opening in the main panel for hanging the package on a display device.
12. The package of claim 1 wherein the point-of-sale card contains a magnetic strip.
13. The package of claim 1 wherein the point-of-sale card contains a bar code.
14. The package of claim 1 wherein the point-of-sale card is either a credit card or a debit card.
15. The package of claim 1 wherein the point-of-sale card has a PIN.
16. The package of claim 1 wherein the compact disc contains a PIN.
17. A method for accessing the Internet, comprising the steps of:
a) providing a package comprising a main panel having a face surface and a back surface providing the main panel with a thickness, a compact disc removably secured to the main panel, and a point-of-sale card removably secured to the main panel;
b) removing the compact disc from the main panel and inserting the compact disc into a computer;
c) removing the point-of-sale card from the main panel, wherein at least one of the point-of-sale card and the compact disc contains a PIN, and entering the PIN into the computer to activate the compact disc; and
d) using the compact disc to access the Internet.
18. The method of claim 17 including providing the point-of-sale card as either a credit card or a debit card.
19. The method of claim 17 including downloading a data file from the Internet onto a data storage device.
20. The method of claim 19 including downloading the data file to one of the group consisting of a computer hard drive, a CD burner, a diskette, a tape and a MP3 player.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The current invention relates to a package comprising a panel card having a compact disc (CD) and a point-of-sale card removably secured thereto. The compact disc is programmed to route a user to a chosen website on the Internet that prompts the user to enter a PIN. The PIN may be contained on the point-of-sale card packaged with the compact disc, or the PIN is embedded in the CD itself. The user is then able to access the Internet and, if desired, download files, such as of music and other information, from a website. The unit of measured access may vary by opportunity, by minutes on the Internet, or by digital downloads. For example, when the measure is digital downloads, the user may be on the Internet as long as they want, but as files are downloaded, an accounting is done between files downloaded and the number of files prepaid. The files are downloaded to the user's hard drive or other storage device or media, then sent to any one of a number of output devices, such as CD burners, diskettes, tape, MP3 players and others. In that respect, the point-of-sale card may or may not be a prepaid value card, however, if the PIN is embedded in the CD, the point-of-sale card is preferably a value card.
  • [0003]
    2. Prior Art
  • [0004]
    There has been a need to develop a system whereby a person can access the Internet and, if desired, download music or other electronic files from a web site and then pay for the downloaded information from an established account such as a prevalued credit card. Heretofore, the prior art has described various prepaid card assemblies. However, they are not paired with a compact disc programmed to route a user to a data file on the Internet.
  • [0005]
    For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,650,209 to Ramsburg et al. teaches a card package assembly in which a web of cardstock is imaged on opposed first and second faces and the faces are spot coated with plastic at spaced locations. In this manner, a card is formed out of each of the spot coated locations. This technology contrasts the current invention where the prevalued card is not integral to the cardstock, but is removably attached to the panel by adhesive or other means.
  • [0006]
    Also, U.S. Pat. No. 5,667,247 to Ramsburg et al. describes a card package assembly in which a package for a prevalued card is formed by folding a sheet of material into three portions. However, with this construction the card is not visible to a potential purchaser. Moreover, the current invention includes a compact disc with the prevalued card, and the two are used in tandem rather than the card being used alone.
  • [0007]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,740,915 to Williams describes a package for a prepaid calling card. The package comprises a pair of panels which are foldably joined and disposed in a flat face contacting relation with the calling card partially housed therein and partially disposed beyond the periphery of the folded panels. This positioning facilitates manipulation of the exposed calling card in an activation process.
  • [0008]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,909 to Fiala et al. describes a package for a credit card having an exposed data-encoded strip displaced externally remote from a main panel supporting the credit card. However, the Fiala et al. patent does not disclose the use of the credit card in conjunction with a compact disc.
  • [0009]
    Thus, as previously stated, there is a need for a package combining a point-of-sale card and a compact disc. This package is used in conjunction with the Internet to access a website and, if desired, download music and/or other electronic files onto a data storage device and to pay for them from a separate account, which can be the point-of-sale card or other payment method.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0010]
    The package of the present invention consists of a unitary panel card having a compact disc and a point-of-sale card removably attached to the panel. The CD may be affixed by shrinkwrap, a repositionable adhesive, plastic insert or other mechanical retainer. The associated card may or may not contain a magnetic strip and/or a barcode, and is activated at the time of purchase as a point-of-sale card. In one embodiment of the present invention, the point-of-sale card contains a PIN and is used, in turn, for activating the CD. In another embodiment, the PIN is embedded in the CD itself. In either case, the point-of-sale card may or may not be a value card used to pay for Internet access and possibly downloaded data files. In that respect, the CD is then used in conjunction with the Internet to access a website and, if desired, download music or other desired electronic files onto a separate data storage device. If the point-of-sale card is a value card, preferably additional value can be added to the card, or a separate payment account is used to pay for the Internet access and downloaded data files.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIG. 1 is a plan view of the package of the present invention containing a point-of-sale card and compact disc, and showing the compact disc attached by a retaining hub.
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 3 is a rear view of the package depicting a magnetic strip and bar code on the back of the point-of-sale card.
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 4 is a plan view of the package showing the compact disc removably attached to the main card by a plastic rivet.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view along line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 6 is a detailed sectional view showing the compact disc and point-of-sale card recessed into the main panel.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 6A is an enlarged view of the indicated section in FIG. 6.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 7 is a detailed sectional view showing the compact disc removably attached to the card by adhesive.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 8 is a detailed sectional view showing the compact disc and point-of-sale card removably attached to the main panel by shrinkwrap.
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 9 is a plan view of the main panel having the compact disc thereto attached by mechanical clasps.
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view along line 10-10 of FIG. 9.
  • BEST MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
  • [0022]
    Turning now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 through 3 show one embodiment of the prepaid Internet CD package 12 of the present invention comprising a main panel 14 of a card stock paper or plastic material having opposed face and back surfaces 14A and 14B providing the panel with a thickness. While not shown in the drawings, the face and back surfaces 14A, 14B may be provided with printed text and graphics, as desired. A point-of-sale card 16 and a compact disc 18 are supported on the face 14A of the main panel 14. The main panel 14 further consists of spaced apart side edges 20 and 22 extending to and meeting with an upper edges 24 and a lower edge 26. Upper edge 24 is parallel to lower edge 26 and both edges 24 and 26 are perpendicular to side edges 20 and 22. An opening 28 is located proximate to the upper edge 24 at the midpoint between side edges 20 and 22. The opening 24 is used to facilitate display of the cards on sales racks and the like.
  • [0023]
    As further shown in FIG. 1, the main panel 14 supports the point-of-sale card 16 overlaying the lower edge 26 and centered between the side edges 20, 22. The point-of-sale card 16 has a lower edge 30 parallel to and spaced somewhat below the lower edge 26 of the main panel 14. The point-of-sale card 16 is removably secured to the face surface 14A of the main panel 14 by an adhesive 32 (FIG. 2). Preferably, the adhesive 32 is a repositionable/ultraremovable tape, as described in U.S. application Ser. No. 09/811,902, filed Mar. 19, 2001, the disclosure of which is assigned to the assignee of the present invention and incorporated herein by reference. This type of tape is of a double sided construction having a first side of a relatively low tack adhesive and a second side of a relatively aggressive adhesive. The aggressive adhesive side contacts the main panel 14 where the contact is intended to be permanent. The point-of-sale card contacts the low tack adhesive so that the card is readily removed from the main panel 14 for use. The point-of-sale card 16 may or may not contain a magnetic strip 34 (FIG. 3) and a barcode 36.
  • [0024]
    The magnetic strip 34 and the barcode 36 are used for activating the card 16 at the point-of-sale or by other means. The point-of-sale card 16 is used in conjunction with the compact disc 18 for accessing the Internet and, if desired, downloading music and/or other electronic information from a website onto a separate information storage device (not shown), such as a CD burner, a diskette, a tape, MP3 player, and the like. In one embodiment of the present invention, the card 16 contains a PIN which the user enters into a website. Once the system recognizes the PIN, the compact disc 18 provides measured access to the Internet or to a restricted site for a defined period of time, typically measured in minutes, or until a prepaid number of measured digital files are downloaded. In the latter case, the user may be on the Internet as long as they want, but they are only charged for actual downloads. If digital downloads are the unit of measure, the system can be constructed so that the user is limited to one website, or a grouping of websites. The downloaded files may be measured in dollars or file downloads as purchase decrements from the original or remaining monetary balance or file download credits on the card or from a separate account. Additional value can be added to the card 16 using a credit card, debt card, checking account, and the like, or payment for Internet access and downloads is from a separate account.
  • [0025]
    In another embodiment of the present invention, the point-of-sale card is a value card devoid of a PIN. Instead, the PIN is embedded in the compact disc 18, and when the CD is loaded into a computer, the PIN is recognized as a valid number and the compact disc 18 is activated for Internet access.
  • [0026]
    The compact disc 18 is attached to the main panel 14 at about the midpoint of the panel. In that respect, the compact disc 18 is removably secured to the face surface 14A of the panel 14 at a position about half way between the side edges 20, 22 and about half way between the upper and lower edges 24, 26 using a retaining hub 38. Retaining hub 38 is an annular member permanently secured to the main panel 14 and having a cross pattern of slits 40. The outer perimeter of the hub 38 is sized somewhat greater than a central opening in the compact disc. The slits 40 enable the hub 38 to flex inwardly as the compact disc is being moved over and down the hub towards the face surface 14 of the panel 14. Once the compact disc has cleared the outer perimeter of the hub, the hub returns to its relaxed position with the compact disc secured in place. In this position, a bottom surface 42 of the CD 18 is parallel to the upper surface 14A of the main panel 14 and in a closely spaced relationship therewith.
  • [0027]
    In a further embodiment of the prepaid Internet CD package 12A shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the compact disc 18 is removably secured to the main panel 14 using a deformable rivet 44. In that manner, the bottom surface 42 of the CD 18 is parallel to the upper surface edge 14A of the main panel 14 and in a closely spaced relationship therewith. The rivet 44 has a central shaft 46 connecting to first and second heads 46A and 46B. The shaft 46 is received in the coaxial central openings 48 and 50 of the respective main panel 14 and CD 18. The first head 46A of the rivet 44 is sized somewhat greater than the diameter of the main panel opening 50 while the second head 46B is sized somewhat greater than the diameter of compact disc opening 48. In that respect, the rivet 46 is made of a material such as plastic which is readily deformed at the heads 46A and 46B or at the shaft 46 to enable a user to separate the CD 18 from the main panel without damaging the CD. The point-of-sale card 16 is removably secured to the main panel 14 by an adhesive 32, such as the previously described repositional/ultraremovable tape.
  • [0028]
    Another embodiment of the prepaid Internet CD package 12B is shown in FIGS. 6 and 6A. In this embodiment, the main panel 14 is provided with a first recess 52 and a second recess 54, both extending into the thickness of the panel from the face surface 14A thereof. The first recess 52 is contained within the perimeter of the main panel 14 bounded by the side edges 20, 22 and the upper and lower edges 24, 26, and centered at about the mid-point of the respective edge pairs. The second recess 54 is provided at the lower edge 26 centered between the side edges 20, 22. Both recesses 52 and 54 are provided into the thickness of the main panel 14 by a calendering process if the stock material is of paper board, and the like, or by molding if the stock material is of plastic. In any event, the first recess 52 is sized to receive the compact disc 18 while the second recess 54 is sized to receive the point-of-sale card 16. In both cases, the compact disc 18 and the point-of-sale card 16 are secured in their respective recesses 52 and 54 by an adhesive 32, such as the previously described repositionable/ultraremovable tape.
  • [0029]
    A further embodiment of the present prepaid Internet CD package 12C is shown in FIG. 7. In this embodiment, both the point-of-sale card 16 and the compact disc 18 are removably secured to the main panel 14 by means of an adhesive 32. Again, a preferred adhesive is the previously described repositionable/ultraremovable tape. In that respect, this embodiment is somewhat similar to that described in FIGS. 4 and 5 in that the point-of-sale card 16 is removably secured to the main panel 14 by an adhesive. This embodiment, however, differs from the prepaid Internet CD package 12A in that the compact disc 18 is not attached to the main panel 14 by a rivet 46, but by an adhesive 32, such as the previously described repositionable/ultraremovable tape. For that reason, there is no need for the main panel 14 to have an opening, such as opening 48A.
  • [0030]
    Still a further embodiment of the prepaid Internet CD package 12D is shown in FIG. 8. In this embodiment, the point-of-sale card 16 and the compact disc 18 are secured to the main panel 14 by shrinkwrap 56. The shrinkwrap material 56 is of a plastic material which is draped completely about the perimeter of the main panel 14 including the face and back surfaces 14A, 14B, the card 16 and the compact disc 18 to seal the package 12D therein. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize materials useful for the shrinkwrap.
  • [0031]
    Another embodiment of the prepaid Internet CD package 12E is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. In this embodiment, the point-of-sale card 16 is removably secured to the main panel 14 by any suitable means previously described in accord with this invention. The compact disc 18 is secured to the main panel 14 by a plurality of retainers 58. While FIG. 9 shows three retainers 58 spaced equidistant about the perimeter of the compact disc 18, the present invention contemplates a greater number of retainers, if desired. Each retainer 58 comprises a shaft 60 connected to an enlarged head 62 and a hook 64 opposite the head 62. The shaft 60 and enlarged head 62 are received in an opening 66 in the main panel 14 such that the head 62 is flush with the back surface 14B thereof and prevents the retainer 58 from being pulled through the panel 14. The hook 64 extends beyond the face surface 14A of the panel 14 a distance corresponding to the thickness of the compact disc 18 such that the compact disc is held firmly against the panel. As with the deformable rivet 46 of the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the retainers 58 are preferably of a plastic material which is readily deformed to enable a user to remove the compact disc 18 from the main panel 14. In the alternative, the retainers 58 are rotatable to remove the hook 64 from the capturing relationship with respect to the compact disc 18.
  • [0032]
    Thus, it can be seen that the present invention is directed to a package intended to be sold at retail to a person desiring to access the Internet and, if desired, download music and other data files from a website. The package includes a compact disc and point-of-sale card. The compact disc is loaded into a machine electronically connected to the Internet. In one embodiment, the point-of-sale card contains a PIN which then lets the user have measured access to the Internet. In another embodiment, the PIN is embedded in the CD itself. Internet access can simply be for browsing for a period of time or for the purpose of downloading information files to a separate data capture device, such as the user's hard drive. The point-of-sale card can also be a value card, or the user can have monetary credits at a separate account. The point-of-sale card preferably enables additional money or download credits to be added as desired. In the case where the point-of -sale card does not contain a PIN, it is preferably a value card.
  • [0033]
    While the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed, it will be appreciated that it is not limited thereto, but may be embodied within the scope of the following claims.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/308.1, 206/461, G9B/33.011, G9B/20.002
International ClassificationG11B33/04
Cooperative ClassificationG11B20/00724, G11B33/0427, G11B20/00086, G11B20/00855
European ClassificationG11B20/00P10B, G11B20/00P12, G11B33/04D1B1, G11B20/00P
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 11, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: MOORE NORTH AMERICA, LTD., NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KRAHN, GERALD C.;REEL/FRAME:011795/0666
Effective date: 20010427
Aug 14, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: MOORE NORTH AMERICA, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT ASSIGNEE S NAME PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 011795 FRAME 0666;ASSIGNOR:KRAHN, GERALD C.;REEL/FRAME:012079/0111
Effective date: 20010427