CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS, IF ANY
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION AND PRIOR ART
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates in general to the protection of data which may be stored on tracks conventionally recorded onto compact circular plastic disks or rectangular cards or data carriers of other formats and shapes including, but not limited to, protection of data formats such as CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs and the like. The data may comprise optically or magnetically recorded data.
2. Prior Art
Data carriers such as compact disks containing optical or magnetic recorded data are typically packaged and stored in rigid plastic holders and the increasingly popular rectangular data storage cards of business card or trading card size are often packaged and stored in transparent flexible plastic bags since rigid cases are too bulky, unattractive and expensive. Rectangular cards are increasingly used for optically storing data such as photographs containing likenesses of sports and music celebrities or automobiles and the like, for collection and exchange.
- OBJECT OF THE INVENTION
Large volume printing of cards containing recorded data and protectors for the cards is difficult due to mounting protrusions required for holding the protectors in position for high speed printing. Also, since visual decoration is desired on the outer surface of the protector, holes which extend through the protector should be avoided.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide a data protector which avoids the above drawbacks.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention accordingly provides a data protector comprising a card sized for covering data recorded on a side of a data carrier of the type having an aperture for receiving a spindle of al disk drive, said protector including a plurality of circularly arranged spaced resilient protrusions extending from a generally flat side of said protector, said protrusions being radially inwardly bendable for insertion and retention in an aperture of a data carrier to retain said protector on said data carrier with said generally flat side covering said data.
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a first embodiment of the data protector.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional elevation of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the protector of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a card having data recorded thereon.
FIG. 6 is a plan view of a second embodiment of a data protector.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of the embodiment of FIG. 6.
A data protector 1 comprising a first embodiment of the invention as shown in FIGS. 1-4 and comprises a generally flat card 2 preferably made of plastic such as polyethyleneterephthalate (PET), ABS resin or polypropylene or of cardboard. The card 2 has generally flat upper and lower sides A, B and a generally cup shaped attachment member 3 generally centrally located on the card. The attachment number 3 is comprised of a plurality (four are shown in this embodiment) of circularly arranged spaced resilient protrusions 5 spaced apart by spaces or slits 4. The resilient protrusions 5 are radially inwardly bendable for attachment to a data storage card such as an optical data card (FIG. 5) having a circular central aperture 11 used for reception of a spindle of a disc or card drive. The spaced protrusions 5 are sized and spaced and are radially inwardly bendable for insertion and retention in the aperture 11 to retain the side A of the data protector 1 in face-to-face relationship with a side of the data card 10 having data 10A such as optical data recorded thereon.
As best seen in FIG. 3, the spaced protrusions 5 are angled upwardly and outwardly from the upper side (as viewed in FIG. 3) A of the protector 1 at an angle in the range of 10-15° from a vertical line perpendicular to the generally flat side A. The attachment member 3 may be integrally molded with the flat card 2 but is preferably formed as a separate part as seen in FIG. 3 which may be mounted in a recess 6 in the upper surface A of the data protector card 2 by either a press fit so that the attachment member 3 may be easily removed from the card 2 or the attachment member 3 may be moved or otherwise bonded to the upper surface A of the card 2 or positioned in the recess 6 if provided.
A central boss 2 having an upper finger engagement surface 22 is also preferably provided on the upper side of the data protector card 2 or, preferably, the boss 20 is integrally formed with the attachment member 3 which in turn is subsequently assembled to the card 2 by gluing or interference fit in the recess 6. The generally flat finger engagement surface 22 may be pushed to easily remove the data protector 1 from a data card 10 to which it has been affixed. As seen in FIG. 4, the lower side B of the data protector card 2 may be printed with a decorative design 7 including pictures, letters 8 and numerals 9 as desired.
The second embodiment of the invention as seen in FIGS. 6 and 7 also is comprised of a generally cup-shaped attachment member 3 having six spaced upwardly angled protrusions 5 spaced apart by spaces or slits 4. As in the embodiment seen in FIGS. 1-4, the spaced protrusions 5 are upwardly and outwardly angled in the range of 10-15° from the vertical for the major portion of their length. The embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7 also includes inwardly tapered upper ends 5A on each of the spaced protrusions 5 to assist in inserting the ends of the protrusions 5 into the mounting aperture 11 for attachment of the protector 1 to an optical data card 10 as previously described.
Similar to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4, the cup-shaped attachment member 3 shown in FIG. 7 may comprise an integrally formed member which in turn is glued or press fit into a recess 6 in the upper surface of the protector card 2 provided for that purpose. Although the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4 is shown having four equally spaced circularly disposed protrusions 5 and the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7 is shown having six equally circularly spaced protrusions 5, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the exact number of spaced protrusions 5 can vary in practice because as few as two protrusions have been found acceptable for firmly holding the data protector 1 in face-to-face engagement with the data carrying side of an optical data card 10. The protrusions need not be equally sized nor equally spaced although this is of course preferred.
The vertical extent of the protrusions 5 above the upper surface A of the data protector card 2 as seen in FIGS. 2 is preferably substantially the same as the thickness of an optical data card 10 to which the protector 1 is to be attached. Also, the size and shape of the protector 1 will be selected to be of complementary size and shape to the data card 10 to which it is to be affixed. Thus, protectors 1 according to the present invention can be made in sizes to correspond with typical business cards or in slightly larger sizes to correspond with typical trading cards.
The positioning recess 6, if provided in the data protector 1, can be formed when the flat card 2 is produced by a stamping operation or the positioning recess 6 can be subsequently formed in any suitable manner in the surface of the data protector 1. Those skilled in the art will also understand that the data protector 1 can be formed of material such as a rigid paper or cardboard. Preferably, the decorative side B of the data protector is printed after the positioning recess 6 has been formed in the side A although this is not essential.
The data protector 1 may also be provided with an electronic chip having exposed electrical contacts or any other type of chip capable of transmitting information to a computer may be embedded in the protector 1 thus forming a “smart card”. Although the described embodiments show protectors in the form of generally rectangular cards 2, clearly when the data card 10 has a different shape, the protector 1 can be formed with a complementary shape. Since the data protector 1 has no central aperture or hole, it can be configured during manufacture according to the various shapes desired for the data storage card 10 with which the protector 1 will be used. The outwardly angled resilient spaced protrusions 5 hold the data card 10 firmly in place and thus protect the data 10A recorded thereon from damage and soiling.
When the data protector 1 is attached to a data storage card 10, the total thickness of the assembly is merely that of the flat card 2 added to the thickness of the data storage card 10. This allows a number of data cards 10 and attached protectors 1 to be closely stacked for storage.
When the cup-shaped attachment member 3 is removably affixed in the recess 6 of the card 2 as by an interference fit, the attachment member 3 can be easily removed from the card 2 and the card 2 can then itself be used as a trading card or business card to be carried in a wallet. Printed scenes, items, text, etc. which may be provided on the lower side B of the flat card 2 are totally visible since no holes extend through the card 2.
Finally, it will be appreciated that the data protector 1 can, if desired, also be used to store information, either in embedded memory or chips as mentioned above and/or in the form of data such as optically or magnetically recorded data on the surface of the protector 1.
Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that various additional modifications of the preferred embodiments of the invention described above may be made without departing from the teachings herein and that the scope of protection is defined by the claims which follow.