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Publication numberUS20030000853 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/008,318
Publication dateJan 2, 2003
Filing dateNov 8, 2001
Priority dateJun 29, 2001
Publication number008318, 10008318, US 2003/0000853 A1, US 2003/000853 A1, US 20030000853 A1, US 20030000853A1, US 2003000853 A1, US 2003000853A1, US-A1-20030000853, US-A1-2003000853, US2003/0000853A1, US2003/000853A1, US20030000853 A1, US20030000853A1, US2003000853 A1, US2003000853A1
InventorsRobert Broadhead
Original AssigneeBroadhead Robert Malcolm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lockable box
US 20030000853 A1
Abstract
A lockable box (2) for a DVD or other disc has at least two releasably interengageable locking members (10,20) (110,120) which, when interengaged, prevent the box from being opened. The locking members are entirely contained within the box when the box is closed, and they can be disengaged only with the use of a special tool.
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Claims(31)
I claim:
1. A lockable box for a pre-recorded data carrier, the box comprising:
a first box member and a second box member which are adjustable between a closed position in which they co-operate to define a substantially closed box, and an open position in which the inside of the box is accessible to permit a pre-recorded data carrier to be inserted into or removed from the box;
each box member having a locking member;
at least one of the locking members being adjustable between a locked position in which, when the box members are in the closed position, the locking members interengage so as to prevent the box from being opened, and an unlocked position in which the locking members permit the box members to be moved from the closed position to the open position; wherein
the locking members are entirely contained within the box members when the box members are in the closed position, and the adjustment of the locking member to the unlocked position is achievable only with the use of a special tool.
2. A lockable box as claimed in claim 1, wherein the locking member on the first box member is movable relative to the first box member and the locking member on the second box member is fixed relative to the second box member.
3. A lockable box as claimed in claim 2, wherein the movable locking member is pivotable between the locked and unlocked positions.
4. A lockable box as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least a part of one of the locking members comprises a ferrous material whereby the said locking member can be adjusted between the locked and unlocked positions by means of a suitable magnet.
5. A lockable box as claimed in claim 2, wherein the fixed locking member on the second box member comprises an upright member which has a hole in which the movable locking member engages when adjusted to the locked position.
6. A lockable box as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first and second box members are each provided with two locking members.
7. A lockable box as claimed in claim 6, wherein two of the locking members are movable and two of the locking members are fixed.
8. A lockable box as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first box member has a single movable locking member and the second box member has a plurality of fixed locking members each of which engages with the said single locking member when the box members are in the closed position and the single locking member is adjusted to the locked position.
9. A lockable box as claimed in claim 7, wherein at least a part of each movable locking member comprises a ferrous material whereby they can be adjusted between the locked and unlocked positions by means of a suitable magnet.
10. A lockable box as claimed in claim 9, wherein the said ferrous material is a permanent magnet and the magnets are arranged with like poles facing in substantially the same direction.
11. A lockable box as claimed in claim 5, wherein the first box member is provided with an upright member having a hole therein, whereby when the box members are in the closed position and the movable locking member is in the locked position, the movable locking member is disposed through both the hole in the said upright member and the hole in the fixed locking member.
12. A lockable box as claimed in claim 4, which has at least two opposed edges, wherein the said locking members are adjustable to the locked position by swiping one edge along a suitable magnet and wherein the said locking members are adjustable to the unlocked position by swiping the opposite edge past a suitable magnet.
13. A lockable box as claimed in claim 12, which has two opposed long edges and two opposed short edges, wherein the said one edge and the said opposed edge are the long edges.
14. A lockable box as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first box member and the second box member have substantially the same external dimensions.
15. A lockable box as claimed in claim 2, wherein the movable locking members cannot be adjusted from a locked position to an unlocked position without overcoming a predetermined minimum resistive force.
16. A lockable box as claimed in claim 15, wherein at least part of the predetermined minimum force is provided by a resiliently deformable detent.
17. A lockable DVD box, comprising:
a first box member and a second box member which are adjustable between a closed position in which they co-operate to define a substantially closed box, and an open position in which the inside of the box is accessible to permit a DVD to be inserted into or removed from the box;
at least one of the box members being provided with a mount for releasably securing a DVD thereon;
the box being provided with two spaced apart releasable locking mechanisms, each comprising a locking member provided on the first box member and a locking member provided on the second box member;
at least one of each of the locking members in both locking mechanisms being adjustable between a locked position in which, when the box members are in the closed position, the locking members interengage so as to prevent the box from being opened, and an unlocked position in which the locking members disengage; wherein
the locking members are entirely contained within the box members when the box members are in the closed position, and the adjustment of the locking members to the unlocked position is achievable only with the use of a special tool.
18. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 17, wherein the locking members on the first box member are movable and the locking members on the second box member are fixed.
19. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 17, wherein the adjustable locking members are pivotable between the locked and unlocked positions.
20. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 18, wherein at least a part of each movable locking member comprises a ferrous material whereby they can be adjusted between the locked and unlocked positions by means of a suitable magnet.
21. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 17, wherein each locking member has a first end and a second end, each end being provided with a ferrous insert or attachment whereby the said locking members can be adjusted between the locked and unlocked positions by means of a suitable magnet.
22. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 17, wherein both locking members have a ferrous insert or attachment which is a permanent magnet, the magnets being arranged with like poles facing in substantially the same direction, whereby the said locking members can be reversibly adjusted between the locked and unlocked positions by means of a suitably orientated magnet.
23. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 21, wherein:
the box members have two opposed long edges and are connected together by a hinge along one of the long edges; and
the locking members are arranged so that they are adjustable from the locked position to the unlocked position by swiping one of the said long edges of the box past a suitable magnet.
24. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 17, wherein the adjustable locking members are slidable between the locked and unlocked positions.
25. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 17, further including a DVD mounted on the said mount and the box being shrouded in a shrink-wrap material.
26. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 25, further including a remotely-deactivatable alarm tag within the box.
27. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 23, wherein the locking members are adjustable from the unlocked position to the locked position by swiping one of the said long edges of the box past a suitable magnet.
28. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 18, wherein the movable locking members cannot be adjusted from a locked position to an unlocked position without overcoming a predetermined minimum resistive force.
29. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claim 28, wherein at least part of the predetermined minimum force is provided by a resiliently deformable detent.
30. A lockable DVD box as claimed in claimed in claim 17, wherein the first box member and the second box member are formed from a substantially opaque material.
31. A lockable DVD box which has at least two releasably interengageable locking members which, when interengaged, prevent the box from being opened, the locking members being entirely contained within the box when the box is closed, and being disengageable only with the use of a special tool.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a lockable box for pre-recorded media, notably a DVD box.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0002] Pre-recorded storage media such as digital versatile discs (DVDs) are usually put up for sale in a plastic box which carries information about the DVD as well as carrying sales promotional material or artwork to attract a purchaser. To prevent theft of the DVD from a store various lockable display containers have been proposed which house the DVD in its box and prevent a thief gaining access to the DVD without breaking the container or removing the container from the shop. The container can be fitted with alarm means so that it cannot be removed from the shop without actuating an alarm. Examples of such lockable containers are described in EP 0 312 172, EP 0 541 733, EP 0 666 954 and WO 00/61899. These display containers are effective but they increase the bulk of the product on display.

[0003] Known products provide a locking member which is externally applied to the box, With such products, the box cannot be shrink-wrapped for “sell-through”, as there is then no means of removing the locking member without damaging the packaging. The locking members are also subject to being tampered with. Once the locking member has been removed in order to unlock the box (in a rental situation) it has to be safely stored for re-use later on. If the locking member is lost, the box can no longer be secured.

[0004] The present invention seeks to provide an improved lockable disc box.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention provides a lockable box for a DVD or other pre-recorded data carrier. The box has at least two releasably interengageable locking members which, when interengaged, prevent the box from being opened. The locking members are entirely contained within the box when the box is closed, and they can be disengaged only with the use of a special tool.

[0006] It is preferred that the box is a DVD box, and the invention will be described with reference to this embodiment. However, it will be understood that the invention is also applicable to other pre-recorded data carriers, for example compact discs (CDs), videos and tape cassettes.

[0007] The DVD box may be supplied to Record Label and Film Studio Companies as original packaging, filled with product and then sent to a retailer in either a locked or an unlocked state.

[0008] Unlike existing products, which require a manual action to insert (lock) or remove (unlock) the locking member, the disc box of the present invention can be locked and unlocked in a hands-free manner. By incorporating a ferrous element in a movable locking member, the box may be locked and unlocked by swiping it against a suitable strong magnet.

[0009] The box comprises a first box member and a second box member which are adjustable between a closed position in which they co-operate to define a substantially closed box, and an open position in which the inside of the box is accessible to permit a disc to be inserted into or removed from the box. Each box member has a locking member, and at least one of the locking members is adjustable between a locked position in which, when the box members are in the closed position, the locking members interengage so as to prevent the box from being opened, and an unlocked position in which the locking members permit the box members to be moved from the closed position to the open position. The two co-operating locking members comprise a locking mechanism.

[0010] The locking member on each box member could be movable relative to the box member. However it is preferred that one locking member is movable and the other is fixed relative to its box member. In a preferred embodiment, the movable locking member is pivotable between the locked and unlocked positions.

[0011] One of the locking members may be provided with a hole or recess in which the other locking member is disposed when the box is locked.

[0012] In another preferred embodiment, the movable locking member is slidable between the locked and unlocked positions. By providing each end of the slidable locking member with a ferrous element, locking and unlocking may be carried out means of a single swipe along an appropriate edge of the box.

[0013] Although the invention may employ only one locking mechanism, it is preferred that more than one locking mechanism, preferably two locking mechanisms, are provided. This preferred embodiment permits all three free edges of a conventional hinged DVD box to be locked.

[0014] In the preferred embodiment where one locking member of a pair is fixed and the other is movable, both movable locking members may conveniently be provided on the same box member. However, it would also be possible to provide one movable locking member on each box member.

[0015] The interior of the box may be provided with an electronic tag of a type known per se which activates an alarm system if an attempt is made to remove the DVD box from the store. It is particularly preferred that the tag may be remotely deactivated by electronic means. This permits the DVD box to be sold in shrink wrapping and to be both unlocked and alarm-deactivated at the point of sale without removing the wrapping. Suitable electronic tags are known in the art.

[0016] Other aspects and benefits of the invention will appear in the following specification, drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] The invention will now be further described, by way of example, with reference to the following drawings in which:

[0018]FIG. 1 shows a first embodiment of a lockable DVD box in accordance with the invention;

[0019]FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cutaway view of part of the box shown in FIG. 1, with the box closed and locked;

[0020]FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cutaway view similar to that of FIG. 2, with the box unlocked and partially open;

[0021]FIG. 4 shows a second embodiment of a lockable DVD box in accordance with the invention;

[0022]FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view of part of the locking mechanism of the DVD box shown in FIG. 4;

[0023]FIG. 6 shows a third embodiment of a lockable DVD box in accordance with the invention;

[0024]FIG. 7 is an elevational view of a resilient retaining member as shown in FIG. 6;

[0025]FIG. 8 is an elevational view of a receptacle of FIG. 6 with the sliding locking member in the locked position;

[0026]FIGS. 9 and 10 are cross sections of a receptacle of FIG. 6 when the box is, respectively, open and closed; and

[0027]FIG. 11 is an elevational view of the receptacle of FIG. 8 with the sliding locking member in the unlocked position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0028] The DVD box 2 comprises a first box member 4 and a second box member 6, of substantially similar dimensions, connected together by a hinge 8. The box members 4, 6 are hollow shells, for example of polypropylene, which co-operate to form a closed box when pivoted about the hinge 8 in known manner. The first box member 4 is provided with an annular disc-receiving member 24 with a resilient mount 26 in the middle, for releasably securing a DVD (not shown) as is well known in the art. The disc-receiving member 24 and mount 26 could additionally or alternatively be provided on the second box member 6, or on an intermediate mounting member between the box members.

[0029] Two locking members 10 are pivotally mounted on the inner surface of the first box member 4 by means of pivot pins 12. The friction between the pivot pin 12 and its locking member 10 is such that the locking member 10 cannot be pivoted by shaking of the box; a greater force is required.

[0030] Upstanding lugs 18 are provided on the inner surface of the first box member 4 adjacent the distal ends 14 and proximal ends 16 of the pivotable locking members 10. The second box member 6 is provided with locking members comprising upstanding lugs 20 on the inner surface. Each upstanding lug 18, 20 has a hole, and when the box 2 is closed pairs of lugs 18, 20 are located face to face with the holes in alignment. The arrangement is such that, with the box members 4, 6 in the closed position, pivoting of the locking member 10 from the unlocked position shown in FIG. 3 to the locked position shown in FIG. 2 brings the ends 14, 16 into disposition through the holes in both the aligned lugs 18, 20 in the pair. In this position, the box members 4, 6 are locked together.

[0031] With the box 2 closed, the locking members 10 are pivotable only with the use of a special tool. It is preferred that the proximal 14 and distal 16 ends of the locking member 10 are formed from a ferrous material or are provided with a ferrous insert or attachment. This permits the locking member 10 to be pivoted by means of a strong external magnet device. A suitable magnetic device is described in WO 00/61899.

[0032] To lock the box, the box is closed, and then each short edge 28 is swiped in turn against the magnet. The magnet attracts the ferrous insert of the distal end 16, causing the locking member 10 to pivot and both ends to engage in holes in the associated pair of lugs 18, 20.

[0033] To unlock the box, the long edge 30 is swiped against the magnet so that the magnet attracts the distal ends 14 of the locking members 10 and reverses the locking process.

[0034] In practice, the magnet may be mounted on a checkout desk at the point of sale or rental.

[0035] Although the above arrangement is preferred for ease of unlocking, it will be appreciated that the opposite arrangement could also be used, whereby locking is achieved by a single swipe along the long edge of the box, and unlocking by a swipe along both short edges.

[0036] In an alternative embodiment, the locking member 10 could be accessible via a hole 22 in an edge of the box. As illustrated in the drawings, the box could be locked by a user inserting a long thin tool through the hole 22 in the long edge 30 so as to push the proximal end 14 and cause the locking member 10 to pivot to the locked position. It would be possible for unlocking to be carried out by the same tool through a similar hole adjacent to the distal end 16 of the locking member 10. However it is preferred that exclusively magnetic means are used for unlocking and, preferably, for locking, the box because the use of a suitable magnet is quicker and permits the DVD box to be locked and unlocked while shrouded in shrink-wrap material.

[0037] In another embodiment, the proximal ends 14 are provided with permanent magnets with like poles facing towards the long edge 30. This permits the box to be locked with a single swipe of a suitable magnet with a like pole adjacent the long edge 30 so that the permanent magnets in the proximal ends 14 are repelled. The box can be unlocked with a single swipe of a suitable magnet with the opposite polarity adjacent the long edge. Both types of magnets could be mounted at the point of sale or rental, one for locking and the other for unlocking.

[0038] It would be possible not to provide the lugs 18 on the first box member 4 so that the locking member 10 engages only with the lugs 20 on the second box member 6 when the box is locked. However, this would require the locking member 10 to be relatively rugged and robust because it would need to resist upward force exerted by an attempt to prise the box members apart. In the preferred embodiment the ends of the locking members are disposed through lugs on both the first box member 4 and the second box member 6, so that the lugs 18 on the first box member 4 prevent force from the second box member 6 being transmitted to the pivot pin 12.

[0039] The entire locking member 10 and its mount may be provided as a removable insert to enable its removal either at point of sale or by a customer. Alternatively, the pivot pin 12 could be made releasable by exerting an upward force on the pivotable locking member 10.

[0040] Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, an alternative embodiment of the invention employs a locking member 110 which is slidably mounted on the first box member 4. The second box member 6 is provided with a plurality of fixed locking members comprising upstanding L-shaped hooks 120. For each hook 120 there is a corresponding hole 34 in the slidable locking member 110. Under each hole 34 there is a space 36, as best shown in FIG. 5, for receiving a corresponding hook 120. The proximal 114 and distal 116 ends of both slidable locking members 110 are provided with ferrous inserts (not shown) so that they are attractable by a magnet. By swiping a first long edge 30 of the box against a suitable magnet, the slidable locking member moves in the direction of arrow 38 to an unlocked position in which the hooks 120 can enter and leave the spaces 36 via the holes 34. With the box 2 in the closed position and the slidable locking member 110 in the unlocked position, the box 2 may be locked by swiping the opposite long edge 32 against a magnet so as to move the slidable locking member 110 to the locked position in the direction of arrow 40. Here, the hooks 120 are trapped in the slidable locking member 110, and the box is locked.

[0041] In this embodiment, the DVD box 2 can be locked and unlocked with a single swipe against a suitable magnet along the appropriate edge.

[0042]FIG. 6 shows a third embodiment of the invention including a sliding locking member 210 mounted in the first box member as in FIGS. 4 and 5. The sliding locking member is disposed between retaining pillars 50 that retain the slidable locking member 210 in the correct alignment. A wall 52 separates the sliding locking member 210 from the disc-receiving member 24.

[0043] The sliding locking member 210 is shown in the locked position for illustrative purposes, although the second box member is not in the closed position. The sliding locking member is provided with holes 234 through which hooks 220 formed on the second box member 6 may pass. The first box member 4 includes receptacles 54 aligned through the holes 234 for receiving the hooks 220. The arrangement of the hooks 220, sliding locking member 210 and the receptacles 54 is more clearly shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. A receptacle 54 is shown in greater detail in FIG. 8.

[0044] The sliding locking member 210 also includes a resiliently biased detent 56 that co-operates with a pillar 58 on the first box member 4 to prevent the sliding locking member 210 from moving easily to the unlocked position. This prevents the box 2 from being unlocked by tapping or knocking. The resiliently biased detent is shown in greater detail in FIG. 7.

[0045] The sliding locking member also includes ferrous inserts 68 on opposite long edges of the box 2 to enable magnetic locking and unlocking of the box 2 as described above.

[0046]FIG. 7 shows an elevation view of the resiliently biased detent 56 of FIG. 6. The detent 56 comprises an elongate body 60 with an enlarged circular head 62. A pillar 58 on the first box member 4 protrudes upwardly adjacent to the detent 56. In the locked position (as shown) the pillar 58 is located in a recess 64 between the body 60 and head 62 of the detent 56.

[0047] To unlock the box 2 the sliding locking member 210 must be moved in the direction shown by arrow 66 causing the head 62 of the detent 56 by the pillar 58. The body of the detent 56 is resiliently deformable such that the head 62 of the detent 56 may move slightly from side to side in the plane of the sliding locking member 210. For the head 62 to pass by the pillar 58 the body 60 of the detent 56 must deform to allow the head 62 to move aside.

[0048] The force required for such a deformation prevents the sliding locking member 210 from moving to an unlocked position when the box 2 is shaken, tapped or hit sharply. The force required should be such that the sliding locking member 210 can be moved when desired by unlocking means such as a magnet as discussed above. The force required can be adjusted as needed by changing the dimensions of the body 60 or head 62 of the detent or by altering the material from which it is made during manufacture. Additionally, or alternatively, the pillar 58 could be made releasably moveable so that its position can be laterally adjusted to increase or decrease the force needed for the head 62 of the detent 60 to pass by.

[0049]FIGS. 8 and 11 show an elevation view of a receptacle 54 of FIG. 6. The receptacle 54 is formed by a back wall 70 and two side walls 72,74 upstanding from the first box member 4 to form a “U” shape. The receptacle 56 passes through a hole 234 in the sliding locking member 210. When the sliding locking member is in the locked position (as shown in FIG. 8) it engages in cutout portions 76 of the two side walls 72,74. When the sliding locking member is in the unlocked position (as shown in FIG. 11) it allows a hook 220 to enter the receptacle 54 and pass through the hole 234.

[0050]FIGS. 9 and 10 show cross sectional side views of a receptacle 54, sliding locking member 210 and hook 220 of FIG. 6. FIG. 9 shows the arrangement in an unlocked position and FIG. 10 shows the arrangement in a locked position.

[0051] In the unlocked position, the sliding locking member does not engage with the cutouts 76 and the receptacle 54 is unobstructed so a hook 220 can enter into the receptacle 54 and align with the cutouts 76 as shown in FIG. 10.

[0052] In the locked position, with a hook 220 in the receptacle 54, the sliding locking member 210 engages with both the cutout portions 76 of the side walls 72,74 of the receptacle 54 and a shoulder 80 of the hook 220. The sliding locking member 210 couples the hook 220 to the receptacle 54 and hence couples the first box member 4 to the second box member 6 in a closed position.

[0053] In all three embodiments, the locking members 20, 120, 220 on the inner surface which does not carry the mount 26 for the DVD (in these examples, the second box member 6) are arranged to as to permit literature pertaining to the DVD to be inserted and removed. One or more clips (not shown) may be provided on the inner surface of the second box member 6 to releasably retain such literature, in a manner well known in the art.

[0054] It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are for clarity described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention which are, for the sake of brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination.

[0055] While the present invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, it should be understood that modifications and variations of the invention may be constructed without departing from the scope of the invention defined in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
EP1445406A2Feb 6, 2004Aug 11, 2004Autronic Plastics, Inc.Lockable container having an integral and internal locking mechanism and methods of use
EP1496179A2 *Jul 5, 2004Jan 12, 2005Pataco AgAnti-theft case for objects
WO2006021798A1 *Aug 26, 2005Mar 2, 2006Dubois LtdA container
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/308.1, G9B/33.011
International ClassificationG11B33/04, E05B73/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B73/0023, G11B33/0427
European ClassificationG11B33/04D1B1, E05B73/00B2