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Publication numberUS20030132126 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/052,190
Publication dateJul 17, 2003
Filing dateJan 17, 2002
Priority dateJan 17, 2002
Publication number052190, 10052190, US 2003/0132126 A1, US 2003/132126 A1, US 20030132126 A1, US 20030132126A1, US 2003132126 A1, US 2003132126A1, US-A1-20030132126, US-A1-2003132126, US2003/0132126A1, US2003/132126A1, US20030132126 A1, US20030132126A1, US2003132126 A1, US2003132126A1
InventorsMichael Parrotta, Robert Flowers
Original AssigneeWestvaco Packaging Group, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Locking package for media disc and method for making same
US 20030132126 A1
Abstract
A locking package for holding a media disc is described. The package includes a tray having a cavity for receiving a media disc and a cover plate for holding a media disc in the cavity. The cover plate is attached to the tray by a locking fastener that passes through an aperture in the cover plate, a central spindle aperture in the media disc, and an aperture in the tray.
Images(11)
Previous page
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Claims(15)
What is claimed is:
1. A package for holding a media disc, comprising:
a tray having a cavity for receiving a media disc;
a cover plate for holding a media disc in the cavity,
the cover plate being attached to the tray by a locking fastener that passes through an aperture in the cover plate, a central spindle aperture in the media disc, and an aperture in the tray.
2. The package of claim 1, wherein the tray includes a hub that fits within a central spindle aperture of a media disc when the media disc is seated in the cavity, and wherein the tray aperture is located in the hub.
3. The package of claim 1, wherein the cover plate has affixed thereto an electronic article surveillance tag.
4. The package of claim 1, wherein the cover plate is shaped to fit over the media disc.
5. The package of claim 1, wherein the fastener comprises a cylindrical shaft extending from a head having a flat collar surface for engaging an outer surface of the cover plate, the fastener further comprises at least one resiliently deformable ratchet member that allows the fastener to be inserted into the tray aperture, but prevents the fastener from being removed from the tray aperture.
6. The package of claim 5, wherein the ratchet member comprises a truncated cone encircling the shaft.
7. The package of claim 6, wherein the ratchet member includes a slot therethrough for enhancing the deformability of the ratchet member.
8. The package of claim 6, wherein the shaft has a first diameter, and the truncated cone has a second diameter, and wherein the tray aperture is circular and has a diameter that is equal to or larger than the first diameter and smaller than the second diameter.
9. The package of claim 8, wherein the cover plate aperture is circular and has a diameter that is equal to or larger than the first diameter and smaller than the second diameter.
10. The package of claim 1, wherein the media disc and the cover disc fit within the tray cavity.
11. The package of claim 1, wherein the fastener head and the central spindle aperture are circular, and wherein the fastener head diameter is smaller than the media disc central spindle aperture diameter.
12. A method for packaging a media disc comprising:
seating a media disc in a disc-holding tray;
positioning a cover plate over the media disc;
locking the cover plate to the disc-holding tray by inserting a locking fastener through an aperture in the cover plate, a spindle aperture in the media disc, and an aperture in the disc-holding tray.
13. The method of claim 12, further including:
affixing an electronic article surveillance tag to the cover plate.
14. The method of claim 12, further including:
partially disassembling the package to remove the media disc.
15. The method of claim 15, wherein the locking fastener includes a head, and wherein the step of partially disassembling the package to remove the media disc includes:
cutting the head off of the locking fastener.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to improvements to product packaging, and more particularly to advantageous aspects of a locking package for a media disc and methods for making same.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of the Prior Art
  • [0004]
    An ongoing concern of sellers of compact discs (CDs), digital video discs (DVDs), and other media discs is security. Because of their compactness, and their high resale value, media discs are popular targets for thieves. One way that media discs are stolen is by separating the disc from its container. The separated disk may then be concealed on the thief's person, or commingled with other media discs. Therefore, it is increasingly common for a locking arrangement to be provided that prevents a shopper or thief from removing a media disc from its case. However, locking devices typically add significantly to the cost of product packaging. Thus, there is a need for a locking package that is easy-to-use, and relatively inexpensive to manufacture.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    An aspect of the invention provides a package for holding a media disc. The package includes a tray having a cavity for receiving a media disc and a cover plate for holding a media disc in the cavity. The cover plate is attached to the tray by a locking fastener that passes through an aperture in the cover plate, a central spindle aperture in the media disc, and an aperture in the tray.
  • [0006]
    Additional features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent by reference to the following detailed description and accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0007]
    [0007]FIG. 1 shows an exploded perspective view of a media package according to an aspect of the invention.
  • [0008]
    [0008]FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of an assembled media package according to an aspect of the invention.
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a disc-holding tray suitable for use in a media package according to an aspect of the invention.
  • [0010]
    [0010]FIG. 4 shows a cross section of the disc-holding tray shown in FIG. 3 through the plane 4-4.
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIG. 5 shows an elevation view of a media disc. FIG. 6 shows a cross section of the media disc shown in FIG. 5 through the plane 6-6.
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 7 shows an elevation view of a cover plate suitable for use in a media package according to an aspect of the invention.
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 8 shows a cross section of the cover plate shown in FIG. 7 through the plane 8-8.
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 9 shows an elevation view of a locking fastener suitable for use in a media package according to an aspect of the invention.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 10 shows an end view of the locking fastener shown in FIG. 9.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 11 shows a partial cross section of the locking fastener shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 through the plane 11-11.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIGS. 12 through 15 show a series of cutaway diagrams illustrating the operation of the locking fastener shown in FIGS. 9 through 11.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIGS. 16 through 19 show a series of cutaway diagrams illustrating the construction of a media package according to an aspect of the invention.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 20 shows a flowchart illustrating a method for manufacturing a media package according to an aspect of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0020]
    As used herein, the term “media disc” refers to a compact disc (CD), digital video disc (DVD), or other disc or disc-shaped media item that is used to store analog or digital information.
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 1 shows an exploded perspective view of a package 1 according to a first aspect of the invention, and FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the assembled package 1. The package 1 includes a tray 10 for holding a media disc 20 and a plate 30 that covers the media disc 20 in the assembled package and holds it in the tray 1. The cover plate 30 and tray 10 include apertures 32 and 12 that are shaped to closely receive a locking fastener 40. The fastener 40 passes through the cover plate aperture 32, through a central spindle aperture 22 in the media disc 20, and through the tray aperture 12. As described in further detail below, the fastener 40 operates to lock together the tray 10, the disc 20, and the plate 30 together in the assembled package.
  • [0022]
    The packaging arrangement illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 may be modified without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, the tray 10 may be affixed to a base or mounted inside a jacket or cover. Further, a slipcase may be provided for receiving the assembled package. The base, jacket, cover, or slipcase may be fabricated out of cardboard, plastic, or other suitable material. In addition, it would also be possible to modify the package to include a plurality of media discs stored in the tray 10, or to include a plurality of trays 20, each containing one or more media discs, stacked on top of each other. Additional cover plates 30 may be used to separate media discs or trays. A single fastener 40 may still be used to hold the package together. The dimensions of the fastener 40, including its length, may be modified as needed.
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a disc-holding tray 100 suitable for use in the package 1 shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 4 shows a cross section of the tray 100 through the plane 4-4. The tray 100 has a cavity 102 that is shaped to closely receive a media disc, such as the disc 20 shown in FIG. 1. The tray 100 includes, at the center of the cavity 102, a hub 104 that is shaped and positioned to closely fit within a media disc's central spindle aperture, such as the spindle aperture 22 in the media disc 20 shown in FIG. 1, when the disc is seated in the cavity 102. The tray 100 further includes four indentations 106 which are provided to provide access to a user's fingers to facilitate the removal of a disk from the cavity 102. In addition, the tray 100 includes a region 108 for receiving labeling information. Information may be molded directly within this region 108, or may be printed onto a separate sheet of paper or plastic and then affixed in the region 108.
  • [0024]
    The style, shape, and dimensions of the tray 100, including the number of indentations therein and the design and shape of the hub 104, may be varied and are not limited in any way by this disclosure. The tray 100 may suitably be fabricated from a plastic material that has been injection molded. Suitable materials for the tray include polystyrene and polypropylene. If desired, the tray 100 can be fabricated from a clear material, such as crystal styrene. The use of a clear material may be desirable from an esthetic point of view. Further, the use of a transparent material for the trays allows a user of the package to quickly determine whether any of the trays are empty.
  • [0025]
    At the center of the hub 104 is an aperture 112. As described in further detail below, the tray aperture 112 is provided to receive a locking fastener. Therefore, the shape and the size of the aperture 112 are dictated by the type of locking fastener that is used. Although a round aperture 112 is shown, it would also be within the spirit of the invention to use an aperture having a different shape and size, as required by the particular locking fastener selected for use in the package. The aperture 112 may be formed in the tray 100 during the injection molding process. However, it would also be possible to drill, cut, or otherwise fabricate a suitable aperture 112 in a tray that has already been formed. Fabricating an aperture 112 in this way could be done, for example, to refurbish already existing trays 100 that have been fabricated without an aperture 112.
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 5 shows an elevation view of a media disc 200 suitable for use in the package 1 shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 6 shows a cross section of the disc 200 through the plane 6-6. In the present example, the media disc 200 is of a standard size and shape, and has a standard spindle aperture 202 formed therein. However, it will be apparent that the media package described herein may be modified to accommodate media discs of various shapes and sizes without departing from the spirit of the invention.
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 7 shows an elevation view of a cover plate 300 suitable for use in the package 1 shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 8 shows a cross section of the plate 300 through the plane 8-8. The plate 300 includes at its center an aperture 302 that is dimensioned to closely receive a locking fastener, as described in further detail below. In the present example, the plate 300 is substantially the same size and shape as the media disc 200 shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. However, it would also be within the spirit of the invention to use a plate 300 having a different size and shape. For example, a larger plate may be used, having a size and shape corresponding to the tray 100 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In addition, the cover plate 300 may have a shape that is chosen for esthetic reasons.
  • [0028]
    As further shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, there is affixed to the cover plate 300 an electronic article surveillance (EAS) tag 304. In the retail packaging industry, it is desirable to affix an EAS tag to a package as securely as possible, to prevent the tag from being accidentally or maliciously removed prior to purchase. However, once the item has been purchased, it is generally desirable for the EAS tag to be removed entirely and discarded. One way of accomplishing this is to affix the EAS tag to the plate 300, as the plate 300 is a firmly secured to the package prior to purchase, but then may be discarded after purchase. It would also be possible to affix the EAS tag 304 to other elements of the package, such as, for example, the tray 100, a jacket into which the tray 100 is mounted, or outer wrapping materials.
  • [0029]
    The plate 300 may suitably be fabricated from a plastic material, including polyester, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polycarbonate, polyurethane film, acetate, polyamide materials, and the like. If desired, the plate 300 may be injection molded from a rigid material. However, a suitable plate 300 may be fabricated from a non-rigid material, if the material is of sufficient stiffness and strength to secure the media disc in the tray cavity. In that case, the plate 300 may be fabricated by cutting it out of a larger sheet of the material.
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 9 shows an elevation view of a fastener 400 suitable for use in the present invention. FIG. 10 shows an end view of the fastener 400. The fastener 400 may be fabricated from nylon or other suitable material. As shown in FIG. 9, the fastener 400 includes a rounded, circular head 402 with a flat collar surface 404 that engages the outer surface of the cover plate 300 shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. A cylindrical shaft 406 extends from the head 402, terminating in a rounded point 408. Encircling the shaft 406 is a plurality of ratchet members 410, which provide a locking function, described below. The ratchet members 410 are inwardly deformable, towards the shaft 406. A transverse slot 412 is provided through the ratchet members 410 down the length of the shaft 406 to enhance the deformability of the ratchets 410.
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIG. 11 shows a partial cross section of the shaft 406 and ratchet members 410 through the plane 11-11, illustrating the construction of the ratchet members 410. Each ratchet member is shaped like a hollow, truncated cone encircling the shaft 406. It will be appreciated that the shape of the ratchets 410 allows the ratchet members 410 to be deformed inward. However, it will further be seen the shape of the ratchet members 410 also tends to prevent the ratchet members 410 from being deformed outward, away from the shaft 406. In addition to being deformable, the ratchets 410 are also resilient. Thus, after a ratchet 410 has been deformed towards the shaft 406, it tends to return to its original upright position.
  • [0032]
    As further shown in FIG. 9, the shaft 406 has a first diameter D1, and the ratchet members 410 have a second, larger diameter D2. It will be seen that for the fastener to lock when inserted through an aperture, the aperture must have a diameter equal to or greater than D1, but less than D2. When the fastener 400 is pushed through such an aperture, the aperture rim will cause the ratchet members 410 to deform inward, allowing the fastener 400 to proceed through the aperture. However, once a ratchet member 410 has passed all the way through the aperture, the resilience of the ratchet member 410 will cause the ratchet member 410 to return to its undeformed position, thereby preventing the fastener 410 from being pulled back out of the aperture.
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIGS. 12 through 15 show a series of cutaway diagrams illustrating the operation of the fastener 400. In these figures, the fastener 400 is inserted into a rigid, flat object 450 having an aperture 452 therein. The object 450 may correspond to, for example, the tray 100 shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 or the cover plate 300 shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. As shown in FIG. 13, as the fastener 400 is advanced through the aperture 452, the ratchet members 410 are deformed as they are urged against the inner circumference of the aperture 452. As shown in FIG. 14, once a ratchet member 410 has passed through the aperture, it returns to its undeformed position, thereby preventing the fastener from being removed from the aperture. In FIG. 15, the fastener 400 has been advanced all the way into the aperture 452.
  • [0034]
    An advantage of the fastening arrangement of the present invention is that the fastener 400 typically cannot be removed without at least partially destroying the fastener 400 or the object 450 through which the fastener 400 is inserted. One way to remove the fastener 400 from the object 450 is by cutting off the fastener's head 402 at the broken line 454. Once the head 402 has been removed, the remainder of the fastener 400 may be pulled downward through the aperture 452 and discarded. Another way to remove the fastener 400 is by increasing the size of the aperture 452, or by cutting away some or all of the object 450. It should be noted that the present invention may be practiced with locking fasteners other than the fastener shown in FIGS. 9 through 15.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIGS. 16 through 19 show a series of cross section diagrams illustrating the construction of a package 500 according to an aspect of the invention. As shown in FIG. 16, package 500 includes a disc-holding tray 510, a media disc 520 to be packaged, a cover plate 530, and a locking fastener 540. As described above, the tray 510 includes a cavity 512 that is shaped to closely receive the media disc 520. The tray 510 further includes a hub 514 that is shaped and positioned to fit closely within the spindle aperture 522 of the media disc 520.
  • [0036]
    The hub 514 includes at its center an aperture 516 which is shaped to closely receive the fastener 540. As described above, the diameter of the aperture 516 is larger than the diameter of the shaft of the fastener 540 but smaller than the diameter of the ratchet members on the fastener 540. As further discussed above, the cover plate 530 includes therein an aperture 532 that is also shaped to closely receive the fastener 540. This aperture 532 is of substantially the same size and shape as the aperture 516 in the tray 510. As shown in FIG. 16, the tray aperture 516, the spindle aperture 522 in the media disc 520, and the cover plate aperture 532 are lined up with each other to receive the fastener 540.
  • [0037]
    As further shown in FIG. 16, the diameter of the spindle aperture 522 in the media disc 520 is larger than the diameter of the head of the fastener 540. This arrangement is useful for a number of reasons. First, in certain situations, it may be desirable to free the media disc 520 from the package 500 by breaking away or otherwise removing the cover plate 530. Because the diameter of the fastener head is smaller than the diameter of the spindle aperture 522, it would be possible in this situation for the fastener 540 to remain locked to the tray 510, while allowing the media disc to be removed from the tray 510. Further, because the diameter of the fastener head 540 is smaller than the diameter of the spindle aperture 522, it will be seen that the amount of mechanical stress exerted by the fastener head 540 against the media disc 520 is minimized, thereby decreasing the chance that the media disc may become accidentally damaged during the assembly of the package or thereafter.
  • [0038]
    [0038]FIG. 17 shows a diagram of the package 500 after the media disc 520 has been seated in the cavity 512 of the tray 510. FIG. 18 shows a diagram of the package after the cover plate 530 has been placed over the media disc 520. As shown in FIG. 18, the plate 530 is dimensioned so that it fits within the cavity 512 of the tray 510 on top of the media disc 520. This arrangement creates a substantially flat package, which may be desirable both for practical and esthetic reasons. However, as mentioned above, it would be possible to use a cover plate 530 having a different shape without departing from the spirit of the invention. FIG. 19 shows a diagram of the package 500 after it has been fully assembled. Any or all of the steps illustrated in FIGS. 16 through 19 may be performed manually, automatically, or semi-automatically, without departing from the spirit of the invention.
  • [0039]
    The packaging arrangement illustrated in FIGS. 16 through 19 may be modified to fasten together a plurality of media discs 520. For example, the tray 510 may be modified to have a deeper cavity to hold more than one media disc 520. Additional cover plates 530 or other protective elements may then be used to separate the media discs 520. It will be seen that, in such a modified media disc package, the ratchets on the fastener 540 would tend to suspend the cover plates 530 or other protective elements along the length of the fastener shaft. Also, it would be possible to modify the packaging arrangement shown in FIGS. 16 through 19 by using a plurality of trays 510, each tray holding one or more media discs 520. In any of these alternative packaging arrangements, the length of the fastener 540 may be increased, as necessary, to accommodate additional elements.
  • [0040]
    As mentioned above, one technique for removing the fastener 520, once the fastener 520 has been locked into position, is by cutting its head off. For example, it would be within the spirit of the invention to provide store personnel with a special cutting device to cut the head off of the fastener at the point of purchase. Such a cutting device could have a recessed safety blade to prevent injury, and could also include a bin for collecting discarded fastener heads. Another technique for removing the fastener would be to enlarge the aperture in the cover plate, or to cut away some or all of the cover plate. Again, a special cutting device may be provided for this purpose. Also, a cutaway or breakaway feature may be incorporated into the design of the cover plate, the fastener, or both.
  • [0041]
    [0041]FIG. 20 shows a flowchart of a method 600 according to an aspect of the invention. In step 602, a media disc is seated in a receiving cavity in a tray. In step 604, a cover plate is positioned over the media disc. Finally, in step 606, a locking fastener is inserted through an aperture in the cover plate, a spindle aperture in the media disc, and an aperture in the tray to lock the components of the package together. It should be noted that additional steps may be taken to finish the package, without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, the assembled package may be shrink-wrapped, mounted inside a jacket, or packaged in a slipcase. As described above, in order to remove the media disc from the assembled package, the package must be at least partially disassembled, such as by cutting the fastener. This step may be performed by store personnel, or by the purchase or other user of the media disc.
  • [0042]
    While the foregoing description includes details which will enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, it should be recognized that the description is illustrative in nature and that many modifications and variations thereof will be apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of these teachings. It is accordingly intended that the invention herein be defined solely by the claims appended hereto and that the claims be interpreted as broadly as permitted by the prior art.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7757848Oct 20, 2006Jul 20, 2010Meadwestvaco CorporationPackage with security features
US7875222Mar 13, 2006Jan 25, 2011Dubois LimitedMethod of making an injection molded container
US20070267305 *Oct 20, 2006Nov 22, 2007Robert JohnstonMedia container with band header
US20080011625 *Oct 20, 2006Jan 17, 2008Gelardi John APackage with security features
US20080289980 *Mar 13, 2006Nov 27, 2008Dubois LimitedInjection Moulded Container
US20090159473 *May 9, 2007Jun 25, 2009Meadwestvaco CorporationMedia Package
US20090273475 *Aug 19, 2005Nov 5, 2009Stuart SeidelAnti-Theft Device
US20100320104 *Jul 14, 2010Dec 23, 2010Meadwestvaco CorporationPackage with Security Features
US20140150314 *Jan 25, 2014Jun 5, 2014Roger Alexander HerzRecord Album Frame
USD616240Jul 29, 2008May 25, 2010Meadwestvaco CorporationMedia holder
USD619845Jun 23, 2008Jul 20, 2010Meadwestvaco CorporationDisc package
WO2005088045A1 *Mar 16, 2005Sep 22, 2005Ambrus SandorGoods protection container unit
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/310, G9B/33.011
International ClassificationG11B33/04
Cooperative ClassificationG11B33/0427
European ClassificationG11B33/04D1B1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 18, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: WESTVACO PACKAGING GROUP, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PARROTTA, MICHAEL A.;FLOWERS, ROBERT L.;REEL/FRAME:012706/0633
Effective date: 20020227
Aug 9, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: MEADWESTVACO CORPORATION, CONNECTICUT
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:WESTVACO CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:014953/0867
Effective date: 20021231