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Publication numberUS20030136689 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/372,578
Publication dateJul 24, 2003
Filing dateFeb 21, 2003
Priority dateAug 29, 2000
Also published asEP1314163A1, WO2002019333A1
Publication number10372578, 372578, US 2003/0136689 A1, US 2003/136689 A1, US 20030136689 A1, US 20030136689A1, US 2003136689 A1, US 2003136689A1, US-A1-20030136689, US-A1-2003136689, US2003/0136689A1, US2003/136689A1, US20030136689 A1, US20030136689A1, US2003136689 A1, US2003136689A1
InventorsBruno Mathieu
Original AssigneeMoulages De Velay
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for maintaining and ejecting a compact disc on a support base
US 20030136689 A1
Abstract
This device comprising engaging and retaining means (1 b), (1 c), (1 d), (1 e) collaborating with the central hole in the disc, said disc engaging and retaining means being formed as an overhang over a circular central region (1) exhibited by the base (1), is notable in that the region (1 a) has arrangements able, when finger pressure is applied to said means (1 b), to allow them to retract in part only so as to cause simultaneous controlled tilting of the disc corresponding to its partial release from the base (1) so that it can be grasped by hand at the released part.
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Claims(11)
1. A device for maintaining and ejecting a compact disc on a support base comprising engaging and retaining means (1 b), (1 c), (1 d), (1 e) collaborating with the central hole in the disc, said disc engaging and retaining means being formed as an overhang over a circular central region (1 a) exhibited by the base (1), characterized in that the region (1 a) has arrangements able, when finger pressure is applied to said means (1 b), to allow them to retract in part only so as to cause simultaneous controlled tilting of the disc corresponding to its partial release from the base (1) so that it can be grasped by hand at the released part.
2. The device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the base (1) has, on the side of the tilting of the disc, a bearing profile (11) able to hold said disc in a tilted position.
3. The device as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the bearing profile (11) consists of a substantially elliptical rim collaborating with a part of the circular edge of the disc.
4. The device as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that the substantially elliptical rim is connected to the base (1) by a slot (111) allowing partial engagement and abutment of the corresponding circular edge of the disc.
5. The device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the arrangements of the central region (1 a) consist of at least one bearing and stiffening (1 h-1 i) suitably positioned with respect to cut-outs, in combination with the disc engaging and retaining means (1 b), (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e), said central region (1 a) standing up above the base (1) thereby creating a circular recess so as to be deformed elastically.
6. The device as claimed in claims 1 and 5, characterized in that the disc engaging and retaining means consist of a push-button (1 b) and tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e), said button (1 b) is connected to a central hole (1 f) of the raised region (1 a) by tabs (1 b 1), (1 b 2), (1 b 3) between which are situated said tongues (1 c), (1 d), (1 e) formed from cut-outs (1 g) of said raised region (1 a) so as to be elastically deformable, at least one of the tongues (1 c) is rendered rigid by the bearing means (1 h-1 i) suitably positioned with respect to the cut-outs (1 g).
7. The device as claimed in claim 6, characterized in that the bearing and stiffening means, singular or plural, consist of ribs positioned in relationship with at least one of the tongues (1 c) and/or part of the push-button (1 b).
8. The device as claimed in claim 7, characterized in that the bearing and stiffening rib (1 h) of the tongue (1 c) is formed so that it overhangs the recessed part (1 a 3) of the raised central region (1 a) so that it lies in the same bearing plane as the base, said rib (1 h) being directed along the central axis of symmetry of the cut-outs (1 g) from which cut-outs said tongue is formed.
9. The device as claimed in claim 7, characterized in that the bearing and stiffening rib (1 i) of part of the button (1 b) is formed so that it overhangs the recessed part (1 a 3) of the raised central region (1 a) so that it lies in the same bearing plane as the base, said rib (1 i) lying facing and near one of the connecting tabs of said button (1 b), cut-outs formed in the thickness of the raised region partially surrounding said rib.
10. The device as claimed in claim 7, characterized in that the ribs (1 h-1 i) are diametrically opposed.
11. The device as claimed in claim 6, characterized in that the push-button (1 b) has three connecting tabs (1 b 1), (1 b 2), (1 b 3) uniformly distributed around the circumference with a 120 offset, each of the tongues (1 c), (1 d), (1 e) being arranged along the bisector of the angle delimited by two tabs so as to be uniformly distributed on a circumference with a 120 offset.
Description

[0001] The invention relates to the field of storage cases, particularly for compact discs of the audio or video type.

[0002] In general, a compact disc has a recording region, which is situated over the entirety of at least one of its sides, with the exception of its external periphery and of a region next to the central opening that the disc has. The other side of the disc collaborates with retaining and engaging means exhibited by a support base intended directly to form the bottom of a case or to be incorporated into a case having a bottom to which a cover is hinged. This support base, which generally forms a flat surface, has various types of arrangement intended to engage and retain the compact disc and sometimes intended to eject it.

[0003] Various solutions for fulfilling these functions have been proposed.

[0004] More particularly, the invention relates to solutions of the type in which the disc is retained with respect to the support base by means collaborating with the central opening in the disc.

[0005] In a simplified embodiment, these means consist of a number of lugs arranged in a circle and directly overhanging the support base. These lugs are elastically deformable and at their free ends have arrangements, for example in the form of bosses, able to retain the disc once they have been engaged through their central opening.

[0006] To remove the disc, it is necessary to grasp it at its peripheral outer edge, and this, after several operations, may lead to the warping thereof. Furthermore, the risk of breakage of the retaining lugs is often seen.

[0007] Other technical solutions have been proposed and allow the compact disc to be held and ejected when finger pressure is exerted on part of the fixing means substantially delimiting a button housed through the central opening in the disc. Mention may, by way of entirely non-limiting example, be made of the teachings of patents DE 3,425,579, U.S. Pat. No. 5,251,750, WO 93/01598, EP 0356539, WO 96/14636, FR-99 11395, etc.

[0008] The elements forming the push-button generally have lugs able to retain the disc once they have been engaged through its central opening. To remove the disc, pressure needs to be exerted on the push-button so as to release its central opening. In certain solutions from the aforementioned patents, the pressure exerted on the push-button acts upon means allowing the disc to be ejected.

[0009] For example, taking the teachings of patent WO 96/14636, the latter discloses a holding and ejecting system in the form of two radial arms formed as an overhang over the support base with an elastic deformation capability. The free end of each arm is designed to constitute the push-button engaged through the central opening in the disc. According to this embodiment, the outer peripheral edge of the disc bears against a circular rim formed as an overhang of the support base. Given this circular bearing at the periphery of the disc, the effect of engaging the push-button through the central opening results in a bending of the disc which, in this case, is used to facilitate its ejection. This solution is not satisfactory given that at the time of its ejection the disc is subjected to bending forces likely to cause internal tension damaging to the disc.

[0010] Furthermore, in this embodiment, as in those described in any one of the patents cited by way of prior art, when pressure is applied to the push-button to release the central opening of the disc, problems arise with grasping the disc with a view to removing it from the base. What actually happens is that if the push-button is pressed, the entirety of this button passes under the surface of the disc, which means that after release, the disc occupies a haphazard position with respect to the push-button, not allowing the user a sure and reliable grip. For this reason, and in an attempt to overcome this disadvantage, certain solutions propose special arrangements at the base in the form of cavities and the like so as to make the disc easier to grasp in the hand once the push-button has been released. This results in an increase in manufacturing costs.

[0011] The invention has set itself the objective of remedying these disadvantages in a simple, dependable, effective and rational way.

[0012] The problem that the invention sets out to solve is that of being able to retain and eject the disc with respect to the base, without subjecting the disc to any bending moment whatsoever, while at the same time allowing it to be grasped by hand, having acted on the retaining means which collaborate with the central opening in the disc, in a simple and effective way, without requiring special arrangements at the support base.

[0013] To solve such a problem, there has been designed and developed a device for maintaining and ejecting a compact disc on a support base comprising engaging and retaining means collaborating with the central hole in the disc, notable in that:

[0014] the disc engaging and retaining means are formed as an overhang over a circular central region exhibited by the base;

[0015] the region has arrangements able, when finger pressure is applied to said means, to allow them to retract in part only so as to cause simultaneous controlled tilting of the disc corresponding to its partial release from the base so that it can be grasped by hand at its released part.

[0016] To solve the set problem of making the disc easier to grasp by hand once it has been partially released from the base, the disc tilts into a housing on one of its sides, while its other side finds itself offset from the face of the base so that it can be grasped.

[0017] To improve this disc retention, after it has been partially released from the base, avoiding any risk of its slipping, the base may have, on the side of the tilting of the disc, a bearing profile able to hold said disc in a tilted position. The bearing profile consists of a substantially elliptical rim collaborating with a part of the circular edge of the disc.

[0018] To improve the temporary holding of the disc, at the time that it is grasped, the substantially elliptical rim is connected to the base by a slot allowing partial engagement and abutment of the corresponding circular edge of the disc.

[0019] To solve the set problem of ensuring that the disc tilts in a controlled way when finger pressure is exerted on the retaining means engaged through the central opening in the disc, the arrangements of the central region consist of at least one bearing and stiffening means suitably positioned with respect to cut-outs, in combination with the disc engaging and retaining means, said central region standing up above the base thereby creating a circular recess so as to be deformed elastically.

[0020] These arrangements therefore allow just part of the disc retaining means to be depressed and, at the same time, certain predetermined parts of the raised central region to be deformed.

[0021] To solve this problem and obtain this technical result, the disc engaging and retaining means consist of a push-button and tongues, said button is connected to a recessed central part of the raised region by tabs between which are situated said tongues formed from cut-outs of said raised region so as to be elastically deformable; at least one of the tongues is rendered rigid by the bearing means suitably positioned with respect to the cut-outs.

[0022] Advantageously, the bearing and stiffening means, singular or plural, consist of ribs positioned in relationship with at least one tongue and/or part of the push-button.

[0023] To solve the set problem of allowing just some retaining tongues to be deformed, the bearing and stiffening rib of the tongue concerned is formed so that it overhangs the recessed part of the raised central region so that it lies in the same bearing plane as the base, said rib being directed along the central axis of symmetry of the cut-outs from which cut-outs said tongue is formed.

[0024] To solve the set problem of allowing just part of the push-button to be depressed under the bearing pressure exerted, the bearing and stiffening rib is formed so that it overhangs the recessed part of the raised central region so that it lies in the same bearing plane as the base, said rib lying facing and near one of the connecting tabs of said button, while a cut-out, formed in the thickness of the raised region, partially surrounds said rib.

[0025] Advantageously, the various ribs are diametrically opposed.

[0026] In a preferred embodiment and in order to allow the disc engaging and retaining elements controlled and stable deformation, the push-button has three connecting tabs uniformly distributed around the circumference with a 120 offset, each of the tongues being arranged along the bisector of the angle delimited by two tabs so as to be uniformly distributed on a circumference with a 120 offset.

[0027] The invention is set out hereinafter in greater detail with the aid of the figures of the appended drawings in which:

[0028]FIG. 1 is a plan view of a compact disc support base equipped with the maintaining and ejecting device according to the characteristics of the invention;

[0029]FIG. 2 is a view in section on 2-2 of FIG. 1 in the disc-maintaining position and before finger pressure is exerted on the push-button;

[0030]FIG. 3 is a view in section of 3-3 of FIG. 1, after pressure has been applied to the push-button, showing the controlled tilting of the disc so that it can be grasped with respect to the base;

[0031]FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing another embodiment of the device, particularly for retaining the disc and for its controlled tilting;

[0032]FIG. 5 is a view in cross section on 5-5 of FIG. 4 with the disc in the retaining position;

[0033]FIG. 6 is a view in cross section on 6-6 in FIG. 4 showing the controlled tilting of the disc so that it can be grasped, and its bearing;

[0034]FIG. 7 is a perspective part view showing the disc engaging and retaining means in a simplified embodiment of the base;

[0035]FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 are views of a schematic nature showing the principle of ejection of the disc by controlled tilting, according to the invention;

[0036]FIGS. 11 and 12 are plan views of other embodiments.

[0037] The device for maintaining and ejecting the compact disc denoted in its entirety by (D) is formed from a support base (1) which directly forms one of the compartments of a storage case of any known and appropriate type. Of course, as indicated, the support base (1) may constitute an independent element.

[0038] The support base (1) has retaining and engaging means able to collaborate with the central hole (D1) exhibited by the compact disc (D). These disc engaging and retaining means are formed as an overhang over a central region (1 a) which stands up above the base (1) to be deformed elastically under pressure exerted on the engaging and retaining means, through the central opening of the disc. This region (1 a) has a circular geometric shape and delimits a flat bearing surface (1 a 1) connected to the base as such, by an inclined circular rim (1 a 2), thereby delimiting an internal recess (1 a 3) allowing the aforesaid elastic deformation.

[0039] In a known way, the disc engaging and retaining means consist of a central button (1 b) in combination with elastically deformable tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e). The button (1 b) and set of tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e) are able to be engaged through the central hole (D1) in the compact disc (D).

[0040] The button (1 b) is formed from connecting tabs (1 b 1), (1 b 2), (1 b 3) standing up perpendicularly from a hole (1 f) formed in the thickness of the raised region (1 a). Just like the connecting tabs (1 b 1), (1 b 2), (1 b 3) of the push-button (1 b), the tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e) are formed perpendicularly and as an overhang to the hole (1 f) of the raised region (1 a).

[0041] The various tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e) lie between the connecting tabs (1 b 1), (1 b 2), (1 b 3) in appropriate clearances formed by the push-button (1 b). The tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e) are formed from converging cut-outs (1 g).

[0042] Advantageously, but nonlimitingly, the push-button (1 b) has three connecting tabs (1 b 1), (1 b 2), (1 b 3) uniformly distributed on the circumference with a 120 offset. Each of the tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e) is arranged on the bisector of the angle bounded by two connecting tabs so as to be uniformly distributed on a circumference also with a 120 offset.

[0043] According to one feature underlying the invention, the raised central region (1 a) has arrangements able, when finger pressure is exerted on the push-button (1 b), to allow just part of said button and of the tongues to be retracted under the surface of the disc so as simultaneously to cause the controlled tilting of said disc (D) corresponding to its partial release with respect to the base (1).

[0044] More specifically, these arrangements consist of at least one but generally more than one bearing and stiffening ribs (1 h) and (1 i) suitably positioned with respect to cut-outs in combination with the push-button (1 b), particularly its connecting tabs (1 b 1), (1 b 2), (1 b 3) and the various maintaining and retaining tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e). Obviously, without in any way departing from the scope of the invention, the rib or ribs may be replaced by any equivalent means fulfilling the same function so as to stiffen at least the retaining tongues.

[0045] As indicated below, these ribs (1 h) and (1 i) have the function of stiffening, that is to say of no longer allowing elastic deformation of, some of the tongues and/or part of the push-button (1 b).

[0046] For example, the rib (1 h) is intended to stiffen the retaining tongue (1 c). To this end, the rib (1 h) is formed along the central axis of the rib (1 c) starting from the hole (1 f) in the raised central region. The rib (1 h) is formed so that it overhangs the recessed part (1 a 3) of the raised central region to lie in the same bearing plane as the base (1). More specifically, the rib (1 h) is oriented along the central axis of symmetry of the cut-outs (1 g) from which the tongue (1 c) is formed.

[0047] Just one rib (1 h) may be considered sufficient to fulfill the desired function, namely to ensure the controlled tilting of the disc (FIG. 12).

[0048] The other bearing and stiffening rib (1 i) is situated opposite near the connecting tab (1 b 3) of the button (1 b) diametrically opposite the tongue (1 c), so that the ribs (1 h) and (1 i) are arranged in alignment and facing each other, being diametrically opposed with respect to the center of the button. Here again, this positioning of the ribs must not be considered as limiting. These arrangements stiffen the part of the push-button (1 b) in the region of its tab (1 b 3). However, in order not to detract from the elasticity of the other two retaining tongues (1 b) and (1 e), cut-outs (1 k) are made in the thickness of the raised central region (1 a) so as to partially surround the rib (1 i).

[0049] Just like the rib (1 h), the rib (1 i) is formed so that it overhangs the recessed part (1 a 3) of the raised central region (1 a) so as to lie in the same bearing plane of the base (1).

[0050] In a known way, the free ends of the various tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e) have a rounded external retaining boss able to maintain the disc and engage in its central opening acting as a clipping means. These retaining bosses are designed not to be aggressive so that they do not damage the disc at its central opening either while it is being introduced or while it is being ejected. Likewise, to make the disc easier to engage with respect to the button (1 b), the various connecting tabs (1 b 1), (1 b 2), (1 b 3) are connected to the bearing part of the button by rounded regions.

[0051] Given these characteristics underlying the invention, the disc is, on the one hand, maintained with respect to the central button and, on the other hand, ejected, under perfect conditions. As FIGS. 2 and. 5 show, in the disc-maintaining position, that is to say when the retaining tongues (1 c), (1 d) and (1 e) are engaged, the disc bears only at the raised central region (1 a) and more particularly on semicircular sectors acting as bosses (1 a 4) and able to collaborate with the part of the disc lying around its central hole (D1) and having no recording tracks. It can also be seen that the outer peripheral edge of the disc is not bearing and is completely free of the base, which means that it experiences no bending forces. We return more particularly to FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 which show the principle of the maintaining and of the ejection by controlled tilting of the disc. FIG. 8 shows the disc at rest in the position of engagement of the button and of the tongues.

[0052] When the button (1 b) is pressed, given the presence of the opposed stiffening ribs (1 h) and (1 i), only the tongues (1 d) and (1 e) and the parts of the button situated level with the tabs (1 b 1) and (1 b 2) deform elastically to pass under the surface of the disc. The disc pivots as the push-button is depressed with respect to the tongue (1 c) secured to the stiffening means (FIG. 9). It is therefore the boss of the tongue which does not bend which retains the disc on one side, the other side of which disc passes over the other tongues (1 d) and (1 e) which are depressed (FIG. 9).

[0053] This results in simultaneous controlled tilting of the disc with respect to the button and with respect to the tongues so that one of the parts of the circular edge of the disc remains in contact with the base while another part of the disc diametrically opposite the previous part is lifted up with respect to said base, so that it is particularly easy to grasp the disc at this raised part (FIGS. 3, 6 and 10).

[0054] Starting from this basic design, in order to avoid any risk of the disc slipping as it effects its controlled tilting under the conditions indicated and is grasped by hand, the base (1), in a preferred embodiment and on the side of tilting of the disc, has a bearing profile (11) able to retain the disc in the tilted position (FIGS. 3 and 6). This bearing rim is formed at least on the side of the stiffened tongue (1 c) at which the disc tilts. The bearing rim (11) has an internal profile of substantially elliptical shape designed to collaborate with part of the circular edge of the disc in the raised released position.

[0055] For purely esthetic reasons, the bearing rim (11) may be formed circularly on the external periphery of the disc, without in any way constituting a bearing point for the latter in its position of engagement over the push-button and the various retaining tongues. In this case, the part of the rim (11) opposite the rib (1 c) may have a cylindrical profile given that, in this region, the rim has no particular technical function but merely contributes to the esthetics of the whole.

[0056] Still with a view to avoiding any phenomenon of slippage at the time of tilting of the disc under the conditions indicated with respect to the push-button and to the tongues, and at the time of its grasping, the bearing rim (11) may, at its connection with the base (1), have a slot (111) allowing partial engagement and abutment of the corresponding circular edge of the disc (FIGS. 4, 5 and 6).

[0057] As indicated, the support base (1) directly constitutes one of the compartments of a storage case, particularly the bottom thereof. The other compartment of the case constitutes a cover (2) connected to the support base (1) which constitutes the bottom by a part (3) which acts as a hinge. The support base (1) and the cover (2) have any type of means for clipping them in the closed position.

[0058] The entirety of the case as defined, particularly the support base (1) equipped with the device according to the invention, is obtained directly by the injection of plastic.

[0059] The advantages are clearly apparent from the description, and the following are particularly emphasized and recalled:

[0060] the controlled tilting of the disc under the effect of finger pressure exerted on the push-button allowing a determined part of the disc to be raised so that it can be grasped;

[0061] no bending force is exerted on the disc either in the maintained position with respect to the retaining means or at the time of its ejection;

[0062] the effectiveness.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7669712 *Mar 16, 2005Mar 2, 2010Cartonneries De Thulin S.A.Storage case for receiving data disks
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/310, G9B/33.011
International ClassificationG11B33/04
Cooperative ClassificationG11B33/0427
European ClassificationG11B33/04D1B1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 21, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: MOULAGES DU VELAY, FRANCE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MATHIEU, BRUNO;REEL/FRAME:013809/0600
Effective date: 20030209