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Publication numberUS20040026275 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/380,640
Publication dateFeb 12, 2004
Filing dateSep 13, 2001
Priority dateSep 15, 2000
Also published asDE60115506D1, DE60115506T2, EP1401735A2, EP1401735B1, WO2002022468A2, WO2002022468A3
Publication number10380640, 380640, US 2004/0026275 A1, US 2004/026275 A1, US 20040026275 A1, US 20040026275A1, US 2004026275 A1, US 2004026275A1, US-A1-20040026275, US-A1-2004026275, US2004/0026275A1, US2004/026275A1, US20040026275 A1, US20040026275A1, US2004026275 A1, US2004026275A1
InventorsMark Margetts, Neil Eaton, Mark Bagnall
Original AssigneeMargetts Mark Geoffrey, Eaton Neil Adrian, Bagnall Mark Daniel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lamina storage device
US 20040026275 A1
Abstract
A lamina storage device comprising a spine, first and second leaves hingedly secured to the spine to permit hinging movement of the leaves between a closed position of the device in which the leaves and spine define a hollow interior of the device and an open position for insertion and removal of a lamina to be stored, and a lamina support carried by the spine, the lamina support comprising a pair of resilient arms projecting when the device is in the closed position from the spine into the hollow interior of the device between the leaves, each arm having a groove extending therealong and the grooves facing one another and into the hollow interior, the grooves of the arms being spaced apart a distance suitable for receiving edge portions of the lamina to be stored in the grooves, the arms having a length greater than the effective radius of a lamina to be stored and each arm being provided at its end portion remote from the spine with a projection into the groove spaced from the spine by a distance greater than the axial dimension of a portion of the lamina to be received between the arms, the projections of the arms facing one another and being of a lamina to be stored.
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Claims(16)
1. A lamina storage device comprising a spine; first and second leaves hingedly secured to the spine to permit hinging movement of the leaves between a closed position of the device in which the leaves and spine define a hollow interior of the device and an open position for insertion and removal of a lamina to be stored; and a lamina support carried by the spine, the lamina support comprising a pair of resilient arms projecting when the device is in the closed position from the spine into the hollow interior of the device between the leaves, each arm having a groove extending therealong and the grooves facing one another and into the hollow interior, the grooves of the arms being spaced apart a distance suitable for receiving edge portions of a lamina to be stored in the grooves, the arms having a length greater than the effective radius of a lamina to be stored and each arm being provided at its end portion remote from the spine with a projection into the groove spaced from the spine by a distance greater than the effective radius of the lamina to be received between the arms, the projections of the arms facing one another and being spaced apart by a distance less than the effective diameter of a lamina to be stored.
2. A device according to claim 1 wherein at least one of the leaves comprises a skirt portion projecting therefrom which in the closed position of the device engages the other of the leaves and encloses at least part of the arms of the lamina support.
3. A device according to either one of claims 1 and 2 wherein both of the leaves comprise skirt portions which abut one another in the closed position of the device and enclose the arms of the lamina support, the abutting skirt portions of the leaves defining a wall that includes a lock for locking the leaves in the closed position.
4. A device according to claim 3 wherein the lock comprises an elongate recess and a detachable locking member wherein the recess is defined by wall portions secured on the respective leaves, that are spaced from the abutting skirt portions of the leaves whereby in the closed position the wall portions lie adjacent one another to define, with the skirt portions, the recess, each said wall portion including a plurality of slots and the locking member including a plurality of depressible teeth and being insertable into the recess such that slots in both the wall portions are engaged by teeth on the locking member to secure the locking member in the recess, tabs on the device engaging a channel in the locking member to prevent access thereto.
5. A storage case according to claim 4 wherein the locking member is removable on simultaneous depression of the teeth out of their associated slots to permit removal of the locking member from the recess.
6. A storage case according to claim 4 or claim 5 wherein the wall portions each include formed therein an opening that permits insertion of a thumb or finger to assist opening of the leaves when the locking member is absent.
7. A storage case according to claim 6 wherein the openings are located so as to define a single, continuous opening in the wall portions when the leaves are in the closed position.
8. A storage case according to any one of claims 4 to 7 wherein the locking member is slideably receivable in the recess.
9. A device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein each channel has a truncated V-shape cross-section.
10. A device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the distance between the bottoms of the grooves when no lamina is inserted in the support, at the positions where the arms make a tangent to a lamina in the support, is slightly less than the effective diameter of the lamina.
11. A device according to any one of the preceding claims comprising a projection from at least one of the leaves which in the closed position of the device projects into the hollow interior spaced from the spine by a distance greater than the effective diameter of a lamina to be stored.
12. A device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the arms of the lamina support comprises a plurality of opposed grooves for storage of a plurality of laminae.
13. A device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the spine comprises a plurality of lamina supports.
14. A device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the spine and arms are moulded as an integral part.
15. A device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the spine, arms and leaves are integrally moulded.
16. An assembly comprising a disk storage device according to any one of the preceding claims and a lamina mounted in the lamina support with edge portions received in the opposed grooves and retained in the grooves by the opposed projections.
Description

[0001] This invention is concerned with lamina storage devices especially lamina storage devices for storing electronically readable media for example smart cards, credit/debit cards, compact disks, digital versatile disks and games disks. For convenience in the description hereof we shall refer to all such laminae as “disks”.

[0002] Storage devices are needed to protect such disks from abrasion (which may cause reading errors) and extreme flexing (which can cause breakage). A typical known storage device holds a disk at its centre with multiple, shouldered, spring fingers; the disk is removed by depressing the fingers slightly, then lifting the disk while the fingers are still held depressed. These known systems are generally satisfactory when new, if correctly used. Nevertheless, the known systems have some disadvantages amongst which are the following:

[0003] (i) disks may not always be released properly: this can lead to disk damage when the edge of the disk is lifted up whilst the centre is still restrained;

[0004] (ii) disks may be damaged because they are not returned to the storage device properly: disks may be either merely placed in position, or not pushed onto the retaining finger sufficiently firmly so that they appear to be held in place when they are not held satisfactorily—in such cases the disks may fall onto the floor either while closing or opening the storage device leading to possible damage;

[0005] (ii) releasing a disk from the known devices and holding it effectively depends very much on the dexterity of the user: for example a disk may “hang” on the centre if it is compressed such that highpoints catch on the edge of the disk hole; or if the case is held too firmly, it may distort allowing the disk to be gripped and pulled even though the lock is not released;

[0006] (iv) commonly, in using the known systems, a storage device will be removed from its shelf, opened, and the disk removed with one hand while the case is held with the other hand—this increases the risk of the disk catching and being damaged whilst attempting to remove it from the storage device;

[0007] (v) in many instances light pressure at the centre of the faces of a closed storage device can release the disk from its central retainer—this may only become apparent when the storage device is opened and the disk falls out;

[0008] (vi) in the known devices the catch which retains the storage device in a closed condition is produced by a moulding process which leaves holes that extend through the storage device outer surface, thereby necessitating an additional component, for example a wrapping film, to cover the hole and exclude dirt thereby increasing manufacturing costs.

[0009] One of the various objects of the present invention is to provide an improved disk storage device.

[0010] Another of the various objectives of the present invention is to provide a disk storage device in which the risk of damage to the disk as it is removed from the storage device is reduced in comparison with commonly available storage devices.

[0011] In one aspect the invention may be considered to provide a lamina storage device comprising a spine; first and second leaves hingedly secured to the spine to permit-hinging movement of the leaves between a closed position of the device in which the leaves and spine define a hollow interior of the device and an open position for insertion and removal of a lamina to be stored; and a lamina support carried by the spine, the lamina support comprising a pair of resilient arms projecting when the device is in the closed position from the spine into the hollow interior of the device between the leaves, each arm having a groove extending therealong and the grooves facing one another and into the hollow interior, the grooves of the arms being spaced apart a distance suitable for receiving edge portions of a lamina to be stored in the grooves, the arms having a length greater than the effective radius of a lamina to be stored and each arm being provided at its end portion remote from the spine with a projection into the groove spaced from the spine by a distance greater than the effective radius of the lamina to be received between the arms, the projections of the arms facing one another and being spaced apart by a distance less than the effective diameter of a lamina to be stored.

[0012] The “effective diameter of the lamina” is the span of the lamina that passes between the aforesaid arms. “Effective radius” is to be construed accordingly. The terms “effective diameter” and “effective radius” are intended to embrace use of the device of the invention to store disks; and non-circular laminae such as credit and smart cards.

[0013] Preferably at least one of the leaves of a device in accordance with the invention comprises a skirt portion projecting therefrom which in the closed position of the device engages the other of the leaves and encloses at least part of the arms of the lamina support.

[0014] In a preferred device in accordance with the invention both of the leaves comprise skirt portions which abut one another in the closed position of the device and enclose the arms of the lamina support, the abutting skirt portions of the leaves defining a wall that includes a lock for locking the leaves in the closed position. The lock of the preferred device comprises an elongate recess and a detachable locking member wherein the recess is defined by wall portions secured on the respective leaves, that are spaced from the abutting skirt portions of the leaves whereby in the closed position the wall portions lie adjacent one another to define, with the skirt portions, the recess, each said wall portion including a plurality of slots and the locking member including a plurality of depressible teeth and being insertable into the recess such that slots in both the wall portions are engaged by teeth on the locking member to secure the locking member in the recess, tabs on the device engaging a channel in the locking member to prevent access thereto.

[0015] In the preferred device the locking member is removable on simultaneous depression of the teeth out of their associated slots to permit removal of the locking member from the recess. In this preferred device the wall portions each include an opening formed therein that permits insertion of a thumb or finger to assist opening of the leaves when the locking member is absent. In the preferred device the openings are located so as to define a single continuous opening in the wall portions when the leaves are in the closed position. In the preferred device a locking member is slideably receivable in the recess.

[0016] A preferred but optional lock for locking the leaves of a storage device in accordance with the invention in the closed position is described in our co-pending PCT Patent Application, Publication No. WO 00/17877 (PCT Patent Application No. PCT/GB99/03084); reference is directed to this patent application for further information relating to the lock.

[0017] Preferably in a device in accordance with the invention each groove of the lamina support has a truncated V-shaped cross section. With a suitable selection of angle of V use of a truncated V-shaped groove can ensure that the faces of the lamina eg. disk in the support only touch the arms at the extreme outer edge portion of the lamina eg. disk where there is no functioning part, thereby minimising the risk that working surfaces of the disk may be damaged when it is inserted into the disk support.

[0018] Preferably in a lamina support device in accordance with the invention the distance between the bottoms of the grooves when no lamina is inserted in the support, at the positions where the arms make a tangent to a lamina in the support, is slightly less than the effective diameter of the lamina: this can minimise the risk of the disk rattling to and fro between the arms when the disk storage device is carried with a disk in place.

[0019] Preferably a lamina support device in accordance with the invention comprises a projection from at least one of the leaves which, in a closed position of the device, projects into the hollow interior spaced from the spine by a distance greater than the effective diameter of a lamina to be stored: this projection is intended to minimise the risk of the lamina leaving the lamina support in the event of the support device being dropped on to its opening edge portion. The presence of the projection from at least one of the leaves across the hollow interior of the device remote from the hinge can limit the disk movement away from the spine thereby retaining it in the support.

[0020] In a device in accordance with the invention the arms of the lamina support may comprise a plurality of opposed grooves for the storage of a plurality of lamina.

[0021] In a device in accordance with the invention the spine may comprise a plurality of lamina supports.

[0022] Preferably the spine and arms of a device in accordance with the invention are moulded as an integral part; more preferably the spine, arms and leaves are integrally moulded, for example by an injection moulding.

[0023] In another aspect the invention may be considered to provide an assembly comprising a lamina storage device in accordance with the invention and a lamina mounted in the lamina support with edge portions received in the opposed grooves and retained in the grooves by the facing projections of the arms.

[0024] There now follows a detailed description to be read with reference to the accompanying drawings of two disk storage devices, namely disk cases, embodying the invention. It will be realised that these cases have been selected for description to illustrate the invention by way of example.

IN THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS

[0025]FIG. 1 is a plan view of a first illustrative case in an open position;

[0026]FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the first illustrative case in an open position, from a different angle;

[0027]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the first illustrative case in its open position showing an outer surface of the device;

[0028]FIG. 4 is an end view of the case in an open position showing a disk mounted in the disk support;

[0029]FIG. 5 is a perspective view of part of the first illustrative case;

[0030]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the first illustrative case in a closed position showing part of the lock;

[0031]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the first illustrative case showing a locking member,

[0032]FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the first illustrative case in a closed position with the locking member in place;

[0033]FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing a second illustrative case partially open;

[0034]FIG. 10 is a view in section showing a disk mounted in the second illustrative case with the case in its closed position;

[0035]FIG. 11 is a view with part broken away showing a groove of an arm of the illustrative case;

[0036]FIG. 12 is a view with part broken away showing a disk about to be introduced into the disk support;

[0037]FIG. 13 is a view as FIG. 12 showing the arm of the disk support flexing as the disk is introduced; and

[0038]FIG. 14 is a view as FIG. 12 showing the disk retained in the case.

[0039] In the accompanying drawings of the illustrative cases, like numbers indicate like parts.

[0040] The illustrative disk storage devices, namely the disk storage cases 10 comprise a first leaf 12 and a second leaf 14 hingedly secured to a spine 16 of the cases. A disk support 18 is carried by the spine 16. The cases 10 are injection moulded integrally from a suitable plastics material, hinge portions 20 by which the leaves 12,14 are secured to the spine 16 being likewise integrally moulded. One suitable plastics material from which the cases 10 may be moulded is polypropylene but other plastics material of appropriate characteristics may be used. The hinges 20 permit hinging movement of the leaves 12, 14 between a closed position of the cases 10 in which the leaves and spine define the hollow interior of the cases, and an open position (in which the first illustrative case is shown in FIG. 1) for insertion and removal of a disk to be stored, to the disk support 18.

[0041] The disk supports 18 of the cases each comprise a pair of resilient arms 22. The arms 22 of the illustrative cases 10 each comprise first and second grooves 24,26 extending therealong; the first grooves 24 face one another and the second grooves 26 face one another and the grooves 24,26 face inwardly into the hollow interior of the case. The first grooves 24 and the second grooves 26 of the arms are spaced apart a distance suitable for receiving edge portions of a disk to be stored, for example a compact disk, in the grooves 24,26. The illustrative cases can store two disks, one disk in the grooves 24 and the other in the grooves 26. The arms 22 (and thus the grooves 24,26) have a length greater than the radius of a disk to be stored in the illustrative cases 10. Each arm 22 is provided at its end portion remote from the spine 16 with a projection 28 into each of the grooves, each of the projections 28 (see FIG. 6) being spaced from the spine 16 by a distance greater than the radius of the disk to be stored. The projections 28 into the grooves 24 face one another and the projections 28 into the grooves 26 face one another. The projections 28 into the grooves 24 are spaced apart by a distance less than the diameter of a disk to be stored and likewise the projections 28 into the groove 26 are spaced apart by a distance less than the diameter of a disk to be stored. As can be seen viewing FIG. 4 the grooves 24,26 extend away from the spine 16 beyond the projections 28.

[0042] In the illustrative cases 10, the channels 24,26 each have a truncated V-shaped cross section. The distance between the bottoms of the grooves 24 when no disk is present in the support 18, at the position where the arms 22 make a tangent to a disk when stored in the support 18, is slightly less than the diameter of the disk. This ensures that the arms engage the edges of the disk with a light pressure to prevent it rattling between the arms.

[0043] Each of the leaves 12,14 of the first illustrative case comprises a skirt portion 30 which extends around all three sides of the respective leaf 12,14 except along the side along which the hinge 20 extends. The skirt portions 30 of the leaves 12,14 engage one another and enclose the arms 22 of the disk support 18 when the case is in the closed position. The abutting skirt portions 30 define a wall which includes a lock for locking the leaves 12,14 in the closed position. An opening edge 98 remote from the spine 16 of the illustrative case 10 comprises wall portions 76,74 moulded integrally with the leaves 12,14 but spaced from the abutting skirt portions 30 of the leaves. In the closed position the wall portions 74,76 abut each other and form, with the adjacent skirt portions 30 a recess, namely a hollow section 80. Each of the wall portions 74,64 comprises a number of slots 78 and an opening cutout portion 82 to provide easy access for a thumb or finger when opening the case.

[0044] The hollow section 80 is formed to receive a locking member 84 as shown in FIG. 7. The locking member 84 is formed with a number of teeth 86. In use the locking member 84 is slid into the hollow section 80 from one end thereof, leaving a small part projecting (see FIG. 8). Teeth 86 of the locking member 84 are engaged in corresponding slots 78 of the wall portions 74,76. Tabs on the non-visible part of the case engage a channel on the locking member 84 to ensure that the case 10 remains in its closed position. The locking member 84 can only be removed readily from the recess by depressing all of the teeth 86 simultaneously disengaging them from their slots and sliding the locking member 84 from the section 80; to release the teeth 86 in a convenient fashion requires a suitable tool as described in detail in our aforesaid co-pending PCT patent application.

[0045] The first illustrative case comprises a projection 32 from the leaf 12 which in the closed position of the case 10 projects into the hollow interior with an edge portion 34 of the projection 32 adjacent and substantially engaging the second leaf 14. A second edge portion 36 of the projection 32 is spaced from the spine 16 by a distance slightly greater than the diameter of a disk to be stored. As can be seen viewing the drawings, the arms 22 comprise a web 38 which provides one wall of each of the grooves 24,26 between the grooves 24,26; as can be seen viewing the drawings, the web 38 also extends along the spine 16 of the cases 10.

[0046] In the use of the illustrative cases 10 to store a disk 40, the case is first placed in the open position in which the first illustrative case is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and a disk is slid into the grooves 24. The leading end portions of the grooves 24 in each arm 22 remote from the hinge 16 act as a fair lead to guide the disk along the grooves. As the disk is inserted into the grooves 24, the outermost edge of the disk engages the opposed projections 28 and the arms 22 are urged slightly apart (see FIG. 13) to allow the diameter of the disk 40 to pass along the grooves. The disk is inserted until the leading edge of the disk engages the spine 16, at which time the arms 22 have flexed back to the position to which they are shown in FIGS. 4 and 14 with the outermost edge portion of the disk 40 lightly engaged by the arms. The case 10 may then be closed and locked as described above in the closed position in which it is shown in FIGS. 6-8. Should the case be inadvertently dropped on the locked edge of the case, the projection 32 will engage the edge of the disk and prevent it being ejected from the grooves. Normally the projections 28 will be sufficient to retain the disk 40 firmly in place in the grooves 24. If it is desired to store a second disk in the case, then a similar procedure is utilised with the second disk being introduced into the grooves 26.

[0047] When the first illustrative case is in the closed position the skirt portions 30 which enclose the arms 22 prevent the arms being urged apart, thereby militating against accidental escape of a disk from the disk support 18.

[0048] The second illustrative case has a projection 42 from the end of the arms 22 which, when the second illustrative case is closed, is engaged by part of the skirt 30 (see FIG. 10) to prevent the arms 22 being urged apart.

[0049] When it is desired to remove a disk from one of the illustrative cases, the first illustrative case is opened by withdrawal of the locking member as discussed in our aforesaid PCT patent application or the second illustrative case as shown in FIG. 9 and the leaves 12,14 moved to the open position in which the leaves of the first illustrative case are shown in FIG. 2. The disk 40 may then be grasped and slid lengthwise of the grooves 24 to remove it from the disk support 18, the edges of the disk 40 engaging the projections 28 and flexing the arms 22 apart as the disk is withdrawn.

[0050] The disk support 18 of the illustrative cases does not rely on the grip of the arms provided by any tension in the arms to retain the disk in place—the disk is retained in the grooves by the projections 28. Thus any stress relaxation which may occur in the arms is not likely to be sufficient to render the arms 22 inoperative for their intended purpose.

[0051] As can be seen viewing the drawings, the disk is presented to the user free from each of the leaves 12,14 of the case, affording good access to the disk for removal. Furthermore, the means of removal, merely sliding the disk 40 out of the support 18, is simple and self-evident. Likewise when replacing the disk, correct replacement is clear, as the disk can be seen entering the grooves 24.

[0052] The construction of the illustrative cases provides a continuous external surface, not broken by tooling holes, when the cases 10 are in the closed position, the surface including the leaves 12, 14, skirt portions 30 and spine 16. This produces a more effective seal than many previously known disk cases and reduces the likelihood that a secondary cover need be applied around the case.

[0053] In a case in accordance with the invention generally similar to the illustrative cases, multiple disks may be stored by providing a plurality of disk supports similar to the disk support 18. Each of the disk supports may be provided on a separate spine portion hingedly connected to adjacent spine portions so that the disk support may be fanned apart as the case is opened.

[0054] Although the embodiment of FIGS. 6 to 8 illustrates one arrangement for locking a storage device according to the invention, those skilled in the art will recognise that numerous other, equivalent locking arrangements are possible. Another possibility is to omit the locking arrangement and include eg. a simple, resilient detent for holding the leaves of the device together in use.

[0055] Also, it is possible to apply in-mould labelling decoration to the storage device of the invention, for example using a method as disclosed in published PCT application number WO00/30827. Use of such a method to decorate the device is within the scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7191899 *Mar 31, 2004Mar 20, 2007Sony CorporationDisc cartridge storage case having presentation stand
US8584841 *Nov 5, 2012Nov 19, 2013Gregory D. TiegsContainer
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/308.1, 206/308.2, 211/40, G9B/33.01, G9B/33.014
International ClassificationG11B33/04, A45C11/18
Cooperative ClassificationG11B33/0444, G11B33/0422, A45C11/182
European ClassificationA45C11/18C, G11B33/04D2B, G11B33/04D1B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 8, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: CARLING POINT LIMITED, GREAT BRITAIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MARGETTS, MARK GEOFFREY NEWLAND;EATON, NEIL ADRIAN;BAGNALL, MARK DANIEL;REEL/FRAME:013960/0836;SIGNING DATES FROM 20030424 TO 20030805