Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20050121950 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/995,510
Publication dateJun 9, 2005
Filing dateNov 24, 2004
Priority dateMay 28, 2002
Publication number10995510, 995510, US 2005/0121950 A1, US 2005/121950 A1, US 20050121950 A1, US 20050121950A1, US 2005121950 A1, US 2005121950A1, US-A1-20050121950, US-A1-2005121950, US2005/0121950A1, US2005/121950A1, US20050121950 A1, US20050121950A1, US2005121950 A1, US2005121950A1
InventorsJohn Hegarty, Brendan Farrell, Katharina Pfutzner, Dominic Southgate
Original AssigneeJohn Hegarty, Brendan Farrell, Katharina Pfutzner, Dominic Southgate
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for holding a disc-shaped article
US 20050121950 A1
Abstract
A DVD disc is held in a seat (4) of a casing's back cover (2) by a central retainer (6). Four barriers (7), two on each of opposed sides, are integrally moulded in the cover (2) and face upwardly towards the seat (4). When the front cover (3) is closed the barriers (7) press against it, closing the gap between the covers. If a thief tries to slip a disc out of the casing, movement is blocked by the barriers (7). Another barrier (201) is connected to the retainer (205) and can only be removed by breaking it. This also provides a tamper-evident seal.
Images(12)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(24)
1. An apparatus for holding a disc-shaped article, the apparatus comprising a housing, a seat for an article, and a barrier for preventing an article from being removed from the apparatus in an unauthorised manner.
2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the barrier is positioned in proximity to the seat at a location to prevent movement of an article in the general plane of the seat.
3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the barrier is spaced apart from the seat.
4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the barrier is integrally moulded with a cover of the housing.
5. An apparatus as claimed in any of claim 2, wherein the barrier protrudes upwardly at an angle to a cover of the housing.
6. An apparatus as claimed in any of claim 2, wherein an outer extremity of the barrier faces towards the seat.
7. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the apparatus comprises at least two barriers on each of opposed sides of the seat.
8. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the barrier contacts an opposed cover of the housing when closed.
9. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the barrier comprises a substantially flat planar member.
10. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the barrier comprises a curved member.
11. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the barrier comprises a member having a ramped configuration.
12. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the apparatus comprises at least one barrier at an opening side edge of the housing.
13. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least part of the housing is transparent to allow visibility of a code on an article contained in the apparatus.
14. An apparatus as claimed in claim 13, wherein the housing comprises a lens to magnify or clarify a code on an article for reading.
15. An apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the lens is a Fresnel lens.
16. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the barrier is mounted to prevent unauthorised lifting of an article from the seat.
17. An apparatus as claimed in claim 16, wherein the barrier is mounted over a central retainer in the seat.
18. An apparatus as claimed in claim 16, wherein the barrier is connected to the retainer by a lock which can not be removed and replaced.
19. An apparatus as claimed in claim 18, wherein the lock comprises a lock member which is removable only by breaking.
20. An apparatus as claimed in claim 19, wherein said lock member is removable by rotation.
21. An apparatus as claimed in claim 16, wherein the barrier comprises a member preventing two opposed retainer parts from being moved together to disengage from an article.
22. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the barrier comprises a holder for a security tag, the holder preventing a retainer from releasing an article while the holder is in place.
23. An apparatus as claimed in claim 22, wherein the retainer comprises two opposed parts biased away from each other to grip an article at its central aperture edge, and the retainer parts and the holder comprise means for inter-engagement to prevent the retainer parts from being pressed together while the holder is in place.
24. An apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein the retainer parts engage with the holder in a downwardly-facing side, and the holder extends over the seat and under the retainer parts.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to an apparatus for holding a disc-shaped article.

A common security problem experienced by disc retailers is the removal of discs from their cases in store. In such instances, it appears that the disc case is prised open and that the disc is removed from the disc seat and slid out from the case. The occurrence of a theft may not be immediately clear to the retailer as there is little or no external evidence of damage to the case or security seal.

Heretofore various approaches have been take to address this problem. One general approach is that of using electronic circuitry to generate an alarm if attempted theft is detected. Examples of this approach are described in JP2000090360 and JP11306460. It appears, however, that this approach is complex and expensive.

Another approach is to provide a lock to prevent unauthorised removal of a disc from a central retainer. Examples of this approach are described in WO02/31831, EP1291876, and WO02/31830. It appears that this approach would help to prevent theft. However it also appears that the locks would make ongoing authorised use of the case more difficult for the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, there is provided an apparatus for holding a disc-shaped article, the apparatus comprising a housing, a seat for an article, and a barrier for preventing an article from being removed from the apparatus in an unauthorised manner.

In one embodiment, the barrier is positioned in proximity to the seat at a location to prevent movement of an article in the general plane of the seat.

In another embodiment, the barrier is spaced apart from the seat.

In a further embodiment, the barrier is integrally moulded with a cover of the housing.

In one embodiment, the barrier protrudes upwardly at an angle to a cover of the housing.

In another embodiment, an outer extremity of the barrier faces towards the seat.

In a further embodiment, the apparatus comprises at least two barriers on each of opposed sides of the seat.

In one embodiment, the barrier contacts an opposed cover of the housing when closed.

In another embodiment, the barrier comprises a substantially flat planar member.

In a further embodiment, the barrier comprises a curved member.

In one embodiment, the barrier comprises a member having a ramped configuration.

In another embodiment, the apparatus comprises at least one barrier at an opening side edge of the housing.

In a further embodiment, at least part of the housing is transparent to allow visibility of a code on an article contained in the apparatus.

In one embodiment, the housing comprises a lens to magnify or clarify a code on an article for reading.

In another embodiment, the lens is a Fresnel lens.

In a further embodiment, the barrier is mounted to prevent unauthorised lifting of an article from the seat.

In one embodiment, the barrier is mounted over a central retainer in the seat.

In another embodiment, the barrier is connected to the retainer by a lock which can not be removed and replaced.

In a further embodiment, the lock comprises a lock member which is removable only by breaking.

In one embodiment, said lock member is removable by rotation.

In another embodiment, the barrier comprises a member preventing two opposed retainer parts from being moved together to disengage from an article.

In a further embodiment, the barrier comprises a holder for a security tag, the holder preventing a retainer from releasing an article while the holder is in place.

In one embodiment, the retainer comprises two opposed parts biased away from each other to grip an article at its central aperture edge, and the retainer parts and the holder comprise means for inter-engagement to prevent the retainer parts from being pressed together while the holder is in place.

In another embodiment, the retainer parts engage with the holder in a downwardly-facing side, and the holder extends over the seat and under the retainer parts.

In another aspect, the invention provides an apparatus for holding a disc-shaped article, the apparatus comprising a housing and a seat for an article, wherein at least part of the housing is transparent to allow visibility of a code on an article contained in the apparatus.

In one embodiment, the housing comprises a lens to magnify or clarify a code on an article for reading.

In another embodiment, the lens is a Fresnel lens.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be more clearly understood from the following description of some embodiments thereof, given by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view from above of a DVD case of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of part of a DVD case showing a security barrier of the case in more detail;

FIGS. 3(a) to 3(i) are diagrammatic cross-sectional views showing different configurations of security barrier;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a cover of a different embodiment;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are perspective and side views respectively of the case of FIG. 4;

FIGS. 7 and 8 are perspective views of a security device of the invention;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a disc retainer for use with the security device; and

FIGS. 10 and 11 are cut-away elevational and perspective views respectively of the security device, illustrating how it is connected to the retainer.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1 a DVD case 1 comprises a back cover 2 and a front cover 3 hinged together. The back cover 2 comprises a seat 4 for a disc having finger-grip recesses 5, and a retainer 6 for engagement with a central aperture of a disc. The retainer 6 is operated by an arm 8 and a push button 9.

The back cover further comprises four anti-theft barriers 7. Each barrier 7 protrudes upwardly at an angle to the back cover from a hinge 7(a) such that an upper side edge 7(b) faces towards the disc seat 4. The upper side edge 7(b) extends above the level of the disc seat 4 to contact and press against the top cover 3 of the case 1 when the case 1 is closed. The barriers 7 are located in proximity to and around the disc seat 4. In this embodiment there are four barriers, two on each of the top and bottom ends of the back cover 2.

In use, if a disc becomes displaced from the retainer 6 and slips off the disc seat 4 it slides against the barriers 7 and is prevented from slipping from the case. The barriers 7 present a barrier across the gap that exists between the front and back covers of the closed case 1. When a sliding disc encounters and presses against a barrier 7 it will effectively exert a force F on it, as shown in FIG. 2, causing the barrier 7 to more fully close the gap and prevent the disc from sliding further.

Referring to FIG. 3, different possible configurations of barriers are shown. Barriers may be positioned at any suitable location relative to the disc seat 4. They may be arranged fully around the periphery. In general, the barriers protrude upwards an angle to the back cover and the upper side edge of the barrier will normally face towards the disc seat as illustrated. The tabs are integral with the cover.

The barrier 7 of FIGS. 1 and 2 is shown in cross-section in FIG. 3(a). This barrier is straight, rising at an angle from the hinge portion 7(a) (where it connects to and is integral with the base) to the upper side edge 7(b). FIGS. 3(b) to 3(i) show alternative configurations 17, 27, 37, 47, 57, 67, 77, and 87 respectively. The barrier 17 is convex facing the front cover. The barrier 27 has a curved ramped configuration. The barrier 37 is concave facing the front cover. The barrier 47 is generally straight but incorporates a convex shaped portion at its upper end. The barrier 57 is generally curved and comprises a concave shaped lower portion and a straight upper portion. The barrier 67 comprises a concave lower portion and a more accentuated concave upper portion. The lower and upper portions of the barrier 67 rise at different angles. The barrier 77 is hooked in shape. This barrier is generally convex towards the front cover but includes a straight portion 77(b) to 77(c). The highest point of this barrier is 77(b) and the straight portion 77(b) to 77(c) falls away from the peak at a negative angle relative to the cover. The outer extremity 77(c) faces the disc seat. The barrier 87 is straight and perpendicular to the back cover.

The barriers of the invention may be incorporated into any type of apparatus suitable for holding a disc-like article.

The foregoing description describes barriers integral with the back cover of a case, however they may alternatively be incorporated into a top cover.

It will be appreciated that the barriers of the invention provide effective means for preventing theft. Continued pressing and manipulation from outside only serves to cause the barriers to more fully close the gap that exists between the covers when the case is closed. Also, because the barriers are spaced-apart from the seat they do not affect ongoing use of the case by the authorized user. Insertion and removal of a disc is as before.

In another embodiment, the barriers are closer to the disc than illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3. The location is chosen to prevent a disc slipping to the extent of the inner data-containing part pressing against the retainer if it is manipulated out of the seat 4.

Referring to FIG. 4, a cover 120 of a DVD case comprises a DVD seat 121, around which are three raised projections 122 to help hold a DVD in place in the seat 121. A pair of security barriers 123 are formed from the material of the cover 120. The shape of the barriers 123 is of benefit because they provide a high-strength barrier to movement of a DVD from the seat 121. Also, the opening side edge of the cover 120 comprises protruding barriers 124 to prevent DVD movement in this direction.

A push button 130 is connected by actuator arms 131 to a retainer 132 comprising opposed retainer parts 133 and 134.

In addition, the cover 120 comprises a red tag holder 140 extending across the seat 121 and being configured for holding a magnetic security tag. The holder 141 extends through grooves in the underside of retainers 133 and 134. This prevents them from being moved together to release a DVD without the holder 140 being removed. The holder 140 has a handle 141 at the opening side edge of the cover 120, the handle 141 extending through an opening 142.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6 a DVD case 150 has a front cover 151 and a back cover 152 which is similar to the cover 120 of FIG. 4 except that is has a retainer 154 mounted on a boss 153. The security features are similar to those of the cover 120 and are indicated by the same reference numerals. These views shown the side edge barriers 124 clearly.

In a further embodiment, a case is of transparent material either wholly on one or both covers or in a window on a cover. This allows a scanner or reader to read a code such as a bar code on a disc within the case. Thus, the retainer or rental library can process DVDs with comprehensive data indicating that the relevant DVD was actually in the cover when it was sold or rented. This arrangement assists with automation of dispensing of DVDs, CDs, or other disc-shaped products. The cover may incorporate a lens such as a Fresnel lens to magnify the code or otherwise make it easier to read. The transparent part of the case need not necessarily be transparent to visible light as a different wavelength of radiation could be used instead for reading the code.

Referring now to FIGS. 7 to 11, a DVD case cover comprises a barrier 201 mounted over a retainer 205 (shown most clearly in FIG. 6). The barrier 201 has a barrier member 208 with the overall configuration of an inverted saucer. The barrier 201 prevents a disc from being removed from its seat without removal of the barrier 201. Thus, it is not possible for a thief to remove a disc without fully opening the covers. A lock member 206 is square-shaped in plan and has four tapered sides facing downwardly. The lock member 206 engages within a socket 207 in the retainer 205 in a snap-fitting manner. Also a pillar 215 extends downwardly parallel to the lock member 206. This fits between the two opposed parts of the retainer 205 to prevent them from being urged together to release a disc while the device 201 is in place. This is shown most clearly in FIGS. 10 and 11, in which the cut-away cross-section is across the retainer and locking device.

Thus, the barrier 201 is very effective at preventing a disc from being removed while it is in place. It can only be removed by twisting it so that the lock member 206 breaks at a point of weakness 216. This is only possible when the cover has been opened. In effect, the barrier 201 provides a tamper-evident seal, and it also prevents disc theft while the cover is closed or almost fully closed.

The barrier 201 may be in addition to or instead of the barriers around the seat.

It will be appreciated that the invention provides for prevention of theft in a very simple manner. The barriers of FIGS. 1 to 6 do not require any additional material and can be easily moulded with the case as integral parts. The barrier of FIGS. 7 to 11 is also simple. Once removed for authorised use it does not have any further use and does not affect ongoing use of the case.

The invention is not limited to the embodiments described but may be varied in construction and detail.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7286291 *Jul 15, 2005Oct 23, 2007Microsoft CorporationShow-through security packaging system for digital media
US7757848Oct 20, 2006Jul 20, 2010Meadwestvaco CorporationPackage with security features
US7875222Mar 13, 2006Jan 25, 2011Dubois LimitedMethod of making an injection molded container
EP2054891A1 *Jul 26, 2007May 6, 2009Scanavo A/SMedia disc storage container
EP2226808A1 *Mar 2, 2010Sep 8, 2010Topac GmbHTray for storing a disc-shape information holder
WO2007047797A2 *Oct 20, 2006Apr 26, 2007Meadwestvaco CorpPackage with security features
WO2008014790A1Jul 26, 2007Feb 7, 2008Scanavo AsMedia disc storage container
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/188.01, G9B/33.011
International ClassificationG11B33/04
Cooperative ClassificationG11B33/0427
European ClassificationG11B33/04D1B1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 24, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: DUALBOX LIMITED, IRELAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HEGARTY, JOHN;FARRELL, BRENDAN;PFUTZNER, KATHARINA;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:016029/0641;SIGNING DATES FROM 20041108 TO 20041118