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Publication numberUS20060124479 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/134,187
Publication dateJun 15, 2006
Filing dateMay 20, 2005
Priority dateDec 13, 2004
Publication number11134187, 134187, US 2006/0124479 A1, US 2006/124479 A1, US 20060124479 A1, US 20060124479A1, US 2006124479 A1, US 2006124479A1, US-A1-20060124479, US-A1-2006124479, US2006/0124479A1, US2006/124479A1, US20060124479 A1, US20060124479A1, US2006124479 A1, US2006124479A1
InventorsWarren Osborn, Bryan Dunford
Original AssigneeOsborn Warren R, Dunford Bryan P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Injection molded DVD case having at least one recess on an outer surface for the installation of a decorative insert
US 20060124479 A1
Abstract
A one-piece, standard thickness, injection molded DVD case has at least one recess on an outer surface for the installation of a decorative insert. For one preferred embodiment, the recess is coextensive with the front cover, with the exception of a narrow perimetric border. The decorative insert may be formed from vacuum-formed polymeric material, molded plastic, or stamped from sheet metal having a thickness in a range of about 0.005 to 0.01 inch (0.127 to 0.254 millimeters). Optimum thickness for the preferred embodiments disclosed herein is deemed to be about 0.0075 inch (about 0.2 millimeters). The decorative insert may include graphic images and text in relief, which may be painted for further affect. For another preferred embodiment, the recess on the front cover may cover only a portion of the available area. On the back cover, similar recesses may be formed above and below the disk storage region.
Images(10)
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Claims(20)
1. A case for packaging and storing an optical digital information storage disk, said case comprising:
a one-piece, injection-molded main body including:
a spine;
a front cover coupled to said spine via a first living hinge;
a rear cover coupled to said spine via a second living hinge;
at least one recess inset into an exterior surface of at least one of said covers; and
a decorative insert for installing within each recess.
2. The case of claim 1, wherein said decorative insert is made of a material selected from the group consisting of metal, polymeric compounds, wood, paper, leather, textiles, fiberboard and combinations thereof.
3. The case of claim 2, wherein said decorative insert includes multi-color artwork.
4. The case of claim 2, wherein said decorative insert is formed from sheet metal stamped in relief to which artwork is applied prior to the relief stamping.
5. The case of claim 1, wherein the decorative insert is formed in a mold which provides an in-relief surface.
6. The case of claim 1, wherein the decorative insert is a generally planar, laminar material that has been trimmed to fit the recess, said laminar material being selected from the group consisting of textiles, sheet metal, wood, and polymeric compounds to which a reflective coating has been applied.
7. The case of claim 1, wherein the decorative insert is a generally laminar, vacuum-formed polymeric panel to which color graphics have been applied.
8. The case of claim 1, wherein the one-piece, injection-molded main body is made from a polyolefin selected from the group consisting of polyethylene and polypropylene.
9. The case of claim 2, wherein said decorative insert is polygonally shaped, stamped from sheet metal to provide an in-relief graphic design on a major portion thereof, said insert having outer edges that are downwardly bent to form sidewalls that are generally perpendicular to said major portion, each of said sidewalls being inwardly-rolled to form a tube, with the tubes so formed from all outer edges lying in a common plane.
10. The case of claim 9, wherein portions of each tube are stamped to form an outwardly extending hooks, each of said hooks engaging a hook receptacle located within the recess.
11. A generally rectangular case for packaging and storing an optical information storage disk, said case comprising:
a main body having intercoupled front and rear covers that close to form a generally enclosed chamber, said main body having at least one recess inset into an exterior surface of at least one of said covers; and
a decorative insert for installing within each recess.
12. The case of claim 11, wherein the one-piece, injection-molded main body is made from a polyolefin selected from the group consisting of polyethylene and polypropylene.
13. The case of claim 11, wherein said decorative insert is made of sheet metal that has been stamped to include an in-relief design on an exposed major portion thereof.
14. The case of claim 13, wherein said sheet metal panel includes multi-color artwork.
15. The case of claim 11, wherein said recess is coextensive with said front cover, with the exception of a narrow perimetric border.
16. The case of claim 11, wherein the decorative insert is an injection-molded panel having in relief multi-color graphics.
17. A case for packaging and storing an optical digital information storage disk, said case comprising:
a one-piece, injection-molded main body including:
a spine;
a front cover coupled to said spine via a first living hinge;
a rear cover coupled to said spine via a second living hinge; and
at least one recess inset into an exterior surface of at least one of said covers.
18. The case of claim 17, wherein said recess is of generally uniform depth and covers a major portion of said front cover.
19. The case of claim 17, which further comprises a decorative insert made from a material selected from the group consisting of textiles, metal, metal alloys, wood, leather, polymeric compounds, and polymeric compounds to which reflective coating has been applied.
20. The case of claim 19, wherein said decorative insert is stamped from sheet metal to which colored artwork is applied prior to the stamping process.
Description

This application has a priority date based on Provisional Patent Application No. 60/635,329, which has a filing date of Dec. 13, 2004, and is titled Media Carrier, Transport and Storage Device, with Interchangeable Customizable Outside Surface or Lid.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to protective cases for packaging and storing optical information storage disks, such as CDs and DVDs and, more particularly to injection molded, one-piece protective cases.

2. History of the Prior Art

In recent times, most recorded music is purchased by the consumer either on a cassette tape or a compact disc. Cassettes tapes and compact discs have supplanted vinyl records and 8-track tapes as the dominant forms of recorded music. Along with the growth of compact discs, numerous storage containers have been developed to hold the discs during shipping, display for sale, and subsequent home storage of the discs. A disc may spend over 99% of its life stored in one such storage container because the same storage container is typically used to ship the disc, to display the disc, and to store the disc at the home of the consumer. Most of the storage containers known in the art hold the compact disc on a hub that engages the center hole of the disc to hold the disc in place in the storage container.

Digital video discs (DVDs) have recently been developed and are expected to grow as more consumers are exposed to the benefits of a digital video picture combined with a digital audio track on a single DVD. DVDs also have a larger storage capacity than a compact disc and may be used to hold feature length films as well as multiple music recordings. It is likely that DVDs may also be used to hold data in computer readable forms. One problem with DVDs is that they currently trade durability for their increased storage capacity. It is believed that a DVD may be damaged over time by the forces that are commonly created in a compact disc storage container. These forces are the outwardly directed forces created by the hub that typically radially engages the interior wall that forms the center hole in a disc. Compact discs are durable enough to be insensitive to this force but it is believed that a DVD will eventually warp as a result of these constant radial forces. Such warping can prevent the data on a DVD from being correctly read by a DVD player.

In view of the perceived problems with the constant bending forces, the industry has moved in the direction of requiring all DVD storage containers to loosely retain the DVD such that it may freely rotate while securely retained by the storage container. The storage container thus must retain the DVD in a manner that allows it to freely rotate while also securely holding the DVD during a standard drop test. It is thus desired in the art to provide a storage container for a DVD that holds the DVD without creating constant bending stresses in the DVD while securely retaining the DVD to prevent it from coming loose.

Standard one-piece injection molded DVD cases include a spine, a front cover coupled to the spine with a first living hinge, a rear cover coupled to the spine via a second living hinge, disk retention on the inside surface of the rear cover, and a pair of clips on the inside surface of the front cover for holding a paper booklet. In addition, a flexible sleeve is often heat sealed to the outer cover surfaces so that a paper title and credits insert may be slipped beneath it and cover the front and back outer surfaces while wrapping around the spine. The cases, themselves, are essentially generic, with only the title page and credits insert providing any measure of distinctiveness. What is needed, therefore, is a new one-piece injection molded DVD case that presents a distinctive, even elegant, appearance to the consumer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A one-piece, injection molded case for optical data storage disks, such as DVDs, DVD-ROMs, CDs, and CD-ROMs, has at least one recess on an outer surface for the installation of a decorative insert. For a preferred embodiment of the invention, the DVD case is injection molded from a polyolefin such as polyethylene or polypropylene. The storage case includes a spine, a front cover coupled to said spine via a first living hinge, and a rear cover coupled to said spine via a second living hinge. The front and rear covers close together to form a generally enclosed chamber in which at least one optical data storage disk may be stored. The storage case also includes at least one recess inset into an exterior surface of at least one of said covers and a decorative insert for installing within each recess.

For one preferred embodiment, the recess is of generally uniform depth and coextensive with the front cover, with the exception of a narrow perimetric border. The decorative insert may be formed from vacuum-formed polymeric material, molded plastic, reflective plastic or metal laminates which have been cut to size, wood panels, textile-covered panels, tooled or embossed leather, cast metal, or stamped from sheet metal having a thickness in a range of about 0.005 to 0.01 inch (0.127 to 0.254 millimeters). Optimum thickness for the preferred embodiments disclosed herein is deemed to be about 0.0075 inch (about 0.2 millimeters). The decorative insert may include graphic images and/or text in relief, and the exposed surface of the insert may be painted or printed to enhance its aesthetic appearance. For prototype cases made in accordance with the present invention, offset lithography has been used successfully to apply graphic images to sheet metal prior to the insert stamping and forming process. For another preferred embodiment, the recess on the front cover may cover only a portion of the available area. On the back cover, similar recesses may be formed above and below the disk storage region. Additionally, one or more recesses may be formed on the outer surface of the spine. Stamped sheet metal and injection molded plastic inserts may incorporate hooks on the side edges thereof. The hooks may be formed during the stamping of the sheet metal or during the injection molding of the insert. The hooks mate with hook receptacles formed during the injection molding process in the side walls of the recess and, thereby, retain the insert within the recess. Alternatively, an insert may be adhesively bonded to the DVD case within the recess.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the outer major surfaces of the open one-piece decorative decorative DVD case having a recess incorporated into the outer surface of the front cover;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the inner major surfaces of the open one-piece decorative DVD case of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the top edge of the open one-piece decorative DVD case;

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the open one-piece decorative DVD case, as seen from the closure edge of the rear cover closure;

FIG. 5 is an elevational view of the open one-piece decorative DVD case, as seen from the closure edge of the front cover;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of the bottom edge of the open one-piece decorative DVD case;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the open one-piece decorative DVD case, than through section line 7-7 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the open one-piece decorative DVD case, taken through section line 8-8 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of the closed one-piece decorative DVD case, looking down at the front cover;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of the closed one-piece decorative DVD case, looking down at the rear cover;

FIG. 11 is an elevational view of the spine of the closed one-piece decorative DVD case;

FIG. 12 is an elevational view of the closure edges of the closed one-piece decorative DVD case;

FIG. 13 is an elevational view of the top edge of the closed one-piece decorative DVD case;

FIG. 14 is an elevational view of the bottom of the closed one-piece decorative DVD case;

FIG. 15 is an enlarged view of the encircled region 15 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 16 is an enlarged view of the encircled region 16 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 17 is a top plan view of a stamped sheet metal insert;

FIG. 18 is a thin-slice view of the stamped sheet metal insert of FIG. 17, taken through section line 18 -18 of FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is a bottom plan view of the stamped sheet metal insert of FIG. 17;

FIG. 20 is a right-side elevational view of the stamped sheet metal insert of FIG. 17, the left-side elevational view thereof being a mirror image of FIG. 20;

FIG. 21 is a bottom-edge elevational view of the stamped sheet metal insert of FIG. 17, the top-edge elevational view thereof being a mirror image of FIG. 21;

FIG. 22 is a top plan view of an insert that has been injection molded, carved, cast;

FIG. 23 is a thin-slice view of the injection molded insert of FIG. 22, taken through section line 23-23;

FIG. 24 is a top plan view of a vacuum-formed laminar insert;

FIG. 25 is a thin-slice view of the vacuum-formed laminar insert of FIG. 24, taken through section line 25-25;

FIG. 26 is an isometric view of the open, downward-facing one-piece decorative DVD case in an open configuration;

FIG. 27 is an isometric view of the open, downward-facing one-piece decorative DVD case of FIG. 26 and of a stamped metal insert that is ready for installation within the front cover recess of the case; and

FIG. 28 is an isometric view of an alternative insert made of generally a planar, laminar material that has been trimmed to fit the recess.

DETAILED DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a one-piece, injection-molded case for packaging and storing optical digital information storage disks, such as digital video disks (DVDs), compact disks (CDs) and/or data storage versions of each. Patterned loosely after a conventional case for digital video discs (DVDs), it is of clamshell design, having a spine connected to both a front cover and a rear cover via a pair of “living” or “live” hinges. A living hinge is a thin flexible web of material that joins two rigid or semi-rigid bodies together. The DVD case is preferably made of a medium-density polyolefin, such as polypropylene or polyethylene, as both of these materials have excellent flexural qualities that permit a living hinge to be flexed thousands of times without breaking. If the hinge is not expected to last forever, other polymeric compounds, such as nylon and acetal may be used. The present invention differs markedly from a conventional DVD case in that at least one recess is incorporated into the surface of the front and/or back covers. A decorative insert is installed within the recess. Many types of decorative inserts may be used. For example, the decorative insert may be formed from polymeric materials, wood, metal, leather, paper, textiles, composite materials, or a combination of the foregoing. Polymeric materials may be vacuum formed, cast or injection molded. Wood panels may be hand-carved, machine-carved, or laser-etched. Metal inserts may be formed by casting, sheet metal stamping, and/or by the trimming of planar sheets to fit the recess. Leather inserts may be tooled, embossed or laser etched. The new decorative DVD case will now be described in detail with reference to the attached drawing figures.

Referring now to FIG. 1, the new decorative DVD case 100 has a spine 101, a generally rectangular front cover 102 and a generally rectangular rear cover 103. A first living hinge 104 interconnects the spine 101 with the front cover 102, and a second living hinge 105 interconnects the spine 101 with the rear cover 103. The rear cover 103 incorporates a circular disk storage station 106, the outlines of which can be seen on the outer surface of the rear cover 103. A pair of internal clips 107A and 107B, which can be used to secure a paper booklet (not shown) inside the front cover 102 of the case 100, can be seen through apertures 108A and 109B in the front cover 102 that were required by the molding process. An optional sleeve 109, made of transparent flexible plastic material may be heat bonded to the outer edge 110 of the rear cover 103 and the inner edge 111 of the front cover. A title and credits paper or plastic insert (not shown) may be inserted within the sleeve in a conventional manner. The primary difference between this decorative DVD case 100 and conventional DVD cases is that the front cover 102 incorporates a recessed generally laminar front panel 112 that is surrounded by a narrow border 113 having generally the same height as the front cover of a conventional DVD case.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the features within the interior of the decorative DVD case 100 are readily visible. The inner surface of the recessed front panel 112 of the front cover 102 in fully visible in this view. The front cover 102 also includes a front half-height closure wall 201 that is generally perpendicular to said laminar front panel 112, and continuous with the narrow border 113. The tops of the internal clips 107A and 107B can also be seen in this view. The rear cover 103 also includes a generally laminar rear panel 202 into which is molded the disk storage station 106. The disk storage station 106 has an elevated disk support ring 203, which supports the outer edge of a stored DVD. The disk storage station 106 also includes a disk securing hub 204 in the center of the elevated disk support ring 203, which releaseably secures a stored DVD by the edges of its central aperture. Finger cutouts 205 in the elevated ring allow the owner of the DVD to grasp the edges thereof and remove it from the case. The rear cover 103 also has a rear, half-height closure wall 206 that is generally perpendicular to said laminar rear panel 202, and continuous therewith. The rear cover 103 has a pair of male case latches 207A and 207B, while the front cover 102 has a pair of female case latches 208A and 208B. Each male case latch snaps into its mating female case latch. It will be noted that the front cover 102 has a first access recess 209A, while the rear cover 103 has a second access recess 209B. When the case 100 is closed, the owner of the DVD can insert the tips of his fingers into these recesses 209A and 209B and unsnap the front cover 102 from the rear cover 103 in order to access the DVD.

Referring now to FIGS. 3, 4, 5, and 6, the open decorative DVD case 100 is seen in a variety of elevational views. Item numbers for various features correspond with those of FIGS. 1 and 2.

Referring now to the cross-sectional view of FIG. 7, the profile of the front cover recess 701 within the front cover that is formed by the recessed generally laminar front panel 112 and the surrounding narrow border 113 is clearly visible, as are a pair of lower hook receptacles 702 which are useful for securing an insert within the front cover recess 701. The profile of the clips 107A and 107B and of the disk storage station 203 are also evident in this view.

Referring now to FIG. 8, this view differs from that of FIG. 7 in that only the outer edge 801 of the elevated disk support ring 204 is visible. In addition, the cross section of this view passes through a pair of side hook receptacles 802A and 802B, which are more readily apparent in the enlarged views of FIGS. 15 and 16.

Referring now to FIG. 9, it will be noted that when the decorative DVD case 100 is closed, the spine 101 fits neatly into the front cover 102. The pair of internal clips 107A and 107B are visible in this view through apertures 108A and 108B, respectively. The front cover recess 701, formed by the recessed generally laminar front panel 112 and the surrounding narrow border 113, is seen from above in this view.

Referring now to FIG. 10, the closed decorative DVD case 100 is seen from the rear. As with the front cover, the spine 101 fits neatly into the rear cover 103. The outer surface generally laminar rear panel 202 is visible in this view, as are the lower, or exterior surfaces of the disk storage station 106, which includes the elevated disk support ring 203 and the disk securing hub 204. The transparent sleeve 109 is also visible in this view.

Referring now to FIGS. 11 to 14, these elevational views of the closed decorative DVD case show features that have heretofore been described.

Referring now to FIG. 15 and 16, the circled areas of FIG. 8 have been enlarged to show details of the sectioned figures.

Referring now to FIG. 17, a stamped sheet metal insert 1700 is sized for installation within the front cover recess 701. A beveled border 1701 and a simple relief target design 1702 have been stamped in the insert 1700. It should be understood that the simple target design is shown merely for illustrative purposes. For a preferred embodiment of the invention, the sheet metal may be painted or printed using a lithographic offset process or other similar painting or printing process prior to stamping and forming of the insert 1700. Eight hooks 1703, which have been stamped into the sidewalls of the insert 1700 are visible in this view. The hooks 1703 engage hook receptacles 702 which are molded in the decorative DVD case 100 and retain the insert 1700 within the front cover recess 701.

Referring now to FIG. 18, this thin-slice view of the stamped sheet metal insert 1700 clearly shows the profile of thereof. It will be noted that the insert 1700 has sidewalls 1801 that terminate in a rolled lower edge 1802. The hooks 1703 (not shown in this thin-slice view) are stamped into the sidewalls 1801.

Referring now to FIG. 19, the underside of the stamped sheet metal insert 1700 is visible. The relief nature of the stamping is also visible from the underside, as the relief of the word “HIT” and of the target design 1702 have transferred through the sheet metal.

Referring now to FIGS. 20 and 21, these side and bottom views, respectively, of the stamped sheet metal insert 1700 show pairs of the hooks 1703.

Referring now to FIG. 22 an injection molded insert 2200 is sized for installation within the front cover recess 701. A beveled border 2201 and a simple relief target design 2202 have been molded in the insert 2200. For a preferred embodiment of the invention, the injection molded insert may be painted or printed using a lithographic offset process or other similar painting or printing process after the molding process. The insert may be formed from polystyrene, polyurethane, or other similar compounds to which ink or paint readily adheres. Eight hooks 2203, which have been molded into the sidewalls of the insert 2200 are visible in this view. The hooks 2203 engage hook receptacles 702 which are molded in the decorative DVD case 100 and retain the insert 2200 within the front cover recess 701. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 23, the injection-molded insert 2200 may be adhesively bonded to the decorative DVD case 100. This thin-slice view is also representative of any insert made of solid material, whether it be an injection-molded or cast polymeric material, cast metal, wood, fiberboard, or any other material capable of being formed in relief.

Referring now to FIG. 23, this thin-slice view of the injection-molded insert 2200 clearly shows that this item is not a laminar product, but rather an item of varied thickness over its area. An adhesive layer 2301 provides an alternative method for securing the injection-molded insert 2200 within the front cover recess 701. Referring now to FIG. 24, a vacuum formed laminar polymeric insert 2400 is sized for installation within the front cover recess 701. A beveled border 2401 and a simple relief target design 2402 have been formed in the insert 2400. For a preferred embodiment of the invention, the injection molded insert may be painted or printed using a lithographic offset process prior to vacuum forming or spray painted subsequent to the forming process. The insert may be formed from polyvinylchloride, polystyrene, polyurethane, or other similar compounds.

Referring now to FIG. 25, this thin-slice view of the vacuum-formed insert 2400 clearly shows that the laminar nature of this item. An adhesive layer 2501, applied to the bottom-most portions of the insert 2400, enable the vacuum-formed insert 2400 to be adhesively bonded within the front cover recess 701.

Referring now to FIG. 26, this view of the one-piece decorative DVD case 100 in an open configuration clearly shows the front cover recess 701 that is formed by the recessed generally laminar front panel 112 and the surrounding narrow border 113, as well as four of the hook receptacles 702 which are useful for securing an insert within the front cover recess 701.

Referring now to FIG. 27, this view shows a stamped sheet metal insert 1700 positioned above the one-piece decorative DVD case 100, ready for installation within the front cover recess 701. Four of the eight hooks 1703 on the sheet metal insert 1700 are visible, as is the in-relief target design 1702.

Referring now to FIG. 28, an alternative insert 2801 made of generally a planar, laminar material that has been trimmed to fit the recess 701. The laminar material may be polished or brushed sheet metal, cardboard that has been covered with a textile layer, wood, or polymeric compounds to which a reflective coating has been applied.

Although only several embodiments of the present invention has been disclosed herein, it will be obvious to those having ordinary skill in the art that changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as hereinafter may be claimed.

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
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/308.1, G9B/33.011
International ClassificationB65D85/30
Cooperative ClassificationG11B33/0427
European ClassificationG11B33/04D1B1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 19, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ENCORE HOLDINGS LIMITED, BAHAMAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VIVA MEDIA PACKAGING LIMITED;REEL/FRAME:018727/0552
Effective date: 20060630
Owner name: VIVA MEDIA PACKAGING LIMITED, CHINA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:OSBORN, WARREN R.;DUNFORD, BRYAN P.;REEL/FRAME:018728/0586
Effective date: 20060523