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 numberUS20080060975 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/465,286
Publication dateMar 13, 2008
Filing dateAug 17, 2006
Priority dateAug 17, 2006
Publication number11465286, 465286, US 2008/0060975 A1, US 2008/060975 A1, US 20080060975 A1, US 20080060975A1, US 2008060975 A1, US 2008060975A1, US-A1-20080060975, US-A1-2008060975, US2008/0060975A1, US2008/060975A1, US20080060975 A1, US20080060975A1, US2008060975 A1, US2008060975A1
InventorsSteve R. Young, Richard Charles Thibault
Original AssigneeYoung Steve R, Richard Charles Thibault
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display Package with Extending Trays
US 20080060975 A1
Abstract
A display package having a housing containing a plurality of slidably engaged trays that are selectively extended from or retracted into the housing by a linkage assembly comprising a rotatable drive wheel, and a plurality of drive arms each rotatably connected to the drive wheel and to an associated tray through an elongated guide slot in a divider adjacent to each drive arm, the elongated guide slot being generally parallel to the direction in which extension or retraction of the associated tray is desired, with the length of the elongated guide slot limiting the rotation of the drive wheel.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(30)
1. A display package comprising a housing having a plurality of openings and a plurality of trays that are slidably engaged in the openings and are selectively extended from or retracted into the housing at the same time by a linkage assembly comprising a drive wheel, and a plurality of drive arms each rotatably connected to the drive wheel and to an associated tray through an elongated guide slot in a divider disposed adjacent to the drive arm, the elongated guide slot being disposed parallel to the direction in which extension or retraction of the associated tray is desired.
2. The package of claim 1 wherein the trays slide outwardly from the housing in different directions in substantially parallel horizontal planes.
3. The package of claim 1 wherein the trays slide outwardly from the housing in different directions in substantially the same horizontal plane.
4. The package of claim 1 wherein the housing, trays and linkage assembly are made from materials selected from the group consisting of paperboard and plastic sheet materials.
5. The package of claim 1 wherein the housing, trays and linkage assembly are all manually assembled.
6. The package of claim 1 wherein at least one of the trays comprises a compartment having a cover.
7. The package of claim 1 wherein each drive arm comprises two ends with oppositely extending, transverse cylindrical projections.
8. The package of claim 7 wherein one projection frictionally engages a cooperatively shaped aperture in the drive wheel.
9. The package of claim 7 wherein one projection extends through an elongated guide slot and frictionally engages an aperture in a tab attached to the associated tray.
10. The package of claim 7 wherein one projection extends through an elongated guide slot and frictionally engages an aperture in the associated tray.
11. A product display package comprising a housing having a plurality of slidably engaged trays linked together so that sliding movement of one tray outwardly from the housing in a first direction causes one or more other trays to slide outwardly from the housing in one or more other directions, and so that movement of one extended tray back into the housing causes simultaneous retraction of one or more other extended trays into the housing, a plurality of the trays being linked together by a linkage assembly disposed between them inside the housing, the linkage assembly comprising a rotatably mounted drive wheel having a range of travel limited by the length of an elongated guide slot in a divider disposed inside the housing.
12. The package of claim 11 wherein the trays slide outwardly from the housing in different directions in substantially parallel horizontal planes.
13. The package of claim 11 wherein the trays slide outwardly from the housing in different directions in substantially the same horizontal plane.
14. The package of claim 11 wherein the housing, trays and linkage assembly are made from materials selected from the group consisting of paperboard and plastic sheet materials.
15. The package of claim 11 wherein the housing, trays and linkage assembly are all manually assembled.
16. The package of claim 1 wherein at least one of the trays comprises a compartment having a cover.
17. The package of claim 1 wherein the linkage assembly comprises a plurality of drive arms, each drive arm comprising two ends with oppositely extending transverse projections.
18. The package of claim 17 wherein one projection frictionally engages a cooperatively shaped aperture in the drive wheel.
19. The package of claim 17 wherein one projection extends through the elongated guide slot and frictionally engages an aperture in a tab attached to an associated tray.
20. The package of claim 17 wherein one projection extends through an elongated guide slot and frictionally engages an aperture in an associated tray.
21. A product display package comprising a housing, most preferably in the form of a sleeve; a divider defining substantially parallel, vertically spaced upper and lower receptacles inside the housing; upper and lower trays that are slidably engaged inside the upper and lower receptacles, respectively; and a linkage assembly disposed between the upper and lower trays, the linkage assembly producing simultaneous movement of both trays whenever either tray is moved outwardly from, or back into, the housing,
the linkage assembly comprising a drive wheel that is rotatable for a predetermined distance in either rotational direction, two drive arms disposed on opposite sides of the drive wheel, each drive arm having one end rotatably connected to the drive wheel and another end comprising a projection aligned with and projecting through a guide slot disposed between the drive wheel and one of the upper and lower trays, the projection also being rotatably connected to a tray tab attached in fixed relation to said tray.
22. The package of claim 21 wherein the trays slide outwardly from the housing in different directions in substantially parallel horizontal planes.
23. The package of claim 21 wherein the housing, trays and linkage assembly are made from materials selected from the group consisting of paperboard and plastic sheet materials.
24. The package of claim 21 wherein the housing, trays and linkage assembly are all manually assembled.
25. The package of claim 21 wherein at least one of the trays comprises a compartment having a cover.
26. A product display package comprising a housing having a plurality of receptacles lying in substantially the same horizontal plane but facing in different directions; a plurality of trays, with one tray being slidably engageable with each receptacle in the same horizontal plane; and a linkage assembly producing simultaneous movement of all trays whenever any tray is moved outwardly from, or back into, the housing, whereby manual movement of any tray outwardly from the housing simultaneously causes the other trays to extend outwardly from the housing in different directions, and manual movement of any tray back into the housing causes the other trays to retract back into the housing simultaneously.
27. A product display package comprising a housing; a divider defining at least three substantially parallel receptacles inside the housing, with at least two of the receptacles lying in the same horizontal plane and at least one of the receptacles being vertically spaced apart from, but substantially parallel to, at least one other receptacle; a plurality of trays, with one tray being slidably engageable inside each receptacle; and a linkage assembly producing simultaneous movement of a plurality of the trays whenever another tray is moved outwardly from, or back into, the housing.
28. A product display package comprising a housing; a divider defining at least three substantially parallel receptacles lying in different horizontal planes inside the housing; a plurality of trays, with one tray being slidably engageable inside each receptacle; and a linkage assembly producing simultaneous movement of a plurality of the trays whenever another tray is moved outwardly from, or back into, the housing.
29. A linkage assembly for use in a product display package, the assembly comprising at least one rotatably mounted drive wheel; at least one divider substantially parallel to and facing a surface of the drive wheel, the divider comprising at least one elongated guide slot; at least two drive arms, each drive arm disposed between a surface of a drive wheel and a divider, and having one end rotatably connected to the drive wheel and a second end having a projection extending transversely through, and rotatable within, an elongated guide slot.
30. The linkage assembly of claim 21 wherein the projection extending through the elongated slot rotatably engages a tray tab disposed on a side of the divider that is opposite to the drive arm.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a package that can be fabricated from various combinations of paperboard, plastic sheet and/or metal, the package having a housing and at least two trays, drawers or display panels (all of which, singularly and collectively, are referred to herein as “trays”) slidably engaging the housing. At least two of the trays are preferably interconnected by a linkage disposed between them inside the housing in such manner that sliding one of the trays partially out of the housing in one direction simultaneously causes a second tray to slide partially out of the housing in a different direction. The trays can be configured to receive and selectively store or display products, product manuals, promotional materials, and the like.

2. Description of Related Art

U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,789,773 and 6,953,177 disclose devices with a housing containing a rack-and-pinion gear mechanism for selectively extending and retracting a promotional panel in response to movement of a spring-biased support member. Extension of the promotional panel in a direction either transverse or parallel and opposite to the direction of movement of the support member are disclosed.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,237,265 discloses an advertising/promotional product with a housing containing an endless band mechanism for selectively extending and retracting display panels or a display member/carrier in opposite directions. FIG. 7 discloses a three-part display panel extendable from one end of the housing. The two side sections rotate gravitationally away from each other upon exiting the housing, but rotate back into axial alignment with the housing during retraction. The display member/carrier can be constructed for containing any desired product or advertising material.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,557,700 discloses a package with a tubular housing containing a product tray, a divider, a drive belt passing around the divider, and a pull-out tab member that, when pulled, causes the tray to extend from the housing in a direction parallel and opposite to the tab member. The drive belt is typically a strip of plastic film whose ends are fastened to each other form a continuous loop. The tray and tab member are bonded to the loop. The tab member can be replaced by a second tray that extends oppositely to the first tray.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one embodiment of the invention, a display package is disclosed herein that comprises a housing containing a plurality of slidably engaged trays that are selectively extended from or retracted into openings in the housing by a linkage assembly comprising a drive wheel, and a plurality of drive arms each rotatably connected to the drive wheel and to an associated tray through an elongated guide slot in a divider disposed adjacent to the drive arm, the elongated guide slot being disposed parallel to the direction in which extension or retraction of the associated tray is desired.

According to another embodiment of the invention, a product display package is disclosed herein that preferably includes a housing having a plurality of slidably engaged trays that are linked in such manner that sliding one tray outwardly from the housing in a first direction also causes one or more other trays to slide outwardly from the housing in one or more other directions. Conversely, movement of one extended tray back into the housing causes simultaneous retraction of one or more other extended trays into the housing. A linkage assembly connecting the trays is preferably disposed between them inside the housing and is easily adaptable to cause the trays to extend from the housing in different radial directions along axes disposed in the same or parallel planes. Thus, for example, the linkage assembly can be made to cause a second tray to extend from the housing in a different predetermined radial direction ranging from less than 90 degrees up to more than 270 degrees from the direction of extension of the first tray, provided that the housing is also configured to permit such extension in the desired directions. The subject display package is preferably fabricated and assembled with parts made from die-cut paperboard and plastic sheet material, although portions of the linkage assembly are preferably thermoformed from plastic sheet, and metal parts can also be utilized in making the packages of the invention.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, a product display package is disclosed that comprises a housing, most preferably in the form of a sleeve; a divider defining substantially parallel, vertically spaced upper and lower receptacles inside the housing; upper and lower trays that are slidably engageable inside the upper and lower receptacles, respectively; and a linkage assembly producing simultaneous movement of both trays whenever either tray is moved outwardly from, or back into, the housing. Manual movement of either tray outwardly from the housing simultaneously causes the other tray to extend outwardly from the housing in a different direction. Conversely, manual movement of either tray back into the housing causes the other tray to retract back into the housing simultaneously.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, a product display package is disclosed that comprises a housing having a plurality of receptacles lying in substantially the same horizontal plane but facing in different radial directions relative to the center of the housing; a plurality of trays, with one tray being slidably engageable with each receptacle in the same horizontal plane; and a linkage assembly producing simultaneous movement of all trays whenever any tray is moved outwardly from, or back into, the housing. Manual movement of any tray outwardly from the housing simultaneously causes the other trays to extend outwardly from the housing in different directions. Conversely, manual movement of any tray back into the housing causes the other trays to retract back into the housing simultaneously.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, a product display package is disclosed that comprises a housing; a divider defining at least three substantially parallel receptacles inside the housing, with at least two of the receptacles lying in the same horizontal plane and at least one of the receptacles being vertically spaced apart from, but substantially parallel to, at least one other receptacle; a plurality of trays, with one tray being slidably engageable inside each receptacle; and a linkage assembly producing simultaneous movement of a plurality of the trays whenever another tray is moved outwardly from, or back into, the housing.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, a product display package is disclosed that comprises a housing; a divider defining at least three substantially parallel receptacles lying in different horizontal planes inside the housing; a plurality of trays, with one tray being slidably engageable inside each receptacle; and a linkage assembly producing simultaneous movement of a plurality of the trays whenever another tray is moved outwardly from, or back into, the housing.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, a linkage assembly is disclosed for use in the display packages of the invention that comprises at least one rotatably mounted drive wheel; at least one divider substantially parallel to and facing a surface of the drive wheel, and comprising at least one elongated guide slot; at least two drive arms, each drive arm disposed between a surface of a drive wheel and a divider, and having one end rotatably connected to the drive wheel and a second end having a projection extending transversely through, and rotatable within, an elongated guide slot. A portion of the transverse projection extending through the elongated guide slot preferably frictionally engages a tray tab, the tray tab being attachable to a tray.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, a product display package is disclosed herein that comprises a plurality of interconnected trays, at least one of trays further comprising a compartment having a cover.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The apparatus of the invention is further described and explained in relation to the following drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a bottom rear perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the display package of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom front perspective view of the display package of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the display package of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of the upper tray of the display package of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the lower tray of the display package of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an exploded bottom rear perspective view of the trays and linkage assembly of FIG. 3, showing the linkage assembly further exploded into its component parts;

FIG. 7 is plan view of a preferred die-cut blank for use in forming sleeve 12 as shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a preferred die-cut blank for use in forming upper tray 14 as shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of a preferred die-cut blank for use in forming lower tray 16 as shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a preferred die-cut blank for use in forming the spaced-apart upper and lower dividers of FIG. 6;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged top perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a drive arm of FIG. 6;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional elevation view of the drive arm of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged top perspective view of the drive wheel mounting hub of FIG. 6;

FIG. 14 is a front perspective view of the display package of FIGS. 1 and 2, with both the upper and lower trays extended simultaneously and with a cover over a compartment in the upper tray shown in dashed outline in a partially raised position; and

FIG. 15 is a top plan view of another preferred display package of the invention wherein four trays lying in the same horizontal plane are linked to one rotatably mounted drive wheel that causes all four trays to extend outwardly in different directions or retract inwardly into a housing whenever one of the trays is manually extended or retracted.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 3, display package 10 preferably comprises housing 12 containing upper tray 14, lower tray 16, and combined divider and linkage assembly 18 disposed between them. As shown in this embodiment, housing 12 is preferably made in the form of a sleeve that is constructed from a die-cut blank as shown in FIG. 7. Upper tray 14 is also preferably made from a die-cut blank as shown in FIG. 8, and is assembled by folding. Referring to FIG. 4, upper tray 14 further comprises an interior compartment 24 surrounded by a bottom, side walls 20 and hinged cover 26, which can be raised to the position illustrated by dashed line 22 when slidably extended from housing 12 as shown in FIG. 14. Aperture 28, visible in FIG. 3, is desirably provided on the bottom of upper tray 14 to facilitate alignment and engagement with combined divider and linkage assembly 18.

Lower tray 16 is preferably made from a die-cut blank as shown in FIG. 9, and is also assembled by folding. Referring to FIG. 5, lower tray 16 further comprises recess 32 and an aperture 30 located on the top surface to facilitate alignment and engagement with combined divider and linkage assembly 18. The combined divider and linkage assembly 18 is preferably preassembled, after which upper tray 14 and lower tray 16 are attached as described below in relation to FIG. 6. Housing 12, in partially pre-folded form, is wrapped around the assembled trays 14, 16 and combined divider and linkage assembly, and then sealed to form package 10 as seen in FIGS. I and 2. When fully assembled, display package 10 has the configuration of a rectangular box. However, when upper tray 14 is manually grasped at the sides using indentations 15 in the sides of housing 12 and is pulled outwardly, lower tray 16 simultaneously extends rearwardly from housing 12 due to the engagement of both trays with the linkage assembly as further described below. Conversely, if either of trays 14, 16 is then pushed manually back into housing 12, the other tray is simultaneously retracted into housing 12 by the linkage assembly.

Although trays 14, 16 are disclosed in relation to this embodiment as having a covered interior compartment and an open recess, respectively, it should be appreciated that the shape and configuration of trays suitable for use in the invention can vary greatly, depending upon factors such as, for example, the configuration of the housing, the materials of construction, and the intended use. For example, display packages embodying aspects of the invention can be made with substantially flat trays or with relatively deep drawers to accommodate various sized products or manuals, or made with solid trays and substantially flat surfaces for displaying promotional materials, and the like, or with any combination of such styles.

Also, while it will be appreciated upon reading the disclosure that various synthetic and naturally occurring materials can be used in constructing parts of the display packages of the invention, die-cut sheets of paperboard are preferred for use in making housing 12 and trays 14, 16 as described in relation to FIGS. 1-9 and 14, and die-cut sheets of rigid but foldable plastic are preferred for use in making combined divider and linkage assembly 18 as shown in FIG. 3 and as further described in relation to FIG. 6. It should also be understood that some parts as described below are preferably made by thermoforming plastic sheet into a desired configuration, although many such parts can also be made using other polymeric materials or metals, or by other manufacturing methods such as injection molding, stamping, or the like.

Where it is desirable to secure overlapping surfaces of paperboard, plastic or other materials, conventional, commercially available tapes, adhesives, fasteners and welding processes well known to those of skill in the art can also be used if desired to assemble portions of display packages made in accordance with the invention. Similarly, where one or more parts are to be rotatably connected, or slidably or frictionally engaged, other known and commercially available connecting devices can likewise be substituted for parts disclosed and described herein provided that the substitution of such parts is not otherwise contrary to the teachings of this specification regarding the structural, functional and operational requirements of this invention.

Referring to FIG. 3, combined divider and linkage assembly 18 desirably separate the interior of housing 12 into upper and lower receptacles having sufficient interior volume to receive upper and lower trays 14, 16, respectively, inside housing 12. Each tray is slidably engageable with its respective receptacle and is also engaged with the linkage assembly by means of apertures 28, 30, into which projections 66, 46 (FIG. 6) of the linkage assembly extend, and by means of tray tabs 42, 82 (FIG. 6) that frictionally engage projections 66, 46 and are attachable to the trays using double-sided tape, adhesive, or other similarly effective materials or devices.

Referring to FIG. 6, the divider portion of combined divider and linkage assembly 18 preferably comprises upper and lower guide platforms 60, 34, respectively that are spaced-apart and substantially parallel. The divider is preferably formed from a die-cut blank of foldable plastic sheet material having a configuration as shown in FIG. 10 wherein upper and lower guide platforms 60, 34 are joined by a narrow rectangular section 88 having long sides defined by two parallel fold lines. The vertical spacing between upper and lower guide platforms 60, 34 in FIG. 6 is determined by the width of rectangular section 88 and by a like-sized section 90 disposed inwardly of foldable tab 91 on the opposite side of upper guide platform 60. Referring to FIGS. 6 and 10, foldable tabs 68, 70, 72 and 74 of upper guide platform 60 and foldable tables 38, 39, 40 and 41 of lower guide platform 34 are desirably provided to properly position the divider inside the package housing (FIG. 3) and thereby define receptacles within which trays 14, 16 can be slidably engaged. Referring again to FIG. 10, foldable tab 91, which is broken away in FIG. 6, is preferably secured by tape, adhesive or similarly effective means to the upwardly facing surface of lower guide platform 34 following installation of drive wheel 50 and drive arms 76, 44 between upper and lower guide platforms 60, 34, respectively.

Each guide platform comprises an elongate guide slot 62, 36, that, following assembly of display package 10, is parallel to the desired direction of travel of the nearest adjacent tray and is positioned to facilitate extension of the associated tray outwardly from housing 12, as shown in FIG. 14, without allowing the tray to disengage from combined divider and linkage mechanism 18 (FIG. 3). The length of guide slots 62, 36 determines the range of travel of upper and lower trays 14,16, respectively.

Referring to FIG. 6, a preferred linkage assembly comprises drive wheel 50 that is rotatably mounted between upper and lower guide platforms 60, 34, and can rotate in either direction as indicated by arrow 58. One satisfactory means for rotatably mounting drive wheel 50 between upper and lower guide platforms is by use of mounting cap 80, visible in FIGS. 6 and 13, that comprises an annular flange portion and a transversely projecting cylindrical portion 82 that is insertable downwardly through a cooperatively sized and shaped aperture 64 in the middle of upper guide platform 60 and through a similar aperture 52 in the center of drive wheel 50. Frictional engagement between mounting cap 80 and apertures 64, 52 is preferably sufficient to hold mounting cap 80 in position relative to upper guide platform 60 and drive wheel 50 without overly restricting the rotational motion of drive wheel 50 between upper and lower guide platforms 60, 34.

Referring to FIG. 6, drive wheel 50 is preferably linked to upper and lower trays 14, 16 by drive arms 76, 44 that cooperate with guide slots 62, 36 to convert the translational sliding motion of upper tray 14 in one direction into rotational motion of drive wheel 50 and, substantially simultaneously, to convert rotational motion of drive wheel 50 into translational motion of lower tray 16 in another direction that is different from the direction of travel of upper tray 14. Drive arms 76, 44 are desirably positioned between drive wheel 50 and upper and lower guide platforms 60, 34, respectively, and preferably each comprise one end that is rotatably connected to an off-center position on drive wheel 50, and another end having a transversely extending projection that extends through and is rotatable within one of guide slots 62, 36. FIGS. 11 and 12 better illustrate a preferred embodiment of drive arm 44, and are also representative of a preferred embodiment of drive arm 76. Transverse cylindrical projections 46, 48 are desirably thermoformed in a plastic sheet used to make drive arm 44, although it will be appreciated that parts having a similar configuration can also be made by injection molding a polymeric resin or by metal stamping if desired.

Referring again to FIG. 6, transverse cylindrical projection 48 is preferably frictionally engageable with, but rotatably mounted within, aperture 54 near the perimeter of drive wheel 50. Similarly, transverse cylindrical projection 78 of drive arm 76 is preferably frictionally engageable with, but rotatably mounted within, oppositely disposed aperture 56 near the perimeter of drive wheel 50. The positioning of apertures 54, 56 on drive wheel 50 and the length of drive arms 76, 44 will depend upon factors including the diameter of drive wheel 50 and the desired direction and length of travel of trays 14, 16 relative to the housing. If desired, retainer devices (not shown) can be used to secure mounting cap 80 and projections 78, 48 to drive wheel 50.

Each drive arm 76, 44 preferably has at the end not attached to drive wheel 50 another transverse cylindrical projection 66, 46 that is sufficiently long to extend transversely through the associated guide slot 62, 36, through an aperture in the associated tray tab 82, 42, and into aperture 28, 30 of the associated upper or lower tray 14, 16. Cylindrical projections 66, 46 preferably have a diameter slightly less than the width of elongate guide slots 62, 36, to permit simultaneous translational and rotational movement of each projection within its respective slot without excessive wobble or lost motion. The engagement between each transverse cylindrical projection 66, 46 and the associated upper or lower tray 14, 16 is preferably enhanced by attaching tray tabs 82, 42 to attachment sites 84, 85 on bottom surface 86 of upper tray 14 and on the top surface of bottom tray 16, respectively. Each tray tab 82, 42 is preferably attached in fixed relation to its associated tray to reduce the likelihood that trays 14, 16 will accidentally become disengaged from cylindrical projections 76, 46 following repeated use or if tray 14 is withdrawn from housing 12 with excessive force. Two-sided tape, conventional adhesives, pressure-sensitive adhesives, or other similarly effective means can be used to attach tray tabs 82, 42 to trays 14, 16, as desired. The range of travel of each projection 66, 46 in either direction in guide slots 62, 36 controls the extent to which drive wheel 50 will rotate in either direction as indicated by arrow 58.

Other embodiments of the invention are further described and explained in relation to FIG. 15, which depicts a plan view of a display package 100 comprising a housing 102 having side wall 106 and four trays 104 that are each slidably engaged within the housing and that each extend simultaneously from the housing in different directions. Unlike the preferred embodiment described above in relation to FIGS. 1-14, all four trays 104 lie in substantially the same horizontal plane and all are connected to a linkage assembly comprising a single drive wheel 115 that is rotatably mounted inside the housing beneath trays 104. Guide platform 108, disposed between drive wheel 115 and trays 104, comprises four elongate guide slots 110. Whenever any tray 104 is moved inwardly or outwardly relative to housing 102, as indicated by arrow 124, the linkage assembly connecting each tray 104 to drive wheel 115 produces corresponding translational motion of projection 116 in slot 110, as indicated by arrow 122, and causes drive wheel 115 to rotate left or right, respectively, around mounting hub 126, as indicated by arrow 120. The linkage assembly used to connect each tray 104 to drive wheel 115 is otherwise substantially similar to the assembly linkage described above in relation to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-14, and preferably comprises drive arms 112, transverse cylindrical projections 116, 118 and tray tabs 114, it being understood that the elements of the linkage assembly associate with each of trays 104 is substantially the same.

It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this disclosure that display packages utilizing the elements of the invention can also be made wherein some, but not all, trays are connected to the linkage assembly so that some, but not all, trays will extend or retract simultaneously. Similarly, by using a plurality of horizontally or vertically separated linkage assemblies in a single display package, it is possible to have groups of trays that extend and retract in different directions in one, two, or more than two, levels, with each group of trays retracting and extending simultaneously but independently of the trays in a different group.

Other alterations and modifications of the invention will likewise become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this specification in view of the accompanying drawings, and it is intended that the scope of the invention disclosed herein be limited only by the broadest interpretation of the appended claims to which the inventors are legally entitled.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7611015 *Dec 18, 2007Nov 3, 2009Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.Electrical connector assembly with protecting member
US8465336Apr 29, 2010Jun 18, 2013Mattel, Inc.Expandable packaging assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/745
International ClassificationB65D1/22
Cooperative ClassificationB65D11/12, B65D2301/20, B65D5/38
European ClassificationB65D5/38, B65D11/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 10, 2010ASAssignment
Free format text: NOTICE OF SATISFACTION OF 2ND LIEN IP SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION);REEL/FRAME:024812/0554
Effective date: 20100513
Owner name: GREAT WESTERN INDUSTRIES, INC., MICHIGAN
Effective date: 20100513
Owner name: GREAT WESTERN INDUSTRIES, INC., MICHIGAN
Free format text: NOTICE OF SATISFACTION OF 1ST LIEN IP SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION);REEL/FRAME:024812/0516
Apr 4, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, NORTH CAROLIN
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GREAT WESTERN INDUSTRIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:020753/0427
Effective date: 20080324
Owner name: WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, NORTH CAROLIN
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:GREAT WESTERN INDUSTRIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:020753/0415
Effective date: 20080324
Sep 26, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: GREAT WESTERN INDUSTRIES, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE CONVEYING PARTY DATA PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 018130 FRAME0952;ASSIGNORS:YOUNG, STEVE R.;THIBAULT, RICHARD CHARLES;REEL/FRAME:018305/0706
Effective date: 20060816
Aug 17, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: GREAT WESTERN INDUSTRIES, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:YOUNG, STEVE R.;REEL/FRAME:018130/0952
Effective date: 20060816