US 3737067 A
A plastic box including a base and cover molded in a unitary construction and having an integrally molded latch that has a projection formed thereon, the latch being pivotally movable when the base and cover are moved to the closed position thereof to lock the base and cover together.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ 51 June 5, 1973 United States Patent 1191 Palson 3,025,950 3/1962 Nathan........................... 3,410,39l ll/l968 Kanter..
3,424,341 1/1969 Slapnik.
 PLASTIC BOX HAVING INTEGRALLY MOLDED LATCH  Inventor: Richard C. J. Palson, Medfield, 3/1970 Kanter..............
10/1971 Nagpal et al.............::::..206/DlG. 36
Primary ExaminerGeorge E. Lowrance Assistant Examiner.lames R. Garrett Attorney-Salter & Michaelson  Filed:
] Appl. No.: 117,580 ABSTRACT A plastic box including a base and cover molded in a  [1.8. Cl.................................220/60 R, 220/31 5 itary construction and having an integrally molded latch that has a projection formed thereon, the latch being pivotally movable when the base and cover are 51 Int. Cl. 43/10 .220/60 R, 31 s;
 Field of Search..........................
206/DlG. 36 moved to the closed position thereof to lock the base and cover together.
References Cited 1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures UNITED STATES PATENTS D2l3,157 H1969 Wallace.........................206/DlG. 36
PATENTEDJUH sums I 8737,067-
20 Richard CLJPaZAMn, 2y 144:. t W
PLASTIC BOX HAVING INTEGRALLY MOLDED LATCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a plastic box that is molded in a one-piece construction and has particular application as a container for a tape cartridge.
Tape cartridges of the type that are used in cassette tape units are normally displayed for sale in some form of a wrapper or cover or the like. Because the tape cartridge is subject to wear due to handling by customers and in shipping, a more durable type of container is desirable for retaining the tape cartridge therein. Prior to the instant invention such containers for tape cartridges have been employed, but have normally been somewhat bulky in construction and have been formed in a two piece unit requiring separate hinge means for hinging the cover of the case to the base thereof. In addition a special latch or lock mechanism was required for retaining the cover in locked position on the base, and since the cost of the case or container in which a cartridge is packaged is quite critical, these prior known cases have not been entirely satisfactory.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention includes a plastic case for use as a tape cartridge case that is molded of a plastic material in a one-piece unitary construction and that is relatively inexpensive in comparison to the prior known cartridge cases.
The box construction of the present invention is formed with a base and a cover that are hingedly interconnected through a plastic hinge that is molded as an integral part of the base and cover. Joined to the base is a pivotally mounted latch that is also molded as an integral part of the box unit, the latch having a projection on an inwardly directed flange that is cammed into engaging relation in a groove formed in the cover. The entire box construction is molded in a single operation and thereby avoids the use of rivets, hinges, pins and other metal fasteners that have normally been used in covered boxes heretofore. As the box is molded, it is ready for use and can immediately receive an article such as a tape cartridge therein without the requirement of attaching other fastening devices thereto.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a box construction having a cover, base and latch all molded in a unitary construction.
Another object of the invention is to provide a latch for use in a molded box construction that is pivotally joined to a member of the box and that is movable to a locked position when the box members are closed] Still another object is to provide a one-piece plastic box having a base member integrally joined to a cover member in hinging relation, the front wall of one of the members having a notch formed therein and the front wall of the other member having a pivotally mounted latch joined thereto, the latch being cammed into the groove to lock the members together when they are moved to the closed position thereof.
Still another object is to provide a latch for use in a box that has an inwardly directed flange formed on a member thereto, the flange being received in a groove having a lip formed on the edge of another member, the latch and groove being molded as part of the members, wherein the latch is cammed into engagement with the groove when the members are located in the closed position thereof.
Still another object is to provide a box having a cover member joined to a base member in a one-piece unitary construction, the top wall of the cover member being deflectable upon the application of external pressure thereto, wherein a latch joined to the bottom wall and located in engaging relation with the cover member is released therefrom to unlatch the base member and cover member from the closed position thereof.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention shall become apparent as the description thereof proceeds when considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing which illustrates the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the present invention:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the box embodied in the present invention, the cover member of the box being shown in the open position thereof;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 22 in FIG. 1, the cover member being illustrated in the fully opened position thereof; and
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the cover member pivoted to the closed position on the base member and locked thereon by the latch that is integrally molded to the base member.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawing and particularly to FIG. 1 the box embodied in the present invention is illustrated and is generally indicated at 10. As will be described, the box 10 has particular application as a case for tape cartridges; although it is understood that the concept of the invention embodied herein is not restricted to the use of the box for the purpose as described, and quite to the contrary, the concept of the invention may be applied to a variety of containers and receptacles, regardless of the intended use thereof.
The box 10 is molded as an integral one-piece unit and includes a base member generally indicated at 12 to which a cover member generally indicated at 14 is hingedly connected. The base member 12 is formed with a bottom wall 16 to which side walls 18 and 20, a front wall 22 and a rear wall 24 are joined. A reinforcing rib 26 extends across the bottom wall 16 and is joined to the side walls 18 and 20 and acts to reinforce the base member 12. The rib 26 is spaced from the rear wall 24 and further defines a channel for receiving a rod of a display rack on which the box 10 would be mounted for the display thereof. In order to mount the box construction on the rod as indicated, openings 28 and 30 are formed in the side walls 18 and 20 respectively. As will be apparent, the rib 26 also elevates the article located within the base member 12 of the box so that the rod that extends through the openings 28 and 30 can be received in the channel.
As more clearly illustrated in FIG. 2, the latch that defines the novel concept in the subject invention is generally indicated at 32 and is integrally joined to the front wall 22 of the base member 12 by a plastic hinge 34 that is formed in the molding of the box 10. It is understood that the cross-sectional dimension of the plastic hinge 34 is somewhat reduced with respect to the thickness of the walls of the box members thereby enrelation therewith. r V y j v lugs64are molded to abling the latch 32 to be conveniently pivoted with re spect to the front wall 22. The latch 32 includes a lock member 36 that has an inwardly directed flange 38 Q formed thereon, the lock member 36being locatedintermediate the front wall 22 and having a slot 40 formed therein. Joinedto the inwardly directed flange When the top member 14 is moved into overlying re- A lation with respect to the base member 12, the latch32 38 and disposeddirectly opposite totheslot 40 is a projection 42, it bein gunderstood that the slot 40 enables the projection 42 to beconveniently formed during the molding operation.
j is engageable in the notch 66 and the projection 42 is f receivable in thegroove 72for locking the members in the closedpos ition thereof. As further shown in FIG. 3,
. the projection 42 of the latch 32 normally strikes the lip 70 when the latch 32 is pivoted toward the closed position thereoflnwardly directed pressure against the j latchmember 36causes'the projection 42 to cam over i 10 Referring again to FIG. l, the bottom member 12is shown including antupwardly extending lip 44 that is j formed directly on the upper peripheral edges ofthe side, front and rear walls of the base member 12. The
lip 44 defines outer marginal flanges 46 on theupper edge of the walls of the base member 12 and as will be described the marginal flanges 46 receive the con cspondingedges of the walls of the coverrnember 14. It j w will be noted that the lip44 isinterrupted on theupper edge of the front wall 22 so as to accommodate thepiyotally mounted latch 32 thereon.
Pivotally connecting the cover memberl4fitolthe basemember 12 is a plastic hinge 48,which as illustrated in FIG. 2 isalso of reduced cross-sectionaldimension which provides for pivotal movementofthe cover member 14 with respect to the basemember 12.
As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the plastic hinge 48 is molded directly to the upper edge of the rear wall 24 of the base member 12 and is also molded directly to the corresponding rear wall of the cover member 14 as will be described.
The cover member 14 includes a top wall 50 to which.
are joined side walls 52 and154, a front wall 56 and a rear wall 58. Each of the walls 52, 54 and 58 includes a reduced shoulder 60 that extends the length thereof, the shoulder being continuously formed around theperimeter of the walls 52 54'and 58 of the top member 14 and providing for additional strength for these walls. Cleats 62 are joined to the reduced portions 60 of the side walls 52 and 54 and not only act to further strengthen the topwall 50 and the side walls joined thereto but also form means for locating a cartridge can be constantlypivoted in a hinging action without therebetween in use of the box. As previously described, the rear wall 58 of the top member 14 is joined directly to the plastic hinge 48 and Outwardly extending spaced I the interior surface of the top wall 50 and are somewhat tapered in configuration. The lugs 64are designed to retain a tape cartridgefin place when the tape car tridge is located in the boxl0. In this connection the is molded in integral avoided. lt is seen'thatkwheri the projection 42 is,
5o fsnappedor cammed over the lip 70 into the groove 72, r the cover member l4issecurely latched to the base 7 rnemberf12andthebox can be displayed or handled lugs 64 are adapted to be received within the spool openings of the tapecartridge shown in phantom in- FIG. 1 and therebyv cooperate with the cleats 62to align the tape cartridge within the base member 12ofthe box, therebypreventing the tape cartridge from laterally shifting whenthecover member 14 is latched to the base member 12. 1
Formed in the front wall 56 of th e cover member 14 and extending inwardly into the peripheral edgeof the top wall 50, is anotch'66 that corresponds in length thelip 70 untiltheprojection 42 is received in back of the lip '70 and within the groove 72. In this position, as illustrated in FIG 3, thebox members are locked in place. It willalso be noted that in the closed position of the latch32, 'theoutersurface of the latch member 36 is substantially continuous with the outer surface of the walls 22 and'56 thereby forming a clean and uninterrupted wall surface. I he marginal flanges46 also re ceive the outer edges of the walls of the cover member latch may be disengagedfrom its closed position by indicated by the arrow in FIG. 3. This forces the top wallxSO and front wall56 of the cover member 14 downwardly in the area where the pressure is exerted,
thereby removing the projection 42 from the groove 72.-Since the projection 42 had been cammed into engaging relation within the groove 72, and further be- 1 cause of the stresses exerted on the plastic hinge 34, the latch 32 will tendto return to the open position when the projection 42 is released fro the groove 72.
It is seen that the box 10 is simplein the details thereof as moldable in the 'unitary one piece construc- ,tion. The plastic preferably used in the molding of the box construction is polypropylene which has been found particularly suitable for plastic hingesof the type illustrated and-described herein, wherein the hinges rupturing. Theuse of the pivotally mounted latch 32 that is molded as an integralpart of the one-piece box not onlyprovides a positive acting lock for the box membersbutalso materially reduces the cost of the box, since the use ofxex'ternal fastening elements are without a the, members ihadvertedly becomingh'unlatchedj, I
While thereis shown. and described herein certain specific structurefembodying the'inventi on, it will be j manifestito those'sltilledji nthe art that various n'ioclifications and rearrangements ofthe parts may be made and thickness tothe latch member 36. As more clearly illustrated in FIG. 2, the notch 66 terminates in an innerwall 68 on .which a lip 70 is formed at the outermost end thereof, the lip 70 being formed on the edge of a longitudinally extending groove 72 that defines the seat of the notch 66.
without departing from the. spirit and scope of the underlying inventive concept and that the same is not lim- V ited to the particular forms herein shown and described. i
lclairna l a r a l. A box construction comprising an integral onepiece unit molded of a plastic material, said unit including' a base member havinga bottom wall, side walls, a
rear wall and a front wall joined to said bottom wall, and a covermember havinga top wall, side walls, a rear wall and a front wall joined to said top wall, a hinge integrally molded to the rear wall of said base member andlto the rear wall of said cover member for hingedly interconnecting said base and cover members, a latch integrally joined to the front wall of said base member and being hingedly connected thereto along a hinge axis thereof, said latch and the hinge axis thereof extending parallel with respect to the front wall of said base member but less than the full length thereof, said latch including a body portion having a flange that extends rearwardly of said base member front wall when the latch is in the closed position thereof, and a projection formed on said flange on the innermost end thereof and being located inwardly of the front wall of said base member and projecting downwardly with respect thereto when the latch is located in the closed position thereof, the front wall of said cover member having a notch formed therein that extends less than the full dimension thereof and is shaped and proportioned for receiving the pivotal latch therein when the cover member is closed, a lip formed on the front wall of said cover member along the length of said notch, and a groove formed behind the lip and extending the length of said notch in the front wall of said cover member, said lip forming a camming edge over which the projection on said latch is forced when said cover member is moved to the closed position thereof, said projection on said latch being received in said groove for locking said cover member on said base member in the closed position, the dimension of the thickness of the body portion of said latch being substantially the same as the lateral dimension of said notch, wherein said latch is fully received in said notch in the locking position and the outer surfaces of the latch are substantially coplanar with the adjacent surfaces of the front wall of said base member.