US 3776374 A
The container includes a one-piece tray and one-piece cover vacuum-formed of a very thin transparent sheet of thermoplastic each having side and end walls which glove together. The height and width of the container corresponds to an eight-track magnetic tape cartridge and the tray is partitioned into two compartments one of which receives and holds the eight-track cartridge, the other alternatively a four-track cartridge. The latter compartment includes differential-pressure formed, irregularly shaped portions in the bottom of the tray which support the four-track cartridge above the bottom wall and in from the side walls of the tray to compensate for the dimensional differences between a four and eight-track cartridge. The tray and cover include intersecting flutes of dissimilar depths greatly increasing the protection of the packaged cartridge without decreasing absorption of shock in directions transverse to the walls of the compartments. The cover includes window portions for effective display of the packaged cartridge.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Medendorp Dec. 4, 1973 ANTll-THEFT DISPLAY CONTAINER FOR MAGNETIC TAPE CARTRIDGE Roger L. Medendorp, Grand Rapids, Mich.
 Assignee: Kirkhof Manufacturing Corporation, Grand Rapids, Mich.
 Filed: Aug. 31, 1972  Appl. No.: 285,343
 US. Cl 206/4514, 150/05, 206/DIG. 36,
206/72, 220/20, 220/72, 229/25  Int. Cl..... 865d 5/50, B65d 25/10, B65d 85/67  Field of Search 206/4514, 45.34,
206/4531, 72, 65 R, 1 R, DIG. 36; 220/31 S, 20, 22; ISO/0.5; 229/25 Primary Examiner-William T. Dixson, Jr. Attorney-Peter P. Price et a1.
[5 7] ABSTRACT The container includes a one-piece tray and one-piece cover vacuum-formed of a very thin transparent sheet of thermoplastic each having side and end walls which glove together. The height and width of the container corresponds to an eight-track magnetic tape cartridge and the tray is partitioned into two compartments one of which receives and holds the eight-track cartridge, the other alternatively a four-track cartridge. The latter compartment includes difierential-pressure formed, irregularly shaped portions in the bottom of the tray which support the four-track cartridge above the bottom wall and in from the side walls of the tray to compensate for the dimensional differences between a four and eight-track cartridge. The tray and cover include intersecting flutes of dissimilar depths greatly increasing the protection of the packaged cartridge without decreasing absorption of shock in directions transverse to the walls of the compartments. The cover includes window portions for effective display of the packaged cartridge.
17 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures ANTI-THEFT DISPLAY CONTAINER FOR MAGNETIC TAPE CARTRIDGE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A type for'magnetic tape cartridges is that they do not provide a lightweight, inexpensive container which provides sufficient protection against normal vertical or transverse loads. Secondly, many of the containers of the prior art can easily be broken into to remove the cartridge therein, and hence the intended purpose of the container can be easily avoided.
Another drawback relative to the overall cost of the container is the labor costs in assembly of the cartridge in the container. Yet another drawback is the overall aesthetic appearance of the container as a point of purchase display package. Thus, there is a need in this art for an improved container which overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the invention, an elongated container is comprised of a tray and cover differentialpressure formed from a very thin thermoplastic sheet material suitable for packaging, protecting and display ing a magnetic tape cartridge. The length of the container is substantially longer than the cartridge although the thickness and width preferably corresponds to that of an eight-track cartridge. One of the tray or cover includes partition means formed by differential pressure and which provides a pair of longitudinally spaced compartments, each of which is adapted to receive and hold a magnetic tape cartridge confined within said container against movement.
In narrower aspects of the invention, one of the compartments selectively receives and holds an eight-trackcassette cartridge and the second compartment selectively receives and holds a four-track cassette cartridge. The latter compartment includes differentialpressure formed, irregularly shaped portions formed in the walls thereof to provide support and abutments for the four-track cartridge so as to compensate for the dimensional variance between the eight-track and fourtrack cartridge.
In yet other aspects of the invention, the tray and cover include interconnecting flutings extending longitudinally and transversely thereto having dissimilar depths greatly increasing the protection of the tape cartridge from vertical or transverse loads as well as shock absorption. Preferably, the entire container is encompassed or enveloped by a thin layer of heat shrunk thermoplastic wrapper.
The unique container of the invention provides an effective oversized container which discourages theft. At the same time, the container is effective for packaging either an eighnraek or four-track tape cartridge.
The straight sides and rectangular shape of the container provide an aesthetic appearing container which has added strength along the sides as a result of the overlap of the added cover. Added strength and protec tion is also provided by the flutations on the top and bottom of the container. Due to the thin wall of the container, it is difficult to slit the heat-shrunk wrapper with a persons fingernail along the edge of the top without the sharp edge of the top cutting the finger. Therefore, the tendency to attempt to remove the heat shrunk thermoplastic envelope and open the container for removing the cartridge is reduced. The one-piece construction of the tray and cover from a differentialpressure formed sheet of plastic is substantially less expensive to manufacture in high volume when compared to conventional injection molding. Thus, the container of the invention provides a cheaper and yet more effective and protective anti-theft container for magnetic tape cartridges.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the anit-theft display container of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the tray provided by the invention;
FIG 3 is a cross sectional view of the tray illustrated inFIG. 2 taken along the line IIIIII;
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the tray illustrated in FIG. 2 taken along the line IVIV;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the cover provided by the invention;
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the cover illustrated in FIG. 5 taken along the line VIVI; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary inverted cross sectional view of the tray and cover with a wrapper heat shrunk about the container, the view being enlarged significantly for purposesof illustration.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now to the drawings in detail, the container 10 provided by the invention utilizes a cover 12 which mates and overlaps a tray 14 so that the sides of the container are of double thickness for strength. The container is oversized in the sense that it is substantially larger than the contents for which it is designed to package. The container of the preferred embodiment is designed for packaging, protecting and displaying a magnetic tape cartridge of the eight or four-track variety.
An eight-track magnetic tape cartridge measures approximately 4 X 5 7a inches while a four-track cartridge measures approximately 2 4 A; inches. In both cases, if the cartridges are displayed without a special container, they can be easily stolen from the display shelf by concealing them in a person s pocket or purse. The container of the invention on the other hand is designed to package either of the four or eight-track cartridges in a display container which will not fit in an ordinary pocket or purse. One of the additional unique features of the invention is to provide a container which can be alternatively selected for packaging either the eight or four-track cartridge in spite of their dimensional dissimilarities.
Turning now to FIGS. 2-4, the tray or bottom portion of container 10 includes a generally planar bottom wall 16 with a pair of upstanding end walls 18, 18a and side walls 20, a. The end and side walls are continuous with each other and bottom wall 16, the entire tray being differential-pressure formed from a single sheet of thin-walled resilient thermoplastic material. The pressure differential may be a positive or negative (vacuum) differential. in some cases, both types may be utilized. One method utilized is to place a sheet of plastic on a heating plate. A die having a configuration corresponding to that desired for the ultimate product is then placed over the upper surface of the sheet by means of a press. The sealing and heating surface has means to allow the passage of air to the underside of the plastic sheet whereby a pressure differential can be established between the opposite sides of the plastic I sheet.
The overall height and width of the container corresponds generally to that'of an eight-track tape cartridge so that it can be snuggly received therein, the signifi cance of which will be described hereinafter. Longitudinally, the tray 14 is characterized by three upstanding differential-pressure formed shoulders 22, 24 and 26 extending laterally with.respect to the tray, the latter two extend the entire width of the tray from side wall to side wall while shoulder 22 does not. Shoulders 22,
24 and 26 are spaced longitudinally from each other and define a pair of spaced compartments 28 and 30. The first compartment 28 is formed by end wall 18, side walls 20, 20a and shoulder 22 which is spaced from and parallel to end wall 18 a distance corresponding to the length of an eight-track tape cartridge. For strength purposes, shoulder 22 does not extend the entire width of the tray 14. The length of shoulder 22 however is substantially related to the width so that when an eighttrack cartridge is inserted in compartment 28, it is positively held on all four sides including the side represented by shoulder 22. Shoulder 22 thus acts as a stop' against which the eight-track cartridge is abutted to prevent longitudinal movement of'the eight-track cartridge away from the end wall 18. The side walls 20, 20a of course eliminate the movement of the eighttrack cartridge in the lateral direction. With cover 12 inserted over container 14 with an eight-track cartridge contained within compartment 28, the eight-track cartridge is confined against movement relative to the tray or cover.
The second compartment 30 is formed by end wall l8a; vacuum formed shoulders 24 and 26; and a vacuum formed stop 32 extending longitudinally therefrom in a direction away from end wall 18a. in accordance with the following description, shoulders 24, 26 and stop 32 seat and space a four-track cartridge inwardly from sidewalls 20, 20a and above the floor 16 of tray 14. This is required in order to compensate for the dimensional dissimilarity between a four-track ear.- tridge which is smaller than an eight-track cartridge.
Turning first to shoulder 26, it includes a central portion 34 (FIG. 2) vacuum formed upwardly from the bottom wall 16 an amount equal to the difference in thickness of an eight-track and four-track cartridge. The upper surface 36 of central vacuum formed portion 34 forms a seat upon which the bottom of a fourtrack cartridge rests when positioned in the tray. Central portion 34 is centered with respect to the longitudinal center of tray 14 and extends in length a distance equal to the width of a four-track cartridge. At each end of central portion 34 is a pair of end portions 38 and 40 which are vacuum-formed to a greater depth having an upper surface upon which a four-track carrelative to central portion 34 to form a pair of side supportsv against which the sides of a four-track cartridge will abut. This prevents lateral shifting of the four-track cartridge when positioned in compartment 30.
Shoulder 24 is identical to the shoulder 26 in the sense that it includes a central portion 34a with a seating surface 36a and raised ends 38a and 40a. The suffix :1 is utilized to connotate identical portions when compared with shoulder 26. Shoulder 24 is distinguished from shoulder 26 in that it includes integral therewith a stop 32 vacuum formed at some portions to a greater depth than shoulder 24 at a position spaced longitudinally from end wall 18a. With reference to FIG. 2, stop 32 includes a first portion 42 correspondtridge rests. The end portion 44 of stop 32 is vacuum formed at a greater depth so as to be raised above the first portion 42 a distance roughly corresponding to the height of the outer ends 38, 38a, 40, and 40a of shoulders 24 and 26, This forms a stop surface 46 against which one end of the four-track cartridge is held in abutment to confine it against longitudinal movement relative to the tray when it is confined within compartment 30. Stop surface 46 is spaced from the inner surface of end wall 18a a distance'corresponding to the overall length of a four-track cartridge so that when it ,is. positioned in compartment 30 it is held in confinement against relative movement with the tray .in the' same manner that an eight-track cartridge is held in compartment 28. The only distinction is that it is raised above floor 16 of the tray and spaced inwardly from walls 20, 20a of the tray in accordancewith the dissimilar dimensions of the eight-track and four-track cartridges. Again, when the cover of the invention is placed over the tray with a four-track cartridge held therein, the four-track cartridge is packaged within container 10 against movement in all directions relative to the container.
Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, the cover 12 utilized in the invention is essentially similar to tray 14 in that it is vacuum-formed of a thin resilient thermoplastic sheet material and includes a generally planar top 50 (FIG. 6) with a pair of vertically down-tumed endwalls 52, 52a and side walls 54, 54a all of which are continuous with each other and top 50. Cover 12 is slightly larger dimensionally than tray 14 to permit the cover to fit over the tray. The height of the cover however is 1 preferably equal to that of .the tray so that when the cover is positioned over'the tray to form container 10,
the side and end walls respectively of the cover' and tray overlap in their entirety forming sides of the container of double thickness. This not only-adds strength to the container in resisting deflection from vertical and transverse loads, but also the lower margin 56 (FIG. 7) of the side and ends of cover 12 coincides with the bottom surface 58 of the tray floor 16. This is significant in discouraging removal of the particular cartridge packaged within container 10 by puncturing the outer wrapper 60 which isnormally heat shrunk around the of cover 12 and the sides of tray 14. Due to the extremely thin wall of the tray and cover of the invention this will generally cause injury or discomfort to the thumb or finger utilized in puncturing wrapper 60 to the extent that it may cut the skin surface thereby discouraging this a means of circumventing the. func tion of the container by removing the cartridge and inserting it in the pocket or purse of a potential thief. To puncture wrapper 60 in the fashion described, the container will generally be inverted for simplicity as shown in FIG. 7.
it will be appreciated that means other than a thumbnail or fingernail can be utilized to puncture wrapper 60 such as a blunt instrument, and it is indeed envisioned that this in fact will be the case at times. However, any feature which tends to discourage or prohibit theft is preferred over one which does not include such discouraging features. Therefore, each and every deterrent provided by the container ofthe invention is envisioned as discouraging potential thieves to shoplift tape cartridges contained therein.
Top 50 of cover 12 includes a pair of smooth transparent windows 56 and 58 positioned over comaprtments 28 and 30 when the cover is positioned over the tray 14. The cover 12 is symetric in this regard in that which is positioned in the'vacant compartment not being utilized. Preferably, the entire tray and cover of the container 10 is comprised of a transparent plastic material. However, the particular reinforcement means described hereinafter hinders visibility through certain portions of the tray and cover so that the utilization of a clear smooth window is preferred.
Referring to FIG. 6, it will be noted that window 58 is formed by slightly recessing window material 58 with respect to the remaining portions of top 50. This is primarily intended to bring window 58 or for that matter window 56 into flush engagement with the upper surface of the particular cartridge being displayed in the container to eliminate any visual distortion if the plastic window were spaced from the printed or photographic indicia on the cartridge. The firm abutment of either. window against the cartridge also acts to more firmly seat and bias the particular cartridge within the selected compartment 28 or 30 since the plastic of the container is quite thin and resilient.
Cover 12 and tray 14 include a plurality of longitudinally extending flutes 60 and laterally extending flutes 62 interconnected to flutes 60. Referring to FIGS. 24, the fluting of floor 16 of tray 14 is formed so that the flutes 60 and 62 project downwardly or outwardly with the flutes 60 forming the surfaces of engagement of tray 14 with the surface upon which it is supported. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the fluting is formed in segregated portions set oft" by shoulders 22, 24 and 26. The longitudinal flutes are by and large longer than the lateral flutes and are arranged in parallel relationship. The lateral flutes 62 however are preferably offset and interconnect the longitudinal flutes 60. The significance of flutes and 62 is to substantially increase the overall rigidity of both floor 16 of tray 14 and top 50 of cover 12. In addition to increasing the rigidity, the resistance of the tray and cover to vertical and transverse loads is substantially increased without detractingat all from the shock absorption characteristics. Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the longitudinal flutes 60 of cover 12 are interrupted by windows 56 and 58 except for the outer flutes which extend the entire length of cover 12. Each longitudinally extending flute however is interrupted by a plurality of longitudinally spaced separation zones 64 having a reduced depth compared to the overall depth of flute 60. These provide added rigidity to the cover in the longitudinal direction.
Referring to FIGS. 3, 4 and 6, it will be appreciated that the longitudinally extending flute portions 60 have a depth greater than the interconnecting laterally extending flute portions 62. This is preferred in order to reduce any tendency to create a hinge effect at the points of connection between each longitudinal and laterally extending flute. It will be appreciated that this dissimilarity in depth could be opposite in the sense that the longitudinal flutes could be less than the depth of the laterally extending flutes although as shown in Having described a preferred embodiment of my invention it will be appreciated that an'extremely inexpensive vacuum-formed container is provided which is adapted to package for shipment and display either an eight or four-track magnetic tape cartridge. The size of the container reduces the occurrence of theft while the particular configuration provides an extremely strong shock absorbing container which provides an effective device utilized at point of purchase displays.
Although but one embodiment has been shown and described in detail, it will be obvious to those having ordinary skill in this art that the details of construction of this particular embodiment may be modified in a great many ways without departing from the unique concepts presented. It is therefore intended that the invention is limited only by the scope of the appended claims rather than by particular details of construction shown, except as specifically stated in the claims.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows.
1. An elongated container suitable for displaying one or more magnetic tape cartridges comprising, in combination:
a one-piece transparent tray and cover differentialpressure formed from a sheet of thermoplastic material, each of said tray and cover having side and end walls and a bottom or top wall, one of said tray and cover being slightly smaller dimensionally than the other and inserted therein to form a fully enclosed container, one of said tray and cover including means defining one or more partitions integral therewith, said partitions forming a pair of longitudinally spaced compartments, one of said compartments corresponding dimensionally to a tape eartridge for receiving and holding same, said tray and cover when positioned together forming an elongated container substantially longer than the tape cartridge confined therein.
7 2. The combination according to claim I wherein said one compartment correspondsdimensionally to receive and hold an eight-track cartridge; and the other one of said compartments corresponds dimensionally to receive and hold a four-track tape cartridge.
3. The combination according to claim 2 wherein the height and width of said container corresponds to the height and width of an eight-track tape cartridge such that when an eight-track tape cartridge is positioned in said one compartment, it is completely confined in said container against movement relative thereto.
4. The combination according to claim 3 wherein said-other of said compartments includes differentialpressure formed, irregularly shaped portions formed in one of said bottom and top wall of one of said tray or cover to form a seat means integral with one of said tray or cover which along with one of said partitions indexes a four-track tape cartridge within said container against movements relative thereto,
5. The combination according to claim 1 wherein the portion of 'said tray and cover intermediate said side and end walls is generally planar and include intersecting fluted portions to increase the resistance to bending and other deflections caused by vertical or transverse loads or impacts.
6. The combination according to claim 5 wherein the depth of said intersecting portions is dissimilar.
"7. The combination according to claim 6 wherein said intersecting fluted portions are of different lengths, the larger of said portions having a depth greater-than the shorter portions.
8. The combination according to claim 5 wherein said planar portions of said cover includes a window portion for displaying the contents of said cartridge confined within said container. v
. 9. A plastic container adapted for packaging, protecting and displaying a magnetic tape cartridge, said container being substantially larger than the cartridge confined therein to inhibit theft thereof, said container comprising in combination:
a one-piece tray and cover differential-pressure formed from a sheet of thennoplastic material, each of said trayand cover having a generally planar portion interconnected to side and end walls, the planar portion of said .tray forming the bottom of said container and the planar portion of said cover forming the top of said container, said side and end walls extending at right angles to said planar portions, one of. said tray and cover being slightly smaller dimensionally than the other to perr'nit the side and end walls to fit inside each other forming said container, one of said tray and cover including differential'pressure formed means defining one or more partitions integral therewith, said partitions forming a first compartment selectively receiving and holding an eight-track cartridge and a second compartment for receiving and holding a fourtrack cartridge such that when either of said cartridges are enclosed within said container, they will not move relative to the container, the second compartment including differential formed seating and spacing means for compensatthe longer of said portions having a depth greater than the depth of said shorter portions. V
12. The combination according to claim l0'wherein the planar portion of said cover includes transparent portions defining a window aligned respectively-with each compartment for displaying the contents of the tape cartridge 'corifinedtherein. V
'13. The combination according to claim 9 wherein said means defining one or more petitions are formed on said traybottom and include a central'portion extending upwardly from the bottom, the lateral extend-' ing side of said partition facing said first compartment forming an abutment surface with an eight-track cartridge when positioned in said first compartment.
14. The'combination according to claim 13 wherein said seating and spacing means are likewise formed on said tray bottom and include one or more laterally ex I tending portions having dissimilar heights from said bottom, said portions of lesser height forming said seat for a four-track cartridge, said portions having a greater height forming'said spacing means.
15. The combination according toclaim 14 wherein the bottom surface of a four-track cartridge abuts" against the top surface of said portions of lesser depth when positioned in said secondcompartment and thesides of said four-track cartridge abut against the longitridge abut when positioned in said second compartpressure ment, said lateral stops indexing the four-track cartridgebetween the side walls of said tray to prevent relative lateral movement of said cartridge relative to said tray.
one of said laterally extending portions of lesser height includes alongitudinally. extending central portion terminating in a raised portion which provides a longitudinal stop against which a four-track cartridge abuts when positioned in said second compartment, said longitudinal stop indexing a four-track cartridge between one end wall of said tray to prevent longitudinal move- 1 ment of said cartridge relative to said tray.
17. The combination according to claim 14 wherein-