Clamshell packaging device for disc-shaped items and related...

Special receptacle or package – Combined or convertible – Including booklet – leaflet or record means

Reexamination Certificate

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Details

C206S308100, C053S471000

Reexamination Certificate

active

06561345

ABSTRACT:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates, in general, to a device for packaging and displaying a circular or disc-shaped media and other materials and a method for packaging such disc-shaped media and other materials and, in particular, to containers and methods for initially packaging and thereafter repeatedly storing disc-shaped media together with or without other materials.
Still more particularly the present invention relates to a new and improved container for initially packaging and thereafter repeated storing of disc-shaped media and other materials in stacked relationship, having a first chamber and a second chamber stacked on top of one another for respectively receiving and securely retaining the disc media and the other materials.
Still more particularly the present invention further relates to a new and improved method for initially packaging and thereafter repeated storing of media and other materials in stacked relationship, wherein in a preferred embodiment the media is releasably retained within a first container such that the media is permitted to move rotationally while being limited in linear movement both perpendicularly and parallel to the plane of the media, and the other materials are placed inside an open ended second container. The first container, which consists generally of a clam-shell configuration, having two separate and complementary compartments joined by an interlocking structure such as a hinge or mating snaps or other means as is commonly known in the art, is then inserted into the second container through the open end and releasably attached to the second container such that the first container serves to seal the open end of the second container.
2. Background of the Invention
Packaging and storage devices for media are generally known. Disc-shaped media, such as CD's, DVD's or CD-ROM's, encounter special problems in handling, packaging and storage due to their delicate, flat recorded surfaces. Such disc media is generally sold in plastic cases which are sometimes referred to as “jewel boxes.” Such cases are generally rectangular and have a mounting hub for holding the disc media by its center aperture. Such cases are usually kept after purchase of the disc media and utilized for re-packaging of the disc media between usage. Such jewel boxes are impractical packaging containers for shipping because of their small dimensions and easy breakage, and they thus require substantial additional packaging material or placement in larger shipping containers.
Disc media is routinely sold with other materials (whether directly related to the content of the disc media, i.e., ancillary, or otherwise). At the present time, disc media in such “jewel boxes” is commonly packaged together with ancillary materials in larger rectangular shaped cardboard boxes for shipping, sale and packaging. The “jewel boxes” are necessary to reliably protect the disc media from contact with the ancillary materials in the larger cardboard boxes. Such plastic case/cardboard box combination package arrangements are not only expensive, they also do not lend themselves to easy and secure repeated re-storage of the disc media and ancillary materials. They are often damaged during initial opening and repeated re-storage. They are often unable after initial opening to securely re-store the disc media (in the jewel box) and the other materials together in the cardboard packaging in a manner to preclude contact with each other. They frequently become unsightly after initial opening and repeated re-storage. They are, themselves, difficult to handle and store.
Other types of packaging and storage devices are needed to organize, protect, ship, display at retail and store disc media sold and/or shipped in combination with ancillary materials.
A need also exists for devices which can effectively and efficiently organize, protect, ship, display at retail and store disc shaped media with other materials.
An opportunity exists that is not being commercially exploited at the present time to distribute disc-shaped recording media with materials that are either ancillary or wholly unrelated to the content of the disc media. This opportunity arises in connection with delivery of purchases to catalog, e-commerce, and other “shop-at-home” customers, as well as for the distribution of free-standing-insert type advertising, samples, business-to-business communications and other forms of direct marketing and retail sales. This opportunity is not being exploited due to the lack of an effective container design and method for efficiently organizing, protecting, shipping, displaying at retail and storing disc-shaped media packaged with other materials.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a container in which and a method whereby disc-shaped media and ancillary materials can initially be packaged together in stacked relationship and, after removal and use, they can easily be re-stored in stacked relationship in a manner so as to avoid contact therebetween.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a container and a method of packaging that eliminates the need for a separate case (i.e., the need for a “jewel box”) for the disc media.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a container and a method of packaging whereby during initial storage, shipping, retail presentation and re-packaging disc media is securely held against movement and protected.
Still another important object of the present invention is to provide a shipping container in which and a method of packaging whereby disc-shaped media and other materials can be packaged, presented, conveyed, distributed and stored.
But another important object of the present invention is to provide an aesthetically unique and compelling device and method for presenting at retail disc-shaped media and other materials which may or may not be related to the content of the media.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a container and a method of packaging including a first member being in a clam-shell configuration having two complementary compartments joined by an interlocking mechanism such as a common hinge forming, when in the closed position, a first chamber, said compartments being larger than the external diameter of the disc media to thus receive and retain the disc media in the first chamber of the first member of the container against movement in the plane or perpendicular to the plane of the disc media.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a container and a method of packaging whereby either an annular ring or protrusions mounted on the inner surface of either of said complementary compartments serve to retain the disc media in the first chamber of the first member of the container against movement in the plane or perpendicular to the plane of the disc media.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a container and a method of packaging whereby the first member has two complementary components, capable of being joined together by a complementary interlocking structure, and the outside configuration of one of the compartments is adapted for seating engagement with the second member.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a “safety” seal whereby the first member is secured to the second member until the end user receives the container and removes the seal to thereby allow the two members to be separated.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a container and a method of packaging whereby the container has a removable lid that attaches to the second member of the container after the first member has been either initially positioned or subsequently re-stored.
But another object of the present invention is to provide a container and a method of packaging whereby the first member and lid are removable and the first member alone can be used as a permanent storage and restoring package for the disc media alone.
Yet still another object of the presen

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