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Jigsaw puzzle holding frame

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Title: Jigsaw puzzle holding frame.
Abstract: A transparent frame for holding and displaying a jigsaw puzzle comprises a clear sleeve having a clear front viewing portion. A top and a bottom rigid panel attached to the front viewing portion, are bent backwardly and inwardly to form the back of the frame. The back is spaced a short distance away from the front viewing portion to sandwich a back plate and puzzle pieces therebetween. Two alternate pair of notches or hangers located on the retaining panels for hanging the puzzle holding frame on a wall or other vertical surface in either a portrait or landscape orientation. A flat rectangular back plate allows a puzzle may be assembled on it or it can slide under an assembled puzzle to pick it up whereby the puzzle on the back plate. The back plate may be slid into the side opening of the clear sleeve with the picture side of the puzzle showing through the front viewing portion. ...


- Newport Beach, CA, US
Inventor: Santa Holguin Lawrence
USPTO Applicaton #: #20060156604 - Class: 040757000 (USPTO) -


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20060156604, Jigsaw puzzle holding frame.

Landscape   



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to picture frames and particularly to a transparent frame for holding and displaying a jigsaw puzzle which may be used in the assembly of the puzzle and used to save and display a jigsaw puzzle in any phase of assembly of the puzzle.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Assembling jigsaw puzzles is a very popular past-time. Many people choose to display the completed puzzle, either by adhesively sealing or varnishing the pieces, and when dry, inserting it into a picture frame which they then display. Once the pieces have been glued or varnished together they cannot be broken down and used again.

[0005] It would also be desirable to have a ready-made means of easily removing a jigsaw puzzle from a table surface in any phase of assembly of the puzzle if the table surface is needed for other uses and, if desired, a ready-made means of easily displaying a jigsaw puzzle in any phase of assembly of the puzzle including a fully assembled jigsaw puzzle. The prior art fails to provide such a device.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 4,111,425, issued Sep. 5, 1978 to Lathrop, is for a jigsaw puzzle holder and display apparatus which permits easy organization and construction of a puzzle, and a manner of displaying the puzzle even if only partially complete.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. D434,571, issued Dec. 5, 2000 to Copeland, provides the ornamental design for a display frame for puzzles and pictures.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,405,146, issued Apr. 11, 1995 to Washington, shows a frame kit for the temporary or permanent assembly of picture puzzles or the like therein, which comprises a plurality of frame components and a backing panel which may be temporarily or permanently assembled together. The backing panel includes an adhesive side with a removable overlay sheet. The overlay sheet may be left in place for the temporary assembly and later disassembly of picture puzzles thereon, or may be removed to expose the adhesive to provide for the permanent assembly of such a puzzle thereon for permanent display within the frame. The frame components may be formed of a variety of different materials and may utilize different assembly techniques. The disassembly of the components, as well as the folding configuration of the backing panel, result in a relatively compact kit for storage purposes. The frame and backing panel may be provided in various sizes to closely match the various sizes of completed picture puzzles.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 4,302,013, issued Nov. 24, 1981 to Kavis, discloses an assembly and display apparatus for jig-saw puzzles that comprises; a storage tray for storing unfitted puzzle pieces; an assembly tray located in spaced relation to the storage tray and having a surface on which the puzzle is assembled, the surface having a plurality of perforations in which stops can be inserted to prevent the assembled puzzle from moving along the surface; and a transparent display tray located in spaced relation to the assembly tray and being capable of co-operating with the stops in the perforations to hold the assembled puzzle in place. The storage tray, assembly tray and display tray are designed so as to be capable of being held together to form one unit.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 4,687,202, issued Aug. 18, 1987 to Palma, indicates a combination puzzle, box and hangable puzzle frame which comprises a base, including a bottom wall and continuous sidewall defining an upwardly opening recess. The base is adapted to receive therein a cover, including a transparent top wall and continuous sidewall defining a downwardly opening recess. The corresponding sidewalls are adapted for interlocking engagement. When the cover is received within the base, with the bottom wall and top wall in spaced apart relation, a storage enclosure is formed. The storage enclosure may be used to store the randomly mixed pieces of an uncompleted puzzle. The cover is freely separable from the base, and may be inverted and inserted within the upwardly opening recess. When the cover is so inverted and inserted, the bottom wall and top wall are in close proximity, to form a picture frame type display enclosure when viewed from the transparent top wall. A completed puzzle placed within the display enclosure is held rigidly in place by respective engagement therewith of the bottom wall and top wall. The bottom wall contains an opening to receive a nail for supporting the combination on a wall in the nature of a conventional picture frame.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 4,984,798, issued Jan. 15, 1991 to Silberstein, puts forth a composing plane for two-sided puzzles. An assembly and display device is provided for the playing pieces of a two sided puzzle having first and second sheets formed from a transparent material in which the sheets are provided with complimentary first and second sidewalls along at least two contiguous sides and are further provided with a spring mechanism for fastening the sheets in a closed position. A support member is fixable to the sheets and serves to hold the device in an upright fashion for displaying the completed puzzle.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 5,624,118, issued Apr. 29, 1997 to Gottesman, illustrates a combination puzzle work station, puzzle carrying case and adjustable puzzle picture frame kit that includes selected sizes of interlocking frame sections providing; first, a bordered puzzle workstation and, then, a puzzle picture frame. A baseboard is set into the constructed border to provide the work station for assembly of a puzzle. One or more foam cover boards, used as storage areas for puzzle pieces, are placed on top of the puzzle "in progress" sandwiched by a second baseboard to contain the puzzle during travel. Dividers are provided on the foam boards to retain loose puzzle pieces securely while the puzzle is in progress, or during travel. A fastener clip is mounted in holes formed in the back of each frame section for retaining the baseboards and foamboards within the frame, both during transport of the puzzle carry case and for the mounting of the completed framed puzzle on a wall. A handle/hanger cord is provided with a pin retainer at each end for locking the cord onto the frame by means of special holes extending through frame sections.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 6,374,523, issued Apr. 23, 2002 to Smith, is for a holder that mounts to a surface and interchangeably displays a sheet of material. The holder includes a back plate that is vertically mounted to the surface and holds the sheet of material and a front plate that is replaceably mounted to the back plate and sandwiches the sheet of material therebetween. The back plate has a border element that is substantially U-shaped and has vertical portions with channels therein that hold the front plate and the sheet of material, and a slot that is substantially U-shaped and prevents distortion during molding thereof. The front plate is transparent so as to allow the sheet of material to be visible therethrough and has a pair of vertical edges with shoulders thereon that engage in the channels in the back plate, respectively. The sheet of material is slid into the back plate and the front plate is slid into the back plate, by virtue of the shoulders of the front plate sliding in the channels in the back plate, and captures the sheet of material therebetween.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 5,881,484, issued Mar. 16, 1999 to Carroll, provides a display device for simultaneously displaying selected portions of a plurality of sheet-like articles. The display device includes a base member mountable to a vertically-extending structure and retaining rails extending inwardly across the front surface of the base member from the elongate edges of the base member. The retaining rails define channels between the underside of the retaining rails and the front surface of the base member. The retaining rails are spaced from the front surface of the base member by a distance such that the retaining rails hold a plurality of articles in a selected display configuration independent of the orientation of the display device and such that the articles retained by the retaining rails are movable relative to the base member upon application of pressure to the portion of the articles exposed through the opening defined by the retaining rails to slide the articles along the channel.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. D312,925, issued Dec. 18, 1990 to Burhardt, claims the ornamental design for a frame.

[0016] What is needed is a frame system for holding and displaying a jigsaw puzzle which may be used in assembling a jigsaw puzzle and preserving and displaying both a fully assembled jigsaw puzzle and a partially assembled jigsaw puzzle so that the puzzle may be easily removed from a table surface for any phase of assembly of the puzzle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0017] An object of the present invention is to provide a transparent frame system for receiving a puzzle on a back plate which easily slides into the frame without the need for glue and for holding and displaying a jigsaw puzzle in either a landscape or portrait oriented frame depending on the shape of the puzzle which may be used in assembling a jigsaw puzzle and preserving and displaying both a fully assembled jigsaw puzzle and a partially assembled jigsaw puzzle so that the puzzle may be easily removed from a table surface for any phase of assembly of the puzzle.

[0018] A related object of the present invention is to provide an inexpensive and easy to make frame system which may be made by bending a sheet of transparent acrylic to form the transparent frame.

[0019] Another related object of the present invention is to provide a rigid relatively thin backing plate which may be set down on a table surface for assembling the jigsaw puzzle on the surface or may easily slide under a partially or fully assembled jigsaw puzzle to remove the jigsaw puzzle pieces from the table surface.

[0020] One more object of the present invention is to provide notches or hanger devices on two adjacent sides of the back of the transparent frame to enable the frame to be hung in either a portrait or landscape orientation.

[0021] A related object of the present invention is to provide a stop at a bottom end of the frame to prevent the jigsaw puzzle pieces from sliding out when the frame is hung with the retaining panels in a vertical orientation.

[0022] An additional object of the present invention is to provide retaining panels on a back of the frame system spaced apart from a front transparent display portion or window a desired distance to allow the back plate and the puzzle pieces to slide into the transparent frame and be held with a tight friction fit so that the transparent frame may be hung vertically while holding the jigsaw puzzle pieces either fully or partially assembled.

[0023] A further related object of the present invention is to provide additional spacers which may slide into the back of the frame between the retaining panels and the back plate to tighten the friction fit and accommodate jigsaw puzzle pieces of different thicknesses.

[0024] In brief, a transparent frame for holding and displaying a jigsaw puzzle comprises: a clear sleeve having a clear front viewing portion; a top and a bottom rigid panel attached to the front viewing portion, which are bent backwardly and inwardly to form the back of the frame leaving a centrally located split on the back of the frame, the back being spaced a short distance away from the front viewing portion; two alternate pair of notches or hangers located on the retaining panels for hanging the puzzle holding frame on a wall or other vertical surface in either a portrait or landscape orientation; a flat rectangular back plate on which a puzzle may be assembled, or that can slide under an assembled puzzle to pick it up whereby the puzzle on the back plate may be slid into the side opening of the clear sleeve with the picture side of the puzzle showing through the front viewing portion.

[0025] An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a transparent frame system for receiving a puzzle on a back plate which easily slides into the frame without the need for glue and for holding and displaying a jigsaw puzzle in either a landscape or portrait oriented frame depending on the shape of the puzzle which may be used in assembling a jigsaw puzzle and preserving and displaying both a fully assembled jigsaw puzzle and a partially assembled jigsaw puzzle so that the puzzle may be easily removed from a table surface for any phase of assembly of the puzzle.

[0026] A related advantage of the present invention is that it provides an inexpensive and easy to make frame system.

[0027] Another related advantage of the present invention is that the jigsaw puzzle may be assembled on the back of the frame surface or the back of the frame may easily slide under a partially or fully assembled jigsaw puzzle to remove the jigsaw puzzle pieces from the table surface.

[0028] One more advantage of the present invention is that the transparent frame may be hung in either a portrait or landscape orientation.

[0029] A related advantage of the present invention is that the jigsaw puzzle pieces are prevented from sliding out when the frame is hung with the retaining panels in a vertical orientation as well as in a horizontal orientation.

[0030] An additional advantage of the present invention is that the transparent frame may be hung vertically while holding the jigsaw puzzle pieces either fully or partially assembled.

[0031] A further related advantage of the present invention is that it accommodate jigsaw puzzle pieces of different thicknesses.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0032] These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

[0033] FIG. 1 is an exploded front perspective view of the back plate with puzzle pieces aligned for insertion in the transparent frame of the present invention;

[0034] FIG. 1A is a partial side elevational view showing an edge of an alternate embodiment of the invention with a squared edge between the viewing portion and the retaining panel;

[0035] FIG. 2 is an exploded rear perspective view of the back plate and puzzle pieces retained in the transparent frame of the present invention with a pair of additional spacer tabs aligned for insertion with one between each of the retainer panels and the back plate to adjust for puzzles pieces of different thickness and notches in the edges of the retainer panels for hanging;

[0036] FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of an outside edge of the retainer panels and outside edge of the viewing portion showing an end stop bar adjacent to the transparent frame and also an end stop bar inserted between the retainer panels and the viewing portion;

[0037] FIG. 4 is a back perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the transparent frame having attached receiving hooks for hanging the transparent frame.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0038] In FIGS. 1-4, a hanging frame device for jigsaw puzzles comprises a transparent frame 20 for holding and displaying a jigsaw puzzle comprising a clear sleeve 21 having a rigid transparent viewing portion 27 on a front of the transparent frame and a pair of rigid retaining panels 22 and 22A extending from each of two opposing edges along a back of the transparent frame. A flat rectangular back plate 23 holds pieces of a jigsaw puzzle 30 laying flat on the rectangular back plate 23. The rigid retaining panels 22 are spaced apart from the rigid viewing portion 27 a sufficient uniform distance to form a receiving opening 28 on at least one orthogonal edge of the transparent frame to receive and retain pieces from a jigsaw puzzle 30 laying flat on the back plate 23 securely held by a friction fit between the viewing portion 27 and the rigid retaining panels 22 and 22A with an image side of the jigsaw puzzle pieces showing through the viewing portion 27.

[0039] The retaining panels 22 and 22A are spaced from the viewing portion 27 a distance enabling sufficient pressure to be placed on the back plate 23 and puzzle pieces 30 so that the transparent frame can receive and retain the back plate 23 with puzzle pieces 30 in a partially completed state with a portion of the puzzle pieces interconnected and a fully completed state with all of the puzzle pieces interconnected.

[0040] The back plate 23 is sufficiently rigid to hold the puzzle pieces 30 against the viewing portion 27 and to assemble puzzle pieces on the back plate 23 prior to inserting the back plate and puzzle pieces in the transparent frame and sufficiently thin to slide underneath both a completely interlocked set of puzzle pieces and a partially interlocked set of puzzle pieces to lift the puzzle pieces on the back plate to slide into the transparent frame.

[0041] In FIG. 2 a pair of spacers 24 may slide into the back of the frame between the retaining panels 22 and the back plate 23 to tighten the friction fit and accommodate jigsaw puzzle pieces of different thicknesses.

[0042] In FIGS. 2 and 4, a means for hanging the transparent frame on an external vertical surface with the retaining panels positioned horizontally and alternately with the retaining panels positioned vertically comprises a set of openings 25 and 26 in the retaining panels forming alternate orthogonal pairs of openings to receive a pair of protrusions from an exterior vertical surface to support the transparent frame in a portrait orientation and also alternately in a landscape orientation.

[0043] In FIG. 2 the set of openings comprises an L-shaped notch 25A and 25C in each of the two retaining panels 22 on interior edges of the retaining panels at points equidistant from an outer edge of the retaining panels and an additional notch 25B in an interior edge of on one of the two retaining panels equidistant from an opposite outer edge of the retaining panel so that the notches are usable in alternating pairs. For a landscape orientation for puzzles with images aligned with the retaining panels 22 in a horizontal orientation, the pair of notches 25A and 25B on the same retaining panel 22 would be used to receive a protrusion, such as a nail or a hook from an external vertical surface in the notches. For a portrait orientation for puzzles with images aligned with the retaining panels 22 in a vertical orientation, the pair of notches 25A and 25C, both L-shaped notches, are used with a protrusion, such as a nail or a hook from an external vertical surface, in the interior leg 26A of the L-shaped notches.

[0044] In FIG. 4, the set of openings comprises a hook receptacle 26 attached to each of the two retaining panels 22 at points equidistant from an outer edge of the retaining panels to form a first pair of hook receptacles and a second pair of hook receptacles on a single one of the two retaining panels equidistant from opposite outer edges of the retaining panel so that the hook receptacles are usable in alternating pairs to receive protrusions, such as nails or hooks, from an external vertical surface.

[0045] In FIGS. 1, 3, and 4, to retain the puzzle pieces 30 and the back plate 23 more securely with the transparent frame in a portrait orientation, a first orthogonal edge to the opposing side edges further comprises a blocking element 19 and 19A between the viewing portion 27 and the retaining panels 22 to further retain the puzzle pieces and backing when the transparent frame hung vertically with the first orthogonal edge in a downward position. In FIG. 1, the blocking element comprises an extension of the orthogonal edge 19A bent orthogonally to align with the retaining panels 22 along the edge blocking the space between the retaining panels 22 and the viewing portion 27. In FIG. 3, the blocking element comprises an elongated bar 19 attached to the first orthogonal edge by an adhesive or heat process.

[0046] In FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4, the viewing portion 27 and the retaining panels 22 are formed from a single sheet of transparent material with the retaining panels 22 bent toward the back of the transparent frame with surfaces of the retaining panels parallel to the viewing portion spaced apart from the viewing portion, thereby forming rounded edges. In FIG. 1A the retaining panels 22A and viewing portion 27 are separate assembled pieces adhered or heat formed together to form a squared off edge.

[0047] The transparent frame may be made of any transparent acrylic or other material and the backing plate and spacers may be any rigid material including acrylic or some form of board material. The material may be colored and may be provided with a non-transparent frame portion around the edges of the viewing portion. A variety of sizes and thicknesses of jigsaw puzzles may be used that fit within the perimeter of the transparent frame.

[0048] It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20060156604 A1
Publish Date
07/20/2006
Document #
File Date
07/22/2014
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
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Drawings
0



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