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Title:
DEVICE FOR DISCOURAGING THEFT OF A DISPLAYED PRODUCT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/033779
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed hererin is a device for discouraging theft (10) of a displayed product (26), the device comprising : two spaced apart jaws (12,14), at least one of the jaws (12,14) being movable with respect to the other, and being arranged for the product (26) to be received between the jaws (12,14).

Inventors:
TOSESKI, Vince (Unit 29/2 Bishop Street, St Peters, New South Wales 2044, AU)
Application Number:
AU2012/001064
Publication Date:
March 14, 2013
Filing Date:
September 07, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PRO SYSTEMS AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITED (Unit 29/2 Bishop Street, St Peters, NSW 2044, AU)
TOSESKI, Vince (Unit 29/2 Bishop Street, St Peters, New South Wales 2044, AU)
International Classes:
E05B73/00; A47F7/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003074825A1
WO2008009875A1
WO2010039984A2
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BLOWS, Justin (21A Austin St, Lane Cove, New South Wales 2066, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A device for discouraging theft- of a displayed

product, the device comprising:

two spaced apart jaws, at least one of the jaws being movable with respect to the other, and being arranged for the product to be received between the j aws . . .

2. A device defined by claim 1 comprising a ratchet

mechanism arranged to allow a separation of the jaws to be decreased to secure the product but not increased to release the product.

3. A device defined by claim 2 comprising a ratchet

mechanism engaging member mechanically coupling one of the jaws and the ratchet mechanism.

4. A device defined by claim 3 wherein the ratchet

mechanism is housed in a body.

5. A device defined by claim 4 wherein the ratchet

mechanism comprises a cam that is arranged to jam the ratchet engaging member when a force is applied for separating the jaws.

6. A device, defined by claim 5 wherein the cam is

arranged to release the ratchet engaging member when a force is applied to decrease the separation of the j aws . 7. A device defined by any one of the claims 5 to 6

comprising a biasing member that biases the cam to jam the ratchet engaging member.

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU A device defined by claim 7 wherein the biasing member is configured to be manipulated to cause the cam to release the ratchet engaging member .

A device defined by any one of the claims 5 to 8 wherein the cam has a passageway in which at least part of the ratchet engaging member is disposed, wherein the cam is arranged to move in response to movement of the . ratchet engaging member through the passageway, the movement of the cam is constrained to pivotal movement .

A device defined by claim 8 wherei the cam comprises a plate . .

A device defined by any one of the claims 3 to 9 wherein the ratchet mechanism engaging member

comprises an arm coupled to the jaws.

A device defined by any one of the preceding claims arranged to be attached to a tether.

A device defined by any one of the preceding claims arranged to signal separation of the device from the product. jJ

A device defined by claim 14 comprising an electrical switch arranged to be operated when the product is removed from between the jaws.

A device for discouraging theft of a displayed product, the device being configured to grasp or hold the product .

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU

16. A method for discouraging theft of a displayed product, the method cdmprising:

receiving a product between two spaced apart jaws, at least one of the jaws being movable with respect to the other. i

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU

Description:
DEVICE FOR DISCOURAGING THEFT OF A DISPLAYED PRODUCT

Field of the Invention The present invention generally relates to a device for discouraging theft of a displayed product, and generally but not exclusively to a device for discouraging theft of a displayed product for sale by a retail outlet. Background of the Invention

Examples of products displayed by retailers to customers include digital cameras, mobile phones, tablet computers and satellite navigation systems. These products may be samples, or they may be the actual item for sale. To discourage theft of a product on display a retailer may attach a tether to the product, the tether also being attached to a fixture within the store. The attachment of a tether to a product, however, may require modification of the product. This modification may be permanent and may mark or damage the product . It may also be difficult to modify the product in such a way that the tether is robustly secured to the product for display and not susceptible to removal by a determined thief.

Summary of Invention According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a device for discouraging theft of a displayed product, the device being configured to grasp or hold the product .

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a device for discouraging theft of a displayed product, the device ' comprising.:

two spaced apart jaws, at least one of the jaws being moveable with respect to the other, and being arranged for the product to be received between the jaws.

A product may be placed between the jaws and held to the device . The device may be tethered to- a fixture within the store. This may prevent removal of the device from the store without modification, marking or damaging the product . , In the context of this specification, the meaning of jaw encompasses one of two or more parts which grasp or hold, and a product encompasses a vendible product.

In an embodiment, the device comprises a ratchet mechanism arranged to allow a separation of the jaws to be decreased to secure the product. The ratchet mechanism may be arranged to not allow the separation of the jaws to be increased to release the product . At least one of the jaws may be linearly moveable with respect to the other, in which case the ratchet allows linear movement in one direction. Alternatively, at least one of the jaws may be pivotally moveable with respect to the other, in which case the ratchet allows rotary motion in only one direction.

J

In an embodiment, a ratchet mechanism engaging member mechanically couples one of the jaws and the ratchet

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU mechanism. The ratchet mechanism engaging member may extend between the one of the jaws and the ratchet mechanism. The ratchet mechanism may comprise a cam that is arranged to, when a force is applied for separating the jaws, jam or lock the ratchet engaging member. The cam may be arranged to, when a force is applied to decrease the separation of the jaws,, release the ratchet engaging member. In an embodiment, the cam^has a passageway in which at least part of the ratchet engaging member is disposed. The cam may be in frictional engagement with the ratchet engaging member. The cam may move in response to movement of the ratchet engaging member through the passageway. The movement, of the cam may be constrained to pivotal movement .

In an embodiment, the cam comprises a plate. In an embodiment, the ratchet mechanism engaging member comprises an arm coupled to the one of the jaws. The arm may be attached to the one of the jaws. The arm may pass through the passageway. In an embodiment, the device comprises a body.

The ratchet engaging member may extend from the body. The ratchet mechanism may be housed in the body. The body may have a product accepting surface such that when the product is so accepted, the product may be received by the jaws. The surface may be a flat exterior surface at the body.

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU In an embodiment, the device is arranged to be attached to a tether.

The device may comprise a biasing member that biases the cam to jam the ratchet engaging member. The biasing member may be configured to be manipulated to cause the cam to release the ratchet engaging member. The biasing member may be configured to be manipulatable only after the tether is detached from the device.

In an embodiment, the device is arranged to signal separation of the device from the product. The, device may comprise an electrical switch arranged to be operated when the product is removed from between the jaws. The electrical switch may be arranged to be operated when the product is received between the jaws.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for discouraging theft of a displayed product, the method comprising:

receiving a product between two spaced apart jaws, at least one of the jaws being movable with respect to the other. Any of the various features of each of the above disclosures, and of the various features of the

embodiments described below, can be combined as suitable and desired. Brief description of the Figures

In order to achieve a better understanding of the nature of the present invention embodiments of a device

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU for discouraging theft of a displayed product will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to. the accompanying figures in which:

Figure 1 shows an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of a device for discouraging theft of a displayed product for sale;

Figure 2 shows a rear view of the device;

Figure 3 shows a front view of the device;

Figure 4 shows a front view of the device with a front cover removed;

Figure 5 shows a front view of the device with the cover removed and product engaging jaws removed;

Figure 6 shows the device holding a product between the product engaging jaws, a body of the device being located adjacent the rear of the product;

Figure 7 shows a front view of the product between the product engaging jaws;

Figure 8 shows an elevation side view of the device with the product engaging jaws removed and a security clip and camera screw installed;

Figure 9 shows a perspective view of the device with the product engaging jaws removed and connected to a cable; and

Figure 10 shows examples of a security clip and screws that may be used with the device.

Detailed Description of embodiments of the invention

Figure 1 shows an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of a device for discouraging theft of a displayed product, the device being generally indicated by the numeral 10. Figure 2 shows a rear view of the assembled device, and Figure 3 shows a front view of the

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU device. The device 10 has two spaced apart jaws,

indicated by numerals 12 and 14 respectively. A product can be located between the jaws 12 and 14, and at least one of the jaws moved towards the other such that the jaws securely hold the product when so received. In this embodiment, both of the jaws 12, 14 are moveable with respect to the other, however in some other embodiments, only one of the jaws may be moveable. Generally, but not necessarily, the product may be displayed by a retailer, for example. Example products include, but are not limited to, consumer electronic devices such as digital cameras, mobile phones, table computers and satellite navigation systems. The device may be suitable generally for any product .

It may be difficult for a thief to remove the product from the grasp or hold of the device 10. Generally, the device may be tethered to a fixture within the retail outlet. Consequently, it may be difficult for a thief to remove the product from the store.

The jaws 12, 14 each have a generally U-shaped cavity. Each has a respective margin 16 and 18 which are turned inwards. An edge portion of the product can be housed in the U-shaped cavity between the margin 16 and the arm 20, for example. The inwardly facing surface of the jaws, such as 17, may press against the product when so received to grasp or hold the product. The margins may prevent the product from being pulled away from the device .

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU The jaws also have inwardly extending arms 20 and 22 respectively. The arms are, in this but not necessarily in all embodime s, each in the form of an elongated plate. The arms extend into a body 28 of the device 10.

To secure the product, the product is placed on a product accepting surface 50 of the body 28 and at least one of the jaws is brought towards the other. The device 10 has a ratchet mechanism generally indicated by numeral 24 that is housed in the body 28 and is arranged to allow a separation of the jaws to be decreased until the jaws make contact with the product and hold it firmly in place. The ratchet mechanism, in this embodiment, does not allow a customer, for example, to increase the separation of the jaws to release the product. A tool operated mechanism, described below, however, is available to the retailer to release the product .

Figure 6 shows the assembled device holding a

displayed product 26 between the product engaging jaws 12 and 14. In this ' example , the product is a Smartphone, specifically an iPhone by Apple Corporation. The body 28 of the device 26 is located adjacent a rear surface of the product 26, providing a clear view of a front surface of the product. Figure 7 shows a front view of the product 26 with device 10 attached.

A ratchet mechanism engaging member, in the form of arm 22, mechanically couples the jaw 14 to the ratchet mechanism 24 in housing 28. Similarly, an arm 20 couple the jaw 12 to the ratchet mechanism 24 in housing 28.

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU The operation of ratchet mechanism and the ratchet mechanism engaging members can be better understood with reference to Figures 4 and 5. Figure 4 shows a front view of the device with a front cover removed, and Figure 5 shows a front view of the device with the cover, removed and the product engaging jaws removed. The ratchet mechanism, in this embodiment, comprises two cams 30 and 32. The cams are housed in respective cam compartments 34 and 36 of the housing 28. One end 38 of cam 30 is free to tilt approximately along the longitudinal axis of arm 20. The other end 40 of cam 32 is constrained from such movement by constraining members. In this embodiment, the constraining members are in the form of stops or ribs 42, 44 located on either side of the cam 30. The stops are, in this but not necessarily in all embodiments, integral with the body.

A biasing member in ' the form of a spring 46 biases end 38 towards jaw 12. The arm 20 extends through a passageway 47 (best seen in Figure 1) through cam 30. In this embodiment, the passageway is in the form of an aperture. It will be appreciated however, that the passageway " may be in the form of a channel, for example, or any other suitable passageway..

When a thief attempts to move the jaw away from the other, jaw 14, friction between the cam 30 and arm 22 tilts the cam such that side walls such as 48 of the passage 47 are pressed onto the arm 20. The wall 48 grips onto the arm 20 and jams or locks the ratchet engaging member or arm 20. The arm is attached to jaw 12 and consequently the jaw cannot be retracted. When a force is applied to the jaw 16 in order to move it towards the other jaw 14,

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU the cam 32 is caused ' by frxctional engagement with the arm to pivot anti-clockwise when viewed in Figure 4, resulting in the wall 48 of passageway 47 disengaging from the arm 20. This releases the ratchet engaging member arm 20, allowing the jaw to be moved towards the other jaw. Once the movement of jaw 12 towards the other jaw 14 is complete, the biasing member 46 causes the cam 30 to pivot clockwise as seen in Figure 4 and re-engage the arm 20. Cam 32 and arm 22 of jaw 14 have a similar

interworking relationship as cam 30 and arm 20 of jaw 12.

As seen in Figure 3, the front surface 50 of the body 28 has extending therefrom a biased detent 48. When the product is accepted by the front, surface 50, the detent 48 is moved inwardly of the body 28 to Operate a microswitch 52 housed within the body 28 as best seen in Figure 4. The microswitch 52 in this configuration places an

electrical circuit 54 in a condition indicating that a product is received by the device 10. When the product is removed, however, the detent 48 moves outwardly of the body 28 and the microswitch 52 is again operated to place the circuit 54 in a condition which indicates that the product has been removed. The circuit 54 is in

communication with an electrical contact in the form of socket 58, which in this embodiment is an RJ12 socket, although any suitable socket (or plug) may be used. The circuit 54 can be interrogated via cable 60, shown in Figure 9, connected to the ' socket 58. Alternatively, the circuit may send a signal down the cable indicating its condition. In either case, the condition of the circuit may be communicated .to a remote alarm unit in

communication with the cable 60. The alarm may be

' Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU activated by the alarm unit when the condition of the circuit indicates a change from the product being received to the product being not received, for example. Other- signals may be provided by the device 10 for communication via the cable 60.

In this embodiment, the cable 60 has a braided metal layer which increases the mechanical strength of the cable to prevent it being broken or cut by a thief. The plug 62 of cable 60 is also held in the socket 58 by a security clip 64 in the form of a metal plate. The security clip may be secured to the body of the device by a screw inserted in threaded aperture 66, for example, or a camera screw (a screw suitable to be received in a threaded socket, of a camera for attachment of a tripod) threaded through aperture 68, for example. The metallic camera screw may connect electrical contacts 70 and 72 in the form of separated half metal rings within the aperture 68, best seen in Figure 2. This closes an electrical circuit indicating the screw is in place, and the camera or other product is so fastened to the device. This may provide extra security or an alternative means of product

attachment. If the screw is removed, for example in an attempt to remove a product secured by the screw to the device, then the electrical circuit across 70 and 72 is broken and the condition of the circuit may change to indicate this. This may be communicated via. the cable to the alarm unit which may sound an alarm, for example. The f ' ar end of the cable may be secured to the alarm unit, which may be in turn fastened to a bench, for example.

The spring 46 has a v-shaped portion that extends into the socket 58. A tool can be inserted into the

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU socket by the retailer to manipulate the spring, such as to bring the arms of the V together, which in turn moves the free ends of the cams so that the cam releases the arms. This can be performed after the alarm unit has been disconnected by the retailer, the security clip removed, , and the cable 50 removed from the- socket 58, for example.

The body may be fabricated from an extruded polymer material, such as ABS, for example, but may be fabricated from any suitable material such as steel. The jaws, arms and cam may be f bricated from a metal such as spring stainless steel or aluminum alloy, or generally any suitable material. The jaws may be tipped with an elastomeric material such as a rubber or silicone to grip the product and reduce the likelihood of inadvertent damage to the

product . The device may also comprise a mini-USB 70 or other electrical contact for making an electrical connection between the device and the product. The connection, may, for example comprise a USB cable carrying power to the device .

Now that embodiments of a device for discouraging theft of a displayed product have been described, it .-will be appreciated that some embodiments have some of the following advantages:

· A product can be secured using the device and made available for inspection to potential customers with reduced risk of theft;

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(Rule 26) RO/AU • The product may be readily secured without modification / and may not be marked or damaged;

• The product can be readily removed by an

authorised person by inserting a tool into the socket to manipulate the spring.

It will be appreciated that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the invention as shown in the specific embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as broadly described.

For example, the device , may not have a ratchet. The j ws may be free to move inwardly and outwardly. The jaws may be fixed in place by the operation of a keyed lock, for example,/ or some other locking mechanism. Alternatively, a padlock may be used to immobilise the jaws. The jaws may not have a generally U-shaped cavity in some

embodiments. The jaws may have flat surfaces which engage the product without the aid of an inwardly turned margin. Generally, any jaw configuration that securely holds the product is suitable. Both the jaws may be fixed with respect to the other. The ratchet mechanism may be any suitable ratchet mechanism, including one having, for example, a round gear or linear rack with teeth, and a pivoting spring loaded finger or pawl. The device may be/ configured to display generally any product, and is not limited to Smartphones, but may secure, for example, digital cameras, mobile phones, table computers, satellite navigation systems, dinner plates and jewellery. The jaws may be suitably configured. The arms may be cylindrical or have any other suitable configuration. The ratchet may not be housed within the body. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.

Substitute Sheet

(Rule 26) RO/AU In the claims which follow and in the preceding description of the invention, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word "comprise" or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising" is used in an inclusive sens i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the invention.

It is to be understood that, if any prior art is referred to herein, such reference does not constitute a: admission that the prior art forms a part of. the common general knowledge in the art, in Australia or any other country.

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(Rule 26) RO/AU