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Title:
COMPUTER MESSAGE SUPPORT BOARD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1996/006741
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This invention is for a message support board (1), that may be attached to numerous articles without obstructing the article and has particular application to computer monitors (10), without obstructing the computer screen. The board provides at least one planar surface which is constructed of a sufficiently rigid material and which includes a surface to allow for messages to be stuck on, written on and/or erased therefrom. The board includes at least two panels (2, 3) of which one may be of an elongated geometry and is preferentially at right angles to the other. Both of the panels are adapted to be attached by an attachment means to two of the four adjoining sides of a computer monitor (13, 14), or alternatively, two of the four front edges of a computer monitor or a combination thereof. The board can thus be attached to computer monitors of various shapes and sizes, and provide a useful work surface.

Inventors:
CULLEN MAURICE BEVAN (AU)
MOORE VERONICA MARY (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU1995/000549
Publication Date:
March 07, 1996
Filing Date:
August 29, 1995
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CULLEN MAURICE BEVAN (AU)
MOORE VERONICA MARY (AU)
International Classes:
A47B21/04; G06F1/16; (IPC1-7): B41J29/15; A47B21/00; G06F1/16
Domestic Patent References:
WO1993016880A11993-09-02
Foreign References:
US4869565A1989-09-26
US5035392A1991-07-30
Download PDF:
Claims:
1 2 CLAIMS
1. A message support board characterised by; at least one substantially planar surface adapted to be written on and allowing messages to be attached thereto; being constructed at least in part of a sufficiently rigid material to provide support for the at least one planar surface; said planar surface comprising of a plurality of panels; and at least two of the panels including at least one attachment means adapted to enable the board to be mounted onto an article.
2. A message support board as in claim 1 characterised by; at least one panel being elongated, wherein said at least one elongated panel extends into a different direction to at least one other panel.
3. A message support board as in claim 2 characterised by; said at least one elongated panel extending in a direction substantially at right angles to at least one other panel.
4. A message support board characterised by; at least one substantially planar surface adapted to be written on and allowing messages to be attached thereto; being constructed at least in part of a sufficiently rigid material to provide support for the at least one planar surface; said planar surface comprising of at least two panels; each of at least two panels including at least one attachment means adapted to enable the board to be mounted onto an article; and at least one said panels being elongated and extending in a direction substantially at right angles to at least one other panel.
5. A message support board as in any one of the above claims characterised by; at least one said panel including an attachment section adapted to be folded with respect to the plane of the surface of said panel; and said attachment section including at least one said attachment means.
6. A message support board as in any one of the above claims characterised 1 3 by; said board adapted to be attached to a visual display unit; said visual display unit including a front and four side portions; said front including a visual display screen surrounded by a top frame side, bottom frame side, left frame side and right frame side interconnected to form a frame surrounding the visual display screen; said four sides interconnecting to form an enclosure and including, top enclosure side, a bottom enclosure side, a left enclosure side and a right enclosure side, extending from the front frame of the visual display unit towards the rear; said frame interconnected with the four sides; said board adapted to extend some predetermined length over and be attached to at least two adjoining sides of said visual display unit.
7. A message support board as in claim 7 characterised by; one panel attached to one of the sides; and at least one other panel attached to an adjoining side.
8. A message support board as in clam 8 characterised by; one panel attached to one of the two top sides; and at least one other panel attached to one of the two right sides.
9. A message support board as in any one of the above claims characterised by; said panels constructed of at least in part of cardboard;.
10. A message support board as in any one of the above claims characterised by; each attachment section having a contact adhesive on at least some of its outer surface by which to attach to one of said sides of the visual display unit.
11. A message support board as in any one of the above claims characterised by; each attachment section having an aperture adapted to allow the board to be attached to said visual display unit by a fixing means.
12. A message support board as in any one of the above claims characterised 1 4 by; each attachment section supporting a respective adjacent part of the panel so that when attached to the respective sides of a visual display unit they act so as to provide a mutually strengthening support to the supported panel.
13. A message support board as in any one of the above claims characterised by; at least some area of the surface of the panel adapted so as to allow writing on it and further adapted to allow the said writing to be erased.
14. A message support board as in any one of the above claims characterised by; at least one springbiased pivotal jaw clamp attached to the board .
15. A message support board as in any one of the above claims characterised by; an accessory holder adapted to hold at least one accessory.
16. A message support board as in any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the message support board is adapted to be attached to furniture or household appliances.
17. A message support board as in any one of the preceding claims when it is attached to a visual display unit so as to present the writable and erasable surface of the board substantially parallel to the front of the visual display unit.
18. A method of providing a writable surface for use with a visual display unit using the message support board as described in any one of the preceding claims by having one panel secured by adhesive tape to the upper surface of the visual display unit and having a second panel secured by adhesive tape to an adjoining surface of the visual display unit so as to have the writable and erasable surface of the message support board substantially parallel to the of front of the visual display unit.
19. A message support board substantially as described in the specification with reference to and as illustrated by the accompanying drawings.
Description:
TITLE

COMPUTER MESSAGE SUPPORT BOARD

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention is directed to an accessory for use with computer monitors, visual display units, and other apparatus and/or furniture where one may wish to be able to place or write removable messages.

BACKGROUND ART

This invention relates to a message support member, also referred to as a message support board, that is adapted to be attached to a computer visual display unit, although it may be used on other articles such as office and/or household furniture and appliances.

It is further adapted to be written upon while at the same time allowing for a surface that can provide for the attachment of notes or messages.

Message boards which are mounted on walls and are found in numerous offices are well known as is the use of message boards stuck on the surface of fridges. These boards are commonly known as 'whiteboards' and allow the user to write and erase messages. However, these boards cover the surface of the area onto which they are attached and therefore do not enable a user to use the board with an existing working area, especially in relation to computer or video display screens. They thus do not lend themselves to complementary use with an existing area or apparatus.

The use of computers has proliferated with many offices and homes now using computers for a variety of tasks including word processing, database entry, graphical design, games, and development of various software. As such the computer has in part become the focus of workplaces where people spend a large part of their time using a computer. As the focus of the users attention is therefore solely the computer visual display unit, also known as a screen, many users have been known to use the sides or top of such screens to attach notes or memos which clutter the screen, are unsightly and can obscure the

1 A

screen themselves. Furthermore, the attached memos/notes can be easily removed or may fall off themselves therefore there is a risk that any vital information that was recorded on those memos or notes can be lost while at the same time making the office appear untidy and thus necessitating the

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2 diverting of resources to keep it clean.

A number of useful devices have been developed which try and redress the problem of screen clutter and are typically note holders that can be attached to the screen or body of the computer, as well as desks and typewriters, by a supporting arm. These note holders are then used to place notes or messages adjacent to the monitor screen.

However, these note holders are always satisfactory for they are solely directed to provide a surface on which notes or messages can be placed or held by various means including self-adhesive notes or various clips, these being well known in the marketplace. In addition, these note holders have been designed so that you may change the angle of the holders thereby allowing a user the ability to change the viewing angle. Although this is a useful feature, as a consequence only a small amount of pressure is required to change their relative angle as compared to the computer screen and therefore they are not adapted to be written upon and a user can not easily write notes on the note holders for there is no scope for back support.

Some of these note holders are designed to be placed on top of the computer screen and are therefore very awkward to write on and are clearly designed to hold notes and messages only.

This invention attempts to alleviate some of the above problems and allows a user to write notes directly to an area which is easily accessible, both physically and visually. One part of the message support board can be constructed of a non-erasable surface so that important messages to be conveyed to the user of the computer can not be easily erased and are therefore substantially "permanent". Such a message may be, for example, the computer monitor identification number or the modem number, or any other important fact that needs to be easily accessible by the computer operator.

Because a user may spend a large proportion of their time working on a computer, such a message support board can be used to hold a large amount of useful or even amusing information which the user may wish to have.

Examples can include such diverse things as calenders, tasks that need to be undertaken that day, a priority list of tasks that need to be executed and even humorous jokes. A user can then simply indicate the important tasks on the

3 message support board, perhaps by using a colour system, which, as they are completed, can be rubbed off providing a fresh new workable surface.

This feature is especially useful since the current development of computer tools uses multiple windows on the one visual display unit. Although in such a multiple window arrangement there is software adapted to provide a separate memo window allowing for the writing of notes and reminders, it is very easy for a user to overlay that type of window with one that the user is currently working on. This increases the probability that the important message is not seen or is ignored. By providing a surface for the inclusion of writable notes this scenario is avoided since it occurs outside of the visual display area.

In addition, the message support board can also be designed so as to include other functional arrangements. This may include pen holders or rubber holders or other things which a computer user might find useful. Further examples may include items such as clocks and tissues for the cleaning of th computer screen.

Besides providing a writable surface, a note holding surface and an accessor holder the message support board can be adapted to be attached to any two adjoining sides of the computer monitor. This choice of sides can be, in part, decided on the preference of the user or can be chosen so as to minimise glare from light. For example one user might like to position the board to cover the top and the left hand side, the other might like to position the board so as to cover the bottom and the right hand side for use in monitors which are positioned on extendable support platforms thereby providing a clearance at the bottom the monitor.

In recent times there has been a trend to provide an open office plan working environment. This has the drawback that any person that is moving in such an open plan environment can distract other people working in front of a computer screen as there is only a small angle of view between the centre of the computer screen and its periphery. The addition of this message support board therefore also acts so as to increase the area within which the operator would not be disturbed visually.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

4

Therefore in one form of the invention there is proposed a message support board characterised by; at least one substantially planar surface adapted to be written on and allowing messages to be attached thereto, being constructed at least in part of a sufficiently rigid material to provide support for the at least one planar surface; said planar surface comprising of a plurality of panels; and at least two of the panels including at least one attachment means adapted to enable the board to be mounted onto an article.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; at least one panel being elongated, wherein said at least one elongated panel extends into a different direction to at least one other panel.

The elongation of any panel will be in part determined by the article to which the message support board is to be attached, and in part determined by the size of the board that one wishes to attach to that article. Thus if the article is to be attached to the top and left side of an office fling cabinet, for example it may only extend partly across the top and partly down the side of the filing cabinet to meet the requirements of users.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; said at least one elongated panel extending in a direction substantially at right angles to at least one other panel.

Since a majority of articles, but not all, are constructed with their sides being approximately at right angles, the construction of the board at the same angles will be also preferentially with the panels being at right angles.

In a further form of the invention there is proposed a message support board characterised by; at least one substantially planar surface adapted to be written on and allowing messages to be attached thereto; being constructed at least in part of a sufficiently rigid material to provide support for the at least one planar surface; said planar surface comprising of at least two panels; each of at least two panels including at least one attachment means adapted to enable the board to be mounted onto an article; and

5 at least one said panels being elongated and extending in a direction substantially at right angles to at least one other panel.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; at least one said panel including an attachment section adapted to be folded with respect to the plane of the surface of said panel; and said attachment section including at least one said attachment means.

Therefore, if two of the sides to which the board is to be attached are at right angles only in one plane, such as the sides of a pyramid, the foldable attachment section allows for a variable angle attachment to the sides not at right angle whilst at the same time keeping the message support board substantially parallel to the front surface (i.e. the base of a pyramid).

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; said board adapted to be attached to a visual display unit; said visual display unit including a front and four side portions; said front including a visual display screen surrounded by a top frame side, bottom frame side, left frame side and right frame side interconnected to form a frame surrounding the visual display screen; said four sides interconnecting to form an enclosure and including, top enclosure side, a bottom enclosure side, a left enclosure side and a right enclosure side, extending from the front frame of the visual display unit towards the rear; said frame interconnected with the four sides; said board adapted to extend some predetermined length over and be attached to at least two adjoining sides of said visual display unit.

The message support board can thus be attached to a computer visual display unit or monitor regardless of the size of the monitor, and in its simplest form can be seen to attach around a comer of the monitor. Thus right-handed people may very well wish to attach the message support board around the right hand top comer of their computer monitor, whilst left handed people might very well wish to attach their message support board around the top left hand side of their computer monitor.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by;

6 one panel attached to one of the sides; and at least one other panel attached to an adjoining side.

In this way, one of the panels may be attached to the top of the computer monitor whilst the other may in fact be attached to the front left hand side of the monitor. One does not have to limit the application to either the side or the front of the monitor, it could be a combination of both.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; one panel attached to one of the two top sides; and at least one other panel attached to one of the two right sides.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; said panels constructed of at least in part of cardboard.

Other suitable material may equally well be used, such as plastic, timber or metal, although it is not in any way limited to the choice of those.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; each attachment section having a contact adhesive on at least some of its outer surface by which to attach to one of said sides of the visual display unit.

The simplest to use may be double-sided adhesive tape which may be used to attach the board to a computer monitor.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; each attachment section having an aperture adapted to allow the board to be attached to said visual display unit by a fixing means.

Hence, if a board is to be a semi-permanent fixture it may be attached by secure fastening means, such as by screws to the computer monitor.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; each attachment section supporting a respective adjacent part of the panel so that when attached to the respective sides of a visual display unit they act so as to provide a mutually strengthening support to the supported panel.

7

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; at least some area of the surface of the panel adapted so as to allow writing on it and further adapted to allow the said writing to be erased.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; at least one spring-biased pivotal jaw clamp attached to the board .

This may allow multiple message to be kept on the message board, one on top of another; an example being a monthly calendar.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; an accessory holder adapted to hold at least one accessory.

Preferably the message support board is further characterised by; being adapted to be attached to furniture or household appliances.

Preferably the message support board is attached to a visual display unit so as to present the writable and erasable surface of the board substantially parallel to the front of the visual display unit.

In a further form of the invention, there is proposed a method of providing a writable surface for use with a visual display unit using the message support board as described in any one of the preceding claims by having one panel secured by adhesive tape to the upper surface of the visual display unit and having a second panel secured by adhesive tape to an adjoining surface of the visual display unit so as to have the writable and erasable surface of the message support board substantially parallel to the front of the visual display unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is now described with reference to a preferred embodiment which is described with the assistance of the accompanying drawings where;

Fig. 1 shows the front perspective view of the message support board,

Fig. 2 shows the rear perspective view of the message support board,

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Fig. 3 shows the front view of the message support board as attached to a computer screen,

Fig. 4 shows the rear view of the message support board as attached to the computer screen,

Fig. 5 shows the plan view of the unassembled message support board,

Fig. 6 shows the side view of the unassembled message support board,

Fig. 7 shows a message support board with different aspect ratios and geometries,

Fig. 8 shows the message support board where the dimensions of one side of the member are different to the other as well as showing typical attachments, and

Fig. 9 shows a front perspective view of one preferred embodiment of the message support board which has pre-defined areas.

Fig. 10 shows a front perspective view of the message support board as in Fig. 3 but when used on the left hand side of a computer monitor.

Fig. 11 shows a front perspective view of the message support board when attached to the front of a computer monitor.

Fig. 12 is a front perspective view of the message support board when extending along three sides of a computer monitor.

Fig. 13 is a front perspective view of the message support board when used with office furniture, in this case a filing cabinet.

Fig. 14 is a rear perspective view of the message support board showing its adaptability with sloped surfaces.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Turning now to the Figures in detail, Figures 1 and 2 show the front and rear

9 perspective views of a message support board 1 which consists of a first panel 2, a second panel 3, a first attachment section 4 and a second attachment section 5. As shown in Figures 3 and 4 the first attachment section 4 is attached to the top side 13 of a computer monitor 10 at a position substantially parallel to and close to the edge of the top side 13. The second attachment section 5 is adapted to be attached substantially parallel to and close to the edge of the right hand side 14 of the computer monitor 10.

Although in Figures 1 and 2 the message support board 1 is shown as a right hand type by being adapted to be attached to the top side 13 and right hand side 14 of the monitor, the message support board 1 can, in a second preferred embodiment be equally well be attached so as to be substantially parallel to the edge of top side 13 of the computer monitor by the first attachment section 4 and substantially parallel to and close to the left hand side 15 edge by the second attachment section 5, such an embodiment shown as a dotted line in Fig. 3. In a further preferred embodiment the message support board 1 can be adapted to be attached to so as to be substantially parallel to and close to the edge of bottom side 16 of the computer monitor 1 and substantially parallel to and close to either the left hand side 15 or the right hand side 14 of the computer monitor 1.

The first and second attachment sections 4 and 5 are adapted to be attached to a computer monitor screen, such attachment may include double-sided adhesive tape 6 or by screws 7 through apertures 8 in the attachment sections. However, the attachment is not limited to this and may include other securing means, such as a channel supporting means (not shown).

The angle between the first panel 2 and the first attachment section 4 can be varied so as to allow the angle of the plane of the first panel 2 with respect to the vertical plane to be adjusted to the particular needs of a user. To choose the optimum angle a user may first attach the board to the top of the monitor and then tilt the board to the desired angle at which position it is then attached to the appropriate side. Therefore, the message support board may be used on computer screens whose sides angle sharply. Such a scenario is shown in Fig 14 where the attachment section 4 can be placed at an angle greater than 90 degrees and still allow for the attachment of the message support board to the computer monitor.

1 0

Fig. 5 and 6 show the board in its unassembled view, i.e. when the attachment sections are parallel to the plane of the board. In these figures the adhesive tape is shown on the front surface of the board, but they may equally be placed on the rear to facilitate the attachment of the board to the front of a computer monitor as shown in Figs. 10 and 11.

Figures 7 and 8 show a preferred embodiments where the surface area of the first panel 2 is different to the second panel 3. There may also be a provision for a spring-type pivotal clamp 9 used to grip notes, a lip 11 which can be used to hold articles such as erasers or pens, and a pen holder 12 for storing pens.

Figure 9 shows another embodiment where the board may be pre-divided by a graphical means into separate sections to indicate preferred sections used to write notes.

Besides being attached to the sides of a computer monitor, the message support board 1 may equally well be attached to the top frame side 17 and one of the two sides of the computer monitor 1 , attachment to the left hand side 15 shown in Figure 10. Alternatively, it may be attached to the front only, for example to the top frame side 17 and right hand frame side 18 as shown in

Figure 11. This type of arrangement may be more suitable or simply preferred by the user.

The message support board may be constructed of three panels such as shown in Figure 12 each attached to a different side of the computer monitor, in this particular example to the top side 13, right hand side 14 and left hand side 15. Obviously, a different size message board would be required for different size computer monitors (that is if one did not wish for there to be a gap one side), however only the panel extending along the top side 13 would have to be adjusted accordingly. One could thus have an adjustable length top panel accordingly, with two co-engaging panels slidable to each other.

The message support board may equally well be used on other articles and not only computer monitors. For example, as shown in Figure 13 it can be used on a filing cabinets 21, a typical use may be notes left to users advising them of particular files. Other uses may be numerous. For example, in many office kitchens there a numerous notes advising people of various factors. Thus, the message support board could be place on the side of a coffee

1 1 machine advising people of the simple fact of the cost per cup of coffee.

If a message were to be altered or erased one would simply use a non- permanent pen that are numerous in the marketplace. Alternatively if a message were important or not to be altered, a permanent or semi-permanent pen could be used.

This board can also be used on other items such as television screens which are used with various games in the home, or any other apparatus where people may find it useful to place notes.