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Claims for Patent: 7,800,788

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Claims for Patent: 7,800,788

Title:Upright image processing apparatus with pivotable image reading portion
Abstract: An image processing apparatus comprises: an image reading portion which has a box-shaped first housing with a reading surface, and a scanning device displaceable along the reading surface in the first housing, and reads a first image on a document by relatively displacing the document and scanning device; and an image recording portion which includes a recording medium supply device accommodating a recording medium, a feeding mechanism feeding the recording medium fed out of the supply device, a recording device recording a second image on the recording medium, and a second housing incorporating at least the feeding mechanism and recording device. The apparatus is placed on a rest surface in a substantially upright position, and the reading portion is changeable in position between an upright position in which the reading surface is opposed to the recording portion, and a horizontal position in which the reading surface faces upward.
Inventor(s): Yazawa; Hiroaki (Nagoya, JP), Ishigami; Michifumi (Nagoya, JP), Kobayashi; Sakiko (Nagoya, JP), Aoki; Kazuma (Kasugai, JP), Furuhashi; Masahiko (Toyoake, JP), Isshiki; Manabu (Nagoya, JP)
Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken, JP)
Application Number:11/231,373
Patent Claims: 1. An image processing apparatus comprising: an image reading portion including: a box-shaped first housing having a reading surface; and a scanning device disposed inside the first housing and configured to move along the reading surface, the image reading portion reading a first image on a document by displacing the document and the scanning device relatively to each other; an image recording portion including: a recording medium supply device which accommodates a recording medium; a feeding mechanism which feeds the recording medium fed out of the recording medium supply device; a recording device which records a second image on the recording medium fed by the feeding mechanism; and a second housing which incorporates at least the feeding mechanism and the recording device, wherein the apparatus is configured to be placed on a rest surface in a substantially upright position, and the image reading portion is configured to pivot relative to the image recording portion between an upright position in which the image reading portion reads the first image on the document with the reading surface of the first housing opposing the image recording portion, and a horizontal position in which the image reading portion reads the first image on the document with the reading surface of the first housing facing upward.

2. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the reading surface extends substantially upright when the image reading portion is in the upright position, and the reading surface extends substantially horizontally when the image reading portion is in the horizontal position.

3. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the image reading portion is connected at an end portion thereof to the image recording portion such that the image reading portion can turn around a substantially horizontal axis.

4. The image processing apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the image reading portion has a support leg disposed at a position remote from the end portion of the image reading portion so as to support the image reading portion when the image reading portion is in the horizontal position.

5. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the feeding mechanism feeds the recording medium to the outside of the apparatus along a U-shaped feed pathway via a recording position at which the image on the document is recorded.

6. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the feeding mechanism feeds the recording medium to the outside of the apparatus along an L-shaped feed pathway via a recording position at which the image on the document is recorded.

7. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the first housing and the second housing constitute a main body of the apparatus, and the document is a sheet document, the apparatus further comprising: a document inlet formed in an upper portion of the main body in a state where the image reading portion is in the upright position, the sheet document being fed in through the document inlet to be fed to the reading surface; a document outlet formed in a lower portion of the main body in a state where the image reading portion is in the upright position, the sheet document being ejected to the outside of the main body through the document outlet at a lateral side of the apparatus; an L-shaped feed pathway which extends between the document inlet and the document outlet and along which the sheet document is fed; and a document ejecting device which ejects the sheet document through the document outlet to the outside of the main body.

8. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the first housing and the second housing constitute a main body of the apparatus, and the document is a sheet document, the apparatus further comprising: a document inlet formed in an upper portion of the main body in a state where the image reading portion is in the upright position, the sheet document being fed in through the document inlet to be fed to the reading surface; and a document ejecting device which ejects the sheet document as has been fed in through the document inlet and fed to the reading surface, to the outside of the main body again through the document inlet.

9. The image processing apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the document ejecting device is capable of ejecting, through the document inlet, any sheet document having a size within a range the image reading portion can read the image on the sheet document, after the sheet document is read.

10. The image processing apparatus according to claim 9, wherein the document ejecting device comprises: an ejecting roller disposed at a position to be capable of ejecting the sheet document of a minimum size which the image reading portion can read; a maximum-size responsive controller operative when a sheet document of a maximum size which the image reading portion can read is fed in, so as to rotate the ejecting roller in a first direction to feed the sheet document of the maximum size to a reading position for the sheet document of the maximum size, and then in a second direction opposite to the first direction to eject the sheet document of the maximum size through the document inlet; and a minimum-size responsive controller operative when a sheet document of a minimum size which the image reading portion can read is fed in, so as to rotate the ejecting roller in a first direction to feed the sheet document of the minimum size to a reading position for the sheet document of the minimum size, and then in a second direction opposite to the first direction to eject the sheet document of the minimum size through the document inlet.

11. The image processing apparatus according to claim 9, wherein the document ejecting device comprises: a stopper disposed at a position to limit entrance of at least a sheet document having a maximum size which the image reading portion can read; and an ejecting roller disposed at a position to be capable of ejecting even a sheet document of a minimum size which the image reading portion can read, the ejecting roller being switchable between a position for allowing passage of the sheet document of the maximum size to the stopper, and a position for ejecting the sheet document of the minimum size.

12. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the scanning device disposed inside the first housing moves along the reading surface of the first housing when the image reading portion is in the horizontal position.
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