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Publication numberUS20010022257 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/362,981
Publication dateSep 20, 2001
Filing dateJul 28, 1999
Priority dateJul 28, 1999
Publication number09362981, 362981, US 2001/0022257 A1, US 2001/022257 A1, US 20010022257 A1, US 20010022257A1, US 2001022257 A1, US 2001022257A1, US-A1-20010022257, US-A1-2001022257, US2001/0022257A1, US2001/022257A1, US20010022257 A1, US20010022257A1, US2001022257 A1, US2001022257A1
InventorsBernard David Sadow
Original AssigneeBernard David Sadow
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rolling case with protective dirt barrier
US 20010022257 A1
Abstract
A portable carrying case is provided which can be converted between a manual carrying and rolling modes of operation. During the rolling modes of operation a handle is extended upward from the case, and the case is traversed along the floor surface by a roller means secured to the bottom of the case. A shoulder strap and/or manual graspable handle is provided for manual lifting of the case during its manual carrying mode of operation. A predetermined spacing is provided between the roller means and back wall of the case so that when the case is in its manual mode of operation the roller means, which may have accumulated dirt, will not be against the user's body.
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Claims(12)
I claim:
1. A portable carrying case comprising:
opposed front and back walls, opposed top and bottom walls and opposed first and second end walls to collectively define an enclosed volume;
manually operable access means along one of said walls to provide access to said enclosed volume for the insertion and removal of contents from within said enclosed volume;
said portable carrying case having a manual carrying mode and a rolling mode;
at least one of a shoulder strap or hand graspable handle secured to said case for the manual lifting of said portable carrying case, with said back wall being against the user's body during its manual carrying mode;
roller means secured to said bottom wall and a retractable handle extending upward of said top wall for operating said portable carrying case in its rolling mode, with said roller means moving along a floor surface;
said roller means being predeterminedly spaced from said back wall, along said bottom wall and towards said front wall, whereby said roller means will be spaced from the user's body when said back wall of the carrying case is against the user's body during its manual carrying mode.
2. A portable carrying case according to
claim 1
, further including a bracket member positioning and securing said roller means on said bottom wall, said bracket member including a generally planar first portion having first and second ends, said first end bracket at the juncture of said bottom and back walls, and said second end located between said front and back walls;
said roller means secured to said first portion of said bracket member at a roller mounting location intermediate said first and second ends to establish said predetermined space between said roller means and back wall, said predetermined space providing the spacing between said portable carrying case and the user's body when said portable carrying case is in its manual carrying mode.
3. A portable carrying case according to
claim 2
, said bracket member having a generally L-shaped cross section, and including a second generally planar portion integral with said first generally planar portion, said second portion positioned against said back wall, and having a first end in common with the first end of said first portion and a second end located between said bottom and top walls.
4. A portable carrying case according to
claim 1
, wherein said roller means is a unitary elongated cylindrical roller assembly extending substantially between said opposed first and second end walls.
5. A portable carrying case according to
claim 1
, wherein said roller means includes a plurality of individual wheels spaced between said first and second end walls.
6. A portable carrying case according to
claim 2
, wherein said roller means is a unitary elongated cylindrical roller assembly extending substantially between said opposed first and second end walls.
7. A portable carrying case according to
claim 2
, wherein said roller means includes a plurality of individual wheels spaced between said first and second end walls.
8. A portable carrying case according to
claim 6
, said bracket member having a generally L-shaped cross section, and including a second generally planar portion integral with said first generally planar portion, said second portion positioned against said back wall, and having a first end in common with the first end of said first portion and a second end located between said bottom and top walls.
9. A portable carrying case according to
claim 7
, said bracket member having a generally L-shaped cross section, and including a second generally planar portion integral with said first generally planar portion, said second portion positioned against said back wall, and having a first end in common with the first end of said first portion and a second end located between said bottom and top walls.
10. A portable carrying case according to
claim 1
, wherein said portable carrying case is configured to receive a laptop computer.
11. A portable carrying case according to
claim 8
, wherein said portable carrying case is configured to receive a laptop computer.
12. A portable carrying case according to
claim 9
, wherein said portable carrying case is configured to receive a laptop computer.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a portable carrying case which can be readily converted between manual carrying and rolling modes of operation. The roller means which is secured to the bottom wall of the case to permit movement thereof along a floor surface during its rolling operation is advantageously spaced away from the back wall of the case so that it will not abut the user's body during the manual carrying mode of operation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A variety of portable carrying cases are known which include shoulder and/or hand graspable handles secured to the case for the manual lifting of the case. In such cases the back wall of the case is against the user's body during the manual carrying of the case. Such cases may also include a roller means depending from its bottom wall, and an associated retractable handle above the top wall so as to permit the case to be rolled along the floor surface, thereby relieving the user of the inconvenience and fatigue of carrying the weight of the case during prolonged periods of transport. Such portable carrying cases, among other applications, may be used to safely and protectively transport a laptop computer, as shown in my U.S. patent application 09/140,964, filed on Aug. 27, 1998.

[0003] It had been the general practice to locate the roller means, which typically includes individual wheels along the bottom wall of the case, at its juncture with the back wall. However it has been experienced that during periods of use of the case in its rolling mode of operation, dirt can accumulate on the wheels. This can be particularly problemsome should the case be traversing a muddy floor surface. The mud, or other dirt, which may have accumulated on the rollers, will then be against the user's body when the case is lifted up, by its shoulder straps or hand graspable handle, when it may no longer be convenient to operate the case in its rolling mode of operation. In this situation, there is a tendency of the mud or other dirt which has accumulated on the wheels to contact the user, thereby undesirably soiling the user's clothing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] In accordance with the present invention the roller means carried at the bottom wall of the case is predeterminedly spaced from the back wall towards the front wall. This predetermined spacing will provide a gap between the back wall of the carrying case and the user's body when the case is in its manual carrying mode of operation. In order to provide the requisite spacing between the back wall and wheels, or other roller means secured to the bottom wall, the roller means is preferably attached to an intermediary bracket member. The bracket member may have a generally L-shaped configuration with one portion extending along the bottom wall from its juncture with the back wall, in the direction of the front wall. The other portion extends along the back wall at its common juncture with the bottom wall, towards the top wall. The roller means is carried by the portion of the bracket member which is frontally displaced from the back wall. Thus, a predetermined space will be established between the location of the roller means and the back wall, with such a space being sufficient to prevent the roller means from soiling the user's clothes when the roller means may have accumulated mud or other dirt, and the case is thereafter carried by the shoulder straps or hand graspable handle in its manual carrying mode of operation.

[0005] Various types of roller means may be used in conjunction with the present invention. In accordance with one embodiment, the roller means is in the form of a unitary elongated cylindrical roller assembly which extends substantially between the opposed end walls of the case. Alternatively the roller means may include a plurality of individual wheels which are spaced between the end walls of the case.

[0006] Although not to be considered as limiting, the portable carrying case may be in the order of 16 inches wide, 12 inches high, and 4 to 6 inches deep. The cylindrical roller means along the bottom wall of the case may have an outer diameter in the order of to of an inch with its axis preferably being at least in the order of 1 inches from the rear wall of the case.

[0007] It is therefore a primary object of the present invention is to provide a portable carrying case having both a manual carrying, and rolling mode of operation, in which the roller means at the bottom wall of the case will not soil the user's clothes when the portable carrying case is being manually carried and held against the user's body.

[0008] Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a portable carrying case in which the roller means, which is secured to the bottom wall of the case, is predeterminedly spaced from the juncture of the bottom and back walls.

[0009] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a portable carrying case in which an intermediary bracket member is provided for positioning and securing the roller means to the bottom wall in spaced relationship with respect to the back wall of the case.

[0010] Still another object of the present invention is to provide such a portable carrying means in which the bracket member which supports the roller means is of a generally L-shape, with one portion lying along the bottom wall, and the other portion, in orthogonal relationship therewith, extending along the back wall, so as to provide the gap between the roller means and the user's body.

[0011] An additional object of the present invention is to provide a portable carrying case, which prevents soiling of the user's clothes by the roller means, and in which the roller means is in the form of a unitary elongated cylindrical roller assembly which extends along the bottom wall, substantially between the opposed ends of the case, and recessed from the back wall.

[0012] Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a portable carrying case, which prevents soiling of the user's clothes by the roller means, and in which the roller means includes a plurality of individual wheels spaced along the bottom wall, substantially between the opposed ends of the case, and recessed from the back wall.

[0013] Still an additional object of the present invention is to provide such a portable carrying case which is configured to receive a laptop computer.

[0014] These as well as other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon a consideration of the following description and drawings:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention in which the retractable handle, for operating the case in its rolling mode of operation, is in a stored position, but shown dot/dashed in its operative position.

[0016]FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view along line 2-2 shown in FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows.

[0017]FIG. 3 is a front view of a modified embodiment of the present invention being manually carried by its shoulder strap.

[0018]FIG. 4 is a front view of a modified embodiment of the present invention being manually carried by its hand graspable handle.

[0019]FIG. 5 is a partial bottom view of a bottom corner of the case shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, and showing the securement of one of its spaced wheels.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] Referring initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, portable carrying case 10 includes opposed front and back walls 12-14, top and bottom walls 16, 18, and opposed end walls 20-22. These external walls collectively define an enclosed volume, which may be configured to compactly contain a laptop computer 25, as shown in FIG. 2. It should, however, be understood that case 10 may be configured to receive other contents. The aforedescribed walls are preferably formed of a soft but rugged fabric material, such as canvas, vinyl, or leather and may include cushioning material, shown as 28, for protecting the laptop computer against jarring and/or dropping. Additional protection (not shown) may be provided by the protective devices shown in my U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,529,184 and 5,622,262.

[0021] When it is desired to utilize the case 10 in its manual carrying mode, a manually graspable handle 30 is provided as well as side attachment brackets 32 on each of the upper portion of end walls 20, 22, which include a D-ring 33 for the attachment of a conventional type of shoulder strap (of the general type as 80 shown in FIG. 3).

[0022] Manual access to the interior volume of the portable carrying case 10 for insertion and removal of the contents, such as a laptop computer, may be provided by a zipper 36.

[0023] A retractable handle assembly 40 is provided for operating the case in its rolling mode of operation. The handle assembly 40 preferably extends into and through the interior volume of the case. The handle assembly has a first end 42 which is secured to the case at the bottom wall 18. The opposite end 43 of the retractable handle assembly has a handle 44 secured thereto. The handle assembly 40 includes telescoping sections 46, 47 which can telescope upwardly with respect to section 48. Each of the telescoping sections is preferably of a length, comparable to, but less than, the extent between the top and bottom walls 16 and 18, such that when they are connected to the case and in their retracted storage position, as shown in FIG. 2, the handle assembly 40 may be completely confined within the enclosed volume of the case 10. However, in their extended position, the removable handle assembly 40 will be of an overall length approximating three times the distance between top and bottom walls 16, 18. The handle assembly 40 preferably includes a lock release button 49 to maintain the assembly in the extended operative position, and manually release same, so as to permit it to be retracted into its storage condition shown in FIG. 2.

[0024] The retractable handle assembly 40 may preferably be located within, and extend outwardly from, a handle storage compartment 65 having a manually operable closure means, which may preferably be in the form of a zipper 62. Thus, when the handle assembly 40 is connected to and completely retracted within the portable carrying case 10, it will be enclosed within its compartment 65 and preferably not be visible from the exterior of the case, when it is desired to manually carry the portable carrying case (such as shown in FIGS. 3 or 4) without the employment of the rolling feature.

[0025] The roller means is provided in this embodiment by an elongated roller 60 mounted parallel to the rearmost edge of the bottom wall 18, but spaced from its intersection with the edge of the back wall 14 by a predetermined amount, shown as X in FIG. 2. The elongated roller 60 is shown as a unitary assembly extending at least along the major extent between the end walls 20 and 22. It may include separate cylinders 60-1, 60-2, and 60-3 which are rotatably supported by common axis 66.

[0026] In accordance with the present invention the elongated roller assembly 60 is mounted to the bottom wall 18 of the case by a bracket member 62. Bracket member 62 has a generally L-shaped cross section and includes portions 64, 66 which intersect at common edge 65. Portion 64, which is generally planar and parallel to bottom 18, includes the aforementioned first end 65 which is at the intersection with the back wall 14, and a second end 67. In accordance with the present invention, the elongated roller assembly 60 is located along bracket portion 64 sufficiently displaced from end 65 to provide the predetermined space X between the roller assembly 60 and back wall 14 of the case 10. The bracket 62 may include down-turned ears 68 at its end extremes to support the roller axis 66. It should however be recognized that other arrangements well known in the art may be utilized to connect the elongated roller assembly 60 to the bracket member 62.

[0027] Bracket section 66 extends upward from the common edge 65 to end 71. The provision of an L-shaped bracket provides both additional support and strength to the corner of the case which includes the roller means 60, with upwardly extending section 66 further contributing to the spaced separation between the roller means 60 and the user's body when the case is in its manual carrying mode as typically shown in below described FIGS. 3 or 4.

[0028] A pair of downwardly extending, generally L-shaped support feet 72 may be mounted to the edge of the bottom at its intersection with the front wall 12 of the case, and are preferably proximate the case side ends 20 and 22. Feet 72 provide balance and support of the case along the bottom wall, as shown in FIG. 1, when the case is stationary with respect to the floor surface and the handle assembly 40 is in its operative pulled-out position.

[0029] When it is desired to move the portable carrying case along the floor surface, the retractable handle assembly 40 is pulled outward above the top wall 16 of the portable carrying case. The case is then tilted backward, and moved along by the roller assembly 60.

[0030] While not intended as limiting the present invention, the portable carrying case of the embodiment may typically be in the order of 16″ wide, 12″ high, and 4″ deep. The elongated roller 60 may typically have an outer diameter in the order of one half to three quarters of an inch.

[0031] When it is desired to utilize the carrying case in its manual carrying mode, it may either be lifted by the manual handle 30 as shown in FIG. 4 (in conjunction with a modified embodiment of the present invention) or a shoulder strap such as 80 may be connected to D rings 33 which are located at the opposite end walls 20, 22 of the case. When manually carried in this manner, back wall 14 will lie against the wearer's body. In order to prevent mud or other dirt which may have accumulated on the roller means 60 from contacting the user, and thereby soiling the user's clothing, the predetermined separation X is, in accordance with the present invention, advantageously provided between the roller means 60 and the back wall 14.

[0032] Reference is now made to FIGS. 3-5 which show a modification of the present invention, and in which those components corresponding to like components in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2 are similarly numbered, but with the -1 suffix. The case 10-1 of FIGS. 3-5 generally corresponds to case 10 of FIGS. 1-3. However, instead of a single unitary elongated roller 60 a series of spaced wheels 60-1 are provided between the end walls of the case. Each of the wheels 60-1 is secured to a bracket member 62-1 which is of a generally L-shape and includes sections 64-1 and 66-1. Bracket members 62-1 are functionally similar to bracket member 62 of the prior embodiment in locating their individual wheel 60-1 spaced from the back wall 14 by the predetermined amount X. Each of the wheels 60-1 includes an axis 66-1 which is rotatably supported by portion 68-1 of the mounting bracket. Each of the brackets 62-1 may be attached to the bottom 18-1 of the case by rivets 75.

[0033] As shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 3-5 the shoulder strap 80 is permanently secured to the case at 32-1. It should however be understood that this case may be modified to include a removable shoulder strap connection as shown by 32 and 33 of FIG. 1.

[0034] When the case shown in FIGS. 3-5 is to be operated in its rolling mode of operation, it is placed on the floor surface, and the retractable handle within compartment 65-1 is moved upward of top wall 16-1 of the case, in the general manner shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The case is then tilted backward and moved along the floor surface by wheels 60-1.

[0035] Although the present invention has been described in conjunction with preferred embodiments, it should naturally be understood that this is for illustrative purposes only and various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention which is defined by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7121518Jan 24, 2003Oct 17, 2006Hovde Arthur MPortable workstation and carrying case
Classifications
U.S. Classification190/18.00A, 190/29, 190/115
International ClassificationA45C5/14, A45C13/26, A45F3/02
Cooperative ClassificationA45F3/02, A45C13/262, A45C5/14
European ClassificationA45F3/02, A45C5/14, A45C13/26W
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 28, 1999ASAssignment
Owner name: OUTRIGGER, INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SADOW, BERNARD D.;REEL/FRAME:010138/0439
Effective date: 19990726