US 20040200870 A1
An assembly for supporting a laptop computer or other tray-like product is provided. The inventive support assembly includes a series of supporting straps which depend from a harness unit. The harness unit includes a series of straps and is fitted securely and snugly to the user. The supporting straps which depend from the harness unit are selectively adjustable and include coupling members at the end of the straps for both engaging and supporting the base of the laptop computer.
1. A system for supporting a tray and the like comprising:
a wearable supporting unit;
a connecting assembly selectively attached to said supporting unit and including a plurality of connecting elements depending therefrom;
wherein each of said connecting elements is designed for selectively coupling to a location along said tray.
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a product to be carried;
a support unit wearable by an individual;
a connecting assembly selectively attached to said support unit and including a plurality of connecting elements depending therefrom;
wherein each of said connecting elements is designed for selective coupling to a location along said product.
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 This application claims priority to provisional application Nos. 60/461,798, filed Apr. 10, 2003 and 60/472,069, filed May 19, 2003; both applications are incorporated herein by reference.
 Personal computers are becoming more and more a part of everyday life. Many individuals, whether those in the business world or students, require the need to utilize a computer while on the go. Most of these individuals use what is known as a laptop computer, which essentially is a portable computer comprising a base portion which houses the guts of the computer and which includes an overlying keyboard, as well as a pivotally attached screen portion which is used to view the computer during operation. Because of the size and weight of most laptop computers, they normally must be used while an individual is sitting down, with the base either resting on a table or other support structure, or directly on the lap or legs of the individual. While not impossible, it is extremely difficult to utilize a laptop computer while standing, unless, of course, a flat support surface can be located. However, for many individuals who travel to or from work or school, they often must be standing, either on a train or subway, or even on the bus. In a standing position, it is extremely difficult, as one can appreciate, to properly use a laptop computer.
 Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide an assembly for supporting a laptop computer or other tray-like product for a user who is in a standing position.
 Generally speaking, in accordance with the invention, an assembly for supporting a laptop computer or other tray-like product is provided. The inventive support assembly includes a series of supporting straps which depend from a harness type unit worn by an individual. The harness unit also includes a series of straps and is fitted securely and snugly to the user. The supporting straps which depend from the harness unit are selectively adjustable and include coupling members at the end of the straps for both engaging and supporting the base of the laptop computer. Preferably, each coupling member includes a plurality of hooks and/or loops extending from the ends of the strap surfaces and suitable for engaging corresponding hook/loop members disposed along the underside of the laptop base.
 Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a strap assembly for supporting a laptop computer or similar type of tray-like product.
 Still another object of the invention is to provide a strap assembly for supporting a laptop computer which is selectively engaged to a harness unit. Another object of the invention is to provide a strap assembly for supporting a laptop computer that utilizes hook and loop coupling members.
 Still, other objects and advantages of the invention will, in part, be obvious and will, in part, be apparent from the following description.
 For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is made to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the strap assembly of the invention being used to support a laptop computer;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the strap assembly shown in FIG. 1 being used for supporting an artist's palette; and
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
 Referring now to FIG. 1, a strap assembly used for supporting a conventional laptop computer 33 and generally indicated at 11 is shown. Strap assembly 11 is typically made from a fabric material and includes a harness or support unit 12 unit comprising a pair of length adjustable shoulder straps 13, an adjustable a waist strap 15, a vertically directed front strap 17 and a cross strap 19. Harness unit 12 may be adjusted in height to accommodate various sized and shaped individuals by means of hook and loop type fasteners as, for example, shown with respect to front strap 17.
 A strap support or connecting assembly 21 is selectively coupled to shoulder straps 13 of harness unit 12 by means of anchors 23, as shown in FIG. 1. In particular, support assembly 21 includes strap support members 25 which wrap around and otherwise engage anchors 23, and are adjustable in position by conventional hook and loop type fasteners in order to selectively adjust the height of supporting assembly 21. Depending from the bottom ends at each of strap members 25 are a pair of forward supporting straps or other top of connecting elements 27A and a pair of rearward supporting straps or other type of connecting elements 27B. Each of straps 27A and 27B have free ends 29A and 29B respectively, as best shown in FIG. 2, formed with a plurality of hook-type fasteners 30A, 30B.
 Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, laptop computer 33 includes a base 35 having an overlying keyboard 37 as well as a pivotally connected screen member 39, as is well known. Base 35 includes a bottom 36 having two pairs of loop-type fasteners 31A and 31B located adjacent the corners of base 35. As shown in both FIGS. 1 and 2, in order to support laptop computer 33, hook-type fasteners 30A, 30B of free ends 29A, 29B selectively engage loop-type fasteners members 31A, 31B disposed along bottom 30 of laptop base 35.
 Turning now to FIGS. 3 and 4, strap assembly 11 is shown being used to support an artist's palette 43. In particular, supporting straps 27A and 27B of support assembly 21 have hook-type fasteners 30A, 30B along ends 29A and 29B of straps 27A,27B that are engaged to a corresponding number of loop-type fasteners 41A,41B disposed along the bottom of palette 43. As can be seen, palette 43 is formed with an opening 45 for retaining and otherwise storing one or more brushes 47.
 Referring now to FIGS. 5-7, a second embodiment of a strap assembly used for supporting a tray 133 and generally indicated at 111 is shown. Strap assembly 111 includes a harness or support unit 112 comprising a pair of shoulder straps 113 and a waist strap or belt 115. Strap assembly 111 also includes a strap support assembly generally indicated at 121 selectively coupled to shoulder straps 113. Particularly, support assembly 121 includes a pair of forward supporting straps or other type of connecting elements 127A and a pair of rear supporting straps or other type of connecting elements 127B, both depending from and coupled to the bottom ends of shoulder straps 113, as shown best in FIG. 6. Forward supporting straps 127A are releasably coupled to shoulder straps 113 by means of hook 161 fixed to one end of each of supporting straps 127A and buckle 163 fixed along each of shoulder straps 113.
 Each of supporting straps 127A and 127B have support ends 129 with extending hooks 130. Hooks 130 are used for supporting tray 133 as described below.
 Still referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, as well as FIG. 7, tray 133 includes a base 135 having a top surface 137 suitable for receiving and supporting a piece of paper 145 and the like. Tray 133 also includes a pivotally connected support shelf 129 having a pair of vertically oriented flexible bands 141 which can be used to secure a book or other type of reading material in an open position along the top surface of shelf 129.
 In order to support tray 133, base 135 includes a bottom 136 having two pairs of fasteners 131 located adjacent the corners of base 135. As shown, the forward pair of fasteners 131A includes a buckle member 132 to which hooks 130 of supporting straps 127A and 127B may be selectively engaged, as shown in FIG. 5, to enable tray 133 to be supported by means of assembly 111. Also, fasteners 131 B also include a buckle member for selective engagement to a hook 139 depending from waist strap or belt 115 of harness unit 112. Thus, tray 133 is, in part, supported along the waist of the wearer.
 It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, and those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained, and since certain changes may be made in the products set forth above without departing from the spirit and scope from the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
 It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention, which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.