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Publication numberUS20050241972 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/836,430
Publication dateNov 3, 2005
Filing dateApr 30, 2004
Priority dateApr 30, 2004
Publication number10836430, 836430, US 2005/0241972 A1, US 2005/241972 A1, US 20050241972 A1, US 20050241972A1, US 2005241972 A1, US 2005241972A1, US-A1-20050241972, US-A1-2005241972, US2005/0241972A1, US2005/241972A1, US20050241972 A1, US20050241972A1, US2005241972 A1, US2005241972A1
InventorsEric Hassett
Original AssigneeHassett Eric S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Carrying case with a selectively accessible compartment
US 20050241972 A1
Abstract
The present invention relates generally to a carrying case that is adapted to secure a electronic device or other small item. More specifically, one embodiment of the present invention includes a compartment with a resiliently deflectable tab that is adapted to support the electronic device. To remove the electronic device, a user simply deflects the tab out of the compartment, thus forcing the electronic device partially out of the compartment for easy extraction.
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Claims(22)
1. A carrying case adapted for securing an electronic device, comprising:
a compartment defined by at least a front panel, a rear panel, and opposing lateral panels interconnected thereto;
an opening defined by said front panel, said rear panel and said opposing lateral panels, said opening adapted to receive the electronic device;
a retraction means having an upper end, a lower end and a longitudinal axis extending therebetween, said lower end of said retraction means extending into a lower portion of said compartment and interconnected to at least one of said front panel and said rear panel, and said upper end extending beyond said opening, wherein when an upward force is applied to said retraction means, the electronic device travels upwardly to facilitate grasping of the electronic device.
2. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said retraction means comprises a strap.
3. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said upward force causes said upper end of said retraction means to travel at least about 1.0 inches.
4. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said retraction means travels between a first storage position and a second retracted position, wherein in said first storage position said compartment has a first storage volume, and in said second retracted position said compartment has a second storage volume that is less than said first storage volume.
5. The carrying case of claim 1, further comprising a secondary compartment interconnected to said rear panel.
6. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said retraction means comprises a strap that includes an interconnection means adjacent to said upper end, wherein said front panel includes a mating interconnection means that is adapted to selectively interconnect with said interconnection means of said upper end of said retraction means, thus positioning said strap over a portion of the electronic device.
7. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said rear panel is adapted for interconnection to a larger carrying case.
8. The carrying case of claim 7 wherein said a larger carrying case is a suitcase, a briefcase, a purse, or a backpack.
9. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said electronic device is a cellular phone or a PDA.
10. A carrying case, comprising:
a compartment with a first panel interconnected to a second panel, said first panel having an upper edge and a lower edge;
a resiliently deflectable tab with a first end and a second end, wherein said first end is interconnected to said first panel and said second end is operably interconnected to said second panel, said resiliently deflectable tab having a first position of use wherein a portion of said predetermined length forms a support surface a predetermined distance from said upper edge of said first panel, and a second position of use wherein said predetermined distance between said support surface and said upper edge of said first panel is reduced; and
wherein said compartment is adapted for securing an item therein such that the item is adapted to rest on said support surface of said resiliently deflectable tab when secured in said compartment, and wherein access to the item is achieved by transitioning said resiliently deflectable tab from said first position of use to said second position of use.
11. The carrying case of claim 9, wherein a said resiliently deflectable tab includes an interconnection means adjacent to said second end of said resiliently deflectable tab, and wherein said first panel includes a mating interconnection means such that said interconnection means of said resiliently deflectable tab is adapted for selective interconnect thereto, thus creating an upper surface with said resiliently deflectable tab to secure an item.
12. The carrying case of claim 11, wherein said interconnection means of said resiliently deflectable tab and said front panel is a hook and loop fastener, a snap, a button, a magnet, a clasp, or a latch.
13. The carrying case of claim 10, wherein said second panel is interconnected to secondary compartment that is adapted to secure additional items.
14. The carrying case of claim 10, wherein said second panel is adapted for interconnection to a larger carrying case.
15. The carrying case of claim 14, wherein said larger carrying case is a suitcase, a briefcase, a purse, or a backpack.
16. The carrying case of claim 10, further comprising, a secondary compartment with means interconnected thereto for selective interconnection to an article of clothing.
17. The carrying case of claim 10, wherein said item is a cellular phone, a PDA, or a MP3 player.
18. The carrying case of claim 10, wherein said first panel and said second panel are constructed of a compliant material.
19. The carrying case of claim 10, wherein at least a portion of said first panel or said second panel are constructed of a rigid material.
20. A carrying case, comprising:
a compartment defined by at least a front panel, a rear surface, and opposing lateral panels interconnected thereto;
an opening defined by an upper edge of said front panel, said rear surface and said opposing lateral panels, said opening adapted to receive an electronic device;
a retraction means having an upper end, a lower end and a longitudinal axis extending therebetween, said lower end of said retraction means extending into a lower portion of said compartment and interconnected to at least one of said rear panel and said front panel, and said upper end extending beyond said opening, wherein when an upward force is applied to said retraction means, at least a portion of the electronic device travels upwardly above said upper edge of said opening to facilitate grasping of the electronic device.
21. The carrying case of claim 20, wherein said carrying case is a brief case, a purse, a suitcase, or a backpack.
22. The carrying case of claim 20, wherein said carrying case is a briefcase, a purse, a suitcase, or a backpack, and wherein said compartment is disposed therein such that said rear surface constitutes an inner wall of said briefcase, purse, suitcase or backpack.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a carrying case that includes a storage compartment that is selectively accessible, wherein an item carried therein may be easily and quickly obtained when needed. More specifically, one embodiment of the present invention includes a resiliently deflectable tab that supports a bottom surface of the item, wherein deflection of the tab will facilitate removal of the item from the compartment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Carrying cases for items, such as electronic devices, are used to protect the delicate componentry of the electronic device and to free a user's hands. For the purposes of this specification, “electronic device” shall refer to cellular phones, calculators, tape players, PDAs, CD players, MP3 players, etc. Further, as technology advances, electronic devices are becoming smaller.

One disadvantage with carrying cases known in the art it is often difficult to access smaller items. It is more distinctly illustrated by the example of trying to find a small electronic device inside a briefcase. Often carrying pockets in briefcases or suitcases are constructed for larger items, wherein smaller electronic devices, such as cellular phones, are easily misplaced, thus making it difficult for the user of the briefcase to find the item when needed. This problem may cause distractions to the individual, for example when driving, that may be dangerous to the public at large. Carrying cases do exist that are adapted to secure small items. However, some of these cases are equipped with opening pockets, wherein the entire containment area is exposed, thus possibly allowing the items carried therein to fall out. In addition, these cases often do not provide for a way to facilitate removal of a single item.

Thus, it is a long felt need in the field of storage devices to provide a carrying case that is equipped with a mechanism that allows for the selective removal of a single item carried therein, that is inexpensive to construct. The following disclosure describes an improved method of facilitating removal of items inside the carrying case that includes a resiliently deflectable tab that aids in the extraction of items carried within the carrying case.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is one aspect of the present invention to provide a carrying case that is adapted to secure an electronic device and provide easy access thereto. One embodiment of the present invention includes a selectively accessible compartment that facilitates the extraction of the electronic device held therein.

It is another aspect of the present invention to provide a method and mechanism for facilitating the removal of electronic device stored within the selectively accessible compartment. More specifically, one embodiment of the present invention includes a resiliently deflectable tab interconnected to the selectively accessible compartment, wherein the tab provides a resting surface for the electronic device. Upon deflection of an end of the tab out of the compartment the support surface is deflected or retracted upward, thus forcing the item carried within to be at least partially ejected from the compartment to provide easy access thereto.

It is yet another aspect of the present invention to provide a carrying case that is constructed from commonly used materials, thus inexpensive to construct. More specifically, one embodiment of the present invention is fabricated from nylon, cloth, leather, or any other compliant material known in the art. In addition, the carrying case of one embodiment of the present invention is constructed by methods generally used in the art, preferably stitching and gluing. Portions of the storage compartment may be selectively interconnected together with a zipper, for example. However, one skilled in the art will appreciate that other selectively interconnection devices, such as hook and loop fasteners, buttons, clasps, latches, etc., may be employed without departing from the scope of the invention. Further, one embodiment of the present invention includes a device that is adapted for selective interconnection to a users belt. In a related aspect of the present invention, the storage compartment may be adapted for interconnection to storage cases of a larger magnitude, wherein it may be interconnected to the inner surface of a briefcase, for example. As described herein, and which will be shown in more detail below, the carrying case of one embodiment of the present invention secures small electronic devices. However, as it will be appreciated by one skilled in the art, the present invention may be scaled and used for any type of device that a resiliently deflectable tab is capable of supporting.

Thus, it is one aspect of the present invention to provide a carrying case which comprises:

    • a compartment defined by at least a front panel, a rear panel, and opposing lateral panels interconnected thereto;
    • an opening defined by said front panel, said rear panel and said opposing lateral panels, said opening adapted to receive the electronic device;
    • a retraction means having an upper end, a lower end and a longitudinal axis extending therebetween, said lower end of said retraction means extending into a lower portion of said compartment and interconnected to at least one of said front panel and said rear panel, and said upper end extending beyond said opening, wherein when an upward force is applied to said retraction means, the electronic device travels upwardly to facilitate grasping of the electronic device.

The Summary of the Invention is neither intended nor should be construed as being representative of the full extent and scope of the present invention. The present invention is set forth in various levels of detail in the Summary of the Invention as well as in the attached drawings and the Detailed Description of the Invention and no limitation as to the scope of the present invention is intended by either the inclusion or non-inclusion of elements, components, etc. in this Summary of the Invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the general description of the invention given above and the detailed description of the drawings given below, serve to explain the principles of these embodiments.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevation view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a left elevation view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a right elevation view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1, wherein a resiliently deflectable tab is in first storage position of use;

FIG. 6 is a right elevation view of the embodiment of the present shown in FIG. 1, wherein the resiliently deflectable tab is shown in a second storage position of use that aids in the extraction of a stored item;

FIG. 7 is a partial cross-section of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1, wherein the resiliently deflectable tab is in a first position of use;

FIG. 8 is a partial cross-section of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1, wherein the resiliently deflectable tab is in a second position of use which facilitates removal of the stored item;

FIG. 9 is a rear elevation view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 10 is a bottom plan view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1.

To assist in the understanding of the present invention the following list of components and associated numbering found in the drawings is provided herein:

# Component
2 Carrying case
4 Selectively accessible compartment
6 First panel of the compartment
8 Second panel of the compartment
10 Electronic device
12 Resiliently deflectable tab
14 First end of the deflectable tab
16 Second end of the deflectable tab
18 Secondary compartment
20 Securing mechanism
22 Support surface
24 Belt clip

It should be understood that the drawings are not necessarily to scale. In certain instances, details which are not necessary for an understanding of the invention or which render other details difficult to perceive may have been omitted. It should be understood, of course, that the invention is not necessarily limited to the particular embodiments illustrated herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1-10, one embodiment of a carrying case 2 adapted to secure an electronic device 10 and facilitate removal thereof is shown herein. One embodiment of the present invention includes a selectively accessible compartment 4 that is constructed of at least a first panel 6 and a second panel 8 that define a storage area for an electronic device 10. In addition, a resiliently deflectable tab 12 is included that has two ends wherein a first end 14 is interconnected to the first panel 6 or the second panel 8 of the compartment 4, and wherein a second end 16 is selectively interconnected to the opposite panel in order to provide additional stability to the electronic device 10. To facilitate removal of the electronic device 10 stored inside the compartment 4, a user simply transitions the resiliently deflectable tab 12 such that the electronic device 10 is partially propelled out of the compartment 4.

The selectively accessible compartment 4 of one embodiment of the present invention is interconnected to a secondary compartment 18 that is adapted to secure other items generally used with the electronic device 10. However, one skilled in the art will appreciate that the selectively accessible compartment 4 may be used alone, without departing from the scope of the invention. In one embodiment of the present invention, the first panel 6 and the second panel 8 generally define a storage volume for the electronic device 10. Preferably, one embodiment of the present invention employs a second panel 8 that is generally rectangular and is defined by an exterior edge. This embodiment of the present invention also employs a first panel 6 that is also generally rectangular defined by an exterior edge, wherein the right, bottom, and left edges of the two panels are interconnected, preferably by stitching, to define a compartment with inner walls to secure the electronic device 10. One skilled in the art will appreciate upon review of this specification that a lower surface is not generally required, because, as will be described below, the resiliently deflectable tab 12 provides sufficient support to the electronic device 10.

The resiliently deflectable tab 12 of one embodiment of the present invention is preferably a rectangular section of webbing of a predetermined length that includes the first end 14 and the second end 16. Preferably, the resiliently deflectable tab 12 also includes a securing mechanism 20 that is adapted to selectively interconnect with a mating securing mechanism on an outer surface of the first panel 6. The other end of the resiliently deflectable tab 12 is preferably interconnected to the inner surface of the first panel 6, wherein a portion of the predetermined length of the resiliently deflectable tab 12 is operably interconnected to the inner surface of the second panel 8 of the compartment 4, thereby ensuring that the resiliently deflectable tab 12 remains in the center of the second panel 8. In use, the resiliently deflectable tab 12 will define a support surface 22 for holding the electronic device 10, wherein the first panel 6 and the second panel 8 provide support in the other directions. In addition, to prevent the electronic device 10 from slipping out of the compartment 4, the resiliently deflectable tab 12 folds over the electronic device 10 and may be selectively interconnected to the outer surface of the first panel 6. Thus, the storage compartment supports the electronic device 10 in all directions. Although as shown herein, the resiliently deflectable tab 12 is shown interconnected to the inner surface of the first panel 6, one skilled in the art will appreciate that the mechanism and design as shown and described herein may be selectively interconnected to the second panel 8, wherein a portion of the resiliently deflectable tab 12 is interconnected to the front panel 6.

As shown herein, the selectively adjustable compartment 4 is interconnected to a secondary compartment 18 that secures batteries, cigarettes, pens, pencils, CDs, mini discs, tapes, keys, for example. In addition, a mechanism for interconnection to a user's belt 24 or other article of clothing may be provided. However, it should be understood by one skilled in the art that the selectively adjustable compartment 4 may be interconnected to various other carrying devices, such as a briefcase to aid in the access of smaller items carried therein, for example.

Referring now specifically to FIGS. 7 and 8, the method of using the carrying case 2 of one embodiment of the present invention is shown and described herein. More specifically, when an electronic device 10 is inserted into the compartment 4, the resiliently deflectable tab 12 forms a loop around a substantial portion thereof. In addition, a surface 22 is formed by the bottom part of the U-shaped loop, thus providing sufficient support to the electronic device 10. As shown herein, the first end 14 of the resiliently deflectable tab 12 is interconnected to the inner surface of the first panel 6 and the second end 16 of the resiliently deflectable tab 12 is positioned out of the compartment 4. In addition, the resiliently deflectable tab 12 may be threaded through apertures in the second panel 8 to ensure that the tab 12 remains preferably in the center thereof. The tab 12 of one embodiment of the present invention is constructed of a material that is resiliently deflectable to provide a spring-like mechanism, wherein deflection of the second end 16 of the resiliently deflectable tab 12 imparts a spring force on the resiliently deflectable tab 12 such that it returns to a nominal U-shaped position when released, as generally shown in FIG. 7.

In order to remove the electronic device 10, the user simply deflects the second end 16 of the resiliently deflectable tab 12 such that a greater portion of a resiliently deflectable tab 12 is situated outside of the compartment, thus deflecting the support surface 22 to raise the electronic device out of the compartment 4. Upon release of the tab 12, it returns back to its nominal position.

Referring again to FIGS. 1-10, a manner of making one embodiment of the present invention is shown and described herein. More specifically, one embodiment of the present invention is constructed of commonly used compliant materials, thus the carrying case 2 is inexpensive to manufacture. Alternatively, all or a portion of the storage compartment 4 may be constructed of a rigid material to provide increased protection from damage to the electronic device 10 carried within. As mentioned above, the resiliently deflectable tab 12 may be constructed of a material with a low elastic modulus such that it will return to its nominal position after the second end 16 is released. In addition, the resiliently deflectable tab 12 of one embodiment of the present invention may include a securing mechanism 20 such as a snap, fastener, latch, clasp, hook and loop fastener, button, magnet, etc., to provide selective interconnection to the front surface of the first panel 6, thus ensuring that the resiliently deflectable tab 12 remains in a locked position when the electronic device 10 is stored therein.

While various embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail, it is apparent that modifications and alterations of those embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. However, it is to be expressly understood that such modifications and alterations are within the scope and spirit of the present invention, as set forth in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7278584 *Nov 21, 2005Oct 9, 2007American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.Portable electronic music devices with convenient or foldable transaction cards
US8151981Mar 16, 2009Apr 10, 2012Genesco, Inc.Retrieval device for use with a compartment or pocket
US8596449 *Sep 6, 2012Dec 3, 2013Speculative Product Design, LlcCase for enclosing a personal electronic device and a card
US20120264491 *Apr 14, 2011Oct 18, 2012Tara Chand SinghalApparatus and method for a storage case attached to the backside of a smart phone
WO2009114858A2 *Mar 16, 2009Sep 17, 2009Genesco, Inc.Retrieval device for use with a compartment or pocket
WO2011053264A1 *Oct 8, 2010May 5, 2011Dc Telekomuenikasyon Ve Deri Mamuelleri Sanayi VeTelephone case with touchscreen protection
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/320
International ClassificationA45F5/00, H04B1/38, B65D85/00, A45C13/10, A45C5/06
Cooperative ClassificationA45C2011/002, A45F5/00, A45F5/021, A45C5/06, H04B1/3888, A45C13/1053
European ClassificationA45F5/00, A45C5/06, A45C13/10L2, H04B1/38P10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 21, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: CASE LOGIC, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JPMORGAN CHASE BANK (FKA THE CHASE MANHATTAN BANK);REEL/FRAME:019317/0977
Effective date: 20070518
Jul 19, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: JP MORGAN CHASE BANK (F/K/A THE CHASE MANHATTAN BA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:CASE LOGIC, INC.;REEL/FRAME:014864/0206
Effective date: 20000824
Apr 30, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: CASE LOGIC INC., COLORADO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HASSETT, ERIC S.;REEL/FRAME:015290/0685
Effective date: 20040417