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Publication numberUS20060175213 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/278,573
Publication dateAug 10, 2006
Filing dateApr 4, 2006
Priority dateNov 16, 2004
Publication number11278573, 278573, US 2006/0175213 A1, US 2006/175213 A1, US 20060175213 A1, US 20060175213A1, US 2006175213 A1, US 2006175213A1, US-A1-20060175213, US-A1-2006175213, US2006/0175213A1, US2006/175213A1, US20060175213 A1, US20060175213A1, US2006175213 A1, US2006175213A1
InventorsThomas Hurt, Joseph Fiore, John Whalen, John Hagemann, Todd Garrison
Original AssigneePlano Molding Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Utility case
US 20060175213 A1
Abstract
A utility case for storage and transport of articles including a first storage compartment defined by a back wall, spaced side walls extending from laterally opposed margins of the back wall and a bottom wall extending between the side walls and contiguous with the back wall. A plurality of vertically offset holding units extend between and are supported by the side walls.
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Claims(17)
1. A utility case comprising:
a first storage compartment defined by a back wall, spaced side walls extending from laterally opposed margins of the back wall and a bottom wall extending between the side walls and contiguous with the back wall; and
a plurality of vertically offset holding units extending between and supported by said side walls.
2. The utility case as recited in claim 1, wherein each holding unit is movable from a first orientation to a second orientation.
3. The utility case as recited in claim 1, wherein each holding unit includes a plurality of walls defining at least one receptacle having an open top.
4. The utility case as recited in claim 3, wherein the plurality of holding unit walls include a front wall, a back wall, opposed side walls and at least one divider wall.
5. The utility case as recited in claim 4, wherein the back wall has a first vertical extent greater than a second vertical extent of the front wall.
6. The utility case as recited in claim 1, wherein each holding unit includes a base to facilitate pivotal connection to the side walls.
7. The utility case as recited in claim 6, wherein the base includes a pair of opposed lugs for engaging apertures defined in the side walls.
8. The utility case as recited in claim 3, wherein each receptacle defines a volume configured generally as a parallelepiped.
9. The utility case as recited in claim 1, further including a second storage compartment defined by a plurality of panels, wherein at least one of the plurality of panels is disposed contiguous with and parallel to the back wall of the first storage compartment.
10. The utility case as recited in claim 9, wherein the plurality of panels includes a back panel, spaced side panels extending from laterally opposed margins of the back panel, a front panel disposed contiguous with and parallel to the back wall of the first storage compartment and a bottom panel extending between the side panels and contiguous with the back panel.
11. The utility case as recited in claim 1, wherein each of the back wall, side walls and bottom wall includes a free edge that cooperatively define an opening.
12. The utility case as recited in claim 11, further including a first cover connected to one of the free edges for movement between a closed position and an open position with respect to the opening.
13. The utility case as recited in claim 12, wherein the first cover is at least semi-transparent.
14. The utility case as recited in claim 1, further including a covering connected to the first storage compartment.
15. The utility case as recited in claim 14, wherein the covering includes a flap configured to provide selectable access to at least one second storage compartment.
16. The utility case as recited in claim 1, further including a plurality of guides disposed on each side wall such that one guide is associated with each end of the holding unit to define a range of movement of the holding unit.
17. The utility case as recited in claim 1, wherein the holding units are horizontally offset.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation in part of and claims priority from application Ser. No. 10/992,493, filed Nov. 16, 2004, entitled “STORAGE CASE”, which is expressly incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure generally relates to utility cases, and more particularly, to a utility case for storage and transport of articles which includes vertically offset holding units.

Conventional utility cases provide receptacles defined in various orientations and configurations for the storage and transport of articles, as discussed in application Ser. No. 10/992,493, which has been incorporated by reference. However, one disadvantage of such conventional utility cases is the lack of receptacle density. Aside from the storage case from which this application claims priority, easy access to a compact, high density configuration of storage receptacles is not found in conventional utility cases. As a result, conventional utility cases are larger than necessary, require the use of more materials (resin if made of plastics), have a lot of unusable space or volume on a percentage basis and have difficulty accommodating articles having a non-standard configuration.

One example of an article having a non-standard shape, which will be used throughout this disclosure, as was in application Ser. No. 10/992,493, which has been incorporated by reference, is a particular variety of artificial fish baits (i.e., lures) that have a relatively large, generally planar element depending from the lure. The depending element is generally called a blade or a spoon, and the lures are commonly referred to as spinner bait, because of the spinning action of the spoon-shaped blade when the lure is pulled through the water by a fisherman. More specifically, the disclosure is directed to discrete storage and transport of articles having a non-standard configuration, so that a given article can be selectively retrieved without risk that the selected article will be entangled with the other articles or without removing other articles to obtain access to the desired article.

Throughout this disclosure, spinner bait fishing lures will be used as an example of an article having a non-standard shape. It is within the teachings of this disclosure and will be recognized by those of skill in the art that any other suitable article having a non-standard or standard configuration or dimension may be substituted therefor. Those of ordinary skill in the art will also recognize that this disclosure shall not be limited to the example of the spinner bait as disclosed. Rather, the spinner bait fishing lure is useful to facilitate description of the utility case disclosed herein. A more detailed description of the structure and function of a spinner bait fishing lure and other conventional storage apparatus is set forth in application Ser. No. 10/992,493, which has been incorporated by reference.

Therefore, there exists a need in the art for a utility case for storage and transport of articles that provides a compact, high density configuration of storage receptacles and overcomes disadvantages described above but also uses less material, is easier to assemble and is less costly and provides improved performance in use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Certain embodiments are shown in the drawings. However, it is understood that the present disclosure is not limited to the arrangements and instrumentality shown in the attached drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a utility case in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the utility case of FIG. 1 illustrating a first storage compartment; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the utility case of FIG. 1 illustrating a second storage compartment.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the utility case of FIG. 1 illustrating the first and second storage compartments.

FIG. 5 is a detailed perspective view of the utility case of FIG. 1 illustrating a partially exploded view of the first storage compartment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

For the purposes of promoting and understanding the principles disclosed herein, reference will now be made to the preferred embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope is thereby intended. Such alterations and further modifications in the illustrated device and such further applications are the principles disclosed as illustrated therein as being contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which this disclosure relates.

In one aspect of the present disclosure, a utility case for storage and transport of articles includes a first storage compartment defined by a back wall, spaced side walls and a bottom wall extending between the side walls and the back wall. A plurality of vertically offset holding units extend between and are supported by the side walls. In another aspect, each holding unit includes a plurality of walls defining a plurality of receptacles with an open top and a majority of the holding units are moveable from a first orientation to a second orientation.

In another aspect, the back wall of each holding unit has a first greater extent than a second vertical extent of a front wall thereby defining a volume substantially parallelepiped. In still another aspect, each holding unit includes a base to facilitate pivotal connection to the first storage compartment wherein the range of movement is defined by a plurality of guides.

In yet another aspect, the utility case further includes a body element that in cooperation with one wall of the first storage compartment, defines a second storage compartment.

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a utility case 20 in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure. The utility case 20 generally may include a base 22 having an exterior surface that is adapted to engage the surface upon which the case 20 is supported and an interior surface 24 (see FIG. 4) which defines a bottom panel of a the utility case extending between the side panels 26 that extend from laterally opposed margins 28 of a back panel 30 (see FIGS. 1, 3, 4 and 5). The utility case 20 also includes a cover 21 that forms the upper portion of the utility case 20. Preferably, in one embodiment, the base 22 may have a textured surface and may be made of rubber, plastic or any other suitable synthetic substance.

The cover 21 may also further include, have formed thereon or define a plurality of pockets 32 that are generally formed as an additional layer of material connected to the outer surface of the cover 21 so as defined a receptacle space there between conventional enclosures such as a zipper may be provided to facilitate selective access thereto. The cover 21 may be connected the base 22 by any conventional method such as, for example, stitching, adhesive, mechanical fastener, or any other suitable connection method. Preferably, in one embodiment, the cover 21 is formed from a stiffened Notarial and may be made from any other suitable material. The covering 21 may also include a flap 64 configured to provide selectable access to at least one second storage compartment 66 (see FIGS. 3 and 4).

A first storage compartment is defined in the utility case 20 by a back wall 42, spaced sidewalls 44, extending from laterally opposed margins 46 of the back wall 42 and a bottom wall 48 extending between the sidewalls 44 and contiguous with the back wall 42. In one embodiment, the first storage compartment may be formed as an integrally molded element which is connected to the cover 21 by any conventional method or means or combination thereof, such as for example, stitching, adhesive, mechanical fastener or any other suitable means or method.

Each of the back wall 42, sidewalls 44 and bottom wall 48 include a free edge 50 that cooperatively defines an opening 52. A cover 54 is connected to one of the free edges 50 for movement between a closed position (see FIG. 1) and an open position (see FIG. 2) with respect to the opening 52. The first cover 54 is preferably at least semi-transparent in one embodiment. However, in other embodiments, the first cover 54 may be opaque, translucent or any other desired configuration. In one embodiment, the first cover 54 may include a handle 56 and appropriate connectors 58 to secure the first cover 54 in the closed position. Such connectors may be of a conventional design or any other suitable design.

The first cover 54 may be connected to one of the free edges by conventional hinging system 60 or any other suitable type of connection, such as, for example living hinge, flexible material, or any other suitable connection methods or means.

A strap 62 may be provided and connected to mounting points 64 to facilitate carrying of the utility case 20 by the shoulder of a user. If within the teachings of the present disclosure that any other suitable shoulder strap or handle or mounting points may be provided to perform the same carrying function.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the utility case of FIG. 1 illustrating a first storage compartment. The utility case 20 also may include a plurality of vertically offset holding units 70 extending between and supported by the sidewalls 44, which preferably have vertically staggered attachment to the first storage compartment or vertically staggered open tops. Each holding unit 70 is movable from a first orientation (see FIG. 1) to a second orientation (see FIG. 2).

Each holding unit 70 preferably includes a plurality of walls defining at least one receptacle 72 having an open top defined by the free edge of the plurality of holding unit walls, namely a front wall 74, a back wall 76, opposed side walls 78 and at least one divider wall 80. Preferably, in one embodiment, the back wall 76 has a first vertical extent V1 that is greater than a second vertical extent V2 of the front wall 74.

In one embodiment, each holding unit 70 includes a base 82 to facilitate connection of the holding unit 70 to the side walls 44. Preferably, in one embodiment, such connection would be pivotable. The base 82 may include a pair of opposed lugs 84 for engaging apertures 86 defined in the side walls 44.

In one embodiment, the first storage compartment 40 may also include a plurality of guides 90 disposed on each side wall 44 such that one guide 90 is associated with each end of the holding unit 70 to define a range of movement for such holding units 70. As best shown in FIG. 5, the guides 90 are generally U-shaped and formed about the apertures 86, such that the base 82 is generally disposed within the U-shaped guide 90 such that the front wall 74 contacts the leading portion 92 of the guide 90 in the second orientation and the back wall 76 contacts the trailing portion 94 of the guide 90 in the first orientation.

In one embodiment, each receptacle 70 defines a volume configured generally as a parallelepiped. In another embodiment, the holding units 70 are horizontally offset, as best shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the utility case of FIG. 1 illustrating a second storage compartment. The utility case 20 may further include a second storage compartment 66 defined by a plurality of panels wherein at least one of the plurality of panels is disposed contiguous with and parallel to the back wall 42 of the first storage compartment 40. In one embodiment, the plurality of panels include the back panel 30, spaced side panels 26 extending from laterally opposed margins 28 of the back panel, a front panel 98 disposed contiguous with and parallel to the back wall 42 of the first storage compartment 40 and a bottom panel 24 extending between the side panels 26 and contiguous with the back panel 30. The second storage compartment 66 is configured to accept a plurality of conventional storage cases 100.

Each of the plurality of panels includes a free edge 102 that cooperatively define an opening for the second storage compartment 66. In one embodiment, the flap 64 is connected to one of the free edges 102 so as to provide selectable access to the second storage compartment 66. A conventional closure 104, such as for example, a zipper or other mechanical fastener, may be used to detachably secure the flap 64 to any of the several of the free edges 102.

Furthermore, while the particular preferred embodiments have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the teaching of the disclosure. The matter set forth in the foregoing description and accompanying drawings is offered by way of illustration only and not as limitation. The actual scope of the disclosure is intended to be defined in the following claims when viewed in their proper perspective based on the related art.

Classifications
U.S. Classification206/315.11
International ClassificationB65D85/00
Cooperative ClassificationA01K97/06
European ClassificationA01K97/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 21, 2012ASAssignment
Effective date: 20121221
Owner name: HHS IP, LLC, ILLINOIS
Owner name: PJJL, LLC, ILLINOIS
Owner name: PLANO MOLDING COMPANY, ILLINOIS
Free format text: PATENT RELEASE;ASSIGNOR:PNC BANK, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT;REEL/FRAME:029529/0769
Owner name: PSV II, LLC, ILLINOIS
Owner name: PLANO INTERNATIONAL, INC., ILLINOIS
Mar 14, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: LINCOLNSHIRE ASSOCIATES II, LTD., ILLINOIS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:PLANO MOLDING, LLC;PLANO MOLDING COMPANY;HHS IP, LLC;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:019009/0165
Effective date: 20070226
Feb 28, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: PNC BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:PLANO MOLDING, LLC;PLANO MOLDING COMPANY;HHS IP, LLC;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:018934/0941
Effective date: 20070226
Jul 6, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: PLANO MOLDING COMPANY, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HURT, THOMAS;FIORE, JOSEPH F.;WHALEN, JOHN;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017881/0619;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060217 TO 20060301