US 20060180624 A1
A primary carrying case for computers and the like is provided with one or more auxiliary pouches for computer peripherals or other supplies that employ fasteners for removably attaching the pouch to the case by means of one or more webs having access openings in communication with a passageway for receiving the free ends of the fasteners. The fasteners can include manually releasable locking mechanisms for securing the pouch to the case. The passageways can also serve to retain handle and shoulder straps for carrying of the case.
1. In combination, a primary carrying case and at least one auxiliary pouch that is detachably connected to an exterior wall of the primary case, the exterior wall of the primary case having at least one attachment web, portions of which web are secured to the exterior wall to define at least one passageway between the web and the surface of the wall of the case for receiving at least one fastener,
the at least one auxiliary pouch having at least one projecting fastener for engaging the attachment web and passing at least in part through the passageway to thereby removably secure the at least one auxiliary pouch to the primary case.
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19. A kit comprising a primary carrying case and at least one separate auxiliary pouch that can be detachably connected to an exterior wall of the primary case, the primary case having an exterior wall to which is secured at least one attachment web, portions of which web define a passageway for receiving at least one fastener,
the at least on auxiliary pouch having at least one projecting fastener for engaging the attachment web, a free end of the fastener passing at least in part through the passageway of the attachment web to thereby removably secure the at least on auxiliary pouch to the primary case.
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This invention relates to carrying cases and, specifically to cushioned computer carrying cases having detachable auxiliary accessories and pouches.
Cushioned carrying cases for portable computers such as laptop and tablet computers have been developed to provide varying degrees of shock protection for the computer. Such a carrying case is described in my co-pending application Ser. No. 10/879,924, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. Cushioned cases can also be designed and configured for the protection of other sensitive electronic, optical or electromechanical devices from the shock of an impact.
Although convenient and lightweight, these carrying cases do not include space for computer peripherals, paper files and the like. As used herein, the term “computer peripherals” includes batteries, voltage converters, disks, additional drives, hand-held calculators, PDAs and computers, mobile phones, audio devices, small printers/scanners, ink cartridges, paper files, printed materials, writing utensils and the like.
The popularity of portable laptop and tablet type computers creates a need for an auxiliary case, accessory pouch, portfolio or file holders or similar containers that can be readily attached to and detached from the exterior of a cushioned computer carrying case. This advantageously makes for a simpler primary carrying case that can adapt to the changing accessory needs of a user.
As used herein, the term “pouch” is intended to include portfolios, folders and similar cases, accessory carrying cases, including padded cases for transporting computer peripherals, cell phone holders, soft and semi-rigid pouches and containers.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide in combination, a primary carrying case and at least one auxiliary pouch that can be detachably connected to the case for transport.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a kit that consists of a primary carrying case and the a plurality of auxiliary pouches, where the carrying case is capable of retaining one or more pouches on its exterior surface.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide such a combination where means are provided to securely retain an attached auxiliary pouch on the carrying case.
Another object of the present invention is to provide the above combination wherein the at least one auxiliary pouch has fasteners that lock and require a manual release.
The above objects and other advantages are provided by the present invention which comprises the combination of a primary carrying case and at least one auxiliary pouch that is securely but detachably connected to the case. The auxiliary pouch is detachably connected to an exterior wall of the primary case. The exterior wall of the primary case includes an attachment web having portions that are secured to the exterior wall of the primary case that define passageways between the web and surface of the case for receiving at least one fastener of the auxiliary pouch. The fastener engages the attachment web and passes at least in part through the passageway to removably secure the pouch to the case.
As used herein, the term web includes an elongated or equilateral member in the form of a strip of material, an elongated strap, a panel that is rectilinear or curvilinear and that covers a minor or major portion of the carrying case, or the entire surface of the carrying case to which it is attached. The web is preferably fabricated from a textile, having a high tensile strength and tear resistance, such as a nylon canvas or other material commonly used in manufacturing soft-sided luggage.
The passageways are preferably spaced apart and positioned on one or both of the major exterior walls of the case. Access openings are defined in the edges of the web that are in communication with the passageways. The access openings and passageways receive the fasteners of the pouch and optionally the straps of the case. The number and the alignment of the fasteners on the pouch is correspondingly accommodated by the number and alignment of access openings and/or passageways defined in the web of the carrying case.
The auxiliary pouch is preferably less than or equal to the width the exterior wall of the case to which it is connected and includes one or more fasteners. The fasteners are positionable in access openings and/or passageways of the web and are preferably biased toward the pouch surface. The fasteners can also include a locking mechanism that is manually releasable.
The present invention also broadly comprehends a kit that includes a primary carrying case and at least one auxiliary pouch that is detachably connected to the case. When the kit includes multiple auxiliary pouches, the pouches in the kit can vary in size, and in the alignment and/or spacing of the fasteners. The auxiliary pouches can be attached separately or in groups to the primary case. When the carrying case and auxiliary pouches are sold as a kit, the individual pieces can be color matched, provided with corresponding designs, patterns and other elements to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the pieces when the are combined.
The invention further comprehends a carrying harness comprising a plurality of web elements that form a pocket for receiving the cushioned computer carrying case. The carrying harness is provided with access openings for receiving fasteners as described in the above embodiments. The harness is adapted to receive the carrying case in close-fitting relation and can be provided with adjustable retaining elements for the purpose of accommodating different sized cases. One or more hand or shoulder carrying straps are also attached to the harness. One or more accessory pouches can be sold with the carrying harness as described above.
In an alternative form of this embodiment, the carrying harness can be permanently affixed to the carrying case, as by stitching, heat bonding or adhesives.
Preferred embodiments of a combination including a primary carrying case and at least one detachable auxiliary pouch are described herein with reference to the attached drawings in which like numerals identify the same or similar elements throughout the several views, and wherein:
As illustrated in
With continuing reference to
Carrying straps 20 are retained in position on case 10 by webs 30. Carrying straps 20 can be adjustably dimensioned for hand and shoulder carrying lengths. As illustrated, the clips 22 on the end of a strap from either side of the case are joined to form a shoulder-length carrying strap. Carrying straps 20 can be fabricated from any material having the load bearing and aesthetic properties desired for case 10. The length of straps 20 can be adjusted using connectors 22, buckles or other means known in the art and can be adjustably positioned on any of the exterior walls including major walls 11, 13 and edge walls 15, for example. In the embodiment illustrated in
As will be described in more detail below, web 30 can be a single strip, a plurality of aligned strips extending across one or more walls, and/or a panel that extends across and covers a major portion of one or more exterior walls. Web 30 can extend from the first major wall 11 across edges 15 or bottom wall 17 to the second major wall 13 in the form of a continuous panel.
Web 30 can be formed of one or more layers of material having appropriate dimensions to receive and retain one or more pouches and can be fabricated from natural and/or synthetic material such as cotton, or a cotton blend with polymer, and/or flexible polymeric composition having the requisite tensile and tear strength to support the one or more pouches and their respective contents. A preferred material is nylon canvas. Web 30 can be secured to the walls or the cover of the case 10 by stitching, heat sealing and bonding, and adhesives. A single layer strip can be looped or layers of a multiple layer panel separated to define one or more passageways 32 below web 30 that extend across portions of case 10.
Each web 30 has one or more passageways 32 in communication with at least one access opening 33 in edge 31. Passageways 32 can have an access opening 33 and a terminal opposing end that is secured by straps 20, web 30 and/or the exterior wall, or define a through passageway 32 to an opposing access opening 33 for a sliding connection with straps 20. Web 30 is preferably connected to cover 12 and/or the walls in proximity to edges 14, between major walls 11, 13 and edge walls 15 of carrying case (See
With continuing reference to
As will be understood from this description, pouch 50 includes at least one fastener 60 that engages web 30 and retains it in position on case 10 for transport. It is understood that the number of fasteners 60 on pouch 50 corresponds to passageways 32 on case 10. As shown in the embodiments of
As shown, in
As shown in
With continued reference to
Similarly, fasteners 60 and passageways 32 and/or access openings 33, 35 and 39 are preferably aligned along lines that are parallel and/or normal to the top and/or side edges of the case to which they are to be attached, but can have any corresponding orientation on pouch 50 and case 10, respectively.
As shown in
Fastener 60 is preferably a biased clip to provide a secure engagement with passageways 32 and can be fabricated from metal, plastic, or composite materials, such as plastic-coated metal. In one preferred embodiment shown in
As shown in
In the embodiment shown in
In this embodiment, fastener 60 includes a positive locking device 68 on the free end or tip 66 of beam portion 64 that engages a corresponding mating element formed on the support portion 62. Fastener 60 in this embodiment is preferably biased toward the surface of the adjacent pouch.
In the embodiment illustrated in
Fasteners 60 can include any form of attachment or locking mechanism such as a latch, a clip, a snap, hook-and-loop fasteners or a D-ring for securing pouch 50 to case 10. The locking mechanism can be provided by the bias of beam 64 against web 30, trailing edge 69 engaging web 30, retainer 63 as described in
Referring now to
The carrying harness as illustrated in
In a further alternative embodiment, the carrying harness 70 of
Access openings formed in the surfaces of web 72, 74 and 76 are of a size and alignment, e.g., vertical and/or horizontal, to accommodate the corresponding fasteners 60 affixed to pouches 50. For example, a small pouch 50A is shown in
The larger portfolio pouch 50 as shown in
The combination of the invention can be sold in kit form that includes several auxiliary pouches 50 of varying sizes that are selected so that one or more pouches 50 can be attached to case 10 at the same time. For example, the case 10 of
With further reference to the embodiment of
It will also be understood that the carrying harness 70 will securely retain any attached pouches 50, even after the carrycase 10 is removed.
Fastener 60 can be a single fastener, but fasteners 60 are preferably mounted in pairs and positioned in parallel to extend at least partially through parallel passageways 32 for secure attachment and support of heavier computer peripherals, such as batteries and larger pouches, such as portfolios during transport on case 10. Fasteners 60 can have angular orientations that are suitable for the size of a particular pouch 50 and case 10. Pouch 50 can also be attached to case 10 in more than one directional orientation, e.g., both horizontally and vertically.
Although the illustrative embodiments of the present invention have been described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not limited to those specific embodiments, and that various other changes, and modifications may be affected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit from the disclosure. All such changes and modifications are included within the scope of the invention as defined by the claims.