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Publication numberUS20070164036 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/331,985
Publication dateJul 19, 2007
Filing dateJan 13, 2006
Priority dateJan 13, 2006
Publication number11331985, 331985, US 2007/0164036 A1, US 2007/164036 A1, US 20070164036 A1, US 20070164036A1, US 2007164036 A1, US 2007164036A1, US-A1-20070164036, US-A1-2007164036, US2007/0164036A1, US2007/164036A1, US20070164036 A1, US20070164036A1, US2007164036 A1, US2007164036A1
InventorsKyle Brandenburg
Original AssigneeMarware, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable digital media player case
US 20070164036 A1
Abstract
A case for a portable digital media player includes a front surface having at least one viewing window, a rear surface opposite the front surface, side surfaces and top and bottom surfaces. A projection protrudes from one of the surfaces, such as the rear surface, to define a region between the projection and the one surface for receiving a cord. The projection is shaped and sufficiently soft and flexible to at least partially close the region and collapse onto the one surface under application of pressure applied to the projection. Pressure applied to the projection when being held by a user, being placed into a confined space or being placed on a surface with the projection facing down, is sufficient to at least partially close the region and collapse the projection onto the one surface.
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Claims(11)
1. A case for a portable digital media player, the case comprising:
a front surface having at least one viewing window;
a rear surface opposite said front surface;
side surfaces;
top and bottom surfaces; and
a projection protruding from one of said surfaces to define a region between said projection and said one surface for receiving a cord;
said projection being shaped and sufficiently soft and flexible to at least partially close said region and collapse onto said one surface under application of pressure applied to said projection.
2. The case according to claim 1, wherein pressure applied to said projection when being held by a user, being placed into a confined space or being placed on a surface with
said projection facing down, is sufficient to at least partially close said region and collapse said projection onto said one surface.
3. The case according to claim 1, wherein said surfaces and said projection are formed of silicone rubber.
4. The case according to claim 1, wherein said projection protrudes from said rear surface.
5. The case according to claim 4, which further comprises a pedestal connecting said projection to said rear surface.
6. The case according to claim 4, wherein said surfaces, said pedestal and said projection are formed of silicone rubber.
7. The case according to claim 6, wherein said projection has a substantially flat outer surface parallel to said rear surface.
8. The case according to claim 7, wherein said projection has tapered outer edges.
9. The case according to claim 1, wherein said projection has a slot formed therein for retaining the cord.
10. The case according to claim 1, wherein said surfaces have openings formed therein for accessing ports of the portable digital media player.
11. The case according to claim 1, wherein said at least one viewing window in said front surface includes a cutout and a translucent region.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a case for a portable digital media player, such as an Apple iPod.

2. Description of the Related Art

Ever since the introduction of the first generation iPod portable digital media player into the marketplace, accessories of many types have been developed. Among those accessories are cases which protect the iPod from shock and make it easier to grip.

One such case produced by Marware is formed of neoprene and has a large opening for the display screen and click wheel and a flip-top. Another neoprene case produced by Incase has separate openings for the display screen and click wheel and a zipper closure. Neoprene fits loosely around the iPod and does not follow the contour thereof.

A case which is manufactured by Speck is formed of KRATONŽ and has a dimpled exterior and an opening for various ports on the iPod. Silicone rubber cases made by iSkin, Xtreme Mac and Elecom fit tightly over the iPod and have separate openings for the display screen and the click wheel. The Elecom case has a region at the side for winding an earbud headphone cord.

None of the prior art cases provides a winding region for the earbud headphone cord which is soft, does not substantially enlarge the dimensions of the case and which is unobtrusive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a portable digital media player case, which overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages of the heretofore-known devices of this general type and which provides a storage location for an earbud headphone cord which is unobtrusive for the user.

With the foregoing and other objects in view there is provided, in accordance with the invention, a case for a portable digital media player. The case comprises a front surface having at least one viewing window, a rear surface opposite the front surface, side surfaces and top and bottom surfaces. A projection protrudes from one of the surfaces to define a region between the projection and the one surface for receiving a cord. The projection is shaped and sufficiently soft and flexible to at least partially close the region and collapse onto the one surface under application of pressure applied to the projection. This makes the projection unobtrusive to a user.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, pressure applied to the projection when being held by a user, being placed into a confined space or being placed on a surface with the projection facing down, is sufficient to at least partially close the region and collapse the projection onto the one surface. Thus, the projection almost disappears when under sufficient pressure as is normally applied under use or when placed in the user's pocket.

In accordance with a further feature of the invention, the surfaces and the projection are formed of silicone rubber. This material is sufficiently soft and flexible to collapse at the winding region.

In accordance with an added feature of the invention, the projection preferably protrudes from the rear surface, but a side projection is also contemplated. Both locations prevent the winding region from interfering with operation of the device. In accordance with an additional feature of the invention, a pedestal connects the projection to the rear surface. Not only the surfaces, but the pedestal and the projection as well are formed of silicone rubber.

In accordance with yet another feature of the invention, the projection has a substantially flat outer surface parallel to the rear surface and tapered outer edges. These features permit the projection to almost completely disappear when in normal use.

In accordance with yet a further feature of the invention, the projection has a slot formed therein for retaining the cord. This prevents the cord from unraveling.

In accordance with yet an added feature of the invention, the surfaces have openings formed therein for accessing ports of the portable digital media player. In accordance with a concomitant feature of the invention, the at least one viewing window in the front surface includes a cutout and a translucent region. Thus, all of the features of the media player can be accessed.

Other features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.

Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in a portable digital media player case, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.

The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of the specific embodiment when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic, front-elevational view of a portable digital media player case according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top-plan view of the case of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a bottom-plan view of the case according to the invention;

FIG. 4 is a side-elevational view of the case of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a rear-elevational view of the case of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing storage for earbud headphones;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 5 showing the storage for the earbud headphones; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing the storage for the earbud headphones.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the figures of the drawing in detail and first, particularly, to FIG. 1 thereof, there is seen a case 1 for a portable digital media player, such as an Apple iPod. The case 1 is formed of silicone rubber, which be any color and has a front panel 2 in which a window 3 for a display screen and a window 4 for a selector such as a click wheel are provided. Although the window 3 is a cutout in the case for viewing the display screen, the window 4 is made translucent which is accomplished by making the silicone rubber thinner in the region of the window 4 to allow operation of the click wheel.

As is seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the case 1 has an upper surface 5 and a lower surface 6. A side surface 7 of the case is shown in FIG. 4 and a rear surface 8 of the case is shown in FIG. 5. A projection 9 protrudes outwardly from the rear surface 8. The projection 9 has tapered edges and a flat outer surface 10 which is parallel to, but has a smaller area than, the rear surface 8. The projection 9 is connected to the rear surface 8 by a pedestal 11 which smaller than the projection 9, so that the projection 9 extends beyond the pedestal 11 on all four sides, defining a winding region 12. The projection could also protrude from a different surface, such as one of the side surfaces.

It may also be seen in FIG. 2 that the upper surface 5 has an opening 13 for a headphone port which allows a jack for earbud headphones to be plugged-in. The upper surface 5 also and a slot 14 for operation of a hold switch. FIG. 3 shows a slot 15 for use of a dock connector port. Other generations of the iPod have different port and switch locations and the case 1 is configured to correspond to those configurations.

FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 also show earbud headphones 20 having a plug 21 inserted through the opening 13 and earbuds 22 for placement in the ears of a user of the portable digital media player. It is also seen from these figures that a cord 23 for the earbud headphones 20 is wound in the winding region 12. Thus, when not is use, the earbud headphones 20 are wound around the pedestal 11 and between the projection 9 and the rear surface 8 of the case 1. The projection 9 may optionally have one or more slots 24 for retaining the cord and preventing the earbud headphones 20 from being unwound when not in use.

Since the projection 9 and the pedestal 11 are formed of silicone rubber which is extremely soft and flexible and the projection is flat and tapered, any pressure on the projection causes it and the pedestal to at least partially collapse and close the winding region 12. The winding region closes completely and flatly against the rear surface 8 if under sufficient pressure when the cord 23 is not wound in the winding region. The winding region also closes completely and almost flatly over the cord if under sufficient pressure when the cord is wound in the winding region. The tapered surfaces merge with the rear surface, so that the entire projection becomes unobtrusive to the user. Simply holding the case in the user's hand or placing it in a confined space such as the user's pocket, supplies sufficient pressure to collapse the projection 9, to at least partially collapse the pedestal 11 and to close the winding region 12 at the edges of the projection 12. Even placing the projection on a surface with an iPod in the case partly collapses the winding region. Thus, the case with the storage location defined by the projection 9 and the pedestal 11 is no more cumbersome than a case without a storage location.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7869845 *Jan 5, 2007Jan 11, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Sliding type mobile terminal
US7912521 *Jan 5, 2007Mar 22, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Folding type mobile terminal
US8560031 *Feb 23, 2012Oct 15, 2013David B. BarnettExtending socket for portable media player
US20120329534 *Feb 23, 2012Dec 27, 2012Ibuttons LlcExtending Socket for Portable Media Player
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/676
International ClassificationB65D6/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45C2011/001, A45C11/00
European ClassificationA45C11/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 13, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: MARWARE, INC., FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BRANDENBURG, KYLE;REEL/FRAME:017484/0371
Effective date: 20060106