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Publication numberUS20080231063 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/690,464
Publication dateSep 25, 2008
Filing dateMar 23, 2007
Priority dateMar 23, 2007
Publication number11690464, 690464, US 2008/0231063 A1, US 2008/231063 A1, US 20080231063 A1, US 20080231063A1, US 2008231063 A1, US 2008231063A1, US-A1-20080231063, US-A1-2008231063, US2008/0231063A1, US2008/231063A1, US20080231063 A1, US20080231063A1, US2008231063 A1, US2008231063A1
InventorsMichelle Anne Bowers
Original AssigneeMichelle Anne Bowers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Accessory holder for use in vehicles
US 20080231063 A1
Abstract
A holder for a personal accessory such as a purse, handbag or the like is specially adapted for suspension between the seatbacks of a vehicle having individual (or split) seats. A bag-type body, open on a generally upper edge, is supported by two straps configured for adjustable attachment to the head restraint support posts of the opposing seats of a vehicle. In another embodiment, adapter loops are provided for securing the suspension straps to the headrests of a vehicle whose seatbacks have an integral headrest (or head restraint). The adapter loops adjustably fit around the base of the head restraint and may include a D-ring or the like for convenient attachment of the suspension straps. In certain embodiments, one or more pockets may be provided on an outer surface of the holder for smaller personal accessories such as mobile telephones, music players and the like.
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Claims(20)
1. A personal accessory holder comprising:
an open-topped container dimensioned to receive a personal accessory, the open-topped container having: a bottom panel; a front panel attached to the bottom panel and extending upwardly therefrom; a back panel attached to the bottom panel at a location remote from the front panel and extending upwardly from the bottom panel; and, a pair of opposing side panels connecting the front panel and the back panel together;
an opposing pair of support straps, each strap having opposed ends connected to the container so as to form a loop for encircling a support and each support strap having a clasp for opening and closing the loop.
2. The personal accessory holder according to claim 1 wherein the inner surface of the back panel has a relatively lower coefficient of friction with a personal accessory contained within the container and the inner surface of the bottom panel has a relatively higher coefficient of friction with the same personal accessory contained within the container.
3. The personal accessory holder according to claim 1 wherein the inner surface of the back panel is smooth relative to the inner surface of the bottom panel.
4. The personal accessory holder according to claim 1 wherein the inner surface of the back panel is smooth relative to the inner surface of the front panel
5. The personal accessory holder according to claim 1 further comprising weights in the front panel positioned such that the upper edge of the front panel hangs open relative to the back panel when the container is suspended by the support straps.
6. A personal accessory holder, comprising:
an open-topped fabric bag dimensioned to receive a personal accessory, the open-topped bag having: bottom panel being the bottom wall of the open-topped bag; a front panel secured at the bottom thereof to the front of the bottom panel, the front panel being the front wall of the open-topped bag; a back panel secured at the bottom thereof to the back of the bottom panel, the back panel being the back wall of the open-topped bag; and, a pair of opposing side panels attached to the front panel and the back panel the side panels being the side walls of the open-topped bag; and,
an opposing pair of support straps, each strap having opposed ends connected to the fabric bag so as to form a loop for encircling a support and each support strap having a clasp for opening and closing the loop.
7. The personal accessory holder according to claim 6 wherein the back panel comprises a fabric sheath encasing a stiffener.
8. The personal accessory holder according to claim 7 further comprising at least one elastic member in each side panel configured such that the front panel is urged generally toward the back panel.
9. The personal accessory holder according to claim 6 wherein the inner surface of the back panel has a relatively lower coefficient of friction with a personal accessory contained within the container and the inner surface of the bottom panel has a relatively higher coefficient of friction with the same personal accessory contained within the container.
10. The personal accessory holder according to claim 6 wherein the inner surface of the back panel is smooth relative to the inner surface of the bottom panel.
11. The personal accessory holder according to claim 6 wherein the inner surface of the back panel is smooth relative to the inner surface of the front panel
12. The personal accessory holder according to claim 6 further comprising weights in the front panel positioned such that the upper edge of the front panel hangs open relative to the back panel when the container is suspended by the support straps.
13. The personal accessory holder according to claim 6 wherein the bottom panel comprises a fabric sheath encasing a stiffener.
14. The personal accessory holder according to claim 13 wherein the stiffener comprises cardboard.
15. A personal accessory holder, comprising:
an open-topped container dimensioned to receive a personal accessory, the open-topped container having: a bottom panel being the bottom wall of the open-topped container; a front panel secured at the bottom thereof to the front of the bottom panel, the front panel being the front wall of the open-topped container; a back panel secured at the bottom thereof to the back of the bottom panel, the back panel being the back wall of the open-topped container; and, a pair of opposing side panels each connected to the front panel and the back panel and forming the side walls of the open-topped box;
an opposing pair of support straps, each strap having opposed ends connected to the container so as to form a loop through a connecting ring and each support strap having a clasp for opening and closing the loop; and,
a pair of adapter loops sized and configured to encircle the base of an integral head restraint on a vehicle seat back, each adapter loop comprising a connecting ring for attaching a support strap.
16. The personal accessory holder according to claim 15 further comprising an adjustable fastener for opening, closing and adjusting the size of an adapter loop.
17. The personal accessory holder according to claim 16 wherein the adjustable fastener comprises a hook-and-loop type fastener.
18. The personal accessory holder according to claim 15 wherein the connecting rings are D-rings.
19. A personal accessory holder as recited in claim 1 further comprising at least one external pocket on the front panel of the holder.
20. A personal accessory holder as recited in claim 1 further comprising at least one external pocket on the rear panel of the holder.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to automotive accessories. More particularly, it relates to personal accessory holders which may be removably attached to the seats of a vehicle.

2. Description of the Related Art

The placement of a personal accessory such as a purse or handbag in an automotive vehicle often presents problems for the user. Placement on a seat prevents use of that seat by a passenger and the purse or handbag is subject to tipping over or even sliding off the seat during breaking maneuvers due to the momentum of the bag. Placement on the floor of the vehicle often results in the bag being out of reach of the driver and still subject to tipping. Placement on a console between the seats of a vehicle having individual front seats may prevent use of the console as an armrest, interfere with vehicle controls on the console, and/or be subject to tipping over or sliding off the console during braking or acceleration of the vehicle.

One proposed solution to this problem is a handbag holder for supporting a purse in an upright condition upon a vehicle seat described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,896,164. The handbag holder described in this patent includes an open-topped box dimensioned to receive a purse and a strap for supporting the open-topped box. The open-topped box has: a bottom panel, a front panel secured to the bottom panel with a hinge and extending upwardly from the bottom panel, a back panel secured to the bottom panel with a hinge at a location remote from the front panel and extending upwardly from the bottom panel, and at least one elastic strip connecting the front panel and the back panel together at a height above the bottom panel. The opposed ends of the strap are connected to the back panel so as to form a loop for encircling a support like the headrest of a vehicle seat.

When in its non-stored configuration, this device occupies a seat, preventing use of that seat by a passenger. Moreover, the device must be sized to fit the particular seat to which it is attached. In order for this handbag holder to rest on the seat with its bottom panel against the seat bottom cushion and its back panel upright against the seat back cushion, the strap which encircles the headrest must be a certain, fixed length. The present invention overcomes these problems

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A generally pocket-shaped personal accessory holder has suspension means which are adapted to attach to the headrest or head restraint supports of two side-by-side vehicle seats. The holder may occupy the unused space between the seats of a vehicle having split front seats—i.e., two, independent seats which may have a console between them. The holder positions a purse, handbag or similar item for ready access by either the driver or passenger. In certain embodiments, weights and/or stiffeners within the various panels of the holder assist in maintaining the shape of the device for easy insertion and removal of a personal accessory. Strap-type adapters may be provided for vehicles having headrests or head restraints that are integral with the seat back. Such adapters may include a D-ring for attaching the suspension straps of the purse holder.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing one embodiment of the invention installed in a vehicle equipped with head restraints having exposed support posts.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 2A is a front elevation of an adapter for use in a vehicle equipped with head restraints that are integral with the seat backs.

FIG. 3 is a rear elevation of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3A is a rear elevation of the adapter shown in FIG. 2A.

FIG. 4 is a front elevation of the holder of FIG. 1 shown installed in a vehicle equipped with head restraints having exposed support posts.

FIG. 5 is a rear elevation of the installed embodiment shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the installed embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5.

FIG. 7 is a front elevation of a holder according to one embodiment of the invention installed with adapters in a vehicle equipped with head restraints that are integral with the seat backs.

FIG. 8 is a rear elevation of the holder shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the installed embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 and 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention may best be understood by reference to one particular preferred embodiment illustrated in the drawing figures. In the drawings, personal accessory holder 10 is shown installed in a vehicle having a pair of side-by-side split seats S with a console C occupying the space between them. Seats S are supported by frame R mounted to floor F of the vehicle. In FIGS. 1 and 2, the seats are equipped with head restraints H supported on exposed posts or brackets B attached to seatbacks S. Brackets B may provide height adjustment of head restraints H. A pair of brackets B may be used on each seat, there being an inboard bracket B and an outboard bracket B on the top of each seatback S.

Holder 10 comprises back panel 12, bottom panel 14 and a pair of opposing side panels 16 which may include pleated section 18. Holder 10 may be a generally rectangular, bag-shaped structure made of any suitable material. Flexible materials are particularly preferred, examples of which include leather, vinyl, fabrics, and mesh material. Composite materials may also be used. In certain embodiments, selected panels of holder 10 may be of sandwich-type construction having an inner and outer layer of a flexible material or materials surrounding a stiffener 15 which may be cardboard, a sheet of synthetic resin or the like. Such stiffened panels may hold a desired shape more readily than panels made solely of flexible materials.

As shown in FIG. 1, holder 10 may have a pair of opposing support straps 20 attached at or near the upper, outboard corners of back panel 12. Support straps 20 may be in a loop configuration with one end attached to back panel 12 and another end attached to a corner of front panel 24. Closure 22 may be provided to open the loop comprising support strap 20 and pass it around support post B of headrest H. Support strap 20 may include sliding adjustment means for selectively adjusting the length of support strap 20 and thus the height of holder 10 above floor F and/or console C. Support strap 20 may be made of any suitable material. In one particular preferred embodiment, support straps 20 are constructed of nylon strap material and closures 22 are plastic parachute clasps.

In one preferred embodiment, the inner surface of back panel 12 is lined with a fabric having a relatively low coefficient of friction such as rayon acetate. This allows an item such as purse P to be more easily slipped into the pocket formed by holder 10. In use, the person carrying purse or handbag P may press it rearward against the exposed surface of back panel 12 (see FIG. 2) thereby expanding side panels 16 and opening the cavity of holder 10. Purse P may then slide down the inner surface of back panel 12 until in comes to rest on bottom panel 14. The inner surface of front panel 24 and/or that of bottom panel 14 are constructed of material having a relatively high coefficient of friction such as suede or a high-nap fabric. Selection of such materials may help to prevent purse P from sliding around inside holder 10 when the vehicle rounds a corner or is otherwise subjected to lateral forces.

Side panels 16 may be provided with elastic members and/or pleats 18 to permit expansion and contraction of the opening to the pocket formed by opposed side panels 16, bottom panel 14 back panel 12 and front panel 24.

In certain embodiments, front panel 24 may comprise one or more weights 17 which urge particularly the upper edge of front panel 24 to hang open in a catenary configuration when holder 10 is suspended from a vehicle's head restraints (or head restraint mounting). Having holder 10 assume this configuration has been found to facilitate the insertion of a purse, handbag or other object into the interior cavity of holder 10. The weighted section(s) may comprise one or more pieces of relatively dense material sewn into front panel 24. Alternatively, pockets may be provided in front panel 24 for the insertion of weights. Examples of suitable weighting material include metals, metal alloys, ceramics, and various minerals (including, but not limited to sand).

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, front panel 24 and/or back panel 12 may be equipped with one or more external pockets 25 for holding smaller personal accessories such as mobile telephones, pagers, portable music players, and the like.

In wider vehicles such as trucks and full-sized SUV's, support straps 20 may be attached to the inboard headrest support posts B while in more narrow vehicles support straps 20 may be attached to the outboard headrest support posts B. In this way it may be possible to avoid having to adjust the length of support loops 20.

FIGS. 7-9 depict a holder 10 of the same design as that illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, but installed in a vehicle having seats with an integral head restraint I-i.e., the head restraints in this vehicle do not have exposed mounting posts B around which support straps 20 may be looped.

To accommodate this configuration, adapter loops 32, as shown in FIGS. 2A and 3A, may be provided which are configured for installation around the base of integral headrest I. Adapter loops 32 may be in the form of a strip of flexible material provided at each end with a fastener for securing one end to another so as to form a loop. In one preferred embodiment, fastener 36 may be a VELCRO® hook-and-loop type fastener sewn to the material forming adapter loop 32. This type of fastener is well-adapted for selectively adjusting the length of adapter loop 32 to fit the outer circumference of integral headrest I.

Adapter loops 32 may be provided with D-rings 34 through which support straps 20 may be looped. In this way a single configuration of holder 10 may be used in vehicles having either headrests that are integral with the seatbacks or supported on adjustable mounting posts.

It will be appreciated that use of the invention is not limited to vehicles having split-type seating arrangements. A holder according to the present invention may be used on bench type seats as well. In this configuration, holder 10 may be suspended from the outboard headrests above the seat bottom cushion and back panel 12 may rest against the seat back cushion.

Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to certain preferred embodiments, variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8162189Jul 24, 2009Apr 24, 2012Daniel RobinsAutomobile accessory and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification296/1.07
International ClassificationA45C3/04
Cooperative ClassificationB60R7/043, A45F5/02
European ClassificationA45F5/02, B60R7/04B