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Publication numberUS20080237250 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/693,571
Publication dateOct 2, 2008
Filing dateMar 29, 2007
Priority dateMar 29, 2007
Publication number11693571, 693571, US 2008/0237250 A1, US 2008/237250 A1, US 20080237250 A1, US 20080237250A1, US 2008237250 A1, US 2008237250A1, US-A1-20080237250, US-A1-2008237250, US2008/0237250A1, US2008/237250A1, US20080237250 A1, US20080237250A1, US2008237250 A1, US2008237250A1
InventorsJohn D. Swansey
Original AssigneeLenovo (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Computer bag and rotating fasteners and other components thereof
US 20080237250 A1
Abstract
A bag for holding a laptop or tablet computer, and a strap for supporting the bag. The support strap is selectively attachable to the bag, with an attachment mechanism disposed at least at one end of the support strap and an attachment point disposed on the bag. The attachment mechanism acts to accommodate the attachment point in a manner to permit solely relative rotational movement between the attachment mechanism and the attachment point.
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Claims(20)
1. A computer bag comprising:
a bag for holding a computer;
a support strap selectively attachable to said bag;
an attachment mechanism disposed at least at one end of said support strap;
an attachment point disposed on said bag;
said attachment mechanism acting to accommodate said attachment point in a manner to permit solely relative rotational movement between said attachment mechanism and said attachment point.
2. The computer bag according to claim 1, wherein:
said bag comprises four side portions, said four side portions combining to form a periphery of said bag as defined about two opposing major surface portions of said bag;
said four side portions comprise two pairs of opposing side portions;
said attachment point is disposed intermediately between two side portions of one of said pairs of side portions.
3. The computer bag according to claim 2, wherein said attachment point is disposed about ⅓ of the distance between two side portions of one of said pairs of side portions.
4. The computer bag according to claim 1, wherein:
said attachment mechanism comprises a first attachment mechanism;
said computer bag further comprises a second attachment mechanism;
said first and second attachment mechanisms being disposed respectively at corresponding ends of said support strap;
said attachment point comprises a first attachment point;
said computer bag further comprises a second attachment point disposed on said bag;
said first and second attachment mechanisms respectively acting to accommodate said first and second attachment points in a manner to respectively permit solely relative rotational movement between said first and second attachment mechanisms and said first and second attachment points.
5. The computer bag according to claim 1, wherein:
said attachment mechanism comprises a main body portion and a lid portion, said lid portion being pivotably mounted with respect to said main body portion;
said main body portion and said lid portion acting to lock with respect to one another when said lid portion is in a closed position with respect to said main body portion.
6. The computer bag according to claim 5, wherein said main body portion comprises an opening for accommodating said attachment point.
7. The computer bag according to claim 6, wherein said attachment point comprises a mushroom stud.
8. The computer bag according to claim 7, wherein:
said mushroom stud comprises a head portion and a stem portion;
said opening comprises a keyhole opening, said keyhole opening comprising a larger portion and a smaller portion;
said larger portion of said keyhole opening acting to accommodate said head portion of said mushroom stud;
said smaller portion of said keyhole opening acting to accommodate said stem portion of said mushroom stud;
said head portion of said mushroom stud acting to overlap said smaller portion of said keyhole opening.
9. The computer bag according to claim 8, wherein said lid portion of said attachment mechanism comprises a recess for accommodating said head portion of said mushroom stud and a protrusion for holding said stem portion of said mushroom stud in said smaller portion of said keyhole opening.
10. The computer bag according to claim 1, wherein said computer bag is configured for holding a tablet computer.
11. The computer bag according to claim 1, wherein said computer bag is configured for holding a laptop computer.
12. The computer bag according to claim 1, wherein said support strap comprises a shoulder support strap.
13. A support strap comprising:
a strap comprising two ends;
an attachment mechanism disposed at least at one end of said strap;
said attachment mechanism acting to accommodate a computer bag attachment point in a manner to permit solely relative rotational movement between said attachment mechanism and the computer bag attachment point.
14. The support strap according to claim 13, wherein:
said attachment mechanism comprises a first attachment mechanism;
said support strap further comprises a second attachment mechanism;
said first and second attachment mechanisms being disposed respectively at corresponding ends of said strap;
said first and second attachment mechanisms respectively acting to accommodate different attachment points of a computer bag in a manner to respectively permit solely relative rotational movement between said first and second attachment mechanisms and the computer bag attachment points.
15. The support strap according to claim 13, wherein:
said attachment mechanism comprises a main body portion and a lid portion, said lid portion being pivotably mounted with respect to said main body portion;
said main body portion and said lid portion acting to lock with respect to one another when said lid portion is in a closed position with respect to said main body portion.
16. The support strap according to claim 15, wherein said main body portion comprises an opening for accommodating a computer bag attachment point.
17. The support strap according to claim 16, wherein said opening acts to accommodate a mushroom stud.
18. The support strap according to claim 17, wherein:
said opening comprises a keyhole opening, said keyhole opening comprising a larger portion and a smaller portion;
said larger portion of said keyhole opening acting to accommodate a head portion of a mushroom stud;
said smaller portion of said keyhole opening acting to accommodate a stem portion of a mushroom stud, whereby a head portion of a mushroom stud overlaps said smaller portion of said keyhole opening.
19. The support strap according to claim 18, wherein said lid portion of said attachment mechanism comprises a recess for accommodating a head portion of a mushroom stud and a protrusion for holding a stem portion of a mushroom stud in said smaller portion of said keyhole opening.
20. The support strap according to claim 13, wherein said strap comprises a shoulder strap.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to computer bags or carrying cases and equipment related thereto.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the age of laptop computers, great needs have long been confronted in connection with the portability of such computers. Even though laptops and other small computers have become lighter and more manageable overall, the arrangements for transporting them and, especially, carrying them on one's person have not always proven to be of optimum comfort and utility to a user.

A common carrying case or bag for a laptop computer is supported by a shoulder or neck strap that includes D-rings at either end; these D-rings are typically connected to the case or bag via a swivel connection or snap connection. However, the full ensemble can often be awkward and unwieldy and does not usually permit a user freedom of movement and general maneuverability that could be of help in situations where the ensemble has to be frequently removed and remounted, or where there is a desire to place the computer on a table and work on it without taking it out of the bag. Indeed, the D-ring fixtures normally ensure that the computer will not lie flat when the bag is placed on a flat surface.

Especially with the advent of smaller “tablet” computers that permit drawing or writing with a stylus, it has become important for users to be able to use the computers in a variety of settings without removing the computer from the bag. This could mean not only using the computer on a tabletop, but also to use it on one's own person without so much as removing the shoulder strap from one's shoulder. Conventional arrangements of cases and straps simply do not permit such versatile use. For example, conventional D-ring arrangements require the D-rings to be placed along the top edge of the case in order for the case to hang properly at the user's side. However, this places the straps in the way of the writing hand when the tablet needs to be moved to an operational mode.

Accordingly, in view of the foregoing, a need has been recognized in connection with providing a computer bag or carrier that affords greater versatility and maneuverability in a simple and cost-effective manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Broadly contemplated herein, in accordance with at least one presently preferred embodiment of the present invention, is a computer bag assembly, and components therefor, wherein attachment mechanisms at either end of a strap are easily attachable and removable with respect to a computer bag, preferably in a one-handed motion. These same attachments preferably can also rotate freely over 360 degrees in a single plane of rotation more or less parallel to a major side portion of a computer bag. Other features relating to at least one embodiment of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the detailed discussion herebelow.

In summary, one aspect of the invention provides a computer bag comprising: a bag for holding a computer; a support strap selectively attachable to the bag; an attachment mechanism disposed at least at one end of the support strap; an attachment point disposed on the bag; the attachment mechanism acting to accommodate the attachment point in a manner to permit solely relative rotational movement between the attachment mechanism and the attachment point.

Furthermore, an additional aspect of the invention provides a support strap comprising: a strap comprising two ends; an attachment mechanism disposed at least at one end of the strap; the attachment mechanism acting to accommodate a computer bag attachment point in a manner to permit solely relative rotational movement between the attachment mechanism and the computer bag attachment point.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a conventional computer bag and strap.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a computer bag, an attachment mechanism and a strap portion.

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of a mushroom stud which mates with an attachment mechanism.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of an attachment mechanism.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a computer bag, but of the opposite side shown in FIG. 2.

FIGS. 6A and 6B show an elevational view of an attachment mechanism in closed and open positions, respectively.

FIGS. 7A and 7B are close-up views of a main body and lid portion, respectively, of an attachment mechanism.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For a better understanding of the present invention, together with other and further features and advantages thereof, reference is made to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, and the scope of the invention will be pointed out in the appended claims.

It will be readily understood that the components of the present invention, as generally described and illustrated in the Figures herein, may be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the following more detailed description of the embodiments of the apparatus, system, and method of the present invention, as represented in FIGS. 1-7, is not intended to limit the scope of the invention, as claimed, but is merely representative of selected embodiments of the invention.

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” (or the like) means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, etc. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the invention.

The illustrated embodiments of the invention will be best understood by reference to the drawings, wherein like parts are designated by like numerals or other labels throughout. The following description is intended only by way of example, and simply illustrates certain selected embodiments of devices, systems, and processes that are consistent with the invention as claimed herein.

Some terms are used herein that will be noted by those of ordinary skill in the art as being readily interchangeable. For instance, an arrangement for holding or carrying a computer may be referred to herein, inter alia, as a “computer bag”, “computer case”, “computer carrying case”, or “computer carrier”. Another alternative term would be “operational sleeve”.

FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a conventional computer bag 102 and strap 104. As mentioned previously, a strap 104 is often attached to a bag 102 by way of awkward D-ring snap attachments that make the ensemble often uncomfortable to a user and difficult to maneuver.

On the other hand, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 2, a computer bag 206 made of soft or malleable material (e.g., nylon or canvas) may include thereon a pair of studs 208 for receiving an attachment mechanism 210 that itself is disposed at one or another free end of a strap 212. As known, strap 212 may have an adjustment eye 212 a for selectively lengthening or shortening the effective length of strap 212.

A handstrap 220, preferably padded, is included on the bag 206. This handstrap 220 may preferably be located about ⅓ along the minor linear dimension of bag 206 as shown in FIG. 2 and preferably includes cooperating portions 220 a and 220 b, positioned atop and below one another, respectively, that may interface via essentially any suitable connection, e.g., a Velcro connection. There will preferably be sufficient clearance under lower portion 220 b (i.e., in a relative direction going into the drawing) so that a user can slip part or all of his hand under or around the entire handstrap 220 so as to be able to maneuver the entire bag 206. Suitable stitching 222 will preferably functionally isolate the handstrap 220 from any material that supports studs 208 (which material could be an extension of the handstrap 220 itself as shown or could be part of the main body of bag 206).

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a field 218 of material of higher coefficient of friction, such as rubber, may be provided in order to provide a resting surface for a user's fingers. Such material may preferably, but not necessarily, be disposed in a parallel ridged pattern as shown in FIG. 2. In this manner, a user may maneuver the bag 206 (conceivably with a laptop or tablet computer inside) in a “baseball glove” fashion whereby the user's palm is face-down against the outer surface of bag 206, the back of the hand arches against the underside of handstrap 220, and the fingertips rest on field 218 and can even slightly grip field 218 for added maneuverability.

As shown, bag 206 may further include a hinged or bending region 213 that will act to hold front and back portions of bag 206 together while other parts of front and back portions of bag 206 can be pulled apart from one another, presumably after bag 206 is unzipped or otherwise opened.

FIG. 3 shows an elevational view of a mushroom stud 208, with a base portion 208 b disposed towards bag 206 and a mushroom portion 208 a extending away therefrom. As discussed in more detail below, the mushroom portion 208 a may preferably cooperate with an attachment mechanism 210 to ensure a secure rotational fit of attachment mechanism 210 with respect to mushroom stud 208. Attachment mechanism 210, for its part, is shown in isolation in FIG. 4. Preferably, a main body portion 210 a hingedly supports a lid portion 210 c which is pivotable away from and towards the main body portion 210 a (see FIGS. 6A and 6B). A bar portion 210 b facilitates the mounting of a strap.

FIG. 5 a plan view of computer bag 206, but of the opposite side shown in FIG. 2. An opening 214 is preferably provided to permit writing or typing access to the computer within bag 206; it could be an uncovered opening or could contain e.g., plastic sheeting. If the latter, it could still be, e.g., written upon by a stylus in order to permit writing access to the computer even while the computer is still inside the bag 206. A stylus holder 216 can be provided as shown.

FIGS. 6A and 6B show an elevational view of attachment mechanism 210 in closed and open positions, respectively, while FIGS. 7A and 7B are close-up views of components of attachment mechanism 210. FIG. 7A, for its part, shows main body portion 210 a in greater detail. A flat portion 223 preferably has disposed therewithin a keyhole opening 224. Thus, a larger portion 224 a of opening 224 is preferably configured to initially accommodate mushroom stud 208 (see FIGS. 2 and 3) whereby, upon a subsequent displacement of attachment mechanism 210, a smaller portion 224 b of opening 224 will surround the narrow stem portion of the mushroom stud 208 while the wider head of mushroom stud 208 covers and overlaps this smaller portion 224 b.

On the other hand, lid portion 210 c preferably includes a recess 230 sufficiently wide to capture the wider head of mushroom stud 208. A protruding portion 232 also preferably extends away from lid portion 210 c (i.e., in a direction towards the viewer of the drawing). Thus, assuming the narrow stem of the mushroom stud is contained within the smaller portion 224 b of keyhole opening 224 a (FIG. 7A), lid portion 210 c can then be locked in place to permit solely rotational movement attachment mechanism 210 with respect to the mushroom stud 208. Particularly, when lid portion 210 c is then closed on main body portion 210 a as in FIG. 6A, recess 230 will surround and entrain the mushroom stud head on the one hand, while protruding portion 232 will prevent further translational movement of the entire attachment mechanism 210 with respect to the mushroom stud on the other. Accordingly, a full 360 degree range of rotational movement of the attachment mechanism 210 and mushroom stud 208 with respect to one another is afforded. To further ensure a locking fit between lid portion 210 c and main body portion 210 c, protrusions 228 on lid portion 210 c (FIG. 7B) may preferably cooperate with corresponding holes 226 on main body portion 210 a (FIG. 7A) in a form-locking or interference fit.

The unique arrangement just described not only provides an easily removable swivel fastener that can selectively be opened with one hand, the resistance to any motion other than rotation ensures that the attachment mechanism 210 can be mounted at an intermediate portion of computer bag 206 (here, at about ⅓ the way along the minor linear dimension of bag 206 as shown in FIG. 2) yet while resisting a tendency of the bag 206 to “capsize” due to gravity. In other words, if the computer bag is held more or less horizontally against the user's body while still supported via strap 212 about the user's shoulder or neck, the swivel connections just described permit strap 212 to be moved off to the side of the bag 206, thus supporting the computer without obstructing the writing hand of the user. It has been found that the location of mushroom studs 208 ⅓ along the shorter linear dimension as just described readily prevents inadvertent tipping or capsizing of the computer when the computer is held generally horizontally with respect to the user's body, assuming that the computer screen is “right side up” with respect to the orientation of the computer bag 206 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5.

Preferably, the attachment mechanisms 210 and mushroom studs 208 are so dimensioned as to result in an overall flat profile when the attachment mechanisms are mounted on the studs 208. More particularly, the aggregate thickness of the attachment mechanisms 210 and mushroom studs 208 will preferably be no greater than that of handstrap 220. In this manner, when the bag 206 with computer is placed on a table or other flat surface (with the handstrap 220 facing towards the flat surface), the attachment mechanisms 210 will not protrude in a manner as to cause the computer to be inordinately sloped or tilted with respect to the flat surface. By way of sample dimensions (solely illustrative and in no way restrictive, the total (combined) thickness of handstrap 220 could be about 12 mm while the total height or thickness of the completely attached attachment mechanisms 210 could be about 11 mm.

If not otherwise stated herein, it is to be assumed that all patents, patent applications, patent publications and other publications (including web-based publications) mentioned and cited herein are hereby fully incorporated by reference herein as if set forth in their entirety herein.

Although illustrative embodiments of the present invention have been described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to those precise 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 of the invention.

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US8553401 *Jan 10, 2011Oct 8, 2013Charles A. Daley, IIIBag computer computing unit panel and display panel
US8559168 *Aug 24, 2011Oct 15, 2013Charles A. Daley, IIIBag computer system and bag apparatus
US8605416 *Sep 14, 2011Dec 10, 2013Charles A. Daley, IIIBag computer two part display panel
US8830666 *Jul 7, 2011Sep 9, 2014Charles A. Daley, IIIBag computer sliding deployment display panel assembly
US8867199 *Dec 19, 2011Oct 21, 2014Charles A. Daley, IIIBag computer two panel propping computer
US8934225 *Jul 15, 2013Jan 13, 2015Charles A. Daley, IIIBag computer system and bag apparatus
US20110102992 *Jan 10, 2011May 5, 2011Daley Iii Charles ABag computer computing unit panel and display panel
US20110267754 *Jul 7, 2011Nov 3, 2011Daley Iii Charles ABag computer sliding deployment display panel assembly
US20110304965 *Aug 24, 2011Dec 15, 2011Daley Iii Charles ABag computer system and bag apparatus
US20110304970 *Aug 18, 2011Dec 15, 2011Daley Iii Charles ABag computer system and bag apparatus
US20120008261 *Sep 14, 2011Jan 12, 2012Daley Iii Charles ABag computer two part display panel
US20120106055 *Dec 19, 2011May 3, 2012Daley Iii Charles ABag computer two panel propping computer
US20120275102 *Jun 29, 2012Nov 1, 2012Daley Iii Charles ABag computer display panel frame
WO2012143062A1 *Apr 22, 2011Oct 26, 2012Manureva InvestFlexible and removable system for closing an object
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/756
International ClassificationB65D25/10
Cooperative ClassificationA45C3/02, A45C13/30, A45C2011/003
European ClassificationA45C13/30
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 9, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: LENOVO (SINGAPORE) PTE. LTD., SINGAPORE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SWANSEY, JOHN D.;REEL/FRAME:019268/0463
Effective date: 20070327