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Publication numberUS20090194444 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/054,254
Publication dateAug 6, 2009
Filing dateMar 24, 2008
Priority dateOct 24, 2006
Also published asUS20100147716, US20110210020, US20120260611, WO2009120710A1
Publication number054254, 12054254, US 2009/0194444 A1, US 2009/194444 A1, US 20090194444 A1, US 20090194444A1, US 2009194444 A1, US 2009194444A1, US-A1-20090194444, US-A1-2009194444, US2009/0194444A1, US2009/194444A1, US20090194444 A1, US20090194444A1, US2009194444 A1, US2009194444A1
InventorsDarren Jones
Original AssigneeDarren Jones
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electronics Device Case
US 20090194444 A1
Abstract
A case for protecting and storing a preselected electronics device includes a flexible fabric material body and a strip of fabric extending from a portion of the body. The strip of fabric has an open and an inverted closed position. The body and strip of fabric in the closed position are together configured to envelope and tightly fit contours of the preselected electronics device.
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Claims(20)
1. A case for protecting and storing a preselected electronics device, comprising:
a flexible fabric material body having a front, a back, a first side including at least a first seam extending the length thereof, a second side including at least a second seam extending the length thereof, a top, and an opening along a bottom; and
a strip of fabric of the same material as the body for closing the opening, said strip extending from the back of the body near the opening and seamed into a length of each of the first side and the second side, said strip of fabric having an open position where the entirety of the strip of fabric rests substantially flush with a portion of the back of the body, and a closed position where the strip of fabric is inverted and covers the opening and is substantially flush with a portion of the front of the body,
wherein the body and strip of fabric in the closed position are together configured to envelope and tightly fit contours of the preselected electronics device.
2. The case of claim 1, wherein the flexible fabric material of the body is selected the group consisting of neoprene (polychloroprene), spandex (elastane), nylon, polyester fabric, rayon, olefin fiber, other petrochemical based fibrous materials, other seamable synthetic rubbers, and blends and combinations thereof.
3. The case of claim 1, wherein the strip of fabric extending from the back of the body is a separately attached material sewn onto the body as a separate panel.
4. The case of claim 1, wherein the strip of fabric extending from the back of the body is an extension of the fabric of the back of the body.
5. The case of claim 1, wherein the flexible fabric material body is made of a continuous cut of fabric.
6. The case of claim 5, wherein the flexible fabric material body and the strip of fabric are both made of a continuous cut of fabric.
7. The case of claim 1, wherein at least one of the first side or the second side includes two seams extending the length thereof, one seam located at the interface between the side and the back and the other seam located at the interface between the side and the front.
8. The case of claim 1, wherein the strip of fabric is seamed into a length of each of the first seam and the second seam.
9. The case of claim 1, wherein the preselected electronics device is selected from an portable media players, portable media receivers, cameras, personal digital assistants, cellular phones, global positioning systems, web browsers, Dictaphones, digital games, video game remotes, cordless phones, and hybrids and combinations thereof.
10. The case of claim 1, wherein the body and strip of fabric in the closed position are together configured to tightly fit substantially all contours of the preselected electronics device.
11. The case of claim 1, further comprising an aperture in the body of the case configured to be centered over a feature of the preselected electronics device selected from a viewable screen, a keypad, a button, jack, attached carrying strap, or combinations thereof.
12. The case of claim 11, further comprising a clear material attached to the body of the case and forming a window of the aperture.
13. The case of claim 1, further comprising an aperture in the body of the case configured to be centered over a projection of the preselected electronics device.
14. The case of claim 1, further comprising a cloth permanently attached to an interior of the case.
15. The case of claim 14, wherein the cloth is a microfiber cloth.
16. The case of claim 14, wherein the cloth is attached to an internal surface of the front of the case and configured for removal of a majority of the cloth from an internal cavity of the case.
17. The case of claim 14, wherein the cloth is configured to extend over at least one feature of the electronics device not encased in an outer shell.
18. The case of claim 1, wherein the case is substantially free of releasable attachments.
19. A case for protecting and storing a rhombical camera, comprising:
a thin neoprene body of a continuous cut, said body having a front, a back, a first side including a first seam extending the length thereof, a second side including a second seam extending the length thereof, a top, and an opening along a bottom;
a strip of the continuous cut of neoprene of the body, said strip extending from the back of the body near the opening and seamed into a length of each of the first seam and the second seam, said strip having an open position where the entirety of the strip rests substantially flush with a portion of the back of the body, and a closed position where the strip is inverted and covers the opening and is substantially flush with a portion of the front of the body; and
a microfiber cloth permanently attached to an interior surface of the front of the case and configured for removal of a majority of the cloth from an internal cavity of the case and further configured to substantially cover and rest against a viewing screen of the camera when enclosed in the case,
wherein the body and closure flap in the closed position are together configured to envelope and tightly fit substantially all contours of the camera.
20. A case for protecting and storing an audio player, comprising:
a neoprene body having a front, a back, a first side including at least a first seam extending the length thereof, a second side including at least a second seam extending the length thereof, a top, and an opening along a bottom, wherein the body further includes at least one aperture centered over at least one of a power jack and an audio jack; and
a neoprene strip for closing the opening, said strip extending from the back of the body near the opening and seamed into a length of each of the first seam and the second seam, said strip having an open position where the entirety of the strip rests substantially flush with a portion of the back of the body, and a closed position where the strip is inverted and covers the opening and is substantially flush with a portion of the front of the body,
wherein the body and strip in the closed position are together configured to envelope and tightly fit contours of the audio player.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Design patent application Ser. No. 29/268,088, filed on Oct. 24, 2006, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Electronics devices, particularly in this day and age, are often designed to be transportable, and easy to use “on the go.” Unfortunately, many such electronics devices are susceptible to damage from such movement and even storage. Many devices include a robust outer shell, however, many aspects are not encased in the outer shell. Aspects such as view screens, lenses, key pads and the like are susceptible to scratches, breakage, etc., as they generally cannot be encased in a robust outer shell due to functionality and size concerns. Additionally, the robust outer shells, themselves, are susceptible to scratches and other deformations, which can potentially harm the inner workings of the electronics device, or at the very least damage the aesthetic nature of the robust outer shell.
  • [0003]
    In order to protect certain electronic devices, a number of bags and storage cases have been made. Such bags and/or cases are highly padded so as to best protect the electronic device from damage. While adequately protecting the electronic device, the added bulk reduces the mobility of the electronics device.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    Accordingly, the present invention provides a case for protecting and storing an electronics device. The case can be for a preselected electronics device and can include a flexible fabric material body and a strip of fabric of the same material for closing an opening. The body can include, for ease of discussion, a front, a back a first side, a second side, a top, and an opening along a bottom. Each of the two sides can include a seam extending the length of the side. The strip of fabric can extend from the back of the body near the opening. Additionally, the strip can be seamed into a length of each of the first and second sides. The strip can have an open position and a closed position. In the open position, the entirety of the strip can rest substantially flush with a portion of the back of the body. In the closed position, the strip is inverted and covers the opening and is substantially flush with a portion of the front of the body. The body and strip of fabric in the closed position, together, can be configured to envelope and tightly fit contours of the preselected electronics device.
  • [0005]
    There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, various features of the invention so that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and so that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. Other features of the present invention will become clearer from the following detailed description of the invention, taken with the accompanying claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0006]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a front of an electronics device case having a strip of fabric in the closed position, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0007]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a front of an electronics device case having a strip of fabric in the open position, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 3 is a front view of an electronics device case having a strip of fabric in the closed position, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0009]
    FIG. 4 is a back view of an electronics device case having a strip of fabric in the closed position, wherein the body of the electronics device and the strip of fabric are a continuous cut of fabric, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 5 is a side view of an electronics device case having a strip of fabric in the closed position and further including a loop attachment, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 6 is a side view of an opposite side of that shown in FIG. 5. The view is of an electronics device case having a strip of fabric in the closed position, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 7 is a bottom view of an electronics device case having a strip of fabric in the closed position and further including a loop attachment, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 8 is a top view of an electronics device case having a strip of fabric in the closed position and further including a loop attachment, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an electronics device case having a strip of fabric in the open position and further having a camera partially enveloped in the case, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 10 is a perspective vies of an electronics device case having a cloth permanently attached to the interior of the case and illustrated as residing outside of the case, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0016]
    Reference will now be made to the exemplary embodiments, and specific language will be used herein to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Alterations and further modifications of the inventive features, process steps, and materials illustrated herein, and additional applications of the principles of the inventions as illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention. It should also be understood that terminology employed herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting.
  • DEFINITIONS
  • [0017]
    In describing and claiming the present invention, the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set forth below.
  • [0018]
    The singular forms “a,” “an,” and, “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to “a seam” includes reference to one or more of such seams, and reference to “the aperture” includes reference to one or more of such apertures.
  • [0019]
    The term, “rhombical,” as used herein, is used to describe a three-dimensional shape having substantially six faces. Alternatively or additionally, “rhombical” can be used to indicate a three-dimensional shape having at least two faces that each have four sides. Such sides can optionally be at right angles (a rectangular shape), and can optionally be of equal length (a square shape).
  • [0020]
    The term “flexible fabric material” refer to textiles having elasticity and the capacity to maintain their integrity through conventional sewing techniques. Such flexible fabric materials are not deformed from normal stretching, but return to their original shape once the stretching stress is removed. Typically, fabrics having these qualities are not translucent. Non-limiting examples of materials that can be used include synthetic rubbers such as neoprene (polychloroprene); petrochemical based or other synthetically manufactured fibrous materials such as spandex (elastane), nylon, polyester fabric, rayon, olefin fiber, and particularly combinations and blends of the noted materials with each other and with other animal, plant, mineral or synthetic based textile such as cotton. In one aspect, the flexible fabric material can include a blend including neoprene and spandex. Furthermore, within the body of the description, the terms “fabric” and “material” are used interchangeably unless noted otherwise.
  • [0021]
    The term “flush” is used according to its plain meaning and specifically relates to direct physical contact between two surfaces that are substantially parallel to one another.
  • [0022]
    As used herein, the term “tightly” refers to a fit including direct physical contact between at least a majority of surfaces sufficient to create a resistance to displacement due to the frictional forces caused by the contact of the surfaces. For proper use of the case, the degree of friction maintaining placement of an electronics device in an associated case should be relatively easy to overcome by user manipulation (as with inserting and removing the electronics device).
  • [0023]
    As used herein, the term “configured to” refers to the purposeful selection, placement and/or design to effectuate a predetermined function or purpose. Therefore, configuring something to do something requires first, an identified objective or purpose, and second, selection and designing to reach the purpose or objective. As such, qualities resulting from manufacture without a predetermined (i.e. determined prior to manufacture) objective or purpose are not considered to result from “configured to” designs.
  • [0024]
    As used herein, “substantially” refers to situations close to and including 100%. Substantially is used to indicate that, though 100% is desirable, a small deviation therefrom is acceptable.
  • [0025]
    As used herein, the term “about” is used to provide flexibility to a numerical range endpoint by providing that a given value may be “a little above” or “a little below” the endpoint.
  • [0026]
    As used herein, a plurality of items, structural elements, compositional elements, and/or materials may be presented in a common list for convenience. However, these lists should be construed as though each member of the list is individually identified as a separate and unique member. Thus, no individual member of such list should be construed as a de facto equivalent of any other member of the same list solely based on their presentation in a common group without indications to the contrary.
  • [0027]
    As used herein, directional-based descriptive terms, such as “front,” “back,” “side,” “top,” “bottom,” and the like are used strictly for ease of discussion. Such use is not to be interpreted, even when used in claims, as requiring such direction, or that the directional descriptors match or mirror any electronics device associated therewith, or that the case is to be held and/or used according to the descriptive terms.
  • [0028]
    Concentrations, amounts, and other numerical data may be expressed or presented herein in a range format. It is to be understood that such a range format is used merely for convenience and brevity and thus should be interpreted flexibly to include not only the numerical values explicitly recited as the limits of the range, but also to include all the individual numerical values or sub-ranges encompassed within that range as if each numerical value and sub-range is explicitly recited. As an illustration, a numerical range of “about 1 to about 5” should be interpreted to include not only the explicitly recited values of about 1 to about 5, but also include individual values and sub-ranges within the indicated range. Thus, included in this numerical range are individual values such as 2, 3, and 4 and sub-ranges such as from 1-3, from 2-4, and from 3-5, etc.
  • [0029]
    This same principle applies to ranges reciting only one numerical value. Furthermore, such an interpretation should apply regardless of the breadth of the range or the characteristics being described.
  • [0030]
    The Invention
  • [0031]
    As noted previously, there is concern when transporting and/or storing electronic devices. Often, while transporting, an unprotected electronics device is subjected to unwanted bumps, scrapes, drops, and the like, which can not only lessen the aesthetic virtue of the electronics device, but can also cause damage to the components of the electronics device. Therefore, a market for the likes of camera bags and other protective bags for electronics devices emerged. However, the trend in electronics device design is to create a device that is portable and can easily be taken from place to place. The use of a bag that adds bulk and weight to an electronics device contradicts the trend towards smaller, more easily portable, devices. Therefore, an electronics device case that provides protection and storage is provided herein, which does not substantially add to the bulk and/or weight of the electronics device.
  • [0032]
    Electronics devices come in a variety of forms. Generally, electronics devices include electrical components, which are used to provide utility to a consumer. Such utility can include, e.g., computational, storage, entertainment, communicative, transmissive, etc. An electronic device can be free-standing, such as a cellular phone, or, as with a video game controller, can be connected to a console, or other object to provide either power and/or desired connectivity. Electronic devices typically have a robust outer shell or casing. As discussed, such outer shells are susceptible to scratching and other damage. Most if not all electronic devices also include sensitive areas, or generally those features not protected by a robust outer shell. Non-limiting examples of sensitive areas or features include buttons, view screens, unshielded lenses, keypads, flash projectors, sensors, etc.
  • [0033]
    Often, an electronics device will include more than one sensitive area or feature. For example, a digital camera often includes a lens or lens attachment region, a view screen, buttons of various forms configured to turn the camera on or off, configured to open a shutter and thereby take the picture as well as to adjust zoom and other properties of the camera's operations, and further configured to maneuver through digital menus and storage viewing of the camera. The camera example may further include sensitive areas configured for connection, such as data connections (e.g. USB), headphone or speaker jacks, power charging jacks, etc.
  • [0034]
    Non-limiting examples of electronic devices include portable media players including specifically audio and/or video players (such as devices having the capacity or being configured to primarily play music media or files, including cassettes, compact discs, DVDs, MP3, WAV, AIFF, AU, WMA, TTA, FLAC, APE, WV, TAK, AAC, ALE, ALAC, AAC, OGG, MPC, RAW, GSM, DCT, VOX, MP4/M4A, RA, RAM, DSS, MSV, DVF, any later developed format and/or player, and combinations thereof, and also specifically including portable radio and television receivers), cameras (both still and moving image, digital and non-digital), personal digital assistants (“PDA”), cellular phones, global positioning systems, web browsers, Dictaphone, digital games, video game remotes, cordless phones, laptop computers, etc.
  • [0035]
    For each electronics device, an electronics device case can be utilized to protect and store the electronics device. The cases contemplated herein are made of a flexible fabric material. Such material, as a properly tailored case, is capable of at least partially taking the shape of the underlying electronics device. The material is further capable of being seamed or sewn as a means of attaching and tailoring. Furthermore, the material should be selected so as to optimize the degree of protection to the electronics device, while limiting the bulk and/or weight added by the case. Non-limiting examples of materials that can be used include neoprene (polychloroprene), spandex (elastane), nylon, polyester fabric, rayon, olefin fiber, other petrochemical based fibrous materials, other seamable synthetic rubbers, and blends and combinations thereof. Such materials can optionally include patterns or designs, including marketing materials and/or logos. Furthermore, the material can optionally be chemically treated (surface or otherwise) to alter or enhance any characteristics, as is known in the textile arts.
  • [0036]
    As the fabric material is to be form-fitting to an electronics device, and furthermore includes a strip of fabric to be used to open or close the case, such fabric must include a degree of elasticity sufficient to permit the strip of fabric to invert from the open to the closed position while (a) enclosing a preselected electronics device, and (b) forming an envelope that tightly fits contours of the electronics device. The particular design of the case is directly related to the preselected or identified electronics device for which it is to case, and therefore, the case is configured for a use with a particular electronics device. As such, the cases disclosed herein are not of a one-size-fits-all type, nor are they configured to be generally interchangeable. An exception to the rule may occur where a case is used for two electronics devices having the same dimensions and contours. The contours of an electronics device include not only the dimensions of the object, but also any curvature, protrusions, and any variations from a flat surface.
  • [0037]
    The particular design of the case can optionally include seams along one or more of the major edges of the electronics device, so as to better form the tight fit and ability of the case to better fit to the contours of the electronics device. As mentioned, the case includes a strip of fabric for closing the opening. Such strip of fabric, or closure flap, is seamed into body of the case in at least two points, and for a length at each point. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the case 2, for ease of discussion, has a front 4, a top 6, a bottom 8, a left side 10, a right side 12 (showing only the edge between the right side and the top). The case also has a back. The strip of fabric 14 is in the closed position wherein the strip of fabric is inverted and covers the opening and is substantially flush with a portion of the front of the body 16.
  • [0038]
    In an optional embodiment, a continuous cut of fabric can be arranged to form the body of the case and the strip of fabric for closing the opening. In such case, the continuous cut of fabric can be folded three times to produce a general shape of the desired electronics device. In the case of forming a rectangular shaped case, a length of fabric around or greater than two and a half times longer than the length of a front of back of the electronics device can be used. The first fold can be at a relatively short length to provide the strip of fabric for closing the opening, and the next fold can bring the end of the length to a spot near or at the fold. The unfolded side (originally the long sides of the continuous cut of rectangular material) can be seamed together completely. The case can then be turned right side out, as is know in the sewing art, wherein the first turning reveals an open case, and the next turn (this time of the smaller fold) closes the case.
  • [0039]
    Alternatively, the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, shows a continuous cut of fabric making up the body of the case, and a separate piece of fabric, attached to the back of the body, along the bottom. In the figure, seams are shown around the side 10, and continuing to the bottom 8. Such seam continues around the top and opposite sides, although not shown. The strip of fabric 14 is seamed into a length of each of the sides 10 and 12 (shown seam 18 on side 10). The general seaming of FIG. 1 is similar to that which would result of utilizing a continuous cut of fabric, but for the attachment of the strip of fabric to the body. The strip of fabric of FIG. 1 further includes a hem that includes a zig-zag stitch 20. It should be noted that while the illustrated hem includes a zig-zag stitch, any method of hemming the strip of fabric (both conventional and non-conventional), including a straight stitch, any functional and/or decorative stitches, any number of folds or rolling the fabric, or any fabric edge treatment, such as serging, application of chemicals, decorative cutting, and other edge finishes, can optionally be used alone and in combination. Alternatively, the edge of fabric of the strip of fabric can be untreated.
  • [0040]
    As noted, the case 2 illustrated in FIG. 1 includes a single seam extending the full length of each side 10, 12. In an alternate embodiment, a side can include more than one seam of equal or differing lengths. FIG. 1 further illustrates a loop 22 seamed into the left side 10. Such loop can allow for attachment of the case to other objects, can be coupled to a clasp, or can be enlarged to permit attachment to a wrist. Additionally, a loop, or any other attachment device, or tag, or further accessory for the case or electronics device, can be attached at any point of the case. Such attachment can be by seaming, or by adhering, directly sewing, etc., to a non-seam portion of the case. For example, a loop can be attached to the top of a case, multiple loops can be attached to the same side, or a tag, including a logo of a company, can be seamed into the side of a case.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 2 shows an electronics device case having the strip of fabric in the closed position where the strip of fabric rests substantially flush with a portion of the back of the body. FIG. 2 is the case of FIG. 1, illustrating the differences between the open and the closed positions for the strip of fabric. As shown, the case includes a top 6, two sides 10, 12, the attached loop 22, the front 4, the opposite side of the strip of fabric 24 is flush with the back of the case (not shown). Such positioning of the strip of fabric reveals an opening 26, wherein an electronics device can be inserted into the case. Although the case is portrayed in FIGS. 1 and 2 as holding a generally rectangular shape, it should be noted that generally, the materials employed in creating the case do not take such a distinct form until they envelop or glove an electronics device.
  • [0042]
    The strip of fabric for closing the opening is particularly configured to securely close the opening of the case without requiring releasable attachments such as, e.g., hook and loop, buttons, snaps, buckles, adhesives, hooks, zippers, drawstrings, clasps, etc. Rather, the effective closing of the case is a result of the product design including the strip of fabric seamed into a length of two sides of the case, and being composed of a fabric having an elasticity sufficient to allow for inversion of the strip from open position to closed position. One advantage in the design is the optional lack of releasable attachments, thus simplifying the case generally. Furthermore, releasable attachments can be prone to catching on and/or scratching the electronics device, when placed together. Additionally, such releasable attachments can be prone to wearing faster than the rest of a bag or enclosure for an electronics device. They can rip or fall off, thus rendering the bag or enclosure ineffective at protecting and storing an electronics device. That said, in one aspect, the case, according to the present application, can include one or more releasable attachments. Such attachments would likely be used at a point on the front of the case wherein the strip of fabric meets the front.
  • [0043]
    The front of case of FIG. 1 is illustrated in FIG. 3. As shown, the front 4 of the case 2 includes a strip of fabric 14 in the closed position. The strip of fabric is nearest the bottom 8 of the case. Similarly, FIG. 4 illustrates the back of the case of FIG. 1, wherein the strip of fabric is in the closed position. Shown is the back 30, the two sides 10, 12 (inverted from the FIGS. 1 and 3), the top 6 and bottom 8 of the case.
  • [0044]
    A direct view of the two sides of the case of FIG. 1 are illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6. Specifically, FIG. 5 is a view of the side 10 of FIG. 1, and FIG. 6 is view of the side 12 of FIG. 1. Each figure shows the front 4, back 30, top 6, bottom 8, strip of fabric 14 in the closed position where it is flush with the front, stitching along the full length of each side 18 and 32 respectively. Although the illustrated embodiment includes a single seam extending the length of each side, it should be noted that each side can independently include a plurality of seams, optionally extending the length thereof. Furthermore, a single continuous seam can extend from one side, across the bottom, and onto a second side. In one aspect, a single continuous seam can be substantially the only seam, besides optional hemming, present in the case. Alternatively, one or both sides can include two seams extending the length thereof. In such embodiment, it can be optional that one or both sides includes the two seams located at the interface between (a) the side and the back and (b) the side and the front of the case.
  • [0045]
    As the case is to fit tightly to an electronics device, the cases can be of any shape and size so as to best match the contours of the electronics device. Further, the size and shape of the faces of the body of the case can vary in relation to one another as needed to form the proper contour. In one aspect, the front and the back can be substantially the same size. In one aspect, one or more seams can act as structural members to the case. The body and strip of fabric in the closed position are together configured to envelope and tightly fit contours of the preselected electronics device. Properly located seams can assist fitting the contours properly. For example, in one aspect, it may be useful to locate seams along angles of the electronics device, such as edges. In one aspect, the body and strip of fabric in the closed position can together be configured to tightly fit substantially all contours of the preselected electronics device.
  • [0046]
    The top and bottom of the case of FIG. 1 are shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, respectively. FIG. 7 shows the top 6 of the case 2 with the sides 12 and 10, the loop 22, the back 30, and the front 4. The lip of the strip of fabric 14 is against the front of the case. FIG. 7 illustrates an aperture 31 edged by a grommet. Apertures of this type are optional, and can be placed in a variety can allow for protruding portions of the electronic device to extend from the cover without compromising the tight fit of the cover. In one aspect, the aperture can be configured to be placed over or near a strap attached to the electronics device, thereby allowing for the strap to be threaded through the aperture and utilized with the electronics device as intended. FIG. 8 shows the bottom view of FIG. 1, wherein the case 2 has a back 30, a bottom 8, two sides 10 and 12, and a loop 22 attached to side 10. The view of the bottom also shows the strip of fabric 14 for closing the opening. If the strip of fabric were inverted, the present view would be directly into the case through the opening.
  • [0047]
    It should be noted that the figures are identified in regions such as top, bottom, sides, front, and back, and such identification is, at times, along a substantial area of the region (such as the front 4 of FIG. 1), whereas, at other times, the identified region is at the termination line or point of the region (such as the top 6 of FIG. 1). In one aspect, the transition between two adjacent regions can be abrupt, and occur along a common boundary (such as a fold in the fabric, or even a deliberate seam), whereas, in another aspect, the transition between two adjacent regions can be a general blending wherein a limited space can be properly labeled as two regions (e.g. side and front) on a case. Furthermore, due to the nature of the material utilized to create the case, the definition of regions may be difficult until the electronics device is fully inserted, as the electronics device lends structure to the case due to the tight fit.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 9 shows a camera 34 partially inserted into a case 36. As illustrated, the case has a front 38 that terminates in an opening through which the camera is inserted. The strip of material 40 for closing the opening is inverted and in the closed position, flush against the back, and in this case, also flush against a portion of the side 42. The portion of the camera shown includes a viewing or digital screen 44. Additionally, the camera illustrated includes a hand strap 46 that is shown threaded through an aperture (not shown) on the top of the case (also not shown).
  • [0049]
    FIG. 10 shows an electronics device case 48. As illustrated, the case has a front 50 that terminates in an opening through which the electronics device can be inserted. The strip of material 52 for closing the opening can be inverted and in the closed position, flush against the back (not shown), and in this case, also flush against a portion of the side 54. The electronics device case additionally includes a cloth 56 attached to an interior of the case. In the illustrated embodiment, a rhombical cloth is attached at a corner of the cloth to the interior front surface of case. As shown, the bulk of the cloth is removed from the interior of the case. Cloths, such as the one illustrated can be removed, at least partially, to allow for use in wiping and/or cleaning of an electronics device. The cloth can also optionally be inserted into the case in a manner to wrap the electronics device, or at least partially cover part of the surface of the electronics device, when stored in the case.
  • [0050]
    Various adaptations of the cases are contemplated herein. In one aspect, the case can include one or more apertures in the body of the case. Many electronic devices include features that a user may desire to be uncovered, and therefore accessible, while the electronics device is enveloped and stored in the case. One or more aperture in the body of the case can be over the feature or features. In one aspect, the aperture(s) can be centered over the desired feature. Non-limiting examples of features that may be desirable to have accessible while the electronics device is enclosed in the case include a viewable screen, a keypad, a button or buttons, a jack (such as a power jack, data transfer attachment jack, headphone jack, speaker jack, etc.), and combinations thereof. The aperture can be of any shape and size, provided a majority of the electronics device is enclosed and covered by the case.
  • [0051]
    At times, it may be useful for one or more feature of an electronics device to be viewable, although still protected from direct contact. In such cases, the body can include one or more apertures, appropriately shaped, and optionally centered over the feature, and further including a clear material attached to the body of the case so as to form a window of the aperture. Generally, transparent polymeric materials are preferred materials for use as the clear material.
  • [0052]
    Apertures in the body of the case can optionally be configured to permit projections of the contours of the electronics device to project out of the case. As a non-limiting example, an antenna can be configured to project through the case. Such an arrangement, as with the majority of apertures in the contours of electronics devices, can allow for a better, tighter, fit of the case to the electronics device.
  • [0053]
    Any of the apertures of the case can optionally include an aperture cover, which can optionally be of the same material as the body of the case, and can be configured to close or cover at least a part of the aperture. In one aspect, the aperture cover can be configured to attach securely over the aperture by any of the attachment means disclosed herein. Further, the aperture cover can be configured to rest flat on the aperture unless manually removed to reveal the aperture.
  • [0054]
    Many electronics devices include viewing screens and/or lenses. Such features, for example, may tend to accumulate dust and dirt, which lessens their effectiveness and can potentially ruin the feature and/or electronics device. As such, in one aspect, a cloth can be permanently or removably attached to an interior of the case. Such attachment can be at any location in the interior of the case, including the backside of the front, the backside of the back, the backside of any sides or the portion of the strip of fabric that completes the interior of the case when in the closed position. Such cloth can be attached by any method, including, but not limited to, seamed into the case, snaps, hook and loop, buttons, buckles, adhesives, hooks, zippers, clasps, and combinations thereof. Preferably, the attachment position and type makes possible the removal of at least a majority of the cloth, although the present application contemplates any removal and exposure of the cloth. The cloth can be of any shape and size. In one aspect, the cloth is rhombical and is optionally of a size similar to that of the back or front of the case.
  • [0055]
    The cloth may be made of a wide variety of materials and fabrics that are suited to accomplishing a specific purpose, such as cleaning or treating a lens or screen without scratching it. Nearly any woven or non-woven fabrics may be used. Further, fabrics with a selected degree of absorbability may be used with some cloths being selected to be more absorbent than others. Examples include without limitation, cotton, polyester, and other cloths, microfiber cloths, super absorbent cloths or materials, such as chamois, and other natural or synthetic absorbent materials. In one aspect, the cloth can be a microfiber cloth. The cloth may additionally be configured to hold a variety of materials useful in treating lens- or screen-bearing devices, such as cleaning and anti-fog solutions, polishes, waxes, etc.
  • [0056]
    Thus, when attached to the interior of the case in certain embodiments, the cloth can provide a soft and protective interior to protect the electronics device from being scratched or otherwise abraded from rougher fabrics, at least in part. For example, in some embodiments, the cloth may be attached near the lip of the opening and extend down along one interior side of the case, thus adding an extra measure of scratch and abrasion prevention for sensitive areas such as screens, lenses, and viewfinders on the electronics device. In some embodiments, the cloth may be attached a multiple points of attachment inside the case, and in another aspect, the cloth may be a lining or other configuration that can be extended from the case to be used in a cleaning or treatment function. The cloth can further provide an additional level of protection in that it can be configured to extend over features of the electronics device not protected by an outer shell. When the electronics device is inserted into the case, at least a portion of it can tightly fit against the cloth inside the case. As the cloth is considered, in such instance, to be an extension of the case, and lends itself to the tight fit of the case to the electronics device.
  • [0057]
    In a specific embodiment, a case can be for protecting and storing a rhombical camera. The case can include a thin neoprene body of a continuous cut. The body can include a front, a back, two sides each including a seam extending the length thereof, a top, and an opening along a bottom. The case can further include a strip of the continuous cut of neoprene of the body. The strip can extend from the back of the body near the opening and can be seamed into a length of each of the side seams. The strip can have an open position where the entirety of the strip rests substantially flush with a portion of the back of the body. The strip can also have a closed position where the strip is inverted and covers the opening and is substantially flush with a portion of the front of the body. The case can also optionally include a microfiber cloth permanently attached to an interior surface of the front of the case and be configured for removal of a majority of the cloth from an internal cavity of the case and can be further configured to substantially cover and rest against a viewing screen of the camera when enclosed in the case. Additionally, the body and closure flap in the closed position can be configured to envelope and tightly fit substantially all contours of the camera.
  • [0058]
    In another specific embodiment, a case for protecting and storing an audio player can include a neoprene body and a neoprene strip. The neoprene body can include a front, a back, a first side including at least a first seam extending the length thereof, a second side including at least a second seam extending the length thereof, a top, and an opening along a bottom. The body can also include at least one aperture centered over at least one of a power jack and an audio jack. The neoprene strip can be configured for closing the opening. The strip can extend from the back of the body near the opening and can be seamed into a length of each of the first seam and the second seam. The strip can have an open position where the entirety of the strip rests substantially flush with a portion of the back of the body, and can have a closed position where the strip is inverted and covers the opening and is substantially flush with a portion of the front of the body. The body and strip in the closed position are together configured to envelope and tightly fit contours of the audio player.
  • [0059]
    Of course, it is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present invention. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and the appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements. Thus, while the present invention has been described above with particularity and detail in connection with what is presently deemed to be the most practical and preferred embodiments of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/320
International ClassificationB65D85/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45C11/24, A45C3/00, A45C2011/002, A45C13/002, A45C13/36, A45F2005/008, A45C2011/001, A45F5/00, A45C2013/303, A45C3/001, A45F2005/006, A45C11/38
European ClassificationA45C11/24, A45C3/00B, A45C13/36, A45F5/00, A45C11/38, A45C3/00, A45C13/00C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 9, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: ALPINE INNOVATIONS, LLC, UTAH
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JONES, DARREN;REEL/FRAME:021065/0431
Effective date: 20080411