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Publication numberUS20090223765 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/400,783
Publication dateSep 10, 2009
Filing dateMar 9, 2009
Priority dateMar 10, 2008
Publication number12400783, 400783, US 2009/0223765 A1, US 2009/223765 A1, US 20090223765 A1, US 20090223765A1, US 2009223765 A1, US 2009223765A1, US-A1-20090223765, US-A1-2009223765, US2009/0223765A1, US2009/223765A1, US20090223765 A1, US20090223765A1, US2009223765 A1, US2009223765A1
InventorsMarinus Bernard Bosma
Original AssigneeMarinus Bernard Bosma
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hinged checkpoint-friendly trolley bag with removable laptop case and method of using same
US 20090223765 A1
Abstract
An X-ray-permeable bag is provided with a hinged compartment attached to a wheeled trolley bag by a zippered hinge in side-by-side relationship but are spread horizontally about said hinge for edge-to-edge placement on a conveyor belt so as to allow separate X-ray inspection of the compartments without content removal. In its preferred form, the bag permits separate scanning of a laptop computer and the rest of the bags contents by utilizing a method that reduces the time required to perform an inspection while maintaining the integrity of the inspection process. Additionally, the zippered hinge allows the compartments to be separated so that they may be transported independently.
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Claims(7)
1. A portable bag for transporting objects to and from an X-ray station for flat inspection thereof, said bag comprising:
distinct first and second compartments which, when said portable bag is hand-carried, being in a vertical side-by-side relationship and functioning as a unitary carrier;
a hand carrying element connected to upper edge of at least one of said first and second compartments when carried; and
a hinge element adjacent to and aligned with said carrying element, said hinge element enabling said first and second compartments to be swung open to cause said compartments to lie in edge-to-edge relationship about said hinge element when placed in said X-ray station.
2. The portable bag in accordance with claim 1, wherein at least one of said first and second compartments is X-ray permeable comprising;
at least one of said first and second compartments being lined with padding;
a hinge pivot to allow said first and second compartments to open flat;
3. The portable bag in accordance with claim 2, further comprising a zippered hinge connecting said first and second compartments.
4. A method for X-ray inspecting a laptop computer disposed in a portable bag the steps comprising:
a) providing a portable bag having first and second compartments which, when said portable bag is hand-carried, being in a vertical side-by-side relationship and functioning as a unitary carrier;
b) hinging said compartments along their upper horizontal edges;
c) spreading said first and second hinged compartments to a horizontal condition; and
d) positioning said portable bag flat for X-ray inspection without removing the contents thereof.
5. The method in accordance with claim 4, including the additional step of restoring said compartments to their carrying condition.
6. The method in accordance with claim 5, wherein restoration is effected gravitationally.
7. The method in accordance with claim 6, including the step of causing said compartments to grip on another upon restoration.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation-in-part application of co-pending U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/068,722, filed Mar. 10, 2008, for CHECKPOINT FRIENDLY LAPTOP BAG, by Marinus Bernard Bosma and Virginia Marie Bosma, included by reference herein and for which benefit of the priority date is hereby claimed.

The present application is a continuation-in-part application of co-pending United States design patent application, Ser. No. 29/328,103, filed Nov. 19, 2008, for CHECKPOINT FRIENDLY TROLLEY BAG WITH REMOVABLE LAPTOP CASE, by Marinus Bernard Bosma and Virginia Marie Bosma, included by reference herein and for which benefit of the priority date is hereby claimed.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a carry-on travel bag and, more particularly, to a computer trolley bag that allows X-ray inspection of the laptop computer without removing it from the bag.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Over a quarter of all air travelers carry laptop computers with them when they pass through airport or other screening checkpoints. The requirement to remove the laptop computer from the bag is a common complaint. Despite the inconvenience it poses to passengers, it is a necessary requirement in order to ensure that the scanned image and more particularly an X-ray scanned image of the laptop computer is not further complicated by the superimposed images of the rest of the bag's contents. If a computer trolley bag were able to eliminate this requirement, it could lower passenger stress levels, increase checkpoint throughput, and reduce the number of claims received for laptop computers that have been damaged during screening. Screening checkpoints are in public buildings, airports; train stations and other forms of public transportation and many private enterprises such as businesses, military checkpoints and secure areas where there is a requirement to understand the composition and content of articles carried by someone into an area. Since screeners do not have time to re-screen laptops in bags that do not offer scanning compatibility, the bag must appear checkpoint friendly by its basic construction, instead of signs, logos, colors, materials or markings. Some airlines require additional fees for hold baggage so there is increasing pressure on passengers to bring baggage on board which increases the need for more efficient screening methods.

Not carrying the laptop computer as carry-on baggage is the most common solution to the problem of removing the laptop computer from the bag for security screening. However, with business travelers who want to get to their destinations and return quickly, having to check baggage is an unnecessary burden on both time and effort especially if the laptop computer is all that is being checked. Also, checking a laptop computer subjects it to the wear and tear caused by baggage handlers, conveyor belts, harsh baggage hold environments and the potential to get lost. The traveler can eliminate all this by carrying the laptop computer with them on the flight. Also, they may use the laptop computer on board, making their travel time more productive. Some airlines charge for hold baggage which increases the need to bring the laptop with the passenger.

There are several bags in the prior art with similar utility. U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,509,515; 5,947,241; 6,230,771 and 6,257,381 have two individual bags that are attached to each other with fasteners but do not provide for the assemblage to be laid on the X-ray scanner belt so that no obstructions are in the way of a clear X-ray view of the contents. None of these inventions specifically addresses security screening.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,059,371 is an attempt to ease security screening by allowing the bag to be peered into via a false panel. This invention does not require disassembly of the bag, but falls short of being X-ray friendly.

The systems in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,293,635 and 6,637,563 are based on the theory that being able to see the contents of a bag visually is enough to clear it through security screening. If that were the case there would be no need to have items X-rayed. A clear bag will show the contents of the bag even if the contents are not what they appear to be. So X-ray screening is still required for these bags.

It is not enough to make the contents visible. In the case of either of these clear bags, the laptop will still have to be removed in order to clear security if there are other items in the bag with it. Additionally, clear bags generally do not have a cushioning capability to protect the laptop from shock. The CarryClear™ laptop bag claims to have a clear cushioning capability but no examples have been shown. Australian provisional application, 2006/902437 discloses a clear laptop bag. The website for the CarryClear™ apparatus (http://carryclear.com) describes the product as being specifically designed for laptops and has some clear padding to protect the laptop. Like all the other preceding prior art, it does not address the suitability of X-ray screening.

Another approach is an accessory for luggage called the scanner bag (http://www.gadgetduck.com/goods/scannerbag.html) which is a line of small bags that are attached to the luggage handle to hold small items that normally would be placed in plastic open top bins to go through the scanner. This item is not big enough to neither hold a laptop nor provide means of ensuring that the laptop is unobstructed if placed inside one.

None of the prior art addresses the relationship between the design and X-ray screening which is the dominant technology for determining the safety of the public. Most of the prior art makes the assumption that being able to visually identify the contents of bags is sufficient. Seeing what appears to be a laptop computer through a transparent bag or a bag whose sides have been removed does not ensure that the contents are not cleverly disguised as an authorized item. Only by X-raying the articles and positively identifying its interior components can security screeners ensure no contraband. Therefore, despite having the items visible they still require removal from the bag if there are wires, power supplies, batteries, pens, keys or other items in the line of sight of the X-ray screening apparatus.

It would be advantageous to provide a multi-compartment travel bag the compartments of which are carried side-by-side but are hinged for placement in end-to-end relationship on a belt for ease of X-ray screening.

It would also be advantageous to provide a computer trolley bag that allows a laptop computer to be scanned at airport screening stations without having to be removed from its bag.

It would also be advantageous to provide a computer trolley bag that protects the laptop computer from damage.

It would also be advantageous to provide a format for the bag that is easily recognizable by airport security screening personnel as “checkpoint friendly,” a bag that allows the laptop computer to remain inside during security screening.

It would also be advantageous to provide a computer trolley bag that can display the keyboard and display of the laptop without removing it from the bag for additional verification that the article in the bag is a functional laptop computer.

It would also be advantageous to provide a bag that has a laptop computer compartment so tightly fitting to the laptop that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to put other items in the bag with the laptop.

It would also be advantageous to provide a multi-compartment travel bag where one compartment is intended only for a laptop computer.

It would also be advantageous to provide a bag that can be placed on and removed from the scanner belt without having to unsnap and re-snap fasteners.

It would also be advantageous to provide a bag that can be used as a work surface so that the laptop computer can be used without removing it from the bag.

It would also be advantageous to provide a bag that enables its easy deposit on and removal from a conveying belt through hand placement and handle pick-up respectively.

It would also be advantageous to eliminate the need for bins for containing laptop computers while scanning, as well as handling such bins in manual returning them to the inlet end of the scanner after each scanning cycle.

It would also be advantageous to have a removable laptop compartment to allow the carry of the laptop computer without having to bring personal items such as would be stowed in a suitcase with the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a computer trolley bag with a plurality of openable compartments so that the compartments can lie horizontally on the screening system conveyor. One compartment is for holding the laptop computer and nothing else. The other side of the bag has provisions for stowing objects that would otherwise obstruct a clear view of the laptop. The laptop compartment can swing out in a way to present it for the best aspect for X-ray scanning. The appearance of the bag with its two compartments and the manner in which they swing away from each other to lay flatly on the scanner belt distinguishes this laptop bag from standard computer trolley bag thereby making it readily recognizable by screening personnel as checkpoint friendly. The way this computer trolley bag is used is to stow the retractable pull handle, cleave the laptop compartment away from the rest of the bag, lay the bag on the X-ray scanning platform whether a conveyor or stationary and after X-ray scanning, lift the bag from the belt by the handle grip or shoulder straps restoring the bag to the pre-scanning configuration gravitationally.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawings, when considered in conjunction with the subsequent, detailed description, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the inventive checkpoint friendly trolley bag with removable laptop compartment as it appears with the laptop compartment partially separated.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the checkpoint friendly laptop bag showing its major components including the first compartment containing the laptop computer folded away from the trolley bag and laying flat on the X-ray belt for security screening.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the trolley bag in the mobility configuration with the laptop compartment joined to the rest of the bag.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the trolley bag showing the laptop case both joined and separated in phantom view.

For purposes of clarity and brevity, like elements and components will bear the same designations and numbering throughout the Figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a checkpoint friendly trolley bag with removable laptop case as it appears with the compartments partially separated. In normal use the first compartment 9 with the laptop therein is parallel and against the second compartment 12. They are secured by hook and loop fasteners 5. The hook and loop fasteners 5 keep the two compartments 1, 12 joined together when the bag is carried either by the handle 13 or when rolling on the wheels. This view also shows the pull handle 1 and extensible tubes 2 pulled out of the main body of the trolley bag so the entire bag can be pulled along. This view also shows D-rings 4 for carrying the trolley bag fully conjoined. This view also shows the conjoined handle made up of strap 3, strap 11 and cushioned wrap 13 which is affixed to strap 3. This view also shows X-ray permeable printed on markings 6 and 8. This view also shows hinge 10 which is collocated with strap 11.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a checkpoint friendly trolley bag showing its major components including the first compartment 9, second compartment 12 and pull handle 1 on top of extension tubes 2. This view shows the hinge 10 between the flattened aspect to give the X-ray scanner a better view of the contents of the laptop computer the first compartment 9. In order for screening authorities to recognize a checkpoint-friendly carry-on bag from one requiring additional screening or emptying there is a readily recognizable flat aspect between the first compartment 9 and the second compartment 12. The logo 6 and 8 are prominently displayed on the outer surface of the first compartment 9 and is highly X-ray permeable by virtue of being constructed of X-ray permeable paint or embroidered of the same material as the bag. In the case, of bags made of leather the logo 6 and 8 are embossed or debossed into the leather to maintain X-ray permeability. This view also shows trolley wheels 14 used to roll the trolley bag in the mobility configuration.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the bag in the mobility configuration with the pull handle grip 1 fully extended on extension tubes 2 coming out of the main body of the bag 12 and locked in place. The trolley bag strap 3 is connected to the laptop case 9 straps 11 by a wrap 13. The hinge 10 adjacent to the laptop case strap 9 is in the fully conjoined position. This view also shows the trolley bag D-rings 4 and laptop case 9 D-rings 7. This view also shows identification markings 6 and 8.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the trolley bag with pull handle grip 1 and handle extension tubes 2 in the fully extended position. This view shows how the hinge 10 can disconnect to allow the laptop case 9 to be separated and carried independently by strap 11 or on the shoulder with shoulder straps connected to D-rings 7.

To use the checkpoint friendly trolley bag with removable laptop case the user cleaves the first compartment 9 containing the laptop computer away from the second compartment 12 by pulling them away from each other at the bottom away from the hinge and laying the entire assembly flatly on the conveyor belt or scanner tray. The assembly passes under the X-ray beam where it is inspected and once the inspection is finished and the bag emerges from the scanner the user lifts the bag from the scanner surface by either the handle 13. The compartments 9, 12 will fall back together gravitationally and cling to each other by the hook and loop fasteners 5 between the compartments. The user then raises the handle 1 to the extended position. There is no further action required on the part of the user to restore the bag back to the mobility configuration.

Since other modifications and changes varied to fit particular operating requirements and environments will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the invention is not considered limited to the example chosen for purposes of disclosure, and covers all changes and modifications which do not constitute departures from the true spirit and scope of this invention.

Having thus described the invention, what is desired to be protected by Letters Patent is presented in the subsequently appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8079452 *May 12, 2009Dec 20, 2011Target Brands, Inc.Checkpoint carrying case
US8567578 *Feb 13, 2009Oct 29, 2013Targus Group International, Inc.Portable computer case
US8746449Mar 8, 2013Jun 10, 2014Targus Group International, Inc.Portable electronic device case accessories and related systems and methods
US8783458Dec 6, 2013Jul 22, 2014Targus Group International, Inc.Portable electronic device case accessories and related systems and methods
US20090229936 *Feb 13, 2009Sep 17, 2009Targus Group International, Inc.Portable computer case
US20130327608 *Jun 10, 2013Dec 12, 2013Think Tank Photo, Inc.Wheeled carrier and strap
EP2408327A1 *Jan 25, 2010Jan 25, 2012Tumi, Inc.Checkpoint-friendly bag for a laptop computer
WO2013130854A1 *Feb 28, 2013Sep 6, 2013Guidry Brian ChristopherMagnetic locking device system and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification190/108, 190/110, 206/320
International ClassificationA45C3/00, B65D85/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45C2013/025, A45C5/14, A45C2013/306, A45C7/0045
European ClassificationA45C7/00C4