Title:
Camera Case With Suspension System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A storage case for an electronics device is provided that includes a main storage compartment with a selectively adjustable suspension system that selectively interconnects to sidewalls of the main storage compartment, thus providing the user with the ability to customize the storage area within the main storage compartment. The suspension system also is resiliently deflectable to help dissipate shock loads resulting from drops, for example. The storage case in one embodiment is designed for cameras and may also include a plurality of lens storage compartments with selectively adjustable lens dividers, storage pockets, and storage compartments.



Inventors:
Hassett, Eric S. (Golden, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/421333
Publication Date:
12/21/2006
Filing Date:
05/31/2006
Assignee:
CASE LOGIC, INC. (6303 Dry Creek Parkway, Longmont, CO, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/305, 206/316.1, 206/321
International Classes:
B65D85/38; B65D85/46
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STEPHENS III, JOSE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sheridan, Ross PC. (1560 BROADWAY, SUITE 1200, DENVER, CO, 80202, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A storage case adapted to retain a camera and lens comprising: a front panel, a rear panel and lateral panels positioned therebetween; a bottom panel interconnected to said front panel, said rear panel and said lateral panels; a top panel selectively interconnected to an upper edge of at least one of said front panel, said rear panel and said lateral panels and which is adapted for selective opening and closing; an internal suspension system comprising a resilient material with an aperture positioned therethrough that is adapted to receive a camera lens, said resilient material selectively interconnected to an interior surface of at least one of said front panel, said rear panel and said lateral panels, wherein the camera lens is suspended above said bottom panel.

2. The storage case of claim 1, wherein said front panel further includes a selectively openable flap that provides access to a storage pocket.

3. The storage case of claim 1, wherein said rear panel further includes a selectively openable flap that provides access to a storage pocket.

4. The storage case of claim 1, wherein at least one of said left panel and said right panel is adapted to selectively open to provide a location for storage.

5. The storage case of claim 4, wherein said location for storage is adapted to secure a camera lens, said location for storage including a selectively adjustable and removable divider.

6. The storage case of claim 1, wherein said selectively adjustable suspension system includes a front edge and a rear edge, both including a selective interconnection device located adjacent thereto, said front edge and said rear edge adapted for selective interconnection with an inner surface of said front panel and an inner surface of said rear panel, wherein the height of the suspension system in the storage case may be selectively altered.

7. The storage case of claim 6, wherein said selective interconnection device is at least one of a snap, a latch, a hook and loop fastener, a clasp and a buckle.

8. The storage case of claim 4, wherein said selectively adjustable and removable divider includes at least one surface for selective interconnection to the interior surfaces of said at least one of said left panel and said right panel.

9. The storage case of claim 8, wherein said selective interconnection mechanism is at least one of a hook, a latch, a snap, a hook and loop fastener and a buckle.

10. A storage device adapted to secure an electronics device, comprising: a front panel, a rear panel and lateral panels extending therebetween; a bottom panel interconnected to said front panel and said rear panel and said lateral panels; a top panel selectively interconnected to at least one of said front panel, said rear panel and said lateral panel; and a selectively adjustable means for suspending an item to be stored above said bottom panel to a referred height, said selectively adjustable means for being selectively interconnectable to at least an inner wall of said front panel, said back panel and said lateral panels.

11. The storage device of claim 10, wherein said selectively adjustable means for suspending an item to be stored above said bottom panel is selectively interconnected to at least an inner wall of said front panel an inner wall of said back panel and an inner wall of said lateral panels.

12. The storage device of claim 10, wherein said means for suspending an item to be stored above said bottom panel includes an aperture for receiving a portion of the item to be stored, said means being selectively interconnectable to at least an inner wall of said front panel, said back panel and said lateral panels.

13. The storage device of claim 10, wherein said front panel further includes a selectively openable flap that provides access to a secondary storage area.

14. The storage device of claim 10, wherein at least one of said left panel and said right panel is selectively accessible and adapted to secure an item related to the stored item.

15. The storage device of claim 14, wherein said storage area provided by at least one said left panel and said right panel is adapted to include a selectively adjustable and removable divider.

16. The storage device of claim 10, wherein said selectively adjustable means includes at least one of a snap, a latch, a hook and loop fastener, a clasp, a hook and a buckle.

17. The storage device of claim 15, wherein said selectively adjustable and removable divider includes at least one surface for interconnection to the interior surfaces of said at least one of said left panel and said right panel.

18. The storage device of claim 10, further including a handle positioned adjacent to the top panel of the storage case.

19. The storage device of claim 10, further including at least one strap positioned about the front of a portion of the front panel and the back panel and spanning across the bottom panel, said strap being comprised of an elastic material and capable of selective displacement from said lower panel.

20. The storage device of claim 10, wherein said bottom panel is comprised at least of a rigid material.

21. The storage device of claim 10, wherein said bottom panel is at least comprised of a shock resistant material.

22. The storage device of claim 21, wherein said shock resistant material is at least one of rubber, a foam, a polyethylene, and a polypropylene.

23. The storage device of claim 10, wherein said bottom panel and a portion of said front panel, said rear panel and said lateral panels adjacent to said bottom panel is comprised of a material that reduces shock.

24. The storage device of claim 10, wherein the electronics device is a camera.

25. The storage case of claim 12, wherein said electronics device is a camera with a lens for insertion into an aperture of said selectively adjustable means for suspending an item.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/687,294, filed Jun. 3, 2005, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to storage cases for electronic devices and other impact sensitive devices. More specifically, one embodiment of the present invention is a camera storage case with a selectively adjustable suspension system that provides an inner storage volume that may be customized, while also providing adequate protection to the electronic device stored therein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Expensive electronic equipment, such as cameras, require a high level of protection. Often storage cases are employed to provide the required protection from the elements and from impacts, which may be encountered by stored cameras. Unfortunately, there are numerous drawbacks of various prior art camera cases.

One drawback of prior art camera cases is that they are generally fashioned for a single camera model. More specifically, cameras are available in different sizes and configurations, and camera users often have more than one camera at their disposal. Thus, it is desirable to provide users with a robust storage system for the storage of all of their camera equipment. Camera cases used to secure 35 mm cameras often are constructed of molded plastic or other rigid material wherein the camera or a plurality of lenses are enveloped, which is an effective storage method. However, this static configuration methodology ignores the fact that camera enthusiasts often have a plurality of cameras of various shapes and sizes wherein many cases are required to protect all of their equipment.

In addition, it is often desirable to maintain a lens on the camera when it is stored, such that the camera may be quickly withdrawn from the storage compartment to capture fleeting images. Often, camera cases are provided with a storage compartment for the camera and auxiliary storage compartments for the lenses, wherein the user must remove the camera and lens and interconnect them prior to being able to use the desired lens to capture an image.

Thus, it is a long felt need in the field of photography and camera storage cases to provide a camera case that allows the user to store a camera in a safe manner, protected from the elements and any type of damaging external loads the camera and lenses may encounter, while also providing a plurality of pockets and other storage compartments for the securement of items generally associated with photography. There is a further need to provide a camera case that retains the camera and attached lens in a suspension system that is adjustable and provides shock absorption to protect against impact. Thus, the following disclosure describes an improved camera storage case with a selectively adjustable storage compartment that suspends the camera and/or lens and that also reduces the probability of damage due to the case being dropped or impacted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is one aspect of the present invention to provide a storage case for the protection of electronic devices and other impact sensitive items such as camera lenses. More specifically, one embodiment of the present invention is a storage case that includes a plurality of storage compartments for the securement of items generally associated with photography, such as lenses, film, cameras, cleaning supplies, instructions, light sources, etc. One embodiment of the present invention also includes a plurality of compartments that have selectively adjustable storage volumes.

It is another aspect of the present invention to provide a camera storage case with a main camera storage compartment that includes a selectively adjustable suspension system for securement of the camera. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention include a device for securing the camera that includes an aperture integrated therethrough for the insertion of the lens interconnected to the camera, wherein the lens is oriented in a downward fashion. The suspension device may also include a device for selective interconnection to the walls of the main storage compartment wherein the height of the suspension device may be selectively altered. Thus, depending on the length of the lens, the user may customize the space between the end of the lens and the bottom of the case. In one embodiment hook and loop materials, buckles, zippers or other interconnection means may be used to selectively adjust the distance between the bottom of the carrying case and the resilient or semi-resilient material. Alternatively, the aperture in the cradle or suspension system may be removed and specific geometry and inserts adapted to retain specific types of cameras may be employed. The suspension device is generally constructed of a resilient or semi-resilient material such as an elastic or stretchable rubber to dampen shocks emanating from a dropped case. More specifically, the suspension device is spaced wherein impact loads will be sufficiently dissipated to insure that the end of the lens does not contact the bottom portion of the case. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the camera storage cases of the present invention will additionally include storage compartments with padded walls to increase the level of protection the stored items are afforded.

It is still yet another aspect of the present invention to provide a camera storage case with storage compartments for the securement of lenses and other items. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention include side storage compartments that are adapted to secure camera lenses. In addition, the storage compartments may include a padded lens divider that is selectively interconnected to the walls of the storage compartment. Thus, the lens storage compartment may be customized depending on the sizes of the lenses, or alternatively, the storage compartment divider may be removed entirely so that other items, such as an auxiliary storage case, may be stored.

It is another aspect of the present invention to provide a storage case that includes a plurality of auxiliary storage compartments and pockets. As briefly mentioned above, camera enthusiasts carry various items related to their profession or hobby. Thus, one embodiment of the present invention includes a plurality of auxiliary storage compartments and pockets for the storage of film, instructions, pictures, tripods, etc. In addition, resiliently deflectable external straps may be provided for the storage of other items, such as clothing.

It is still yet another aspect of the present invention to provide a camera storage case that includes handles and locations for the interconnection of a shoulder strap. More specifically, it is desirable to ensure that the storage case is easy to carry and comfortable to the user, thus a plurality of handles and a shoulder strap may be provided thereby giving the user various options for handling and transporting the case.

It is yet another aspect of the present invention to provide a storage case that is durable and resistant to the elements. More specifically, one embodiment of the present invention is constructed from resilient materials, such as nylon, plastic, rubber, koskin, etc. that are resistant to impacts and fluids. In one embodiment the lower portion of the case is comprised of a water resistant plastic or rigid foam to prevent the infiltration of moisture and provide structural support. Also, embodiments of the present invention include zippers that seal closable compartments that include water resistant sheaths that substantially prevent liquid from entering the storage compartments of the camera storage case when the compartments are sealed.

Thus in one aspect of the present invention a portable storage case adapted for storing

a hand-held camera is provided herein and comprises:

a front panel, a rear panel and lateral panels positioned therebetween;

a bottom panel interconnected to said front panel, said rear panel and said lateral panels;

a top panel selectively interconnected to an upper edge of at least one of said front panel, said rear panel and said lateral panels and which is adapted for selective opening and closing;

an internal suspension system comprising a resilient material with an aperture positioned therethrough that is adapted to receive a camera lens, said resilient material selectively interconnected to an interior surface of at least one of said front panel, said rear panel and said lateral panels, wherein the camera lens is suspended above said bottom panel.

The Summary of the Invention is neither intended nor should it be construed as being representative of the full extent and scope of the present invention. The present invention is set forth in various levels of detail in the Summary of the Invention as well as in the attached drawings and the Detailed Description of the Invention and no limitation as to the scope of the present invention is intended by either the inclusion or non-inclusion of elements, components, etc. in this Summary of the Invention. Additional aspects of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the Detail Description, particularly when taken together with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the general description of the invention given above and the detailed description of the drawings given below, serve to explain the principles of these inventions.

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a camera case of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevation view of the camera case shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a left sectional view of the camera case shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the camera case shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a selectively adjustable suspension system;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a lens divider;

FIG. 7 is a partial front elevation view of the camera case shown in FIG. 1, wherein a lens compartment is in an open position; and

FIG. 8 is a partial front elevation view of the camera case shown in FIG. 1, wherein the lens compartment is in an open position.

To assist in the understanding of the present invention the following list of components and associated numbering found in the drawings is provided herein:

#Component
2Storage case
4Camera
6Lens
8Lens compartment
10Main storage compartment
12Lens divider
14Auxiliary storage case
16Adjustable suspension system
18Lens aperture
20Bottom surface
22Handle
24Auxiliary storage compartment
26Storage pocket
40Shell
42Cover
44Zipper
46Closure pull
48Strap
50Front surface of the camera
52Support structure
54Selective storage mechanism
56Recess
58Gusset
60Pouch

It should be understood that the drawings are not necessarily to scale. In certain instances, details that are not necessary for an understanding of the invention or that render other details difficult to perceive may have been omitted. It should be understood, of course, that the invention is not necessarily limited to the particular embodiments illustrated herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1-8, a storage case 2 of one embodiment of the present invention is shown. More specifically, the storage case 2 is shown that includes a plurality of compartments that provide storage locations for cameras 4, lenses 6, film, instructions, maps, and supplies, and other items generally associated with photography as well as other electronic devices. Preferably, the camera storage case 2 includes lens compartments 8 that are selectively openable and hingedly interconnected to the main storage compartment of the case 10. The lens storage compartments 8 also may include an adjustable divider 12, which is selectively interconnected to the sidewalls of the lens compartment 8, and which is padded for added protection of the lenses. Thus, a user may selectively position the divider 12 to accommodate various sizes of lenses or alternatively simply remove the divider 12 to provide a storage area for larger items or an auxiliary storage case 14.

Further embodiments of the present invention include an adjustable suspension system 16 adapted to support various sizes and types of cameras 4 and other electronic devices. More specifically, the adjustable suspension system 16 is selectively interconnected to two or more sidewalls of the main compartment 10 of the camera storage case 2, wherein an aperture 18 is provided therethrough for engagement with the lens 6 of the camera 4. Thus, the lens 6 is suspended a predetermined distance from a bottom surface 20 of the main storage compartment 2, thereby providing shock protection. Alternatively the aperture may be eliminated from the suspension system to allow the securement of other electronic's deices or camera equipment. One skilled in the art will appreciate that a plurality of handles 22 and other auxiliary storage compartments 24 or pockets 26 may also be included on the storage case 2 to provide maximum storage capability to the user.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, a camera storage case of one embodiment of the present invention is shown that includes a front panel and a rear panel interconnected to a top panel to provide a main storage compartment 10. In addition, a left panel and a right panel are provided that are operably interconnected to the main storage compartment 10. All of the above described panels may further be interconnected to a rigid bottom shell 40, thus defining the storage case 2. The main storage compartment 10 of the present invention is accessible via a cover 42 that is selectively interconnected to the top panel with a zipper 44, for example, which may include closure pulls 46. The left and right side compartments are also selectively interconnected to the main storage compartment 10 via zippers 44 that utilize closure pulls 46. The front and rear sides of the storage compartment may include auxiliary storage compartments 24 that are selectively openable with zippers 44 as well. The auxiliary storage compartments 24 provide locations for the storage of smaller items such as instructions, film, sunglasses, keys, etc. The bottom shell 40 of the camera storage case 2 is generally constructed of a resilient or semi-resilient, durable material wherein impacts and the shocks emanating therefrom are dissipated and which may be further comprised of waterproof materials such as plastic, blow-molded foam, etc. In the illustrated embodiment, a plurality of elastic straps 48 are employed along the shell 40 to provide additional external locations for attaching other items such as clothing articles.

Referring now to FIGS. 3-4, the adjustable suspension system 16 of one embodiment of the present invention is shown interconnected to the inner walls of the front panel and rear panel of the main storage compartment 10 thereby providing a location for the support and storage of a camera 4. In operation, the lens 6 of the camera 4 is inserted through an aperture of the adjustable suspension system 16 wherein a front surface 50 of the camera 4 is positioned upon the adjustable suspension system 16, thus suspending the lens 6 of the camera 4 a predetermined distance from the bottom surface 20 of the camera case 2. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the adjustable suspension system 16 may be interconnected to either the front and rear panels of the main storage compartment 2, the left and right panels, or any combination thereof, without departing from the scope of the invention. Further, as mentioned briefly above, one skilled in the art will appreciate that storage pockets 26 may be included on any surface of the storage camera case 2, and is shown herein, on the cover 42 of the camera storage case 2. In operation, the user would simply modify the adjustable suspension system 16 so that a space is provided between the end of the camera lens 6 and the bottom surface 20 of the main storage compartment 10 which would depend on the length of the lens 6 being used. The camera 4 would then be placed in the camera storage case 2 wherein the lens 6 would be placed through the aperture provided in the adjustable suspension system, thus suspending the camera 4.

Referring now to FIG. 5, the adjustable suspension system 16 of one embodiment of the present invention is shown, which includes a support structure 52 and a lens aperture 18 integrated therethrough. In addition, selective securing mechanisms 54, such as hook and loop fasteners, are integrated into the edges of the adjustable support system 16. The hook and loop fasteners are adapted to interconnect with the inside surface of the main storage compartment of the camera storage case. Although hook and loop fasteners are shown herein, one skilled in the art will appreciate that other selective interconnection mechanisms may be employed without departing from the scope of the invention, such as snaps, clasps, zippers, magnets, belts, buckles and adhesives, etc.

Referring now to FIG. 6, the lens divider 12 utilized in some embodiments of the present invention is shown that is adapted to selectively interconnect inside the lens compartment of the camera storage case, thus providing an adjustable system for the customization of the interior volume of the lens storage compartment. The lens divider 12 may include a plurality of recesses 56 to interface with the contour of a generally cylindrical lens. Further, hook and loop fasteners, or other selectively interconnecting mechanisms 54 may be employed to selectively secure the lens divider 12 to at least one of the walls of the lens compartment.

Referring now to FIG. 7, the lens compartment 8 of one embodiment of the present invention is shown. Here, the camera storage case 2 includes the lens compartment 8 that is hingedly interconnected to an exterior panel wall of the main storage compartment 10. Gussets may also be employed to provide stability to the lens compartment 8 such that its opening does open beyond a predetermined level. The lens divider 12, as previously described, is selectively interconnected inside the lens compartment 8 to provide the user a plurality of storage options.

Referring now to FIG. 8, an alternate embodiment of the lens storage compartment 8 of the present invention is shown. Again, gussets 5 8 are employed to provide stability to the opening of the lens compartment. In addition, a pouch 60 is included wherein the lens or an auxiliary storage case 14 may be easily removed when the lens compartment 8 is opened.

While various embodiment of the present invention have been described in detail, it is apparent that modifications and alterations of those embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. However, it is to be expressly understood that such modifications and alterations are within the scope and spirit of the present invention, as set forth in the following claims.