Title:
Portable document organizer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable document organizer, including rigid front and back panels extending up from the front and back edge of a rigid bottom panel. A rigid intermediate panel also extends up from the bottom panel between the front and back panels. The front panel is hingedly secured to the bottom panel. Two rigid side panels extend between the back panel and the intermediate panel on opposite sides to define a box portion, with the side panels being shorter than the intermediate panel and the back panel. An accordion organizer has a plurality of divider panels and has one face fixed to the intermediate panel and the other face fixed to the front panel. A rigid cover flap is hingedly secured to the top of the back panel, with the cover flap having a depth substantially that of the bottom panel. A locking flap is hingedly secured to the front of the cover flap; with a securing mechanism provide to releasably secure the locking flap to the front panel.



Inventors:
Shapiro, David V. (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/391741
Publication Date:
10/04/2007
Filing Date:
03/29/2006
Assignee:
It's Academic of Illinois, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOOD, PHILLIPS, KATZ, CLARK & MORTIMER (500 W. MADISON STREET SUITE 1130, CHICAGO, IL, 60661, US)
Claims:
1. A portable document organizer, comprising: a substantially rigid bottom panel; substantially rigid front and back panels extending up from the front and back edge of said bottom panel; a substantially rigid intermediate panel extending up from the bottom panel, said intermediate panel being between said front and back panels and parallel to one of said front and back panels; a first substantially rigid side panel between edges on one side of said intermediate panel and said one of said front and back panels; a second substantially rigid side panel between edges on the other side of said intermediate panel and said one of said front and back panels; and an accordion organizer with a plurality of divider panels between front and back faces, one face of said accordion organizer being fixed to said intermediate panel and the other face of said accordion organizer being fixed to said other of said front and back panels.

2. The organizer of claim 1, further comprising a cover flap hingedly secured to the top of the back panel.

3. The organizer of claim 2, wherein said bottom panel and said cover flap have a depth D, and further comprising: a locking flap hingedly secured to the front of the cover flap; and a securing mechanism for releasably securing said locking flap to said front panel.

4. The organizer of claim 2, further comprising a handle on said coverflap.

5. The organizer of claim 1, further comprising hanging folders supported on said first and second side panels.

6. The organizer of claim 5, wherein said first and second side panels are shorter than said front, back and intermediate panels.

7. The organizer of claim 1, wherein said other of said front and back panels is hingedly secured to said bottom panel.

8. The organizer of claim 7, further comprising a cover flap hingedly secured to the top of the back panel.

9. The organizer of claim 8, wherein said bottom panel and said cover flap have a depth D, and further comprising: a locking flap hingedly secured to the front of the cover flap; and a securing mechanism for releasably securing said locking flap to said front panel.

10. The organizer of claim 8, further comprising hanging folders supported on said first and second side panels.

11. The organizer of claim 10, wherein said first and second side panels are shorter than said front, back and intermediate panels.

12. A portable document organizer, comprising: a substantially rigid bottom panel; substantially rigid front and back panels extending up from the front and back edge of said bottom panel, said front panel being hingedly secured to said edge of said bottom panel; a substantially rigid intermediate panel extending up from the bottom panel, said intermediate panel being between said front and back panels; first and second substantially rigid side panels between said back panel and said intermediate panel on opposite sides defining a box portion, said side panels being shorter than said intermediate panel and said back panel; an accordion organizer with a plurality of divider panels between front and back faces, said back face of said accordion organizer being fixed to said intermediate panel and said front face of said accordion organizer being fixed to said front panel; a substantially rigid cover flap hingedly secured to the top of the back panel, said cover flap having a depth substantially that of the bottom panel; a locking flap hingedly secured to the front of the cover flap; and a securing mechanism for releasably securing said locking flap to said front panel.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

Not applicable.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention is directed toward document carriers, and particularly toward portable document organizers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION AND TECHNICAL PROBLEMS POSED BY THE PRIOR ART

A variety of portable document carriers are available in the art, including different briefcases and cases. Hard sided briefcases, for example, provide protection for the contents carried therein, but are somewhat constrained in the organization which they can provide. For example, litigation cases used by attorneys can carry large amounts of files, papers, etc., but are not well suited for carrying small amounts which may slide around inside the case and become damaged and/or disorganized. Smaller briefcases and portfolios may provide a few pouches for organization, but such organization is relatively limited and the minimally organized documents can be difficult to access since such briefcases must often be laid flat to readily open them.

Students in particular are required to carry many different things to, from, and inside the school. For example, students will often have a plurality of notebooks, including both three-ring and spiral notebooks, as well as loose papers received from the teacher, loose homework papers to take home and to turn in, tests and other graded materials returned to the student, etc., as well as occasional three dimensional items and other special items required for projects in various classes. Particularly for younger students, who are just learning to handle, keep track of, and otherwise organize tasks and related papers, trying to properly take care of such items can be difficult and frustrating. This is particularly so given that they must accomplish this in so many different locations: multiple classrooms, school lockers, home and in between.

The present invention is directed toward overcoming one or more of the problems set forth above. In particular, the present invention is directed toward facilitating the organizing and handling of a variety of documents and other things which a user must take from place to place.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the present invention, a portable document organizer is provided, including substantially rigid front and back panels extending up from the front and back edge of a rigid bottom panel. A substantially rigid intermediate panel also extends up from the bottom panel between the front and back panels, and two substantially rigid side panel extend between the intermediate panel and the one of the front and back panels on opposite sides. An accordion organizer has a plurality of divider panels between front and back faces, with one face of the accordion organizer being fixed to the intermediate panel and the other face of the accordion organizer being fixed to the other of the front and back panels.

In one form of this aspect of the present invention, a cover flap is hingedly secured to the top of the back panel. In a further form, the bottom panel and the cover flap have a depth D, and a locking flap is hingedly secured to the front of the cover flap, and a securing mechanism releasably secures the locking flap to the front panel. In another further form, a handle is on the cover flap.

In another form of this aspect of the present invention, hanging folders are supported on the first and second side panels. In a further form, the side panels are shorter than the front, back and intermediate panels.

In still another form of this aspect of the present invention, the other of the front and back panels is hingedly secured to the bottom panel. In a further form, a cover flap is hingedly secured to the top of the back panel. In one still further form, the bottom panel and the cover flap have a depth D, and a locking flap is hingedly secured to the front of the cover flap, and a securing mechanism is releasably secured the locking flap to the front panel.

In yet another form of this aspect of the present invention, hanging folders are supported on the first and second side panels. In a further form, the side panels are shorter than the front, back and intermediate panels.

In another aspect of the present invention, a portable document organizer is provided, including substantially rigid front and back panels extending up from the front and back edge of a rigid bottom panel. A substantially rigid intermediate panel also extends up from the bottom panel between the front and back panels. The front panel is hingedly secured to the bottom panel. Two substantially rigid side panels extend between the back panel and the intermediate panel on opposite sides to define a box portion, with the side panels being shorter than the intermediate panel and the back panel. An accordion organizer has a plurality of divider panels between front and back faces, with the back face of the accordion organizer being fixed to the intermediate panel and the front face of the accordion organizer being fixed to the front panel. A substantially rigid cover flap is hingedly secured to the top of the back panel, with the cover flap having a depth substantially that of the bottom panel. A locking flap is hingedly secured to the front of the cover flap; with a securing mechanism provide to releasably secure the locking flap to the front panel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portable document organizer according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the organizer of FIG. 1 with the cover open and a hanging folder removed;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the FIG. 1 organizer when closed; and

FIG. 4 is a side view of the FIG. 1 organizer when opened.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A portable document organizer 10 according to the present invention is shown in the Figures.

The organizer 10 includes a substantially rigid bottom panel 12, with a substantially rigid front panel 14 and a substantially rigid back panel 16 extending up from the front and back edges, respectively, of the bottom panel 12.

A substantially rigid intermediate panel 18 extends up from the bottom panel 12 between the front and back panels 14, 16 and, with substantially rigid side panels 24, forms a generally rigid box shaped portion 28 in which the intermediate and back panels 18, 16 are maintained parallel to one another.

An accordion organizer 30 includes a plurality of divider panels 34 between front and back faces which are suitably secured to the front panel 14 and the intermediate panel 18. Further, the front panel 14 is hingedly secured to the front edge of the bottom panel 12 so that it may be pivoted forward as shown in FIG. 4. It should be appreciated that, with this configuration, a user may advantageously pivot the front panel 14 forward so as to expand the various compartments in the accordion organizer 30 (and thereby allow easy access to the contents of the compartments, both to see what is in them and to take out or put in additional documents or other materials), and a user may pivot the front panel 14 up to close the organizer 10 as further described below. It should also be appreciated that when pivoting the front panel 14 up, the contents of the accordion organizer 30 which were easily slid into and out of the compartments when access was desired will be effectively compressed into a compact size so as to minimize the size of the portable organizer 10 for carrying.

A generally rigid cover flap 40 is hingedly secured to the top of the back panel 16 in a suitable manner, and a generally rigid locking flap 42 is hingedly secured to the front edge of the cover flap 40. The bottom panel 12 and the cover flap 40 may advantageously have substantially equal depths from front to back edges so that the locking flap 42 may, in a closing position, be folded down in front of the front flap 14 and secured thereto with the organizer 10 in the rectangular box shape (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3) with the accordion organizer 30 in a compact condition as previously described.

A suitable releasable locking or latching mechanism 46 for securing the locking flap 42 to the front panel 14 is shown in all of the Figures, and in detailed cross-section in FIG. 5. The mechanism 46 includes a pocket member 50 suitably secured to the front panel 14 (e.g., by a rivet or stake type connection 52) and a latch 54 which may be similarly secured to the locking flap 42. The latch 54 is received in the pocket member 50, and includes a latching member 56 which is biased forward and has a detent shoulder 58 which catches under a shoulder 60 of the pocket member 50. The latching member 56 may be pushed back by engaging a button end 62 to clear the detent shoulder 58 behind the pocket member shoulder 60 whereby the latching member 56 is then free to slide up out of the pocket member 50 and thereby release the locking flap 42 from the front panel 14 so that the cover flap 40 may be pivoted up (see FIGS. 2 and 4) to permit access to the contents of the organizer 10.

A suitable handle 70 is also advantageously secured to the cover flap 40 to enable the entire organizer 10 to be easily transported by a user even when the organizer 10 is heavy with large amounts of papers.

Hanging folders 80 such as are known, may be advantageously supported in the box shaped portion 28, with their arms 82 supported on the side panels 24. Advantageously the side panels 24 are shorter than the back and intermediate panels 16, 18, so that the arms 82 may extend out the sides as required to rest on the sides without interfering with the cover flap 40 when closed. Further, such spacing allows folder identifying tabs (not shown) to be used on the tops of the folders 80 such as is known in the art for many different folder types, including hanging folders 80. The accordion organizer 30 may similarly be shorter than the front and intermediate panels 14, 18, so that they too may include identifying tabs which will not be folded, crushed or otherwise damaged when the cover flap 40 is closed over the organizer 10.

It should thus be appreciated that the organizers according to the present invention may provide many different advantages. They provide a rigid sided case which may be easily transported while providing good protection for the contents. Further, such portable organizer provides a plurality of types of compartments and organization. For example, the accordion organizer 30 provides excellent organization for papers with many different compartments, the depths of which can effectively automatically adjust for different contents in different compartments due to the accordion sides. Moreover, the accordion organizer 30 may be easily accessed to remove or add papers (by tilting the front panel 14 forward) while also allowing the contents to be compacted for minimal size when transporting. Further, the box shaped portion 28 not only provides for additional compartmental storage in hanging folders 80 when desired (which hanging folders 80 also provide the advantage of each being readily removable in their entirety while keeping the contents in order and organized), but the box shaped portion 28 may also be used to transport larger three-dimensional items (for example, samples or models) when so required. Therefore, it should be appreciated that a user may effectively use the entire organizer 10 to store organized papers (with hanging folders 80 in the box shaped portion 28), but it also provides the flexibility enabling a user to at other times remove the hanging folders 80 (or push them to the front or back if they are not so full as to take up that entire portion 28) and carry three-dimensional objects as well.

Such a plurality of different organizational possibilities in a compact portable organizer is highly advantageous to virtually anyone. For example, students who encounter different needs throughout their school year may organize their school papers appropriate (e.g., by class, or by subject, or due dates). For example, papers for different subjects may be placed different compartments in the accordion organizer 30, and dated or priority papers such as uncompleted and completed homework assignments may be placed in hanging folders 80 in the separate compartment (the box shaped portion 28). Accordingly, the student may protect against forgetting important papers such as homework assignments to be turned in by consistently placing such papers, for example, in the frontmost hanging folder 80 and then habitually each day taking out that hanging folder 80 to easily and reliably check to ensure not completed homework assignments were inadvertently not turned in. A second such hanging folder 80 may similarly be used, for example, to store homework assignments to be completed, or multiple such folders 80 could be used for different priority homework assignments, which the student could easily check each night to see whether or not he or she has completed all assigned homework. Further, when such a student is required to bring a three dimensional object to school for some class, he or she may either make room available (or use available room) in the box shaped portion 28 to carry that object on the days when that is required. Further, such objects may be easily protected in that box shaped portion 28 against being damaged by bumping into something while being carried. It should be appreciated, in fact, that a plurality of spiral notebooks, and/or one or more three ring binders, such as commonly used by students, could also readily be fit in the box shaped portion 28. Still further, it should be recognized that such organizers 10 can be easily sized so as to readily fit into a school locker.

Still other aspects, objects, and advantages of the present invention can be obtained from a study of the specification, the drawings, and the appended claims. It should be understood, however, that the present invention could be used in alternate forms where less than all of the objects and advantages of the present invention and preferred embodiment as described above would be obtained.