Title:
Universal Strap and Attachments
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is drawn to a universal strap and holder combination that can be attached to the handle of a container such as a purse, diaper bag or gym bag. The combination is designed to fit inside the container. The holders are customized to hold articles such as a cell phone, brush or comb, key chain, cosmetics, pills, business cards, baby bottle, baby toys, etc. Holders can be removable or permanently attached to the strap. The strap is releasably attached to the handle of the container.



Inventors:
Evans, Judith (Clifton, VA, US)
Application Number:
12/364251
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
02/02/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C13/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DITTHAVONG & STEINER, P.C. (Keth Ditthavong 44 Canal Center Plaza Suite 305, Alexandria, VA, 22314, US)
Claims:
1. A universal strap and holder combination, comprising: a. an elongated strap configured to fit inside a container, having a first and a second face and a first and a second end, wherein the first end comprises a means for releasably attaching the strap to the container, and b. a first holder attached to the first face.

2. The universal strap and holder combination of claim 1, wherein the second end comprises a means for releasably attaching the strap to a holder.

3. The universal strap and holder combination of claim 1, wherein the first holder is releasably attached to the strap.

4. The universal strap and holder combination of claim 1, wherein the means for releasably attaching the strap to the container is a member selected from the group comprising a clasp, clip, ring, snap, buckle or piece of hook and latch material.

5. The universal strap and holder combination of claim 2, wherein the means for releasably attaching the second end of the strap to a holder is a member selected from the group comprising a clasp, hook, clip, ring, snap, buckle or piece of hook and latch material.

6. The universal strap and holder combination of claim 1, comprising a plurality of holders attached to the strap.

7. The universal strap and holder combination of claim 6, wherein a holder of the plurality of holders is releasably attached to the strap.

8. The universal strap and holder combination of claim 6, wherein a holder of the plurality of holders is permanently attached to the strap.

9. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the container is a member of the group comprising a purse, backpack, gym bag, shopping bag, basket, briefcase, diaper bag, medicine bag, and handbag.

10. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the holder is designed to hold an article selected from the group comprising a cell phone, ipod, money, cosmetics, calendar, palm pilot, credit card, subway or train pass, eye glasses, comb, brush, spray can (such as hair spray or mace or mouth wash), writing implement, pills, baby bottle, toys, and keys.

11. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the strap is from about 6 inches to about 18 inches long.

12. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the width of the strap is from about ¼ inch to about 5 inches, preferably from about one half inch to about two and one half inches.

13. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the strap is made of a material that is a member selected from the group comprising leather, artificial leather, vinyl, plastic, ribbon, woven fabric, a textile material, and metal.

14. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the means for releasably attaching the first end of the strap to the container comprises a slit in the strap that is wide enough to accommodate the width of the strap so that the second end of the strap can be passed through the slit to form a loop around a handle on the container.

15. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the holder is a pocket sewn into or otherwise formed in the strap.

16. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the holder is an elastic loop.

17. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the holder is a short strap fixed to the strap, having a complementary fastener on each end to form a loop.

18. The universal strap and holder of claim 1, wherein the strap is narrow enough at the first end to enable the container to close.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of Provisional Application No. 61025258, filed on Jan. 31, 2008 and Provisional Application No. 61054166, filed on May 18, 2008, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein, under 35 U.S.C. §119(e).

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention is directed to a strap and a strap and holder combination that can be releasably attached to a handle, for example on a purse, handbag, gym bag, back pack or other container, to permit easy retrieval of an article stored in the holder, such as eye glasses, keys, a cell phone, a make-up kit, a coin purse, cosmetics, credit cards, ID cards, etc.

2. Description of the Related Art

There are many holders for organizing or protecting articles such as sunglasses, keys, a cell phone, or a make-up kit, a coin purse, cosmetics, credit cards, ID cards, etc. Once these items are deposited into a container such as a purse, handbag, gym bag, suitcase or backpack, however, they are often hard to find. There is a need for a device for retrieving various particular articles from a container easily.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the detailed description that follows, reference will be made to the drawing comprised of the following figures.

FIG. 1A shows a front view of a handbag with an example embodiment of the strap/holder combination attached via a releasable fastener (clasp) affixed to the first end of the strap, and a releasable fastener affixed to a second end of the strap and to a back of the cell phone holder. According to an embodiment, 100 is a container, 110 is the cell phone holder, 120 is the back of the holder, 114 is a clasp fastened to a ring on the container handle, and 112 is the strap. The inset shows a back of the cell phone holder to which hook or latch material 122 that is complementary to that on the second end of the strap is affixed.

FIG. 1B shows a close up view of a strap/holder combination according to an embodiment, in which the holder 130 is customized to hold sunglasses 134 or the holder is a key chain 136. Hook and latch material 132 is affixed to the glasses holder 130 that is complementary to the hook and latch material 138 on first face of the strap 112. Hook and latch material 140 is attached to the key holder 136 that is complementary to hook and latch material 142 on the second face of the strap.

FIG. 2 shows an example of a strap that is a chain 212, which can be made of metal or plastic or other rigid material according to another embodiment. In this example a clasp is attached to both the first 214 and second ends 216 of the strap. In the illustrated embodiment the holder 200 is a pouch to which a ring 218 (or half ring) is attached for the clasp to close around thereby releasably attaching the strap to the holder (FIG. 2A). In some embodiments the holder is a zippered pouch 220 (such as a coin purse or small wallet) attached to a ring 222 which in turn is attached to a clasp 224 on the second end of strap 226, as shown in 2B.

FIG. 3A shows an example according to another embodiment wherein a purse 300 having a handle 310 is releasably attached to a strap/holder combination using hook and latch material 314 at the first end of the strap 312. A cell phone holder 316 is attached to the second end of the strap via hook and latch material as previously described. FIG. 3B shows a close up view of the first end of the exemplified strap 312 to which two complementary pieces of hook and latch material are affixed 322 and 324, to enable the first end of the strap 312 to attach to itself by wrapping around the handle 310 of the purse 300 and closing by overlapping the complementary Velcro pieces.

FIG. 4 shows the first end of a strap 400 according to an embodiment, that has a slit 414 in the first end 410 through which the second end (not shown) of the strap 400 can pass, thus forming a loop around a handle 412, for example on a handbag, to facilitate releasably attaching the first end of the strap to the handbag.

FIG. 5 shows an example of a clip-type releasable fastener that has two parts. One part of the clip 512 is attached to the second end of the strap 514 and one part 510 is attached to a holder 500 according to an embodiment. FIG. 5 B is a side view of the clip in closed position.

FIG. 6 shows an example embodiment of the invention in which a loop-type holder (610) made of a narrow strip of material is sewn to the strap 600. Complementary pieces of hook and latch material are attached at each end of the loop-type holder (612 and 614) to enable it to form a loop to hold an article, such as a baby's pacifier.

FIG. 7 shows an example embodiment of the invention in which the strap 700 has two pocket holders (712 holding a first aid kit 718 and 714 holding a baby bottle 720). Holder 716 is a narrow strip of material sewn to the strap 700, which narrow strip has complementary pieces of hook and latch material at each end to enable it to form a loop to hold a pacifier 722.

FIG. 8 shows an example embodiment of the invention in which a strap 800 has two patches of hook and latch material affixed to it 810 and 812, and a pocket 816 that holds a pen 818. An I-phone holder 820 is attaches to patch 812, and a tube of lipstick 822 attaches to patch 810 via a piece of self adhering complementary hook and latch material 824 that is affixed to the tube.

FIG. 9 shows an embodiment of the strap 912 wherein the strap is narrow at the first end near the clasp 914 to enable the container zipper 916 to close as far as possible, and the strap widens a few inches from the first end. A holder 910 is attached to the strap

FIG. 10 shows an example embodiment of the invention in which the strap 1000 is permanently attached to a holder 1012 and to two pockets 1014 and 1016.

DETAILED DISCLOSURE

Various embodiments of the present invention are directed to a universal strap and holder combination for holding one or more particular articles that are commonly found in a container such as a purse, gym bag, shopping bag, basket, briefcase, medicine bag, diaper bag, book bag, back pack, sewing box, among others. An example embodiment includes a strap, one end of which releasably attaches to the container via a releasable fastening means and at least one holder that is either permanently or releasably attached to the strap. In some embodiments the strap has more than one holder along the length of the strap in various sizes and designs, each of which is either permanently or releasably attached to the strap. The strap holder combination has the advantage of making it easy for the user to retrieve articles that are held by or fastened to the strap. The holders can be customized for any particular article.

In some embodiments the strap is long enough to permit the one or more holders attached to the strap, to be placed inside of the container, and narrow enough so that when the strap is attached to the handle, the container can still be snapped, zipped or otherwise closed. When an article stored in the holder is needed, it can be retrieved easily by pulling up on the strap. If the holder is releasably attached to the strap, the holder itself can be removed from the strap and used (such as a key holder, an eye glass case, a cell phone or I pod case or a lipstick holder). Alternatively, the user may choose to retrieve the article from the holder without detaching the holder from the strap. Any holder can be used in the various embodiments.

In some embodiments the strap is flat and has a first and a second face (or a front and a back). In other embodiments the strap is round or is a metal or plastic chain. In various embodiments in which the strap is a chain, then the holders are attached by a fastener including a clasp or a ring. In various embodiments the strap is made of any material including but not limited to leather, artificial leather, vinyl, plastic, woven fabrics, ribbons, and metal, or combinations thereof. In various embodiments the length of the strap is any desired length based on the size of the container and the size of the holder, and based on the number of holders attached to the strap. The length of the strap is typically from about 12 inches to about 24 inches long, preferably from about 12 inches to about 18 inches. The width of the strap can also vary among embodiments depending on the size of the container or the holder.

Any means known in the art can be used for releasably attaching the first end of the strap to the container or the second end of the strap to an article or holder. In an example embodiment the fastener is a clasp. FIG. 1A. The clasp (or clip or other fastener) can be attached to the strap by any means known in the art. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1A the clasp is sewn onto the first end of the strap (which clasp attaches to the handle on the purse). In other embodiments the clasp is snapped or riveted onto the strap, for example. Other fasteners include but are not limited to snaps, rings, hook and latch material (Velcro), buckles, and clips. One such buckle is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,408,220, another quick release buckle is described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,228,821; a clip is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,953,259 and in U.S. Pat. No. 6,935,342; and a clasp of the type shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is described in D512,560, all of which are incorporated herein in their entirety by reference.

FIG. 1A shows a front view of a handbag with an example embodiment of the strap/holder combination attached via a releasable fastener (clasp) affixed to the first end of the strap, and it also has a releasable fastener affixed to a second end of the strap and to a back of the cell phone holder. According to an embodiment, 100 is a container, 110 is the cell phone holder, 120 is the front and 122 is the back of the holder. 114 is a clasp fastened to a ring on the container handle, and 112 is the strap. The inset shows a back of the cell phone holder to which hook or latch material that is complementary to that on the second end of the strap is affixed.

FIG. 1B shows a close up view of a strap/holder combination according to an embodiment, in which the holder 130 is customized to hold sunglasses 134 or the holder is a key chain 136. Hook and latch material 132 is affixed to the glasses holder 130 that is complementary to the hook and latch material 138 on first face of the strap 112. Hook and latch material 140 is attached to the key holder 136 that is complementary to hook and latch material 142 on the second face of the strap.

The complementary pieces of hook and latch material can be fixed to the strap and holder, respectively, using any method known in the art including sewing, gluing and stapling. The size of the piece of hook and latch fastener material used should be proportional to the size of the holder and the weight of the article intended to be held in the holder. The larger the holder and the heavier the article intended to be placed in the holder, the larger the piece of hook and latch material fastener that is needed. The best size and shape for the hook and latch material can be determined by routine experimentation. In some embodiments the holder is wider than the width of the strap.

One type of key holder is a simple ring to which a flat piece of leather, plastic, wood, or fabric is attached as a handle FIG. 1B, 136. To enable the key holder to be releasably attached to the strap, a piece of a hook or latch fastening material is fixed to one face of the handle and a complementary piece is fixed to the second end of the strap, as is shown in FIG. 1B. Any type of key holder that has a surface onto which hook and latch material can be fixed can be used in the present invention. Alternatively a key holder (or other holder) can be attached to the strap using any of the other types of releasable fasteners described herein, including buckles, clasps, snaps, magnets or rings.

In another embodiment, a clasp-type fastening means is located at either the first end (FIG. 1A, 114) or at both ends of the strap (FIG. 2A, 214, 218). The clasp at the first end can be fastened to the container and the clasp at the second end can be fastened to a holder, such as a small change purse 252 or a pouch 222.

In some embodiments the first end of the strap is attached to the container via hook and latch material such as Velcro as is shown in FIG. 3. The strap has a first piece of hook or latch material near the first end, and a second piece of complementary hook or latch material located at a distance from the first piece sufficiently far to enable the strap to form a loop around a handle or ring or other structure on the container, and then fasten to itself. The distance between the first and second complementary pieces can be adjusted so that the loop is the appropriate size for any given handle. FIG. 3A shows an example according to another embodiment wherein a purse 300 having a handle 310 is releasably attached to a strap/holder combination using hook and latch material 314 at the first end of the strap 312. A cell phone holder 316 is attached to the second end of the strap via hook and latch material. FIG. 3B shows a close up view of the first end of the exemplified strap 312 to which two complementary pieces of hook and latch material are affixed 322 and 324, to enable the first end of the strap 312 to wrap around the handle 310 of the purse 300 and close by overlapping the complementary Velcro pieces.

In another embodiment the means for releasably attaching the strap to the container is built into the strap. A slit 414 is formed in the middle of the strap 410 near the first end of the strap. The slit is long enough to enable the second end of the strap (not shown) to pass through the slit thereby permitting the strap to form a loop around a handle 412 on the container as is shown in FIG. 4.

In another embodiment, the fastening means is a clip-type fastener as shown in FIG. 5. One half of the clip 512 is attached to the strap 514, and the other half 510 is attached to the holder 500 using any method known in the art.

In another embodiment the holder is loop-type holder as is shown in FIG. 6. The loop-type holder 610 is made of a narrow strip of material sewn to the strap 600 that has either snaps at both ends or complementary pieces of hook and latch material (612 and 614) at each end to enable it to form a loop to hold an article such as a baby's pacifier that has a ring. Any releasable fastening means can be used. In another embodiment the holder can also be an elastic loop.

In another embodiment the strap 700 has more than one holder along its length, either on the first or second faces or on both. In one embodiment the holder is a simple pocket 712 and 714 sewn onto the strap 710, into which an article 718, 720 can be put. FIG. 7. The pocket can optionally have an elastic band at the top to help contain the article, such as a baby bottle or a container of some type, for example in the case where the strap is being used in a diaper bag. FIG. 7 shows a loop-type holder 716 holding a pacifier 722. In one embodiment the pockets are formed by doubling the strap back on itself and sewing a pocket into the ribbon. In another embodiment the strap is made double thickness of ribbon with the decorative side of the ribbon exposed on both faces.

In another embodiment, the universal strap has one or more patches or pieces of hook and latch material fixed onto the first or second face, or both, and separate complementary pieces are provided with the strap to be attached to any article that the user wishes to attach to the strap. In this embodiment the patches or pieces attached to the strap are all of the same type, either hook or latch, and one or more complementary pieces are provided which can be cut by the user to any size or shape to fix onto a particular article. FIG. 8. In another embodiment the separately provided complementary piece of hook and latch material is self-adhering (for example with a sticky adhesive backing). FIG. 8 shows an example embodiment of the invention in which a strap 800 has two patches of hook and latch material affixed to it 810 and 812, and a pocket 816 that holds a pen 818. An I-phone holder 820 is attaches to patch 812, and a tube of lipstick 822 attaches to patch 810 via a piece of self adhering complementary hook and latch material 824 that is affixed to the tube. In one embodiment, a holder that holds a pad of paper can be provided that is attached to the strap via a releasable fastening means. In another embodiment the strap width is adjusted so that a pocket can be added that holds business cards. Note that pockets, patches of hook and latch material or holders of any kind can be located on either or both sides of the strap.

If the strap is for use in a sewing box, the holders can be appropriately adapted to hold a scissors, thimble, thread, needles, etc. If the strap is for use in a purse, briefcase, or gym bag for example, holders can be made for holding any item the use wants to put into the container such as pills, cosmetics, hair comb or brush or both, hearing aids, tooth brush, Kleenex, etc. Likewise a strap holder combination for a diaper bag can have pockets or holders for toys, pacifiers, baby wipes, snacks, bottles, etc. and can also have a cell phone holder and a key holder.

One advantage of the present invention is that it makes it easy for a woman to change purses quickly without forgetting important items that are held in the strap holders or are attached directly to the strap by hook and latch material. In one embodiment the strap is narrowed at the first end that is releasably attached to the container FIG. 9, in order to make it easier to close the container, for example to zip a purse or gym bag. In this way, the strap can be relatively wide for holding larger items, yet still narrow enough at the first end to enable the container to close. In one embodiment a wide strap has a short chain or other narrow connector that is attached (permanently or releasably) to the first end to which the clasp (or other releasable fastener) is attached.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 10, the strap 1000 has three holders permanently attached to it 1012 1014 and 1016. In another embodiment the strap has both detachable and permanently fixed holders.