Title:
CARRYING CASE SYSTEM PROVIDING MULTIPLE LEVELS OF PROTECTION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective transport system to provide protection for equipment is achieved by a cylindrical primary carrying case and a cylindrical protective case. These two components are designed to provide varying levels of protection, while also being easy to use and relatively light weight. The primary case is designed to closely receive the device being transported, and provide handling structures specific to that device. The protective case is designed to contain the primary case, and provide significant levels of protection when needed. Both cases allow easy access at an end of the cylinder to the device being carried.



Inventors:
Kriesel, Steve (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Application Number:
12/478240
Publication Date:
12/10/2009
Filing Date:
06/04/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/235
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BATTISTI, DEREK J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LARKIN HOFFMAN DALY & LINDGREN, LTD. (8300 Norman Center Drive Suite 1000, Minneapolis, MN, 55437, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A dual case instrument carrying system for transporting an instrument in a manner most appropriate for a user's situation, the system comprising: a primary carrying case being substantially cylindrical and forming a housing for containing a pliable conforming material configured to closely surround and hold the instrument in a desired position and orientation thus providing a first level of protection for the instrument, the primary carrying case further having a protective shell which is partially rigid for surrounding and containing the conforming material and a fabric outer covering forming an exterior surface, the primary carrying case having a selectively coupled lid at a first end to allow the user to selectively open and close the case thereby providing access to the interior, the primary carrying case further being closed at a second end thereby forming a complete enclosure when the selectively coupled lid is attached; a protective carrying case being substantially cylindrical, rigid and sized slightly larger than the primary carrying case, thereby allowing the primary carrying case to be inserted within the protective carrying case, the protective carrying case formed of a rigid supporting structure surrounded by a fabric material, the rigid supporting structure substantially stronger than the first rigid material capable of providing a second level of protection which is substantially higher than the first level of protection provided by the primary carrying case, the protective carrying case having a selectively attachable lid at a first end thereof, wherein the selectively coupled lid of the primary carrying case and the selectively coupled lid of the protective carrying case are aligned with one another when the primary carrying case is inserted into the protective carrying case; and a plurality of straps attached to the fabric material of the second case, wherein the straps comprise a pair of back-pack like straps, a carrying handle, and a detachable shoulder strap.

2. The dual case instrument carrying system of claim 1 wherein the rigid support structure of the protective carrying case is capable of withstanding loads of greater than 500 pounds without compromising its structural integrity.

3. The dual case instrument carrying system of claim 1 wherein the rigid support structure of the protective carrying case is capable of withstanding loads of greater than 1,000 pounds without compromising its structural integrity

4. The dual case instrument carrying system of claim 1 wherein the selectively coupled lid of the primary carrying case is attached by a zipper.

5. The dual case instrument carrying system of claim 1 wherein the selectively coupled lid of the protective carrying case is attached by a zipper.

6. The dual case instrument carrying system of claim 1 wherein the primary carrying case is adapted to carry a trumpet.

7. The dual case instrument carrying system of claim 6 wherein the primary carrying case and the protective carrying case both have attachment connections for attaching accessories to the exterior of the case, the accessories are selected from music holding bags, mouthpiece holding bags, mute holders, and general pouches.

8. A carrying case system for transporting articles, comprising; a primary case having a shell-like outer housing providing a first level of protection for articles contained therein, the primary case further having a conforming structure within the outer housing adapted to conform to and closely hold the articles, the primary case further having at least one attachment accommodation adapted to removably attach at least one accessory thereto, the primary case further having a lid attached to one end to allow access to the interior of the housing; a protective rigid outer case sized to closely contain the primary case, the outer case having a rigid outer wall creating an interior housing which provides a second level of protection for the articles, wherein the rigid outer wall is capable of withstanding substantially more force than the shell-like outer housing of the primary case, the protective case further having at least one outer case attachment accommodation adapted to removably attach at least one accessory thereto, the protective case further having a lid attached to one end which is openable to allow access to the interior housing which is also aligned with the lid of the primary case when the primary case is housed within the secondary case such that the articles can be accessed without removing the primary case; the outer case further having at least one carrying handle; and at least one accessory removably attachable to the primary case and the protective case, wherein the accessories must be removed to allow insertion of the primary case into the protective case.

9. The carrying case system of claim 8 wherein the at least one accessory includes a music holder.

10. The carrying case system of claim 8 wherein the article is a musical instrument and the at least one accessory includes a mouthpiece holder.

11. The carrying case system of claim 8 wherein the outer case is capable of supporting weights of over 500 lbs without compromising the structural integrity of the shell like outer housing.

12. The carrying case system of claim 8 wherein the outer housing of the primary case and the rigid outer wall of the outer case are both cylindrical.

13. The carrying case system of claim 12 wherein the primary case lid and the outer case lid are both zippered caps located at an end of the respective cylindrical housing, whereby the primary case lid and the outer case lid can simultaneously be opened when primary case is positioned within outer case.

14. The carrying case system of claim 8 wherein the at least one carrying handle comprises a single loop handle, and wherein the outer case further includes a set of backpack straps.

15. The carrying case system of claim 14 further having a detachable shoulder strap capable of attachment to either the primary case or the outer case.

16. The carrying case system of claim 8 wherein the at least one accessory includes an accessory bag.

17. A carrying case system for providing dual levels of protection for at least one article contained within the carrying case system, the carrying case system comprising: a primary carrying case for housing the article to be transported, the primary case having a generally cylindrical outer wall which is partially flexible, one closed end and one open end, where the open end can be selectively closed with an openable lid, the primary case further having a pliable structure within the interior of the case for closely containing the article, the pliable structure being attached to both the cylindrical outer wall, the closed end and the openable lid, the primary case further having a plurality of attachment accommodations on an outer surface thereof to allow for the attachment of handles or accessories; an outer case having a rigid cylindrical outer wall, a closed end and an open end, the outer case sized to receive the primary case within the rigid cylindrical outer wall, the rigid outer wall configured and sized to support weights of at least 500 lbs thereby providing additional protection for the articles, the outer case further having a selectively openable lid attached to the open end to accommodate opening of the outer case, the lid of the outer case and the lid of the primary case capable of being aligned to allow access to the articles within the case when the primary case is housed within the outer case, an outer surface of the outer case further having a carrying strap, a pair of backpack straps, and attachment clips to allow attachment of a shoulder strap, the outer surface further having a plurality of attachment accommodations to allow for the attachment of accessories, wherein the attachment accommodations of the outer case and the primary case are configured to allow for attachment of the same accessories; and at least one accessory attachable to both the primary case and the outer case using the attachment accommodations provided on the outer surface thereof.

18. The carrying case system of claim 17 wherein the article is a musical instrument and the pliable material is configured to surround and closely contain the musical instrument.

19. The carrying case system of claim 17 wherein the lid to the primary case and the lid to the outer case are both attachable and selectively openable via zippers.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional application 61/058,809 entitled “Carrying Case System Providing Multiple Levels of Protection”, filed on Jun. 4, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to protective carrying cases for use in carrying various instruments and products. More specifically, the present invention relates to a carrying case system providing multiple levels of protection for an instrument, such as a musical instrument.

2. Background of Invention

The transportation of products and equipment can occasionally be troublesome for certain individuals and organizations. This is specifically true when very expensive equipment is to be transported, such as musical instruments, complex electrical equipment, sporting equipment, etc. As can be anticipated, competing interests are involved when this type of equipment is transported. Naturally, the protection and safekeeping of the devices is important, often due to the cost of the equipment involved. Thus, protective carrying cases are desirable which provide appropriate safekeeping.

In addition to safekeeping, transportability is also a consideration. Most significantly, the weight of the case itself is an important factor as the transportation of light weight cases is clearly most desirable. Thus, a tradeoff exists between the protection provided by certain lightweight cases, as opposed to the weight of more protective cases.

In addition to the above mentioned concerns, the actual use of the carrying case may also be a consideration. Specifically, the environment within which the device or instrument is to be transported, and/or the control that the owner maintains may also provide some guidance regarding the type of case used. For example, in the context of a musical instrument being transported by a musician, several instances may exist where the musician will maintain control of the instrument and case. In this situation, the musician will keep the case in eyesight or within reach at virtually all times. This would occur when a musician simply drives themselves from home to a performance, carrying the instrument with them. Alternatively, certain transportation situations may arise where the owner loses all substantial control. For example, should the musician be part of a larger group traveling via bus, the instruments may be transported underneath the bus, or in a trailer, or may be shipped by third parties, thus causing the musician to lose all control and accountability for that particular instrument for some period of time. In these varying situations, different levels of protection and/or security may be desired.

In addition to levels of protection outlined above, these circumstances may also dictate necessary carrying considerations. For example, in certain instances it will be more convenient to simply have a handle on the case, where other instances may be more appropriate for backpack-type straps or shoulder straps. Naturally, the environment will largely dictate the desired carrying options for the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In order to provide a user with multiple protection options, the present invention includes multiple protected cases for holding and carrying various devices and instruments. A first carrying case is provided which includes internal structures for the easy holding and protection of the instruments included. This largely involves soft pliable material such as foams and fabric coatings to closely surround and contain the instrument or device being carried. For example, when utilized to carry a trumpet of some type, the first case will include a foam interior which is configured to closely contain the trumpet. This interior will necessarily include accommodations for the trumpet bell, and the related bell structure. In addition, the first case includes a one-piece cylindrical housing comprised of a somewhat rigid plastic material, thus providing an initial level of protection to the internal instrument. Naturally, the first carrying case will also include handles and strap structures to easily accommodate the movement and transport of the case.

To provide ease of use, the first case is end loading, thus allowing the users to simply open one end of the cylindrical case, and insert the device or instrument therein. In addition, accommodations are made to attach various accessory cases and accessory components to the outside of the case.

In order to provide an additional level of protection, a second carrying case is provided by the present invention which is configured to easily cooperate with the first carrying case. The second case is also cylindrical, and is sized to allow the first case to be inserted therein. The second case, however, provides a very rigid outer shell, thus providing significant protection to the instrument carried therein. In one embodiment, the outer case is capable of supporting loads of over 500 pounds, without collapsing or compromising its structural integrity. In addition to the structural protection provided by the second case, it is also end loading thus, easily providing access to an instrument contained within the first case without having to fully remove the first case from the second case. Thus, the user is provided with the convenience of easy access, while also providing significant protection. In addition, various carrying options are attached to the second case, thus allowing easy transport. For example, backpack straps, handles, shoulder straps are all provided, thus providing many options for the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further objects and advantages of the present invention can be seen from reading the following detailed description, in conjunction with the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the components of the transport system;

FIG. 2 is an end view illustrating the first case inserted into the second case;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the first case;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the second case; and

FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of the internal support structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a perspective view of the two cases making up the system of the present invention. As can be seen, first case 10 is substantially tubular or cylindrical in nature. This first case 10 or primary carrying case 10 includes a handle 12 located on exterior portion thereof. Partially shown, is interior padding 14 capable of easily containing the instrument or device to be carried. In this particular embodiment, the primary carrying case 10 is configured to carry a trumpet (not shown). Thus, the internal padding or supporting structure 14 is primarily foam rubber with a fabric coating configured to closely surround a trumpet (not shown). In many ways, this supporting structure 14 will “hug” the instrument, thus able to closely hold the instrument in position. Further details regarding supporting structure 14 are discussed below. A loading end 16 of primary carrying case 10 has a detachable or hinged lid 18 attached thereto. In one embodiment, lid 18 will couple with main body 20 via zippers. Naturally, alternative coupling or attachment mechanisms are possible.

As also shown in FIG. 1, primary carrying case 10 includes a number of attachment loops for various purposes. For example, a pair of carrying strap loops or “D” rings 22 are positioned adjacent the handle to easily allow a shoulder strap to be attached. Similarly, accessory attachment D rings 24 are also positioned on the exterior of main body 20 to allow attachment of various accessories (not shown). Also illustrated in FIG. 1 is a second carrying case or protective carrying case 40 which is also cylindrical and specifically designed to couple with primary carrying case 10. Protective case 40 also includes a detachable or hinged lid 42 positioned on a first end 44.

Again, lid 42 is coupled with main body 50 via a zipper (not shown). As will be discussed in more detail below, protective case 40 includes a substantially rigid main body, capable of supporting very significant loads. In the preferred embodiment, this substantially rigid body is capable of supporting significant weight without collapsing. This could include weights of 500 lbs. or more. This rigid body therefore provides significant protection to any instruments or devices carried within protective carrying case 40.

In addition to lid 42, the exterior of protective carrying case 40 includes a handle 50, backpack straps 52, and shoulder strap clips 54. Further, accessory clips 58 are attached, which are intended to be similar to the accessory attachment members 24 included on primary case 20. Accessories attachable to the case may include music pouches, mouthpiece pockets, general pouch cases for miscellaneous items, or mute bags to handle mutes used with the trumpet. As will be appreciated, several other attachments and/or carrying mechanisms are easily included and contemplated as part of the present invention.

Referring now to FIG. 2, an end view of the present invention is illustrated with primary carrying case 10, positioned within protective case 40. As can be seen, these two cases are configured to allow primary carrying case 10 to be inserted within protective carrying case 40. Each of these cases are open on their ends, thus allowing primary case lid 18 and protective case lid 42 to simultaneously be open, thereby providing access to the interior of both cases. In FIG. 2, a protective case zipper 46 is illustrated as is a primary case zipper 26. Although not specifically shown, both primary case 10 and protective case 40 have closed ends at the end opposite their respective lids. As such, both provide an enclosed chamber for maintaining whatever instrument or product is contained therein.

A more detailed cross-sectional view of primary carrying case 10 is shown in FIG. 3. As can be seen, the interior space is partially occupied with protective foam 14 which is specifically configured based upon the use of primary carrying case 10. Again, this embodiment contemplates the transport of a musical trumpet, thus a fairly narrow and elongated open space 28 is provided at the center portion. FIG. 5 illustrates a second partial cross-sectional view of the primary carrying case 10. As seen in this view, protective foam 14 also has an angled or beveled portion 15 at a top end thereof to closely contain the trumpet bell. A corresponding cone 17 will also be attached to lid 18, thus providing additional support and protection.

Surrounding protective foam 14 is a single sheet protective plastic wall 30 which provides the structural integrity for primary carrying case 10. In one embodiment, plastic wall 30 is formed from continuous plastic sheet, thus providing a particular level of rigidity. That said, plastic wall 30 is also somewhat flexible, and light weight. In one particular embodiment, protective plastic wall 30 is made up of sheet plastic approximately 0.05″ thick and formed in a cylindrical format. While variations are possible, it is important that protective plastic wall 30 be of sufficient strength and rigidity to provide some level of protection. Lastly, an outer fabric covering 32 is provided to surround plastic wall 30, thus providing an additional level of protection and more pleasing aesthetic appearance for primary carrying case 10.

Referring now to FIG. 4 there is illustrated a cross-sectional view of protective case 40. As illustrated, this structure is made up of a primary structural tube 60 which is then wrapped in a protective fabric coating 62. In this particular case, structural tube 60 is specifically configured to have the substantial strength, capable of supporting significant weight without collapsing. In a preferred embodiment, this tube is capable of supporting at least 250 lbs and potentially more. As utilized in the present application, significant strength is defined to mean significant structural integrity to support at least 250 pounds without collapsing. It has been found in certain embodiments, that the structural tube 60 is actually capable of supporting over 500 pounds. Naturally, this level of strength is not always required. In one embodiment, structural tube 60 is formed from paper fibers in a solid tubular manner, and is approximately 0.25″ in the thickness. Naturally, variations in this structure could clearly be used, including plastic structures and corrugated materials.

One potential change for the dual case carrying system of the present invention is to provide zippered lids at both ends, and to modify the protective foam 14, thus allowing two trumpets to be carried within the primary case 10. Although not illustrated, this could easily be achieved by simply modifying the protective foam 14 to provide dual compartments, and to add a second zippered lid. The protective case 40 could similarly be modified to include two openings at either end. Alternatively, the protective case 40 could be used as is, thus simply requiring the primary case 10 to be removed in order to gain access to the second end.

Another potential embodiment of the present invention may involve cases of varied configurations. For example, the primary case may be a rectangular clam-shell type case, which is capable of being inserted into a protective hard case. The primary case would include appropriate supporting structures to closely hold the instrument involved and provide a related first level of protection. This case could then be end-loaded into the protective case having the features outlined above.

While certain embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described above, additional variations and modifications are clearly possible. The applicant intends the present Application to cover all variations coming in within the scope and spirit of the following claims.