Title:
Portable computer support system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable computer support system for providing a convenient and effective support platform upon a user's lap that supports a portable computer. The portable computer support system includes a support platform, a first support strap and a second support strap attached to opposing sides of the support platform, and opposing fasteners attached to the distal portions of the straps for selective interconnection to one another. The support platform has an upper surface for supporting an object such as a portable computer. The straps are extended about the legs of the user in a secured manner with the platform positioned upon the lap thereof. Alternatively, a first bracket and a second bracket may be directly connected to the portable computer for receiving the straps.



Inventors:
Parkinson, Roger A. (Bakersfield, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/270880
Publication Date:
04/17/2003
Filing Date:
10/11/2002
Assignee:
PARKINSON ROGER A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/918
International Classes:
A47B23/00; G06F1/16; (IPC1-7): B65D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STERLING, AMY JO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Roger A. Parkinson (Bakersfield, CA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A support apparatus for use upon a lap of an individual, comprising: a support platform having an upper surface and a lower surface; a first support strap attached to said support platform; a second support strap attached to said support platform extending opposite of said first support strap; a first end fastener attached to a distal end of said first support strap; and a second end fastener attached to distal end of said second support strap for selectively securing to said first end fastener.

2. The support apparatus of claim 1, wherein said support platform has a flat structure.

3. The support apparatus of claim 1, wherein said upper surface has a straight planar structure.

4. The support apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first end fastener and said second end fastener are comprised of a hook and loop fastener material.

5. The support apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first end fastener is comprised of a buckle unit and wherein said second end fastener is comprised of a plurality of apertures.

6. The support apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first support strap and said second support strap are comprised of a flexible material.

7. The support apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first support strap and said second support strap are comprised of an elastic material.

8. The support apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first support strap and said second support strap are comprised of a textile material.

9. The support apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first support strap and said second support strap are comprised of a tapered structure.

10. The support apparatus of claim 1, wherein said support platform is comprised of a rigid structure.

11. A support apparatus for use upon a lap of an individual, comprising: a first bracket attached to a portable computer; a first support strap attached to said first bracket; a second bracket attached to said portable computer; a second support strap attached to said second bracket extending opposite of said first support strap; a first end fastener attached to a distal end of said first support strap; and a second end fastener attached to distal end of said second support strap for selectively securing to said first end fastener.

12. The support apparatus of claim 11, wherein said first bracket has a first opening for receiving said first support strap and wherein said first support strap includes at least one first fastener for securing about said first bracket, and wherein said second bracket has a second opening for receiving said second support strap and wherein said second support strap includes at least one second fastener for securing about said second bracket.

13. The support apparatus of claim 11, wherein said first bracket and said second bracket are removably attached to said portable computer.

14. The support apparatus of claim 11, wherein said first end fastener and said second end fastener are comprised of a hook and loop fastener material.

15. The support apparatus of claim 11, wherein said first end fastener is comprised of a buckle unit and wherein said second end fastener is comprised of a plurality of apertures.

16. The support apparatus of claim 11, wherein said first support strap and said second support strap are comprised of a flexible material.

17. The support apparatus of claim 11, wherein said first support strap and said second support strap are comprised of an elastic material.

18. The support apparatus of claim 11, wherein said first support strap and said second support strap are comprised of a textile material.

19. The support apparatus of claim 11, wherein said first support strap and said second support strap are comprised of a tapered structure.

20. A method of attaching a portable computer support apparatus, wherein said support apparatus is comprised of a support platform having an upper surface and a lower surface, a first support strap attached to said support platform, a second support strap attached to said support platform extending opposite of said first support strap, a first end fastener attached to a distal end of said first support strap, and a second end fastener attached to distal end of said second support strap for selectively securing to said first end fastener, said method comprising the steps of: (a) positioning said support platform upon a lap of a user with said first support strap and said seconds support strap extending about opposing sides of said lap; (b) extending distal portions of said first support strap and said second support strap beneath said lap of said user adjacent and overlapping one another; (c) securing said first end fastener and said second end fastener together; and (d) positioning a portable computer upon said upper surface of said support platform.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] I hereby claim benefit under Title 35, United States Code, Section 119(e) of U.S. provisional patent application Serial No. 60/329,368 filed Oct. 15, 2001. The 60/329,368 application is currently pending. The 60/329,368 application is hereby incorporated by reference into this application.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not applicable to this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] The present invention relates generally to portable computer support devices and more specifically it relates to a portable computer support system for providing a convenient and effective support platform upon a user's lap that supports a portable computer.

[0005] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0006] Conventional support devices for portable computers and other devices are generally comprised of standing table devices. Since conventional support devices are typically not suitable for individuals who travel to various locations, these individuals are forced to position a portable computer upon their lap with their legs in a closed position in an attempt to adequately support the portable computer.

[0007] The main problem with conventional support devices is that they are large and cumbersome to utilize. A further problem with conventional support devices is that they are relatively expensive. Another problem with conventional support devices is that they are not easily transported to various locations. A further problem with conventional support devices is that they are not easily stored within compact locations.

[0008] While these devices may be suitable for the particular purpose to which they address, they are not as suitable for providing a convenient and effective support platform upon a user's lap that supports a portable computer. Conventional support devices are not suitable for usage in situations where the user requires the support device in various locations which require storage and transporting of the support device.

[0009] In these respects, the portable computer support system according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of providing a convenient and effective support platform upon a user's lap that supports a portable computer.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of support devices now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new portable computer support system construction wherein the same can be utilized for providing a convenient and effective support platform upon a user's lap that supports a portable computer.

[0011] The general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide a new portable computer support system that has many of the advantages of the support devices mentioned heretofore and many novel features that result in a new portable computer support system which is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any of the prior art support devices, either alone or in any combination thereof.

[0012] To attain this, the present invention generally comprises a support platform, a first support strap and a second support strap attached to opposing sides of the support platform, and opposing fasteners attached to the distal portions of the straps for selective interconnection to one another. The support platform has an upper surface for supporting an object such as a portable computer. The straps are extended about the legs of the user in a secured manner with the platform positioned upon the lap thereof. Alternatively, a first bracket and a second bracket may be directly connected to the portable computer for receiving the straps.

[0013] There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and that will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

[0014] In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0015] A primary object of the present invention is to provide a portable computer support system that will overcome the shortcomings of the prior art devices.

[0016] A second object is to provide a portable computer support system for providing a convenient and effective support platform upon a user's lap that supports a portable computer.

[0017] Another object is to provide a portable computer support system that may be utilized to support various items including but not limited to a portable computer, a food plate, writing materials and related items.

[0018] A further object is to provide a portable computer support system that is lightweight, compact in size and easy to utilize.

[0019] An additional object is to provide a portable computer support system that may be easily secured to and removed from the lap of a user.

[0020] A further object is to provide a portable computer support system that attaches to the lap of a user in a secure and relatively non-movable manner.

[0021] Another object is to provide a portable computer support system that provides increased comfort and usability to an individual operating a portable computer.

[0022] A further object is to provide a portable computer support system that supports a portable computer in a relatively level manner.

[0023] Another object is to provide a portable computer support system that does not require the individual to maintain their legs in perfectly closed position.

[0024] Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become obvious to the reader and it is intended that these objects and advantages are within the scope of the present invention.

[0025] To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0026] Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

[0027] FIG. 1 is an upper perspective view of the present invention with a portable computer in an exploded relationship to the present invention.

[0028] FIG. 2 is a top view of the present invention.

[0029] FIG. 3 is a front view of the present invention.

[0030] FIG. 4 is a top view of the present invention secured to a lap of an individual.

[0031] FIG. 5 is a front view of the present invention secured to a lap of an individual.

[0032] FIG. 6 is an upper perspective view of the present invention with an alternative securing means comprised of a buckle structure with a portable computer in an exploded relationship thereto.

[0033] FIG. 7 is a top view of the present invention with the alternative securing means comprised of a buckle structure.

[0034] FIG. 8 is an exploded upper perspective view of a securing structure for securing the portable computer to the support platform.

[0035] FIG. 9 is an exploded upper perspective view of a securing structure for securing the portable computer to the support platform with the alternative securing means.

[0036] FIG. 10 is an upper perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention with the support straps connected to the opposing sides of the portable computer by securing brackets.

[0037] FIG. 11 is an exploded upper perspective view of the alternative embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0038] Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, FIGS. 1 through 11 illustrate a portable computer support system 10, which comprises a support platform 20, a first support strap 30 and a second support strap 40 attached to opposing sides of the support platform 20, and opposing fasteners 32, 42 attached to the distal portions of the straps 30, 40 for selective interconnection to one another. The support platform 20 has an upper surface 22 for supporting an object such as a portable computer 12. The straps 30, 40 are extended about the legs of the user in a secured manner with the platform positioned upon the lap 14 thereof. Alternatively, a first bracket 60 and a second bracket 62 may be directly connected to the portable computer 12 for receiving the straps 30, 40.

[0039] FIGS. 1 through 9 illustrate the main embodiment of the present invention. The present invention includes a support platform 20 capable of receiving and supporting an item such as but not limited to a portable computer 12. The support platform 20 has an upper surface 22 that receives the item to be supported and a lower surface 24 that engages the lap 14 of the user.

[0040] The support platform 20 is preferably comprised of a rigid or semi-rigid structure and may be comprised of various materials such as but not limited to plastic, wood, metal, composite or fiberglass. The support platform 20 may also be comprised of a solid structure, hollow structure or other structure capable of supporting an item such as but not limited to a portable computer 12. The support platform 20 preferably has a square or rectangular shape as best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4 of the drawings, however the support platform 20 may have various other well-known shapes such as but not limited to oval or circular.

[0041] FIGS. 3 and 5 best illustrate that the support platform 20 preferably has a flat structure. FIGS. 3 and 5 further illustrate that the upper surface 22 of the support platform 20 is preferably straight for supporting the item in a level manner. The support platform 20 may have various thickness, widths and lengths as desired.

[0042] The support platform 20 may also include one or more first support fasteners 70 attached to the upper surface 22 for securing the item to be supported to the support platform 20 in a non-movable relationship as illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9 of the drawings. A corresponding one or more second support fasteners 72 are secured to the bottom surface of item for selectively and removably securing to the first support fasteners 70. The first support fasteners 70 and the second support fasteners 72 may be comprised of but not limited to hook and loop fasteners, snap fasteners, adhesive or other well-known fasteners.

[0043] As shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 of the drawings, a first support strap 30 and a second support strap 40 are attached to opposing sides of the support platform 20. The first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 have a length sufficient to extend about both legs of the user and overlap a finite distance as best illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings.

[0044] The first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 may be comprised of various structures such as straight, curved, constant width, tapered width and other related structures. FIG. 2 best illustrates that the first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 are preferably tapered from the support platform 20 to the opposing distal portions thereof for providing increased comfort to the user.

[0045] The first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 may be comprised of materials having stretchable or non-stretchable characteristics. The first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 must be comprised of a material having a flexible characteristic for allowing conforming to the shape of the legs and lap 14 of the user. The first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 may be comprised of materials such as but not limited to cloth, textile, elastic, canvas or plastic.

[0046] A first end fastener 32 is attached to the distal portion of the first support strap 30 as best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings. A second end fastener 42 is attached to the distal portion of the second support strap 40 as best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3 of the drawings. The first end fastener 32 and the second end fastener 42 are selectively securable for securing the first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 together about the legs of the user. The first end fastener 32 and the second end fastener 42 may be comprised of but not limited to hook and loop fasteners, snap fasteners, or other well-known fasteners. FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrates the usage of a buckle unit 50 attached to the first support strap 30 and a plurality of apertures 52 extending within the second support strap 40 for securing the straps 30, 40 together.

[0047] FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate the alternative embodiment of the present invention. More particularly, FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate the usage of a first bracket 60 and a second bracket 62 attached to opposing sides of the portable computer 12. The first bracket 60 and the second bracket 62 have an inner slot or opening within that receive a portion of the first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40. The first bracket 60 and the second bracket 62 may be permanently or removably attached to the portable computer 12 by the usage of various fasteners such as but not limited to snap fasteners, hook and loop fastener, permanent adhesive or removably adhesive. The first bracket 60 and the second bracket 62 may be integrally formed within the portable computer 12.

[0048] FIGS. 10 and 11 further illustrate the usage of one or more first fasteners 34 and second fasteners 44 attached to the first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 respectively for securing to the first bracket 60 and the second bracket 62. The first fasteners 34 and the second fasteners 44 are preferably comprised of snap fasteners, but various other conventional fasteners may be utilized. The inner ends of the first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 are looped through the respective bracket 60, 62 and then are secured by the first fasteners 34 and the second fasteners 44.

[0049] For the main embodiment, the user first positions the support platform 20 upon their lap 14 with the first support strap 30 and the second support strap 40 extending about the sides of the user's lap 14. The user may adjust the overall position of the support platform 20 along the length of their lap 14 as desired. The user then extends the distal portions of the straps 30, 40 beneath the lap 14 and secures the first end fastener 32 to the second end fastener 42 in the desired location. The user may expand their legs which will increase the tension upon the straps 30, 40 which results in increased stability to the support platform 20. The user then positions the item such as but not limited to a portable computer 12 upon the upper surface 22 of the support platform 20. The user then may work upon the portable computer 12 as desired. When finished, the user simply unfastens the first end fastener 32 and the second end fastener 42 from one another which allows for removal of the support platform 20 from the lap 14 of the user.

[0050] As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

[0051] With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed to be within the expertise of those skilled in the art, and all equivalent structural variations and relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

[0052] Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention. 1

Index of Elements for Portable Computer Support System
□ENVIRONMENTAL ELEMENTS
□10. Portable Computer Support System
□11.
□12. Portable Computer
□13.
□14. Lap
□15.
□16.
□17.
□18.
□19.
□20. Support Platform
□21.
□22. Upper Surface
□23.
□24. Lower Surface
□25.
□26.
□27.
□28.
□29.
□30. First Support Strap
□31.
□32. First End Fastener
□33.
□34. First Fasteners
□35.
□36.
□37.
□38.
□39.
□40. Second Support Strap
□41.
□42. Second End Fastener
□43.
□44. Second Fasteners
□45.
□46.
□47.
□48.
□49.
□50. Buckle Unit
□51.
□52. Apertures
□53.
□54.
□55.
□56.
□57.
□58.
□59.
□60. First Bracket
□61.
□62. Second Bracket
□63.
□64.
□65.
□66.
□67.
□68.
□69.
□70. First Support Fasteners
□71.
□72. Second Support Fasteners
□73.
□74.
□75.
□76.
□77.
□78.
□79.