Title:
Christmas light storage bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A Christmas light storage bag includes a center panel, a right bank of leaves, a left bank of leaves, and a plurality of straps. The lights are placed within the bag, and the bag is rolled and the straps secured to encase the lights.



Inventors:
Meyer, Jeffrey E. (Mt. Vernon, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/322657
Publication Date:
06/24/2004
Filing Date:
12/19/2002
Assignee:
MEYER JEFFREY E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/26; B65H75/36; F21V17/00; F21S4/00; (IPC1-7): B65D85/42
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FRANCIS, FAYE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A Christmas light storage bag comprising: a center panel; a right bank of leaves attached to a right edge of the center panel; a left bank of leaves attached to a left edge of the center panel; and a plurality of straps attached to a top edge of the center panel.

2. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the center panel is dimensioned and configured to be at least as long as a fully extended string of decorative lights.

3. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the right bank of leaves and the left bank of leaves are made of a plurality of flexible fabric sheets.

4. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the number of fabric sheets comprising the right bank of leaves is unequal to the number of fabric sheet comprising the left bank of leaves.

5. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the center panel is made of a padded material.

6. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the center panel is made of a tear-resistant material.

7. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the center panel is made of a snag-resistant material.

8. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the banks of leaves are made of a padded material.

9. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the banks of leaves are made of a tear-resistant material.

10. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the banks of leaves are made of a snag-resistant material.

11. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the plurality of straps are made of a hook and loop material.

12. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the plurality of straps is made of a non-elastic cord.

13. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 1, wherein the plurality of straps is made of an elastic cord.

14. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 13, wherein the elastic cord is in the form of a loop.

15. A decorative light storage bag comprising: a center panel; a right bank of leaves attached to a right edge of the center panel; a left bank of leaves attached to a left edge of the center panel; and a plurality of straps attached to a bottom side of the center panel.

16. The decorative light storage bag of claim 15, wherein the center panel is dimensioned and configured to be at least as long and as wide as a fully extended sheet of decorative lights.

17. The decorative light storage bag of claim 15, further comprising a plurality of tabs attached to a bottom of the center panel.

18. The decorative light storage bag of claim 15, wherein the plurality of tabs is made of hook and loop material.

19. A Christmas light storage bag comprising: a center panel, wherein the center panel is dimensioned and configured to be the length of a fully extended string of decorative lights; a right bank of leaves attached to a right edge of the center panel, wherein the right bank of leaves is made of flexible fabric sheets; a left bank of leaves attached to a left edge of the center panel, wherein the left bank of leaves is made of flexible fabric sheets; and a plurality of straps attached to a bottom side of the center panel, wherein the plurality of straps are made of hook and loop material.

20. The Christmas light storage bag of claim 19, further comprising a plurality of hook and loop material tabs attached to a bottom side of the center panel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to storage equipment for fragile or delicate objects, and more particularly to a storage bag for decorative lights.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Storage devices for equipment and objects are well known. Such devices include sacks, bags, cases, trunks, and numerous other variations. Each time man creates a fragile or delicate object, or something he wishes to protect or conceal, he must create a container to meet those goals or needs. Decorative lights, such as those used to brighten holidays and other festive occasions, present a particular challenge. Decorative lights include strands of lights that are attached to houses, trees, and other objects, and sheets or nets of lights that are draped around trees and over shrubs. One common device used to store decorative lights is a spool.

[0005] Spools have been used to store light strands for decades. A large spool can hold several strands of decorative lights. These decorative light strands may have a total length of a hundred feet or more. This is very efficient use of space. However, the innermost strands of the decorative lights on the spool are subject to ever-increasing amounts of pressure due to the additional strands layered on top. This frequently results in broken bulbs. Further, if the strands of decorative lights are wound too tightly, the top layers may be forced between the lower layers, causing jams, tangles, and damage.

[0006] Another method developed to store decorative light strands is a rack. The rack comprises a substantially flat shaped piece of wood or plastic with numerous notches at the edges. The notches engage the decorative light strands to hold it in place and prevent the strands from slipping off. However, the racks have the same problems as the spools, particularly at the edges. The top layers of decorative light strands are easily forced between the lower layers, resulting in tangles and damage.

[0007] Many people try to solve the storage problem by attempting to replace the decorative light strands back into the original shipping container from the manufacturer. The goal is to try to make the decorative lights strands as compact as when they were first purchased. It is an impossible task to perform by hand. The manufacturer's packing is accomplished by a machine, using an automated process with great uniformity. Additionally, the factory packaging is not really meant to be reused for storage. Thus, what is needed is a way to pack a plurality of decorative lights into a single container while virtually eliminating tangles and the subsequent breakage.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 3,900,060, issued to Antoine Shammas on Aug. 19, 1975, describes a jewelry bag. However, it requires a means for securing a piece of jewelry within the bag.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 4,691,469, issued to Lawrence C. Alsobrook and Norman F. Browning on Sep. 8, 1987, teaches a fishing tackle management system and method. However, the device requires a plurality of transparent pockets customized for carrying specific fishing tackle.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 4,735,246, issued to Susan A. Niehaus on Apr. 5, 1988, describes a foldable display and storage receptacle. However, the device requires a plurality of interlocking strips and bands for securing a plurality of small objects such as necklaces, rings, and bracelets.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 4,930,635, issued to Calvin J. Hotchkiss and Nancy E. Hotchkiss on Jun. 5, 1990, teaches a jewelry display book. However, it requires that all of the interior pages be secured to the cover through a single attachment.

[0012] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singularly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus a Christmas light storage bag solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The device is a decorative light storage bag, more specifically a Christmas light storage bag which includes an elongated central panel and a plurality of elongated leaves for safely and securely wrapping a plurality of light strands.

[0014] The device comprises an elongated rectangular central panel, a plurality of elongated rectangular leaves, and a plurality of straps. The central panel and the plurality of leaves are made of a fabric that is resistant to abrasion, puncture, and tearing. The straps are made of a material suitable for holding the rolled Christmas light storage bag in a closed position. Such materials include elastic cords, non-elastic cords, and hook and loop fasteners. If hook and loop fasteners are used, the fastening straps may extend completely around the rolled Christmas light storage bag and attach back upon themselves. Alternatively, the hook and loop fastening straps may extend only partially around the rolled storage to attach to tabs of complementary hook and loop material affixed to the outer surface of the rolled Christmas light storage bag.

[0015] The elongated shape of the Christmas light storage bag allows strands of decorative lights to be placed into the bag in their fully extended state. No folding or rolling is required before placing a decorative light strand into the storage bag. The leaves permit a plurality of decorative lights to be stored in this manner.

[0016] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to disclose a Christmas light storage bag that allows a decorative light strand to be placed into the storage bag while the decorative light strand is fully extended.

[0017] It is another object of the invention to teach a Christmas light storage bag that allows a plurality of decorative light strands to be placed into the Christmas light storage bag while the plurality of decorative lights are fully extended.

[0018] It is a further object of the invention to disclose a Christmas light storage bag that virtually eliminates tangled decorative lights.

[0019] Still another object of the invention is to teach a Christmas light storage bag that virtually eliminates damaged decorative lights due to tangles.

[0020] Yet another object of the invention is to disclose a Christmas light storage bag that permits multiple sets of decorative lights to be stored immediately adjacent to one another.

[0021] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0022] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0023] FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of an open Christmas light storage bag, with a strand of decorative lights, according to the present invention.

[0024] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an open Christmas light storage bag shown in FIG. 1

[0025] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the open Christmas light storage bag with a sheet of decorative lights.

[0026] FIG. 4 is an enlarged-scale, cross-sectional view of the rolled Christmas light storage bag.

[0027] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the rolled Christmas light storage bag.

[0028] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0029] The present invention is a decorative light storage bag, more specifically a Christmas light storage bag. The Christmas light storage bag is made up of a center panel, a plurality of leaves, and a plurality of straps.

[0030] FIGS. 1 and 2 are environmental and perspective views of an open Christmas light storage bag, according to the present invention. FIG. 1 shows the Christmas light storage bag with a strand of decorative lights A. In one embodiment, the Christmas light storage bag is made of an elongated rectangular center panel 10, a right bank of leaves 12, a left bank of leaves 14, and a plurality of straps 16.

[0031] The center panel 10 is a rectangular sheet of material that includes a pair of long edges, located along opposite sides of the center panel 10, and running parallel to the longitudinal axis of the center panel 10. The center panel 10 is at least as long as the fully extended string of decorative lights A. The center panel 10 is wide enough to permit the Christmas light storage bag to be rolled easily. The ability to place fully extended strands of decorative lights A onto the Christmas light storage bag greatly reduces the likelihood of entanglement of the cords and breakage of the light bulbs. In one embodiment, the center panel 10 is made of an abrasion-resistant material. In another embodiment, the center panel 10 is made of a snag-resistant material. In another embodiment, the center panel 10 is made of a padded material.

[0032] The right bank of leaves 12 and the left bank of leaves 14 are made of a plurality of sheets of fabric. Both the right bank of leaves 12 and the left bank of leaves 14 are approximately the same length as the center panel 10. In one embodiment, the right bank of leaves 12 and the left bank of leaves 14 are made of an abrasion-resistant material. In another embodiment, the right and left banks of leaves 12, 14 are made of a snag-resistant material.

[0033] In another embodiment, the right and left banks of leaves 12, 14 are made of a padded material.

[0034] The right bank of leaves 12 is attached to the elongated right edge of the center panel 10 so that the plurality of leaves resembles the pages of a book. The left bank of leaves 14 is attached to the elongated left edge of the center panel 10 so that the plurality of leaves resembles the pages of a book. A plurality of straps 16 is attached to a narrow end of the center panel 10.

[0035] In one embodiment, the plurality of straps 16 is made of a hook and loop material. In another embodiment, the plurality of straps 16 is made of an elastic material. In still another embodiment, the plurality of straps 16 is made of a non-elastic material.

[0036] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an open Christmas light storage bag, with a sheet of decorative lights B, according to the present invention.

[0037] In one embodiment, the Christmas light storage bag is made of a rectangular center panel 10, a right bank of leaves 12, a left bank of leaves 14, and a plurality of straps 16.

[0038] The center panel 10 is at least as long and as wide as the fully extended sheet of decorative lights B. The ability to place fully extended sheets of decorative lights B onto the Christmas light storage bag greatly reduces the likelihood of entanglement of the cords and breakage of the light bulbs. In one embodiment, the center panel 10 is made of an abrasion-resistant material. In another embodiment, the center panel 10 is made of a snag-resistant material. In another embodiment, the center panel 10 is made of a protective padding.

[0039] The right bank of leaves 12 and the left bank of leaves 14 are made of a plurality of sheets of fabric. Both the right bank of leaves 12 and the left bank of leaves 14 are approximately the same length and width as the center panel 10. In one embodiment, the right bank of leaves 12 and the left bank of leaves 14 are made of an abrasion-resistant material. In another embodiment, the right and left banks of leaves 12, 14 are made of a snag-resistant material. In another embodiment, the right and left banks of leaves 12, 14 are made of a protective padding.

[0040] The right bank of leaves 12 is attached to the right edge of the center panel 10 so that the plurality of leaves resembles the pages of a book. The left bank of leaves 14 is attached to the left edge of the center panel 10 so that the plurality of leaves resembles the pages of a book. A plurality of straps 16 is attached to a narrow end of the center panel 10.

[0041] In one embodiment, the plurality of straps 16 is made of a hook and loop material. In another embodiment, the plurality of straps 16 is made of an elastic material. In another embodiment, the plurality of straps 16 is made of a non-elastic material.

[0042] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional end view of a rolled Christmas light storage bag, according to the present invention. The Christmas light storage bag is placed on a large relatively flat area, such as a floor. The center panel 10 is positioned so that the plurality of straps is on the bottom side of the center panel 10, against the floor. A string of sheet of decorative lights C is placed upon the center panel 10. A single leaf from the plurality of leaves in the right bank of leaves 12 is positioned across the string or sheet of decorative lights C. The single leaf is positioned to completely cover the string or sheet of decorative lights C and is spread out over the center panel 10 as well.

[0043] Next, another string or sheet of decorative lights D is placed upon the leaf that is covering the first string or sheet of decorative lights C. Thus, a single leaf separates the stacked strings or sheets of decorative lights C, D. A single leaf from the plurality of leaves in the left bank of leaves 12 is positioned across the string or sheet of decorative lights D. The single leaf is positioned to completely cover the string or sheet of decorative lights and is spread out over the center panel 10 and the previously positioned leaf.

[0044] The layering of decorative lights and leaves of material continues, alternating leaves from the right bank of leaves 12 and the left bank of leaves 14, until the supply of decorative lights or the number of leaves is exhausted. The cross-section of the Christmas light storage bag, as seen from an end, in FIG. 4, reveals alternating layers of lights and leaves of material. Thus, a leaf of material is between each string of decorative lights C-G, virtually eliminating the possibility of tangles, snags, or breakage.

[0045] In one embodiment, the last two remaining leaves, which are the last leaf from the right bank of leaves 12 and the last leaf from the left bank of leaves 14, both cover the uppermost layer of decorative lights G. The two remaining leaves continue the alternating pattern of the previously layered leaves. In this manner, the uppermost layer of decorative lights is afforded the same bilateral protection as the previous layers of lights. The top layer of lights, item G in FIG. 4, cannot slip out the side of the Christmas light storage bag. In another embodiment, a sheet of decorative lights (not shown) may be used in place of the string of decorative lights C-G.

[0046] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a rolled Christmas light storage bag, according to the present invention. The Christmas light storage bag may be rolled into this shape to enable convenient storage of the decorative lights contained within the storage bag. The rolling process starts with the layering process described in FIG. 4. First, the decorative lights are placed within the storage bag, and leaves from the right bank of leaves 12 and the left bank of leaves 14 are positioned between the decorative lights in an alternating fashion. Second, the Christmas light storage bag is rolled along its length, starting away from the end of the center panel 10 without a plurality of straps 16, and ending adjacent to the plurality of straps 16. Finally, the Christmas light storage bag is secured in the rolled arrangement by the plurality of straps 16. The rolled Christmas light storage bag is now ready for storage.

[0047] In one embodiment, the plurality of straps 16 is hook and loop fasteners that are attached to a plurality of tabs 18, wherein the plurality of tabs is also hook and loop material. In another, the plurality of straps 16 is hook and loop fasteners that are long enough to encircle the rolled Christmas light storage bag and attach back to themselves. In another embodiment, see FIG. 3, the plurality of straps 16 is cords that encircle the Christmas light storage bag.

[0048] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.