Title:
Vertical upright zippered trunk
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed to a travel trunk comprising a trunk body having a rigid front and a rigid back panel, and a rigid substantially rectangular perimetrical sidewall therebetween defining a hollow interior of the trunk, wherein the sidewall is comprised of an upper and a lower portion wherein the upper portion is perimetrically bounding the front panel and the lower portion is perimetrically bounding the back panel, and wherein the upper portion is pivotal between and open and a closed position for accessing the hollow interior, at least two wheels affixed to the trunk body, a selectively extendable handle extendable from the trunk body opposite the wheels, and a zipper closure for releasably closing upper and the lower portion.



Inventors:
Badaan, Mounir (Kinnelon, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/395332
Publication Date:
09/30/2004
Filing Date:
03/24/2003
Assignee:
BADAAN MOUNIR
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
190/37
International Classes:
A45C13/04; A45C5/14; A45C13/10; A45C13/22; (IPC1-7): A45C13/36; A45C13/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hoffmann & Baron LLP (Syosset, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A travel trunk comprising: a trunk body having a rigid front panel and a rigid back panel, and a rigid substantially rectangular perimetrical sidewall therebetween defining a hollow interior of said trunk, wherein said sidewall is comprised of an upper portion and a lower portion wherein said upper portion is perimetrically bounding said front panel and said lower portion is perimetrically bounding said back panel, and wherein said upper portion is pivotal between open and closed positions for accessing said hollow interior; at least two wheels affixed to said trunk body; a selectively extendable handle extendable from said trunk body opposite said wheels, said lower portion being more proximal said extendable handle than said upper portion; and, a zipper closure for releasably closing said upper and said lower portions, wherein said upper portion is rigid between said front panel and said zipper closure.

2. A travel trunk according to claim 1 wherein said selectively extendable handle is in substantial alignment with the axis of rotation of said wheels.

3. A travel trunk according to claim 1 further including at least one carrying handle affixed to said trunk body.

4. A travel trunk according to claim 3 further including at least two carrying handles affixed to said trunk body in orthogonal orientation one to another.

5. A travel trunk according to claim 1 wherein said extendable handle is contained within a void in said trunk body when in a retracted position.

6. A travel trunk according to claim 5 wherein said extendable handle is covered by a flap affixed to said trunk body.

7. A travel trunk according to claim 6 wherein said flap can be pivotal between open and closed positions for accessing said extendable handle.

8. A travel trunk according to claim 1 wherein said rigid front panel, said rigid back panel, and said rigid substantially rectangular perimetrical sidewall each include a polymeric material.

9. A travel trunk according to claim 8 wherein said rigid front panel, said rigid back panel, and said rigid substantially rectangular perimetrical sidewall are each at least partially covered with a resilient material.

10. A travel trunk according to claim 9 wherein said resilient material is a fabric.

11. A travel trunk according to claim 1 wherein said lower portion is rigid between said back panel and said zipper closure.

12. A travel trunk according to claim 1 wherein said front panel is generally planar.

13. A travel trunk according to claim 1 wherein said sidewall includes four sides rectangularly disposed.

14. A travel trunk according to claim 13 wherein at least one said side of said sidewall is generally planar.

15. A travel trunk according to claim 14 wherein at least one said generally planar side of said sidewall is disposed to be generally parallel to said extendable handle.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to wheeled luggage designs and more particularly, to wheeled trunk designs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Many travelers find it desirable to utilize a large hard sided trunk for carrying belongings. A trunk offers many advantages to a traveler because of its large size and its rigid construction. The large size enables a user to transport a large volume of possessions without the need to have multiple pieces of luggage. In addition, the rigid construction provides an added measure of protection for any item stored within the trunk and makes packing and storing of possessions easier because of the well-defined space within the trunk interior. However, one of the drawbacks of the traditional travel trunk is the fact that it is difficult to move because of its large size and weight. A way to alleviate the difficulty in moving trunks as well as standard luggage such as a suitcase has been to include wheels for rolling the luggage. Typically, wheels are positioned on the base of the luggage, having a common rotational axis. An extendable handle is also usually provided that can be extended to give the user additional leverage for pivoting the suitcase onto its wheels by tilting the suitcase from an upright position to an angled position. Once pivoted onto the wheels the suitcase can be rolled across a surface without the need to lift the suitcase. This solution is common for suitcases due to their relatively small size, however, because of their large size, it is more difficult to produce a travel trunk incorporating these features. While some trunks incorporate wheels, they are arranged such that the trunk must be rolled in a lengthwise orientation. These types of wheeled trunks lack maneuverability and typically require the user to maintain an awkward posture to simultaneously grasp the handle and move the trunk. In addition, even those prior art design trunks that provide wheels do not incorporate extendable handles for providing the user with additional leverage to lift and or pivot the trunk as well as give the user a pleasing ergonomic design.

[0003] A further drawback of a typical trunk design is that typically at least one locking clasp or latch is used to maintain the cover in a closed position. The use of a latch however does not provide a complete seal for the entire opening, instead relying on the latches to maintain the cover in a closed position, without a continuous closure seal.

[0004] It would therefore be desirable to have a travel trunk having rigid sides for providing added protection to the contents, wheels for rolling the trunk along a surface, an extendable handle to provide the user with additional leverage in moving the trunk in an upright orientation, as well as providing a convenient and comfortable grip location and a zippered closure for providing a positive and convenient closure and seal for the trunk.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention relates to a vertical upright zippered trunk having six rigid sides which overcomes the deficiencies in the prior art designs. The rigid sides include parallel front and back panels connected to a continuous sidewall which define an interior space. The side wall has an upper portion connected to the front panel and a lower portion connected to the back panel. The upper and lower portions are hingedly connected to form the trunk opening and are secured with a zipper that is set back from the front panel of the trunk. The trunk further includes a rigid telescoping handle adjacent the back panel of the trunk. Wheels for rolling the trunk are mounted on the lower portion of the sidewall opposite the rigid telescoping handle. When not in use, the handle is stored within a void located adjacent the back panel and covered with a flap. The handle can be extended along the plane of the back panel to provide the user with greater leverage to pivot and roll the trunk. In the pivoted position the trunk weight is divided over the wheels and the extended handle in relation to the angle of the pivot.

[0006] The present invention is therefore directed to a travel trunk comprising a trunk body having a rigid front and a rigid back panel, and a rigid substantially rectangular perimetrical sidewall therebetween defining a hollow interior of the trunk, wherein the sidewall is comprised of an upper and a lower portion wherein the upper portion is perimetrically bounding the front panel and the lower portion is perimetrically bounding the back panel, and wherein the upper portion is pivotal between and open and a closed position for accessing the hollow interior, at least two wheels affixed to the trunk body, a selectively extendable handle extendable from the trunk body opposite the wheels, and a zipper closure for releasably closing upper and the lower portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the trunk according to the present invention with the handle retracted.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the trunk of FIG. 1 with the handle retracted.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the trunk of FIG. 1 with the handle extended.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the trunk of FIG. 1 with the handle extended.

[0011] FIG.5 there is an exploded view of the component parts of the trunk according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0012] There will be detailed below the preferred embodiments of the present invention with reference to the accompanying drawings. Like members are designated by like reference characters in all figures.

[0013] The present invention is directed to a vertical upright zippered trunk having six rigid sides. The rigid sides include parallel front and back panels connected to a continuous sidewall which define an interior space. The side wall has an upper portion connected to the front panel and a lower portion connected to the back panel. The upper and lower portions are hingedly connected to form the trunk opening and are secured with a zipper that is set back from the front panel of the trunk. The trunk further includes a rigid telescoping handle adjacent the back panel of the trunk. Wheels for rolling the trunk are mounted on the lower portion of the sidewall opposite the rigid telescoping handle. When not in use the handle is stored within a void located adjacent the back panel and covered with a flap. The handle can be extended along the plane of the back panel to provide the user with greater leverage to pivot and roll the trunk. In the pivoted position the trunk weight is divided over the wheels and the extended handle in relation to the angle of the pivot.

[0014] FIG. 1 shows a trunk according to an embodiment of the present invention. Trunk 100 includes generally parallel front and back panels 102 and 104 which are spaced apart. The edges of front and back panels 102 and 104 are connected to sidewall 106. The front 102 and back 104 panels together with sidewall 106 define the periphery of trunk 100 and an interior space therein. Sidewall 106 includes a top portion 108 and a bottom portion 110. The top portion 108 is connect to front panel 102 along the edge of top panel 102. Both sidewall top portion 108 and bottom portion 110 are each formed of a single rigid panel, formed into a substantially rectangular shape. In order to maintain the substantially rectangular shape of trunk 100, each corner is reinforced by a gusset 111, which maintains each corner at a substantially 90 degree angle. Furthermore, the corner gussets 111, add strength and rigidity to the trunk structure. The gussets in a preferred embodiment may be formed of leather or a leather like material. Additionally other suitable materials may be used to provide rigidity. Additionally, the front panel 102 and back panel 104 are each formed of a single flat rigid panel which are attached to the sidewall 106 top portion 108 and bottom portion 110 respectively. The top portion 108 together with connected front panel 102 forms the cover 112 to trunk 100. Cover 112 is pivotally connected by a hinge (not seen in this view) to the bottom portion 110 of sidewall 106. When in the closed position depicted, top portion 108 and bottom portion 110 are secured in a closed position by zipper 114. Zipper 114 can be opened to allow cover 112 to be pivotally opened to provide access to the interior of trunk 112. Front 102 and back 104 panels and sidewall 106 are substantially rigid to maintain the shape of the trunk 100. In a preferred embodiment, the rigid panels forming front panel 102 and back panel 103 can be polyethylene boards, while the upper portion 108 and bottom portion 110 of trunk 100 of the present invention may be constructed of a rigid Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) polymer having a honeycomb structure. However these elements can be constructed of any rigid polymeric or other suitable material. Furthermore each element may be at least partially covered with a soft, resilient material such as fabric, to provide a cushioned outer surface.

[0015] Wheels 116 are mounted at the edge forming the connection between bottom portion 110 of sidewall 106 and back panel 104. Wheels 116 extend downwardly from the bottom portion 110 and support a portion of the weight of trunk 100 when it is in the upright position. Footstuds 118 are mounted on top portion 108 of sidewall 110 and support a portion of the weight of trunk 110 when it is upright and provide a stable level support for trunk 100 when it is in a stationary upright position. Also depicted are carrying handles 118 and 120 extending from different surfaces of sidewall 106 preferably to be oriented generally orthogonally one to another, for lifting trunk 100. Carrying handles 118 and 120 enabling a user to carry the trunk in different orientations. The construction of an exemplary version of trunk 100 is shown in further detail in FIG. 5.

[0016] Turning now to FIG. 2, there is shown a rear perspective view of the trunk of FIG. 1. Visible in this view is hinge 200, and studs 202 for supporting trunk 100 in a level horizontal position, such as when being carried using handle 120. Also visible is flap 204 for covering rigid telescoping handle (not seen in this view) when it is in the retracted position. Flap 204 can be zippered or closed in any known manner, such as snap closures on the sidewall. Depicted at the bottom of back panel 104 are wheels 206 and 208. Each wheel is located within a housing 210 and 212. The housings 210 and 212 include a cavity for receiving each wheel, which are rotatably supported within each housing. Wheels 206 and 208 rotate about a substantially common axis and are separated apart from one another in order to provide a stable platform for trunk 100 in both the stationary as well as rolling state. Located between each wheel housing along the back panel is a kickplate 214. The kickplate 214 is formed of a rigid material such as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) polymer or other suitable material. The kickplate 214 provides the user with a convenient location for applying a force to the trunk when it is being pivoted onto wheels 206 and 208 without damaging the outside surface.

[0017] Turning now to FIG. 3, a rigid telescoping handle 300 is mounted adjacent to back panel 104 in a void formed along the inner surface of back panel 104. Rigid telescoping handle 300 is alternately retractable and extendable from suitcase 100. Telescoping handle 300 includes a gripping member 302 and two generally parallel stanchions 304. Telescoping handle 300 can be extended outwardly from bottom portion 110 of sidewall 106 and along the plane of back panel 104. In the extended position, telescoping handle 300 is operable to permit the suitcase to be rolled across a surface on wheels 116 with the weight of the suitcase distributed between telescoping handle 300 and wheels 116. The weight of the trunk is divided between the handle 300 and wheels 116 according to the angle that the trunk is pivoted to while rolled by the user. Typically a user will roll the trunk at an angle of less than 45 degrees from vertical whereby most of the weight of trunk 100 is carried by wheels 116. The user grips gripping member 302 of the rigid telescoping handle 300 and applies force by pulling on gripping member 302 while preventing the trunk from rolling by applying an opposite force to kickplate 214. A moment force created by lever arm created by extended stanchions 304 causes trunk 100 to rotate about the axis of wheels 116. The user can then support a portion of the weight of trunk by holding telescoping handle 300. The balance of the weight of the trunk 100 is supported by wheels 116. Trunk 100 can then be pulled along by the user on wheels 116. Because most of the weight of the trunk is carried by the wheels, the user need not provide a large lifting force to maintain the trunk in the pivoted position. In addition, the trunk can be readily steered by applying a force to the telescoping handle perpendicular to the axis of rotation of wheels 116.

[0018] Turning now to FIG. 4, one end of each stanchion 304 of rigid telescoping handle 300 is movably mounted to housing 400 comprising two substantially parallel tubes, located in a void 402 adjacent back panel 104 of trunk 100. Void 402 is located adjacent the inner surface of back panel 104. Flap 204 is provided to cover void 402 when handle is in a retracted position. In a preferred embodiment, flap 204 is secured by way of a zipper closure. It is desirable for the telescoping handle to be movable between a storage position and an operable position. It will be appreciated that when telescoping handle 300 is received into void 402, it does not protrude significantly above the exterior surface of bottom portion 110 of sidewall 106. In that way, the handle can be stored when not in use and will be less susceptible to damage when the suitcase is moved through luggage handling systems in airports and the like. Flap 204 provides a measure for locking the handle into the storage position, preventing accidental deployment and damage during transit. In the preferred embodiment, telescoping handle 300 is positioned adjacent to back panel 104 above wheels 116 to provide the user with maximum leverage for pivoting trunk 100 onto wheels 116.

[0019] Turning now to FIG. 5, there is shown an exploded view of the component parts of trunk 100. The body of trunk 100 includes sidewall 106, which is formed of a bottom portion 110, and upper portion 108. Both bottom portion 110 and upper portion 108 are each formed of a single rigid panel which is shaped into a substantially rectangular form. Back panel 104 is affixed to the edge of bottom portion 110 using any technique know in the art, such as by piping. In this exemplary embodiment depicted, a cushion 502 may be provided, adjacent to the back panel 104, such as an EVA foam cushion. Likewise front panel 102 is affixed to the edge of top portion 108 using any know technique. In this exemplary embodiment depicted, front panel 102 may also be covered with a cushion 504 to provide a cushioned outer surface. Zipper 114 is positioned between and affixed to upper portion 108 and lower portion 110 for releasably closing trunk 100. Sidewall 106, front panel 102, and back panel 104 define an interior space 502 of trunk 100. A resilient material, such as fabric, may at least partially cover, exterior portions of the front panel 102, back panel 104 and sidewall 106. In addition, an internal liner (not shown) may cover internal portions of the front panel 102, back panel 104, and sidewall 106. Also shown in FIG. 5 is telescoping rigid handle 300, shown in an extended position, as well as wheel housing 212 and wheel 208.

[0020] It will be appreciated that the present invention has been described herein with reference to certain preferred or exemplary embodiments. The preferred or exemplary embodiments described herein may be modified, changed, added to or deviated from without departing from the intent, spirit and scope of the present invention. It is intended that all such additions, modifications, amendments, and/or deviations be included within the scope of the claims appended hereto.