Title:
Protective cases and methods for making the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to durable yet lightweight cases for objects. When in use, the cases of the present invention are wrapped around the outer perimeter of an object. The top sides and the bottom sides of the cases meet or overlap when the cases are wrapped around the outer perimeter of an object and can be secured to one another with a fastening device. The right and left sides of the cases can then be drawn taut around the remaining sides (i.e. the right and the left side) of the object with drawstrings. When not in use, the cases can be stacked in flat sheets or can be rolled up and stored in an alternatively space-efficient manner.



Inventors:
Bourgoin, Richard E. (US)
Application Number:
11/330229
Publication Date:
07/12/2007
Filing Date:
01/12/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REYNOLDS, STEVEN ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
K&L Gates LLP-Washington, DC (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A case for an object having an outer perimeter, a left side and a right side, wherein said case comprises a rectangular flexible material having a front side, a back side, a top side, a bottom side, a right side, a left side, a drawstring associated with said right side, and a drawstring associated with said left side, each said drawstring comprising one cord, wherein when said case surrounds said object said back side faces towards said object, said front side faces away from said object, said top side and said bottom side meet around the outer perimeter of said object and are fastened together with a fastening device and wherein when said top side and said bottom side meet, said right side of said case extends beyond said right side of said object and said left side of said case extends beyond said left side of said object and wherein said drawstrings are used to pull said right side of said case and said left side of said case down over said right side and said left side of said object toward the center of said object's right side and the center of said object's left side respectively.

2. The case of claim 1, further comprising one or more loops along said right side of said case wherein said drawstring associated with said right side of said case is threaded through said loops.

3. The case of claim 2, further comprising one or more loops along said left side of said case wherein said drawstring associated with said left side of said case is threaded through said loops.

4. The case of claim 3, wherein said loops are affixed to said right side of said case and said left side of said case respectively or are a continuous portion of said right side of said case and said left side of said case respectively.

5. The case of claim 3, wherein said loops are disposed along said right side of said case and said left side of said case respectively along said back side of said case, and wherein one end of each drawstring is threaded from the back side to the front side of said case through a hole in said case.

6. The case of claim 5, wherein said drawstrings are threaded through said loops and affixed to at least one loop located about midway between said top side and said bottom side.

7. The case of claim 1, wherein when said top side and said bottom side meet, said top side overlaps said bottom side.

8. The case of claim 1, wherein said fastening device is selected from one or more of the group consisting of a hook and loop fastener, a magnetic fastener, one or more buttons, one or more snaps, one or more peg and hole fasteners, one or more peg and loop fasteners and tying mechanisms.

9. The case of claim 1, wherein said case comprises an outer layer, a middle layer and an inner layer.

10. The case of claim 1, wherein said object is selected from the group consisting of a drum, a barrel, a keg, a tank and a box.

11. A method for making a case for an object having an outer perimeter, a right side and a left side, wherein said method comprises providing a rectangular flexible material having a front side, a back side, a top side, a bottom side, a right side, a left side, a drawstring associated with said right side of said case, and a drawstring associated with said left side of said case, each said drawstring comprising one cord, wherein when said case surrounds said object said back side faces towards said object, said front side faces away from said object, said top side and said bottom side meet around the circumference of said outer perimeter of said object and are fastened together with a fastening device and wherein when said top side and said bottom side meet, said right side of said case extends beyond said right side of said object and said left side of said case extends beyond said left side of said object and wherein said drawstrings are used to pull said right side of said case and said left side of said case down over said right side of said object and said left side of said object toward the center of said object's right side and the center of said object's left side respectively.

12. The method of claim 11, further comprising one or more loops along said right side of said case wherein said drawstring associated with said right side of said case is threaded through said loops.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising one or more loops along said left side of said case wherein said drawstring associated with said left side of said case is threaded through said loops.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein said loops are affixed to said right side of said case and said left side of said case respectively or are a continuous portion of said right side of said case and said left side of said case respectively.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein said loops are disposed along said right side of said case and said left side of said case respectively along said back side of said case, and wherein one end of each drawstring is threaded from the back side to the front side of said case through a hole in said case.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein said drawstrings are threaded through said loops and affixed to at least one loop located about midway between said top side and said bottom side.

17. The method of claim 11, wherein when said top side and said bottom side meet, said top side overlaps said bottom side.

18. The method of claim 11, wherein said fastening device is selected from one or more of the group consisting of a hook and loop fastener, a magnetic fastener, one or more buttons, one or more snaps, one or more peg and hole fasteners, peg and loop fasteners and tying mechanisms.

19. The method of claim 11, wherein said case comprises: an outer layer, a middle layer and an inner layer.

20. The method of claim 11, wherein said object is selected from the group consisting of a drum, a barrel, a keg, a tank and a box.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to easily-loaded protective cases and related methods that can be stored when not in use in a space-efficient manner.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Objects such as, without limitation drums, kegs, barrels, tanks (including without limitation scuba tanks, oxygen tanks, helium tanks, nitrogen tanks, etc.) and boxes are frequently transported from one place to another. In many circumstances, it is desirable to protect the object from damage during transport. Many musicians, for example, travel from venue to venue to play their drums. In order to protect their drums from physical damage during travel, the musicians usually place them in some type of protective case. Protective cases may also protect objects from more than physical damage. For example, keg beer is unpasteurized and thus it is important to keep the keg beer cold to prevent spoilage. In other cases, a protective case is used to protect not only the items being transported, but also the environment the objects come into contact with during transport. This circumstance may be the case when transporting objects with rigid surfaces, such as tanks. As a final example, some objects, such as cardboard boxes can benefit from protective cases that provide a waterproof shell. Thus, a variety of objects can benefit in a variety of different ways from protective cases.

Over the years, various protective cases have been developed. These previously-developed cases, however, suffer from various drawbacks. By way of example, there are two types of conventionally-used protective cases for drums: road cases and soft bags. Road cases are heavy hard-shelled drum-shaped containers with lids and a thick foam lining. Soft bags are essentially padded, enclosed cloth cylinders with a zipper extending around the circumference. Both of these devices function to adequately pad and protect drums in transit, but they also take up a large volume of space when not in use.

U.S. Pat. No. 501,318 shows a typical road case. The case consists of a two part hard shell which encloses a drum. These cases, unlike the present invention, are difficult to transport due to their size and weight and cannot be conveniently stored in a small area.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,084,719 relates to a soft bag with a modified hard top and bottom. It is often difficult to place a drum in a soft bag such as that described in the '719 patent due to these bags' lack of structure. Also, soft bags cannot be rolled or conveniently stored.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,025,549 relates to an inclement weather drum case which functions to enclose and protect a drum while not significantly reducing the playability of the drum. This drum case, unlike the present invention, encases the entire drum, thus adding additional weight. It also cannot be rolled and conveniently stored when not in use.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,723,906 relates to discloses a drum case that addresses many of the aforementioned problems, but is still subject to unfavorable drawbacks. For example, the drum case described in the '906 patent requires the inclusion of sheaths containing drawstrings made of at least three cords. This sheath/cord configuration can be cumbersome to use when encasing, for example, a large drum.

Protective devices for kegs also face several limitations. Keg Coat, for example, is a soft keg case manufactured by Kegger Industries (Manheim, Pa.). The case has only one opening on the top, and therefore, placing a keg into the case requires lifting the keg (which could weigh up to 160 pounds) several feet off the ground. The case also cannot be easily rolled or conveniently stored when not in use.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,612,742 relates to a keg case with harness installations. The case is difficult to use, however, due to its rigidity, weight and size. The case also requires its users to first turn a keg upside down for case fitting before the whole assembly can be turned back, upside up, for use. It also takes up a large volume of space when not in use.

Based on the foregoing, a need exists for a soft case that is lightweight, easy to load an object into, easily-transported and conveniently-stored. The present invention addresses these needs, among others.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides protective cases for objects. The cases are preferably lightweight, easy to load objects into, easily-transported and conveniently-stored when not in use. The cases of the present invention may specifically comprise flexible rectangular pieces of material each having a front side, a back side, a top side, a bottom side, a right side and a left side. Drawstrings can be positioned along the right side and the left side of the cases. When in use, the cases of the present invention can be laid on a relatively flat surface with the back side of the case facing up. The object can then be placed or rolled onto the back side of the case. Once an object is positioned over a portion of the back side of the case, the top side and the bottom side of the case can be brought together around the outer perimeter of the object. Once brought together in this manner, the top side and the bottom side are attached to each other with a fastening device. When the top side and the bottom side meet and are fastened in the described manner, the right side and the left side of the cases of the present invention extend out past the respective right and left sides of the encased object. The drawstrings along the right and left sides of the case are pulled, so that the right and left sides of the case are drawn toward the center of the right side and the center of the left side of the encased object respectively, thus completing the formation of a protective case. The described invention thus provides a protective case that is easy to load objects into, adjustable, fitting a variety of differently-sized objects, and easily storable in a space-efficient manner when not in use. Specifically, when not in use, the cases of the present invention can be piled into a relatively flat rectangular stack. Alternatively, one or more of the cases can be stacked and rolled together into a single unit. Both methods provide convenient and space-efficient methods of storage.

Specifically, one embodiment of the cases of the present invention comprises a rectangular flexible material having a front side, a back side, a top side, a bottom side, a right side, a left side, a drawstring associated with the right side, and a drawstring associated with the left side, each drawstring comprising one cord, wherein when the case surrounds an object, the back side faces towards the object, the front side faces away from the object, the top side and the bottom side meet around the outer perimeter of the object to be encased and are fastened together with a fastening device and wherein when the top side and the bottom side meet, the right side of the case extends beyond the right side of the object and the left side of the case extends beyond the left side of the object and wherein the drawstrings are used to pull the right side of the case and the left side of the case down over the object's right side and left side respectively towards the center of the object's right side and the center of the object's left side respectively.

In another embodiment of the cases of the present invention, the case further comprises one or more loops along the right side of the case wherein the drawstring associated with the right side of the case is threaded through the loops.

In another embodiment of the cases of the present invention, the case comprises one or more loops along the right side of the case wherein the drawstring associated with the right side of the case is threaded through the loops and further comprises one or more loops along the left side of the case wherein the drawstring associated with the left side of the case is threaded through the loops.

In another embodiment of the cases of the present invention, the loops are affixed to the right side of the case and the left side of the case respectively or are a continuous portion of the right side of the case and the left side of the case respectively.

In another embodiment of the cases of the present invention, the loops are disposed along the right side of the case and the left side of the case respectively along the back side of the case, and wherein one end of each drawstring is threaded from the back side to the front side of the case through a hole in the case.

In another embodiment of the cases of the present invention, the drawstrings are threaded through the loops and affixed to at least one loop located about midway between the top side and the bottom side.

In another embodiment of the cases of the present invention, when the top side and the bottom side meet, the top side overlaps the bottom side. In another embodiment of the cases of the present invention, the fastening device is selected from the group consisting of a hook and loop fastener, a magnetic fastener, one or more buttons, one or more snaps, one or more peg and hole fasteners, one or more peg and loop fasteners and tying mechanisms.

In another embodiment of the cases of the present invention, the case comprises an outer layer, a middle layer and an inner layer.

In another embodiment of the cases of the present invention, the object is selected from one or more the group consisting of a drum, a barrel, a keg, a tank and a box.

The present invention also includes methods. In one embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the method comprises providing a case comprising a rectangular flexible material having a front side, a back side, a top side, a bottom side, a right side, a left side, a drawstring associated with the right side, and a drawstring associated with the left side, each drawstring comprising one cord, wherein when the case surrounds an object, the back side of the case faces towards the object, the front side faces away from the object, the top side and the bottom side meet around the outer perimeter of the object to be encased and are fastened together with a fastening device and wherein when the top side and the bottom side meet, the right side of the case extends beyond the right side of the object and the left side of the case extends beyond the left side of the object and wherein the drawstrings are used to pull the right side of the case and the left side of the case down over the object's right side and left side respectively towards the center of the object's right side and the center of the object's left side respectively.

In another embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the case further comprises one or more loops along the right side of the case wherein the drawstring associated with the right side of the case is threaded through the loops.

In another embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the case comprises one or more loops along the right side of the case wherein the drawstring associated with the right side of the case is threaded through the loops and further comprises one or more loops along the left side of the case wherein the drawstring associated with the left side of the case is threaded through the loops.

In another embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the loops are affixed to the right side of the case and the left side of the case or are a continuous portion of the right side of the case and the left side of the case.

In another embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the loops are disposed along the right side of the case and the left side of the case along the back side of the case, and wherein one end of each drawstring is threaded from the back side to the front side of the case through a hole in the case.

In another embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the drawstrings are threaded through the loops and affixed to at least one loop located about midway between the top side and the bottom side.

In another embodiment of the methods of the present invention, when the top side and the bottom side meet, the top side overlaps the bottom side. In another embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the fastening device is selected from the group consisting of a hook and loop fastener, a magnetic fastener, one or more buttons, one or more snaps, one or more peg and hole fasteners, one or more peg and loop fasteners and tying mechanisms.

In another embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the provided case comprises an outer layer, a middle layer and an inner layer.

In another embodiment of the methods of the present invention, the object to be encased is selected from one or more the group consisting of a drum, a barrel, a keg, a tank and a box.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a case of the present invention partially encasing a drum.

FIG. 2 is an environmental, perspective view of another embodiment of a case of the present invention encasing a drum.

FIG. 3 is an environmental, perspective view of another embodiment of a case of the present invention encasing a keg.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a case of the present invention rolled for storage.

FIG. 5 is a rear side view of another embodiment of a case of the present invention, with a cut away portion exposing three layers of the casing.

FIG. 6a is a cross section view of another embodiment of a case of the present invention.

FIG. 6b is an alternative cross section view of another embodiment of a case of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a front side view of a case of another embodiment of a case of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the particular embodiments, materials, and examples described herein, as these may vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include the plural reference unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, a reference to “a case” or “a box” is a reference to one or more cases or boxes and includes equivalents thereof known to those skilled in the art and so forth.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical terms used herein have the same meanings as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Specific methods, devices, and materials are described, although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention.

The protective cases of the present invention can be used to transport a variety of different objects. Depending on the object to be transported, the protective cases of the present invention can be adapted to provide various advantageous features. For example, and as will be described more fully infra, when the transported object should be protected from scratching or denting, the protective cases of the present invention can provide one or more layers of an appropriately-weighted material that can adequately protect the object. For example, when it is desirable to maintain the transported object (or its contents) within a particular temperature range, the protective cases of the present invention can include insulation layers and/or can include chill or heating packs. For example, when a transported object need not be protected from scratching or denting, but should be kept dry, the protective cases of the present invention can include a waterproof or water-resistant shell. The protective cases of the present invention also can adopt combinations of these features and others to achieve desired protection characteristics. Further, while these specific examples of protection characteristics are provided, it is to be understood that the protective cases of the present invention can be modified to encase any object needing encasing during transport, storage or use.

The present invention provides cases and methods for making cases wherein in a specific embodiment the case comprises a rectangular flexible material having a front side, a back side, a top side, a bottom side, a right side, a left side, a drawstring associated with the right side, and a drawstring associated with the left side, each drawstring comprising one cord, wherein when the case surrounds an object, the back side faces towards the object, the front side faces away from the object, the top side and the bottom side meet around the outer perimeter of the object to be encased and are fastened together with a fastening device and wherein when the top side and the bottom side meet, the right side of the case extends beyond the right side of the object and the left side of the case extends beyond the left side of the object and wherein the drawstrings are used to pull the right side of the case and the left side of the case down over the object's right side and left side respectively towards the center of the object's right side and the center of the object's left side respectively.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is depicted a case 10 of the present invention, for protecting, in this depiction, a drum 50. The case 10 is wrapped around the drum 50 with the back side 36 of the case 10 facing the shell 52 of the drum 50. When a drum 50 is rolled into a case 10 of the present invention, the top side 46 and the bottom side 45 will meet around the outer circumference of the shell 52 of the drum 50. In one embodiment, the top side 46 of the case 10 overlaps the bottom side 45 of the case 10 when the case 10 is wrapped around the drum 50. The meeting and/or overlapped ends 45, 46 of the case 10 can be secured to each other with fastening devices 20, 40. Depending, as appropriate whether the top side 46 and the bottom side 45 meet or meet and overlap, appropriate fasteners include, without limitation, hook and loop type fasteners, snaps, buttons, magnetic strips, tying mechanisms, peg and hole fasteners, peg and loop fasteners, etc. In one embodiment, where the top side 46 and the bottom side 45 meet but do not overlap, each side can have holes that a tying device can be inserted through to tie the two sides together. Alternatively, both the top side and the bottom side can have ropes or a similar device extending from their ends that can be tied together to fasten the top side and the bottom side together. The top side 46 and the bottom side 45 of the cases of the present invention can also include combinations of fastening devices.

Portions 42 and 44 of the left side 90 and the right side 80 of the case 10 extend past the rims 100 of the drum 50 and collapse toward the centers 105 of the drum heads 50 forming a protective layer around the drum rims 100. In one embodiment, cords or drawstrings 29 are attached onto the right side 80 and the left side 90 of the case 10 to pull them taut for a more secured fit around the case 10. FIG. 2 shows a case 10 of the present invention wrapped around a drum 50 as described.

FIG. 3 depicts a case 10 of the present invention, for protecting a keg 120. The case 10 is wrapped around the keg 120 with the back side 36 of the case 10 facing the shell 125 of the keg 120. When a keg 120 is rolled into a case 10 of the present invention, the top side 46 and the bottom side 45 will meet around the outer circumference of the shell 125 of the keg 120. In one embodiment, the top side 46 of the case 10 overlaps the bottom side 45 of the case 10 when the case 10 is wrapped around the keg 120. The meeting and/or overlapped ends 45, 46 of the case 10 can be secured to each other with fastening devices 20, 40. Depending, as appropriate whether the top side 46 and the bottom side 45 meet or meet and overlap, appropriate fasteners include, without limitation, hook and loop type fasteners, snaps, buttons, magnetic strips, tying mechanisms, peg and hole fasteners, peg and loop fasteners, etc. In one embodiment, where the top side 46 and the bottom side 45 meet but do not overlap, each side can have holes that a tying device can be inserted through to tie the two sides together. Alternatively, both the top side and the bottom side can have ropes or a similar device extending from their ends that can be tied together to fasten the top side and the bottom side together. The top side 46 and the bottom side 45 of the cases of the present invention can also include combinations of fastening devices. In one embodiment, a protective case can be adapted to include an insulation layer to aid in temperature maintenance within a desired temperature range. In another embodiment, spaces can be provided that allow for the inclusion of chill packs (or in other applications heat packs) within the protective case. These spaces can be pouches within the material of the protective case, pouch-like bags incorporated in or attached to the protective case (generally applied or sewn onto back side 36 of the protective case) or any type of fastening device than can be used to attach a chill pack or a heat pack to the protective cases of the present invention. It should be understood than when such spaces or fastening devices are provided, they can also be used to attach additional padding to the protective cases of the present invention.

As seen in FIG. 4, when a case 10 of the present invention is not in use it can be rolled and conveniently stored. In one embodiment, the case is rolled from the top side toward the bottom side with the back side facing inward, and the rolled case 10 is secured with fastener 24 on the front side 37 of the case and another fastener on the back side of the case, such as fastener 40 (not shown) discussed above. In one embodiment, multiple cases can be stacked on top of each other and rolled up for space-efficient storage. Alternatively, multiple cases can be stacked into a relatively flat pile when not in use.

FIG. 5 depicts one embodiment of a case of the present invention. The depicted embodiment of the case 10 is a flexible, rectangular material with a front side 37, back side 36, a top side 46, a bottom side 45, a right side 80 and a left side 90. The depicted embodiment is shown with dimensions of about 54″ by about 12″. It is to be understood, however, that the overall length and width of the case 10 and its associated parts described herein are for illustration purpose only and will differ depending on the size of the object to be encased.

In one embodiment, the cases 10 of the present invention can comprise layers of material. In a specific embodiment, and as shown as a cutaway section in FIG. 5, the cases of the present invention can comprise three layers, an inner layer 43, a middle layer 35 and an outer layer 32. The inner layer 43 will include the back side 36 of the case. The outer layer 32 will include the front side 37 of the case. In one embodiment, the inner 43 and/or outer 32 layers can be made of a durable, yet lightweight material that resists tears and abrasions during use. One example of such a material is a 1000 denier durable fabric, such as an air textured, high tenacity nylon sold under the trade name CORDURA® (INVISTA, Wichita, Kans.). In another embodiment of the drum cases of the present invention, the inner layer 43 is made of a lighter weight material than the outer layer 32. One non-limiting example of such a lightweight material is a 200 denier nylon Oxford fabric. The middle layer 35 can be a flexible and lightweight foam or padding material for providing extra protection and/or thermo-isolation to the content of the case. In one embodiment, the foam or padding material is about 3/16″ thick. The middle layer 35 can also comprise one or more ice or hot packs for keeping the content of the case cold or hot, such as FREEZEZE™ Gel Ice Pack Refrigerants or REACTRO™ Reusable Hot Gel Packs from ROSHGO Corp (Alpharetta, Ga.). The ice or hot packs can be chilled or heated up to the desired temperature prior to their use. It is to be understood that the three layers shown herein are for illustration only and the drum cases of the present invention can comprise any numbers of layers that would serve the intended purposes of the present invention. Alternatively, in some embodiments, the protective cases of the present invention may not comprise layers but may consist entirely of a lightweight shell. In some embodiments of the present invention, the lightweight shell can be waterproof or water-resistant.

As also shown in FIG. 5, a plurality of web loops 31 can be positioned (in one embodiment about 3″ to about 6″ apart, but the spacing can vary depending on the size of the object to be encased) along the left side 90 and the right side 80 of the case 10. The loops 31 (in one embodiment about ¾″ in width) can comprise a durable and lightweight material, and in another embodiment the loops 31 are made of the same material as the inner 43 and/or outer layer 32. A drawstring (in one embodiment comprising a cord 29) can be threaded through the plurality of loops 31 along each of the left side 90 and the right side 80 of the case. In one embodiment, the midsection 55 of the cord 29 can be anchored to its corresponding loop(s) 31 with stitching 27. When such anchoring occurs, however, the method of anchoring is not critical, and the cord can be, without limitation, glued to the loop(s), heat-sealed, be continuous extensions of a layer, etc. In one embodiment the cord 29 can be constructed of an inelastic material, although elastic cords are also within the scope of the invention. Holes 26 can also be provided near the opposing ends of the plurality of loops 31 so that each end 56 of the cords 29 can be looped from the inner layer 43 to the outer layer 32 through the holes 26. These holes 26 can be, without limitation, open holes, slits in the material, or thin openings. The edges of the holes 26, no matter what form they adopt, can be reinforced with grommets, heavy stitching, heat sealing, etc., in order to prevent fraying of the case. A cord lock device also can be included. In one embodiment the cord lock can be positioned on the portions of the cord 29 extending on the side of the outer layer 32. Grommet/cord lock combinations also can be used. A hand grip 25 can be attached to the ends of the cord 29 to prevent the cord from slipping through cord lock 30. When the case 10 is wrapped around an object, for example, the case 10 forms a cylinder with the cord locks 30 about 180° from the drawstring anchor stitching 27. In this manner each cord locks 30 needs to only provide tension on a portion of the circumference of the case 10, making it easier to pull the case 10 taut against the rims of the drum 50. In one embodiment of the invention, a combination grommet/cord lock device, such as SurMount Cordloc of ITWNexus (Des Plaines, Ill.), can be used.

FIG. 6a provides a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a case 10 of the present invention. One end of a loop 31 is interposed between the outer layer 32 and the inner layer 43, and is anchored with stitching 38 across a full cross section of the case 10. The other end of the loop 31 is anchored onto the exterior surface of inner layer 43 with stitching 39 that stitches the inner layer 43 with the loop 31. A middle layer 35 is also depicted. In this depicted embodiment, a drawstring 29 is found within the loop 31.

Another embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 6b. In this example, a portion of the outer layer 32 extends to the back side 36 of the case 10 and encases both the middle layer 35 and part of inner layer 43. Both ends 61, 62 of a loop 31 are anchored to the end of the portion of outer layer 32 at the back side 36 of the case 10 with stitching 39, which also stitches the end of the portion of outer layer 32 onto the exterior surface of inner layer 43. Loop 31 is anchored onto the portion of the outer layer 32 at the back side of the case 10 with stitching 38, which stitches full cross section of the case 10. In this depicted embodiment, a drawstring 27 is found within the loop 31.

FIG. 7 depicts a front side view of a protective case 10 of the present invention. This front side 37 can comprise a strap handle 22 (in one embodiment about 2″ by about 13″), two D-shaped rings 33, a transparent plastic pocket 34, two pieces of a fastener in parallel 24 (in one embodiment about 1″ by about 12″ each) and a piece of a fastener 20 (in one embodiment about 4″ in width) that can extend from the right side 80 to the left side 90 of the case, all of which can be sewn on the front side 37 or attached by other appropriate means. In one embodiment, the fastener 20 can be a hook-and-loop fastening material, such as a sew-on fastening device from Velcro® (Manchester, N.H.). In another embodiment, the fastener can be a magnetic snap fastener as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,126. In another embodiment, the fastener can be, without limitation, a plurality of buttons or snaps. A conventional nylon web carry strap may be attached to the D-shaped rings 33 by snap hooks or other appropriate fastening devices and the case 10 can be carried using the strap. The case 10 can also be transported using the nylon webbing strap 22 as a handle. Identification cards or other materials may be inserted into the transparent pocket 34 for display purposes. FIG. 6 also depicts a grommet/cord lock combination device 200 that can be used. In one embodiment the grommet/cord lock combination can be, without limitation, a SurMount Cordloc Single by ITW Nexus (Des Plaines, Ill.).

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