Title:
Apparatus and method for personal supplemental storage
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container for providing supplemental storage to a bag and method of attachment therebetween are disclosed. The bag includes a first side, a second side, a first end, and a second end, and a strap that loops from a first position to a second position. The container includes a first and a second suspending member adapted for removable attachment to the strap at the first and second positions, respectively, and a body coupled to the first and second suspending members, the body including one or more waterproof pockets.



Inventors:
Watts, Laura (Oakland, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/213347
Publication Date:
08/02/2007
Filing Date:
08/24/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GEHMAN, BRYON P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP (SV) (MCLEAN, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A container for providing supplemental storage to a bag, the bag including a first side, a second side, a first end, and a second end, and a strap that loops from a first position to a second position, the container comprising: first and second suspending members adapted for removable attachment to the strap at the first and second positions, respectively; and a body coupled to the first and second suspending members, the body including at least one waterproof pocket.

2. The container of claim 1, wherein the body is adapted to contact only one of the first side and the second side of the bag.

3. The container of claim 1, further comprising a second waterproof pocket.

4. The container of claim 3, further comprising an expandable wall integral to one or more of the waterproof pockets.

5. The container of claim 3, further comprising a pleat integral to one or more of the waterproof pockets.

6. The container of claim 3, wherein one or more of the waterproof pockets is plastic.

7. The container of claim 3, further comprising one or more snaps coupled between the body and one or more of the waterproof pockets.

8. The container of claim 3, further comprising one or more touch fasteners coupled between the body and one or more of the waterproof pockets.

9. The container of claim 3, wherein one or more of the waterproof pockets includes: a flap; a first outer portion integral to the body; a first snap member coupled to a second outer portion; and a second snap member coupled to the body and attachably proximate to the first snap member.

10. The container of claim 1, wherein each suspending member is selected from a loop, a strap, a cable, a rope, a metal bar, a wood stick and a ring.

11. The container of claim 10, wherein each suspending member includes an attachment member selected from a snap, a piece of hook and loop tape, a button, a zipper, a snap button, a snap member, a clip ring and a carabiner.

12. The container of claim 1, wherein a width of the container substantially corresponds to a width of the container.

13. The container of claim 1, wherein a height of the container is less than a height of the container.

14. The container of claim 1, wherein each suspending member has an open position and a closed position, the open position allowing for attachment to the strap and the closed position allowing for retention of the container to the bag.

15. A method for attaching a container, for providing supplemental storage, to a bag, the bag including a first side, a second side, a first end, and a second end, and a strap that loops from a first position to a second position, the method comprising the steps of: removably attaching first and second suspending members of the container to the strap at the first and second positions, respectively; and coupling a body to the first and second suspending members, the body including at least one waterproof pocket.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising adapting the body to contact only one of the first side and the second side of the bag.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein the body further includes a second waterproof pocket.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein one or more of the waterproof pockets includes: a flap; a first outer portion integral to the body; a first snap member coupled to a second outer portion; and a second snap member coupled to the body and attachably proximate to the first snap member.

19. The method of claim 15, wherein each suspending member is selected from a loop, a strap, a cable, a rope, a metal bar, a wood stick and a ring.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein each suspending member includes an attachment member selected from a snap, a piece of hook and loop tape, a button, a zipper, a snap button, a snap member, a clip ring and a carabiner.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to a supplemental container, and in certain embodiments to a purse carried container with an expandable pocket for carrying baby care items.

2. Description of the Related Art

Purses for women to store their personal items are well known. In today's hectic world, women shuttle between a variety of activities each day. During the week, a woman may visit the gym, go to work, attend a reception afterwards or go out for a night on the town. Weekends may mean juggling family, house and personal time commitments. Just as women change clothes for each of these plans, women may have different purses for different occasions. For example, a woman might have a small black purse appropriate for cocktail parties, and a large blue nylon purse for going to family soccer games. Parents with babies need to carry items for taking care of their children. Traditional purses are not equipped to carry items for both the parent and the baby. The prior art has developed the diaper bag, e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 3,117,607, a device adapted to store items instead of a purse and items for tending to the hygienic needs of a baby.

However, these prior art devices are bulky, and too large for traveling without the baby. Other inventors alighted on the idea of selling sets of bags, such as U.S. Patent Application Publication US 2003/0164321. This improved the situation in that a person could select how much carrying capacity they needed. The advantage to the manufacturer is that by selling both bags together, they are able to make more money. This solution left consumers with a number of problems. First, a parent who owns a handbag and desires a diaper bag must buy both a diaper bag and a new handbag to be able to connect the two. Second, if the woman desires to take the diaper bag with her, she may only use the purse (or backpack) that it comes with. This would be like having various sizes of a single dress. Women have been left without a way to interchange purses and diaper bags. This has been especially problematic for women who have busy schedules and may need a variety of purses throughout the day.

Thus, what is needed is are apparatuses and methods for time and cost efficient personal supplemental storage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A container for providing supplemental storage to a bag and method of attachment therebetween are disclosed. The bag includes a first side, a second side, a first end, and a second end, and a strap that loops from a first position to a second position. The container includes a first and a second suspending member adapted for removable attachment to the strap at the first and second positions, respectively, and a body coupled to the first and second suspending members, the body including one or more waterproof pockets.

FIGURES

These and other aspects and features of the present invention will become apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art upon review of the following description of specific embodiments of the invention in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a bottom view of a folded container according to certain embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of an unfolded container according to certain embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of a folded container according to certain embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a facing view of the container according to certain embodiments of the present invention and a purse;

FIG. 5 illustrates the container according to certain embodiments of the present invention with a diaper enclosed;

FIG. 6 illustrates a facing view of the container according to certain embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 7 illustrates a bottom view of the container according to certain embodiments of the present invention with an open flap;

FIG. 8 illustrates a bottom view of the container according to certain embodiments of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 illustrates a facing view of the container according to certain embodiments of the present invention and a purse.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the drawings, which are provided as illustrative examples of the invention so as to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Notably, the figures and the examples below are not meant to limit the scope of the present invention. Where certain elements of the present invention can be partially or fully implemented using known components (or methods), only those portions of such known components (or methods) that are necessary for an understanding of the present invention will be described, and the detailed descriptions of other portions of such known components (or methods) will be omitted so as not to obscure the invention. Further, the present invention encompasses present and future known equivalents to the components referred to herein by way of illustration.

FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of a container 100 according to an embodiment. In certain embodiments, the container 100 may be particularly suited for attaching to a bag 400 to provide supplemental storage. One example may be attaching to a purse 400 while enclosing a diaper 500. To be clear, the title, the abstract and the phrase “purse carried container with pocket” are illustrative, and not intended to be limiting. For example, certain embodiments of the invention may be attached to a gym bag. Further, reference to a specific gender is intended to be illustrative, and not limiting. Men may carry purses, and many fathers use diaper bags. In certain embodiments, the container 100 may comprise straps 104, which may be used to form loops 300. These loops 300 may be formed around part of a bag 400 such that the loops 300 suspend the container 100 from the bag 400. In certain embodiments, each of the container's 100 straps 104 may be formed into a loop 300 and held in place by attaching a snap member 112 of the free position (e.g., an end or middle) into a snap member 112 of the body 102. More generically, the loop body connect may be any suitable attachment means, such as: hook and loop tape, a button, a zipper, a snap button, snap member, or other means for attachment. In certain embodiments, the loops 300 may be coupled to another suspending member 106, such as a loop, a strap, a cable, a rope, a metal bar, a wood stick, a ring, a clip, carabiner 600, hook, snap clip, strap 104 or clamp, which are suitably adapted to connect container 100 to a bag 400.

FIG. 1 also illustrates a pocket 110. In certain embodiments, the pocket 110 may be formed by sewing a piece of fabric parallel to the body 102. In certain embodiments, the pocket 110 may be formed from nylon, which can be laminated on both sides with Polyvinyl Chloride to become waterproof. In certain embodiments, the inner side of the walls 114 of the pocket 110 might be coated with some polyurethane (e.g. between 3%-20%) to form a waterproof covering 700. In certain embodiments, seams 108 of the pocket 110 may be sealed with seam sealing tape to become waterproof. In certain embodiments, the outer side of the pocket 110 walls 114 may be coated in plastic. In certain embodiments, the container 100 may include two pockets 110 coupled together by the mid-section 118. In certain embodiments, the pockets 110 will be, but do not have to be, of substantially equal size. The Figure illustrates pockets 110 of equal size.

FIG. 1 further illustrates a touch fastener 120, such as the hook and loop tape sold under the Velcro® brand, which may be coupled to a pocket 110 in certain embodiments. Other touch fasteners may be used such as adhesive tape, In certain embodiments, if mating touch fasteners 120 are placed properly, closing the container 100 will connect them, such that applying pressure to force the touch fasteners 120 together will create a connection keeping the body 102 folded. In certain embodiments, a corset 122, formed of spring steel, hard plastic, iron or other rigid material, may be manufactured within the body 102. In certain embodiments, the corset 122 may form a rectangle by traversing the border of the pocket 110. In certain embodiments, the corset 122 may be placed within the portion of the body 102 which provides a pocket 110 wall 114.

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of one pocket 110 according to an embodiment. As shown, one wall 114 of the pocket 110 may be formed by a pleat 200, such that the wall 114 may be expandable. In certain embodiments, the pleat 200 may be waterproof. In certain embodiments, the pleat 200 may be formed from a separate piece of fabric. In certain embodiments, the pleat 200 may be formed from the same fabric as the pocket 110 wall 114 parallel to the body 102. In certain embodiments, the edge of this fabric, as with all the fabric in these embodiments, may by held in place by at least one of stitching, glue, rivets or staples. In certain embodiments, an expandable wall may be formed by using a fabric with elastic, such that a pleat may be unnecessary.

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of the container 100 when folded, according to an embodiment. In certain embodiments, the mid-section 118 folds over a pocket 110 to form a cover for the pockets 110. In certain embodiments, the two pockets 110 may be of substantially equal height. In certain embodiments, the two pockets 110 may be both be formed of plastic, such that both may be waterproof. The Figure illustrates two pockets 110 of equal height, though this may not be required. In certain embodiments, a pocket 110 wall 114 may be formed partially be the body 102 and another section may be formed by a separate piece of material. The opposite wall 114 may still be substantially parallel to the body 102. In certain embodiments, the pleat 200 of the expandable wall 114 may flex such that the opposite wall 114 remains substantially parallel.

In certain embodiments, a strap 104 may be attached to the body 102. In certain embodiments, the strap 104 may be attached by a rivet, stitching, glue, or other means for attaching. In certain embodiments, the strap 104 may be formed from the same cloth that forms the mid-section 118. In certain embodiments, each may be different pieces, or even types, of cloth.

FIG. 4 illustrates the container 100 in front of a bag 400, according to an embodiment. In certain instances, the bag 400 may be a purse 400, golf bag, suitcase, backpack, briefcase, shopping cart or other bag 400 from which the container 100 may be suspended. As shown in FIG. 4, the bag 400 is a purse 400 including a first side 402, a second side 404 coupled to the first side 402, a first position 406 coupled to the first side 402, a second position 408 coupled to the first side 402, and a strap 104 that loops 300 from the first position 406 to the second position 408. In certain instances, a woman may place the purse 400 strap 104 over her shoulder such that it may be suspended. In certain embodiments, the container 100 may be coupled to the bag 400 by a plurality of suspending members 106. In certain embodiments, the suspending members 106 may drape to one side of the bag 400 such that the container 100 contacts only one of the first side 402 and the second side 404 of the bag 400.

In certain embodiments, the suspending members 106 of the bag 400 may be adapted for removable attachment to the strap 104 at positions substantially corresponding to the first position 406 and the second position 408. In certain embodiments, the strap 104 connected to the container 100 may form a loop 300 by mating snap members 112, thus attaching the container 100 to the bag 400. In certain embodiments, these snap members 112 may be separated by pulling the snap members apart. In doing so, certain embodiments of the loops 300 may be undone, and the container 100 may be removable from the bag 400. In certain instances, the suspending members 106 may be attached to a strap 104. If this strap 104 is primarily vertical, e.g. over a shoulder, in certain embodiments a suspending member 106 may rest at each of the first 406 and second positions 408 of the bag's 400 strap.

FIG. 4 illustrates an aesthetic style 116 of the container 100, according to an embodiment. In certain embodiments, the aesthetic style 116 may be formed by at least one of the color, or colors, of the container 100, by a logo on the container 100, by a pattern of the container 100, or the texture of the container's 100 fabric. In this instance, the aesthetic style 116 of the container 100 may be primarily a white nylon. The bag 400 depicted has an aesthetic style 116 primarily influenced by the black leather. According to this Figure, the container 100 has an aesthetic style 116 different from the bag's 400 aesthetic style 116. Though exceptions may exist, it is presumed that if two bags are made by the same manufacturer, and each has a matching interlocking member, that the two bags will also have matching aesthetic styles. One way to determine if a container and a bag have different aesthetic styles may be by polling a statistically significant sample of potential or actual consumers. This process may be carried out in a manner suitable for determining if the trade dress of the container and the bag are confusingly similar.

With certain embodiments, the container and the bag may have different aesthetic styles if at least 25% of the group polled respond that the container and the bags have different aesthetic styles. With certain embodiments, the container and the bag may have different aesthetic styles if the most prominent color of the container is a different color, on the 4096 color wheel, than the most prominent color on the bag. With certain embodiments, if the container has a different logo than the bag, then the container will have a different aesthetic style than the bag. With certain embodiments, a different logo may mean that the first logo is not substantially identical to the second logo. With certain embodiments, if the container is made from cloth and the bag is not, then the container will have a different aesthetic style than the bag. For example, in certain embodiments a container may be made from nylon and the bag may be made from leather.

FIG. 5 illustrates a view into a pocket 110, according to an embodiment. In certain embodiments, the pocket 110 may be large enough to enclose a diaper 500. The Figure illustrates a cloth diaper 500 folded and placed within the pocket 110. In certain embodiments, the pleats 200 will expand, creating more space inside the pocket 110. In certain embodiments, the pocket 110 will be large enough to enclose a disposable diaper. In certain embodiments, the pleats 200 may expand the most in the middle such that the pocket 110 wall 114 parallel to the body 102 arches to enclose the disposable diaper. In certain embodiments, the container 100 can be suited for carrying clean and dirty diapers 500, changing pads and baby bottles, such that the container 100 may be a diaper bag. Certain embodiments may be sold as “diaper bags.”

FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of the container 100, according to an embodiment. In certain embodiments, two suspending members 106 may be formed by fabric loops 300 coupled to the body 102. In certain embodiments, the loops 300 can be connected to more two suspending members 106 formed by carabiners 600. In certain embodiments, each loop 300 can loop through a carabiner 600, thus connecting the two. In certain embodiments, the carabiner 600 might be adapted for removable attachment to the strap 104 because it may be comprised of a hook 602 and a spring 604. In certain embodiments, the spring 604 may be pushed back to allow a purse 400 strap 104 past the spring 604. Upon release, the spring can return to its resting state, as shown in FIG. 6, and the hook 602 may be in position to suspend the body 102. In certain embodiments, the aesthetic style 116 of the container 100 may be primarily influenced by the color of the woven mesh fabric. In certain embodiments, the suspending members 106 may influence the aesthetic style 116 of the container 100. In certain embodiments, use of shiny metal may provide for an industrial look. In certain embodiments, fabric trim 108 may influence the aesthetic style 116.

FIG. 7 illustrates an open pocket 110, according to an embodiment. In certain embodiments, a pocket 110 may be formed wherein one wall 114 may be a flap 702. Such a flap 702 may have a snap member 112 in a corner which mates with a snap member 112 on the body 102. A pair of snap members 112 may be comprised of two snap button halves, magnetic snaps, two open ring snap halves, s-type spring snap halves, ring-type spring snap halves, prong-type snap halves, touch fastener 120 or other devices adapted for removable attachment. Certain devices, such as magnetic snaps, may be both touch fasteners 120 and snap members 112. In certain embodiments, the other corner of the flap 702 may be permanently attached to the body 102, such that only one corner may be able to move independently. The permanent attachment might include sewing, stapling, riveting, gluing or other means for attaching.

FIG. 7 illustrates a plastic waterproof covering 700 integral to the pocket 110. In certain embodiments, the plastic covering 700 may be sewn, laminated or glued on to the container 100, such that it becomes integral to the pocket 110 wall 114. In certain embodiments, the body 102 itself may be formed from a plastic, such that the pocket 110 wall 114 itself may be a waterproof covering 700.

FIG. 8 illustrates the container 100 laying flat according to an embodiment. In certain embodiments, one piece of fabric may be long enough to form the body 102 and be folded back to form a pocket 110 wall 114, wherein the wall 114 may be held substantially parallel to the body 102. In certain embodiments, there may be a plurality of pockets 110 which may be substantially equal size. The Figure depicts two pockets 110 of equal size, but pocket size may be variable. In certain embodiments, carabiners 600 may be coupled to the body 102 by a strap 104 that loops through. In certain embodiments, each position of the strap 104 may be attached to a one part of an open ring snap 112. The first position of the strap 104 can be attached to the body 102 by the snap member 112, and the second part of the open ring snap 112 may be able to mate with the first 112 as the looping places them together. A pair of snap members 112 may be comprised of two snap button halves, magnetic snaps, two open ring snap halves, s-type spring snap halves, ring-type spring snap halves, prong-type snap halves, touch fasteners 120 or other devices adapted for removable attachment.

FIG. 9 illustrates the container 100 removably attached to the bag's 400 straps 104, according to an embodiment. In certain embodiments, the body 102 may be riveted to a suspending member 106, such as the loop 300, which may be removably attached to a second suspending member 300, such as a carabiner 600, which may be removably attached to the bag's 400 straps 104. The Figure illustrates a container 100 with a different color scheme than the bag 400. The bag 400 and the container 100 have different aesthetic styles.

Although the present invention has been particularly described with reference to embodiments thereof, it should be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that various changes, modifications, substitutes and deletions are intended within the form and details thereof, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that in numerous instances some features of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features. Further, those skilled in the art will understand that variations can be made in the number and arrangement of inventive elements illustrated and described in the above figures. It is intended that the scope of the appended claims include such changes and modifications.





 
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