Title:
Electronic device carrying case with a foot strap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A carrying case for enclosing an electronic device for use by a user. The carrying case includes a compartment flap and a cover flap that is hingedly coupled to the compartment flap. The carrying case further includes a device retainer attached to the cover flap to retain the electronic device. The carrying case further includes a foot strap attached to the compartment flap. The foot strap includes a loop portion positionable about a foot of the user for retaining the electronic device upon an upper leg of the user when in a backward lying position.



Inventors:
Kakita, Garrett (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/385560
Publication Date:
09/27/2007
Filing Date:
03/21/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/617
International Classes:
A45C15/00; A45F3/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20070090143System for carrying articles at the front torso of a human beingApril, 2007Clayton III et al.
20070228090Method of Providing Survival Supplies Container with an Illumination ApparatusOctober, 2007Seidel et al.
20040211806Epinephrine (EpiPen) carrierOctober, 2004Wilkerson et al.
20100095573Wearable And Attachable Device For Making And Displaying ListsApril, 2010Lifshitz
20070114255Adjustable belt for carrying sporting equipmentMay, 2007Spadaccini
20080272160Tend-A-TotNovember, 2008Vou Vakis
20070119889Fork crown supported bicycle carrierMay, 2007Hammond
20080296325Bottle/can tethersDecember, 2008Tepper



Primary Examiner:
WAGGENSPACK, ADAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STETINA BRUNDA GARRED & BRUCKER (ALISO VIEJO, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A carrying case for enclosing an electronic device for use by a user, the electronic device including a device main section and a display section, the carrying case comprising: a compartment flap including a first distal end, an opposing first interior end, a first inside surface disposed between the first distal end and the first interior end, and a first outside surface disposed opposite the first inside surface; a cover flap including a second distal end, an opposing second interior end, a second inside surface disposed between the second distal end and the second interior end, and a second outside surface disposed opposite the first inside surface, the cover flap hingedly coupled to the compartment flap with the first interior end adjacent the second interior end; a device retainer attached to the cover flap, the device retainer being sized and configured to retain the device main section at the second inside surface with the device main section between the second distal end and the display section; and a foot strap attached to the first distal end of the compartment flap, the foot strap including a loop portion, the foot strap being sized with the loop portion about a foot of the user to position the first outside surface of the compartment flap upon a lower leg of the user and the second outside surface of the cover flap upon an upper leg of the user with the upper leg bent in relation to the lower leg of the user in a backward lying position.

2. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the foot strap further includes a first strap end attached to the first distal end.

3. The carrying case of claim 2 wherein the foot strap further includes a second strap end attached to the first distal end, the loop portion being disposed between the first and second strap ends.

4. The carrying case of claim 2 wherein the first strap end includes a first strap fastener, the first strap fastener being attached to the first distal end.

5. The carrying case of claim 4 wherein the first strap fastener is a clip.

6. The carrying case of claim 2 wherein the foot strap further includes a main body portion disposed between the loop portion and the first strap end.

7. The carrying case of claim 6 wherein the main body portion is length adjustable.

8. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the compartment flap further includes an end wall, the first distal end being disposed at the end wall.

9. The carrying case of claim 8 wherein the end wall extends generally orthogonal to the first inside surface and away from the first outside surface.

10. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the first distal end is attachable to the second distal end.

11. The carrying case of claim 10 further includes a zipper configured to attach the first distal end to the second distal end.

12. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the device retainer is a strap.

13. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the compartment flap further includes a pair of side walls each extending generally orthogonal to the first inside surface and away from the first outside surface between the first interior end and the first distal end, the side walls being disposed at opposite ends of the compartment flap.

14. The carrying case of claim 12 further includes a shoulder strap attached to and extending between the side walls.

15. The carrying case of claim 1 further comprising: a spine disposed between the first interior end and the second interior end; and a handle attached to the spine.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT RE: FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates generally to a carrying case for an electronic device, and more particularly to a carrying case that includes a foot strap for positioning an electronic device at an upper leg of a use while in a backward lying position.

2. Background

Utilization of portable electronic devices is ever increasingly desirable to society. Such portability may be measured in various terms. For example, portability may be measured with reference to a reduction in size or weight, having a self-contained power source (battery powered, solar powered, etc.), and/or wireless communications connectivity.

Electronic devices commonly include a device main section and a display section. The device main section typically contains controls that allow the user to interact with the electronic device. The display section would contain a screen or other viewing output portion. For example, various electronic devices may include such devices as a laptop computer, a video gaming counsel, video player, or personal electronic organizer. In the case of a lap top computer, the device main section may include a keyboard of the laptop computer and the display section may include a display screen.

With portability comes the ability of users to interact with their electronic devices in a variety of contexts. For example, it may be desirable to operate an electronic device while in a backward lying position. The motivation of the user to operate such device while in such a position may simply be due to the user opting for an alternate comfortable position or due to medical necessity or practicality. As such, there is a need in the art for an apparatus of use with an electronic device to support a configuration of the electronic device to be interacted with while the user is in a backward lying position.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a carrying case for enclosing an electronic device for use by a user. The electronic device includes a device main section and a display section. The carrying case includes a compartment flap including a first distal end, an opposing first interior end, a first inside surface disposed between the first distal end and the first interior end, and a first outside surface disposed opposite the first inside surface. The carrying case further includes a cover flap including a second distal end, an opposing second interior end, a second inside surface disposed between the second distal end and the second interior end, and a second outside surface disposed opposite the second inside surface. The cover flap is hingedly coupled to the compartment flap with the first interior end adjacent the second interior end. The carrying case further includes a device retainer attached to the cover flap. The device retainer is sized and configured to retain the device main section at the second inside surface with the device main section between the second distal end and the display section. The carrying case further includes a foot strap attached to the first distal end of the compartment flap. The foot strap includes a loop portion. The foot strap is sized with the loop portion about a foot of the user to position the first outside surface of the compartment flap upon a lower leg of the user and the second outside surface of the cover flap upon an upper leg of the user with the upper leg bent in relation to the lower leg of the user in a backward lying position.

According to various embodiments, the foot strap may further include a first strap end attached to the first distal end. The foot strap may further include a second strap end attached to the first distal end with the loop portion being disposed between the first and second strap ends. The first strap end may include a first strap fastener and the first strap fastener may be attached to the first distal end. The first strap fastener may be a clip. The foot strap may further include a main body portion disposed between the loop portion and the first strap end. The main body portion may length adjustable. The compartment flap may further include an end wall with the first distal end being disposed at the end wall. The end wall may extend generally orthogonal to the first inside surface and away from the first outside surface.

The first distal end may be attachable to the second distal end. In this regard, the carrying case may include a zipper configured to attach the first distal end to the second distal end. The device retainer may be a strap. The compartment flap may further include a pair of side walls each extending generally orthogonal to the first inside surface and away from the first outside surface between the first interior end and the first distal end. The side walls may be disposed at opposite ends of the compartment flap. The carrying case may further include a shoulder strap attached to and extending between the side walls adjacent the first interior end of the compartment flap. The carrying case may further include a spine disposed between the first interior end and the second interior end, and a handle attached to the spine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An illustrative and presently preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a carrying case in accordance with an aspect of the present invention as shown in a closed configuration;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the carrying case in an open configuration;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the carrying case of FIG. 1 in a closed configuration as seen from another viewing angle;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the carrying case of FIG. 1 as shown with an electronic device as deployed with a user in a backward lying position;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a carrying case of another embodiment as shown in a closed configuration;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the carrying case of FIG. 5 along with a foot strap according to another aspect of the present invention as shown in an open configuration; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the carrying case of FIG. 5 as shown with the electronic device as deployed with the user in a backward lying position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for the purposes of illustrating the preferred embodiments of the present invention only, and not for the purposes of limiting the same, FIGS. 1-7 illustrate a carrying case according to various aspects of the present invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-4, there is depicted a carrying case 10. FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the carrying case 10 in a closed configuration. FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the carrying case 10 in an open position. FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the carrying case 10 from another viewing angle. FIG. 4 depicts the carrying 10 as shown with an electronic device 30 with the carrying case positioned in relation to a user 20. In this regard, there is provided the carrying case 10 for enclosing the electronic device 30 for use by the user 20 in accordance with an aspect of the present invention.

The electronic device 30 includes a device main section 32 and a display section 34. The carrying case 10 includes a compartment flap 12. The compartment flap 12 includes a first distal end 40, an opposing first interior end 42, a first inside surface 44 disposed between the first distal end 40 and the first interior end 42, and a first outside surface 46 disposed opposite the first inside surface 44. The carrying case 10 further includes a cover flap 14. The cover flap 14 includes a second distal end 48, an opposing second interior end 50, a second inside surface 52 disposed between the second distal end 48 and the second interior end 50, and a second outside surface 54 disposed opposite the second inside surface 52. The cover flap 14 is hingedly coupled to the compartment flap 12 with the first interior end 42 adjacent the second interior end 50.

As seen in FIG. 4, the carrying case 10 further includes a device retainer (such as either of device retainers 72 or 74) attached to the cover flap 14. The device retainer 72 and/or 74 are/is sized and configured to retain the device main section 32 at the second inside surface 52 with the device main section 32 between the second distal end 48 and the display section 34. The carrying case 10 further includes a foot strap 56 attached to the first distal end 40 of the compartment flap 12. The foot strap 56 includes a loop portion 62. The foot strap 56 is sized with the loop portion 62 about a foot 28 of the user 20 to position the first outside surface 46 of the compartment flap 12 upon a lower leg 26 of the user 20 and the second outside surface 54 of the cover flap 14 upon an upper leg 22 of the user 20 with the upper leg 22 bent in relation to the lower leg 26 of the user 20 in a backward lying position, such as shown.

The electronic device 30 may be any number of electronic devices that includes a viewing output portion. For example, the electronic device 30 may take the form as such devices as a laptop computer, a video gaming counsel, video player, or personal electronic organizer. In the case of a lap top computer, the device main section 32 may include a keyboard of the laptop computer and the display section 34 may include a display screen 36. Though not required, the device main section 32 may be hingedly attached to the display section 34 with a hinge section 38 disposed between the device main section 32 and the display section 34.

The carrying case 10 of the present invention is contemplated to facilitate use of the electronic device 30 by the user 20 when the user is in a backward lying position. In such a backward laying position, the user 20 may have his/her knee 24 in a bent portion with the upper leg 22 bent in relation to the lower leg 26. The carrying case 10 may be positioned in the user's lap. With the device main section 32 positioned adjacent the user's upper leg 22, it is contemplated that such position is readily accessible by the user's hands for interaction with device main section 32. For example, the user 20 may comfortably type upon a keyboard of the electronic device 30 where the electronic device 30 is in the form of a laptop computer. Moreover, the display screen 36 of the display section 34 may be retained in a position affording the user 20 a relatively good viewing angle extending in a generally upright alignment or even slightly towards the user 20.

With the cover flap 14 upon the user's upper leg 22 and the electronic device 30 being attached to the cover flap 14 with the user 20 in this position, however, gravitational effects tend to draw and slide the carrying case 10 and the electronic device 30 downward towards a waist of the user 20. The particular utilization of the foot strap 56 mitigates such undesirable slippage. This is because the foot strap 56 provides a reaction force upon the carrying case 10. The particular attachment of the foot strap 56 to the first distal end 40 maintains the cover flap 14 positioned adjacent the lower leg 26 of the user 20 with the spine 16 folded back over a knee 24 of the user 20.

Moreover, the particular attachment of the foot strap 56 to the first distal end 40 is advantageous. This is because with the compartment flap 12 positioned upon the user's lower leg 26 this is relatively close in distance to the user's foot 28. In comparison to an attachment of the foot strap 56 to adjacent the spine 16 of the carrying case 10 for example, the length foot strap 56 from the user's foot 28 is relatively short being attached to the first distal end 40. It is contemplated that where the foot strap 56 is required to be relatively longer in length from the user's foot 28 there is an increased possibility that the carrying case 10 may become shifted from its desired positioning upon the user's lap (i.e., with the cover flap 14 upon the upper leg 22 of the user 20). In addition, relatively longer strap lengths may be considered cumbersome by the user 20.

As used herein the compartment flap 12 is defined as that portion of the carrying case 10 which is used to partially enclose the electronic device 30 with the carrying case 10 in the closed configuration and to which the foot strap 56 is attached. As used herein the cover flap 14 is defined as that portion of the carrying case 10 that is generally defines a side of the carrying case 10 opposite the compartment flap 12 when the carrying case 10 is in a closed configuration to further facilitate enclosure of the electronic device 20. The compartment flap 12 and the cover flap 14 generally define the two largest exterior facing portions of the carrying case 14 with the carrying case 10 in the closed configuration.

The compartment flap 12 may further include a pair of side walls 66, 68. The side walls 66, 68 may extend generally orthogonal to the first inside surface 44 and away from the first outside surface 46 between the first interior end 42 and the first distal end 40. The side walls may be disposed at opposite ends of the compartment flap 12, such as shown. The compartment flap 12 may further include an end wall 70 with the first distal end 40 being disposed at the end wall 70. The end wall 70 may also extend generally orthogonal to the first inside surface 44 and away from the first outside surface 46. While the embodiment shown includes the side walls, 66, 68 and the end wall 70, the carrying case 10 need only include the compartment flap 12 and the cover flap 14. Thus, the carrying case 10 need not be capable of completely enclosing the electronic device 30, just a portion of it.

The carrying case 10 may further include a spine 16 disposed between the first interior end 42 and the second interior end 50. In this regard, the spine 16 is interposed between the compartment flap 12 and the cover flap 14. The spine 16 may be formed of a relatively flexible material. The spine 16 may thus facilitate the compartment flap 14 and the cover flap 14 being hingedly coupled to each other with the spine 16 folding back upon itself to facilitate the carrying case 10 in the open configuration. The carrying case 10 may further include a handle 92. The handle 92 may be attached to the spine 16 such as shown.

The side walls 66, 68 and the end wall 70 may be joined with each other to partially form an enclosure for facilitating the enclosure of the electronic device 30 within the carrying case 10 with the carrying case 10 in the closed configuration. The width of the sides walls 66, 68 and the end wall 70 may be sized to facilitate the over all thickness of the electronic device 30 with the carrying case 10 in the closed configuration.

The material selection for any combination of the components of the carrying case 10 may be chosen from any of those known to one of ordinary skill in the art. For examples, the material selection may include a cloth material, leather, and synthetic materials, such as a flexible plastic. Such plastic material may have a woven texture to simulate an organic cloth material or have a non uniform surface texture to similar leather. Other materials may include hard plastics and even metal. The various components of the carrying case 10 may be formed of a flexible material. In this regard, any of such components may deform or flex to facilitate enclosure of the electronic device 30 within the carrying case 10. It is contemplated that the various components of the carrying case 10 may be integrally formed. That is, such components may be formed of a single piece of material having material continuity, rather than an assembly of subcomponents. For example, the compartment flap 10, the spine 16, and the cover flap 14 may be a single piece of material.

The first distal end 40 may be attachable to the second distal end 48. In this regard, the carrying case 10 may include a fastener, such as a zipper 18, configured to attach first distal end is attachable to the second distal end. The zipper 18 may be attached to a periphery of the cover flap 14 and along distal edges of the side walls 66, 68 and the end wall 70.

The device retainers 72, 74 may be a strap. In this regard, the device retainers 72, 74 may be positioned in opposite corners of the cover flap 14. The device retainers 72, 74 may be looped over corresponding corners of the device main section 32. The device retainers 72, 74 may be formed of an elastic material to facilitate retention as well as to facilitate a variety of sizing requirements of the electronic device 30. The device retainers, 72, 74 may be adjustable in length. It is contemplated that the device retainers 72, 74 may be chosen from any of those which are well known to one of ordinary skill in the art. For example, retention of the electronic device 30 may be facilitated through the use of a fold of material integrated with the cover flap 14.

The foot strap 56 may further include a first strap end 58 and a second strap end 60 each attached to the first distal end 40. The loop portion 62 is disposed between the first and second strap ends 58, 60. The first strap end 58 may include a first strap fastener 80 and the second strap end 60 may include a second strap fastener 82. The first and second strap fasteners 80, 82 may be attached to the first distal end 40. In the embodiment shown, the first and second strap fasteners 80, 82 are each in the form of a detachable clip. First and second strap retainers 76, 78 may be attached directly to the first distal end 40. The first and second strap retainers 76, 78 may take the form of D-shaped links for example. The first strap fastener 80 may be attached to the first strap retainer 76 and the second strap fastener 82 may be attached to the second strap retainer 78.

The foot strap 56 may be detachable. The carrying case 10 may include a dedicated storage compartment 90 that may be sized and configured to enclose the foot strap 56 when not in use. The storage compartment 90 may include a fastener such as a zipper as shown.

The foot strap 56 may further include a main body portion 64 disposed between the loop portion 62 and the first strap end 58. The main body portion 64 may further be disposed between the loop portion 62 and the second strap end 60. The main body portion 64 may length adjustable. In the embodiment shown, the main body portion 64 may include strap adjusters 84, 86. The strap adjusters 84, 88 are configured to modify the overall length of the foot strap 56 for positioning of the carrying case 10 upon the user 20 such as shown.

While the foot strap 56 is shown as being attached to the first distal end 40 at two locations it is contemplated that the foot strap 56 may be attached only at a single location. In this regard, the loop portion 62 would be loop back upon and attached to the main body portion 64.

The carrying case 10 may further include a shoulder strap 88 attached to and extending between the side walls 66, 68 adjacent the first interior end 42 of the compartment flap 12. Alternately, the shoulder strap 88 may be attached at opposite ends of the spine 16. Where the shoulder strap 88 is removable, it is contemplated that the shoulder strap 88 may be utilized as an alternate form of the foot strap. In this regard, the shoulder strap 88 would first be detached from its anchored position. The shoulder strap 88 would then be reattached to the first distal end 40, such as to the strap retainers 76, 88 for example. Next, the shoulder strap 88 would be adjusted in length to facilitate the looping about the user's foot 28. Such sizing would be to position the first outside surface 46 of the compartment flap 12 upon the lower leg 26 of the user 20 and the second outside surface 54 of the cover flap 14 upon the upper leg 22 of the user 20 with the upper leg 22 bent in relation to the lower leg 26 of the user 22 in a backward lying position.

Referring now to FIGS. 5-7, there is depicted a carrying case 94 according to another embodiment. In this embodiment the carrying case 94 takes the form of a shoulder bag or saddle bag. The carrying case 94 includes a compartment flap 96, a cover flap 98, and a spine 100 disposed between the compartment flap 96 and the cover flap 98.

The compartment flap 96 includes a first distal end 102 and an opposing first interior end 104. The compartment flap 96 further includes a first inside surface 106 and an opposing first outside surface 108 each disposed between the first distal end 102 and the first interior end 104. The cover flap 98 includes a second distal end 110 and an opposing second interior end 112. The cover flap 98 further includes a second inside surface 114 and an opposing second outside surface 116 each disposed between the second distal end 110 and the second interior end 112. The carrying case 94 may include side walls 128, 130 and an end wall 132 that extend orthogonal to the first inside surface 106 and away from the first outside surface 108 between the first interior end 104 and the first distal end 102.

The carrying case 94 further includes a foot strap 118. The foot strap 118 is sized with the loop portion 124 about the foot 28 of the user 20 to position the first outside surface 108 of the compartment flap 96 upon the lower leg 26 of the user 20 and the second outside surface 116 of the cover flap 98 upon the upper leg 22 of the user 20 with the upper leg 22 bent in relation to the lower leg 26 of the user 20 in a backward lying position, such as shown.

The foot strap 118 may include a first strap end 120 and an opposing second strap end 112. The foot strap 118 includes a loop portion 124. A main body portion 126 is disposed between the loop portion 124 and the first strap end 120 and between the loop portion 124 and the second strap end 122. The carrying case 94 may further include device retainers 134, 136. The device retainers 134, 136 facilitate positioning of the device main portion 32 against the cover flap 98. Strap retainers 138, 140 may be attached to the end wall 132 at the first distal end 102. The foot strap 118 may further include strap fasteners 142, 144 respectively at the first and second strap ends 120, 122. The strap fasteners 142, 144 are respectively attached to the strap retainers 138, 140. The foot strap 94 may include strap adjusters 146, 148 sized and configured to adjust an overall length of the main body portion 126 of the foot strap 118.

This description of the various embodiments of the present invention is presented to illustrate the preferred embodiments of the present invention, and other inventive concepts may be otherwise variously embodied and employed. The appended claims are intended to be construed to include such variations except insofar as limited by the prior art.