Title:
Back support with straps that is changeable with storage area
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A style changeable backpack is disclosed where the backpack storage area is removable from a back support with shoulder straps to accommodate the style of the user. Backpacks of various styles and colors are combined or changed with back support and shoulder straps of various styles and colors. This allows a user to match the backpack and shoulder straps to the clothing that they are wearing as well as match the activities they will be performing. One style of storage area includes one or more transparent panels where pictures or drawings can be placed to further customize the backpack. The back support and shoulder straps are filled with memory foam to improve user comfort. A storage area can be configures as a gym bag, school backpack or a baby carrier. Other accessories can be added to the storage area to further coordinate the backpack as well as add additional functionality, these accessories can include water bottles, cell phone cases and lunch boxes.



Inventors:
Shawen, Jack (Glendale, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/731243
Publication Date:
10/04/2007
Filing Date:
03/30/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/578, 224/581
International Classes:
A45F4/02; A45C15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WAGGENSPACK, ADAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BUHLER ASSOCIATES (CORONA, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A backpack with interchangeable storage capability comprising: an essentially rectangular back support; attachment means for securing at least one shoulder strap in at least two locations on the essentially rectangular back support; a storage cavity that is securable and completely removable from the essentially rectangular back support.

2. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the storage cavity is changeable from an essentially open cavity to a baby carrier.

3. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the storage cavity is secured to the essentially rectangular back support with a zippered securing means.

4. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the storage cavity is secured to the essentially rectangular back support with Velcro.

5. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the at least one shoulder strap include memory foam integrated with the at least one shoulder strap.

6. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the essentially rectangular back support include memory foam integrated within the essentially rectangular back support.

7. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the essentially rectangular back support has securing holes along the top and sides of the essentially rectangular back support for securing the at least one shoulder strap to a plurality of locations on the essentially rectangular back support.

8. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 2 wherein the baby carrier includes at least four straps that wrap above and below the arms of a baby installed with the carrier.

9. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 8 wherein the at least four straps loop from the baby carrier through the essentially rectangular back support and are secured in a location covering at least a portion of a child in the baby carrier.

10. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein a variety of different storage cavity configurations are interchangeable with the essentially rectangular back support, accessories

11. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 10 wherein the different storage cavity configurations include storage for at least one of a cell phone, pager, glasses, hats, tapes, CD's, pictures, drinks, books, pencils, pens, markers, game players, music players and notebooks.

12. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the backpack has a transparent area for storage and display of pictures.

13. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the backpack has an area for a barcode identifier.

14. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the backpack has a location for entering the name of the owner.

15. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the storage cavity has an expandable cavity that is expanded and condensed by opening a zipper that extends around the cavity.

16. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 15 wherein the expandable storage cavity provides for expansion of only a portion of the cavity and the entire cavity.

17. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the storage cavity is customizable by a purchaser.

18. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein an owner can interchange different straps, back supports and storage cavities.

19. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 wherein the at least one shoulder strap allows the user to configure the backpack as a sling type backpack, or at least two shoulder straps can be secured to the essentially rectangular back support to allow the backpack to be warn essentially flat against the back or front of a user.

20. The backpack with interchangeable storage capability according to claim 1 that further includes a position or location tracker to allow a user to determine the location of they backpack if it is lost or stolen.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of Provisional 60/786,851 filed Mar. 30, 2006 the entire contents of which is hereby expressly incorporated by reference herein.

DESCRIPTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to a backpack where the storage area of the backpack is removable and changeable with a back support with straps, and more particularly to a backpack intended to allow the owner of the backpack customize their backpack by selecting a backpack with a particular style and selecting one or more shoulder strap components to coordinate the backpack use and the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps and back support is constructed with memory foam that improves user comfort when they carry the backpack. The storage area backpack may have one or more transparent section to allow the user to insert pictures or drawings that can be seen from the outside of the storage area. The storage area can also be configured as a baby carrier that can be warn on the front of the user and made with memory foam that conforms to the shape of the baby and the person wearing the carrier. Coordinated accessories such as water bottles, cell phone cases and lunch boxes can be added to the carrier to match the fashion of the user.

2. Background of the Invention

Today backpacks are used for a number of purposes including carrying books, supplies, gym equipment and babies. The backpacks make a statement about the items you are carrying and can also be used to make a statement about a group you belong to and associate with. Most back packs are sold with generic colors, styles or insignia and the shoulder straps are secured to the backpack and allow only adjustment for length but are usually only offered in one color. While this limited choice of backpacks provides the basic function to carry items, it does not allow people to be creative and express themselves or allow them the flexibility to interchange backs and shoulder straps.

Some patents have been issued that allow the shoulder straps to be moved, exemplary examples of these backpacks are found in U.S. Pat. No. 5,577,652 issued to Linda J Sholl on Nov. 26, 1996, U.S. Pat. No. 5,934,527 issued to Maerenda W. Brevard on Aug. 10, 1999, U.S. Pat. No. 5,660,312 issued to David J. Wlaczak on Aug. 26, 1997, U.S. Pat. No. 6,460,746 issued to Fred M. B. Amram on Oct. 8, 2002, U.S. Pat. No. 6,138,881 issued to Jeanne Paul et al. on Oct. 31, 2000 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,927,581 issued to James P. Reddy on Jul. 27, 1999 all disclose backpacks with shoulder straps that can be removed from the backpack. While these patents disclose removable shoulder straps they do not allow the shoulder straps to interchangeable among a group of backpacks. They further are not filled with memory foam to improve the comfort to the user. They are not offered to interchange with a baby carrier to allow transporting a baby on the front and or rear of the user.

The use of foam has been disclosed in a number of patents notably with U.S. Pat. No. 5,553,759 issued to Charles R. Eloshway on Sep. 10, 1996 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,240,159 issued to Lind A. Shall on Aug. 31, 1993. While these patents disclose the use of foam with backpacks they do not disclose the use of memory foam, do not disclose the interchangeability of shoulder straps with backpacks, nor do they disclose the backpacks for use to hold a baby.

Shoulder supported baby carriers have been disclosed in a number of patents notably U.S. Pat. No. 5,361,952 issued to Nancy Gold on Nov. 8, 1994, U.S. Pat. No. 5,205,451 issued to Doras S. Manzer on Apr. 27, 1993 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,434,920 issued to Ann A. Moore on Mar. 6, 1984 disclose baby carriers. While these patents disclose baby carriers, none of them disclose that the straps on the carriers are changeable with backpacks. They further do not disclose including a transparent area for pictures or drawing, nor do they disclose the use of memory foam for padding in the straps or in the carrier.

The use of a clear transparent panel in a backpack that allows the user to install pictures or drawings is disclosed in US Published application 2003/0034369 to Robert Haber on Feb. 20, 2003. While this patent discloses a backpack with a transparent area where a picture or drawing can be placed, the published application does not disclose changeable shoulder straps, the use of memory foam, or that the shoulder straps are changeable with a baby carrier.

Various objects, features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, along with the accompanying drawings in which like numerals represent like components.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present backpack and shoulder straps as separate and interchangeable items to allow a user to customize their backpack to accommodate a particular style. The straps can be available in a variety of widths, colors, color combinations, lengths and styles. The backpacks are also available in a variety of colors styles and sizes to match the fashion of the user.

It is another object of the backpack and shoulder straps to provide accessories to accommodate the needs of the user, these accessories include but are not limited to CD holders, day timers, notebooks, calendars, cell phones, lunch boxes, pencil holders, water bottles, sunglass holders and MP3 or similar devices.

Another object of the backpack and shoulder straps to provide a backpack with expandable areas made from a flexible or mesh material that can accept additional item such as baseballs, snacks, soda cans and even spare shoulder straps.

Another object of the backpack and shoulder straps to provide a backpack with a transparent area where a user can place pictures, drawings or other items that customize the backpack for identification. The transparent area can be formed from a clear plastic cover that provides some protection from the elements or from a mesh material that allows the image to be viewed through the mesh. The pictures and or drawings can be easily changed as desired.

Another object of the backpack and shoulder straps to provide the shoulder straps secured to a back member where the backpack or storage area can be separated from the shoulder strap/back member portion. The parts are zipped together and interchangeable from a large storage area, to a small storage are to a baby carrier all using the same shoulder straps and back support.

Another object of the backpack and shoulder straps to provide the backpack with a set of marking pens that allow the owner of the backpack to further customize the backpack and the straps to make them more unique. Permanent pens can be used where the markings cannot be removed with washing. Temporary pens can be used to provide non-permanent identification to the straps or backpack. Marks from temporary marking pens can be removed by washing or cleaning the bag so the user can continue to modify the straps and backpack when they desire.

A further object of the backpack and shoulder straps to provide a bar code and or electronic ID to each backpack so a unique backpack can be identified between two or more backpacks that appear identical.

Various objects, features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, along with the accompanying drawings in which like numerals represent like components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a preferred embodiment of a backpack with interchangeable shoulder straps.

FIG. 2 shows a front isometric view of a preferred embodiment of a backpack with an expandable inner pouch.

FIG. 3 shows two side views of the backpack from FIG. 2 showing the expandable inner pouch in a closed orientation and expanded orientation.

FIG. 4 is a back isometric view of the backpack with just the back straps portion and optional backpack and baby carriers sections that are interchangeable with the backpack.

FIG. 4A shows a front view of the baby carrier from FIG. 4 with a child placed within the carrier.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the preferred embodiment from FIG. 1 showing the variety of styles of backpacks with the variety of shoulder straps.

FIG. 6 shows the backpack configured as a baby carrier.

FIG. 7 shows a cut-away view of the backpack and shoulder straps showing the construction with memory foam.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the drawings by numerals of reference, there is shown in FIG. 1 an isometric view of a preferred embodiment of a backpack 10 with interchangeable shoulder straps. The backpack 20 configuration is essentially rectangular in shape. Other configurations such as but not including teardrop, rectangular prism and baby carrier configurations as shown in FIG. 6 are contemplated. The backpack is used here as a generic word to describe a pack that can hold books, paperwork, babies, supplies or other material in a single container. The backpack includes the ability to swap or change shoulder straps to coordinate the style of the backpack and the straps 90 and 92. The straps are changed by passing the shoulder strap through a slot 30 in the back of the pack. A retainer (202 as shown in FIG. 5) prevents the strap from pulling through the back of the backpack. It can be seen in this figure that multiple slots 30 are located at the top and bottom of the backpack. In the configuration shown, in this figure, two shoulder straps are placed in the holes on each side of the backpack. This configuration is ideal when the person places an arm through each strap and carries the backpack on their back. It is also contemplated that a strap can loop through two upper holes so the backpack can be carried like a purse, or the straps can be placed through diagonal holes and the backpack can be carried over one shoulder like a sling. One embodiment of securing the shoulder straps is shown and described in this application but numerous methods are contemplated that provide similar means of retaining straps onto a backpack.

A form of identification 40 is placed on the backpack to allow each person to identify their own backpack to differentiate one bag from another. In one contemplated embodiment the backpack can be sold with an accessory kit consisting of a set of permanent or temporary pens that allow a user to further customize their bag. Temporary pens allow the user to color or mark their backpack and wash the temporary markings from the bag to allow them to mark the backpack numerous times. If permanent coloring pens are markers are used the backpack can be permanently marked. A combination of permanent and temporary markers can be used to provide the both permanent markings such as a person's name and temporary marking such as colors or drawings. A barcode 50 is shown that allows each backpack to be marked and identified with a scanner or similar method. An electronic tag or marker 52 can be placed on, within, or on the bag to identify the bag electronically as the user passes through an electronic scanning device. In another contemplated embodiment the identification can be with a GPS or similar device that allows the location of the bag or the location of the student to be located on a global map.

None, one or more pockets 60 are placed on the sides and or back of the backpack to allow placement or storage of items such as but not limited CD holders, day timers, notebooks, calendars, cell phone, lunch boxes, pencil holders, water bottles, glasses and MP3 player. One or more zippers 70 are located on the top and or sides of the backpack to allow access to the internal or external cavities of the backpack. One distinctive marking of the backpack is the contrasting stitching 80 on some or all of the edges of the backpack. The stitching adds a decorative and unique appearance to the backpack and differentiates the manufacturer of the backpack in comparison to other manufacturers.

Another unique attribute of the backpack is that the backpack is intended to be sold separately from the straps 90. The shoulder straps are shown configured in two pieces 90 and 92 with a buckle 94 that secures the ends of the shoulder straps together and provides adjustment for the length of the shoulder straps. A user can use one two or three shoulder straps.

FIG. 2 shows a front isometric view of a preferred embodiment of a backpack with an expandable inner pouch 71. The inner pouch that allows the backpack to expand to accommodate additional storage. A flap 81 is used to cover the outer surface of the storage area of the backpack. The backpack is manufactured in two parts that allow the shoulder strap portion of the backpack to be removed from the storage portion of the backpack. This dividing line between the backpack and the expandable storage is are is shown and described in more detail in FIG. 3.

FIG. 3 shows two side views of the backpack from FIG. 2 showing the expandable inner pouch in a closed orientation and expanded orientation. The shoulder strap parts 90, 92 and 94 are shown is these two side profiles. The expandable inner pouch 71 of the backpack on the left is shown closed configuration in the left figure and in an expanded orientation in the right figure. A zipper 72 is operable to allow the pouch to expand. The expansion is shown allowing only the lower portion of the backpack to enlarge, but it is further contemplated that the zipper could allow just the top portion to expand or the entire backpack to translate into a larger size when needed to accommodate additional storage. In these side views the separation between the two parts of the backpack is along line 22. This line is where the strap portion of the backpack is removable from the storage portion. FIG. 4 shows the separation of the two parts of the backpack.

FIG. 4 is a back isometric view of the backpack with just the back straps portion and optional backpack and baby carriers sections that are interchangeable with the backpack. The shoulder straps 90, 92 94 and back support 21 are shown removed from the storage area. Two different devices are shown in the figure and these devices are interchangeable with the shoulder strap portion. The storage device 11 is shown above and the baby carrier device 12 is shown below. Either of these two devices can be removably secured to the back support with Velcro, zipper or other similar temporary securing means. If a front mounted baby carrier is installed a tensioning strap 95 pulls the shoulder straps 90 is closer proximity to reduce bouncing of the baby when the user is moving. The two halves of the strap 95 are secured with Velcro or a buckle.

FIG. 4A shows a front view of the baby carrier from FIG. 4 with a child placed within the carrier. When a baby is installed in the baby carrier the straps go through the hoops in each corners 99 of the back support 21 is secure the baby carrier 12 to the back support 21. The baby is either feed through the top of the baby carrier, or is laid back into the carrier 23 and front cover 98 is brought over the baby and the side straps 96 and 97 are wrapped over the front cover where they are secured with Velcro or similar securing mechanism such as a buckle or the like.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the preferred embodiment from claim 1 showing the variety of styles of backpacks with the variety of shoulder straps. The backpack shown as item 100 includes a basic single tone bag with four pouches for transporting items that a user can access without the need to open the large portion of the backpack. This embodiment shows two open external pouches 102 and two pouches 104 that are closed with zippers. The pouches are shown in this item 100 with made from a mesh fabric such that the contents within the pouch can be seen. The pouch can also be covered with a none transparent fabric, or in the case of the backpack shown as item 150, the pouches are transparent to allow pictures, drawings, baseball cards or other items to be seen through the transparent pouches 155. The backpack 110 is shown with a zipper 112 on the side of the backpack and zippers on the back of the backpack 114. A styled diagonal stripe of one or various colors is shown down the front or side of the backpack. Backpack 120 shows elongated pouches 122 and 124 that allows for storage of pencils, pens rulers or the like to be stored. Backpack 130 shows a color transition from the top of the bag to the bottom of the bag. This backpack shows diagonal zippers on the front 132 and side of the backpack. Backpack 140 shows a stylized backpack with one contemplated type of pattern. Backpack 150 shows transparent pouches 155 that can be used to place pictures and or drawings into.

The straps are sold as separate items from the backpack. Straps 200, 210, 220 and 230 show different styles of shoulder straps. The shoulder straps can be one color multiple colors or decorated. The upper portion and the lower portion of the straps can each be a different color or style. A latch, clasp or stop 202 prevents the shoulder strap from being pulled through the backpack. A latch can alternatively be utilized to secure the shoulder straps onto the backpack. A latch allows faster changing of the shoulder straps, and may include a swivel to reduce the possibility of tangling the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps can also be colored with the temporary and or permanent markers previously described. A user can swap shoulder straps as they see fit to match their particular style or to match the clothes they are wearing.

FIG. 6 shows the backpack configured as a baby carrier 300. In this contemplated version of the backpack the backpack is a baby carrier configured to be warn on the front of the user. The shoulder straps are shown in a cross connected configuration the crosses the back of the user to secure the carrier. The upper strap(s) 91 and the lower strap(s) 97 are connected with a linking mechanism 93. The linking mechanism shown is a simple buckle that allows connection of the straps and tightening of the straps on the user. While a buckle is shown a clasping or similar buckle could be used to allow the user to uncouple the shoulder strap ends from each other. Opening(s) 310 allow passage of the foot and leg of the child. Opening(s) 320 allow passage of the hand and arms of the child, and opening 330 provides passage of the head of the child. A permanent or temporary neck support can be included in the backpack to support a baby. The baby can be placed within the carrier to face either towards or away from the user. The interchangeable nature of the backpack and shoulder straps allow the user to change the color of the baby carrier backpack from pink, to blue or other colored baby carrier with straps of various colors and styles to satisfy matching clothing, style or fashion.

FIG. 7 shows a cut-away view of the backpack and shoulder straps showing the construction with memory foam. This sectional view is cut from a horizontal plane of the backpack through the shoulder straps. Shoulder strap(s) 400 are shown with the clasp or locking mechanism 450 that prevents the strap from passing though the holes in the backpack. In the preferred embodiment the strap 400 is made from a fabric or plastic material 410 that is wrapped around a rectangular piece of memory foam 412. A semi rigid backing material 402 can additionally be used to provide structural rigidity to the straps to maintain a curved shape as opposed to a limp shape. The memory foam is preferred because it improves the comfort to the user by contouring around their shoulder to more evenly distribute the load of the backpack. The area that rests against the user and or baby is also padded with memory foam 440. A backing material 442 can be placed on either side of the memory foam 440 or between pieces of memory foam to cushion the user and or baby and improve the comfort to either or both. The backpack 420 is made from a fabric or plastic sheet material to accommodate the items to be carried. Pockets 430 and 435 are shown and used to carry items on the exterior of the backpack.

Thus specific embodiments and applications of a backpack with interchangeable shoulder straps have been disclosed. It should be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of any appended claims.