Title:
PENETRATION RESISTANT BACKPACK FOR COOKING UTENSILS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A novel backpack features a back wall, a side wall and a front wall forming at least one compartment; a first divider; and first and second zippers. The first divider is connected to the side wall, and has a backside exposed toward the back wall and a front side exposed toward the front wall. The first zipper extends along the side wall intermediate the first divider and the back wall. The second zipper extends along the side wall intermediate the first divider and the front wall. At least one of the first divider front side and an inside surface of the front wall has a plurality of handle receiving pockets, and at least one of the back wall, the first divider, and the front wall is formed of a substantially penetration resistant material.



Inventors:
Hadj-chikh, Sharon (Buffalo, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/460153
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
07/26/2006
Assignee:
Robinson Home Products, Inc. (Buffalo, NY, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HELVEY, PETER N.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IP Practice Group (Rochester, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A backpack comprising: a back wall, a side wall and a front wall forming at least one compartment; a first divider connected to the side wall, the first divider having a backside exposed toward the back wall and a front side exposed toward the front wall; a first zipper extending along the side wall intermediate the first divider and the back wall; a second zipper extending along the side wall intermediate the first divider and the front wall, wherein at least one of the first divider front side and an inside surface of the front wall has a plurality of handle receiving pockets, and at least one of the back wall, the first divider, and the front wall is formed of a substantially penetration resistant material.

2. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the at least one of the first divider front side and the inside surface of the front wall includes a retaining strap spaced from the handle receiving pockets.

3. The backpack of claim 1, wherein both the first divider front side and the inside surface of the front wall includes a plurality of handle receiving pockets.

4. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the back wall, the side wall and the first divider define a utensil compartment.

5. The backpack of claim 4, wherein the utensil compartment is sized to retain a plurality of non-bladed cooking utensils.

6. The backpack of claim 4, further comprising a plurality of pouches disposed on at least one of the back wall and the first divider.

7. The backpack of claim 6, wherein the plurality of pouches are removably attached on the at least one of the back wall and the first divider.

8. The backpack of claim 1, further comprising a primary outside pocket on an outside surface of the front wall.

9. The backpack of claim 1, further comprising a secondary outside pocket overlaying a portion of the primary outside pocket.

10. The backpack of claim 1, wherein the backside of the first divider includes a sleeve.

11. The backpack of claim 10, further comprising a removable pack disposed within the sleeve.

12. The backpack of claim 10, wherein the sleeve defines a selectively closable opening.

13. The backpack of claim 12, further comprising a zipper defining at least a portion of the selectively closable opening.

14. The backpack of claim 11, wherein the removable pack includes a plurality of handle receiving pockets.

15. A backpack comprising: a back wall, a side wall, and a front wall defining at least one compartment; at least one zipper extending along a top and opposite sides of the sidewall providing selective access to the compartment; a first divider connected to the sidewall, the first divider having a backside exposed toward the back wall and a front side exposed toward the front wall; a plurality of knife receiving pockets disposed on at least one of the front wall, the back wall, the first divider front side, and the first divider back side; and a substantially penetration-resistant panel disposed proximate to the at least one of the front wall, the back wall, the first divider front side, and the first divider back side on which the plurality of handle receiving pockets are disposed.

16. The backpack according to claim 15, the at least one zipper comprising first and second zippers, the first zipper being disposed between the first divider and the front wall to allow selected access to a front compartment and the second zipper being disposed between the first divider and the back wall to allow selected access to a back compartment.

17. The backpack according to claim 15, wherein the zipper extends along a top and the entirety of opposite sides of the sidewall.

18. The backpack according to claim 16, wherein at least one of the front compartment and the back compartment comprises a plurality of pouches.

19. The backpack according to claim 18, wherein the pouches are removably attachable to a surface of the at least one of the front compartment and the back compartment.

20. The backpack according to claim 15, further comprising one or more retaining straps spaced from the knife retaining pockets.

21. The backpack according to claim 20, wherein the one or more retaining straps spaced from the knife retaining pockets are detachably attachable to the at least one of the front wall, the back wall, the first divider front side, and the first divider back side upon which the knife retaining pockets are disposed.

22. The backpack according to claim 15, wherein the substantially penetration-resistant panel is disposed between adjacent surfaces.

23. The backpack according to claim 22, wherein the substantially penetration-resistant panel is removably disposable between the adjacent surfaces.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a backpack, and more particularly, to a backpack for storing and transporting a variety of cooking utensils including bladed utensils such as knives, wherein a protective layer is disposed between the bladed utensils and the wearer.

2. Description of Related Art

Conventional backpacks are well known as articles for carrying personal effects. For example, students have long preferred backpacks for carrying textbooks, school supplies, homework, and the like.

Culinary students also would prefer to use backpacks, but conventional, soft-walled backpacks are not well suited for carrying many types of cutlery. More specifically, knives and other bladed utensils randomly placed in a conventional backpack can readily poke through sides of the backpack, potentially causing harm to the backpack, the wearer of the backpack, and anyone else that may come into contact with the backpack. Moreover, conventional backpacks generally are designed such that the user must blindly reach in to remove contents on the bottom of the backpack, causing further possibility of injury, for example, by grabbing an exposed knife blade.

Accordingly, there is a need in the art for a backpack that orderly and safely contains cooking tools, including bladed utensils.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention addresses the foregoing needs by providing a backpack that orderly stores and enables safe transportation of a variety of cooking utensils, including bladed utensils.

In a first aspect of the invention, a novel backpack features a back wall, a side wall and a front wall forming at least one compartment, a first divider, and first and second zippers. The first divider is connected to the side wall, and has a backside exposed toward the back wall and a front side exposed toward the front wall. The first zipper extends along the side wall intermediate the first divider and the back wall. The second zipper extends along the side wall intermediate the first divider and the front wall. At least one of the first divider front side and an inside surface of the front wall has a plurality of handle receiving pockets, and at least one of the back wall, the first divider, and the front wall is formed of a substantially penetration resistant material.

In another aspect of the invention, a novel backpack features a back wall, a side wall, and a front wall defining at least one compartment, at least one zipper, a first divider, a plurality of knife-receiving pockets, and a substantially penetration-resistant panel. The at least one zipper extends along a top and opposite sides of the sidewall to provide selective access to the compartment. The first divider is connected to the sidewall and has a back side exposed toward the back wall and a front side exposed toward the front wall. The plurality of knife-receiving pockets is disposed on at least one of the front wall, the back wall, the first divider front side, and the first divider back side. The substantially penetration-resistant panel is disposed proximate to the at least one of the front wall, the back wall, the first divider front side, and the first divider back side on which the plurality of handle receiving pockets are disposed.

An understanding of these and other aspects and features of the invention may be had with reference to the attached Figures and following description, in which the present invention is illustrated and described.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a backpack according to a first embodiment of our invention.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the backpack of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a back view of the backpack of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the backpack of FIG. 1, taken along sectional line 4-4 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a front view illustrating the backpack of FIG. 1 in a first open position.

FIGS. 6 and 7 are front views illustrating the backpack of FIG. 1 in a second open position.

FIG. 8 is a front view of a removable pack according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 9 and 10 are front views illustrating open positions of the removable pack of FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described below with reference to the Figures.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3, a closable backpack 1 includes a back wall 2, a front wall 4, and a side wall 6 disposed between the back wall 2 and the front wall 4 and adjoining the back wall 2 with the front wall 4. The side wall 6 preferably includes a substantially horizontal top 6a and bottom 6b, and substantially vertical sides 6c adjoining the top 6a and bottom 6b. The back wall 2, front wall 4, and side wall 6 generally form an enclosed compartment 28 for receiving articles, as will be described in more detail below.

On the exterior of the backpack 1, shoulder straps 12 are disposed on, or adjacent to, the back wall 2, to facilitate wearing the backpack 1. Preferably, the straps 12 are adjustable. For example, each of the straps 12 may include two portions 12a, 12b joined by a clasp 14, as is conventionally known.

A handle 16 may also be disposed on an outer surface of the backpack 1, to assist in picking up the backpack 1. While the handle 16 is shown in the figures as being disposed on the top 6a of the sidewall 6, the handle may be disposed anywhere on the backpack 1. More than one handle may also be provided, at different locations on the backpack 1.

Pack straps 62 also may be disposed proximate the bottom 6b of the side wall 6. The pack straps 62 preferably retain a pack 44 on an exterior of the backpack. A preferred pack 44 will be discussed in more detail below. When not needed, the pack straps 62 may be received in a zippered pocket formed on the bottom 6b of the backpack.

Additional compartments may also be provided to increase the carrying capacity of the backpack 1. For example, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, an outside pocket 18 is disposed on the outside surface of the front wall 4, and a secondary outside pocket 20 overlays a portion of the outside pocket 18. As a further example, as shown in FIG. 3, a detachable auxiliary compartment 22 is provided on one of the shoulder straps 12. The auxiliary compartment 22 is attached to a shoulder strap via a clip mechanism 24, although any known method may be used for detachably attaching the auxiliary compartment. As should be understood, the present invention also contemplates the use of additional, or alternative outside pockets, either fixed or detachable.

According to the preferred embodiment of our invention, the compartment 28 defined by the back, front, and side walls 2, 4, 6 of the backpack 1 is divided into two compartments 28a, 28b. In particular, a divider 26 is connected to the side wall 6 to divide the compartment 28 into a front compartment 28a and a rear compartment 28b. The front compartment 28a is defined by the front wall 4, a front side 26a of the divider 26, and the side wall 6. The rear compartment 28b is defined by the back wall 2, a back side 26b of the divider 26, and the side wall 6.

Selective access to the front and back compartments 28a, 28b is provided by front and back zippers 8a, 8b, respectively. As illustrated, the zippers 8a, 8b extend substantially along the length of both sides 6c and the top 6a of the sidewall 6. In this manner, when one of the zippers 8a, 8b is completely unzipped, i.e., one of the compartments is opened, the bottom 6b of the sidewall 6 acts as a hinge adjoining (i) the front portion of the backpack 1, i.e., the portion of the backpack in front of the unzipped zipper, proximate the front wall 4, and (ii) the back portion of the backpack 1, i.e., the portion of the backpack behind the unzipped zipper, proximate the back wall 2. As should be appreciated, unzipping the front zipper 8a provides access to the front compartment 28a, while unzipping the back zipper 8b provides access to the back compartment 28b.

In conventional backpacks, zippers generally extend along the top and down only a portion of the sides of the backpack. However, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, the zippers 8a, 8b preferably extend along the top and down the entirety of the sides 6b of the sidewall 6 of the backpack 1. In this manner, when each of the zippers is completely unzipped, the two exposed surfaces may be made to lie flat. More specifically, when the front zipper 8a is unzipped to allow access to the front compartment 28a, the zipper is completely unzipped such that the front portion of the backpack is attached to the back portion only about the bottom 6b of the backpack 1, and hinges about the bottom of the backpack, i.e., the front and back portions are not connected along the sides of the backpack. Preferably, the front and back portions hinge relative to each other up to an angle of about 270-degrees and more preferably up to an angle of about 180-degrees. Thus, when the front compartment is opened, the inner surface of the front of the backpack and the front surface of the divider may both be laid substantially flat on a horizontal surface. This arrangement allows the entirety of the compartment to be visually available and readily accessible. For example, when a plurality of knives is disposed within the front compartment, as will be described in more detail below, all of the knives are orderly displayed before the user. The back compartment preferably opens in a similar fashion.

The front compartment 28a and back compartment 28b will now be described with reference to FIGS. 5-7. Specifically, FIG. 5 illustrates the backpack 1 when the front zipper 8a is completely unzipped, thus exposing the front compartment 28a, and FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the backpack 1 when the back zipper 8b is completely unzipped, thus exposing the rear compartment 28b.

As shown in FIG. 5, the front compartment 28a includes a plurality of knife-receiving pockets 30 formed on the front side 26a of the divider 26 and on the inside surface of the front wall 4. Each of the pockets 30 opens toward the top 6a of the backpack 1, and is sized and constructed to receive a utensil, such as a knife. Preferably, each sleeve 30 receives the handled portion of the knife, leaving the bladed end of the knife exposed above the sleeve, i.e., directed toward the top of the backpack 1.

One or more utensil retaining straps 32 are provided above the pockets 30 to retain the bladed end of the knife against one of the front surface 26a of the divider 26 and the inner surface of the front wall 4. (That is, the retaining straps 32 retain the bladed end of the knife against the surface on which the pocket is formed.) An end of each of the retaining straps 32 is fixed proximate a side of the backpack, leaving the other, distal end free. A clasp 34 preferably is disposed on each of the retaining straps, proximate a side of the backpack opposite the side on which the strap is fixed, to receive the distal end of the strap. The clasp 34 is preferably movable along the length of the strap in a preferred arrangement, the distal end of the strap is folded back on the strap, such that the clasp is disposed about two sections of the strap, at least one section being proximate the distal end of the strap.

A side of each of the straps 32 disposed facing the surface to which the knives are to be restrained preferably includes one of a plurality of hooks and a plurality of loops to mate with the other of the plurality of hooks and the plurality of loops disposed on the surface to which the knives are to be restrained. Thus, each of the straps is detachably attachable to the surface on which the strap is to retain a knife using a conventional hook and loop fastening system. The half of the hook and loop fastening system disposed on the backpack may comprise anywhere from a strip having approximately the same size and shape as the retaining strap to the whole surface on which the straps are to be detachably attached.

Thus, according to this preferred embodiment, when the handled end of a knife is placed in a knife-retaining pocket 30 formed on the front surface 26a of the divider 26, the blade of the knife overlays a portion of the divider comprising half of a hook-and-loop fastening system. The strap 32, having on a side facing the front surface of the divider 26 the other half of the hook-and-loop fastening system, is placed over the blade of the knife. Portions of the strap not overlaying the blade of the knife are detachably attached to the front surface 26a of the divider 26 via the hook-and-loop fastening system. Accordingly, the strap retains the knife blade against the front surface 26a of the divider 26, and, because the strap is fixed to the divider on sides of the blade, lateral movement of the knife, i.e., along the length of the strap 32, is also restrained.

Other methods for retaining the knives also are contemplated. For example, the hook-and-loop system may not be included, and retention of the knives may be achieved only by tightening the strap against the surface on which the knife is to be retained. In such an arrangement, the clasp may be disposed separate from the strap, fixedly attached proximate the side of the backpack opposite the side on which the strap is fixed. A clasp according to this embodiment facilitates loosening and tightening the straps. In a further embodiment, both ends of each of one or more elastic bands may be fixed to opposite sides of the backpack. Such bands would preferably stretch away from the surface on which the knife is to be retained, to accommodate insertion of a knife between the band and the surface, with the elasticity of the band, when the band is let go, providing a biasing force to retain the knife. A single elastic strap, or loop, may also be disposed above each pocket, to separately contain the bladed end of each knife.

In the preferred embodiment, two straps are provided above each row of pockets. However, two straps are disclosed merely because this arrangement allows for retention of both shorter knives (i.e., by using the strap closer to the pocket) and longer knives (i.e., by using both straps). Of course, one could readily contemplate situations in which only one strap is necessary, and when more than two straps would be useful. Moreover, the spacing of the straps relative to the pockets and with respect to each other also may be varied, as dictated by design requirements.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the rear compartment 28b of the preferred embodiment of the invention. Specifically, those figures illustrate the backpack when the rear zipper 8b is completely unzipped, and the front portion of the backpack, i.e., the portion in front of the rear zipper 8b, proximate the front wall, is displaced approximately 180-degrees about the bottom of the backpack, relative to the back portion of the backpack, i.e., the portion behind the rear zipper 8b, proximate the back wall. As illustrated, a plurality of pouches 36 is disposed on the inner surface of the back wall 2 of the backpack 1. The pouches 36 preferably have a variety of sizes and shapes, with each having an opening for gaining access to an interior thereof. Zippers, or similar structure, are preferably provided to selectively open and close the pouches. At least a panel of the pouches also may be formed of a mesh, plastic, or other material that allows viewing of contents of the pouch without opening the pouch.

Preferably, the pouches are removably fixed to the inner surface of the back wall, using a hook-and-loop fastening system. More specifically, the back of each of the pouches includes either the hooks or loops comprising one half of the hook and loop fastening system, and the inner surface of the back wall includes the other of the hooks and loops. The entire back of each of the pouches and the entire inner surface of the back wall, or only a portion of these surfaces, may include the hooks or loops. Alternatively, the pouches may be snapped, buttoned, zippered, or otherwise removably engaged to the inner surface of the back wall.

In other embodiments, the pouches may be formed as a part of the inner surface of the back wall. More specifically, the inner surface of the back wall of the backpack may comprise an inner surface of each of the pouches. Moreover, the pouches may be irremovably fixed to the inner surface of the back wall. For example, the pouches may be sewn, adhered, or otherwise irremovably disposed on a surface of the backpack.

The rear compartment 28b of the preferred backpack also preferably features a sleeve 40 formed on the rear surface 26b of the divider 26. A zipper 42 provides selective access to the interior of the sleeve 40. Of course other known fastening means, such as, for example, snaps, buttons, tie-able laces, or the like may be used in lieu of the zipper to provide selective access to the sleeve 40.

Any number of items may be contained in the sleeve 40. For example, a cutting board (not shown) may be placed therein. However, as shown in FIG. 7, a removable pack 44 is preferably contained within the sleeve 40. The removable pack 44 will be described with reference to FIGS. 8-10.

The removable pack 44 includes a plurality of leaves disposed to fold relative to each other. For example, the preferred pack disclosed in the figures shows four leaves 46 disposed to hinge about three folds 48. Thus, the leaves 46 are foldable upon each other, to form a closed pack, and are unfolded relative to each other to open the pack. Of course, the removable pack 44 may include more or less leaves and folds. Moreover, the removable pack 44 may comprise a roll that rolls up to form a closed pack, and unrolls to open the pack.

On an external surface of at least two of the leaves, adjustable straps 50 are provided. The straps are closable using conventional clips 52. The adjustable straps 50 and clips 52 maintain the pack in a closed position. The removable pack 44 also may include a carrying strap 54 to facilitate carrying the pack 44 separately from the backpack 1. The carrying strap 54 preferably includes an adjuster 55 for adjusting the length of the carrying strap and/or clasps 56 at ends of the carrying strap 54 to facilitate attachment of the carrying strap 54 to the pack 44. Eyelets 58 may be formed on an outer surface of the pack 44 to receive the clasps 56. Of course, other attachment means for attaching the carrying strap to the pack 44 also are contemplated. The carrying strap also may be fixedly attached to the pack.

FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate the pack 44 in an open position. As shown in those figures, the inside of the pack preferably includes a number of sleeves and/or pockets for receiving utensils or the like. More specifically, one or more flaps 60 may be fixed, e.g., by sewing or the like, on one end to a side of the inner surface of the pack. In this manner, the flap hinges about the fixed end. Attachment means may be provided to attach the distal end of the flaps 60 to the inner surface of the pack 44. Each of the flaps 60 includes a sleeve 62 formed therein for receiving items.

Opening the flaps 60 relative to the backpack 44, i.e., hinging the flaps 60 about the fixed end as shown in FIG. 10, provides access to a number of knife-retaining pockets 64. The pockets 64 may be disposed proximate only one side the pack 44, or may be disposed on two, opposite sides. Both of these configurations are illustrated in FIG. 10. As also shown, the pockets 64 are constructed in substantially the same manner as the knife receiving pockets 30 disposed on the inner surfaces of the front compartment 28a of the backpack 1. Utensil retaining straps 66 also may be provided that are substantially the same as the utensil retraining straps 32 described above with respect to the front compartment 28a of the backpack 1. In as much as the knife receiving pocket 64 and the retaining straps 66 are substantially the same as those described above with respect to the front compartment of the backpack 1, further discussion of these features will not be included herein.

In the preferred backpack according to the invention, the knife pockets 30 and associated retaining straps 32 disposed in the front compartment 28a of the backpack provide stability for knives and other bladed utensils when contained within the backpack. More specifically, a pocket holds the knife's handle, and the blade of the knife is retained to reduce relative movement of the knife with respect to the backpack. Accordingly, a number of knives and other utensils may be contained in the backpack in an orderly fashion, and in such a manner that it is unlikely that the knives will become dislodged. Moreover, the compartments are designed to open completely, such that opposite surfaces of the compartment are completely exposed. In this manner, knives and other effects contained within the respective compartments are completely displayed for a user, to allow for easy selection amongst the effects. Accordingly, the risk of injury from unintentional human contact with the blades in the backpack is greatly reduced.

Thus, while the invention described to this point provides an improved backpack with enhanced safety features, the preferred embodiment of the invention also provides an added level of protection for a user. Specifically, one or more of the divider, the back wall, and the front wall of the backpack comprises a substantially puncture-resistant panel. For example, polyethylene or a similar material may be used to construct the one or more of the divider, the back wall, and the front wall of the backpack, or at least a portion of these surfaces. Alternatively, the substantially puncture-resistant panel may be formed as an insert for placement between front and back surfaces of the divider, back wall or front wall. Such an insertable panel formed of the puncture-resistant material may be fixedly disposed between the surfaces, for example, by placing the insert between the surfaces and fixing the surfaces to each other by sewing, riveting, or some other known means. Alternatively, the panel may be removably disposed between the front surface 26a and the rear surface 26b of the divider 26, for example, by using snaps, a zipper, or similar fastening means to selectively separate and engage the two surfaces 26a, 26b. In particular, it is envisioned that the insert may double as a cutting board when removed. Thus, the panel provides a safety feature when inserted into the backpack, and functions as a cutting board when removed.

The puncture-resistant material preferably is provided as, or in conjunction with, any surface that blades may contact, and at least is placed between sharp utensils contained in the backpack and the user wearing the backpack. For example, if only the front compartment of the backpack contains knives, the divider and the front wall preferably include the puncture-resistant material. However, if the backpack also will contain bladed utensils in the rear compartment, the puncture-proof material should form the back wall of the backpack, to be disposed between the back compartment and the wearer of the backpack.

Of course, any or all other portions of the backpack also may be constructed of the substantially puncture-resistant material. For example, the knife-receiving pockets may be made of, or lined with, the puncture-resistant material, to provide added safety. Preferably, the backpack is constructed of polyester and the puncture-resistant material is polyethylene. Of course, other known materials may be used for the backpack and for the puncture-resistant material.

The term “knife” is used throughout this application only as an example of a handled utensil. As is readily apparent from the preceding discussion of a novel backpack, any handled utensil or other similar device may be used without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

The embodiments discussed above are representative of embodiments of the present invention and are provided only for illustration. The embodiments are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. Variations and modifications are apparent from a reading of the preceding description and are included within the scope of the invention. The invention is intended to be limited only by the scope of the accompanying claims.