Title:
HANDHELD DEVICE CARRYING CASE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective carrying case for a handheld device having an anterior panel connected to a posterior panel and an integrated flap releasably attached to the anterior panel and connected to the posterior panel through a slit. The handheld device is inserted into the carrying case for protection and can be removed by unlatching integrated flap and manually moving the flap outwardly from the interior of the carrying case.



Inventors:
Rostami, Ramin (Simi Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/463206
Publication Date:
02/14/2008
Filing Date:
08/08/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LALLI, MELISSA LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLEINBERG & LERNER, LLP (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A handheld device carrying case comprising: an anterior panel; a posterior panel attached to said anterior panel; and at least one flap adapted to be releasably connected to said anterior panel; said posterior panel having at least one slit adapted to accommodate the passage of said at least one flap and to enable said at least one flap to move in a substantially planar direction; wherein said at least one flap surrounds at least one surface of a handheld device when positioned between said anterior panel and said posterior panel and is adapted to remove the handheld device from such carrying case.

2. The device as described in claim 1 wherein said at least one flap contains a retracting device capable of returning said flap into said carrying case.

3. The device is described in claim 2 wherein said retraction device contains a flexible material strip permanently attached at one end to the interior surface of either said anterior panel or said posterior panel, and permanently attached at another end to said at least one flap.

4. The device as described in claim 1 wherein said slit is affixed to said posterior panel on the interior thereof.

5. The devices described in claim 1 wherein said posterior panel is substantially planar and the plane of movement of said at least one flap is parallel to the plane of said posterior panel.

6. The device as described in claim 1 wherein said at least one slit is positioned approximately midpoint on the interior surface of said posterior panel.

7. The device as described in claim 1 wherein said at least one flap is releasably connected to the exterior of said anterior panel at one end and permanently attached to the interior of said anterior panel at another end.

8. The device as described in claim 1 wherein said posterior panel is substantially planar and the plane of movement of said at least one flap is parallel to the plane of said posterior panel.

9. A handheld device carrying case comprising: an anterior panel; a posterior panel attached to said anterior panel; and at least one flap adapted to be releasably connected to said anterior panel; said posterior panel having at least one slit adapted to accommodate the passage of said at least one flap and to enable said at least one flap to move in a substantially planar direction; said at least one flap having a retracting device permanently attached thereto capable of returning said flap into said carrying case. wherein said at least one flap surrounds at least one surface of a handheld device when positioned between said anterior panel and said posterior panel and is adapted to remove the handheld device from such carrying case.

10. The device is described in claim 9 wherein said at least one flap is releasably connected to the exterior of said anterior panel.

11. The device as described in claim 9 wherein said slit is positioned approximately midpoint on the interior surface of said posterior panel.

12. The devices described in claim 9 wherein said posterior panel is substantially planar and the plane of movement of said at least one flap is parallel to the plane of said posterior panel.

13. The device as described in claim 9 wherein said at least one slit is positioned on the interior surface of said posterior panel.

14. The device as described in claim 9 wherein said at least one flap is releasably connected to the exterior of said anterior panel at one end and permanently attached to the interior of said anterior panel at another end.

15. The device as described in claim 9 wherein said posterior panel is substantially planar and the plane of movement of said at least one flap is parallel to the plane of said posterior panel.

16. A handheld device carrying case comprising: an anterior panel; a posterior panel attached to said anterior panel; and at least one flap adapted to be releasably connected to said anterior panel; said posterior panel having at least one slit adapted to accommodate the passage of said at least one flap and to enable said at least one flap to move in a substantially planar direction; said at least one flap having a retractable device containing a flexible material strip permanently attached at one end to the interior surface of either said anterior panel or said posterior panel, and permanently attached at another end to said at least one flap. wherein said at least one flap surrounds at least one surface of a handheld device when positioned between said anterior panel and said posterior panel and is adapted to remove the handheld device from such carrying case.

17. The devices described in claim 16 wherein said posterior panel is substantially planar and the plane of movement of said at least one flap is parallel to the plane of said posterior panel.

18. The device as described in claim 16 wherein said at least one slit is positioned approximately midpoint on the interior surface of said posterior panel.

19. The device as described in claim 16 wherein said at least one flap is releasably connected to the exterior of said anterior panel at one end and permanently attached to the interior of said anterior panel at another end.

20. The device as described in claim 16 wherein said posterior panel is substantially planar and the plane of movement of said at least one flap is parallel to the plane of said posterior panel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a carrying case for handheld devices, such as a personal digital assistant, cellular telephone or portable digital media player, and more particularly relates to a protective case for a handheld device having a means by which to aid the removal of the handheld device from the protective case.

2. Description of the Related Art

With the advancement of technology in the fields of electronics and computers, more powerful features and elements have been integrated into handheld electronic devices. Compact hard drives, processors, and liquid crystal displays boasting the computational equivalent of desktop computers have been integrated into handheld devices the size of a computer mouse. However, the integration of these innovations into handheld devices has amounted to the production of very expensive and delicate devices. Accessories, in the form of protective cases, have been produced to keep the handheld devices safe from unexpected incidents due to mishandling. However, the existing protective cases are often hindered by the fact that the handheld device becomes difficult to remove once in the case. This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that the added force applied in removing the handheld device from the carrying case may damage the handheld device.

The public demand for smaller and more compact devices has lead to the production of handheld devices comprised of delicate components. In order to protect the handheld devices sufficiently the protective case must cover all portions of the device, as well as provide a snug compartment in which the device can be secured. However, the inherent requirement of a protective case providing a snug shielding barrier leads to the difficulty in removing the handheld device from the protective case.

The present invention recognizes and addresses the particular need for a protective handheld device carrying case capable of providing a means for easily removing the handheld device from the protective carrying case. The present invention provides adequate protection of the handheld device from unintentional mishaps, while integrating a novel means by which to remove the handheld device from the carrying case quickly and safely.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a novel protective carrying case for handheld devices comprising a means by which the handheld device may be easily removed from the protective carrying case.

More specifically, the case comprises a protective pocket intended to encompass the handheld device, and a flap to retain the handheld device in the protective carrying case. The flap is integrated into the construction of the protective case and encircles the inner housing of the protective case.

The flap is permanently attached at one end to the interior of the anterior panel of the protective carrying case at the flap attachment point.

The flap is then routed around the carrying case assembly through a slit found on the inner surface of the posterior panel of the carrying case. The inner surface posterior panel slit, or flap retention point, is found near the midsection of the posterior panel. The function of the flap is to retain the handheld device in the protective case and to enable the end user to easily remove the handheld device by unlatching the flap and pulling the flap outward, thereby forcing the handheld device out of the protective carrying case. The flap is designed to eject enough of the handheld device so as to allow the end user to easily remove the handheld device. An additional feature of the invention is a retracting device which functions to return the flap to the fully inserted position. The retracting device is attached at one end to the inner surface posterior panel below the midsection, and attaches to the posterior of the flap on the opposite end above the posterior panel midsection.

In accordance with the present invention, the handheld device carrying case comprises an anterior panel a posterior panel and an integrated flap. The flap is attached to the anterior panel at the flap attachment point and the flap is releasably fitted to the posterior panel at the flap retention point.

The anterior panel is designed to protect the face of the handheld device and at least a portion of the side of the handheld device. The posterior panel is designed to protect the back of the handheld device and at least a portion of the side of the handheld device. The anterior panel is attached to the posterior panel producing a protective pocket in which the handheld device is fitted. The flap is designed to encircle the handheld device in the protective pocket and latches to the anterior panel at the flap latching point.

The flap is permanently attached to the anterior panel at the flap attachment point. In the preferred embodiment, the flap attachment point is located on the interior of the anterior panel. The posterior panel has a sleeve affixed on the interior surface of the posterior panel, configured to allow the flap to pass through the sleeve, referred to herein as the flap retention point. The sleeve is designed to allow the flap to travel in a plane parallel to the plane of the posterior panel. The flap is latched to the anterior panel at the flap latching point, thus encompassing the handheld device in the protective carrying case.

In addition the invention contains a flap retracting device which returns the flap to the fully inserted position. The retracting device is attached at one end to the inner surface posterior panel below the midsection, and attaches to the posterior of the flap on the opposite end above the posterior panel midsection. The flap retracting device is composed of a flexible material much like an elastic.

In the operation of the invention, a handheld device is inserted into the protective pocket created by the assembly of the anterior panel and posterior panel. The flap, which is attached at the flap attachment point and retained by the flap retention point, lays in the receiving position ready to accept the handheld device into the carrying case. After the handheld device has been fully inserted, the remainder of the flap is latched to the flap latching point thereby encircling and securing the handheld device.

The handheld device is removed from the carrying case by unlatching the flap from the flap latching point and pulling the flap outwardly from the carrying case. The outward motion expands the flap retention device and forces the handheld device out of the protective pocket to a limited point. The limited point is determined by the location of the flap attachment point to the anterior panel and the location of the flap retention point of the posterior panel. The limited point of extraction provides the benefit of the handheld device remaining partially secured by the carrying case, while increasing the ease of removal of the handheld device. Upon removal of the handheld device from the carrying case, the flap retracts into the carrying case to its receiving position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a handheld device carrying case with the flap fully inserted in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a handheld device carrying case with the flap fully extracted in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a handheld device carrying case with the flap depicting the handheld device fully inserted into the carrying case in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a handheld device carrying case with the flap depicting the handheld device fully extracted from the carrying case in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of the handheld device carrying case with the flap in the fully inserted position.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the handheld device carrying case with the flap in the fully extracted position.

The descriptions which follow are to be understood as illustrative and exemplary of specific structures, aspects and features within the broad scope of the present invention and not as limiting of such broad scope. Like numbers refer to similar features of like elements throughout.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The invention will now be described with reference to FIG. 1, which is a perspective view of the handheld device carrying case 30, comprising an anterior panel 32 a posterior panel 34 and an integrated flap 36, the flap 36 is releasably attached to the anterior panel 32 at the flap attachment point 38 and the flap 36 is fitted to the posterior panel 34 at the flap retention point 40.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, the anterior panel 32 is designed to protect the face of the handheld device and at least a portion of the side of the handheld device. The posterior panel 34 is designed to protect the back of the handheld device and at least a portion of the side of the handheld device. The anterior panel 32 is attached to the posterior panel 34 producing a protective pocket 44 in which the handheld device is fitted. The flap 36 is designed to encompass the handheld device in the protective pocket 44 and latches to the anterior panel 32 at the flap latching point 46.

Further to FIG. 1, the flap 36 is permanently attached to the anterior panel 32 at the flap attachment point 38. The flap attachment point 38 is located on the interior of the anterior panel 32. The posterior panel 34 has a flap sleeve 42. In the preferred embodiment, the flap sleeve 42 is secured to the interior surface of the posterior panel 34 at approximately the top of the posterior panel 34 and configured to allow the flap 36 to pass through the sleeve 42. The sleeve 42 is designed to allow the flap 36 to move in a planar direction. The flap 36 is latched to the anterior panel 32 at the flap latching point 46, thus surrounding at least one surface of the handheld device in the protective carrying case 30. The flap retracting device 50 is attached at one end to the inner surface posterior panel below the midsection, and is attached to the posterior surface of the flap above the midsection on the other end. The flap retraction device may be constructed of a suitable elastic material. FIG. 1 discloses the carrying case 30 with the flap 36 fully inserted to store a handheld device.

FIG. 2, is a perspective view of the handheld device carrying case 30, as described in FIG. 1, depicting the flap 36 in the fully extracted position. The flap 36 is shown fully extracted to illustrate the degree to which the handheld device may be lifted from the carrying case 30 to allow for easy removal of the handheld device. The position of the flap attachment point 38 in conjunction with the position of the flap retention point 40 limits the extent to which the handheld device may be extracted from the carrying case 30. In addition FIG. 2 depicts the flap retracting device 50 in its expanded form.

FIG. 3 is perspective view of the carrying case 30 depicting the flap 36 in the fully inserted position. Included in FIG. 3 is a handheld device 48 depicted to aid in illustrating the functionality of the flap 36.

Further to FIG. 3, the handheld device is fully inserted into the carrying case 30, thus forcing the flap 36 into the fully inserted position. The flap 36 may be latched to the flap latching point 46 thus securing the handheld device 48 into the carrying case 30. The flap retracting device 50 is attached at one end to the inner surface posterior panel below the midsection, and is attached to the posterior surface of the flap above the midsection on the other end.

FIG. 4, shows a perspective view of the carrying case 30 depicting the flap 36 in the fully extracted position. Included in FIG. 4 is a handheld device 48 depicted to aid in illustrating the functionality of the flap 36. The flap 36 has been unlatched from the flap latching point 46 and extracted forcing the handheld device 48 to be partially removed from the carrying case 30. Once again the flap retracting device 50 can be seen in its expanded form.

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of the carrying case 30 with the flap 36 in the fully inserted position, depicting the anterior panel 32, the posterior panel 34, the flap 36, and the path of the flap 36 from the flap attachment point 38, through the flap retention point 40. The flap 36 is in the fully inserted position to store a handheld device.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the carrying case 30 with the flap 36 in the fully extracted position, depicting the anterior panel 32, the posterior panel 34, the flap 36, and the path of the flap 36 from the flap attachment point 38, through the flap retention point 40. The flap 36 is in the fully extracted position to aid in the removal of a handheld device.

In the operation of the invention, a handheld device 48 is inserted into the protective pocket 44 created by the assembly of the anterior panel 32 and posterior panel 34. The flap 36, which is attached at the flap attachment point 38 and retained by the flap retention point 40, lays in the receiving position due to the retracting device 50, ready to accept the handheld device into the carrying case. After the handheld device has been fully inserted, the remainder of the flap 36 is latched to the flap latching point 46 thereby encircling and securing the handheld device.

Upon the need to remove the handheld device 48 from the carrying case 30, the flap 36 is unlatched the flap from the flap latching point 46 and pulled outwardly from the carrying case. The outward motion expands the flap retention device 50 and forces the handheld device 48 out of the protective pocket 44 to a predetermined limited point. The limited point is determined by the relationship between the flap attachment point 38 to the anterior panel 34 and the flap retention point 40 of the posterior panel 34. The limited point of extraction is critical in ensuring that the handheld device 48 is partially held by the carrying case 30, while increasing the ease of removal of the handheld device 48. Upon removal of the handheld device 48 from the carrying case 30, the flap 36 withdrawn into the carrying case 30 by the retracting device 50 ready to accept insertion of the handheld device 48.

While the foregoing detailed description has described several embodiments of a carrying case 30 in accordance with the present invention, it is to be understood that the above description is illustrative only and not limiting of the disclosed invention. Indeed, it will be appreciated that the embodiments discussed above and other embodiments that are not mentioned could easily be within the scope and spirit of the present invention.





 
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