Title:
CASE WITH INTEGRATED ACCESSORY HOLDER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A case for a portable electronic device holds an accessory of the portable electronic device, and the accessory can be easily accessed. The case comprises a container, an accessory band, and a fastener. The accessory band comprises a first fixed end and a first free end. The first fixed end is attached to the container. The fastener comprises a first fastener portion and a second fastener portion. The first fastener portion is attached to the first free end of the accessory band while the second fastener portion is attached to the container.



Inventors:
Malhotra, Rohit (Muttontown, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/668139
Publication Date:
02/21/2008
Filing Date:
01/29/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D37/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SKURDAL, COREY NELSON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Elliot Furman (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable electronic device case comprising: a container comprising a front, a back, a bottom, a top, a right side and a left side; an accessory band comprising a first fixed end and a first free end, the first fixed end attached to the container; and a fastener comprising a first fastener portion and a second fastener portion, the first fastener portion attached to the first free end of the accessory band and the second fastener portion attached to the container.

2. The case according to claim 1 further comprising a retainer band attached to the accessory band.

3. The case according to claim 2 wherein the retainer band is attached between the first fixed end of the accessory band and the first fastener portion, wherein the length of the retainer band is less than the length of the accessory band.

4. The case according to claim 2 wherein the retainer band comprises elastic.

5. The case according to claim 1 wherein the length of the accessory band is greater than a distance between the first fixed end and the second fastener portion.

6. The case according to claim 5 wherein the first fixed end of the accessory band and the second fastener portion are attached to the front of the container.

7. The case according to claim 1 wherein the fastener comprises one of a magnetic snap, a snap, a hook and loop fastener, a button, and a zipper.

8. The case according to claim 1 wherein the top is an open top.

9. The case according to claim 8 further comprising a closeable top portion, the closable top portion comprising a second fixed end and second free end, the second fixed end attached to the container, wherein the closable top portion has a length such that the second free end extends over the open top.

10. The case according to claim 9 further comprising a top fastener comprising a first top fastener portion and a second top fastener portion, the first top fastener portion attached to the second free end of the closeable top portion and the second top fastener portion attached to the container.

11. The case according to claim 10 wherein the top fastener comprises one of a magnetic snap, a snap, a hook and loop fastener, a button, and a zipper.

12. The case according to claim 1 further comprising a clip connected to the container.

13. The case according to claim 1 further comprising a pocket attached to the container.

14. A portable electronic device case comprising: a container comprising a front, a back, a bottom, a top, a right side, and a left side; an accessory band comprising a first fixed end and a first free end, the first fixed end attached to the container; and a retainer band attached to the accessory band.

15. The case according to claim 14 wherein the retainer band is attached between the first fixed end and the first free end, wherein the length of the retainer band is less than the accessory band.

16. The case according to claim 14 further comprising a fastener, the fastener comprising a first fastener portion and a second fastener portion, the first fastener portion attached to the first free end of the accessory band and the second fastener portion attached to the container.

17. The case according to claim 16 wherein the length of the accessory band is greater than a distance between the first fixed end and the second fastener portion.

18. The case according to claim 17 wherein the accessory band and the second fastener portion are attached to the front of the container.

19. The case according to claim 16 wherein the fastener comprises one of a magnetic snap, a snap, a hook and loop fastener, a button, and a zipper.

20. The case according to claim 14 wherein the retainer band comprises elastic.

21. A case for a portable electronic device, the case comprising: a container for holding the portable electronic device, the container comprising a front, a back, a bottom, a top, a right side, and a left side; an accessory band for holding an accessory, wherein at least a part of the accessory is placed on the accessory band, wherein the accessory band comprises a first fixed end and a first free end, wherein the first fixed end is attached to the container; and a fastener comprising a first fastener portion and a second fastener portion, wherein the fastener releaseably connects the accessory band at the second fastener portion, wherein the first fastener portion is attached to the first free end of the accessory band and the second fastener portion is attached to the container.

22. The case according to claim 21 further comprising a retainer band attached to the accessory band, wherein a part of the accessory is placed between the retainer band and the accessory band.

23. The case according to claim 21 wherein the accessory band forms an ear loop opening when fastened at the second fastener portion.

24. The case according to claim 21 wherein the accessory band removably holds a headset of the portable electronic device.

25. A cell phone case comprising: a container comprising a front, a back, a bottom, an open top, a right side, and a left side; an accessory band comprising a first fixed end and a first free end, the first fixed end attached to the container; a fastener comprising a first fastener portion and a second fastener portion, the first fastener portion attached to the first free end of the accessory band and the second fastener portion attached to the container, wherein the length of the accessory band is greater than the distance between the first fixed end and the second fastener portion; a retainer band attached to the accessory band between the first fixed end and the first free end; a closeable top portion comprising a second fixed end and a second free end, the second fixed end attached to the container, wherein the closable top portion has a length such that the second free end extends over the open top; a top fastener comprising a first top fastener portion and a second top fastener portion, the first top fastener portion attached to the second free end of the closeable top portion and the second top fastener portion attached to the container; and an ear loop opening formed between the container and the accessory band when the first fastener portion is attached to the second fastener portion.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/822,538, filed Aug. 16, 2006, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

The pervasive use of portable electronic devices, such as cellular phones, Blackberries®, and other devices, has created a need for protective carrying cases for such devices. Several types of cases are used to carry and protect portable electronic devices. Typically, a cell phone case includes a clip so that users can attach their cell phones to their belt or waistband of their pants.

Cell phones are available with a range of accessories that offer additional convenience, for example a wired headset or a Bluetooth (wireless) headset. When not wearing their headset, many users typically carry it in their hands or in any available bag. Some of the available cell phone cases have a pocket for storing a wired headset. Often, the wire gets entangled and the user needs to untangle it before using it.

Some cell phone cases include one or more prongs extending from the case on which a user can wind the wire of the headset. These cell phone cases may further include a tying strap that can be used to tie down the winded wire. To use the headset, a user needs to untie the strap and unwind the wire. Some cell phones come with a stretchable pocket and a user needs to force the headset into the pocket when not in use, and pull out the headset when it is needed.

It is inconvenient to continuously carry a headset by hand for any significant amount of time. Another way of carrying a headset is on a lanyard or necklace which hangs around a user's neck. However, this is not very convenient, and it also may not be aesthetically pleasing.

Thus, there is a need for a case with integrated accessory holder.

SUMMARY

A portable electronic device case includes a container, an accessory band, and a fastener. The container includes a front, a back, a bottom, a top, a right side, and a left side. The accessory band includes a first fixed end, and a first free end. The first fixed end is attached to the container. The fastener includes a first fastener portion and a second fastener portion. The first fastener portion is attached to the first free end of the accessory band while the second fastener portion is attached to the container. The length of the accessory band is greater than the distance between the first fixed end and the second fastener portion. An accessory or a part of the accessory is placed on the accessory band. The accessory band is then closed using the fastener at the second fastener portion. When closed, an ear loop opening is formed. The accessory securely hangs from the case. The accessory band can be easily opened by releasing the fastener and the accessory can be accessed when required. The portable electronic device case may also include a retainer band attached to the accessory band. The length of the retainer band is less than the length of the accessory band, and the retainer band is attached between the first fixed end and the first free end. A part of the accessory is placed between the retainer band and the accessory band. The accessory hangs securely on the case and is easily accessible. The portable electronic device may also comprise a closeable top portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A illustrates a front perspective view of a portable electronic device case with an accessory band in an open position.

FIG. 1B illustrates another front perspective view of a portable electronic device case with an accessory band in a fastened position.

FIG. 1C illustrates a front view of a portable electronic device case.

FIG. 1D illustrates a rear view of a portable electronic device case.

FIG. 1E illustrates a top view of a portable electronic device case.

FIG. 1F illustrates a bottom view of a portable electronic device case.

FIG. 1G illustrates a rear perspective view of a portable electronic device case.

FIG. 1H illustrates a side view of a portable electronic device case.

FIG. 2 illustrates a front perspective view of a portable electronic device case holding an exemplary accessory.

FIG. 3A shows a front perspective view of a portable electronic device case with a retainer band and an accessory band in an open position.

FIG. 3B shows a front perspective view of a portable electronic device case with a retainer band holding an exemplary accessory and an accessory band in an open position.

FIG. 4 illustrates a front perspective view of another portable electronic device case.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1A shows a portable electronic device case 100. The portable electronic device case 100 comprises a container 102, an accessory band 104 and a fastener 106. FIG. 2 shows the portable electronic device case 100 holding an exemplary accessory of a portable electronic device, in this example, a Bluetooth headset 202, in a manner that provides easy access to the Bluetooth headset 202 when needed. The Bluetooth headset 202 hangs securely from the portable electronic device case 100 and can be removed by releasing the fastener 106 and opening the accessory band 104.

FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate two different perspective views of the exemplary portable electronic device case 100. Henceforth, for simplicity, portable electronic device case 100 is hereinafter referred to as case 100. The case 100 includes the container 102, the accessory band 104, and the fastener 106 that includes a first fastener portion 106a and a second fastener portion 106b.

FIGS. 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G and 1H depict front view, back view, top view, bottom view, back perspective view, and side view respectively of the exemplary case 100. With reference to these figures, the container 102 includes a front 108, a back 110, a bottom 112, a top 114, a right side 116, and a left side 118.

The accessory band 104 includes a first fixed end 120 and a first free end 122. The first fixed end 120 is attached to the container 102.

The first fastener portion 106a is attached to the first free end 122 of the accessory band 104, while the second fastener portion 106b is attached to the container 102. The fastener 106 may be a magnetic snap, a snap, a hook and loop fastener, a button, or a zipper. The first fastener portion 106a connects to the second fastener portion 106b thereby connecting the first free end 122 of the accessory band 104 to the case 100. The accessory band 104 can be easily releaseably connected to the case 100, that is, the accessory band 104 can be opened or closed, by pulling or pushing on the fastener 106.

In an embodiment, the first fixed end 120 of the accessory band 104 is attached to the front 108 of the container 102. Further, the second fastener portion 106b is also attached to the front 108 of the container 102. Of course, those skilled in the art will recognize that the accessory band 104 could be connected in many other configurations.

The length of the accessory band 104 is greater than distance 124 between the first fixed end 120 of the accessory band 104 and the second fastener portion 106b. Thus, the accessory band 104 forms an ear loop opening 126 between the first fixed end 120 and the second fastener portion 106b when closed. The ear loop opening 126 holds an accessory of a portable electronic device as will be shown in the following figures. The accessory band 104 may be used to hold more than one accessory. In an embodiment, the container 102 may include more than one accessory band.

Referring to FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1E, 1G and 1H, the top 114 is an open top with a closeable top portion 128. The closeable top portion 128 includes a second fixed end 130 and a second free end 132. The second fixed end 130 is attached to the container 102, while the second free end 132 comprises a length so that it extends over the open top 114. The case 100 further includes a top fastener 134 that includes a first top fastener portion 134a and a second top fastener portion 134b. The first top fastener portion 134a is attached to the second free end 132 of the closeable top portion 128, while the second top fastener portion 134b is attached to the container 102. The top fastener 134 may be a magnetic snap, a snap, a hook and loop fastener, a button, or a zipper.

The case 100 further includes a clip 136 connected to the case 100, as shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1D, 1E, 1F, 1G and 1H. The clip 136 may be used to clamp the case 100 onto, for example, a bag, a belt, a skirt, pants, a pocket, and the like. The clip 136 may be connected to the back 110 of the case 100. In an embodiment, the clip 136 may be a swivel clip that can rotate. Further, the clip 136 may also be removable.

The portable electronic device is held by placing it in the container 102 through the open top 114 and closing the closeable top portion 128. The case 100 further holds an accessory using the accessory band 104 and the fastener 106.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the case 100 holding an exemplary accessory 202 of the portable electronic device. The accessory 202 or a part of the accessory 204 is placed on the accessory band 104. The accessory band 104 is closed by fastener 106. The accessory band 104 can be easily opened by releasing the fastener 106. As mentioned above, one type of the fastener 106 that can be used is a quick release magnetic snap.

The accessory 202 securely hangs from the case 100, and can be easily removed by opening the accessory band 104. For example, the portable electronic device may be a cell phone and its accessory may be the Bluetooth headset 202 as shown in FIG. 2. The cell phone is held in the container 102 by placing it in the open top 114 and closing the closeable top portion 128. An ear loop 204 of the Bluetooth headset 202 is placed through the accessory band 104. The first fastener portion 106a fastens the accessory band 104 at the second fastener portion 106b. As mentioned, the length of the accessory band 104 is greater than the distance 124 between the first fixed end 120 and the second fastener portion 106b, so that the accessory band 104 forms the ear loop opening 126 when the fastener 106 is fastened at the second fastener portion 106b. The Bluetooth headset 202 securely hangs on the accessory band 104. The Bluetooth headset 202 can be easily removed by releasing the fastener 106 and can be accessed when required.

The case 100 may be made of many different materials, for example a pliable material such as leather. Such pliable materials permit the accessory band 104 to retain a curved shape even when it is released, thus further ensuring the formation of the ear loop opening 126. Other materials may also be used such as synthetic leathers and fabrics, plastics, cotton, neoprene, and the like. The sides of the case 100 may also include material that stretches such as an elastic strip 138. In this way, the case 100 may expand to accommodate cell phones and other devices of varying thicknesses. Also, the case 100 may be lined with any number of materials, such as cotton, fleece, and other fabrics, to prevent scratching the cell phone.

Referring now to FIGS. 3A and 3B, another embodiment of the case 100 is shown. The case 100 includes a retainer band 302. FIG. 3A shows a perspective view of the case 100 with the retainer band 302 with the accessory band 104 in an open position. FIG. 3B shows a perspective view of the case 100 with the retainer band 302 holding an exemplary accessory, in this case the Bluetooth headset 202, and with the accessory band 104 in an open position.

The retainer band 302 is attached to the accessory band 104 between the first fixed end 120 and the first fastener portion 106a. The length of the retainer band 302 is less than the length of the accessory band 104. The retainer band 302 may be made of, for example, elastic. An accessory or a part of an accessory is placed between the retainer band 302 and the accessory band 104. As shown in FIG. 3, the ear loop 204 of the Bluetooth headset 202 is placed between the retainer band 302 and the accessory band 104. The fastener 106 is then fastened at the second fastener portion 106b. The Bluetooth headset 202 can be easily removed and accessed when required by releasing the fastener 106. The Bluetooth headset 202 hangs securely from the case 100 even if the accessory band 104 is not fastened at the second fastener portion 106b. Further, a user may not necessarily use the retainer band 302. The user may place the accessory through the ear loop opening 126 of the accessory band 104 but over the retainer band 302. The closing of the accessory band 104 using the fastener 106 ensures that the accessory hangs securely from the case 100. In another embodiment, the case 100 includes the retainer band 302 and may not necessarily include the fastener 106.

By now, it should be evident to those having ordinary skill in the art that the case may have many different configurations while remaining with the scope of the invention. For example, FIG. 4 illustrates a front perspective view of a cell phone case 400. As shown in the FIG. 4, the cell phone case 400 includes all of the same components of the case 100 as described above, but is dimensionally different to allow a cell phone to be placed horizontally in the cell phone case 400.

Other modification may be made to the case 100. For example, the case 100 may include decoration such as stitching, beads, charms, embroidery, buckles, rivets, dyes, and insignias. The portable electronic device may be a digital music player such as an iPod or an mp3 player, a handheld electronic organizer such as a Palm Pilot and the like. Further, the case 100 in various embodiments of the invention may hold other headsets such as non-Bluetooth headsets and wired headsets. The case 100 may also include a pocket or storage pouch attached to or built into the container 102. The pocket or pouch may be used for storing items. In one embodiment, the case 100 includes a pouch where the wire of the wired headset is stored while the headset is held by the accessory band 104.

The foregoing description has set forth a few of the many forms that this invention can take. It is intended that the foregoing description be understood as an illustration of selected forms that the invention can take and not as a limitation to the definition of the invention. It is only the following claims, including all equivalents that are intended to define the scope of this invention.