Title:
Verifiable Handbag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A verifiable handbag according to the present invention includes a container member defining an interior space and having distinctive indicia. The distinctive indicia may include a trademark or a work of art, such as an original or reproduction of a painting. The handbag may include a carrying strap that may be removed and worn as jewelry. Feet may be coupled to the container member for supporting it when not being carried. The handbag includes an electronic identifier, such as a RFID tag, for verifying, in conjunction with a RFID reader, the authenticity of the handbag. The handbag includes inner and outer lenticular tags enabling a purchaser to visually verify authenticity. Accordingly, the present invention provides a designer handbag that is trendy, difficult to counterfeit, and easy for a purchaser to authenticate.



Inventors:
Zuesi-kreuzer, Maribeth (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/468138
Publication Date:
03/27/2008
Filing Date:
09/25/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
150/106
International Classes:
A45C13/40; A45C13/30
View Patent Images:
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20060283532Board separator/surf mat/protective deviceDecember, 2006Ibanez
20070044877Carry bag modular organizer systemMarch, 2007Davidoff et al.
20060207698Protective rain coverSeptember, 2006Adams
20090038900TRAVEL CASE FOR COSMETICSFebruary, 2009Redzisz et al.



Primary Examiner:
NWUGO, OJIAKO K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. (OTTAWA, KS, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is as follows:

1. A verifiable handbag, comprising: a container member having an outer surface and defining an open interior space, said container member having distinctive indicia applied to said outer surface; means for carrying said container member; and a passive RFID tag inside said container member for verifying authenticity of said container member.

2. The verifiable handbag as in claim 1, wherein said distinctive indicia includes at least one element selected from the group consisting of a trademark and a work of art.

3. The verifiable handbag as in claim 2, wherein said work of art is selected from the group consisting of an original painting, a limited edition painting reproduction, an original sketch, a limited edition sketch reproduction, an original photograph, a limited edition photograph reproduction, a carving, an engraving, and an artistic composition.

4. The verifiable handbag as in claim 1 further comprising a plurality of feet coupled to a bottom side of said container member for supporting said container member when not being carried.

5. The verifiable handbag as in claim 1, further comprising an outer lenticular tag operatively coupled to said container member for indicating authenticity of said container member.

6. The verifiable handbag as in claim 5, further comprising an inner lenticular tag operatively coupled to said container member inside said open interior space for indicating authenticity of said container member, said inner lenticular tag including said RFID tag.

7. The verifiable handbag as in claim 1, further comprising an inner lenticular tag operatively coupled to said container member inside said open interior space for indicating authenticity of said container member.

8. The verifiable handbag as in claim 1, wherein said container member includes: a lid movable between open and closed configurations; and means for securing said lid at said closed configuration.

9. The verifiable handbag as in claim 1, wherein said means for carrying said container member includes a strap.

10. The verifiable handbag as in claim 1, wherein said means for carrying said container member includes a strap removably coupled to said container member.

11. The verifiable handbag as in claim 10, wherein said strap includes a configuration for use as a device selected from the group consisting of a necklace and a bracelet when said strap is separate from said container member.

12. The verifiable handbag as in claim 6, further comprising a plurality of feet coupled to said container member.

13. A verifiable handbag, comprising: a container member having an outer surface and defining an open interior space, said container member having distinctive indicia applied to said outer surface; a strap removably coupled to said container member for carrying said container member; an electronic identifier inside said container member for verifying authenticity of said container member; and an outer lenticular tag operatively coupled to said container member for indicating authenticity of said container member.

14. The verifiable handbag as in claim 13, wherein said electronic identifier includes a passive RFID tag.

15. The verifiable handbag as in claim 13, wherein said distinctive indicia includes at least one element selected from the group consisting of a trademark and a work of art.

16. The verifiable handbag as in claim 13, further comprising a plurality of feet coupled to said container member for supporting said container member when said container member is not carried by said strap.

17. The verifiable handbag as in claim 13, further comprising an inner lenticular tag operatively coupled to said container member inside said open interior space for indicating authenticity of said container member.

18. The verifiable handbag as in claim 17, wherein at least one of said outer lenticular tag and said inner lenticular tag is an animated lenticular tag.

19. The verifiable handbag as in claim 18, wherein said strap has a configuration for use as a device selected from the group consisting of a necklace and a bracelet when said strap is separate from said container member.

20. The verifiable handbag as in claim 13, wherein said strap has a configuration for use as a device selected from the group consisting of a necklace and a bracelet when said strap is separate from said container member

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to handbags and, more particularly, to a designer handbag having at least one tag for verifying the authenticity of the designer handbag.

Designer handbags such as purses are very popular amongst women who want to accessorize their wardrobe with items more trendy than just traditional purses. Designer handbags are seen as a means to set a person apart. A problem with designer products, however, is that they are frequently counterfeited and sold under deceptive pretenses. For example, designer jeans, jewelry, perfume, audio and video recordings, and other designer products are frequent targets of counterfeiters, whether in the United States or around the world. Unfortunately, purchasers of these products find it difficult to verify whether the product is authentic or not, particularly when purchased via the internet or through channels other than traditional retail outlets.

Various handbags and other designer products attempt to avoid counterfeiting by utilizing customized labels bearing registered trademarks, copyright notices, or complex artwork that is hoped to be difficult to copy. Although sometimes effective for their intended purposes, the existing devices and methods to avoid counterfeiting do not provide a way for a potential buyer to receive absolute assurance of authenticity prior to purchasing the item.

Therefore, it would be desirable to have a handbag that may be authenticated with one or more identification tags situated on or in the handbag. Further, it would be desirable to have a handbag whose authenticity may be verified electronically and visually. In -addition, it would be desirable to have a handbag that includes original or reproductions of limited edition artwork or the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, a verifiable handbag includes a container member defining an open interior space and having distinctive indicia. Preferably, the handbag is a designer handbag such that the distinctive indicia may include a trademark that identifies the source or maker of the product or even a work of art. The verifiable handbag may include a strap used for carrying the handbag and that may also be removable therefrom and utilized as jewelry, such as a necklace. In another appealing aspect, the designer handbag may include a plurality of feet coupled to the exterior thereof to support the container member when it is not being carried.

The verifiable handbag includes an electronic identifier situated in the interior space of the container member. The electronic identifier may be a passive RFID tag for verifying the authenticity of the handbag. This identifier is able to communicate with a RFID reader to verify authenticity. Specifically, if the reader does not receive an expected predetermined response from the RFID tag, then the container member must not be authentic.

The verifiable handbag includes inner and, alternately, outer lenticular tags for determining authenticity of the handbag. Each lenticular tag includes interlaced electronic images a special, plastic lenticular lens which causes the interlaced images to be viewed with the impression of depth, motion, or even animation. The lenticular tags verify authenticity in that it is difficult for a counterfeiter to copy or replicate the exact visual effect projected thereby.

Therefore, a general object of this invention is to provide a verifiable handbag having one or more tags for verifying the authenticity of the handbag.

Another object of this invention is to provide a verifiable handbag, as aforesaid, in which the tag for verifying authenticity is a radio frequency identification tag;

Still another object of this invention is to provide a verifiable handbag, as aforesaid, in which the tag for verifying authenticity is a lenticular tag.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a verifiable handbag, as aforesaid, having distinctive indicia such as a trademark or work of art.

A further object of this invention is to provide a verifiable handbag, as aforesaid, having a carrying strap that is selectively removable from a container member for use as jewelry.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a verifiable handbag, as aforesaid, having feet members for stability when the handbag is not being carried.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, embodiments of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a verifiable handbag according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the handbag as in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the handbag as in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is another perspective view of the handbag as in FIG. 1, with a container member laying on its back side and in an open configuration;

FIG. 5a is an isolated front view of an inner lenticular tag as in FIG. 4;

FIG. 5b is an isolated back view of the tag as in FIG. 4 with an electronic identifier attached thereto; and

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the handbag as in FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A verifiable handbag 100 according to the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 1 through 6 of the accompanying drawings. More particularly, a verifiable handbag 100 according to the present invention includes a container member 110. The container member 110 is preferably constructed of a generally rigid material such as wood, e.g. a wooden box, although another semi-rigid material with a wood-grain veneer would be suitable. Of course, other materials used in conjunction with the other features described below may also be used.

The container member 110 defines an open interior space 112 (FIG. 4) and includes distinctive indicia 114 (FIGS. 1 through 3 and FIG. 6). The distinctive indicia 114 may include, for example, a trademark or a work of art such as an original painting, a limited edition painting reproduction, an original sketch, a limited edition sketch reproduction, an original photograph, a limited edition photograph reproduction, a carving, an engraving, and/or an artistic composition. An artistic composition may be, for example, an arrangement of jewels, precious metals, wood pieces, stones, shells, and/or other materials. The distinctive indicia may further include a signature of the artist whose work is included on the handbag. Thus, the designer handbag may include signed, limited edition artwork. It may be intended that the distinctive indicia 114 provide independent value due to its nature and/or the popularity of its creator. The distinctive indicia 114 may be applied to an outer surface 115 of the container member 110, such as by painting or printing the distinctive indicia 114 directly on the outer surface 115 or painting or printing the distinctive indicia 114 on a material, such as a canvas or wood veneer that is coupled to the outer surface 115 (such as through adhesive). The distinctive indicia 114 may alternately be formed in (e.g., through carving or engraving) or otherwise coupled to the outer surface 115. Though not shown, the container member 110 may define a pocket in which the distinctive indicia 114 may be placed for viewing. A plurality of feet 116 may be coupled to the container member 110 to support the container member 110 while the container member 110 is not being carried (FIGS. 1 through 3 and FIG. 6). The container member 110 may include a lid 111 that is movable between open and closed configuration, the container member 110 also having means for releasably securing the lid to enclose the interior space 112 (such as a clasp 117, a zipper, or another faster) (FIGS. 1 through 4 and FIG. 6).

The container member 110 may include means for being carried. More particularly, a strap 118 may be coupled to the container member 110. The strap 118 may be removably coupled to the container member 110 and configured for use as a necklace or bracelet when separated from the container member 110 (FIG. 6). In other words, the strap 118 may be sized for use as a necklace or bracelet and may include a clasp 119 to allow the strap 118 to function as a necklace or bracelet when separate from the container member 110. The strap 118 may include a construction having beads, shells, ornamental stones, or other jewelry.

An electronic identifier 120 may be situated inside the container member 110 for verifying authenticity of the container member 110. The electronic identifier 120 may be, for example, a RFID tag (FIG. 5b), a barcode, or another electronic identifying device. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology utilizes a reader that sends out a radio signal of a particular frequency and a tag (a RFID tag) that responds to this signal by “replying” in a way that alerts the reader that a tag has just entered its range. In passive RFID systems, the tag does not require a battery. Instead, the energy of the reader signal provides the energy necessary to reply. The circuitry required for a passive RFID tag is exceedingly small—not much larger than a grain of rice. These devices can also be very unobtrusive and have lengthy life-spans. While the reader must provide a powerful transmission in order to power the tag (generally the tag must be within a few feet of the reader to be “seen”), this may not be problematic in the current application, as the reader could easily be placed adjacent the RFID tag 120 to determine the authenticity of the container member 110. In active RFID systems, the tag utilizes an attached battery to send a reply transmission. The primary advantages of active RFID systems (the ability to use a less-powerful reader and to communicate between the reader and tag at further distances) may not overcome the disadvantages (active RFID tags are larger than passive RFID tags because they include a battery, and active RFID tags have shorter life-spans due to the batteries), and as such, it may be preferable to use a passive RFID tag 120 in the current application.

An inner lenticular tag 130 is operatively coupled to the container member 110 inside the open interior space 112 for indicating authenticity of the container member 110 (FIGS. 4 through 5b). A lenticular tag combines interlaced electronic images with a specially designed, plastic lenticular lens. Viewing the interlaced images through the lenticular lenses creates the illusion of depth, motion (e.g., animation), or other effects for the person viewing the product, which may be aesthetically attractive. Additionally, lenticular tags are difficult to copy/counterfeit. As shown in FIG. 5b, the inner lenticular tag 130 may include the RFID tag 120. In other words, the RFID tag 120 may be attached to or integrated with the inner lenticular tag 130. An outer lenticular tag 140 may be additionally or alternately operatively coupled to the container member 110 for indicating authenticity of the container member 110. The inner lenticular tag 130 and/or the outer lenticular tag 140 may include trademark information, artist information, artwork information, an animation, and/or other pertinent or desirable information. The artwork information may include number of the limited edition artwork, e.g. 1/500.

In use, a viewer or potential purchaser (hereafter referred to as “viewer”) of the verifiable handbag 100 may gain an indication of the handbag's authenticity by viewing the inner lenticular tag 130 and/or the outer lenticular tag 140. If the handbag 100 appears to be authentic, the viewer may have the bag's authenticity verified through the electronic identifier 120. More particularly, a RFID reader (or other suitable reader for the electronic identifier 120) may check the electronic identifier 120 for authenticity. It is contemplated that the RFID reader may be stationed in a store or other location where sale of the designer handbag is desired, thus enabling potential purchasers to verify authenticity before paying for the product. If the electronic identifier 120 is authentic, the viewer may be assured that the container member 110 and the associated distinctive indicia 114 is authentic.

If the strap 118 is removably coupled to the container member 110 and configured for use as a necklace or bracelet as described above, the strap 118 may be selectively separated from the container member 110 to function as a necklace or bracelet. While the strap 118 is coupled to the container member 110, items may be placed in the open interior space 112, the open interior space 112 may be secured (e.g., by using the clasp 117), and the container member 110 may be carried using the strap 118.

It is understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.