Title:
COMBINED CASE AND STRAP DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combined case and strap device is disclosed. The combined case and strap device comprises a single elongated body with a zipper extending along the body. The zipper is arranged such that when the zipper is closed, i.e. zipped, the body is formed into a case. When the body is formed into a case, a user may carry a portable electronic device within the case. The case may protect the portable electronic device and also let the user conveniently carry the portable electronic device with himself/herself when on the go. The zipper is also arranged such that when the zipper is opened, i.e. unzipped, the body is formed into an elongated shape which forms a strap. When the body is formed into the strap, the strap may be used as a carrier strap for carrying a portable electronic device around a neck of the user when the user is on the go.



Inventors:
De Leon, Rodolfo Emmanuel (Malmo, SE)
Application Number:
11/750387
Publication Date:
08/28/2008
Filing Date:
05/18/2007
Assignee:
SONY ERICSSON MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS AB (Lund, SE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C13/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RENNER, OTTO, BOISSELLE & SKLAR, LLP (CLEVELAND, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A combined case and strap device, the combined case and strap device comprising a single elongated body with a zipper extending along the body, the zipper being arranged such that when the zipper is closed, the body is formed into a case.

2. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the zipper extends along the whole body.

3. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the zipper extends along the body contour.

4. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 3, wherein the zipper extends along the whole body contour.

5. A combined case and strap device, the combined case and strap device comprising a single elongated body with a zipper extending along the body, the zipper being arranged such that when the zipper is opened, the body is formed into an elongated shape for forming a strap.

6. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 5, wherein the zipper extends along the whole body.

7. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 5, wherein the zipper extends along the body contour.

8. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 7, wherein the zipper extends along the whole body contour.

9. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the elongated body is a thin strip.

10. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the elongated body has two ends, which are detachably connected to each other by a fastening means.

11. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 10, wherein the fastening means comprises at least one press stud.

12. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 10, wherein the fastening means comprises a Velcro® fastening means.

13. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the case has a pouch-, purse-, sack- or bag-like shape.

14. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the case is formed by the elongated body being coiled.

15. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 14, wherein the case is formed by the elongated body being coiled into a substantially helical shape.

16. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the elongated body has a snake-like shape.

17. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the combined case and strap device is intended for the usage together with a portable electronic device.

18. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 17, wherein the elongated body comprises a headset cable for connection to the portable electronic device.

19. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 17, wherein the combined case and strap device is intended for the usage together with the portable electronic device, wherein the portable electronic device is a device from the group comprising: a mobile radio terminal, a mobile telephone, a cellular telephone, a pager, a communicator, a smart phone, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), an electronic organizer, a computer, a digital audio player or a digital camera.

20. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the elongated body has one end, which is provided with a through hole.

21. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the elongated body has one end with an integrated attachment for a portable electronic device.

22. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 21, wherein the integrated attachment is a wrist strap.

23. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 21, wherein the integrated attachment is a finger loop.

24. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 10, wherein one of the ends of the elongated body comprises a through hole.

25. The combined case and strap device as recited in claim 1, wherein the elongated body is made of leather, fabric or a Neoprene® material.

26. (canceled)

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/891,601, filed Feb. 26, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a combined case and strap device. The combined case and strap device may advantageously be used as an accessory item for the usage together with a portable electronic device.

Description of Related Art

Today, there exist various accessory items for the usage together with portable electronic devices. For instance, there exist cases for carrying portable electronic devices, such as mobile telephones, smart phones, communicators, cameras, digital audio players (e.g. MP3-players or iPods®), etc. The cases may e.g. be in the form of pouches, purses or bags. The existing cases allow for protecting the portable electronic devices when the user carries the portable electronic devices in the cases. Furthermore, there exist carrier straps for carrying the portable electronic devices around a neck or even around a wrist of the user.

Consequently, there are currently many different accessory items for the usage together with portable electronic devices. This may give rise to problems for a user, since there are several accessory items to keep track of and handle. This may be annoying to the user if the user wishes to bring around as few accessory items as possible. Furthermore, this may involve an increased cost for the user as the user has to buy at least two accessory items, i.e. one carrying case and one carrier strap. Yet further, when a portable electronic device is to be used with more than one accessory item there is a risk that an accessory item not in use can be lost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

With the above and following description in mind, then, an aspect of the present invention is to provide an improved device, which seeks to mitigate, alleviate or eliminate one or more of the above-identified deficiencies in the art and disadvantages singly or in any combination.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, the combined case and strap device comprising a single elongated body with a zipper extending along the body, the zipper being arranged such that when the zipper is closed, the body is formed into a case.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the zipper extends along the whole body.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the zipper extends along the body contour.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the zipper extends along the whole body contour.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, the combined case and strap device comprising a single elongated body with a zipper extending along the body, the zipper being arranged such that when the zipper is opened, the body is formed into an elongated shape for forming a strap.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the zipper extends along the whole body.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the zipper extends along the body contour.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the zipper extends along the whole body contour.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the elongated body is a thin strip.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the elongated body has two ends, which are detachably connected to each other by a fastening means.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the fastening means comprises at least one press stud.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the fastening means comprises a Velcro® fastening means.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the case has a pouch-, purse-, sack- or bag-like shape.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the case is formed by the elongated body being coiled.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the case is formed by the elongated body being coiled into a substantially helical shape.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the elongated body has a snake-like shape.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the combined case and strap device is intended for the usage together with a portable electronic device.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the elongated body comprises a headset cable for connection to the portable electronic device.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the combined case and strap device is intended for the usage together with the portable electronic device, wherein the portable electronic device is a device from the group comprising: a mobile radio terminal, a mobile telephone, a cellular telephone, a pager, a communicator, a smart phone, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), an electronic organizer, a computer, a digital audio player or a digital camera.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the elongated body has one end, which is provided with a through hole.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the elongated body has one end with an integrated attachment for a portable electronic device.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the integrated attachment is a wrist strap.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the integrated attachment is a finger loop.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein one of the ends of the elongated body comprises a through hole.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device, wherein the elongated body is made of leather, fabric or a Neoprene® material.

Another aspect relates to a combined case and strap device according to the preceding description and/or the appended drawings.

Other aspects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent from the description and drawings hereof.

The present invention is defined by the appended independent claims. Various advantageous embodiments of the invention are set forth by the appended dependent claims as well as by the following description and the accompanying drawings.

By way of example only, some embodiments of the present invention provide a combined case and strap device that serves a dual purpose. When the body is formed into a case, a user may carry a portable electronic device within the case. This case may protect the portable electronic device and also let the user to conveniently carry the portable electronic device with himself/herself when on the go. On the other hand, when the body is formed into the strap, the strap may be used as a carrier strap for carrying a portable electronic device around a neck of the user when the user is on the go. Thus, the combined case and strap device according to some embodiments of the invention can serve as a smart two-in-one device having two functions, i.e. either being a carrying case or being a carrier strap. It is an advantage with some embodiments of the invention that only one accessory device is necessary for serving two different purposes. There are less accessory items to keep track of and handle. Thus, also the total cost for buying accessory devices may be reduced. Furthermore, the risk for loosing various accessory items may be limited, since there are less accessory items to keep track of and handle.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims. The following description and the annexed drawings set forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention. These embodiments are indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed. Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the drawings.

Features that are described and/or illustrated with respect to one embodiment may be used in the same way or in a similar way in one or more other embodiments and/or in combination with or instead of the features of the other embodiments.

It should be emphasized that the term “comprises/comprising” when used in this specification is taken to specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps or components but does not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear from the following detailed description of embodiments of the invention, wherein embodiments of the invention will be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1 to 4 shows different views of a combined case and strap device according to an embodiment of the invention when the combined case and strap device is in a closed (i.e. zipped) state;

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of the combined case and strap device shown in FIGS. 1 to 4;

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of the combined case and strap device shown in FIGS. 1 to 5 as well as a part of a portable electronic device that is used together with the combined case and strap;

FIG. 7 shows the combined case and strap device shown in FIGS. 1 to 6 when the combined case and strap device is in an opened (i.e. unzipped) state; and

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the combined case and strap device when used together with an electronic portable terminal and when arranged around a neck of a user.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

An embodiment of the present invention will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings. FIGS. 1-8 show different views of the combined case and strap device according to a preferred and disclosed embodiment of the invention. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.

The combined case and strap device according to the preferred and disclosed embodiment is preferably, but not necessarily, intended for the usage together with a portable electronic device. The portable electronic device may be any portable electronic device such as, e.g., a mobile radio terminal, a mobile telephone, a cellular telephone, a pager, a communicator, a smart phone, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), an electronic organizer, a computer, a digital audio player such as a MP3-player or an iPod®, or a digital camera.

The combined case and strap device 1 comprises a single elongated body 10. As can be seen in the figures, particularly in FIG. 7, the single elongated body 10 is provided with a zipper 11. The zipper 11 is affixed to the edge line of the single elongated body 10. Thus, the zipper 11 extends along the body contour of the body 10. The zipper 11 may extend along the whole body contour, e.g., such that the whole edge line of the body 10 is provided with the zipper 11.

The zipper 11 comprises edges 11a, 11b each carrying a relatively large number of specially shaped metal or plastic teeth. The zipper 11 also comprises a zipper slider 11c moveable along the rows of teeth of the edges 11a, 11b. The zipper slider 11c may, e.g., be operated by hand. Inside the zipper slider 11c, there is a Y-shaped channel or the like that meshes together (i.e. brings together) or separates the opposing rows of teeth of the edges 11a, 11b, depending on the direction of the movement of the zipper slider 11c. With reference to FIG. 7, it can be seen that one end portion 12 of the zipper 11 may be pre-produced such that it is always in a closed state, i.e. a zipped state, for allowing a fixed starting point when closing the zipper and a fixed end point when opening the zipper. This end portion 12 is folded double so that the starting end of the zipper 11, in the embodiment of FIG. 7, an end 15 with the zipper slider 11c forms a bottom portion of a case, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, when the zipper is fully closed. This bottom design facilitates the manual bringing together of the case in a smooth and easy way for the user.

With reference to FIG. 7, when the zipper slider 11c moves along the edges 11a, 11b such that the teeth of the zipper 11 mesh together, the zipper 11 becomes closed, i.e. zipped. Starting from the position in FIG. 7, when the zipper slider 11c moves along the edges 11a, 11b such that the teeth of the zipper 11 mesh together, the single elongated body 10 begins to transform into the case, as is illustrated in FIG. 6., as a partly opened/closed state. Once the zipper slider 11c has moved principally along the total length of the edges 11a, 11b, the zipper slider 11c will be stopped at a stop member 13 of the combined case and strap device 1. In this state, which is best illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, the combined case and strap device 1 is in closed, i.e. zipped, state. In the closed state, the combined case and strap device forms a case having a pouch-like shape. As can be seen in the figures, the combined case and strap device 1 is formed into the case by the elongated body 10 being coiled. The elongated body may be coiled into substantially a helical shape, as can be seen in FIGS. 2 to 4. In this state, the case is capable of receiving a portable electronic device 2 such that the portable electronic device 2 can be stored within the case. The case may thus protect the portable electronic device 2 within the case. The case may also let the user conveniently carry the portable electronic device 2 in the carrying case when on the go.

Starting from the state as illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, when the zipper slider 11c moves along the edges 11a, 11b in the opposite direction, i.e. the direction which is opposite to the direction previously described above, the zipper slider 11c separates the opposing rows of teeth of the edges 11a, 11b such that it becomes opened, i.e. unzipped. This way, the single elongated body 10 begins to transform into an elongated shape, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. Once the zipper slider 11c has moved principally along the total length of the edges 11a, 11b, the zipper slider 11c will be stopped about the end portion denoted 12. In this state, which is best illustrated in FIG. 7, the combined case and strap device 1 is in an elongated shape. In this state, the elongated shape may have a snake-like shape as shown in FIG. 6. As can be seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, the elongated body 10 has two opposite ends 14 and 15. The two ends 14 and 15 may be detachably connected to each other by a fastening means 16, such that the elongated body forms a strap. The strap can be used as a carrier strap for carrying the portable electronic device 2 around the neck of the user when the user is on the go, as is illustrated in FIG. 8. The fastening means 16 may be any fastening means for detachably connecting the two ends 14 and 15 to each other. In the preferred and disclosed embodiment, the fastening means 16 comprises at least one press stud. However, in another embodiment the fastening means 16 could, e.g., comprise a Velcro® fastening means.

In the preferred and disclosed embodiment, the elongated body 10 is in the form of a strip. This strip has a thickness of up to 10 mm, preferably up to 5 mm and even more preferably up to 3 mm. Thus, the strip is relatively thin. Furthermore, the elongated body 10 can be made of various materials. For example, the elongated body 10 may be made of leather. Alternatively, the elongated body may be made of a flexible material, preferably a polymer material such as synthetic rubber or a fabric, e.g. synthetic and/or textile. An example of a suitable synthetic rubber is Neoprene®, which is the trade name of a synthetic rubber from DuPont Performance Elastomers.

In the preferred and disclosed embodiment, one of the ends 14 and 15 comprises a through hole 17. Preferably, the through hole 17 is provided at the end denoted 14, which is opposite to the end 15 where the pre-produced end portion 12 is located. At the through hole 17, there may be provided an integrated attachment 18 for a portable electronic device, but a through hole is not required if for example the attachment 18 is adhered or sewed to the body 10. The integrated attachment 18 may be a wrist strap for receiving a wrist of the user or, alternatively, a finger loop for receiving a finger of the user.

As described earlier, the combined case and strap device 1 may advantageously be intended for the usage together with a portable electronic device 2, such as a the mobile telephone as illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 8. If so, the elongated body 10 may further comprise a headset cable for connection with the portable electronic device. The headset cable may, e.g., be integrated into the elongated body 10. Having an elongated body 10 comprising a headset cable has the further advantage that the combined case and strap device 1 may serve yet another purpose as a hands free headset.

The present invention has been described above with reference to a specific embodiment. Many modifications can be made by a person skilled in the art. The embodiment described above is merely an illustrative example and the invention can be modified and used together with many different products, not only portable electronic devices as indicated in the detailed description. The different features of the invention can be combined in other combinations than those described. The invention is only limited by the appended claims.

In another embodiment, a zipper-like device without teeth could be used.