Title:
MULTI-FUNCTION ADJUSTABLE CARRYING CASE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multi-purpose adjustable carrying case with a center receiving pad and multiple fold-over panels radially extending from the center receiving pad and at least one fold-over strap. The invention can be used to make any number of cases, holders or containers for a variety of items transported in the carrying case in a pocket or purse or attached to the clothing of a user or in a vehicle glove compartment.



Inventors:
Uygur, Sami (Oakland, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/272786
Publication Date:
05/21/2009
Filing Date:
11/17/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LANDOLFI, JR., STEVEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONALD W. MEEKER (NEWPORT BEACH, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A multi-purpose adjustable carrying case device comprising: a foldable flat body comprising a center receiving pad and multiple fold-over panels extending radially from the center receiving pad and at least one fold-over strap extending radially from the center receiving pad, the panels and at least one fold-over strap folding over any of a variety of items resting on the center receiving pad to form a multi-purpose case for carrying the item within the case; connecting means on each of the panels and on the at least one strap for interconnecting the panels and at least one strap in a folded array over the center receiving pad and the item to form the multi-purpose carrying case for the item to contain the item therein for a user to transport the item.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the center receiving pad further comprises a resilient cushioning surface to cushion the item.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the center receiving pad further comprises a protective lining surface to protect the item.

4. The device of claim 1 comprising at least two fold-over straps comprising a first strap for folding over the item to assist in containing the item in the case and at least one additional strap for use in attaching the case to an external element.

5. The device of claim 4 wherein the at least one additional strap comprises an elongated strap attached to the center pad at a proximal end and connecting means for removably attaching a distal end of the elongated strap to the proximal end of the elongated strap to form a loop for removably encircling the external element.

6. The device of claim 5 wherein the elongated strap is used for looping around an external element worn by a user comprising at least one external element taken from the list of external elements comprising a belt, a belt loop on clothing, suspenders, a button hole, a clothing loop, and an apron tie.

7. The device of claim 5 wherein the elongated strap is used for looping around an external element carried by a user comprising at least one external element taken from the list of external elements comprising a hand bag strap, a purse strap, a carrying case handle, a carrying case clasp, a backpack strap, a backpack loop, a tool box handle, a utility box handle, and a shopping bag strap.

8. The device of claim 1 wherein a connecting element is attached to an outside surface of the case and a mating connecting element is attached to an external element so that the case is attachable to the external element.

9. The device of claim 1 wherein the body comprises at least one body structure taken from the list of body structures comprising a clover shape, a square arm cross shape, a rounded arm cross shape, a pointed arm cross shape, a leaf shape, a star shape, a T shape, a square arm T shape, and a rounded arm T shape.

10. The device of claim 1 wherein at least one panel remains flat with the center pad so that the at least one panel is used in conjunction with the center pad for receiving a portion of an item resting on both the center pad and the at least one panel.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein two panels on opposing sides of the center pad remain flat with the center pad to receive eye glasses resting on the center pad and two panels with the at least one strap and at least one other panel folding over the eye glasses to form an eye glasses case.



11. The device of claim 1 wherein the body comprises three panels and a strap radiating out from four sides of the center panel and the strap and three panels are folded over a personal electronic device to be carried by a user.

12. The device of claim 1 wherein the connecting means comprises at least one connecting means taken from the list of connecting means comprising mating hook and loop fasteners, mating snaps,

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present utility patent application claims the benefit of provisional application No. 61/003,403, filed Nov. 17, 2007.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to carriers or holders normally transported by a user and in particular to a multi-purpose adjustable carrying case with a center receiving pad and multiple fold-over panels and at least one fold-over strap which can be used to make any number of cases, holders or containers for a variety of items which may be transported in the carrying case in a pocket or purse or attached to the clothing of a user. Description of Related Art including information disclosed under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Purses, eyeglass holders, phone carriers, iPOD® carriers and other carrying devices for a wide variety of items are known in the art. Usually each device is specifically structured for carrying a particular item and each device is specifically structured to be transported in a particular fashion.

The prior art is lacking a simple adjustable multi-function carrying device which can be used to carry any of a variety of different items which may be transported in a variety of ways.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,533,150, issued Mar. 18, 2003 to Margo et al, describes an adjustable carrying pouch adapted to carry devices of varying sizes. A substantially rectangular pliable horizontal segment is integral with a vertical pliable segment. The horizontal segment includes a pair of retention flaps having a central segment disposed therebetween. The vertical segment depends from the central segment. Hook fastening members are secured to the inside surface of the horizontal segment at each retention flap. The hook fastening members are secured to the inside surface of the vertical segment in opposition to the central segment. Loop fastening members are secured to the outside surface of the horizontal segment at each retention flap in opposition to the hook fastening members. A belt loop or clip is mounted along the central segment on the outside surface of the horizontal segment. The hook and loop fastening members may be adjustably coupled to adapt to the size of the device to be carried.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,420,104, issued Dec. 13, 1983 to Dilenno et al, discloses a light weight and convenient universal article case or carrier for transporting mobile communication equipment, or the like, on one's person is disclosed. The case is formed by initially fabricating two flexible tape strap lengths into a T-shaped member. Proximal and distal ends of vertical and horizontal components of the T-shaped member selectively carry complementary hook and pile fastening surfaces which enable the ends to interface with one another to provide an interconnection and which thereby results in the universal article case disclosed herein. The interconnection formed by a novel placement of the hook and pile fastening surfaces of the proximal and distal ends of the T-member resists separation by shearing forces at their respective planes of engagement, but nevertheless, can be easily separated in response to a peeling force normal to the plane of engagement.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,341,331, issued Jul. 27, 1982 to McDougall, concerns an article holder, being specifically tailored to the needs of surfers and the like for containing a key and strapping same to the wrist or ankle, utilizes a pair of mating strips of Velcro laid out side-by-side with proximal end portions overlapping, with a nylon fabric rectangular backing panel stitched behind the overlapping end portions to define a hinge line between them so they may swing together in engaged relation, the geometry of the situation being such that when engaged, the distal ends of the strips will also engage when wrapped around a wrist or the like. A pocket structure is defined behind one of the end portions of one Velcro strip in two of the embodiments illustrated and claimed.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,535,928, issued Jul. 16, 1996 to Herring, indicates an article carrier having an elongated central strap with a fixed loop at one end, a cross-tab at the other end, and a cross-strap fixed to an intermediate portion of the central strap between the respective ends thereof. Left and right transverse segments of the cross-strap have distal end portions arranged to be placed in opposing overlapped relation within the fixed loop, and the cross-tab is arranged to be placed in opposing relation to an outside surface section of the cross-strap. Opposing surfaces of the overlapped segments and opposing surfaces of the cross-tab and cross-strap have cooperating panels of hook and loop materials for releasably connecting the article carrier in a configured orientation and for providing size adjustability thereof. A belt loop for supporting the carrier is provided by a folded portion of the central strap between the cross-strap and the cross-tab when the cross-strap and cross-tab are releasably connected together. Multiple cross-straps and a releasably connected hold-down strap are optionally provided.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,104,076, issued Apr. 14, 1992 to Goodall, puts forth an easily reconfigurable and adaptable article holder comprising a flexible body having an elongated section and transverse sections extending perpendicularly outwardly from the elongated section such that the body is substantially T-shaped when in an unfolded, planar orientation. The elongated and transverse sections include cooperating means for releasably securing the article holder in a desired configuration to retain a desired article. In a preferred embodiment, the cooperating means are panels of hook and loop materials.

U.S. Patent application #20070138222, published Jun. 21, 2007 by Goldman, provides small, compact devices that provide readily deployed storage for small personal items, and they can also readily be returned to their stowed configuration. This toggling between deployed and stowed can be accomplished without a required change to the connection of any such device to another object, such as a travel case. The devices provide specific benefit to people going through an airport or building security checkpoint at which it is a requirement that pocket items such as cell phones, keys, and coins must be removed from one's pockets for assessment by a scanning apparatus.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,375,056, issued Apr. 23, 2003 to Henri, provides a holster belt for frictionally fitting over a shoulder and against the chest and back of an individual, said holster belt having: an elongated elastic band having releasable hooking first and second clamp buckles at its opposite ends for attachment to opposite sides of a wearer's waist belt, a generally open holster assembly, mounted at the end portion of said elastic band proximate said first clamp buckle for supporting and retaining a box-like article against the wearer's chest, said holster assembly formed by a belt loop of the holster belt; at least one elastic loop strip being transversely mounted to an intermediate section of said belt loop to accommodate and releasably retain against accidental release said box-like article.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,684,413, issued Feb. 3, 2004 to Cascioli, shows a torso mounted shoulder harness for carrying chest mounted objects, said shoulder harness including a horizontal strap encircling the upper torso and including horizontal strap ends for releasably connecting together for mounting and dismounting said shoulder harness; left and right vertical straps for positioning over respective left and right shoulders wherein each vertical strap connecting at the back to said horizontal strap, and each vertical strap connecting at the front to said horizontal strap. The shoulder harness further including locking clips attached proximate horizontal strap ends such that locking said locking clips together places said harness into a pre locked position; and front right and front left tabs, said tabs attached and extending parallel to said horizontal strap and mounted proximate horizontal strap ends, said tabs adapted to interlock together for imparting additional tension on said horizontal strap when said tabs interlocked together and placing said harness into a tensioned position, for preselectively tensioning said shoulder harness thereby adjusting the final tightness of said shoulder harness.

U.S. Patent application #20080121673, published May 29, 2008 by Timm et al, shows a case intended to help emergency personnel who otherwise would lose precious time needed for reaction to crisis events. By making all information that is being outputted by a radiation detector, or other small equipment device, immediately accessible and secure, as well as convenient to use, this extendable pouch gives an edge to security and other emergency personnel so that they can act quickly to avert a crisis or secure others. Other embodiments or modifications include non-elastic sides, tethering of the pouch to user's belt, a web belt with a pouch sewn as an integrated piece, one vinyl window, or open windows and may be imagined for other small device use for security or otherwise. Embodiments may include use for a warning device for sight-impaired persons, with readings felt as well as partially seen. Other embodiments might also be imagined by one schooled in the art.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,337,933 issued Aug. 16, 1994 to Nunez, claims a multipurpose carrier having the necessary assembly structure for use by electricians, carpenters, telecommunication installers, fisherman, etc. The multipurpose carrier may be selectively folded to form a tote bag or an apron having a therapeutic device. The bag may be equipped with segregated compartments for an assortment of tools and a plurality of access openings for the user. The tote bag is quickly convertible to an apron, by simple unzipping operations, without the necessity of removing the tools therein. The apron includes a therapeutical belt that may be used to support the lower back muscles of the user to help prevent the strains associated with physically demanding jobs.

What is needed is a simple adjustable multi-function carrying case device which can be used to carry any of a variety of different items which may be transported in a variety of ways.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a simple adjustable multi-function carrying case device which can be used to carry any of a variety of different items which may be transported in a variety of ways.

In brief, the present invention is a multi-function adjustable holder with an array of panels and at least one strap radiating from a center pad and mating connectors on the panels and straps that may be folded or adjusted to make any number of cases, holders, containers, or other items for containing and transporting any of a variety of items normally to be carried on a person, such as sunglasses, a phone, any portable electronic device, remote control, a number of keys, tools, or any other items normally transported by a person or carried in a glove compartment of a vehicle.

The various embodiments of the present invention encompass an article which can be folded, adjusted, or configured, and detachably attached in such a manner to make any one of a number of useful holders or items, such as an eyeglass case, a pouch for holding money etc., or a cover or holder for a phone. In some embodiments, the holder thus made may be looped or attached to a belt loop, a belt, a backpack, a purse, or other item.

An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a simple adjustable multi-function carrying case device which can be used to carry any of a variety of different items which may be transported in a variety of ways.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other details of the present invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the outside face of the cross shaped body of the present invention showing the three foldable panels and the foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user and showing a variety of possible areas for attaching connectors (shown dashed) to the panels and strap;

FIG. 1A is a plan view of the inside face of the cross shaped body of the present invention showing the three foldable panels and the foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user and showing a variety of possible areas for attaching connectors (shown dashed) to the panels and strap and showing additional attachable straps (shown dashed);

FIG. 1B is a plan view of the cross shaped body of FIG. 1A showing the three foldable panels and the foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user with the right side panel folded over onto the center of the body;

FIG. 1C is a plan view of the cross shaped body of FIG. 1B showing the three foldable panels and the foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user with the right side panel folded over onto the center of the body and the left side panel folded over the right side panel over the center of the body;

FIG. 1D is a plan view of the cross shaped body of FIG. 1C showing the three foldable panels and the foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user with the right side panel folded over onto the center of the body and the left side panel folded over the right side panel over the center of the body and the bottom strap folded up over the two side panels over the center of the body;

FIG. 1E is a plan view of the cross shaped body of FIG. 1D showing the three foldable panels and the foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user with the right side panel folded over onto the center of the body and the left side panel folded over the right side panel over the center of the body and the bottom strap folded up over the two side panels over the center of the body and the top panel folded down over the bottom strap and the two side panels over the center of the body to form an enclosure for containing and carrying an item therein;

FIG. 2A is a plan view of the cross shaped body of the present invention showing the three foldable panels and the foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user and showing a pair of glasses resting over the center of the body extending out over the two side panels;

FIG. 2B is a plan view of the cross shaped body of FIG. 2A showing the three foldable panels and the foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user and showing a pair of glasses resting over the center of the body extending out over the two side panels with the bottom strap threaded up over the glasses between the arms of the glasses and the glasses and onto the upper panel;

FIG. 2C is a plan view of the cross shaped body of FIG. 2B showing the three foldable panels and the foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user and showing a pair of glasses resting over the center of the body extending out over the two side panels with the bottom strap threaded up over the glasses between the arms of the glasses and the glasses and onto the upper panel and the top panel folded down over the bottom strap and the glasses and the outer end of the top panel folded around the body of the invention to secure the glasses therein;

FIG. 3A is a plan view of a square arm cross shaped body of the present invention showing four foldable rectangular panels, at least one of which may be used as a foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user;

FIG. 3B is a plan view of a rounded arm cross shaped body of the present invention showing four foldable rectangular panels, at least one of which may be used as a foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user;

FIG. 3C is a plan view of a rounded arm cross shaped body of the present invention showing three foldable rectangular panels and two bottom extending straps used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user;

FIG. 3D is a plan view of a leaf shaped body of the present invention showing three foldable leaf pointed panels and a foldable strap bottom stem used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user;

FIG. 3E is a plan view of a pointed arm cross shaped body of the present invention showing four foldable rectangular panels, at least one of which may be used as a foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user;

FIG. 3F is a plan view of a square arm T shaped body of the present invention showing three foldable rectangular panels, at least one of which may be used as a foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user;

FIG. 3G is a plan view of a rounded arm T shaped body of the present invention showing three foldable rectangular panels, at least one of which may be used as a foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user;

FIG. 3H is a plan view of a pointed arm star shaped body of the present invention showing five foldable rectangular panels, at least one of which may be used as a foldable strap used to fold over and enclose any of a variety of items for carrying the item by a user;

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the cross shaped body of FIG. 1 with the three rounded panels and the strap folded over a personal electronic device, such as a cell phone with an additional strap formed into a loop encircling a belt.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In FIGS. 1-4, a multi-purpose adjustable carrying case device 10 and 10A-10H comprises a foldable flat body 20 and 20A-20H having a center receiving pad 21 and radiating multiple fold-over panels 22A-22C, one or more of which may be a strap 22D wherein the panels and straps may fold over onto the center receiving pad 21 to form an adjustable multi-purpose carrying case for any of a variety of items, such as eye glasses 30 or an electronic device such as a cell phone 40.

In FIGS. 1 and 2, a foldable flat body 20 comprises a center receiving pad 21 and multiple fold-over panels 22A-22C extending radially from the center receiving pad 21 and at least one fold-over strap 22D and 22D1 and 22D2 extending radially from the center receiving pad 21. The panels and at least one fold-over strap may fold over any of a variety of items 30 and 40 resting on the center receiving pad 21 to form a multi-purpose case, as shown in FIG. 1E for carrying the item within the case, as shown in FIGS. 2C and 4.

A connecting means located with various areas demarked by dashed line delineated areas 23A on an inside face on each of the panels and straps, as shown in FIG. 1A, and various areas demarked by dashed line delineated areas 23B on an outside face on each of the panels and straps, as shown in FIG. 1, interconnects the panels 22A-22C and at least one strap 22D in a folded array over the center receiving pad 21 and the item to form the multi-purpose carrying case, as shown in FIG. 1E, for the item to contain the item therein for a user to transport the item.

The center receiving pad 21 may comprise a resilient cushioning surface 24 to cushion the item or a protective lining surface to protect the item.

In FIG. 4, at least two fold-over straps are used comprising a first strap 22D for folding over the item which is a personal electronic device such as a cell phone 40 to assist in containing the item in the case along with the folded over panels 22A-22C and at least one additional strap 22D1 for use in attaching the case to an external element, such as a belt 51 through the pant loops 52 of the pants 50 of a user, by forming a loop with the strap 22D1 to loop around the belt 51. The additional strap 22D1 in FIG. 4 comprises an elongated strap attached to the center pad at a proximal end and connecting means, such as mating hook and loop fasteners for removably attaching a distal end of the elongated strap to the proximal end of the elongated strap to form a loop for removably encircling the external element, as shown in FIG. 4.

The elongated strap 22D1 may be used for looping around an external element worn by a user comprising at least one external element taken from the list of external elements comprising a belt, a belt loop on clothing, suspenders, a button hole, a clothing loop, and an apron tie.

The elongated strap 22D1 may be used for looping around an external element carried by a user comprising at least one external element taken from the list of external elements comprising a hand bag strap, a purse strap, a carrying case handle, a carrying case clasp, a backpack strap, a backpack loop, a tool box handle, a utility box handle, and a shopping bag strap.

The connecting element, such as one half of a mating hook and loop fastener material may be attached to an outside surface of the case 20 in one of the area delineated by the dashed lines 23B on the outside face of the body 20, as shown in FIG. 1, and a mating connecting element, such as a mating half of a mating hook and loop fastener material, may be attached to an external element, such as an article of clothing or a carried item, so that the case is attachable to the external element.

In FIGS. 3A-3H as well is in FIGS. 1 and 2, the body 20 and 20A-20H comprises at least one body structure taken from the list of body structures comprising a T shape with a strap tail or clover shape 20 (FIGS. 1 and 2), a square arm cross shape 20A, a rounded arm cross shape 20B, a pointed arm cross shape 20E, a leaf shape 20D, a star shape 20H, a square arm T shape 10F, a rounded arm T shape 20G, and a rounded arm T shape with multiple straps 20C.

In FIGS. 2A-2C, at least one panel 22B and 22C may remain flat with the center pad 21 so that the two panels 22B and 22C, in this case, may be used in conjunction with the center pad 21 for receiving a portion of an item resting on both the center pad and the at least one panel, such as eye glasses 30. The two panels 22B and 22C on opposing sides of the center pad 21 remain flat with the center pad to receive the eye glasses 30 resting on the center pad 21 and two panels 22B and 22C with the at least one strap 22D and at least one other panel 22A folding over the eye glasses 40 to form an eye glasses case, as shown in FIG. 2C. The strap 22D may fold over in between the glass portion 31 and the arms 32 of the eye glasses 30 and the panel 22A fold around the rest of the body 20.

The body 20 may comprise three panels 22A, 22B, and 22C and a strap 22D radiating out from four sides of the center panel and the strap and three panels folded over a personal electronic device 40 to be carried by a user, such as a cell phone or music device, as shown in FIG. 4.

The connecting means may comprise at least one connecting means taken from the list of connecting means comprising mating hook and loop fasteners, mating snaps or other types of connecting devices which can be positioned on the two sides of the body with the dashed areas indicated in FIGS. 1 and 1A.

In use, an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 1A-1E with the formation of one potential configuration illustrated in FIGS. 1B-1E. As shown in FIG. 1A, in this particular embodiment, the article is in the form of a cross or a clover shape or capital letter “T” with a strap (labeled 22D in FIG. 1A) attached. In this particular embodiment, a cushion pad or protective lining 24, is attached to the center pad 21 of the inner surface. The article has three panel sides or extensions labeled 22A, 22B, and 22C. FIG. 1B illustrates the strap 22D wrapped over the center pad 21 and attached to the panel 22A. Such attachment may be by VELCRO™ or other connecting means which allow for attachment and later detachment (more details below), the connecting means fitting within the areas delineated by the dashed lines 23A and 23B on the two sides of the body 20.

FIG. 1C depicts the panel 22C folded over the center. FIG. 1D depicts the panel 22B folded over and attached to the panel 22C, forming a case receiving space, or opening, in the center. As outlined above, the attachment may be by VELCRO™ or other connecting means. The final case configuration is achieved in FIG. 1E where the panel 22A is folded over the center to create a sealed case. All the connecting means allow for attachment and detachment.

Another configuration of the embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 2A-2C. The cross shape or “T” shape with a strap embodiment of FIG. 1A is the starting point and is illustrated in FIG. 2A. FIG. 2B shows the attachment of a pair of eyeglasses 30 in the center of the article across the center pad 21 and two opposing panels 22D and 22C by pulling the strap 22D through the eyeglasses and attaching them to the panel 22A. Finally, FIG. 2C shows the final configuration with the panel 22A wrapped completely around the center and attached to itself and/or the strap.

The exemplary embodiment of an article depicted in FIGS. 1A and 2A is an illustration of one potential embodiment of the present invention and is not intended to be limiting. In addition, the two exemplary illustrations of two of the potential configurations that are illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1E and FIGS. 2A-2B are not intended to be limiting.

The body 20 of the present invention is a flat planar body which may be considered to be two dimensional, or practically two dimensional (the thickness is much smaller than the length or width), item with an outside surface (as shown in FIG. 1) and an inside surface (as shown in FIG. 1A). The item is designed with fasteners on some or all of the outside surface as indicated by the surfaces delineated with dashed lines, and optionally some or all of the inside surface, arranged in such a manner that the article can be folded, or adjusted, and detachably attached to take on any one of a number of configurations.

In any of the embodiments, the article may be manufactured from a single integral piece of material, or pieced, or sewn together, from multiple pieces. The multiple pieces may be attached by a method other than sewing, such as, but not limited to, any of those listed under “fasteners.” The pieces may be permanently or detachably attached. In some embodiments, such as the exemplary embodiment that is illustrated in FIG. 1A, the panel 22A is made from two pieces of one-sided VELCRO™ that are attached to each other to form a two-sided VELCRO™ piece. The two-sided VELCRO™ “A” piece is then attached to the other sides, which are made from one-sided VELCRO™ fabric. The different pieces may be of different colors, textures, and/or types of fabrics.

In one embodiment, the article is shaped like a cross shape or capital letter “T” with fasteners on the exterior surface of all three extensions of the “T,” and on one surface of the inside of the “T.” Fasteners do not necessarily cover 100% of the area of the lined regions but indicate areas where fasteners may be located. Only one of the extensions of the “T” may have fasteners on the inside surface while all three panels may have fasteners on the exterior surface. Any shape that allows the one, two, or more sides (or extensions) to fold over in the center, and optionally allows for one or more other sides and/or extensions to fold over the center, with or without the other side(s) or extension(s) folded over, and detachably attached to each other, is possible and is encompassed in the various embodiments of this invention.

Other potential shapes are illustrated in FIGS. 3A-3H. FIG. 1A illustrates a shape similar to that of sunglasses as there is an arc between panels 22B and 22C corresponding to the shape of a standard pair of sun glasses. However, other shapes are possible. As depicted, other potential embodiments of the article include a square arm cross shape or “plus” sign shape, as shown in FIG. 3A, or a round arm cross shape or “plus” sign shape with rounded corners as shown in FIG. 3B. The basic round arm “T” shape may have multiple straps, or integral extensions, as depicted in FIG. 3C, which depicts an embodiment with two straps. The basic shape may be a square or rectangle with a corner missing and replaced (optionally) with a strap as depicted in FIG. 3D. FIG. 3E depicts another variation of a pointed arm cross shape or “plus” sign design with triangular ends. FIG. 3F depicts a “T” shape with square edges and FIG. 3G depicts a “T” shape with rounded edges. FIG. 3H depicts a five sided star.

A square or rectangular shape may also be utilized. The extensions or sides may be of the same or different lengths. Any shape allowing for folding to achieve a cover (partial or complete) or pouch for an iPOD®, a cellular phone, a pair of eyeglasses, etc., may be used and is encompassed in the various embodiments of the present invention. The fasteners, allowing for attachment and then detachment, would be located at appropriate positions on the inside and outside of each of the above depicted embodiments or other embodiments which are not specifically depicted. In some embodiments, the article may be made of either one- or two-sided VELCRO™ fabric.

In general, the article's shape may allow for corners, edges, portions of the article, or extensions, to be folded to the inside, or to the outside, right or left, upward or downward. The article may allow for folding in multiple directions. In general the shape of the various embodiments of the invention may allow for all corner(s), edges, or sides to be folded in any way and in any direction to achieve the desired shape, form and/or design. The edges or extensions can be folded, or adjusted to any angle with respect to the center of the article. The article may be folded in such a manner that the “outside” is inside, and the “inside” is exposed, or in other words, the article may be reversible. ‘The edges can be detachably attached. In some embodiments, the inside surfaces may be joined together to make a pouch.

Fasteners may be located on some portion, or all, of the outside surface. In some embodiments, the fasteners may cover all, or substantially all, or 100%, of the outside surface, or only about 1%, about 2%, about 5%, about 10%, about 20%, about 30%, about 40%, about 50%, about 60%, about 70%, about 80%, or about 90% of the outside surface may be covered with fasteners. In some embodiments, the inside of the surface may also be covered with fasteners, the fasteners may cover all, or substantially all, or 100% of the inside surface, or only about 1%, about 2%, about 5%, about 10%, about 20%, about 30%, about 40%, about 50%, about 60%, about 70%, about 80%, or about 90% of the inside surface. In some embodiments, there may be only one, two, three, four, five, six, or some limited number of distinct fasteners on the inside surface, and in others embodiments there may be no fasteners on the inside surface. Similarly, in some embodiments, there may be only one, two, three, four, five, six, or some limited number of distinct fasteners on the outside surface, and in other embodiments there may be no fasteners on the outside surface.

In another embodiment, the “T” shaped article is made entirely of two-sided VELCRO™ material. Such an embodiment allows for folding the article in any number of manners. In another embodiment, only one of the “T” extension is two-sided VELCRO™ fabric while the other sides are one-sided VELCRO™ fabric. In other embodiments, any combination of the various extensions or portions of the article may be either one-sided or two-sided VELCRO™ fabric.

In some embodiments, for fasteners such as snaps, hooks, clips, or other protrusions, the fasteners may be located at discrete locations. However, the number of fasteners is not limited. In some embodiments, there may be one or more fasteners. The fasteners may be close together, or far apart. A specified part of the exterior or interior surface may be covered with a number of fasteners, while the remainder of the surface may be free of, or substantially free of, fasteners. In some embodiments, the entire dashed surface may contain a number of discrete fasteners (such as buttons, or snaps), while in other embodiments, the entire surface shown by the dashed outline may be covered with an adhesive, or VELCRO™ like material.

In some embodiments, even though VELCRO™ or an adhesive type attachment mechanism is used, there may be discrete attachment regions interspersed with areas with no fasteners throughout the fastening region or portion. For example, the VELCRO™ may be present as a striped pattern as opposed to a continuous surface where the striped lines indicate VELCRO™. Other configurations of partial coverage, such as, but not limited to, an array of dots, with VELCRO™ or a VELCRO™-like fabric may be utilized. In some embodiments, a “button” or small area of one-sided VELCRO™ may be attached to the exterior surface of a panel, such as that labeled 22A in FIGS. 1A and 2A, to allow for attachment of the strap 22D. Different types of VELCRO™ fabric may be used requiring specific VELCRO™ to mate or attach. Several of these different types of VELCRO™ fabric may be utilized in one article.

In some embodiments, the fasteners may be located on a particular side such as a right or left side, or only certain parts of the inside. In other embodiments, the fasteners may be located preferentially along a side or at a particular location such as along the edges, or at locations that are pre-determined to fit standard items, such as the standard iPOD®, a standard phone size, and/or a standard size for an eyeglass cover. In still other embodiments, there may be only one fastener, or a limited number in discrete locations. In some embodiments, there may be many fasteners.

The size of the pouch, or the fit (tight or loose) around an object covered, or an object for which a holder is made, can be adjusted by adjusting the extent of overlap of the sections, arms, or extensions, which fold over each other, and/or the tightness of the strap or another extension wrapped around the object. In the various embodiments, the fasteners may be arranged to allow for the accommodation of a cover or pouch for a number of different objects. In some embodiments the object may be entirely covered while in other embodiments (such as, but not limited to, the sunglasses illustrated in FIG. 2C) may be partially covered.

The size of the article and/or extensions on the article may vary. In some embodiments, the article may be sized to fit a child-size pair of eye-glasses or sun glasses. In other embodiments, the article may be sized to fit an adult pair of eye glasses. In some embodiments, the article may be sized to fit a portable digital assistant such as, but not limited to, a BLACKBERRY™, while in other embodiments, the article may be sized to accommodate a small cell-phone. Various sizes of articles are encompassed in the various embodiments of the present invention.

The inside surface may optionally contain a pad, or “lining,” in the center. This is a second practically two dimensional article (much smaller thickness than width or length) which may be permanently or detachably attached to the center pad 21 of the inside. Such a cushioning pad or protective lining 24 as in FIGS. 1A and 2A. If the lining is detachably attached, it may be attached with any of the fasteners outlined in the “fasteners” section below. The lining may be of any shape or size. In some embodiments, the lining is sized to protect a pair of eyeglasses. If the lining is permanently attached, the attachment may be by methods such as, but not limited to, staples, rivets, stitching or sewing, the mechanism used for a fusible interfacing that is known in the art of sewing, or a permanent, or essentially permanent, adhesive. Any permanent attachment mechanism that allows the article to be functional is possible.

The article may optionally include a mechanism to attach the holder thus formed to a belt loop or belt on someone's clothes such as slacks or a skirt. In addition, the mechanism for attachment may allow the holder or pouch thus formed, to be attached to a handbag, purse, or backpack. The mechanism may also attach to a shirt or jacket pocket, or potentially even attach over a pre-existing button or other fastener on a shirt, jacket, or other clothing. The folding of the holder itself, and/or the strap on the holder, may be the mechanism for attachment, or some other mechanism, such as a loop or hook attached to the appropriate site on the exterior or interior surface. Thus, in some embodiments, the article forms, or includes, an optional attachment mechanism, allowing the formed holder to be attached to something else. In some embodiments, the attachment mechanism is a mechanism attached to the article, while in some embodiments, the attachment mechanism is formed by folding or adjusting the article such as to make a loop. In some embodiments, there may be multiple points of attachment of the article to a purse or someone's clothing, backpack, etc. In one exemplary embodiment, the attachment mechanism is formed by looping the strip through a belt loop hole, and then attaching the strap to itself and/or another part of the article. FIG. 4 is a depiction of such an embodiment with the invention configured to hold a cell phone and the strap 22D1 looped around a belt 51.

In the various embodiments, the articles may be manufactured from any number of materials including, but not limited to, felt, cloth, plastic (or polymeric materials such as polymer films or rubber sheets or films), paper, leather, wood, or any combination of the aforementioned. Glass or ceramic materials, or metal materials may be utilized if functional. Cloth may contain interwoven metallic threads. Cloth may consist of any natural fibers, synthetic fibers or combination thereof, with no limitations on the weave. Unwoven materials, such as plastic films, may also be used. In general, the material may be chosen to allow for ease of folding, and which may provide for sufficient resistance to tearing, or wear.

The optional inner cushion pad or protective lining 24 may be made of any of the above-mentioned materials.

There are a number of means for detachably attaching the various sides or extensions to each other. In some embodiments, the exterior surface may be made of or have attached to its surface VELCRO™-type fasteners which are well-known in the art. In some embodiments, the surface (either exterior or interior), which is covered with fasteners, may have snaps, buttons, one half of a hook-and-eye, such as that typically used for clothing and which are well-known in the art. In some embodiments, the surface may be covered with an adhesive analogous to that used on POST-IT NOTES® that allows for attachment and reattachment of an item with either no loss or only minimal loss in adhesive force or adhesion strength.

In some embodiments, other fastening devices include strings that allow the sides to be attached by tying, and which optionally include holes allowing the strings to be laced through one or more holes. In other embodiments, loops on the surface of the article allow for one or more articles to be hooked onto the loop. In some embodiments, the fastening means or devices are clips, which are permanently attached to the surface of the article, thus allowing articles to be clipped onto the surface. In some embodiments, the fastening device may be pins that are permanently attached to the surface of the article.

In some embodiments, the fastening device may take the form of a latch, clip (like a paper clip or other clip), or other fastener allowing a piece of the article to be placed between the surfaces which are compressed together, and thus fasten two or more parts of the article (or part of the article and the strap) together. Embodiments of articles with these types of fasteners may include “tabs,” that is, two-dimensional protrusions attached at one end to the article and allow the other end to fit into the clip-type fastener.

In some embodiments, another fastening device may be used which is a hook, that also allows the sides of the article or the strap to be placed over the hook. In these type of embodiments, pre-made holes in the article and/oris@ap may allow for attachment by slipping the hole over the hook. In some embodiments, the strap may take the form of a belt with a multitude of holes allowing for placement onto a hook at any number of locations along it's length.

Another means for fastening is the lining and one or more sides or extensions or arms of the article, is by the formation of one or more pockets on the surface that allow attachment to the surface. Pockets may be attached by stitching to the surface 21. In some embodiments, the pockets may be open on one side allowing the lining to be slipped into each pocket, thus securing it to surface. Open loops, analogous to belt loops, attached to the surface may also allow objects to be placed between these.

In still other embodiments, fastening means used in jewelry may be utilized.

In some embodiments, a ZIP-LOCK@ type device may be utilized as a fastener. A ZIPLOCK@ type fastener has an edge on one side that fits into a groove on the other side. VELCRO@ is trademark that refers to a hook and loop type fasteners. The fabric has a series of small hooks on one side and small loops on the other side. When pressed together the hooks get caught in the loops. The sides can be separated and then re-attached over and over again.

In the various embodiments, the fasteners may be manufactured from any number of materials including, but not limited to, glass, leather, metal, plastics or polymers, wood, ceramics, cloth, paper, cardboard, or any combination of the aforementioned. Any material which allows for the fastener to function may be utilized.

A number of the above mentioned fasteners, in any combination, may be utilized in the various embodiments of the invention.

An item to be referred to as a strap may optionally be included. A strap is an essentially two-dimensional (the thickness is much smaller than the length or width) object, generally rectangular, or like a parallelogram in shape, with a high aspect ratio (length is much longer than width). In some embodiments the strap may be in the shape of a rope or chain, or cylindrical in shape. In some embodiments, no strap may be included, while in other embodiments a strap may be permanently attached to the article. In some embodiments the strap may be permanently or detachably attached to the inner lining or liner. In some embodiments, the “strap” is actually an integral part of the article which functions as a strap.

In other embodiments, the strap can be detachably attached, utilizing any suitable and/or functional fastener as outlined above. In some embodiments, the strap may be detachably attachable to either the article itself and/or the inner lining. In some embodiments, the strap may be included with an article which has more than three arms or extensions. In general, the strap may be included with any article regardless of the number of extensions and/or sides which can be folded over. In some configurations, the strap may be wrapped around the outside to form a support or container, and in other configurations of one of the various embodiments of the present invention, the strap may be wrapped around or over an object on the inside. The strap may be folded or wrapped on the inside.

The strap may be manufactured from any of the list of materials from which the article may be manufactured. The material used for the strap may be the same or different from the material used in the article. The strap material may differ in color, texture, and/or type of material.

The various embodiments of the present invention allow folding or adjusting the article to make a pouch for money, keys, credit cards, or identification. The article may be adjusted to contain a small box such as a gift box, a phone, an iPOD® or other type of music player or small electronic device, or a pair of eyeglasses. In some embodiments, the article may have fasteners attached and/or arranged such that a wide number of different objects could be covered (partially or completely) or contained (partially or completely) by the article. In other embodiments, the article may be designed to have three or four standard configurations, such as, but not limited to, to hold eyeglasses and to hold a standard phone. In some embodiments, the article may be designed to accommodate a large range of sizes and shapes of objects. In other embodiments, the article may be designed to accommodate or make a cover or container for a limited number of objects, and/or objects within a limited size range. For example, in one exemplary embodiment, the article may accommodate three or four of the most common sizes of cellular phones. In another embodiment, the article pay form a pouch for a key as well as function as a cover for a cellular phone.

The various embodiments of the present invention encompass variations in size to cover or make a holder for any number of items.

The fasteners on the interior or exterior surface of the article may be utilized to add a number of optional attachments, or items, which can later be detached (detachably attached items).

The items may have a function such as a strap, or other mechanisms for attaching the holder or pouch formed from the article to another item, and/or carrying the holder. Such items would be a handle shaped attachment, a strap, or a hook or clip. The items may also serve a purpose such as acting as a reflector or light. The item attachment may be an identifier such as a luggage tag.

Other items may be used for labeling or decoration. In some embodiments, the items may be disposable and in some embodiments, they may be reusable. The items may be essentially or substantially two dimensional, such as a cloth with VELCRO™ on one side or both sides. The items may be of any shape or size provided that they can be attached to the inside and/or outside surface.

The items may be used to change the color or exterior appearance of the article which has been configured to be a holder. The items may be used to add a decorative item such as a flower, butterfly, or other shape, to the exterior. The attachment may serve as a decal or label, such as a logo or sports team symbol. The items may be used to color coordinate the article configured as a holder with clothing, and/or other items.

In some embodiments, the attachment may be three-dimensional. An exemplary embodiment is a plastic or silk flower designed to resemble the actual flower.

In the various embodiments, the articles may be manufactured from any number of materials including, but not limited to, leather, glass, cloth, plastic (or polymers), metal, ceramics, paper, wood, or any combination of the aforementioned. Any material that allows the item to function, and/or to decorate the article, may be used.

It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.