Title:
Tool belt pocket kick-stand
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tool belt pocket includes a pocket or pouch for receiving tools or the like. An attachment member is provided for attaching the pocket or pouch to a support device. A kick-stand is attached to said pocket or pouch and movable between a retracted position for facilitating attachment of said pocket or pouch to a support the device in an extended position for supporting said pocket or pouch in a generally upright position when supported on a horizontal surface. The support device may be a tool belt.



Inventors:
Panosian, Michael Harmik (Glendale, CA, US)
Keeler, Joshua (Glendale, CA, US)
Stobar, James (Glendale, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/001416
Publication Date:
06/11/2009
Filing Date:
12/10/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LALLI, MELISSA LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael H. Panosian (Glendale, CA, US)
Claims:
1. Tool belt pocket comprising a pocket or pouch for receiving tools or the like; means for attaching said pocket or pouch to a support device; and kick-stand means attached to said pocket or pouch and movable between a retracted position for facilitating attachment of said pocket or pouch to said support device and an extended position for supporting said pocket or pouch in a generally upright position when supported on a horizontal surface.

2. Toll belt pocket as defined in claim 1, wherein said support device comprises a tool belt.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to tool accessories and, more specifically, to a tool belt pocket kick-stand.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Tool holders of various types have been known. Some tool holders are specifically designed to be used in conjunction with tool belts. Such tool belt pockets or pouches are provided with clips or other attachment mechanisms for attachment to a tool belt, from which such tool pockets or pouches are normally suspended during use. However, frequently, a worker removes the tool holder or pocket from the tool belt at a worksite for any one of a number of reasons. For example, the tool holder or pocket may be bulky, heavy or cumbersome, and there is no need for the worker to continue to maintain the tool holder or pocket supported or suspended from his or her tool belt while performing at a worksite. At such times, the tool holders or pockets are typically removed from the tool belt and placed on the floor or other support surface. A disadvantage that has existed in the past, in connection with such tool holders or pockets, is that they are not typically designed or configured to be disposed or oriented upright when placed on the surface. Therefore, as soon as the tool holder or pocket is placed on the floor or other work surface it becomes unstable and topples over to one side or another, making it more difficult or inconvenient to access items contained within the tool holder or pocket. Even less desirable is the fact that such toppling may cause at least part of the contents, especially smaller objects, such as nails, fasteners or the like, to spill out of the tool holder or pocket.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a tool belt holder or pocket, or other such accessory, which does not have the disadvantages inherent in similar prior art products.

It is another object of the invention to provide a tool belt holder or pocket as in the previous object, which is simple in construction and economical to manufacture.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a tool belt holder, pocket or other such accessory, which includes a kick-stand which allows of the tool holder or pocket or other such accessory to be placed on a work surface, while remaining propped up after it is removed or separated from the tool belt.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a kick-stand for a wide range of utility/accessory storage modules, typically used with tool belts or the like, that prevents inadvertent spillage of object, especially small items of hardware, from pockets or pouches normally held upright on the tool belt or mounting system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects will become apparent when the drawings of the present invention are considered in detail along with the specification, taken with the drawings as follows:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a utility/accessory storage module in accordance with the present invention, illustrating the manner in which a kickstand is used to maintain the module in a substantially upright condition when supported on a surface.

FIG. 2 is the side elevational view of the module shown in FIG. 1, with the kickstand in a retracted position.

FIG. 3 is similar to FIG. 2, shown with a kickstand in an extended position, as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 2, but showing another embodiment of the kickstand.

FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a rear perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 3 for the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4-6.

FIG. 8 is similar to FIG. 6, but showing the kickstand in the extended position.

FIG. 9 is a front perspective view of still another embodiment of a utility/accessory storage module, shown with the kickstand extended for maintaining the module in a substantially upright position on the support surface.

FIG. 10 illustrates a utility/accessory bag for receiving and holding a plurality of utility/accessory storage modules in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 11 illustrates one of the utility/accessory storage modules shown in FIG. 10 with its kickstand extended for maintaining the module in a substantially upright position, when removed from a bag in which it is normally stored.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Turning now to the drawings, in which is similar or identical parts are designated by the same reference numerals throughout, and first referring to FIG. 1, a utility/accessory storage module in accordance with the present invention is generally designated by the reference 10.

The module 10 includes a substantially rigid rear wall 12, which serves as a support panel for supporting a plurality of pouches, pockets, compartments or the like. Thus, for example, the module 10 is shown to include a generally flexible wall 14 forming one large pocket or pouch. Secured to the wall 14 is a further sheet of generally planar material 16 intermittently stitched to the wall 14 to form a plurality of smaller open pockets 16a-16d. Additional elements or components may be attached, directly or indirectly, to the rear wall 12 to secure various objects. Examples of such additional elements or components include straps 17a-17c. It will be appreciated, however, that the specific configuration of pouches, pockets, components and the like is not critical for purposes of the present invention. Thus, any number of pouches or pockets or other components may be used consistent with the specific application for which a module is intended to be used, as will be readily evident to those skilled in the art and by artisans in any specific trade.

A finger gripped mechanism 18 is attached to the rear wall 12 by means of rivets 24 used with the clip support system of the type described in the following U.S. patent applications Ser. No. 10/A3 five, 658 filed on Apr. 30, 2004 and published as 20050242144, and Ser. No. 10/838, 601 filed on May 4, 2004, and published as 20050263552. As the finger grip mechanism has been fully described in the aforementioned published applications, it will not be described in detail in the supplication and the teachings in the aforementioned applications are fully incorporated herein as if fully set forth in this description. Clearly, the finger grip mechanism 19 may be secured to the rear wall 12 by any suitable means.

Also secured to the rear wall of the rigid rear panel 12 is a kickstand 22. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the kickstand 22 is hingedly attached to the rear wall 12 proximate to its upper end at 22a. When the kickstand 22 is in its retracted position, shown in FIG. 2, suitable means may be provided for temporarily maintaining the kickstand in its retracted position. By way of example, segments 22c, 22c′ of a “hook and loop” material sold on the trademark. “Velcro”®, can be used to selectively maintain the kickstand 22 in its retracted position, but yet allow the kickstand to be separated from the rear wall 12 and outwardly pivoted, at its upper end 22a, away from the wall 12 to a position shown in FIG. 3.

The strap, strip or other generally flexible elongate member 24 is connected to both the lower end of the rear wall 12, as well as the lower end 22b and serves to limit the distance “d” that the lower end at 22b of the kickstand may move away from the lower end of the rear wall 12. The distance “d” is selected to provide the module 10 a desired degree of stability to support the module in an upright position on the surface. Referring to FIG. 3, it will be noted that the center of gravity C of the module defines a downwardly-directed force F, representing the weight of the module and its anticipated contents. Clearly, it is desired that the force F extends through an effective base formed over the distance “d”. The kickstand 22, also preferably has a width or depth (as viewed in FIGS. 2-3) such that stability is assured, not only against toppling in directions within a plane of FIG. 3, but also in directions transverse to that plane.

Once an artisan or worker has completed the work, or no longer requires the use of the module 10, the kickstand can be collapsed or moved to its retracted position by pivoting it along its upper edge at 22a and moving the kickstand in a direction indicated by arrow A in FIG. 3 to bring the Velcro strips 22c, 22c′ into contact with each other.

The kickstand 22 can be formed of any suitable material that is sufficiently rigid to support the module, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Thus, the kickstand can be made, for example, from relatively rigid cardboard, plastic or metal planar stock or metal rod. Thus, another embodiment 22′ of the kickstand utilizing a metal rod is illustrated in FIGS. 4-8. The metal rod forming the kickstand 22′ is shown as being generally U-shaped and including a generally parallel upright or vertical portions 22d, 22e, joined at a lower end to a horizontal portion 22f. The upper ends of the upright or vertical portions 22d, 22e are pivotally attached to the rear side or surface of the rigid panel 12. The strap 24a serves both to limit the extent to which the lower portion 22f may move from the rear wall 12, as shown in FIG. 7, as well as to selectively retain the kickstand 22′ in its collapsed or closed the condition as shown in FIGS. 4-6. To achieve this, the strap 24a is formed of connected portions 24b and 24c to provide an overlapping portion 24d to which a Velcro pad or strip 25a is attached. A cooperating Velcro pad or strip 25b is provided on the rear side or surface of the wall 12. When the kickstand 22′ is moved to its closed or contracted position, the strap may be secured to the rear side of the wall 12 by means of the Velcro strips, this securing the kickstand in its closed or retracted condition. To open the kickstand or move it to its extended position, as shown in FIG. 7, the upper portion 24b of the strap, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, is separated from the rear wall 12 so that the strap 24a can effectively be extended to permit the kickstand 22′ to pivot as discussed and move to its extended position.

In FIG. 9, a further embodiment of a utility/accessory storage module is illustrated and designated by the reference 26. As with the previous embodiments, the module 26 includes a rigid panel 28 to which various storage members 30 can be mounted. Similarly, adjustable straps 32 may be mounted on the rigid panel 28 in spaced relation as shown to secure larger hand tools or power tools, such as a reciprocating saw. The kickstand in this embodiment, designated by the reference 34, is similar to the kickstand 22 shown in FIGS. 1-3. One or more flexible straps 36 are used in a manner similar to the straps 24 to provide a desired distance “d” and provide an effective stable base. However, as suggested, the width of the kickstand 34 is wider to more closely correspond to the width of the module 26 so that the stability of the module is guaranteed in both orthogonal horizontal directions parallel to the support surface. The module 26 is provided with a handle 38, along its upper edge, to facilitate transport. Because the width of the module 26 is greater than the width of the module 10 two mounting finger grip mechanisms 18 are used one at each lateral end of the module. While the module 26 may be too wide for mounting on a tool belt the finger gripping mechanisms 18 may be used to mount of the module on any suitable surface such as on an associated wall mounting strip system as described and suggested in the aforementioned published applications.

In FIGS. 10 and 11, a modular case 40 is shown that has a generally rectangular receiving compartment 40′ having a uniform width and a plurality of opposing lateral slots 41 for receiving and securing opposing edges of a plurality of modules 42. In FIG. 11, a typical module 42 is shown provided with longer tool-receiving compartment 44 and shorter tool-receiving compartment 46. Each module 42 is provided with a handle 38 for facilitating removal of the module from the case 40 and placing it on the surface and replacing the module into the case. As with the previous embodiments, the module 42 is provided with the kickstand 34 similar to the kickstands 22 and 34 described above.

As should be clear from the foregoing, the kickstand in accordance with the invention allows a user to support or prop up a pocket or pouch on any surface after it is removed from a belt or removed from a wall mounting strip, and allows a worker to maintain the modular pouch upright to prevent tools or other objects from falling out, for example, while lying under a sink or a tight workplace. The kickstand can be made of any rigid structure such as cardboard, plastic or metal rod or any other suitable material that will accomplish or achieve the same functions and provide the same benefits.

While the preferred embodiments have been shown and described, it will be understood that the there is no intention to limit the invention by such disclosure, but rather, it is the intention to cover all modifications and alternate constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.