Title:
Carrying Case
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A carrying case is disclosed that includes a body having a first portion moveably attached to a second portion such that the first and second portions are moveable from a closed position to an open position. The first portion has an exterior surface and an interior surface The interior surface of the first portion defines a cavity The second portion has an exterior surface and an interior surfice. The interior surface of the second portion defines a cavity. The first portion and the second portion are configured such that at least one object is positionable within at least one of the cavity of the first portion and the cavity of the second portion when the body is positioned in the open position.



Inventors:
Mason, Dale William (Orefield, PA, US)
Mason, Julienne (Orefield, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/356183
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
01/20/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/278
International Classes:
B65D85/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLADO, CYNTHIA FRANCISCA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A carrying case comprising: a body having a first portion moveably attached to a second portion such that the first and second portions are moveable from a closed position to an open position, the first portion having an exterior surface and an interior surface, the interior surface of the first portion defining a cavity, the second portion having an exterior surface and an interior surface, the interior surface of the second portion defining a cavity, first portion and the second portion being configured such that at least one object is positionable within at least one of the cavity of the first portion and the cavity of the second portion when the body is positioned in the open position; the first portion of the body having a plurality of sidewalls that extend from the interior surface of the first portion, the plurality of sidewalls defining at least one receptacle sized and configured to receive an object with at least one projection; and wherein each of the sidewalls comprise at least one holding mechanism that is comprised of a retaining member attached to the sidewall between a first opening formed in the sidewall and a second opening formed in the sidewall, the retaining member being resilient.

2. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the retaining member is configured to move to receive the at least one projection of the object inserted into one of the first and second openings and move against the inserted at least one projection to hold the at least one projection after the at least one projection is inserted into one of the first and second openings.

3. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the at least one object is comprised of at least one wheel insert or at least one plug-insert.

4. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the second portion is comprised of a tool holding mechanism attached to the interior surface of the second portion.

5. The carrying case of claim 4 wherein the tool holding mechanism is comprised of a magnet attached to at least one wall that extends from the interior surface of the second portion.

6. The carrying case of claim 5 wherein the magnet is encased by the at least one wall.

7. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the carrying case is further comprised of a clip attached to one of the first portion of the body and second portion of the body.

8. The carrying case of claim 7 wherein first portion also has a slot that is sized and configured to moveably receive an attachment device of the clip.

9. The carrying case of claim 8 wherein the attachment device of the clip is comprised of a projection extending from the clip and a tightening mechanism configured to rotate about the projection to releasably attach the clip to the first portion.

10. The carrying case of claim 9 wherein the tightening mechanism is removably attached to the projection of the clip.

11. The carrying case of claim 1 further comprising a protrusion extending from the exterior surface of the first portion or the second portion, the protrusion sized and configured to define an opening between the protrusion and the body that is sized and configured to receive a fastening device.

12. The carrying case of claim 11 wherein the protrusion defines a hook or loop and the fastening device is a clip.

13. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the plurality of sidewalls of the first portion define two receptacles.

14. The carrying case of claim 1 further comprising at least one hinge attached to the first portion and the second portion.

15. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the body is composed of an elastomeric material.

16. The carrying case of claim 15 wherein the elastomeric material is plastic.

17. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the retaining member is formed in the sidewall adjacent the first opening and second opening.

18. The carrying case of claim 1 wherein the sidewall has a first portion that defines a side of the first opening opposite the resilient member and the sidewall has a second portion that defines a side of the second opening opposite the resilient member, the resilient member being more flexible than at least one of the first portion of the sidewall and the second portion of the sidewall.

19. A carrying case for footwear inserts comprising: a body having a first portion moveably attached to a second portion such that the first and second portions are moveable from a closed position to an open position, the first portion having an exterior surface and an interior surface, the interior surface of the first portion defining a cavity, the second portion having an exterior surface and an interior surface, the interior surface of the second portion defining a cavity, first portion and the second portion being configured such that at least one footwear insert is positionable within at least one of the cavity of the first portion and the cavity of the second portion when the body is positioned in the open position; the second portion of the body comprising a holding mechanism having at least one portion at least partially encapsulating a magnet sized and configured to releasably retain an object in the cavity of the second portion.

20. The carrying case of claim 19 wherein the first portion of the body has a plurality of walls that extend from the interior surface of the first portion, the plurality of walls defining at least one receptacle sized and configured to receive the at least one footwear insert with at least one projection, and wherein each of the walls of the first portion comprise at least one holding mechanism that is comprised of a resilient retaining member attached to the wall between a first opening formed in the wall and a second opening formed in the wall.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. ยง119(e) of pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/025,814 that was filed on Feb. 4, 2008. The entirety of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/025,814 is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to carrying cases configured to releasably retain components to shoes, other footwear and other objects.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Active footwear with a wheel in the heel has been in the market place for a number of years. One version of such footwear is a footwear product sold under the Heelys trade name. Such footwear includes a shoe that has soles configured to have wheels inserted into the soles so the user may have roller shoes that permit the shoes to act similarly to roller blades or roller skates. The soles of such shoes are also configured such that these wheel inserts may be replaced with plug inserts such that the soles are generally flat so a user may walk in the shoes when the plug inserts are attached to the soles.

Many places, such as schools and stores, do not allow roller type shoes to be used indoors. Often, users such as small children must store different inserts into backpacks or other carrying cases so they can adjust their shoes from wheeled shoes to flat soled shoes by replacing wheel inserts with plug inserts. In such carrying cases, the footwear components, such as the plug inserts or wheel inserts, may become lost in a compartment of the carrying case or be difficult to find.

There is a need for a carrying case for footwear components or other objects that permit a user to securely hold the objects such that the objects are easy to find and use when needed. Such a carrying case preferably permits a user to easily find the objects and provide an aesthetic effect that is considered desirable to the user. Preferably, the carrying case is sized and configured to be an accessory item that may be releasably attached to backpacks or other bags or carrying cases typically used by children to carry books or other school related items.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A carrying case is provided that includes a body that has a first portion moveably attached to a second portion such that the first and second portions are moveable from a closed position to an open position. The first and second portions each have an exterior surface and an interior surface. The interior surface of each of the first and second portions defines a cavity. The first and second portions are configured such that a user may place one or more objects within the cavity formed in the first portion, the cavity formed in the second portion or each cavity. The first portion of the body has a plurality of sidewalls that extend from the interior surface of the first portion. The plurality of sidewalls defines at least one receptacle sized and configured to receive an object with at least one projection. Each of the sidewalls are comprised of at least one holding mechanism that is comprised of a resilient retaining member attached to the sidewall between a first opening formed in the sidewall and a second opening formed in the sidewall.

Embodiments of our carrying case may have each retaining member configured to move to receive the at least one projection of the object in the first opening or the second opening and move against the inserted one or more projections to hold the one or more projections after the one or more projections are inserted into the first or second opening. The objects may include wheel inserts, plug-inserts, other footwear accessories or other objects.

In some embodiments of our carrying case, each sidewall can have a first portion that defines a side of the first opening opposite the resilient member and a second portion that defines a side of the second opening opposite the resilient member. The resilient member may be more flexible than at least one of the first portion of the sidewall and the second portion of the sidewall. The flexibility of the resilient member may be due to the resilient member having less mass than the first or second portion of the sidewall. Alternatively, the resilient member may have a different composition than the first or second portions of the sidewall that provide the greater flexibility.

Some embodiments of our carrying case may include a tool holding mechanism attached to the interior surface of the second portion of the body. The tool holding mechanism can include a magnet attached to one or more walls that extend from the interior surface of the second portion. The magnet may be encased by the one or more walls.

It should be appreciated that a clip may be attached to the first portion of the body or the second portion of the body that is configured to permit the body to be releasably attached to pants, belts, backpacks, purses, or other bags, binders, or clothing. The first portion of the body may have a slot sized to receive a portion of the clip, such as a projections. A tightening mechanism configured to rotate about the projection may also be included such that the clip is adjustable along the slot. For instance, the tightening mechanism may include a nut.

Embodiments of our carrying case may also include a protrusion that extends from the exterior surface of the first portion or the second portion of the body. The protrusion may be sized and configured to define an opening between the protrusion and the body that is sized and configured to receive a fastening device, such as a clip or carabineer.

Preferably the body of the carrying case is composed of an elastomeric material.

We also provide a carrying case that may include a body that has a first portion and as second portion that are moveably attached to each other such that the first and second portions may be moved from an open position to a closed position. The second portion of the body may include a holding mechanism having at least one wall that extends from the inner surface of the second portion. The one or more walls encapsulate a magnet sized and configured to releasably retain an object in the cavity of the second portion.

Other details, objects, and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the following description of certain present preferred embodiments thereof proceeds.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Present preferred embodiments of the carrying case are shown in the accompanying drawings and certain present preferred methods of practicing the same are also illustrated therein, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a first present preferred embodiment of our carrying case with the body in an open position.

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the first present preferred embodiment of our carrying case with the body in an open position.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the first present preferred embodiment in a closed position.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2 illustrating a first present preferred tool and first present preferred plug insert retained within portions of the first present preferred embodiment of our carrying case.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 4 illustrating first present preferred plug being inserted within a portion of the first present preferred embodiment of our carrying case.

FIG. 6 is a is a perspective view similar to FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrating the first present preferred tool being inserted within a portion of the first present preferred embodiment of our carrying case.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view similar to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 illustrating a first present preferred wheel inserted within a portion of the first present preferred embodiment of our carrying case.

FIG. 8 is a bottom perspective view of a second present preferred embodiment of our carrying case with the body in an open position.

FIG. 9 is a top perspective view of the second present preferred embodiment of our carrying case with the body in an open position.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the second present preferred embodiment of our carrying case in a closed position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PRESENT PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A first present preferred embodiment of our carrying case 1 is illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 7. The carrying case 1 includes body that has a first portion 2 attached to a second portion 4 by hinges 7. The carrying case 1 is moveable from an open position to a closed position. When the carrying case 1 is in the open position, objects may be positioned within the first portion 2 or second portion 4 of the carrying case 1. The carrying case 1 may be kept in a closed position by a locking mechanism or other interlocking device such as a clip 9 attached to the second portion 4 that has a protrusion 11 configured to releasably attach to a hole (not shown) formed in the first portion 2 to keep the carrying case 1 in the closed position.

A protrusion 6 extends from the exterior surface of the first portion. The protrusion 6 defines an opening 5 sized to receive a clip, carabineer or other fastening device that can attach the carrying case to a backpack, belt, pant buckle, binder, or other article of clothing, luggage, bag, backpack or carrying device.

The first portion 2 and second portion 4 each includes an exterior surface and an interior surface. The interior surface of the first portion 2 defines a cavity 10 and the interior surface of the second portion 4 defines a cavity 8. It should be appreciated that the interior surfaces are exposed when the carrying case 1 is in the open position such that a user may access objects held within the carry case 1.

The first portion 2 of the carrying case 1 includes multiple retaining walls 12, 13 and 14. The retaining walls define receptacles for one or more objects, such as wheel inserts or plug inserts for shoes or other objects. Preferably, the receptacles defined by the retaining walls are sized and configured to hold and releasably retain footwear inserts such as wheel inserts or plug inserts for shoes or skates sold under the Heelys trade name.

Each retaining wall has at least one holding mechanism 20. Each holding mechanism 20 includes a resilient member 15 positioned between a first opening 16 and a second opening 17 formed in a retaining wall. Preferably, the resilient members 15 and openings 16 and 17 are formed in each retaining wall such that each holding mechanism 20 is a portion of a retaining wall. For example, the resilient members 15 and openings 16 and 17 may be integrally molded in the retaining walls.

Each resilient member 15 is configured to move into opening 16 to receive a stub or projection from an object in opening 17 and is sufficiently resilient to move back toward opening 17 to engage the projection or stub inserted into opening 17 to hold the projection or stub in the opening 17. For instance, a plug insert 24 that has projections 25 extending from two sides Of the plug insert 24 may be inserted into a receptacle between retaining walls 12 and 13, as shown in FIG. 4. The projections 25 of the plug insert are each held in openings 16 of a holding mechanism 20 in retaining wall 12 and a holding mechanism 20 in retaining wall 13 As another example, a wheel insert 31 that has stubs 32 may be inserted into a receptacle defined by retaining walls as shown in FIG. 7. The stubs 32 of the wheel insert 31 are releasably retained by retaining members 15 after the stubs 32 are inserted into openings 17 of the holding mechanisms. The wheel inserts 31 or plug inserts 24 are releasably held by the holding mechanisms 20 of the retaining walls such that a user may pull the wheel or plug inserts out of the carrying case to release the inserts from the holding mechanisms 20.

It should be appreciated that the retaining walls 12, 13 and 14 can each have a first portion that defines a side of the first opening 16 opposite the resilient member 15 and a second portion that defines a side of the second opening 17 opposite the resilient member 15. These portions of the retaining walls may define an edge of an opening. The resilient member 15 may be more flexible than first portion of the retaining wall, the second portion of the retaining wall or both portions of the retaining wall. The flexibility of the resilient member may be due to the resilient member having less mass than the first or second portion of the retaining wall. The resilient member may also have a different composition than the first or second portions of the sidewall that provide the greater flexibility.

A tool holding mechanism 18 is attached to the interior surface of the second portion 4. The tool holding mechanism 18 includes walls that are sized and configured to define openings for retaining a tool. A magnet 19 or magnetic member is positioned within one of the openings and may be encapsulated by one or more of the walls or at least partially covered by at least one portion of the tool holding mechanism 18.

As may be appreciated from FIGS. 4-7, a tool 22 may be releasably held by the tool holding mechanism 18. The tool 22 includes at least one magnetic portion or magnet that is attracted to the magnet 19 or magnetic member of the tool holding mechanism 18. The magnetic attraction between the tool 22 and the magnet 19 or magnetic member holds at least a portion of the tool. The walls of the tool holding mechanism 18 may also be configured to help retain at least a portion of the tool 22. Preferably, the tool holding mechanism 18 is configured to hold tools 22 that are sold tinder the Heelys trade name as tools for helping to remove inserts to shoes sold under the Heelys trade name.

Preferably, the carrying case 1 is sized and configured to hold at least one tool and two or more wheel inserts or plug inserts. However, embodiments of our carrying case may also be sized and configured for holding alternative numbers of tools or inserts. For instance, embodiments of our carrying case can be sized and configured to hold only one wheel insert or more than 2 wheel inserts.

A second present preferred embodiment of our carrying case is shown in FIGS. 8-10 The carrying case 51 includes a clip attached to the body of the carrying case and a fastening mechanism 59 that is configured to releasably attach one portion of the carrying case to the other portion such that the carrying case is moveable from a closed position to an open positions. As may be seen in FIG. 10, the fastening mechanism 59 includes a projection 83 that is sized and configured to releasably clasp within opening 83 formed in a portion of the body.

The clip 53 may be attached to the carrying case 51 by having a portion of the clip inserted through a slot 55 formed in the body of the carrying case. A hex nut, wing nut 57, or other fastener may be attached to a portion of the clip 53 extending through the slot 55 to fasten the clip 53 to the carrying case. It should be appreciated that the use of a wing nut 57 or other nuts or fastening devices can permit a user to adjust the position of the clip 53 along the slot 55.

The carrying case includes a cavity defined by two potions of the body of the carrying case that are moveably attached to each other. One portion of the body includes a plurality of sidewalls 62, 63 and 64. The sidewalls define locations for storing objects, such as wheel inserts or plug inserts. Each sidewall has at least one holding mechanism 70. Each holding mechanism 70 includes a resilient member 71 positioned between two openings 72 and 73. The holding mechanisms 70 operate similarly to the holding mechanisms 20 of the first present preferred embodiment of our carrying case 1. The other portion of the body has a tool holding mechanism 58 that includes the same features and operates the same as the tool holding mechanism 18 of the first present preferred embodiment of our carrying case 1.

Preferably, embodiments of our carrying case are composed of an elastomeric material such as polypropylene or other plastics and are integrally molded as a one piece structure. Embodiments of our carrying case may also have an exterior surface that is designed to have a particular aesthetic affect. For instance, the exterior surface may include different colors or emblems such as lightening bolts or stars, molded into the exterior surfacer. The emblems may be colored differently than other portions of the exterior surface.

It should be appreciated that variations of the present preferred embodiments discussed above may be made. For instance, embodiments of our carrying case may be configured to hold numerous different objects or have different shapes or sizes from the carrying cases shown in FIGS. 1-10 and discussed above.

While certain present preferred embodiments of our carrying case have been discussed and illustrated, and certain present preferred methods of making and using the same have also been discussed and illustrated, it is to be distinctly understood that the invention is not limited thereto but may be otherwise variously embodied and practiced within the scope of the following claims.