Title:
Suspension Divider Insert
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates generally to divider inserts for bags and cases holding electronic equipment or other valuables. More specifically, the divider features a supporting top edge, such that, when a SLR camera is properly placed into a bag or case utilizing the dividers described, the hard points of the camera body contacts and is suspended by the supporting top edge of the divider.



Inventors:
Crandall, Kevin (Santa Rosa, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/235493
Publication Date:
03/25/2010
Filing Date:
09/22/2008
Assignee:
Daymen Photo Marketing LP (Sebastopol, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLADO, CYNTHIA FRANCISCA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MEDLER FERRO WOODHOUSE & MILLS PLLC (McLean, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An insert for a camera bag, comprising: a panel oriented in a substantially vertical position perpendicular to the horizon, wherein a top edge of said panel supports a camera around said camera lens mount when said camera is placed face down in a substantially vertical position, and wherein said camera bag stores said panel in said vertical position and said camera in said substantially vertical position.

2. The insert of claim 1, wherein said top edge of said panel is a padded top edge.

3. The insert of claim 2, wherein said padded top edge is padded with leather.

4. The insert of claim 2, wherein said padded top edge is padded with synthetic leather.

5. The insert of claim 1, wherein said top edge of said panel is comprised of: an upper portion; and a lower portion.

6. The insert of claim 5, wherein said upper portion of said top edge is padded.

7. The insert of claim 1 further comprises a folding means.

8. The insert of claim 1 further comprises an engaging means.

9. A divider comprising: a plane-shaped insert, wherein said insert is substantially perpendicular to the horizon when placed in an enclosure, wherein a top edge of said panel is comprised of: a lower portion; and an upper portion, wherein said upper portion of said top edge supports a camera about said camera lens mount when said camera is placed lens down.

10. The insert of claim 9, wherein said upper portion of said top edge of said insert is padded.

11. The insert of claim 10, wherein said upper portion of said top edge of said insert is padded with leather.

12. The insert of claim 10, wherein said upper portion of said top edge of said insert is padded with synthetic leather.

13. The insert of claim 9 further comprises a folding means.

14. The insert of claim 9 further comprises an engaging means.

15. A divider comprising: a plane-shaped panel oriented in a vertical position substantially perpendicular to the horizon, wherein said panel comprises a padded top edge for supporting at least one hard point on a piece of electronic equipment.

16. The divider of claim 15, wherein said piece of electronic equipment is a single lens reflex camera.

17. The divider of claim 16, wherein said single lens reflex camera is supported by said padded top edge about said single lens reflex camera lens mount when said single lens reflex camera is placed face down on said panel in a substantially vertical position.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to the following co-pending applications, with some common inventors, and the same assignee. The teachings of the following applications listed below are herein incorporated by reference:

U.S. application Ser. No. not yet assigned, filed Sep. 22, 2008, entitled “Suitcase Handle Camera Mount.”

U.S. application Ser. No. not yet assigned, filed Sep. 22, 2008, entitled “Suitcase with Integrated Pull-Out Carrier.”

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to divider inserts for bags and cases holding electronic equipment or other valuables.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Bags, satchels, purses, suitcases, hard cases, soft cases, backpacks, side packs, hip packs, fanny packs, messenger bags and bags meant for storage are some examples of divider usage. The invention described herein can apply to usage in all of the above, and the teaching is the same for each application. For the sake of simplicity, is further described in detail for usage with camera bags and cases.

Dividers for cameras or video recorders are very important features, which can be used to create spaces or compartments inside a camera bag or case. They can also serve an additional use of protecting expensive camera gear and equipment or other personal items when stacked or placed in close proximity together.

Understanding that professional photographers are dependent on very expensive equipment, the desire to protect and coddle this equipment is foremost in the photographers' mind. More specifically, a photographer is most interested in protecting his professional single-lens reflex (SLR) camera and lenses, which are most often placed into a camera bag or case ready for shooting with the camera body attached to a lens.

The prior art have dealt with this problem of protecting SLR camera body and lens units in a variety of ways. Dividers can be made of soft or padded materials that can cushion an impact, but add either bulk or weight to the camera bag or case. Flexible or tightly-fitted dividers can be positioned to hold a camera body and lens firmly in place within the bag, but leave the SLR camera unit vulnerable to impact at its weakest point, the connection between the camera body and lens. The prior art fails to enhance the overall survivability of the camera body and lens unit as a whole. As such, there is a need for enhanced dividers in a bag or case that create a cradle to hold a camera body and lens securely at hard points to protect against any and all point loads placed on the bag or case. None of the above prior art teaches the features and elements of the current application and invention, as described below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance to one embodiment of the present invention, the divider features a padded leather top edge, such that, when a SLR camera is properly placed into a bag or case utilizing the dividers described herein, the hard points of the camera body contacts and is suspended by the padded top edge of the divider. The hard point of a SLR camera resides on the face of the camera around the lens mount, the interface between the camera body and lens. By supporting the SLR camera and lens unit on these hard points, no weight or pressure is applied against the lens mount, the camera unit's weakest point, and a source of a common, yet costly, repair.

In accordance to another embodiment of the present invention, the divider features a unique geometry at the top edge, a lowered edge relative to the padded portion of the top edge, which is oriented parallel to the horizon. As discussed above, the camera is supported at its hard points by the padded top edge of the divider. The lowered edge insures adaptability for fitting a large range of professional SLR cameras into the opening provided by the dividers.

For example, in accordance to one embodiment of the present invention, it is foldable or flexible and features an attachment means, such as Velcro®, so the dividers can be placed in a bag or case in a wide variety of configurations to create versatile and modular spaces to accommodate any number of SLR camera body and lens units.

As another example, in accordance to another embodiment of the present invention, the divider consists of 2 or more members, that when connected with an attachment means such as Velcro® create a system that supports the camera by its hard points. This embodiment has an advantage of flexible configuration with a wide variety and combination of cameras and lenses.

As another example, in accordance to yet another embodiment of the present invention, multiple suspension dividers are positioned so that the camera can be stored attached to any other lens. By positioning 3 or more suspension dividers in parallel, an overlapping storage system is created allowing the photographer to suspend the camera attached to any of lenses. Each space created by the dividers is a slot for a lens. The camera body can be affixed to any of the lenses, and the unique geometry on the top of the dividers protects the camera mount. This is a unique advantage to this system. Traditional camera storage systems have one unique storage slot, forcing the photographer to constantly mount a specific lens to the camera in order to store the equipment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings illustrate the design and utility of embodiments of the invention, in which similar elements are referred to by common reference numerals and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a suspension divider insert in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of suspension divider inserts placed in a camera bag in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates suspension divider inserts in use in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Various embodiments of the invention are described herein with reference to the figures. It should be noted that the figures are not drawn to scale and elements of similar structures or functions are represented by like reference numerals throughout the figures. It should also be noted that the figures are only intended to facilitate the description of specific embodiments of the invention. The embodiments are not intended as an exhaustive description of the invention or as a limitation on the scope of the invention. In addition, an aspect described in conjunction with a particular embodiment of the invention is not necessarily limited to that embodiment and can be practiced in any other embodiment of the invention.

Turning to the drawings, FIG. 1 is a side view of a suspension divider insert 100 in accordance to one embodiment of the invention. Suspension divider insert 100 provides padding and is made of any one or more of the following materials or structures: plastic, elastic material, nylon, bubble-protection material, layered material, soft material, synthetic material, shock absorbent material, hard material, solid material, liquid-containing material, gas-containing material, inflatable material, gel-type material, natural material, water-proof material, paper, cardboard, stretchable materials, elastic band network, net-shape material, mesh-like material, magnetic material, metallic material, foldable structure, hinged structure, multi-hinged structure, transparent material, translucent material, reflective material, painted material, woven material, wooden material, insulation material, or any similar compound, chemical, or composite material to provide the desired aesthetics or functionality for a divider.

Suspension divider insert 100 includes camera supporting edge 105. In accordance to one embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 1, camera supporting edge 105 is additionally padded to protect the camera hard points from abrasion and impact. Padding for camera supporting edge 105 is made of any one or more of the materials as described above for the padding material used for suspension divider insert 100. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, one of the materials used for camera supporting edge 105 includes leather or synthetic leather. In an alternative embodiment, supporting edge 105 is not padded.

As shown in FIG. 1, in accordance to one embodiment of the invention, suspension divider insert 100 features lowered top edge 110. By featuring lowered top edge 110, suspension divider insert 100 provides additional volume for the placement of a SLR camera body and lens unit. The ample space resulting from featured lowered top edge 110 thereby increases the adaptability and compatibility of the dividers with a wide variety of SLR professional cameras.

In accordance to one embodiment of the invention, suspension divider insert 100 features folding means 115. Folding means 115 allows part of the divider insert to flex and adjust in a different orientation relative to other portions of the divider insert. Folding means 115 can be any type of folding mechanism or structure, including, but not limited to: foldable materials, thinner fabrics or padding, hinged structure, flaps, flexible materials, accordion structure, and any other like mechanism or structure. Once placed in a bag or case, suspension divider insert 100 can be configured using folding means 115 to create versatile and modular spaces to accommodate a wide variety of SLR camera body and lens units or other electronic equipment. Multiple folding means 110 can be utilized in a single divider to create the desired result or functionality. Folding means 115 can also be positioned within a camera bag or case to secure the SLR camera body and lens unit in place when used in conjunction with engaging means 120.

In accordance to one embodiment of the invention, engaging means 120 are provided at each end of suspension divider Any number of engaging means 120 can be positioned or oriented on suspension divider insert 100 in conjunction with similar or counterpart engaging means on the interior side walls of a camera bag or case. Engaging means 120 can be any type of fastening mechanism, including but not limited to: zippers, Velcro®, adhesives, snaps, clasps, buttons, fasteners, strings or any other similar mechanism or structure. As shown in FIG. 1, in accordance with one embodiment of the invention, engaging means 120 consists of Velcro® hook strips attached at each end of the suspension divider insert 100. Typically, Velcro® hook strips are adapted to be removable attached to fleece or Velcro® fleece strips used to line the interior side walls of a camera bag or case. When multiple suspension divider inserts 100 are properly engaged to the camera bag or case utilizing engaging means 120 and associated side wall engaging means, the dividers can be positioned and configured into any number of modular spaces that protect valuable professional cameras and other electronics with a tight and snug fit.

In an alternative embodiment of the invention, suspension divider inserts 100 are permanently attached to the interior of the camera bag or case, including, but not limited to being sewn, glued or permanently affixed in any other manner. In this way, bags or cases can be designed for specific makes and models of cameras or other electronics that require a precise fit for maximum protection

FIG. 2 is a top view of suspension divider inserts placed in a camera bag in accordance to one embodiment of the invention. As shown in FIG. 2, multiple suspension divider inserts 100 are utilized to provide proper support for SLR camera bodies. The suspension divider inserts 100 are placed in the camera bag and secured via engaging means 120 at each end of each divider inserts with associated engaging means on the camera side walls. As shown in FIG. 2, engaging means 120 is made of Velcro® hook strips and is attached and secured to fleece lining the side walls of the camera bag. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the engaging means 120 can be attached to associate or counterpart engaging means placed on other dividers or inserts. The folding means 115 are shown flexed for a specific configuration, but can be folded at other angles to form another desired shape or fit.

As shown in FIG. 2, in accordance to one embodiment of the invention, two divider inserts are placed in a camera bag in parallel. Each suspension divider insert 100 is used to support at least one hard point around the lens mount of a camera on camera supporting edges 105. By contrast, lowered top edge 110 does not support the SLR camera body and lens unit, but provides additional volume for the placement of a SLR camera unit.

FIG. 3 illustrates suspension divider inserts in use in accordance to one embodiment of the invention. As shown in FIG. 3, two suspension divider inserts 100 are placed in a camera bag in parallel (second divider in line cannot be seen). Each suspension divider insert 100 is used to support at least one hard point around the lens mount of a camera at camera supporting edges 105. By supporting the SLR camera and lens unit on these hard points, no weight or pressure is applied against the lens mount, the camera unit's weakest point. As such, costly repairs to the lens mount can be minimized, if not eliminated with proper usage of the suspension divider inserts 100.