Title:
Compact foldable shopping bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An expandable, foldable compact shopping bag that includes a decorative outer face that converts into a pocket that holds further expandable, foldable compact shopping bags. The bag decor can match any other article of clothing or bags used by the consumer. The bag can include a thermal layer for the transport of perishable foodstuffs or made of an anti-microbial material. The bag is secured shut when folded through attachment means, such as magnets, snaps, buttons, zippers, hook and loop systems and the like.



Inventors:
Diepen, Mona Van (Simi Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/287422
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
10/08/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
383/105, 383/110, 383/38
International Classes:
B65D33/06; B65D30/08; B65D30/22; B65D33/00
View Patent Images:
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20090032348Tote bag for being partitioned or alternatively expandedFebruary, 2009Wang
20090274398Bag with cooler compartment and uses thereofNovember, 2009Men
20070119857Pockets for Pot Belly BagMay, 2007Schnaars
20080190923Foldable Container for Transporting and/or Storing GoodsAugust, 2008Rovira Fontanals et al.
20070086682AIRTIGHT RECLOSABLE FASTENERApril, 2007Wright et al.



Primary Examiner:
ATTEL, NINA KAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices of Sandy Lipkin (Ventura, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An expandable, foldable reusable bag that converts from a first folded position into a second expanded position comprising an outer surface having a first end and a second end that surrounds said bag when said bag is in said first folded position; an interior bag that folds compactly inside of said outer surface when said bag is in said first folded position; wherein said outer surface is securely attached to said interior bag so as to create a pocket between said outer surface and said interior bag when said bag is in said second expanded position.

2. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 1 further comprising an attachment means that allows said bag to remain folded when in said first folded position by attaching said first end of said outer surface to said second end of said outer surface.

3. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 1 wherein said interior bag is made of a thermal insulating material.

4. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 1 wherein said interior bag further comprises one or more handles attached to said interior bag to allow for ease in carrying said bag when in use in said second expanded position.

5. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 2 wherein said attachment means is one or more snaps.

6. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 2 wherein said attachment means is one or more buttons.

7. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 2 wherein said attachment means is a zipper.

8. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 2 wherein said attachment means is a hook and loop system.

9. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 2 wherein said attachment means is magnets.

10. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 1 wherein one or more expandable, foldable reusable bags can be stored in said pocket.

11. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 1 wherein said outer surface is made of a decorative material that can be accessorized with other items, such as a purse, backpack, item of luggage or man-purse.

12. The expandable, foldable reusable bag as defined in claim 1 wherein said interior bag is made of an anti-microbial material.

Description:

REFERENCE TO PRIOR APPLICATION

This application claims the priority of provisional application 60/190,979, filed Sep. 3, 2008 entitled COMPACT FOLDABLE SHOPPING BAG by Mona Van Diepen.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the field of reusable shopping bags, and particularly toward a compact, stylish, reusable, foldable, retractable, expandable bag that can include a thermal protective layer and further includes a pocket for the housing of further compact reusable bags, the entire device then being capable of being carried in a purse, backpack, luggage, murse (“man purse) or other larger carrier item with the outer design of the shopping bag when in the folded position having a stylish look that can be coordinated to match the carrier item.

2. Description of the Prior Art

More and more commonly consumers, while shopping, are choosing to utilize re-usable bags to carry home their groceries or other purchased goods rather than using disposable plastic or paper bags. In the near future, it is expected that consumers will be charged a fee for each disposable bag provided by the retailer.

The use of reusable bags by consumers has been on the increase, but current available bags and systems have some inherent drawbacks. The primary drawback is the likelihood that the consumer will not remember to bring the bag with him or her while shopping. Often, more than one bag is needed for a particular shopping excursion. Even when only one bag is needed, the shopper more often than not forgets to bring along the bag or bags. When the shopper does remember, there is also the likelihood that there is no convenient way to carry multiple bags. The carrying along in a convenient place of more than one reusable bags, such as in a handbag or a car, is not easy to do when the quantity of bags results in a bulky and cumbersome package.

In the prior art, there exists foldable bags that fit into the purse or bag of a consumer, but these foldable bags are singular and are not part of a system that includes more than one bag. More often than not, one bag is not sufficient for the shopping excursion. Furthermore, these bags are generally designed to advertise either the store that sold them or some other product. It would be desirable to have a reusable bag that is more generic and even stylish enough to match the outer bag in which it is carried, such as a handbag, backpack, item of luggage or murse. Additionally, the addition of a thermal layer to the bag would be desirable in the case of shopping for groceries that should be at least partially protected from ambient conditions, such as refrigerated or frozen foods items. Some examples of the prior art regarding the use of a multiple reusable bag carrying system include U.S. Pat. No. 5,046,860 to Brennan, U.S. Pat. No. 5,182,895 to Lugo and U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,385 to Ledesma. Each of these prior art patents include devices and systems of use that utilize an outer bag that includes folded smaller bags. None of these, however, includes an outer bag that is also is compact and foldable, nor do any of these prior art patents include a thermal layer and none of them are designed to be stylish and to match the outer carrying container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the present invention teaches an expandable, foldable reusable bag that converts from a first folded position into a second expanded position comprising an outer surface having a first end and a second end that surrounds the bag when the bag is in said first folded position; an interior bag that folds compactly inside of the outer surface when the bag is in the first folded position wherein the outer surface is securely attached to the interior bag so as to create a pocket between the outer surface and the interior bag when the bag is in the second expanded position.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that an attachment means that allows the bag to remain folded when in the first folded position by attaching the first end of the outer surface to the second end of the outer surface.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that the interior bag is made of a thermal insulating material.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that the interior bag further comprises one or more handles attached to the interior bag to allow for ease in carrying the bag when in use in the second expanded position.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that the attachment means is one or more snaps.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that the attachment means is one or more buttons.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that the attachment means is a zipper.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that the attachment means is a hook and loop system.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that the attachment means is a magnet.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that one or more expandable, foldable reusable bags can be stored in said pocket.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that the outer surface is made of a decorative material that can be accessorized with other items, such as a purse, backpack, item of luggage or man-purse.

The above embodiment can be further modified by defining that the interior bag is made of an anti-microbial material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

This invention can better be understood by reference to the drawings, provided for exemplary purposes, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the invention in its retracted, folded position.

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the invention in the first unfolded position.

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the invention in the second unfolded position.

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of the invention in the third unfolded position.

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of the invention fully unfolded.

FIG. 6 is taken along lines 6-6 in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7A is a front view of the invention fully unfolded.

FIG. 7B is a front view of the invention with the invention in the first folded position.

FIG. 7C is a front view of the invention with the invention the second folded position.

FIG. 7D is a front view of the invention with the invention in the third folded position.

FIG. 7E is a front view of the invention with the invention in the fully retracted, folded position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The instant invention describes a foldable reusable shopping that bag that is compact and that also includes a pocket that houses yet more bags. The entire system folds up compactly and is easily stored in a single place, such as a purse, backpack, article of luggage, man-purse (“murse”) or a glove box, for easy access by the consumer when needed.

The outer portion of the bag can be highly decorative and could be manufactured to complement the decor desired by the consumer, such as the look, feel and appearance of the user's purse or other outer carrying item. The outer portion of the bag contains the decorating styling. The interior bag could be composed of a thermal insulating material that works well when purchasing perishable or otherwise thermally sensitive items. Additionally, the interior bag could be composed of an anti-microbial material.

The foldable device would be made so that the material retained its folds for ease of refolding. The bags contained in the pouch of the main bag could match the outer bag or have an entirely different look altogether.

Once folded, an optional magnetic close or other attachment device could be included to keep the entire apparatus folded and held together.

In the preferred embodiment illustrated in the attached drawings, a compact, foldable bag 10 that easily fits into an outer bag, such as a backpack, purse, murse and the like is described. In the fully folded position, the bag 10 includes an outer surface 11 that can include decor that matches the purse, handbag, murse, backpack or other bag into which it is put for transport. As can be seen in FIGS. 1-2, the bag 10 is held together by one or more attachment means, illustrated here as snaps that include a female portion 12b and a male portion 12a. It is to be understood that this is shown for demonstration purposes only and the attachment of the bag 10 could be achieved through any known other attachment means. Other attachment means could include a zipper, buttons, a hook and loop system, magnets and the like. As seen in FIG. 2, once the snaps 12 are disengaged, the bag 10 begins to unfold into the fully expanded position.

The bag 10 in its folded position includes a top 18, a front face 14, a front flap 24 that folds over the front face 14 and folded portions of the interior bag that can be divided into three lateral portions, the top portion 13, the middle portion 20 and the bottom portion 19. The interior bag can be made of a thermal material that allows for the safe transport of perishable foodstuffs. The perimeter of the interior bag is seen from the side when the bag is in the folded position.

Once the top flap 24 is opened to expose the inner face 23, the front face 14 can be folded away from the interior bag portion and form the configuration shown in FIG. 3. Once the front face 14 is folded away, the interior bag is exposed with the top portion 13 and the bottom portion 19 both folded over the middle portion 20. Attached to the top portion 13 are a pair of handles 15 that will assist the user in carrying the bag when in use.

As seen in FIG. 4, the top portion 13 is then folded away from the middle portion 20 while the bottom portion 19 is also folded away from the middle portion 20 forming half of the bag. Then, as seen in FIG. 5, the bag is folded in a lateral direction exposing the interior bag having a two outer walls 22, 25 that together form the parameters of the bag. The back side of the bag 22, as shown here, is non-descript while the front side of the bag 25 has attached thereto the decorative portion of the device 10 that can now be used as a storage pocket 16 that houses one or more bags 17 that expand and collapse in the same manner as the interior bag defined herein. As can be seen in FIG. 6, the handle 15 is attached to the back side 22 and includes an inner wall 21 that can be composed of any thickness of material to provide variable amounts of insulation for housing perishable foodstuffs or other thermally sensitive items, if necessary.

FIGS. 7A-7E show the sequence as the interior bag is folded back into its compact, retracted position. FIG. 7A shows the bag divided roughly into six panels that define where the bag folds back into place. The views shown in FIGS. 7A-7B begin with the back side 22 of the bag (the side without the pocket) facing the viewer. First, the bag is folded in half (seen in FIG. 7B) laterally. Then the top portion 13 and the bottom portion 19 are folded in a vertical direction (see FIG. 7C). In FIG. 7D we then see that the front face with the snaps 14 folds vertically upward toward the top 18 of the bag. In FIG. 7E, the entire closed system is again seen as it started in FIG. 1.

The illustrations and examples provided herein are for explanatory purposes only and are not intended to limit the scope of the appended claims. This disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the spirit and scope of the invention and/or claims of the embodiment illustrated. Those skilled in the art will make modifications to the invention for particular applications of the invention.

The discussion included in this patent is intended to serve as a basic description. The reader should be aware that the specific discussion may not explicitly describe all embodiments possible and alternatives are implicit. Also, this discussion may not fully explain the generic nature of the invention and may not explicitly show how each feature or element can actually be representative or equivalent elements. Again, these are implicitly included in this disclosure. Where the invention is described in device-oriented terminology, each element of the device implicitly performs a function. It should also be understood that a variety of changes may be made without departing from the essence of the invention. Such changes are also implicitly included in the description. These changes still fall within the scope of this invention.

Further, each of the various elements of the invention and claims may also be achieved in a variety of manners. This disclosure should be understood to encompass each such variation, be it a variation of any apparatus embodiment, a method embodiment, or even merely a variation of any element of these. Particularly, it should be understood that as the disclosure relates to elements of the invention, the words for each element may be expressed by equivalent apparatus terms even if only the function or result is the same. Such equivalent, broader, or even more generic terms should be considered to be encompassed in the description of each element or action. Such terms can be substituted where desired to make explicit the implicitly broad coverage to which this invention is entitled. It should be understood that all actions may be expressed as a means for taking that action or as an element which causes that action. Similarly, each physical element disclosed should be understood to encompass a disclosure of the action which that physical element facilitates. Such changes and alternative terms are to be understood to be explicitly included in the description.