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Title:
BRIEFCASE, IN PARTICULAR FOR PORTABLE COMPUTERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/010203
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Briefcase (10) for accommodating and transporting a laptop computer by means of a shoulder strap by a user, comprising a first (11) and a second portion (12) coupled together by means of a mutual connection portion (16) rotatable in such a manner that said portions (11, 12)- define a closable container when brought together defined mainly in said second portion (12) substantially provided rigid and intended for accommodating and supporting, during use, the computer, having means for blocking the rotation of said second portion (12) at a predetermined angle (α) with respect to the first portion (11), said briefcase further comprising flexible elements (13) suitable to form, during use, at least one support passing around the neck of a user to keep the briefcase on the thorax of the user, wherein the flexible support elements (13) are anchored to the first portion (11) of said briefcase so as to allow, during use, keeping said briefcase supported with said first portion (11) laying at a substantially vertical position against the thorax of the user and with said second portion (12), rotated by said predetermined angle (α), directed away from said first portion (11) and from the thorax of the user.

Inventors:
CAMPEDELLI, Riccardo (Via Vittoria Colonna 15, Milano MI, I-20149, IT)
Application Number:
IB2010/001755
Publication Date:
January 27, 2011
Filing Date:
July 15, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CAMPEDELLI, Riccardo (Via Vittoria Colonna 15, Milano MI, I-20149, IT)
EURONET S.A.S. (Via Vittoria Colonna 25, Milano, I-20149, IT)
International Classes:
A45C3/02; A45C13/00; A45C13/36; A45C11/00; A45F3/04; A45F5/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COSENZA, Simona (Barzano' & Zanardo Milano S.p.A, Via Borgonuovo 10, Milano MI, I-20121, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1) Briefcase (10) for accommodating and transporting a laptop computer by means of a shoulder strap by the user, comprising a first (11) and a second portion (12) coupled together by means of a mutual connection portion (16) rotatable in such a manner that said portions (11, 12) define a closable container when brought together defined mainly in said second portion (12) substantially provided rigid and intended for accommodating and supporting, during use, the computer, having means for blocking the rotation of said second portion (12) at a predetermined angle (α) with respect to the first portion (11) , said briefcase further comprising flexible elements (13) suitable to form, during use, at least one support passing around the neck of a user to keep the briefcase on the thorax of the user, characterized in that said flexible support elements (13) are anchored to the first portion (11) of said briefcase so as to allow, during use, keeping said briefcase supported with said first portion (11) laying at a substantially vertical position against the thorax of the user and with said second portion (12) , rotated by said predetermined angle (α) , directed away from said first portion (11) and from the thorax of the user.

2) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that said first portion (11) is provided with flexible elements anchored to the walls thereof, said flexible elements acting as support passing around the neck of a user to carry the briefcase on the thorax thereof . 3) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that said predetermined rotation blocking angle (α) of said second portion (12) with respect to said first portion (11) is about 90° .

4) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that it comprises removable means (15) for blocking said portions (11, 12) in said position brought together.

5) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that said second portion (12) comprises a flat rigid bottom area provided with side containment edges.

6) Briefcase (10) according to claim 5 characterized in that said side containment edges comprise metallic perimeter reinforcements .

7) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that said second portion (12) internally comprises means for fixing a laptop computer (14) placed on said rigid bottom area.

8) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1, characterized in that said first portion has at least partially rigid walls for fixing said hinge coupling.

9) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1, characterized in that said first portion (11) is equipped with elastic belts associated with its outer wall, said elastic belts acting as a support passing around the back of a user to support the briefcase on the thorax thereof.

10) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that said first portion (11) is provided with a clasp associated with its outer wall, said clasp being able to be coupled with the belt of a user to support the briefcase on the thorax .

11) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that it comprises a rigid support surface (31) associated to said second portion (12), said support surface (31) being moveable in translation and rotation with respect to said second portion (12) .

12) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that said first portion (11) comprises a pocket (30) arranged parallel and at said connection portion (16) and two clip or clamp elements (34) arranged facing said pocket (30) for the side fixing of the computer.

13) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that said first portion (11) comprises a band element (38) arranged parallel and at said connection portion (16) selectively fixable and releasable by means of a Velcro coupling (37) and two clip or clamp elements (34) arranged facing said pocket (30) for the side fixing of the computer.

14) Briefcase (10) according to claim 1 characterized in that said first portion (11) comprises a band element (38) arranged parallel and at a position opposite to said connection portion (16) selectively fixable and releasable by means of a Velcro coupling (37) and corner bands (52) arranged at the ends of said connection portion (16) .

Description:
BRIEFCASE , IN PARTICULAR FOR PORTABLE COMPUTERS

The present invention refers to a briefcase, in particular for laptop computers .

Specifically, the present invention refers to a briefcase which, alongside allowing - just like the briefcases/bags currently available in the market - a correct and safe transfer of a laptop computer when it is OFF, it also allows the user to comfortably use the same computer even walking or standing on one's feet without the help of any external support surface .

Nowadays, it is common knowledge that a computer has become a fundamental tool for quickly and efficiently performing most of the daily activities, in particular work activities. Furthermore, as it has become a common praxis to use such tool even out of office or home, special computers called laptop computers, which have a small size, are very light, even less than a kilogram, and are provided with an incorporated rechargeable battery, are currently commonly used.

However, though such modern laptop computers are actually easy to transport anywhere, the user is not always capable to use them comfortably.

In particular, as a matter of fact, it is currently quite uncomfortable to use laptops while walking or standing on one's feet and, in general, when there is no possibility to place the laptop computer on a rigid support plane .

DisadvantageousIy, in these cases the user is forced to use one hand to hold the computer thus having only the other hand for performing the desired task. It is clear that the situation described above not only considerably slows the work activities but also it does not offer any safety for the laptop computer which could easily fall and be damaged.

Examples of work activities which often require using a laptop computer while walking and standing on one's feet without any external rigid support are yearly drafting of the inventory, in which the user must move around the warehouse stopping from time to time in front of the stored goods, or visits at trade show exhibitions, wherein between an exhibition stand and another it may be necessary to take notes and possibly send an email .

US 5725255 describes a briefcase according to the preamble of claim 1.

In- particular the briefcase described in US 5725255 comprises flexible elements suitable to form, during use, a support passing around the neck of a user to keep the briefcase at operative position.

However, disadvantageously, such flexible elements, given that they are connected to a portion of the briefcase which in use is placed in front of the thorax of the user, represent an obstacle for the hands of the user when using the computer.

An object of the present invention is that of providing a briefcase capable of overcoming the previously mentioned drawbacks of the prior art in an extremely simple, economical and particularly functional manner.

Another object is that of providing a briefcase capable of allowing both the safe transport of a laptop computer when it is OFF and allow comfortable use while walking or standing on one's feet in the absence of external rigid supports. These objects according to the present invention are attained by providing a briefcase as outlined in claim 1.

Further characteristics of such briefcase are apparent from the subsequent claims .

Characteristics and advantages of a briefcase according to the present invention shall be clearer from the following exemplifying and non-limiting description, referring to the attached schematic drawings wherein:

figure 1 is a schematic view of an embodiment of a briefcase according to the present invention during the step of safe transport of a laptop computer when OFF;

figure 2 is a schematic view of the briefcase of figure 1 during the step of use of the transported laptop when standing on one' s feet ;

figures 2B and 2C are schematic views of a second embodiment of a briefcase according to the present invention in different steps of use;

figure 3 is a third embodiment of another briefcase according to the present invention,- figures 4 and 5 are schematic views of other embodiments of briefcases according to the present invention;

figure 6 is a schematic view of another embodiment of a briefcase according to the present invention;

figure 7 is a schematic view of another embodiment of a briefcase according to the present invention; and

figure 8 is a schematic view of another embodiment of a briefcase according to the present invention. Referring to the figures, a briefcase according to the present invention which, as observable from the description that follows, allows the user both to safely transport a laptop computer when OFF and using it comfortably when standing on one's feet in absence of external rigid support planes, is indicated with 10.

The term "laptop computer" is used to indicate all electronic devices provided with a keyboard and a monitor through which data may be processed.

Such briefcase 10 comprises a first 11 and a second portion 12 coupled together through a rotatable mutual connection portion 16, which may be a hinge 16 or a portion made of material, for example a fabric, sufficiently flexible to allow the mutual rotation of the portions 11 and 12.

In the description hereinafter the term hinge 16 is used to indicate any possible connection capable of allowing mutual rotation of the portions 11 and 12.

In particular such hinge 16 allows the two portions 11, 12 to perform relative rotations in such a manner to define, when brought together, a closable containment volume, for example through a zip or any other element, in which the laptop computer 14 may be placed.

In order to firmly hold the laptop computer 14 in the briefcase 10, at least one of the portions 11, 12, in particular the second portion 12 i.e. the one intended to receive the bottom portion of the laptop computer 14, is provided with removable anchoring means such as elastic bands or Velcro laces .

In such a manner, once the laptop computer 14 is coupled to the second portion 12 of the briefcase 10 through the aboveraentioned anchoring means and after closing the briefcase

10 itself, the laptop computer 14 may be transported by the user in an extremely safe manner.

In particular, according to the invention the hinge coupling

16 between the portions 11, 12 comprises means for blocking the rotation of the second portion 12 at a predetermined angle with respect to the first 11 portion.

Preferably such angle α beyond which any further relative rotation of the portions 11 and 12 is not allowed is about

90°, preferably 80°.

Hinges of this type are per se known and currently available in the market .

Advantageously, in the briefcase 10 according to the present invention the flexible elements 13 which represent support for the use of the briefcase 10, as well as belts/buckles

36 which shall be described hereinafter, are connected to the first portion 11, i.e. the portion which, during use, is adherent to the thorax of the user.

In such manner such flexible elements 13, just like the belts/buckles 36, do not represent any obstacle to the hands of the user when using the computer during the use of the briefcase 10.

By means of such hinge 16, during the rotation regarding the portions 11 and 12 around the hinge 16 the latter are blocked when they reach a position substantially orthogonal therebetween.

As observable in the figures the first portion 11 comprises anchored to the walls thereof, preferably on the opposite side with respect to the hinge 16, flexible elements 13 of the shoulder strap type possibly adjustable and/or removable, and a handle 13' which may be arranged in the briefcase itself.

According to a preferred embodiment the first portion 11 may also be provided with elastic belts/buckles associated to the outer wall thereof, in which such elastic belts/buckles serve as support passing around the back of a user like a safety belt for better support of the briefcase on the thorax thereof.

Preferably such belts/buckles 36, shown schematically in figure 3, are connected to the upper end of the first portion 11 so as to provide, alongside a safety support for the briefcase 10, also a restriction to the downward rotation of the portion 11 due to the weight of the laptop computer 14 arranged on the portion 12.

Given that the flexible elements 13 are of the removable shoulder strap type, the briefcase 10 may be transported, and thus used, like a bum-bag.

Thus, as shown in figure 5, the briefcase 10 may be transported easily when under jackets or coats.

Furthermore, provided for may be a partition 35 between the first and the second portion 11, 12 also constrained to the hinge 16 in such a manner to define with the first portion 11 an accommodation for sheets of paper or any other material.

Preferably the maximum inclination β provided for such partition 35 with respect to the first portion 11 is about 10° . Alternatively, or additionally, provided for may also be the presence of a clasp associated to the outer wall of the first portion 11 and shaped in such a manner to be able to be coupled to the belt of a user with the aim of optimally supporting the briefcase on the thorax thereof.

Should the briefcase 10 be worn across the shoulder with the first portion 11 laying vertically along the thorax, as shown in figure 1, by rotating the second portion 12, as indicated by the arrow Fl in figure 2, it gets blocked at a position substantially orthogonal to the thorax of the user providing a support surface ideal for the use - on one's feet - of the laptop computer 14 transported in the briefcase 10 itself.

After opening the briefcase 10, the opening rotation of the laptop computer 14 laying on the second portion 12, opening schematized in figure 2 through the arrow F2, is not hindered.

Upon completing such operation, the laptop computer 14 firmly lies on the portion 12 of the briefcase 10 substantially horizontal thus allowing the user to comfortably use it even standing on one's feet or walking without the help of any external support surface .

Preferably the second portion 12 comprises a rigid flat bottom area, i.e. capable of bearing the weight of the laptop computer 14 without being deformed, and side containment edges which may be made of simple fabric possibly provided with metallic perimeter reinforcements.

According to a preferred embodiment the rigidity of the second portion 12 for containing the laptop computer 14 may be obtained by using rigid plastic material and an iron wire as a perimeter reinforcement.

The first portion 11 has at least partly rigid walls for anchoring the hinge coupling 16.

Advantageously, given that neither side elements which join the two portions 11, 12 nor shoulder straps associated to the second portion 12 are present, the briefcase 10 allows the user to comfortably use the laptop computer 14 with both hands given that there is no side hindrance interposed between the arms and the computer 14 itself .

However, the presence of additional side elements that join the two portions 11, 12 is not excluded as long as they do not represent obstacles for the arms of the user when using the laptop computer 14 arranged on the second portion 12. For example elastic side belts 50, 51, observable in figure 4, which connect two portions 11, 12 may be provided for.

Such elastic side belts 50, 51 may be arranged at the hinge 16, or at the distal areas of the two portions 11, 12 with respect to the hinge 16.

Alternatively such side belts 50, 51 may be rigid and provided with a central folding joint.

Generally, if present, such side belts 50, 51 serve as means for blocking the rotation of the second portion 12 at a predetermined angle with respect to the first portion 11. Furthermore, in order ' to constrain the laptop computer 14 to the second portion 12 corner bands 52 may be provided for to obtain in the second portion 12 corner pockets 52 for restraining the corners of the laptop computer 14.

Lastly, regarding the first portion 11 it may be thin, to provide a cover/closure of the second portion 12 to which the laptop computer 14 is constrained, or it may also be provided with lateral edges to define a compartment for containing the laptop computer 14 itself or for other material transported by the user, such as for example stationery placed in the respective pockets or accommodations .

Given that such first portion 11 does not have the purpose of supporting a laptop computer 14 during use thereof on one's feet, it may be made of soft material, such as simple fabric, without any particular reinforcement.

Figures 2B and 2C show another embodiment of a briefcase 10 according to the present invention in which the presence of a rigid support surface 31 moveably associated to the second portion 12 is provided for.

In particular such support 31 is moveable to allow directing and/or inclining the laptop computer 14 at will with respect to the second portion 12.

As an example, it may be provided for that such moveable support 31 comprises a lower pin 32 moveable in a guide 33 provided in the second portion 12.

In such a manner, the moveable support 31 may be translated towards the external of the second portion 12, movement indicated with Tl in figure 2B, or rotated, as indicated with T2 in figures 2B and 2C, to position the laptop computer 14 at the ideal position preferred by the user.

Such provision is particularly advantageous when using thin laptop computers 14 of the touch screen type where the keyboard and monitor are integrated into a single component and where easily reaching each portion of the abovementioned screen is required.

Alternatively, still with the aim of supporting a thin laptop computer 14 of the touch screen type, another embodiment of the briefcase 10 shown in figure 6 is provided for.

Such embodiment provides for the presence of particular elements for restraining the touch screen laptop computer 14 at the operative position such as, for example, a pocket 30 arranged parallel and at the hinge 16 and two clip or clamp elements 34 arranged facing such pocket 30 for lateral fixing of the computer.

Instead of the abovementioned pocket 30 a band element 38, as shown in figure 7, arranged parallel and at the hinge 16 selectively fixable and releasable, for example by means of a Velcro coupling 37, may be provided for.

According to another example, shown in figure 8, the band element 38 selectively fixable and releasable by means of a Velcro coupling 37 may be arranged on the first portion 11 at the opposite position with respect to the hinge 16.

Advantageously, in such case the band element 38, possibly cooperating with the corner bands 52 described previously, ideally restrains the computer arranged outside the briefcase 10.

It has thus been observed that a briefcase according to the present invention attains the previously described objectives.

As a matter of fact such briefcase on one hand allows safely transporting a laptop computer when it is OFF, and on the other hand it allows using the transported laptop computer even while the user is walking or standing on his feet in the absence of external support surfaces .

The briefcase of the present invention thus conceived is susceptible to various modifications and variants, all falling within the same inventive concept; furthermore, all details may be replaced by technically equivalent elements. In practice, the materials used, as well as sizes thereof, may vary according to the technical requirements .