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Title:
IMPROVEMENTS IN AND RELATING TO AN ARTICLE OF LUGGAGE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/020226
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An article of luggage (2) comprising a shape defining framework comprising a top section (12) and a base section (10), a rear portion of the top section being vertically offset from a front portion of the top section, two front spacers (14), each front spacer being located between a front corner of the top section and a front corner of the base section to locate the front portion of the top section and a front portion of the base section a first predetermined distance from one another, two rear spacers (16), each rear spacer being located between a rear corner of the top section and a rear corner of the base section to locate the rear portion of the top section and a rear portion of the base section a predetermined distance from one another, a towing handle assembly comprising a pair of parallel limbs (74) spaced apart by a cross piece (70), the depending parallel limbs of the towing handle assembly being telescopically engagable with the rear spacers (16) and displaceable between a fixed storage position and a fixed towing position, in the fixed storage position an upper surface of the cross piece (70) being flush with or below the front portion of the top section (12), the shape defining framework being provided with a cover (100), a rear surface of the cover being bound to a rectangular frame element (110) mounted on the shape defining framework, and separate reinforcement members (80) are provided over the cover at each upper rear corner of the article of luggage

Inventors:
SELVI, Sedat (it Luggage Limited, Luggage House The Chase,Foxholes Business Park, Hertford Cambridgeshire CB30FA, CB30FA, GB)
Application Number:
GB2017/052160
Publication Date:
February 01, 2018
Filing Date:
July 25, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
IT LUGGAGE LIMITED (Luggage House, The ChaseFoxholes Business Park, Hertford SG13 7NN, SG13 7NN, GB)
International Classes:
A45C5/03; A45C5/02; A45C5/14; A45C13/04; A45C13/26; A45C13/36
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BOULT WADE TENNANT (Verulam Gardens, 70 Gray's Road, London WC1X 8BT, CB30FA, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 An article of luggage comprising a shape defining framework comprising a top section and a base section, a rear portion of the top section being vertically offset from a front portion of the top section, two front spacers, each front spacer being located between a front corner of the top section and a front corner of the base section to locate the front portion of the top section and a front portion of the base section a first predetermined distance from one another, two rear spacers, each rear spacer being located between a rear corner of the top section and a rear corner of the base section to locate the rear portion of the top section and a rear portion of the base section a predetermined distance from one another, a towing handle assembly comprising a pair of parallel limbs spaced apart by a cross piece, the depending parallel limbs of the towing handle assembly being telescopicaliy engagable with the rear spacers and displaceabie between a fixed storage position and a fixed towing position, in the fixed storage position an upper surface of the cross piece being flush with or below the front portion of the top section, the shape defining framework being provided with a cover, characterised in that

a rear surface of the cover is bound to a rectangular frame element mounted on the shape defining framework, and

separate reinforcement members are provided over the cover at each upper rear corner of the article of luggage. 2 An article of luggage according to claim 1, in which four wheel assemblies are located at a base of the article of luggage.

3 An article of luggage according to claim 1 or claim 2, in which rear regions of the top section and base section are provided with recessed areas on which to locate regions of the rectangular frame element.

4 An article of luggage according to any of claims 1 to 3, in which each of the reinforcement members serve to retain the regions of the rectangular frame element adjacent the substantially U-shaped recesses provided in the rear face of each of the top and base sections.

5 An article of luggage according to claim 4, in which each of the reinforcement members comprises an upper face, a rear face and a side face, the upper face comprising a first substantially planar front portion, an offset substantially planar rear portion with a substantially vertical portion extending between the front portion and the rear portion, the rear face of the corner element depending from the planar rear portion of the upper face of the corner element and the side face of each corner element being provided as a skirt depending from one side of the upper face of the corner element, joined along one edge to a corresponding side of the rear face, and in which the planar rear portion of the upper face of the corner element is provided with an opening through which a limb of the towing handle assembly extends in use. An article of luggage substantially as described herein with reference as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Description:
Im rovements In and relating to an article of

I u c| cp a p This invention relates to improvements in and relating to an improved article of luggage and in particular to articles of luggage intended to be towed in use.

It is known to provide an article of luggage comprising a generally rectangular framework structure defining the shape of the article of luggage in which a base of the article is held spaced from an upper part by spacers located along vertical edges of the article. A cover of fabric or the like is permanently provided about five sides of the frame, a portion of the cover extending to reieasably cover the sixth side of the frame, in this way, the framework structure and cover defines a storage volume of the article of luggage to which access is obtained by away of the releasable portion of the cover.

It is known to secure a first set of wheel assemblies to a rear edge of the article and provide a towing handle assembly located within the framework such that the towing handle assembly may be moved from a storage position to a towing position allowing the article to be tipped and towed by the towing handle assembly when in the towing position. In the light of airline baggage requirements limiting the weight of articles of luggage that may be transported it is desirable that articles of luggage are as light as possible, while of course maintaining durability. Consumers also prefer lighter cases of a particular storage volume since these are easier to carry or lift when in use and easier to move when empty.

In order to reduce the weight of such cases it is known to incorporate the depending members of a towing handle assembly of an article of luggage within the rear structural members of an article of luggage as shown for example in WO 2008/009905.

It is convenient that the cover should be sidebound, that is the stitching securing the cover extends about the sides of the article of luggage. Typically, rectangular frames are provided to the left and right such that the cover may be sewn to these frames, before the cover is placed about the framework structure. It is further known to provide such an article of luggage in which the upper part of the framework structure is provided with a recessed portion along one edge in order to provide a recess in the finished article into which a cross piece of the towing handle may be stored when not the towing handle assembly is not deployed for towing. However, providing the recess makes providing the cover difficult and in practise an additional external plastics housing is required to cover the recess. This housing is also used to provide additional structural rigidity to the article of luggage. This does however have the disadvantage that it introduces additional weight to the article of luggage. it is an advantage of the invention that it provides a solution to the above identified problems and provides the advantages noted below.

According to a first aspect of the invention, an article of luggage is disclosed comprising a shape defining framework comprising a top section and a base section, a rear portion of the top section being vertically offset from a front portion of the top section, two front spacers, each front spacer being located between a front corner of the top section and a front corner of the base section to locate the front portion of the top section and a front portion of the base section a first predetermined distance from one another, two rear spacers, each rear spacer being located between a rear corner of the top section and a rear corner of the base section to locate the rear portion of the top section and a rear portion of the base section a predetermined distance from one another, a towing handle assembly comprising a pair of parallel limbs spaced apart by a cross piece, the depending parallel limbs of the towing handle assembly being telescopically engagable with the rear spacers and displaceable between a fixed storage position and a fixed towing position, in the fixed storage position an upper surface of the cross piece being flush with or below the front portion of the top section, the shape defining framework being provided with a cover, characterised in that a rear surface of the cover is bound to a rectangular frame element mounted on the shape defining framework, and separate reinforcement members are provided over the cover at each upper rear corner of the article of luggage. Preferably, four wheel assemblies are located at a base of the article of luggage. Preferably, rear regions of the top section and base section are provided with recessed areas on which to locate regions of the rectangular frame element. Preferably, each of the reinforcement members serve to retain the regions of the rectangular frame element adjacent the substantially U-shaped recesses provided in the rear face of each of the top and base sections.

More preferably, each of the reinforcement members comprises an upper face, a rear face and a side face, the upper face comprising a first substantially planar front portion, an offset substantially planar rear portion with a substantially vertical portion extending between the front portion and the rear portion, the rear face of the corner element depending from the planar rear portion of the upper face of the corner element and the side face of each corner element being provided as a skirt depending from one side of the upper face of the corner element, joined along one edge to a corresponding side of the rear face, and in which the planar rear portion of the upper face of the corner element is provided with an opening through which a limb of the towing handle assembly extends in use.

The invention will now be described, by way of example only, in relation to the attached Figures, in which

Figure 1 shows a schematic exploded front view of components of an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 2 shows a schematic exploded rear view of components of an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention; Figure 3 shows a schematic exploded side view of components of an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 4 shows a schematic perspective view of an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention; and

Figure 5A shows a schematic perspective side view of an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention with the towing handle retracted;

Figure 5B shows a schematic perspective side view of an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention with the towing handle extended;

Figure 6 shows a schematic exploded front view of components of an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention; and

Figure 7 shows a schematic exploded rear view of components of an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention.

Referring to the Figures, there can be seen components of an article of luggage 2 in accordance with the present invention. It is generally considered that such an article of luggage is in an upright position when resting on all of its wheels and that the opening to a storage volume is located to a front of the article of luggage. Reference to the front or rear, vertical or horizontal should be understood to refer to the article of luggage when in such an orientation.

A framework defining an internal structure of the article of luggage is shown comprising a top section 12 , a base section 10 and spacers 14,16. The top section 12 is held a predetermined distance from the base section 20 by the spacers. In the illustrated embodiment, the spacers comprise first and second front rods 14 and first and second rear pipes or tubes 16. Conveniently the front rods 14 comprise fibreglass rods due to their light weight and robust structure. Other suitable materials may be used.

It wi l l be understood that the rear pipes or tubes 16 will be used to receive depending members of a towing handle assembly. The rear pipes or tubes 16 may be manufactured from any suitable material .

The base section 10 is substantially planar comprising a longitudinal portion 20 in use defining a width of a storage volume. The shorter ends of the base section 10 are provided with upwardly directed flanges 22. A free edge of each upwardly directed flange 22 is provided with a recessed or cutaway region .

It can be seen that the base section 10 is provided towards its front corners with blind recesses or bores 26 into which the front rods 14 may be received and preferably secured by any suitable means.

The base section 10 is provided towards each of its rear corners with a raised boss 28 having a blind bore into which a lower end of one of the pipes or tubes 16 may be received and preferably secured by any suitable means. A rear edge of the base section 10 may conveniently be provided with an upturned rear flange 24. The upturned side flanges 22 each preferably extend upwards a short distance further than the upturned rear flange 24. Conveniently there is a smooth transition between the longitudinal portion 20 of the base section 10 and the vertical flanges 22,24. A substantially U-shaped recess 50 is provided extending around a periphery of the upturned rear flange 24 where it adjoins the longitudinal portion 20 and the respective upturned side flanges 22. Smooth transitions are provided into and out of the substantially U-shaped recess 50.

Conveniently the blind recesses or bores 26 into which the front rods 14 may be received are moulded against the upturned side flanges 22,

Conveniently the longitudinal portion 20 of the base section 10 is moulded as a continuous or uninterrupted sheet. Alternatively, other than in the regions in which the recesses or bosses 26,28 are provided, openings may be provided in the base section 10.

The top section 12 comprises a first substantially planar front portion 30 and an offset substantially planar rear portion 32. A substantially vertical portion 34 extends between the front portion 30 and the rear portion 32 of the top section 12. Conveniently there is a smooth transition between each of the planar front portion 30 and the vertical portion 34 and the vertical portion 34 and the rear portion 32 of the top section 12.

The top section 12 is provided toward its front corners with blind recesses or bores 36 into which the front rods 14 may be received and preferably secured by any suitable means. It wi l l be understood that in use the front rods are substantially vertical to define front vertical edges of the internal structure of the article of luggage. The top section 12 is provided toward each of its rear corners on its underside with a raised boss 38 having a through bore into which an upper end of one of the pipes or tubes 16 may be received and preferably secured by any suitable means, By way of example the through bore may include an internal shoulder against which the pipe or tube 16 may in use abut,

A rear edge of the planar rear portion 32 may conveniently be provided with a downturned flange 40 extending along a length of the planar rear portion 32. in the illustrated embodiment, a free edge of the downturned flange 40 is provided with a recessed or cutaway region, Left and right hand edges of the top section are conveniently provided with a skirt 44.

Conveniently there is a smooth transition between the planar front portion 30, the vertical portion 34 and the planar rear portion 32 of the top section 12 and the depending skirts 44. Conveniently there is a smooth transition between the downturned flange 40 and the depending skirts 44.

A substantially U-shaped recess 52 is provided extending around a periphery of the downturned flange 40 where it adjoins the planar rear portion 32 and respective skirts 44. Smooth transitions are provided into and out of the substantially U-shaped recess 52. In the illustrated embodiment it can be seen that upper openings of the through bores are located forward of the substantially U-shaped recess 52. Conveniently the top section 12 is moulded as a continuous or uninterrupted body. Alternatively, other than in the regions in which the recesses or bosses 36,38 are provided, openings may be provided in the top section 12. Conveniently the blind recesses or bores 36 into which the front rods 14 may be received are moulded against the depending skirts 44.

Conveniently a lower region of the depending bosses 38 extends below the adjacent skirt 44 and downturned flange 40. In the illustrated embodiment, each of the depending skirts 44 is provided with provided with a recessed or cutaway region. This region is located between the front planar portion 30 and the vertical portion 34 of the top section 12.

The base section 10 and the top section 12 are each conveniently formed of a moulded plastics material . Other suitable materials may be used.

Others elements are shown in Figures 1 and 2, including wheel assemblies 60, a cross bar 70 of a towing handle assembly, and left and right hand side rear corner elements 80. The depending limbs 74 of the towing handle assembly may be seen in Figures 5B, 6 and 7.

Each of the corner elements 80 comprises an upper face 82, a rear face 84 and a side face 86. The upper face 82 comprises a first substantially planar front portion 88, an offset substantially planar rear portion 90 with a substantially vertical portion 92 extending between the front portion 88 and the rear portion 90. The rear face 84 of the corner element 80 depends from the planar rear portion 90 of the upper face 82 of the corner element 80. The side face 86 of each corner element 80 is provided as a skirt depending from one side of the upper face 82 of the corner element, joined along one edge to a corresponding side of the rear face 84. The planar rear portion 90 of the upper face 82 of the corner element is provided with an opening through which a depending member of the towing handle assembly extends in use.

To construct an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention the framework is first assembled.

Separately a cover 100 for the main body of the article of luggage is assembled. An example cover is shown in Figures 6 and 7. The cover 100 may be formed from any suitable material including, by way of example a woven fabric.

The cover 100 can be seen to include a number of elements joined together, including a major planar element 102, a side element 104 and first and second upper elements 106, 108. The major planar element is connected around a lower edge and each of its side edges to the side element, portions of the side element extending above the major planar element at its right and the left hand sides. The first upper element is connected along a first long edge to the upper edge of the major planar element. The shorter ends are connected to the side element. The second upper element is connected to a second longer edge of the first upper element and the portions of the side element extending above the major planar element at its right and the left hand side. These elements 102,104,106,108 may be connected in any suitable manner, including, by way of example, by stitching. A rectangular frame element 110, for example in the form of a wire loop, is incorporated in the cover 100 around the periphery of the major planar surface.

The cover 100 is mounted to the framework such that an upper part of the major planar element is aligned with the downturned flange 40 of the moulded top section and a lower part of the major planar element is aligned with the rear flange 24 of the base section 12, such that the rectangular frame element 110 incorporated in the cover 100 is adapted to seat in or against the substantially U-shaped recesses 50,52 provided in the rear face of each of the top and base sections 10,12. The front free edges of the cover extend to the front of the framework. Once the cover 100 is located over the framework, the corner elements 80 are secured in place by any convenient means, for example by use of fasteners such as screw or rivets. It can be seen that the corner elements 80 serve to retain the regions of the rectangular frame element adjacent the substantially U-shaped recesses 50,52 provided in the rear face of each of the top and base sections 10,12.

The presence of the rectangular frame element 110 provides additional rigidity across the width of the article of luggage, such that there is no need to provide a cross piece over the cover 100 at the rear of the article of luggage 2, instead only the corner elements 80 (which together are lighter than a single cross piece) are required. The depending limbs of the towing handle assembly may now be inserted into the openings in the corner elements 80, through the openings in the top section 12 and into the vertical tubes or pipes 16 where they are retained in a known manner. The towing handle assembly may be releasab!y secured in either a fixed storage position or a fixed towing position using a push button mechanism actuated by a push button 72 located on the cross bar 70. A front cover 120 is provided. The front cover 120 may be of any suitable material. In a hybrid article of luggage the front cover 120 may formed of moulded plastics. A peripheral edge of the front cover 120 is secured to a first side hem of a zip assembly 122. The free end of the cover is secured to an opposite second hem of the zip assembly 122. The zip assembly 122 conveniently comprises a toothed region and a non-toothed region, the non- toothed region extending along a major portion of one side of the cover to act as a hinge to provide access to the storage volume when the zip assembly 122 is unzipped. Once the cover is secured in place other items such as a carry handle 114 may be secured to the article of luggage 2.