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Title:
LUGGAGE HANDLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2003/020068
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A luggage handle (10) in the form of a closed, equilateral triangle, molded plastic loop includes latch members (32, 36) attached to an apex (20) of the loop. The latch members join the ends of an adjustable length, flexible flat strap (34).

Inventors:
Godshaw, Donald E. (3030 Payne Street, Evanston, IL, 60201, US)
Redzisz, Andrezj M. (636 Sycamore Lane, Wheeling, IL, 60090, US)
Marchwiak, Zbigniew (3630 N. Sayre, Chicago, IL, 60634, US)
Klysz, Marian (1505 Columbia Ct, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60007, US)
Marchwiak, Iwona Malgorzata (3630 N. Sayre, Chicago, IL, 60634, US)
Gracer, Zoran H. (630 Central Avenue, Deerfield, IL, 60015, US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2002/002999
Publication Date:
March 13, 2003
Filing Date:
January 23, 2002
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Travel Caddy, Inc D/b/a Travelon (333 East Touhy Avenue, Des Plaines, IL, 60018, US)
International Classes:
A45F5/10; A45C13/26; (IPC1-7): A45C/
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Nelson, Jon O. (Banner & Witcoff LTD, Ten South Wacker Drive, Suite 300, Chicago IL, 60606, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A luggage handle comprising, in combination: a solid hand grip member including a first bar member, a second bar member and a third bar member, said bar members being coplanar and joined in the form of a planar isosceles triangle, wherein two bar members form the equal sides of the triangle and join at an apex, said bar member forming the third side of the triangle being configured to provide a hand grip; a projecting connection member from the apex coplanar with the bar members said apex including a first clamp member attached thereto a flexible, elongate, flat strap having one end attached to and extending from the first clamp member; a second adjustable clamp member adjustably attached to the strap to permit adjustment of the length of the strap between the clamp members, said first and second clamp members engageable to form in combination with the strap a closed loop length of said flexible strap for fitting around a handle of an item of luggage and capable of twisting the loop formed by the strap at least in about 90° when engaging a luggage item.
2. The luggage handle of claim 1 wherein the hand grip member has the form of an equilateral triangle.
3. The luggage handles of claim 1 wherein the clamp members hold the strap coplanar with the handgrip member.
4. A luggage tote handle for attachment to and toting of an item of luggage by engaging a luggage pull bar said luggage comprising, in combination: a rigid, multi sided hand grip member including at least three continuous, connected bar member sides joined to form an open loop with a first generally straight hand member side having a first end and a second end, said remaining sides comprising a link connecting the first and second ends to form said open loop, said sides all being coplanar; a latch platform formed on the handgrip member link; a first latch mounted on the latch platform; a second latch cooperative with the first latch; a flexible strap having a first end attached to the latch platform and a second end attached to the second latch, said flexible strap forming a flexible closed loop having a length and size for fitting around a pull bar and capable of twisting of said closed loop at least about 90° when engaging said pull bar.
5. The tote handle of claim 4 wherein the bar member sides, latch members and flat strap are all coplanar.
6. The tote handle of claim 4 wherein the hand grip member is comprised of three sides in the form of an isosceles triangle with the apex of the two equal sides including the latch platform.
7. The tote handle of claim 6 wherein the hand grip member is an equilateral triangle.
8. A tote handle for pulling luggage by connection to a handle bar for said luggage, said tote handle comprising, in combination: a generally equilateral triangle shaped grip comprised of first, second and third generally straight bar members forming a closed loop, one of said bar members comprising a hand hold member and the other two members connected to an apex comprising a latch connection; an elongate flexible strap having a first end attached to the latch connection and a second free end; a latch member attached to the strap at an adjustable position along the length of the strap; and a latch attachment member on the latch platform for cooperative engagement with the latch member, said strap comprising a loop capable of fitting around the handle bar of luggage and twisting to accommodate the orientation of a luggage handle bar relative to the hand hold member and simultaneously provide separation of the luggage handle bar relative to the hand hold member.
Description:
LUGGAGE HANDLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In a principal aspect the present invention comprises a luggage handle and, more particularly, a luggage handle which may be used in combination with the pull bar of a wheeled luggage case or other luggage item having a pull handle.

Movement of luggage, especially with respect to airline travel, is often hampered by the awkwardness or cumbersome arrangement of luggage pull handles particularly on wheeled luggage. Various solutions have been proposed to accommodate such a challenge to travelers, and numerous patents tasks have been issued which disclose arrangements for transport of luggage and movement of luggage on wheels by means of a pull handle. Following is a listing of patents directed to this topic and related topics: 1. U. S. Patent No. 3,653, 474, published April 4,1972, Rolling Luggage, Sadow; 2. U. S. Patent No. 3,913, 172, published October 21,1975, Detachable Hand-Grip for Shopping Bags, Richards, deceased, et al.; 3. U. S. Patent No. 3,924, 872, published December 9,1975, Luggage with Pull Device, Sollazzi et al.; 4. U. S. Patent No. 4,114, 838, published September 19,1978, Carrier for Skis and Ski Poles, Knauf ; 5. U. S. Patent No. 4,402, 542, published September 6,1983, Implement for Carrying Wheels and Tires for Motor Vehicles, Kreutzer; and 6. U. S. Patent No. 4,558, 896, published December 17,1985, Handle, Farnsworth ; 7. U. S. Patent No. 4,730, 863, published March 15,1988, Apparatus for Carrying Clothing Suspended on a Coat Hangar, Guadnola; 8. U. S. Patent No. 4,838, 396, published June 13,1989, Luggage Handle, Krenzel; 9. U. S. Patent No. 5,090, 691, published February 25,1992, Active and Passive Handle for Exercise Device, Pollock; 10. U. S. Patent No. 5,405, 002, published April 11,1995, Protective Bag for Transportation of River Running Boats, Troia; 11. U. S. Patent No. 5,566, 870, published October 22,1996, Auxiliary Carrying Handle for Golf Bags, Mejeur; 12. U. S. Patent No. 5,704, 672, published January 6,1998, Stand-up Snow Shovel with Flexible Auxiliary Handle, Sims et al.;

13. U. S. Patent No. 5,722, 118, published March 3,1998, Handle Conversion Apparatus, Hansen et al.; and 14. U. S. Patent No. 5,878, 853, published March 9,1999, Luggage Pull, DeRouen et al.

While the proposed patent solutions offer various advantages depending upon the environment, there still remains the need for an improved travel or luggage handle device which is light weight, compact, easily accessed, installable whenever needed on new and old luggage, and storable. It is these objectives, among others, which have inspired the development of the present luggage handle or luggage travel handle device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly, the present invention comprises a molded handle which is typically comprised of three equal sides in the form of a triangle with one side forming a hand grip and the other two sides connected from the hand grip and joined together at an apex. The apex defines a mounting platform for first and second latch members. The first latch member is attached to the apex of the handle. The second latch member is detachable from the first member mounted on the handle and is adapted to receive a strap connected from the handle apex through the second latch member. The strap length is adjustable. The strap may be fitted around a luggage pull bar and attached to the handle by the engagement of the latch members. The strap may then be twisted 90 degrees or more to allow the luggage item to be pulled by the handle which is oriented by its user in a comfortable position. The handle includes an ergonomically designed hand grip which enhances comfortable use of the handle.

Thus it is an object of the invention to provide an improved luggage handle.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a luggage handle made from a molded plastic material which can be easily attached and detached from luggage pulls such as the pull handle associated with the telescoping handle of a wheeled bag.

Another object of the invention is to provide a luggage handle which is compact and which may be easily attached and detached from a luggage pull handle.

Another object of the invention is to provide a luggage handle which provides for balance with respect to pulling luggage items by attachment to a telescoping pull bar of luggage.

Another object of the invention is to provide a luggage handle which is inexpensive, rugged, easy to use, and which accommodates use by persons of different physical stature and height as well as luggage items having a wide variance of configurations and pull handles.

These and other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will be set forth in a detailed description which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the detailed description which follows reference will be made to the drawings comprised of the following figures: Figure 1 is an isometric view of the luggage handle of the invention; Figure 2 is an isometric view of the luggage handle of the invention depicted in combination with a pull bar of an item of luggage; and Figure 3 is an isometric view of the luggage handle of Figure 1 in combination with a pull handle of a luggage item; Figure 4 is an isometric view of the luggage handle of the invention wherein the flexible strap is formed in a closed loop; Figure 5 is a top plan view of the handle of Figure 4; Figure 6 is a side elevation of the handle of Figure 5; Figure 7 is an end view of the luggage handle of Figure 5; Figure 8 is an opposite end view of the luggage handle of Figure 5; and Figure 9 is a bottom plan view of the luggage handle of Figure 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The luggage handle of the invention is comprised of a series of integrally molded and connected plastic bar elements preferably in the configuration of a planar triangle. The handle includes a central hand grip bar member 10 having opposite curved ends 12 and 14.

Converging from the opposite ends 12 and 14 are second and third bar members 16 and 18.

The bar members 16 and 18 converge to join at an apex 20. The bar members 10,16, and 18 are preferably coplanar. The hand grip bar member 10 is preferably shaped or contoured and configured in an ergonomic manner to facilitate gripping by an individual. That is, the center portion 11 of the hand grip 10 has a greater thickness than the opposite side sections adjacent the opposite ends 12 and 14. The hand grip is smoothly rounded. In a preferred embodiment inlayed plastic and/or rubber elements 22 and 24 are provided on the bar member 10 to

facilitate gripping. Additional inlay elements 26 and 28 are provided on the opposite ends 12 and 14 principally for decorative purposes and for identification purposes. The bar members 10,16, and 18 are, in the preferred embodiment, generally equal in length and form an equilateral triangle. However the second and third bar members 16 and 18 may form the sides of an isosceles triangle joined together at the apex 20. It is possible, however, to vary the length of the second bar member 16 or third bar member 18 to control the angle or orientation of the hand grip 10.

The members 16 and 18 converge to the apex comprising a flat platform 30 upon which a first latch member 32 is mounted. The latch member 32 includes a flexible strap 34 attached thereto and extending through a second latch member 36. The extension of flexible strap 34 through the latch member 36 provides for adjustment of the length of a loop 38 formed by insertion of the second latch member 36 into the first latch member 32. Preferably the latch members 32 and 36 are positioned to engage with each other on a top side or on the same side of a platform 30 formed at the apex 20. This enhances the structural integrity of the luggage handle. It is possible, however, to provide a latch mechanism which merely fits into or engages into separate latch elements that are recessed and molded into the apex 20 where the bar members 16 and 18 are joined. Alternatively, the two latch members 32,36 may plug into or engage with catches molded in the bar elements 16,18 or platform 20. In such alternative embodiments, the strap 34 and latch members 32,36 are totally detachable from the handle.

Preferably all of the bar elements, 10,16, and 18 are coplanar with the platform 30.

Further, the length of the strap 34 is preferably in the range of 12 to 20 inches to permit adequate length adjustment and to permit appropriate twisting of the strap 34.

Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the manner in which the luggage handle is attached to a handle bar of an item of luggage, for example. Latch member 36 is disengaged from the latch member 32 and strap 34 is adjusted in length in combination with the latch member 36. The strap 34 is then fitted around a luggage handle 50. The second latch member 36 is then inserted into the first latch member 32. The bar member 10 may then be manually gripped and the strap 34 twisted (generally about 90°) so that luggage may be pulled and moved in accord with the desires of an individual toting their luggage. Thus bar 10 will typically be in a plane adjacent the side of a person using the handle as shown in Figure 2 or 3.

It is noted that with the luggage handle of the invention, it is possible to rotate the handle and hand grip 10 relative to the luggage bar 50 thereby permitting an individual to maintain the hand grip 10 in an orientation at their side which is much more comfortable when

pulling the luggage item. The strap 34 may be appropriately cinched so that the luggage item remains under full control of the user of the luggage handle while providing means for reorienting the pulling force on the luggage handle by manual operation.

Typically the respective bar members 10,16, and 18 of the handle will be in the range of 4 to 7 inches in length and form a closed loop as depicted. Although the preferred orientation and construction provides for an equilateral triangle loop, it is possible to include additional bar elements and form a polygonal structure having more than three sides or alternatively a structure having curved bar elements. For example, the bar members 16,18 may be appropriately curved; however, it is preferable that the hand grip bar member 10 which is to be gripped by the hand may be maintained as a relatively straight member with a cushion element and ergonomic shape in order to accommodate comfort.

It is possible to vary the construction of the handle without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Various materials may be used to make the handle. The configuration of the closed loop member may be varied. The position and orientation of the platform and apex may be varied as may the latch members and their attachment construction to the handle and to each other and to the strap. Importantly use of a flexible strap is considered to be an essential feature of the invention. Additionally it is preferable that the strap be adjustable in length as described. Also the width of the strap 34 is important. Typically strap 34 is 3/4 inch to 2 inches wide and the strap is flat to facilitate positioning on a pull handle and maintenance of position. Thus while it has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is limited only by the following claims and equivalents thereof.