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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
LUGGAGE WITH POCKET
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/226678
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A luggage system can include a rear shell housing defining a rear storage area enclosed around a perimeter of the luggage system and a back of the luggage system and a front frame housing defining a front storage area enclosed around the perimeter of the luggage system with a hinge connecting the rear shell housing to the front frame housing to enclose the rear storage area and the front storage area together when the luggage system is in a closed configuration. The luggage system can include a front panel connected to a front of the luggage system along an axis defined by an edge of the front panel, wherein the front frame housing is configured to permit the front panel to be substantially flush with a front surface of the luggage system when the front panel is in a closed configuration.

Inventors:
NAPARSTEK SAM (US)
LEWIS CELIA (US)
MADISON KYLE (US)
ONG DIANA (US)
LEE JESSICA (US)
SUOZZO CHRISTIE (US)
Application Number:
US2019/055074
Publication Date:
November 12, 2020
Filing Date:
October 07, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
JRSK INC (US)
International Classes:
A45C5/06; A45C5/03; A45C7/00; A45C13/00; A45C15/00
Foreign References:
US20040163913A12004-08-26
US20170156462A12017-06-08
EP3170423A12017-05-24
US20120181129A12012-07-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANDERSON, James, R. et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED:

1. A luggage system comprising: a rear shell housing defining a rear storage area enclosed around a perimeter of the luggage system and a back of the luggage system; a front frame housing defining a front storage area enclosed around the perimeter of the luggage system; a hinge connecting the rear shell housing to the front frame housing to enclose the rear storage area and the front storage area together when the luggage system is in a closed configuration; a front panel connected to a front of the luggage system along an axis defined by an edge of the front panel; wherein the front frame housing is configured to permit the front panel to be substantially flush with a front surface of the luggage system when the front panel is in a closed configuration.

2. The luggage system of claim 1 wherein the front frame includes a step feature adjacent a bottom edge of the front frame.

3. The luggage system of claim 2 wherein the front panel comprises a rigid insert enclosed in a flexible covering.

4. The luggage system of claim 2 wherein the step feature permits at least a portion of the front panel to pivot over the bottom edge of the front panel.

5. The luggage system of claim 3 wherein the step feature permits at least a portion of the front panel to pivot over the bottom edge of the front panel.

6. The luggage system of claim 1 further comprising a laundry bag subsystem configured to be contained within the rear storage area or the front storage area when the luggage system is in the closed configuration.

7. The luggage system of claim 1 further comprising a compression pad subsystems movably disposed within the rear shell housing.

8. The luggage system of claim 1 further comprising a housing configured to receive and temporarily retain a removable battery.

9. The luggage system of claim 1 further comprising an expansion zipper spanning a perimeter of the rear shell housing and/or the front frame housing, the expansion zipper configured to increase a volume of the rear storage area and/or the front storage area when the expansion zipper is in an open configuration.

10. The luggage system of claim 9 further comprising a closure zipper spanning a perimeter of the rear shell housing and/or the front frame housing.

11. The luggage system of claim 1 wherein the front storage area is substantially the same width as the front frame housing.

12. A base reinforcement for luggage comprising: a lower surface configured to mate with an interior bottom surface of an article of luggage; one or more partial side walls defining an outer perimeter of the article of luggage; wherein the lower surface includes a front platform that extends beyond the one or more partial side walls in a direction away from an outer surface of the article of luggage; and wherein the front frame platform and one or more partial side walls define a front storage region of the article of luggage.

13. The base reinforcement for luggage of claim 12 wherein the front frame platform is configured to permit a front panel to be flush with a front surface of the article of luggage when the front panel is in a closed configuration.

Description:
LUGGAGE WITH POCKET

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/845,199 filed on May 8, 2019, which is owned by the assignee of the instant application and the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates generally to luggage and related systems and methods for providing storage and carrying capacity for personal effects and the like during transit.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The functional and aesthetic needs and desires of travelers are constantly evolving, and the luggage that those travelers take with them on journeys is often slow to evolve with those changing needs and desires.

[0004] Both soft- and hard-side luggage systems that include pockets that allow for exterior access while the main luggage compartment is closed suffer from certain drawbacks. When in the open position, or during the process of opening the pocket, edges of the pocket that are attached to the luggage can pucker or bend in a manner that is undesirable and can temporarily or permanently impair both the aesthetic appearance of the luggage as well as the structural integrity or functionality of the luggage. In some luggage, the wheel placement can interfere with the ability to maximize the volume of the pocket with respect to the available surface area along the profile of the luggage system. In some luggage, there is a need to provide sufficient structural integrity to ensure proper operation of the pocket.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In some aspects, there is a luggage system with a rear shell housing defining a rear storage area enclosed around a perimeter of the luggage system and a back of the luggage system and a front frame housing defining a front storage area enclosed around the perimeter of the luggage system. The luggage system can include a hinge connecting the rear shell housing to the front frame housing to enclose the rear storage area and the front storage area together when the luggage system is in a closed configuration. The luggage system can include a front panel connected to a front of the luggage system along an axis defined by an edge of the front panel.

[0006] In some embodiments, the front frame is configured to permit the front panel to be substantially flush with a front surface of the luggage system when the front panel is in a closed configuration. The front frame can include a step feature adjacent a bottom edge of the front frame. In some embodiments, the step features can prevent the front panel or a front pocket from buckling, bending, or deforming when actuated from a closed to an open configuration, or vice- versa. In some embodiments, the step feature can permit at least a portion of the front panel to pivot over the bottom edge of the front panel. In some embodiments, the front panel can include a rigid insert enclosed in a flexible covering.

[0007] In some embodiments, the luggage system includes a laundry bag subsystem configured to be contained within the rear storage area or the front storage area when the luggage system is in the closed configuration. The luggage system can include a compression pay subsystem movably disposed within the rear shell housing.

[0008] In some embodiments, the luggage system can include a housing configured to receive and temporarily retain a removable battery. In some embodiments, the luggage system can include an expansion zipper spanning the perimeter of the rear shell housing and/or the front frame housing, the expansion zipper being configured to increase a volume of the rear storage area and/or the front storage area when the expansion zipper is in an open configuration. In some embodiments, the luggage system can include a closure zipper spanning the perimeter of the rear shell housing and/or the front frame housing. In some embodiments, the front storage area of the luggage system can be substantially the same width as the front frame housing.

[0009] In some aspects, there is a base reinforcement for luggage that includes a lower surface configured to mate with an interior bottom surface of an article of luggage. The base

reinforcement can include one or more partial side walls defining an outer perimeter of the article of luggage. The lower surface can include a front platform that extends beyond the one or more partial side walls in a direction away from an outer surface of the article of luggage. The front frame platform and one or more partial side walls can define a front storage region of the article of luggage.

[0010] In some embodiments, the front frame platform is configured to permit a front panel to be flush with a front surface of the article of luggage when the front panel is in a closed

configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The advantages of the invention described above, together with further advantages, may be better understood by referring to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead generally being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention.

[0012] FIG. l is a front perspective view of an exemplary luggage system with a pocket according to an embodiment of the invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a front view of the exemplary luggage system with a pocket depicted in FIG. 1.

[0014] FIG. 3 is a rear view of the exemplary luggage system with a pocket depicted in FIG. 1.

[0015] FIG. 4 is a left side view of the exemplary luggage system with a pocket depicted in FIG. 1

[0016] FIG. 5 is a right side view of the exemplary luggage system with a pocket depicted in FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 6 is a top view of the exemplary luggage system with a pocket depicted in FIG. 1.

[0018] FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the exemplary luggage system with a pocket depicted in FIG. 1

[0019] FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of the exemplary luggage system with a pocket depicted in FIG. 1, with the front pocket depicted in the open position. [0020] FIG. 9 is a view of the interior of an exemplary luggage system without a compression pad installed.

[0021] FIG. 10 is a view of the interior of an exemplary luggage system with a compression pad installed.

[0022] FIG. 11 is a view of an exemplary laundry bag of an exemplary luggage system.

[0023] FIG. 12 is a front view of the front wall of the pocket of an exemplary luggage system.

[0024] FIG. 13 is a front view of the back wall of the pocket of an exemplary luggage system.

[0025] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a front shell housing of an exemplary luggage system.

[0026] FIG. 15 is another perspective view of the base portion of the front shell housing of FIG. 14.

[0027] FIG. 16 is an inset view of the base portion of the front shell housing of FIG. 15.

[0028] FIG. 17 is a front view of the base portion of the front shell housing of FIG. 15.

DET AILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0029] Referring to FIGS. 1-7, luggage system 100 can include front compartment 110 and rear compartment 112. Front compartment 110 and rear compartment 112 can be joined by zipper 122 which a user can use to toggle luggage system 100 from an open to a closed configuration. Hinge 121 can be provided spanning zipper 122, such that when luggage system 100 is in an open configuration to permit access to the main interior storage region of luggage system 100, front compartment 110 and rear compartment 112 remain joined by hinge 121, despite zipper 122 being in an open position. In some embodiments, all or substantially all of an exterior surface of luggage system 100, with the exception of, e.g., wheels and/or corner bumpers and/or handles, can be covered in soft material, such as fabric. In some embodiments, the exterior of luggage system 100 can be a hard shell. Luggage system can also include extendible trolley handle assembly 118, which can be disposed on a rear surface of luggage assembly 100. In some embodiments, luggage 100 can include locking assembly 128 disposed adjacent to zipper 122, which can permit for locking, TSA-complaint or otherwise, of zipper 122. Locking assembly 128 can ensure that front and rear compartments 110 and 112 remain secured against unwanted entry.

[0030] Luggage system 100 can include pocket 114, which can be secured in a closed position by pocket zipper 126. In some embodiments, pocket 114 can be disposed on the front of luggage system 100, such that a user can access pocket 114 when luggage system 100 is in an upright position or is laying on its back or sides.

[0031] In some embodiments, pocket zipper 126 can include two kissing zipper pulls 127A and 127B. A portion of each of kissing zipper pulls 127A and 127B can, in a closed configuration, meet and overlap one another. In this manner, pocket zipper 126 can be more securely closed. Kissing zipper pulls 127A and 127B can also permit for a locking device to be threaded through overlapping portion of the zipper pulls or sliders to permit ore secure closure of pocket 114 and provide peace of mind to a user storing personal effects therein. In some embodiments, pocket zipper 126 can include one or more standard zipper pulls. One of ordinary skill in the art would understand that one or more zipper pulls, including kissing zipper pulls, can be used with main zipper 122, expansion zipper 124, or any other zipper included on or in luggage system 100.

[0032] Luggage system 100 can include one or more handles to permit a user to more easily handle or carry the luggage system. Luggage system 100 can include side handle 130. Side handle 130 can be located substantially in the middle along the height of luggage system 100. In some embodiments, side handle 130 can be disposed off-center along a side of luggage 100, for example to provide increased leverage for a user to pick up and carry luggage system 100.

Handle 130 can be formed of a pliable material, e.g., canvas, plastic, fabric, or the like, and can be sewn into openings in an outer soft cover of luggage system 100. In some embodiments, handle 130 can be capable of deforming enough to permit a user’s hand to slide underneath the handle and pick up luggage system 100 when the user desires to carry luggage system with handle 130, and can resume its shape after being released by a user. In some embodiments, handle 130 can assume low profile, with the other surface of handle 130 at or extending only slightly beyond the outer edge of luggage system 100, for example, to prevent handle 130 from being inadvertently caught on a foreign object during transit and/or to permit for easier storage of luggage system 100.

[0033] Luggage system 100 can include handle 132, which can be formed of a pliable material.

In some embodiments, handle 132 can be made up of more than one material. In some embodiments, a material that is softer to the touch can be deployed along the underside of handle 132, such that the primary point of contact of a user’s hand along the luggage handle can be on the softer material, while a more durable material can be deployed along the top and outside of the handle, to increase durability and resistance to wear and tear of handle 132, which may come into contact with foreign surface by virtue of being disposed along an outer surface of luggage system 100.

[0034] Luggage system 100 can include handle 134, which can be formed of a pliable material. Handle 134 can be sewn into a soft covering of the luggage on three sides, forming a pocket shape. Providing for three points of attachment of handle 134 can ensure that handle 134 does not extend so far outwardly from the outer edge of luggage system 100 that it would drag along the ground while luggage system 100 is in use. In some embodiments, handle 134 can be sewn into a zipper lining that extends around the perimeter of luggage system 100. The pocket formed by handle 134 can face downward, such that when luggage system 100 is on its back (as depicted in FIG. 7) a user’s fingers can more easily slide under handle 134 and pull luggage system 100 out of a storage compartment. That orientation can permit, e.g., increased ease of grasping, pulling, and/or controlling luggage system 100 when the luggage is disposed in a storage compartment that is located at an elevation relative to the user, e.g., when luggage system 100 is stored in an overhead storage compartment on an airplane, trunk of a car, or other mode of transportation. In some embodiments, the pocket formed by handle 134 can open upwardly, toward either side of luggage system 100, or at an angled orientation. In some embodiments, a handle on the base of luggage system 100 can be recessed beneath the outer surface of luggage system 100, which can, e.g., further prevent the handle from inadvertently catching on a foreign object during transit.

[0035] One of ordinary skill in the art will understand that handles 130, 132, and 134, including but not limited to the geometry and attributes of those handles described herein, can be interchanged on any one or more sides of luggage system 100. In this manner, the advantages of each type of handle can be realized in various configurations of luggage system 100. Likewise, one of ordinary skill in the art will understand that in some embodiments, the luggage system can include one, two, three, four, five, six, or more handles. In some embodiments, the luggage system can exclude one or more of the handles discussed herein, including, for example, to save on weight or space occupied by the luggage, or to permit for additional pockets or other elements to be included on the exterior of the luggage.

[0036] Luggage system 100 can include four sets of wheel assemblies 140A, 140B, 140C, and 140D, which can be disposed at the bottom corners of luggage system 100. In some

embodiments, each of the four wheel assemblies can be spinner wheel assemblies that permit 360 degrees of rotation. Wheel assemblies 140 A, 140B, 140C, and 140D, each include corresponding wheel housings 141A, 141B, 141C, and 141D, respectively. In some

embodiments, the outer surface of the front of pocket 114 can be flush or substantially flush with the front outermost surface of wheel housings 141 A and 141B. That orientation can permit for increased stability of the bag and can protect against the bag undesirably tipping over when the front pocket is loaded or when contents of the luggage shift during transit, throwing off the center of gravity of the luggage. In some embodiments, there can be sufficient clearance between the wheels and wheel housing of each of wheel assemblies 140A, 140B, 140C, and 140D in order to permit luggage system 100 to retain a slim profile while still permitting for expansion of the luggage system (as described herein), and to accommodate for shifting fabric during expansion of luggage system 100 or during use of pocket 114. Wheel assemblies 140A, 140B, 140C, and 140D can include gutters 142A, 142B, 142C, and 142D, respectively, which can serve to, e.g., catch dirt or other debris that is kicked up by the wheels during travel, and can hide seams of fabric covering on the outside of luggage system 100.

[0037] In some embodiments, there can be only two wheel assemblies and feet can optionally be provided in place of the omitted two wheel assemblies, such that the luggage system can more easily stand upright. In some embodiments, one or more feet, e.g., hard or semi-hard structures can be disposed on one or more sides (including, e.g., left, right, top, bottom, front, or back sides) of luggage system 100, which can permit the luggage system to be elevated some distance off of the ground when the luggage system is placed on the feet-bearing side. In some embodiments, there can be one, two, three, four or more feet.

[0038] Bumper corners 144A and 144B can be disposed on one or more corners of luggage system 100. Bumper corners 144A and 144B can be formed of a rigid material, e.g., plastic or the like, or a semi-elastic material, e.g., rubber or the like. Bumper comers 144 A and 144B can protect the corners of luggage system 100 from undesired bumps or dents during travel, or abrasions to the fabric. In some embodiments, the outer surface of bumper comers 144A and 144B can be raised above the outer surface of luggage system 100 to permit for further protection of the exterior surface of luggage system 100, e.g., the outer surface of bumper corners 144A and/or 144B would impact a foreign object before the outer surface of luggage system 100. In some embodiments, bumper comers 144A and/or 144B can be excluded from luggage system 100.

[0039] Expansion zipper 124 can extend around a perimeter of luggage system 100. Expansion zipper 124 can be unzipped to permit for additional storage space to be made available within the luggage system. Expansion zipper 124 can be included in luggage system 100 as a part of front compartment 110 or rear compartment 112, such that, e.g., the additional storage volume can be made available in either front compartment 110 or rear compartment 112. In some

embodiments, zippers 122 and 124 can be reverse zippers, such that the teeth of the zipper are not visible from the exterior of the luggage. In some embodiments, expansion zipper 124 and zipper 122 can be color-coded, e.g., can each be a different color so that a user can more easily distinguish between the two zippers. In some embodiments, expansion zipper 124 can match the color of the soft fabric covering the body of luggage system 100, while zipper 122 can be a different color.

[0040] FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of the exemplary luggage system with a pocket depicted in FIGS. 1-7, with the front pocket depicted in the open position. As depicted, when zipper 126 is actuated to an open position by a user, pocket 114 can be toggled to an open position such that a user can safely store and/or remove person effects desired to be carried in the interior storage region of pocket 114. Pocket 114 can be attached along one or more of its sides to the front of luggage system 100. In some embodiments, pocket 114 can be connected to front compartment 110 by one or more flaps 152 which can be located on one or both sides of pocket 114, in addition to or independently of being attached along one or more of its sides. The distance that pocket 114 can open away from front compartment 110 can be dictated by the size of flaps 152. In some embodiments, a pouch, e.g., a mesh pouch, can be disposed in the interior storage region defined by pocket 114, flaps 152, and front compartment 110. Surface 150 can serve as a divider between the main interior storage region of luggage system 100 (e.g., defined by front compartment 110 and rear compartment 112). In some embodiments, the interior storage region of pocket 114 can be defined by the distance between pocket 114 and surface 150 and the width of pocket 114. In some embodiments, surface 150 can be rigid to prevent objects placed within the main interior storage region of luggage system 100 from interfering with the available space in the interior storage region of pocket 114, and vice-versa. In some

embodiments, surface 150 can be stretchable or semi-deformable (e.g., foam, rubberized material, or the like), to permit for some give in between the main interior storage region of luggage system 100 and the interior storage region of pocket 114, e.g., when large or irregularly shaped objects are placed in either storage region. In some embodiments, pocket 114 can be formed as a rigid or semi-rigid (e.g., polycarbonate, aluminum, or the like) interior frame, which can optionally be covered in a soft material such as fabric.

[0041] FIG. 9 depicts the interior of luggage system 100 without a compression pad, while FIG. 10 depicts the interior of luggage system 100 with compression pad 170 disposed within the luggage. Compression pad 170 can be compressed down over contents of the luggage through the use of straps 172 A and 172B. Straps 172 A and 172B can be tightened on top of compression pad 170 after clothes or other personal effects are loaded into the luggage, which can prevent those articles from moving during transit and can offer space saving advantages, permitting a user to carry more material in the main interior storage region of luggage system 100. Luggage system 100 also includes zippered pocket 160, which can be disposed over the interior storage region corresponding to body portion 110. Zippered pocket 160 can retain articles stored in that half of luggage system 100, permitting for advantageous space savings and retaining articles in a neatly stored manner.

[0042] Luggage system 100 can include laundry bag pouch 174, which can hold laundry bag 176 (depicted in FIG. 11) when not in use. Laundry bag pouch 174 can be disposed anywhere in the main interior storage region of luggage system 100 and can be sewn or otherwise attached to the inside of luggage system 100 such that it does not move during transit or when under force from other articles being loaded or unloaded from luggage system 100. In some embodiments, laundry bag 176 can include a snap that corresponds to a snap on or in laundry bag pouch 174, which can ensure the laundry bag 176 does not get lost when in use. Laundry bag 176 can be used to store, e.g., worn clothes during a trip, separating them from other articles of luggage.

[0043] FIGS. 12 and 13 depict the front wall of pocket 114 and the back wall of pocket 114, respectively. The front wall of pocket 114 can include a zippered pouch 156. In some embodiments, zippered pouch can be small enough to prevent small articles from sliding around or getting lost. In some embodiments, the front wall of pocket 114 can include more than one zippered pouch. The back wall of pocket 114 can include mesh pouch 154, which can include an elastic portion to keep the pouch substantially closed when not being held open by a user who is loading or unloading articles from mesh pouch 154.

[0044] FIGS. 14-17 depict elements of a front shell housing of an exemplary luggage system, e.g., exemplary luggage system 100. Front shell housing 200 and associated components can form the structure that provides shape and integrity to pocket 114 on the front of luggage system 100. Front shell housing 200 can form a frame that defines or is disposed adjacent to front compartment 110 of luggage system 100. Front shell housing 200 can include perimeter housing component 210 and base housing component 220. Perimeter housing component 210 can be attached to base housing component 220 by various means, including, e.g., glue, staples, rivets, or other suitable attachment means. Front shell housing 200 and its component parts can be disposed underneath a soft cover, e.g., a fabric or canvas covering, out of view of an ordinary user of the luggage system. In some embodiments, front shell housing 200 can include structures, e.g., rods, bars, slats, lattice, or the like, to stabilize the interior of the front shell housing 200, which can further ensure the structural integrity of front shell housing 200.

[0045] Base housing component 220 can include one or more step features 222A and 222B, respectively, which define a transition from width 211 of perimeter housing component 210 to width 221 of base housing component 220. The difference in width 211 and width 221 leaves region 223 of base housing component 220, which extends toward an outer surface of the luggage system, away from the outermost surface of perimeter housing component 210. As illustrated in FIG. 14, the extension of region 223 away from the outermost surface of perimeter housing component 210 allows to bring pocket 114 or a portion of pocket 114 inside the total depth of front shell housing 200, including perimeter housing component 210 and base housing component 220. Region 223 can permit for pocket 114 to be disposed flush or substantially flush with wheel housings 141A and 141B. In some embodiments, region 223 can permit pocket 114 to extend the entire width of surface 150, thereby allowing for a usable pocket that is simultaneously larger than traditional pockets and also more easily accessible for users. In addition, as a result of region 223, the configuration of pocket 114 allows for the storage of a user’s personal items with less bulging than a traditional luggage system, in which a front pocket sits on top of and outside of the main luggage storage region. Region 223, in contrast, can permit pocket 114 to be partially inset toward the interior storage region of luggage system 100, which can force storage of articles placed within pocket 114 toward the interior storage region, in order to maintain a small outer profile of the luggage system (e.g., to prevent bulging around the exterior surfaces of the luggage system). Airline size regulations for carry-on items highlight the importance for forcing storage toward the interior storage region of luggage system 100, while consumer needs and preferences require luggage with more, easy-to-access storage regions. The instant invention permits satisfaction of both requirements in ways that the prior art did not. Region 223 of base housing component 220 can permit for a rigid or semi-rigid bottom to the interior storage region of a pocket, e.g., the interior storage region of pocket 114.

[0046] In some embodiments, zipper 126 can extend around pocket 114, stopping substantially in line with step features 222 A and 222B. That orientation can permit pocket 114, and/or any rigid or semi-rigid framework making up or disposed therein, to pivot in relation to base housing component 220, without bumping up against or otherwise being impeded by portions of base housing component 220. The transition from width 211 to width 221 afforded by step features 222 A and 222B can advantageously prevent pocket 114 from opening in such a manner that undesired buckling, creasing, caving, or deforming occurs along or near the pivot axis along which pocket 114 opens, e.g., as can be seen in FIG. 8. Providing region 223 of base housing component 220 can permit pocket 114 to be flush or extend only a distance beyond the front surface of the luggage system, e.g., luggage system 100, because all or portions of pocket 114

- l i - and/or zipper 126 connecting pocket 114 to the luggage system are disposed above and/or in the same plane as region 223. Additionally, the extended configuration of region 223 allows for the interior storage region of pocket 114 to store a larger amount of personal items closer to the wheels, e.g. wheels 140A, 140B, 140C, and 140D, and thereby allows for a lower center of gravity and increased overall balance of the luggage system 100. Providing region 223 also permits for wheels, e.g., wheels 140A, 140B, 140C, and 140D, to be attached immediately below base housing component 220 and pocket 114, where the absence of a region 223 extending outwardly from the outermost surface of perimeter housing component 210 would require that the wheels disposed immediately underneath, e.g., wheels 140A and 140B, be moved backward, e.g., close to wheels 140C and 140D. Decreasing the distance between the front and rear wheels, e.g., wheels 140A/140B and wheels 140C/140D, respectively, can disadvantageously reduce the overall balance and structural integrity of the luggage system.

[0047] In some embodiments region 223 is formed from multiple pieces of rigid material, by way of example and not limitation, aluminum, carbon fiber, steel, etc. The multiple pieces of rigid material can be connected through welding. Alternatively, the pieces can be glued.

Alternatively, the pieces can be combined in any method known in the art (e.g. soldering, brazing). Alternatively, region 223 can be formed from a single piece of material. For example, region 223 can be milled, 3D printed, injection molded, or formed through silicon molds and resin casts. In some embodiments region 223 is formed from semi-rigid materials.

[0048] In some embodiments, the base reinforcement can include one or more side regions that can extend from the base of the luggage shell up the side of the luggage shell, which can provide further stability and rigidity to the luggage shell. In some embodiments, side regions can connect with other structural components of an article of luggage, e.g., luggage frame

components, a luggage handle assembly, or the like. In some embodiments, the base

reinforcement can have a substantially smooth bottom surface, such that the bottom surface of the base reinforcement sits flush with the inner bottom surface of a luggage shell and does not disturb the shape or form of the luggage shell. In some embodiments, the side of the base reinforcement facing the interior of the luggage can be substantially smooth, such that any raised structures making up all or a part of the base reinforcement cannot be felt from the interior of the luggage, e.g., through lining covering the interior of the luggage compartment. In some embodiments, raised structures that make up all or a part of the base reinforcement, e.g., rib structures, lattice structures, honeycomb structures, other structures described herein, etc., can be covered, e.g., with fabric, padding, plastic, etc., such that the raised structures cannot be felt by a user from the interior of the luggage.

[0049] The base reinforcement can include a plurality of ribs disposed on a top surface of base reinforcement. In some embodiments, all of the plurality of ribs can be integrally formed with the base reinforcement. In some embodiments, one or more regions of ribs can be integrally formed with the base reinforcement, while one or more second regions of ribs can be attached to the base reinforcement.

[0050] Ribs can be disposed in a variety of configurations along the top surface of the base reinforcement. In some embodiments, the base reinforcement can include multiple regions of ribs, each of which can be in a different configuration or orientation. In some embodiments, the rib region can include an x-lattice structure extending proximate the front side of the base reinforcement.

[0051] In some embodiments, the base reinforcement can be capable of receiving a handle. In some embodiments, the base reinforcement can be configured to receive the handle such that at least a portion of the handle is reinforced beneath a surface of the article of luggage and/or the base reinforcement.

[0052] In some embodiments, base reinforcements can be installed in the bottom of each of the two shells that make up an article of luggage, e.g., in the bottom of the right side shell and in the bottom of the left side shell. The base reinforcements that are used in both shells can be the same dimensions and design as one another. In some embodiments, the base reinforcements deployed on each side of the luggage can be of different geometries, e.g., one side can be capable of receiving a handle while one side can be continuous.

[0053] In some embodiments, the base reinforcement can be formed as an elongated rib structure that extends along the base of the luggage shell and can include indented portions at its ends that allow it to be disposed adjacent or in contact with the edges of the luggage shells wheel wells, but without extending over the top of the wheel wells. Limiting the base reinforcement to extend along the base of the hard- or soft-side luggage shell can save on weight and material cost. One of ordinary skill in the art would understand that a base reinforcement extending only along the bottom or base of a luggage shell but not over the wheel wells can take on any shape or configuration described herein, e.g., lattice, honeycomb, elongated ribs, etc. In some

embodiments, the base reinforcement can take on a rib, lattice, or honeycomb structure, which can increase the reinforcement properties of the base reinforcement, can take on several different configurations, while balancing weight and material cost. In some embodiments, the base reinforcement can extend to and over all or a portion of the wheel wells formed in the luggage shell. In some embodiments, the base reinforcement can be disposed on the luggage shell such that it does not extend over any portion of the wheel wells.

[0054] The ribs of the base reinforcement can take on a honeycomb structure. In some embodiments, the size of the other reinforcement structures, can be varied, e.g., smaller honeycomb structures can increase the reinforcement properties of the base reinforcement and, e.g., larger honeycomb structures can save on material cost and weight, while still providing reinforcement properties. Appropriately-sized honeycomb structure (or other balance between ribbing and open space) can be selected based on the particular application, e.g., a larger or checked bag may require additional reinforcement via the addition of additional material through a tighter honeycomb structure or more robust or more material used in the base reinforcement.

[0055]

[0056] One skilled in the art will realize the invention can be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The foregoing embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects illustrative rather than limiting of the invention described herein. It will be appreciated that the illustrated embodiments and those otherwise discussed herein are merely examples of the invention and that other embodiments, incorporating changes thereto, including combinations of the illustrated embodiments, fall within the scope of the invention.

[0057]