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Title:
WASHABLE INTERNAL ORGANIZER FOR SUITCASE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/239241
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Internal organizer (3) for suitcase, having a structure substantially in the shape of a rectangular parallelepiped comprising a lower base rectangle (3a) and an upper base rectangle (3a') joined by two longer side walls (3b) and two shorter side walls (3c), made entirely of a washable material that is flexible and lightweight, and having as rigid parts only two opposed side walls (3b) which are made rigid by means of reinforcement plates (5) that are connected to them by fixing means that make them easily removable, for example pockets in which the reinforcement plates (5) are inserted.

Inventors:
DI SANTO SILVIA (IT)
CERON LINDA (IT)
Application Number:
IB2019/054340
Publication Date:
December 19, 2019
Filing Date:
May 24, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MOLESKINE S R L (IT)
International Classes:
A45C13/02; A45C3/00; A45C5/06; A45C7/00; A45C13/03; A45C13/36; B65D33/02
Foreign References:
US20010045367A12001-11-29
US4655329A1987-04-07
FR1174502A1959-03-12
US4951818A1990-08-28
US5103945A1992-04-14
US20160345693A12016-12-01
US20150090551A12015-04-02
EP0785148A11997-07-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CONCONE, Emanuele (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Internal organizer (3; 7; 8) for suitcase, having a structure substantially in the shape of a rectangular parallelepiped comprising a lower base rectangle (3a) and an upper base rectangle (3a’) joined by two longer side walls (3b) and two shorter side walls (3c), characterized in that said structure is made entirely of a washable material that is flexible and lightweight, and has as rigid parts only two opposed side walls (3b; 3c) which are made rigid by means of reinforcement plates (5) that are connected to said two opposite side walls (3b; 3c) by fixing means which make them easily removable.

2. Organizer (3; 7; 8) according to claim 1, characterized in that the reinforcement plates (5) are inserted into pockets formed along said two opposed side walls (3b; 3c) or connected to them by snap buttons, elastic bands or Velcro.

3. Organizer (3; 7; 8) according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that it has at least one handle (3d) that extends centrally from the upper edge of one of the side walls (3b; 3c).

4. Organizer (3; 7; 8) according to claim 3, characterized in that it has two handles (3d) that extend centrally from the upper edge of the side walls (3b; 3c) to which the reinforcement plates (5) are connected.

5. Organizer (3; 7; 8) according to any of the previous claims, characterized in that it has a plastic tubular profile (6) fixed along the perimeter of at least one of the base rectangles (3a; 3a’).

6. Organizer (3; 7) according to any of the previous claims, characterized in that the upper base rectangle (3a’) has a closing cover (4; 7a) that defines an opening closed by a zipper (4a) that runs along three sides of said upper base rectangle (3a’), said cover (4; 7a) having preferably a shape and size similar to the upper base rectangle (3a’).

7. Organizer (3; 7) according to the previous claim, characterized in that the cover (4; 7a) is made of a mesh fabric (4) or a fabric (7a) preferably of the same type as the rest of the organizer (3; 7).

Description:
WASHABLE INTERNAL ORGANIZER FOR SUITCASE

FILED OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns suitcases and in particular an internal organizer in which to place the items to be transported and which can be removed from the suitcase with all its contents and easily washed. In the following, reference will be specifically made to the application of said organizer to a suitcase equipped with handling wheels and a handle mounted on one or two pull-out rods to facilitate its handling, i.e. to a“trolley”, but it is clear that what is being said can be applied to any type of luggage equipped with a different handling system and/or without such a system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

For years now, different types of suitcases have been on the market with a series of features in common, such as the presence of an external structure that is more or less rigid and a handling system that preferably provides wheels and/or pull-out handles. They are also commonly openable in two parts in which to place the garments, said parts can then contain different separators in plastic or fabric, pockets for objects and elastic straps secured to the outer structure and suitable to keep the garments still.

It is a common experience that the transfer of garments in and out of the suitcase, to place them in suitable cabinets for example, takes time, and that the procedure proves particularly tedious in the case of frequent travel and short stays.

One way of remedying this problem is to leave the garments in the suitcase, taking the necessary clothing from time to time. However, even this trick is not without downsides because, in order to easily access the contents of the suitcase, it must be left in a convenient position in the room, and this is not always possible and/or can create an annoying encumbrance. Sometimes this is done by placing it even on a bed, a desk, a sofa or the like with the hygienic problems that this may involve, since the external structure of the suitcase is usually dirty from contact with the cargo compartments of the transport means used for travel (car, plane, etc.). Another disadvantage of extracting and storing garments directly in the suitcase is that this makes it difficult to keep them folded and tidy, especially if you have to take a garment that is on the bottom. Finally, the suitcases available today have interiors that are not suitable to be removed for washing if this is necessary.

An internal organizer for suitcase allows to dispose of its contents in reduced times, as the transfer of the organizer requires less time than having to transfer the garments in the cabinets one by one. In case you want instead to leave the garments in the suitcase, taking from time to time the necessary garments, the availability of one or more removable organizers allows a more efficient use of the room space because, especially where this is lacking, you can close the suitcase, once extracted the organizers, and place it under the bed or in a closet for example.

This solution also has the advantage of not allowing the external structure of the suitcase, possibly dirty, to come into contact with parts of the room such as beds, sofas and desks, where it is sometimes arranged to easily access its contents. In this regard, it is understandably more convenient to have removable organizers, easy to handle, compared to the entire suitcase and it follows that in this way it is more convenient to have the clothes that are in one part of the suitcase while keeping the others folded and tidy.

STATE OF THE ART

ETS 3861504 describes an internal organizer for suitcase made of a transparent material with the specific purpose of facilitating an inspection of the contents of the suitcase at a security check, as is typically the case at airports. For this purpose, the organizer is made of rigid or semi-rigid thermoplastic material (PET, PP, PVC and the like) and is equipped with a zipper to keep it closed and two handles to remove it from the suitcase, so that its contents remain substantially stable when handled for inspection.

A first drawback of this type of organizer is its substantial structural rigidity, as it always occupies the same space in the suitcase even when it is not completely full. This prevents the residual space that would be available in the suitcase from being used for other items that you do not want to put inside the organizer, typically dirty clothing to be kept separate from the clean clothing contained in the organizer.

Moreover, if such an organizer is inserted in a trolley, it does not allow to fully exploit the internal space of the suitcase because it rests rigidly on the guides of the pull out rods that protrude inside the structure of the suitcase, so that the space below the organizer equal to the height of said protrusion is unused or accessible only after extraction of the organizer.

It should also be noted that the above-mentioned thermoplastic materials can transmit an unpleasant odour to the garments, especially when the organizer is new, and do not allow any transpiration, so they could cause the formation of condensation and/or mould in case of sudden temperature changes (e.g. in the cargo compartment of an aircraft) or if they contain damp objects. Furthermore, if the organizer is contaminated or impregnated with substances with unpleasant odours or stains, it is difficult to clean it properly because these materials are unsuitable for washing in a washing machine or the like, which is also made impossible by the essentially rigid structure.

US 2015/090551 describes an analogous organizer, equipped with handles and closing elements and having a rectangular shape corresponding to that of a suitcase in which to insert it. However, this organizer is made of a light and flexible material (e.g. fabric, nylon, etc.) that allows to reduce its size when it is not full, and only its base is made of a rigid or semi-rigid structure (e.g. plastic, cardboard or a peripheral metal frame) that allows to support the weight of the items contained in the organizer.

This solution overcomes the problem of fixed dimensions of the organizer described in the above-mentioned US 3861504, but has the same problem of insertion in a trolley because of its rigid base, which also makes it unsuitable for washing in the washing machine. Moreover, when the full organizer is lifted by means of the two handles placed on its short sides, the weight of the contents generates a high bending moment on the base in a plane perpendicular thereto and with the maximum arm, therefore its load capacity is limited. In fact, if the weight of the contents is sufficient to overcome the bending resistance of the base, it will end up flexing and bending, thus damaging the organizer irreversibly, since it will no longer be able to maintain its shape even with a lower load. WO 2013/072405 describes a baggage structure that includes an inner lining provided with at least one reinforcement frame composed of elongated elements such as rods, bars, struts and the like that are housed in channels obtained in that inner lining by sewing cover elements on it, and of support elements on which the aforementioned elongated elements are inserted to form the frame. The support elements are fixed to the external structure of the luggage, typically at the comers, and are also used to create a connection between the inner lining and the external structure.

In this case the inner lining is not intended to be extracted from the outer structure, because in this case the elongated elements are no longer connected to form a reinforcement frame, and is not even equipped with handles or closing elements therefore its function is to remain inserted in the outer structure also because it is not easy to reconnect it thereto if it is extracted. Moreover, such a baggage structure is quite complex and expensive to realize.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is therefore to propose an internal organizer for suitcase that overcomes the above-mentioned drawbacks. This object is achieved through an organizer similar to those described in the aforementioned US 3861504 and US 2015/090551 but made entirely of a washable material that is flexible and lightweight, and having as rigid parts of the structure only two opposing side walls that are made rigid by means of easily removable reinforcement plates.

A first important advantage of this invention is that the organizer can be easily washed, even in a washing machine, after removing the side reinforcements, since all the rest of its structure is made of washable and flexible material. This possibility is particularly useful when, for example, a liquid (e.g. a cosmetic or a perfume) has been spilt into the suitcase or any dirty object and/or garment has been transported, so as to allow the garments to be stored in a clean and hygienic environment at all times.

A second significant advantage of this organizer comes from the fact that the absence of a rigid base allows it to adapt to the protrusion of the guides that are present in a trolley, the two rigid side walls being arranged parallel to said guides. Note that the rigid side walls can be the short or long ones, but not both, depending on how the rods are arranged with respect to the sides of the suitcase and on the fact that the organizer has plan dimensions corresponding to the size of the suitcase or only to a portion of the suitcase that could contain, for example, two or three organizers side by side.

Yet another advantage of this organizer is given by its high load capacity, since the weight of its contents generates a bending moment on the reinforcements of the rigid side walls that acts in the same plane of the reinforcements, shaped like a plate, and not in a plane perpendicular thereto so as to exploit the bending resistance in the plane of the reinforcements which is much higher.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other advantages and characteristics of the internal organizer for suitcase according to the present invention will be evident to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of some embodiments thereof with reference to the annexed drawings in which:

- Fig.1 is a top view of an open suitcase with an organizer inserted in the left portion and with the straps closed;

- Fig.2 is a top view of the case of Fig.l with the left straps open;

- Fig.3 is a top view of the suitcase of Fig.2 with the organizer extracted from the external structure and illustrated in a perspective view from above;

- Fig.4 is a detail of the organizer of Fig.3;

- Fig.5 is a perspective view of the open organizer; and

- Fig.6 is a perspective view of three different embodiments of the organizer.

EXEMPFIFICATIVE EMBODIMENTS

With reference to figures 1 to 3, it should be noted that the suitcase consists of an external structure 1 generally shaped like a rectangular parallelepiped and divided into two parts joined by a hinge, a zipper and/or another closure system. An elastic strap 2 is present in each part of the suitcase to hold an organizer 3, if the organizer is present, or directly the clothes if the organizer is absent or if it does not have a cover, so that the aforementioned organizers 3 and/or clothes do not move during the handling of the suitcase.

In particular, strap 2 is made up of two branches 2a of elastic fabric, shaped like a V and attached to structure 1, which are joined by a snap connection 2b. In addition, the suitcase is equipped with wheels 9 and a handle (not shown) mounted on two pull-out rods 10 (shown partially) that extend parallel to the long sides of structure 1, same as their relevant slide guides (not shown) that protrude into the suitcase in the right side.

Note that organizer 3 is shaped and sized so as to enter with a preferably reduced tolerance in structure 1, so as to prevent it from moving during the handling of the suitcase. In other words, the structure of this organizer 3 is basically a rectangular parallelepiped consisting of a first lower base rectangle 3 a, with the base corners rounded, two longer side walls 3b and two shorter side walls 3c. In addition, it is preferably equipped with two handles 3d, which in the example shown extend centrally from the upper edge of the long walls 3b, to easily extract organizer 3 from structure 1 in which it is inserted, once the snap connection 2b has been opened and the elastic strap 2 has released organizer 3.

Organizer 3 is completed by a second of the upper base rectangle 3a’ which preferably includes, in a first embodiment, a cover 4 made of a mesh fabric in the shape of a smaller rectangle. This cover 4 defines an opening closed by a zipper 4a that runs along the two short sides and one of the two long sides of rectangle 3a’, the remaining long side being partially or not at all crossed by said zipper 4a (which alternatively could extend along the two long sides and a short side). Fig.4 shows, in a detail of Fig.3, the distance between zipper 4a and the short side walls 3c which amounts to di, while that between zipper 4a and the long side wall 3b amounts to d 2 . The values of di and d 2 can change depending on the different embodiment.

Fig.5 shows in detail an embodiment of an organizer 3 in which on the walls of both long sides 3b there are removable reinforcements 5 (only one visible in the figure) in order to make its structure more rigid, i.e. to keep organizer 3 in its shape of a rectangular parallelepiped even when it is full and must be moved. The above mentioned reinforcements 5 have the shape of a rectangular plate, preferably in plastic, and are preferably inserted in corresponding pockets formed in the long sides 3b of organizer 3, so as to be parallel to the pull-out rods 10, but in other embodiments could also be arranged along the short sides 3c as explained above. In addition, reinforcements 5 could be reversibly connected to the side walls with other fasteners such as snap buttons, Velcro, elastic bands and the like that make them easily removable.

Note that in the preferred embodiment shown in the figures handles 3d are arranged on the same sides as reinforcements 5 to facilitate the maintenance of the shape of organizer 3 when raised full through handles 3d, as it is sufficient to exert a slight outward pull to counteract the tendency of its central part to sink. If the handles were placed on the sides without reinforcements 5, a similar outward pull would not prevent the organizer 3 from tending to assume a saddle shape by bending along the central line of connection between the handles.

Always with the aim of supporting and maintaining the shape of organizer 3, a flexible profile 6, preferably tubular and made of plastic, can be fixed along the perimeter of the base rectangles 3a and/or 3a’. The organizer 3 also has a structure made entirely of a washable material that is light and flexible (e.g. fabric, non-woven fabric, mesh, etc.), so that it can be washed easily, even in a washing machine, once reinforcements 5 have been removed. It should also be noted that reinforcements 5 do not prevent organizer 3 from folding if it has to be transported empty, because the side walls can be folded on the base 3a or 3 a’, or the two rigid walls can be superimposed by folding the other two side walls and the bases 3a and 3a’ as an accordion.

With reference to Fig.6, two other possible shapes of the organizer are shown, in addition to the one described so far. A first possibility is that of organizer 7 in which the cover 7a is more visually opaque, and can be made of the same material as the rest of the structure or of a different material, while the second possibility is that of organizer 8 which does not have a cover. Both organizer 7 and organizer 8 are preferably made in the same way as organizer 3, i.e. they are equipped with handling handles, a plastic profile with a preferably tubular shape that runs along the perimeters of the base rectangles and removable reinforcements inserted along two opposite walls.

In the case of organizer 7, there is also a rectangular opening with a zipper along at least three of the four sides of the upper base rectangle. The advantage of organizer 8, which is not equipped with a cover, is that it allows its contents to be loaded and unloaded more quickly and that more clothing can be stored, while the disadvantage is that it makes it more difficult to keep the clothing in order because of the risk of it spilling into the two parts of the suitcase if the latter is tipped over if elastic strap 2 is not closed.

It is therefore advisable, in terms of comfort and space, to choose a type 3 or 7 organizer for one part of the suitcase and a type 8 organizer for the other, if both parts of the suitcase accommodate an organizer. Like organizer 3, also the structures of organizers 7 and 8 are made of a flexible and washable material once the side reinforcements have been removed.

Any variants or additions may be made by those skilled in the art to the embodiments of the organizer described and illustrated above while remaining within the scope of the following claims. Other embodiments may include the technical characteristics of one of the following claims with the addition of one or more technical characteristics described in the text or illustrated in the drawings, taken individually or in any reciprocal combination.