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Title:
ADJUSTABLE EXPANSION SYSTEM FOR LUGGAGE AND LUGGAGE HAVING THE SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/125859
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An article of luggage is provided. The luggage has a main body, an expansion body and a foldable material connecting the main body to the expansion body. An expansion adjustment device is connected to both the main body and the expansion body for selectively adjusting the position of the main body with respect to the expansion body. The expansion adjustment device has a first member and a second member. The first member has a fixing part and a pivotable part. The fixing part is fixedly connected to one of the main body and the expansion body. The pivotable part is pivotably connected to the fixing part through a pivot. The second member is fixedly connected to the other one of the main body and the expansion body. The pivotable part is detachably connected to the second member.

Inventors:
KRULIK RICHARD (US)
RADA GEORGENE (US)
YEH HERNG FUU RICHARD (US)
STICCA ALAN (US)
KIM DAEHWAN (US)
HUANG GUOXIANG (CN)
Application Number:
PCT/US2017/068402
Publication Date:
July 05, 2018
Filing Date:
December 26, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BRIGGS AND RILEY TRAVELWARE LLC (US)
International Classes:
A45C7/00
Foreign References:
US6533087B12003-03-18
US6021874A2000-02-08
US20160366995A12016-12-22
US6220411B12001-04-24
US4953673A1990-09-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GROLZ, Edward, W. (Scott Murphy & Presser,400 Garden City Plaza,Suite 30, Garden City New York, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An article of luggage comprising:

a main body comprising:

a circumferential wall having a top edge and an opposite bottom edge, and a bottom layer connected to the bottom edge of the circumferential wall, wherein the circumferential wall and the bottom layer in concert define a cavity of the main body;

an expansion body comprising a circumferential wall having a top edge and a bottom edge, wherein the top edge defines a top opening and the bottom edge defines a bottom opening continuous with the top opening, wherein a cavity of the expansion body is defined between the top opening and the bottom opening;

a foldable material connected to both the top edge of the circumferential wall of the main body and the bottom edge of the circumferential wall of the expansion body, thereby joining the main body to the expansion body, wherein the foldable material allows the expansion body to move away and towards the main body to vary the size of a volume defined by the main body, the expansion body and the foldable material; and

an expansion adjustment device connected to both the main body and the expansion body for selectively adjusting the position of the main body with respect to the expansion body,

wherein the expansion adjustment device comprises: a first member comprising a fixing part and a pivotable part, wherein the fixing part is fixedly connected to one of the main body and the expansion body, wherein the pivotable part is pivotably connected to the fixing part through a pivot; and

a second member fixedly connected to the other one of the main body and the expansion body,

wherein the pivotable part is detachably connected to the second member.

2. The article of luggage according to claim 1,

wherein the pivot is provided between the fixing part and the pivotable part of the first member and comprises a live hinge;

wherein the pivotable part comprises a first configuration in which the pivotable part is connected to the second member, such that movement of expansion body with respect to the main body is prohibited; and

wherein the pivotable part comprises a second configuration in which the pivotable part is pivoted away from the second member, such that the movement of the expansion body with respect to the main body is allowed.

3. The article of luggage according to claim 3, wherein the live hinge has a wavy profile.

4. The article of luggage according to claim 2, wherein the pivotable part comprises:

a plate, wherein the plate comprises a first surface facing toward the cavity of said one of the main body and the expansion body and a second surface oppose the first surface;

a first Velcro provided on the second surface of the plate; and

a handle connected to the plate and adjacent to the first surface of the plate.

5. The article of luggage according to claim 4, wherein handle comprises an elongated web extending vertically in a direction from a top of the plate to a bottom of the plate.

6. The article of luggage according to claim 4, wherein handle comprises an elongated web extending horizontally in a direction perpendicular to the direction from a top of the plate to a bottom of the plate.

7. The article of luggage according to claim 4, wherein the second member of expansion adjustment device comprises:

a plate, wherein the plate comprises:

a first surface facing toward the second surface of the plate of the pivotable part, and

a second surface opposite the first surface, the second member being fixed to said the other one of the main body and the expansion body through the second surface; and

a second Velcro provided on the first surface,

wherein when the pivotable part is in the first configuration, the first Velcro and the second Velcro engage each other to connect the pivotable part to the second member; and wherein when the pivotable part is in the second configuration, the first Velcro and the second Velcro disengage each other to disconnect the pivotable part from the second member.

8. The article of luggage according to claim 1, further comprising an openable cover connected to the expansion body through engagement of halves of a zipper, wherein the zipper is provided at least partially to both the top edge of the circumferential wall of the expansion body and an edge of the openable cover, respectively.

9. The article of luggage according to claim 1, further comprising a plurality of wheels connected to the main body and a plurality of wheels connected to the expansion body.

Description:
ADJUSTABLE EXPANSION SYSTEM FOR LUGGAGE AND

LUGGAGE HAVING THE SAME

BACKGROUND

[0001] The present invention relates to an adjustable expansion system for luggage, which readily accommodates the needs of travelers to selectively increase or decrease the luggage capacity and to pack the luggage in a desirable fashion.

[0002] Luggage expansion systems are known and utilized in the luggage industry for allowing a user to switch between an expanded configuration and a collapsed configuration. However, the existing luggage expansion systems are not satisfactory in that they are difficult to operate, costly to produce and difficult to replace.

[0003] Accordingly, there exists a need in the art to overcome the deficiencies and limitations described hereinabove with respect to the conventional luggage expansion systems. The present invention solves this need by providing an adjustable expansion system for luggage which permits the positioning of the frame of the luggage in an upwardly expandable position for ease of packing.

SUMMARY

[0004] According to an aspect of the present disclosure, an article of luggage is provided. The luggage includes a main body. The main body includes a circumferential wall having a top edge and an opposite bottom edge, and a bottom layer connected to the bottom edge of the circumferential wall. The circumferential wall and the bottom layer in concert define a cavity of the main body. The luggage further includes an expansion body. The expansion body includes a circumferential wall having a top edge and a bottom edge. The top edge defines a top opening and the bottom edge defines a bottom opening continuous with the top opening. A cavity of the expansion body is defined between the top opening and the bottom opening. The luggage also includes a foldable material connected to both the top edge of the circumferential wall of the main body and the bottom edge of the circumferential wall of the expansion body, thereby joining the main body to the expansion body. The foldable material allows the expansion body to move away and towards the main body to vary the size of a volume defined by the main body, the expansion body and the foldable material. The luggage additionally includes an expansion adjustment device connected to both the main body and the expansion body for selectively adjusting the position of the main body with respect to the expansion body. The expansion adjustment device includes a first member and a second member. The first member includes a fixing part and a pivotable part. The fixing part is fixedly connected to one of the main body and the expansion body. The pivotable part is pivotably connected to the fixing part through a pivot. The second member is fixedly connected to the other one of the main body and the expansion body. The pivotable part is detachably connected to the second member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an article of luggage according to an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0006] FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing the details of an expansion adjustment device of the article of luggage; [0007] FIG. 3 is another schematic view showing the details of the expansion adjustment device of the article of luggage;

[0008] FIG. 4 is still another schematic view showing the details of the expansion adjustment device of the article of luggage;

[0009] FIG. 5 is a schematic view showing the details of a pivotable part of the expansion adjustment device;

[0010] FIG. 6 is a schematic view showing the details of a second member of the expansion adjustment device;

[0011] FIG. 7 is a schematic view showing the sequence of adjusting the expansion of the article of luggage; and

[0012] FIG. 8 is a schematic view showing an alternative design of the expansion adjustment device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0013] The present application will now be described in greater detail by referring to the following discussion and drawings that accompany the present application. It is noted that the drawings of the present application are provided for illustrative purposes only and, as such, the drawings are not drawn to scale. It is also noted that like and corresponding elements are referred to by like reference numerals.

[0014] Detailed embodiments of the methods and apparatuses of the present disclosure are described herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely illustrative of the disclosed methods and apparatuses that may be embodied in various forms. In addition, each of the examples given in connection with the various embodiments of the disclosure are intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. Further, the figures are not necessarily to scale, some features may be exaggerated to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the methods and structures of the present disclosure. For the purposes of the description hereinafter, the terms "upper", "lower", "top", "bottom", and derivatives thereof shall relate to the disclosed structures, as they are oriented in the drawing figures.

[0015] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an article of luggage 100 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure. As shown in FIG. 1, the luggage 100 includes a main body 110, an expansion body 120 and a foldable material 130 connecting the main body 110 and the expansion body 120. The main body 110 includes a circumferential wall 112, which has a top edge 113 and an opposite bottom edge 114. The main body 110 further includes a bottom layer 115 connected to the bottom edge 114 of the circumferential wall 112. The circumferential wall 112 and the bottom layer 115, in concert, define a cavity of the main body 110. [0016] The expansion body 120 also includes a circumferential wall 122. The

circumferential wall 122 has a top edge 123 and a bottom edge 124. The top edge 123 defines a top opening and the bottom edge 124 defines a bottom opening continuous with the top opening, such that an through-cavity of the expansion body 120 is defined between the top opening and the bottom opening.

[0017] The foldable material 130 can be of any suitable flexible or soft material, which is capable of being extended and folded to assume multiple different profiles and

configurations. The foldable material 130 can be a gusset, for example. The foldable material 130 is connected to both the top edge 113 of the circumferential wall 112 of the main body 110 and the bottom edge 124 of the circumferential wall 122 of the expansion body 120. As such, the main body 110 and the expansion body 120 are joined together by the foldable material 130. The main body 110, the expansion body 120 and the foldable material 130, in concert, define a cavity, into which articles can be packed into the luggage 100. The foldable material 130 is of the nature and properties to allow the expansion body 120 to move away and/or towards the main body 110. As a result, the size of the volume of the cavity collectively defined by the main body 110, the expansion body 120 and the foldable material 130 can be selectively adjusted.

[0018] The luggage 100 further includes an openable cover 140. The openable cover 140 is connected to the expansion body 120, in a sealable manner, by engaging two halves of a zipper 150 provided, at least partially, to the top edge 123 of the circumferential wall 122 of the expansion body 120 and to an edge 142 of the openable cover 140, respectively. Although in this embodiment a soft-sided case with a zipper closure has been described, the scope of the disclosure is not limited thereto. For example, the luggage 100 can be any type of luggage, such as, a hard-sided case or a hard-sided case with metal frame closure.

[0019] The luggage 100 further includes an expansion adjustment device 160 connected to both the main body 110 and the expansion body 120, for selectively adjusting the position of the expansion body 120 with respect to the main body 110.

[0020] Referring to FIGs. 2-4 that show the details of the expansion adjustment device 160, the device 160 includes: a first member 170 fixedly coupled to one of the main body 110 and the expansion body 120; and a second member 180 fixedly coupled to the other one of the main body 110 and the expansion body 120. In the shown embodiment, the first member 170 is fixedly connected to the main body 110 and the second member 180 is fixedly connected to the expansion body 120. However, in view of the positional interchangeability of the first member 170 and the second member 180, it is within the scope of the present disclosure that the first member 170 can be fixedly connected to the expansion body 120 and the second member 180 can be fixedly connected to the main body 110.

[0021] The first member 170 includes a fixing part 172, through which the first member is fixedly connected to an inner surface of the circumferential wall 112 of the main body 110, as shown in the exemplary embodiment. The first member 170 further includes a pivotable part 190, which is pivotably connected to the fixing part 172 through a pivot 174. The second member 180 is fixedly connected to an inner surface of the circumferential wall 122 of the expansion body 120. The pivotable part 190 is detachably connected to the second member 180, which will be described in details.

[0022] The pivot 174 is provided between the fixing part 172 and the pivotable part 190 of the first member 170. For example, the pivot can be a live hinge. As shown in FIG. 3, the live hinge can have a wavy profile for providing additional flexibility. Additionally, the pivot 174 can be provided with a biasing mechanism. As the pivotable part 190 is operated by a user to pivot relative to the fixing part 172 to proximate the fixing part 172, the biasing mechanism is compressed, or otherwise energized. As a result, once the operation by the user is terminated, the pivotable part 190 automatically returns to its original position prior to the pivotal movement thereof, by a biasing force applied by the live hinge and/or the biasing mechanism. The biasing mechanism can be integrally formed with the pivot. For example, the live hinge can be formed, such that once the user terminates the pivoting operation, the pivotable part 190 snaps back into its original position. Alternatively, the biasing mechanism can be a separate structure, such as a biasing spring, which can be coupled to the pivotable part.

[0023] By means of the pivot 174, the pivotable part 190 can have a first configuration, in which the pivotable part 190 is fixedly connected to the second member 180, such that movement of expansion body 120 with respect to the main body 110 is not allowed, as shown in FIGs. 2 and 3. The pivotable part 190 further has a second configuration, in which the pivotable part 190 is pivoted away from the second member 180, such that free movement of the expansion body 120 with respect to the main body 110 is allowed, as shown in FIG. 4. As a result, a user can expand or adjust the expansion of the luggage 100. [0024] FIG. 5 shows the details of the pivotable part 190. The pivotable part 190 includes a thin plate 192, which can be substantially rectangular or square. The plate 192 includes a first surface 193 facing toward the cavity of the main body 110. The plate 192 further includes a second surface 194 oppose the first surface 193 and facing toward the inner wall of the circumferential wall 112 of the main body 110. A first Velcro 195 is provided on the second surface 194 of the plate 192. A handle 196 is connected to the plate 192 and adjacent to the first surface 193 of the plate 192. The handle 196 can in the form of an elongated web that extends vertically in a direction from a top of the plate 192 to a bottom of the plate 192, as shown in FIGs. 2 and 4. Alternatively or additionally, the handle 196 can be in the form an elongated web that extends horizontally in a direction perpendicular to the vertical direction, as shown in FIGs. 3 and 5. The handle 196 facilitates the user to engage and /or disengage the pivotable part 192 with respect to the fixing part 172 through the pivot 174.

[0025] The handle 196 can be of any suitable form or material. For example, the handle can be made of leather, fabrics and/or plastics. In addition, in addition to or alternative of the elongated web, the handle 196 can be in the form of a pocket, as shown in FIG. 8. The pocket allows the user to insert one or more fingers into the pocket to more conveniently pull the pivotable part 190.

[0026] FIG. 6 shows the details of the second member 180. The second part 180 includes a plate 182. The plate 182 has a first surface 183, which faces toward the second surface 194 of the plate 192 of the pivotable part 190. The plate 182 also has a second surface 184, which is opposite the first surface 183. The second member 180 is fixedly connected to the inner surface of the circumferential wall 122 of the expansion body 120, through the second surface 184. A second Velcro 185 is provided on the first surface 183 of the second member 180.

[0027] In operation, when the pivotable part 190 is in its first configuration, the first Velcro 195 and the second Velcro 185 engage each other to connect the pivotable part 190 to the second member 180. As a result, the movement between the expansion body 120 and the main body 110 is not allowed and the relative position of the expansion body 120 with respect to the main body 110 is fixed.

[0028] When the pivotable part 190 is in its second configuration by pivoting the pivotable part 190 with respect to the fixing part 172, the first Velcro 195 and the second Velcro 185 disengage each other to disconnect the pivotable part 190 from the second member 180. As a result, the movement between the expansion body 120 and the main body 110 is allowed and the relative position of the expansion body 120 with respect to the main body 110 can be adjusted. In this process, the handle 196 facilitates the user to pull the first Velcro 195 from the second Velcro 185. As described above, the pivot 170 can be provided with a biasing mechanism, which allows the pivotable part 190 to automatically return to its original position prior to the pivotal movement of the pivotable part 190. Thus, once a desirable expansion has been achieved, the user can release the handle 196 to allow the pivotable part 190 to be biased by the biasing mechanism of the pivot 170. For example, when the pivot 170 is a live hinge, the pivotable part 190 snaps back as biased by the live hinge.

Consequently, the first Velcro 195 and the second Velcro 185 engage each other again, which maintains the desirable expansion of the luggage. As a result, the user can pack the luggage while the luggage is expanded ideally.

[0029] Referring back to FIG. 1, the luggage 100 further includes a first plurality of wheels 210 connected to the main body 110 and a second plurality of wheels 220 connected to the expansion body 120.

[0030] FIG. 7 is a schematic view showing the sequence of adjusting the expansion of the luggage 100. As shown in FIG. 7(a), the user pulls the handle 196 away from the inner surface of the luggage to release the engagement between the pivotable part 190 and the second member 180 to allow luggage expansion adjustment. As shown in FIG. 7(b), the user pulls the expansion body 120 with respect to the main body 110 to achieve desirable luggage expansion. As shown in FIG. 7(c), the user pushes the handle 196 toward the inner wall of the luggage to reengage the pivotable part 190 with the second member 180, such that the expansion body 120 is locked with respect to the main body 110 to maintain the desirable luggage expansion. As shown in FIG. 7(d), the user pulls the handle 196 away from the inner wall of the luggage to release the engagement between the pivotable part 190 and the second member 180 to allow movement of the expansion body 120 with respect to the main body 110. As shown in FIG. 7(e), the user pushes the expansion body 120 all the way down to the main body 110 to achieve the most compact configuration of the luggage. As shown in FIG. 7(f), the user pushes the handle 196 toward the inner surface of the luggage to reengage the pivotable part 190 with the second member 180, such that the expansion body 120 is locked with respect to the main body 110 to maintain the compact configuration of the luggage. [0031] While the present application has been particularly shown and described with respect to various embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in forms and details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present application. It is therefore intended that the present application not be limited to the exact forms and details described and illustrated, but fall within the scope of the appended claims.