Patent application title: DEVICE FOR CARRYING BAGS WITHOUT THE USE OF HANDS
John Chris Fragale (Palm Harbor, FL, US)
IPC8 Class: AA45C1300FI
Class name: Handling: hand and hoist-line implements hand-hook type
Publication date: 2009-02-05
Patent application number: 20090033110
A bag carrying device that allows an individual to carry multiple retail
store style plastic bags and/or any other type of bags with handles so
the bags can be carried hands-free to allow a person to use keys or carry
other items with their hands without dropping the bags. It is preferably
made of light weight plastic and comfortably fits over the individual's
shoulder. The "U" shape conforms to or rests on the shoulder with each
side running down to form a generally V-shaped or J-shaped hook where the
bags are seated. The bags are secured with a button extending from each
leg that engages a slotted aperture within the end of the V-shaped or
J-shaped hook. The part that drapes over the shoulder can include a
cushion portion attached to it for comfort.
1. A bag carrying device comprising:a generally U-shaped elongate member
having its generally U-shaped portion located near a center thereof and
being formed to rest on a person's shoulder;each lower end of each leg of
said U-shaped elongate member having an upwardly directed hook portion
formed to insert handles of bags to be carried by said device, said hook
portions being sufficiently flexible so as to bend an end portion of said
hook portion toward said leg; andmeans for securing said end portion of
said hook portion with said leg portion of said device, wherein said
means for securing said end portion of said hook portion with said leg
portion comprises a formed button or clip extending from a surface of
said leg portion, said formed button or clip being located so as to be
engageable with a corresponding aperture in said end portion of said hook
portion, said aperture being configured to facilitate an easy entry of
said button or clip through said aperture and said aperture further being
configured to interlock with said button or clip by a sliding engagement
of a narrow portion of said aperture behind said button or clip.
2. The device according to claim 1, wherein said generally U-shaped elongate member and said hook portions are made from a polymeric based material.
3. The device according to claim 1, further comprising:cushion means for providing a cushioning effect between a person's shoulder and said U-shaped portion of said elongate member.
This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/830,094 filed Jul. 30, 2007.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a bag carrying device that allows an individual to carry multiple retail store bags or any other types of bags with handles from a store to a car or from a car to a residence or any instance where multiple bags need to be carried from one location to another, and in particular, this invention relates to a carrying device used to carry and contain multiple bags without the use of hands.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In North America and much of the world, plastic bags have become one of the most popular types of bag used to carry merchandise. For example, when groceries are packed into the bags, there are usually more than one bag to carry, and they become difficult and awkward to handle. A light weight comfortable device that can be draped over the shoulder will allow a customer to carry multiple plastic bags comfortably without the use of their hands. This will save the customer time from repeated trips when carrying, loading, transporting and unloading one or more bags.
The following are prior art devices that address the issue of carrying and transporting multiple plastic bags.
The plastic grocery carrying device disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,824,182 to Graham, is a bag carrying device that will allow an individual to carry and contain multiple plastic grocery bags with the use of one hand comfortably. The bag carrying device is lightweight, compact and can be stored in a handbag or pant pocket. The bag carrying device is comprised of a horizontal tubular shaped handle. The horizontal handle will be covered with a soft foam hand grip. The inside of the tubular shaped handle is hollow allowing a flexible connecting member to be inserted directly through the center of the tubular handle extending and tapering downward and adjoining to a fastening device with a safety gate. The fastening device with a safety gate will allow the user to attach and remove multiple plastic grocery bags with ease preventing the user from having to attach one bag at a time or balance bags on separate hooks.
The carrying member disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,772,059 to Parry et al., is constructed of an injection molded polypropylene material. The carrying member is comprised of an upper gripping portion, the ends of which continue into outside portions, extending downward to a lower bag handle receiving region. The lower receiving region is used to carry one or more plastic bags by slipping them up through a gap and fitting them onto two support arms. A problem associated with this prior art is having to balance an equal number of bags on each support arm to insure proper balance. When carrying only one bag you must separate the individual handle portions of the bag and fit them individually on the two support arms balancing the load at the middle of the carrying member.
The bag carrier disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,599,052 to Van Davelaar, is a flat design comprised of a horizontal upper handle section, connected to a horizontal lower hook support section by connecting vertical members. Multiple hooks on the bag carrier allow for bags to be attached or removed from the carrier. A problem associated with this prior art device is the time consuming task of attaching each bag to a separate hook and then removing each bag from a separate hook when using this device. The device is also constructed of a rigid material, which does not completely eliminate the stress put directly on the fingers.
No device is known however, that can be used to carry multiple plastic grocery store bags comfortably, using a cushioned covered handle and a single fastening device with a quick release safety gate that allows the user to attach multiple bags quickly and easily.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is provides for a carrying device that facilitates the carrying of multiple bags commonly found in supermarkets, discount stores, drug stores, or any other industry using plastic bags or bags with handles. The invention allows a customer to carry multiple bags without using their hands eliminating the awkwardness of using the fingers, hands, and forearms. The device drapes over the shoulder leaving the hands free for other functions like manipulating a set of keys, carrying children, leading pets, etc. The inventive device will keep the bags grouped together and organized, allowing the customer to easily carry them, load them into the automobile, transport them in the automobile, and unload the bags when leaving the automobile. It is lightweight and can be easily stored in the car or elsewhere when not in use. The foregoing can be accomplished by providing a carrying device that is lightweight with an optional comfortable cushion for comfortable draping over the shoulder. The device also contains generally V-shaped or J-shaped hooks and fastening devices such as slider clips or buttons extending from the strap portion, which engage with a keyhole shaped slot or aperture, to secure commonly used plastic bags and other types of bags with handles. In the context of the invention, generally "V-shaped" or generally "J-shaped" are synonymous in that the lower ends of the side legs of the U-shaped device have appendages that turn or bend and extend upwardly to form a hook portion to capture and hold the bag handles. The bend should not be so sharp as to create a stress point that will cause the device to fail at the turn point. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the body of the device is made of light weight plastic. It drapes over the shoulder and optionally has a thin cushion attached to it for comfort. The hook portions are then secured to the body of the device with light weight slider clips that slide down to lock the hooks in place, thereby securing the bags within the upwardly directed hook portions. As mentioned above, a button that is configured to engage a slot or aperture at the end of the generally V-shaped or J-shaped portion of the invention can also be used as a preferred securement method for the bags. In this case, the means for securing the end portion of the hook portion with the leg portion comprises a formed button or clip extending from a surface of the leg portion. The formed button is located so as to be engageable with a corresponding aperture in the end portion of the hook portion. The aperture is also configured to facilitate an easy entry of the button through the aperture (an aperture portion that is slightly larger in diameter than the outside diameter of the button). The aperture is also configured to interlock with the button or clip by a sliding engagement of a narrower portion of the aperture behind the button. As mentioned above, the button may also be in the form of a clip that enters through the aperture and engages with the upper end of the aperture.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a conceptual perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention in use;
FIG. 2A is a perspective view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 with the bag carrying hook area in an open position;
FIG. 2B is a perspective view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 with the bag carrying hook area in a closed position ready for securement with the slidable clip;
FIG. 2C is a perspective view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 with the bag carrying hook area in a closed position and secured with the slidable clip;
FIG. 3A is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 3B is a front view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 3A;
FIG. 3C is a side view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 3A; and
FIG. 3D is a cross-section view of the U-shaped portion with a longitudinal rib along a generally central line of the upper surface of the U-shaped portion.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2A-2C, which conceptually disclose an example of the present invention, which is a bag carrying device comprising a generally U-shaped elongate member 10 having its generally U-shaped portion 12 located near a center thereof and being formed to rest on a person's shoulder. Each lower end of each leg 14 of the U-shaped elongate member 10 has an upwardly directed hook portion 16 formed to insert handles of bags to be carried by the device. The hook portions 16 are sufficiently flexible so as to bend an end portion 16a of the hook portion 16 toward the adjoining leg 14.
The device includes means 18 for securing the end portion 16a of the hook portion 16 with the leg portion 14 of the device. Although there are several methods known in the art on how to provide such securement means 18, one preferred method is to provide for a sliding fastening clip member 18a sized and configured to slide along the leg 14 and engage the end portion 16a of the hook portion 16 for preventing bags 22 being carried from falling out of the hook portion 16.
In a preferred embodiment, cushioning 20 may be applied to an inside surface of or around the U-shaped portion 12 of the elongate member 10. This feature will provide a cushioning effect between a person's shoulder and the U-shaped portion 12.
The device, including the generally U-shaped elongate member 12 and the hook portions 16 are preferably made from a light weight polymeric based material, also common referred to as plastic material. Other materials including combination of cloth, leather and plastic and metal materials can be used. For example, the elongate member could be cloth or leather material with an attached hook portion that is made from plastic or metal materials.
As an example, a bag carrying device according to the present invention could include a 15 inch high by 8 inch wide frame, made from a relatively durable molded PVC or poly-plastic material. The U-shaped portion 12 of the shoulder formed resting area would have a generally soft cushion 20 that could be made of foam material. The cushion 20 could be an adhesively applied strip for comfort or a cushion that is around the U-shaped portion 12 but encapsulated with a sewn vinyl or cloth material. On each leg 14, there is a 2 inch wide plastic slider clip serving as a fastening device, which allows a safety gate that opens and closes the hooked ends to secure the plastic bags. Of course, the dimensional sizes and forms can be varied according to the desires of the manufacturer.
A shown in FIGS. 3A-3D, another embodiment of the invention 10 includes a suggested different method or means 18 of securing the ends of the V-shaped or J-shaped portions to the corresponding legs 14 of the U-shaped portion 12. In this case, a button like portion 18b extending from the leg surface 14 is configured to engage a mating aperture 18c in the hook portion end 16a. Aperture 18c may be made in the form of a keyhole to facilitate the button 18b entry through the aperture 18c at which point the aperture 18c has a narrower slotted portion that engages behind the button 18b when the hook portion 16 is pulled slightly downward. Equivalent structure for the button 18b may be the incorporation of a clip form where the clip form engages with the narrower slotted portion of the aperture 18c.
Further, the generally U-shaped portion 12 may also include an integrated rib portion 24 running longitudinally along a generally central line of the upper surface of the U-shaped portion 12.
In use, the bag carrying device will allow for an individual to carry multiple plastic grocery type bags 22 comfortably without hands leaving the hand or hands available to open and close doors, carry children, hold umbrellas, manipulate keys, hold pets, and carry other objects.
When transporting the bags 22 in an automobile, the device can contain all the bags in one area and prevent the bags from sliding and shifting. This makes it faster and easier to gather bags upon departure of the automobile.
Finally, the bag carrying device can also carry other types of bags like handbags, briefcases, and any other bags with handles.
It should be understood that the preceding is merely a detailed description of one or more embodiments of this invention and that numerous changes to the disclosed embodiments can be made in accordance with the disclosure herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The preceding description, therefore, is not meant to limit the scope of the invention. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be determined only by the appended claims and their equivalents.
Patent applications by John Chris Fragale, Palm Harbor, FL US
Patent applications in class HAND-HOOK TYPE
Patent applications in all subclasses HAND-HOOK TYPE