Patent application title: PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE PROTECTOR
Joseph Westrup (Vancouver, WA, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D8530FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package book-type cover with attached article retainer
Publication date: 2012-02-23
Patent application number: 20120043247
A protector for portable electronic devices is disclosed, including a
portfolio-style protective cover.
1. A protector for generally rectangular electronic devices comprising:
(a) a four-legged frame; (b) the four legs of said frame oriented in an
X-shaped configuration relative to each other; and (c) resilient
corner-engaging arcuate lugs integral with each of said four legs.
2. The protector of claim 1 wherein said frame is X-shaped with said legs intersecting each other.
3. The protector of claim 2 wherein said frame is webbed where said legs intersect with each other.
4. The protector of claim 1 wherein said frame is O-shaped with said legs oriented radially outwardly therefrom.
5. The protector of claim 4 wherein said O-shaped frame is generally rectangular
6. The protector of any of claims 2-5 incorporated into a foldable portfolio.
7. The protector of claim 6 wherein said portfolio has a top and a bottom with corners on said top and said bottom.
8. The protector of claim 7 wherein said top and said bottom comprise three plies of (i) a soft inside layer; (ii) a durable outside layer; and (iii) a stiff middle layer.
9. protector of claim 8 further comprising reversible elastic straps secured to the corners of said top and said bottom.
10. The protector of claim 9 further comprising an elastic strap secured to the inside of said top.
11. The protector of claim 10 further comprising a flap on the outside of said bottom.
12. The protector of claim 11 further comprising a hinge integral with said top that permits said top to be partially opened to an angle of about 90.degree. relative to the remainder of said top and to engage said flap.
13. A protector for generally rectangular electronic devices comprising (a) a four legs, each with a resilient, corner-engaging arcuate lug integral therewith; and (b) said four legs secured to a planar generally rectangular base.
14. The protector of claim 13 incorporated into a foldable portfolio.
 This is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 12/860,808 filed Aug.
20, 2010, the priority of which is claimed pursuant to 35 USC 120.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The development of devices incorporating electronic devices has been explosive over the past decade, resulting in many new genres of battery-powered products such as so-called "smart phones," electronic readers, and, more recently, the Apple iPad®. All such devices are relatively lightweight and portable, owing to the miniaturization of electronic components and circuitry. One shortcoming of such small scale is that the circuitry is relatively fragile and so subject to damage by, for example, impact with a hard surface caused by dropping and/or exposure to moisture. There is therefore a need in the art for protection of such devices from such damage. This need is met by the present invention.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 According to the present invention, there is provided a protector for portable electronic devices that has a number of unique and useful features that protect such devices from damage and provide support for operating such devices from a desktop or similar flat surface.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of an exemplary cover of the invention opened to receive an electronic device P such as an Apple iPad®.
 FIG. 2 is a sectional taken through the plane 2-2 of FIG. 1.
 FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of the outside of the cover shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of the cover of FIG. 1 with the electronic device P inserted into the cover and the top of the cover partially open.
 FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the cover of FIG. 1 closed and secured over the electronic device.
 FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the cover of FIG. 1 with the electronic device P inserted into the cover and the top of the cover folded back and secured to the bottom of the cover.
 FIG. 7 is a bottom perspective view of the arrangement shown in FIG. 6 illustrating the utility of a hand strap secured to the inside of the top of the cover.
 FIG. 8 is a top perspective view of the cover of FIG. 1 with the electronic device P inserted into the cover and the top folded back on itself to tuck into a flap on the outside of the bottom of the cover, so as to create a stand for the electronic device P.
 FIG. 9 is a top perspective view of another embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention shown attached to the rear of electronic device P (shown in phantom).
 FIG. 11 is a top perspective view of another embodiment of the invention affixed to a portfolio.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 Referring to the drawings, wherein the same numerals generally refer to the same elements, there is shown a cover 1 designed to accept an electronic device P, the cover comprising a foldable portfolio 10 having a top 10a, a bottom 10b, and a spine 10c. The top 10a and bottom 10b preferably comprise a three-ply lamination of a soft layer 11 such as felt on the inside of the portfolio that is in contact with the electronic device P, a durable outside layer 12 such as leather, and a stiff middle layer 13 to provide structural support to the top and bottom of the cover. Spine 10c preferably comprises only two plies 11 and 12 so as to maintain flexibility on opening and closing. Portfolio 10 is preferably provided with longitudinal creases 14, 15 and 16 to further facilitate flexing, with crease 16 being created by a discontinuity in middle layer 13.
 A prominent feature of cover 1 is a four-legged frame that may be in a variety of configurations such as in an O-shape 20 as seen in FIG. 1, an X-shape 30 as seen in FIG. 9, a webbed X-shape 40 as seen in FIG. 10 or as four discrete legs 22 as seen in FIG. 11. With respect to the frames 20, 30 and 40 it should be understood that he same may be used free standing alone independently of any cover or portfolio, or may be incorporated into a cover or portfolio by securing the same to, for example, a bottom 10b, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 9. As to the frame embodiment shown in FIG. 11, the same requires legs 22 to be affixed to a substantially planar and rectangular base such as bottom 10b.
 Frame 20 is provided with four legs 22 integral with frame 20 extending radially outwardly and oriented in an X-shaped configuration relative to each other. Legs 22 terminate in four resilient lugs 24 with two pairs of lugs diametrically opposed to each other, the lugs being in an arcuate shape so as to capture the four corners of electronic device P. A preferred material for lugs 24 is silicone rubber. When frame 20, 30 or 40 is secured to a cover such as shown in FIG. 1, lugs 24 hold device P securely in place against bottom 10b. Lugs 24 also serve to absorb shock in the event the electronic device P is struck or dropped onto a hard surface, whether frame 20, 30 or 40 is incorporated into a portfolio or not.
 Top 10a is preferably provided at its corners with reversible elastic straps 40 that may be secured to bottom 10b at corresponding corners to secure cover 1 in a closed or open position, best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, respectively. Preferably such reversible straps 40 are attached to bottom 10b by sewing their ends between layers 11 and 12. Top 10a is further provided with an elastic handle strap 30 on its inside surface 11, which may be deployed by the user to maintain a secure grip on the cover and device P so as to decrease the likelihood of dropping the same.
 Finally, bottom 10b is preferably provided with a flap 50 designed to capture the outside edge of top 10a when the same is folded back on itself along crease 16 at an angle θ of about 90° so as to create an easel or stand for the entire arrangement, best seen in FIG. 8.
 Thus, the protector of the invention may be secured to any of a wide variety of portable, generally rectangular electronic devices, including, without limitation, "smart phones," e-readers, e-planners, e-calendars, and e-tablets such as the Apple iPad® to protect the device while maintaining easy access to the device by the user.
 The terms and expressions which have been employed in this specification are used therein as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions to exclude equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, it being recognized that the scope of the invention is defined and limited only by the claims which follow.
Patent applications in all subclasses BOOK-TYPE COVER WITH ATTACHED ARTICLE RETAINER