US20020038745A1 - Soft-shell bag with removable liner - Google Patents

Soft-shell bag with removable liner Download PDF

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Publication number
US20020038745A1
US20020038745A1 US09/951,236 US95123601A US2002038745A1 US 20020038745 A1 US20020038745 A1 US 20020038745A1 US 95123601 A US95123601 A US 95123601A US 2002038745 A1 US2002038745 A1 US 2002038745A1
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liner
shell
bag
resilient
soft
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US09/951,236
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Michael Lamming
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Cardinal Brands Inc
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Cardinal Brands Inc
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Priority to US09/951,236 priority patent/US20020038745A1/en
Assigned to CARDINAL BRANDS, INC. reassignment CARDINAL BRANDS, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: LAMMING, MICHAEL W.
Publication of US20020038745A1 publication Critical patent/US20020038745A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C3/00Flexible luggage; Handbags
    • A45C3/001Flexible materials therefor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/02Interior fittings; Means, e.g. inserts, for holding and packing articles

Abstract

A soft-shell bag comprising a flexible outer shell and including a removable resilient liner for placement inside the shell to provide the resultant bag with a resilient structure and with a barrier for protecting the flexible shell's construction materials from the contents of the bag.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED U.S. APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/232,768 filed Sep. 13, 2000, the entire disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.[0001]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0002]
  • This disclosure relates to the field of liners, particularly to liners for use with soft-shell bags. [0003]
  • 2. Description of the Related Art [0004]
  • In recent years, soft-shell bags have gained tremendous popularity. Although soft-shell bags have been around for many years, recent improvements in the strength, weight, and durability of construction materials used in these bags have made them even more popular. Soft-shell bags include many types of bags constructed so that the primary construction materials of their outer shells can be folded or bended easily without damage. These can include soft leather bags, carpet bags, shopping bags, soft-sided luggage, soft cases, or plastic bags. These bags have become commonplace in a wide variety of commercial uses and for transporting everything from groceries, to picnic goods, to hunting supplies, to tool kits and everything in-between. [0005]
  • Soft-shell bags major difference from traditional hard-side bags is that soft-shell bags are unable to maintain a constant shape as movement and force from the contents effects their shape. Many soft-shell bags, when empty, are almost completely limp and are unable to maintain even their manufactured shape. Partially loaded soft-shell bags can also be difficult to carry as the bag bends and flexes as the bag is moved. They also can be difficult to attach to traditional transport means for bags. A partially loaded soft-shell bag can flex around the bars of a luggage rack, for instance, because there is no rigid structure to distribute the weight of the contents across the bottom surface of the bag. This makes the user of the bag have to support the bag away from the rack with one hand, while trying to attach the bag (for instance with tie down straps) to the rack with the other. [0006]
  • To deal with the limpness of the bags, there are many bags which are hybrids of the soft-shell bag and the rigid bag. In these, a rigid structure is placed within the soft-shell bag such as is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,220,411. Most of these are of a type commonly called “soft-side.” Soft-side bags take a soft-shell bag and include within the structure of the bag a solid, loop-shape frame that allows four of the six sides of the bag to be rigid. The bag therefore is lighter than the traditional rigid bag because two opposing sides of the bag (generally the largest) are still just fabric, while the limpness of the bag has been avoided because the soft sides can be tensioned on the frame. The bag also provides some protection for the contents because the four rigid sides help prevent items within the bag from receiving point forces from outside the bag on these sides. However, because the structure is built into the bag, the structure provides little protection to the fabric of the bag surrounding the structure and often prevents thorough cleaning of the fabric. [0007]
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,476,184 provides a different solution to deal with the limpness of the soft-shell bag. A skeletal wire frame with a solid base is placed in the bag prior to loading so the bag is supported. While the wire frame prevents the bag from collapsing on itself while loading, it does not provide any protection to the shell of the bag, other than the base, because the wire frame does not provide a barrier between the fabric and the contents or outside world. [0008]
  • These structures, while they provide a partial solution for the limpness of the bag, fail to provide protection for the construction materials of the soft shell, the bag's contents, and/or items that come into contact with the bag. Soft-shell bags are more susceptible to puncture from heavy items carried in them. Because of their flexibility, the bags often cannot spread out point forces over an entire surface, but instead, the contents are forced together and onto a point resulting in partially loaded flexible bags having stress points where a rigid point within the bag is forced into the flexible wall of the bag. These stress points can concentrate too much force on the fabric of the bag resulting in the elastic limit of that point of the bag being reached and it either permanently deforming or suffering a puncture. The stress points also can lead to damage to the contents of the bag or the surrounding environment as the stress point can contact rigid surfaces and either dent them, or be damaged by them. These stress points are generally caused by gravity pulling the contents of the bag in a downward direction, or by the user of the bag packing the bag and pushing rigid items into the base or the walls of the bag to make room for additional items. Therefore, they are prevalent in both the base and sides of the bag. The above structures cannot deal with the problem of stress points because they do not provide walls which form barriers at the base and sides between the bag and the contents where stress points occur. The first type of device necessitated that either the base or two sides include no rigid structure. The second structure specifically shows a wire frame in the sides which provides no barrier, leaving the fabric unprotected. [0009]
  • Soft-shell bags are also often made of porous materials (particularly of interlinked fibers). While this helps to decrease the weight of the bags, the flexible surface can absorb undesirable substances from the contents of the bags. For instance, the bags may acquire a greasy or oily residue from greasy contents preventing the bag from being used to carry items which could be damaged by this residue. Further, any type of liquid could be absorbed by the bag, possibly leading to the bag acquiring an unpleasant odor, discoloring, or suffering a weakness in the construction material. Finally, food products could be absorbed by the bag which could attract pests. To provide for protection of the fabric from such damage, it is necessary to have a non-porous structure lining the inside of the bag on the base and sides to protect them from liquids moving inside the bag. The systems above leave much of the lower sections of the bags without any form of covering relying on only the fabric, providing no protection from the fabric absorbing such items. [0010]
  • These types of issues often come to the forefront when flexible bags are used as part of travel to remote locations. This is often done to visit a remote hunting lodge, a special fishing hole, or just to get away from civilization for a while. In many of these types of trips, the bags are carried in or on specialty vehicles. These can include All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), motorbikes, snowmobiles, boats, or similar vehicles which generally require the bag to be carried in the open, often attached to a luggage rack or tied to the superstructure of the vehicle carrying them. In the open, the bags are regularly exposed to hazards. They can be hit by passing tree branches, exposed to the elements, have their contents jarred by rough terrain over which the vehicle is passing, or allow for rigid items in the bag to dent or scratch the vehicle from the same jarring terrain. Further, the use of a vehicle to reach the remote area often requires the operator of the vehicle to carry items to service the vehicle should it break down. This could include greasy items, or liquids such as gasoline whose absorption into the fabric of a bag is highly undesirable. [0011]
  • SUMMARY
  • Because of these and other previously unknown problems in the art, herein is disclosed, among other things, a soft-shell bag comprising a flexible outer shell and including a removable resilient liner for placement inside the shell to provide the resultant bag with a resilient structure and with a barrier for protecting the flexible shell's construction materials from the contents of the bag. [0012]
  • Disclosed herein, amongst other things, is a soft-shell bag comprising, a flexible shell base, a flexible shell perimeter wall attached around the perimeter of the shell base to form a flexible shell having an inner surface, the inner surface of the flexible shell defining a shell storage area therein; a resilient liner base, and a resilient liner perimeter wall attached around the perimeter of the liner base to form a liner having an inner and outer surface, the inner surface of the liner defining a liner storage area therein, wherein the liner is placed within the shell storage area with the outer surface of the liner adjacent to the inner surface of the shell. [0013]
  • In another embodiment there is disclosed a resilient liner for use in a soft-shell bag, said liner comprising, a resilient liner base, and a resilient liner perimeter wall attached around the perimeter of the liner base to form a liner having an inner and outer surface, the inner surface of the liner defining a liner storage area therein, wherein the liner has a trough shape, and is dimensioned such that when it is placed in a soft-shell bag it provides a barrier to all but one side of the soft-shell bag. [0014]
  • In an embodiment, the liners may be elastic, may have a trough shape, may have a non-porous surface, may include at least one divider (which may be removable), and/or may comprise plastic such as a polyolefin, The flexible shell may comprise fabric such as Nylon®. In yet another embodiment, the bag can also include a flexible shell top, rotatably attached to at least a portion of said flexible shell wall, wherein said flexible shell top can be rotatably moved from a closed to an open position, and/or a resilient liner top attached to at least a portion of said resilient liner perimeter wall which may be rotatably attached to said portion of said resilient liner perimeter wall. [0015]
  • In another embodiment, the outer surface of the liner may be in contact with the inner surface of the shell, possibly in contact at all points. In yet another embodiment, the resilient liner base, and the flexible shell base have similar dimensions, and/or the resilient liner perimeter wall and the flexible shell perimeter wall have similar dimensions. The liner may form a barrier between the shell and an item placed in the bag, may be removably attached to the shell by friction, removably attached to the shell by an attachment device, may be adapted for use with an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), or may be in the shape of a rectangular prism in still further embodiments. [0016]
  • In a still further embodiment, there is disclosed a method of manufacturing a resilient liner for use in a soft-shell bag, the method comprising, selecting dimensions for a liner such that when it is placed in a soft-shell bag it provides a barrier to all but one side of said soft-shell bag, forming a planer cutshape having a liner base and a liner perimeter wall, deforming the cutshape into a trough shape with the liner perimeter wall surrounding the liner base, and securing the cutshape in the trough shape to form the liner having the referenced dimensions.[0017]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a flexible outer shell. [0018]
  • FIG. 2 shows a resilient liner dimensioned for placement in the shell of FIG. 1. [0019]
  • FIG. 3 shows a resultant bag from the placement of the liner of FIG. 2 in the shell of FIG. 1. In FIG. 3 the bag is open. [0020]
  • FIG. 4 shows a cutshape which can be used to form the liner of FIG. 2 out of a flat sheet of material. [0021]
  • FIG. 5 shows another view of the resultant bag from the placement of the liner of FIG. 2 in the shell of FIG. 1. In FIG. 5 the bag is closed.[0022]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)
  • The below discussion will describe an embodiment of a soft-shell bag utilizing a shell and liner construction. It should be noted that although the term “bag” in this disclosure is primarily used to refer to a flexible shell containing an inner liner, the flexible shell itself would form a perfectly suitable bag as would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. Therefore, the liner of the below invention should be understood to be fit into a custom made shell to form a bag, the custom made shell could be used as a bag in its own right, and the liner could be used to fit into any soft-shell “bag” (using the bag as a shell) known in the art to form a bag in different embodiments of the invention. [0023]
  • FIG. 1, provides an embodiment of a flexible shell ([0024] 101) which can be used as the exterior surface of a bag. This can be any type of flexible shell (101) but in the art is often referred to as a duffel bag. The flexible shell (101) depicted in FIG. 1 is generally box-shaped (shaped as a rectangular prism) which can be desirable for carrying on horizontal luggage racks such as those on the front and rear of an ATV or other sport transport vehicle such as a motorcycle, a snowmobile, a boat, or a bicycle. The box shape is particularly desirable for such applications, because these vehicles often include racks for carrying gear that provide roughly horizontal (or vertical) flat surfaces for attachment. Since shell (101) has a flat base (and sides), it can rest easily against these racks. One of ordinary skill in the art would recognize, however, that a box shape is by no means required for the flexible shell (101) and in other embodiments the shell could be any spatial figure including, but not limited to, any polyhedron, any cylinder, any sphere, any pyramid, or any other 3-dimensional shape. Regardless of shape, the flexible shell (101) has a shell base (103) which is usually considered the “bottom” of the bag and is generally seated on a horizontal surface for loading of the shell (101), and a shell perimeter wall (105) arranged about the perimeter of the shell base (103). In FIG. 1, the base (103) and perimeter wall (105) are attached to each other such as by, but not limited to, sewing or single piece manufacture and are not designed to be separated. The inner surfaces (111) of shell base (103) and shell perimeter wall (105) define a storage area (151) of the shell into which items to be carried can be placed. This open-toped structure is of a general bag shape or trough shape. In FIG. 1, the shell (101) also includes a shell top (107). The shell top in this embodiment provides one state where the shell is closed so that the storage space is entirely surrounded by the shell (101), and a second state wherein the storage area (151) is opened to the outside and can have items placed in the storage area (151) by the user of the shell (101). These two states are shown in the resultant bag in FIGS. 5 and 3.
  • In FIG. 1 the shell top ([0025] 107) is attached to only a portion (121) of the shell perimeter wall (105). This portion acts as a hinge because of the flexibility of the shell (101) and the shell top (107) can be moved between the open state where the shell top (107) is rotated away from the base (103) and perimeter wall (105) and a closed state where the shell top (107) is located in spaced relation from the shell base (103) in a generally parallel and onset position with the shell base (103) and is in contact with the upper portion of the shell perimeter wall (105). The shell may be sealed through the use of a sealing mechanism such as zipper or flap (162) when in the closed state to restrict items placed within the storage area (151) from leaving the storage area (151). The sealing mechanism may be of any type and does not need to prevent access to the storage area (151) but could simply provide a more restricted opening to the storage area (151). A sealing mechanism may therefore include, but is not limited to, zippers of all types, strips of hook and loop or similar fastener, snaps, flaps, buttons, drawstrings, locking mechanisms, or any combination of these. In another embodiment, a sealing mechanism need not be present at all.
  • The shell ([0026] 101) shown in FIG. 1 is meant to represent one exemplary embodiment of a shell (101) which may be used. As discussed above, flexible shells can be manufactured in a virtually limitless arrangement of shapes and sizes, and the invention described herein can be used with any shape of shell (101), many of which are already produced as soft-shell bags. With different shaped shells, different types of mechanisms may be used to allow the shell to be either open or closed. For instance in a shell having a structure such as that described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,476,184, the entire disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference, the shell is opened and closed through the use of a fabric flap in the top of the shell. In many cylindrically shaped bags (a popular shape for gym bags) the flexible shell has a slit in the upper surface allowing access. In a shell similar to the bag disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 1,428,098, the entire disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference, the shell would have no top, but the sides of the shell can be forced together or spread apart based on the positioning of a wire frame within the shell to open or close the shell. Regardless of the shape of the shell (101), however, all these designs have a shell base (103), and a perimeter wall (105) which together define the storage area (151) into which items may be placed that are to be carried in the shell (101).
  • As shown in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1, the flexible shell ([0027] 101) may also include various carrying structures such as a handle (141) and/or straps (143). These can be used to carry the bag by hand, or to attach the bag to a vehicle or other structure for transportation of the bag. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the handle (141) allows the bag to be carried by an individual on foot, and/or for a user of the bag to maneuver the bag. The straps (143) can be used to attach the bag to a carrying structure such as the luggage rack of an ATV or similar vehicle. One of ordinary skill in the art could see that straps (143) could also, or alternatively, be placed on the shell to enable attachment to the side of a vehicle (a saddle bag), to a person (a backpack), or could be separable to allow any type of attachment. Further, any type of attachment may be used in addition to, or instead of, those described. These include, but are not limited to, bungee cords, rubber tie down straps, fabric flaps configured for insertion of the structure to which the bag is attached, buttons, snaps, or locking mechanisms. Finally, it is not required for the shell (101) of the present invention to be carried in the “upright position,” that is, with the top (107) of the shell (101) on top and the base (103) of the shell (101) on the bottom. The shell (101) could be configured to be carried in any manner.
  • The shell ([0028] 101), is preferably manufactured so that it is flexible, that is, it can be readily bent or folded without breaking. The shell (101) may be limp and unable to support its own weight without bending or folding, but it may also have some internal structure. The types of materials used in the manufacture of the shell (101) can be elastic, inelastic, or anything in-between. One of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that virtually any material, shaped and sized appropriately, could be formed into a flexible shell and any such shells could be used in this invention. In a preferred embodiment, the shell (101) is manufactured of fabric, particularly of Nylon®, but any other material or materials, such as, but not limited to, fabrics or other interwoven natural or synthetic fibers, leather or other natural or artificial animal hides or skins, plastics, rubbers, or any combination of the above, could be used in other embodiments.
  • The shell ([0029] 101) may also include additional components within its structure such as linings, insulation, waterproofing, or padding included within any portion or portions of the shell (101) which might serve to pad, insulate, or provide particular characteristics to the appropriate shell section, while still allowing the shell (101) to retain flexibility. The shell (101) also may include a supporting structure to define its shape in an embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of a liner ([0030] 201) designed for use with the shell (101) shown in FIG. 1. The liner (201) is preferably formed of a resilient material capable of maintaining its own shape. The liner also is preferably formed of a material which is easily cleaned and has a non-porous surface. This material can include many plastics, metals, vinyl, or similar materials. In another embodiment, the liner could be formed of a material such as paper or wood either alone or coated with a non-porous surface. In a still further embodiment, the liner could comprise mesh or perforated structure such as a metal mesh either alone or coated with a non-porous surface. In another embodiment, the liner is elastic to provide a more rigid structure (or is rigider) than the flexible shell, while at the same time being able to be repeatedly deformed without permanent damage.
  • In a further preferred embodiment, the liner is composed of materials sufficiently elastic to return to their original shape after significant deforming, while also sufficiently resilient to maintain a desired shape under their own weight and some load prior to any deformation. This resiliency can be accomplished through the use of, amongst other things, plastics that are bendable as opposed to rigid (or brittle). One of ordinary skill in the art would also recognize that the thickness of the material which the liner is constructed out of can also effect the resiliency of the liner. In a preferred embodiment, plastics of the polyolifen family with a thickness of about 0.020-0.028 inches can be used to manufacture a liner ([0031] 201) with desirable elasticity and resiliency, but such construction is by no means required.
  • The liner ([0032] 201) shown in FIG. 2 is configured for use with the shell (101) shown in FIG. 1. The liner (201) is composed of a liner base (203), and a liner perimeter wall (205) attached to the liner base (203) on the perimeter thereof to form an open-toped or trough shape. The inner surface (231) of the liner base (203) and liner perimeter wall (205) define a liner storage area (251). The liner (201) shown in FIG. 2 is configured for use with the shell (101) of FIG. 1, so the liner (201) has the same general shape (a rectangular prism) as the shell (101).
  • In a preferred embodiment, the liner ([0033] 201) would be dimensioned to fit snugly within the shell (101). Therefore, the outer surface (233) of the liner (201) would have similar dimensions to the inner surface (131) of the shell (101). The liner in such an embodiment, could then provide for its structure to at least partially support the shell perimeter wall (105) and/or shell top (107) when the shell (101) was closed. The liner also forms a removable barrier between the material of the shell and the contents of the bag. In an embodiment, the liner (201) also may include dividers (1001) within the liner storage area (251) to provide for items placed in the liner storage area (251) to be separated from each other. These dividers may be permanent or removable. In an embodiment, these liners are removable and are attached to the liners by attachment methods such as, but not limited to, tuck tabs, snaps, buttons, strips of hook and loop (or similar) fastener, temporary adhesives, or any combination of the above.
  • The liner also may have rounded or angled comers ([0034] 281) to better fit inside the bag, which may not have linear comers, or to prevent the liner (201) from creating a stress point which could damage the bag as discussed above. Connection tabs (291) may also be part of perimeter wall (205) if the liner is constructed in accordance with the manner disclosed in conjunction with FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of a bag ([0035] 301) comprising the liner (201) of FIG. 2 and the shell (101) of FIG. 1. The bag (301) is shown open so both parts are visible. In the embodiment of FIG. 3, the liner (201) has been placed within the shell (101). The liner (201) fits snugly within the shell storage space (151) of the shell (101) with the outer surface (233) of the liner (201) adjacent to the inner surface (131) of the shell (101). The outer surface (233) of the liner (201) is also shown in contact with the inner surface (131) of the shell (101). One of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that the entire outer surface (233) of the liner (201) need not be in contact with the inner surface (131) of the shell (101) but a small amount of contact can lead to the liner (201) supporting the shell (101). For instance, if the liner (201) had a perimeter wall (205) extending upward from the base (203) and away from the base (203) (the wall and the base forming an obtuse interior angle) the liner (201) may only contact the inner surface (131) of the shell (101) at the upper edge of the perimeter wall (205). Such an arrangement would still provide a liner (201) with an outer surface (253) adjacent to and in contact with the inner surface (151) of the shell (101) . In an embodiment, such as that shown in FIG. 3, it is therefore desirable to dimension the liner in a manner that it pushes slightly against the inner surface (131) of the shell (101) when placed within the shell (101). Such design allows for the liner (201) to support the perimeter walls of the shell (101) as shown in FIG. 3. This support exists because the liner is formed to be resilient whereas the shell is flexible. The liner is sufficiently rigider than the flexible shell to support at least its own weight as well as the weight of the flexible shell either directly or indirectly in contact with it. In an embodiment, the shell (101) is actually limp, and unable to support its own weight while the liner is sufficiently resilient to support both its own weight and the weight of the shell.
  • The liner storage space ([0036] 251) is used for the storage of items within the liner (201) creating a barrier between those items and the shell (107) when they are placed in the bag (301). In the depicted embodiment, the liner (201) has no top allowing full access to the shell storage space (151) and liner storage space (251) when the shell top (107) is rotated away from the shell base (103) and the shell (101) is opened. One of ordinary skill in the art would see, however, that the liner (201) in another embodiment could have a partial top solidly attached to it narrowing the access to the liner storage area (251). In a still yet further embodiment, the liner could have a top designed to move with the top (107) of the shell (101) allowing access into the liner storage area (251) as the shell top (107) opens. In a yet further embodiment, the liner could have a top moving independently of the shell top (107) but still providing access to the liner storage area (251). Such an arrangement could, for instance, require opening the shell (101) followed by the opening of the liner (201)
  • The liner ([0037] 201) in FIG. 3, is shown placed within the shell (101) in a removable fashion. That is, the liner (201) can be removed from the shell (101) without either component suffering any damage. In an embodiment, the liner (201) in FIG. 3 could be easily removed from the shell (101) by simply lifting the liner (201) out of the shell (101). The liner (201) and shell (101) are held together by friction alone. It is desirable that the liner be easily removable from the shell to allow the liner to be taken out and separately cleaned from the shell, and to allow the user of the bag (301) to use multiple different liners with the same shell if desired. In this way a user could have one shell for the liner for use with oily ATV parts, and another liner for use with clothes, depending on what use the user is planning to have in the bag (301).
  • Although the liner could be removeably attached using friction alone, in other embodiments, the liner is removably secured in the shell using other methods. In the embodiment of FIG. 3 an attachment device is provided to further secure the liner ([0038] 201) to the shell (101). This attachment device can be anything from a lip or flap attached to the shell and extending over the liner perimeter wall (205) when the liner (201) is placed within the shell (101) to traditional securement devices such as, but not limited to, hook and loop (or similar) fastener patches, brackets, buttons, straps, snaps, locking mechanisms, or any combination of attachment devices.
  • FIG. 3 shows an attachment flap ([0039] 191 ) around the upper portion of the interior surface (111) of the shell perimeter wall (105) for removable attachment of the shell (101) to the liner (201). In the depicted embodiment, the liner is attached using snaps or similar attachments by placing the flap (191) over the top edges of the liner (201) and securing it by snaps (194). One of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that that type of removable attachment could be used including, but not limited to, snaps, buttons, strips of hook and loop (or similar) fastener, temporary adhesives, tuck flaps, or any combination thereof. An optional top for the liner (as discussed above) could also be so secured to the top of the shell (101). The devices provide that the liner could be engaged and disengaged from the shell repeatedly without damaging either the shell or the liner allowing the liner to removably attached. In FIG. 3 cut outs (374) are also visible to allow for easier connection of the flap (191).
  • The inclusion of a removable liner ([0040] 201) within the shell (101) provides for numerous benefits. Because the liner (201) is removable it allows for cleaning of the shell (201) and liner (201) separately. Removal of the liner (201) can allow it to be cleaned using materials and or methods that would stain or damage the shell (101) and vice versa. Also, since the bag (301) in some embodiments lacks any rigid components when the liner (201) is removed, it can be collapsed to fit safely into a fabric care machine, if desired. In a further embodiment of the invention, the liner (201) is designed to be inexpensive and disposable, so the liner can be thrown out after the transport of certain materials, while the more expensive shell (101) can be reused.
  • At the same time, the inclusion of the liner ([0041] 201) provides stiffening properties to the soft shell (101) making it easier to load. FIG. 5 shows the bag (301) in the closed position with the liner (201) encased in the shell (101). It is clear that the shell (101) has a more defined shape than in FIG. 1. The removable liner (201) also provides for protection from stress points in either the base (103), or perimeter wall (105) of the shell (101) since the liner (201) is made of resilient material separating the contents of the bag (301) from the shell (101). Since the liner (201) covers at least a portion of the sides (the perimeter wall (105)), rigid items can be placed in the liner storage space (251) without them providing stress points in the fabric of the shell (101). The liner (201) forms a barrier between the contents of the bag (301) and the shell (101) at the base and all sides. Since the liner material is resilient, the point buildup of stresses from rigid carried items is distributed more evenly around the sides and the bottom of the liner (201), and distributed more evenly to the shell (101). In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the liner (201) covers essentially all the way up the perimeter wall (105) which means that the bag (301) can be easily packed in any manner desired without risking stress points in either the base or the perimeter wall. Further, since the liner has a trough shape, the liner (201) can prevent small items or liquids which are on the inner surface of the liner base (103) from leaving the liner (201) and possibly damaging the fabric. As will be understood from the foregoing, the liner forms a barrier. This allows for liquids and other items which could damage the fabric of the shell to be carried safely in the soft-shelled bag (301).
  • In FIG. 3, the liner peripheral wall ([0042] 205) is shown extending essentially all the way up the shell peripheral wall (105) because they are of approximately equal dimensions. This is desirable in the preferred embodiment as it provides protection to the fabric of the shell (101) at the base (103) and entire perimeter wall (105). In another embodiment, however, the liner peripheral wall (205) is shorter than the shell peripheral wall (105) and only covers a portion of it providing a more limited barrier. Also in FIG. 3 the liner (201) and shell (101) are shown as having a peripheral wall of constant height. This is by no means required for either component. In an embodiment, the liner (201) and shell (101) both have different heights throughout the peripheral walls but the two peripheral walls change similarly, while in another embodiment the heights of the walls change differently. Designs such as these can allow for use with openings that are not contained on the top of the bag but are in the perimeter wall, for insurance, and/or can allow for a more limited barrier to be attained for alternative benefits. For instance, the user of the bag may wish to place bottles of limited height inside the bag and desires the protection of the trough design against spillage, but wants the top of the bag to be able to fold or push down on the top of the bottles to give the bag a narrower profile.
  • In other embodiments, the liner ([0043] 201) could be provided with special properties desirable for the bag (301), for instance the liner could be manufactured of specific materials designed to resist extremes of hot or cold without loosing resiliency and/or elasticity. The liner also could be designed and sealed forming a watertight trough to hold loose liquids within the fabric enclosure. In yet additional embodiments, the liner could be manufactured to resist chemical attack from particular chemicals, enabling them to be carried safely in the bag.
  • As was discussed above, it is desirable in an embodiment, to have the liner manufactured out of plastic. Plastic is desirable because it readily provides for a non-porous, easily cleanable, resilient, and elastic surface. Plastics also can easily be made to a multitude of different desirable elasticities depending on composition and thickness and easily formed into a plurality of different shapes and sizes. To be able to provide for high speed manufacture of liners made of plastics (or other sheet materials), it is further desirable to have a design of a liner which can be cut or punched from a flat sheet of material of a desired thickness and assembled into the trough shape using modern automated assembly techniques. FIG. 4 shows an embodiment of the liner ([0044] 201) shown in FIG. 2 which has been disassembled into a flat cutshape (501). The cutshape (501) can be manufactured by automated processes from a flat sheet of plastic by cutting the cutshape (501) from the flat sheet of materials using methods such as, but not limited to, flat pattern die cutting or roller type die cutting. The cutshape (501) provides for a structure which can be folded (permanently deformed) into the trough shaped liner of FIG. 2 using methods understood by those of ordinary skill in the art. On the cutshape (501) there are components which will form a liner base (503) and liner perimeter wall (505). These components are separated by score lines (521) to enable bending of the cutshape (501) at the division between the base (503) and the perimeter wall (505) into a three-dimensional trough shape as shown in FIG. 2. There also portions to form angled corners (581) and a plurality of attachment tabs (523) which are bended over to align with other components of the cutshape (when in their final position) and attached to secure the final trough shape of the liner (201) formed from the cutshape (501) as shown in FIG. 2. The use of attachable tabs to secure three dimensional objects is well understood in the art. The tabs can be secured by any method known to the art including, but not limited to, adhesives, sonic welding, or thermal welding so as to build the resilient trough shape of the liner (201) in FIG. 2. The rounded corners are further formed by corner tabs (551) and slits (553) as would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. It should be noted that the liner perimeter wall (205) begins as multiple physically separate pieces that are merged together to form the liner perimeter wall (205), as shown in FIG. 2. Other components of the liner and the shell also can be formed of multiple separate components attached together as would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art so long as the resultant liner (201) is resilient.
  • While the invention has been disclosed in connection with certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments should be understood to be encompassed in the present disclosure as would be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art. [0045]

Claims (27)

1. A soft-shell bag comprising:
a flexible shell base including a perimeter;
a flexible shell perimeter wall attached around said perimeter of said shell base to form a flexible shell having an inner surface, said inner surface of said flexible shell defining a shell storage area therein;
a resilient liner base including a perimeter; and
a resilient liner perimeter wall attached around said perimeter of said liner base to form a liner having an inner and outer surface, said inner surface of said liner defining a liner storage area therein;
wherein said liner is placed within said shell storage area with said outer surface of said liner adjacent to said inner surface of said shell.
2. The bag of claim 1 wherein said liner is elastic.
3. The bag of claim 2 wherein said liner comprises plastic.
4. The bag of claim 3 wherein said plastic comprises a polyolifen.
5. The bag of claim 1 wherein said flexible shell comprises fabric.
6. The bag of claim 5 wherein said fabric is Nylon®.
7. The bag of claim 1 wherein said liner has a trough shape.
8. The bag of claim 1 further comprising:
a flexible shell top, rotatably attached to at least a portion of said flexible shell wall, wherein said flexible shell top can be rotatably moved from a closed to an open position.
9. The bag of claim 1 further comprising:
a resilient liner top attached to at least a portion of said resilient liner perimeter wall.
10. The bag of claim 9 wherein said resilient liner top is rotatably attached to said portion of said resilient liner perimeter wall.
11. The bag of claim 1 wherein said liner has a non-porous surface.
12. The bag of claim 1 wherein said outer surface of said liner is in contact with said inner surface of said shell.
13. The bag of claim 12 wherein said outer surface of said liner and said inner surface of said shell are in contact at all points.
14. The bag of claim 1 wherein said resilient liner base, and said flexible shell base have similar dimensions.
15. The bag of claim 1 wherein said resilient liner perimeter wall and said flexible shell perimeter wall have similar dimensions.
16. The bag of claim 1 wherein said liner forms a barrier between said shell and an item placed in said bag.
17. The bag of claim 1 wherein said liner is removably attached to said shell by friction.
18. The bag of claim 1 wherein said liner is removably attached to said shell by an attachment device.
19. The bag of claim 1 wherein said bag is adapted for use with an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
20. The bag of claim 1 wherein the bag is in the shape of a rectangular prism.
21. The bag of claim 1 wherein said liner includes a divider.
22. The bag of claim 21 wherein said divider is removable from said liner.
23. A resilient liner for use in a soft-shell bag, said liner comprising:
a resilient liner base;
a resilient liner perimeter wall attached around the perimeter of said liner base to form a liner having an inner and outer surface, said inner surface of said liner defining a liner storage area therein;
wherein said liner has a trough shape, and is dimensioned such that when it is placed in a soft-shell bag it provides a barrier to all but one side of said soft-shell bag.
24. The liner of claim 23 wherein said liner comprises plastic.
25. The liner of claim 24 wherein said plastic comprises a polyolefin.
26. The liner of claim 25 further comprising at least one divider.
27. A method of manufacturing a resilient liner for use in a soft-shell bag, said method comprising:
selecting dimensions for a liner such that when it is placed in a soft-shell bag it provides a barrier to all but one side of said soft-shell bag;
forming a planer cutshape having a liner base and a liner perimeter wall;
deforming said cutshape into a trough shape with said liner perimeter wall surrounding said liner base; and
securing said cutshape in said trough shape to form said liner having said dimensions.
US09/951,236 2000-09-15 2001-09-13 Soft-shell bag with removable liner Abandoned US20020038745A1 (en)

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US09/951,236 US20020038745A1 (en) 2000-09-15 2001-09-13 Soft-shell bag with removable liner

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Cited By (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050121482A1 (en) * 2003-12-09 2005-06-09 Zickefoose Mark S. Attachment to motorcycle to safely transport musical instruments
US20050206278A1 (en) * 2004-03-18 2005-09-22 Gusdorf Michael L Locker covering
US20070181623A1 (en) * 2006-02-06 2007-08-09 Allen P Schneider Storage component system
US20090194541A1 (en) * 2008-02-05 2009-08-06 Mayo Veronica M Bags with removable liners
US20120145718A1 (en) * 2010-12-14 2012-06-14 Quarry Brendan E Apparatus and kit for containing sports equipment
US8413776B1 (en) * 2007-11-21 2013-04-09 Alice Huff Bag for carrying articles
US20130228408A1 (en) * 2012-03-01 2013-09-05 Mediausa Advertising, Inc. Coaches keeper bag for securing personal items for a group of individuals
US20140140643A1 (en) * 2012-11-21 2014-05-22 Richard Qi Li Cooler/lunch bag with detachable liner
US8777001B1 (en) * 2009-07-07 2014-07-15 William Duffy Bennett Oil containment bag / container for the transporting and storage of electrical transformers of all types (I.E. all pole, pad mount and underground models etc.)
US20150237978A1 (en) * 2014-02-25 2015-08-27 Richard FORGET Multi-Functional Bag
US20180168305A1 (en) * 2016-12-19 2018-06-21 Mary Daily Dual-compartment handbag
US10046885B2 (en) 2016-04-20 2018-08-14 Yeti Coolers, Llc Spigot and spigot guard for an insulating container
US10051946B1 (en) * 2011-01-19 2018-08-21 Hydrapak, Inc. Reservoir system and method of use
EP3378728A1 (en) * 2017-03-15 2018-09-26 Saada, née Khalifa, Caroline Shopping trolley for a pushchair
USD830122S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-10-09 Yeti Coolers, Llc Dispenser
USD830116S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-10-09 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container mounting apparatus
USD830123S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-10-09 Yeti Coolers, Llc Dispenser
US10138047B2 (en) 2016-04-20 2018-11-27 Yeti Coolers, Llc Spigot and spigot guard for an insulating container
USD835471S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-11 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container
USD835470S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-11 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container
USD835472S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-11 Yeti Coolers, Llc Combined container mounting apparatus and container
USD835946S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-18 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container
USD835947S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-18 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container mounting apparatus
USD839661S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2019-02-05 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container mounting apparatus
USD843180S1 (en) 2017-10-25 2019-03-19 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container mounting apparatus
US10526130B2 (en) 2016-04-20 2020-01-07 Yeti Coolers, Llc Insulating container

Cited By (31)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7150382B2 (en) * 2003-12-09 2006-12-19 Zickefoose Mark S Attachment to motorcycle to safely transport musical instruments
US20050121482A1 (en) * 2003-12-09 2005-06-09 Zickefoose Mark S. Attachment to motorcycle to safely transport musical instruments
US20050206278A1 (en) * 2004-03-18 2005-09-22 Gusdorf Michael L Locker covering
US20070181623A1 (en) * 2006-02-06 2007-08-09 Allen P Schneider Storage component system
US8413776B1 (en) * 2007-11-21 2013-04-09 Alice Huff Bag for carrying articles
US20090194541A1 (en) * 2008-02-05 2009-08-06 Mayo Veronica M Bags with removable liners
US9487331B2 (en) 2009-07-07 2016-11-08 Abg Bag, Inc. Oil containment bag/container for the transporting and storage of electrical transformers of all types (i.e. all pole, pad mount and underground models etc.)
US8777001B1 (en) * 2009-07-07 2014-07-15 William Duffy Bennett Oil containment bag / container for the transporting and storage of electrical transformers of all types (I.E. all pole, pad mount and underground models etc.)
US8820522B2 (en) * 2010-12-14 2014-09-02 Brendan E. Quarry Apparatus and kit for containing sports equipment
US20120145718A1 (en) * 2010-12-14 2012-06-14 Quarry Brendan E Apparatus and kit for containing sports equipment
US10051946B1 (en) * 2011-01-19 2018-08-21 Hydrapak, Inc. Reservoir system and method of use
US20130228408A1 (en) * 2012-03-01 2013-09-05 Mediausa Advertising, Inc. Coaches keeper bag for securing personal items for a group of individuals
US20140140643A1 (en) * 2012-11-21 2014-05-22 Richard Qi Li Cooler/lunch bag with detachable liner
US9938068B2 (en) * 2012-11-21 2018-04-10 Richard Qi Li Cooler/lunch bag with detachable liner
US20150237978A1 (en) * 2014-02-25 2015-08-27 Richard FORGET Multi-Functional Bag
US10526130B2 (en) 2016-04-20 2020-01-07 Yeti Coolers, Llc Insulating container
US10138047B2 (en) 2016-04-20 2018-11-27 Yeti Coolers, Llc Spigot and spigot guard for an insulating container
US10046885B2 (en) 2016-04-20 2018-08-14 Yeti Coolers, Llc Spigot and spigot guard for an insulating container
US20180168305A1 (en) * 2016-12-19 2018-06-21 Mary Daily Dual-compartment handbag
EP3378728A1 (en) * 2017-03-15 2018-09-26 Saada, née Khalifa, Caroline Shopping trolley for a pushchair
USD830122S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-10-09 Yeti Coolers, Llc Dispenser
USD830123S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-10-09 Yeti Coolers, Llc Dispenser
USD835471S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-11 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container
USD835470S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-11 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container
USD835472S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-11 Yeti Coolers, Llc Combined container mounting apparatus and container
USD835946S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-18 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container
USD835947S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-12-18 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container mounting apparatus
USD839661S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2019-02-05 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container mounting apparatus
USD830116S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2018-10-09 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container mounting apparatus
USD887789S1 (en) 2017-07-12 2020-06-23 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container
USD843180S1 (en) 2017-10-25 2019-03-19 Yeti Coolers, Llc Container mounting apparatus

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Owner name: CARDINAL BRANDS, INC., MISSOURI

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LAMMING, MICHAEL W.;REEL/FRAME:012374/0336

Effective date: 20011127

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION