US20080232720A1 - Flexible organizer with detachable pocket members - Google Patents

Flexible organizer with detachable pocket members Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080232720A1
US20080232720A1 US12/053,441 US5344108A US2008232720A1 US 20080232720 A1 US20080232720 A1 US 20080232720A1 US 5344108 A US5344108 A US 5344108A US 2008232720 A1 US2008232720 A1 US 2008232720A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
pocket
member
panel member
fastener portion
pocket member
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Abandoned
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US12/053,441
Inventor
Krisanthe Karagiannis
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Krisanthe Karagiannis
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Priority to US89676007P priority Critical
Application filed by Krisanthe Karagiannis filed Critical Krisanthe Karagiannis
Priority to US12/053,441 priority patent/US20080232720A1/en
Publication of US20080232720A1 publication Critical patent/US20080232720A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D33/00Details of, or accessories for, sacks or bags
    • B65D33/04Windows or other apertures, e.g. for viewing contents
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D21/00Nestable, stackable or joinable containers; Containers of variable capacity
    • B65D21/02Containers specially shaped, or provided with fittings or attachments, to facilitate nesting, stacking, or joining together
    • B65D21/0201Containers specially shaped, or provided with fittings or attachments, to facilitate nesting, stacking, or joining together stackable or joined together side-by-side
    • B65D21/0205Containers specially shaped, or provided with fittings or attachments, to facilitate nesting, stacking, or joining together stackable or joined together side-by-side joined together by bonding, adhesive or the like
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2313/00Connecting or fastening means
    • B65D2313/02Connecting or fastening means of hook-and-loop type

Abstract

A flexible organizer comprising a flexible panel member and a pocket member, the flexible panel member comprising a fastener portion, the pocket member comprising a pocket opening and a fastener portion, and wherein the pocket member is releasably attached to the panel member via an engagement of the panel member fastener portion with the pocket member fastener portion. Such an organizer allows users to conveniently and efficiently organize items such as children's toys in a manner that allows easy and modularized access to the toys and easy clean-up of the toys. Also disclosed is a method for using the flexible organizer as well as a method for customizing the flexible organizer.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE AND PRIORITY CLAIM TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATION
  • This patent application claims priority to provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/896,760, entitled “Flexible Organizer with Detachable Pocket Members”, filed Mar. 23, 2007, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The inventor herein believes that there has been a long-felt need but unresolved need in the art for an apparatus and method for organizing items such as children's toys, wherein the apparatus and method provide users with quick and effective abilities to organize those items while still capturing the user's interest in a manner that overcomes many people's general disinclination to organize their belongings and keep their living areas free from clutter. The inventor believes that this need is particularly strong-felt with respect to the messes that children often leave in homes as they play with their toys. Furthermore, the inventor believes that there is a long-felt but unresolved need for an organizer which is easily used by young children on their own.
  • In an effort to address these needs in the art, disclosed herein as an embodiment of the invention is a flexible organizer comprising a flexible panel member and a pocket member, the flexible panel member comprising a fastener portion, the pocket member comprising a pocket opening and a fastener portion, and wherein the pocket member is releasably attached to the panel member via an engagement of the panel member fastener portion with the pocket member fastener portion. Multiple such pocket members can be releasably attached to the panel member. Such an organizer allows users to conveniently and efficiently organize items such as children's toys (e.g., puzzle pieces, blocks, action figures, miniature cars, etc.) in a manner that allows easy and modularized access to the toys and easy clean-up of the toys. In a preferred embodiment, the fasteners used to releasably attach the pocket member to the panel member comprise opposing hook and loop fasteners. In this way, users are provided with quick and effective means for quickly attaching and detaching pocket members to/from the panel member as needed.
  • Furthermore, with its modularized design, the pocket members can be used for storage independently of their releasable attachment to the panel member. For example, a user may decide to store one or more pocket members (and the toys contained therein) in a closet or on a shelf even if those pocket members are unattached to the panel member. Also, in an embodiment wherein means for hanging are provided on the pocket members themselves (e.g., the pocket handles discussed hereinafter), the pocket members can themselves be hung from a suitable hanging location (e.g., door or wall).
  • Also disclosed as another embodiment of the invention is a method comprising releasably attaching a pocket member to a flexible panel member, the flexible panel member comprising a fastener portion, the pocket member comprising a pocket opening and a fastener portion, and wherein the releasably attaching step comprises releasably attaching the pocket member to the panel member via an engagement of the panel member fastener portion with the pocket member fastener portion. Once again, multiple such pocket members can be releasably attached the panel member as needed. A user can thus store items as needed in the pocket members as noted above.
  • Also disclosed as another embodiment of the invention is a method for permitting customization of a flexible organizer, the flexible organizer comprising a flexible panel member and a pocket member that is releasably attachable to the panel member, the pocket member comprising a front face and a pocket opening for storing a plurality of items, wherein this method comprises: (1) electronically receiving an input from a customer, the electronically received input corresponding to a desired pattern to be visible on a front face of the pocket member, and (2) responsive to the electronically received input, providing a product to the customer with the desired pattern printed thereon such that the customer is enabled to customize the flexible organizer in a manner that the pocket member exhibits a desired pattern on its front face. In this way, desirable patterns (e.g., favorite cartoon characters, a depiction of the child's name, etc.) can be depicted on the front face of the pocket members to thereby enhance the interest of a user such as a child in using the flexible organizer to organize and keep his/her room clean.
  • These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon review of the following description and drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIGS. 1( a)-(c) depict an exemplary panel member for an exemplary embodiment of the invention;
  • FIGS. 2( a)-2(g) depict exemplary pocket members for exemplary embodiments of the invention;
  • FIGS. 3( a)-(c) depict how pocket members can be releasably attached to a panel member in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the invention;
  • FIGS. 4-7 depict different exemplary strip patterns that can be used with the panel member for releasably attaching pocket members thereto in an exemplary embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 8 depicts an exemplary horizontal strip pattern that can be used with the panel member for releasably attaching pocket members thereto in an exemplary embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 9 depicts an exemplary pocket member formed with a mesh material;
  • FIG. 10 depicts a front view of an exemplary pocket member formed with a label area thereon;
  • FIGS. 11( a) and (b) depict an exemplary pocket member cover pattern which can be releasably attached to the pocket member's front face in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 11( c) depicts a front view of an exemplary pocket member with an exemplary pocket member cover pattern releasably attached thereto;
  • FIG. 12 depicts an exemplary process flow for customer selection of an appropriate pocket member cover pattern for their pocket member(s);
  • FIG. 13 depicts another exemplary process flow for customer selection of an appropriate pocket member cover pattern for their pocket member(s);
  • FIGS. 14( a) and (b) depict an exemplary panel member with hanging loops that are located on the panel member such that the loops are not exposed during use;
  • FIGS. 15( a) and (b) depict exemplary embodiments for a panel member wherein holes are provided in the panel member for hanging the panel member from a hanging platform;
  • FIG. 16 depicts an exemplary panel member which uses straps extending from its top and bottom ends for hanging the panel member as desired; and
  • FIGS. 17( a) and (b) depict an exemplary panel member with opposing fasteners placed at opposite ends of the panel member for allowing for panel member to be securely folded.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • FIG. 1( a) depicts a front view of an exemplary panel member 100. FIG. 1( b) depicts a side view of an exemplary panel member 100. Panel member 100 is preferably a flexible panel member 100 formed from a canvas or fabric material 102 (e.g., cotton) that is preferably machine-washable. It should appreciated by those having ordinary skill in the art that the canvas or fabric material 102 can be a natural or synthetic material. While material 102 can take any of a variety of shapes (e.g., rectangle, square, circle, oval, etc.), its shape is preferably a rectangle with a longer dimension 108 on a vertical y axis and a shorter dimension 110 on a horizontal x axis. As should be understood from the description and figures herein, with respect to a panel member that is hanging from a wall or a door, wherein the view shown in FIG. 1( a) would be a front view, the vertical dimension would correspond to height. Likewise, with respect to a panel member that is lying flat on a floor, in which case the front view of FIG. 1( a) would be a view of the panel member with respect to an upright person looking down, the vertical dimension would correspond to a dimension that is parallel to the plane of the floor. Exemplary values for dimensions 108 and 110 can be around 36 inches and 15 inches respectively. However, it should be understood that other dimension values could readily be used in the practice of the invention. Material 102 preferably has a thickness 112 sufficient to retain a sturdiness to the material 102 while still providing flexibility such that the panel member 100 can be rolled or folded as shown in FIG. 1( c).
  • A plurality of loop and hook fastener (e.g., Velcro; hereinafter the term loop and hook fastener will be referred to as a Velcro fastener) strips 104 are preferably disposed vertically along dimension 108 on a front face 114 of material 102. While in the example of FIG. 1( a), three such strips 104 are shown, it should be understood that more or fewer strips 104 may be used in the practice of the invention. Also, while it is preferred that a plurality of strips 104 be substantially equally spaced along the front face 114 of material 102, this need not be the case. The front/exposed face 118 of each strip 104 is preferably a Velcro fastener, while a back face of each strip 104 is preferably engaged with the front face 114 of material 102. Strips 104 are preferably sewn into material 102 or otherwise attached thereto.
  • A plurality of loops 106 are preferably attached to a top portion of the material 102 as shown in FIGS. 1( a)-(c). While only two loops 106 are shown, it should be readily understood that more or fewer such loops 106 could be used in the practice of the invention. For example, the inventor believes that the use of three loops 106 would be helpful for stability when hanging the panel member (the three loops 106 being relatively equally spaced along the top portion of the material 102, with the middle loop 106 be centered along the horizontal dimension of the panel member). Via loops 106, a user can hang the panel member 100 from a wall, door or other suitable hanging location. For example, loops 106 could be used to hang the panel member 100 from a door or wall in a child's bedroom. Various hooks could be used with loops 106 to hang the panel member 100, as should be understood by those having ordinary skill in the art. When not being hung, panel member can be spread out on a floor or rolled/folded into a stowable state as shown in FIG. 1( c) for easy storage in a closet or trunk.
  • FIG. 2( a) depicts a front view of an exemplary pocket member 200. FIG. 2( b) depicts a back view of an exemplary pocket member 200. FIG. 2( c) depicts pocket member 200 such that its pocket opening 212 is visible. FIG. 2( d) depicts a side view of an exemplary pocket member 200. Pocket member 200 is preferably formed from a canvas or fabric material 202 (e.g., cotton) that is preferably machine-washable. While pocket member 200 can take any of a variety of shapes (e.g., rectangle, square, circle, oval, etc.), its shape is preferably a rectangle with a longer dimension 208 on the vertical y axis and a shorter dimension 206 on the horizontal x axis, as shown in FIG. 2( a). Exemplary values for dimensions 208 and 206 can be around 19 inches and 13¼ inches respectively. However, it should be understood that other dimension values could readily be used in the practice of the invention. For example, by using smaller values for dimension 206, it may be possible to releasably attach two or more pocket members 200 for a given elevation on the panel member 100, as explained below. Pocket member 200 preferably has a thickness 212 that will expand as items such as children's playthings are placed inside opening 212 of the pocket member 200.
  • Pocket member 200 also preferably has a handle member 204. Handle member 204 preferably comprises first and second handle members 204 which are sewn or otherwise part of opposing sides of the pocket defined by opening 212, as shown in FIGS. 2( a)-(d). Handle members 204 allow users to readily tote pocket members.
  • As shown in FIGS. 2( b) and (d), the back face 218 of pocket member 200 preferably has a strip 210 attached thereto. Strip 210 is preferably disposed horizontally along dimension 206 on the pocket member's back face 218, preferably at a height toward the top of the pocket member (e.g., within an inch or a few inches of the top of pocket member 200). The exposed face each strip 210 is preferably a Velcro fastener, while a back face of each strip 210 is preferably engaged with the pocket member's back face 218. Strip 210 is preferably sewn into the pocket member's back face 218 or otherwise attached thereto. It should be noted that the exposed Velcro fastener face of strip 210 is preferably of the opposite type with respect to the exposed Velcro fastener face of strips 104 such that a user can readily attach/detach pocket member 200 to/from panel member 100 (e.g., strip 104 is the loop portion of the Velcro fastener while strip 210 is the hook portion of the Velcro fastener, or vice versa).
  • Optionally, as shown in FIGS. 2( e)-(g), pocket member 200 can include opposing first and second Velcro fastener strips 220 and 222 disposed near a top portion of opening 212 to allow a user to readily and releasably seal/unseal opening 212, which will help prevent spillage of items from pocket member 200. FIG. 2( e) depicts a front view of such a pocket member 200 including a depiction of the strip 220 along in the interior of opening 212. FIG. 2( f) depicts a rear view of such a pocket member 200 including a depiction of the strip 222 along the interior of opening 212. FIG. 2( g) depicts a side view of such a pocket member 200 that shows how strips 220 and 222 can engage each other for releasable attachment. It should be understood that alternatives to strips 220 and 222 can be used, such as buttons, snaps, a drawstring, and others.
  • As indicated above, one or more pocket members 200 can be releasably attached to panel member 100 as shown in FIGS. 3( a)-(c) via the Velcro fastener action of strips 104 and 210. FIG. 3( a) depicts only a single pocket member 200 releasably attached to panel member 100, while FIG. 3( c) depicts four pocket members 200 1, 200 2, 200 3 and 200 4 releasably attached to panel member 100. FIG. 3( b) depicts a side view of the arrangement shown in FIG. 3( a).
  • Thus, using panel member 100 and pocket members 200 of the present invention, parents and children can efficiently clean and organize children's playthings in a fun and effective manner. For example, each pocket member 200 can be devoted to a different class of toys (e.g., pocket member 200 1 for Puzzle A, one pocket member 200 2 for Puzzle B, pocket member 200 3 for building blocks, and so on). Toys can be quickly deposited into an appropriate pocket member 200, and each pocket member 200 can be quickly releasably attached to panel member 100 via strips 104 and 210. Furthermore, panel member 100 with pocket member(s) 200 attached thereto can be readily hung from an appropriate platform (e.g., wall, door, etc.), thereby keeping a floor area clear of mess. Further still, panel member 100 can stay hung while a child detaches one of the pocket members 200 to play with the toy(s) inside. Further yet, panel member 100 with pocket member(s) 200 attached thereto can be readily put away in storage (e.g., closet or trunk) by removing the panel member 100 (with pocket member(s) 200 still attached thereto) from its hanging platform, optionally folding/rolling panel member 100 (with pocket member(s) 200 still attached thereto) into a stowable state as shown in FIG. 1( c), and placing the panel member 100 (with pocket member(s) 200 still attached thereto) into storage.
  • While the embodiment of FIG. 1( a) shows panel member 100 having horizontally spaced apart vertical strips 104, it should be noted that other arrangements of strips 104 could be used. However, the inventor notes that the vertical arrangement is advantageous because it allows a user to hang a pocket member 200 from any position along the height of strip(s) 104, wherein strip(s) 104 preferably cover the substantial extent of panel member 100's height. For example, as would be understood by those having ordinary skill in the art, a substantial extent of coverage would still be achieved if an inch or two along the top or bottom edges of the panel member 100 were left without strip coverage.
  • As an exemplary alternative to vertical strips 104, FIG. 4 depicts an embodiment wherein the Velcro fastener strip 104 is arranged in an “X” pattern along the front face 114 of material 102. As another exemplary alternative to vertical strips 104, FIG. 5 depicts an embodiment wherein the Velcro fastener strips 104 are arranged in a diagonal pattern along the front face 114 of material 102. As yet another exemplary alternative to vertical strips 104, FIG. 6 depicts an embodiment wherein the Velcro fastener strip 104 is arranged in an asterisk pattern along the front face 114 of material 102. As still another exemplary alternative to vertical strips 104, FIG. 7 depicts an embodiment wherein the Velcro fastener strip 104 is arranged in a rectangular shape along the front face 114 of material 102 such that a substantial amount of front face 114 is covered by the strip 104.
  • With the exemplary embodiments of FIGS. 1( a) and 4-7, it should be appreciated that strip 104 is continuous along its extent in the vertical direction such that a user can releasably attach a pocket member 200 at any arbitrary height along the vertical extent of strip 104.
  • It should also be noted that strips 104 may optionally be arranged as horizontal strips across the x-dimension 110 of panel member 100, as shown in FIG. 8. However, such an arrangement is considered less desirable because horizontal strips 104 would limit the user to releasably attaching the pocket members 200 only at height locations along the panel member 100 where a strip 104 is located.
  • It should also be noted that a user may optionally releasably attach multiple pocket members 200 at the same (or similar) height location along strip(s) 104, particularly if the horizontal dimension 206 of the pocket members 200 is less than the horizontal dimension 110 of the panel member (or at least the horizontal extent of strip(s) 104). Furthermore, it should be appreciated that when multiple pocket members 200 are releasably attached to panel member 100, the different pocket members 200 may optionally be of different sizes.
  • Optionally, the back face 218 of pocket member 200 can be formed of a mesh material, as shown in FIG. 9. Such an arrangement would allow for a user to readily identify what items are located inside pocket member because of the see-through nature of mesh.
  • Each pocket member 200 may also include a label area 1000 on its front face 216 that would allow a user to label each pocket member 200 such that its contents are known without looking inside, as shown in FIG. 10. A user can then either write directly on the label area 1000 or attach a label to label area 1000 to describe the pocket member's contents. Also, the label area can itself form a pocket into which a label or other flat material can be inserted. For example, in an embodiment wherein the pocket member is used to store puzzle pieces, an image of the completed puzzle (or a torn-off portion of the puzzle box which includes the completed puzzle image) may be inserted in the label pocket.
  • Pocket members 200 may also exhibit a plurality of colors on at least their front faces 218, which can be used to color-code the contents of each pocket member 200.
  • Pocket members 200 can also be configured such that their entire back face 218 is formed from a Velcro fastener to allow the pocket member 200 to be releasably attached to panel member 100 via strip(s) 104. Similarly, the front and back faces 216 and 218 of the pocket member can be formed from a Velcro fastener to allow any face of the pocket member to be releasably attached to the panel member strip(s).
  • Further still, a Velcro fastener can be disposed on the front face 216 of pocket member 200 such that pocket member cover pattern 1100, as shown in FIG. 11( a) (front view) and (b) (side view), can be releasably attached to the pocket member's front face 216. FIG. 11( c) depicts a pocket member 200 with a pocket member cover pattern releasably attached thereto. Each pocket member cover pattern may include a decorative design on its front face 1102 to allow users to customize their flexible organizer. On their back faces 1104, pocket member cover patterns 1100 can include a Velcro fastener for releasable attachment with a Velcro fastener on the front face 216 of pocket member 200.
  • These pocket member cover patterns can be marketed and provided to customers in any of a variety of ways. For example, with reference to FIG. 12:
      • A provider can provide a plurality of predefined pocket member cover patterns for selection by a customer (step 1200). This can be accomplished in any of a number of ways. For example, a provider can maintain an inventory of pre-existing pocket member cover patterns with different patterns thereon. As another example, the provider can provide a plurality of available patterns for selection by the customer. In an exemplary embodiment, the provider can do this by maintaining a database of pattern images which can be accessed and browsed by customers to find a desired pattern. Upon selection of a desired pattern by the customer (corresponding to step 1202 discussed below), the provider can then custom create the desired pocket member cover pattern (as part of step 1204 below), for example by printing the desired pattern on a blank pocket member cover pattern. Optionally, some of the patterns depicted on the pocket member cover patterns can relate to or illustrate well-known media properties and likenesses (e.g., famous cartoon characters, TV shows, movies, etc.) which are licensed from their owners. In this way, a child's interest can be drawn to the organizer by associating the organizer with the favorite characters and shows of the child. Further still, as noted above, the pocket members are well-suited for storing puzzle pieces which are a common mess item for children. One potential result of using a pocket member to store puzzle pieces is that, in doing so, the box for the puzzle may be lost or thrown out. If so, the child would no longer have access to the image of the completed puzzle that is often on the puzzle box cover to aid in the assembly of the puzzle. To ameliorate this situation, the patterns that are depicted on the pocket member cover patterns may optionally be images of completed puzzles. In this manner, an image of the appropriate completed puzzle can be depicted on the front of the pocket member in which that puzzle's pieces are stored. Different puzzle manufacturers and distributors can be contacted to obtain licensing rights for depicting images of the completed puzzles as the patterns to be shown on the pocket member cover patterns. Furthermore, the patterns may include depictions of child names (stylized depictions or otherwise). Similarly, themes that are traditionally associated with boys (e.g., trucks, football, etc.) can be depicted on pocket member cover patterns as well as themes that are traditionally associated with girls (e.g., princesses, flowers, etc.), thereby further enhancing and customizing the attractiveness of the organizer to children.
      • A provider will then receive a selection of a pocket member cover pattern from the customer (step 1202, discussed in part above for an exemplary embodiment). This selection can be received as electronic input at a point-of-sale in a store, via a website, via a telephone call, etc.
      • The provider can then provide the selected pocket member cover pattern to the customer (step 1204, discussed in part above for an exemplary embodiment).
        As another example with respect to FIG. 13:
      • A provider can receive input from a customer about a pocket member cover pattern desired by that customer (e.g., such input can be received as electronic input at a point-of-sale in a store, via a website, via a telephone call, etc.) (step 1300). Such input can optionally include a photograph (preferably a digital photograph) provided by the customer or other design provided by the customer.
      • A provider will then create a pocket member cover pattern from the received input (step 1302). For example, the provider can print the desired pattern on a blank pocket member cover pattern (e.g., printing an image of the family dog on a blank pocket member cover pattern).
      • A provider can then provide the created pocket member cover pattern to the customer (step 1304).
        Thus, a customer can:
      • Receive a desired pocket member cover pattern from the provider (steps 1206 and 1306); and
      • Releasably attach the received pocket member cover pattern of his/her liking to the pocket member (steps 1208 and 1308).
  • It should also be noted that rather than customizing pocket member cover patterns for releasable attachment to pocket members, the pocket members themselves can optionally be customized. In such a scenario, a provider would essentially follow the same steps discussed above in connection with FIG. 12 or 13, but do so in connection with pocket members rather than pocket member cover patterns to thereby provide a customized pocket member to a customer. In such a scenario, it will be appreciated that a pocket member cover pattern would not be needed for the pocket member. Thus, for an embodiment such at this, the pattern shown in FIG. 11( c) would be directly printed on the pocket member 200 rather than releasably attached to the pocket member 200 via the pocket member cover pattern 1100.
  • Furthermore, it should be appreciated that an owner of a panel member can purchase new pocket members (optionally including a pattern printed thereon as mentioned above) as needed to store and organize items. Not all pocket members need to be attached to the panel member at all times, as the pocket members themselves serve as excellent storage means, as explained above.
  • Also, as shown in FIGS. 14( a) and (b), the material 102 can be configured such that loops 106 are not exposed during use. As shown in FIGS. 14( a) and (b), loops 106 can be hidden behind material 102 while panel member 100 hangs. Preferably, material 102 is of a sufficient sturdiness such that it can cover loops 106 while panel member 100 is in a hanging position.
  • Further still, it should be noted that rather than loops 106, holes 1500 can be placed in material 102 to provide for panel member 100's hanging, as shown in FIGS. 15( a) and (b). In one exemplary embodiment, such loops/holes can optionally be located along the vertical dimension 108 to allow for hanging of panel member 100 in the other direction (see FIG. 15( a)). Moreover, such loops/holes can be optionally located along both the horizontal dimension 106 and the vertical dimension 108 to allow for hanging of panel member 100 in either direction (see FIG. 15( b)). With respect to the FIG. 15( b) embodiment, it should be appreciated that the use of the strip patterns shown in FIGS. 4-7 would be particularly advantageous as those strip patterns would provide for arbitrary height placement of pocket members for both a vertical and horizontal hanging orientation for the panel member.
  • Moreover, as shown in FIG. 16, the panel member can also be hung from a suitable location by way of straps 1600 which extend from a top and bottom portion of the material 102. Preferably two straps 1600 which are relatively evenly spaced along the material edge are present on both the top and bottom portion of the material 102. These straps preferably include a Velcro portion (or are composed entirely of Velcro) such that they can wrap around a door and attach to each other via the Velcro or connect to each other in a manner that effectively forms a loop on either or both ends of the panel member.
  • Furthermore, it should be noted that the panel member can optionally include a rubber backing to help provide stabilizing support, tension and friction when hanging the panel member. Similarly, straps 1600 depicted in FIG. 16 can also utilize rubber supporting materials for similar purposes.
  • Further still, as shown in FIGS. 17( a) and (b), opposing Velcro fasteners 1700 and 1702 can be placed at opposite ends of material 102 to allow for panel member 100 to be securely folded.
  • While the present invention has been described above in relation to its preferred embodiments, various modifications may be made thereto that still fall within the invention's scope. Such modifications to the invention will be recognizable upon review of the teachings herein. Accordingly, the full scope of the present invention is to be defined solely by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.

Claims (42)

1. A flexible organizer comprising:
a flexible panel member, the flexible panel member comprising a fastener portion; and
a pocket member comprising a pocket opening and a fastener portion; and
wherein the pocket member is releasably attached to the panel member via an engagement of the panel member fastener portion with the pocket member fastener portion.
2. The organizer of claim 1 wherein the panel member fastener portion and the pocket member fastener portion comprise opposing hook and loop fastener portions.
3. The organizer of claim 2 wherein the panel member further comprises a front face, a vertical dimension, and a horizontal dimension, wherein the panel member hook and loop fastener portion predominantly extends in a continuous fashion along the vertical dimension of the panel member front face, thereby allowing for releasable attachment of the pocket member to the panel member at any arbitrary height along the panel member hook and loop fastener portion.
4. The organizer of claim 3 wherein the panel member hook and loop fastener portion comprises at least one strip located on the panel member front face.
5. The organizer of claim 3 wherein the panel member hook and loop fastener portion comprises a plurality of vertical strips which are horizontally spaced relative to each other on the panel member front face.
6. The organizer of claim 3 wherein the panel member further comprises at least one means for hanging the panel member, thereby allowing the panel member and the releasably attached pocket member to be hung from a hanging location.
7. The organizer of claim 6 wherein the at least one means for hanging comprises a plurality of the means for hanging, wherein the plurality of the means for hanging are configured to allow for the panel member and the releasably attached pocket member to be selectively hung in a vertical and horizontal orientation.
8. The organizer of claim 3 further comprising a plurality of the pocket members, wherein the plurality of pocket members are releasably attached to the panel member via an engagement of the panel member hook and loop fastener portion with the pocket member hook and loop fastener portions.
9. The organizer of claim 3 wherein the pocket member further comprises a mesh portion which partially exposes to view any content present in the pocket opening.
10. The organizer of claim 3 wherein the pocket member further comprises a pocket member back face, and wherein the pocket member hook and loop fastener portion comprises a strip located on the pocket member back face.
11. The organizer of claim 3 wherein the pocket member further comprises a pocket member front face, a pocket member back face, and a second fastener portion located on the pocket member front face, the organizer further comprising a pocket member cover pattern, the pocket member cover pattern comprising a pocket member cover pattern front face on which a decorative pattern is depicted, a pocket member cover pattern back face, and a pocket member cover pattern fastener portion located on the pocket member cover pattern back face, and wherein the pocket member cover pattern is releasably attached to the pocket member via an engagement of the second pocket member fastener portion with the pocket member cover pattern fastener portion.
12. The organizer of claim 11 wherein the second pocket member fastener portion and the pocket member cover pattern fastener portion comprise opposing hook and loop fastener portions.
13. The organizer of claim 1 wherein the panel member is sufficiently flexible to thereby allow it to be rolled or folded.
14. The organizer of claim 13 wherein the panel member is sufficiently flexible to thereby allow it to be rolled or folded even if the pocket member is releasably attached thereto.
15. The organizer of claim 13 wherein the panel member further comprises a second panel member fastener portion and a third panel member fastener portion, wherein the second panel member fastener portion and the third panel member fastener portion are located at opposite ends of the panel member such that the second panel member fastener portion and the third panel member fastener portion releasably attach to each other when the panel member is in a folded state.
16. A method comprising:
releasably attaching a pocket member to a flexible panel member, the flexible panel member comprising a fastener portion, the pocket member comprising a pocket opening and a fastener portion, and wherein the releasably attaching step comprises releasably attaching the pocket member to the panel member via an engagement of the panel member fastener portion with the pocket member fastener portion.
17. The method of claim 16 wherein the panel member fastener portion and the pocket member fastener portion comprise opposing hook and loop fastener portions.
18. The method of claim 17 further comprising:
storing a plurality of items in the pocket member via the pocket member opening.
19. The method of claim 18 wherein the plurality of items comprise a plurality of children's toys.
20. The method of claim 18 wherein the panel member further comprises a front face, a vertical dimension, and a horizontal dimension, wherein the panel member hook and loop fastener portion predominantly extends in a continuous fashion along the vertical dimension of the panel member front face, and wherein the releasably attaching step further comprises releasably attaching the pocket member to the panel member at any arbitrary height along the panel member hook and loop fastener portion.
21. The method of claim 18 further comprising:
hanging the panel member from a hanging location.
22. The method of claim 21 wherein the hanging step comprises selectively hanging the panel member in a vertical and horizontal orientation.
23. The method of claim 21 wherein the hanging location comprises a door or wall.
24. The method of claim 17 wherein the releasably attaching step comprises releasably attaching a plurality of the pocket members to the panel member via an engagement of the panel member hook and loop fastener portion with the pocket member hook and loop fastener portions.
25. The method of claim 24 further comprising:
selectively storing a plurality of items in the different pocket members via the pocket member openings.
26. The method of claim 25 wherein the items comprise a plurality of items of different types, and wherein the selectively storing step comprises selectively organizing and storing the plurality of items in the different pocket members via the pocket member openings such that the items of the same type are stored in the same pocket member and items of a different type are stored in different pocket members.
27. The method of claim 26 wherein the plurality of items comprise a plurality of different types of children's toys.
28. The method of claim 25 further comprising:
labeling the pocket members with a label indicative of the items stored therein.
29. The method of claim 17 further comprising:
releasably attaching a pocket member cover pattern to a front face of the pocket member, the pocket member cover pattern having a decorative pattern thereon.
30. The method of claim 29 further comprising:
selecting the pocket member cover pattern from a plurality of possible pocket member cover patterns.
31. The method of claim 16 further comprising:
rolling or folding the panel member and the releasably attached pocket member into a stowable state.
32. The method of claim 31 further comprising:
stowing away the panel member and the releasably attached pocket member while they are in the stowable state.
33. A method for permitting customization of a flexible organizer, the flexible organizer comprising a flexible panel member and a pocket member that is releasably attachable to the panel member, the pocket member comprising a front face and a pocket opening for storing a plurality of items, the method comprising:
electronically receiving an input from a customer, the electronically received input corresponding to a desired pattern to be visible on a front face of the pocket member; and
responsive to the electronically received input, providing a product to the customer with the desired pattern printed thereon such that the customer is enabled to customize the flexible organizer in a manner that the pocket member exhibits a desired pattern on its front face.
34. The method of claim 33 wherein the provided product comprises a pocket member with the desired pattern printed on its front face.
35. The method of claim 33 wherein the provided product comprises a pocket member cover pattern which possesses the desired pattern, the pocket member cover pattern for releasable attachment to the pocket member front face.
36. The method of claim 33 wherein the electronically receiving step comprises electronically receiving a selection by the customer corresponding to the desired pattern from among a plurality of available patterns.
37. The method of claim 33 wherein the electronically receiving step comprises electronically receiving an image from the customer, the image corresponding to the desired pattern.
38. The method of claim 37 further comprising printing the desired pattern onto a blank product after the step of electronically receiving the input.
39. The method of claim 33 wherein the desired pattern corresponds to an image of a completed puzzle.
40. The method of claim 39 further comprising storing a plurality of different images of completed puzzles in a database for access and browsing by a customer to make a selection as to one of the stored images.
41. A method for organizing a plurality of children's toys, the method comprising:
storing the toys in a plurality of different pocket members, each pocket member comprising a hook and loop fastener portion and a pocket opening for holding the stored toys; and
releasably attaching the pocket members to a flexible panel member while the toys are stored in the pocket members, the panel member comprising a hook and loop fastener portion that is of an opposing type relative to the pocket member hook and loop fastener portion, wherein the releasably attaching step comprises engaging each pocket member's hook and loop fastener portion against the panel member hook and loop fastener portion to thereby releasably attach the pocket members to the panel member.
42. The method of claim 41 further comprising:
detaching a releasably attached pocket member from the panel member when a user desires to play with the toys stored in that pocket member.
US12/053,441 2007-03-23 2008-03-21 Flexible organizer with detachable pocket members Abandoned US20080232720A1 (en)

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