US20080308568A1 - Carrying case with locking latch mechanism - Google Patents

Carrying case with locking latch mechanism Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080308568A1
US20080308568A1 US11/762,497 US76249707A US2008308568A1 US 20080308568 A1 US20080308568 A1 US 20080308568A1 US 76249707 A US76249707 A US 76249707A US 2008308568 A1 US2008308568 A1 US 2008308568A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
latch
case
position
release
latch body
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/762,497
Inventor
Jean-Pierre Grenier
Benjamin Coley
Gary Hawkins
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Plasticase Inc
Original Assignee
Plasticase Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Plasticase Inc filed Critical Plasticase Inc
Priority to US11/762,497 priority Critical patent/US20080308568A1/en
Assigned to PLASTICASE, INC. reassignment PLASTICASE, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: COLEY, BENJAMIN, GRENIER, JEAN-PIERRE, HAWKINS, GARY
Priority claimed from US12/132,654 external-priority patent/US8297464B2/en
Publication of US20080308568A1 publication Critical patent/US20080308568A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/10Arrangement of fasteners
    • A45C13/1076Arrangement of fasteners with a snap action
    • A45C13/1084Arrangement of fasteners with a snap action of the latch-and-catch type
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B65/00Locks or fastenings for special use
    • E05B65/52Other locks for chests, boxes, trunks, baskets, travelling bags, or the like
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05CBOLTS OR FASTENING DEVICES FOR WINGS, SPECIALLY FOR DOORS OR WINDOWS
    • E05C19/00Other devices specially designed for securing wings, e.g. with suction cups
    • E05C19/10Hook fastenings; Fastenings in which a link engages a fixed hook-like member
    • E05C19/12Hook fastenings; Fastenings in which a link engages a fixed hook-like member pivotally mounted around an axis
    • E05C19/14Hook fastenings; Fastenings in which a link engages a fixed hook-like member pivotally mounted around an axis with toggle action
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C5/00Rigid or semi-rigid luggage
    • A45C5/03Suitcases
    • A45C2005/037Suitcases with a hard shell, i.e. rigid shell as volume creating element
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E05LOCKS; KEYS; WINDOW OR DOOR FITTINGS; SAFES
    • E05BLOCKS; ACCESSORIES THEREFOR; HANDCUFFS
    • E05B13/00Devices preventing the key or the handle or both from being used
    • E05B13/10Devices preventing the key or the handle or both from being used formed by a lock arranged in the handle

Abstract

A carrying case includes a top case shell hinged to a bottom case shell which may be maintained in a closed position by a double throw, triple action latch mechanism comprising a latch body pivotally mounted to the bottom case shell, a latch locking element pivotally mounted to the latch body and a latch release coupled to the latch body. With the case in the closed position, the latch locking element engages a seat formed in the top case shell and clamps the two shells together. After moving the latch release to a release position, the latch body may be pivoted relative to the bottom case shell to permit disengagement of the latch locking mechanism from the top shell allowing the case to be opened.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to carrying cases, and, more particularly, to carrying cases with a double throw, triple action latch mechanism having a locking feature which substantially prevents inadvertent opening of the latch mechanism.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Carrying cases typically include a top case shell and a bottom case shell pivotally connected by a hinge. The two shells are maintained in a closed position by one or more latch mechanisms located along the front and/or the sides of the case. A variety of latch mechanisms have been employed in the past, such as single throw and double throw latches, some of which may be locked with combination locks or key locks.
  • Carrying cases intended for the transport of valuable items, and items which are relatively fragile, are preferably rugged in construction and not subject to inadvertent opening. While combination locks or key locks may reduce the incidence of inadvertent opening of a case, such features are more suitable for cases intended for use by one individual, e.g. brief cases and the like. If a carrying case may be used by several people, it is difficult to convey the combination of a lock to a group, whose members may change, and keys are easily lost. Further, security requirements at airports do not permit locking of cases or luggage, and such cases may be inadvertently opened by baggage handlers. There is therefore a need for a carrying case having a rugged construction with a locking feature which substantially prevents inadvertent opening of the case without the use of combination locks, key locks or the like.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention is directed to a carrying case with a latch mechanism having a locking feature which prevents inadvertent opening of the case.
  • In the presently preferred embodiment, the carrying case of this invention includes a top case shell and a bottom case shell pivotally connected by a hinge. A double throw, triple action latch mechanism maintains the case shells in the closed position. The latch mechanism comprises a latch body pivotally mounted to the bottom case shell, a latch locking element pivotally mounted to the latch body and a latch release coupled to the latch body. With the case in the closed position, the latch locking element engages a seat formed in the top case shell and clamps the two shells together. In response to pivotal motion of the latch body, the latch locking element may be disengaged from the top shell allowing the case to be opened.
  • The purpose of the latch release is to prevent inadvertent pivotal motion of the latch body, which, in turn, would allow the latch locking element to disengage the top case shell. As described in detail below, the latch release is movable between a locked position and a release position. In the locked position, the latch release engages the front wall of the bottom case shell and prevents pivotal motion of the latch body. In turn, the latch locking element is maintained in position against the seat of the top case shell thus retaining the case in the closed position. Upon movement of the latch release to the release position, the latch body is free to pivot thus allowing the latch locking element to disengage from the top case shell.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The structure, operation and advantages of the presently preferred embodiment of this invention will become further apparent upon consideration of the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is perspective view of the carrying case with the latch mechanism of this invention;
  • FIG. 2 is an exploded, disassembled perspective view of the components forming the latch mechanism herein;
  • FIG. 3 is view similar to FIG. 2, except viewing the latch mechanism from the front;
  • FIG. 4 is an assembled, rear perspective view of the latch mechanism;
  • FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, except viewing the assembled latch mechanism from the front;
  • FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the latch mechanism mounted to the carrying case with the case closed and the latch release in the locked position;
  • FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 except with the latch release moved to the release position;
  • FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 6 except with the latch release pivoted relative to the bottom shell of the case; and;
  • FIG. 9 is view similar to FIG. 8 except with the latch locking member disengaged from the seat formed in the top case shell.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring initially to FIGS. 1 and 6, a carrying case 10 is depicted having a top case shell 12 pivotally connected to a bottom case shell 14. Two latch mechanisms 16 and 18 are located along the front wall 20 of shell 12 and front wall 22 of shell 14 on either side of a handle 24. As best shown in FIG. 6, the front wall 20 of top case shell 12 is formed with a seat 26 and a downwardly facing slot 28 which receives the upper edge 30 of the front wall 22 of bottom case shell 14 when the case 10 is closed. The front wall 22 of the bottom case shell 14 is formed with a ledge 32, for purposes to become apparent below. Except as noted above, the detailed construction of the case 10 forms no part of this invention and is not described herein. Additionally, for purposes of the present discussion, the terms “top,” “bottom,” “upper,” “lower,” “downwardly,” “upwardly” and the like refer to the vertical orientation of the case as it is depicted in the Figs.
  • With reference to FIGS. 2-5, the latch mechanism 16 of this invention is shown in detail. It should be understood that the two latch mechanisms 16, 18 are identical to one another, and therefore only the latch mechanism 16 is discussed herein. The latch mechanism 16 comprises a latch body 34, a latch locking element 36 and a latch release 38. The latch body 34 includes a top wall 39, a front wall 40, and, a cavity 42 defined by spaced inner side walls 44 and 46, a bottom wall 48 and a portion of the top wall 39. An outer side wall 50 is spaced from the inner side wall 44 and an outer side wall 52 is spaced from the other, inner side wall 46 forming a bearing surface 54 between the side walls 44 and 50 and a bearing surface 56 between the side walls 46 and 52. As best seen in FIG. 3, the front wall 40 of latch body 34 is formed with a window 58 to provide access to the latch release 38, as described below. Aligning bores 60 and 62 are formed in the inner side walls 44 and 46, respectively. Additionally, a bore 64 is formed in each of the inner and outer walls 44, 50 which aligns with a bore 66 formed in the inner and outer walls 46 and 52.
  • The latch locking element 36 comprises a front wall 68, spaced pivot arms 70 and 72 and a hook element 74. The pivot arm 70 is formed by an outer side plate 76 and an inner side plate 78. Similarly, the pivot arm 72 is formed by an outer side plate 80 and an inner side plate 82. A cross brace 84 spans the inner side plates 78 and 82. The front wall 68 has an opening 86, and the two pivot arms 70, 72 are formed with a through bore 88, 90, respectively.
  • The latch release 38 is sized and shaped to fit within the cavity 42 formed in the latch body 34. It includes a front wall 92, a back wall 94, a top wall 96 and a bottom wall 98 which are interconnected and collectively form a hollow interior within which a sleeve 102 is mounted. A button 100 extends from the bottom wall 98 through an opening 101 in the front wall 92. The top wall 96 has a recess 104 and an upwardly extending locking member 106 with a tapered top surface. As best seen in FIGS. 6-9, a cylindrical-shaped projection 110 is mounted to the underside of the bottom wall 98. The projection 110 is located within an opening 112 defined by the lower ends of the front wall 92 and back wall 94 which extend beyond the bottom wall 98. A coil spring 114 encircles the projection 110 and seats within a spring holder 115.
  • The latch mechanism 16 is assembled by first inserting the latch release 38 within the cavity 42 of the latch body 34. The lower ends of the front and back walls 92, 94 of the latch release 38, and the holder 115, rest atop the bottom wall 48 of the latch body 34. The latch locking element 36 is then placed on the latch body 34 so that the pivot arm 70 rests atop the bearing surface 56 of the latch body 34, and the pivot arm 72 engages the bearing surface 54. With the latch locking element 36 and the latch release 38 in this position, a latch assembly pin 116 may be inserted through the bore 88 of pivot arm 70, through the bore 62 in the inner side wall 46 of the latch body 34, into the sleeve 102 of the latch release 38, through the bore 60 in the inner side wall 44 of latch body 34 and then into the bore 90 of pivot arm 72. This secures both the latch locking element 36 and the latch release 38 to the latch body 34, as depicted in FIGS. 4 and 5. The assembled latch mechanism 16 is pivotally connected to the bottom case shell 14 of the case 10 by a case mounting pin 118 which extends through the aligning bores 64 and 66 formed in the latch body 34.
  • Operation of Latch Mechanism
  • Referring now to FIGS. 6-9, the operation of the latch mechanism 16 of this invention is illustrated. In FIG. 6, the latch mechanism is shown in a locked position with the hook element 74 of the latch locking element 36 in engagement with the seat 26 in the front wall 20 of the top case shell 12 and the locking member 106 of the latch release 38 contacting the ledge 32 in the front wall 22 of the bottom case shell 14. The hook element 74 cannot disengage the seat 26 unless the latch body 34 is pivoted in a clockwise direction relative to the front wall 22 of the bottom case shell 14, as seen in FIGS. 8 and 9. If one pulls on the tab 120 formed by the downwardly extending end of the front wall 40 of latch body 34, with the latch mechanism 16 in the position shown in FIG. 6, the locking member 106 of the latch release 38 bears against the ledge 32 of the bottom case shell 14, thus preventing such clockwise pivotal motion.
  • The latch release 38 is maintained in the locked position by operation of the spring 114. As seen in FIG. 6, the spring 114 urges the latch release 38 in an upward direction so that the locking member 106 bears against the ledge 32. At the same time, the case mounting pin 118 is received within the recess 104 in the top wall 96 of the latch release 38, and the latch assembly pin 116 is located at the bottom of the sleeve 102 carried by the latch release 38.
  • In order to allow pivotal movement of the latch body 34, and, in turn, permit disengagement of the hook element 74 of the latch locking element 36 from the seat 26 in the top case shell 12, the latch release 38 must be moved to a release position shown in FIG. 7. One may insert his or her finger through the window 58 in the front wall 40 of the latch body 34 and into contact with the button 100 extending through the opening 101 in the front wall 92 of the latch release 38. The latch release 38 is then pushed downwardly, against the force exerted by the spring 114, to a release position wherein the locking member 106 formed in the top wall 96 of the latch release 38 disengages the ledge 32 in the front wall 22 of the bottom case shell 14. The user is provided with an indication of the release position because the latch assembly pin 116 will contact the upper end of the sleeve 102 in the latch release 38 when the latch release 38 is pushed downwardly to the release position.
  • With the latch release 38 in the release position, the latch body 34 may be pivoted in a clockwise direction about the case mounting pin 118 by grasping the tab 120 at the bottom of the latch body 34 and pulling outwardly relative to the bottom case shell 14, as illustrated in FIG. 8. Such motion is the first “throw” of the latch mechanism 16. With the latch body 34 in the position depicted in FIG. 8, the hook element 74 of the latch locking element 36 can begin to disengage from the seat 26. When the hook element 74 assumes the position shown in FIG. 8, the latch body 34 may then be pivoted in the opposite, counterclockwise direction, e.g. the second “throw” of the latch mechanism 16, so that the hook element 74 may completely disengage the seat 26 as shown in FIG. 9. The top and bottom case shells 12, 14 may then be opened.
  • Closure of the latch mechanism 16 is accomplished by reversing the steps noted above. The latch body 34 is initially pivoted in the clockwise direction to allow the hook member 74 of the latch locking element 36 to assume the position relative to the seat 26 shown in FIG. 8. The latch body 34 may then be pivoted in the counterclockwise direction so that it rests along the front wall 22 of the bottom case shell 14 as depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7. The spring 114 urges the locking member 106 of latch release 38 to the locked position, and the case 10 is now locked in such a way that inadvertent contact with the latch body 34 cannot cause the latch mechanism 16 to open without first moving the latch release 38 to the release position.
  • While the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (18)

1. A case, comprising:
a first case shell and a second case shell pivotally connected to one another and movable between an open position and a closed position;
a latch mechanism connected between said first and second case shells, said latch mechanism comprising:
(i) a latch body pivotally mounted to one of said first and second case shells, said latch body being movable between a first position and a second position;
(ii) a latch locking element pivotally mounted to said latch body, said latch locking element being movable between a locked position in contact with the other of said first and second case shells when said latch body is in said first position and an unlocked position when said latch body is in said second position;
(iii) a latch release acting on said latch body, said latch release being effective to retain said latch body in said first position except upon movement of said latch release from a locked position to a release position.
2. The case of claim 1 in which said latch body includes a top wall, a bottom wall and opposed inner side walls collectively forming a cavity, said latch release being mounted within said cavity.
3. The case of claim 2 in which said latch release includes a top wall, a front wall, a back wall and a bottom wall, a projection extending outwardly from said bottom wall, said projection being coupled to a spring retained in a holder which rests atop said bottom wall of said latch body.
4. The case of claim 3 in which one of said first and second case shells has a front wall formed with a ledge, said top wall of said latch release being formed with a recess and an outwardly extending locking member, said locking member engaging said ledge with said latch release in said locked position.
5. The case of claim 4 in which said spring exerts a force in a direction to urge said latch release into said locked position with said locking member in engagement with said ledge, said latch release being movable in a direction against the force applied by said spring so that said locking member disengages said ledge thus allowing said latch body to pivot to said second position.
6. The case of claim 2 in which said latch body further includes opposed outer side walls each spaced from one of said inner side walls, a first bearing surface being formed between one of said inner and outer side wall pairs and a second bearing surface being formed between the other of said inner and outer side wall pairs.
7. The case of claim 6 in which said latch locking element includes a first pivot arm spaced from a second pivot arm, and a hook member extending between said first and second pivot arms.
8. The case of claim 7 in which said first and second pivot arms are pivotally connected to said latch body so that said first and second pivot arms each rest against one of said first and second bearing surfaces of said latch body.
9. The case of claim 7 in which said one of said first and second case shells has a front wall formed with a seat, said hook element being engageable with said seat when said latch locking element is in said locked position.
10. The case of claim 8 in which said first and second pivot arms of said latch locking member, and said latch release, are coupled to said latch body.
11. A case, comprising:
a top case shell having a front wall formed with a seat, a bottom case shell having a front wall formed with a ledge, said top and bottom case shells being pivotally connected to one another and movable between an open position and a closed position;
a latch mechanism comprising:
(i) a latch body pivotally mounted to said bottom case shell, said latch body being movable between a first position located along said front wall of said bottom case shell and a second position;
(ii) a latch locking element formed with a hook member, said latch locking element being pivotally mounted to said latch body and movable between a locked position wherein said hook member engages said seat of said top case shell and an unlocked position wherein said hook member disengages said seat, said latch locking element being retained in said locked position except upon movement of said latch body to said second position;
(iii) a latch release coupled to said latch body and being movable between a locked position and a release position, said latch release having a locking member which engages said ledge of said bottom case shell when in said locked position thus preventing said latch body from moving to said second position, said locking member disengaging said ledge upon movement of said latch release to said release position.
12. The case of claim 11 in which said latch body includes a top wall, a bottom wall and opposed inner side walls collectively forming a cavity, said latch release being mounted within said cavity.
13. The case of claim 12 in which said latch release includes a top wall, a front wall, a back wall and a bottom wall, a projection extending outwardly from said bottom wall, said projection being coupled to a spring retained in a holder which rests atop said bottom wall of said latch body.
14. The case of claim 13 in which said top wall of said latch release is formed with a recess and said outwardly extending locking member.
15. The case of claim 14 in which said spring exerts a force in a direction to urge said latch release into said locked position with said locking member in engagement with said ledge, said latch release being movable in a direction against the force applied by said spring so that said locking member disengages said ledge thus allowing said latch body to pivot relative to said bottom case shell to said second position.
16. The case of claim 12 in which said latch body further includes opposed outer side walls each spaced from one of said inner side walls, a first bearing surface being formed between one of said inner and outer side wall pairs and a second bearing surface being formed between the other of said inner and outer side wall pairs.
17. The case of claim 16 in which said latch locking element includes a first pivot arm spaced from a second pivot arm, said hook member extending between said first and second pivot arms.
18. The case of claim 17 in which said first and second pivot arms are pivotally connected to said latch body so that said first and second pivot arms each rest against one of said first and second bearing surfaces of said latch body.
US11/762,497 2007-06-13 2007-06-13 Carrying case with locking latch mechanism Abandoned US20080308568A1 (en)

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US11/762,497 US20080308568A1 (en) 2007-06-13 2007-06-13 Carrying case with locking latch mechanism
US12/132,654 US8297464B2 (en) 2007-06-13 2008-06-04 Carrying case with locking latch mechanism

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EP2130451A1 (en) * 2008-06-04 2009-12-09 Plasticase, Inc. Carrying case with locking latch mechanism
US20140251999A1 (en) * 2013-03-08 2014-09-11 Ingersoll-Rand Company Latch for Storage Case
US8944476B1 (en) * 2012-10-23 2015-02-03 Royal Case Co., Inc. Latch assemblies and transportation containers using the same
US20150321375A1 (en) * 2012-06-28 2015-11-12 Robert Bosch Gmbh Closure Device
EP3015018A1 (en) * 2014-10-28 2016-05-04 Samsonite IP Holdings S.a.r.l. Luggage case having surface features providing enhanced corner strength
USD755518S1 (en) 2014-04-28 2016-05-10 Samsonite Ip Holdings S.A.R.L. Luggage
USD759590S1 (en) * 2015-02-16 2016-06-21 Fang Wang Battery case
USD789691S1 (en) 2015-08-19 2017-06-20 Samsonite IP Holdings S. a.r.l. Luggage
USD793086S1 (en) * 2016-01-27 2017-08-01 Thomas Mendoza International Co., Ltd. Travel case
US9738426B1 (en) * 2013-02-26 2017-08-22 Csp Technologies, Inc. Flat pack ramp lever
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USD817638S1 (en) 2016-01-20 2018-05-15 Samsonite Ip Holdings S.A.R.L. Luggage
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EP2130451A1 (en) * 2008-06-04 2009-12-09 Plasticase, Inc. Carrying case with locking latch mechanism
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