US20150245694A1 - Suitcase and Set of Suitcases - Google Patents

Suitcase and Set of Suitcases Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150245694A1
US20150245694A1 US14/430,153 US201314430153A US2015245694A1 US 20150245694 A1 US20150245694 A1 US 20150245694A1 US 201314430153 A US201314430153 A US 201314430153A US 2015245694 A1 US2015245694 A1 US 2015245694A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
suitcase
main body
base
wheels
suitcases
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
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US14/430,153
Inventor
Benjamin Banoun
Fabrice Mantelet
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.)
Individual
Original Assignee
Individual
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
Priority claimed from FR1258839A external-priority patent/FR2995510A1/en
Priority claimed from FR1258837A external-priority patent/FR2995509B1/en
Application filed by Individual filed Critical Individual
Assigned to BANOUN, Benjamin reassignment BANOUN, Benjamin ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BANOUN, Benjamin, MANTELET, Fabrice
Publication of US20150245694A1 publication Critical patent/US20150245694A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C5/00Rigid or semi-rigid luggage
    • A45C5/14Rigid or semi-rigid luggage with built-in rolling means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C5/00Rigid or semi-rigid luggage
    • A45C5/14Rigid or semi-rigid luggage with built-in rolling means
    • A45C5/145Rigid or semi-rigid luggage with built-in rolling means with immobilising means, e.g. means for blocking the wheels
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/26Special adaptations of handles
    • A45C13/262Special adaptations of handles for wheeled luggage
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C5/00Rigid or semi-rigid luggage
    • A45C5/14Rigid or semi-rigid luggage with built-in rolling means
    • A45C2005/148Other arrangements of the rolling means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/26Special adaptations of handles
    • A45C13/262Special adaptations of handles for wheeled luggage
    • A45C2013/267Special adaptations of handles for wheeled luggage the handle being slidable, extractable and lockable in one or more positions

Definitions

  • the present invention relates to rolling suitcases and luggage, for example for transporting items during travel.
  • the invention relates to two aspects of an improved suitcase and a set of suitcases.
  • the present invention relates to rolling suitcases and luggage, for example for transporting items during travel.
  • the invention relates to a suitcase comprising a main body and several wheels so it can be moved effortlessly by the user, for example a suitcase with rollers.
  • Such suitcases can be moved either in vertical position, usually with four wheels resting on the ground, or in inclined position, with two wheels resting on the ground and supporting a portion of the weight of the suitcase whereas the user supports the remainder of the weight of the suitcase by holding the handle of said suitcase firmly.
  • the inclined position corresponds to the most practical position for the user because the suitcase is stable during movement thereof and can be easily maneuvered.
  • the weight of said suitcase must be limited so as to not impose excessive effort on the user.
  • this moving position has many disadvantages such as, for example, accelerated wear on certain wheels or difficulty lifting the suitcase for crossing obstacles such as steps.
  • retractable rollers such as for example the document GB 2,440,310 which describes a suitcase having a support frame, equipped with wheels and able to extend forward when the luggage is inclined for providing support for the suitcase and relieving the effort imposed on the user.
  • the purpose of the present invention is especially to remedy these drawbacks.
  • a suitcase of the type in question includes a main body and also a base having at least three wheels, where the main body is mounted on the base so as to be able to pivot relative to the base between a static position and a dynamic position, where each of said at least three wheels is suited for being in contact with the ground, near a contact area both in the static position and in the dynamic position, and where the contact areas of said wheels with the ground form a supporting polygon in the static position and in the dynamic position.
  • the suitcase can have a large volume without however requiring excessive effort by the user when moving it.
  • the positioning of the handle is furthermore optimal for lifting the suitcase when going over obstacles.
  • the invention relates to suitcases and luggage, for example for transporting items, clothing articles or personal effects during trips.
  • the invention relates to a set of suitcases comprising a first and a second suitcase each comprising an inner volume delimited by an envelope equipped with at least one surface, where the surfaces of the first and second suitcases are suited for being attached against each other.
  • Such a set of suitcases has however many disadvantages when it is used for transporting a traveler's articles of clothing or personal effects.
  • the articles are difficult to access, the content is broken up and do not allow an adequate organization of said articles.
  • the purpose the invention is especially to improve the situation.
  • a set of suitcases of the type in question is characterized in that the first and second suitcase surfaces are each equipped with at least one opening, in that said openings are suited for being placed across from each other when the surfaces of the first and second suitcase are attached against each other and in that each of the openings of said suitcases comprise a closure system suited for changing the state of said opening between a closed state isolating the inner volume of said suitcase, and an open state providing access to the inner volume of said suitcase.
  • the purpose of the invention is also a suitcase for a set of suitcases where said suitcase comprises an inner volume delimited by an envelope equipped with at least one surface suited for being attached against a surface of a second suitcase, where said surface of the suitcase is equipped with an opening suited for being placed opposite an opening of the surface of the second suitcase when said surfaces of the suitcase and the second suitcase are attached against each other, where said opening comprises a closure system suited for changing the state of said opening between a closed state isolating the inner volume of said suitcase and an open state providing access to the inner volume of said suitcase.
  • the set of suitcases or the suitcase can have one or more of the following advantages: the size of the inside space is adjustable; the suitcases can be used independently of each other to form small storage spaces or the set of suitcases can be assembled to form a large-size container; the openings of the suitcases can serve to easily access the content of the suitcases during transport; during air travel, the set of suitcases can be split for bringing one suitcase in the cabin; the suitcases can be combined at will and have combinations of colors easily distinguishable on an airport baggage claim conveyor; the suitcases can be used separately as small suitcases.
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a suitcase according to an embodiment of the invention
  • FIG. 2 is a front view of a suitcase according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the suitcase in the dynamic position according to an embodiment of the invention and also a user of said suitcase;
  • FIG. 4 a is a perspective view of a slider for a locking mechanism for a suitcase according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 4 b is an exploded perspective view of a locking mechanism for a suitcase according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 4 c is a detail of the locking mechanism from FIG. 4 b;
  • FIG. 5A is a view along the V-V section of a locking mechanism for a suitcase in the blocked state
  • FIG. 5 b is a view along the V-V section of a locking mechanism for a suitcase in the unlocked state.
  • FIG. 5 c is a view along the V-V section of a locking mechanism for a suitcase in the armed state.
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing a suitcase from a set of suitcases according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIGS. 7 a and 7 b are perspective views showing a suitcase from a set of suitcases according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing a set of suitcases according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 9 is a partial section view of the set of suitcases along the IX-IX section.
  • FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of a suitcase 1 according to the invention.
  • the term suitcase will be used in the remainder of the description but it can be understood as designating suitcases, luggage, trunks, attaché case, boxes, sacs and more generally all containers serving to transport small size objects or live animals, for example during a trip, and can all be lifted from the ground by a single person without assistance.
  • the suitcase 1 from FIG. 1 includes a main body 10 and a base 20 .
  • the base 20 is provided with at least three wheels 30 , for example four wheels in the embodiment from FIG. 1 .
  • the suitcase 1 can furthermore comprise a handle 40 which can for example be a telescoping handle.
  • the wheels rest on the ground S near the contact areas 30 a and are attached to the base 20 so as to hold said base above the soil S and do so stably, without the suitcase resting on another support of any kind whatsoever.
  • the contact areas 30 a form a supporting polygon.
  • This supporting polygon can for example have a width and a length.
  • the width and length can for example be dimensions of the supporting polygon measured along two respective directions, said directions being substantially perpendicular to each other and parallel to the plane of extension of the soil S.
  • the width of the polygon can for example be larger than one fifth of the length.
  • the wheels 30 are therefore not aligned.
  • the three wheels can thus be placed at the vertices of a non-flat triangle so as to form a triangular shape supporting polygon.
  • the base 20 will advantageously comprise four wheels 30 , with the supporting polygon then having a quadrilateral shape.
  • the projection onto the ground S of the center of gravity of the suitcase 1 can be substantially included inside the supporting polygon when the suitcase is loaded normally.
  • the axes of rotation of the wheels 30 can be removed from each other.
  • the axes of rotation of the wheels 30 can be parallel to each other to allow for easy movement of the suitcase 1 .
  • the axes of rotation of the wheels 30 are, for example, oriented along a transverse axis Y. These axes can serve to define a preferential direction of movement X along which the suitcase can be moved easily. This direction can be a direction orthogonal to the direction of the axes of rotation of the wheels and parallel to the plane formed by the ground S.
  • the preferred direction of movement X furthermore defines a front and a rear of the suitcase.
  • Said front and rear must be understood as corresponding to the front and rear of the suitcase when the user pulls the suitcase behind them using the handle 40 .
  • a suitcase according to the invention can also be pushed by the user.
  • some wheels 30 can pivot around a vertical axis Z, perpendicular to the XY plane of extension of the ground, for example rear wheels 30 c in the embodiment from FIG. 1 .
  • the main body 10 can comprise two lateral surfaces 11 , 12 opposite each other relative to said main body 10 .
  • the lateral surfaces 11 , 12 extend for example along a vertical plane X, Z and form the sides of the main body 10 .
  • These lateral surfaces 11 , 12 are for example substantially parallel to the preferred direction of movement X of the suitcase.
  • the main body can furthermore comprise upper 14 and lower 15 surfaces and also front 16 and rear 17 surfaces.
  • the front 16 and rear 17 surfaces can be orthogonal, over at least a portion of their surface, to the preferred direction of movement X, whereas the upper 14 and lower 15 surfaces can be parallel to the surface of extension of the ground S over at least a portion of their surface.
  • the lateral surfaces 11 , 12 can each comprise a pivot 11 a , 12 a extending along a transverse axis 13 perpendicular to the vertical plane of extension X, Z of the lateral surfaces 11 , 12 .
  • the pivots 11 a , 12 a can for example project outward from the main body 10 along the transverse axis 13 .
  • the base 20 can comprise for example 2 supports 21 , 22 located respectively on either side of the main body 10 along the transverse axis 13 . These supports can each be equipped with two wheels 30 .
  • the supports 21 , 22 advantageously comprise respective holes 21 a and 22 a suited for engaging with the pivots 11 a , 12 a projecting from the lateral surfaces 11 , 12 of the main body 10 .
  • the supports 21 , 22 of the base 20 can pivot relative to the main body 10 around the transverse axis 13 , perpendicular to the plane of extension X, Z of the lateral surfaces 11 , 12 .
  • the supports 21 , 22 can be independent of each other so as to pivot independently of each other. They can also be connected to each other, for example, by means of a connecting bar 23 , as shown in FIG. 2 .
  • the base 20 forms a rigid assembly.
  • the supports 21 , 22 can each comprise one or two wheels 30 , for example two wheels in the embodiment from FIGS. 1 and 2 .
  • the axis of rotation 30 B of the wheels 30 is advantageously perpendicular to the plane of extension X, Z of the lateral surfaces 11 , 12 of the main body 10 of the suitcase 1 .
  • the rear wheels 30 c are themselves free to rotate around the vertical axis Z.
  • pivots 11 a , 12 a can for example be located on the base 20 whereas the holes 21 a , 22 a can be placed on the main body 10 or, in still another variant, a pivot 11 a can be placed on the main body 10 and another pivot 12 a can be placed on the base 20 with the holes 21 a , 22 a respectively placed on the base 20 and the main body 10 .
  • the main body 10 is pivotably mounted relative to the base 20 so as to be able for example to be placed in at least two positions: a static position shown in FIG. 1 and a dynamic position indicated in FIG. 3 .
  • the main body 10 can be placed in several dynamic positions.
  • the main body 10 is for example oriented such that the upper surface 14 thereof is parallel to the ground S and turned upward.
  • a user 2 can for example apply a force directed downward onto the handle 40 so as to swing the main body 10 relative to the base 20 .
  • the suitcase 1 can comprise a blocking device for the wheels 31 which can be placed in two states: a locked state, in which it rotationally immobilizes at least one wheel 30 , and an unlocked state in which allows in which it allows said at least one free wheel 30 to pivot around its axis of rotation 30 b.
  • the suitcase 1 can remain immobile.
  • the main body 10 is inclined, for example at least 20° and at most 60° relative to the static position.
  • the lower surface 15 of the main body 10 can advantageously comprise a recessed front part rounded or inclined relative to a vertical plane, such that said lower surface 15 does not touch the ground S when the suitcase 1 is in dynamic position or when the main body 10 pivots between the static and dynamic positions.
  • the recessed front part can for example be made up of a chamfer centered on the transverse axis 13 of rotation of the main body 10 relative to the base 20 , meaning bent around the pivoting axis.
  • this recessed part can be flat as shown for example on FIGS. 1 and 3 .
  • the transverse axis 13 around which the main body 10 and the base 20 can pivot relative to each other, can advantageously be located near the center of gravity of the main body 10 when it contains a standard load. In this way, the force that the user 2 exerts in order to pivot the main body 10 between the dynamic and static positions is minimal.
  • the projection on the ground S of the center of gravity of the main body 10 can be located near at least one of the wheels 30 , for example the front wheels 30 d of the suitcase.
  • a locking mechanism 60 can be assembled on the suitcase 1 .
  • This locking mechanism 60 can be adapted in order to allow the user to pivot the main body 10 relative to the base 20 and unblock the movement of the suitcase in a single operation in a manner which is now going to be described with reference to FIGS. 4 a to 4 c and 5 a to 5 c.
  • the locking mechanism 60 can comprise a slider 65 and a bolt 66 .
  • the bolt 66 and the slider 65 are placed opposite each other when the main body 10 is located in the static position and in the dynamic position.
  • the slider 65 can for example be located on a lateral surface 11 of the main body 10 and the bolt 66 can be incorporated in the base 20 , for example in the support 21 as shown in FIG. 1 .
  • the slider 65 is shown in FIG. 4 a and comprises an outer surface 65 d and an inner surface 65 e.
  • the outer and inner surfaces are suited for being located respectively towards the outside and towards the inside of the main body 10 when the slider 65 is attached on a lateral surface 11 of the main body.
  • the slider 65 comprises at least one first and one second opening 65 a , 65 c on the outer surface 65 d thereof suited for receiving the bolt 66 .
  • the first opening 65 a can receive the bolt 66 when the main body 10 is located in the static position so as to block the pivoting of the main body 10 relative to the base 20 .
  • the second opening 65 c can receive the bolt 66 when the main body 10 is located in the dynamic position.
  • the slider 65 can furthermore comprise on its outer surface 65 d a projection 65 b placed between the two opening 65 a , 65 c and suited for exerting a force on the bolt 66 when the main body 10 pivots relative to the base 20 between the static and dynamic positions as is going to be described in more detail.
  • the bolt 66 is for example made up of an inner latch 61 , an outer latch 62 and a latch guide 63 .
  • the parts making up the bolt 66 can for example be assembled in the following way.
  • the inner latch 61 can be inserted into the outer latch 62 by an opening 62 e of the outer latch so as to be able to slide into the outer latch 62 along a transverse direction Y 1 between an advanced position 61 a and a withdrawn position 61 b.
  • the advanced position 61 a of the inner latch 60 relative to the inner latch 62 is for example shown in FIG. 5 c and the withdrawn position 61 b in FIGS. 5 a and 5 b.
  • the inner latch 61 extends further past the outer latch 62 , along the transverse direction Y 1 , then in the withdrawn position 61 b.
  • the inner latch 61 and the outer latch 62 can form a pushbutton mechanism, meaning that a force applied on the inner latch 61 along the transverse direction Y 1 , for example to move it back inside the outer latch 62 , serves to perform a transition from the withdrawn position 61 b to the advanced position 61 a of the inner latch 61 and also an inverse transition (from the advanced position 61 a to the withdrawn position 61 b ).
  • the outer latch 62 containing the inner latch 61 , is then placed inside the latch guide 63 by an opening 63 e of the latch guide 63 so as to be able to slide inside said guide along the same transverse direction Y 1 between an out position 62 a and a returned position 62 b.
  • the outer latch 62 extends further past the guide latch 63 , along the transverse direction Y 1 , then in the returned position 62 b.
  • the out position 62 a of the outer latch 62 relative to the guide latch 63 is for example shown in FIG. 5 a and the returned position 62 b in FIGS. 5 b and 5 c.
  • the bolt 66 can also comprise a first spring 67 a serving to apply to the inner latch 61 a force tending to return said latch into the withdrawn position 61 a.
  • the bolt 66 can also comprise a second spring 67 b serving to apply to the outer latch 62 a force tending to return said latch into the out position 62 a.
  • the locking mechanism 60 can be placed in three operating states which are now going to be described by making reference more specifically to FIGS. 5 a to 5 c.
  • a first state 60 a shown in FIG. 5 a , is a blocked state.
  • the bolt 66 is lodged in one of the openings 65 a , 65 c of the slider. In this way, the pivoting of the main body 10 relative to the base 20 is prevented and the suitcase can be easily moved by the user.
  • the inner latch 61 is in withdrawn position 61 b and the outer latch 62 is in out position 62 a.
  • a second state 60 b is an unlocked state which is for example shown in FIG. 5 b.
  • the bolt 66 is removed from said opening.
  • the main body 10 can pivot relative to the base 20 between the static and dynamic positions in order to allow the user to change the position of the main body 10 relative to the base 20 .
  • the inner latch 61 is in withdrawn position 61 b and the outer latch 62 is a returned position 62 b.
  • the movement of the locking mechanism 60 from the blocked state 60 a to the unlocked state 60 b is done by moving the outer latch 62 from the out position 62 a to the returned position 62 b.
  • This movement can be done by an action of the user.
  • the outer latch 62 can comprise pins 62 f suited for being received in the transverse grooves 62 f of the latch guide 63 extending along the transverse direction Y 1 in the latch guide 63 .
  • the transverse movement of the outer latch 62 between the out 62 a and returned 62 b positions can be controlled by the device for blocking the wheels 31 by means of a functional connection 64 .
  • This functional connection 64 can for example be made by a cable connecting the blocking device for the wheels 31 to the latch guide 63 .
  • the functional connection 64 exerts a force on the outer latch 62 in order to move it into the returned position 62 b.
  • the blocking device for the wheels 31 can control the locking mechanism 60 by means of a functional connection 64 in such a way that user pressure on the blocking device for the wheels 31 brings the locking mechanism 60 from the blocked state 60 a to the unlocked state 60 b.
  • a third state 60 c is an armed state which is for example shown in FIG. 5 c.
  • the inner latch 61 is in advanced position 61 a and the outer latch 62 is a returned position 62 b.
  • the locking mechanism 60 can be moved from the unlocked state 60 b to the armed state 60 c by a movement of the inner latch 61 from the withdrawn position 61 b to the advanced position 61 a.
  • This movement can be done by a simple pivoting of the main body 10 relative to the base 20 .
  • the projection 65 b placed between the two openings 65 a , 65 c in the slider 65 is suited for exerting a force on the bolt 66 when the main body pivots relative to the base 20 between the static and dynamic positions, where said force serves to modify the state of the locking mechanism 60 as described below.
  • the state of the locking mechanism 60 can be modified once the pivoting of the main body 10 has been sufficient so that the force exerted by the projection 65 b has served to move the inner latch 61 between the withdrawn position 61 b and the advanced position 61 a.
  • the locking mechanism 60 can be moved from the armed state 60 c to the blocked state 60 a by a movement of the inner latch 61 from the withdrawn position 61 b to the advanced position 61 a and a movement of the outer latch 62 from the returned position 61 b to the out position 61 a.
  • the inner latch 61 can be provided with a flexible tab 68 comprising a protuberance 68 a and the outer latch 62 can be provided with a lengthened opening 69 extending for example along the transverse direction Y 1 .
  • the protuberance 68 a of the flexible tab 68 can be adapted for coming to lodge itself in said lengthened opening 69 of the outer latch 62 .
  • the lengthened opening 69 can be delimited by two transverse surfaces 69 a , 69 b extending along the transverse direction Y 1 and ending in a first outer surface 69 c located near the opening 62 e of the outer latch 62 , and a second outer surface 69 d located opposite the first surface 69 c.
  • the lengthened opening 69 can comprise on one of the transverse surfaces 69 a a plurality of structures 69 z extending inward from the lengthened opening along a lateral direction X 1 perpendicular to the transverse direction Y 1 .
  • These structures 69 z can include in order from the first outer surface 69 c to the second outer surface 69 d:
  • the second lateral recess 69 g can in particular be delimited by:
  • a second outer surface 69 i extending along the lateral direction X 1 and located on the side of the second recess 69 g closest to the second external surface 69 d of the lengthened opening 69 .
  • the flexible tab 68 can be less deflected than when the protuberance 68 a is pressed on the inclined overhang 69 f.
  • first and second outer surfaces 66 h , 69 i therefore serve to block the inner tab 61 in the withdrawn position 61 b.
  • the transition of the inner latch 61 between the advanced 61 a and withdrawn 61 b positions is done as follows.
  • the first lateral recess 69 e receives the protuberance 68 a without the flexible tab 68 being substantially deflected.
  • the inner latch 61 can be depressed into the outer latch 62 without the protuberance 68 a leaving the lengthened opening 69 .
  • the protuberance 61 b can be ejected from the second lateral recess 69 g and therefore from the lengthened opening 69 , towards the inside of the inner latch 61 along a thickness direction Z 1 , perpendicular to transverse direction Y 1 and lateral direction X 1 .
  • the inclined overhang 69 f and the second recess 69 g are offset relative to the resting position of the flexible tab 68 along the lateral direction X 1 (the resting position of the flexible tab 68 corresponds to the position in which the flexible tab 68 is not laterally deflected).
  • the first recess 69 e is not offset relative to the resting position of the flexible tab 68 along the lateral direction X 1 .
  • the protuberance 68 a can regain the lengthened opening 69 near the first recess 69 e , which corresponds to the advanced position 61 a of the inner latch 61 .
  • the first spring 67 a forces the inner latch 61 to return into the advanced position 61 a once the protuberance 61 b has been ejected from the second lateral recess 69 g.
  • the inner latch 61 and the outer latch 62 form a pushbutton mechanism, meaning that a force applied on the inner latch 61 along the transverse direction Y 1 , for example to move it back inside the outer latch 62 , serves to perform a transition from the withdrawn position 61 b to the advanced position 61 a of the inner latch 61 and also an inverse transition (from the advanced position 61 a to the withdrawn position 61 b ).
  • the locking mechanism 60 Because of the locking mechanism 60 , the user can fill an empty the suitcase 1 without risk that the main body 10 could pivot. The swinging of the main body 10 from the static position to the dynamic position is additionally made easier.
  • pivots 11 a , 12 a can comprise on their perimeter recessed or projecting parts suited for engaging with complementary relief from holes 21 a , 22 a located on the supports 21 , 22 .
  • the rotational unlocking of the main body 10 relative to the base 20 can then be done by elastic deformation of the pivots 11 a , 12 a or the holes 21 a , 22 a.
  • the suitcase 1 can also comprise a means of restoring 50 , for example a pneumatic cylinder or spring.
  • This means can also be made up of a circular spring, for example housed near one or both pivots 11 a , 12 a .
  • the person skilled in the art could use various devices according to the selected embodiment.
  • FIG. 6 shows a first embodiment of the suitcase 1 according to the invention that can for example be a first or second suitcase from a set of suitcases according to the invention as described further on.
  • suitcase will be used in the remainder of the description but it can be understood as designating suitcases, luggage, trunks, attaché case, boxes, sacs and more generally all containers serving to transport small size objects or live animals, for example during a trip, and can all be lifted from the ground by a single person without assistance.
  • the suitcase 1 includes a main body 10 and a base 20 .
  • the base 20 is provided with at least three wheels 30 , for example four wheels in the embodiment from FIG. 1 .
  • the suitcase 1 can furthermore comprise a handle 40 which can for example be a telescoping handle.
  • the wheels rest on the ground S near the contact areas 30 a and are attached to the base 20 so as to hold said base above the soil S and do so stably, without the suitcase resting on another support of any kind whatsoever.
  • the wheels 30 form a supporting polygon.
  • This supporting polygon can for example have a width and a length.
  • the width and length can for example be dimensions of the supporting polygon measured along two respective directions, said directions being substantially perpendicular to each other and parallel to the plane of extension of the soil S.
  • the width of the polygon can for example be larger than one fifth of the length.
  • the wheels 30 are therefore not aligned.
  • the three wheels can thus be placed at the vertices of a non-flat triangle so as to form a triangular shaped supporting polygon.
  • the base 20 will advantageously comprise for wheels 30 , with the supporting polygon then harming a quadrilateral shape.
  • the projection onto the ground S of the center of gravity of the suitcase 1 can be substantially included inside the supporting polygon when the suitcase is loaded normally.
  • the axes of rotation of the wheels 30 can be removed from each other.
  • the axes of rotation of the wheels 30 can be parallel to each other to allow for easy movement of the suitcase 1 .
  • the axes of rotation of the wheels 30 are, for example, oriented following a transverse axis Y. These axes can serve to define a preferential direction of movement X along which the suitcase can be moved easily. This direction can be a direction orthogonal to the direction of the axes of rotation of the wheels and parallel to the plane formed by the ground S.
  • the preferred direction of movement X furthermore defines a front and a rear of the suitcase.
  • Said front and rear must be understood as corresponding to the front and rear of the suitcase when the user pulls the suitcase behind them using the handle 40 .
  • a suitcase according to the invention can also be pushed by the user.
  • some wheels 30 can pivot around a vertical axis Z, perpendicular to the XY plane of extension of the ground, for example rear wheels 30 c in the embodiment from FIG. 1 .
  • the suitcase 1 comprises an inner volume 1 a delimited by an envelope 1 b.
  • the inner volume 1 a of the suitcase 1 can in some embodiments be undivided, meaning that it can be made up of a single compartment in which removable or foldable separations may be present.
  • fixed separations can divide the inner volume 1 a at the suitcase 1 .
  • the envelope 1 b of the suitcase 1 can comprise two lateral surfaces 11 , 12 opposite each other relative to the main body 10 .
  • the lateral surfaces 11 , 12 form the sides the main body 10 and can extend for example along the vertical X, Z plane.
  • These lateral surfaces 11 , 12 are for example substantially parallel to the preferred direction of movement X of the suitcase.
  • the envelope 1 b can furthermore comprise upper 14 and lower 15 surfaces and also front 16 and rear 17 surfaces.
  • the front 16 and rear 17 surfaces can for example be orthogonal, over at least a portion of their surface, to the preferred direction of movement X, whereas the upper 14 and lower 15 surfaces can be parallel to the surface of extension of the ground S over at least a portion of their surface.
  • the lateral surfaces 11 , 12 can each comprise a pivot 11 a , 12 a projecting towards the outside of the main body 10 along a transverse axis 13 perpendicular to the vertical plane of extension X, Z of the lateral surfaces 11 , 12 .
  • the pivots 11 a , 12 a can serve to attach the main body 10 on the base 20 so as to allow said main body to pivot relative to said base.
  • FIGS. 7 a and 7 b illustrate a second embodiment of the suitcase according to the invention which can for example be a first 1 or second 100 suitcase from a set of suitcases according to the invention such as described later.
  • the suitcase 100 can comprise two wheels 30 which are directly attached on a main body 110 of the suitcase 100 .
  • the suitcase 100 may have no wheels.
  • the suitcase 100 can also comprise a telescoping handle 40 .
  • the suitcase 100 could not comprise a telescoping handle 40 .
  • the suitcase 100 comprises an inner volume 100 a delimited by an envelope 100 b equipped for example with lower 110 , upper 120 and lateral 130 surfaces.
  • the lower surface 110 of the suitcase 100 can be adapted for being attached against the upper surface of another suitcase, for example the upper surface 14 of the suitcase 1 according to the embodiment from FIG. 6 or the upper surface 120 of the suitcase according to the embodiment from FIG. 7 a or FIG. 7 b so as to form a set of suitcases as is now going to be described in more detail.
  • a set of suitcases 1000 comprises a first suitcase 1 and a second suitcase 100 assembled by attachment between an upper surface 14 of the first suitcase and a lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 .
  • Such a set 1000 is shown for example in FIG. 8 .
  • the first suitcase 1 is the suitcase according to the embodiment from FIG. 6 and the second suitcase is a suitcase according to the embodiment from FIG. 7 a or FIG. 7 b.
  • first suitcase 1 and the second suitcase 100 from the set of suitcases can both be suitcases according to the embodiment from FIG. 7 a or FIG. 7 b.
  • said surfaces can comprise profiles which are the inverse of each other and in particular profiles adapted so that the surfaces nest one inside the other. For example they have complementary profiles.
  • the upper surface 14 of the first suitcase 1 can comprise an outer rim 14 b and the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 can comprise a hollowed outer part 110 b suited for coming to receive the rim 14 b of the first suitcase.
  • the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 can then comprise a central plateau 110 c extending beyond said hollowed outer part 110 b.
  • the outer rim 14 b comprises a rounded portion. This rounded portion could be complementarity to a rounded counterpart of the hollowed outer part 110 b of the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 .
  • the outer portion 14 b can comprise a portion at a right angle to the upper surface 14 .
  • the outer rim 14 b can comprise a portion inclined at a certain angle relative to the upper surface 14 , for example at an angle less than 90°.
  • This right angle portion can again be complementary to a counterpart at a right angle, or respectively to a counterpart inclined at a certain angle, of the hollowed outer portion 110 b of the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 .
  • a variant of the invention can comprise an inversion of the structure in which the hollowed outer part is arranged on the upper surface 14 of the first suitcase 1 whereas the outer rim is arranged on the lower surface 100 of the second suitcase 100 .
  • At least one first 1 and second 100 suitcase can comprise a rigid structural part 19 a.
  • This structural part 19 a may for example be located near the upper surface 14 of the first suitcase 1 , on which the second suitcase 100 can come to attach.
  • This rigid structural part 19 a can for example be made up of rigid bars forming a structure underlying a flexible envelope of the suitcase.
  • the rigid structural part 19 a can in a variant be made up of rigid surfaces.
  • the upper surface 14 of the first suitcase 1 and the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 can each comprise an opening 14 a , 110 a.
  • the two openings 14 a , 110 a can be adapted for coming to be placed opposite each other when the second suitcase 100 is placed on the first suitcase 1 as shown in FIG. 8 .
  • openings 14 a , 100 a at least partially overlap when said upper 14 and lower 110 surfaces are attached opposite each other.
  • the inner volume 1 a of the first suitcase and the inner volume 100 a of the second suitcase can connect so as to be able to form a continuous inner volume 1000 a.
  • the set of suitcases 1000 has a continuous inner volume made up of the inner volumes of the first and second suitcases.
  • This volume 1000 a can be split up by removable or fixed partitions as is known in the field of the invention.
  • the openings 14 a , 100 a of the first 1 and second 100 suitcases are equipped with closure means 14 d , 110 d with which a user can close them up.
  • the openings 14 a , 110 a can therefore be placed in an open or closed state.
  • each of the suitcases 1 , 100 is a separate bag from the set of suitcases 1000 .
  • Such a separate bag has a smaller capacity than the assembly of the first and second suitcases, it can for example be detached from the assembly to form a cabin bag during travel by airplane.
  • the means for closure 14 d , 110 d of the openings can for example include zippers, strips of hook and loop fasteners, grippers, any other closure means known to the person skilled in the art.
  • the openings 14 a , 110 a can be made up of panels foldable in accordion, retractable panels or for example rolling panels.
  • the openings 14 a , 110 a can be sized so as to be able to open a major portion of the surface 14 , 110 on which said openings are mounted.
  • the first and second suitcases 1 , 100 can furthermore include one or more lateral opening 17 a , 130 a on their lateral surfaces 17 , 130 . These lateral openings can allow the user to directly access the content of the suitcase during travel.
  • the lateral openings will advantageously be equipped with means for closure 17 d , 130 d as detailed here-before.
  • a set of suitcases 1000 of the kind in question can furthermore include a third suitcase 200 suited for coming into place above the second suitcase 100 .
  • the third suitcase 200 can for example be a suitcase 200 according to the embodiment from FIG. 7 a or FIG. 7 b and thus comprising an inner volume 200 a delimited by an envelope 200 b comprising lower 210 , upper 220 and lateral 230 surfaces.
  • the third suitcase 200 can be adapted for coming to be attached on a rigid structural part 119 a of the second suitcase 100 .
  • the lower surface 210 can thus for example be suited for coming to be placed opposite the upper surface 120 of the second suitcase 100 when the third suitcase 200 is attached on the rigid structural part 119 a of the second suitcase 100 .
  • the upper surface opposite 120 of the second suitcase 100 can comprise an upper opening 120 a whereas the lower surface 210 of the third suitcase 200 can be equipped with a lower opening 210 a.
  • the upper opening 120 a of the second suitcase 100 and the lower opening 210 a of the third suitcase 200 can be suited for coming to be placed opposite each other when the third suitcase 200 is attached on the second suitcase 100 .
  • the inner volume 100 a of the second suitcase 100 and the inner volume 200 a of the third suitcase 200 can connect so as to form a single volume.
  • the inner volume of the first suitcase 1 , the second suitcase 100 and the third suitcase 200 can connect so as to form a single inner volume 1000 a for the set of suitcases 1000 .
  • the third suitcase 200 can be attached on the rigid structural part 19 a of the first suitcase 1 in the case where said structural part 19 a can extend along the vertical direction Z.
  • the third suitcase 200 can be attached on the first suitcase 1 , for example by being attached on the upper surface 14 of the first suitcase next to the second suitcase 100 .
  • the first suitcase 1 can comprise one or more additional openings 14 a on the upper surface 14 thereof, where at least one of said openings is suited for coming to be placed opposite the lower opening 210 a of the third suitcase 200 when the third suitcase 200 is attached onto the first suitcase 1 .
  • the first and third suitcase 1 , 200 can thus form an identical assembly to that already described here-before between the first and second suitcases 1 , 100 .
  • suitcases could be stacked on the third suitcase 2 or on any one of the first and second suitcases 1 , 100 similarly to the stacking described here-before, in order to form a set of assembled suitcases 1000 of variable size.
  • an attachment device 70 as shown in FIG. 9 which can for example be a device for attachment by latching or nesting.
  • the attachment device 70 can comprise lock-bolts 71 suited for coming to enter into a lock-bolt receiver 73 of the first suitcase 1 and received in the housing 72 of the second suitcase 100 .
  • the lock-bolt receiver 73 can for example be made up of the outer rim 14 b of the first suitcase 1 whereas the housing 72 of the lock-bolt 71 can be incorporated into the central plateau 110 c of the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 .
  • the lock-bolt receiver can be included in the central plateau 110 c of the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 and the housing 72 the lock-bolt 71 can be incorporated into the outer rim 14 b of the first suitcase 1 .
  • a spring 74 can come to apply a force on the lock-bolt 71 to move it out of the housing 72 .
  • the lock-bolt 71 can have an inclined or rounded end 71 a which, when it comes to rest against the outer rim 14 b of the first suitcase, forces the lock-bolt to go back into the housing 72 .
  • the spring 74 brings the lock-bolt 71 to extend outside the housing 72 so as to establish the attachment of the suitcases to each other.
  • the user can latch the two suitcases to each other simply by pressing their surfaces against each other.
  • the suitcase receiving the lock-bolt 71 can comprise an unlocking mechanism 80 controlled by retracting the lock-bolt 71 into its housing 72 .
  • the unlocking mechanism can for example comprise a button 81 driving a pinion 82 connected via cables 83 to the lock-bolt 71 .
  • the button 81 when the user presses the button 81 , it can rotate the pinion 82 onto which are attached, at one of their ends, one or more cables 83 .
  • the other end of said cables 83 is attached to the lock-bolts 71 of the suitcase.
  • the rotation of the pinion 82 exerts a pulling force on the cables 83 and thus serves to retract the lock-bolts 71 into their housings 72 .
  • attachment device 70 can be mounted on lateral surfaces of said suitcases.
  • This attachment device 70 can include zippers, strips of hook and loop fasteners, grippers, magnet or any other closure means known to the person skilled in the art.
  • the unlocking mechanism 80 is also not limited to the mechanism described above but can comprise any mechanism known to the person skilled in the art and serving to easily unlock the attachment device.

Abstract

Suitcase comprising a main body, a base having three wheels suited for being into contact with the ground, where the contact areas of the wheels with the ground form a supporting polygon. The main body can pivot relative to the base between a static position and a dynamic position. Set of suitcases comprising a first and a second suitcase. The surfaces of the suitcases can be attached to each other and are equipped with openings. The openings can be placed opposite when the surfaces of the suitcases are attached against each other and comprise a closure system suited for isolating or giving access to the inner volume of the suitcases.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to rolling suitcases and luggage, for example for transporting items during travel.
  • More specifically, the invention relates to two aspects of an improved suitcase and a set of suitcases.
  • FIRST ASPECT OF THE INVENTION Rolling Suitcase with Improved Handling Scope of the First Aspect of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to rolling suitcases and luggage, for example for transporting items during travel.
  • More specifically, the invention relates to a suitcase comprising a main body and several wheels so it can be moved effortlessly by the user, for example a suitcase with rollers.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE FIRST ASPECT OF THE INVENTION
  • Such suitcases can be moved either in vertical position, usually with four wheels resting on the ground, or in inclined position, with two wheels resting on the ground and supporting a portion of the weight of the suitcase whereas the user supports the remainder of the weight of the suitcase by holding the handle of said suitcase firmly.
  • The inclined position corresponds to the most practical position for the user because the suitcase is stable during movement thereof and can be easily maneuvered. However, the weight of said suitcase must be limited so as to not impose excessive effort on the user. Additionally this moving position has many disadvantages such as, for example, accelerated wear on certain wheels or difficulty lifting the suitcase for crossing obstacles such as steps.
  • To resolve these problems, solutions using retractable rollers have been described, such as for example the document GB 2,440,310 which describes a suitcase having a support frame, equipped with wheels and able to extend forward when the luggage is inclined for providing support for the suitcase and relieving the effort imposed on the user.
  • These solutions have several disadvantages. They are, in particular, mechanically fragile and do not allow an optimal positioning of the handle among other things when it is necessary to lift the suitcase, for example to go over an obstacle.
  • The purpose of the present invention is especially to remedy these drawbacks.
  • OBJECTIVES AND SUMMARY OF THE FIRST ASPECT OF THE INVENTION
  • For this purpose, according to the invention, a suitcase of the type in question includes a main body and also a base having at least three wheels, where the main body is mounted on the base so as to be able to pivot relative to the base between a static position and a dynamic position, where each of said at least three wheels is suited for being in contact with the ground, near a contact area both in the static position and in the dynamic position, and where the contact areas of said wheels with the ground form a supporting polygon in the static position and in the dynamic position.
  • Because of these arrangements, the suitcase can have a large volume without however requiring excessive effort by the user when moving it. The positioning of the handle is furthermore optimal for lifting the suitcase when going over obstacles.
  • In preferred embodiments of the invention, one and/or another of the following arrangements could furthermore be used:
      • The supporting polygon formed by the contact areas of the wheels with the ground have a width and a length, where said width is at least larger than one fifth of said length;
      • The main body comprises at least one lateral surface extending along an extension plane where the main body is mounted on the base by means of a pivot located on said lateral surface so as to be able to pivot relative to the base around a direction perpendicular to said extension plane;
      • The main body furthermore comprises a second lateral surface opposite the first lateral surface, where the base comprises at least two supports each bearing at least one wheel where each of said supports is fixed to a respective lateral surface of the main body by means of a pivot located on said lateral surface;
      • The supports are mounted pivoting relative to the main body so as to be able to pivot independently of each other;
      • The supports are connected to each other;
      • The suitcase furthermore comprises a locking mechanism suited for blocking pivoting of the main body relative to the base in at least one selected position among the static position and the dynamic position;
      • The locking mechanism is suited for being able to be positioned in at least three operating states, including:
  • A blocked state in which the locking mechanism blocks pivoting of the main body relative to the base;
  • An unlocked state in which the locking mechanism allows pivoting of the main body relative to the base;
  • An armed state in which the locking mechanism blocks pivoting of the main body relative to the base following pivoting of the main body relative to the base;
      • The suitcase furthermore comprises a device for blocking the wheels suited for blocking at least one wheel of the suitcase, where the device for blocking the wheels is functionally connected to the locking mechanism so as to allow blocking of said at least one wheel when the locking mechanism is found in the unlocked operating state and when the locking mechanism is found in the armed operating state;
      • The suitcase furthermore comprises a telescoping handle.
  • Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the following description of one of the embodiments thereof, given as a nonlimiting example, with reference to the attached drawings.
  • SECOND ASPECT OF THE INVENTION Set of Suitcases and Adjustable Suitcase Scope of the Second Aspect of the Invention
  • The invention relates to suitcases and luggage, for example for transporting items, clothing articles or personal effects during trips.
  • More specifically, the invention relates to a set of suitcases comprising a first and a second suitcase each comprising an inner volume delimited by an envelope equipped with at least one surface, where the surfaces of the first and second suitcases are suited for being attached against each other.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE SECOND ASPECT OF THE INVENTION
  • The document U.S. Pat. No. 6,817,623 describes an example of such a set of suitcases comprising two rigid elements attached to each other and allowing for storing and transporting electronic equipment, for example.
  • Such a set of suitcases has however many disadvantages when it is used for transporting a traveler's articles of clothing or personal effects. The articles are difficult to access, the content is broken up and do not allow an adequate organization of said articles. The purpose the invention is especially to improve the situation.
  • OBJECTIVES AND SUMMARY OF THE SECOND ASPECT OF THE INVENTION
  • For this purpose, according to the invention, a set of suitcases of the type in question is characterized in that the first and second suitcase surfaces are each equipped with at least one opening, in that said openings are suited for being placed across from each other when the surfaces of the first and second suitcase are attached against each other and in that each of the openings of said suitcases comprise a closure system suited for changing the state of said opening between a closed state isolating the inner volume of said suitcase, and an open state providing access to the inner volume of said suitcase.
  • Because of these arrangements, all the suitcases can be assembled to make up a container having an adjustable inner volume.
  • In preferred embodiments of the invention, one and/or another of the following arrangements could furthermore be used:
      • The first suitcase is equipped with a rigid structural part and the surface of the second suitcase is attached to the rigid structural part of the first suitcase;
      • At least one among the first and second suitcases is equipped with at least two wheels;
      • The first and second suitcase are each equipped with at least two wheels;
      • At least one among the first and second suitcase is equipped with a telescoping handle;
      • At least one among the first and second suitcase comprises an attachment device and also an unlocking control for the attachment device;
      • At least one of the suitcases is equipped with at least three distinct surfaces each comprising at least one opening providing access to the inner volume of said suitcase, two surfaces among said three surfaces being opposite each other, and the third surface among said three surfaces being substantially non-coplanar with said two surfaces;
      • The set of suitcases furthermore comprises a third suitcase comprising an inner volume delimited by an envelope equipped with at least one surface, where said surface is suited for being attached against a surface of the second suitcase and comprises an opening (210 a), where said opening is suited for being placed opposite an opening of the surface of the second suitcase when said surfaces are attached against each other, where each of said openings of said suitcases comprises a closure system suited for changing the state of said opening between a closed state isolating the inner volume of said suitcase and an open state providing access to the inner volume of said suitcase.
      • At least two suitcases among said suitcases are suited for being attached on one other suitcase among said suitcases.
  • The purpose of the invention is also a suitcase for a set of suitcases where said suitcase comprises an inner volume delimited by an envelope equipped with at least one surface suited for being attached against a surface of a second suitcase, where said surface of the suitcase is equipped with an opening suited for being placed opposite an opening of the surface of the second suitcase when said surfaces of the suitcase and the second suitcase are attached against each other, where said opening comprises a closure system suited for changing the state of said opening between a closed state isolating the inner volume of said suitcase and an open state providing access to the inner volume of said suitcase.
  • In some embodiments described here-before, the set of suitcases or the suitcase can have one or more of the following advantages: the size of the inside space is adjustable; the suitcases can be used independently of each other to form small storage spaces or the set of suitcases can be assembled to form a large-size container; the openings of the suitcases can serve to easily access the content of the suitcases during transport; during air travel, the set of suitcases can be split for bringing one suitcase in the cabin; the suitcases can be combined at will and have combinations of colors easily distinguishable on an airport baggage claim conveyor; the suitcases can be used separately as small suitcases.
  • Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the following description of one of the embodiments thereof, given as a nonlimiting example, with reference to the attached drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a suitcase according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a front view of a suitcase according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the suitcase in the dynamic position according to an embodiment of the invention and also a user of said suitcase;
  • FIG. 4 a is a perspective view of a slider for a locking mechanism for a suitcase according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 4 b is an exploded perspective view of a locking mechanism for a suitcase according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 4 c is a detail of the locking mechanism from FIG. 4 b;
  • FIG. 5A is a view along the V-V section of a locking mechanism for a suitcase in the blocked state;
  • FIG. 5 b is a view along the V-V section of a locking mechanism for a suitcase in the unlocked state; and
  • FIG. 5 c is a view along the V-V section of a locking mechanism for a suitcase in the armed state.
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing a suitcase from a set of suitcases according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIGS. 7 a and 7 b are perspective views showing a suitcase from a set of suitcases according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing a set of suitcases according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 9 is a partial section view of the set of suitcases along the IX-IX section.
  • MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the various figures, the same references designate identical or similar items.
  • FIRST ASPECT OF THE INVENTION Rolling Suitcase with Improved Handling
  • FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of a suitcase 1 according to the invention. The term suitcase will be used in the remainder of the description but it can be understood as designating suitcases, luggage, trunks, attaché case, boxes, sacs and more generally all containers serving to transport small size objects or live animals, for example during a trip, and can all be lifted from the ground by a single person without assistance.
  • The suitcase 1 from FIG. 1 includes a main body 10 and a base 20. The base 20 is provided with at least three wheels 30, for example four wheels in the embodiment from FIG. 1. The suitcase 1 can furthermore comprise a handle 40 which can for example be a telescoping handle.
  • The wheels rest on the ground S near the contact areas 30 a and are attached to the base 20 so as to hold said base above the soil S and do so stably, without the suitcase resting on another support of any kind whatsoever.
  • The contact areas 30 a form a supporting polygon.
  • This supporting polygon can for example have a width and a length.
  • The width and length can for example be dimensions of the supporting polygon measured along two respective directions, said directions being substantially perpendicular to each other and parallel to the plane of extension of the soil S.
  • The width of the polygon can for example be larger than one fifth of the length.
  • Preferably, the wheels 30 are therefore not aligned.
  • The three wheels can thus be placed at the vertices of a non-flat triangle so as to form a triangular shape supporting polygon.
  • In order to increase the stability of the suitcase 1, the base 20 will advantageously comprise four wheels 30, with the supporting polygon then having a quadrilateral shape.
  • In particular, the projection onto the ground S of the center of gravity of the suitcase 1 can be substantially included inside the supporting polygon when the suitcase is loaded normally.
  • The axes of rotation of the wheels 30 can be removed from each other.
  • The axes of rotation of the wheels 30 can be parallel to each other to allow for easy movement of the suitcase 1. The axes of rotation of the wheels 30 are, for example, oriented along a transverse axis Y. These axes can serve to define a preferential direction of movement X along which the suitcase can be moved easily. This direction can be a direction orthogonal to the direction of the axes of rotation of the wheels and parallel to the plane formed by the ground S.
  • The preferred direction of movement X furthermore defines a front and a rear of the suitcase.
  • Said front and rear must be understood as corresponding to the front and rear of the suitcase when the user pulls the suitcase behind them using the handle 40.
  • A suitcase according to the invention can also be pushed by the user.
  • As a variant, some wheels 30 can pivot around a vertical axis Z, perpendicular to the XY plane of extension of the ground, for example rear wheels 30 c in the embodiment from FIG. 1.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the main body 10 is now going to be described more ahead; the orientation of the features described below are understood when said main body 10 is found in the static position thereof. The dynamic position will be described later.
  • The main body 10 can comprise two lateral surfaces 11, 12 opposite each other relative to said main body 10. The lateral surfaces 11, 12 extend for example along a vertical plane X, Z and form the sides of the main body 10.
  • These lateral surfaces 11, 12 are for example substantially parallel to the preferred direction of movement X of the suitcase.
  • The main body can furthermore comprise upper 14 and lower 15 surfaces and also front 16 and rear 17 surfaces.
  • In an embodiment, the front 16 and rear 17 surfaces can be orthogonal, over at least a portion of their surface, to the preferred direction of movement X, whereas the upper 14 and lower 15 surfaces can be parallel to the surface of extension of the ground S over at least a portion of their surface.
  • The lateral surfaces 11, 12 can each comprise a pivot 11 a, 12 a extending along a transverse axis 13 perpendicular to the vertical plane of extension X, Z of the lateral surfaces 11, 12.
  • The pivots 11 a, 12 a can for example project outward from the main body 10 along the transverse axis 13.
  • The base 20 can comprise for example 2 supports 21, 22 located respectively on either side of the main body 10 along the transverse axis 13. These supports can each be equipped with two wheels 30.
  • The supports 21, 22 advantageously comprise respective holes 21 a and 22 a suited for engaging with the pivots 11 a, 12 a projecting from the lateral surfaces 11, 12 of the main body 10.
  • In this way, the supports 21, 22 of the base 20 can pivot relative to the main body 10 around the transverse axis 13, perpendicular to the plane of extension X, Z of the lateral surfaces 11, 12.
  • The supports 21, 22 can be independent of each other so as to pivot independently of each other. They can also be connected to each other, for example, by means of a connecting bar 23, as shown in FIG. 2. In this embodiment, the base 20 forms a rigid assembly.
  • The supports 21, 22 can each comprise one or two wheels 30, for example two wheels in the embodiment from FIGS. 1 and 2.
  • The axis of rotation 30B of the wheels 30 is advantageously perpendicular to the plane of extension X, Z of the lateral surfaces 11, 12 of the main body 10 of the suitcase 1. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the rear wheels 30 c are themselves free to rotate around the vertical axis Z.
  • Other implementation variants of the pivoting are possible, especially by structural inversion. The pivots 11 a, 12 a can for example be located on the base 20 whereas the holes 21 a, 22 a can be placed on the main body 10 or, in still another variant, a pivot 11 a can be placed on the main body 10 and another pivot 12 a can be placed on the base 20 with the holes 21 a, 22 a respectively placed on the base 20 and the main body 10.
  • Now referring to FIG. 3, the main body 10 is pivotably mounted relative to the base 20 so as to be able for example to be placed in at least two positions: a static position shown in FIG. 1 and a dynamic position indicated in FIG. 3.
  • In a variant, the main body 10 can be placed in several dynamic positions.
  • In the static position, the main body 10 is for example oriented such that the upper surface 14 thereof is parallel to the ground S and turned upward.
  • To place the main body 10 in the dynamic position, a user 2 can for example apply a force directed downward onto the handle 40 so as to swing the main body 10 relative to the base 20.
  • The suitcase 1 can comprise a blocking device for the wheels 31 which can be placed in two states: a locked state, in which it rotationally immobilizes at least one wheel 30, and an unlocked state in which allows in which it allows said at least one free wheel 30 to pivot around its axis of rotation 30 b.
  • In this way, when the user shifts the main body 10 relative to the base 20, the suitcase 1 can remain immobile.
  • In the dynamic position, the main body 10 is inclined, for example at least 20° and at most 60° relative to the static position.
  • It can for example be inclined such that they handle 40 is in the extension of the arm 2 a of the user.
  • In this way, the force required for the user 2 to move the suitcase 1 is minimal and the handling of the suitcase 1 is optimal.
  • The lower surface 15 of the main body 10 can advantageously comprise a recessed front part rounded or inclined relative to a vertical plane, such that said lower surface 15 does not touch the ground S when the suitcase 1 is in dynamic position or when the main body 10 pivots between the static and dynamic positions.
  • The recessed front part can for example be made up of a chamfer centered on the transverse axis 13 of rotation of the main body 10 relative to the base 20, meaning bent around the pivoting axis. As a variant, this recessed part can be flat as shown for example on FIGS. 1 and 3.
  • In an advantageous embodiment, the transverse axis 13, around which the main body 10 and the base 20 can pivot relative to each other, can advantageously be located near the center of gravity of the main body 10 when it contains a standard load. In this way, the force that the user 2 exerts in order to pivot the main body 10 between the dynamic and static positions is minimal.
  • In the dynamic position, the projection on the ground S of the center of gravity of the main body 10 can be located near at least one of the wheels 30, for example the front wheels 30 d of the suitcase.
  • In this way, the force exerted by a user, for example when going over a step, is minimal.
  • Now referring to FIGS. 4 a, 4 b and 4 c, a locking mechanism 60 can be assembled on the suitcase 1.
  • This locking mechanism 60 can be adapted in order to allow the user to pivot the main body 10 relative to the base 20 and unblock the movement of the suitcase in a single operation in a manner which is now going to be described with reference to FIGS. 4 a to 4 c and 5 a to 5 c.
  • The locking mechanism 60 can comprise a slider 65 and a bolt 66.
  • The bolt 66 and the slider 65 are placed opposite each other when the main body 10 is located in the static position and in the dynamic position.
  • The slider 65 can for example be located on a lateral surface 11 of the main body 10 and the bolt 66 can be incorporated in the base 20, for example in the support 21 as shown in FIG. 1.
  • The slider 65 is shown in FIG. 4 a and comprises an outer surface 65 d and an inner surface 65 e.
  • The outer and inner surfaces are suited for being located respectively towards the outside and towards the inside of the main body 10 when the slider 65 is attached on a lateral surface 11 of the main body.
  • The slider 65 comprises at least one first and one second opening 65 a, 65 c on the outer surface 65 d thereof suited for receiving the bolt 66.
  • The first opening 65 a can receive the bolt 66 when the main body 10 is located in the static position so as to block the pivoting of the main body 10 relative to the base 20.
  • Similarly, the second opening 65 c can receive the bolt 66 when the main body 10 is located in the dynamic position.
  • The slider 65 can furthermore comprise on its outer surface 65 d a projection 65 b placed between the two opening 65 a, 65 c and suited for exerting a force on the bolt 66 when the main body 10 pivots relative to the base 20 between the static and dynamic positions as is going to be described in more detail.
  • The bolt 66 is for example made up of an inner latch 61, an outer latch 62 and a latch guide 63.
  • The parts making up the bolt 66 can for example be assembled in the following way.
  • The inner latch 61 can be inserted into the outer latch 62 by an opening 62 e of the outer latch so as to be able to slide into the outer latch 62 along a transverse direction Y1 between an advanced position 61 a and a withdrawn position 61 b.
  • The advanced position 61 a of the inner latch 60 relative to the inner latch 62 is for example shown in FIG. 5 c and the withdrawn position 61 b in FIGS. 5 a and 5 b.
  • In the advanced position 61 a, the inner latch 61 extends further past the outer latch 62, along the transverse direction Y1, then in the withdrawn position 61 b.
  • As described in more detail here-before, the inner latch 61 and the outer latch 62 can form a pushbutton mechanism, meaning that a force applied on the inner latch 61 along the transverse direction Y1, for example to move it back inside the outer latch 62, serves to perform a transition from the withdrawn position 61 b to the advanced position 61 a of the inner latch 61 and also an inverse transition (from the advanced position 61 a to the withdrawn position 61 b).
  • The outer latch 62, containing the inner latch 61, is then placed inside the latch guide 63 by an opening 63 e of the latch guide 63 so as to be able to slide inside said guide along the same transverse direction Y1 between an out position 62 a and a returned position 62 b.
  • In the out position 62 a, the outer latch 62 extends further past the guide latch 63, along the transverse direction Y1, then in the returned position 62 b.
  • The out position 62 a of the outer latch 62 relative to the guide latch 63 is for example shown in FIG. 5 a and the returned position 62 b in FIGS. 5 b and 5 c.
  • The bolt 66 can also comprise a first spring 67 a serving to apply to the inner latch 61 a force tending to return said latch into the withdrawn position 61 a.
  • Finally, the bolt 66 can also comprise a second spring 67 b serving to apply to the outer latch 62 a force tending to return said latch into the out position 62 a.
  • By a combination of the positions described here-before, the locking mechanism 60 can be placed in three operating states which are now going to be described by making reference more specifically to FIGS. 5 a to 5 c.
  • A first state 60 a, shown in FIG. 5 a, is a blocked state.
  • In the blocked state 60 a, the bolt 66 is lodged in one of the openings 65 a, 65 c of the slider. In this way, the pivoting of the main body 10 relative to the base 20 is prevented and the suitcase can be easily moved by the user.
  • In the blocked state 60 a, the inner latch 61 is in withdrawn position 61 b and the outer latch 62 is in out position 62 a.
  • A second state 60 b is an unlocked state which is for example shown in FIG. 5 b.
  • In the unlocked state 60 b, the bolt 66 is removed from said opening. Thus, the main body 10 can pivot relative to the base 20 between the static and dynamic positions in order to allow the user to change the position of the main body 10 relative to the base 20.
  • In the unlocked state 60 b, the inner latch 61 is in withdrawn position 61 b and the outer latch 62 is a returned position 62 b.
  • The movement of the locking mechanism 60 from the blocked state 60 a to the unlocked state 60 b is done by moving the outer latch 62 from the out position 62 a to the returned position 62 b.
  • This movement can be done by an action of the user.
  • In order to allow the movement of the outer latch 62 between the out 62 a and returned 62 b positions, the outer latch 62 can comprise pins 62 f suited for being received in the transverse grooves 62 f of the latch guide 63 extending along the transverse direction Y1 in the latch guide 63.
  • The transverse movement of the outer latch 62 between the out 62 a and returned 62 b positions can be controlled by the device for blocking the wheels 31 by means of a functional connection 64.
  • This functional connection 64 can for example be made by a cable connecting the blocking device for the wheels 31 to the latch guide 63.
  • In this way, when the user exerts an action on the blocking device for the wheels 31 to place it in the locked state, the functional connection 64 exerts a force on the outer latch 62 in order to move it into the returned position 62 b.
  • Thus, the blocking device for the wheels 31 can control the locking mechanism 60 by means of a functional connection 64 in such a way that user pressure on the blocking device for the wheels 31 brings the locking mechanism 60 from the blocked state 60 a to the unlocked state 60 b.
  • A third state 60 c is an armed state which is for example shown in FIG. 5 c.
  • In the armed state 60 c, the bolt 66 is lodged in an opening of the slider. The pivoting of the main body 10 relative to the base 20 is thus prevented.
  • In the armed state 60 c, the inner latch 61 is in advanced position 61 a and the outer latch 62 is a returned position 62 b.
  • The locking mechanism 60 can be moved from the unlocked state 60 b to the armed state 60 c by a movement of the inner latch 61 from the withdrawn position 61 b to the advanced position 61 a.
  • This movement can be done by a simple pivoting of the main body 10 relative to the base 20.
  • In fact, in an embodiment of the invention, the projection 65 b placed between the two openings 65 a, 65 c in the slider 65 is suited for exerting a force on the bolt 66 when the main body pivots relative to the base 20 between the static and dynamic positions, where said force serves to modify the state of the locking mechanism 60 as described below.
  • In particular, the state of the locking mechanism 60 can be modified once the pivoting of the main body 10 has been sufficient so that the force exerted by the projection 65 b has served to move the inner latch 61 between the withdrawn position 61 b and the advanced position 61 a.
  • Finally, the locking mechanism 60 can be moved from the armed state 60 c to the blocked state 60 a by a movement of the inner latch 61 from the withdrawn position 61 b to the advanced position 61 a and a movement of the outer latch 62 from the returned position 61 b to the out position 61 a.
  • These two movements can be done by a user action.
  • Thus, for example releasing the pressure exerted by the user on the device for blocking the wheels 31 could allow returning the outer latch 62 into the out position 62 a, for example under the action of the second spring 67 b.
  • The movement of the outer latch 62 from the returned position 62 b to the out position 62 a brings the inner latch 62 to rest against the bottom of the opening 65 a, 65 c which receives the inner latch.
  • This bringing to rest then exerts a force on the inner latch 61 which serves to move said latch from the advanced position 61 a to the withdrawn position 61 b.
  • The movement of the inner latch 61 between the advanced 61 a and withdrawn 61 b positions is now going to be described more precisely with reference to FIGS. 4 a to 4 c and 5 a to 5 c.
  • To allow the movement of the inner latch 61 between the advanced 61 a and withdrawn 61 b positions, the inner latch 61 can be provided with a flexible tab 68 comprising a protuberance 68 a and the outer latch 62 can be provided with a lengthened opening 69 extending for example along the transverse direction Y1.
  • The protuberance 68 a of the flexible tab 68 can be adapted for coming to lodge itself in said lengthened opening 69 of the outer latch 62.
  • The lengthened opening 69 can be delimited by two transverse surfaces 69 a, 69 b extending along the transverse direction Y1 and ending in a first outer surface 69 c located near the opening 62 e of the outer latch 62, and a second outer surface 69 d located opposite the first surface 69 c.
  • The lengthened opening 69 can comprise on one of the transverse surfaces 69 a a plurality of structures 69 z extending inward from the lengthened opening along a lateral direction X1 perpendicular to the transverse direction Y1.
  • These structures 69 z can include in order from the first outer surface 69 c to the second outer surface 69 d:
      • a first lateral recess 69 e;
      • an inclined overhang 69 f extending along the lateral direction X1 in the lengthened opening 69; and
      • a second lateral recess 69 g.
  • When the inner latch 61 is located in the advanced position 61 a, the protuberance 68 a on the flexible tab 68 is received in the first lateral recess 69 e.
  • When the inner latch 61 is located in the withdrawn position 61 b, the protuberance 68 a on the flexible tab 68 is received in the second lateral recess 69 g with the flexible tab 68 then slightly deflected along the lateral direction X1.
  • The second lateral recess 69 g can in particular be delimited by:
  • a first outer surface 69 h extending along the lateral direction X1 and located on the side of the second recess 69 g closest to the first external surface 69 c of the lengthened opening 69, and
  • a second outer surface 69 i extending along the lateral direction X1 and located on the side of the second recess 69 g closest to the second external surface 69 d of the lengthened opening 69.
  • When the protuberance 68 a is lodged in the second lateral recess 69 g, the flexible tab 68 can be less deflected than when the protuberance 68 a is pressed on the inclined overhang 69 f.
  • The presence of the first and second outer surfaces 66 h, 69 i therefore serve to block the inner tab 61 in the withdrawn position 61 b.
  • The transition of the inner latch 61 between the advanced 61 a and withdrawn 61 b positions is done as follows.
  • When the inner latch 61 is located in its advanced position 60 a, the first lateral recess 69 e receives the protuberance 68 a without the flexible tab 68 being substantially deflected.
  • When a force is applied on the inner latch 61 along the transverse direction Y1, for example to make said inner latch enter into outer latch 62, the protuberance 68 a comes to bear against the inclined overhang 69 f which then deflects the flexible tab 68 along the lateral direction X1.
  • Because of the inclination of the inclined overhang 69 f and the elasticity of the flexible tab 68, the inner latch 61 can be depressed into the outer latch 62 without the protuberance 68 a leaving the lengthened opening 69.
  • Finally, when the inner latch 61 is depressed into the outer latch 62 to the withdrawn position 61 a thereof, the protuberance 68 a comes to lodge in the second lateral recess 69 g to be blocked there as described here-before.
  • The transition between the withdrawn 61 b and advanced 61 a positions of the inner latch 61 is done as follows.
  • By applying a new force on the inner latch 61, aiming to push said inner latch 61 back into the outer latch 62, the protuberance 61 b can be ejected from the second lateral recess 69 g and therefore from the lengthened opening 69, towards the inside of the inner latch 61 along a thickness direction Z1, perpendicular to transverse direction Y1 and lateral direction X1.
  • The ejection of the protuberance 61 b towards the inside of the inner latch 61 is allowed by the elasticity of the flexible tab 68.
  • The inclined overhang 69 f and the second recess 69 g are offset relative to the resting position of the flexible tab 68 along the lateral direction X1 (the resting position of the flexible tab 68 corresponds to the position in which the flexible tab 68 is not laterally deflected).
  • For its part, the first recess 69 e is not offset relative to the resting position of the flexible tab 68 along the lateral direction X1.
  • In this way, the protuberance 68 a can regain the lengthened opening 69 near the first recess 69 e, which corresponds to the advanced position 61 a of the inner latch 61.
  • The first spring 67 a forces the inner latch 61 to return into the advanced position 61 a once the protuberance 61 b has been ejected from the second lateral recess 69 g.
  • In this way, the inner latch 61 and the outer latch 62 form a pushbutton mechanism, meaning that a force applied on the inner latch 61 along the transverse direction Y1, for example to move it back inside the outer latch 62, serves to perform a transition from the withdrawn position 61 b to the advanced position 61 a of the inner latch 61 and also an inverse transition (from the advanced position 61 a to the withdrawn position 61 b).
  • Because of the locking mechanism 60, the user can fill an empty the suitcase 1 without risk that the main body 10 could pivot. The swinging of the main body 10 from the static position to the dynamic position is additionally made easier.
  • Other locking mechanisms 60 can be used by the person skilled in the art and adapted to the embodiment of the suitcase. For example, one or both pivots 11 a, 12 a can comprise on their perimeter recessed or projecting parts suited for engaging with complementary relief from holes 21 a, 22 a located on the supports 21, 22. The rotational unlocking of the main body 10 relative to the base 20 can then be done by elastic deformation of the pivots 11 a, 12 a or the holes 21 a, 22 a.
  • The suitcase 1 can also comprise a means of restoring 50, for example a pneumatic cylinder or spring. This means can also be made up of a circular spring, for example housed near one or both pivots 11 a, 12 a. The person skilled in the art could use various devices according to the selected embodiment.
  • SECOND ASPECT OF THE INVENTION Set of Suitcases and Adjustable Suitcase
  • FIG. 6 shows a first embodiment of the suitcase 1 according to the invention that can for example be a first or second suitcase from a set of suitcases according to the invention as described further on.
  • The term suitcase will be used in the remainder of the description but it can be understood as designating suitcases, luggage, trunks, attaché case, boxes, sacs and more generally all containers serving to transport small size objects or live animals, for example during a trip, and can all be lifted from the ground by a single person without assistance.
  • In the embodiment from FIG. 1, the suitcase 1 includes a main body 10 and a base 20. The base 20 is provided with at least three wheels 30, for example four wheels in the embodiment from FIG. 1. The suitcase 1 can furthermore comprise a handle 40 which can for example be a telescoping handle.
  • The wheels rest on the ground S near the contact areas 30 a and are attached to the base 20 so as to hold said base above the soil S and do so stably, without the suitcase resting on another support of any kind whatsoever.
  • The wheels 30 form a supporting polygon.
  • This supporting polygon can for example have a width and a length.
  • The width and length can for example be dimensions of the supporting polygon measured along two respective directions, said directions being substantially perpendicular to each other and parallel to the plane of extension of the soil S.
  • The width of the polygon can for example be larger than one fifth of the length.
  • Preferably, the wheels 30 are therefore not aligned.
  • The three wheels can thus be placed at the vertices of a non-flat triangle so as to form a triangular shaped supporting polygon.
  • In order to increase the stability of the suitcase 1, the base 20 will advantageously comprise for wheels 30, with the supporting polygon then harming a quadrilateral shape.
  • In particular, the projection onto the ground S of the center of gravity of the suitcase 1 can be substantially included inside the supporting polygon when the suitcase is loaded normally.
  • The axes of rotation of the wheels 30 can be removed from each other.
  • The axes of rotation of the wheels 30 can be parallel to each other to allow for easy movement of the suitcase 1. The axes of rotation of the wheels 30 are, for example, oriented following a transverse axis Y. These axes can serve to define a preferential direction of movement X along which the suitcase can be moved easily. This direction can be a direction orthogonal to the direction of the axes of rotation of the wheels and parallel to the plane formed by the ground S.
  • The preferred direction of movement X furthermore defines a front and a rear of the suitcase.
  • Said front and rear must be understood as corresponding to the front and rear of the suitcase when the user pulls the suitcase behind them using the handle 40.
  • A suitcase according to the invention can also be pushed by the user.
  • As a variant, some wheels 30 can pivot around a vertical axis Z, perpendicular to the XY plane of extension of the ground, for example rear wheels 30 c in the embodiment from FIG. 1.
  • The suitcase 1 comprises an inner volume 1 a delimited by an envelope 1 b.
  • The inner volume 1 a of the suitcase 1 can in some embodiments be undivided, meaning that it can be made up of a single compartment in which removable or foldable separations may be present.
  • In other embodiments, fixed separations can divide the inner volume 1 a at the suitcase 1.
  • The envelope 1 b of the suitcase 1 can comprise two lateral surfaces 11, 12 opposite each other relative to the main body 10.
  • The lateral surfaces 11, 12 form the sides the main body 10 and can extend for example along the vertical X, Z plane.
  • These lateral surfaces 11, 12 are for example substantially parallel to the preferred direction of movement X of the suitcase.
  • The envelope 1 b can furthermore comprise upper 14 and lower 15 surfaces and also front 16 and rear 17 surfaces.
  • The front 16 and rear 17 surfaces can for example be orthogonal, over at least a portion of their surface, to the preferred direction of movement X, whereas the upper 14 and lower 15 surfaces can be parallel to the surface of extension of the ground S over at least a portion of their surface.
  • The lateral surfaces 11, 12 can each comprise a pivot 11 a, 12 a projecting towards the outside of the main body 10 along a transverse axis 13 perpendicular to the vertical plane of extension X, Z of the lateral surfaces 11, 12. The pivots 11 a, 12 a can serve to attach the main body 10 on the base 20 so as to allow said main body to pivot relative to said base.
  • FIGS. 7 a and 7 b illustrate a second embodiment of the suitcase according to the invention which can for example be a first 1 or second 100 suitcase from a set of suitcases according to the invention such as described later.
  • In this embodiment of the suitcase according to the invention, the suitcase 100 can comprise two wheels 30 which are directly attached on a main body 110 of the suitcase 100.
  • As a variant, the suitcase 100 may have no wheels.
  • The suitcase 100 can also comprise a telescoping handle 40.
  • As a variant, the suitcase 100 could not comprise a telescoping handle 40.
  • It could finally comprise any element described here-before in relation to the embodiment shown in FIG. 6.
  • The suitcase 100 comprises an inner volume 100 a delimited by an envelope 100 b equipped for example with lower 110, upper 120 and lateral 130 surfaces.
  • The lower surface 110 of the suitcase 100 can be adapted for being attached against the upper surface of another suitcase, for example the upper surface 14 of the suitcase 1 according to the embodiment from FIG. 6 or the upper surface 120 of the suitcase according to the embodiment from FIG. 7 a or FIG. 7 b so as to form a set of suitcases as is now going to be described in more detail.
  • A set of suitcases 1000 comprises a first suitcase 1 and a second suitcase 100 assembled by attachment between an upper surface 14 of the first suitcase and a lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100.
  • Such a set 1000 is shown for example in FIG. 8.
  • In a first embodiment of the set of suitcases 1000, the first suitcase 1 is the suitcase according to the embodiment from FIG. 6 and the second suitcase is a suitcase according to the embodiment from FIG. 7 a or FIG. 7 b.
  • In another embodiment, the first suitcase 1 and the second suitcase 100 from the set of suitcases can both be suitcases according to the embodiment from FIG. 7 a or FIG. 7 b.
  • In order to provide an easy and solid attachment of the surfaces of the two suitcases 1, 100 against each other, said surfaces can comprise profiles which are the inverse of each other and in particular profiles adapted so that the surfaces nest one inside the other. For example they have complementary profiles.
  • Thus, the upper surface 14 of the first suitcase 1 can comprise an outer rim 14 b and the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 can comprise a hollowed outer part 110 b suited for coming to receive the rim 14 b of the first suitcase.
  • The lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 can then comprise a central plateau 110 c extending beyond said hollowed outer part 110 b.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the outer rim 14 b comprises a rounded portion. This rounded portion could be complementarity to a rounded counterpart of the hollowed outer part 110 b of the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100.
  • In a variant, the outer portion 14 b can comprise a portion at a right angle to the upper surface 14.
  • In another variant of the invention, the outer rim 14 b can comprise a portion inclined at a certain angle relative to the upper surface 14, for example at an angle less than 90°.
  • This right angle portion, respectively this portion inclined at a certain angle, can again be complementary to a counterpart at a right angle, or respectively to a counterpart inclined at a certain angle, of the hollowed outer portion 110 b of the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100.
  • A variant of the invention can comprise an inversion of the structure in which the hollowed outer part is arranged on the upper surface 14 of the first suitcase 1 whereas the outer rim is arranged on the lower surface 100 of the second suitcase 100.
  • In order to allow the rigid attachment of the first 1 and second 100 suitcases with each other, at least one first 1 and second 100 suitcase can comprise a rigid structural part 19 a.
  • This structural part 19 a may for example be located near the upper surface 14 of the first suitcase 1, on which the second suitcase 100 can come to attach.
  • This rigid structural part 19 a can for example be made up of rigid bars forming a structure underlying a flexible envelope of the suitcase.
  • The rigid structural part 19 a can in a variant be made up of rigid surfaces.
  • The upper surface 14 of the first suitcase 1 and the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 can each comprise an opening 14 a, 110 a.
  • The two openings 14 a, 110 a can be adapted for coming to be placed opposite each other when the second suitcase 100 is placed on the first suitcase 1 as shown in FIG. 8.
  • By “opposite” it is understood that said openings 14 a, 100 a at least partially overlap when said upper 14 and lower 110 surfaces are attached opposite each other.
  • When the second suitcase 100 is attached on the first suitcase 1 and when the upper 14 a and lower 110 a openings respectively of the first and second suitcases are open, the inner volume 1 a of the first suitcase and the inner volume 100 a of the second suitcase can connect so as to be able to form a continuous inner volume 1000 a.
  • The set of suitcases 1000 has a continuous inner volume made up of the inner volumes of the first and second suitcases.
  • This volume 1000 a can be split up by removable or fixed partitions as is known in the field of the invention.
  • The openings 14 a, 100 a of the first 1 and second 100 suitcases are equipped with closure means 14 d, 110 d with which a user can close them up.
  • The openings 14 a, 110 a can therefore be placed in an open or closed state.
  • In this way, it is possible to use each of the suitcases 1, 100 as a separate bag from the set of suitcases 1000.
  • Since such a separate bag has a smaller capacity than the assembly of the first and second suitcases, it can for example be detached from the assembly to form a cabin bag during travel by airplane.
  • The means for closure 14 d, 110 d of the openings can for example include zippers, strips of hook and loop fasteners, grippers, any other closure means known to the person skilled in the art.
  • The openings 14 a, 110 a can be made up of panels foldable in accordion, retractable panels or for example rolling panels.
  • The openings 14 a, 110 a can be sized so as to be able to open a major portion of the surface 14, 110 on which said openings are mounted.
  • The first and second suitcases 1, 100 can furthermore include one or more lateral opening 17 a, 130 a on their lateral surfaces 17, 130. These lateral openings can allow the user to directly access the content of the suitcase during travel.
  • The lateral openings will advantageously be equipped with means for closure 17 d, 130 d as detailed here-before.
  • As shown in FIG. 8, a set of suitcases 1000 of the kind in question can furthermore include a third suitcase 200 suited for coming into place above the second suitcase 100.
  • The third suitcase 200 can for example be a suitcase 200 according to the embodiment from FIG. 7 a or FIG. 7 b and thus comprising an inner volume 200 a delimited by an envelope 200 b comprising lower 210, upper 220 and lateral 230 surfaces.
  • The third suitcase 200 can be adapted for coming to be attached on a rigid structural part 119 a of the second suitcase 100.
  • The lower surface 210 can thus for example be suited for coming to be placed opposite the upper surface 120 of the second suitcase 100 when the third suitcase 200 is attached on the rigid structural part 119 a of the second suitcase 100.
  • The upper surface opposite 120 of the second suitcase 100 can comprise an upper opening 120 a whereas the lower surface 210 of the third suitcase 200 can be equipped with a lower opening 210 a.
  • The upper opening 120 a of the second suitcase 100 and the lower opening 210 a of the third suitcase 200 can be suited for coming to be placed opposite each other when the third suitcase 200 is attached on the second suitcase 100.
  • In this way, when the third suitcase 200 is attached onto the second suitcase 100 and when the upper 120 a and lower 210 a openings of said second and third suitcases are open, the inner volume 100 a of the second suitcase 100 and the inner volume 200 a of the third suitcase 200 can connect so as to form a single volume.
  • Thus, when the upper 14 a and lower 110 a openings of the first and second suitcases, and the upper 120 a and lower 210 a openings of the second and third suitcases are open, then the inner volume of the first suitcase 1, the second suitcase 100 and the third suitcase 200 can connect so as to form a single inner volume 1000 a for the set of suitcases 1000.
  • In a variant, the third suitcase 200 can be attached on the rigid structural part 19 a of the first suitcase 1 in the case where said structural part 19 a can extend along the vertical direction Z.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the third suitcase 200 can be attached on the first suitcase 1, for example by being attached on the upper surface 14 of the first suitcase next to the second suitcase 100.
  • In this embodiment, the first suitcase 1 can comprise one or more additional openings 14 a on the upper surface 14 thereof, where at least one of said openings is suited for coming to be placed opposite the lower opening 210 a of the third suitcase 200 when the third suitcase 200 is attached onto the first suitcase 1.
  • The first and third suitcase 1, 200 can thus form an identical assembly to that already described here-before between the first and second suitcases 1, 100.
  • Finally, other suitcases could be stacked on the third suitcase 2 or on any one of the first and second suitcases 1, 100 similarly to the stacking described here-before, in order to form a set of assembled suitcases 1000 of variable size.
  • To attach the suitcases 1, 100, 200 to each other, they can be provided with an attachment device 70 as shown in FIG. 9 which can for example be a device for attachment by latching or nesting.
  • Thus, to attach for example the first suitcase and the second suitcase together, the attachment device 70 can comprise lock-bolts 71 suited for coming to enter into a lock-bolt receiver 73 of the first suitcase 1 and received in the housing 72 of the second suitcase 100.
  • The lock-bolt receiver 73 can for example be made up of the outer rim 14 b of the first suitcase 1 whereas the housing 72 of the lock-bolt 71 can be incorporated into the central plateau 110 c of the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100.
  • As a variant, the lock-bolt receiver can be included in the central plateau 110 c of the lower surface 110 of the second suitcase 100 and the housing 72 the lock-bolt 71 can be incorporated into the outer rim 14 b of the first suitcase 1.
  • Advantageously, a spring 74 can come to apply a force on the lock-bolt 71 to move it out of the housing 72.
  • The lock-bolt 71 can have an inclined or rounded end 71 a which, when it comes to rest against the outer rim 14 b of the first suitcase, forces the lock-bolt to go back into the housing 72.
  • When the lock-bolt 71 is opposite the lock-bolt receiver 73, the spring 74 brings the lock-bolt 71 to extend outside the housing 72 so as to establish the attachment of the suitcases to each other.
  • Thus, the user can latch the two suitcases to each other simply by pressing their surfaces against each other.
  • To unlock the attachment mechanism for the suitcases, the suitcase receiving the lock-bolt 71 can comprise an unlocking mechanism 80 controlled by retracting the lock-bolt 71 into its housing 72.
  • The unlocking mechanism can for example comprise a button 81 driving a pinion 82 connected via cables 83 to the lock-bolt 71.
  • Thus, for example, when the user presses the button 81, it can rotate the pinion 82 onto which are attached, at one of their ends, one or more cables 83. The other end of said cables 83 is attached to the lock-bolts 71 of the suitcase. The rotation of the pinion 82 exerts a pulling force on the cables 83 and thus serves to retract the lock-bolts 71 into their housings 72.
  • Alternatively, the attachment device 70 can be mounted on lateral surfaces of said suitcases. This attachment device 70 can include zippers, strips of hook and loop fasteners, grippers, magnet or any other closure means known to the person skilled in the art.
  • The unlocking mechanism 80 is also not limited to the mechanism described above but can comprise any mechanism known to the person skilled in the art and serving to easily unlock the attachment device.

Claims (10)

1. A suitcase comprising a main body and also a base having at least three wheels, where the main body is mounted on the base so as to be able to pivot relative to the base between a static position and a dynamic position, where each of said at least three wheels is suited for being in contact with the ground (S), near a contact area both in the static position and in the dynamic position, and where the contact areas of said wheels with the ground form a supporting polygon in the static position and in the dynamic position.
2. The suitcase according to claim 1, wherein the supporting polygon formed by the contact areas of the wheels with the ground have a width and a length, where said width is at least larger than one fifth of said length.
3. The suitcase according to claim 1, wherein the main body comprises at least one lateral surface extending along an extension plane, where the main body is mounted on the base by means of a pivot located on said lateral surface so as to be able to pivot relative to the base around a direction perpendicular to said extension plane.
4. The suitcase according to claim 3, wherein the main body furthermore comprises a second lateral surface opposite the first lateral surface, where the base comprises at least two supports each bearing at least one wheel where each of said supports is fixed to a respective lateral surface of the main body by means of a pivot located on said lateral surface;
5. The suitcase according to claim 4, wherein the supports are mounted pivoting relative to the main body so as to be able to pivot independently of each other
6. The suitcase according to claim 4, wherein the supports are connected to each other.
7. The suitcase according to claim 1, furthermore comprising a locking mechanism suited for blocking pivoting of the main body relative to the base in at least one selected position chosen among the static position and the dynamic position.
8. The suitcase according to claim 7, wherein the locking mechanism is suited for being able to be positioned in at least three operating states, including:
a blocked state in which the locking mechanism blocks pivoting of the main body relative to the base;
an unlocked state in which the locking mechanism allows pivoting of the main body relative to the base; and
an armed state in which the locking mechanism blocks pivoting of the main body relative to the base following pivoting of the main body relative to the base.
9. The suitcase according to claim 7, furthermore comprising a device for blocking the wheels suited for blocking at least one wheel of the suitcase, where the device for blocking the wheels is functionally connected to the locking mechanism so as to allow blocking of said at least one wheel when the locking mechanism is found in the unlocked operating state and when the locking mechanism is found in the armed operating state.
10. The suitcase according to claim 1, furthermore comprising a telescoping handle.
US14/430,153 2012-09-20 2013-09-19 Suitcase and Set of Suitcases Abandoned US20150245694A1 (en)

Applications Claiming Priority (5)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FR1258837 2012-09-20
FR1258839A FR2995510A1 (en) 2012-09-20 2012-09-20 Rolling suitcase for transporting objects during traveling, has wheels in contact with ground at contact zones in static and dynamic positions, where contact zones of wheels with ground form support polygon in static and dynamic positions
FR1258837A FR2995509B1 (en) 2012-09-20 2012-09-20 ASSEMBLY OF SUITCASES AND MODULAR CASE
FR1258839 2012-09-20
PCT/FR2013/052174 WO2014044983A1 (en) 2012-09-20 2013-09-19 Improved suitcase and set of suitcases

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