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1. WO2004099019 - SUPPORT POUR SAC

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

BAG CARRIER

Field of the Invention
The invention relates to devices for carrying bags, more particularly, relates to devices for carrying and holding handles or straps of bags.

Background of the Invention
It has become common, in connection with retail sales, to provide a consumer with a plastic bag for carrying his/her purchases. Typically, the bag is formed from two rectangular sheets made of plastic, mutually joined at three edges, and open at one edge, and having registered die-cut, elongated openings near the non-joined edges. The openings are sized to form handles permitting passage therethrough of the fingers of a user.
When carrying such bags, it is desirable to carry them with the non-joined edges together. In the prior art, there are devices to hold the handles or straps of the bags together to reduce the possibility of tipping the bags and to prevent the contents in the bags from falling out when the bags are put down on the ground or in the trunk of a vehicle. International Patent Publication WO 02/076261 Al discloses a bag carrying device having an elongated grip part, a longitudinal extension extending perpendicularly from the mid-portion of the grip part, and two arms extending from the longitudinal extension to form grasping spaces together with the longitudinal extension. Small flexible protrusions extend from the ends of the two arms toward the longitudinal extension to assist in captively holding bag handles in the grasping spaces.
The small flexible protrusions of the prior art device are fragile and can be easily broken. Furthermore, it is difficult to insert and remove the handles of the bags into and from the grasping spaces through the flexible protrusions of the prior art device. It would be highly desirable to have a bag carrying and holding device, which provides easy ways to insert and remove handles of bags into and from a grasping space of the device.

Summary of the Invention
The present invention provides a bag carrying device for holding and carrying handles of bags. According to one aspect of the invention, the device includes an elongated element extending along a first axis between a first end and a second end, a handle extending bidirectionally outwardly from the first end of the elongated element along a second axis substantially transverse to the first axis, and a pair of coplanar S-shaped resilient arms extending upwardly from the second end of the elongated element. In one preferred embodiment, the handle extends in two opposite directions to two ends which are disposed on two opposite sides of the elongated element. The lateral portions of the handle are preferably contoured to fit human hands.
Each resilient arm is preferably substantially S-shaped. The proximal curved portion of the "S" adjacent to the second end of the elongated element defines a relatively large interior region, and the distal curved portion of the "S" distal to the second end of the elongated member defines a relatively small interior region. The distal curved portion of the "S" distal from the second end of the elongated element includes an intermediate portion, which is separated from a lateral surface of the elongated member by a relatively small gap or touches the lateral surface of the elongated member. The proximal portion of the "S" adjacent to the second end of the elongated element forms a hook having a substantially closed grasping space (the relatively large interior region ) with the elongated element for holding the handles or straps of the bags. The
substantially closed grasping space has an entrance defined by the gap between the intermediate portion of the S-shaped arms and the elongated element. The distal curved portion of the "S" distal from the second end of the elongated element preferably curves outwardly with respect to the first axis, thereby providing an easy way to insert or remove the handles or straps of the bags into or out of the grasping space of the hook. In one preferred form, the gap is substantially closed, i.e., the intermediate portion of the S-shaped arm is substantially in contact with the elongated element. In another preferred form, the S-shaped arms include relatively small round-shaped protrusions extending toward the elongated element from the intermediate portion and is substantially in contact with the elongated element. Since the arms are resilient, it is easy for a user to insert or remove the handles of the bags into or from the substantially closed grasping space through the entrances formed by the intermediate portion of the S-shaped arm and the elongated element. In an alternative form, the small protrusions extend from the lateral surface of the elongated element opposite the intermediate portion and preferably are substantially in contact with the intermediate portion.
In other preferred embodiments, the device may have only one resilient arm or a plurality of resilient arms extending from the second end of the elongated element for holding the handles or straps of one or more bags.

Description of the Figures
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one preferred embodiment of a bag carrier in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the bag carrier of FIG.1;
FIG. 3 is a side view of the bag carrier of FIG.1;
FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the bag carrier of FIG.1;
FIG. 5 shows a bag carrier of the invention together with a bag; and
FIG. 6 is a front view of another embodiment of the present invention.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment
For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the present invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments and methods illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one preferred embodiment of a bag carrier in accordance with the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, the bag carrier 10 includes an elongated element 12 extending along a first axis X between a first end 14 and a second end 16. A handle 18 extends outwardly along a second axis Y (substantially transverse to the first axis X) from the first end 14 of the elongated element 12. The handle 18 preferably extends in two opposite directions to two distal ends disposed on two opposite sides of the elongated element 12. As best shown in FIG. 2, in a preferred embodiment, the handle 18 and the upper portion of the elongated element 12 are contoured to fit human hands.
In one preferred embodiment, the bag carrier 10 further includes a pair of resilient arms 20 extending radially and upwardly from the second end 16 of the elongated element 12. The resilient arms 20 are preferably co-planar and are preferably
substantially S-shaped having a proximal curved portion 22 close to the second end 16 defining a relatively large interior region IRl, which forms a grasping space with the elongated element, and a distal curved portion 24 distal to the second end 16 defining a relatively small interior region IR2. An intermediate portion 26 of the distal curved portion of the "S" are separated from a lateral surface of the elongated element 12 by a small gap G. Preferably, the gap G is very small so that the intermediate portion 26 are substantially in contact with the elongated element 12. The resilient arms 20 form hooks with the elongated element 12 for holding handles or straps of the bags. The distal curved portions 24 of the "S" is curved outwardly with respect to the first axis X, and provide easy ways to insert or remove the handles or straps of bags into or out of the grasping spaces (interior regions IRl). hi one preferred form, the intermediate portion 26 of the distal curved portion 24 is constructed to be substantially in contact with the elongated element 12, thereby the arm 20 and the elongated element 12 forming a substantially closed grasping space (interior regions IRl) to prevent the straps of the bags from being dislodged inadvertently from the grasping space. In another preferred form, as shown in FIG. 2, the distal curved portion 24 distal from the second end 16 includes a relatively small and preferably round-shaped protrusion 28 extending from the intermediate portion 26 toward the lateral surface of the elongated element 12. The distal tip of the small protrusion 28 defines the gap G and preferably is substantially in contact with the elongated element 12. hi an alternative form, the protrusions 28 may extend from the lateral surface of the elongated element 12 opposite the intermediate portion 26, and the distal tips of the protrusions are substantially in contact with the intermediate portions 26. Since the arms 20 are resilient, it is easy for a user to insert or remove the straps into or from the grasping spaces of the hooks through the entrances formed by the intermediate portions 24 and the elongated element 12.
FIG. 3 is a side view and FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the bag carrier 10. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, in one preferred embodiment, the elongated element 12, the handle 18, and the resilient arms 20 are constructed substantially in one plane. FIG. 5 shows the bag carrier 10 together with bags carried by the bag carrier 10. The bag carrier 10 is preferably made from light materials, for example, plastic, and is preferably constructed integrally as a unit.

h other preferred embodiments of the present invention, the bag carrier may include only one resilient arm 20 or a plurality of resilient arms 20 extending from the second end 16 of the elongated element 12.
While the arms are shown in the figures as "smoothly" curved, those arms in alternate embodiments may be composed of multiple straight segments that is Z-shaped, as shown in FIG. 6, or having some straight segments and some smooth curved segments, such structures are defined to be within the definition of "S-shaped".
While the preferred embodiments and method of use of the invention have been illustrated and described in some detail in the drawings and foregoing description, it should be understood that this description is made only by way of example to set forth the best mode contemplated of carrying out the invention and not as a limitation to the scope of the invention which is pointed out by the claims below.