REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This patent application relates to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/149,148, filed Feb. 2, 2009 in the name of Tonja Weed and follow up U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/239,264, filed Sep. 2, 2009, in the name of Tonja Weed, the entire disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
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The present invention relates generally to shopping bags used to simultaneously transport different types of items. The present invention specifically relates to a shopping bag system comprising a plurality of different types of bags.
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OF THE INVENTION
While grocery store products are displayed in an organized fashion and grocery lists are usually written in an organized fashion, the end result of the grocery experience is typically a disorganized collection of grocery bags that are randomly packed and therefore must be randomly unpacked. This leads to either multiple trips around the house and kitchen to place goods, or a total unpacking and reorganizing of objects before they can be placed efficiently. This current system also increases the risk of food spoilage as temperature sensitive items are hidden among nonperishable items until they are discovered at the end of the task, which may be delayed for various reasons. Furthermore, grocery bags (paper, plastic or reusable) are typically uniform in size and character despite an actual wide range of products bought at the grocery store.
What is desired is an organized and efficient system that removes the chaos from unpacking grocery bags. Such a system organizes the bought items as they are being packed into labeled and customized bags at the grocery store, so that the items can more efficiently be carried from the car into the house and then be placed directly at the ideal location for final unpacking.
This system is useful for persons who buy the majority of their groceries once every 7-14 days. This is typical for the modern family in a suburban household, where coupons, car transportation, and busy lifestyle promote buying in bulk. In fact, this grocery system encourages this type of shopping because it provides a more organized and efficient way to transport and unload groceries, which can be the worst part of the grocery shopping experience for the many shoppers who buy in bulk. Fewer trips to the grocery store and the use of this reusable grocery bag system also promote responsible environmental awareness and stewardship.
Prior art concerning grocery bag systems have been concerned with bag portability, or ease of carrying multiple bags into a shopping area, as well as aesthetics of the bags. Examples can be found in U.S. Patent Publication 2008/0199107 to Nicholson; U.S. Pat. No. 5,029,385 to Ledesma; U.S. Pat. No. 5,182,895 to Lugo; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,046,860 to Brennan.
In addition, there is a history of individual bags designed for transport of individual items. Reference is made to U.S. Pat. No. 560,469 to Butts and Griggs; U.S. Pat. No. 2,473,429 to Hinman; U.S. Pat. No. 4,542,826 to Adams; U.S. Pat. No. 5,813,445 to Christman; U.S. Pat. No. 6,152,202 to Magid; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,078,595 to Mittelman. However, there has not been a system of bags designed to accommodate specific groups of grocery items.
The goal of the invention is to organize and efficiently transport the items from the shopping center to the specific areas of the home in which the items are stored for later use. Specifically, multiple bags are labeled and customized to accommodate different groups of items.
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OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is directed to a system for organizing and holding articles, comprising a plurality of shopping bags, wherein each shopping bag comprises a storage compartment including first and second front and back pliable end panels connected to opposing third and fourth pliable side panels, wherein each of the panels has a top edge and a bottom edge, wherein the plurality of panels are connected at bottom edges to a pliable base panel, and a bag identifier including bag identification indicia; and a storage bag suitable for storing the plurality of shopping bags.
The present invention is further directed to a shopping bag for organizing and holding articles. The shopping bag includes a storage compartment which has first and second front and back pliable end panels connected to opposing third and fourth pliable side panels, wherein each of the panels has a top edge and a bottom edge, wherein the plurality of panels are connected at bottom edges to a pliable base panel. The panels include a fold line approximately midway between the top and bottom edges to allow folding of the shopping bag. The shopping bag further includes a bag identifier.
The present invention is also directed to a shopping bag system which comprises a plurality of shopping bags of different sizes and shapes and a storage bag. Each of the shopping bags include a storage compartment with first and second front and back pliable end panels connected to opposing third and fourth pliable side panels, wherein each of the panels has a top edge and a bottom edge, and wherein the plurality of panels are connected at bottom edges to a pliable base panel. Each panel may also include a fold line approximately midway between the top and bottom edges of the panels to allow folding of the shopping bag. The shopping bag also has a bag identifier selected from the group consisting of identifying labels, identifying index tags and identifying indicia on the bag. The shopping bags also preferably include a carrying handle dependant from the top edge of at least two panels and may include a divider for placement of fragile articles, wherein the divider is secured to the upper edges of the panels. Finally, the shopping bag may include a support board to assist in the integrity of the folded shopping bag.
The bagging system of the present invention identifies groups of grocery items and then attempts to tailor the design of each of the bags to the unique features of the particular groups of items.
The present invention provides a unique reusable shopping bag system that is useful for people who are shopping once every 7-14 days for the majority of their grocery needs. A grocery bag system in accordance with the present invention includes several different sizes and types of bags incorporated together into a labeled system, so that the consumer has the benefit of being able to keep different shopping items organized.
A shopping bag system in accordance with the present invention may be adapted and used for any type of shopping, but is particularly adapted for grocery shopping. The ability to keep different grocery items separated in a single bag system provides many advantages. For example, using a bag system in accordance with the present invention, it is easier to keep food kosher, to keep frozen foods from melting as well as perishable foods cold, and to keep fragile items from being crushed. Also, as the bagger at the grocery store follows the bag labels to direct item packing, the items are more efficiently fitted into the provided, customized bags.
A shopping bag system in accordance with the present invention includes multiple collapsible bags, any of which can be the bag into which the other bags are folded and stored. In addition, for the grocery bagger to easily review and choose the proper bag within the chosen storage bag, each individual bag can have labels or tags at the edges, so that in the storage position, each bag has an index tab. Alternatively, the fabric of the individual bags may pictorially correspond with the items for which it is intended. In this way, written labels may be omitted.
This invention\'s unique concern is the organization and efficiency of a bag system as it pertains to the items being carried. This system assumes the consumer will carry multiple bags into a grocery or other type shopping activity, and furthers that activity by giving immediate gratification with the shopping experience by providing an organized and efficient system that is superior to the disorganization and inefficiency of traditional disposable or reusable bags. This system is also uniquely concerned with the ease of use of such a system by the grocery bagger, in cases where the consumer uses a traditional checkout lane. Without such a system, the consumer must constantly direct the bagger as to how items should be organized and efficiently packed. However, with this unique system, the bagger can be self directed to review and appropriately choose the proper bag for the corresponding items
Further objects, features, and advantages of the invention will appear more fully from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention made in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
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FIG. 1A is a front plan view of one bag, termed a “tall” bag of the present invention.
FIG. 1B is a front plan view of the bag of FIG. 1A illustrated in folded, upright configuration for storage.
FIG. 2A is a front plan view of a second “wide” bag of the present invention.
FIG. 2B is a front plan view of the bag of FIG. 2A illustrated in folded, upright configuration for storage.
FIG. 3A is a front plan view of a third embodiment of a “small” bag of the present invention.
FIG. 3B is a front plan view of the bag of FIG. 3A illustrated in an inverted, upright configuration for storage.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the “tall” bag of FIG. 1A shown in use as a storage bag to hold other bags in the system of the present invention.
FIG. 5 is a front plan view of the “wide” bag of FIG. 2A shown in use to store other bags in the system of the present invention.
FIGS. 6 A-C are perspective views of the “small” bag, also illustrated in FIG. 3A, as used to store other bags in the system of the present invention.
FIGS. 7 A-D are perspective views of alternative embodiments of the “tall” bag illustrated in FIG. 1A.
FIGS. 8 A-D are perspective views of alternative embodiments of the “wide” bag illustrated in FIG. 1A.