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United States Patent Application 20170156461
Kind Code A1
Chaffee; Arthur Willard ;   et al. June 8, 2017

REUSABLE MULTI-ACCESS SHOPPING BAG APPARATUS

Abstract

A reusable multi-access shopping bag apparatus is presented. The invention relates to a reusable, flat fold, multipurpose bag that is usable for carrying groceries, shopping/carrying, restaurant take out, or carrying any other desired type of items. The bag includes one or more flaps with fasteners on one or more of the front wall, back wall or side walls. The multi-access opening provides for direct vertical or horizontal access to items inside the bag.


Inventors: Chaffee; Arthur Willard; (Glendale, CA) ; Cordry; Jami Denise; (Glendale, CA) ; Chorbajian; Vatche; (Glendale, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Chaffee; Arthur Willard
Cordry; Jami Denise
Chorbajian; Vatche

Glendale
Glendale
Glendale

CA
CA
CA

US
US
US
Family ID: 1000002489361
Appl. No.: 15/437834
Filed: February 21, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
14657895Mar 13, 2015
15437834

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A45C 3/04 20130101; B65D 31/06 20130101; B65D 33/04 20130101; A45C 2013/1015 20130101; B65D 33/25 20130101; A45C 13/103 20130101; A45C 13/1076 20130101; B65D 33/12 20130101
International Class: A45C 3/04 20060101 A45C003/04; A45C 13/10 20060101 A45C013/10; B65D 33/12 20060101 B65D033/12; B65D 33/25 20060101 B65D033/25; B65D 30/16 20060101 B65D030/16; B65D 33/04 20060101 B65D033/04

Claims



1. A reusable multi-access shopping bag comprising: a front wall, a first side wall, a back wall, and a second side wall, coupled to a bottom wall to form a compartment with an open top for access, wherein the bottom wall is hardened with plastic material; an opening to said compartment on the front wall, wherein the opening runs from the bottom wall and up towards the open top of the compartment; a flap coupled to the bottom wall and configured to fit and close said opening, wherein the flap is configured to lay substantially flat on the ground when fully opened such that movable items can be placed inside or removed from inside the bag without lifting; at least one fastener coupled to the flap and the front wall for securing the flap to the front wall thereby closing the opening; and a see-through window in said flap for viewing items in said compartment.

2. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 1, wherein said fastener is selected from a group consisting of zipper(s), hook and loop, snaps, buttons, pull string, and zip lock.

3. The reusable multi-access bag of claim 1, wherein said see-through window is plastic material.

4. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 1, wherein said see-through window is a mesh.

5. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 1, further comprising a second see-through window located on one of said first side wall, back wall, and second side wall.

6. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 1, further comprising a top wall to secure said open top.

7. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 1, wherein the back wall further comprises a second fastener for securing the bag in a stowed configuration.

8. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 1, wherein the front wall, the first side wall, the back wall, and the second side wall comprises polypropylene material.

9. A reusable multi-access shopping bag comprising: a front wall, a first side wall, a back wall, and a second side wall, coupled to a bottom wall to form a compartment with an open top for access; an opening to said compartment on the front wall, wherein the opening runs from the bottom wall and up towards the top of the compartment; a flap coupled to the bottom wall and configured to fit and close said opening, wherein the flap is configured to lay substantially flat on the ground when fully opened such that movable items can be placed inside or removed from inside the bag without lifting; at least one fastener coupled to the flap and the front wall for securing the flap to the front wall thereby closing the opening; and a see-through window in said flap for viewing items in said compartment.

10. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 9, wherein the front wall, the first side wall, the back wall, and the second side wall comprises polypropylene material.

11. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 10, wherein thickness of the polypropylene material allows the bag to stand up on its own for placing of said movable items.

12. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 10, wherein thickness of the polypropylene material is approximately 160.

13. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 9, wherein the bottom wall is hardened with plastic material.

14. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 13, wherein the bottom wall further comprises a plurality of legs configured to keep the bottom wall from the ground.

15. A reusable multi-access shopping bag comprising: a polypropylene bag with a front wall, a first side wall, a back wall, and a second side wall, coupled to a bottom wall to form a compartment with an open top for access, wherein the bottom wall is hardened; an opening to said compartment on the front wall, wherein the opening runs from the bottom wall and up towards the top of the compartment; a flap coupled to the bottom wall and configured to fit and close said opening, wherein the flap is configured to lay substantially flat on the ground when fully opened to allow movable items to be placed inside or removed from inside the bag without lifting; at least one fastener coupled to the flap and the front wall for securing the flap to the front wall thereby closing opening; and a see-through window in said flap for viewing items in said compartment.

16. The reusable multi-access shopping bag of claim 15, wherein the bottom wall further comprises a plurality of legs configured to keep the bottom wall from the ground.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application is a Continuation-In-Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/657,895, filed on Mar. 13, 2015, specification of which is herein incorporated by reference for completeness of disclosure.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Field of the Invention

[0003] Embodiments of the invention relates to the field of portable flexible containers. More specifically, the invention relates to a reusable shopping bag apparatus.

[0004] Description of the Related Art

[0005] There is no doubt that the manufacture and disposal of single use paper and plastic bags has a profoundly negative effect on our environment. One hundred billion paper and plastic bags go into landfills every year in the U.S. alone. When we are asked to choose between "paper or plastic?" Our enthusiastic answer should be "neither!"

[0006] Plastic bags contribute to litter and endanger wildlife. They are not biodegradable but photodegradable and this process can take hundreds of years. And though less energy is used in recycling plastic bags, it is frustratingly inconvenient to do so.

[0007] The manufacture of single use paper bags creates tremendous air and water pollution, consumes more fuel and water than even that of paper bags and produces large amounts of solid waste. It takes more energy to recycle paper than plastic and studies have shown that paper doesn't degrade that much faster than plastic.

[0008] Furthermore, hundreds of cities across America and worldwide have instated ordinances banning altogether or charging for single use bags. One would think that these reasons alone would spur the consumer to remember and use their reusable bags and totes. Alas, it doesn't seem to be enough as we regularly see shoppers utilizing vendor supplied single use bags.

[0009] This brings us to the subject of the importance of convenience. This invention contains unique features that will add to the ease, comfort and convenience of the shopper thereby motivating them to continually remember and use the multi-access bag system resulting in less pollution, the conservation of natural resources, wildlife preservation and a reduction of waste in landfills.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] One or more embodiments of the invention are directed a reusable multi-access bag apparatus. The invention relates to a reusable, flat fold, multipurpose bag that is usable for carrying groceries, shopping/carrying, restaurant take out, or carrying any other desired type of items. Conventional bags, e.g. shopping bags, tote bags, and carrying bags, only have an opening at the top for placing and removing items. In one or more embodiments of the invention, in addition to the conventional top opening further comprises one or more vertical and, or horizontal multi-access openings on one or more of the front wall, back wall or side walls. In one or more embodiments, the multi-access opening comprises a flap. The multi-access opening provides for direct vertical or horizontal access to items inside the bag thus eliminating having only access to reach down inside for placing and removing the items vertically from the top opening.

[0011] Items can be placed inside the shopping/carrying multi-access bag with the flap either open or closed. In addition to the multi-access flap, one or more embodiments of the invention further comprises a see-through viewing window on the front wall, back wall or side walls in order to view items inside to determine the level at which the multi-access flap can be opened to prevent the contents of the bag from spilling out.

[0012] In one or more embodiments, the flaps are secured by zippers. However, those of skill in the art would appreciate that different types of fasteners may be used for securing the multi-access flap to the bag that would provide secure opening and closing of the flap on the front wall, back wall or side walls of the multi-access bag systems. Also, the opening and closing of the multi-access flap may be collaborated with the see-through viewing window.

[0013] The multi-access flap will make removing items from the multi-access bag more efficient, timely and with less physical effort when compared to only having access from the top opening of a conventional bag system. Users of the multi-access flap bag systems will be more conscientious to remember to bring their bag(s) when shopping, knowing the convenience they receive when returning home to unpack their bag(s). And that this is helping to lessen the amount of vendor supplied paper and plastic bags into the environment while conserving resources.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The above and other aspects, features and advantages of the invention will be more apparent from the following more particular description thereof, presented in conjunction with the following Figures wherein:

[0015] FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag according to an aspect of the invention showing two fasteners on the front of the bag for securing the flap closed 1A, partially opened 1B and fully opened 1C, respectively.

[0016] FIGS. 2A, 2B and 2C are perspective views of a shopping/carrying multi-access bag with a see-through window according to an aspect of the invention showing the flap closed 2A, partially opened 2B and fully opened 2C, respectively.

[0017] FIGS. 2D-2F are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag of

[0018] FIGS. 2A-2C illustrating one way in which a user would place a heavy item in the bag.

[0019] FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C are perspective views of a shopping/carrying multi-access bag with a see-through window according to another aspect of the invention showing the flap closed 3A, partially opened 3B and fully opened 3C, respectively.

[0020] FIGS. 3D-3F are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag of

[0021] FIGS. 3A-3C illustrating one way in which a user would place a heavy item in the bag.

[0022] FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag according to an aspect of the invention showing two fasteners on the sides of the bag with the flap closed 4A, partially opened 4B and approximately fully opened 4C, respectively.

[0023] FIGS. 4D-4F are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag of

[0024] FIGS. 4A-4C illustrating one way in which a user would place a heavy item in the bag.

[0025] FIGS. 5A, 5B and 5C are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag according to an aspect of the invention showing four fasteners on the front, back and sides of the bag with the corner front and side flaps closed 5A, partially opened 5B and fully opened 5C, respectively.

[0026] FIGS. 6A, 6B and 6C are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag according to an aspect of the invention where there is no top access or top opening. The access is from two fasteners on the front of the bag with the flap closed 6A, partially opened 6B and fully opened 6C, respectively.

[0027] FIG. 7 is perspective view of the bottom wall of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention.

[0028] FIG. 8A is perspective view of the back side of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag showing stowage fasteners in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention.

[0029] FIG. 8B is perspective view of the back side of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag in the stowed configuration in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0030] The present invention comprising a reusable multi-access shopping bag apparatus will now be described. In the following exemplary description numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough understanding of embodiments of the invention. It will be apparent, however, to an artisan of ordinary skill that the present invention may be practiced without incorporating all aspects of the specific details described herein. Furthermore, although steps or processes are set forth in an exemplary order to provide an understanding of one or more systems and methods, the exemplary order is not meant to be limiting. One of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that the steps or processes may be performed in a different order, and that one or more steps or processes may be performed simultaneously or in multiple process flows without departing from the spirit or the scope of the invention. In other instances, specific features, quantities, or measurements well known to those of ordinary skill in the art have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the invention. Readers should note that although examples of the invention are set forth herein, the claims, and the full scope of any equivalents, are what define the metes and bounds of the invention.

[0031] For a better understanding of the disclosed embodiment, its operating advantages, and the specified object attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated exemplary disclosed embodiments. The disclosed embodiments are not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein. It is understood that various omissions and substitutions of equivalents are contemplated as circumstances may suggest or render expedient, but these are intended to cover the application or implementation.

[0032] The term "first", "second" and the like, herein do not denote any order, quantity or importance, but rather are used to distinguish one element from another, and the terms "a" and "an" herein do not denote a limitation of quantity, but rather denote the presence of at least one of the referenced item.

[0033] One or more embodiments of the present invention will now be described with references to accompanying FIGS. 1A through 6C.

[0034] The invention relates to reusable shopping/carrying bag systems which offer an efficient method of placing items into the bag systems, being able to view the items in the bag systems and taking items conveniently out of the bag systems. The invention is an improvement to existing conventional collapsible or foldable bag systems that may incorporate, in addition to the existing opening at the top of conventional bags, one or more multi-access flap openings to the front wall, back wall or side walls of the bag. The multi-access flap opening may be vertical or horizontal in configuration. The opening/access will make removing items from the multi-access bag system more efficient, timely and with less physical effort when compared to only having access from the top opening of a conventional bag. The multi-access bag can be filled with the multi-access flap either open or closed.

[0035] In addition to a multi-access flap, one or more embodiments of the multi-access bag may incorporate a see-through window(s) of plastic, mesh, netting or screen material on the front wall, back wall or side walls in order to view items inside to determine the level at which the multi-access flap openings can be opened while preventing spill out of the contents of the bag. The window will also allow for identifying the bag with the desired items that first need to be removed, i.e. frozen and refrigerated items.

[0036] One or more embodiments comprise fasteners for securing the multi-access flap. For instance, fasteners may include, but are not limited to, zipper(s), Velcro, snaps, buttons, pull string, zip lock for the opening and closing of the multi-access bag that would close and secure the multi-access flap openings on the front wall, back wall or side walls of the multi-access bag system. There are multiple ways in which the multi-access flap openings would be collaborated with the viewing window(s).

[0037] The multi-access bag systems can be of varying sizes suitable for carrying or storing items purchased including, but not limited to, groceries, clothing, restaurant take out and personal items. The shopping/carrying bag systems, when stored, may be collapsible or foldable into a flat and space minimizing form. Based on the shopping/carrying bag system features and designs, users will be more conscientious to remember to bring the shopping/carrying bag system when shopping/carrying based on the convenience provided thereby decreasing the number disposable paper and plastic bags disbursed by vendors.

[0038] An additional aspect of the invention is eliminating the top opening of a conventional bag where items are placed in the compartment through the front wall flap opening. This feature is beneficial to either hot or cold food items where heat or cold cannot escape through a top opening sealing the items inside. This vertical/horizontal placement is also helpful that the items placed or taken out are not compromised by potentially tipping and spilling. The fasteners of the flap would have additional interior coverage to assist in helping to keep items hot or cold as desired. Appropriate materials would be utilized in these bags to enhance the hot and cold benefits.

[0039] FIG. 1A is an illustration of a shopping/carrying bag 100 according in which the present invention is depicted. According to one aspect of the present invention, the shopping/carrying bag may be sized to hold multiple items. FIG. 1A is an illustration of shopping/carrying bag 100 comprising opposed front wall 22, back wall 24, and opposed side walls 26 and 28 joined with the front wall 22 and back wall 24, and a bottom wall 30 joined with the front wall 22, back wall 24 and side walls 26 and 28 that frames a compartment with top opening 32 for storage within. According to one aspect of the present invention, the dimensions of shopping/carrying bag 100 may be 13 inches wide, 15 inches tall, and 6 inches deep, although it is understood that shopping/carrying bag 100 is not limited to these dimensions.

[0040] Shopping/carrying bag 100 further comprises a set of handles 34 attached to either the opposed front and back walls 22 and 24 or side walls 26 and 28, or possibly constructed within the front wall 22 and side wall 26 and the back wall 24 and the opposed side wall 28 themselves. The set of handles 34 may be provided in different lengths (for example, but not limited to, 8 inches to 20 inches) to offer a choice of lengths to make carrying groceries more efficient and require less effort. According to one aspect of the invention, the shopping/carrying bag may contain two fasteners 38 and 40, creating a flap 42, where the fasteners 38 and 40 open from their tops to bottom, such as, but not limited to, zipper(s), Velcro, snaps, buttons, draw pull string or zip lock materials provided on the front 22 wall or a top close flap (not shown) which will allow the shopping/carrying bag to be closed. FIG. 1A s an embodiment of the invention comprising flap 42 with two fasteners 38 and 40 which meet at the top of the flap on the front wall 22.

[0041] FIG. 1B is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 100, as in FIG. 1A, with the fasteners 38 and 40 partially opened to place flap 42 in the partially opened position thus allowing partial access to the contents inside the shopping/carrying bag 100. Items inside the shopping/carrying bag 100 can be reached vertically/horizontally through the partially opened flap 42 to be removed. This relieves the physical access motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 100 opening 32.

[0042] FIG. 1C is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 100, as in FIG. 1A and 1B, with the fasteners 38 and 40 fully opened to place flap 42 in the fully opened position thus allowing full access to the contents inside the shopping/carrying bag 100. Items inside the shopping/carrying bag 100 can be reached vertically/horizontally through the fully opened flap 42 to be removed. This relieves the physical motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 100 opening 32.

[0043] FIG. 2A is an illustration of shopping/carrying bag 200 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. As illustrated, shopping/carrying bag 200 comprises front wall 202 and opposed back wall 204; right side wall 206 and opposed left side wall 208 coupled with the front wall 202 and back wall 204. Shopping bag 200 further comprises a bottom wall 210 coupled with the front wall 202, back wall 204 and side walls 206 and 208 thus framing a storage compartment with a top opening 230. The front wall 202 further comprises a front wall opening 240. The height of the front wall opening 240 runs for approximately two-thirds the height of the bag beginning at the bottom wall 210 and up towards the top of the bag. The width of the front wall opening 240 is less than the width of the front wall such that parts of the front wall remains on either side of the opening 240.

[0044] In one or more embodiments, the bottom wall 210 is hardened to prevent compression of the contents of the bag. For instance, the bottom wall could be hardened or reinforced with plastic or similar material. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the bottom wall 210 further comprises a plurality of legs, e.g. 701, on the backside to keep the bottom wall from touching the ground.

[0045] In one or more embodiments, the back wall 204 further comprises one or more fasteners, e.g. 801A/801B, coupled to the back wall 204, as illustrated in FIG. 8A, for securing the bag in a compact configuration for storage. Fastener 801A/801B can be hook and loop type fasteners for example. The fastener could also be buttons or any other suitable fastener for holding the bag in a compact configuration for stowing, as illustrated in FIG. 8B.

[0046] In one or more embodiments of the present invention, the dimensions of shopping/carrying bag 200 may be between 6 and 20 inches in width, 3 and 12 inches in depth, and 12 and 30 inches in height. Preferably, shopping/carrying bag 200 is approximately 14 inches in width, approximately 16 inches height, and approximately 6 inches depth, although it should be understood that shopping/carrying bag 200 is not limited to these dimensions. In addition, the shopping/carrying bag 200 may be made of polypropylene material or similar material for sturdiness. In one or more embodiments, the material comprises approximately 160 grams per square meter polypropylene, which keeps the bag light, but sturdy.

[0047] Shopping/carrying bag 200 further comprises a flap 242 that covers the front wall opening 240. Flap 242 further comprises a see-through window 244 that is incorporated into the flap 242. In one or more embodiments, the see-through window 244 is approximately the size of the flap. The see-through window may consist of, but not limited to, plastic, mesh, netting or screen materials in the flap 242. A multitude of alternative designs could be applied where the see-through window 244 could be placed in other areas (not shown) of the front wall 202. The see-through window allows viewing of the items contained in the shopping/carrying bag 200, which could function as an indicator of the contents of the bag, for example, to determine what level a user can open the flap 242 before any item in the bag will spill out unintentionally.

[0048] In one or more embodiments, flap 242 is coupled to the bottom wall 210, and as illustrated in FIGS. 2D-2F, when fully open, a user can roll/push an item, e.g. watermelon 10, into the opening 240. Thus, in this configuration, a user, e.g. an infirm person, need not lift the item to place it into the bag. Thus, front wall opening 240 serves as an easy access port and a convenient way to load the bag, without having to lift the item into the bag.

[0049] In one or more embodiments of the invention, the shopping/carrying bag 200 may contain one or more fasteners, e.g. 246 and 248, for securing flap 242 to front wall 202. As illustrated, fasteners 246 and 248 may be configured to open from top to bottom. The fasteners may be zippers (as illustrated), hook and loop, snaps, buttons, draw pull string or zip lock materials provided on the front 202 wall or a top close flap (not shown) which will allow the shopping/carrying bag to be closed. FIG. 2A s an embodiment of the invention comprising flap 242 with two fasteners 246 and 248 which meet at the top to secure the flap 240 to the front wall 202.

[0050] Shopping/carrying bag 200 further comprises a set of handles 260 attached to either the opposed front and back walls 202 and 204 or side walls 206 and 208, or possibly constructed within the front wall 202 and side wall 206 and the back wall 204 and the opposed side wall 208 themselves. The set of handles 260 may be provided in different lengths (for example, but not limited to, 8 inches to 20 inches) to offer a choice of lengths to make carrying groceries more efficient and require less effort. In one or more embodiments, the handle includes one or more button 270 and buttonhole 271 for adjusting the length of the handle.

[0051] FIG. 2B is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 200, as in FIG. 2A, with the fasteners 246 and 248 partially opened to place flap 240 with see-through window 244 in the partially opened position to a level that may prevent spill out of the contents of the bag. Items can be placed inside or removed from the shopping/carrying bag 200 through the partially opened flap 242. This relieves the physical access motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 200 through top opening 230.

[0052] FIG. 2C is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 200, as in FIG. 2A and 2B, with the fasteners 246 and 248 fully opened to place the flap 242 with see-through window 244 fully opened. Items can be placed inside or removed from the shopping/carrying bag 200 through front wall opening 240 with the flap 242 fully opened. This relieves the physical access motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 200 through top opening 230.

[0053] FIGS. 2D-2F are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag 200 illustrating one way in which a user would place a heavy item in the bag. As illustrated, a user can place an item, e.g. watermelon 10, into the bag by fully unfastening the flap 242 of the front wall opening 240 (FIG. 2D). As illustrated, when fully opened, the flap 242 lays flat on the ground. The user can then roll the item, e.g. watermelon 10, onto the flap and into the internal compartment (FIG. 2E), and finally securing the fastener to the front wall (FIG. 2F). Thus, embodiments of the invention eases the task of shopping, especially for elderly or infirm persons, by making it unnecessary to lift the item to get it into or out of the shopping bag 200.

[0054] FIG. 3A is an illustration of shopping/carrying bag 300 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. As illustrated, shopping/carrying bag 300 comprises front wall 302 and opposed back wall 304; right side wall 306 and opposed left side wall 308 coupled with the front wall 302 and back wall 304. Shopping bag 300 further comprises a bottom wall 310 coupled with the front wall 302, back wall 304 and side walls 306 and 308 thus framing a storage compartment with a top opening 330. The front wall 302 further comprises a front wall opening 340, which runs from the top of the front wall to approximately the bottom wall 310 and the left side wall 308.

[0055] In one or more embodiments, the bottom wall, e.g. 310, is hardened to prevent compression of the contents of the bag. For instance, the bottom wall could be hardened or reinforced with plastic or similar material. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the bottom wall may further comprise a plurality of legs, e.g. 701, on the backside to keep the bottom wall from touching the ground.

[0056] In one or more embodiments, the back wall, e.g. 304, further comprises one or more fasteners, e.g. 801A/801B, coupled to the back wall, as illustrated in FIG. 8A, for securing the bag in a compact configuration for storage. Fastener 801A/801B can be hook and loop type fasteners for example. The fastener could also be buttons or any other suitable fastener for holding the bag in a compact configuration for stowing, as illustrated in FIG. 8B.

[0057] In one or more embodiments of the present invention, the dimensions of shopping/carrying bag 300 may be between 6 and 20 inches in width, 3 and 12 inches in depth, and 12 and 30 inches in height. Preferably, shopping/carrying bag 300 is approximately 14 inches in width, approximately 16 inches height, and approximately 6 inches depth, although it should be understood that shopping/carrying bag 300 is not limited to these dimensions. In addition, the shopping/carrying bag 300 may be made of polypropylene material or similar material for sturdiness. In one or more embodiments, the material comprises approximately 160 grams per square meter polypropylene, which keeps the bag light, but sturdy.

[0058] Shopping/carrying bag 300 further comprises a flap 342 that covers the front wall opening 340. Flap 342 further comprises a see-through window 344 that is approximately in the middle of the flap 342. The see-through window may consist of, but not limited to, plastic, mesh, netting or screen materials in the flap 342. A multitude of alternative designs could be applied where the see-through window 344 could be placed in other areas (not shown) of the front wall 302. The see-through window allows viewing of the items contained in the shopping/carrying bag 300, which could function as an indicator of the contents of the bag, for example, to determine what level a user can open the flap 342 before any item in the bag will spill out unintentionally.

[0059] In one or more embodiments, flap 342 is coupled to the left side wall 308, and as illustrated in FIGS. 3D-3F, when fully open, a user can roll/push an item, e.g. watermelon 10, into the opening 340. Thus, in this configuration, a user, e.g. an infirm person, need not lift the item to place it into the bag. Thus, front wall opening 340 serves as an easy access port and a convenient way to load the bag, without having to lift the item into the bag.

[0060] In one or more embodiments of the invention, the shopping/carrying bag 300 may contain one or more fastener, e.g. 348, for securing flap 342 to front wall 302. As illustrated, fastener 348 may be configured to open from top to bottom. The fastener may be a zipper (as illustrated), hook and loop, snaps, buttons, draw pull string or zip lock materials provided on the front 302 wall or a top close flap (not shown) which will allow the shopping/carrying bag to be closed. FIG. 3A s an embodiment of the invention comprising flap 342 with a fastener 348 to secure the flap 340 to the front wall 302.

[0061] Shopping/carrying bag 300 further comprises a set of handles 360 attached to either the opposed front and back walls 302 and 304 or side walls 306 and 308, or possibly constructed within the front wall 302 and side wall 306 and the back wall 304 and the opposed side wall 308 themselves. The set of handles 360 may be provided in different lengths (for example, but not limited to, 8 inches to 30 inches) to offer a choice of lengths to make carrying groceries more efficient and require less effort. In one or more embodiments, the handle includes one or more button 370 and buttonhole 371 for adjusting the length of the handle.

[0062] FIG. 3B is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 300, as in FIG. 3A, with the fasteners 346 and 348 partially opened to place flap 340 with see-through window 344 in the partially opened position to a level that may prevent spill out of the contents of the bag. Items can be placed inside or removed from the shopping/carrying bag 300 through the partially opened flap 342. This relieves the physical access motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 300 through top opening 330.

[0063] FIG. 3C is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 300, as in FIG. 3A and 3B, with the fasteners 346 and 348 fully opened to place the flap 342 with see-through window 344 fully opened. Items can be placed inside or removed from the shopping/carrying bag 300 through front wall opening 340 with the flap 342 fully opened. This relieves the physical access motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 300 through top opening 330.

[0064] FIGS. 3D-3F are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag 300 illustrating one way in which a user would place a heavy item in the bag. As illustrated, a user can place an item, e.g. watermelon 10, into the bag by fully unfastening the flap 342 of the front wall opening 340 (FIG. 3D). As illustrated, when fully opened, the flap 342 moves away to the side. The user can then roll the item, e.g. watermelon 10, into the internal compartment (FIG. 3E), and finally secure the fastener to the front wall (FIG. 3F). Thus, embodiments of the invention eases the task of shopping, especially for elderly or infirm persons, by making it unnecessary to lift the item to get it into or out of the shopping bag 300.

[0065] FIG. 4A is an illustration of shopping/carrying bag 400 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. As illustrated, shopping/carrying bag 400 comprises front wall 402 and opposed back wall 404; right side wall 406 and opposed left side wall 408 coupled with the front wall 402 and back wall 404. Shopping bag 400 further comprises a bottom wall 410 coupled with the front wall 402, back wall 404 and side walls 406 and 408 thus framing a storage compartment with a top opening 430.

[0066] In one or more embodiments, the bottom wall, e.g. 410, is hardened to prevent compression of the contents of the bag. For instance, the bottom wall could be hardened or reinforced with plastic or similar material. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the bottom wall may further comprise a plurality of legs, e.g. 701, on the backside to keep the bottom wall from touching the ground.

[0067] In one or more embodiments, the back wall, e.g. 404, further comprises one or more fasteners, e.g. 801A/801B, coupled to the back wall, as illustrated in FIG. 8A, for securing the bag in a compact configuration for storage. Fastener 801A/801B can be hook and loop type fasteners for example. The fastener could also be buttons or any other suitable fastener for holding the bag in a compact configuration for stowing, as illustrated in FIG. 8B.

[0068] In one or more embodiments of the present invention, the dimensions of shopping/carrying bag 400 may be between 6 and 20 inches in width, 4 and 12 inches in depth, and 12 and 40 inches in height. Preferably, shopping/carrying bag 400 is approximately 14 inches in width, approximately 16 inches height, and approximately 6 inches depth, although it should be understood that shopping/carrying bag 400 is not limited to these dimensions. In addition, the shopping/carrying bag 400 may be made of polypropylene material or similar material for sturdiness. In one or more embodiments, the material comprises approximately 160 grams per square meter polypropylene, which keeps the bag light, but sturdy.

[0069] In one or more embodiments of shopping/carrying bag 400, the side walls 206 and 408 each is divided by a vertical fastener 446 and 448, respectively, which open from top of the shopping/carrying bag to near bottom. Shopping/carrying bag 400 further comprises a see-through window 444 that is approximately in the middle of front wall 402. The see-through window may consist of, but not limited to, plastic, mesh, netting or screen materials. A multitude of alternative designs could be applied where the see-through window 444 could be placed in other areas (not shown) of the front wall 402. The see-through window allows viewing of the items contained in the shopping/carrying bag 400, which could function as an indicator of the contents of the bag, for example, to determine what level a user can open the fasteners, e.g. 446 and 448, before any item in the bag will spill out unintentionally.

[0070] In one or more embodiments, the fasteners 446 and 448 are configured such that when fully open, a user can roll/push an item, e.g. watermelon 10, into the internal compartment of the bag. Thus, in this configuration, a user, e.g. an infirm person, need not lift the item to place it into the bag. Thus, the side fasteners serve as a convenient way to load and unload the bag, without having to lift the item into the bag.

[0071] The fastener may be a zipper (as illustrated), hook and loop, snaps, buttons, draw pull string or zip lock materials provided on the front 402 wall or a top close flap (not shown) which will allow the shopping/carrying bag to be closed. FIG. 4A s an embodiment of the invention comprising flap 442 with a fastener 448 to secure the flap 440 to the front wall 402.

[0072] Shopping/carrying bag 400 further comprises a set of handles 460 attached to either the opposed front and back walls 402 and 404 or side walls 406 and 408, or possibly constructed within the front wall 402 and side wall 406 and the back wall 404 and the opposed side wall 408 themselves. The set of handles 460 may be provided in different lengths (for example, but not limited to, 8 inches to 40 inches) to offer a choice of lengths to make carrying groceries more efficient and require less effort. In one or more embodiments, the handle includes one or more button 470 and buttonhole 471 for adjusting the length of the handle.

[0073] FIG. 4B is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 400, as in FIG. 4A, with the fasteners 446 and 448 partially opened to place the sidewalls in the partially opened position to a level that may prevent spill out of the contents of the bag. Items can be placed inside or removed from the shopping/carrying bag 400 through the partially split side walls by minimally lifting the item. This relieves the physical access motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 400 through top opening 430.

[0074] FIG. 4C is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 400, as in FIG. 4A and 4B, with the fasteners 446 and 448 fully opened to place the side walls in a fully opened position. Items can be placed inside or removed from the shopping/carrying bag 400 because the fully split side walls fully exposes the inside of the bag. This relieves the physical access motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 400 through top opening 430.

[0075] FIGS. 4D-4F are perspective views of the shopping/carrying multi-access bag 400 illustrating one way in which a user would place a heavy item in the bag. As illustrated, a user can place an item, e.g. watermelon 10, into the bag by fully unfastening the side walls (FIG. 4D). As illustrated, when fully opened, each half of the bag lays on the ground. The user can then roll the item, e.g. watermelon 10, into the internal compartment (FIG. 4E), and finally securing the side wall fasteners (FIG. 4F). Thus, embodiments of the invention eases the task of shopping, especially for elderly or infirm persons, by making it unnecessary to lift the item to get it into or out of the shopping bag 400.

[0076] FIG. 5A is an illustration of shopping/carrying bag 500 in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 5A presents an additional design/feature of the invention where the front wall 22, back wall 28 and side walls 26 and 28 each contain vertical fasteners 86, 88, 82 and 84, respectively, which open from top of the shopping/carrying bag to the near bottom. The additional design/feature may contain a see-through window(s) (not shown) on either the front wall 22, back wall 24 or on side walls 26 and 28 or a combination of windows on the walls 22, 24, 26 and 28 that are of the same various materials as in shopping/carrying bag 200 in FIG. 2A and 300 FIG. 3A. A multitude of alternative designs could be applied where the see-through windows could be in other areas (not shown) of the front wall 22 or back wall 24. The see-through window allows viewing of the items contained in the shopping/carrying bag 500 which helps to determine what level to open the fastener 82 to not allow the contents to spill out.

[0077] FIG. 5B is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 500, as in FIG. 5A, with the fasteners 82, 84, 86 and 88 available allowing for choices of which wall fasteners would be opened. FIG. 5B is an illustration with the front wall 22 and side wall 26 partially open via the fasteners 86 and 82 to a level such that the contents may not spill out. Items inside the shopping/carrying bag 500 can be reached vertically/horizontally through the partial opening for removing items. This relieves the physical motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 500 top opening 32.

[0078] FIG. 5C is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 500, as in FIG. 5A and 5B, with the fasteners 82 and 86 fully opened which fully exposes carried items in shopping/carrying bag 500. Items inside the shopping/carrying bag 400 can now be easily be reached and removed through the full opening 92. This relieves the physical motion of having to reach down inside and back up and out of the shopping/carrying bag 500 top opening 32.

[0079] FIG. 6A is an illustration of shopping/carrying bag 600 in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6A is an embodiment similar to the configuration of bag 100 in FIG. 1A but with the top of the bag closed. Thus, as illustrated, the multi-access bag in one or more embodiments of the present invention further comprises a top wall 94. In this configuration, access is only available through a front wall flap 42. A see-through window (not shown), but shown in FIG. 2B may be incorporated into the flap 42. The see-through window may consist of, but not limited to, plastic, mesh, netting or screen materials in the flap 42. A multitude of alternative designs could be applied where the see-through window (not shown) could be in other areas (not shown) of the front wall 22. The see-through window allows viewing of the items contained in the shopping/carrying bag 600 which helps to determine what level to open the flap 42 to prevent spill out of contents of the bag.

[0080] FIG. 6B is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 600, as in FIG. 6A, with the fasteners 38 and 40 partially opened thus placing the flap 42 in the partially opened position to a level which will prevent spill out of the contents of the bag. Items inside the shopping/carrying bag 600 can be reached vertically/horizontally through the partially opened flap 42 to be removed.

[0081] FIG. 6C is an illustration of the shopping/carrying bag 600, as in FIG. 6A and 6B, with the fasteners 38 and 40 fully opened thus placing the flap 42 in the fully opened position. In this position, items inside the shopping/carrying bag 600 can be reached vertically/horizontally through the fully opened flap 46 to be removed.

[0082] While the invention herein disclosed has been described by means of specific embodiments and applications thereof, numerous modifications and variations could be made thereto by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention set forth in the claims.

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