Patent application title: Case to hold and transport a ball-launcher for dogs
Seth Yin Pao Swenson (San Francisco, CA, US)
Jennifer May Swenson (San Francisco, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA45F314FI
Class name: Package and article carriers carried by animate bearer flaccid attaching means looped around neck or crossing shoulder
Publication date: 2012-05-03
Patent application number: 20120104060
One embodiment of the carrying case for a ball-launcher for dogs is the
carrying case 5 holds ball-launcher 12 where ball-launcher 12 is able to
be retrieved through the carry case-opening 6. The carrying case 5 can be
transported using strap 1. The ball-launcher 12 illustrated in phantom
for illustrative purposes there on indicated. Other embodiments are
described and shown.
1. A carrying case worn by humans for ball launcher used to exercise a
dog comprising: (a) a container having a first, a second and a third part
made from flexible material, and (b) said first part comprising of a
plurality of predetermined panels made from flexible material having a
substantially longer length than width having the means for securing
elongated and spherical sports equipment for dogs thereon, and (c) said
first part panels having a plurality of pockets, and (d) the second part
allowing a sealable opening that separates panels from the first part
that extends from the top edge to the horizontal bottom edge, and (e) the
third part acting as an adjustable strap which allows the means for
carrying the container by a human, whereby said first, second and third
parts secure elongated and spherical ball launcher equipment for dogs to
be transported by a human.
2. A carrying case worn by humans for ball launcher used to exercise dogs in accordance with claim 1 wherein the case holds a ball launcher with elongated handle used to throw a ball to exercise the dog comprising: (a) said container panels cover the length of the elongated shaft of the ball-launcher and the ball, and (b) said container panels have a top edge and a horizontal edge, and (c) said container panels are formed of front and rear walls interconnected with side and bottom walls to define a compartment, said container further having a an open top and a bottom, and (d) said container panels allows a predetermined segment of the ball launcher shaft to protrude with reasonable length out of top edge, and (e) said top edges of all panels combined create an opening encapsulated by top edge of container, and (f) said top edge of panels can be straight or curved, and (g) said top edge of panels can have a fastener, buckle, drawstring, flap, and (h) said panels are stitched to the peripheral edges together.
3. A carrying case worn by humans for sports equipment used to exercise the dog of claim 1 wherein the sealable opening that separates panels comprises: (a) a zipper means comprising cooperating zipper halves located vertically from the top edge of heretofore panels to horizontal bottom edge, and (b) a zipper means that can be duplicated using hook and loop, drawstrings, snaps and magnets, and (c) said zipper means are stitched to heretofore panels, and (d) a sealable opening that separates at the bottom edge of said container panels with adequate space to remove the ball launcher from the side of container, and (e) a sealable opening that locks at the top edge.
5. A carrying case worn by humans for sports equipment used to exercise the dog in accordance with claim 1 with a connecting strap comprising: (a) a strap means connected to the top edges of panels sides of predetermined length to create an arc for a human to carry on shoulder vertically, diagonally and across the back, and (b) the strap to be adjusted in length by a buckle, (c) the strap to be connected to the top edge, and (d) the strap to be connected to the horizontal bottom edge, and (e) the strap to be connected to both the top edge and horizontal bottom edge, and (f) the strap can be connected to top edge and bottom edge by sewing edge of strap to edge of fabric, and (g) the strap can be connected to top edge and bottom edge in combination with a buckle, side release, hook and plurality of fasteners, and (h) the strap can be removed from top edge and bottom edge in combination with a buckle, side release, hook and plurality of fasteners.
5. A method of carrying a ball-launcher in accordance with claim 1 comprising the steps of: (a) inserting ball launcher into said container by handle vertical into opening encapsulated by top edge of container, and (b) draping said strap over shoulder vertically with the option to drape it diagonally, and (c) urging zipper means of said opening downward to unfasten container from top edge to horizontal bottom edge, and (d) releasing ball launcher through said opening by pulling handle in an arc away from body, and (e) refastening opening by urging zipper means upward to close container from horizontal bottom edge to top edge, whereby said method of carrying a ball launcher can operate with said opening un fastened or fastened.
Cross-Reference to Related Applications:
 This application claims the benefit of PPA Ser. No. 61/456,018, filed 2010 Oct. 30 by the present inventors, which is incorporated by reference.
 1. Field
 This application relates to a carrying case to hold and transport a ball-launcher for dogs, specifically for human use as an aid for pedestrian and animal safety.
 2. Prior Art
 There are currently no carrying cases manufactured specifically to hold and transport a ball-launcher for dogs. A ball-launcher is typically a handheld device with a handle 13'' to 26'' long with a half-spherical structure attached to its distal end to hold balls generally the size of standard tennis balls. We consider ball-launchers for dogs sports equipment, and just as a tennis racket or bowling ball is contained during transportation, the ball-launcher also could benefit from a travel case. The following are elongated carrying cases on the market used to carry objects that do not meet the criteria of the specific needs and dimensions of a ball-launcher.  1. Bottle Holder by Wasserman: Ornamental design patent Aug. 1994 Pat. No. 349,190  2. Fishing Rod Carry Bag by Randy Duncan, Utility Patent May 24, 2007 Patent #0113463 A1  3. Snap top tote apparatus by John R Swartz, Utility Patent Jul. 13, 2006 Patent #0151507A1  4. Baseball/Softball equipment bag by Michael Speck, Utility Patent Jan. 4, 2000 U.S. Pat. No. 6,009,995  5. Bottle Carrier by Maggie Haigis, Design Patent Sep. 17, 1996 Pat. No. D373678  6. Bottle holder with attachments by Victoria Forster May 22, 2003 Pat. No. D474887
 Rebuttals to all of the above:
 1, 5, 6 all bottle design patents. Whether a water bottle or a wine bottle these designs are tailored to create a unique design specific to holding water or wine bottles only.
 This means that:  a. They are not meant to hold objects which are not filled with fluid.  b. They are not meant to hold objects larger than a wine bottle or water bottle since larger in length objects would tip over and either fall out of the bag or become unruly and dangerous i.e. the object could catch on something and hurt the person carrying it or the object could catch on a passerby thus hurting the passerby.  c. The present embodiment dimensions could potentially hold a wine bottle but the bottle patents could not successfully hold or carry a ball-launcher apparatus.  d. The present embodiment is designed to hold a device which is much longer than the wine bottle. Since a ball-launcher is longer than a wine bottle, it is only wearable in our bag due to the lightness of the device. A bottle that was as long as a ball-launcher would be too heavy and cumbersome to carry on outings. It would put too much physical stress on the bag and the person. This is why the present embodiment is not obvious, i.e. it is not obvious that a wine bag would be used for a ball launcher with a long handle. Our large bag is 2.5 times as long as a wine bag.
 2, 3, 4 are all specific to objects and their respective dimensions that they carry.
 #2 is a fishing rod bag. Not meant to be worn, it is meant to be carried like a suitcase. The dimensions of a fishing rod are different than a ball launcher and typically the rod is broken down into 3 pieces unlike a ball-launcher which is simply one unit. The fishing rod bag opens and closes with a zipper and is meant to enclose the contents completely unlike our ball-launcher bag which has an open top with or without a fastener.
 #3 is a snap top tote apparatus. This embodiment is unclear as to what the contents will be. The tote is not long enough to properly contain a ball-launcher's long handle. It also does not have an opening down the length of the tote to allow access to the bottom.
 #4 is a baseball/softball equipment bag. This embodiment's focus is on its ability to be hung up on a fence at a baseball park. The dimensions are not meant to be worn over the shoulder or back and the contents would be too heavy and too long to be worn without hurting the person wearing it.
 The carrying case to hold and transport a ball-launcher for dogs can create a freed hand(s) solution for humans to carry dog toys, specifically a ball-launcher from one location to another. A ball-launcher is typically a device with a handle 13'' to 26'' long with a half-spherical structure attached to its distal end to hold balls generally the size of standard tennis balls.
 There have been no attempts to make a specific bag to hold and transport a ball-launcher for dogs.
 Our carrying case to hold and transport a ball-launcher for dogs is a freed hand(s) solution for a human to carry the ball-launcher and the ball(s) in a carrying case with an attached flexible shoulder strap, where said carrying case is deep enough to hold the ball-launcher and the ball without falling out. The walls of the carrying case are made out of durable fabric, solid or mesh, and includes an opening that extends from the top edge of the carrying case to the base of the carrying case that can be secured by an interlocking device as well as an open-top edge of the carrying case allowing the grip of a ball-launcher to safely protrude outward enabling the user to easily access the cumbersome handle which is typically 13'' to 26'' long. The carrying case has a length longer than its width and depth. The base is a piece affixed so that the distal end of the ball-launcher and a ball are able to be stored in carrying case. The carrying case can be secured on the top with a fastener that would connect the front and back side of the carrying case. A plurality of pockets, inside or outside of the carrying case, made out of mesh or solid fabric are added for the user to carry keys, waste bags and treats.
 Our carrying case solves a key safety problem of walking a dog on leash and carrying a ball-launcher. Ball-launchers by design are meant to be taken to large spaces outdoors for a dog to run long distances. Because of this, the user must either walk or take some form of transportation to get to these spaces. The user then must hold a leash in one hand and the ball-launcher in the other hand. This is not a safe combination. There are many hazards walking a dog, for instance, crossing the street or run-ins with other dogs, skateboards, squirrels, and more can place all parties in jeopardy. If the user has only one hand to cope with the multitude of distractions of walking a dog then this is a safety issue. When the user enters an off leash area to use the ball-launcher, the carrying case is helpful to hold the leash, extra toys, and a fast way to replace the ball-launcher if another dog or hazard comes along. Our carrying case solves this problem.
 There are many ball-launchers on the market, the most popular ball-launcher is called the Chuckit!. The Chuckit!, U.S. Pat. No. 6,076,829, is a plastic device with a long handle and an ice-cream scoop end to hold various sized balls. The user applies pressure to the handle to either pick up or launch the ball for a dog to play catch. There are no cases, bags, containers, devices, belts, fanny-packs or anything otherwise specifically related to transporting a Chuckit! or a ball-launcher manufactured on the market. There are also no patents that we the inventors could source at this time made for this product.
 The Chuckit! is an invention that is proven successful in the marketplace, an article written in 2002 the Seattle Post Intelligencer Reporter estimated that 400,000 Chuckit!'s will be produced that year. We have seen Chuckit!s in every major retailer that sells dog toys, it has become a standard for dog pet owners who have athletic animals. We the inventors use the Chuckit! and have learned that a carrying case to carry this device would enhance the product. After careful consideration and testing of other bags on the market, we have found them not specific enough to transport a Chuckit! or alternative ball-launcher ergonomically. We feel that this carrying case for a ball-launcher for dogs is an entirely new need in the market place making our carrying case unique, novel, and non-obvious.
 When it is easier to use a product that is already proven successful in the marketplace then more ball-launchers will be sold and manufactured and thusly more dogs will get the exercise they need in a safe environment. This is a win-win for all business parties to increase sales and provide consumers with more incentives to buy outdoor toys for their dogs.
 At the present date the inventors have not found an item related to carrying a ball-launcher for dogs. The company who makes Chuckit! does not manufacture one, their inventor does not have a patent in progress for one and the big box retailers do not have any examples of a carrying case to carry a ball-launcher.
 In most states there is a leash law to transport dogs, this means a person has to carry the ball-launcher in one hand and the dog in the other, we the inventors feel that this is a hazard and we have designed a bag suitable to carry ball-launchers hand(s) free in the safest format.
 A continuing benefit of the bag is that it provides a place at home for the user to store the ball-launcher by hanging it up by the strap in a contained place that is easy to access. Many users just throw the ball-launcher in the corner, this may result in the dog either stealing the ball, or the ball-launcher drifting into the hallway and causing a hazard.
 Added benefits that make our carrying case to hold and transport a ball-launcher for dogs different than other generic bags on the market is that it is deep enough to hold the ball launcher without falling out. The open top allows ventilation for the day to day use of a ball or tennis ball that gets wet from the drool of a dog's mouth or from any indoor or outdoor water source. This does not eliminate the use of a fastener to secure the top with a fastener, buckle drawstring or flap. High tech fabric and the use of mesh on side panels is another option to ventilate the carrying case. The opening at the side makes for easy access, especially for people who have limited arm rotation ability; the person can open the side of the carrying case without raising their arm over their head. A bag without an opening from the top-edge to bottom is not ergonomic to pull out a handle 13'' to 26'' long. The other benefit of said opening is that it makes the case easy to clean out dirt, rocks, treats and other pet debris.
 Other products that could be related to this embodiment are gun cases, archery quivers, golf bags and wine bottle bags which are all elongated bags to secure their accessories, but none provide the unique solution of transporting a ball launcher. We consider the Chuckit! and ball-launchers sports equipment for dogs and just as a tennis racket or bowling ball needs to be transported, the ball-launcher also could benefit from a travel case.
 We the inventors have tested bags in the marketplace and have found them inefficient. Our testing of a bottle holder bag, which is a bag with a shoulder strap to hold a bottle of water was not deep enough to hold the ball-launcher, it became top heavy because the handle of the elongated ball-launcher extended above the top edge of the bag disproportionally and bag tilted from the points where the straps were attached to the top edge of the bag forcing the ball-launcher to hang naturally horizontally making it dangerous when walking in public because it caused the handle to protrude in a hazardous direction. A bottle bag holder is typically 8 inches deep, our bag at the minimum is 15 inches deep for the 13 inch ball-launcher and 22 inches deep for the 26 inch long ball-launcher.
 We also tested wine bags which are typically 13''×4''×4'' and made too snug a fit. The Chuckit! again was too long and became top heavy in the wine bags. Our bag's width is longer than 4 inches and its length is not equal, making the bottom of the bag a rectangle not a square shape, however the bottom could also be a circle or oval. The other difference between our carrying case and a wine or bottle bag is that our carrying case is deeper, has an opening from the top to bottom and is made specifically to hold a ball-launcher as well as other products for dogs, for instance dog waste bags, dog treats, keys and other items one uses to exercise their dog.
 Our embodiment can be manufactured in the textile industry by anyone versed in the art using easily to find fabric that is durable and fashionable, with a variety of clips, fasteners and buckles as well as zippers, hook-n-loop and snaps in a variety of colors. There is a wide range of alternative ways of attaching hooks and side release buckles to the top and bottom of the elongated carrying case so the user can wear the finished embodiment at the hip or wear it as a back-pack.
 We tested back-packs to carry the ball but the top of the ball-launcher stuck out of the top, again another hazard, and the zipper on the side of the bag would slowly loosen because it does not lock at the top and the ball-launcher handle would slip again protruding outward in away that would stick someone in the eye.
 One embodiment, but not limited to, of the carrying case to hold and transport a ball-launcher for dogs is that it provides a carrying case deep enough to hold the ball-launcher so that the user can have more control over their dog while transporting the ball-launcher from home and vehicle to the park, beach or other outdoor space. Because our embodiment is making it safer and easier to hold and transport a ball-launcher the user is more likely to take the ball-launcher with them and thus the dog will get more exercise creating a healthier lifestyle for both parties.
 In accordance with one embodiment, a carrying case to hold and transport a ball-launcher comprises an open top fabric case with a length longer than its width and an opening that can be secured by an interlocking device that starts from the top edge to the bottom edge.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 A perspective view showing the front of a person using the carrying case with square top on hip holding grip of ball-launcher through carrying case opening. The ball-launcher illustrated in phantom for illustrative purposes there on indicated.
 FIG. 2 Sectional view of carrying case with square top with ball-launcher.
 FIG. 3 Perspective front view of carrying case with square top.
 FIG. 4 Perspective back view of carrying case with square top.
 FIG. 5 Perspective front view of carrying case with square top carrying case-opening opened from top to base.
 FIG. 6 Bottom of carrying case with square top.
 FIG. 7 Top perspective looking inside of carrying case with square top.
 FIG. 8 Front view of carrying case with rounded top showing the back of a person wearing it on back and holding leash, allowing free hand for safety.
 FIG. 9 Front view of carrying case with rounded top.
 FIG. 10 Back view of carrying case with rounded top.
 FIG. 11 Side view of opened side of carrying case with rounded top.
 FIG. 12 Side view of closed side of carrying case with rounded top.
 FIG. 13 Bottom of carrying case with rounded top
 FIG. 14 Top perspective view of rounded top
 1. strap  2. top edge  3. vertical edge  4. horizontal bottom edge  5. carrying case  6. carrying case-opening  7. net pocket  8. pocket  9. buckle  10. side  11. fasteners  12. ball-launcher  13. bottom  14. shaft  15. grip  16. person Front  17. dog  18. leash  19. person back
DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS
 One embodiment of the carrying case detailed FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the front of a person 16 using the carrying case 5 with square top on hip holding grip 15 of ball-launcher 12 through carrying case-opening 6. The ball-launcher 12 illustrated in phantom for illustrative purposes there on indicated. The person 16 is shown to hold the grip 15, elbow below shoulder, through the carrying case-opening 6. In this example the carrying case-opening is a zipper, however any type of interlocking closure device can be used. FIG. 1 illustrates the ergonomic flexibility of having a side carrying case-opening 6. FIG. 2 indicates how the ball-launcher 12 settles into the base 13 of the carrying case 5 and the grip 15 protrudes out of the top edge 2 for convenience of grabbing onto the ball launcher. Both FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 show strap 1 is attached on the top edge 2 and can be lengthened using buckle 9.
 Referring to FIG. 1 the ball-launcher 12 can be stored in carrying case 5 by inserting ball-launcher 12 into top edge 2 of said carrying case 5 whereas a person can carry carrying case 5 over the shoulder with a strap 1 allowing the user to carry a ball-launcher 12 hand(s) free. FIG. 1 shows a rough estimate of the size of carrying case 5 for a person 5'8'' tall, carrying case 5 would rest on users hip and have a length sloping down towards users knees.
 Referring to FIG. 3 the front view of carrying case 5 with strap 1 attached to top edge 2 and carrying case-opening 6 with an example of how a plurality of pockets 8 can be assembled. FIG. 3 illustrates that the carrying cases' vertical edge 3 is significantly longer than the horizontal bottom edge 4 in order to contain the cumbersome dimensions of the a ball-launcher 12 as seen in FIG. 2.
 Referring to FIG. 4 Back view of carrying case 5 the strap 1 is attached to top edge 2. It also shows the advantage of having a net-pocket 7 for user to visually see waste bags or other items that go in tandem with walking a dog, the length of net-pocket 7 can also be used to hold a standard 12 oz water bottle or an 12 oz. can of soda reinforcing that the carrying case enables the user to be hand(s) free of holding extra item other than a leash when walking a dog.
 Referring to FIG. 5 Perspective front view of carrying case-opening 6 opened from top edge 2 to horizontal bottom edge 4. Carrying case-opening 6 is shown in an open position showing how it separates the carrying case 5 allowing user to remove items from that opening. Opening can be secured with any form of closure, examples zipper, hook and loop, snaps, ties or any other way of opening and closing a opening that starts for the top edge 2 to the bottom 4 or anyplace in between those two points. Top edge 2 indicates an open top carrying case allowing for ventilation needed to air out used slobbery balls to keep equipment from molding.
 Referring to FIG. 6 the bottom of carrying case 5 showing bottom 4 and shape it could be. Shape could also have round edges. Perspective shows that bottom horizontal edge 4 is longer than the side 10. Referring to FIG. 7 Top perspective looking inside of carrying case 5 to the bottom 4. Showing also how straps 1 can also be attached to sides 10.
 Referring to FIG. 8 showing the person back 19 using the carrying case 5 with rounded top to hold ball-launcher 12 with strap 1 attached to top edge 2 and horizontal bottom edge 4. A ball-launcher 12 can be stored in carrying case 5 by inserting ball-launcher 12 into top edge 2 of said carrying case 5 whereas a person can carry carrying case 5 over the shoulder with a strap 1 on users back allowing the user to carry a ball-launcher 12 hand(s) free. Illustration shows a the size of carrying case 5 for a person 5'8'' tall, carrying case 5 would rest on users back and have a length sloping diagonally towards users hip indicating that straps can be attached to carrying case on horizontal bottom edge 4.
 Referring to FIG. 8 front view of carrying case 5 with strap 1 attached to top edge 2 and horizontal bottom edge 4. This shows how carrying case 5 top edge 2 can also conform to a round top edge 2 for the longer 26'' ball-launcher 12 and secured by a snap 11 at the top edge 2. It also shows pockets 8 can be arranged in multiple designs. The carrying case-opening 6 starts at the bottom of the top edge 2 slope of the rounded top-edge 2 and then continues down to the horizontal bottom edge. The strap 1 can be attached to the top-edge 2 or the horizontal bottom edge 4 in order to be carried like sling-back back-pack as illustrated in FIGS. 9, 10, 11, 12 ,13, 14 views of carrying case 5.
 Although the description above contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the embodiments but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments. For example the strap 1 can be attached to the top edge 2 and horizontal bottom edge 4 of the carrying case 5 in a plurality of ways to create a sling, shoulder bag or backpack version on the elongated carrying case 5 to hold the cumbersome ball-launcher 12. The carrying cases bottom 13 could be cut in other shapes, such as circle, oval, trapezoidal, triangular etc. The fabrics used could be organic and or high tech fabrics, the case could also be made out plastics or netting material. The straps could also be made out of logically equivalent fabric organic, plastic and otherwise. We the inventors understand that the scope of the underlying core function of a hand(s) free solution to carry a ball-launcher for safety when walking a dog will grow in scope as it is the first of its kind on the market.
 Thus the scope of the embodiments should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than the examples given.
Patent applications by Jennifer May Swenson, San Francisco, CA US
Patent applications by Seth Yin Pao Swenson, San Francisco, CA US
Patent applications in class Flaccid attaching means looped around neck or crossing shoulder
Patent applications in all subclasses Flaccid attaching means looped around neck or crossing shoulder