Patent application title: REMOVABLY ATTACHABLE STORAGE DEVICE
Jeffrey Stephen Gawronski (Clarence, NY, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D3002FI
Class name: Flexible bags wall details stretchable
Publication date: 2012-08-09
Patent application number: 20120201482
A temporary storage device fabricated at least in part of memory stretch
material (such as synthetic rubber, e.g. polychloroprene material and the
like. A storage portion of said device may be fabricated from the same
polychloroprene material and is configured with at least one defined
storage pocket. An attachment portion of the storage device has defined
therein at least one generally annular stretchable opening. This
attachment opening, due to the elastically stretchable quality of the
device fabric will be stretched sufficiently to surround and cling snugly
to a support stanchion such as a bedpost commonly found on a bunk or loft
bed. More than one attachment opening of different sizes can be defined
in the attachment portion so as to sizably correspond with different
posts. The suspended storage device remains in place due to its gripping
elasticity as well as gravity pull which distorts and further tightens
the elastic opening.
1. A removably attachable storage device for temporary containment of
items and articles, said storage device comprising an attachment portion
and a storage portion, said device further characterized by: said
attachment portion fabricated, at least in part, of a rubbery elastic
material; said elastic material distinguished by having at least one
attachment opening defined therein, extending from a front surface of
said attachment portion to a rear surface of said attachment portion;
said storage portion of said device having at least one pocket cavity
defined therein for temporary containment of items placed therein;
whereby said rubbery elastic material opening in said attachment portion
may be stretchably secured in place on a stationary fixture and said
storage portion can be suspended therefrom for convenient access by a
2. The removably attachable storage device of claim 1, further defined by: said attachment portion and said storage portion are substantially unitarily fabricated from a rubbery elastic material.
3. The removably attachable storage device of claim 1 wherein said attachment portion is fabricated at least in part of polychloroprene.
4. The removably attachable storage device as set forth in claim 2 further defined by: said attachment and storage portions are substantially unitarily fabricated from polychloroprene.
5. The removably attachable storage device set forth in claim 1, further defined by: said at least one defined pocket cavity extends generally laterally from adjacent a first edge of said storage portion and terminates adjacent a second edge of said storage portion.
6. The removably attachable storage device set forth in claim 5, further defined as including: multiple overlapping defined pocket cavities extending generally laterally from adjacent said first edge of said storage portion and terminating adjacent said second storage portion edge.
7. The removably attachable storage device of claim 5, further defined by: said attachment portion and said storage portion are substantially unitarily fabricated from a rubbery elastic material.
8. The removably attached storage device of claim 5 wherein said attachment portion is fabricated at least in part of polychloroprene.
9. The removably attached storage device of claim 8 wherein said attachment and storage portions are substantially unitarily fabricated from polychloroprene.
10. A removably attachable storage device for temporary containment of items and articles, said storage device comprising an attachment portion and a storage portion, said device further characterized by: said attachment portion fabricated, at least in part, of a rubbery elastic material; said elastic material distinguished by having at least one attachment opening defined therein so as to extend from a front surface of said attachment portion to a rear surface of said attachment portion such that said attachment portion is configured with a defined annular opening for suspension about a stationary fixture; said storage portion of said device having at least one pocket cavity defined therein for temporary containment of items placed therein at a position generally below said attachment portion; whereby said rubbery elastic material opening in said attachment portion may be stretchably secured at a location about a stationary fixture with said storage portion and contained items suspended therebelow such that cumulative weight thereof distort and tighten said elastic opening.
11. The device set forth in claim 10 wherein said attachment portion and said storage portion are substantially unitarily fabricated from a rubbery elastic material.
12. The removably attachable storage device of claim 10 wherein said attachment portion is fabricated at least in part of polychloroprene.
13. The removably attachable storage device as set forth in claim 12 further defined by: said attachment and storage portions are substantially unitarily fabricated from polychloroprene.
14. The storage device of claim 13 further defined by: said defined annular opening is configured to be stretchably deformable to cause said attachment portion and storage portion to pull toward one-another; whereby said storage portion and attachment portion of said device will draw closely against said stationary fixture resulting in the device being aesthetic and unobtrusive in use.
15. The storage device of claim 14 wherein multiple attachment openings of differing sizes are defined in said elastic material so as to be attachable about stationary fixtures of correspondingly different sizes.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/457,240 filed on Feb. 9, 2011, and entitled "Bunk Pocket," the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety for all purposes, as if fully set forth herein.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 Not applicable
REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING
 Not applicable
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
 The present disclosure relates generally to item and material storage receptacles. More specifically the present disclosure relates to temporary storage devices for personal items and materials for convenient access.
BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
 The popular use of cell phones has soared throughout the last two decades. These personal devices not only help people stay in touch with family, friends and businesses, they have become a principal link to the outside world. Today, nearly six billion subscribers across the planet keep cellular devices close by, not just for emergencies but as a constant connection to a global network of people, data resources, vendors and entertainment media. Mobile digital devices are ubiquitous and indispensible, with applications that range well beyond conveying and receiving personal messages. Among the rapidly expanding applications are guidance aids, remote banking and retail transactions, weather monitoring, event scheduling, wakeup alarms or meeting reminders, sports and entertainment on-demand, and even healthcare monitoring with vital sign transmission capability.
 Personal reliance on such devices continues to escalate along with the popular demand to have them nearby at all times. Nowhere is the passion for immediacy and proximity more acute than the typical college campus where the first generation to grow up along with emerging mobile phone technology and related electronic devices. They insist on maintaining their communication devices always within arm's reach--even as they sleep. However, the convenience of bedside access to electronic devices, or any personal items for that matter, is not always easily maintained, particularly in sleeping quarters where bedside tables or nightstands are unavailable.
 As a case in point, college dormitory furnishings are minimal. Bunk beds or lofted beds almost always lack bedside tables. Even where such tables are available, they remain beyond easy reach of upper bunk occupants who are considerably elevated. Moreover, any small bedroom usually cannot accommodate bedside furnishings satisfactorily addressing users' need to maintain close proximity to their phones. The bedside access problem is not limited to mobile phones, but may encompass other electronic devices such as a TV remote or portable media player. On a more personal level, convenient bedside access is typically desired with respect to eyeglasses, lip balm, pen, penlight, keys, dental guard, medication, inhaler and other articles, sundries and personal equipment. This problem is not new. It exists in a vast number of venues apart from college campuses and has been coped with in a number of different ways, all of which remain largely unsuccessfully.
 Many people essentially live with the status quo by simply maintaining needed items as close to bedside as practical. This usually means placement the items in a bureau drawer or bookshelf, on an adjacent desktop or window ledge, or directly on the floor adjacent or beneath the bed. This solution obviously is far from ideal. Arising from bed in a darkened room to answer a phone call or retrieve other needed items or medication not only is an exhausting inconvenience but poses considerable risk of injury from falling. This certainly can be hazardous for those sleeping in a lofted bed, and particularly distressing for all who are ill and on a prescribed medicine dosage regimen.
 For many others, this substantial inconvenience has driven them to stow mobile phones and other items beneath pillows, mattress pads or within the bedcovers. Lodging items and devices beneath pillows or somewhere among the bedcovers too often results in an uncomfortable sleeping situation. Beyond that, the user faces annoying loss of important items among the linens or permanent loss through accidental laundering. Not infrequently, a mobile phone or other breakable items may accidentally slip or be kicked from the bedcovers to the floor where it remains unreachable, damaged, or both.
 Gawronski's U.S. Pat. No. 6,778,874 addressed this problem with a small shelf configured to be clamped onto a bedpost or other bed structure. Another proposed bedside storage solution is the bedrail pouch which functions by hanging over a bedrail while restrained by mattress pressure against a portion of pouch fabric. Examples are presented in design patents, U.S. D522,750, granted to Girod and U.S. D420,510 granted to Rotan. Bookbags and purses are sometimes used in much the same way. Each of these solutions is functionally challenged when blocked or obscured by bed linens considerably limiting or preventing ready access to items therein. They also are prone to working loose and falling to the floor, sustaining damage or loss of contents. Besides, a hanging pouch, purse or similar bag device is easily removed by someone while the owner sleeps. Chairside storage units that either drape across the chair seat or are directly fastened to cushion fabric are depicted in U.S. Pat. No. 5,620,229 issued to Ledford and U.S. Pat. No. 5,692,608 issued to Simien. These patented devices are in no way comparable to the present disclosure in that each lacks the distinct advantages afforded by a unique elastic interconnection to a generally vertical stanchion or bedpost.
 Contrary to the attempted solutions discussed above, the removably, elastically secured storage device disclosed herein securely and safely maintains mobile phones and other important personal items directly at bedside. The storage unit described herein presents a minimal profile and positioning capability so as to avoid bedding interference. The disclosed device clings tightly where it is temporarily affixed so as to resist stealthy removal while its owner is sleeping. With its elegantly simple construction and ease of application, the disclosed device is immediately adaptable by any user with a need to keep items within reach at bedside. As will be appreciated, the present disclosure is directed at solving the noted problems and offering special advantages in a cost effective manner.
SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
 Presented herein is a unique removably attachable storage device configured especially to temporarily secure cell phones and other personal items at a location easily accessed by the user. The storage device described herein as particularly applicable to bedside use where it securely engages a bedpost or other adjacent, generally vertical column or stanchion, and serves to present stored items for immediate retrieval on demand. Obviously, broader application of the disclosed storage device can extend to any stationary fixture or structure suited to its unique interconnection qualities as will be explained below. The unique storage device remains in place without slipping or falling due to the elasticity and anti-slip properties of the material from which it is fabricated.
 The novel storage device essentially includes two attached or integral portions, namely an attachment portion and a storage portion. The removably attachable storage device is set in place by forcing a stretchable opening (defined in the above-noted attachment portion) snuggly about a bedpost or other generally vertical stanchion. The stretchable opening is elastically distorted to ensure a gripping connection. In this manner, the device storage portion is disposed so as to be suspended (apron-like) generally downwardly along the post or stanchion, ready to serve as a convenient storage receptacle.
 By force of gravity the device's pliable, elastic material is further stretched causing the attachment opening to be distorted, thereby considerably increasing gripping traction. Cumulative weight of items/devices placed within the storage portion to increase device tension about the post, thus drawing it ever tightly. Once stretchably secured about a post or other generally vertical stanchion, this novel device remains snuggly in place, free from interference with bed linens, pillows, and such, but conveniently within easy reach for retrieval of personal items. The device may be moved relatively easily at any time, for portability or more secure storage as necessary.
 As noted above, college campus dormitories are known for limited capacity for furnishings. A lack of bedside table space poses a major challenge for students virtually physically linked to their mobile phones and similar electronic devices. Of course, bedposts are commonplace on college campuses. Dormitory bedposts can be wooden, metal or durable composite material and may be generally rounded or polygonal in cross-section. Regardless of the post or stanchion material or cross-sectional profile, the removably attachable storage device is fabricated to be slipped over the post top via at least one defined mounting opening in an attachment portion thereof. This defined opening can be defined as having virtually any shape--round, oval, polygonal--but must of course be somewhat smaller in size than the post about which it will be positioned. A relatively even, uninterrupted opening edge, however, holds certain advantages in terms of avoiding stress failure points. No other product in the marketplace forms a fabric-based elastic grip securement to a generally vertical bed post (or other stanchion) so as to suspend a storage cavity therefrom to retain miscellaneous items at bedside (or other location to be accessed by user).
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a front elevation of the removably attachable storage device;
 FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of said storage device in an initial position for securement to a bed post or other stanchion shown here (by way of example only) as having a generally polygonal cross-section);
 FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of said storage device initially being pressed or worked into secure position on a bed post or other generally vertical stanchion;
 FIG. 4 is a top perspective view similar to that of FIG. 3, but with said storage device illustrated as progressively forced generally downwardly about the bed post or other stanchion;
 FIG. 5 is a rear elevation illustrating the storage device in operative position about said bed post or other stanchion;
 FIG. 6 is a front perspective of the present invention mounted on said bed post or other stanchion and in use as a storage device for miscellaneous items.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The removably attachable storage device 10 includes at least two parts, including an attachment portion 12 and storage portion 15 as will be explained. In fabrication, storage portion 15 is configured to define at least one storage zone; by way of example only, the illustrated version of this storage zone presents two defined overlapping storage cavities or pockets 13, 14. These pockets could be side-by-side (not shown), depending on the nature of items to be stored therein. Of course, additional pockets can be defined by adding (partially or fully) overlapping fabric panels suitably sized and configured for specific stored items. Clearly, as depicted, overlapping defined pocket cavities 13, 14 extend generally laterally from edge to edge (11) of said storage portion 15. Defined cavities 13, 14 are formed for temporary and convenient containment of any of a variety of devices and/or relatively small articles as mentioned hereabove.
 At least attachment portion 12 of device 10 is fabricated of a rubbery material, i.e., fabric distinguished as having an elastic texture resembling rubber in that it is flexible, elastic, pliable and durable. The term elastic, as used in the present context, is descriptive of a material that easily resumes its original shape after being stretched or expanded. Thus, the chosen fabric should be stretchable, with measurable elastic memory. While rubbery material is by no means required for fabrication of the storage portion 15, unitarily fabricating substantially the entire storage device (portions 12 and 15) from a single rubbery material stock holds obvious advantages. For example, manufacturing from a single stock is usually more efficient and less expensive. Moreover, noted qualities of rubbery material include both non-slip and cushioning effects thus more safely securing items placed therein.
 As an example of fabrication material, excellent results are obtained through use of a memory stretch fabric material commonly available under the registered trademark NEOPRENE®, a popular fabric selection from a family of synthetic rubbers produced by polymerization of chloroprene. In other words, Neoprene® is a polymer of chloroprene and more generically referred to as polychloroprene. This material offers outstanding performance and advantages due to its ease of fabrication, low coefficient of friction and inherent non-slip properties. However, other materials well known in many respects as generally equivalent alternatives could well suffice. For example, certain polyurethanes could be substituted where sturdier material is desired. Moreover, other family members and equivalents thereof may be selected as well and with varying results. Key to the success of the removably attachable storage device 10 is that it comprises rubbery fabric of an elastic nature and exhibit non-skid or gripping qualities when stretchingly applied. For added convenience, the device 10 could include portions thereof fabricated or coated with material or substance that glows in the dark.
 As for mechanical structure, fabrication material for the removably attachable storage device 10 may be single ply or multi-layered with an edge 11 distinguished by stylistic trim such as spandex or nylon. Similarly, certain portions could be padded or lined, or treated (e.g., so as to include waterproof or cushioning qualities). That said, it may of course be advantageous in terms of simplicity and cost effectiveness to manufacture the overall device 10 from essentially a single material, with edges 11 suitably reinforced by trim material for wear and aesthetics.
 The attachment portion 12 of removably attachable storage device 10 may include multiple attachment openings 20, 24 of various sizes and shapes defined by inner edges 22, 23 respectively. For example, a smaller stanchion or bedpost 40 may necessitate application of the device 12 via its smaller opening 20 defined therein at inner edge 23. Application of opening 23 would be appropriate where tapered stanchions (not shown) are found on headboards and the like. Clearly, there may be any reasonable number of attachment openings of varied sizes as long as the strength of portion 12 is not compromised. Further, various opening widths and shapes can be used to create a uniquely desired result. Defined attachment openings 20, 24 typically are formed in-process as each device 10 is manufactured or fabricated, but may have openings and other features custom-formed subsequent to manufacture, even at the site of application.
 Theoretically, there is, no limit to the actual dimensions of the removably attachable storage device, particularly with respect to size of openings 24, 20. But, practically speaking, said openings simply must be slightly smaller than the stanchion or post 40 on which they are to be mounted so as to ensure a secure fit therewith. As an example, and in no way to be considered limiting in scope, for uses with typical bunk bed structures, it is suggested that the defined opening 24 be in the range of 1.0 to 1.9 inch diameter. The smaller defined openings 20 could be in the diametric range of 0.5 in. to 0.9 inch.
 With the elastic form-fitting attachment portion 12 in place around a bed post 40 or other suitable stanchion, the natural strength and elastic grip of the fabric about the bed post 40, coupled with the gravitational pull downward, the defined pocket 13, 14 has a significant load capacity without slip or movement down the post surface. Considering the storage device 10 capacity and the nature of products expected to be secured therein, it would be rare that cumulative object weight would exceed this tolerance.
 With respect to utilizing the novel device disclosed herein, FIGS. 1-5 considered in sequence clearly illustrate the progressive stages required for mounting the removably attachable storage device 10 on a stanchion 40. Specifically, the attachment portion 12 of device 10 is to be affixed to generally vertical bedpost (side) surface 40. In FIG. 1, portion 12 is prepared (laid out) for temporary attachment. In FIG. 2 the device 10 attachment portion 12 is manually pressed against the joinder of side surface 40 and top surface 42 of the bedpost. As opening 24 (defined by portion 12 fabric edge 22) is continuously stretchably applied to side surface 40 it begins to surround the post, see FIG. 3. With further manual pressure, opening 24 widens to surround post surface 40, see FIG. 4. In this position, attachment portion 12 can be manually forced generally downwardly. The attachment portion 12 is next vertically adjusted to a desired level (in this example, with respect to the position of a user within the bed). This device 10 mounting process should take only seconds to perform.
 Given the relative size of opening 24 in attachment portion with respect to the bedpost surface 40 profile, movement of portion 12 along surface 40 is considerably challenged due to the gripping, frictional interaction and the elasticity of the rubbery fabric used in fabrication of attachment portion 12. Once in place the fabric material (e.g., Neoprene® or a suitable equivalent as above-defined) naturally seeks its original (unstressed) configuration, thus establishing a snug "interference fit" or "elastic grip" about post 40. In this manner, the removably attachable storage device 10 is self-securing and no tools or extra parts are required to secure device 10 in place. Due principally to its anti-slip nature, of the attachment portion 12 fabric material, device 10 remains in place to serve its intended purpose until purposefully and forcibly removed from post 40. Notable deformation of attachment portion, due to its flexible nature and the downward gravitational force, results in the storage device 10 portions 11 and 12 being biased inwardly (toward post 40). Thus, storage portion 15 drapes essentially flat, directly against bedpost 40. This gives the device 10 aesthetic appeal as well as well as keeping it physically unobtrusive and not easily snagged by accident. Beside that, the natural "drape" of device 10 when mounted on post 40 results in a disposition of the defined pockets 13, 14 at an ideal angle affording a user's easy access for deposit and withdrawal of items.
 In general application, the substantially annular elastic opening 24 defined in attachment portion 12 of storage device 10 naturally clings or grips tightly about its assigned station (e.g., bedpost or other vertical stanchion). As items are placed within defined pockets 13, 14 suspended downwardly along a side of the post or other vertical stanchion, gravity effect due to cumulative weight of said device 10 and items serves to distort and, as a consequence, additionally tighten the attachment portion 15 grip.
 As suggested in FIG. 5, the removably attachable storage device 10 is firmly engaged with bedpost 40. On storage portion 12 the two defined pockets 13, 14 are depicted as layered front to back, thus limiting the profile to a width that would only slightly exceeds a bedpost 40 to which it is affixed. This limits encroachment on the user's sleeping space. In FIG. 6, eyeglasses 62 and a mobile phone 54 are shown nested in frontal defined pocket 14. FIGS. 1 and 6 further depict an access opening 18 defined by fabric edge 17 provided for charger connection 52 for electronic device 54 retained within a front defined pocket 14. This opening 18 or additional similar openings may be provided as desired. A TV remote control device 64 rests along with penlight 66 in the rearmost defined pocket 13.
 As suggested in FIG. 5, the removably attachable storage device 10 is firmly engaged with bedpost 40. On storage portion 12 the two defined pockets 13, 14 are depicted as layered front to back, thus limiting the profile to a width that would only slightly exceeds a bedpost 40 to which it is affixed. This limits encroachment on the user's sleeping space. Eyeglasses 62 and a mobile phone 54 are shown nested in frontal defined pocket 14. FIGS. 1 and 6 further depict an access opening 18 defined by fabric edge 17 provided for charger connection 52 for electronic device 54 retained within a front defined pocket 14. This opening 18 or additional similar openings may be provided as desired. A TV remote control device 64 rests along with penlight 66 in the rearmost defined pocket 13.
 Although the present disclosure has been described with reference to one or more embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure and/or the appended claims. Accordingly the scope of the disclosure is to be defined only by the claims appended hereto, and by their equivalents.