(19)
(11)EP 2 710 915 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
31.01.2018 Bulletin 2018/05

(21)Application number: 13004366.4

(22)Date of filing:  06.09.2013
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A44B 19/26(2006.01)
A45C 13/10(2006.01)
A44B 19/30(2006.01)

(54)

Zip fastener and luggage

Reissverschluss sowie Gepäck

Fermeture éclair et bagages


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 07.09.2012 AU 2012903907

(43)Date of publication of application:
26.03.2014 Bulletin 2014/13

(73)Proprietor: MRM HK LIMITED
Hong Kong (CN)

(72)Inventor:
  • Schlipper, Robert Wesley
    Hong Kong (CN)

(74)Representative: Oxley, Robin John George et al
Marks & Clerk LLP Alpha Tower Suffolk Street Queensway
Birmingham B1 1TT
Birmingham B1 1TT (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 002 744
AU-A1- 2010 201 766
US-A- 4 790 156
WO-A1-2004/008903
CN-U- 201 860 936
US-B1- 6 467 135
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical field



    [0001] The present invention relates to zip fasteners with security features, and more particularly, to such zip fasteners having two moveable sliders that each mesh and unmesh the teeth of the fastener, allowing it be opened at any point along its length. The invention also relates to luggage, on which such zip fasteners may be provided.

    Background of the Invention



    [0002] Zip fasteners with two sliders are often used in various applications where a degree of security is desirable. Locking or securing the zip fastener can be achieved by locking each of the sliders to a stationary fixture, or else by locking the two sliders together. Each zip slider may be connected to a proximal end of a pull tab, with an aperture being formed in the opposing distal end of the pull tab. This arrangement allows for a securing device, such as the shackle of a padlock or a cable tie, to be fixed through both of the apertures in the distal ends of the pull tabs, to thereby lock the two sliders together and secure the closure. Advantageously, two sliders connected in this manner can still readily be moved together along the stringers as desired, by grasping one or both of the connected pull tabs in the conventional way. In addition, on a luggage item for instance, it is known to provide a key or combination locking system which has a sliding pin that can be extended through the aperture in the distal end of a pull tab, for securing the slider to the luggage item in place.

    [0003] One of the drawbacks of locking the distal ends of the pull tabs in place, or to one another, is that doing so does not ordinarily prevent the sliders being separated sufficiently to create a small opening. In some cases this poses a security risk, if a thief can insert his fingers into the opening and work the stringers through the stationary sliders to enlarge the opening. This problem has been addressed in some prior art tamper resistant zip fasteners by providing coupling parts on the sliders for locking the sliders themselves directly to one another, however, such solutions require the manufacture of special-purpose sliders with interlocking features, which makes this a more costly option.

    [0004] The publications US20090106951 and US20050257351 both describe a type of zip fastener in which the pull tabs on respective sliders interlock with one another, and in which the proximal ends of the pull tabs are connected to the sliders by couplings permitting the pull tabs to rotate about an axis transverse to the longitudinal axis of the stringers. Relative rotation between the pull tabs about the transverse axis is needed to place them in their interlocked positions. A disadvantage of both of these zip fasteners is that although they provide some basic degree of security for the closure, neither includes any provision for a higher degree of security, as is achieved, for instance, by connecting the pull tabs with a padlock.

    [0005] With the device of US20090106951 in its interlocked position the pull tab on each slider overlies the adjacent slider, such that the pull tabs are aligned longitudinally, face in opposite directions, and are generally coplanar and close to the slider. When interlocked, the pull tabs cannot be conveniently grasped, so this prevents the two sliders being readily be moved together along the stringers. In the device of US20050257351 one pull tab has a male and the other a female coupler, the axes of which are aligned longitudinally in the interlocked position. A drawback of this alignment is that, intuitively, a thief would tend to pull the pull tabs apart in the longitudinal direction to separate the sliders and open the zip fastener, so this arrangement would not defeat even the most quick or casual attentions of a thief.

    [0006] It is an object of the present invention to overcome or substantially ameliorate the above disadvantages or, more generally, to provide an improved zip fastener and luggage.

    [0007] WO2004008903 relates to a slider assembly for slide fastener. According to the abstract, the slider assembly comprises a slider reciprocatingly fitted to a slide fastener chain and swingably having a pull with a first engagement part fitted to the surface thereof and a first through-hole formed therein and a receiving member fitted to the slide fastener chain, wherein a second engagement part is fitted to the surface of the receiving part and a second through-hole is formed in the surface thereof, whereby when the pull and the end part of the receiving member faces substantially in the same direction and the pull is fallen on the receiving member so as to be overlapped with each other, the first engagement part is engaged with the second engagement part, and the first through-hole is aligned with the second through-hole for locking.

    [0008] CN201860936 relates to a locking device for a zipper. According to the abstract, the zipper consists of a zipper head handle secondary buckle or a zipper trip secondary buckle and a zipper head handle primary buckle or a zipper trip primary buckle, wherein the secondary buckle and the primary buckle are buckled together by a convex structure and a concave structure. The locking device can be directly mounted on the zipper as a handle of a zipper head and also can be used as a zipper trip, and the rear part of the locking device is combined with the zipper head of the zipper.

    [0009] US6467135 relates to a security zipper pull for a compartmented structure including at least one zippered compartment and includes a two-slide zipper. According to the abstract, the pulls are configured to interlock one another and to expose a security slot when engaged. Affixing a security product to the security when the pulls are interlocked maintains the zippered compartment closed and secured. The security product preferentially includes a cable to secure the security product to an object other than the compartmented structure when affixed to the security slot to prevent unauthorized movement of the compartmented structure.

    [0010] US4790156 relates to a baggage zipper locking device and particularly to a sealing and locking device through a zipper for the baggage container such as a baggage case and a baggage pack. According to the abstract the locking device is characterized in that, one zipper leaf at one end of the zipper is provided with a raised locking hook, and another zipper leaf at the other end thereof is provided with a hooking gap for freely passing through by the said locking hook, and a lock with a hasp is provided to the bottom of the baggage container, so that after the said baggage container is fastened with the zipper, the said locking hook passes through the said hooking gap to be locked tightly onto the said hasp so as to complete the locking of said baggage container.

    [0011] EP2002744 relates to a zip closure system that is difficult for a thief to operate. According to the abstract of this document there is described a system comprising a first zip slider (40), capable of fastening and unfastening the teeth of a zip closure, and at least one of a second zip slider (41) and an end of a zip closure, the first zip slider (40) having a first handle (43) and the second zip slider (41) having a second handle (45), the handles (44,45) being configured so that when the first slider (40) is adjacent to the second slider (41), the first handle (43) overlies the second slider (41) and the second handle (45) overlies the first slider (40). The first and second handles (43,45) can be released by moving right or left. A range of products can be provided which operate according to the same principles, but in which the first movement, for example left or right, varies between different products of the range. The first (and, optionally, second) handle (43) may comprise at least one magnetic part for holding the handle adjacent a second magnetic part of the zip closure system. The zip closure can be secured without visible indication that it is locked.

    [0012] AU210201766 relates to a security device for preventing theft of one or more items. According to the abstract the security device comprises a body having a first zone adapted to stow the one or more items and a second zone adapted to receive ballast material, wherein the first zone has at least one 5 armoured compartment adapted to contain the one or more items. A resting device for a human body comprising a body having at least one region adapted to receive ballast for preventing removal of the resting device and a resting surface adapted to receive part of a human body is also provided.

    Disclosure of the Invention



    [0013] According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a zip fastener, comprising:

    first and second sliders disposed to slide lengthwise along a pair of stringers, the sliders being moveable relative to one another between a closed position wherein the sliders are adjacent one another, and an open position in which the sliders are spaced apart to open the zip fastener;

    first and second pull tabs, each on a respective one of the first and second sliders, the first and second pull tabs being of like form;

    a first coupling connecting the first pull tab to the first slider for rotation about a pivot axis extending substantially in the lengthwise direction of the stringers;

    the first and second pull tabs each having a body elongated between opposing proximal and distal ends, and each of the first and second pull tabs includes a hook disposed between its proximal and distal ends, a tip of the hook being spaced from the body such that a female locking feature comprises a recess between the body and the tip of the hook, and a male locking feature comprises at least a complementary portion of the body of the other of the first and second pull tabs, which complementary portion may be received in the recess, such that with the sliders in the closed position, rotation of the first pull tab about the pivot axis mutually engages the male and female locking features to interlock the first and second pull tabs in an interlocked position that prevents movement of the sliders to their open position.



    [0014] Preferably openings are provided in each distal end, and the
    openings in the distal ends are in registration with one another in the interlocked position.

    [0015] Preferably opposing inner surfaces of the recess are substantially planar, and opposing outer surfaces of the complementary portion of the body received in the female locking feature are substantially planar.

    [0016] Preferably each pull tab has a respective outermost surface disposed outermost when the first and second pull tabs are in their interlocked position, and a concavity in each outermost surface that bounds the complementary portion of the body received in the recess, such that in the interlocked position, said outermost surfaces are substantially aligned coplanar with a respective outer surface of the tip of the hook.

    [0017] Preferably openings are formed at the proximal ends, the first and second sliders each including a loop extending substantially in the lengthwise direction through the openings at the proximal ends, the loop on the first slider and the opening in the proximal end of the first pull tab forming the first coupling, and the loop on the second slider and the opening in the proximal end of the second pull tab forming a second coupling. The tip of the hook may be sized or formed such that it cannot mistakenly be inserted into the recess and the openings in the distal ends aligned.

    [0018] Preferably the hook is integral with the body, and includes a flange portion connecting the tip to the body, the flange portion extending from an edge of the body.

    [0019] Preferably further comprising a detent for holding the male and female locking features in mutual engagement. The detent may comprise a magnet received in an aperture in the male locking feature, or a snap connection.

    [0020] In another aspect of the invention there is provided luggage comprising at least one zip fastener as described above, and further including a fastening device for connecting the first and second pull tabs.

    [0021] The fastening device may include: a body fixed to the luggage, the body having at least one pin portion having a projecting free end and an opposing fixed end, the pin portion being configured to be received in the openings in the distal ends, and a closure engaged with the body for sliding movement between a closed position in which the closure blocks the free end and an open position in which the closure is spaced apart from the free end.

    [0022] Preferably the body further comprises an opening positioned such that with the closure in the closed position a shackle of a padlock extending through the aperture secures the closure.

    [0023] Preferably the at least one zip fastener comprises two zip fasteners, and the fastening device is fixed to the luggage between the two zip fasteners. This invention thus provides a zip fastener device and bag with improved security, without the complexity and consequent high manufacturing costs of many of the prior art solutions.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0024] Preferred forms of the present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

    Figure 1 is a perspective view of a zip fastener of a first embodiment of the invention in an open position;

    Figure 2 is a perspective view of the zip fastener of Fig. 1 in a closed position;

    Figure 3 is a perspective view of pull tab of the zip fastener of Fig. 1;

    Figure 4 is a side elevation of the pull tab of Fig. 3;

    Figures 5 and 6 are sections indicated by lines AA and BB in Fig. 4 respectively;

    Figures 7a, 7b and 7c are pictorial views of a second embodiment of the zip fastener of the invention, showing the pull tabs separated, partially engaged, and interlocked respectively;

    Figures 8a, 8b and 8c are pictorial views of a third embodiment of the zip fastener of the invention, showing the pull tabs separated, partially engaged, and interlocked respectively;

    Figure 9 is a schematic side elevation of a zip fastener of a fourth embodiment of the invention in an open position;

    Figure 10 is a schematic plan view of the zip fastener of Fig. 7 in interlocked position;

    Figure 11 is a perspective view of a fastening device for use with the zip fastener and a strap;

    Figures 12 and 13 are plan views of the fastening device of Fig. 11 in open and closed positions respectively;

    Figure 14 is a perspective view of a backpack fitted with a zip fastener and a first alternative fastening device of the invention;

    Figure 15 is a perspective view of a backpack fitted with a zip fastener and a second alternative fastening device of the invention shown in a closed position;

    Figure 16 is a fragmentary sectional view of the second fastening of Fig. 15 in an open position;

    Figure 17 is a perspective view of a backpack fitted with a zip fastener and a third alternative fastening device of the invention shown in a closed position;

    Figure 18 is an end view of a latching member of the fastening device of Fig. 17, and

    Figure 19 is a perspective view of a backpack fitted with a zip fastener and the fastening device of Fig. 17 shown in a closed position.


    Description of the Preferred Embodiments



    [0025] Referring to Figs 1 to 6, a first embodiment of a zip fastener 20 generally comprises a first slider 10, and a second slider 11 both engaged with a pair of stringers 12, 13 which may be connected together by means of meshed teeth 14, in the well known manner. Additionally, two pull tabs 15, 16 are provided, one may be connected to each of the sliders, to allow for improved purchase for the user to pull the sliders 10, 11 along the stringers 12, 13. Relative movement between the sliders 10, 11 along the stringers 12, 13 opens and closes the zip fastener or, more specifically, opens and closes an opening 17 between the stringers 12, 13 and sliders 10, 11.

    [0026] A first coupling 200a connects the proximal end of the first pull tab 15 to the first slider 10, and second coupling 200b connects the second pull tab 16 to the second slider 11. The couplings 200a, 200b allow the pull tabs 15, 16 to rotate about a pivot axis 32 extending substantially in the lengthwise direction of the stringers 12, 13. The proximal ends of the pull tabs 15, 16 may be fixed to the sliders 10, 11 loop 30 fixed to a top plate 31, the loops 30 extending generally in the lengthwise direction of the stringers. The loops 30 and proximal end openings 24 in the pull tabs 15, 16 in which the loops 30 are received provide the two parts of the couplings 200a, 200b which, in addition to other movements, allows relative rotation between the sliders 10, 11 and the pull tabs 15, 16 about pivot axis 32.

    [0027] The pull tabs 15, 16 each have a body 28 generally elongated in the direction of long axis 201 between opposing proximal and distal ends, with openings 23 provided in each distal end. The pull tabs 15, 16 have complementary male and female locking features, exemplified in the first embodiment by a female locking feature in the form of recess 22 formed by a hook 21 on the first pull tab 15. The recess 22 receives a male complementary part 29 on the body of the second pull tab 16. In this manner when the zip is closed, as by moving the sliders 10, 11 from the separated position (shown in Fig. 1) to the position where they are adjacent one another, rotation of the first pull tab 15 about the longitudinal axis 32 to an interlocked position (shown in Fig. 2) interlocks the pull tabs 15, 16. This slide-and-turn action, whereby the pull tabs are pushed together, and one turned relative to the other about longitudinal axis 32, interlocks the pull tabs 15, 16 with one another, in which position they may be held against rotation about axis 32 by a detent (not shown in Figs 1-6). When thus interlocked the openings 23 in the distal ends are in registration with one another, such that a fastening device 25 (Fig. 2) passing through the distal end openings 23 prevents relative rotation between the pull tabs 15, 16 about axis 32. In this interlocked position, the engagement between the male and female locking features hinders separation of the sliders 10, 11 required to move them to their open position and the tabs 15, 16 are restrained to rotate together about the longitudinal axis 32, but are no longer able to rotate about a transverse axis. Of course, the pull tabs 15, 16 are also prevented from relative rotation about the fastening device 25, or the common axis of openings 23, owing to the engagement between the sliders 10, 11 and the stringers 12, 13.

    [0028] In preferred embodiments of the invention the first and second pull tabs 15, 16 are of like form, thus reducing the number of different parts making up the zip fastener. With particular reference to Fig. 3, the proximal end opening 24 in the proximal end and the distal end opening 23 in the opposing distal end both extend generally transversely through the elongate body 28. The hook 21 is located between the proximal and distal ends, and may project to one side of the main body 28, with which it may be integral. The hook 21 may include a flange portion 26 projecting transversely from the main body 28, and a tip 27 laterally spaced from the elongate body 28 to define the recess 22. The tip 27 of the hook 21 may have a convex or rounded form. The flange portion 26 may be tapered in the longitudinal direction between the main body 28 and the tip 27. The tip 27 and the female locking feature or recess 22 are preferably elongate, and may be elongated in a direction generally aligned with the longitudinal axis 201 of the pull tabs. The main body 28 may have a longitudinally stepped form, with a central section 29 offset transversely to a first side from the adjacent proximal ends, the hook 21 being offset to the first side of the central section 29.

    [0029] As best seen in Figs 5 and 6, opposing inner surfaces 202, 203 of the recess 22 are substantially planar, and opposing outer surfaces 204, 205 of the complementary portion 29 of the body that received in the recess 22 are substantially planar, and extend in the direction of long axis 201, or at an acute angle to the longitudinal axes 201.

    [0030] Figs 7a-7c illustrate a second embodiment which is generally like the first embodiment except the shape of the tip 21, which has a rectangular form with its long side generally aligned in the direction of the long axis 201. A detent for holding the male and female locking features in mutual engagement in the interlocked position (Fig. 7c) comprises a permanent magnet 207 received in an aperture in the male locking feature or body portion 29 of each of the pull tabs 115, 116. Each pull tabs 115, 116 has a respective outermost surface 208 disposed outermost when the first and second pull tabs are in their interlocked position, and a concavity 209 in each outermost surface 208. The concavity 209 bounds the complementary portion 29 of the body received in the recess 22, such that in the interlocked position, the outermost surface 208 is substantially aligned coplanar with a respective outer surface 210 of the tip 21 of the hook.

    [0031] In Fig. 7a, it can clearly be seen that both pull tabs 115, 116 are identical and are disposed on the zip fastener facing in opposite directions (180° apart about the longitudinal axis 201) such that their respective tips 21 face one another. The tips 21 of the hooks 21 are aligned transversely with reference to their respective longitudinal axes 201, such that the recesses 22 open transversely.

    [0032] Figs 8a-8c illustrate a third embodiment which is generally like the first embodiment except the shape of the tip 21, which has a generally semi-circular edge 211. A detent for holding the male and female locking features in mutual engagement in the interlocked position (Fig. 8c) comprises a permanent magnet 207 received in an aperture in the male locking feature or body portion 29 of each of the pull tabs 215, 216. Each pull tabs 215, 216 has a respective outermost surface 208 disposed outermost when the first and second pull tabs are in their interlocked position, and a concavity 209 in each outermost surface 208. The concavity 209 bounds the complementary portion 29 of the body received in the recess 22, such that in the interlocked position, the outermost surface 208 is substantially aligned coplanar with a respective outer surface 210 of the tip 21 of the hook.

    [0033] A fourth embodiment of a zip fastener is shown in Figs. 9 and 10 and generally comprises a first pull tab 315 in which a female locking feature in the form of a concavity 121b is formed in the body intermediate between its proximal and distal ends, adjacent a male locking feature in the form of body portion 122b. Likewise, the second pull tab 316 has a female locking feature in the form of a concavity 121a adjacent a male locking feature in the form of body portion 122a. The pull tabs 315, 316 are interlocked in like slide-and-turn manner to the first embodiment, firstly sliding the sliders 10, 11 together to the closed position, before rotating one of the pull tabs 315, 316 relative to the other about the pivot axis 32 to mutually engages the male and female locking features, whereupon the second pull tab 316 crosses over from one side to the other of the pull tab 315 and body portion 122a is received in the concavity 121b, and the body portion 122b is received in the concavity 121a, to interlock the first and second pull tabs in an interlocked position that prevents movement of the sliders 10, 11 to their open position. Unlike the first embodiment, the pull tabs 315, 316 are different (i.e. right and left-handed).

    [0034] Figs 11-14 illustrate an alternative fastening device 125 for connecting the pull tabs, to a piece of luggage, such as a backpack 35 including the zip fastener 20 and with which fastening device 125 may be employed. The backpack 35 includes a security strap 36 which may be reinforced with metal threads, one longitudinal end of which is fixed to the backpack, as to the shoulder strap 37, and the opposing free end of which may be provided with a loop 38. If it is necessary to leave the backpack 35 the security strap 36 is used to secure it against opportunistic theft by locking around a fixed item such as a post, or a more massive item such as a piece of furniture. The fastening device 125 secures both this strap 36 and the pull tabs 15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316.

    [0035] The fastening device 125 may comprise a body 41 formed of a U-shaped bar section 39 to the inside of which is fixed a web 40. Two elongate slots 42, 43 may be provided in the web 40, each slot extending from a respective mouth 46, 47 to a closed end 44, 45, each slot 42, 43 extending adjacent a respective pin portion 48, 49 having a projecting end adjacent the respective mouth 46, 47. A closure 50 may be in the form of a sleeve in which the body 41 is slidingly received for movement between a closed position (Fig. 11) in which the closure 50 closes the mouths 46, 47 and an extended position (Fig. 12) in which the closure 50 opens the mouths 46, 47. In use, with the closure 50 extended, the distal ends of the interlocked pull tabs can be entered through the mouth 46 before pin portion 48 is inserted into the distal end openings 23. The loop 38, or an end fitting on the strap 36, may likewise be entered through the mouth 47 before pin portion 49 is inserted into the loop or end fitting. An aperture 52 in the body 41 may be positioned such that with the closure 50 in the closed position a shackle 53 of a padlock 54 extending through the aperture 52 secures the fastening device 125. Abutments (not shown) may be provided to retain the closure 50 on the body 41.

    [0036] Figs 15 and 16 illustrate a fastening device 225 fixed to the backpack 35 and adapted for securely connecting both the pull tabs 15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316 and the strap 36 to the backpack 35 via a single pin portion 60. The free end 61 of the pin portion 60 generally overlies a base member 62 fixed to the backpack 35, as by threaded fasteners 63. Also fixed to the base member 62 is a body section 141 projection next to, but spaced apart from the free end 61, so as to provide a mouth 80 through which the distal ends of the pull tabs and the end fitting 65 on the strap 36 may be entered with the closure 66 in its open position as shown in Fig. 16. The closure 66 may be mounted to the body section 141 to slide in grooves 67 on opposing sides, which may extend generally parallel to the pin portion 60. The closure 66 is shown in its closed, retracted position in Fig. 15, where outward movement may be blocked by a shackle (not shown) extending through an aperture 53 in the body section 141.

    [0037] Figs 17 to 19 illustrate a fastening device 325 fixed to the backpack 35 between zip fasteners 20a, 20b, for securing both zip fasteners 20a, 20b simultaneously. The fastening device 325 has like construction to the fastening device 225, but further includes a latching member 81 carried on the closure 66. The latching member 81 has a penannular form defining a slot 83. A nub 84 projects from its outer surface may be grasped by hand for turning the latching member 81. The latching member 81 is mounted on the closure 66 for rotation about axis 82 between a locked position and an unlocked position, in which the slot 83 is aligned with the body portion 141, allowing the closure 66 to be freely opened and closed. To move the latching member 81 to its locked position the closure 66 is closed or retracted to the position shown in Fig. 17, and the latching member 81 is rotated such that end 86 projects into the mouth 80, blocking movement of the closure 66 to its open position. A security cable 90 having eyes 91 and 92 at opposing ends may be used to secure the backpack 35 to a pole 93 by using he eye 92 to form a loop about the pole 93, and locking the eye 91 in the fastening device 325.

    [0038] Aspects of the present invention have been described by way of example only and it should be appreciated that modifications and additions may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims.


    Claims

    1. A zip fastener (20), comprising:

    first and second sliders (10, 11) disposed to slide lengthwise along a pair of stringers (12, 13), the sliders (10, 11) being moveable relative to one another between a closed position wherein the sliders (10, 11) are adjacent one another, and an open position in which the sliders (10, 11) are spaced apart to open the zip fastener;

    first and second pull tabs (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316), each on a respective one of the first and second sliders (10, 11), the first and second pull tabs (15, 16) being of like form;

    a first coupling (200a) connecting the first pull tab (15, 215, 315) to the first slider (10) for rotation about a pivot axis (32) extending substantially in the lengthwise direction of the stringers (12, 13); characterized in that:

    the first and second pull tabs (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) each have a body (28) elongated between opposing proximal and distal ends, and each of the first and second pull tabs (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) includes a hook (21) disposed between its proximal and distal ends, a tip (27) of the hook (21) being spaced from the body (28), such that a female locking feature comprises a recess (22) between the body (28) and the tip (27) of the hook (21), and a male locking feature comprises at least a complementary portion (29) of the body (28) of the other of the first and second pull tabs (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316), which complementary portion (29) may be received in the recess (22),

    such that with the sliders (10, 11) in the closed position, rotation of the first pull tab (15, 215, 315) about the pivot axis (32) mutually engages the male and female locking features (21, 22) to interlock the first and second pull tabs (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) in an interlocked position that prevents movement of the sliders (10, 11) to their open position.


     
    2. The zip fastener of claim 1 wherein openings (23) are provided in each distal end, and the openings in the distal ends are in registration with one another in the interlocked position.
     
    3. The zip fastener of claim 1 or 2 wherein opposing inner surfaces (202, 203) of the recess (22) are substantially planar, and opposing outer surfaces (204, 205) of the complementary portion (29) of the body (28) received in the female locking feature (22) are substantially planar.
     
    4. The zip fastener of any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein each pull tab has a respective outermost surface (208) disposed outermost when the first and second pull tabs (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) are in their interlocked position, and a concavity (209) in each outermost surface (208) that bounds the complementary portion (29) of the body (28) received in the recess (22), such that in the interlocked position, said outermost surfaces are substantially aligned coplanar with a respective outer surface (210) of the tip (27) of the hook (21).
     
    5. The zip fastener of any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein openings are formed at the proximal ends, the first and second sliders (10, 11) each including a loop (30) extending substantially in the lengthwise direction through the openings (24) at the proximal ends, the loop (30) on the first slider (10) and the opening (24) in the proximal end of the first pull tab (15, 215, 315) forming the first coupling (200a), and the loop (30) on the second slider (11) and the opening (24) in the proximal end of the second pull tab (16, 216, 316) forming a second coupling (200b).
     
    6. The zip fastener of any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the hook (21) is integral with the body (28), and includes a flange portion (26) connecting the tip (27) to the body (28), the flange portion (26) extending from an edge of the body (28).
     
    7. The zip fastener of any one of claims 1 to 6 further comprising a detent (207) for holding the male and female locking features in mutual engagement.
     
    8. The zip fastener of claim 7 wherein the detent comprises a magnet (207) received in an aperture in the male locking feature.
     
    9. Luggage comprising at least one zip fastener as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, and further including a fastening device (25, 125, 225, 325) for connecting the first and second pull tabs (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316).
     
    10. The luggage of claim 9, wherein the fastening device (25, 125, 225, 325) includes:

    a body fixed to the luggage, the body (41, 141) having at least one pin portion having a projecting free end (61, 86) and an opposing fixed end (86), the pin portion being configured to be received in the openings (23) in the distal ends, and

    a closure (50, 66) engaged with the body (41, 141) for sliding movement between a closed position in which the closure (50, 66) blocks the free end (61, 86) and an open position in which the closure (50, 66) is spaced apart from the free end (61, 86).


     
    11. The luggage of claim 10 wherein the body (41, 141) further comprises an opening (17) positioned such that with the closure (50, 66) in the closed position a shackle (53) of a padlock (54) extending through the aperture (52, 53) secures the closure (50, 66).
     
    12. The luggage of claims 10 or 11 wherein the at least one zip fastener comprises two zip fasteners (20a, 20b), and the fastening device (25, 125, 225, 325) is fixed to the luggage between the two zip fasteners (20a, 20b).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Reißverschluss (20), umfassend:

    ein erster und ein zweiter Schieber (10, 11), die angeordnet werden, in Längsrichtung entlang eines Paars von Stringern (12, 13) zu gleiten, wobei die Schieber (10, 11) relativ zueinander zwischen einer geschlossenen Position, in der die Schieber (10, 11) aneinander angrenzend sind, und einer offenen Position, in der die Schieber (10, 11) voneinander entfernt sind, um den Reißverschluss zu öffnen, beweglich sind;

    eine erste und eine zweite Zuglasche (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316), jede jeweils auf einem ersten und einem zweiten Schieber (10, 11), wobei die erste und die zweite Zuglasche (15, 16) die gleiche Form haben;

    eine erste Kupplung (200a), die die erste Zuglasche (15, 215, 315) mit dem ersten Schieber (10) verbindet, um sich um eine Drehachse (32) zu drehen, die sich im Wesentlichen in Längsrichtung der Stringer (12, 13) erstreckt; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass:

    die erste und die zweite Zuglasche (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) jeweils einen Körper (28) aufweisen, der zwischen entgegengesetzten proximalen und distalen Enden verlängert ist, und jede der ersten und der zweiten Zuglasche (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) einen Haken (21) aufweist, der zwischen seinem proximalen und distalen Ende angeordnet wird, wobei eine Kuppe (27) des Hakens (21) von dem Körper (28) so weit entfernt ist, dass eine weibliche Sperrvorrichtung eine Aussparung (22) zwischen dem Körper (28) und der Kuppe (27) des Hakens (21) aufweist, und eine männliche Sperrvorrichtung mindestens ein komplementäres Teil (29) des Körpers (28) des anderen der ersten und der zweiten Zuglasche (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) umfasst, wobei das komplementäre Teil (29) in der Aussparung (22) aufgenommen werden kann,

    derart, dass die Drehung der ersten Zuglasche (15, 215, 315) um die Drehachse (32) bei geschlossener Stellung der Schieber (10, 11) die männlichen und weiblichen Sperrvorrichtungen (21, 22) gegenseitig in Eingriff bringt, um die erste und die zweite Zuglasche (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) in einer verriegelten Position zu verriegeln, die eine Bewegung der Schieber (10, 11) in ihre geöffnete Position verhindert.


     
    2. Reißverschluss nach Anspruch 1, wobei in jedem distalen Ende Öffnungen (23) vorgesehen werden und die Öffnungen in den distalen Enden in der verriegelten Position zueinander in Deckung sind.
     
    3. Reißverschluss nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei gegenüberliegende Innenflächen (202, 203) der Aussparung (22) im Wesentlichen eben sind und gegenüberliegende Außenflächen (204, 205) des komplementären Teils (29) des Körpers (28), der in der weiblichen Sperrvorrichtung (22) aufgenommen wird, im Wesentlichen eben sind.
     
    4. Reißverschluss nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei jede Zuglasche eine jeweils äußerste Fläche (208), die am äußersten Rand angeordnet wird, wenn die erste und die zweite Zuglasche (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) in ihrer verriegelten Position sind, und eine Vertiefung (209) in jeder äußersten Fläche (208) aufweist, die das komplementäre Teil (29) des Körpers (28), der in der Aussparung (22) aufgenommen wird, derart begrenzt, dass die äußersten Flächen in der verriegelten Position im Wesentlichen komplanar mit einer entsprechenden Außenfläche (210) der Kuppe (27) des Hakens (21) ausgerichtet werden.
     
    5. Reißverschluss nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei Öffnungen an den proximalen Enden ausgebildet werden, wobei der erste und der zweite Schieber (10, 11) jeweils eine Schlaufe (30) aufweisen, die sich im Wesentlichen in Längsrichtung durch die Öffnungen (24) an den proximalen Enden hindurch erstreckt, wobei die Schlaufe (30) am ersten Schieber (10) und die Öffnung (24) im proximalen Ende der ersten Zuglasche (15, 215, 315) die erste Kupplung (200a) bilden, und die Schlaufe (30) am zweiten Schieber (11) und die Öffnung (24) im proximalen Ende der zweiten Zuglasche (16, 216, 316) eine zweite Kupplung (200b) bilden.
     
    6. Reißverschluss nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei der Haken (21) integraler Bestandteil des Körpers (28) ist und ein Flanschteil (26) aufweist, das die Kuppe (27) mit dem Körper (28) verbindet, wobei sich das Flanschteil (26) von einer Kante des Körpers (28) aus erstreckt.
     
    7. Reißverschluss nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, der des Weiteren eine Raste (207) zum Halten der männlichen und weiblichen Sperrvorrichtungen in gegenseitigem Eingriff umfasst.
     
    8. Reißverschluss nach Anspruch 7, wobei die Raste einen Magneten (207) umfasst, der in einer Öffnung in der männlichen Sperrvorrichtung aufgenommen wird.
     
    9. Gepäck, das mindestens einen Reißverschluss nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche umfasst und des Weiteren eine Befestigungsvorrichtung (25, 125, 225, 325) zum Verbinden der ersten und der zweiten Zuglasche (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) aufweist.
     
    10. Gepäck nach Anspruch 9, wobei die Befestigungsvorrichtung (25, 125, 225, 325) aufweist:

    einen Körper, der am Gepäck befestigt wird, wobei der Körper (41, 141) mindestens ein Stiftteil mit einem vorstehenden freien Ende (61, 86) und einem gegenüberliegenden festen Ende (86) aufweist, wobei das Stiftteil konfiguriert wird, um in den Öffnungen (23) in den distalen Enden aufgenommen zu werden, und

    einen Verschluss (50, 66), der mit dem Körper (41, 141) in Eingriff steht, um eine Gleitbewegung zwischen einer geschlossenen Position, in der der Verschluss (50, 66) das freie Ende (61, 86) blockiert, und einer offenen Position, in der der Verschluss (50, 66) von dem freien Ende (61, 86) räumlich getrennt ist, durchzuführen.


     
    11. Gepäck nach Anspruch 10, wobei der Körper (41, 141) des Weiteren eine Öffnung (17) umfasst, die so positioniert wird, dass mit dem Verschluss (50, 66) in der geschlossenen Position ein Schäkel (53) eines Vorhängeschlosses (54), das sich durch die Öffnung (52, 53) erstreckt, den Verschluss (50, 66) sichert.
     
    12. Gepäck nach Anspruch 10 oder 11, wobei der mindestens eine Reißverschluss zwei Reißverschlüsse (20a, 20b) umfasst und die Befestigungsvorrichtung (25, 125, 225, 325) an dem Gepäck zwischen den beiden Reißverschlüssen (20a, 20b) befestigt wird.
     


    Revendications

    1. Fermeture éclair (20), comprenant :

    des premier et deuxième curseurs (10, 11) agencés de manière à coulisser dans la longueur le long d'une paire de chaînes (12, 13), les curseurs (10, 11) étant mobiles l'un par rapport à l'autre entre une position fermée dans laquelle les curseurs (10, 11) sont adjacents l'un à l'autre, et une position ouverte dans laquelle les curseurs (10, 11) sont espacés l'un de l'autre afin d'ouvrir la fermeture éclair ;

    des première et deuxième pattes de traction (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316), chacune se trouvant sur un curseur respectif parmi les premier et deuxième curseurs (10, 11), les première et deuxième pattes de traction (15, 16) étant de forme similaire ;

    un premier couplage (200a) raccordant la première patte de traction (15, 215, 315) au premier curseur (10) en vue d'une rotation autour d'un axe de pivotement (32) s'étendant essentiellement dans la direction de longueur des chaînes (12, 13) ; caractérisée en ce que :

    les première et deuxième pattes de traction (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) présentent respectivement un corps (28) allongé entre des extrémités proximale et distale opposées, et chacune parmi les première et deuxième pattes de traction (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) comprend un crochet (21) agencé entre ses extrémités proximale et distale, une pointe (27) du crochet (21) étant espacée par rapport au corps (28), de sorte qu'un attribut de verrouillage femelle comprend un renfoncement (22) entre le corps (28) et la pointe (27) du crochet (21), et un attribut de verrouillage mâle comprend au moins une partie complémentaire (29) du corps (28) de l'autre parmi les première et deuxième pattes de traction (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316), ladite partie complémentaire (29) pouvant être accueillie dans le renfoncement (22),

    de sorte que, avec les curseurs (10, 11) dans la position fermée, une rotation de la première patte de traction (15, 215, 315) autour de l'axe de pivotement (32) met en prise de manière mutuelle les attributs de verrouillage mâle et femelle (21, 22) afin d'imbriquer les première et deuxième pattes de traction (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) dans une position imbriquée qui empêche un déplacement des curseurs (10, 11) vers leur position ouverte.


     
    2. Fermeture éclair selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle des ouvertures (23) sont fournies dans chaque extrémité distale, et les ouvertures des extrémités distales sont alignées les unes avec les autres dans la position imbriquée.
     
    3. Fermeture éclair selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans laquelle des surfaces intérieures (202, 203), se faisant face, du renfoncement (22) sont essentiellement planes, et des surfaces extérieures (204, 205), se faisant face, de la partie complémentaire (29) du corps (28) accueillie dans l'attribut de verrouillage femelle (22) sont essentiellement planes.
     
    4. Fermeture éclair selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans laquelle chaque patte de traction présente une surface la plus extérieure (208) respective agencée de la manière la plus extérieure lorsque les première et deuxième pattes de traction (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316) sont dans leur position imbriquée, et une concavité (209) dans chaque surface la plus extérieure (208), qui lie la partie complémentaire (29) du corps (28) accueillie dans le renfoncement (22), de sorte que, dans la position imbriquée, lesdites surfaces les plus extérieures sont essentiellement alignées de manière coplanaire avec une surface extérieure (210) respective de la pointe (27) du crochet (21).
     
    5. Fermeture éclair selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans laquelle des ouvertures sont formées au niveau des extrémités proximales, les premier et deuxième curseurs (10, 11) comprenant respectivement une boucle (30) s'étendant essentiellement dans la direction de longueur à travers les ouvertures (24) au niveau des extrémités proximales, la boucle (30) située sur le premier curseur (10) et l'ouverture (24) située dans l'extrémité proximale de la première patte de traction (15, 215, 315) formant le premier couplage (200a), et la boucle (30) située sur le deuxième curseur (11) et l'ouverture (24) située dans l'extrémité proximale de la deuxième patte de traction (16, 216, 316) formant un deuxième couplage (200b).
     
    6. Fermeture éclair selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans laquelle le crochet (21) fait partie intégrante du corps (28), et comprend une partie bride (26) raccordant la pointe (27) au corps (28), la partie bride (26) s'étendant à partir d'un bord du corps (28).
     
    7. Fermeture éclair selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, comprenant en outre un cran (207) permettant de retenir les attributs de verrouillage mâle et femelle en mise en prise mutuelle.
     
    8. Fermeture éclair selon la revendication 7, dans laquelle le cran comprend un aimant (207) accueilli dans un évidement de l'attribut de verrouillage mâle.
     
    9. Bagage comprenant au moins une fermeture éclair selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, et comprenant en outre un dispositif de fixation (25, 125, 225, 325) permettant de raccorder les première et deuxième pattes de traction (15, 115, 215, 315, 16, 116, 216, 316).
     
    10. Bagage selon la revendication 9, dans lequel le dispositif de fixation (25, 125, 225, 325) comprend :

    un corps fixé au bagage, le corps (41, 141) présentant au moins une partie piton présentant une extrémité libre (61, 86) faisant saillie et une extrémité fixe (86) lui faisant face, la partie piton étant configurée pour être accueillie dans les ouvertures (23) des extrémités distales, et

    un dispositif de blocage (50, 66) mis en prise avec le corps (41, 141) en vue d'un déplacement coulissant entre une position fermée dans laquelle le dispositif de blocage (50, 66) bloque l'extrémité libre (61, 86) et une position ouverte dans laquelle le dispositif de blocage (50, 66) est espacé par rapport à l'extrémité libre (61, 86).


     
    11. Bagage selon la revendication 10, dans lequel le corps (41, 141) comprend en outre une ouverture (17) positionnée de sorte que, avec le dispositif de blocage (50, 66) dans la position fermée, une manille (53) d'un cadenas (54) s'étendant à travers l'évidement (52, 53) mobilise le dispositif de blocage (50, 66).
     
    12. Bagage selon la revendication 10 ou 11, dans lequel la au moins une fermeture éclair comprend deux fermetures éclairs (20a, 20b), et le dispositif de fixation (25, 125, 225, 325) est fixé au bagage entre les deux fermetures éclairs (20a, 20b).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description