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Publication numberUS20030093931 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/989,210
Publication dateMay 22, 2003
Filing dateNov 19, 2001
Priority dateNov 19, 2001
Publication number09989210, 989210, US 2003/0093931 A1, US 2003/093931 A1, US 20030093931 A1, US 20030093931A1, US 2003093931 A1, US 2003093931A1, US-A1-20030093931, US-A1-2003093931, US2003/0093931A1, US2003/093931A1, US20030093931 A1, US20030093931A1, US2003093931 A1, US2003093931A1
InventorsJohn Cuff
Original AssigneeCuff John L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Card holder
US 20030093931 A1
Abstract
A transparent card holder covers only a portion of a card while a portion of the card protrudes from the card holder allowing it to communicate with appropriate device interfaces. The dimensions and stretchy nature of the card holder provide a snug fit to prevent the card from falling out. A tab on the card holder allows it to be attached to a display device attached to a user's clothing to provide quick access to the card while minimizing the risk of loss.
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Claims(34)
What is claimed is:
1. A card holder comprising: a flat front wall; and a flat back wall lying in face-to-face relation with the front wall, said walls being joined at opposite ends to create a pocket defined by the walls and said ends, said walls each having two longer sides with a pair of adjacent edges being unjoined to form an entry to said pocket, said pocket being sized to permit a section of a flat card to be inserted into said pocket with a remaining portion of the card protruding from the pocket so that if there is a magnetic stripe on the protruding portion that portion can be placed in a slot of a sensing device while card said section remains in the pocket, said holder being configured to grip said card section so that the card cannot be inadvertently dislodged from the pocket.
2. The holder in claim 1 in which a tab is joined to one of said walls, said tab being configured to be removably connectable to a display device.
3. The holder of claim 2 in which the tab is joined to one of said ends.
4. The holder in claim 1 in which said walls have a pair of side edges which are joined.
5. The holder of claim 1 in which one of said ends is less than half the length of one of the sides.
6. The holder in claim 1 in which one of the sides is approximately three times longer than one of the ends.
7. The holder in claim 1 in which the side is approximately 3⅜ inches and the end is approximately 1 inch.
8. The holder in claim 1 in which the walls are made of a transparent plastic.
9. The holder in claim 8 in which said plastic is a stretchy material which allows the card holder to grip the ends of the inserted card section.
10. The holder in claim 8 in which said plastic includes a plasticizer giving the plastic a softness rating of 1S or softer.
11. The holder in claim 8 in which said plastic removably adheres itself to a card when the card is inserted.
12. The holder of claim 1 in which one of said unjoined edges protrudes beyond the other unjoined edge to facilitate opening said pocket.
13. A card holder comprising: a flat front wall; and a flat back wall engaging the front wall, said walls being sealed at opposite ends and along a pair of side edges to create a rectangular pocket, said walls having a pair of adjacent side edges which remain sealed to form an entry to said pocket, said pocket being sized to permit a section of a stiff flat card to be inserted through said entry into said pocket with a remaining portion of the card protruding from the pocket, said holder being made of a transparent, flexible, somewhat elastic material and dimensioned so that when a card is inserted into the pocket entry, the walls are separated by the card and the wall material between the ends is stretched causing the holder ends to grip the card so that the card cannot be inadvertently dislodged from the pocket.
14. The holder in claim 13 in which said plastic material is a vinyl which includes sufficient plasticizer to give the material a softness rating of 1S or softer.
15. A card and holder assembly comprising: a flat card, and a holder creating a pocket sized to receive a section of said card with a portion of the card protruding from the holder when said section is fully inserted in said pocket, and said pocket is configured to grip the card so that the card cannot be inadvertently dislodged from the pocket.
16. The assembly in claim 15 in which said holder has a tab extending from said pocket to provide for attachment to a display device.
17. The assembly in claim 16 including a retractable reel having a cord attached to said holder.
18. The assembly in claim 16 including a neck lanyard connected to said tab.
19. The assembly in claim 15 in which said protruding portion is at least half of said card.
20. The assembly in claim 15 in which said protruding portion is at least one third of the card.
21. The assembly in claim 15 in which said protruding portion has indicia indicating a right to access.
22. The assembly in claim 15 in which said card has a magnetic stripe on said protruding portion.
23. The assembly in claim 15 in which said card has machine readable information thereon that remains operable while the card is fully inserted in the holder.
24. The assembly in claim 15 in which said card has a graphical indicia that remains visible while the card is in the card holder.
25. The assembly in claim 15 in which said card is rectangular approximately 2⅛ inches by 3⅜ inches, and said pocket is approximately 3⅜ inches by 1 inch.
26. A method of using a card holder comprising inserting a card into said holder with a portion of said card protruding beyond said card holder and with indicia on said card remaining available for visual inspection and communication with a sensing device, and inserting said card protruding portion into a desired location without removal of said card from said card holder.
27. A method of using a card and card holder assembly in which a portion of said card which protrudes from said holder is inserted into a receiving device without removal from said card holder.
28. The method of claim 27 including swiping said portion into a sensing device without removing said card from said holder.
29. The method of claim 26 including connecting said holder to a holder connection and said swiping is performed without removing said card from said holder and without removing said holder from the holder connection attached to a user.
30. A method of utilizing a card having a section of machine readable information thereon comprising the steps of:
inserting the card into a holder with said card section protruding from the holder; and
grasping the holder and positioning the card section adjacent to a device which senses said information.
31. The method of claim 30 including the steps of:
attaching the card holder to a cord secured to a retractable reel;
attaching the reel to a person;
extending the cord during said positioning step without disconnecting the holder from the cord; and
allowing the cord to be retracted into the reel with the holder, carrying the card, still attached to the cord.
32. The method of claim 30 including the step of:
removably attaching the card holder to a neck lanyard;
removing the holder from the lanyard to perform the positioning step; and
reattaching the holder to the lanyard after the positioning step.
33. The method of claim 30 wherein said machine readable information is captured within a magnetic stripe on the card, and said positioning step includes swiping the card through a slot in said device so that the information on the stripe is sensed by the device.
34. A method of holding a stiff rectangular card comprising inserting a section of the card into a pocket formed by the walls of a rectangular card holder with a portion of the card protruding from the holder, said card holder being made of material which is somewhat elastic and the holder is dimensioned such that said inserting requires stretching the holder slightly to receive and grip the card section so that the card cannot be inadvertently dislodged from holder.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to card holders that typically hold identification cards or access cards and often are connected to a display device and attached to a person or a persons clothing.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Wearable card holders are common for displaying identification badges, access cards, and other credentials in offices, hospitals, conventions, and other situations. Card holders function as a means to attach cards to a user's clothing while displaying the cards. The card holder may also be attached to a person such as by way of a neck lanyard or wristband. Card holders are available in a variety of shapes, designs, and materials.

[0005] The sizes of card holders have become increasingly standardized as the size of identification cards have become standardized to the approximate size of a credit card or driver's license. Often these cards have pictures, logos, writing, and other graphics to be displayed by the user. Some cards are machine-readable and include devices such as magnetic stripes, bar codes, and electronic circuits. Frequently such cards are used to gain entry to certain areas by inserting them into a machine, showing them to a security guard, or placing them near a sensor.

[0006] Card holders, therefore must allow users to repeatedly access their cards. Typically the card is completely encapsulated by the card holder. Many card holders utilize envelope designs to secure a card. Some of the envelope designs include snap closures or tab closures. Such designs are effective for preventing accidental loss of cards, but they require additional efforts to remove the cards from the holders. While a card is completely encapsulated, it typically cannot function with reader devices while being held in these types of holders and thus must be removed from the holder to be used. For this reason, these types of card holders are not preferred for cards which include embedded information-containing indicia such as magnetic stripes, bar codes, or electronic circuits.

[0007] As an alternative to card holders, holes or slots are punched into cards and clips are attached through them. Punching holes in cards is not favorable because holes will often interfere with embedded indicia and with the overall appearance of the card. Punching the holes also requires additional machinery and labor. Furthermore, a hole in the card will frequently cause weakening or wearing of a card, requiring replacement sooner than a card without a hole.

[0008] Notwithstanding the many different types of card holders, it is believed that there is a need for an improved card holder that allows users quick and easy access to embedded indicia and does not obscure the appearance of the card.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a card holder is provided that secures cards in such a way that a portion of the card protrudes from the holder while the card is fully inserted. This allows cards to be secured without being completely encapsulated. Where appropriate, the exposed portion of cards inserted in this card holder can be made to communicate with reading devices such as card readers or card-operated door locks. The card holder may be provided with a tab for connecting the holder to the cord of a displaying device such as a retractable reel. This enables the cord to be conveniently placed near a sensing device without separating the holder from the cord.

[0010] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a card holder is provided that allows indicia on cards to be visible through the card holder. The card holder is made of a clear plastic and does not block or distort the appearance of the card.

[0011] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a card holder is provided that secures a card with a three sided space. The dimensions of the space are such that cards fit snugly into the card holder. The cards are held securely due, in part, to the tight fit without a need for glue. This configuration allows the cards to be removed from the holder when desired.

[0012] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a card holder is provided that secures cards with a tacky adhesion of the plastic holder to the card. The properties of the plastic used in the card holder provide some adhesion to plastic cards to prevent accidental dislodgment but allow for removal from the holder when desired.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013]FIG. 1 is a prespective view of the card holder of the invention with an identification card inserted and a retractable reel attached.

[0014]FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a card and card holder with the walls of the card holder spread open to show how the card is inserted.

[0015]FIG. 3 is a cross-section across the length of the card of the card holder without the card.

[0016]FIG. 4 is a cross-section across the length of the card of the card holder with a card inserted.

[0017]FIG. 5 is a view of the card holder with a card inserted.

[0018]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the card holder with a card inserted attached to a neck lanyard.

[0019]FIG. 7 is a view of the card holder with a card inserted attached to the cord from a retractable reel showing how the card is swiped through a reading device without removing the card.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0020]FIG. 1 illustrates a card holder 10 preferably made from transparent, flexible plastic. FIG. 2 shows that the card holder includes a pocket 12 defined by two plastic walls 14 and 16 lying in face-to-face relationship with each other. The walls are sealed along their short ends 22 and 23, and also along one long edge 20, with the opposite long edges 19 and 21 being unsealed, to define an entry to the pocket. The wall 16 and its edge 19 extend beyond the wall 14 to facilitate opening of the pocket and insertion of a stiff card 18. The length of the holder is such that holder ends tightly engage the card ends. While a holder with only two opposite ends of the pocket sealed might grip a card sufficiently, it is preferred that three edges of the walls are sealed so as to limit the extent to which a card can be inserted into the pocket holder.

[0021] The cross section in FIG. 3 illustrates that the card holder is flat when no card is inserted. When a card is inserted, the card holder walls must spread to receive it as shown in FIG. 4, which causes the card holder's length to shorten slightly, tightening the grip on the card.

[0022] In a preferred embodiment, the pocket is sized to fit a standard size, plastic identification card 18 with dimensions of about 2⅛ inches by 3⅜ inches. The dimensions of the pocket are matched to the card to provide a snug fit. The actual dimensions of the card holder can be varied before manufacture in anticipation of different sized cards. In a preferred embodiment, the pocket is approximately 3⅜ inches by 1 inch. The thickness of the plastic is preferably approximately {fraction (2/100)} inches.

[0023] The preferred embodiment of the holder has a ratio of approximately three to one for the length of the edges 20 of the pocket to that of the two short edges 22 and 23. This configuration provides that a portion of a card, the exposed portion 24, will remain uncovered when the card is fully inserted into the holder. With the typical card, the exposed portion is about 1⅛ inch by 3⅜ inch.

[0024] As may be appreciated from FIGS. 5 and 7 the part of the card remaining uncovered may contain a magnetic stripe 26, a circuit, or other indicia. Because it remains uncovered, the indicia may interact with a sensing device. For example, FIG. 7 shows that a card with a computer readable magnetic stripe may be properly swiped through a reading device 37 without removing the card from the holder. Because reading devices are available in a variety of configurations and some require cards to be inserted further than others, in the preferred embodiment more than half of the card remains uncovered.

[0025]FIG. 1 illustrates a tab 28 connected to one of the shorter edges 23 of the card holder. In the preferred embodiment, the tab has a hole 30 to facilitate attachment to a displaying device. For example, FIG. 1 shows the hole in the tab sized to accept a clip 34 which is used to attach the card holder to a cord 35 of a retractable reel 36, with the reel being attachable to a user's clothing or belt. The holder and card may remain attached to a person for the entire time the card is being used. Other display devices such as a neck lanyard 40 shown in FIG. 6, or a wristband, can also be attached to the holder. When attached to one of these devices, the holder can be released from a quick releasing buckle 42 for use with a sensing device and then returned to the buckle.

[0026] Several types of plastic can be used to make the card holder, but the preferred material is a soft, somewhat elastic or stretchy vinyl. Sufficient plasticizer is added to the vinyl to obtain the desired softness. Preferably the material is in the 1S to 6S hand softness range, with the most preferable softness being 3S. FIG. 5 shows that the vinyl used in the preferred embodiment has a tackiness to it that provides some adhesion 38 to inserted cards. This adhesion is known in the industry as blocking.

[0027] As seen in FIGS. 1, 5 and 6 the transparent plastic used in the preferred embodiment does not interfere with the visual appearance of indicia on a card.

[0028] The card holder can be made in a single operation wherein three sides of the pocket are joined, as well as the periphery of the hole 30 and the tab 28. The plastic may be joined by RF energy or other suitable means.

[0029] While it has been found that having a card gripped by the holder simply with the dimensions and characteristics of the material, other techniques may be employed for securing the card to the holder. For example, small quantity of sticky material could be provided in the card pocket that would releasably hold the card. With that technique, the plastic or other holder material need not be soft and stretchy.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7380357 *Dec 3, 2004Jun 3, 2008Adstracts, Inc.Promotional badge holding apparatus
US7604176Mar 7, 2005Oct 20, 2009American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.Radio frequency fobs and methods of using the same
US7798415Sep 19, 2005Sep 21, 2010American Express Travel Realted Services Company, Inc.Wireless transaction fobs and methods of using the same
US8157181Aug 16, 2010Apr 17, 2012American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.Wireless transaction fobs and methods of using the same
US8708238Apr 13, 2012Apr 29, 2014Vera Bradley Designs, Inc.Personal transaction card carrier
WO2005112685A1 *May 20, 2005Dec 1, 2005American Express Travel RelateRadio frequency fobs and methods of using the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/1.6
International ClassificationA45F3/00, A45C11/18, A45F5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45C11/182, A45F2200/055, A45F2003/002, A45F5/004, A45F5/00
European ClassificationA45C11/18C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 19, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: J.A.M. PLASTICS, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CUFF, JOHN L.;REEL/FRAME:012317/0360
Effective date: 20011119