- BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
This invention relates to a simple method of keeping such varied items as credit cards, identification cards, drivers licences, membership cards and many other cards plus such items as photographs, paint color samples, and paper samples, among a potential multitude of other items, in a neat package easily carried in a pants pocket, an ordinary shirt or blouse pocket, a purse or similar carrying device. Using this device permits a person to carry a large number of cards in a case from which any individual card can be easily extracted without removing the entire contents of the case, and at the same time the remaining cards are firmly held within the case and will not fall out onto the floor or on to a counter top. After a card is withdrawn and used, it is a simple matter to reinsert that card into the case with little effort.
- DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART
About three years ago I entered a hospital for a series of tests and a subsequent brain tumor removal. At the admitting desk I was required to furnish at least the following cards—Social Security, Medicare, Supplemental Insurance Card, Drivers License, a previously issued Hospital ID card and several more items which have slipped my memory. About the only thing they did not ask for was a copy of my Army Discharge Papers! In the process of finding all this material it was necessary to empty my wallet, a separate case for my drivers license and insurance cards and one or two other things that were carried loosely in my pockets. Getting out what was required resulted in a large pile of documents on the admitting desk and inverted pockets around the periphery of my body. It took considerable time to reallocate all the cards to their usual resting place. The experience was so annoying that my search for a simple solution to the problem began shortly after my recovery from surgery.
A patent search found many patents issued for carrying cards and similar items. Among the items found were wallets, purses, business card cases, photograph albums, swatch books for various products such as paint color chips, building siding samples, roofing samples, carpeting samples and many other items which could be easily displayed using the principle or this proposed credit card holder. That search resulted in only one item that remotely resembles the subject of this patent application and that item is the ROLODEX card filing system. A Rolodex does have the ability to insert or remove a card which has properly spaced and properly designed holes in one edge, but it would hardly be appropriate for carrying in a persons pocket. Most credit card cases are simple fold over items directly related to business card cases where the user must remove a group of cards from the case, thumb through them to find the correct card, use it, and then stuff the utilized card back into the case. A second current method of carrying credit cards is in a compartment of an ordinary wallet or an ordinary purse. The same problem persists, namely sorting through a stack of cards possibly located in several different wallets or trouser pockets, and trying to find the correct card. A third common method of carrying credit cards is in a wallet or folder which contains a long plastic sleeve divided into individual pouches which fold up somewhat like an accordion, each pouch holding a separate card. We have all witnessed some of our brethren dangling a long receptacle of this type, struggling to find the correct card and upon occasion depositing more than one card on the counter top or even on the floor and then collecting the debris and trying to reinsert it into appropriate pouches.
It is apparent to most users of credit cards that a need exists for making the storage and selection of such items easier than what we have in the present state of affairs. Examination of the cited patents makes it obvious that none of them offer the simplicity and neatness of storage and retrieval of cards that this patent application offers.
The following patent numbers constitute a range of significant prior art:
- U.S. Pat. No. 4,697,698—of Oct. 6, 1987—Holdener
- U.S. Pat. No. 5,038,926—of Aug. 13, 1991—van der Toorn
- U.S. Pat. No. 4,817,253—of Apr. 4, 1989—Harmatuik
- D312,532—of Jul. 20, 1987—Prey; Kuno
- D376,257—of Dec. 10, 96—Broussalian
- U.S. Pat. No. 5,370,419of Dec. 6, 1994—Takayama
These inventions are typical of a very large body of card holding prior art that in their use would be even more aggravating than stuffing all of ones cards into a wallet pocket or securing a group of cards with a rubber band. The ideas are workable but decidedly awkward and inconvenient.
Among the multitude of patents for an item suitable for carrying credit cards these are merely representative of a large mass of patents in this particular field. I do not list more since I am sure that the field will be examined by your office in great detail and perhaps with greater incite than I possess.
There is one new item now being introduced to the market place and that is a credit card being offered by the issuers of the DISCOVERY credit card. Some of the characteristics of this card are as follows:
- 1. This new card is somewhat oval in shape.
- 2. The card is a bit smaller that the common credit cards now in use.
- 3. The card has a hole in one edge of the card.
- 4. The card is also encased in what appears to be a plastic case which conforms closely to the shape of the card itself.
- 5. A key chain is, or can be threaded through the edge of this case.
- 6. The issuers pitch for the card is that a user will no longer have to search through his or her wallet, purse or other carrying device to locate the credit card.
- 7. It is suggested by the issuer that this configuration will make it easier to locate the card in ones pocket or purse. True, if you have only one card. If you have many cards you would have a pocket full of key chains to sort out in order to find the one you need!
- 8. The hard plastic case also has a metal clip attached to it for use in attaching the case to ones belt or necklace or something of that nature. A mental picture of a user carrying ten or twelve such cases on his or her belt once more indicates that the ‘Discover’ configuration of a credit card holder would be quite inconvenient for anyone carrying more than one or two credit cards plus insurance cards plus a drivers license
- SUMMARY OF INVENTION
If I were to have such a device for each card I carry you would hear the jangle of a dozen hard plastic cases in my pocket with every step I took!In addition this design does not appear to permit the use of the card in an ATM machine. Such ATM use is workable with the device described in this patent application. Those statements are also true of “Pay at the Pump” gas station usage.
Combining and modifying certain features of present practice into a new concept can aid materially in the ability to carry the multiplicity of cards that most of us find essential in this modern world and to carry those cards in an organized, neat, easily retrievable manner.
Present practice often utilizes a case the approximate size of a credit card. This practice will also be utilized by this invention. A particular addition to the present practice is to allow the cards in the card case to be examined quickly by merely fanning them out. With the proposed configuration this fanning can be accomplished without the danger of spilling the cards out of the case onto the floor or counter top because the cards are securely held in the case by a post as shown in the drawings. Once the cards are fanned out the user can select the desired card, pull it off the post that holds it in the case, utilize the card and then replace the card in the case by snapping it back onto the post.
Existing cards will have to be modified before they will fit into the newly designed card case. That modification will be a key hole shaped notch cut into the edge of a presently configured credit card issued as shown in the drawings. This notching can be accomplished in several ways-
One way would be to design a hand punch similar to a punch used by conductors on a train to punch tickets. Instead of a plain hole or a star or some other configuration, the cutting die would be in the proper sized configuration of a key hole. A base must be designed to hold each credit card in exactly the same position when the key holes are punched. Otherwise the location of the key hole would vary from card to card and the contents of the case would be uneven. Such a punch could be utilized by individuals to modify their existing cards. In making a prototype of this case I utilized a hand punch similar to the punches used by train conductors to punch train tickets. It took a good deal of effort to do this but a slight redesign of the punch, namely making the handles a bit longer to increase the leverage will alleviate that problem. The use of a standard punch also made only a round hole in the cards. It was necessary to cut a channel from the edge of the card into the punched hole, such channel being slightly smaller at its point of entry into the punched hole than the diameter of the hole itself. This is necessary to allow the card to snap onto and off of the post in the case and not allow it to be put or taken off the post without a slight bit of pressure being exerted by the user.
A second method would be to design a sturdier device with heavier hardware to be utilized by issuers of credit cards should they elect to supply the card case of this patent to their customers for a small fee, as perhaps a promotional venture. As part of the card issuer procedure they would punch the customers cards at their place of business as part of their promotional effort. Such a device could be similar to punches currently used to punch two holes near the top of a form to allow such a form to be held in place in a file folder or to punch three holes in papers to be inserted into a three ring binder.
Issuers of new credit cards could have the cards produced by the card manufacturer with the key hole notch molded into the corner of the card during the regular card production process. This would not be difficult nor would it be costly, at least in the opinion of a manufacturer of credit cards who currently makes some credit cards with a tab hinged to one end of the base card, said tab having a hole molded into it, said hole being there to accommodate a key ring. Large issuers of credit cards might go in this direction, first in an effort to increase their client base by using some tie in of a convenient card case with an initial signing of by a new customer or with a renewal of presently held cards. A further modification could be the cutting of a right angle notch in the card rather than a key hole shaped notch. Such an arrangement may work as well as the keyhole notch but the better of the two systems will be determined by practice and experience. Basically a large number of notch configurations may be developed which are workable.
The foregoing 2 pages give a brief idea of the preferred embodiment of this invention. There are however several different uses requiring different configurations of parts of the invention, among them are the following-
- 1. Photograph albums varying in size from those as small as a credit card to 8×10 inches or even larger. In such a use, the photos could be laminated and then punched to form a notch or pre-notched clear sleeves could be made, into which, the photos could be inserted. Once again merely fanning out the contents of the album would enable a person to select one or more photos of particular interest and extract them from the album for more convenient viewing. Such a usage would probably increase the life of the photos because they would be protected by either lamination or by plastic sleeves.
- 2. Paint color chips could be fit into an appropriate sized cover and utilized to actually place sample color swatches on a given surface to give a better feeling for what the finished job may look like.
- 3. Actual samples of vinyl siding or of roofing shingles could be snapped in and out of a cover similar to the cases and/or albums previously discussed and would also enable a potential user to get a better idea of what the finished job might look like than if that user picked out a color from a display of materials at a contractors place of business.
- 4. A strap of material made of plastic or in some uses even made of sturdy types of cloth can be used in place of a case which covers the entire contents. This embodiment would not protect the cards, photos or samples as well as a case covering the entire contents being held by the post but for some applications it might be quite suitable.
- 5. A post with no cover and no strap could be effective for certain applications where protection of the displayed product is of no consequence.
- OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES
There can be variations in design based upon different uses but the basic concept of the product being held in place by a post and the product having a notch in it to enable that product to be snapped on and off the retaining post are the common elements which makes this application unique and patentable.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
Several objects and advantages of this invention are:
- a. To allow a multiplicity of cards to be carried in a small case.
- b. To make it more convenient to extract and reinsert cards from and into said case than is true of present practices.
- c. To allow a user to carry 9 or 10 cards in a case the approximate length and width of a credit card and a thickness of approximately ½ inch. Should a user requirement be that he or she carry 15 cards , a case ¾ inches thick will accommodate that many cards. Should a person have to carry 20 cards, a case 1 inch thick will hold that quantity. Even a case 1 inch thick is small enough to be carried in the shirt pocket of an ordinary dress shirt.
- d. To provide a case that does not permit any card to accidentally fall out if inserted properly.
- e. To allow the contents of the case to be scrutinized for proper card selection without removing any of the cards reviewed except the card required.
- f. To be able to allow presently issued cards to be modified to fit the case.
- g. To be able to supply future cards in a configuration which does not require modification.
- h. To provide a configuration where the use of a card in an ATM machine is workable even though the card itself is physically modified.
- i. To provide a configuration where the card can be used for “Pay at the Pump” services.
- j. To provide means for constructing photograph albums of various sizes utilizing the same basic concept as that utilized for credit cards and I.D. cards.
- k. To provide means for constructing swatch books for various products utilizing the same basic principle as that utilized for credit cards and I.D. cards.
Figure Number and View
FIG. 1. Top View of credit card case showing contents of case fanned out.
FIG. 2. View a—Typical credit card case shown in flat open position.
FIG. 2. View b—Top view of typical credit card case closed.
FIG. 3. Partially open, empty credit card case illustrating how a card holding post would be assembled into the credit card case.
FIG. 4. View a—End view of assembled credit card case empty.
FIG. 4. View b—End view of assembled credit card case filled with cards.
FIG. 5. View a—Typical credit card—reverse side showing position of a magnetic strip in relation to a notch in the edge of the card.
LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS
FIG. 5. View b—Typical credit card—front side showing approximate position of the notch in the edge of the card.
. Credit Card Case Showing Cards Fanned Out\
- 1 Credit Card Case
- 2 Post To Hold Cards In Place
- 3 Cards In Fanned Out Position
. Credit Card Case
- View A—Case Cover Laid Out Flat
- 1A Credit Card Case Laid Flat
- 4 Holes In Cover To Accommodate Post Part 2
- View B Closed Credit Card Case
- 1 Credit Card Case—Closed—Top View
- 4 Hole In Cover To Accommodate Post 2
—Credit Card Cover Partially Open
- 1C Partially Open Credit Card Cover
- 2A Male Portion Of Post 2
- 2B Female Portion Of Post 2
- 4 Holes to accommodate Post 2
—Credit Card Holder—Empty
- View A—Closed, Empty Credit Card Cover
- 1B End View Of Closed, Empty Credit Card Cover
- 2 Post
- 2A Male Portion Of Post 2
- 2B Female Portion Of Post 2
- View B—Closed, Full Credit Card Cover
- 1B End view of Closed, Full Credit Card Cover
- 2 Post
- 3 a End View Of a Stack Of Credit Cards Being Held In Place By Post 2
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
. Single Credit Cards
- View A—Back Of A Typical Credit Card
- 3B Back Of Credit Card Showing Location Of Magnetic Strip
- 5 Notch in Card Edge To Accommodate Post 2
- View B—Front Of Typical Credit Card
- 3C Front Of Credit Card
- 5 Notch In Edge Of Card To Accommodate Post 2
While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many ways, there is shown in the drawings and will be described here in detail rhe preferred embodiment with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspects of the invention to the embodiment illustrated.
shows the general outward appearance of what the preferred embodiment would look like. Most embodiments could well be similar in outward appearance, although a considerable range of sizes can be utilized for certain uses such as:
- Photograph Albums
- Roofing Samples
- Carpeting Samples
- Paint Samples
- Business Card Cases
(Other than cases for carrying ones own business cards)
The configuration of the post or the notch may also be modifies to allow for differing uses but it will become apparent that most of these changes will be mere modifications of the concept out lined in this application.
Certain changes would be obvious were one to utilize this basic idea to disply carpeting samples, for example.
Many carpeting outlets have samples of carpeting about 24×32 inches in size which they stack together in about a four inch thick display case. The individual pieces of carpet have holes near their upper edge. These holes are fit over posts in a carrying display case somewhat like a briefcase in size, but having no front panel. The case has a carrying handle along the top edge. A sales person can take such a case with him or her to show potential customers what the varioius samples might look like in their home or place of business, To adequately display these samples and lay them flat on a client's floor necessitates opening the case at the top, removing as many samples as necessary to get the desired piece and the to repeat the process again when returning the sample to its carrying case. A modification of the idea proposed in this application could easily solve this problem.
It would be a simple thing to do to cut or punch an inverted “J” shaped notch near the top of each carpet sample then instead of removing a bunch of samples to select the one your customer wishes to view you merely lift the particular sample off its inverted ‘J’ hook, place it on the floor and replace it when done by simply hooking it back into its correct place in the carrying case. This same type of reasoning would solve similar problems with paint samples, siding samples and many other applications yet to be thought of.
A quite different use would also apply to business cards. Not necessarily ones own cards but cards of customers, family members, emergency cards and other often needed addresses or phone numbers where it is not convenient to use a phone book or the internet!
Use a case similar to the proposed credit card case but merely drill a hole in the cards you want to carry and slip those cards over a post similar to the post proposed in this application. You wont wear them out, but they will always be easily available if you need them.
- Conclusions and Ramifications
The possible applications may be very large.
- Examination of prior art shows a multitude of patents issued in this field. None of them provide the compact, neat, easily utilizable method and hardware that this application offers.
- Will this device make it easy to select a needed card?—YES!
- Will this device keep one from dropping a hand full of loose cards on the floor?—Yes
- Will this device allow one to select a needed card without having to look thorough every card in ones purse, wallet or pocket?—YES
- Is this device cumbersome or difficult to use?—No
- Can this basic principle be utilized in a variety of ways?—Yes
- Is the device simple and economical to produce?—Yes
Applicant believes that this simple concept is much superior to wallets, rubber bands, paper clips, plastic sleeve accordion like devices or anything else he has been ab le to find.
It is Cheap. It works. It is easy to use. It helps prevent aggravation.