US 20070033974 A1
A protective case for a fob having a key eyelet and at least one button. The protective case includes a housing having a cavity open at one end. The cavity is dimensioned to slidably receive at least a portion of the fob through the open end of the cavity to an inserted position. The housing also includes at least one opening which registers with the button on the fob when the fob is moved to its inserted position. The protective case is attached to the fob by a key holder extending through the registering eyelets on the fob and housing.
1. A protective case for a fob having a key eyelet and at least one button comprising:
a housing having a cavity open at one end, said cavity being dimensioned to slidably receive at least a portion of the fob through said open end of said cavity to an inserted position,
said housing having at least one opening which registers with the at least one button on the fob when the fob is in the inserted position in said housing.
2. The invention as defined in
3. The invention as defined in
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5. The invention as defined in
I. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a protective case for a fob of the type used with automotive vehicles.
II. Description of Related Art
Most modern automobiles are supplied with fobs containing radio and/or infrared transmitters in order to control various functions of the vehicle. Typically, the fobs are utilized to both lock and unlock the vehicle doors, activate the vehicle alarm, open the vehicle trunk, as well as other vehicle functions. Typically, a button is provided on the outer surface of the fob corresponding to each control function. As such, one button may be utilized to lock the doors while a second button is utilized to unlock them. Likewise, a third button may be provided to activate the vehicle alarm while still a further button is provided to open the vehicle trunk.
Even though the use of fobs for automotive vehicles has become widespread, such fobs necessarily suffer from several disadvantages. One disadvantage of the previously known fobs is that the radio and/or infrared circuitry contained within the interior of the fob may become damaged by impact to the fob. When such damage occurs, the fob is rendered unusable and oftentimes requires expensive replacement of the fob.
A still further disadvantage of the previously known fobs is that many fobs are very similar in appearance. This is particularly true where the fobs are used for different cars from the same automotive manufacture.
Since many fobs look similar or even identical to each other, such fobs can oftentimes become mixed up, particularly when vehicles are used by different members of the same family or same organization. When this occurs, it is difficult and annoying to ascertain which fob is associated with which vehicle.
The present invention provides a protective case for a fob which overcomes all of the above-mentioned advantages of the previously known devices.
In brief, the protective case for the fob according to the present invention includes a housing having a cavity which is open at one end. Furthermore, the cavity is dimensioned to fit around at least a portion of the fob when the fob is inserted through the open end of the cavity to an inserted position.
The housing also includes at least one opening which registers with the buttons contained on the fob to actuate the various vehicle functions. Although one large opening may be provided on the fob through which two or more buttons may be accessed and actuated, alternatively, the fob includes a number of openings wherein each opening corresponds in position, shape and size to one of the buttons on the fob.
The housing also preferably includes an eyelet which registers with the eyelet on the fob when the fob is inserted into the housing cavity to its inserted position.
Thereafter, a key ring inserted through the registering eyelets on both the fob and the housing effectively mechanically locks the fob and housing together.
Other means for attaching the housing to the fob may alternatively be used.
Preferably, the housing is constructed of a rigid material, such as metal. Additionally, the housing may include decorative patterns, colors and the like, in order to differentiate one fob from another. For example, a red housing may be associated with a particular vehicle while a blue housing will be associated with a different vehicle. Thus, possible confusion as to which fob is associated with which vehicle is avoided.
A better understanding of the present invention will be had upon reference to the following detailed description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views, and in which:
With reference first to
The fob 12 also includes at least one, and more typically, several buttons 20 on one or more sides of the fob 12. These buttons 20 control various functions of the automotive vehicle. For example, one button 20 locks the vehicle doors while a second button 20 will unlock the vehicle doors. Still a further button 20 may be used to open the vehicle trunk while still a further button 20 may be used to activate the vehicle alarm system.
With reference now particularly to
The housing cavity 24 is dimensioned to slidably receive the fob 12 through the open end 26 of the cavity 24 to an inserted position as shown in
Although the protective case 10 is preferably secured to the fob 12 by the key ring 18 as described above, alternatively, the protective case 10 may be secured to the fob 12 in any other conventional fashion, such as by adhesives, a press fit, or the like.
Still referring to
With reference now to
Preferably, the housing 22 of the protective case 10 is constructed of a rigid material, such as metal. Other types of rigid material, such as hard plastic, hard synthetic materials, and the like, may alternatively be used. Non-rigid materials, such as leather, may also be used.
It will be further understood that the housing 22 of the protective case 10 may be constructed in different colors in order to differentiate fobs 12 of the same size, but for different vehicles. For example, one protective case 10 may be of the color red for the fob 12 for one vehicle, while a second fob 10 may be of a different color, such as blue, for a differential fob 12 of the same size and shape, but for a different vehicle.
From the foregoing, it can be seen that the protective case of the present invention not only protects the fob 12 against impacts and other damage, but is also able to differentiate different fobs of the same size and shape from each other. Having described my invention, however, many modifications thereto will become apparent to those of skill in the art to which it pertains without deviation from the spirit of the invention as defined by the scope of the appended claims.