|Publication number||US20070089999 A1|
|Application number||US 11/582,469|
|Publication date||Apr 26, 2007|
|Filing date||Oct 17, 2006|
|Priority date||Oct 20, 2005|
|Publication number||11582469, 582469, US 2007/0089999 A1, US 2007/089999 A1, US 20070089999 A1, US 20070089999A1, US 2007089999 A1, US 2007089999A1, US-A1-20070089999, US-A1-2007089999, US2007/0089999A1, US2007/089999A1, US20070089999 A1, US20070089999A1, US2007089999 A1, US2007089999A1|
|Inventors||David Decker, Sean Glass, Miles Lasater, Andrew Rakaczki, Mark Volchek|
|Original Assignee||Higher One, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (12), Referenced by (4), Classifications (5), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/728,621, filed on Oct. 20, 2005, entitled “Debit or Credit Cardholder”, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a cardholder for plastic cards, such as credit cards or debit cards. More particularly, a non-transparent cardholder permits access to the cardholder's name and information stored on magnetic media while obscuring the card number from view.
2. Description of the Related Art
The use of credit cards, debit cards, automated teller machine (ATM) cards, identification cards and the like (collectively hereinafter referred to as plastic data cards) is ubiquitous. As these cards are accepted in lieu of cash at ever lower cost denominations, such as vending machines and fast food restaurants, the need to carry cash is reduced. Traditionally, the plastic data cards were carried in plastic envelopes contained in a wallet or purse. However, with the wide-spread acceptance of these cards, carrying a wallet or purse is at times superfluous.
Self contained protective cases for carrying a plastic data cards are known, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,782,998 discloses a rigid plastic case that dispenses a card for use when flexed. The disclosure of the U.S. Pat. No. 6,782,998 patent is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.
Features of the plastic data cards make the prior art protective cases less desirable. The plastic data cards typically present data in two formats, as digital data encoded in a magnetic stripe and as visible data printed or embossed numbers and letters. Either format provides sufficient information to use the plastic data card and potentially access monetary value associated with the card. Removal of the card for use introduces a risk that an unauthorized observer will surreptitiously record or remember the data for subsequent illicit use.
One area where use of plastic data cards is particularly wide-spread is on college campuses. College students tend to be more trusting of others then the general population and the threat of illicit use of data is enhanced on campus. Students' reliance on debit/credit/ID cards for on-campus and off-campus use in cafeterias, libraries, dorms, gyms, school buildings, retail merchants, and other entities creates the need for a convenient, secure, and simple solution regarding transportation of said cards. In a campus environment the need to getup and go without the burden of carrying an entire wallet is quite beneficial.
There remains then, a need for a protective case for one or more plastic data cards that provides ease of transport while reducing the threat of the data being compromised.
The details of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.
In accordance with the invention, there is provided a protective case for a plastic data card. This protective case includes a non-transparent housing having a first planar surface and a second planar surface both having a desired length and a desired height. The first planar surface and the second planar surface are joined together at a first end with a slit separating the first planar surface from the second planar surface. This slit extends inward from an opposing second end of said transparent housing. The slit terminates proximate the first end at a distance from the first end which is effective to position desired data on the plastic data card at an effective distance from the first end. A transparent window is formed in the first planar side and is effective to expose the desired data. The height of the second planar surface is effective to expose a magnetic stripe on the plastic data card.
Like reference numbers and designations in the various drawings indicated like elements.
By non-transparent, it is meant that data on the card, either embossed or printed, readable when the card is outside the protective case 10 is not readable when the card is inside the protective case. The embossed or printed data is obscured such as through the use of an opaque plastic, a translucent plastic or a patterned plastic.
A plastic data card is inserted into a slit formed along a first side 12 of the protective case 10 and held in place by a combination of a concave slit design and friction caused by the inner sidewalls of the protective case on opposing sides of the plastic data card. The slit 14 is best seen in magnified cross-sectional view in
An intended use of the protective case 10 is for securing debit/credit/ID cards for mobile applications on or off campus such as debit card purchases, card reader functionality for entrance to various buildings, stored-value use for food or bookstore purchases, and several other functions common to university ID card usage. The plastic data card is capable of being swiped while in the protective case as it rises out of the top half of the plastic holder.
This product was conceived as a method of providing security and convenience for card carriers while going about their everyday activities. Card carriers will no longer be forced to carry their wallets and other sensitive materials with them for on and off campus use. The plastic cardholder is intended to be placed around the neck via a standard or branded lanyard. The plastic cardholder itself may be branded if so desired. The plastic cardholder was also designed with a transparent front lower-left window 16 displaying the name of the student, faculty, or staff member and their affiliation with the University as printed in the card for identification purposes. The plastic cardholder is also designed to hide the actual 16 digit card number for security purposes. For this reason the plastic cardholder is preferably formed from a solid white or other non-transparent polycarbonate plastic to prevent visual confirmation of sensitive information.
The lanyard (not shown) is attached to the plastic cardholder 10 via a loop 22 on a corner 20 on the second side 22 of the protective case 10. The lanyard is snapped into place via a clip attached to a standard lanyard. The whole unit is to be worn around the neck allowing for transportation of the debit/credit/ID card without the need for a wallet or loose carrying in a back pack, purse, etc.
Students' reliance on debit/credit/ID cards for on-campus and off-campus use in cafeterias, libraries, dorms, gyms, school buildings, retail merchants, and other entities creates the need for a convenient, secure, and simple solution regarding transportation of said cards. In a campus environment the need to getup and go without the burden of carrying an entire wallet is quite beneficial. Our plastic cardholder addresses those needs and takes into consideration the many facets of life in a college community. Furthermore, the plastic cardholder is meant for general use in any application where debit/credit/ID card usage is required or desired. Our plastic cardholder was designed to function with and retro fit any standard debit/credit/ID card where security and ease of transportation are necessary and desired.
The slit 14 extends inward from an opposing second end 38 of said transparent housing and terminates 40 proximate the first end 36 at a distance from the first end effective to position desired data on the plastic data card at an effective distance from the first end. This distance is such that the transparent window 16 formed in the first planar side 28 is effective to expose the desired data.
The height 34 of the second planar surface 30 is effective to expose a magnetic stripe on the plastic data card.
In one embodiment of the invention, the plastic cardholder is manufactured by injection molding polycarbonate. Raw polycarbonate is purchased in a pelletized form from a plastic material supplier. A metal (usually steel or aluminum) mold is forged to the desired shape of the final cardholder design. The process to make a mold can be as few as 3 or 4 weeks to as long as months, depending on the complexity of the part and the number of cavities required. The finished mold is mounted into an injection molding machine. Water lines are connected to the cooling channels in order to maintain a constant mold temperature during the molding process. Small plastic (i.e. polycarbonate) pellets are melted and injected, using the injection molding machine, into the steel mold that creates the shape of the cardholder. The protective cases are then cooled in the mold, and when the desired temperature is reached, the mold opens and they are ejected. The mold then closes and the molding cycle begins again.
A machine operator takes the part that was ejected from the mold and removes the runner and gate. The runner and gate are how the material gets to the cavity after it is injected by the molding machine. The runner and gates are then discarded or recycled and the molded part is prepared for shipment or a secondary operation, such as being decorated.
In one embodiment, the protective case is next decorated, such as branding the cardholder with a University name or other distinctive name or logo. If the cardholders are to be decorated, they are moved from the molding department to a secondary department and staged for hot stamping. Hot stamping involves a pre-colored film, a hot stamp die, and usually a holding or locating fixture. Desired artwork is supplied for the graphics, so that the hot stamp die can be made. A film color is chosen for the graphics and a fixture is made once the molded parts are available. The fixture is mounted on the hot stamp machine and the film is also installed. The machine is then turned on to heat up the die. A molded protective case is placed into the holding fixture and the hot stamp machine is activated. The die is lowered onto the film and part at the same time. The details of the die (which are the graphics to be printed) are then transferred through the film and printed onto the part in the color that was chosen for the film. Once the graphics have been printed, the die is raised and the cardholder removed from the fixture and placed into a box for shipping.
Lanyards are purchased separately and are attached to a loop at the lower right hand corner of the holder. Lanyard snaps onto the loop by the clasp and becomes a hanging unit that is meant to be worn around the neck or carried on the person as desired. As with the protective case, the lanyard may be decorated with a distinctive name or logo.
One or more embodiments of the present invention have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.
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|Cooperative Classification||A45C2200/10, A45C11/182|
|Nov 9, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HIGHER ONE, INC., CONNECTICUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DECKER, DAVID D;GLASS, SEAN P.;LASATER, MILES H.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:018501/0317;SIGNING DATES FROM 20061008 TO 20061023
|Oct 16, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT, IL
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:HIGHER ONE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:029135/0761
Effective date: 20121016