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Publication numberUS3314181 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 18, 1967
Filing dateFeb 5, 1964
Priority dateFeb 5, 1964
Publication numberUS 3314181 A, US 3314181A, US-A-3314181, US3314181 A, US3314181A
InventorsBauer Norman C
Original AssigneeAllen Products Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
License plate frame
US 3314181 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

l April 18, 1967 N. C. BAUER LICENSE PLATE FRAME Filed Feb. 5, 1964 United States Patent O 3,314,181 LICENSE PLATE FRAME Norman C. Bauer, Detroit, Mich., assignor to Allen Products Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Feb. S, 1964, Ser. No. 342,729 1 Claim. (Cl. 40-209) This invention relates to improvements in an automobile license plate frame and more particularly to the resilient fastening means provided on the frame for detachably securing a license plate.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a frame for a license plate comprising a border which is provided with an opening therein, said border having -a rearwardly extending perpendicularly arranged continuous fiange around the periphery thereof, and a pair of oppositely facing spring clips pivotally mounted on the inner surface of the end portions of the ange engageable with the license plate for holding same.

Another object of the present invent-ion is to provide a frame of the aforementioned type wherein each spring clip comprises a base of substantially uniform depth which is slightly less than the depth of the corresponding end portion of the ange and which is in surface to surface contact therewith, the ends of the base being provided with integral resilient fingers of substantially uniform depth which is substantially less than the depth of the base, said resilient fingers gradually daring away from the corresponding end portion of the ange towards the opening in the border, the opposite ends of the resilient fingers terminating in integral resilient arms of substantially uniform depth throughout the greater part of their length approximately equal to the depth of the base, and the bottom edges of the arms of the clips being spaced from the border for the reception therebetween of the end portions of a license plate.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a frame of the aforementioned type wherein each of the resilient arms when in locking engagement with the license plate is arranged at an acute angle with respect to the corresponding end portion of the flange, and the pivot mounting for each of the spring clips permitting slight rotational movement of the spring clip to fit license plates of various thicknesses.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a frame of the aforementioned type wherein the upper edges of the base, fingers, and arms of each clip are located in the same plane.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a frame of the aforementioned type wherein each acute angle is approximately 30 degrees.

Another object of the present invention is to provide 'a frame of the aforementioned type wherein the outer ends of the resilient ar-ms overlie the opening.

It is thus another object of the present invention to provide a simplified low cost structure of the aforementioned type having certain advantages contributing to efficiency, reliability and long life as well as ease of maintenance.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent yfrom the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawing wherein a preferred form of the present invention is clearly shown.

FIGURE 1 is a front elevation of the license plate frame, with parts broken away and in section to illustrate features of the invention.

FIGURE 2 is a rear elevation ofthe license plate frame, with parts broken away.

FIGURE 3 is an end view taken substantially on the line 3 3 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of an end portion of the license plate and of the frame and illus- 3,314,181 Patented Apr. 18, 1967 ICC trating the manner in which the resilient arms retain the license plate in the frame.

Referring now yto the drawing, the frame is designated by the numeral 10 and the license plate is designated by the numeral 12. The frame 10 comprises a border 14 off rectangularly shaped configuration which is provided with a relatively large rectangularly shaped opening 16 therein. The border 14 is provided on the outer periphery thereof with a rearwardly extending continuous flange 18. The flange 18 is arranged substantially perpendicular to the border 14. The inner edge 20 of the border 14 surrounding the opening 16 is inclined slightly rearwardly as best illustrated in FIGURE 3.

A pair of oppositely facing spring clips 22 is pivotally mounted on the inner surface of the end portions 24 and 26 of the ange 18 closely adjacent the longitudinal axis of the border 14. Each spring clip 22 comprises a base 30 of substantially uniform depth which is slightly less than the depth of the opposing end portion 24 or 26 of the border 14 and which is in surface to surface contact therewith. The bottom edge of base 30 is spaced slightly from the :border 14. The pivot mounting 31 for each spring clip 22 extends through the corresponding base 30 and permits slight 4rotational movement of the spring clip 22 as will subsequently appear. The ends 32 and 34 of the base 30 are provided with integral resilient fingers 36 and 38 respectively of substantially uniform depth which .is substantially less than the depth of the base 30. The upper or outer edges of the fingers 36 and 38 and the -base 30 lie in substantially the same plane. The resilient fingers 36 and 38 gradually are away from the corresponding end portion of the border 14 towards the opening 16 in the border 14.

The others ends of the resilient fingers 36 and 38 terminate in integral resilient arms-40 and 42 respectively of substantially uniform depth throughout the greater part of their length approximately equal to the depth of the base 30. The bottom edge of each arm 40 and 42 is spaced from the border 14 for the reception therebetween of a portion of the license plate 12 as will subsequently appear. Each resilient arm 40 and 42 when in locking engagement with the license plate 1'2 is arranged at an acute angle with respect to the corresponding end portion 24 or 26 of the flange 1-8. lIt has been found that an acute angle of approximately 30 degrees plus or minus three or four degrees is highly desirable. The outer end portions of arms 40 and 42 are curved or rounded as best illustrated in FIGURE 3. In addition the arms 40 and 42 are bowed (FIGURE 3) in order to preset the arms at the proper effectiveness.

The license plate 12 is provided with four elongated slots 46, arranged adjacent the upper and lower edges of the plate y12. The license plate 12 is adapted to be mounted on the bumber or on a support bracket provided on the automobile after the frame 10 and license plate 12 have been assembled. As an example, four bolts are utilized which extend through the slots 46 and corresponding openings provided in the support bracket as is well known in the art.

The border 14 may as an example, be made from stainless steel such as SAE 51-430-.020 gauge. The clips 22 may as an example be made from spring steel such as SAE 1065 or 1070-.028 thick. The spring steel clips 22 are heat treated as an example to Rockwell G4247 so as to prevent brittleness. The Iclips 22 may as an example be cadmium or zinc coated. The pivot mountings 3-1 for the spring clips 22 are made from 1a-inch diameter tubular rivets which, as an example, may be made from stainless steel.

It will be appreciated that while the license plates utilized in the several states of the United States are substantially alike, there are, however, certain variations in size from state to state due to various specications, manufacturing techniques and the information to be identied in the plate. As an example, the license plate 12 is provided with a substantially continuous rib 50 adjacent the louter periphery of the plate 12, which terminates in an outwardly extending continuous substantially at ange 52. When assembling the license plate 12 and frame 10 one end portion of the plate 112 is inserted beneath one of the clips 22 in the space between the bottom edges of the arms 4G and 42 and the border 14. The bottom edges of the resilient arms 4t) and 42 of the one clip 22 engage the rib 50. Thereafter, the resilient arms 46 and 42 of the other clip 22 are bent outwardly toward the corresponding end portion of the flange 18 so as to permit the other end portion of the plate 12 to engage the border v14. Thereafter, the resilient arms 46 and 42 of the other spring clip 22 are released, with the lower edges thereof engaging the corresponding rib Si) provided on the plate 12. As a result thereof the arms 4t) and 42 of the two clips 22 engage the plate 12 and help to prevent substantial Vmovement between the plate 12 and the frame :10.

The frame of the present invention may be used with any license plate due primarily to the fact that the spring clips 22 have the requisite resiliency and are mounted for slight rotational movement so as to adjust to license plates of different specications.

The drawing and the foregoing specification constitute a description of the improved license plate frame in such full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the 'art to practice the invention, the scope of which is indicated by the appended claim.

What is claimed as my invention is:

In combination a frame for a license plate comprising a substantially rectangular border portion defining a rectangular opening in the frame, said border portion having a rearwardly extending continuous perpendicular flange formed integral therewith, and a spring clip connected to the ange at each of opposite parallel portions of said ange, each clip having a base portion and oppositely extending untwisted arm portions, said base portion abutting said flange in face to face relation, the edge of said base and said arm portions adjacent said border portion being slightly spaced from said border portion, a single pin extending through each base portion and said flange to form a pivotal connection therebetween, said spacing of said clip Iand said border portion permitting limited pivotal movement of said clip, said arm portions receiving the ends of the license plate and being curved toward and beyond the edges of said opening, said clip being of substantially less vwidth between said base portion and each -arm portion to provide for increased resilience of said clip adjacent said base.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 25,182 6/1962 Larson 40-209 1,587,952 6/1926 Hartman 40209 X 1,779,234 10/1930 Harris 40-209 X EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner.

H. F. ROSS, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1587952 *Jan 28, 1925Jun 8, 1926Hartman Christian WLicense-plate holder and protector
US1779234 *Jan 9, 1930Oct 21, 1930Sherwood Harris CharlesLicense-tag holder
USRE25182 *Jun 5, 1962 Larson
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3953933 *Jan 9, 1974May 4, 1976Dilly Mfg. Co., Inc.Cover plate assembly
US4041632 *Feb 23, 1976Aug 16, 1977Robert SarkisianArt frame
US4314417 *Jul 19, 1979Feb 9, 1982Jnpc Investments (Proprietary) LimitedMotor vehicle registration plate holder
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/209, 40/792
International ClassificationB60R13/00, B60R13/10
Cooperative ClassificationB60R13/105
European ClassificationB60R13/10B