US 3583317 A
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United States Patent  lnventor George W. Gibson 173 Sherry Lane P.0. Box 1342, Oceanside. Calif. 92054  Appl. No. 645,111
 Filed June 12, 1967  Patented June 8, 1971  TWO-PIECE CREDIT IDENTIFICATION CARDS 8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 101/368, 101/369,101/395,40/2,2  lnt.C1 B4ln 1/00, G09f3/02  Field ofSearch 101/368,
 References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 2,309,398 1 1943 Keller .5'. 283/12 2,810,343 10/1957 Owen 101/369 2,935,941 5/1960 Bradford 101/369 3,230,650 l/1966 Orkin I. 40/2.2
1,219,706 3/1917 Dahne 40/2.2X
OTHER REFERENCES Webster s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, 1961, p. 2407 Primary Examiner-Edgar S. Burr Attorney-Hauke, Gifford & Patalidis ABSTRACT: A credit identification card used for credit purchasing and the like having a flat main portion of a substantially rectangular shape with a longitudinal slot extending inwardly from one edge which is slidably engaged by a flat secondary portion of substantially the same shape as the iongitudinal slot said main portion and said secondary portion being of a uniform thickness such that the opposite faces of the main and secondary portions respectively lie in the same plane when the secondary portion is fitted within the longitudinal slot of the main portion. The two portions of the credit identification card having printed or embossed thereon suitable identifying indicia that will insure a matching between the two portions of the card. In a second embodiment the credit identification card is comprised of a flat main card provided with a flat secondary portion; the main card and secondary portion being of a uniform thickness and the flat secondary portion being adapted to fit within a cutout perforation extending through the flat main card portion.
TWO-PIECE CREDIT IDENTIFICATION CARDS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Present day large scale use of special identification cards in making credit purchases, borrowing money and for other purposes, pose considerable problems of security. Loss or theft of such cards and subsequent use by others than the true owners subject individuals, credit companies and banks to substantial financial losses which are very difficult to forestall since the cards are so easy to use that unauthorized use is difficult to detcct. The present invention is intended to minimize this problem by making it more difficult for unauthorized persons to obtain possession or control of the entire usable card.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention solves problems of unauthorized use by providing a two-part identification or credit card, the parts of which are kept separate by the cardholder until he needs to use the card, at which time they are temporarily joined so that they may be inspected or inserted into a conventional machine which impresses the information from the card onto a sales slip or the like. The two parts of the card will preferably contain different parts of the critical information which normally is impressed or embossed on the card, and it may be arranged such that only one part of the card needs to be renewed periodically. Preferably the main part of the card will have a slot, recess, cutout or the like into which the second portion of the card may be fitted, and the edges of the second portion and the slot, or the like, are preferably formed to provide temporary retention of the parts as desired. Also, the two parts may have at their edges unique markings or impressions which will align with each other to insure that only the proper portions can be fitted together.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference may be made to the accompanying drawing illustrating preferred embodiments of the invention in which like parts are referred to by like reference characters throughout the several views, and in which FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an identification card formed according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the credit identification card illustrated in FIG. 1 in an assembled state and taken substantially on line 3--3 of FIG. I;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken substantially on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. I and 2 illustrate an identification card comprising a flat main portion I2 of substantially rectangular shape and having extending inwardly from one edge a longitudinal slot I4 into which is slidably engageable a flat secondary portion 16 of substantially the same shape as the slot 14 and as can be seen from FIG. 2, the flat secondary portion I6 has the same thickness as the flat main portion 12. The edges of the slot and the secondary portion 16 are preferably complementary made to temporarily retain portion I6 in the slot when it is desired to make use of the card. In a preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, the card portions are laminated as indicated with the slot 14 provided with edge grooves I8 into which are slidably engageable the complementary flanges 20 formed on the edges of the secondary portion 16. The secondary portion I6 may be provided with a key chain 22 for carrying it by the user with his car keys or the like while the main portion 12 might be kept in the glove compartment of his car or in some other location.
It is contemplated that the two portions of the card will have printed or embossed thereon the usual identifying indicia 24 and 24a in a fashion that will insure a matching between the two portions of the card. Grooves or depressions such as indicated by the reference characters 25 and 250 are respectively provided on the flat main portion 12 and the flat secondary portion 16. These depressions or grooves 25 and 25a are unique for each individual card so that any one at a glance will be able to insure that the proper secondary portion 16 is being used for the proper main portion 12. For example, the main portion 12 might include the issuer's firm name, the cardholder's name and expiration date, while the secondary portion 16 might include only the account number and some other information. In other words, some of the necessary information required would be on the main portion 12, and other of the necessary information required would be on the secondary portion 16, and there would also be matching information on both portions so that when used together a person would be able to insure that the right party is being identified. Thus, if one or the other of the parts happen to be lost or stolen, it would be useless since it cannot be used alone. The chance that both portions might be lost or stolen at the same time and fall into the hands of the same unauthorized person are immeasurably slighter than the chance that a single card as heretofore known will be lost or stolen and misused by other than the owner.
Another embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 as comprising an identification card 30 comprising a flat main card portion 32 provided with a flat secondary cutout portion 34 having the same thickness as the flat main card portion 32 and is adapted to fit within a cutout perforation 36. The edges of the cutout portion 34 and the perforation 36 may be formed as shown in FIG. 4 with a shallow peripheral groove 38 in the edge of the perforation 36 formed complementary with the peripheral edge of the cutout portion 34 so that the portion 34, which is substantially a disc, may be snapped into the perforation 36 for temporary retention while the card is being used, and then may be removed for separate carrying by the user.
The cutout portion' 34 and the perforation 36 may be arranged so that the portion 34 can only be fitted in one position by using a particular irregular shape or by having a key tab 40 as shown. There may also be grooves or depressions such as indicated by the reference characters 42 and 42A, these depressions being unique for each individual card so that any one at a glance will be able to insure that the proper secondary portion 34 is being used with the main portion 32. Another idea might be to make the key 40 of all individual cards in unique shapes or use more than one key tab 40 located in a unique position, or the cutout portion 34 of different cards might be made of unique sizes or shapes, all of such means being intended to insure that only a particular portion 34 will be usable with a particular main portion 32. In addition, indicia 44 and 44A on the portions 32 and 34 will be printed or embossed as previously described.
The expiration date which is normally included on credit cards and the like may only have to be printed or embossed on one or the other portions of the identification card, to eliminate the necessity of the issuing agencies having to make entire new cards for all of their subscribers each year.
It will be seen that the use of this two-part type of identification card will substantially eliminate the present problems occasioned by loss or theft and subsequent unauthorized use by others than the proper card holder. Various means may be incorporated to insure that only proper portions can be used together, thus decreasing the possibility of forgeries being used.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim is as follows:
I. A two-piece credit identification card, each piece of which is adapted to be carried by a user, said credit identification card comprising:
a substantially rectangular main plate of a substantially uniform thickness having identification indicia embossed on at least one side thereof, said main plate having a eutout portion ofa selected shape; and
a secondary plate complementary to said cutout portion and removably fitted therein and having identifying indicia embossed on at least one side thereof bearing a selective relationship to the indicia on the main plate, said rectangular main plate and said secondary plate being of the same thickness, the opposite faces of said secondary plate lying in the same planes as the respective opposite faces of said main plate when said secondary plate is fitted within said cutout portion, and means removably retaining said secondary plate within said cutout portion of said main plate said retaining means being disposed in its entirety between the opposite faces of said main plate, whereby all said indicia lie in the same plane to permit printing therefrom.
2. A credit identification card as defined in claim 1 in which said cutout portion is an elongated slot extending inwardly from one edge ofsaid main plate.
3. The credit identification card as defined in claim 2 wherein said means removably retaining said secondary plate comprises an edge groove in said elongated slot and said secondary plate is provided with a complementary edge flange slidably engageable in said elongated slot edge groove.
4. The credit identification card as defined in claim I in cluding depressions formed on the indicia sides of said main plate and said secondary plate, said depressions registering with one another in a predetermined manner when said secondary plate is fitted in said main plate cutout portion, whereby depressions formed on a secondary plate owned by a different user will not register in said predetermined manner with said main plate.
5. The credit identification card as defined in claim 1 wherein the edges of said cutout portion are completely encompassed by said main plate.
6. The credit identification card as defined in claim 5 wherein said means removably retaining said secondary plate comprises an endless peripheral edge groove in said encompassed cutout portion, said secondary plate being a disc having a shape complementary to said cutout portion, said disc being provided with an edge flange adapted to engage said peripheral edge groove in said cutout portion in a locking engagement.
7. The credit identification card as defined in claim 6 wherein said encompassed cutout portion is provided with an irregularly shaped recess extending therefrom, said disc having a complementary irregularly shaped section extending therefrom, and said irregularly shaped section of said disc being adapted to be received in said irregularly shaped recess extending from said cutout portion.
8. A credit identification card as defined in claim 1 in which said means removably retaining said secondary plate comprises means coacting between at least some of the edge of said cutout portion and at least some of the edge of said secondary plate to restrict relative displacement of said plates from their coplanar relationship.