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Publication numberUS3765201 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 16, 1973
Filing dateOct 16, 1972
Priority dateOct 16, 1972
Publication numberUS 3765201 A, US 3765201A, US-A-3765201, US3765201 A, US3765201A
InventorsHumphrey D
Original AssigneeHumphrey D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Key holder
US 3765201 A
Abstract
An improved key holder comprising a retention member including a base and a pair of spaced-apart arm members extending from the base in parallel relationship and an enclosure receiving the retention member and retaining the arm members in a predetermined relationship to preclude removal of a key from between the cooperating arms which engage and detachably hold a key. The retention member is removable from the enclosure to permit the arm members to be moved apart against the inherent resiliency thereof to permit removal of a selected key. In a modification cam means are provided between the enclosure and retention member to help urge the free ends of the cooperating arms toward one another when the retention member is seated in the enclosure.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ Oct. 16, 1973 Humphrey Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Atzorney-Seymour Rothstein [5 1 KEY HOLDER Inventor: David H. Humphrey, 2 Madrid Miramar, Santurce, P.R. 00908 Oct. 16, 1972 ABSTRACT [22] Filed:

[211 App]. No.: 297,786 An improved key holder comprising a retention member including a base and a pair of spaced-apart arm members extending from the base in parallel relation- Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 155,142, June 21,

197' b d d ship and an enclosure receiving the retention member a an one and retaining the arm members in a predetermined relationship to preclude removal of a key from between Rm K 6 3 uw M 2 0 7-MR NA m.5 5 mnw 9 "HU "0N4 mmm8 """5 mmm7 1 n "5 Hudnnnw ".r Km L mt. C d saw UIIF 11 218 555 .IIIZI.

the cooperating arms which engage and detachably hold a key. The retention member is removable from the enclosure to permit the arm members to be moved apart against the inherent resiliency thereof to permit removal of a selected key. In a modification cam [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS means are provided between the enclosure and retention member to help urge the free ends of the cooper- 40/4S6R ating arms toward one another when the retention 0/456 R member is seated in the enclosure. 70/456 R mmw 1 6 r n mm o o PL 89 566 999 111 7 11 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures KEY HOLDER RELATED CASE This application is a continuation in part of my pending U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 155,142, filed June 21, 1971 and now abandoned and entitled KEY HOLDER.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an improved key holder that is adapted to be utilized with conventional keys having a head with an opening therein and a shank. It has been recognized that for satisfactory commercial acceptance, a key holder should prevent the keys contained therein from protruding from the key holder so as to protect the lining of the pocket in which the key holder is being carried. Another desirable feature is that the keys should be easily added to and removed from the holder. The key holder should provide a neat, compact and commercially attractive appearance and should be capable of relatively inexpensive manufacture. The improved key holder of the present invention can be utilized in cooperation with conventional keys to satisfy these requirements in a unique and unobvious manner.

Key holders are known utilizing spring hooks for retaining individual keys. Removal or addition of a selected key from a spring hook is quite a cumbersome task.

The prior art discloses a key holder having protrusions or bumps cooperating with a key head and to hold same in open or closed position, for example, Herrington U.S. Pat. No. 3,526,112; however, there is no suggestion of the present invention whereby novel means are provided for detachably retaining a single key or a plurality of keys in a retention member including a plurality of cooperating resilient arm members, the retention member being held in an enclosure to preclude removal or addition of any keys, and being removed from the enclosure to permit associated arm members to be spread apart to effect removal or addition of a key or keys.

An object of the present invention is to provide an improved key holder adapted for use with keys including a head portion and a shank portion, which key holder comprises a retention member detachably engaged with an enclosure, the head portions of the keys beingretained in the retention member when the retention member is in the enclosure, and the keys being removable from the retention member when the retention member is moved from the enclosure to permit the arm members of the retention member to be moved apart.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved key holder adapted to hold a conventional key having a head with retaining means therein and a shank portion, the key holder including a retention member having a pair of spaced-apart arms in parallel relationship and an enclosure receiving the arms of the retention member and retaining them in a predetermined relationship to preclude removal of a key, the retention member being removable from the enclosure member to permit the arms to be moved apart so as to free pro- I 'jections thereon from the retaining means in the key and permit removal of the key.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide an improved key holder made from plastic that can be inexpensively manufactured by relatively unskilled labor.

These and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will be more fully set forth in the detailed description which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the detailed description which follows, reference will be made to the drawings comprised of the following figures:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an improved key holder of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the improved key holder of FIG. 1, with the retention member separated from the enclosure;

FIG. 3 is. a perspective view of the retention member illustrating same in a position inverted from that of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a detailed cross-sectional view of the assembled key holder taken generally along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the assembled key holder taken generally along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a detailed cross-sectional view taken generally along the line 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a detailed cross-sectional view taken generally along the line 77 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a detailed cross-sectional view taken generally along the line 8-8 of FIG. 2 and illustrating a pair of cooperating arms being separated to permit removal of a key from between the projections on said arms;

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view, with parts broken away of a modified key holder;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a modified retention member embodying principles of the present invention, with keys being omitted; and

FIG. 11 is an end view of a key holder including the retention member of FIG. 10, with keys being omitted.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an improved key holder 10 which comprises an enclosure 12 for enclosing and retaining a retention member 14. When the retention member is retained within the enclosure as viewed in FIG. 1, it is not possible to remove a key 16 from the retention member without exerting undue force. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the keys are pivotally retained within the retention member and can be moved from a storage position to a use position.

The enclosure 12 is detachably engaged with the retention member 14 by means of the detachable engaging means 18. Such means comprise a lever 20 extending from the retention member 14 engaging within and cooperating with an opening 22 in the base portion of the enclosure 12.

To facilitate removal of retention member 14 from the enclosure 12, gripping means 24 are provided on the sides of the retention member. As will be seen more particularly in FIGS. 2, 3, 5 and 6, the gripping means 24 are provided by formed projections extending from the sides of the retention member 14, such projections being provided with serrations or grooves to facilitate gripping by the thumb and fingers of a user. Thus, when the lever 20 is depressed so as to be free from the latched engagement with opening 22, the gripping means 24 may be grasped and pulled to withdraw the retention member 14 from the enclosure 12.

FIG. 2, shows the retention member 14 withdrawn from the enclosure 12. The enclosure 12 comprises a pair of side members 26 and 28 interconnected by housing portion 27. Each side member 26, 28 has a trackway 29, 31 defined therein for receiving the side members or arm members 33, 34 of the retention member 14. The trackways 29, 31 are disposed in parallel relationship and are dimensionally complementary to the arm members 33, 34 so as to receive and guide same snugly. The retention member 14 is comprised of the arm members 33, 34, which are interconnected by a base 36 and a plurality of additional intermediate arm members 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 are cantilevered or secured at one end to the base 36. As will be better seen hereafter, each of the arm members is provided with projections or lugs which cooperate in pairs to receive and hold the retaining means or opening of the head of a key 16. The key 16 may be of the conventional type and includes a head portion 16a having an opening therein and a shank portion 16b.

Preferably, the retention member and enclosure are each molded from a suitable plastic.

In FIG. 3, there is better shown the retention member 14 of the present invention. The retention member 14 includes the side arm members 33, 34, as well as the intermediate arm members 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42. In the illustrated form of the invention, the retention member 14 includes seven arm members and thus the key holder is capable of retaining six keys, one in each of the spaces defined between a pair of adjacent cooperating arm members. The arm members 33, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 are spaced apart a distance sufficient to receive most conventional keys. It is desirable that there be some side pressure or friction on a key by the arm members to retain the key in the space between cooperating arm members. In the event that the key is narrower than the space provided, there will be insufficient friction to retain the key in a selected position. The key holder 10 can readily be inverted from the position shown in FIG. 1 so as to retain the keys 16 therein in a storage position. To position a key 16 for use, the head portion 16a of the selected key 16 is gripped and rotated so as to move the key from a storage position within the key holder to a use position extended from the key holder, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, for example.

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 show cross-sectional views of the assembled key holder 10 of the present invention. In FIG. 4, a key 16 is retained in place in key holder 10. It is seen that a projection 46 extending from one of the arm members engages within the opening 17 in the head portion 16a of the key 16.

FIGS. 5 and 6 best disclose the cooperating projections or lugs 46 which extend from each of the arms and engage within a recess or opening in the head 16a of a key 16. The projections 46 are of a size to engage within the opening of a key head and are constructed and arranged so that they are beveled from the top and the bottom (FIG. 6) to facilitate entry of a key into the space between adjacent arm members by movement of the key from above or below the projections 46.

The projections or lugs 46 are of a transverse dimension approximately equal to one-half the space between the adjacent arm members of the retention member 14. Thus, when the retention member 14 is confined in the enclosure 12, the projections 46 are touching or almost touching, such that there is virtually no space between adjacent cooperating projections, or at least less space than the minimum width of a key, thereby assuring retention ofa key. The retention member 14 is formed so that this relationship is maintained even when the retention member 14 is withdrawn from enclosure 12, thus assuring that keys do not inadvertently spill out or fall from the retention member. The side arm members 33, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 are molded to provide them with memory or normal return to parallel relationship and the arm members must be manually spread apart against the return bias to permit placement or withdrawal of a key from between adjacent cooperating arm members. I

It will be understood that when the retention member 14 is disposed within the enclosure 12, the cantilevered ends or free ends of the arm members are fixed one relative to the other and cannot be spread a sufficient distance to permit removal of a key without undue force. When it is desired to remove a key from or add a key to the key holder, the retention member 14 is either removed entirely from the enclosure 12 as seen, for example, in FIG. 2, or moved sufficiently outward from the enclosure 12 to permit easy spreading apart of the arm members. The selected arm members may then be spread apart one from the other, as viewed in FIG. 8, to permit addition or removal of a key or the key can be rotated 90 from a plane through the key holder and then snapped into place or removed from between the arm members. Such action is facilitated by the beveled construction of the engaging means or projections 46.

As an alternative, detachable means for detachably supporting the retention member 14 in the housing or enclosure 12, namely lever 20 and opening 22 could be omitted. The retention member could then be inserted into the enclosure with base 36 above the keys or below the keys. For example, if the base 36 were up as seen in FIG. 2 above the keys and the enclosure 12 were oriented as shown, the keys 16 could be easily pivoted about the projections 46 even if the retention member and enclosure were in assembled relationship. If the retention member were inverted to the position shown in FIG. 3 and inserted into the enclosure positioned as shown in FIG. 2, then the keys would be held within the key holder (or a selected key would be extended). In this event, the keys would not be freely pivotable about the projections.

FIG. 9 shows a modified key holder 10' which incorporates a double action lever or catch 20'. The enclosure 12 is substantially the same as the enclosure 12 except that opening 22' is provided in the rear of the enclosure symmetrical about a transverse plane through the trackways of the enclosure such that it can receive the end of lever 20' whether the retention member 14 is inserted into the enclosure 12' as shown in FIG. 9, or inserted in a position inverted from the position shown in FIG. 9. An easy slide fit is provided between the side arm members of the retention member 14' and the trackways of the enclosure 12 in both positions of the retention member relative to the enclosure.

Also, the forward recesses in the side arm members of the enclosure 12 are eliminated in the modification of FIG. 9 and the arm members are thickened and extended. Likewise, the serrated gripping means are eliminated from the sides of the retention member. Not only is the modified enclosure 12 stronger, but it is also able to accommodate longer keys. Insertion of the retention member 14' into the enclosure 12' is facilitated as it is possible to more readily introduce the side arm members into the larger trackways of the modified enclosure.

In use, the retention member 14 is inserted into the enclosure until the end of lever or catch 20' engages with an edge of opening 22'. The enclosure 12' thus retains the retention member 14'. To remove the retention member 14', pressure is applied to the end of lever 20' to release same from its detachable engagement with the enclosure and then axial pressure will effect movement of the retention member from the enclosure. The retention member and enclosure can be held in separate hands and then readily moved relative to one another or pulled apart and separated so as to effect removal from or addition of a key or keys.

In some instances it is desirable to increase the side pressure on the keys in the retention members. This can be accomplished by providing cam means between the side arm members of the enclosure and the cantilevered arm members of the retention member. Referring to FIGS. and 11 there is shown one way of accomplishing the desired result. The enclosure 12' is like that shown in FIG. 9. The ends of each arm 33', 34' are enlarged as indicated at 54, 55 to provide cam means cooperating with the trackways 29', 31, in the side walls of the enclosure 12' to urge the arm members 33, 34' inwardly when the retention member 14 is seated in or fully within the enclosure 12'. When the retention member 14' is fully seated in the enclosure 12, the cam means urge the arm members toward one another to cause the keys to be squeezed so they do not dangle or swing freely. It is intended that the arm members be compressed or moved toward one another to accommodate the narrowest key and the limit of inward movement would be determined by the total thickness of the keys rather than the total amount of gap between the projections 46. This is the limit of inward squeezing of the arms of the retention members 14'. In FIG. 10, it is seen that in the free position of the retention members there is some space between the adjacent projections 46 on the cantilevered arm members.

The improved key holder of the present invention provides a unique means for holding keys. The key holder is compact and commercially attractive and can be manufactured relatively inexpensively by unskilled labor. The key holder of this invention permits the ready addition or removal of keys from the key holder while preventing inadvertent loss or removal of keys.

While a detailed description of the presently preferred embodiment of the present invention has been described, it will be understood that other embodiments will be obvious to persons skilled in the art and all those embodiments equivalent to the claimed subject matter are to be included within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An improved key holder adapted to hold a key of the type having a head with retaining means therein and a shank portion, said key holder including a retention member comprising a base and spaced-apart arm members extending from said base in parallel relationship, each arm member having engaging means facing toward the opposed engaging means and being biased to engage with the retaining means in the key and detachably hold the key, and an enclosure receiving said retention member and retaining the arm members in a predetermined relationship to preclude removal of a key from between the cooperating arms, said enclosure including a base and a pair of cooperating arm members extending therefrom, the outermost arm members of the retention member having only a single inwardly facing engaging means and the other arm members each have oppositely extending engaging means, with adjacent opposed engaging means cooperating to retain a key, said outermost arm members engaging in a trackway in the enclosure and gripping means provided on the outermost arm members to help facilitate removal of the retention member from the enclosure,

said retention member being movable from said enclosure to permit said arm members on said retention member to be moved apart to permit removal of a key.

2. An improved key holder adapted to hold a key of the type having a head with retaining means therein and a shank portion, said key holder including retention member comprising a base and spaced-apart arm members extending from said base in parallel relationship, each arm member having engaging means facing toward opposed engaging means and being biased to engage with the retaining means in the key and detachably hold the key, an enclosure receiving said retention member and retaining the arm members in a predetermined relationship to preclude removal of a key from between the cooperating arms, said retention member being movable from said enclosure to permit said arm members to be moved apart to permit removal of a key, and detachably supporting the retention member on the enclosure, said detachable engaging means comprising a lever on the retention member which engages in and is removable from a cooperating opening in the enclosure.

3. A key holder as in claim 2 wherein the retaining means in the key comprises an opening.

4. A key holder as in claim 3 wherein the engaging means on each arm member comprises a projection, with cooperating projections facing each other and being adapted to engage in said opening in a key to re tain the key.

5. A key holder as in claim 2 wherein said base and spaced-apart arm members of the retention member are formed integrally from a resilient material, said ends of said arm members being inherently biased toward one another.

6. A key holder as in claim 5 wherein the arm members of the retention member are cantilevered from said base and the ends of adjacent arm members are biased toward one another.

7. A key holder as in claim 5 wherein the outermost arm members of the retention member have only a single inwardly facing projection and the other arm members each have oppositely extending projections, with adjacent opposed projection cooperating to retain a key.

8. A key holder as in claim 7 wherein the outermost arm members engage in a trackway in the enclosure and gripping means are provided on the outermost arm members to help facilitate removal of the retention member from the enclosure.

9. A key holder as in claim 2 wherein the cooperating opening is in the rear of the enclosure and the lever is constructed and arranged so as to cooperate with said cooperating opening whether the retention member is inserted into the enclosure in a first position or a second position inverted from the first position.

are tapered outwardly so as to urge the free ends of the arm members together when the retention member is seated fully in the enclosure.

I! i i i i

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2560595 *Aug 19, 1948Jul 17, 1951Poncar John JKey container
US3362200 *Mar 2, 1966Jan 9, 1968Harold S. LanierKeyholder
US3452562 *Apr 17, 1967Jul 1, 1969Loveless Henry LCombined lock pick holder and tool
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4354368 *Dec 5, 1980Oct 19, 1982Aisin Seiki Company, LimitedKey holder
US4422315 *Jul 7, 1981Dec 27, 1983Prasenta Kg Weber & Co.Key holder
US4653299 *Jan 8, 1986Mar 31, 1987Bonjue KimKey holder
US6216501Feb 15, 1996Apr 17, 2001Marquardt GmbhElectronic Key
US7596977 *Feb 13, 2004Oct 6, 2009Valeo Securite HabitacleKey housing
US7856859Jul 2, 2009Dec 28, 2010Luis Maria Aizpurua PlazaRetractable key-holder
EP1040772A1 *Mar 28, 2000Oct 4, 2000Valeo Securite HabitacleKey holder for collapsible key for motor vehicles
EP1063374A1 *Jun 20, 2000Dec 27, 2000Valeo ElectroniqueKey, specially for a motor vehicle, comprising a key blade and a gripping part
EP1070813A1 *Jul 6, 2000Jan 24, 2001VALEO GmbH & Co Schliesssysteme KGFlat key
WO1996025575A1 *Feb 15, 1996Aug 22, 1996Marquardt GmbhElectronic key
Classifications
U.S. Classification70/456.00R
International ClassificationA45C11/32, A45C11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45C11/324
European ClassificationA45C11/32P