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United States Patent [i<>]
[li] Patent Number: 5,069,050  Date of Patent: Dec. 3, 1991
 KEY HOLDER ASSEMBLY WITH
SEPARABLE STRAPS OF
COMPLEMENTARY HOOK AND LOOP
 Inventor: Nathan Chen, Huntingbeach, Calif.
 Assignee: Perfect Fastener, Inc., Huntington Beach, Calif.
 Appl. No.: 694,432
 Filed: May 1,1991
 Int. CI.' A47G 29/10
 U.S. CI 70/456 R; 24/3 K;
206/37.1; 206/37.7; 206/37.8
 Field of Search 70/456 R, 456 B, 457,
70/458, 459, 460; 24/3 K; 206/37.1, 37.3, 37.5, 37.4, 37.7, 37.8; D3/61, 62, 65
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS D. 307,671 5/1990 Satterlv D3/61
4,705,086 11/1987 O'Neill 206/37.4 X
4,799,587 1/1989 Desanto 206/37.8 X
4,907,694 3/1990 Miller et al 206/37.1 X
4,964,508 10/1990 Balsley 206/37.1
Primary Examiner—Lloyd A. Gall
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—John R. Flanagan
A separable key holder assembly includes a pair of key rings, a pair of flexible mounting straps, and a pair of patches of complementary hook and loop fastening materials detachably attachable together and applied on the respective straps. Each strap has an end portion being folded around one of the key rings and back upon itself so as to provide overlapped sections on the end portion of strap. The overlapped sections of the strap contain a heat sealed zone in which they are permanently attached to one another. Each patch extends over substantially the entire length and width of one of the opposite surfaces of the respective straps.
11 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
U.S. Patent Dec. 3, 1991 Sheet 2 of 2 5,069,050
KEY HOLDER ASSEMBLY WITH SEPARABLE
STRAPS OF COMPLEMENTARY HOOK AND
LOOP FASTENING MATERIALS
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to key holder assemblies with separable parts and, more particularly, is concerned with a separable key holder assembly composed of separable straps of complementary hook and loop fastening materials.
2. Description of the Prior Art
In the prior patent art, a wide variety of key holder ^ assemblies have been proposed in which two key-holding parts are normally secured together to provide a unitary holder, but are separable to detach one keyholding part from the other for separate uses. For example, the one part might hold car keys and the other part ^ hold house keys. The two parts of the holder assembly may be separated to permit the one part with the car keys to remain with an attendant of a parking lot, while the driver retains the other part with the house keys.
Representative examples of these prior art key holder 25 assemblies are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,863,477 (Klein), U.S. Pat. No. 4,248,071 (Kussoy), U.S. Pat. No. . 4,516,418 (Cuttler), U.S. Pat. No. 4,581,910 (Brooks, et al), U.S. Pat. No. 4,713,951 (Ros) and U.S. Pat. No. 4,881,636 (Oletzke). Of these examples, the Klein key 30 holder assembly appears to have a distinct advantage in terms of simplicity of construction over the others.
The Klein key holder assembly is composed of a pair of holder members. Each holder member includes an elongated strip of material having a tab extending from 35 one end and folded upon itself to form a loop receiving a key ring. The tab is secured in the looped configuration by a rivet which also has a first fastening element of a snap fastener in the form of an outwardly projecting button. A second fastening element of a snap fastener in 40 the form of a socket which is matable with the button of the first fastening element is secured to the opposite end of the holder member. The one holder member thus mounts the separate button and socket parts of two snap fasteners which complement and mate with the socket 45 and button parts of the two snap fasteners mounted by the other holder member. The two holder members can be detachably attached together by mating the respective button and socket parts of the two snap fasteners together which positions the key rings at the opposite 50 ends of the key holder assembly.
Notwithstanding the advantage of the construction of the Klein key holder assembly over the other ones, it still embodies certain shortcomings which make it somewhat less than an optimum construction. One 55 shortcoming of the Klein holder assembly construction is that the two holder members are attached to one another solely at the locations of the two snap fasteners. Holes must be made in the material of the members at these two locations in order to apply the rivets which 60 attach the snap fastener parts to the holder members. Each time the two holder members are pulled apart to unsnap the snap fastener parts from one another, the pulling forces exerted by the user are concentrated at these two locations. Over time there will be a tendency 65 for tears in the material to generate from the holes until the respective snap fasten parts loosen and separate from the holder members.
Another shortcoming of the Klein holder assembly is that the use of the two snap fasteners requires precise alignment of the complementary snap fastener parts of the holder members with one another in order to snap them together. This can be a tedious and time-consuming task which wears on the patience of the user and diverts user's attention from other more important activities.
It is perceived by the inventor herein that further improvements are needed in the design of a separable key holder assembly in order to provide a more durable and user-friendly product.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a separable key holder assembly designed to satisfy the aforementioned need. The separable key holder assembly of the present invention provides a construction which overcomes the shortcomings of the prior art Klein key holder assembly construction.
The separable key holder assembly of the present invention comprises: (a) a pair of key rings; (b) a pair of mounting parts in the form of straps; and (c) a pair of patches of complementary hook and loop fastening materials on the respective straps being detachably attachable to one another. Unlike the Klein holder assembly, the patches of hook and loop fastening materials do not require that holes be made in the straps in order to mount them to the straps.
Further, the patches of hook and loop fastening materials extend over substantially the entire length and width of facing surfaces of the straps. Unlike the Klein holder assembly, the opposing forces to pull apart the two mounting parts of the holder assembly of the invention are applied along the entire length of the straps in order to cause peeling of the two parts away from one other.
Also, each strap has a main portion and an end portion. The end portion is folded around one of the key rings and back upon itself so as to provide overlapped sections in which the portion of the respective patch on the end portion is covered over. The overlapped strap sections of the end portion of the strap contain a zone in which they are permanently sealed to one another.
The remaining portion of the respective patch on the remaining non-overlapped main portion of the strap is exposed for attachment to the other patch on the other strap. Unlike the Klein holder assembly, the large size of the patches of hook and loop fastening materials permits reattachment of the two mounting parts with one another by sense of feel, facilitating use in dark places and during nighttime, and without the need to actually clearly observe them.
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings wherein there is shown and described an illustrative embodiment of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In the following detailed description, reference will be made to the attached drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a key holder assembly of the present invention with its pair of key ring mounting parts illustrated in attached condition.