Title:
Compact case for re-positionable notes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A compact case for repositionable notes includes a thin, rectangularly-shaped base in which is formed a shallow well for holding a stack of repositionable note sheets, and a similarly shaped lid which is fastened by an integral hinge to a rear edge of the base. The lid has formed in the lower surface thereof a shallow depression which serves as a “parking” area for posting notes containing writing. The lid is releasably securable to the base to enclose the interior space composed of the lid depression and base well by a releasably lockable fastener consisting of a wedge-shaped locking tab which protrudes diagonally outwards from a corner of the front lower edge of the lid, which is snappingly engageable within a diagonally inwardly facing, obliquely disposed slot formed in a flexible button which protrudes diagonally outwards from a front corner of the base.



Inventors:
Book, Steven C. (Hong Kong, CN)
Application Number:
10/291352
Publication Date:
05/13/2004
Filing Date:
11/08/2002
Assignee:
BOOK STEVEN C.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/223
International Classes:
A45C1/06; A45C11/00; A45C11/18; B42D5/00; (IPC1-7): A45C11/34; B65D71/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
William L. Chapin (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A portable case for carrying thin articles such as repositionable paper note sheets, said case comprising; a. a base in which is formed a well for holding articles, b. a lid which is positionable above and in contact with said base to form with said well a closed interior space, c. hinge means which joins a rear edge of said lid to a rear edge of said base, said hinge means enabling pivotable motion along a line parallel to said rear edge of said lid from a closed position in contact with said base, to an open position above said base, and d. fastener means for releasably securing said lid to said base in said closed position.

2. The case of claim 1 wherein said lid is further defined as having in an inner surface thereof a depression which communicates with said base well to comprise said interior space of said case.

3. The case of claim 1 wherein said hinge means is further defined as comprising an elongated strip of flexible material which joins said rear edges of said lid and said base.

4. The case of claim 1 wherein said hinge means is further defined as being a live hinge which comprises an elongated strip of flexible material which joins said rear edges of said lid and said base, said strip of material being formed integrally of a polymer material with said case and said lid.

5. The case of claim 4 wherein said live hinge has in transverse section perpendicular to a longitudinal hinge axis thereof a shape approximating that of an hour glass, including first and second outer portions attached to said base and lid which taper outwardly to wider sections from a thinner central section defining said longitudinal hinge axis.

6. The case of claim 1 wherein said fastener means is further defined as comprising in combination a locking button which protrudes diagonally outwards along a diagonal of said base from a front corner of said base, said locking button having a diagonally inwardly located upwardly protruding face wall which is disposed obliquely to said diagonal, and a rectangular aperture formed in said inner face wall, said inner face wall of said button being spaced diagonally inwardly of a front obliquely disposed edge of a locking tab which protrudes diagonally outwards from a front corner of said lid adjacent to said base corner, said locking tab being insertable into said aperture of said locking button aperture when said locking button is deformed elastically away from said front edge of said locking tab, and captured in said aperture when said locking button elastically relaxes to its undeformed state.

7. The case of claim 6 wherein said locking button is further defined as being joined to said base by a diagonally disposed support section which has an obliquely disposed thin, central neck section which enables said button to flex elastically about an obliquely disposed flexural axis through said thin central section.

8. The case of claim 7 wherein said thin central neck section is formed at least partially by an obliquely disposed groove in a lower surface of said support section.

9. The case of claim 7 wherein said thin central neck section is formed at least in part by an obliquely disposed, U-shaped cross section groove formed in an upper surface of said support section.

10. The case of claim 9 wherein said U-shaped groove is further defined as obliquely intersecting front and said peripheral base ribs bordering said base well, said groove thereby being segmented into front and side segments, each of which provides a convenient insertion point for a finger tip to lift a corner of a note sheet from said base surface of said well.

11. A compact case for carrying articles such as repositionable paper note sheets, said case comprising; a. a base which has a straight rear edge portion and a downwardly concave upper surface which comprises a well for holding articles, b. a lid which is positionable above and in contact with said base, said lid having a straight rear edge portion and an upwardly concave lower surface which communicates with said base well to form an interior article storage space with said lid in contact with said base. c. hinge means which joins said straight rear edge portions of said base and lid, said hinge means enabling pivotable motion along a line parallel to said rear edge of said lid from a closed position in contact with said base, to an open position above said base, and d. fastener means for releasably securing said lid to said base in a mutually contacting, closed position.

12. The case of claim 11 wherein said fastener means is further defined as comprising in combination; a. a locking button support flange which protrudes diagonally outwardly along a base diagonal from a front corner of said base, said locking button support flange being elastically bendable downwardly with respect to a lower surface of said base, along a bend axis disposed obliquely to said diagonal, b. a locking button supported on an outer diagonal portion of said locking button support flange, said locking button having through a diagonally inwardly located, obliquely disposed, upright face wall thereof an aperture, and c. a locking tab which protrudes diagonally outwardly along a diagonal of said lid from a front corner of said lid adjacent to said front corner of said base, said locking tab having a front obliquely disposed edge which protrudes diagonally beyond said face wall and horizontally aligned with said aperture with said lid in contact with said base, said locking button support flange being elastically bendable along said bend axis to thereby displace said button face wall and aperture diagonally outwardly of said outer edge of said locking tab to thereby insertably receive said locking tab in said aperture, when downward pressure is applied to said locking button, said locking tab being captured in said aperture when said downward pressure is removed from said locking button to thereby enable said support flange and locking button to elastically reform to undeformed dispositions parallel to said lower surface of said base.

13. The case of claim 12 wherein said well of said base is further defined as having a generally rectangular shape.

14. The case of claim 13 wherein said well is further defined as comprising a depression bounded by a rectangular ring-shaped body.

15. The case of claim 14 wherein said locking button support flange is further defined as having formed in an upper surface thereof an obliquely disposed, U-shaped cross section groove which forms in said flange an obliquely disposed thin section which defines said axis of said flange section.

16. The case of claim 15 wherein said U-shaped groove is further defined as obliquely intersecting front and side rib portions of said rectangular ring-shaped body, said groove thereby being segmented into front and side segments, each of which provides a convenient insertion point for a finger tip to lift a corner of a note sheet from said base surface of said well.

17. The case of claim 16 wherein said lid is further defined as having a rectangular plan view shape.

18. The case of claim 17 wherein said lid is further defined as having protruding downwardly from front and rear flange walls adjacent said locking tab a pair of obliquely opposed, convex arcuately curved extensions which have a size and shape complementary to that of said groove segments, whereby said extensions are conformally receivable within said grooves with said lid closed, thereby sealing said groove segments.

19. The case of claim 18 wherein said base is further defined as having a generally rectangular shape of larger size than said lid.

20. The case of claim 19 wherein said locking button support flange is further defined as having a front edge which angles forward laterally outwardly from a front edge of said base, and a side edge which angles laterally outwards and forward from a side edge of said base.

21. The case of claim 20 further including a triangular wedge-shaped flange which protrudes laterally outwards and rearwards from a side of said base opposite to the side of said base to which said button support flange is attached.

22. The case of claim 21 wherein a wider rear portion of said flange has therethrough a vertically disposed aperture for receiving a key chain.

23. The case of claim 21 further including a corner boss which protrudes upwardly from front and side corner intersecting portions of said wedge-shaped flange, said boss having an arcuately curved inner surface located to frictionally engage adjacent outer front and side corner intersecting portions of said lid when said lid is in a closed position proximate said base.

24. The case of claim 12 further including a clip for retaining paper currency-like articles between said case and said clip, said clip being pivotable away from said base and including spring bias means urging said clip into compressive contact with said base.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] A. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a compact case for carrying small, flat articles such as repositionable paper note sheets, paper money, business cards, compact mirrors and the like, the case being sufficiently small and flat to fit conveniently within a garment pocket, briefcase, or the like.

[0003] B. Description of Background Art

[0004] Repositionable notes such as 3M Company's Post-it® notes are well-known and in widespread use today all over the world. These adhesive paper notes have low-tack adhesive on a portion of the backside of every sheet in a pad, so that written notes can be transferred to other papers or objects with a smooth surface without getting easily lost. The notes are usually sold in pads of 50 or 100 sheets per pad, and offered in a variety of standard sizes. For example, 2″×1½″ is a very common “small” size, used for brief notes and messages.

[0005] People increasingly use repositionable notes not only in offices, but also in homes, schools, or any place where notes with facts or reminder messages may be needed. Also, with the widespread use of mobile telecommunications devices, a user may need to take a brief note anywhere he or she may be traveling and then be able to transfer the note at a later time to a document, for example.

[0006] One problem with repositionable note pads is that taking them along in a briefcase, shirt or trouser pocket, wallet, or hand bag, will quickly soil or “dog-ear” them. The pads may also break apart easily when carried in this way, causing the adhesive on the back to collect dust and dirt, rendering them unusable for their intended purpose. Although various holders for repositionable note pads are available, these are primarily intended for desktop use and tend to be bulky and unsuitable for carrying in briefcases, shirt pockets, etc.

[0007] There is therefore a need for a compact, easy-to-carry protective case for keeping repositionable notes handy in shirt pockets, wallets, briefcases, bags, glove compartments of cars, etc.

[0008] A variety of holders or transportable containers have been designed, some of them having the general size and shape of a standard credit card.

[0009] For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,865,307 to Friedman disclosed a one piece construction polypropylene polymer container for irregularly shaped objects such as keys in the size of a credit card and with a thickness between 0.18 to 0.21 inch.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,467,871 to DeField discloses a key chain note holder with transparent housing.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,013,173 to Shiraishi discloses a credit card size container for a cosmetic liquid.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 5,351,858 to Bar-Yona et al. discloses a tablet dispenser about the size of a credit card.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 5,427,254 to Knieriem discloses a transportable holder for self-stick notes.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 5,328,409 to Marquardt discloses a note caddy for adhesive notes.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 5,135,259 to Garza discloses a notepad for checkbooks.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 5,158,205 to Bodziak et al. discloses a dispenser for a small stack of note paper.

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 5,183,153 to Linn discloses a memo pad holder device in combination with a key ring.

[0018] There remains a need for a slim, wallet or shirt pocket fitting holder that is easy to use, protective of the note pad, convenient to carry from place to place, and inexpensive to produce. Additionally, there remains a need to provide such a device with a relatively large flat smooth area on its front side suitable for imprinting a company's logo or message so that the product is suitable as a premium gift or advertising specialty.

[0019] Also, it would be desirable to have available a compact case that could in addition to or in place of providing protective storage for repositionable notes, hold paper money, business cards, or a small, flat compact mirror for use in personal grooming tasks. The unavailability of a case with characteristics described above was a motivation for the present invention.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0020] An object of the present invention is to provide a compact case for carrying thin objects such as repositionable paper note sheets, paper currency, business cards, compact mirrors and the like, the case being closable to provide a closed interior space for protecting such objects from flexural damage or soiling, while being readily openable with the fingers, and sufficiently compact to be easily carried in a shirt pocket, wallet, or the like.

[0021] Another object of the invention is to provide a compact case for enclosing a supply of repositionable note sheets or similar thin flat articles within an interior space between inner facing concave surfaces of a base and lid which are hingedly joined together and held in a closed position by a snap-lock type fastener that is openable and closable by a thumb when held in a person's hand.

[0022] Another object of the invention is to provide a compact case for repositionable note sheets which is openable and closable using one of a person's hands, and which when opened provides access to note sheets therewithin for writing on with the other hand, and attaching written notes to interior “parking” surfaces of the base and lid of the case.

[0023] Various other objects and advantages of the present invention, and its most novel features, will become apparent to those skilled in the art by perusing the accompanying specification, drawings and claims.

[0024] It is to be understood that although the invention disclosed herein is fully capable of achieving the objects and providing the advantages described, the characteristics of the invention described herein are merely illustrative of the preferred embodiments. Accordingly, I do not intend that the scope of my exclusive rights and privileges in the invention be limited to details of the embodiments described. I do intend that equivalents, adaptations and modifications of the invention reasonably inferable from the description contained herein be included within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0025] Briefly stated, the present invention comprehends a compact portable carrying case for thin flat objects. A primary intended function of the invention is to provide a compact case for a pad of repositionable note sheets, the case having a closed interior space for holding a supply of repositionable paper note sheets, and which has a lid which may be released from securement from a base with the thumb of one hand to provide access to the interior space of the case, enabling note sheets therein to be written on with a writing instrument held in the other hand.

[0026] According to the invention, a compact case for repositionable note sheets includes a generally rectangularly-shaped, laterally elongated thin flat base which has formed in the upper surface thereof a concentric shallow recess of slightly smaller size than the perimeter of the base, the recess having a flat, rectangularly-shaped lower surface parallel to the lower surface of the base. The case includes a lid which has an outline shape and size generally similar to that of the base and which has in its lower surface a similarly shaped recess. The lid and base are joined at rear edges thereof by a laterally disposed hinge which extends nearly the full width of the lid and base and which enables the lid to pivot between a downward, closed position in contact with the base, and an upward, open position which affords access to the interior of the case. In a preferred embodiment, the base and lid are fabricated as a molded plastic part, and the hinge joining the lid and base comprises a thinner cross-section portion of plastic material molded unitarily with the base and lid to thereby form a thin, laterally elongated, “living” or integral hinge.

[0027] A compact case for repositionable notes according to the present invention includes a novel thumb-lock fastener operable by the thumb of a person's hand while the case is being held in the palm of the hand.

[0028] The novel thumb-lock fastener according to the present invention includes a locking tab or blade which protrudes diagonally outwards from a front diagonal corner of the lid. The tab has a straight outer edge which is disposed perpendicularly to the lid diagonal, and an upper surface which tapers downwardly and diagonally outwardly to give the tab in cross-sectional view a wedge shape similar to that of a chisel, screwdriver or knife blade.

[0029] The thumb lock fastener also includes a locking button which protrudes diagonally outwards from a front diagonal corner of the base adjacent to that corner of the lid where the locking blade is located. The locking button has a straight, obliquely disposed inner edge wall which is disposed perpendicularly to the base diagonal, and parallel to the straight front edge of the locking tab. With the lid in a fully closed position, i.e., with the inner, lower peripheral surface of the lid contacting the inner, upper peripheral surface of the base, the inner transverse edge wall of the locking button is located diagonally inwardly of the outer transverse edge wall of the locking blade, which is received in a rectangular-shaped aperture or slot formed in the inner transverse edge wall of the locking button, locking the lid to the base and thereby retaining the case in a fully closed disposition.

[0030] The locking button is joined to the base by a transversely disposed transition or neck section which consists of a thinner wall part of the base that is parallel to the inner edge wall of the locking button. In a vertical, diagonally disposed longitudinal sectional view, the transition section which joins the button to the diagonally inwardly located part of the base has an elongated, transversely disposed, shallow U-shaped depression formed in the upper surface of the transition section, and a V-shaped groove formed in the lower surface of the transition section. The depression and groove are vertically aligned to form in the neck a reduced thickness section which comprises a self-hinge for the locking button.

[0031] When a downward pressure is exerted on the upper surface of the locking button, by a person's thumb, for example, the button flexes downwardly along the button self-hinge, thus displacing the button slot downwardly away from the locking blade edge, and releasing the locking blade from the slot, thereby unlocking the lid from the base. To re-close the case, thumb pressure is applied to the lid near the blade, which when pressed down against the upper surface of the button, near the inner transverse edge of the button, causes the button to flex downwardly along the button hinge. Downward motion of the button displaces its inner edge wall outwardly from the outer edge of the locking blade sufficiently for the edge of the blade to penetrate the slot, whereupon the button hinge returns elastically to its horizontal, unstressed disposition with a snapping action to thereby engage and lock the locking blade within the button slot.

[0032] In a preferred embodiment of the case, the U-shaped depression formed in the upper surface of the base extends diagonally across the recessed area of the base, and has a lower surface co-extensive with the recessed lower surface of the base, thus forming in unrecessed portions of the base a pair of spaced apart aligned U-shaped channels disposed transversely to a diagonal of the base. To seal those channels with the lid closed, thereby inhibiting dust and/or moisture from entering the interior of the case when is it closed, the lid has protruding downwardly from its inner, lower surface, a pair of obliquely disposed, arcuately curved, convex ribs having shapes and relative locations complementary to those of the U-shaped base channels. Thus, when the case is closed, the base channels are effectively sealed by the lid ribs. Also in the preferred embodiment, the base and lid recesses both have formed therein laterally elongated, rectangularly-shaped regions which are relatively highly polished, to afford good adhesion surfaces for self-stick repositionable notes.

[0033] A modification of a compact case for repositionable notes according to the present invention includes a generally U-shaped wire money clip which has rear end segments of a pair of parallel legs thereof bent forward parallel to the legs. The end segments of the legs are inserted into a pair of laterally spaced apart perforations formed in the rear lower surface of the base, and received in grooves formed in the lower interior surface of the base, which protrude forward from the apertures. The money clip is made of spring wire, and has a front laterally disposed, upwardly curved edge which is biased by torsional spring tension in the bent leg segments, against the lower surface of the base, and which may be elastically bent away from the lower surface of the base to insert paper currency, and released to exert a spring force against the currency to thereby hold it fast to the base.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0034] FIG. 1 is an upper plan view of a compact case for re-positionable notes according to the present invention.

[0035] FIG. 2 is a lower plan view of the case of FIG. 1.

[0036] FIG. 3 is a right side elevation view of the case of FIG. 1.

[0037] FIG. 4 is a left side elevation view of the case of FIG. 1.

[0038] FIG. 5 is an upper perspective view of the case of FIG. 1, showing the case partially open.

[0039] FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIG. 5, but showing a lid of the case pivoted perpendicularly upwards from a base of the case.

[0040] FIG. 7 is an upper perspective view of the case of FIG. 6, showing the lid fully open, repositionable notes removed from the case, and showing an optional money clip attached to the case.

[0041] FIG. 8 is a fragmentary upper perspective view of the case of FIG. 1, on an enlarged scale, showing a live hinge part of the case.

[0042] FIG. 9 is a fragmentary scale elevation view of the case of FIG. 1, on an enlarged scale, showing a flexible fastener part of the case.

[0043] FIG. 10 is a diagonal vertical sectional view of the case of FIG. 1, taken in the direction of line 10-10.

[0044] FIG. 11 is a lower plan view of a modification of the case shown in FIG. 1.

[0045] FIG. 12 is a partly sectional side elevation view of the case of FIG. 11.

[0046] FIG. 13 is a lower perspective view of the case of FIGS. 11 and 12.

[0047] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of another modification of the case shown in FIG. 1

[0048] FIG. 15 is a front elevation view of the case of FIG. 14.

[0049] FIG. 16 is a right side elevation view of the case of FIGS. 14 and 15.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0050] FIGS. 1-10 illustrate various aspects of a basic embodiment of a compact case for repositionable notes according to the present invention. FIGS. 11-13 show a modification of the basic embodiment, which includes a money clip.

[0051] Referring first to FIGS. 1-7, a compact case for repositionable notes 10 according to the present invention may be seen to include a generally rectangularly-shaped, laterally elongated, thin flat rectangular base 11 which has generally flat and parallel upper and lower surfaces 12 and 13, respectively. As shown in the figures, upper and lower surfaces 12, 13 of base 11 are over most of their respective areas substantially flat and parallel. Upper surface 12 of base 11 has formed therein a relatively large, rectangularly-shaped recess 14 which is concentric with the outer perimeter wall surface 15 of the base. Recess 14 has a flat, rectangularly-shaped floor surface 16 which is enclosed by a rectangular ring-shaped perimeter wall 17 which has an upper surface 18 which is relieved below the unrecessed upper surface 12 of the base to a height intermediate between floor surface 16 and upper surface 12.

[0052] As may be seen best by referring to FIG. 1, base 11 of case 10 preferably has protruding from one side thereof, e.g., right side 19, a flange 20 which has in plan view the shape of a triangular wedge, which has an outer edge wall 21 that angles outwardly and rearwardly from front edge wall 22 to rear edge wall 23 of base 11. Flange 20 has an upper surface 12R which is coextensive with the upper surface 12F of a front laterally elongated bar-shaped web section 22A of base 11, located between front edge wall 22 and the front laterally disposed rib-shaped portion 17F of ring-shaped perimeter wall 17. Also, flange 20 preferably has formed through a wider rear portion 24 thereof an aperture 25 for receiving a key chain or key ring. Aperture 25 can have any suitable shape, such as an oval shape as shown in FIG. 1.

[0053] As may be seen best by referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, base 11 has protruding from a front corner thereof, e.g., left front corner 26, a locking button flange section 27 which has a left side wall 28 which angles forwardly and outwardly from left side 29 of the base, and a front side wall 30 which angles forwardly and laterally outwardly from front edge wall 22 of the base. Locking button flange section 27 contains a locking button 32, the structure and function of which are described in detail below.

[0054] As may be seen best by referring to FIGS. 1 and 6, compact case 10 includes a lid 41 which has a plan view shape similar to that of base 11, but of slightly smaller size. Thus, lid 41 has a thin, laterally elongated rectangular shape and generally flat and parallel lower and upper surfaces 42, 43, respectively. As shown in the figures, lower and upper surfaces 42, 43 of lid 41 are over most of their respective areas flat and parallel. Lower surface 42 of lid 41 has formed therein a relatively large, rectangularly-shaped shallow recess 44 which is concentric with the outer perimeter wall surface 45 of the lid. Recess 44 has a flat, rectangularly-shaped surface 46 which is enclosed by a rectangular ring-shaped perimeter wall 47 which has an upper front, back, left and right surfaces 48F, 48B, 48L, 48R, respectively, which are coextensive with unrecessed lower surface 42 of the lid.

[0055] As may be seen best by referring to FIGS. 4, 6, and 8, lid 41 has a rear laterally disposed edge wall 53 which is approximately perpendicular to lower surface 42 of the lid. Rear edge 53 of lid 41 is pivotably joined to rear edge wall 23 of base 11 by a laterally elongated integral hinge 54. Integral hinge 54 extends substantially the full width of lid 41, and is disposed between an upper rear corner edge intersection 55 of rear edge wall 23 and upper surface 12 of base 11, and a lower rear corner edge intersection 56 of rear edge wall 53 and lower surface 42 of lid 41. Hinge 54 has in a vertical longitudinal sectional view the shape of an hour glass laid on its side, and includes relatively thick outer portions 57 and 58 which join rear wall 23 and 53 of base 11 and lid 41, respectively, and a relatively thin central joint section 59. Hinge 54 is made of a resiliently deformable material which may be repeatedly flexed along joint section 59, without fatigue damage. In a preferred embodiment, hinge 54 is made of a synthetic polymer such as polypropylene, and is molded or cast integrally and unitarily with base 11 and lid 41.

[0056] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 5-8, hinge 54 enables lid 41 to be pivoted upwardly from a closed position contacting base 11, as shown in FIG. 1, to small pivot angles less than 90 degrees, as shown in FIG. 5, an upright perpendicular orientation, as shown in FIG. 6, and rearwardly 180 degrees parallel to the plane of the base, as shown in FIG. 7. Case 10 includes a novel locking mechanism for releasably securing lid 41 to base 11 in the closed disposition as shown in FIG. 1, which locking mechanism will now be described.

[0057] Referring now to FIGS. 2, 5, 9 and 10, it may be seen that locking button support flange 27 of case 10 has a diagonally outwardly located base section 61 which has in lower plan view an approximately triangular shape, with a diagonally outwardly located vertex truncated by a convex arcuately curved, radiused surface 62. As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, base section 61 of flange 27 has a thickness similar to that of front edge wall 22 and left side edge wall 28 of base 11, and is joined to front and left side edge walls by a diagonally disposed, thinner transition section or neck 63.

[0058] As shown in FIGS. 2, 5, and 9, neck 63 is formed between an upper, obliquely disposed U-shaped channel or groove 64 which is formed in upper surface 12 of base 11, and a lower V-shaped channel or groove 65 formed in lower surface 13 of the base in vertical alignment with the upper channel. As shown in FIG. 5, upper channel 64 is disposed perpendicularly to a diagonal of base 11, and obliquely intersects a front peripheral rib part 66 of ring-shaped perimeter wall 17, and left hand peripheral rib 67 of the base, forming in the front and side ribs front and side U-shaped sub-channels 70, 71, respectively, which have lower surfaces proximate lower surface 16 of recess 14 in the case. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 9, the aforementioned construction results in U-shaped channel 64 having a continuous, downwardly concavely curved, elongated bottom wall surface 72. The reduced thickness of neck section 63 of button support flange 27 resulting from upper U-shaped groove 64 and lower V-shaped groove 65 enables the neck section to function as a live hinge, enabling base section 61 of the button support flange to flex elastically downwardly with respect to lower surface 13 of base 11, as shown in FIG. 9, for purposes which will be explained shortly.

[0059] Referring to FIGS. 3, 5, and 9, it may be seen that button 32 protruding upwardly from base section 61 of button support flange 27 has an upper surface 73 which protrudes above upper surface 43 of lid 41, with case 10 closed as shown in FIG. 3. As shown in FIG. 3, upper surface 73 of button 32 preferably is convexly curved, and has protruding upwardly therefrom a plurality of hemispherically-shaped dots 74 which provide a tactile response to a person's thumb.

[0060] As shown in FIGS. 5, 9 and 10, button 32 has an obliquely disposed vertical inner wall surface 75 in which is located a horizontally elongated, rectangularly-shaped perforation 76. Perforation 76 is provided to lockingly receive a blade-like locking tab 77 which protrudes diagonally outwards from left front corner 78 of lid 41, in a manner which will now be described.

[0061] Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 5, it may be seen that locking tab 77 protrudes diagonally outwards from front left corner 78 of lid 41, and has a front edge wall 79 which in plan view is straight and disposed perpendicularly to a diagonal of the lid. As may be understood by referring to FIGS. 1 and 10, front edge wall 79 of locking tab 77 has in a vertically diagonally disposed longitudinal sectional view a wedge shape which tapers diagonally to a thinner and narrower front or diagonally outwardly located end 80. As shown in FIG. 1, locking tab 77 is of the proper size, shape, and location relative to button 32 for the locking tab to be insertably receivable in rectangular perforation 76 of locking button 32 when lid 41 is pressed flush against base 11.

[0062] Locking insertion of tab 77 into perforation 76 is accomplished by pressing left front corner 78 of lid 41 down against upper surface 73 of locking button 32. Downward pressure exerted on locking button 32 by locking tab 77 causes the locking button to flex downwardly along self-hinge/neck section 63. Downward flexure of locking button 32 in turn causes inner wall surface 75 of the locking button to move in a circular arc, away from front edge 80 of locking tab 77. When this motion is sufficiently large, front edge 80 of locking tab 77 is enabled to slide downwardly on inner facing wall surface 75 of locking button 32. When this happens, locking tab 77 moves into horizontal alignment with perforation 76 in side wall 75 of locking button 32, and is insertably received within the aperture, whereupon the locking button elastically and rapidly flexes upwards with a snapping action that captivates the locking tab within the locking button aperture.

[0063] To open case 10, downward pressure is exerted on upper surface 73 of locking button 32, thus displacing wall surface 75 of the locking button sufficiently far outwards from front edge 80 of locking tab 77 to enable the locking tab to move outwardly from aperture 76, thereby enabling lid 41 to be pivoted upwardly from base 11 to an open position.

[0064] As shown in FIG. 5, rectangular ring-shaped perimeter 47 of recess 44 in lid 41 is comprised of left and right straight rectangular cross ribs 81, 82 and front and rear straight rectangular cross-section ribs 83, 84. Left and front ribs 81, 83 have located near their front and left ends, respectively, i.e., adjacent to left front corner 78 of lid 41, convex, arcuately curved extensions 85, 86, which protrude downwardly from the left and front ribs, respectively. Extensions 85, 86 have shapes complementary to channels 70, 71 in base 11, and fit within the channels to form seals which inhibit moisture or dust from entering the interior 87 of case 10 when the case is closed. As shown in FIG. 10, interior space 87 of case 10 is comprised of adjacent rectangularly-shaped spaces 87B, 87L of recesses 14, 44 in base 11 and lid 41, respectively, when the case is closed. Interior space 87 is of the proper size and shape for conveniently storing a pad of repositionable notes A.

[0065] As shown in FIG. 7, recessed surfaces 16 and 46 of base 11 and lid 41 have formed therein rear rectangularly-shaped laterally elongated surfaces 88, 89, respectively, that are highly polished to provide smooth surfaces which repositionable note sheets adhere readily to. Thus, when a person has written on an upper sheet of a stack of notes A, the sheet containing writing may be peeled off the stack, and adhered to surface 89, which thus serves as a “parking” area for notes containing writing.

[0066] FIGS. 11-13 illustrate an optional modification 90 of case 10, which has a base 111, lid 141, and a money clip 91 for holding paper currency. As shown in FIGS. 11-13, money clip 91 is formed from an elastically deformable material, such as spring tempered wire, and has in plan view a shape approximating that of an inverted U which has a pair of laterally opposed angled sides 92L, 92R of which are angled obliquely forward and inwardly to a front laterally disposed segment 93. Clip 91 also has a pair of laterally opposed, parallel, left and right rear side segments 94L, 94R, which protrude rearwardly from rear ends of oblique segments 92L, 92R, respectively. The latter terminate at rear ends thereof in a pair of laterally opposed and aligned, laterally outwardly protruding left and right leg segments 95L, 95R, respectively.

[0067] As may be understood best by referring to FIG. 12, each laterally disposed leg 95L, 95R of money clip 91 has protruding upwardly from an outer lateral end thereof an L-shaped spring retainer 96L, 96R. Each spring retainer 96L, 96R is comprised of a short, vertically disposed foot member 97L, 97R, which is bent perpendicularly upwards from legs 95L, 95R, and a longer, vertically disposed retainer segment 98L 98R, which is bent perpendicularly forwards from the foot member, parallel to lower surface 123 of base 111. Legs 95L, 95R protrude upwardly through holes 99L, 99R in base 111 of case 90, and retainer segments 98L, 98R fit in grooves 100L, 100R, which are formed in upper surface 112 of the base.

[0068] As shown in FIG. 12, clip 90 has a front end portion 113 which consists of front segment 93 and front portions of oblique side segments 92L, 92R, which are bent upwardly at a dihedral angle of about 15 to 20 degrees relative to lower surface 123 of base 111. Since clip 91 is made of a spring wire such as spring steel, torsional force is exerted between each clip retainer segment 98L, 98R and side segments 94L, 94R, respectively. This torsional spring force biases front end portion 113 of spring clip 91 sufficiently tightly against lower surface 123 of case 111 to secure folded paper currency inserted between the clip and the base.

[0069] As is shown in FIG. 2, button support flange 27 of base 11 of case 10 preferably has formed therein a depression 101 to reduce the wall thickness of the button section, as is conventionally provided in injection molded articles.

[0070] Referring again to FIGS. 5 and 9, it should be noted that neck section 63 would function effectively as an integral hinge for locking button 32 if upper groove 64 were V-shaped like lower groove 65. However, upper groove 64 preferably has a wider, U-shape as shown in FIG. 5, so that it not only serves to form thin neck section 63, but also provides a convenient place to insert a finger nail to lift the corner of a note sheet, when the stack of notes has gotten short.

[0071] In preferred embodiments of a compact case for repositionable notes according to the present invention, the case is molded from a polymer such as polypropylene, by known techniques which impart a degree of memory to integral hinge 54 which joins case 11 to lid 41. Thus, when locking tab 77 is released from perforation 76 of locking button 32, the lid will flex upwardly from the case, although not always to the extent depicted in FIG. 5. However, when the lid is folded completely open to a position parallel and rearwardly of the base, as shown in FIG. 7, the lid will stay flat and not bounce back to interfere with the act of writing on note sheets within the case.

[0072] Other modifications of a compact case for repositionable notes according to the present invention are of course possible, such as providing a window in a portion of the lid and/or base, enabling writing on flat cards or sheets within the case to be viewed from outside the case. Thus modified, the case may be used as a luggage tag.

[0073] FIGS. 14-16 illustrate another modification 130 of a compact case for repositionable notes according to the present invention. As shown in FIGS. 14-16, case 130 is substantially similar in structure and function to case 10 shown in FIGS. 1-10 and described above. However, base 131 of case 130 is modified as follows. As shown in FIGS. 14-16, base 131 of case 130 has protruding from right side 139 thereof a flange 140 which has in plan view the shape of a triangular wedge, which has an outer edge wall 141 that angles outwardly and rearwardly from front edge wall 142 to rear edge wall 143 of base 131. Flange 140 has an upper surface 142R which is coextensive with the upper surface 142F of a front laterally elongated bar-shaped web section 142A of base 131, located between front edge wall 142 and the front laterally disposed rib-shaped portion 137F of ring-shaped perimeter wall 137. Also, flange 140 preferably has formed through a wider rear portion 144 thereof an aperture 145 for receiving a key chain or key ring. Aperture 145 can have any suitable shape, such as an oval shape as shown in FIG. 1.

[0074] Base 131 of modified case 130 has a corner boss 160 which protrudes upwardly from intersecting right front corner portions of flange 140 and front web section 142A of the base. Boss 160 has ramp-shaped front and right side portions 161,162, respectively, which have inner generally vertically disposed wall surfaces 163, 164 which intersect at a concavely arcuately curved, radiused vertex 165. Front and rear wall surfaces 163,164 are positioned a short distance inwardly of the front edge of front rib 137F of perimeter wall 137, and the outer right-hand edge 137R of perimeter wall 137. Thus, wall surfaces 163, 164 of boss 160 are so positioned as to make an interference fit with front and right side flange walls 172, 173 of lid 181, when the lid is in a closed position relative to the base. The interference fit further secures lid 181 to base 131, even if the right front corner of the lid should be warped slightly upwards from the planes of the base and lid.