Title:
Paper money clip with spare key retainer element
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention consists of a combination money clip and spare key holder which is further provided with a heart or other shaped imprintable substantially planar advertising surface located above the spare key holder and/or on a substantially planar surface on the exterior of the blade clips for retaining bills. The present invention is constructed so that one or more spare keys may be kept in ready access. The present invention may be imprinted with a company name, location, phone number, web address, or other information by which the company name is remembered by the user of the device and can be easily contacted. Or, the present invention may be simply imprinted or etched with the user's name or initials as a personalized and special gift. It is anticipated that the combination money clip and spare key holder can be slipped into small shirt or trouser pockets or pockets where there is not much room and a wallet may not fit. Further, the combination money clip and spare key holder ensures that the user will never be locked out of home, car or office. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the design is such that it may be made from one plastic mold, hence avoiding the cost of manufacturing multiple molds and additional product assembly costs.



Inventors:
Thomas, Richard (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/640279
Publication Date:
02/17/2005
Filing Date:
08/13/2003
Assignee:
THOMAS RICHARD
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C1/06; A45C11/32; (IPC1-7): A45C11/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PICKETT, JOHN G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JoAnne M. Denison (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A combination clip and key holder having: a biased clip portion with two elongate substantially slender bars with exterior surfaces for the purpose of retaining an item between the slender bars; and, means for retaining at least one spare key mounted to at least one of the exterior surfaces of one of the slender bars.

2. The combination clip and key holder further of claim 1 having; a substantially planar imprintable surface containing an imprint which surface is further formed in a aesthetically pleasing shape and which is adjacent to at least one of the exterior surfaces of one of the slender bars.

3. The combination clip and key holder of claim 2 wherein the means for retaining at least one spore key comprising a housing with a pair of opposing apertures for slidably receiving and retaining the shaft portions of one or more keys.

3. The combination clip and key holder of claim 3 further having; a company ad imprinted on the imprintable surface.

4. The combination clip and key holder of claim 3 further having; the user's name or initials imprinted on the imprintable surface.

5. The combination clip and key holder of claim 3 further having; the user's name or initials etched on the imprintable surface.

6. The combination clip and key holder of claim 3 being made from one or more of the following group of substances: plastic, metal, or metal alloy.

7. The combination clip and key holder of claim 3 further having; company mark imprinted on the imprintable surface.

8. The combination clip and key holder of claim 1 further having a substantially planar surface on at least one of the slender bars which comprises an imprintable surface; and, advertising imprinted on the imprintable surface.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of devices for carrying paper money and spare keys, and more particularly to a money clip which is adapted to also retain one or more spare keys.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Currently, in the marketplace, there are available a wide variety of devices that are intended to hold bills or folding money, credit cards, keys and spare change. However, none of these devices effectively and securely retains folding money as well as one or more spare keys.

In reviewing the prior art, the following patents are found that primarily retain keys or key rings: U.S. Des. 382,105 issued to J. Bonaldi; U.S. Pat. No. 1,206,074 issued to A. Zwiener; U.S. Pat. No. 845,743 issued to A. Bindner; U.S. Des. 374,765 issued to S. Jones; U.S. Design Pat. No. 364,269 issued to Mark Sabosky discloses a key clip with pinching velcro closure elements; and, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 468,090 issued to Amir Tirosh discloses a key chain clip with an interior compartment.

Additional patents disclose the use of money clips with various other features. U.S. Pat. No. 5,119,909 issued to Harrold Hall discloses the use of a substantially wide money clip with a change purse disposed thereupon. U.S. Pat. No. 3,555,623 issued to P. T. Cocchiaraley discloses the use of a money clip attached to a chain wherein the money clip is comprised of one contiguous metal wire for expediency in manufacture. U.S. Pat. No. 3,027,995 issued to W. I. Littmon discloses the use of a money clip with a change box disclosed thereupon.

One patent that discloses the use of a money clip with an interior compartment for retaining one key is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. Des. 349,389 issued to James Ezzo. And yet a further patent discloses the use of a clip for retaining heavy objects, such as a golf bag is U.S. Pat. No. Des. 467,068.

And finally, a key clip design that utilized a velcro closure is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. Des. 364,269 issued to Mark Sabosky.

Thus, no where in the prior art is there disclosed a money clip which is capable of securing and retaining one or more spare keys, such as a house key and/or a car key, in case the user of the device forgets or misplaces a set of keys.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention consists of a money clip having spare key retainment means wherein, in one preferred embodiment, a bias spring clip is used to retain folding money or paper money and disposed on the exterior of the spring clip is means for slidingly receiving one or more spare keys. In such a manner, it is convenient for the use of a device to keep a spare house key and/or a spare car key on hand in case the user either misplaces or loses his keys or is locked out of house or car. In one particular embodiment of the present invention, a gently sloped retainer housing is disposed to one side of the opposing spring clip blades. The retainer housing is further provided with opposing slot members through which one or more spare keys may be slidingly received and retained there between.

In an alternate preferred form of the present invention, a separate clip member is slidingly received on one of the opposing spring clip blades. The clip member, when attached to one of the opposing spring clip blades, provides an aperture through which one or more keys may be slidingly received and retained there between.

In either version of the preferred embodiments of the present invention, along one portion or more of the spring clip blades may be provided a substantially planar decorative surface upon which advertising material may be imprinted upon. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the decorative planar surface is shaped to resemble a heart, but other decorative shapes such as circles, ovals, flower shapes and the like may be utilized in the present invention to accomplish the some objectives of providing a convenient advertising space. The exterior of the rear blade may also be used to provide advertising space.

It is further anticipated that the present invention may be made from a wide range of materials, depending upon the budget allowed and the durability of the product. It is entirely possible that the present invention may be made from a decorative metal such as brass or copper, or it may be mode from mere steel or steel alloy with a decorative plating of brass, chrome or even gold or silver.

Thus, in such a manner, a simple but effective means is provided by which a user of a money clip may safely and securely retain one or more spare keys to ensure that he or she is never locked out of home ore car.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

Thus, it is one primary object of the present invention to provide a simple and effective money clip and key retainer wherein the money clip comprises two opposing spring clips or blades which are capable of receiving and securely retaining one or more pieces of folding money.

It is yet an additional primary object of the present invention to provide a simple and effective money clip and key retainer wherein the retainer is comprised of a small clip which is slidingly received upon one side of the spring clips or blades of the money clip wherein it creates an aperture into which may be slipped one or more spare keys.

Still a further primary object of the present invention to provide a simple and effective money clip and key retainer wherein in one preferred embodiment a raised box like area is created along one spring clip or blades of the money clip portion of the device and opposing apertures in this raised portion create means by which one or more keys may be slidingly received and retained there between.

Yet an additional primary object of the present invention to provide a simple and effective money clip and key retainer wherein the money clip and key retainer may be made from metal or metal alloy so as to provide aesthetic beauty and a durable device.

Another primary object of the present invention to provide a simple and effective money clip and key retainer wherein the device may be made from plastic or other copolymer for durability and economy of manufacture.

Still a further primary object of the present invention to provide a simple and effective money clip and key retainer wherein a substantially decorative shaped planar portion is provided along the length of the bias spring clip or blade wherein an ad may be imprinted thereupon so the user may recall the name, location or phone number of a business, and further a back blade element is provided with a substantially planar surface upon which additional advertising may be imprinted there upon.

Yet another primary object of the present invention to provide a simple and effective money clip and key retainer wherein the device is compact and may be easily slipped into a shirt or pants pocket where a traditional billfold will not fit.

An additional primary object of the present invention to provide a simple and effective money clip and key retainer wherein all edges of the device are curved so that the device will not tear or damage clothing while in use.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention can be readily derived from the following detailed description of the drawings taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings present herein and should be considered as within the overall scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective blown apart view of the present invention showing it with a separate raised clip element for retaining one or more spare keys.

FIG. 2 is an elevated bottom plan view of the present invention showing it with substantially planar advertising surface.

FIG. 3 is an elevated top plan view of the present invention showing it with a key retained under the clip element.

FIG. 4 is an alternate embodiment of the present invention with a raise housing with opposing apertures for retaining one or more spare keys.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Shown now in FIG. 1 is combination money clip and spare key holder 10 which is provided with a pair of slender opposing biased springs or clips 12 and 14 which are designed to hold varying amount of folding or paper money there between. A spare key retainer element 16 is snugly adopted to be received on bias spring or clip element 12 between opposing slots or notches 19 wherein one or more keys, such as key 15, shown, may be slipped within key opening or aperture 18 where they are held securely until they are needed. A small nib 22 may be provided near the top of clip element 12 to facilitate retention of key 15 through its key chain aperture 17. It is anticipated that combination money clip and spare key holder 10 may be made from a wide range of materials, including the following substances: plastic, or other rigid copolymer for strength, economy and durability; metal, such as steel, brass, copper, etc. and other metal alloys for strength and durability. Or the present invention may be made from a metal or alloy and then plated with silver, gold, brass or chrome for an enhanced attractive appearance.

Also provided on bias spring or clip portion 12 is a heart shaped substantially planar advertising surface 20 upon which may be etched or imprinted in a wide variety of manners commonly used in the prior art, either the user's initials or an advertising slogan or the name, phone number or location of a business, or its trademark, logo or other company image. Accordingly, if the present invention were made from plastic or other copolymer and imprinted with the name, phone number and location of a business, it can be a most effective promotional piece that can be mass produced at relatively low cost. The user is likely to keep and refer to such a piece for a very long period of time, enhancing the consumer's impression of a business name.

FIG. 2 shows an elevated bottom plan view of combination money clip/spare key holder 10 showing a substantially planar back clip element 14 which has a surface upon which advertising such as a company name and address, or logo, or trademark may be imprinted upon. Seen from the back is the heart shaped planar advertising surface 20.

FIG. 3 shows an elevated top plan view of combination money clip/spare key holder 10 showing key 15 securely retained under spare key retainer element 16.

FIG. 4 shows an alternative preferred embodiment of the present invention, combination money clip/spare key holder 100 which is similarly constructed to that shown in FIG. 1. However, in this particular preferred embodiment, the spare key retainer element 116 comprises a very simple raised housing with opposing apertures 118 through which one or more keys may be slidingly retained against bias spring or clip element 112. The housing is “raised” or punched forward from bias spring or clip 112 to provide for greater ease and economy of manufacture. Whereas combination money clip/spare key holder 10 must be made from a two piece mold and assembled together by manual labor or separate specialized machinery, combination money clip/spare key holder 100 may be made with a single mold and no further assembly. Similarly, bias spring or clip element 114 is provided to securely hold a plurality of folding or paper money. Further shown is tulip shaped substantially planar advertising surface 120 which has been shaped like a flower in order to promote a flower shop. Likewise, other shapes may be utilized, such as football or baseball shapes to promote athletic teams or equipment shops. Advertising surface 120 may be shaped like a cellular phone to promote cellular phone services, or it may be shaped like a computer to promote computer sales or services.

Thus, in such a manner a highly effective and cost efficient method of both advertising a business, product or service is shown, together with a very simple to manufacture combination money clip and spare key retainer which is likely to be used and referred to by the owner for many years to come.

Although in the foregoing detailed description the present invention has been described by reference to various specific embodiments, it is to be understood that modifications and alterations in the structure and arrangement of those embodiments other than those specifically set forth herein may be achieved by those skilled in the art and that such modifications and alterations are to be considered as within the overall scope of this invention.