Title:
Secure money clip and card holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A secure money clip and card holder comprising a base member having an interior surface and an exterior surface. A clip member straddles across the exterior surface and has vertical wall portions at each end so that paper currency can be held underneath and is substantially prevented from accidentally sliding off. An upstanding wall runs along a substantial portion of the perimeter of the interior surface and has a pair of projecting tabs at opposed sides that project over a portion of the interior surface. A ramp member and a rear wall sit at opposed sides of the interior surface and define a card slot which holds a plurality of cards underneath the projecting tabs and physically prevents cards from sliding out until a user pushes the topmost card towards and against the ramp member to bend it slightly upwards and eject it.



Inventors:
Kitchen, Michael (Media, PA, US)
Application Number:
13/552994
Publication Date:
01/23/2014
Filing Date:
07/19/2012
Assignee:
KITCHEN MICHAEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLADO, CYNTHIA FRANCISCA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael Kitchen (MEDIA, PA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A secure money clip and card holder for holding paper currency and cards, the secure money clip and card holder comprising: (a) a base member comprising a generally rectangular planar shape having first, second, third, and fourth sides, wherein said first and third sides are the two short sides and are substantially parallel to one another and said second and fourth sides are the two long sides and are substantially parallel to each other, said base member further comprises an exterior surface and an interior surface; (b) a clip member comprising a narrow generally rectangular shape that spans across the top of said exterior surface of said base member from said first side to said third side and has means for attachment to a portion of said exterior surface at each of its two ends, said clip member further comprises a gripping means on its underside that urges against said exterior surface, and a vertical wall portion at each of its two ends that keep said clip member elevated above said exterior surface so that a receptacle is defined by said exterior surface on its bottom, said gripping means and the underside of said clip member on its top, and each said vertical wall portion on two of its opposing sides whereby paper currency, cards and the like can be slidably inserted underneath said clip member from either the said second or fourth sides of said base member and stay securely held in place against said exterior surface by the urging force of said gripping means; (c) a card holding means affixed to said interior surface of said base member for holding a plurality of cards; whereby a user can hold both cards and paper currency and said paper currency retained under said clip member is substantially prevented from accidentally sliding out while being inserted or removed from ones pocket or bag.

2. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 1, wherein said card holding means further comprises an upstanding wall that runs along a substantial portion of the perimeter of said interior surface of said base member, a rear wall upstanding from said interior surface disposed near said first side of said base member, a ramp member located at said third side of said base member, and a pair of opposed projecting tabs that are affixed to a portion of said upstanding wall along said second and fourth sides of said base member and each project horizontally over top of a portion of said interior surface wherein a card slot is defined on its bottom by said interior surface of base member, its top by said projecting tabs, its back by said rear wall, its sides by a portion of said upstanding wall, and its front by said ramp member, wherein said ramp member is taller than said projecting tabs and sloped downwards towards said interior surface, whereby when a plurality of cards is stored in said card slot they are prevented from accidentally sliding out because they are held down by said projecting tabs and barricaded by said ramp member, and whereby cards can be slidably removed by placing ones finger on the topmost card and applying a slight force as they slide it towards and against said ramp member which slightly flexes said topmost card so it clears said ramp member and allows it to be removed from said card slot.

3. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 1, wherein said vertical wall portions on said clip member each further comprise a flat pedestal portion with a screw hole, and said base member further comprises a pair of screw holes in said exterior surface that each align with said screw holes in said pedestal portions, thereby allowing a self tapping screw to be inserted through said screw holes and drilled into said base member to securely fasten said clip member to said base member.

4. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 1, wherein said gripping means on the underside of said clip member further comprises a plurality of rounded vertical walls that run perpendicular to said second and fourth sides of said base member so that when paper currency is slidably inserted under said clip member said rounded vertical walls frictionally engage said paper currency and cause said clip member to flex slightly upward so that said clip member can put pressure on and securely grip said paper currency.

5. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 1, wherein said base member is preferably formed from a durable, resilient plastic such as abs or polycarbonate, and wherein said clip member is preferably made out of a durable, semi flexible material such as polycarbonate or abs plastic, or stamped and formed heat treated steel.

6. A secure money clip and card holder for holding paper currency and cards, the secure money clip and card holder comprising: (a) a base member comprising a generally rectangular planar shape having first, second, third, and fourth sides, wherein said first and third sides are the two short sides and are substantially parallel to one another and said second and fourth sides are the two long sides and are substantially parallel to each other, said base member further comprises an exterior surface and an interior surface; said base member further comprises an upstanding wall that runs along a substantial portion of the perimeter of said interior surface of said base member, a rear wall upstanding from said interior surface disposed near said first side of said base member, a ramp member located at said third side of said base member, and a pair of opposed projecting tabs that are affixed to a portion of said upstanding wall along said second and fourth sides of said base member and each project horizontally over top of a portion of said interior surface wherein a card slot is defined on its bottom by said interior surface of base member, its top by said projecting tabs, its back by said rear wall, its sides by a portion of said upstanding wall, and its front by said ramp member, wherein said ramp member is taller than said projecting tabs and is sloped downwards towards said interior surface, whereby when a plurality of cards is stored in said card slot they are prevented from accidentally sliding out because they are held down by said projecting tabs and barricaded by said ramp member, and whereby cards can be slidably removed by placing ones finger on the topmost card and applying a slight force as they slide it towards and against said ramp member which slightly flexes said topmost card so it clears the height of said ramp member and allows it to be removed from said card slot; (b) a paper currency holding means affixed to said exterior surface of said base member; whereby a user can hold both a plurality of cards and paper currency and said plurality of cards is substantially prevented from accidentally sliding out while being carried, inserted or removed from ones pocket or bag.

7. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 6, wherein said paper currency means further comprises a clip member comprising a narrow generally rectangular shape that spans across the top of said exterior surface of said base member from said first side to said third side and has means for attachment to a portion of said exterior surface at each of its two ends, said clip member further comprises a gripping means on its underside that urges against said exterior surface, and a vertical wall portion at each of its two ends that keep said clip member elevated above said exterior surface so that a receptacle is defined by said exterior surface on its bottom, said gripping means and the underside of said clip member on its top, and each said vertical wall portion on two of its opposing sides whereby paper currency, cards and the like can be slidably inserted underneath said clip member from either the said second or fourth sides of said base member and stay securely held in place against said exterior surface by the urging force of said gripping means;

8. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 7, wherein said vertical wall portions on said clip member each further comprise a flat pedestal portion with a screw hole, and said base member further comprises a pair of screw holes in said exterior surface that each align with said screw holes in said pedestal portions, thereby allowing a self tapping screw to be inserted through said screw holes and drilled into said base member to securely fasten said clip member to said base member.

9. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 7, wherein said gripping means on the underside of said clip member further comprises a plurality of rounded vertical walls that run perpendicular to said second and fourth sides of said base member so that when paper currency is slidably inserted under said clip member said rounded vertical walls frictionally engage said paper currency and cause said clip member to flex slightly upward so that said clip member can put pressure on and securely grip said paper currency.

10. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 7, wherein said base member is preferably formed from a durable, resilient plastic such as abs or polycarbonate, and wherein said clip member is preferably made out of a durable, semi flexible material such as polycarbonate or abs plastic, or stamped and formed spring steel.

11. A secure money clip and card holder for holding paper currency and cards, the secure money clip and card holder comprising: (a) a base member comprising a generally rectangular planar shape having first, second, third, and fourth sides, wherein said first and third sides are the two short sides and are substantially parallel to one another and said second and fourth sides are the two long sides and are substantially parallel to each other, said base member further comprises an exterior surface and an interior surface; said base member further comprises an upstanding wall that runs along a substantial portion of the perimeter of said interior surface of said base member, a rear wall upstanding from said interior surface disposed near said first side of said base member, a ramp member located at said third side of said base member, and a pair of opposed projecting tabs that are affixed to a portion of said upstanding wall along said second and fourth sides of said base member and each project horizontally over top of a portion of said interior surface wherein a card slot is defined on its bottom by said interior surface of base member, its top by said projecting tabs, its back by said rear wall, its sides by a portion of said upstanding wall, and its front by said ramp member, wherein said ramp member is taller than said projecting tabs and is sloped downwards towards said interior surface, whereby when a plurality of cards is stored in said card slot they are prevented from accidentally sliding out because they are held down by said projecting tabs and barricaded by said ramp member, and whereby cards can be slidably removed by placing ones finger on the topmost card and applying a slight force as they slide it towards and against said ramp member which slightly flexes said topmost card upwards so it clears said ramp member and allows it to be removed from said card slot; (b) a clip member comprising a narrow generally rectangular shape that spans across the top of said exterior surface of said base member from said first side to said third side and has means for attachment to a portion of said exterior surface at each of its two ends, said clip member further comprises a gripping means on its underside that urges against said exterior surface, and a vertical wall portion at each of its two ends that keep said clip member elevated above said exterior surface so that a receptacle is defined by said exterior surface on its bottom, said gripping means and the underside of said clip member on its top, and each said vertical wall portion on two of its opposing sides whereby paper currency, cards and the like can be slidably inserted underneath said clip member from either the said second or fourth sides of said base member and stay securely held in place against said exterior surface by the urging force of said gripping means; whereby a user can hold both cards and paper currency and said paper currency retained under said clip member is substantially prevented from accidentally sliding out while being inserted or removed from ones pocket or bag and said plurality of cards is substantially prevented from accidentally sliding out of said card holder while being carried in ones pocket or bag.

12. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 11, wherein said vertical wall portions on said clip member each further comprise a flat pedestal portion with a screw hole, and said base member further comprises a pair of screw holes in said exterior surface that each align with said screw holes in said pedestal portions, thereby allowing a self tapping screw to be inserted through said screw holes and drilled into said base member to securely fasten said clip member to said base member.

13. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 11, wherein said gripping means on the underside of said clip member further comprises a plurality of rounded vertical walls that run perpendicular to said second and fourth sides of said base member so that when paper currency is slidably inserted under said clip member said rounded vertical walls frictionally engage said paper currency and cause said clip member to flex slightly upward so that said clip member can put pressure on and securely grip said paper currency.

14. The secure money clip and card holder according to claim 11, wherein said base member is preferably formed from a durable, resilient plastic such as abs or polycarbonate, and wherein said clip member is preferably made out of a durable, semi flexible material such as polycarbonate or abs plastic, or stamped and formed spring steel.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to card holders and money clips, and more specifically to wallet-sized card holders and money clips for holding personal articles such as credit cards, contactless smartcards, licenses, identification cards, paper currency, receipts, tickets, and the like.

2. Prior Art

Money clip wallets and card carriers are some of the smallest, most minimal wallets available on the market. Sometimes referred to as ‘minimalist’ wallets, they typically have one or more card slots on one side of a planar type body, and a traditional money clip affixed to the other for paper currency or receipts. A perfect modern example of these types of wallets is U.S. Pat. No. 6,082,422 issued to Storus Corp. (herein Storus) that describes a combination one piece money clip and card holder that has a traditional biased money clip on one side and a channel on the other with L-shaped brackets on its sides for receiving a plurality of flexible cards. Cards inserted into the channel are gripped on their edges by the walls of the brackets and are held in place. To remove a card, a user just places their thumb on the topmost card and slides it out of the channel. While Storus' invention is an effective and minimal way of carrying both cash and cards, it has the same security problems that traditional money clip wallets and card holders have; the paper currency stored under the traditional style money clip has a known tendency to accidentally slide off when the wallet is inserted or removed from one's pocket, or as a result of being jolted or moved while inside a pocket or bag. This is because in a traditional U-shaped or curved money clip, there are three different directions that paper currency can freely slide towards; forwards, and side to side.

Another issue with Storus' solution is its card holding channel. It relies on the frictional engagement of the sides of a stack of cards against the inside wall of the L-shaped brackets, but there is no physical barrier to stop cards from accidentally sliding out as the wallet is inserted or removed from ones pocket or bag. Moreover, cards could accidentally slide out once the resilient walls on the L-shaped brackets wears or spreads out from repeated insertion over time.

In attempting to search for an improvement over the security issues of Storus' invention, one can look towards U.S. Pat. No. 5,653,276 issued to Niernberger, which teaches a combination wallet and billfold that comprises two rectangular members joined along three sides that defines a card pocket in between to receive a plurality of cards. A U-shaped clip is attached to the currency face of the wallet, and a retaining strap is also hingedly connected to one end and has a Velcro fastening means at the other so the strap can be detached and pivoted open so a user can slide money under the U-shaped clip. Niernberger's invention is an improvement over traditional money clips, but still has substantial flaws; first, in order to remove paper currency from the wallet, one must detach the strap at its end and fold it over, then carefully remove the bills from under the U-shaped clip, which adds complication and time when you are in a fast moving checkout line. Moreover, inserting paper currency into the wallet is just as complicated, as a user must again insert cash under the clip, then fold the strap closed—again a two step process. Lastly, the most serious flaw with Niernbergers design is the fact that when a fairly large amount of paper currency is under the retaining strap, it can cause the retaining strap to stretch, bulge and eventually detach from its Velcro fastener, causing the bills to accidentally slide off of the wallet, and also cause cards contained in the currency face slots to fall out as well.

A more secure type of paper currency retaining strap can be found in U.S. Design Pat. No. Des. 384,499 issued to Gaestel. Though this is a design patent with no formal written description, it can be seen that Gaestel is showing a very small wallet in the form of a simple pouch for retaining cards and a flexible elastic type strap that wraps around the entire wallet like a wide rubber band, presumably for holding paper currency. While this strap is more secure for paper currency, it presents the issue of having to lift and fumble with it in order to slide bills underneath it because it is always tightly wrapped against the wallet pouch. It also does not appear to be fastened to either of the faces of the wallet, so it could accidentally fall off with the paper currency while in ones pocket or bag. Moreover, there is again no physical barrier for the cards, and as a result of the pouch stretching and bulging with time and loading of more cards, there is a big risk of them accidentally falling or sliding out.

Attempting to improve on the card holding means of the aforementioned wallets, one skilled in the art might look towards U.S. Pat. No. 7,308,771 issued to Memelink for a card holder, which teaches a rectangular body with a first and second face and a ledge means upstanding along a substantial part of each of the faces' perimeters. A pair of flanges each extend over top of each face from each of the ledge means and provide a card holder on each side for a single card. A vacant cut-away portion at one end allows a user to grip the bottom face of a card and lift it upwards so they can pull it up above the ledge means and out from the card holder. While Memelink's invention is a good example of a more secure card slot that provides a barrier so cards cannot fall out, it still has issues in terms of usability and capacity. Each face of the design is really only suited for a single card, and removing those cards is again a clumsy process, as a card cannot simply be slid out, but must be gripped at one edge and then lifted up and pulled out, without pushing too hard on the back edge of the other card contained in the other side, which could risk that card accidentally sliding out. If one skilled in the art wanted to try and improve the card capacity of Memelink's design by making the flanges and ledge means taller so more cards could fit, it would make it even more clumsy to remove cards, as gripping the card you want in the small cutaway portion would be difficult, and would have to be lifted even more to remove it.

Hence, there exists a strong need for a new type of combination card holder and money clip design that is able to more securely hold paper currency so it is substantially prevented from sliding off while being inserted or removed from ones pocket. Moreover, the card holder portion needs to provide a simple and reliable physical barrier so that cards can also not accidentally slide off while in ones pocket. The proposed design must allow paper currency to be quickly and easily inserted in one step without hassle, and also must allow cards to be removed in one step without hassle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed towards an improved money clip and card holder comprising a base member having an interior surface and an exterior surface. A rectangular but narrow clip member straddles across the exterior surface and has vertical wall portions at each end that act as a pedestal so that the clip member is elevated above the exterior surface and allows paper currency to be easily slid underneath, and is substantially prevented from accidentally sliding off because it is barricaded on two opposing ends. An upstanding wall runs along a substantial portion of the perimeter of the interior surface and has a pair of projecting tabs each at opposed sides that project over a portion of the interior surface. A ramp member sits at one short end and a rear wall sits at the other to define a card slot which holds a plurality of cards underneath the projecting tabs and physically prevents cards from sliding out until a user pushes the topmost card towards and against the ramp member which slightly bends it upwards and ejects it from the card holder.

It is a primary objective of this invention to provide an improved money clip and card holder design which substantially reduces the risk of paper currency accidentally sliding off while the holder is carried in, inserted or removed from ones pocket.

It is another primary objective of this invention to provide a card holder that provides a physical barrier so that cards cannot accidentally slide out.

It is another objective of this invention to provide an improved money clip design that allows the insertion or removal of paper currency in only one step with no fumbling or hassle.

It is another objective of this invention to allow cards to be easily ejected with ones thumb in only one step.

It is another objective of this invention to construct the components of the money clip and card holder out of a substantially rigid and durable material so as to protect the cards inside from being bent or deformed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates schematically an axonometric view of the front side of the secure money clip and card holder when its loaded with cards and paper currency.

FIG. 2 illustrates schematically an axonometric view of the back of the secure money clip and card holder showing the clip member with nothing under it.

FIG. 2A illustrates schematically an axonometric view of the back of the secure money clip and card holder showing how paper currency is safely stored and inserted under the clip member.

FIG. 2B illustrates schematically an axonometric view of the back of the secure money clip and card holder showing how an additional card is safely stored and inserted under the clip member.

FIG. 3 illustrates schematically a vertical section through the short dimension of the secure money clip and card holder.

FIG. 4 illustrates schematically a vertical section through the long dimension of the secure money clip and card holder.

FIG. 4A illustrates schematically a vertical section through the long dimension of the secure money clip and card holder showing how a card is deformed as it is pushed along and against the ramp member.

FIG. 5 illustrates schematically an exploded axonometric view of the secure money clip and card holder showing how all the parts are fastened together.

FIG. 5A illustrates schematically an axonometric view of the underside of the clip member showing its gripping teeth.

DRAWINGS - Reference Numerals
20plurality of cards22single card
24paper currency26self tapping screws
100secure money clip and card holder102rectangular base
104upstanding wall106rear wall
108projecting tabs110ramp member
112screw boss114clip member
116vertical wall portions118gripping teeth

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As used herein, the term “cards” is meant to include any typical wallet-sized card, such as license, credit, check, ATM, or membership cards that are approximately 8.5 cm long by 5.5 cm wide and 1 mm or less thick. The secure money clip and card holder which is the preferred embodiment of the present invention is broadly denoted by the numeral 100 and is shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 2A, and 2B and shown sectionally in FIGS. 3, 4, and 4A. FIG. 5 shows an exploded view of secure money clip and card holder dived into its main components.

Secure money clip and card holder 100 comprises a rectangular base 102 that is planar in shape and has an exterior surface and an interior surface. Rectangular base 102 has an upstanding wall 104 that runs continuously along a substantial portion of the perimeter of the interior surface and eventually collides into ramp member 110 which is upstanding from the back of the interior surface. Ramp member 110 serves as a barrier element and slopes downwards towards the interior surface of rectangular base 102. A rear wall 106 is located at the opposing side of ramp member 110 and serves as a stop means for preventing cards from sliding out from that side. A pair of projecting tabs 108 is projecting horizontally inward from opposing portions of upstanding wall 104 and project over top of a portion of the interior surface of rectangular base 102. Thus a card slot is defined on its bottom by the interior surface of rectangular base 102, its top by projecting tabs 108, its rear by rear wall 106, its two opposed sides by a portion of upstanding wall 104, and its front by ramp member 110.

A plurality of cards 20 can be slidably inserted into the card slot against and along ramp member 110 until they slide under projecting tabs 108. Because ramp member 110 is taller than projecting tabs 108, it acts as a barrier and plurality of cards 20 are physically prevented from accidentally sliding out of the card slot (as observed in FIG. 4) while card holder 100 is being carried in ones pocket or bag. Cards can be slidably removed from the card slot by placing ones finger on the topmost card and applying a slight force as they slide it towards and against ramp member 110, which slightly flexes the topmost card upward so it clears ramp member 110 and allows it to be removed from the card slot, as displayed in FIG. 4A.

Rectangular base 102 further comprises a screw boss 112 in back of rear wall 106 which has a screw hole on the exterior surface. Ramp member 110 also houses a screw boss within its mass that also has a screw hole on the exterior surface of rectangular base 102. A long narrow clip member 114 spans lengthwise across the exterior surface and comprises a vertical wall portion 116 at each of its ends which each further comprise a pedestal portion with a screw hole that aligns with the respective screw holes on the exterior surface of rectangular base 102 so that self tapping screws 26 can be drilled into the exterior surface and clip member 114 can be securely fastened to the back of rectangular base 102. Clip member 114 has a plurality of gripping teeth 118 on its underside at its midpoint which urge against the exterior surface of rectangular base 102. Thus, a paper currency receptacle is defined on its bottom by the exterior surface of rectangular base 102, its top by the underside of clip member 114 and gripping teeth 118, and two of its opposed sides by vertical wall portions 116, so that paper currency, additional cards, receipts and the like can be slidably inserted under clip member 114 from either of its sides (as seen in FIGS. 2A and 2B) and firmly held in place by the urging force of gripping teeth 118 (as seen in FIGS. 3, 4, and 4A). Because clip member 114 is elevated above the exterior surface and forms a gap between them, paper currency and the like is easily inserted in one sliding movement, without having to unfasten another piece or lift anything up like in the prior art.

Because clip member 114 barricades paper currency contained under it at each of its two ends, it substantially prevents paper currency from accidentally sliding out when secure money clip and card case 100 is inserted or removed lengthwise from ones pocket, as almost all card cases and wallet always are. As discussed in the prior art, typical and traditional money clip wallets secure paper currency to their back under a traditional style money clip, but allows the paper currency to potentially slide out in 3 different directions (forwards, and two sides), whereas secure money clip and card holder 100 only allows paper currency and other items to slide out in two directions (on its two sides) thus substantially reducing the likelihood of accidentally losing items stored under clip member 114. The vertical wall portions 116 and gripping teeth 118 of clip member 114 can also be heightened and shortened as desired to increase or decrease the capacity of paper currency held by secure money clip and card holder 100.

Materials and Manufacturing

In the preferred embodiment, rectangular base 102 and clip member 114 are injection molded from a strong and resilient plastic such as ABS or Polycarbonate, though other materials are suitable as well. The plastic provides a strength and slight flexibility needed for clip member 114 to flex as it holds and grips varying amounts of paper currency. The plastic material is also preferable because it adds to the lightness and softness of the device, which is meant to be carried in ones pocket or bag. In another possible embodiment, clip member 114 is stamped and formed from heat treated steel, giving it even more strength and fatigue resistance over time.

As would be obvious to one skilled in the art, rectangular base 102 and clip member 114 could also be injection molded in different colors to change the outer appearance of the secure money clip and card holder 100 and satisfy new trends, tastes, and demands of the market.

SUMMARY, RAMIFICATIONS, and SCOPE

Accordingly, the reader will see that secure money clip and card holder can be used to substantially prevent accidental loss of paper currency and cards while the card holder is being stored, inserted, or removed from ones pocket or bag. Furthermore, secure money clip and card holder has additional advantages in that:

A user can very quickly remove cards while paying for goods by simply using their thumb to slidably eject a card from the card holder with only one hand;

In addition to paper currency, the clip member can also hold additional cards, business cards, tickets, receipts, and more;

The secure money clip and card holder is very cost effective as it is preferably molded in only two main parts, with one step assembly.

The rectangular base member and clip member can be made in different colors and textures to meet the current trends, demands, and tastes of the market.

It will be appreciated that still further embodiments of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the present disclosure. It is to be understood that the present invention is by no means limited to the particular constructions herein disclosed and/or shown in the drawings, but also comprises any modifications or equivalents within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the embodiments illustrated, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.