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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CREDIT CARD HOLDER HAVING IMPROVED FRICTION ELEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/013638
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A holder for cards, comprising a housing which tightly fits around a stack of at least three cards and has a card opening for locating and removing cards, while within the housing, opposite the card opening, a card eject feature is provided such that the cards through the card opening can be partly slid from the housing. At the inner side of the housing a friction element is located to provide the cards a stable position inside the housing. The friction element has a layered structure comprising a felt layer providing a fibre surface structure for engagement with the cards within the holder, and a latex layer backing the felt layer, which latex layer having a thickness of at least 0.25 millimetre.

Inventors:
VAN GEER RENÉ JOHAN (NL)
Application Number:
NL2018/050483
Publication Date:
January 17, 2019
Filing Date:
July 12, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VAN GEER RENE JOHAN (NL)
R J VAN GEER BEHEER BV (NL)
International Classes:
A45C11/18
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010137975A22010-12-02
WO2010137975A22010-12-02
WO2014098580A12014-06-26
Foreign References:
US20140014676A12014-01-16
US20050224149A12005-10-13
US20020074246A12002-06-20
US4887739A1989-12-19
US5718329A1998-02-17
JPS60179484U1985-11-28
EP0287532A21988-10-19
CH702919B12011-10-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ASSENDELFT, Jacobus (NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A holder for cards, comprising a rectangular, sleeve like housing (1) having two opposite mutually parallel main sides (31) connected and spaced by two long and two short opposite minor sides (32), which minor sides (32) define the maximum height of the stack of cards, which housing tightly fits around a stack of at least three cards (2) and a short minor side (32) has a card opening (3) for locating and removing cards, such that the movement of the cards through the opening (3) is limited to a movement of their top face parallel to the main sides (31) of the housing and in longitudinal (L) direction of the housing, while at or within the housing, preferably opposite the card opening (3) , a card e ect feature is provided such that the cards through the card opening (3) can be partly slid from the housing, which card eject feature preferably comprises an ejector arm (16) which is designed to move within the housing between a first and a second position and during said movement ejects the cards by engaging and forcing the cards

simultaneously to partly exit the housing,

wherein at the inner side of the housing, possibly near the card opening (3) at at least one minor side (32) a friction element (6), which is separate from the walls of the housing, is located which is designed to be in direct contact with and to exert a friction force to the contacting narrow side, defining the thickness (T) , of each individual card which is at least partly present in the housing, resulting in providing each relative card such a stable position relative to the housing, that the card can not slide due to gravity, but indeed due to a force exerted by the finger tips

wherein the design is such that of an in the card holder located card stack, the by the thin sides of the cards provided side of the stack is urged against the surface of the friction element (6) by a parallel to the main side (31) of the housing active urging force which is preferably generated by pressing means (7) of the card holder, which means (7) are separate from the walls of the housing, which urging force is directed in the widthwise ( ) direction of the cards and parallel to the main sides (31); and the surface (12) of the friction element (6) for friction engagement with the thin sides of the cards faces a minor side (32) CHARACTERISED IN THAT

the friction element (6) has a layered structure of at least two layers (11, 12) of different material or nature, viewed in thickness direction of the friction element (6), which is the direction in which the friction element is urged against the stack and the widhtwise direction (W) . 2. Card holder according to the preceding claim, wherein the friction element (6) has a layered structure, viewed in its thickness direction, comprising a first layer (12) providing a fibre or fibre like surface structure for engagement with the cards within the holder, and a second layer (11), directly or indirectly backing the first layer (12), which second layer (11) is of rubber like or elastomer like or silicon like material having a thickness of at least 0.25 millimetre.

3. Holder according to claim 1 or 2, the friction element is mounted to urging means (7) and is located between and is elastically compressed between the urging means (7) and the one long side of the stack and thus has become thinner due to the compression and will retain its original thickness if the stack is removed.

4. Holder according to any of claims 1-3, the layers (11, 12) have a flat shape and are mutually parallel and provide a laminate and the second layer (11) is located between the first layer (12) and the urging means (7)

5. Holder according to any of claims 1-3, the layers have a non-flat shape and the one layer (12) encircles the other layer (11), the second layer (11) is yarn like and the first layer (12) provides a coating or sheath completely around the second layer (11) .

6. Holder according to claim 5, the second layer (11) provides a core of e.g. latex, helically wrapped by a wire of e.g. wool providing the coating or sheath (12) .

7. Holder according to claim 5 or 6, viewed in its thickness direction the friction element comprises a plurality of mutually stacked or superposed yarns or cores (11), each with the sheath ( 12 ) .

8. Holder according to any of claims 1-7, the thickness of the first layer (12) is at least 25% smaller than the thickness of the second layer.

9. Holder according to any of claims 1-8, the friction element (6) is mounted to the urging means (7) by an adhesive layer of e.g. glue.

10. Holder according to any of claims 1-9, the housing contains two friction elements (6) opposite each other, each adjacent a long minor side (32), located such that if the cards stack is inserted in the housing they squeeze the cards stack between them in widthwise direction (W) and engage the thin side of each individual card.

11. Card holder according to any of the preceding claims, wherein one or more of the following applies:

the card eject feature comprises a stepped element (19), which can by the user be moved relative to the housing against the side of the within the housing present card stack, resulting that this stack in a stepped format partly moves outside the housing;

the thickness of a part of the steps of the stepped element (16) measures at least 0.2 millimetre, e.g. approx. 0.4 mm; the card remove feature, e.g. stepped element (16) is provided with a reset means, e.g. spring (20) .

- the layered structure comprises at least two or three or four or five layers of different material, preferably in thickness direction viewed; - of all cards within the stack the main dimensions suffice ISO 7810;

- of all cards within the stack the thickness and/or roundings suffice ISO 7813;

- the space of the holder to contain the stack of cards has one or more of the following dimensions (in millimetre) : width at least 50 or 52 and/or not more than 55 or 60; length at least 80 or 83 or 84 and/or not more than 86 or 87 or 90; height at least 3 or 4.5 and/or not more than 8 or 10.

12. Card holder according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the friction element (6) has a surface with one or more of the following features: of sufficient width/dimension to simultaneously engage all cards in the stack; is not rigid; is locally easily, preferably elastically, compressible; in which easy preferably elastically, a relief can be made; in which easy, preferably elastically, one or more grooves or pits can be made; is deformable comparable to the surface of a wadded pillow or felt layer; locally yields easily; is easy, preferably elastically, deformable; easy adapt its shape to the shape, such as relief, of the surface of the side of a card stack.

13. Card holder according to any of the preceding claims, with one or more of the following:

- the friction element engages preferably elastically yielding the side of a card stack;

- the surface of the friction element, engaging the card stack, is facing the direction parallel to the top face of the card holder or housing (1) ;

- the friction element extends substantially the complete height of the receiving space of the housing (1) to contain the card stack;

the receiving space is sleeve or shaft like;

the receiving space is designed such that the cards through the card opening parallel to their top face must be slid from this space;

the receiving space is delimited by a top face and a back face and two opposite sides connecting the top and back face and which boundary provides a rigid housing, and wherein the top face has a dimension substantially equal to the dimension of the top face of the within the receiving space to be located card, possibly having a width equal to the card width plus the width required to accommodate the friction element (6) and possibly the pressing means (7) at one or both sides;

- the friction element engages the side of a card as soon as the card is inserted into the card holder for only one half or one third or a quarter or one fifth or one tenth of its length and from that point maintains its engagement while the card is further inserted;

- the holder comprises an external actuating feature, e.g. finger button (18), to provide the force to eject the cards by the card eject feature;

in the receiving space a stack of at least three right angled cards, mutually registered, with substantially identical dimensions and each with a first side and an opposite second side, and the friction element in retaining engagement, in the direction of sliding out the card opening, with the to the friction element facing side of each card and the card sideways preloading such that the second side of each card is pressed against and retained by the side of the receiving space, while the distance between the first and second side of the one card is unequal to the same distance of a different card in the stack;

the friction element (6) is a pad like object and/or is spaced from the minor sides (32) of the housing;

- the urging means (7) have a length at least twice or three or four times the length of the friction element, measured in the longitudinal direction (L) .

Description:
Credit card holder having improved friction element.

The invention relates to a card holder provided with an internal friction element to keep the cards inside the holder while allowing the user to move the cards with his fingers, such that gravity force alone is too weak to move the cards. Preferably the holder is also provided with a device (further also called "ejector") to eject or dispense the cards, e.g. credit cards or bank cards, or different flat or plate like objects, from the holder. The card or cards preferably tightly fit within the holder, for which the holder has a cavity similar to the shape and slightly bigger than the card or cards stack. The ejected cards are preferably presented as a staggered stack, preferably wherein each card is shifted at least 2 millimetre relative to the next adjacent card, partly projecting from the holder and/or stored as a neat stack, preferably wherein all cards are mutually registered and thus the stack has a completely rectangular shape, e.g. like a rectangular pad.

Preferably, for the so called credit card format the main dimensions suffice ISO 7810 and/or the thickness and corner roundings suffice ISO 7813. This format is applied for many cards with a diversity of applications: bank cards, driving licenses, membership cards, entry tickets, reduction cards, savings cards, ID-cards, etc. Typically the width is 53 - 54 and/or the length is 85 - 86 millimetre and/or a stack of 6 cards is between 5.5 and 6 millimetre thick. Preferably, the space (also called "housing") of the holder to contain the stack of cards has one or more of the following dimensions (in millimetre) : width at least 50 or 52 and/or not more than 55 or 60; length at least 80 or 83 or 84 and/or not more than 86 or 87 or 90; height at least 3 or 4.5 and/or not more than 8 or 10; height such that a maximum of 6 or 7 bank cards without embossing fits within the space without causing damage to the bank cards and/or holder while repeatedly sliding the stack in and out the holder. The cards preferably have a solid, not foldable shape and a smooth, slippery, low friction surface. The holder preferably has a rigid flat box or sleeve shape.

Card holders are disclosed in US2002/074246, US4887739, US5718329 and JP S60-179484 U. EP-A 0 287 532, CH702919 Bl, WO2010137975 and WO2014098580 disclose a pivoting ejector arm provided with a stepped profile along its length such that each card engages with a different edge at the ejector arm, the cards are simultaneously dispensed to present a staggered stack of cards, partly projecting out the card holder. The above provide background knowledge for the present invention and their disclosure is enclosed herein by reference.

WO2010137975 addresses the problem of simultaneously directly engaging all individual cards of the stack by the friction element. It discloses the teaching that cards of credit card format indeed have a standardised dimension, but this has always some dispersion due to unavoidable fabrication tolerances. An against the side (the side which extends in thickness direction of the cards) of a stack of not equally wide cards bearing rigid surface, such as a blade spring, only bears against the edges of the widest cards, so not against all cards. The inventive friction element is for that reason designed such that it not only engages oversized cards in the stack, but also undersized cards, even if a card of oversized width is stacked between two cards of undersized width. With a stack of three or more cards in the holder with all a slightly different width the friction element is nevertheless sufficiently engaged with all cards individually to avoid that a card can spontaneously move from the holder.

The object of the invention is versatile. In one aspect the object is a further improvement of the prior art in avoiding unwanted movements or jamming of the cards within the holder, e.g. at the time of ejecting the stack of cards. Additional possible aspects are a comfortable, simple and accurate operation of the holder with long life. In yet another aspect the object is error free handling, low production costs. In another aspect the object is improved durability, e.g. less wear of the friction elements engaging the cards and retaining them in position within the holder.

A special aspect is based on the formerly unknown phenomenon, discovered by the inventor, that with the prior art friction element sometimes a card spontaneously drops from the holder in case the same holder is used with a stack of a varying number of cards, e.g. first three cards for e.g. a month and subsequently five cards. Trying to solve this problem the inventor started experiments and to his surprise the present invention provided a convenient solution. Besides, the inventor discovered that the present invention allows for a more optimized attachment of the friction pads to their support, e.g. metal spring blade. Additionally, the inventor also discovered that the present invention provides a more constant friction force during the lifetime of the holder.

Thus the invention is directed to the subject of the claims. Other aspects can be learned from the specification, drawings or claims. Two or more aspects can be combined.

To avoid that the cards can spontaneously leave the card holder, the device is internally provided with card retaining means provided as friction means designed to engage e.g. a main side (a side defining a card face) or a minor side (a side defining the card thickness, i.e. the thin side) of the card. E.g. WO2010137975 (above cited) addresses releasably retaining the cards within the housing by friction means and the relevant disclosures are incorporated in here by reference. Retaining means to keep the cards within the holder without closing the top side with a lid, are preferred.

Preferably the friction means are one or more of: separate from the walls of the housing; spaced from the walls of the housing; not of solid metal at least for the surface facing the cards stack or the layer providing said surface and/or the opposite surface (e.g. facing the spring means or pressing means ) or the layer providing said surface; fibre like or provided by fibres, at least for the surface facing the cards stack.

Preferably, according to the invention the internal friction means, e.g. friction element, has a surface, facing the cards stack, of a first nature, e.g. provided by a first layer, and a direct or indirect backing for this surface, of a second nature, e.g. provided by a second layer, different from the first nature. The first and/or second nature are preferably non-rigid, e.g. non-metal. The second nature is non-glue. The prior art teaches a friction pad of fibres backed by a metal spring blade and between the friction pad and the metal spring blade a layer of adhesive agent having a thickness typical for glue (i.e. less than 0.2 millimetre) .

The first nature is preferably wear resistant and/or offers a high level of friction with a view to the intensive sliding contact with the cards. Wear resistant also means resistance against cutting by the engaging thin and rather sharp sides of the cards. This is preferably provided by fibres.

The second nature is preferably resiliently and/or elastic deformable in a way similar to rubber or silicon. This is preferably provided by a rubber like material. The backing preferably has a thickness of at least 0.2 or 0.3 or 0.4 or 0.5 millimetre.

According to the invention the internal friction means, e.g. friction element, comprises a layered structure comprising at least two or three or four or five layers of different material, preferably in thickness direction (the direction in which the friction element is urged towards the cards stack) viewed and/or preferably superposed. The layered structure preferably comprises at least a first layer (e.g. a surface layer) and at least a second layer (e.g. a backing layer), wherein the first layer is made from a first material and the second layer is made from a second material, such that the layered structure contains at least two different material layers. The layers can be mutually parallel or mutually encircling. In case of mutually encircling, e.g. the one layer is an elongated core, e.g. a wire or yarn and the other a wrapping or cladding of the core. In an embodiment the one layer provides a backing of the other layer. In case of a wrapped yarn, the yarn, being the core, provides the backing for the wrapping. The layered structure could be a laminate or laminate like.

A layer can be of fibrous or fibrous like or non-fibrous nature. Fibrous or fibrous like e.g. could be a fabric or mat or web or nonwoven or woven or braided or knitted work or equivalent. Non-fibrous e.g. could be a sheet or foil or film or slab, e.g. obtained by casting or injection moulding or rolling or pressing. A layer could be foam or foam like or sponge or sponge like. If fibrous or fibrous like, the fibres are preferably held together by mutual engagement or interlocking or mutual hooking or entanglement, such that a separate means, e.g. adhesive agent or matrix, is not necessary. Preferably such means, e.g. adhesive agent or matrix, is absent. The fibrous or fibrous like layer can be fabricated by one or more of pressing, air laying, needling, needle punching and eguivalent .

The thickness direction of the layered structure is perpendicular to the face of the friction element or layered structure facing the cards stack stored within the holder.

The first layer, e.g. providing the face of the layered structure facing the cards stack stored within the holder, is preferably provided by a yarn or fibre or fibre like material, preferably of coherent nature, e.g. felt or felt like or fabric or fabric like, woven or non-woven, preferably comprising wool of e.g. sheep or hair, wool or bristles (e.g. pig) from a different mammal. However yarns or fibres from another origin, e.g. natural (e.g. cellulose or protein or mineral based) or synthetic (e.g. PA or PU or PVC or PP based) polymers or vegetal, e.g. cotton, are also feasible. However, the first layer could be of non-fibrous nature.

The second layer, e.g. providing the backing of the first layer, is preferably provided by elastic resilient material, preferably deformable like rubber, e.g. natural or synthetic rubber or rubber like material, e.g. latex or silicon or EPDM or neoprene.

Dimensions of the layered structure are preferably one or more of the following: layer thickness at least the thickness of a single wool fibre or human hair or at least 20 or 30 or 60 denier or at least 50 or 100 dtex or at least 5 Ne or at least 0.25 or 0.5 millimetre; layer thickness not more than 1 or 2 or 3 millimetre; total thickness not more than 3 or 5 or 7 or 10 millimetre;

Preferably at least one layer, preferably the backing layer, has durable deformation properties, e.g. springs back to its original thickness after compression irrespective the duration of compression. Material without relaxation could suffice, e.g. rubber or rubber like. Thus in a preferred embodiment the friction element comprises a fibrous or fibrous like face in contact with the cards within the holder and elastic resilient material providing a direct or indirect backing for said face.

The first layer of which the face engages the cards preferably has a thickness smaller, e.g. at least 10% or 25% or 50%, than the thickness of the second layer. In case elastic resilient yarn or wire or fibre is used for the second layer and such yarn or wire or fibre is wrapped with the first layer, the first layer typically is present both at the surface and at several locations through the thickness of the layered structure.

In case of a wrapped embodiment, the wrapping is preferably provided by spirally winding. A plurality of wrapped elongate objects, e.g. fibres or wires, are assembled to obtain a layer or pad, e.g. a nonwoven or woven, for use in the friction means.

By way of example the friction means comprises, viewed in thickness direction, one or more of: a surface layer, e.g. felt, providing the face for engagement with the cards within the housing; a backing layer, e.g. latex; a fastening layer, e.g. glue; a supporting layer, e.g. spring blade, e.g. of metal.

What is disclosed in here about a layer also applies to a nature and vice versa. The friction means can comprise a friction pad which provides the face engaging the cards within the holder to retain them against spontaneous movement and the opposite face of the pad is e.g. facing or mounted to spring means, e.g. a spring blade, to bias the friction means towards the cards within the holder.

Preferably the friction element has one or more of the following features: pad like; a surface of sufficient width/dimension to simultaneously engage all cards in the stack, thus e.g. extending substantially the complete height of the space of the card holder in which the card stack is received; a surface which is not rigid, and/or is indeed locally, preferably elastically, compressible, and/or in which preferably elastically a relief can be made, and/or in which easily, preferably elastically, one or more grooves or pits can be made, and/or which can be deformed like the surface of a wadded pillow or felt layer, and/or which easily yields locally, and/or is easily, preferably elastically, deformable, and/or easily adapts in shape to the shape, such as the relief, of the surface of the side of a card stack, which side is pressed against the surface of the friction element. Preferably with these features it is provided that the friction element and the individual edges of all cards in the stack properly connect such that the friction element engages properly each individual edge of al cards in the stack to exert sufficient friction force to hold each card of the stack without the ability to slide such that more force is required then only gravity to slide a card from the holder.

It will be appreciated that the friction element preferably engages the side of each card, thus the narrow side of the card of which the dimension is provided by the card thickness. Thus between the card and the friction element a force acts in the direction parallel to the top face of the card, wherein the top face is provided by the length and width of the card. A card has a top face and opposite to it a back face of equal dimension and has four sides having the same thickness as the card thickness. A card stack has a top face and opposite to it a back face of equal dimension and has four sides having the same thickness as the stack thickness. The stack thickness is provided by the summed thickness of all cards of the stack.

The invention preferably is applicable to one or both of the following situations: in which the cards are completely in the housing and the friction element has the task to prevent that cards drop from the housing e.g. at moments that the card holder is stored, e.g. in a trousers pocket; as soon as the cards partly project from the holder to select a card an remove it individually. In both cases the cards are in engagement with the friction elements and the friction element is thus effective to prevent that cards drop spontaneously from the holder.

The invention offers the possibility for the user to, after the card stack is partly slid from the housing, select an individual card, mutually shift cards in the stack, wherein only the card against which the user pushes with the finger tips, will move, while the other cards at that time keep their position relative to the housing.

An embodiment of the friction element in the housing of the card holder according to the invention, is a substrate with a rough fibre like surface structure, e.g. providing the first layer of which the surface engages the cards. If fibres with a large density project from the surface, a good and intensive contact will arise between the friction element and each individual card in the bearing card stack. Even if a fibre of a smooth material, like polyamide is used, the friction between cards and friction element is sufficiently large to facilitate the above mentioned user operations.

The level of the friction which the cards sense during sliding, is directly proportional to the normal force with which the cards push against the friction element. This normal force will during the complete service life, frequently many years, be permanently active. While the normal force at the friction element increases, also the risk increases that the fibres wear of permanent deform, thus the friction force could decrease after some time. To optimise the life it is desirable to limit the pressure of the cards at the friction element . If at given normal force the surface of the friction element is increased, the load to the individual fibres in the friction element will decrease and the life of the friction element will increase, while the friction force to the cards will stay the same. It is however preferred to design the friction element from a material type which does not relax at permanent load, like e.g. a fabric or felt of fibres, e.g. of metal or polymer.

An embodiment of a holder according to the invention comprises at the inner side of the housing straight opposite the friction element a resilient element, e.g. a blade spring, with the effect that the above mentioned normal force at the friction element will stay within determined limits, despite the tolerances of the dimensions of the housing and cards. Another embodiment of the holder according to the invention is obtained if the friction element and the resilient element are assembled into a single resilient friction element.

If within the housing against the side opposite the resilient friction element a second, indeed or not resilient, friction element is applied, an embodiment is obtained of the holder of the invention with two novel advantages. First twice as much tolerance of the width dimension of the cards can be consumed, which leads to a further optimisation of the grip at each individual card. Second, while the effective friction is maintained, the pressure per friction element can halved relative to the situation with a friction element at only one side, whereby the life of the friction element increases.

Preferably the holder is provided with a card remove feature, e.g. an eject arm or even a recess dimensioned such that, via the recess, the user can engage the cards with a finger and push them partly outward. The card remove feature offers the user the opportunity to partly slide the card stack from the housing. This is a preferred operation before the user can select a card and remove it from the housing.

Preferably one or more of the following applies to the device: a rectangular shape, preferably elongated; fixed shape, robust, of light weight material, e.g. metal or polymer material, polyester, PP; box or sleeve shaped; the card storage space receives a cards stack with tight fit; fixed length, width and depth; an ejector mechanism of the cards, preferably at the longitudinal end of the card holder opposite the card access opening to the housing space in which the cards are stored.

Preferably the invention is directed to a card holder provided, as card remove feature, with an ejector mechanism dispensing the complete stack of cards, thus all cards of the stack are dispensed simultaneously, e.g. since the ejector mechanism simultaneously engages the complete cards stack at the time of ejecting the cards. Preferably the cards are urged from the housing in such a manner that a staggered stack of cards, partly projecting out the card holder, is presented. This is preferably provided by the design of the ejector device . More preferably the design of the card holder or the ejector device is such that when the cards stack is completely contained within the card holder, the cards are mutually in register (in other words the cards are not staggered) , and preferably is partly projected from the card holder, wherein the cards are presented in a staggered fashion. By presenting the cards in staggered fashion, they can be easily individually identified and individually taken from the stack by two fingers of the hand of the user. The card holder is preferably rigid in relation to the typical loads to which the card holder is exposed during normal daily use.

In particular the holder is designed to receive and dispense credit cards (and different items with dimensions comparable to credit cards, further mentioned as "cards"), preferably wherein a stack of, e.g. at least three, four or five, cards can be housed in the holder, more preferably wherein the cards in the stack are immediately mutually superposed or adjacent, in other words no further object, e.g. spacer, is or needs be present between adjacent cards. The holder preferably has two pairs of substantially or completely closed and fixed opposite sides, one pair with length and width almost equal to the same card dimensions (also called the "main sides") and this pair spaced by the other (also called the "minor sides") pair (delimiting the stack thickness) such that the card stack tightly fits between these four sides. Preferably these sides are thin walled and/or provide a rigid, sleeve like casing. Of the remaining pair of two opposite sides (typically located at the longitudinal ends of the sleeve) preferably one (also called the "bottom") is permanently substantially or completely closed and the other (also called the "top") is open but could be temporary closed, e.g. by a lid, such that the holder preferably has merely a single open side through which the cards can enter and exit the holder. Thus the holder provides a rigid sleeve with closed bottom. Typically the cards enter and exit the holder by moving parallel to their main sides. The temporary closure could comprise a pivoting lid or a flexible part, e.g. a rubber cap.

The ejector comprises an ejector element (further also called "arm") moving between a first and second (preferably a retracted and an extended, respectively) position inside the holder and engaging the cards stack, preferably engaging an edge of the cards, to push the cards stack out of the holder while the cards move in a plane parallel to their main faces, preferably such that the cards (with the ejector element in its extended position) partly project from the holder in a stepped or staggered manner. For the purpose of presenting or dispensing the cards in a stepped manner, the ejector arm is preferably provided with a relief or stepped profile, preferably having some relation with the thickness of the cards, such that the element has a plurality of spaced features, preferably located along a straight line, e.g. lengthwise of the arm, a such feature designed to engage a single card from the stack, preferably such that by movement of the element within the holder, the one card is moving with the element for a further distance outward compared to another card from the same stack within the holder. In an embodiment such features are projections at the arm each providing an engagement edge (also called "face" or "contact face") , wherein preferably the projections project a different distance from the element such that each engagement face is present at a different level. Preferably the arm is designed such that, in its retracted position, the cards fit within the holder such that the cards are mutually in register, in other words, present a neat stack.

Preferably the height (meaning the dimension normal to the housing main sides and parallel to the thickness direction of the cards or cards stack loaded into the housing) of the ejector arm stepwise increases longitudinally from the free end (in other words the distal end or the end remote from the pivot point or the end opposite the end to which the drive means engage or are mounted) . This stepwise increase of height (also named: thickness) provides step shaped features or contact faces for ejecting the cards stack in a staggered fashion. The number of steps preferably at least equals the number of cards within the stack and/or is at least 4 or 5 or 6 or 7. The steps preferably have approximately equal longitudinal spacing and/or height.

In its extended position, the ejector arm preferably extends diagonally within the holder or makes an angle between 20 and 90 degrees (90 degrees equals a right angle), preferably at least 45 or 55 or 60 degrees and/or less than 85 degrees, compared to its retracted position. In its retracted position, the ejector arm preferably extends parallel to an external side (also called "bottom") or edge of the holder, preferably opposite the side from which the cards are dispensed from within the holder. Preferably the ejector arm rotates or swivels or turns or hinges or pivots between its first and second position, for which it is preferably provided with a hinge or pivot feature, such as a pin or hole, with which it is mounted to the holder. In the alternative a translating movement is feasible.

Preferably the ejector arm has one or more of: non articulated; fixed shape; its length part that is provided with the complete stepped profile has a fixed shape.

To provide the movement of the eject means, e.g. ejector arm, the ejector comprises a drive means, e.g. associated with the ejector arm. This could be a motoric means however a manually operated drive means, e.g. a finger operated button, is preferred, preferably projecting or located outside the housing. Preferably the ejector arm and the drive means are connected in a rigid manner such that the movement of the drive means is directly transferred to the ejector arm and both these members move as one, e.g. since both these members are integrated in a single, preferably rigid piece. The ejector arm and/or drive means could be injection moulded parts, e.g. of polymeric or plastic or equivalent material. The finger operated button preferably projects from a minor side of the holder, e.g. a minor side extending in lengthwise (e.g. long minor side) or transverse (e.g. short minor side) direction of the holder.

Preferably the ejector arm provides or is part of, a base or bottom of the holder, or part of it, preventing exit of the cards from the associated side of the holder.

The card ejector feature gives the user the opportunity to partly slide the card stack from the housing. This is a preferred operation before the user can select a card and remove it from the housing.

By the time the eject arm is in its extended position, the cards are partly slid from the housing as a staggered or stepped stack such that each card presents an outside the housing projecting, exposed narrow strip of its upper main side and by viewing these strips the user can see at a blink which cards are present in the holder. Also the user can easy and quick select within the cards stack the desired card and remove it by manually sliding the cards mutually in a direction equal to or opposite the direction in which the cards are slid from the housing from their stored position

An embodiment of the card ejector feature of the invention comprises, among others, a step like element, which by the user relative to the housing, e.g. by means of rotation or translation, can be moved against the cards stack, wherein the individual steps of the step like element exert at the individual cards in the stack in the direction of the card opening a force, resulting that the card stack slides outward in stepped shape. The steps have a thickness which is measured parallel to the card thickness and a spacing which is measured perpendicular to the thickness and which determines the degree wherein the cards slide mutually if they slide in stepped shape from the housing. Above cited WO2010137975 and WO2014098580, the contents of which is inserted in here by reference, provide further preferred details of the step like element.

An embodiment of the ejector, or part of it, e.g. the arm, as card remove feature of the card holder of the invention, is provided with or associated, e.g. coupled, with a reset means, e.g. a spring, with the effect that the ejector or the relevant part after operation will always immediately and automatically return to the initial position, e.g. move from the extended to the retracted position. Such by the reset means provided return offers the advantage such that without obstruction the user can slide cards back into the housing during making a selection from the partly exposed cards.

An embodiment of the card holder of the invention has a housing made of a galvanic material, e.g. metal. The geometry of the housing of this invention lends itself for fabrication by means of metal extrusion, with which a proper Faraday cage is made.

The invention also relates to each and any combination and permutation of the above individual features.

The invention will now be further explained by way of the drawing, showing presently preferred embodiments. The drawing shows in:

Fig. 1 - 2 a card holder, in perspective view;

Fig. 3 a cross section of the fig. 1 card holder;

Fig. 4 a cross section of an alternative card holder;

Fig. 5 - 6 an alternative card holder, in perspective view;

Fig. 7 in perspective view a pivoted ejector arm engaging a staggered cards stack;

Fig. 8 an alternative view to fig. 7;

Fig. 9 a side view of fig. 8;

Fig. 10 - 11 a cross section of a card holder;

Fig. 12 a sectional perspective view of a card holder;

Fig. 13 a cross section of a wrapped wire;

Fig. 14 a perspective of a wrapped wire.

Fig. 1 - 2 show a perspective view of the housing of the card holder which tightly fits around the shown stack of at least three cards (four are shown), wherein one of the two longitudinal ends of the housing is referred to as a card opening because it is opened to receive and remove cards. The tightly fit around the card stack implicates a main shape based on a right angled brick, but it can of course, for reasons of design or ergonomics, differ, e.g. by providing chamfers, roundings, ribs, etc.

Fig. 1 shows the holder 1 and a neat stack 2 of four cards in register, ready to be loaded into the holder through the cards opening 3. If completely located in the holder, the lower side of each card is in register with a relevant engagement face of the ejector arm in its first (retracted) position. Starting from this position of the ejector arm and moving (pivoting) it to its second position, the cards will be forced by the associated engagement face such that the cards stack is partly ejected. Since each engagement face has a different distance to the pivot point of the ejector arm, each card will travel a different distance such that a staggered ejected stack 2 is obtained (shown in fig. 2 in which the ejector arm (not shown) is in its second position) , each card presenting an exposed narrow strip of a main side as shown.

Fig. 3 shows in sectional view a holder (without cards) with a card eject feature (in the first (retracted) position) provided by the stepped element 16 which can pivot around an axis 17 if the user exerts in the pivot direction (according to the arrow B) a force through the actuator 18 outside the housing. The stepped element is made from steps providing card contact faces 19 designed to exert force against the minor side (i.e. the thin side) of the cards to be ejected. The card contact faces 19 can be regarded as the thickness of the steps in the stepped shape and the height of these faces is equal to or smaller then the nominal card thickness (approx. 0.8 millimetre), whereby each step contacts a different card. A reset spring 20 ensures that the stepped element 16 after releasing the button 18 returns immediately and automatically to the initial (first) position shown. Friction elements 6, i.e. pads having a to the cards facing surface of rough fibre like material, e.g. felt, are located mutually opposite within the housing at the housing minor sides 32 to engage each individual minor card side to retain the cards against gravity force.

Fig. 4 shows a possible variant of fig. 3, the stepped element 16 can translate in the direction in which the cards are slid through the card opening 3 and out the housing and which by means of a reset spring 20 after releasing the operation part 18 returns immediately and automatically to the initial position .

Fig. 3 shows the connection between the button 18 and the ejector arm 16 extending through a passage in the bottom edge, meaning the edge opposite the opening 3. Alternatively such passage could be present in a side edge (long minor side 32) or even in a main side 31. The button 18 is shown adjacent the bottom edge, however could be located adjacent a side edge or even a main side 31. The bottom edge or side edge is a short minor side 32, bridging the main sides 31. These locations of the passage and button 18 are known from the prior art.

Fig. 5 - 6 show a presently preferred embodiment having an ergonomically shaped holder 1 and button 18. Fig. 6 shows the view from the bottom side (i.e. according to arrow A in fig. 5) . Arrow L is the long or longitudinal, arrow W the short or widthwise and arrow T the thickness direction. Arrows L, and T are mutually perpendicular.

In fig. 7 the housing is removed such that the elements within the housing are visible. The eject arm 16 is pivoted to its second (extended) position, engaging the staggered cards stack 2 (only partly shown) . Arm 16 is, by pivot 17, pivotably mounted to a fixture 10 which is fixedly located in the housing opening opposite the card opening 3, thus providing a closure of the housing. Fig. 8 shows an alternative for the fig. 7 embodiment completely and also the housing is present. Fig. 9 shows the eject arm 16 and the staggered cards 2 of fig. 8 in side view.

As is clear from fig. 3, 4 and 7 - 9, the thickness of the ejector arm stepwise decreases from the proximal (close to the pivot point 17) to the distal (free or remote) end 5. The maximum ejector arm 16 thickness equals the height of the housing determined by the clearance between the two main sides of the housing which equals the maximum thickness of a cards stack tightly fitting in the housing. The maximum ejector arm 16 thickness could be slightly thinner to allow movement of the arm 16 within the housing without undue friction with the inner faces of the opposite housing main sides along which the top and bottom side, respectively, of the arm 16 slide.

The opposite main side walls 31 have smooth, level and flat inner faces, extending mutually parallel. Fig. 10 shows a section of a possible embodiment of the housing without details of the card remove feature, wherein one can see how at at least one side near card opening 3 a friction element 6 is located, which bears against a long side of the card stack in the housing. The opposite side in the housing has a resilient element 7, e.g. metal spring blade, providing that both the completely inward slid cards 2 and the partly outward slid cards 2 bear against the friction element 6 with substantially constant force. Fig. 11 shows a comparable embodiment according to the view of fig. 10, this time with the friction element and the resilient element at one side integrated within a single resilient friction element 6. Opposite this resilient friction element 6 within the housing a typical friction element 6 can be present. At this location of the friction element 6 a resilient friction element could also be located, but this embodiment is not illustrated. Arrow T (not shown) is perpendicular to the plane of the drawing.

The location of the internal friction element can vary and also its length. Fig. 10-11 only show non-limiting examples.

Fig. 12 shows the friction element 6 provided with a layered structure comprising a laminate of two pads 11, 12 of different materials. The pad 12 provides a surface of fibres for the engaged cards 2. The pad 11 is made from solid latex. The dimension of element 6 is exaggerated for illustrative purposes. Part of the housing 1 is also shown.

Fig. 13 -14 show an alternative layered structure wherein a core 11 provided by a wire of latex is wrapped by a yarn of wool 12. The yarn 12 is spirally wound around the core 11. A layer can be made from a plurality of such wires 11 with wrapping 12, e.g. providing a nonwoven, e.g. felt like.

Also different embodiments belong to the invention. Fea ¬ tures of different in here disclosed embodiments can in different manners be combined and different aspects of some features are regarded mutually exchangeable. All described or in the drawing disclosed features provide as such or in arbitrary combination the subject matter of the invention, also independent from their arrangement in the claims or their referral .