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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PORTABLE KEY ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/008838
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
A portable key assembly occupies less space and is attachable to certain attachment structures for providing a key-turning moment arm. The portable key assembly is set with a key body, a lock fastener, and an abbreviated key handle on one end of the key body. The portable key assembly can be connected and overlapped in face-to-face relation with other keys or key accessories so that the same may be well combined, easily located, and convenient to carry. A moment arm extension can be formed by connecting the portable key assembly with other keys or key accessories. The turning torque of the key handle may thus be enlarged so that the portable key assembly can function properly even if the key handle is shortened and the volume of the whole key is reduced.

Inventors:
LUO, Dan (4842 W. 98th Place, Oaklawn, IL, 60453, US)
Application Number:
US2006/026798
Publication Date:
January 18, 2007
Filing Date:
July 07, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LUO, Dan (4842 W. 98th Place, Oaklawn, IL, 60453, US)
International Classes:
E05B19/04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MERONI, Charles, F., Jr. (P.O. Box 309, Barrington, IL, 60011, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:

I claim:

1. A portable key assembly, the portable key assembly comprising a primary key body, a

primary key-borne lock fastener, and a primary, two-sided, abbreviated key handle,

the primary key-borne lock fastener being set on the primary key handle at one end of

the primary key body.

2. The portable key assembly of claim 1 pivotally fastenable to select key-attachment

structure, the select key-attachment structure for providing a torque arm relative to the

key body for increasing torque for locking/unlocking key movement.

3. The portable key assembly of claim 2 wherein the select key-attachment structure is

defined by at least one second portable key assembly, the second key assembly being

substantially identical to the portable key assembly and matable thereto via the

key-borne lock fasteners.

4. The portable key assembly of claim 2 wherein the select key-attachment structure is

defined by a select key accessory, the select key accessory being outfitted with an

accessory-borne lock fastener, the accessory-borne lock fastener being matable with

the key-borne lock fastener for attaching the key assembly to the select key accessory.

5. The portable key assembly of claim 7 wherein the select key accessory is selected

from the group consisting of a key card, a key strap, a key clip, and a key case.

6. The portable key assembly of claim 1 wherein the key-borne lock fastener is an elastic

snap fastener.

7. The portable key assembly of claim 6 wherein the elastic snap fastener comprises two

fastener ends, the fastener ends being exposed on opposite sides of the key handle

8. The portable key assembly of claim 8 wherein the two fastener ends are defined by a

male fastener and a female fastener.

9. The portable key assembly of claim 1 wherein the lock fastener is a magnetic member

attached to the key handle.

10. The portable key assembly of claim 1 wherein the key handle comprises a handle

width and the key body has a body width, the handle width being substantially equal

in magnitude to the body width.

11. A portable key assembly, the portable key assembly comprising a key body, a

key-borne lock fastener, and a two-sided key handle, the key-borne lock fastener

being set on the key handle at one end of the key body.

12. The portable key assembly of claim 11 pivotally fastenable to select key-attachment

structure, the select key-attachment structure for providing a moment arm relative to

the key body for increasing torque for locking/unlocking key movement.

13. The portable key assembly of claim 12 wherein the select key-attachment structure is

defined by at least one second portable key assembly, the second key assembly being

substantially identical to the portable key assembly and matable thereto via the

key-borne lock fasteners.

14. The portable key assembly of claim 12 wherein the select key-attachment structure is

defined by a select key accessory, the select key accessory being outfitted with an

accessory-borne lock fastener, the accessory-borne lock fastener being matable with

the key-borne lock fastener for attaching the key assembly to the select key accessory.

15. The portable key assembly of claim 14 wherein the select key accessory is selected

from the group consisting of a key card, a key strap, a key clip, and a key case.

16. The portable key assembly of claim 11 wherein the key-borne lock fastener is an

elastic snap fastener.

17. The portable key assembly of claim 16 wherein the elastic snap fastener comprises

two fastener ends, the fastener ends being exposed on opposite sides of the key handle

18. The portable key assembly of claim 17 wherein the two fastener ends are defined by a

male fastener and a female fastener.

19. The portable key assembly of claim 1 wherein the lock fastener is a magnetic member

attached to the key handle.

20. The portable key assembly of claim 1 wherein the key handle comprises a handle

width and the key body has a body width, the handle width being substantially equal

in magnitude to the body width.

Description:

PORTABLE KEY ASSEMBLY

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to an apparatus used to open a lock. More

particularly, the present invention relates to a portable key and method of its use.

i o DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART

A key is a frequently used article in daily life. Generally, a key comprises a key body

and a key handle. The key body is used to lock and unlock a lock. The width of the key

handle is typically greater in magnitude than the width of the key body. Thus, the key

15 handle functions, in part, to increase the turning torque of the key body during unlocking

movement. The key handle may further function to provide certain convenient carrying

means as may be taught or defined by certain key accessories such as a key ring, a key chain,

or a key case as connected or coupled to the key handle by way of a punched hole on the key

handle. A disadvantage of the enlarged key handle is that the enlarged key handle

0 simultaneously expands the volume of the key thereby occupying a relatively larger space

and often results in a key bunch that is out of order, and/or inconvenient to carry after

connecting with other key accessories.

The prior art thus perceives a need for a key assembly having locking/unlocking key

structure with otherwise bulky handle structure removed. A key having an abbreviated

handle may thus function to occupy a relatively smaller space and provide for or enable a

relatively compact and tidy key bunch and/or key-carrying means

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is thus an object of the present invention to overcome the above-mentioned

shortcomings, in part, by reducing the volume of a single key and thus enabling compact key

bunch storage and transport. For example, when the key is connected with or coupled to

other key accessories, the resulting assemblage may provide a convenient-to-carry and

easy-to-use set of keys.

The invention thus essentially provides a key body comprising a lock fastener set at one

end of the abbreviated key handle of the key body. It is contemplated that the lock fastener

may be defined by an elastic snap fastener set on the abbreviated key handle. It is further

contemplated that when used in combination with other keys of the same sort, the resulting

key set may be carried with certain key-carrying means having certain cooperative lock

fastening means. Certain key carrying accessories may be defined by a plate key card, a

flexible key strap, an elastic key clip and any number of key cases.

The method of using the key contemplated by the present invention is contemplated to

comprise the steps of connecting and/or fastening the key via certain lock fastening means

incorporated into the construction of key itself or certain key accessories for the convenience

of using and carrying.

A further usage may be defined by methodology after connecting the key with other keys

or key accessories. In this regard, it is contemplated that the post-connect methodology may

be defined by turning the key utilizing the connected keys and or key accessories as torque

arms, thereby enhancing or easing unlocking movement of the key.

Thus, this portable key can be connected and overlapped in face-to-face or side-by-side

adjacency with other keys or key accessories so that they are compactly combined, not easily

lost, and convenient to carry, hi addition, with the moment arm extension formed by

connecting this portable key with other keys or key accessories, the turning torque of the key

handle is enlarged so that the portable key can function properly even if the key handle is

shortened and the volume of the whole key is reduced.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features of my invention will become more evident from a consideration of the

following brief description of patent drawings:

Figure No. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the key of the present

invention.

Figure No. 2 is a perspective view of a first assemblage of a plurality of keys of the

present invention.

Figure No. 3 is a perspective view of a key-carrying key plate connecting a plurality of

keys to the key plate.

Figure No. 4 is a perspective view of a key-carrying flexible key strap for connecting and

fastening a portable key of the present invention.

Figure No. 5 is a perspective view of a key-carrying elastic key strap for connecting and

fastening a portable key of the present invention.

Figure No. 6 is a combination perspective type depiction of a first key-carrying case and

a plan view type depiction of a case connection strap for cooperable attachment to the

key-carrying case.

Figure No. 7 is a perspective view of a key-carrying tie clip type accessory attached to

two keys of the present invention.

Figure No. 8 is a perspective view of a key-carrying shirt pocket clip type accessory

attached to two keys of the present invention.

Figure No. 9 is a perspective view of a second key-carrying case connecting a plurality

of keys to the second key-carrying case.

Figure No. 10 is a perspective view of a third key-carrying case connecting for receiving

a plurality of keys in key-receiving compartments.

Figure No. 11 is a perspective view of the first key-carrying case cooperatively attached

to a case connection strap showing a time piece mounted to the key-carrying case.

Figure No. 12 is a perspective view of a fourth key-carrying case in the form of a billfold

for receiving a plurality of keys in key-receiving compartments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Referring now to the drawings, the preferred embodiment of the present invention

generally concerns a key Al as illustrated and referenced in Figure Nos. 1 - 3 and 7 - 9. In

a first implementation as illustrated or depicted in Figure No. 1, key Al comprises an elastic

snap fasteners 1 fixed on the flake key handle 2 at one end of the key body 3. Preferably,

the elastic snap fasteners 1 may comprise cooperative male and female mating structure,

which are convenient to connect and fasten with other portable keys A2 and key accessories

outfitted with cooperable elastic snap fastener(s) 1. Other portable keys A2 cooperable with

key Al are illustrated and referenced in Figure Nos. 2, 7, and 8. From an inspection of the

noted figures, it will be seen that the width of the abbreviated key handle 2 is approximate to

that of the key body 3. As compared to state of the art keys of the general sort, it should be

understood that the width and length of the key handle 2 is greatly reduced.

In a second implementation of the present invention as generally depicted in Figure No. 2,

several portable keys Al and A2 may be connected or overlapped together for the

convenience of using or carrying the same. The portable keys Al and A2 maybe connected

via the lock fastener 1 on the flake key ring or key handle. It is contemplated that an

alternative lock fastener 1 of the present invention may comprise a magnetic member, via

which, several portable keys may be connected or overlapped in face-to-face or side-by-side

relation so as to form a compact integration, for the convenience of using or carrying.

It is contemplated that when using a certain key Al to unlock a lock, key Al may be

turned with the key body 3 separated from the key bodies 3 of other keys A2 to a certain

angle, and the key Al may then be inserted into the lock. To key body 3 of key Al , other

keys A2 may be connected, which keys A2 then become moment or torque arm extension(s)

of the key handle 2 of key Al . When key Al is turned, its moment torque can thus be

enlarged or increased by way of keys A2, making the unlocking and locking more

convenient.

In a third implementation as illustrated and referenced in Figure No. 3, the portable key

Al may be connected and fastened with the lock fastener 5 fixed on a plate key card 4 in

face-to-face relation to use or carry together. Key plate 4 is preferably rectangular, with a

line of lock fasteners 5 fixed on opposite edges of the portable key, which may effectively

function to connect a key Al or keys Al with the corresponding lock fasteners 5 for the

purpose of using and carrying. When wanting to turn a selected key Al (i.e. for example,

when unlocking a lock), one need only turn or pivot the key body 3 of the portable key Al to

the outside of the key plate 4 as generally depicted in Figure No. 3 at 10. Once pivoted to

such an orientation, the key plate 4 may thus function as a moment or torque arm extension of

the key handle 3, thereby enlarging the moment torque of the selected portable key Al . The

lock fastener 1 on this portable key Al and the lock fastener 5 on the key plate 4 may be

cooperable female and male snap fasteners.

In a fourth implementation of the present invention, as generally depicted in Figure No. 4,

key Al may be connected and/or fastened with the lock fastener(s) 5 on either end of the

flexible key strap 6 in face-to-face relation for the purpose of using and carrying. When so

coupled or connected, the flexible key strap 6 may be used to hang and carry the keys Al.

When the user is desirous of utilizing the key for unlocking and/or locking operations, the

user may turn or pivot the portable key Al so that a certain angle extends intermediate the

key strap 6 and the key body 3 of the key Al . Thus, the key strap 6 may be used as a

moment or torque arm extension of the key handle 2 of the portable key Al, enlarging the

moment torque of the portable key.

In a fifth implementation of the present invention as generally depicted in Figure No. 5, it

is contemplated that the key Al may be connected and/or fastened to either of certain lock

fastener(s) 5 formed on both ends of a V-shaped elastic key clip 7 in face-to-face relation for

the purpose of using or carrying. It is contemplated that the elastic key clip 7 may be

clamped on a carrying object. When the user is desirous of utilizing the key for unlocking

and/or locking operations, the user may turn or pivot the portable key Al so that a certain

aEngle extends intermediate the key clip 7 and the key body 3 of the key Al . The elastic clip

7 may then be used as the moment or torque arm extension of the key handle 2 of the portable

key Al thereby enlarging the moment torque of the key Al.

In a sixth implementation of the present invention as generally depicted in Figure No. 6,

it is contemplated that a key Al or keys Al may be connected and/or fastened via the key

handle(s) 2 with lock fastener (s) 5 on a first key case 8 in face-to-face relation. The key

case 8 is connected with lock fastener(s) 5 on a fastener strap 9 via its lock fastener 5. Via

the fastener strap 9, the key case 8 may be attached to the human body, such as around a

user's wrist (in much the same manner as a wristwatch). When the user is desirous of

utilizing the key Al for unlocking and/or locking operations, the user may turn or pivot the

portable key Al so that a certain angle extends intermediate the longitudinal axis of the key

case 8 and the key body 3 of the key Al . The key case 8 may thus be used as the moment or

torque arm extension of the portable key Al for enlarging or increasing the moment torque of

the portable key Al .

In a seventh implementation of the present invention as generally depicted in Figure No.

7, it is contemplated that a key Al and/or key A2 may be connected and/or fastened to a tie

clip type structure 11, which tie clip structure 11 may then be simultaneously worn as a tie

clip and function as a key-carrying device or assembly. It is contemplated that the tie clip

structure 11 may be connected to a key Al or key A2 with certain lock fastener(s). Via the

tie clip structure 11, the key Al or A2 may be attached in adjacency to a human body, such as

at or around a user's tie. When the user is desirous of utilizing the selected key for

unlocking and/or locking operations, the user may turn or pivot the portable key so that a

certain angle extends intermediate the longitudinal axis of the tie clip structure 11 and the key

body 3 of the key Al or key A2. The tie clip structure 11 may thus be used as the moment

or torque arm extension of the portable key Al or key A2 for enlarging or increasing the

moment torque of the selected portable key.

In an eighth implementation of the present invention as generally depicted in Figure No.

8, it is contemplated that a key Al and/or key A2 may be connected and/or fastened to a

pocket clip type structure 12, which pocket clip structure 12 may then be simultaneously

worn as a pocket clip and function as a key-carrying device or assembly. It is contemplated

that the pocket clip structure 12 may be connected to a key Al or key A2 with certain lock

fastener(s). Via the pocket clip structure 12, the key Al or A2 may be attached in adjacency

to a human body, such as at or around a user's shirt pocket. When the user is desirous of

utilizing the selected key for unlocking and/or locking operations, the user may turn or pivot

the portable key so that a certain angle extends intermediate the longitudinal axis of the

pocket clip structure 12 and the key body 3 of the key Al or key A2. The pocket clip

structure 12 may thus be used as the moment or torque arm extension of the portable key Al

or key A2 for enlarging or increasing the moment torque of the selected portable key.

In a ninth implementation of the present invention as generally depicted in Figure No. 9,

it is contemplated that a number of keys Al may be connected and/or fastened to a second

key case 13 (akin to a business card carrying case), which key case 13 may be used to house

and carry keys Al as generally depicted. It is contemplated that the key case 13 may be

connected to a plurality of keys Al with certain lock fastener(s). When the user is desirous

of utilizing the selected key for unlocking and/or locking operations, the user may turn or

pivot the portable key so that a certain angle extends intermediate the key case 13 and the key

body 3 of the selected key Al . The key case 13 may thus be used as the moment or torque

arm extension of the portable keys Al for enlarging or increasing the moment torque of the

selected portable key.

Other types of proprietary key-carrying devices are contemplated that do not necessarily

function as a moment or torque arm extension, but instead function to simply and

conveniently store or house a plurality of keys Al . Li this regard, it is contemplated that

certain key-housing means usable in combination with a key or keys Al may be defined by a

third key-carrying case or key pouch 14 as generally depicted in Figure No. 10; a fourth

key-carrying case or wrist-mountable case 15 as generally depicted in Figure No. 11; or a

fifth key-carrying case or billfold type case 16 as generally depicted in Figure No. 12.

While the above description contains much specificity, this specificity should not be

construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of the

invention. For example, it is contemplated that the essence of the present invention teaches

a portable key assembly (such as key Al) comprising a primary key body (such as key body

3), a primary key-borne lock fastener (such as lock fastener 1), and a primary, two-sided,

abbreviated key handle (such as key handle 2). The lock fastener is essentially set on the

key handle at one end of the key body.

The portable key assembly is pivotally fastenable to select key-attachment structure (such

as at least one second key assembly or key A2 identical to the first key assembly or key Al or

any number of key accessories). It is contemplated that the select key-attachment structure

functions to provide a torque arm relative to the key body for increasing torque for locking

and/or unlocking key movement. The select key-attachment structure may thus be defined

by at least one second portable key assembly identical to the portable key assembly and

matable thereto via the key-borne lock fasteners, or the select key-attachment structure may

be a select key accessory, in which case the select key accessory is outfitted with an

accessory-borne lock fastener (such as lock fastener 5). The accessory-borne lock fastener

is matable with the key-borne lock fastener for attaching the key assembly to the select key

accessory. The select key accessory may be selected from the group consisting of a key

card (such as key card 4), a key strap (such as a key strap 6), a key clip (such as clip 7, or

structure(s) 11, 12) and a key case (such as cases 8, 13 14, 15, or 16).

The key-borne lock fastener may be defined by an elastic snap fastener or a magnetic

member with opposing matable fastener ends. If the lock fastener is an elastic snap fastener,

the fastener ends are exposed on opposite sides of the two-sided key handle and may be

defined by a male fastener and a female fastener. It should be further understood that the

key handle has a certain handle width and the key body has a certain body width, the handle

width being substantially equal in magnitude to the body width.

Accordingly, although the invention has been described by reference to certain

preferred and alternative embodiments, it is not intended that the novel disclosures herein

presented be limited thereby, but that modifications thereof are intended to be included as

falling within the broad scope and spirit of the foregoing disclosure, the following claims and

the appended drawings.