Easy To Use Patents Search & Patent Lawyer Directory

At Patents you can conduct a Patent Search, File a Patent Application, find a Patent Attorney, or search available technology through our Patent Exchange. Patents are available using simple keyword or date criteria. If you are looking to hire a patent attorney, you've come to the right place. Protect your idea and hire a patent lawyer.


Search All Patents:



  This Patent May Be For Sale or Lease. Contact Us

  Is This Your Patent? Claim This Patent Now.



Register or Login To Download This Patent As A PDF




United States Patent Application 20170265610
Kind Code A1
Smith, II; Gladen G. ;   et al. September 21, 2017

WALLET

Abstract

In various embodiments, a wallet comprises a top shell coupled to a bottom shell by a fastener, and a resilient member disposed at a shell hinge. The wallet comprises a sealed side located at the shell hinge, and at least one clamped side.


Inventors: Smith, II; Gladen G.; (Spicewood, TX) ; Taylor; Joel Brett; (St. George, UT)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Smith, II; Gladen G.

US
Family ID: 1000002653249
Appl. No.: 15/611617
Filed: June 1, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
15376935Dec 13, 2016
15611617
14300489Jun 10, 20149549596
15376935

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A45C 1/06 20130101; A45C 2001/065 20130101; A45C 2001/067 20130101
International Class: A45C 1/06 20060101 A45C001/06

Claims



1. A wallet comprising: a top shell coupled to a bottom shell by a fastener; and a resilient member disposed at a shell hinge; wherein the wallet comprises a sealed side located at the shell hinge, and at least one clamped side.

2. The wallet of claim 1, wherein the resilient member comprises a rubber grommet.

3. The wallet of claim 1, wherein the resilient member comprises a spring.

4. The wallet of claim 1, wherein the resilient member is disposed between the fastener and the bottom shell.

5. The wallet of claim 1, wherein the top shell and the bottom shell comprise metal.

6. The wallet of claim 1, further comprising: a money clip aperture disposed in the bottom shell, wherein a money clip is disposed in the money clip aperture.

7. The wallet of claim 6, wherein the money clip is disposed in a money clip recess.

8. The wallet of claim 1, further comprising: a flange disposed on the top shell; and a groove disposed on the bottom shell; wherein mechanical contact of the flange and the groove minimizes relative lateral movement of top shell and bottom shell.

9. The wallet of claim 1, further comprising one or more spacers configured to increase a thickness of a recess between the top shell and the bottom shell.

10. A wallet comprising: a top shell coupled to a bottom shell at a shell hinge; a flange disposed on the top shell; and a groove disposed on the bottom shell; wherein mechanical contact of the flange and the groove minimizes relative lateral movement of top shell and bottom shell; and wherein the wallet comprises a sealed side located at the shell hinge, and at least one clamped side.

11. The wallet of claim 10, wherein the top shell and the bottom shell comprise metal.

12. The wallet of claim 10, further comprising a resilient member disposed at the shell hinge.

13. The wallet of claim 10, further comprising: a money clip aperture disposed in the bottom shell, wherein a money clip is disposed in the money clip aperture.

14. The wallet of claim 13, wherein the money clip is disposed in a money clip recess.

15. The wallet of claim 10, further comprising a fastener configured to couple the top shell to the bottom shell.

16. The wallet of claim 10, further comprising one or more spacers configured to increase a thickness of a recess between the top shell and the bottom shell.

17. A method comprising: machining a first piece of metal to produce a top shell; machining a second piece of metal to produce a bottom shell; and coupling the top shell and the bottom shell at a shell hinge to produce a wallet, wherein the wallet comprises a sealed side located at the shell hinge, and at least one clamped side.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising: securing the first piece of metal with negative pressure; and securing the second piece of metal with negative pressure.

19. The method of claim 17, further comprising: polishing an edge of at least one of the top shell and the bottom shell.

20. The method of claim 17, further comprising: inserting a spacer between the top shell and the bottom shell.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation in part of, and claims priority to and the benefit of, U.S. Ser. No. 15/376,935 filed Dec. 13, 2016 and entitled "MOLDABLE WALLET." The '935 application is a continuation of, and claims priority to and the benefit of, U.S. Ser. No. 14/300,489 filed Jun. 10, 2014 and entitled "MOLDABLE WALLET," which issued as U.S. Pat. No. 9,549,596 on Jan. 24, 2017. Both of the aforementioned applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to wallets and systems and methods for manufacturing a wallet.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Wallets are used for storing money, credit cards, etc. Typically, wallets are manufactured from leather or other similar material. Such material easily wears, stretches, and scoffs. Consequently, there is a need for an improved wallet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, as well as a preferred mode of use, further objectives and advantages thereof, will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0005] FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a wallet in one embodiment;

[0006] FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of a wallet in one embodiment;

[0007] FIG. 3 is a back perspective view of a wallet in one embodiment;

[0008] FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of a wallet with cards in one embodiment;

[0009] FIG. 5 is a flow chart of the method of manufacturing in one embodiment;

[0010] FIG. 6 is a flow chart of the polishing step in one embodiment;

[0011] FIG. 7 is a top view of disassembled components of a moldable wallet, in accordance with various embodiments;

[0012] FIG. 8 is a top view of disassembled components of a moldable wallet, in accordance with various embodiments;

[0013] FIGS. 9a-9b are perspective views of disassembled components of a moldable wallet, in accordance with various embodiments;

[0014] FIG. 9c is a side view of portions of an assembled moldable wallet, in accordance with various embodiments;

[0015] FIG. 10a is a side view of an assembled moldable wallet, in accordance with various embodiments; and

[0016] FIG. 10b is a top view of an assembled moldable wallet, in accordance with various embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] Several embodiments of Applicant's invention will now be described with reference to the drawings. Unless otherwise noted, like elements will be identified by identical numbers throughout all figures. The invention illustratively disclosed herein suitably may be practiced in the absence of any element which is not specifically disclosed herein.

[0018] FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a wallet in one embodiment. In one embodiment the wallet comprises any moldable material. A moldable material is any material which is moldable and which, when set, comprises a hard and rigid material which retains the set shape. In one embodiment the moldable material is water resistant. In one embodiment the wallet comprises any bendable metal or thermoplastic material. The wallet can include, but is not limited to, carbon-fiber, titanium, aluminum, bendable metals, and thermoplastic materials. A thermoplastic material is a polymer which becomes moldable above a specific temperature and which returns to a solid state upon cooling. Virtually any thermoplastic material, including acrylics, polyvinyl chlorides, and others can be utilized. In one embodiment Kydex.RTM. manufactured by Kydex LLC of Bloomsburg, Pa. is utilized. Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride which is often used in the airline industry.

[0019] As used herein, a wallet refers to an object which is used to store money, credit cards, identification cards, etc. In one embodiment, discussed herein, the wallet 100 comprises a clam shell with a top shell 101 and a bottom shell 102. FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of a wallet in one embodiment. The bottom shell 102 is better viewed in FIG. 2.

[0020] The top shell 101 and the bottom shell 102 meet at a shell hinge 107. The shell hinge 107 is best seen in FIG. 3, which is a back perspective view of a wallet in one embodiment. The shell hinge 107 couples the top shell 101 and the bottom shell 102. The shell hinge 107 is the pivot point at which the top 101 and bottom shells 102 meet and can be separated. Thus, if a user applies an upward force onto the top shell 101, keeping the bottom shell 102 immobile, the top shell 101 will pull away relative to the bottom shell 102, pivoting at the back hinge 107.

[0021] The back hinge 107 can comprise virtually any hinge known in the art which will allow the top shell 101 to pivot relative to the bottom shell 102, and vice versa. In one embodiment, the top shell 101, the bottom shell 102, and the shell hinge 107 are integrally made from a single piece of moldable material. In such embodiments the shell hinge 107 couples the top shell 101 to the bottom shell 102 and the thermoplastic properties of the shell hinge 107 allow it to operate as a hinge. In one embodiment, the shell hinge 107 also acts as a sealed rear side of the wallet. Returning to FIG. 1, it can be seen that the wallet comprises three clamped sides, the top side, the front side on the right, and the bottom side. The shell hinge 107 comprises a sealed rear side on the left of FIG. 1. A clamped side refers to a side through which contents can be inserted or retrieved. Conversely, a sealed side refers to a side through which contents cannot be inserted or retrieved. A sealed side is permanently sealed during traditional usage whereas a clamped seal can be opened during traditional usage. It can be seen that a card, for example, can be inserted or retrieved from the right front side of the wallet by spreading the top shell 101 from the bottom shell 102. However, the top shell 101 cannot be spread from the bottom shell 102 at the closed back side. Consequently, the wallet 100 depicted in FIG. 1 comprises three clamped sides and one sealed side. While the shell hinge 107 is depicted on being located on the rear side on the left of FIG. 1, this is for illustrative purposes and should not be deemed limiting. The shell hinge 107 can be located on any side of the wallet 100. For example, the shell hinge 107 can be located on the top side, the bottom side, the left side, or the right side.

[0022] As seen in FIG. 1, in one embodiment the top shell 101 comprises a window 104. A window, as used herein, is an area through which the wallet's contents can be viewed, and/or gripped. The window 104 can be located on the top shell 101, the bottom shell 102, or both. In one embodiment, and as depicted, the window 104 is located on the upper right corner of the top shell 101. Such a placement allows the wallet's 100 contents, such as cards, to be viewed and retrieved as will be discussed in more detail below.

[0023] The window 104 can comprise a dissimilar transparent material, or, as depicted, the window 104 comprises a void or absence of material. Thus, as depicted, the window 104 comprises a cut-away portion in the top shell 101 located on the upper right corner of the top shell 101.

[0024] As seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the wallet 100 depicted further comprises a money clip 103. As depicted the money clip 103 comprises the same material as the top shell 101 and bottom shell 102. Thus, in one embodiment the top shell 101, the bottom shell 102, the shell hinge 107, and the money clip 103 comprise one integral piece formed from the same sheet of material, discussed in more detail below. A money clip 103 allows money, cards, or other items to be stored on the external surface of the wallet 100. In one embodiment, for example, cards such as credit cards or driver's license are stored within the internal compartment of the wallet 100 between the top shell 101 and the bottom shell 102 whereas money is stored on the external surface of the wallet 100 underneath the money clip 103. The money clip 103 maintains its contents by friction and the force induced to the moldable material as it attempts to retain its shape. When the money clip 103 is stretched open to insert, for example, money, the money clip 103 urges forward to retain its set-shape adjacent to the bottom shell 102. The memory, or set-shape, of the money clip 103 provides the friction and force necessary to retain the money beneath the money clip 103. The same memory or set-shape also helps the shell hinge 107 attempt to retain its shape.

[0025] In one embodiment, however, the money clip 103 is not integrally made with the top 101 and bottom shells 102. Instead, in other embodiments the money clip 103 is a separate piece which is added to the wallet 100. The separate piece can comprise a wire, polymer, or virtually any material which can be coupled to the wallet 100 and function as a money clip 103. The separate piece can comprise any material discussed above. In one embodiment the separate material comprises the same material as the wallet, whereas in other embodiments the separate piece comprises a dissimilar material as the wallet. In one embodiment the separate piece comprises titanium or tensile steel. Having a removable money clip 103, in one embodiment, is an advantage in that users can customize their wallet to fit their needs. If they do not utilize a money clip 103, they can remove the money clip 103, resulting in a slightly thinner wallet.

[0026] Returning back to FIG. 1, FIG. 1 shows a recess 106. A recess 106 in an indention in the top shell 101, the bottom shell 102, or combinations thereof, which provide storage for the wallet 100. A deeper recess 106 provides for more storage in the wallet 100. In one embodiment the recess 106 has a shape substantially similar to a standard credit card. The thickness of the recess 106 can vary and ranges from about 1/16 of an inch to about 1/32 of an inch for a total void of between about 1/8 of an inch to about 1/16 of an inch. In one embodiment both the top shell 101 and the bottom shell 102 comprise a recess 106 which mates to form the storage compartment. The respective recesses of the top 101 and bottom shells 102 can comprise the same or different thicknesses.

[0027] The wallet 100 thickness is a sum of the thickness of the material of the top 101 and bottom shells 102, the recess 106, and the thickness of any optional money clip 103. Accordingly, each of these variables can be adjusted to control the overall thickness of the wallet.

[0028] A recess 106 offers several advantages. If the shells 101, 102 were simply flat with no recess, they would simply be two flat pieces pressed together. Such an embodiment cannot securely hold the wallet's contents, much of which is often valuable, confidential, and important. The recess 106 provides for a secure storage compartment in which to store these valuable items.

[0029] In one embodiment the wallet 100 is taller and wider than a common credit card. In one embodiment the wallet has a width of between about 2 and 2.5 inches. In one embodiment the height ranges between about 3.5 and 4.5 inches. The extra length and width allows the wallet to completely surround and encase its contents, increasing the security. In one embodiment, and as depicted, the bottom shell 102, for example, extends upward and outward from the recess. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the bottom shell 102 extends outward at between about a 30-60.degree. angle relative to the flat planar portion of the recess 106. The angle can be adjusted depending on the desired thickness of the wallet 100 and the thickness of the recess 106. As depicted, both the top 101 and bottom shells 102 comprise an angle such that the edges where they meet offer a thinner thickness. This thinner edge allows the wallet 100 to be more easily directed into a user's pocket, for example. Further, the thinner edge offers a sleeker, more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Finally, because of the angled wall portion of the shells 101, 102, the shells fully encase the wallet's content.

[0030] FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of a wallet with cards in one embodiment. As can be seen, the contents of the wallet 100 can be spread out in a fan-like shape. This allows the user to view several different cards and choose the desired card. In traditional wallets the user had to retrieve all of the cards from the wallet, sort through them, and decide which card to use. Often a user has a business card, a personal card, a debit card, a driver's license, etc. Having to remove all of the cards and sort through them is inefficient and undesirable as this provides an opportunity to lose contents. The fanned embodiment in FIG. 4 illustrates that several cards or items can be viewed at one time, allowing the user to select only the desired card. In one embodiment, to achieve the fanned embodiment, the user presses upon the card through the window 104 and swipes in the direction of the fan. The pressure causes the other cards to spread out as depicted. The user can then select the desired card, and swipe in the opposite direction to return the contents into the wallet.

[0031] The shell hinge 107 provides sufficient pressure upon the contents to allow the contents to be fanned out yet remain under the control of the wallet 100. The pressure of the shell hinge 107 allows the wallet's contents, such as cards, to be pivoted at the lower left corner. This provides the unexpected advantage of allowing the user to visualize and select his or her cards without having to remove all of the cards. Another advantage is that because the cards are under constant pressure, the cards do not fall from the wallet. Compared to removing all of the cards and sorting all cards by hand, the wallet discussed increases security of the cards or contents within the wallet.

[0032] As noted, the shell hinge 107 and the set-shape of the wallet 100 ensure that the top shell 101 tries to keep its shape adjacent to the bottom shell 102. In some embodiments the top shell 101 is touching the bottom shell 102 at the clamped edges, whereas in other embodiments they are not physically touching but are very close to one another. This ensures the contents of the wallet are encased within the wallet. In one embodiment, all four side-edges of the contents are secured by either a sealed edge or a clamped edge. For example, if a credit card is inserted into the recess, the shell hinge 107 acts a sealed edge secures the left side-edge, the top clamped edge at the intersection of the top shell 101 and the bottom shell 102 covers the top side-edge of the card, the bottom clamped edge at the intersection of the top shell 101 and the bottom shell 102 covers the bottom side-edge of the card, and the right clamped edge at the intersection of the top shell 101 and the bottom shell 102 covers the right side-edge of the card. Thus, all four sides of the card are secured. This is contracted to a traditional money-clip wallet wherein the top, for example, is open. An open side is a side which is not either clamped or sealed. In wallets with an open top, for example, the wallet expands and stretches to accommodate additional cards. When cards are removed for cleaning the wallet, for example, the wallet has undesirably permanently stretched. When such a wallet is turned upside down, the cards can then fall through the open top end. In one embodiment comprising four secure sides, sealed or clamped, this problem is eliminated or reduced because there are no open sides. Thus, in one embodiment, the wallet 100 does not comprise an open side.

[0033] Returning to FIG. 1, the top shell 101 and the bottom shell 102 each comprise an exposed edge 105a,b, as depicted. The top shell 101 has three sides of exposed edges 105a: a top side, a right side, and a bottom side. The top shell 101 does not have an exposed edge on the left side because of the location of the shell hinge 107. The bottom shell 102, as depicted, also has exposed edges 105b on the top side, bottom side, and portions of the right side, but does not have an exposed edge on the left side because of the location of the shell hinge 107. In one embodiment the every exposed edge 105a,b is polished. As can be seen, and as previously discussed, the exposed edge 105a of the top shell 101 is adjacent to the exposed edge 105b of the bottom shell 102. As discussed, in some embodiments these edges are touching, whereas in other embodiments they are separated by a small distance.

[0034] In one embodiment the exposed edges 105a,b are polished. Polishing these edges 105a,b results in a smooth, and in one embodiment, shiny surface. A smooth surface prevents the wallet from becoming snagged on clothing, for example. Further, because a wallet is often worn close to the user's body, a smooth polished edge prevents injury such as scratching. Finally, a polished edge 105a,b is aesthetically pleasing and demonstrates a high level of craftsmanship.

[0035] The wallet discussed herein has several benefits. First, in one embodiment, the wallet is water proof or water resistant. As such, in one embodiment, the wallet will not retainer moisture. Instead, when immersed in water, the wallet's material stays dry. This is contrasted to, for example, leather wallets which retain moisture and remain wet when coming into contact with water. The user will have a soggy wallet for hours after getting wet. Further, the leather wallet will expand and contract in response to the moisture, causing the contents to spill from the wallet. However, a wallet comprising water proof or water resistant materials, such as Kydex, the wallet will not remain wet. Further, because the wallet material, in one embodiment, does not expand or contract with moisture, the contents remain secure within the wallet. A surfer, for example, can surf with the wallet in his or her pocket, and the wallet's contents will remain secure within the wallet. Further, when the surfer gets out of the water, any water will drain away from the wallet.

[0036] Second, a wallet comprising moldable material, such as a thermoplastic material is far more durable compared to standard leather wallets, for example. Many materials, such as Kydex, are very tough and are difficult to scuff or scratch. A wallet comprising thermoplastic material can be stored next to metallic objects such as tools, and will not easily scratch or wear.

[0037] Third, because of the memory shape properties of the moldable material, such as a thermoplastic material, the material maintains its set shape far better than leather or other similar materials. As discussed above, when additional contents are placed in a leather wallet, for example, the leather stretches to accommodate the contents. When some contents are removed, the leather remains stretched resulting in the contents falling from the wallet. Because a thermoplastic material better maintains its shape, this problem is eliminated or reduced.

[0038] Fourth, as described above, in certain embodiments the wallet comprises a window. The window allows some of the wallet's contents to be viewed from the outside of the wallet. Additionally, the window allows the wallet's contents to be manipulated.

[0039] Fifth, in certain embodiments the wallet allows a fanned shape embodiment wherein several cards are spread out in a fan like shape while still being controlled under the pressure of the wallet. This allows a user to see and select a desired card from many cards. Further, such an embodiment reduces the likelihood that a card or other content will become lost while the user sorts through a pile of contents.

[0040] While a wallet has been described, one method of making the wallet will also be described. FIG. 5 is a flow chart of the method of manufacturing the wallet in one embodiment. FIG. 5 begins with the step of obtaining material. As discussed above, the material can comprise any thermoplastic material. In one embodiment the material comprises sheets of material. In one embodiment the sheets measure about 4 feet by 8 feet in size. The thickness of the sheet can vary depending upon the desired thickness of the wallet. In one embodiment the sheets comprise a thickness of about 0.080 inches. In another embodiment the sheets have a thickness of about 0.093 inches.

[0041] Next, the sheets are cut into sizes suitable for handling. The specific size is dependent upon the desired size of the wallet. In one embodiment the sizes ranges from about 6 inches to about 12 inches in length and from about 3 inches to about 8 inches wide. In one embodiment the size is about 9 inches long by about 5 inches wide. Virtually any method can be used for cutting. In one embodiment the sheets are scored with a razor knife. Once scored, the sheets can be snapped into the specified sizes.

[0042] Next, the material heated. Heating a moldable material, such as a thermoplastic material makes the material bendable and moldable. The specific temperature required for heating a specific moldable material will depend upon the moldable material. In one embodiment using Kydex, the Kydex is heated between about 305.degree. F. to about 350.degree. F., whereas in other embodiments it is heated between about 330.degree. F. to about 350.degree. F. For Kydex, a higher temperature results in crisper, better defined lines. However, a lower temperature results in higher throughput.

[0043] The heating can be accomplished on virtually any tool used to heat a material. These include ovens, pizza ovens, t-shirt presses, irons, and virtually any device which supplies heat. In one embodiment, a t-shirt press is utilized. With such a tool, the material is placed within the press, and when the top is closed, the material is sandwiched within the press. The heating time is dependent upon material type, material thickness, and desired temperature. In one embodiment utilizing Kydex a temperature of 350.degree. F. can be reached in 55 seconds. A pizza oven typically requires about 6 minutes from room temperature.

[0044] After the heating step, the heated material is molded. In one embodiment the material is wrapped around a mold comprising the shape of the recess. In one embodiment, the mold comprises angled ends which provide the angled edges.

[0045] In one embodiment the mold is coated with a non-stick surface to keep the wallet material from adhering to the mold. In one embodiment the mold comprises Formica, although any rigid material, including but not limited to particle board, aluminum and other metals, etc., can be used.

[0046] The wallet is placed around the mold. Thereafter, the molded wallet is allowed to sit for a period of time. The sitting time is dependent upon the moldable material, but in one embodiment comprising Kydex the mold is allowed to sit for between about 3 to 6 minutes. In one embodiment the wallet is clamped to the mold. The wallet material, including Kydex in one embodiment, expands and contracts in response to heat. Thus, the clamping resists this expansion or retraction and maintains the desired shape. Virtually any type of clamps can be used. In one embodiment the material is clamped to 600 pounds force.

[0047] In one embodiment an air cooled press is utilized. An air cooled press decreases the time necessary to cool and set the molded wallet. In one embodiment an air cooled press reduces the cooling time from about 6 minutes to about 2.5 to 3 minutes. Such a reduction in time allows additional throughput.

[0048] After sitting for the desired time, the mold is removed. In one embodiment the mold is removed by separating the top shell 101 from the bottom shell 102.

[0049] After removing the mold, any excess material is cut and removed. Thus, if an undesirable flap extended from the top shell 101, this is cut and removed. Likewise, in one embodiment material is removed to form a window 104. The material can be cut using any method discussed herein. In one embodiment a band saw or a scroll saw is used to cut the excess. In one embodiment, cutting the excess comprises using a saw to cut beyond the desired final lines. Thereafter, a grinder is used to form the desired line.

[0050] After cutting the excess material, in one embodiment, the wallet is polished in a polishing step 516. Virtually any method of polishing can be utilized. FIG. 6 is a flow chart of the polishing step in one embodiment. As depicted, in one embodiment the first step of polishing is utilizing a cecil wheel 602. A cecil wheel 602 offers a finer grinding surface. In this step, the cecil wheel 602 prepares a smooth surface on the outer edges of the wallet.

[0051] After the cecil wheel 602, in one embodiment is a rouge step 604. Virtually any rouge can be utilized. In one embodiment, a polishing rouge called Emory is utilized. A rouge micro-emulsifies the surface of the material and disperses the heat evenly. In so doing, the rouge helps prevent clumping, creating a smooth surface.

[0052] The rouge can be applied with virtually any applicator known in the art. In one embodiment, the rouge is applied with a denim wheel.

[0053] After the roughing step 604, in one embodiment, is the cotton wheel step 606. A cotton wheel takes off the rouge, polishes the material, and makes the material shiny. The cotton wheel step 606 acts as the buffing step.

[0054] Referring back to FIG. 5, in one embodiment the polishing step 516 takes place prior to heating and folding the money clip 518. The reason for this is the money clip is still jetting away from the body of the wallet. As such, the edges of the money clip are more readily accessible for the polishing step than if the money clip had already been folded. The money clip is folded by applying localized heat via any device known in the art. In one embodiment a commercial heating gun is used to apply localized heat. The money clip, depending upon the material utilized, in one embodiment is heated to a temperature of between about 200-250.degree. F. Thereafter, the money clip is folded to its desired shape and location.

[0055] In one embodiment the wallet further comprises radio frequency identification ("RFID") protection. Many modern credit cards have RFID chips, making them susceptible to being hacked and stolen from afar. Hackers can send signals to read the RFID credit cards, stealing the information, even when the credit cards are in the user's wallet. RFID protection offers a protective coating which shields the credit cards from hackers. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the wallet comprises RFID protection. In one embodiment, the wallet comprises RFID paper located on either the exterior or interior walls. The RFID paper can be installed with any method known in the art. As but one limiting example, in one embodiment RFID paper is secured to the inner, card-side, face of the wallet. In one example, a sandwiched layer of double sided tape located atop a layer of foil, located atop a layer of double sided tape, located atop a layer of RFID paper is utilized. The top layer of double sided tape is adhered to the interior surface of the wallet such that the RFID paper is adjacent the wallet's contents, such as credit cards. This is but one example of an RFID installation.

[0056] In various embodiments, and with reference to FIG. 7, the wallet comprises a top shell 701 and a bottom shell 702 that are not integral to a single piece of moldable material. Top shell 701 and/or bottom shell 702 may comprise metal. Top shell 701 and/or bottom shell 702 may comprise a thermoplastic material. Top shell 701 and/or bottom shell 702 may comprise carbon-fiber, titanium, aluminum, and/or any metal, alloy, composite, thermoplastic material or other material suitable for use in a moldable wallet.

[0057] In various embodiments, and with reference to FIGS. 7 and 8, top shell 701 and bottom shell 702 may be coupled by a fastener 810. Fastener 810 may comprise a screw, bolt, rivet, magnet, or any other fastener suitable for coupling top shell 701 and bottom shell 702. Fastener 810 may be configured to releasably couple top shell 701 and bottom shell 702, such that a resilient hinge is created along a lateral edge of the wallet. In various embodiments, fastener 810 secures top shell 701 to bottom shell 702 such that they are in frictional contact with one another, but can be temporarily and/or partially separated with the application of force. During such temporary and/or partial separation, top shell 701 and bottom shell 702 may remain in frictional contact at the resilient hinge and/or at a lateral edge thereof.

[0058] Fastener 810 may be configured to be inserted in a bottom shell through hole 712 and/or a top shell hole 714. Bottom shell through hole 712 may comprise an aperture disposed in bottom shell 702 and extending from a first flat planar surface of bottom shell 702 to a second flat planar surface of bottom shell 702. Bottom shell through hole 712 may be disposed along a lateral edge of bottom shell 702. However, bottom shell through hole 712 may be disposed on any portion of bottom shell 702 suitable for fastening bottom shell 702 to top shell 701.

[0059] Top shell hole 714 may comprise an aperture disposed in top shell 701 and extending from a first flat planar surface of top shell 701 to a second flat planar surface of top shell 701. Top shell hole 714 may comprise a bore that extends partially between a first flat planar surface of top shell 701 and a second flat planar surface of top shell 701. Top shell hole 714 may be disposed along a lateral edge of top shell 701. However, top shell hole 714 may be disposed on any portion of top shell 701 complimentary to bottom shell through hole 712, such that fastener 810 may couple top shell 701 to bottom shell 702 at bottom shell through hole 712 and top shell hole 714.

[0060] Bottom shell through hole 712 and/or top shell hole 714 may comprise threads along their interior surfaces, such that they may receive and be coupled to the threads of a screw. However, bottom shell through hole 712 and/or top shell hole 714 may comprise smooth interior surfaces. In various embodiments, top shell hole 714 comprises threads while bottom shell through hole 712 comprises a smooth interior surface. In various embodiments, the wallet may comprise two or more bottom shell through holes, top shell holes, and/or fasteners.

[0061] Fastener 810 may be disposed at and/or in a shell hinge 707 of the wallet. In various embodiments, coupling of top shell 701 to bottom shell 702 at a lateral edge of the wallet may create shell hinge 707. Shell hinge 707 may be disposed along a side edge of the wallet. However, shell hinge 707 may be disposed on any portion of the wallet suitable for creating at least one clamped edge and at least one edge configured to resiliently pivot or hinge. In this way, shell hinge 707 is a pivot point of the wallet, at which top shell 701 and bottom shell 702 may be releasably coupled. Thus, if a user applies a force to top shell 701 in a direction away from and generally perpendicular to the flat planar surface of bottom shell 702, keeping the bottom shell 702 immobile, top shell 701 will pull away relative to bottom shell 702, pivoting at shell hinge 707.

[0062] In various embodiments, and with continued reference to FIG. 8, the resilience of shell hinge 707 is created and/or enhanced by resilient member 820. Resilient member 820 may be configured to enable top shell 701 to hinge away from bottom shell 702, when relative perpendicular force is applied, such that a clamped edge of the wallet is opened while top shell 701 and bottom shell 702 remain in substantial frictional contact at shell hinge 707 and/or a lateral edge thereof. Resilient member 820 may be further configured to return the clamped edge of the wallet into frictional contact when the relative perpendicular force is withdrawn.

[0063] In various embodiments, resilient member 820 is disposed between fastener 810 and bottom shell 702. In various embodiments, resilient member 820 is disposed at least partially in bottom shell through hole 712. However, the resilient member may be disposed at any location suitable to create a resilient shell hinge 707. In various embodiments, resilient member 820 comprises a compressible grommet. In various embodiments, resilient member 820 comprises a spring. However, resilient member 820 may comprise a gasket, washer, o-ring, and/or any member suitable for creating a resilient shell hinge. Resilient member 820 may comprise rubber, plastic, metal, alloy, composite, and/or any material with suitable resiliency.

[0064] In various embodiments, and with reference now to FIGS. 9a and 9b, the wallet may comprise a flange 930 and/or a groove 932. In various embodiments, flange 930 may be disposed on a top shell 901 and groove 932 may be disposed on a bottom shell 902. Flange 930 and groove 932 may be configured to prevent relative lateral movement of top shell 901 and bottom shell 902, while allowing relative movement of top shell 901 and bottom shell 902 about shell hinge 707. Flange 930 may comprise a projection extending above an interior planar surface of top shell 901 or bottom shell 902. Groove 932 may comprise a recess extending below an interior planar surface of top shell 901 or bottom shell 902. Flange 930 and groove 932 may comprise complementary shapes such that they are in frictional or mechanical contact when top shell 901 is coupled to bottom shell 902.

[0065] In various embodiments, flange 930 is disposed on a lateral edge of top shell 901 and groove 932 is disposed on a lateral edge of bottom shell 902. In various embodiments, flange 930 and groove 932 are disposed at and/or on shell hinge 707. However, flange 930 and groove 932 may be disposed on any portion of the wallet suitable for preventing relative lateral movement of top shell 901 and bottom shell 902, while allowing relative movement of top shell 901 and bottom shell 902 about shell hinge 707. In various embodiments, and with reference to FIGS. 9b, 9c, 10a, and 10b, bottom shell 902 may comprise a money clip aperture 940. Money clip aperture 940 may be disposed in or along a clamped edge of the wallet. In various embodiments, money clip aperture 940 is disposed in the edge opposite shell hinge 707 (with momentary reference to FIG. 7). Money clip aperture 940 may be configured to receive a money clip 903. Money clip 903 may be removably coupled to the wallet, as described above.

[0066] In various embodiments, bottom shell 902 may further comprise a money clip recess 942. Money clip recess 942 may be configured to receive money clip 903 without decreasing that portion of the wallet's interior recess which is available to receive wallet contents such as credit cards, money, identification cards, and the like. In various embodiments, money clip recess 942 may be disposed in an interior flat planar surface of bottom shell 902. Money clip recess 942 may extend at least partially from a clamped edge of the wallet towards shell hinge 707 (with momentary reference to FIG. 7). Money clip recess 942 may comprise a size, shape, and depth complementary to the size, shape, and depth of the portion of money clip 903 which may be inserted into money clip aperture 940.

[0067] In various embodiments, the wallet may further comprise one or more spacers. The spacer may be configured to increase a thickness of the recess or cavity between top shell and bottom shell. The spacer may comprise a block, shim, leaf, grommet, gasket, washer, or the like, for example, located between the top shell and the bottom shell and through which fastener may pass. In various embodiments, the spacer may be disposed between the top shell and the bottom shell at the shell hinge. However, the spacer may be disposed at any portion of the wallet suitable for increasing a thickness of the recess between the top shell and bottom shell. In various embodiments, several spacers may be optionally inserted between the top shell and bottom shell so as to customize the thickness of the wallet's interior recess and, therefore, its capacity to accommodate a varying number of cards, bills, and the like. In various embodiments, a kit may comprise a wallet as described herein and one or more spacers of different thicknesses.

[0068] While top shell and the bottom shell have been described herein as possessing particular, respective features, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the top shell may comprise any feature described in association with the bottom shell, and the bottom shell may comprise any feature described in association with the top shell.

[0069] In various embodiments, a method of making the wallet comprises machining a first piece of metal to produce a top shell and machining a second piece of metal to produce a bottom shell. The first piece of metal and/or the second piece of metal may comprise titanium, aluminum, and/or any metal, alloy, or other material suitable for machining. The machining may comprise turning, milling, drilling, boring, and/or any other type of subtractive manufacturing suitable to produce the top shell and/or the bottom shell.

[0070] In various embodiments, the method of making the wallet may further comprise securing the first piece of metal and/or the second piece of metal during machining. The securing may comprise utilizing negative pressure, or suction, to prevent movement of the first piece of metal and/or the second piece of metal during machining. In various embodiments, utilizing suction to secure the first piece of metal and/or the second piece of metal may reduce or eliminate the need to clamp the wallet during machining. In various embodiments, utilizing suction to secure the first piece of metal and/or the second piece of metal may reduce or eliminate the need for subsequent finishing steps such as removing excess portions of the wallet and/or clamped portions of the wallet.

[0071] In various embodiments, the method of making the wallet further comprises coupling the top shell and the bottom shell to produce a wallet. The coupling may comprise inserting a fastener into a top shell hole and a bottom shell through hole. The coupling may further comprise releasably securing the fastener to the top shell and/or the bottom shell.

[0072] In various embodiments, the method of making the wallet further comprises inserting a spacer between the top shell and the bottom shell. The spacer may be inserted between the top shell and the bottom shell at a clamped edge of the wallet. The spacer may be inserted between the top shell and the bottom shell at a sealed edge of the wallet. The spacer may be inserted at any portion of the wallet such that a thickness of the recess between top shell and bottom shell is increased.

[0073] In various embodiments, the method of making the wallet further comprises polishing the wallet. For example, the polishing may smooth or round any edges of the wallet to prevent or minimize damage to any contents placed in the wallet. In various embodiments, one or more edges of the wallet may be coated with a protective material to prevent or minimize damage to any contents placed in the wallet. Any suitable method of polishing may be utilized. The polishing may comprise utilizing a cecil wheel. The cecil wheel may prepare a smooth surface on the outer edges of the wallet. The polishing may further comprise a rouge step. Any suitable rouge may be utilized. A rouge called Emory may be utilized. A rouge may micro-emulsify the surface of the wallet and may disperse the heat of polishing evenly along the surface of the wallet. The rouge may prevent or minimize clumping, creating a smooth surface of the wallet. The rouge may be applied with any suitable applicator known in the art. In one embodiment, the rouge is applied with a denim wheel. The polishing may further comprise utilizing a cotton wheel. A cotton wheel may remove the rouge, polish the surface of the wallet, and make the surface of the wallet shiny. The utilizing the cotton wheel may buff the wallet. In various embodiments, liquid is sprayed on the wallet during polishing. The liquid may act to cool the surface of the wallet and/or may prevent or minimize melting, burning, scarring, gouging, or other damage to the surface of the wallet. Any liquid suitable for use in polishing may be used.

[0074] While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

* * * * *

File A Patent Application

  • Protect your idea -- Don't let someone else file first. Learn more.

  • 3 Easy Steps -- Complete Form, application Review, and File. See our process.

  • Attorney Review -- Have your application reviewed by a Patent Attorney. See what's included.