Patent application title: NOTEBOOK TRANSACTION CARD HOLDER
Brett R. Glass (Overland Park, KS, US)
Brett R. Glass (Overland Park, KS, US)
Nicole E. Glass (Overland Park, KS, US)
Nicole E. Glass (Overland Park, KS, US)
Gift Card Impressions, LLC
IPC8 Class: AB65D7300FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package combined or convertible including booklet, leaflet or record means
Publication date: 2013-07-25
Patent application number: 20130186783
A holder for receiving a transaction card, such as a gift card, within a
folded, multi-panel assembly that can be fixed in a closed disposition
and which contains held within a notepad comprising a pad of multiple
sheets of paper. In certain embodiments, the holder includes a main
panel, a top flap, and a bottom flap, the top and bottom flaps
cooperating to fold upon one another to close the holder and secure a
notepad and gift card held within.
1. A holder for a transaction card comprising: a main panel, a notepad
attached said main panel, a first flap extending from a margin of said
main panel, said first flap including means for attaching a transaction
2. The holder of claim 1, wherein said notepad is attached to a front surface of said main panel.
3. The holder of claim 1 further comprising a second flap extending from a margin of said main panel.
4. The holder of claim 3 further comprising means for retaining said first flap and said second flap in a closed position to enclose said notepad between said main panel and said flaps.
5. The holder of claim 3 wherein said first flap includes a slit for receiving an edge of said second flap when said flaps are in a closed position.
6. The holder of claim 1 further comprising a hang tag extending from said main panel.
7. The holder of claim 6 wherein said hang tag is separable from said main panel along a line of perforations.
8. The holder of claim 1 wherein said means for attaching a transaction card to said first flap comprises one or more slits in said first flap for receiving an edge of said transaction card.
9. The holder of claim 1 wherein said means for attaching a transaction card to said first flap comprises removable adhesive.
10. The holder of claim 1 wherein said first flap comprises two subpanels attached to one another in an overlying position to form a double wall.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims the benefit of prior-filed, co-pending provisional application, Ser. No. 61/ 576,593, filed Dec. 16, 2011, incorporated by reference herein.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 This invention relates generally to transaction card holders and more particularly to a card holder for holding a transaction card, such as a gift card, within a folded assembly that also contains a pad of multiple sheets of paper or the like.
 Transaction cards, stored value cards, or gift cards, as they are commonly called based upon their intended use, have become popular gifts. Gift cards typically comprise a stored value card whereby a certain cash equivalent value is encoded upon a magnetic strip applied to the surface of the card. This stored value may be determined by the vendor prior to packaging and display for sale or may be selected at the point of sale by the purchaser and loaded by the cashier using a magnetic card reader/writer. As an alternative to a magnetic strip, a transaction card may use a bar code to link the card to an account by which the associated value is stored in a computer database. While popular, gift cards are typically provided with a generic and impersonal design, typically identifying the associated merchant for which the card may be used to purchase merchandise, and therefore are not personalized in view of the intended recipient. In addition, a gift card typically conveys no immediate benefit or utility to the gift recipient at the time of receipt. Gift card holders of the present invention therefore augment the gift of a transaction card by providing a surface for displaying decorations, images, messages, etc., as well as a useful notepad that can be used and enjoyed immediately by the gift recipient.
 Gift cards are often presented for sale on display racks in stores, each card or packet of cards being hung upon a display stand peg. A given area of a store will typically only support a certain number and size of display stands, given store traffic and other considerations, which makes allocation of display space an important marketing decision that may require selecting only certain high selling cards for display. Display of other items in the same store area will typically reduce the substantially finite space available for displaying gift cards and gift card packets.
 In addition to the above considerations, gift card packets typically must fit within a set, allocated space in pre-existing displays. A gift card packet typically must not exceed 5.25'' tall and 4'' wide. These dimensions are an industry standard and are typically non-negotiable. In order to properly hang each gift card packet, the packet typically includes a J-hook hole (sombrero cut) with the exact dimensions of 1.875'' wide by 0.5'' high and be placed 0.1875'' from the top of the packet. Presently, the above requirements pertain to approximately 95% of all gift cards and gift card packets that are sold at retail.
 It should be appreciated that the terms "gift card" and "transaction card" are used interchangeably herein, the term "gift card" conveying a common but not requisite use of a transaction card as a gift item. The terms "typically", "generally", "essentially" and "substantially" may be used when describing embodiments of the invention disclosed herein and convey that a structure or function may occur in one more embodiments, but not necessarily in every embodiment, and that the scope of the invention is not limited by such disclosure.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The purpose of this invention is to provide a card holder for holding a transaction card, such as a gift card, within a folded assembly for presentation to a gift recipient. The holder also contains and provides a notebook or notepad typically comprising a pad of multiple sheets of paper or the like that augments the perceived value and utility of the transaction card and card holder assembly. An embodiment of the card holder may include a main panel, a first or bottom flap extending downward from the main panel, a second or top flap extending upward from the main panel, means for retaining the top flap and the bottom flap in a closed disposition, a pad of paper or notepad attached to a surface of the holder, typically to the main panel, and means for removably attaching a transaction card to the holder, such as slits for receiving the edges of the card.
 An embodiment of a holder in accordance with the invention may include a main panel, a plurality of sheets of paper (or like material for receiving writing) stacked upon one another (e.g. a notepad) and attached to the main panel. Typically, a notepad is attached to a front surface of the main panel. A first flap extends from a margin of the main panel and includes one or more slits or removable adhesive or other means for attaching a transaction card thereto. A second flap extends from a margin of the main panel, typically from the margin opposing the margin from which the first flap extends. The holder includes means for retaining the first and second flaps in a closed position to enclose the notepad between the main panel, to which the notepad is attached, and the flaps, which fold upon one another to overlie the notepad. The first flap includes a means for securing the second flap thereto, such as a slit in the first flap for receiving an edge of the second flap when the first and second flaps are in closed positions. A hang tag may extend from holder, typically from the main panel but alternatively from one of the flaps. The hang tag is separable from the holder along a line of perforations. After purchase of the holder, the portion of the hang tag extending beyond the margins of the holder (typically, beyond the margins of the main panel) may be torn off along these perforations. A means for attaching a transaction card to the first flap may comprise one or more slits in the flap for receiving one or more edges of the transaction card. In certain embodiments of the holder, the first flap comprises two subpanels attached to one another in an overlying position to form a double wall.
 Other advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example an embodiment of the present invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a front elevation view showing a card holder in a fully open position.
 FIG. 2 is a rear elevation view showing the card holder in a fully open position.
 FIG. 3 is a front elevation view showing the card holder in a fully closed position.
 FIG. 4 is a front elevation view showing the top flap of the card holder in an open position.
 FIG. 5 is a front elevation view showing a sheet from the pad lifted away and partially detached from the underlying sheets.
 FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing the card holder in a partially open position.
 FIG. 7 is a front elevation view of die cut stock used to form a card holder.
 FIG. 8 is a rear elevation view of die cut stock used to form a card holder.
 FIG. 9 is a front elevation view of a sheet of note paper.
 FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of a hanging tag.
 FIG. 11 is a diagram showing a piece of ribbon looped through a pair of apertures in the top flap.
 As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.
 With reference to the figures, FIGS. 1-6 illustrate one or more embodiments of a card holder 100 for holding transaction cards, such as a gift card 105. FIG. 1 is a front elevation view showing the card holder 100 in a fully open position with the top flap 110 moved, lifted or tilted upward to a vertically upward position and the bottom flap 115 moved, pulled or tilted downward to a vertically downward position, each flap 110 and 115 thereby moved and pivoted away from the main panel 120. The main panel 120 is obscured in FIG. 1 by the pad 125 attached thereto, but is visible from the rear of the holder 100 in FIG. 2. The top flap 110, main panel 120 and bottom flap 115 are generally joined to one another in series along the longitudinal axis of the holder 100.
 The holder 100 comprises card stock, relatively thin cardboard, relatively thick paper, or the like. The pad or notepad 125 comprises sheets or pages 130 of paper suitable for receiving writing, drawings or other marks made in ink, pencil graphite, paint or other suitable material using a pen, pencil, marker, brush or other suitable device.
 Typically, a pad 125 is formed by removably adhering sheets 130 to one another along a top margin, as known in the prior art. A backer or backer sheet (not shown) may be adhered at the back of the pad 125 and may comprise a more rigid material to support and protect the sheets 130. Either the backer or the back sheet of the pad 125 is adhered to the front surface of the main panel 120, when the pad 125 is attached thereto, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, and more clearly shown in the side, perspective view provided in FIG. 6.
 The top flap 110 is typically generally triangular in shape so that the portion distal to the main panel 120, referred to herein as the point 135, is of sufficient reduced, transverse, dimension or width to slide and fit into a slot 140 formed in the bottom flap 115. The point 135 is shown inserted into and engaged with the slot 140 in FIG. 3.
 The top flap 110 includes a pair of apertures 145a and 145b (collectively referred to by 145). As shown in FIG. 11 (a diagram of the top surface of the top flap 110 in the same general orientation as in FIG. 2), a piece of ribbon 150 or the like is looped through the apertures 145 and tied at the front surface of the top flap 110, typically to form a bow, to attach the ribbon 150 to the top flap 110. The ribbon 150 may serve as a structure to grasp when pulling the top flap 110 from engagement with the slot 140 or simply as a decoration.
 FIG. 2 is a rear elevation view of the card holder 100 showing a hanging tag 155 attached to the upper portion of the outer, rear facing surface of the main panel 120. As shown in FIG. 10, the hanging tag 155 includes an upper portion 156 and a lower portion 157 divided from one another by a line of perforations 165. The lower portion 157 bears a line or strip of adhesive 160 used to attach the lower portion 157 to the main panel 120, as described above. The upper portion 156 includes peg hole 170 therein, typically a sombrero cut hole 170, for receiving the peg or post of a display rack (not shown). The hanging tag 155 may comprise plastic, acetate or other suitable material. The holder 100 is typically presented for sale in the folded disposition (shown in FIG. 3) by hanging it upon a display rack peg by passing the hanging tag 155 over the peg so that the peg passes through the peg hole 170. The holder 100 is sized so that, when in the folded disposition, it will fit within display rack space constraints as described in the
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 FIG. 4 is a front elevation view showing the top flap 110 of the card holder 100 in an open position after withdrawing the point 135 of the top flap 110 from the slot 140. To open the top flap 110, the user may grasp the ribbon 150 (or equivalent structure, if provided) and pull it away from the holder 100. Alternatively, the user may grasp the top flap 110 directly and pull it away from the holder 100. Either method will pull or slide the point 135 from the slot 140. In certain alternative embodiments, the top flap 110 is held to the outer surface of the bottom flap 115 by cooperating, aligned pieces or portions of hook and loop fastener, such as a Velcro fastener material (not shown). In such embodiments, cooperating pieces are attached to a portion of the underside of the top flap 110, and to a portion of the outer surface of the bottom flap 115, so that when the top flap 110 is closed the cooperating pieces on the top flap 110 and bottom flap 115 are aligned and functionally engaged as is known in the prior art.
 FIG. 5 is a front elevation view showing a sheet 130 partially lifted from the pad 125 and partially detached from the underlying sheets. In use, a sheet 130 may be written on by the user either while attached to the pad 125 or after removal therefrom. FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing the card holder 100 in a partially open position.
 FIG. 7 is a front elevation view of a sheet of planar card stock 200 die cut to shape and used to form a card holder 100. As shown, the top flap 110 includes apertures 145a and 145. The front surface of the main panel 120 includes an area for receiving adhesive 121 to adhere the pad 125 to the main panel 120. FIG. 8 is a rear elevation view of the planar card stock 200 showing the hanging tag 155 attached to the upper back surface of the main panel 120 via permanent adhesive 160. In alternative embodiments, the hanging tag 155 may be attached to a polybag or other overwrap that may be used to package the holder 100, in which case the hanging tag 155 is removed and discarded with the overwrap when the holder 100 is unwrapped. In such embodiments, the hanging tag 155 need not include a line of perforations 165.
 As illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 of the stock 200, the bottom flap 115 comprises two subpanels 115a and 115b that are attached to one another to form a bottom flap 115 with a double wall. Subpanel 115b extends from the lower margin of the main panel 120 and includes the slot 140. Subpanel 115a extends from the lower margin of subpanel 115b (distal the main panel 120). Subpanel 115a includes two slits 175a and 175b (collectively referred to by 175) for receiving the edges of a transaction card 105, such as a gift card, inserted therein. To construct the bottom panel 115, subpanel 115a is provided with adhesive 117 around the outer margins of the inner surface of the subpanel 115a. When subpanel 115a is folded upward along fold line 116 to meet subpanel 115b, the adhesive 117 contacts panel 115b and adheres the subpanels to each other forming an integrated, double-wall bottom panel 115.
 The holder 100 may include a gift card 105 installed within the slits 175, as shown in FIG. 5, when presented for sale (typically hung upon a display rack). Alternatively, the gift card 105 may be removably attached to an outer portion of the holder 100 for later, post-sale removal therefrom and attachment within the slits 175, or the holder 100 may be presented for sale separate from a gift card 105, in which case any gift card 105 separately obtained by the user may be installed within the holder 100.
 As shown in FIGS. 1 and 6, various indicia may be provided on the surfaces of the holder 100, including instructions 101, diagrams, lines 102, and/or shading for directing positioning and installing a gift card 105 within the slits 175. The holder 100 may include a bar code or UPC code for facilitating purchase. Alternatively, if sold with a gift card 105, the bar code or UPC may instead be provided on the surface of the gift card 105 rather than on the surface of the holder 100.
 It should be appreciated that the holder 100 and associated structures may be constructed in various shapes and forms and bearing various graphics and designs while maintaining the general structure and functionality described herein. Certain embodiments of the holder 100 and any associated packaging are typically constructed and assembled to comply with standard space constraints for display racks, and more particularly, under current guidelines or restrictions, to not exceed 5.25 inches tall by 4 inches wide.
Patent applications by Brett R. Glass, Overland Park, KS US
Patent applications by Nicole E. Glass, Overland Park, KS US
Patent applications by Gift Card Impressions, LLC
Patent applications in class Including booklet, leaflet or record means
Patent applications in all subclasses Including booklet, leaflet or record means