Patent application title: Automobile Key Fob Storage Device
Kenneth Biba (Laurence Harbor, NJ, US)
IPC8 Class: AA45C1132FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package for pocket or personal use for a key
Publication date: 2016-05-26
Patent application number: 20160143405
What is disclosed is a secure storage device for automobile key fobs that
effectively disables the ability of the key fob to communicate remotely
with the automobile. The device is a hollow metal container forming an
enclosure into which the key fob will be placed for storage. The
container has a removable lid with a lock mechanism that secures the lid
to the top of the enclosure.
1) A secure storage device for automobile remote key fobs comprising: a)
A generally hollow base fabricated from a material that prevents an
electronic transponder signal from the key fob from communicating with
the automobile when placed inside; and b) A lid adapted to fit on an open
end of the base; and c) A locking mechanism disposed within the lid for
securing the lid to the base.
2) The secure storage device of claim 1 wherein the generally hollow base is cylindrical in shape.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention is directed to the field of secure storage for automobile remote key fobs. Many current automobiles are provided with electronic remote key fobs for gaining entry into the vehicle and starting the automobile remotely. Unlike conventional automobile keys, these key fobs do not require physical engagement with the door locks or ignition switch to enter and/or start the vehicle.
 When a user parks the automobile at a public parking lot or with a valet, the user may need to leave the key fob with the car valet or other lot attendant so that the vehicle can be moved about if necessary. The remote key fob emits an electronic signal that is used to lock or unlock the doors of the vehicle and can also remotely start the vehicle. As the key fob can be used to gain entry to the vehicle, a potential security issue may arise that is not present when a conventional key is left with the lot attendant. Someone could potentially remotely enter the vehicle and start the vehicle and steal the vehicle.
 The primary objective of the present invention is to provide a cost-effective storage device that can be used to solve this security issue. In particular, the present invention provides a container that disables the key fob's remote transponder signal when the key fob is stored inside the container.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 A secure storage device for automobile remote key fobs comprising: a generally hollow base fabricated from a material that prevents an electronic transponder signal from the key fob from communicating with the automobile when placed inside; a lid adapted to fit on an open end of the base; and a locking mechanism disposed within the lid for securing the lid to the base.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a device in accordance with the present invention.
 FIG. 2 is a partial exploded isometric view of the device shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 3 is an exploded isometric view of the device shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 4 is a cross-section view of the device shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 5 is a cross-section view of the device shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 6 is a cross-section view of the device shown in FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention will now be described in terms of the presently preferred embodiment thereof as illustrated in the drawings. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that many obvious modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention.
 The present invention is based upon the discovery that by placing an automobile remote key fob in a closed metal container, the electronic signal from the key fob will be prevented from communicating with the automobile. Consequently, the key fob cannot be used as intended when placed in the container. An embodiment of the container of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 6.
 The container 10 is constructed from metallic materials. The container 10 comprises a base 12 formed generally in this embodiment in a cylindrical shape, although other shapes can be utilized. The container 10 further comprises a removable lid 14. The lid 14 comprises a lock mechanism 16 that can be operated by a key 18 as is known to those of ordinary skill in the art.
 The base 12 comprises an outer cylindrical shell 20. The base 12 further comprises a hollow cylindrical insert 22 fabricated from tubing and a circular bottom 24 fabricated from solid bar. The items comprising the base 12 form a cylindrical enclosure 26 with an open end 28. A key fob 30 is placed into the cylindrical enclosure 26 through the open end 28. After the key fob 30 is placed therein, the lid 12 fits in the open end 28. The lock mechanism 14 secures the lid in place as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.
 In practice, the automobile owner would leave his or her key with the parking lot attendant. The parking lot attendant places the key fob 30 into the container 10 and the key fob is secured therein and cannot communicate with the automobile. When the owner retrieves the car, the parking lot attendant unlocks the container and returns the key fob to the owner for normal use.
 Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that many obvious modifications may be made to the above described embodiment without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention as set forth in the appended claims.