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Numéro de publicationWO1998051513 A1
Type de publicationDemande
Numéro de demandePCT/US1998/009769
Date de publication19 nov. 1998
Date de dépôt12 mai 1998
Date de priorité12 mai 1997
Numéro de publicationPCT/1998/9769, PCT/US/1998/009769, PCT/US/1998/09769, PCT/US/98/009769, PCT/US/98/09769, PCT/US1998/009769, PCT/US1998/09769, PCT/US1998009769, PCT/US199809769, PCT/US98/009769, PCT/US98/09769, PCT/US98009769, PCT/US9809769, WO 1998/051513 A1, WO 1998051513 A1, WO 1998051513A1, WO 9851513 A1, WO 9851513A1, WO-A1-1998051513, WO-A1-9851513, WO1998/051513A1, WO1998051513 A1, WO1998051513A1, WO9851513 A1, WO9851513A1
InventeursZafar Amin, Matthew J. Issacharoff, Ronald J. Stroh
DéposantZafar Amin, Issacharoff Matthew J, Stroh Ronald J
Exporter la citationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Liens externes:  Patentscope, Espacenet
Combination carrier document and communication access card
WO 1998051513 A1
Résumé
A combination includes a greeting card (12) having a front planar sheet (16) with a front outer surface (18) and an inner surface (20) and a rear planar sheet (22) with a rear outer surface (24) and an inner surface (26), with said front and rear planar sheets connected together along a fold line such that the inner surfaces of the front and rear planar sheets are superposed when the greeting card is in a closed configuration; a phone card (14); indicia on both the greeting card and the phone card which associates each with the other.
Revendications  (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A combination comprising: a greeting card; a separate phone card; an arrangement for removably attaching the phone card to the greeting card; and indicia on at least one of said greeting card and phone card for prompting a recipient of the combination to use said phone card to make a telephone call using said phone card to contact another party.
2. The combination according to claim 1, wherein the arrangement includes a release adhesive which releasably secures the phone card to the greeting card.
3. The combination according to claim 1, wherein the greeting card comprises at least one planar sheet, and wherein the phone card is formed as part of the at least one planar sheet of the greeting card, and the arrangement includes perforations in the at least one planar sheet in surrounding relation to the phone card for enabling detachment of the phone card from the at least one planar sheet .
4. The combination according to claim 1, wherein the greeting card comprises at least one planar sheet, and wherein the at least one planar sheet of the greeting card includes slits which receive a peripheral portion of the phone card.
5. The combination according to claim 1, wherein the arrangement includes a pocket secured to the at least one planar sheet, the pocket being adapted to receive the phone card therein.
6. The combination according to claim 5, wherein the pocket is one of substantially transparent and substantially translucent .
7. The combination according to claim 1, wherein the greeting card includes a front planar sheet having a front outer surface and an inner surface, and a rear planar sheet having a rear outer surface and an inner surface, said front and rear planar sheets being coupled along a fold line such that the inner surfaces of the front and rear planar sheets are superposed when the greeting card is in a closed configuration .
8. The combination according to claim 7, wherein the at least one planar sheet further includes a planar flap coupled to an edge of the rear planar sheet substantially opposite the fold line, and the arrangement includes perforations in the planar flap in surrounding relation to the phone card for enabling detachment of the phone card from the flap.
9. The combination according to claim 7, wherein said phone card is removably attached to one of the inner surfaces of said front and rear planar sheets .
10. A combination comprising: a greeting card; a separate phone card; an arrangement for removably attaching the phone card to the greeting card; and indicia on at least one of said greeting card and said phone card which associates each with the other, said indicia prompting a recipient of the combination to make a telephone call using said phone card to contact another party.
11. The combination according to claim 10, wherein the arrangement includes a release adhesive which releasably secures the phone card to the greeting card.
12. The combination according to claim 10, wherein the greeting card comprises at least one planar sheet, and wherein the phone card is formed as part of the at least one planar sheet of the greeting card, and the arrangement includes perforations in the at least one planar sheet in surrounding relation to the phone card for enabling detachment of the phone card from the at least one planar sheet.
13. The combination according to claim 12, wherein the greeting card includes a front planar sheet having a front outer surface and an inner surface, and a rear planar sheet having a rear outer surface and an inner surface, said front and rear planar sheets being coupled along a fold line such that the inner surfaces of the front and rear planar sheets are superposed when the greeting card is closed, and the perforations are provided in the front planar sheet.
14. The combination according to claim 13, wherein the inner surface of the rear planar sheet includes indicia in substantial alignment with the phone card, so that when the phone card is detached from the front planar sheet so as to leave an opening in the front planar sheet, the indicia on the inner surface of the rear planar sheet is visible through said opening .
15. The combination according to claim 12, wherein the greeting card comprises: a front planar sheet having a front outer surface and a front inner surface, a rear planar sheet having a rear outer surface and a rear inner surface, said front and rear planar sheets being coupled along a fold line such that the inner surfaces of the front and rear planar sheets are superposed when the greeting card is in a closed configuration, a planar flap coupled to an edge of the rear planar sheet substantially opposite the fold line, wherein the perforations are provided in the planar flap.
16. The combination according to claim 15, wherein said" planar flap is permanently secured to the inner surface of said rear planar sheet .
17. The combination according to claim 15, wherein the inner surface of the rear planar sheet includes indicia in substantial alignment with the phone card, so that when the phone card is detached from the planar flap so as to leave an opening in the planar flap, the indicia on the inner surface of the rear planar sheet is visible through said opening.
18. The combination according to claim 12, wherein the greeting card comprises: a front planar sheet having a front outer surface and a front inner surface, a rear planar sheet having a rear outer surface and a rear inner surface, said front and rear planar sheets being coupled along a fold line such that the inner surfaces of the front and rear planar sheets are superposed when the greeting card is in a closed configuration, a planar flap secured to the inner surface of said rear planar sheet, wherein the perforations are provided in the planar flap.
19. The combination according to claim 18, wherein the inner surface of the rear planar sheet includes indicia in substantial alignment with the phone card, so that when the phone card is detached from the planar flap so as to leave an opening in the planar flap, the indicia on the inner surface of the rear planar sheet is visible through said opening.
20. The combination according to claim 10, wherein the greeting card comprises at least one planar sheet having slits through at least a portion of the sheet which receive a peripheral portion of the phone card.
21. The combination according to claim 10, wherein the greeting card comprises at least one planar sheet and wherein the arrangement comprises a pocket secured to the at least one planar sheet, the pocket being adapted to receive the phone card therein.
22. The combination according to claim 21, wherein the pocket is one of transparent and translucent.
23. The combination according to claim 10, wherein the greeting card includes a front planar sheet having a front outer surface and an inner surface, and a rear planar sheet having a rear outer surface and an inner surface, said front and rear planar sheets being coupled along a fold line such that the inner surfaces of the front and rear planar sheets are superposed when the greeting card is closed and said phone card is detachably secured to one of said front and rear planar sheets .
24. The combination according to claim 10, wherein the greeting card comprises at least one planar sheet having indicia thereon substantially hidden by said phone card, the indicia being visible when said phone card is detached from said greeting card.
25. The combination according to claim 10, wherein each of said greeting card and said phone card include respective first and second indicia, and wherein the first indicia of the phone card is related to the second indicia of the greeting card.
26. In combination; a greeting card; a separate phone card adapted for removable coupling to the greeting card; and indicia on at least one of the greeting card and phone card for prompting a recipient of the combination to make a telephone call using said phone card to contact another party.
27. A greeting card comprising: at least one planar sheet; a separate phone card; and indicia on at least one of said at least one planar sheet and said phone card which associates each with the other, said indicia prompting a recipient of the greeting card to use said phone card to make a telephone call to contact another party.
28. A greeting card comprising: at least one planar sheet ; a debit card; and indicia on at least one of said at least one planar sheet and said debit card which associates each with the other, said indicia prompting a recipient of the greeting card to use said debit card to communicate with another party.
29. A greeting card comprising: at least one planar sheet ; and a debit card which one of promotes and facilitates a receiver of the greeting card to use the debit card to communicate with another party.
30. The greeting card as defined by claim 29, further comprising: indicia on at least one of said at least one planar sheet and said debit card which associates each with the other.
31. The combination as defined by claim 1 wherein the another party is a sender of the combination.
32. The combination as defined by claim 10 wherein the another party is a sender of the combination.
33. The combination as defined by claim 26 wherein the" another party is a sender of the combination.
34. A greeting card as defined by claim 27 wherein the another party is a sender of the greeting card.
35. A greeting card as defined by claim 28 wherein the another party is a sender of the greeting card.
36. A greeting card as defined by claim 29 wherein the another party is a sender of the greeting card.
37. A combination comprising: a carrier document for communicating a first message from a sender to a recipient of the combination; and a communication access card for use by one of the recipient and another user, the communication access card conveying a second message, which has an association with the first message, to one of the recipient and the user of the communication access card each time the communication access card is accessed.
38. The combination according to claim 37. wherein the first message comprises at least one of: a) a written communication; b) an audio communication; and c) a visual communication.
39. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the second message comprises at least one of: a) a written communication; b) an audio communication; and c) a visual communication.
40. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the second message requests the user of the communication access card to perform a specific action.
41. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the carrier document incudes a first identifying characteristic, and wherein the communication access card includes a second identifying characteristic which has an association with the first identifying characteristic.
42. The combination according to claim 41 wherein the first and second identifying characteristics comprise indicia.
43. The combination according to claim 37 wherein when the communication card is used to establish a telecommunication connection, the second message is provided to the user of the communication access card at least one of prior, during or after the telecommunication connection is established with a third party.
44. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the first message is substantially similar to the second message.
45. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the communication access card is activated prior to use.
46. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the carrier document requests that the recipient use the communication access card to contact at least one of the sender or a third party to activate the communication access card.
47. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the first message requests the recipient to take a specific action, and wherein the second message conveys a reminder to the user to take the specific action.
48. The combination according to claim 45 wherein the activation of the communication access card comprises contacting at least one of the sender or a third party, to one of respond to inquiries, provide information, give opinions and answer survey questions.
49. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the communication access card is contoured to have a specific shape which has an association with the first message.
50. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the communication access card restricts the destinations with which a communication can be made.
51. The combination according to claim 45 wherein when the communication access card is activated, the user of the communication access card is enrolled in one of a lottery or sweepstakes.
52. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the first message prompts the recipient to activate the communication access card to receive a predetermined amount of free communication usage, and wherein the second message is an advertisement .
53. The combination according to claim 45 wherein the communication access card must be brought to a specific location in order for the communication access card to be activated.
54. The combination according to claim 37 wherein the communication access card is one of a phone card and internet access card/disc.
55. A combination comprising: a carrier document for communicating a first message from a sender to a recipient of the combination; and a debit card for use by one of the recipient and another user, the debit card conveying a second message which has an association with the first message to one of the recipient and the user of the debit card each time the debit card is accessed.
56. An advertising system comprising: a carrier document for communicating a first message from a sender to a recipient ; and a communication access card for use by one of the recipient and another user, the communication access card conveying a second message which has an association with the first message to one of the recipient and the user of the communication access card each time the communication access card is accessed.
Description  (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)

COMBINATION CARRIER DOCUMENT AND COMMUNICATION ACCESS CARD

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to greeting cards, and more particularly, is directed to a combination greeting card and phone card in which the phone card, which includes indicia associated with a message contained in the greeting card, is removably attached to the greeting card. The present invention also relates to advertising and promotional materials, and more particularly is directed to a combination carrier document and phone card provided to a third party to establish good will and to reinforce a sending party's identity in the consciousness of a recipient.

Description of Related Art Greeting cards are widely used during holidays (for example, Mother's Day, Christmas) special events (for example, birthday, graduation) and to send messages (for example, "get- well", "than -you") . It is known to include various items with greeting cards. For example, Gold Circle Productions, Inc. of Miami, Florida markets a greeting card containing a compact disc of love songs. Other examples of items marketed with greeting cards are bookmarks (USP 5,359,793), removable message insert assemblies (USP 5,284,365), photographs (USP 5,269,084 and USP 4,890,402), confetti (USP 5,199,745), potpourri (USP 5,120,090), embroidery patches (USP 4,439,941), adhesive backed decals (USP 4,200,222), and toys (USP 4,152,865)

Further, the mounting and subsequent removal of items to and from a greeting card can take many forms, such as a release adhesive (USP 5,318,327), tabs (USP 5,284,365), tying or slits (USP 5,359,793), score lines (USP 5,269,084, USP 5,120,090 and USP 4,200,222), rupturable packages (USP 5,199,745), pockets (USP 4,890,402) and openings (USP 4,152,865) .

Each of the above greeting cards and removable items present a static arrangement. That is, the item that is removable is usable by the receiver of the greeting card, but does not facilitate further communication between the sender of the card and the receiver. For example, parents often send greeting cards (e.g. a birthday card) to a son/daughter who is in college or otherwise away from home. In such case, the parents would like to hear from the child acknowledging receipt of the card. It would therefore be desirable to provide means to facilitate and promote further communication, that is, for the child to have means to readily contact his/her parents. In other words, it is advantageous to provide a dynamic arrangement with the greeting card, such that further communication between the sender and receiver is facilitated and promoted.

In addition, it is also desirable to provide printed material (i.e., indicia) on the greeting card and/or the detachable item so as to provide an association between the greeting card and detachable item that reminds the receiver of the greeting card, at a later time, to communicate with the sender of the greeting card. Generally, however, there is no such association. For example, a greeting card may have a picture removably secured thereto, but there is no indicia on the picture once it is removed from the greeting card to associate the picture with the message printed in the card, let alone facilitate and promote further communication between the sender and receiver of the greeting card. Advertising and promotional materials such as letters enclosed in envelopes and flyers are routinely sent to potential customers in order to enlighten the potential customers as to the existence of a specific company and to encourage the potential customers to purchase the goods or services provided by the company. Companies often provide a promotional product or special offer with the advertising material in the hope that the product or offer will somehow persuade the customer to purchase the goods or services provided by the company. With the recent popularity of phone cards, companies have recognized the convenience (due to the small size and discounted purchase price as compared to the face value) of providing phone cards having a predetermined monetary value (at no charge to the customer) . While serving a purpose of establishing good will with potential customers by providing a free gift, these prior art phone cards do not serve to maintain the company's name in the consciousness of the potential customer so as to remind the potential customer of the goods/services which the company provides.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a combination greeting card and phone card that facilitates further communication between the sender and receiver of the combination.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a combination greeting card and phone card that readily provides the receiver of the combination with means for contacting the sender.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a combination greeting card and phone card in which the phone card is removably attached to the greeting card. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a combination greeting card and phone card that provides a message (i.e., indicia) on the greeting card and/or the phone card.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a combination greeting card and phone card in which a message on the phone card provides an association with the greeting card.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a combination carrier document and phone card, wherein the phone card maintains the identity of the sender of the combination in the consciousness of the receiver of the combination. It is another object of the present invention to provide" a combination carrier document and phone card in which the phone card is removably affixed to the carrier document . It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a combination carrier document and phone card that provides a first message on the carrier document and a second message on the phone card which serves as advertising for the sender of the combination.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a combination carrier document and phone card in which a message on the phone card is associated with a message on the carrier documen .

It is still a further object of the present invention to overcome inherent disadvantages of known advertisements which include a phone card.

In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, a combination includes a greeting card, a phone card and an arrangement for removably attaching the phone card to the greeting card. In one embodiment, the arrangement includes a release adhesive which releasably secures the phone card to the greeting card.

In another embodiment, the greeting card comprises at least one planar sheet, the phone card is formed as part of the at least one planar sheet of the greeting card, and the arrangement includes perforations in the at least one planar sheet in surrounding relation to the phone card for enabling detachment of the phone card from the at least one planar sheet . In still another embodiment, the at least one planar sheet of the greeting card includes slits which receive a peripheral portion of the phone card.

In yet another embodiment, the arrangement includes a pocket secured to the at least one planar sheet, the pocket having one side which is open to receive the phone card therein. In such case, the pocket is transparent or translucent . Preferably, the greeting card includes a front planar sheet having a front outer surface and an inner surface, and a rear planar sheet having a rear outer surface and an inner surface, the front and rear planar sheets are coupled together along a fold line such that the inner surfaces of the front and rear planar sheets are superposed when the greeting card is in a closed configuration.

In yet another embodiment, the phone card is removably attached to one of the inner surfaces of the front and rear planar sheets.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a combination includes a greeting card, a phone card, an arrangement for releasably holding the phone card to the greeting card; and a message on at least one of the greeting card and the phone card which associates each with the other.

In one embodiment, the inner surface of the rear planar sheet includes writing (i.e., indicia) in substantial alignment with the phone card, such that when the phone card is detached from the front planar sheet so as to leave an opening in the front planar sheet, the indicia on the inner surface of the rear planar sheet is visible through the opening .

In another embodiment, the greeting card includes a front planar sheet having a front outer surface and a front inner surface, a rear planar sheet having a rear outer surface and a rear inner surface, the front and rear planar sheets being coupled together along a fold line such that the inner surfaces of the front and rear planar sheets are superposed when the greeting card is in a closed configuration, a planar flap coupled to an edge of the rear planar sheet substantially opposite the fold line, and perforations are provided in the planar flap.

In such case, the planar flap can be permanently secured to the inner surface of the rear planar sheet. In addition, the inner surface of the rear planar sheet includes indicia, in substantial alignment with the phone card so that when the

communication access card each time the communication access card is accessed.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description thereof which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings .

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a combination greeting card and phone card according to a first embodiment of the present invention, with the greeting card in a closed configuration;

Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the combination of Fig. 1, with the greeting card in an open configuration and with the phone card removably attached thereto; Fig. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the combination of Fig. 1, wherein the phone card is detached from the greeting card;

Fig. 3A is a cross-sectional view of the phone card of Fig. 3, taken along line 3A-3A thereof; Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a combination greeting card and phone card according to a second embodiment of the present invention, with the greeting card in an open configuration;

Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the combination of Fig. 4, wherein the phone card is detached from the greeting card;

Fig. 6 is a perspective view of a combination greeting card and phone card according to a third embodiment of the present invention, with the greeting card in an open configuration;

Fig. 7 is a perspective view of a combination greeting card and phone card according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention, wherein the phone card is detached from the greeting card; Fig. 8 is a perspective view of a combination greeting card and phone card according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention, with the greeting card in an open configuration;

Fig. 8A is a cross-sectional view of the phone card of Fig. 8 removably attached to the greeting card, taken along line 8A-8A thereof;

Fig. 9 is a perspective view of the combination greeting card and phone card of Fig. 8, wherein the phone card is detached from the greeting card;

Fig. 10 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of a combination greeting card and phone card according to a sixth embodiment of the present invention, showing an alternate slit arrangement for retaining the phone card;

Fig. 11 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of a combination greeting card and phone card according to a seventh embodiment of the present invention, showing an alternate slit arrangement for retaining the phone card;

Fig. 12 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of a combination greeting card and phone card according to an eighth embodiment of the present invention, showing an alternate slit arrangement for retaining the phone card;

Fig. 13 is a perspective view of a combination greeting card and phone card according to a ninth embodiment of the present invention, with the greeting card in an open configuration; Fig. 13A is a cross-sectional view of the phone card of Fig. 13 removably attached to the greeting card, taken along line 13A-13A thereof;

Fig. 14 is a perspective view of a combination greeting card and phone card according to a tenth embodiment of the present invention, with the greeting card in an open configuration;

Fig. 14A is a cross-sectional view of the phone card of Fig. 14 removably attached to the greeting card, taken along line 14A-14A thereof; Fig. 15 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of a combination greeting card and phone card according to an eleventh embodiment of the present invention, showing an alternate securing arrangement;

Fig. 15A is a cross-sectional view of the phone card of Fig. 15 removably attached to the greeting card, taken along line 15A-15A thereof;

Fig. 16 is a top plan view of a combination carrier document and phone card according to a first embodiment of the present invention; and

Fig. 17 is a top plan view of the combination of Fig. 1, wherein the phone card has a specific shape which has an association with at least one of the first and second messages .

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in detail, and initially to Figs. 1-3A, a combination greeting card/phone card 10 in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention is shown. The combination greeting card/phone card includes a greeting card portion 12 and a phone card portion 14 removably attached to greeting card portion. Specifically, greeting card 12, which can be made of any suitable card stock, paper stock, and the like, includes a front planar sheet 16 having a front outer surface 18 and a front inner surface 20, and a rear planar sheet 22 having a rear outer surface 24 and a rear inner surface 26. Front and rear planar sheets 16 and 22 are connected together along a fold/score line (binding) 28 such that the inner surfaces 20 and 26 of front and rear planar sheets are superposed when the greeting card 12 is in a closed configuration. In a preferred form of the invention, the front planar sheet and the rear planar sheet are contiguous with one another. Preferably, front and rear planar sheets 16 and 22 have a substantially rectangular shape, although it is foreseen that triangular, square, circular, oval, pentagonal and hexagonal shaped sheets may be utilized. In accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention, phone card 14 is integrally formed from at least a portion of front planar sheet 16 by perforations lines 30. The phone card can be removed (i.e., detached) from the greeting card 12 by separating the phone card from the front planar sheet along perforations 30. Phone card 14 preferably includes a message area 32 (Fig. 1) on a front surface thereof which includes a message, and an information area 34 (Fig. 2) on a rear surface thereof which includes information, instructions and/or an account number for making and charging a telephone call to an account number assigned to the phone card 14.

Preferably, the card stock that is utilized to form the phone card 14 includes a plastic laminate 36, 38 applied to the front and back surfaces thereof, as shown in Fig. 3A to provide a relatively sturdy and durable card. In the first embodiment, greeting card 12 also preferably includes a message (i.e., indicia) . One such message 17 is preferably provided on the front outer surface 18 of front planar sheet 16. In addition, a message 42 may be provided on the rear inner surface 26. Preferably, message 42 is in substantial alignment with phone card 14 such that when phone card 14 is detached from front planar sheet 16 as shown in Fig. 3 (and an opening 40 through front planar sheet 16 results) , message 42 on rear inner surface 26 is visible through opening 40. For example, message 42 could read, "I love you. Please call me." As such, message 42 contained on rear inner surface 26 is associated with phone card 14, and preferably also associated with the message contained in message area 32 on phone card 14, to facilitate and promote further communication between the sender of the greeting card and the receiver, and thereby provide a dynamic arrangement. Referring now to Figs. 4 and 5, a combination greeting card/phone card 10a according to a second embodiment of the present invention will now be described, in which elements corresponding to those of the greeting card/phone card combination 10 of Figs. 1-3A are identified by the same reference numerals. The second embodiment includes a front planar sheet 16, a rear planar sheet 22 and a planar flap 44 which is preferably contiguous with the rear planar sheet 22. Planar flap 44 is preferably folded about fold/score line (binding) 46 so as to be substantially superposed with inner surface 26 of rear planar sheet 22. Planar flap 44 is preferably secured to rear inner surface 26 by adhesive 48.

In accordance with the second embodiment, phone card 14 is integrally formed from at least a portion of planar flap 44 by perforations 30a. The phone card 14 can be removed (i.e., detached) from the planar flap 44 by separating the phone card from the planar flap along perforations 30a. In order to facilitate the removal of phone card 14, notches 31 are provided in planar flap 44 and connected with perforations 30a, so that a person can use his/her fingernails or fingers to more easily grip phone card 14 to separate the phone card from planar flap 4 . Phone card 14 preferably has a message area 32 on the front surface thereof which includes a message (shown in phantom) , and an information area (not shown) on the rear surface thereof containing information, instructions and/or an account number for making and charging a telephone call to an account number assigned to the phone card 14.

In the second embodiment, greeting card 12 also preferably includes a message. One such message 17 (not shown in Figs. 4 and 5) is preferably provided on the front outer surface 18 of front planar sheet 16. In addition, a message 42 may be provided on the rear inner surface 26. Preferably, message 42 is in substantial alignment with phone card 14 such that when phone card 14 is detachably removed from front planar sheet 16 as shown in Fig. 5 (and an opening 40a results in planar flap 44) , message 42 on rear inner surface 26 is visible through opening 40a.

Of course, it will be appreciated that the aforementioned arrangement of planar flap 44 and phone card 14 could be provided in association with front planar sheet 16 and inner surface 20. CN rH

'

rear planar sheet and is permanently adhered to rear inner surface 26 of rear planar sheet 22 by adhesive 48a. Thus, as with the greeting card/phone card combination 10a of Figs. 4 and 5, message 42 can be viewed through opening 40a when phone card 14 is detached from planar flap 44a along perforations 30a.

Of course, it will be appreciated that the aforementioned arrangement of planar flap 44a and phone card 14 could be provided in association with front planar sheet 16 and front inner surface 20.

Referring now to Figs. 8, 8A and 9, a greeting card/phone card combination lOd according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention will now be described, in which elements corresponding to those of the greeting card/phone card combination of Figs. 1-3, 4-5, 6 and 7 are identified by the same reference numerals. The fifth embodiment includes front planar sheet 16 contiguous with rear planar sheet 22 which can be rotated to a superposed position about fold/score line (binding) 28. In the fifth embodiment, arcuate slits 50 are formed in rear planar sheet 22 at positions substantially corresponding to corners of phone card 14 so as to form tabs. Accordingly, the corners of phone card 14 are preferably positioned through slits 50 and under the corresponding tabs so as to releasably secure the phone card 14 to rear inner surface 26 of rear planar sheet 22 (see Fig. 8A) . As shown in Fig. 9, when phone card 14 is removed, the message 42 on inner surface 26 of rear planar sheet 22 is uncovered and can be viewed by the receiver. While not shown in Figs. 8 and 9, it is foreseen that the front planar sheet 16 may include a cut out or transparent portion such that the message 42 printed on the rear inner surface 26 is visible when the front planar sheet 16 is superposed with the rear planar sheet 22 after the phone card has been removed. Referring now to Figs. 10-12, modifications of the slit and tab arrangement of the greeting card/phone card combination lOd of Figs. 8 and 9 is shown. I

i

I

I

remind and prompt the receiver of the greeting card/phone card combination to place a call to the sender of the card.

Further, it is foreseen that for the purpose of discouraging theft, the greeting card/phone card combination would be on display in stores with inactive phone cards, wherein cards which contain active charge (debit) account numbers are maintained behind a counter or other secure location. It is also foreseen that inactive phone cards provided in the greeting card/phone card combination could be activated at the time of purchase by a store clerk. In this situation, the store clerk could contact the phone company which sponsors the card to indicate that the charge (debit) account number provided on the phone card should now be activated. It is also foreseen that the store clerk could register a specific monetary value ($2, $5, $10, $20, etc.) selected by the purchaser at the point of sale to the phone card, so that a phone card having a specified monetary value can be provided from the sender to the recipient. It is also foreseen that the purchaser of the card could activate the phone card himself via a telephone or computer and/or credit card so as to provide any desired monetary gift to the card recipient .

While the above-identified invention has been described in relation to a greeting card/phone card combination, it is foreseen that in addition to phone cards, other items such as internet access cards, and video conference access cards and debit cards can be substituted for phone cards to facilitate and promote further communication between the sender of the greeting card and the recipient. It is also foreseen that the access (i.e., debit) card included within the greeting card could be programmed for a specific purpose by the store clerk which would facilitate and promote further communication between the sender and recipient. In this particular embodiment, the debit card is similar to a gift certificate wherein the card can only be used by the recipient for the purpose intended by the sender. For example, a parent who would like to pay for the child's trip home from college would r-

l I

to the recipient of the combination. The phone card 114, which is provided to the recipient with the carrier document, includes a second message 122. The second message is intended to be conveyed to the recipient of the combination each time the phone card is accessed or utilized. If the recipient gives the phone card to another person (that is another user) , the second message will be provided to the other user of the phone card each time the phone card is accessed. Access is intended to mean at least the point in time when the phone card is removed from a storage location (for example, billfold, wallet and purse) so that it is visible to the user. The second message 122 conveyed by the phone card 114 is preferably associated with the first message 120 of the carrier document 112 so as to remind the recipient of the first message (from the carrier document) or to advise the user (if the user is different from the recipient) of the company that provided the phone card. For example, the combination may be sent by an automobile dealership to a potential customer whose car lease is known to expire shortly. The carrier document (for example, advertising letter) may introduce the current models being sold by the automobile dealership and explain special incentives (for example, sale prices or rebates) being offered on selected models. The advertising letter advises the recipient of the combination that a phone card is enclosed for use by the recipient. The advertising material invites the recipient of the combination to visit the dealership to see the new models, discuss the special deals available and test drive an automobile. The recipient is invited to use the telephone card to call the dealership to make an appointment with a sales representative. The advertising material on the carrier document may advise the recipient that additional free minutes will be added to the phone card just for calling to schedule an appointment, and more free minutes will be added upon visiting the dealership.

It is foreseen that the first message 120 may be a written communication on an advertising letter as explained above. It is also foreseen that the carrier document could include an activation device (i.e., a button) for activating a micro-chip contained within the carrier document, which, when activated, conveys an audio (or video) communication to the recipient of the combination (that is, the carrier documents provides a verbal message) . It is also foreseen that the carrier document is a videotape, compact disc, video disc, computer disc or the like which provides a visual, audio and/or written communication (or any combination thereof) to the recipient.

With regard to the second message 122 conveyed by the phone card 114, it is foreseen that the second message could be imprinted on a face of the phone card as shown in Fig. 16. It is also foreseen that when used, the phone card activates a prerecorded message which is replayed to the user each time the phone card is utilized to place a telephone call. With the increasing popularity of video conferencing and video communication, it is also foreseen that the second message is provided to the user of the phone card visually. For example, each time the phone card is used to enable an audio video connection (for example, by video phone or computer) , a visual, audio and/or written communication (or any combination thereof) appears on a display screen which is attached to the communication device employed by the user. The second message may appear either before, during or after the user's communication with the third party.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the carrier document 112 includes a first identifying characteristic 124 and the phone card 114 includes a second identifying characteristic 126 which has an association with the first identifying characteristic. The identifying characteristic can be, for example, a company logo, trademark/servicemark or the like such that each time the phone card is accessed by the user, the user of the phone card is reminded of the message on the carrier document and/or the identity of the company that provided the phone card. ^\ φ < SH o

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Citations de brevets
Brevet cité Date de dépôt Date de publication Déposant Titre
US4588980 *24 sept. 198413 mai 1986Gte Communication Systems CorporationResidue to analog converter
US4890402 *31 oct. 19882 janv. 1990Carroll Philip CPhotograph holding greeting card
US4951969 *7 août 198928 août 1990Jack EpsteinApparatus and method for the positive and convenient correlation of the identity of the donor of a gift with the gift
US5359793 *14 avr. 19931 nov. 1994Copperstone Janice AGreeting card with bookmark
US5421620 *26 oct. 19936 juin 1995Moore Business Forms, Inc.Eccentric C-fold envelope with inserts for booklets and return mailers
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Citations hors brevets
Référence
1 *"I'M REALLY MISSING YOU - ADVERTISEMENT.", ADVERTISEMENT I'M REALLY MISSING YOU, XX, XX, 1 January 1995 (1995-01-01), XX, pages COMPLETE 02., XP002910476
Référencé par
Brevet citant Date de dépôt Date de publication Déposant Titre
WO2003008202A1 *10 juil. 200230 janv. 2003Relizon CanadaIntegrated electronic gift card packet
EP2001678A2 *14 févr. 200717 déc. 2008Douglas R. DennettMethod and apparatus for promotion of transaction card
EP2001678A4 *14 févr. 20078 janv. 2014Douglas R DennettMethod and apparatus for promotion of transaction card
US70400491 août 20019 mai 2006Relizon Canada Inc.Integrated electronic gift card packet
Classifications
Classification internationaleB42D15/04
Classification coopérativeB42D15/045
Classification européenneB42D15/04C
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