Patent and Licenses
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In the past years, there has been considerable interest in reducing the transfer of microbes and illnesses between people due in part to E. coli outbreaks, viral transfer and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Consequently, the market has been flooded with antimicrobial household products containing germ-killing ingredients, e.g., hand soap, hand wipes, dish washing liquid, underwear, kitchen items, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mattresses, cutting boards, window cleaner, socks, cycling shorts, chop sticks, facial tissues and so forth.However, these materials only provide a temporary effect and are prone to becoming less effective over time as a result of reduced concentrations of antimicrobial agents.
In modern society, cards of various kinds have become ubiquitous and it is not uncommon for individuals to carry numerous cards, including credit cards, ATM or bank cards, debit cards, “smart” cards, insurance cards, a driver's license, identification cards, telephone calling cards, transit cards, library cards, discount cards and card-entry hotel keys. In addition, numerous transactions require the use of these cards numerous times a day (e.g., as the form of payment or as identification). As a result, these cards are in contact with numerous people (e.g., cashier, manager, attendant, etc.) and devices that have also been in contact with numerous other individuals. This allows the transfer of a wide variety of substances, (e.g., food, microbes, viruses, drinks, bacteria, fungus, spores, and other materials) and provides a mechanism for cross contamination of various microbes from person to person and place to place. Yet for the most part, card users do not realize that these cards can be the source of an illness. Even if they do, they are reluctant to clean or disinfect these cards for fear the cleaner or disinfectant will damage the card.
As a result, there is a need for a system, method and apparatus for a practical card or device that reduces the growth bacteria, fungi, virus or other microbes on the surface of a card.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a system, method and apparatus for a practical and secure card or device that reduces the growth bacteria, fungi, virus or other microbes on the surface of a card. The transfer of microbes, viruses and other sources of contamination via cards or like devices (e.g., credit cards, drivers' licenses, membership cards, hotel keys, department store cards, employee badges, name badge holders and so forth), which has been overlooked until now, can be controlled and limited by using the present invention. These items are routinely handled by numerous individuals on a daily basis. Likewise, employees in service jobs (e.g., government, hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, etc.) and security jobs can handle and be exposed to hundreds of cards per day. The integration or embedding of antimicrobial materials in these items or the raw materials during the manufacturing process provides a durable, long lasting solution to his overlooked problem. As a result, the antimicrobial card in accordance with the present invention provides a secure and flexible system for security and/or commercial transactions using access, credit, debit, identification, security, stored value and vendor-specific cards and/or devices.
Forming a card, chip, token or badge holder comprising one or more polymers and one or more antimicrobial agents, wherein the card comprises a magnetic stripe and the antimicrobial polymeric material is at least on an exterior of the card.