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Publication numberUS20040007556 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/444,309
Publication dateJan 15, 2004
Filing dateMay 23, 2003
Priority dateMay 24, 2002
Also published asWO2003099672A1
Publication number10444309, 444309, US 2004/0007556 A1, US 2004/007556 A1, US 20040007556 A1, US 20040007556A1, US 2004007556 A1, US 2004007556A1, US-A1-20040007556, US-A1-2004007556, US2004/0007556A1, US2004/007556A1, US20040007556 A1, US20040007556A1, US2004007556 A1, US2004007556A1
InventorsDavid Manera, John Buehler
Original AssigneeManera David A., Buehler John D.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Helical lock closure system
US 20040007556 A1
Abstract
A container-closure assembly comprising a cap of cup-like form having a circumferentially expending skirt and a circumferentially extending flange depending from the top and spaced radially inwardly from the skirt and a series of radially inwardly directed circumferentially re-spaced lugs on the inner periphery of the skirt, the container having a neck portion with a discharge opening, the outer peripheral surface of the container being tapered upwardly and inwardly whereby the flexible flange engages the tapered surface when the cap is positioned over the container means defining a series of circumferentially re-spaced hook portions only on the container neck including a downwardly facing notched recess and a tapered face, said lugs position below a plain through the tip of the taper only hooks when the flexible flange lightly engages the tapered finish on the neck of the container.
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Claims(4)
What is claimed is:
1. A container-closure assembly comprising a cap of cup-like form having a circumferentially expending skirt and a circumferentially extending flange depending from the top and spaced radially inwardly from the skirt and a series of radially inwardly directed circumferentially spaced lugs on the inner periphery of the skirt, the container having a neck portion with a discharge opening, the outer peripheral surface of the container adjacent said discharge opening being tapered upwardly and inwardly whereby the flexible flange engages the tapered surface when the cap is positioned over the container, means defining a series of circumferentially extending, spaced hook portions on the container neck having a downwardly facing notched recess and a tapered face, said lugs positioned below a plane through the tip of the taper on the hooks when the flexible flange lightly engages the tapered finish on the neck of the container.
2. A container-closure assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least the inter-engaging surfaces of the flexible flange and the beveled container finish are of different plastic materials.
3. A container-closure assembly as claimed in claim 2 wherein one of said inter-engaging surfaces is propylene and the other surface is polyethylene.
4. A container-closure assembly as claimed in claim 3 wherein the hook elements have a downwardly tapered cam surface and wherein the lugs are disposed below a plane transverse to the axis of the container extending through the highest point on the cam surfaces so that the cap only has to be rotated to engage the lugs into the locking slots to secure the cap to the container.
Description

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/382,538, filed May 24, 2002.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to improvements in container-closure assemblies useful, for example, for use in the medical field for pills and the like. More specifically, the container-closure assembly of the present invention is characterized by novel features of construction and arrangement providing a child-resistant feature and is configured in a predetermined way so that it is easy to open and close by adult users even the elderly and those that are somewhat lame or handicapped.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Container-closure assemblies of the general type to which the present invention relates are not new per se. Akers, U.S. Pat. No. 5,449,078, for COMBINATION OF A CONTAINER AND A SAFETY CAP THEREFOR, shows a combination container and so-called safety cap wherein the cap has a resilient depending inner member which engages a rigid wall of a container, the resilient depending member and container finish having complementary tapers. The cap and the container are molded of the same plastic material. The container finish includes a series of circumferentially spaced camming latches (36) having a notch (40) and a tapered face leading to the notch (38) the inner sidewall of the cap has a series of circumferentially spaced locking lugs (34). When the user wants to apply the cap, the cap is positioned over the container so the locking lugs (34) are aligned with the spaces between the camming latches (36) and then the cap is pressed downwardly and rotated until the locking lug is engaged in the notch (40). Often times, the elderly and lame have difficulty in pressing and turning in the same operation and find it difficult if not impossible to secure the cap in a locked position on the container. Furthermore, it has been found that having the cap and container of the same material produces so-called galling which also contributes to the difficulty in operating the cap between open and closed positions.

[0004] Other prior art of interest include the patents listed below:

REFERENCE PATENTS

[0005] HEDGEWICK

[0006] TITLE: SAFETY CAP AND CONTAINER

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 3,344,942

[0008] DATE: Oct. 3, 1967

[0009] HEDGEWICK, et al.

[0010] TITLE: SAFETY CAP AND CONTAINER

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 3,478,911

[0012] DATE: Nov. 18, 1969

[0013] LAN DEN

[0014] TITLE: SAFETY-CLOSURE DEVICE

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 3,613,928

[0016] DATE: Oct. 19, 1971

[0017] JULIAN, et al.

[0018] TITLE: SAFETY CLOSURE FOR A MEDICINE BOTTLE OR THE LIKE

[0019] U.S. Pat. No. 3,716,161

[0020] DATE: Feb. 13, 1973

[0021] DEGAETANO

[0022] TITLE: LIQUID-PROOF SAFETY CLOSURE

[0023] U.S. Pat. No. 3,739,933

[0024] DATE: Jun. 19, 1973

[0025] SANTAGIULIANA

[0026] TITLE: MOLDED PLASTIC CAP FOR DISPENSING LIQUIDS

[0027] U.S. Pat. No. ______ Nov. 4, 1997

[0028] DATE: Nov. 4, 1997

[0029] VON HAGEL

[0030] TITLE: BLOW MOLDED PLASTIC BOTTLE AND PLASTIC CAP

[0031] U.S. Pat. No. 4,301,937

[0032] DATE: Nov. 24, 1981

[0033] HERR

[0034] TITLE: ONE-PIECE MOISTURE TIGHT SAFETY CLOSURE AND CONTAINER

[0035] U.S. Pat. No. 4,579,238

[0036] DATE: Apr. 1, 1986

[0037] BATCHELOR, et al.

[0038] TITLE: CHILD RESISTANT CONTAINER FOR STORING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

[0039] U.S. Pat. No. 5,033,634

[0040] DATE: Jul. 23, 1991

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0041] With the foregoing in mind, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved container closure assembly generally of the type described above which overcomes the disadvantage and drawbacks of the prior art. Thus the cap and container may be made of a plastic material which are preferably of different plastic materials. The cap is generally of cup-like form having a top and a generally cylindrical skirt depending from the top and a circumferentially extending flexible flange depending from the top and spaced inwardly from the skirt which has a tapered inner face preferably disposed at a small angle of about five degrees (5) to the longitudinal axis to the cap. The cap has a series of circumferentially spaced inwardly directed lugs which cooperate with a slot and hook arrangement on the container finish for securing the cap on the container. The outer peripheral wall of the container adjacent the discharge opening is tapered to complement the flange taper on the cap. The slot and hook arrangement includes a tip portion with a tapered face and a notched recess for receiving the lugs on the cap in the locked position.

[0042] An important feature of the present invention is the orientation of the lugs and the cap relative to the tapered face of the hook portion. Specifically when the cap is positioned over the container, and the taper face of the cap flexible flange and the beveled outer face of the container finish engage, the lugs on the cap are positioned in a trackway between the hook arrangements on the container finish below a plane transverse to the longitudinal access of the container through the uppermost portion of the tapered tip of the hook so that it is only necessary to rotate the cap so that to ride on the cam surface and positions lug in the notched recess to lock the cap in place. By this arrangement, elderly and even lame people can easily assemble the cap to the container when desired without the need for pushing the cap axially downwardly to engage in the notched recesses.

[0043] Another advantage to the lug arrangement is that it allows automated capping on existing equipment which were generally built for screw thread closures and do not have the ability to provide downward movement/force. They were built to provide rotational movement only.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0044]FIG. 1A is a top plan view of a container-closure assembly in accordance with the present invention;

[0045]FIG. 1B is a side elevational view of the container-closure assembly in accordance with the present invention;

[0046]FIG. 1C is a bottom plan view as viewed along the lines 1C-1C of FIG. 1B;

[0047]FIG. 2 is an exploded side elevational view showing the closure removed from the container;

[0048]FIG. 3A is an enlarged transverse sectional view of the closure or cap;

[0049]FIG. 3B is a view looking into the bottom of the cap as taken along lines 3B-3B of FIG. 3A;

[0050]FIG. 3C is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the portion of the cap circled in broken lines in FIG. 3A;

[0051]FIG. 4A is a side elevational view partly in section showing assembly of the cap to the container;

[0052]FIG. 4B is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the portion of the cap circled in FIG. 4A and identified by the numeral 4B;

[0053]FIG. 5A is a developed view showing the position of the lugs relative to the trackway and hook configuration on the exterior of the neck of the container;

[0054]FIG. 5B is a view similar to FIG. 5A showing the cap in a position before with the lugs partially seated;

[0055]FIG. 5C is a view showing the cap in the lock position on the container; and

[0056]FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view, showing the position of the cap lugs when the flexible cap flange initially engages the container tapered finish.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0057] Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1-2 thereof, there is shown a container-closure assembly in accordance with the with the present invention. The container-closure assembly may be molded of plastic materials and preferably are of different plastic materials.

[0058] The container (10) comprises a body portion (12), in the present instance of generally square cross section and a generally cylindrical reduced neck portion (14). The neck portion (14) has a series of camming latches (36) having cam-receiving notches or pocket and the cap (20) has a series of lugs (34) engageable in the notched recesses (40).

[0059] Considering now the cap (20) and closure in more specific detail, the cap (20) as best illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 is of inverted cup-like shape having a disc-like top (22) and a depending circumferentially extending skirt (24). The cap (20) also includes a circumferentially extending flange or fin (26) depending interiorly from the top (22) which has a feathered configuration. The fin (26) extends downwardly from the top (22) a shorter axial distance than the skirt (24). The fin (26) is somewhat flexible and engages a beveled wall (30) of the container (10) in the manner shown in FIG. 4B when the cap (20) is assembled to the container (10).

[0060] The beveled wall (30) is preferably disposed at an angle theta 0 of less than five degrees (5) to the longitudinal axis A-A of the neck portion (14) of the container (10). The interior side wall (32) has a series of circumferentially equi-spaced lugs (34) which project radially inwardly from the interior sidewall (32) of the skirt (24).

[0061] The neck portion (14) of the container (10) is formed with a series of circumferentially spaced hook elements (36) which have an inclined camming surface (38) and a locking pocket (40). The hooks (36) are spaced apart a predetermined distance so that the camming faces (38) are spaced from the inclined back surface (41) of an adjacent hook (36) to define a trackway (42) between adjacent hook elements (36) as best shown in FIGS. 5A-5C. The fin (26) and cam surface (30) are sized and dimensioned in a predetermined manner so that when the cap (20) is placed over the neck of the container (10) and the fin (26) lightly engages the beveled surface (30) on the neck the lugs (34) are positioned in the trackway (42) so that it is only necessary to rotate the cap (20) without exertion of any axial force or pressure on the cap (20) to seat the lugs (34) in the locking pockets (40). The arrangement provides a child resistant assembly since in order to release the cap (20), the top wall of the cap (20) has to be pressed axially inwardly to displace the lugs (34) downwardly in the trackway (42) to clear the hook so that the cap (20) can be rotated so that the lugs (34) are displaced circumferentially from the hook portions (36) and thereby permit removal of the cap (20).

[0062] The pressure of the fin (26) engaging the beveled surface (30) in the locked position creates an upward force on the cap (20) to displace it upwardly when it is rotated to position the lugs (34) in the trackway (42), the cap (20) is free for removal. The cap (20) and container (10) are preferably made of different plastic materials. For example, the cap (20) can be made of a propylene and the container (10) may be formed of a polyethylene material. It has been found that this combination facilitates a good sealing action between the cap (20) and the container (10) and facilitates relatively easy manipulation of the parts to position them between locked and released positions. Other combinations are possible but dissimilar materials provide reduced friction through elimination of the phenomena known in the industry as galling.

[0063] Considering now operation of a container closure in accordance with the present invention as described above and assume that the cap (20) is in a locked position on the container (10) in the manner shown in FIG. 1B. In this instance, the fin (26) presses against the beveled wall (30) of the container (10) a seating force is produced seating and the lugs (34) in the pockets (36). Specifically, there is an upward force tending to press the lugs (34) upwardly against the upper face of the pocket (36). Now when the user desires to remove the cap (20), he needs to press it downwardly and rotate the cap (20) in a counterclockwise direction as shown in FIG. 4A until the lugs (34) are positioned in the trackway between the hook (36) and slanted back surface of the next adjacent hook (36) in which event the cap (20) is released and can be withdrawn axially upwardly to access the contents of the container 10. Now when it is desired to reapply the cap (20), it is simply positioned loosely over the container (10).

[0064] The cap (20) is then rotated relative to the container (10) until the lugs (34) are aligned with the space between adjacent hooks (36) in which event, the cap (20) will drop downwardly until the lip lightly engages the chamfer surface (30). In this position, the cap (20) is rotated in a clockwise direction, whereby the lugs (34) ride down the beveled face (38) of the hooks (36) thereby pressing the lip (26) against the beveled surface (30) until the lugs (34) are disposed in the hook pockets. The cap (20) and closure locking action then is somewhat different from a conventional push turn closure of the prior art where an axial pushing force is needed to position the parts in a seated or locked position. In the present instance, the relationship of the lugs (34) and the lip (26) and the beveled surface (30) are such that the user simply rotates the cap (20) until the lugs (34) are positioned in the trackways (42) and then simply rotated in the manner described above until the lugs (34) are seated in the locking pockets. Note that when the cap lugs are aligned with the entrance to the trackway (42) the top of each lug (34) lies below a plane P-P transverse to the axis A-A, thus positioning the top edge (34 a) of the lug (34) below the cam face surface (38). Note that the lugs (34) assume this position when the flange (26) lightly engages the tapered end face (30) of the container finish. By this arrangement, the user simply has to rotate the cap (20) whereby the lugs (34) ride down the tapered face (38) of the hook member and engage in the notch (40) to lock the cap in place.

[0065] Even though a particular embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described herein, it is not intended to limit the invention and changes and modifications may be therein within the scope of the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7461755 *Sep 20, 2005Dec 9, 2008ComarMoisture-tight safety closure and container having a flexible neck finish
US7819265Jun 6, 2006Oct 26, 2010Rexam Closure Systems Inc.Child-resistant closure and container package
US7922017May 12, 2005Apr 12, 2011Rexam Prescription Products Inc.Child-resistant closure, container and package convertible to non-child-resistant operation
US8231020May 27, 2010Jul 31, 2012Silgan White Cap LLCImpact resistant closure
US8672158Jun 27, 2012Mar 18, 2014Silgan White Cap LLCImpact resistant closure
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/332, 215/222, 215/344
International ClassificationB65D41/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65D41/06
European ClassificationB65D41/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 11, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: COMAR, INC., A CORP. OF NEW JERSEY, NEW JERSEY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MANERA, DAVID A.;BUEHLER, JOHN D.;REEL/FRAME:013965/0120
Effective date: 20030911