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Publication numberUS20040055903 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/211,067
Publication dateMar 25, 2004
Filing dateAug 2, 2002
Priority dateAug 2, 2002
Publication number10211067, 211067, US 2004/0055903 A1, US 2004/055903 A1, US 20040055903 A1, US 20040055903A1, US 2004055903 A1, US 2004055903A1, US-A1-20040055903, US-A1-2004055903, US2004/0055903A1, US2004/055903A1, US20040055903 A1, US20040055903A1, US2004055903 A1, US2004055903A1
InventorsKenichi Nishimura
Original AssigneeKenichi Nishimura
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Slide open container
US 20040055903 A1
Abstract
A cover portion (6) is slidable between a closed position in which it covers a holding space defined by a drawer portion (4). Upwardly opening slots (22) in the side walls (14) of the drawer portion (4) extend between front shoulders (26) and rear shoulders (24). Each slot (22) receives a stop member (54) projecting downwardly from the cover portion (6). Engagement of the stop members (54) with the shoulders (24, 26) limits sliding movement of the cover portion (6). A lock projection (30) extends laterally outwardly from each side wall (14) of the drawer portion (4) and is received into a corresponding recess (56) on the cover portion (6) to releasably lock the cover portion (6) in its closed position. The lock projections is are positioned in grooves (28), and the recesses (56) are formed in longitudinally extending tongues (58). The cover portion (6) is resilient, and an air-tight seal is formed between each tongue (58) and the bottom of the groove (28) into which it is received. The front end wall (16) of the drawer portion (4) has a ramp surface (34) to assist the removal of articles from the holding space.
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Claims(37)
What is claimed is:
1. A slide open container comprising a drawer portion defining a holding space for articles, and a cover portion slidable between a closed position in which said cover portion at least substantially covers said holding space, and an open position in which said space is accessible to a user; said drawer portion having an outer side surface with a lock projection extending laterally outwardly therefrom, and said cover portion having a top wall and a side wall with an inwardly facing recess positioned to receive said lock projection when said cover portion is in said closed position, to releasably lock said cover portion in said closed position; said cover portion being sufficiently flexible to cause said side wall of said cover portion to bend laterally outwardly when a user presses on said top wall, to move said lock projection out of said recess.
2. The container of claim 1, wherein said drawer portion has a bottom surface with serrations formed thereon, said serrations being positioned to be engaged by a first finger of a hand of a user as the user presses on said top wall with another finger of the same hand of the user and, with said other finger, slides said cover portion toward said open position.
3. The container of claim 2, wherein said top wall has a convex outer surface.
4. The container of claim 1, wherein said top wall has a convex outer surface.
5. The container of claim 1, wherein said side wall of said cover portion includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom, and said outer side surface of said drawer portion has a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive said tongue as said cover portion slides between said closed position and said open position; said lock projection being positioned in said groove, and said recess being formed in said tongue.
6. The container of claim 2, wherein said side wall of said cover portion includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom, and said outer side surface of said drawer portion has a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive said tongue as said cover portion slides between said closed position and said open position; said lock projection being positioned in said groove, and said recess being formed in said tongue.
7. The container of claim 3, wherein said side wall of said cover portion includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom, and said outer side surface of said drawer portion has a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive said tongue as said cover portion slides between said closed position and said open position; said lock projection being positioned in said groove, and said recess being formed in said tongue.
8. The container of claim 4, wherein said side wall of said cover portion includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom, and said outer side surface of said drawer portion has a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive said tongue as said cover portion slides between said closed position and said open position; said lock projection being positioned in said groove, and said recess being formed in said tongue.
9. The container of claim 1, wherein said drawer portion has a side wall that includes said outer side surface and an upper edge portion, said upper edge portion having an upwardly opening slot extending therealong from a front shoulder to a rear shoulder; and said cover portion has a stop member projecting downwardly therefrom and slidably received into said slot, engagement of said stop member with said rear shoulder defining a limit of sliding movement of said cover portion as said cover portion slides into said open position.
10. The container of claim 2, wherein said drawer portion has a side wall that includes said outer side surface and an upper edge portion, said upper edge portion having an upwardly opening slot extending therealong from a front shoulder to a rear shoulder; and said cover portion has a stop member projecting downwardly therefrom and slidably received into said slot, engagement of said stop member with said rear shoulder defining a limit of sliding movement of said cover portion as said cover portion slides into said open position.
11. The container of claim 4, wherein said drawer portion has a side wall that includes said outer side surface and an upper edge portion, said upper edge portion having an upwardly opening slot extending therealong from a front shoulder to a rear shoulder; and said cover portion has a stop member projecting downwardly therefrom and slidably received into said slot, engagement of said stop member with said rear shoulder defining a limit of sliding movement of said cover portion as said cover portion slides into said open position.
12. The container of claim 5, wherein said drawer portion has a side wall that includes said outer side surface and an upper edge portion, said upper edge portion having an upwardly opening slot extending therealong from a front shoulder to a rear shoulder; and said cover portion has a stop member projecting downwardly therefrom and slidably received into said slot, engagement of said stop member with said rear shoulder defining a limit of sliding movement of said cover portion as said cover portion slides into said open position.
13. The container of claim 1, wherein said side wall of said cover portion has an outer side surface with serrations formed thereon and positioned to be engaged by a finger of a user.
14. The container of claim 1, wherein said drawer portion has a bottom wall with an inner surface, an upper edge spaced above said inner surface, and an end wall extending between said inner surface and said upper edge; said end wall having a ramped configuration to guide an article in said drawer portion upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article with a first finger of a hand of the user and slides the article toward and against said end wall, to enable the user to grip the article between the first finger and another finger of the same hand of the user.
15. The container of claim 14, wherein said end wall has a ramp surface that curves continuously from said inner surface to said upper edge.
16. The container of claim 5, wherein said drawer portion has a bottom wall with an inner surface, an upper edge spaced above said inner surface, and an end wall extending between said inner surface and said upper edge; said end wall having a ramped configuration to guide an article in said drawer portion upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article with a first finger of a hand of the user and slides the article toward and against said end wall, to enable the user to grip the article between the first finger and another finger of the same hand of the user.
17. The container of claim 9, wherein said drawer portion has a bottom wall with an inner surface, an upper edge spaced above said inner surface, and an end wall extending between said inner surface and said upper edge; said end wall having a ramped configuration to guide an article in said drawer portion upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article with a first finger of a hand of the user and slides the article toward and against said end wall, to enable the user to grip the article between the first finger and another finger of the same hand of the user.
18. A slide open container comprising a drawer portion defining a holding space for articles, and a cover portion slidable between a closed position in which said cover portion at least substantially covers said holding space, and an open position in which said space is accessible to a user; said drawer portion having a side wall that includes an upper edge portion, said upper edge portion having an upwardly opening slot extending therealong from a front shoulder to a rear shoulder; and said cover portion having a stop member projecting downwardly therefrom and slidably received into said slot, engagement of said stop member with said rear shoulder defining a limit of sliding movement of said cover portion as said cover portion slides into said open position.
19. The container of claim 18, wherein said side wall of said drawer portion has an outer side surface with a lock projection extending laterally outwardly therefrom, and said cover portion has a side wall with an inwardly facing recess positioned to receive said lock projection when said cover portion is in said closed position, to releasably lock said cover portion in said closed position.
20. The container of claim 19, wherein said side wall of said cover portion includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom, and said outer side surface of said drawer portion has a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive said tongue as said cover portion slides between said closed position and said open position; said lock projection being positioned in said groove, and said recess being formed in said tongue.
21. The container of claim 18, wherein said drawer portion has a bottom wall with an inner surface, an upper edge spaced above said inner surface, and an end wall extending between said inner surface and said upper edge; said end wall having a ramped configuration to guide an article in said drawer portion upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article with a first finger of a hand of the user and slides the article toward and against said end wall, to enable the user to grip the article between the first finger and another finger of the same hand of the user.
22. The container of claim 19, wherein said drawer portion has a bottom wall with an inner surface, an upper edge spaced above said inner surface, and an end wall extending between said inner surface and said upper edge; said end wall having a ramped configuration to guide an article in said drawer portion upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article with a first finger of a hand of the user and slides the article toward and against said end wall, to enable the user to grip the article between the first finger and another finger of the same hand of the user.
23. The container of claim 20, wherein said drawer portion has a bottom wall with an inner surface, an upper edge spaced above said inner surface, and an end wall extending between said inner surface and said upper edge; said end wall having a ramped configuration to guide an article in said drawer portion upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article with a first finger of a hand of the user and slides the article toward and against said end wall, to enable the user to grip the article between the first finger and another finger of the same hand of the user.
24. A slide open container comprising a drawer portion defining a holding space for articles, and a cover portion slidable between a closed position in which said cover portion at least substantially covers said holding space, and an open position in which said space is accessible to a user; one of said drawer portion and said cover portion having a slot extending therealong from a front shoulder to a rear shoulder; and the other of said drawer portion and said cover portion having a stop member projecting therefrom and slidably received into said slot, engagement of said stop member with said front shoulder and said rear shoulder defining limits of sliding movement of said cover portion as said cover portion slides into said closed position and said open position, respectively.
25. The container of claim 24, wherein said drawer portion includes a side wall having an outer side surface with a lock projection extending laterally outwardly therefrom, and said cover portion has a side wall with an inwardly facing recess positioned to receive said lock projection when said cover portion is in said closed position, to releasably lock said cover portion in said closed position.
26. The container of claim 25, wherein said side wall of said cover portion includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom, and said outer side surface of said drawer portion has a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive said tongue as said cover portion slides between said closed position and said open position; said lock projection being positioned in said groove, and said recess being formed in said tongue.
27. The container of claim 24, wherein said drawer portion has a bottom wall with an inner surface, an upper edge spaced above said inner surface, and an end wall extending between said inner surface and said upper edge; said end wall having a ramped configuration to guide an article in said drawer portion upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article with a first finger of a hand of the user and slides the article toward and against said end wall, to enable the user to grip the article between the first finger and another finger of the same hand of the user.
28. A slide open container comprising a drawer portion defining a holding space for articles, and a cover portion slidable between a closed position in which said cover portion at least substantially covers said holding space, and an open position in which said space is accessible to a user; said drawer portion having opposite outer side surfaces each with a lock projection extending laterally outwardly therefrom, and said cover portion having a top wall and opposite side walls each with an inwardly facing recess positioned to receive a corresponding one of said lock projections when said cover portion is in said closed position, to releasably lock said cover portion in said closed position; said cover portion being sufficiently flexible to cause said side walls of said cover portion to bend laterally outwardly when a user presses on said top wall, to move said lock projections out of said recesses; each said side wall of said cover portion including a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom, and each said outer side surface of said drawer portion having a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive a corresponding one of said tongues as said cover portion slides between said closed position and said open position; on each said outer side surface, said lock projection being positioned in said groove; on each said side wall, said recess being formed in said tongue; and said grooves having bottoms positioned a first distance apart, and said tongues being positioned a second distance apart, said second distance being less than said first distance to cause said tongues to contact said bottoms of said grooves with sufficient pressure to form an air-tight seal therebetween.
29. The container of claim 28, wherein said cover portion is made of a plastic material having a higher elasticity than said drawer portion.
30. The container of claim 29, wherein said cover portion is made of polypropylene, and said drawer portion is made of polystyrene.
31. The container of claim 28, wherein said top wall has a convex outer surface.
32. A slide open container comprising a drawer portion defining a holding space for articles, and a cover portion slidable between a closed position in which said cover portion at least substantially covers said holding space, and an open position in which said space is accessible to a user; said drawer portion having opposite outer side surfaces, said cover portion having a top wall and opposite side walls, and said cover portion being resiliently flexible to cause said side walls of said cover portion to bend laterally outwardly when a user presses on said top wall; each said side wall of said cover portion including a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom, and each said outer side surface of said drawer portion having a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive a corresponding one of said tongues as said cover portion slides between said closed position and said open position; and said grooves having bottoms positioned a first distance apart, and said tongues being positioned a second distance apart, said second distance being less than said first distance to cause said tongues to contact said bottoms of said grooves with sufficient pressure to form an air-tight seal therebetween.
33. The container of claim 32, wherein said cover portion is made of a plastic material having a higher elasticity than said drawer portion.
34. The container of claim 33, wherein said cover portion is made of polypropylene, and said drawer portion is made of polystyrene.
35. The container of claim 32, wherein said top wall has a convex outer surface.
36. A slide open container comprising a drawer portion defining a holding space for articles, and a cover portion slidable between a closed position in which said cover portion at least substantially covers said holding space, and an open position in which said space is accessible to a user; said drawer portion having a bottom wall with an inner surface, an upper edge spaced above said inner surface, and an end wall extending between said inner surface and said upper edge; said end wall having a ramped configuration to guide an article in said drawer portion upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article with a first finger of a hand of the user and slides the article toward and against said end wall, to enable the user to grip the article between the first finger and another finger of the same hand of the user.
37. The container of claim 36, wherein said end wall has a ramp surface that curves continuously from said inner surface to said upper edge.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This invention relates to a slide open container for articles and, more particularly, to such a container that has a drawer portion and a cover portion slidable between a closed position and an open position, sliding movement of said cover portion being limited by engagement of a stop member projecting into a slot and said cover portion being releasably locked into its closed position by engagement of a lock projection on the drawer portion in a recess formed on a sidewall of the cover portion.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

[0002] Breath mint strips in the form of tissue-thin film are becoming increasingly popular. Because of the physical characteristics of such strips, containers originally designed for use with more conventional tablet-like breath mints generally do not maximize the ease of use of the strips. A container which reliably protects the strips from contamination but which easily dispenses the strips is a desirable goal.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The invention provides a slide open container comprising a drawer portion defining a holding space for articles, and a cover portion. The cover portion is slidable between a closed position in which the cover portion at least substantially covers the holding space, and an open position in which said space is accessible to a user.

[0004] According to an aspect of the invention, the drawer portion has an outer side surface with a lock projection extending laterally outwardly therefrom. The cover portion has a top wall and a side wall. The side wall has an inwardly facing recess positioned to receive the lock projection when the cover portion is in its closed position, to releasably lock the cover portion in the closed position. The cover portion is sufficiently flexible to cause the side wall of the cover portion to bend laterally outwardly when a user presses on the top wall of the cover portion, to move the lock projection out of the recess.

[0005] A preferred feature of the invention is serrations formed on a bottom surface of the drawer portion. The serrations are positioned to be engaged by a first finger of a hand of a user as the user presses on the top wall of the cover portion with another finger of the same hand and, with said other finger, slides the cover portion toward the open position. Another preferred feature is serrations formed on an outer side surface of the side wall of the cover portion. The serrations are positioned to be engaged by a finger of a user. This helps the user maintain a grip on the cover to assist sliding the cover between its open and closed positions.

[0006] The desired flexibility of the cover portion may be provided in various ways. In the preferred embodiment, the top wall has a convex outer surface.

[0007] As used herein, the term “finger” includes all five digits of the human hand, including the thumb.

[0008] The details of the structure of the lock projection and recess and their positioning may also be varied. Preferably, the side wall of the cover portion includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom. The outer side surface of the drawer portion has a groove extending therealong. The groove is positioned to slidably receive the tongue as the cover portion slides between its closed and open positions. The lock projection is positioned in the groove, and the recess is formed in the tongue.

[0009] A feature of the invention is a side wall of the drawer portion that includes the outer side surface and an upper edge portion. The upper edge portion has an upwardly opening slot extending therealong from a front shoulder to a rear shoulder. The cover portion has a stop member projecting downwardly therefrom and slidably received into the slot. Engagement of the stop member with the rear shoulder defines a limit of sliding movement of the cover portion as the cover portion slides into the open position.

[0010] According to another aspect of the invention, the container has a ramped configuration to assist a user in removing an article from the container. Containers with this feature include a drawer portion having a bottom wall with an inner surface, an upper edge spaced above the inner surface, and an end wall extending between the inner surface and the upper edge. The end wall has a ramped configuration to guide an article in the drawer portion upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article with a first finger and slides the article toward and against the end wall. This enables the user to grip the article between the first finger and another finger of the same hand, to quickly and easily remove the article from the container. In the preferred embodiment, the end wall has a ramp surface that curves continuously from the inner surface to the upper edge. Containers having the feature of a ramped configuration are also preferably provided with the lock projection/recess feature described above.

[0011] According to still another aspect of the invention, one of the drawer portion and the cover portion has a slot extending therealong from a front shoulder to a rear shoulder. The other of the drawer portion and the cover portion has a stop member projecting therefrom and slidably received into the slot. Engagement of the stop member with the rear shoulder defines a limit of sliding movement of the cover portion as the cover portion slides into the open position. Preferably, engagement with the front shoulder defines a limit of sliding movement as the cover portion slides into the closed position.

[0012] The slot may be formed on either the cover portion or the drawer portion. However, to help maximize the simplicity and durability of the container, the slot preferably is formed on an upper edge portion of a side wall of the drawer portion. The stop member projects downwardly from the cover portion into the upwardly opening slot.

[0013] The side wall of the drawer portion of a container constructed in accordance with the last mentioned aspect of the invention preferably has an outer side surface with a lock projection extending laterally outwardly therefrom. The cover portion has a side wall with an inwardly facing recess positioned to receive the lock projection when the cover portion is in the closed position, to releasably lock the cover portion in the closed position. In the preferred configuration of the lock projection and recess, the side wall of the cover portion includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom. The outer side surface of the drawer portion has a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive the tongue as the cover portion slides between the open and closed positions. The lock projection is positioned in the groove, and the recess is formed in the tongue.

[0014] Containers constructed according to this aspect of the invention may also include a variety of preferred features. One such feature is the ramped configuration discussed above.

[0015] According to another aspect of the invention, the container is provided with an air-tight seal. The drawer portion has opposite outer side surfaces, and the cover portion has a top wall and opposite side walls. The cover portion is resiliently flexible to cause the side walls of the cover portion to bend laterally outwardly when a user presses on the top wall. Each side wall of the cover portion includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue projecting laterally inwardly therefrom. Each outer side surface of the drawer portion has a groove extending therealong positioned to slidably receive a corresponding one of the tongues as the cover portion slides between the closed position and the open position. The grooves have bottoms positioned a first distance apart, and the tongues are positioned a second distance apart. The second distance is less than the first distance to cause the tongues to contact the bottoms of the grooves with sufficient pressure to form a air-tight seal therebetween.

[0016] In the currently preferred embodiment of the invention, a container with the air-tight seal feature also includes the feature of a lock projection on the drawer portion extending into a recess on the cover portion. As described above, engagement of the lock projection in the recess releasably locks the cover portion in the closed position.

[0017] The material or materials from which the container is made may be varied. Preferably, the cover portion made of a plastic material having a higher elasticity than the drawer portion. The currently most preferred materials are polypropylene for the cover portion and polystyrene for the drawer portion.

[0018] These and other features and advantages will become apparent from the detailed description of the invention that follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] In the drawings, like element designations refer to like parts throughout, and:

[0020]FIG. 1 is a pictorial view looking toward the top, one side, and the front of the preferred embodiment of the container, with the cover portion in a closed position.

[0021]FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the container shown in FIG. 1.

[0022]FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the container shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

[0023]FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the container shown in FIGS. 1-3.

[0024]FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the container shown in FIGS. 1-4.

[0025]FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the container shown in FIGS. 1-5.

[0026]FIG. 7 is like FIG. 1 except that it shows the cover in an open position.

[0027]FIG. 8 is like FIG. 7 except that it is taken looking toward the bottom of the container.

[0028]FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 9-9 in FIG. 6.

[0029]FIG. 10 is a longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 10-10 in FIG. 9.

[0030]FIG. 11 is a fragmentary pictorial view of a front end portion of the cover of the container shown in FIGS. 1-10, looking toward the bottom of the cover portion.

[0031]FIG. 12 is a similar view of a front end portion of the drawer portion of the container.

[0032]FIG. 13 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of a front corner portion of the container shown in FIGS. 1-6, illustrating the releasably locking of the cover in the closed position.

[0033]FIG. 14 is a longitudinal sectional view of the preferred embodiment, with the cover portion shown in an open position and the drawer portion shown in elevation.

[0034]FIG. 15 is like FIG. 14 except that foreground portions of the drawer portion are cut away and removal of a film strip from the drawer portion is illustrated.

[0035]FIG. 16 is like FIG. 6 except that it illustrates the positioning of the side walls of the cover portion when a user is pressing down on the top wall of the cover portion to release the cover portion from its locked closed position.

[0036]FIG. 17 is an enlargement of FIG. 4 shown juxtaposed to FIG. 18 for purposes of comparison.

[0037]FIG. 18 is a front elevational view illustrating a user grasping the container and pushing down on the top wall of the cover portion to release the closed position locking of the cover portion.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0038] The drawings show the presently preferred embodiment of the invention. This embodiment is constructed in accordance with the best mode of the invention currently known to the applicant. As illustrated in FIG. 15, the container 2 is being used for storing and dispensing breath strips W of the tissue-thin configuration mentioned above. It is anticipated that the container of the invention will be used primarily in connection with such edible thin strips. However, it is intended to be understood that the container of the invention may also be used to advantage for storing and dispensing other types of articles, including but not limited to pill-shaped articles.

[0039] The container 2 is a slide open container that includes a drawer portion 4 and a cover portion 6. The drawer portion 4 defines a holding space for articles, such as the breath strips W illustrated in FIG. 15. The cover portion 6 is slidable between a closed position, illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 5, 6, and 10, and an open position, illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8, 14, and 15. In the closed position, the cover portion 6 at least substantially covers the holding space. In the illustrated preferred embodiment, the cover portion continuously extends over the entire drawer portion. In the open position, the holding space is accessible to a user to allow the user to remove articles from the holding space.

[0040] The drawer portion 4 includes a bottom wall 10, a back wall 12, opposite side walls 14, and a front wall 16. These walls together define the holding space. Except for a short forward portion 18, the width of the drawer portion 4 is essentially constant. The forward portion 18 has an enlarged width. The bottom surface of the forward portion 18 has ridges or serrations 20 formed thereon. The serrations 20 are positioned to be engaged by a first finger of a user's hand as the user presses on the top wall 40 of the cover portion 6 with another finger of the same hand and, with that other finger, slides the cover portion 6 toward its open position. An outer rearwardly facing shoulder 32 is formed on each side of the drawer portion 4 where the width of the drawer portion 4 increases to the enlarged width of the front portion 18.

[0041] The cover portion 6 includes a top wall 40, a rear wall 42, and opposite side walls 46. A downwardly facing slot 44 is formed in the rear wall 42. A user may engage the back wall 12 of the drawer portion 4 by moving a finger through the slot 44 to enable the user to push on the back wall 12 to assist in moving the drawer portion 4 forwardly with respect to the cover portion 6 so that the cover portion 6 moves towards its open position. Preferably, serrations or ridges 48 are formed on the outer side surfaces of the side walls 46 of the cover portion 6 near the rear of the cover portion 6. The serrations 48 are positioned to be engaged by the fingers of a user to allow the user to obtain a better grip on the cover portion 6. The top wall 40 of the cover portion 6 extends all the way along the top of the container 2 to the forward edge of the drawer portion 4. The side walls 46 of the cover portion 6 terminate rearwardly of the front edge. Each side wall 46 has a front end surface 50 that is at least closely adjacent to the outer shoulder 32 on the corresponding side of the drawer portion 4 when the cover portion 6 is in its closed position. A forward end portion 52 of the top wall 40 projects forwardly from the interfaces between the front end surfaces 50 and the top wall 40.

[0042] An important feature of the invention is a slot/stop member arrangement to limit sliding movement of the cover portion 6 as the cover portion 6 slides into its closed position and its open position. One of the container portions 4, 6 has a slot 22 extending therealong from a front shoulder 26 to a rear shoulder 24. The other portion 4,6 has a stop member 54 projecting therefrom and slidably received into the slot 22. In the illustrated preferred embodiment, each side wall 14 of the drawer portion 4 has an upper edge portion with an upwardly opening slot 22 extending therealong from a front shoulder 26 to a rear shoulder 24. A corresponding stop member 54 projects downwardly from the inner surface of the top wall 40 of the cover portion 6 adjacent to the inner surface of the corresponding side wall 46 of the cover portion 6. The stop members 54 extend into their corresponding slots 22 to define the limits of sliding movement of the cover portion 6. Engagement of the stop members 54 with the rear shoulders 24 limits rearward sliding movement of the cover portion 6 and prevents the cover portion 6 from being moved rearwardly beyond its open position. In the closed position of the cover portion 6, the projections 54 are at least closely adjacent to the front shoulders 26. They preferably abut the shoulders 26.

[0043] Another important feature of the invention is a lock projection/recess arrangement. The drawer portion 4 has an outer side surface with a lock projection 30 extending laterally outwardly therefrom. A side wall 46 of the cover portion 6 has an inwardly facing recess 56 positioned to receive the lock projection 30 when the cover portion 6 is in its closed position. This releasably locks the cover portion 6 in its closed position. See FIGS. 6 and 13. The cover portion 6 is sufficiently flexible to cause the side wall 46 of the cover portion 6 to bend laterally outwardly when a user presses on the top wall 40, to move the lock projection 30 out of the recess 56. Preferably, each side wall 14 of the drawer portion 4 has a lock projection 30 extending laterally outwardly therefrom and each side wall 46 of the cover portion 6 has a corresponding recess. To help provide the desired flexibility, the top wall 40 preferably has a convex outer surface that is at least partially flattened by a user pressing down on the outer surface of the top wall 40. See FIG. 18. The flattening of the top wall 40 bends at least the lower edges of the sidewalls 46 of the cover portion 6 laterally outwardly, to move the lock projections 30 out of the corresponding recesses 56. The releasing of the locking engagement is illustrated in FIGS. 16-18. To move the cover portion 6 toward its open position, the user presses downwardly and rearwardly on the top wall 40 of the cover portion 6.

[0044] In the preferred embodiment, each side wall 46 of the cover portion 6 includes a lower edge portion having a longitudinally extending tongue 58 projecting laterally inwardly therefrom. As can be seen in FIG. 10, the tongue 58 extends along about 70 percent of the length of the cover portion 6. The outer side surface of the corresponding side wall 14 of the drawer portion 4 has a groove 28 extending therealong positioned to slidably received the tongue 58 as the cover portion 6 slides between its closed position and its open position. The tongue 58 and groove 28 can best been seen in FIGS. 11 and 12. As shown in FIGS. 9 and 12, the groove 28 has a bottom 29, and the top wall of the groove 28 is preferably beveled. Referring to FIGS. 10 and 14, each of the lock projections 30 is positioned in the groove 28 in the corresponding side wall 14 of the drawer portion 4 closely adjacent to the forward end of the groove 28. Each recess 56 is formed in the corresponding tongue 58.

[0045] Another important feature of the invention is an air-tight seal between the drawer portion 4 and the cover portion 6. The 5 bottoms 29 of the grooves 28 are positioned a first distance D apart. This distance D is illustrated in FIG. 16. The tongues 58 are positioned a second distance apart that is less than the first distance. This causes the tongues 58 to contact the bottoms 29 of the grooves 28 with sufficient pressure to form an air-tight seal therebetween. The cover portion 6 is resiliently flexible. Preferably the cover portion 6 is made of a plastic material having a higher elasticity than the drawer portion 4. In the currently preferred embodiment, the cover portion 6 is made polypropylene, and the drawer portion 4 is is made of polystyrene.

[0046] Another advantageous feature of the invention is a ramped configuration that assists in the removal of articles from the drawer portion 4. The bottom wall 10 of the drawer portion 4 has an upwardly facing inner surface. An upper edge of the forward enlarged width portion 18 of the drawer portion 4 is spaced above the inner surface of the bottom wall 10. The front end wall 16 of the drawer portion 4 extends between the inner surface and the upper edge. The inner surface of the end wall 16 is a ramp surface 34 that extends between the bottom wall inner surface and the upper edge. As can best be seen in FIGS. 10 and 15, the ramp surface curves continuously from the inner surface to the upper edge. It extends forwardly and upwardly from the wall that forms the outer shoulder 32 to the forwardmost upper edge of the drawer portion 4.

[0047]FIG. 15 illustrates the manner in which the ramp surface 34 guides an article W in the drawer portion 4 upwardly and outwardly when a user engages the article W with a finger and slides the article W toward and against the end wall 16. Preferably, as the user slides the article against the ramp surface 34 of the end wall 16, the user positions another finger of the same hand to grip the article W between the finger sliding the article and the other finger to easily remove the article from the drawer portion 4.

[0048] Although the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described herein, it is intended to be understood by those skilled in the art that various modifications and omissions in form and detail may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7357255Feb 5, 2004Apr 15, 2008Mcneil-Ppc, Inc.Packaged supply of individual doses of a personal care product
US7434692Feb 14, 2006Oct 14, 2008Mcneil-Ppc, Inc.Package for a personal care product
US7631764May 16, 2008Dec 15, 2009Mcneil-Ppc, IncPackage for a personal care product
US7721908 *Jan 3, 2006May 25, 2010J.L. Clark, Inc.Container having a slideable cover
US8297436 *Mar 6, 2008Oct 30, 2012SanofiBlister protection sleeve including automatic locking means that can be unlocked by torsion
US8474624 *Mar 22, 2012Jul 2, 2013J.L. Clark, Inc.Child resistant container
US8616376 *Apr 15, 2011Dec 31, 2013J. L. Clark, Inc.Child resistant container
US20110000931 *Sep 16, 2010Jan 6, 2011R. J. Reynolds Tobacco CompanyDispensing container
US20120260612 *Apr 15, 2011Oct 18, 2012J.L. Clark, Inc.Child resistant container
US20120261418 *Mar 22, 2012Oct 18, 2012J.L. Clark, Inc.Child resistant container
WO2013099874A1 *Dec 25, 2012Jul 4, 2013Japan Tobacco Inc.Slidable container with child lock
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/1.5
International ClassificationB65D83/08, A45C11/14, B65D43/20
Cooperative ClassificationA45C11/14, B65D83/08, B65D43/20
European ClassificationB65D83/08, A45C11/14, B65D43/20