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Publication numberUS3426932 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 11, 1969
Filing dateJul 17, 1967
Priority dateJul 17, 1967
Publication numberUS 3426932 A, US 3426932A, US-A-3426932, US3426932 A, US3426932A
InventorsRouse William R
Original AssigneeRouse William R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tamper-proof poison bottle closure
US 3426932 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 11, 1969 w. R ROUSE TAMPER-PROOF' POISON BOTTLE CLOSURE Filed July 17, 1967 6 4 6 3 5 84 W 5%. 2 km 6 2 2 H f l 2 6 0 8 2 w 4 6 i 1 46 7 lI/ 6 3 4 Q M 42 2 aw 2 2 0 I Ir a a 2 5 m 3 2 w m m an m. A R 3 R. W m w W M m United States Patent 3,426,932 TAMPER-PROOF POISON BOTTLE CLOSURE William R. Rouse, P.0. Box 41128, Sacramento, Calif. 95841 Filed July 17, 1967, Ser. No. 653,761 US. Cl. 215-9 Int. Cl. B6541 55/14; Eb 65/52 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to certain new and useful improvements in a tamper-proof closure which is expressly designed and effectually adapted for use on the screwthreaded neck of a bottle which when in use contains poisonous medicines, dangerous drugs and the like and has to do, more particularly, with a screw-type inner cap protectively housed or sheated in a proportionally enlarged outer cap and wherein key controlled means be tween the caps reliably prevents unauthorized removal of the closure.

Countless accidents, many of which are fatal, are repeatedly traceable to unwary children who get hold of easy-to-open drug and medicine bottles and swallow the contents. It is true, of course, that in addition to warnings and care exercised by parents and others, many patented inventions, which have to do with safety closures, have been devised with a view toward preventing unauthorized use of poisons. Despite such precautions efl'orts it appears that prior art safeguarding closures have not met with Widespread adaptation and use. Accordingly, the principal objective in the instant matter is to provide a closure which constitutes a unique self-contained adaptation and Well serves the purposes for which it has been devised particularly in that it requires the use of a key before the screw cap can be turned and detached.

Briefly, the innovation herein offered with a view toward coping with and better solving this perplexing problem comprises two basically similar caps, the smaller one of which is the inner main cap and is similar, generally speaking, to an ordinary screw cap except that the top surface of the lid portion has an integral upstanding cap turning rib and, in addition, a nut at the central portion of the rib for the stem of a screw-threaded headed fastener. This fastener serves to swivelly mount a marginally threaded collar which provides a rotary gear-like pinion. This pinion transmits rotary motion to diametrically opposite rack-equipped reciprocable slides which are shiftably keyed in paired track-like guides which are properly located and fixed on the interior of the rim of the larger outer cap. This outer cap shields and conceals the inner cap as well as the pinion and paired uniquely performing rack-equipped slides which, in turn, actuate the rib-equipped inner cap and serve to twist, unscrew and remove the same. Novel key-controlled means regulates the predetermined function of (l) the outer cap and (2) the pinion.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accom- 3,426,932 Patented Feb. 11, 1969 panying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a view showing a fragmentary portion of a so-called poison container in bottle form having a screwthreaded neck and showing the improved self-contained tamper-proof closure with the key and other components appearing in elevation.

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 with the bottle appearing partly in elevation and which differs in that the key operated means (key not shown) shows the inner cap rib engaging and actuating slides or abutments engaging the rib.

FIG. 3 is a horizontal section taken on the plane of the section line 33 of FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 4 is a view in perspective of the outer cap with the key included.

And FIG. 5 is a view in perspective of the improved inner cap.

Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2 the container i illustrated in the form of a bottle such as is commonly used to contain poisonous compounds and dangerous drugs. The bottle is ShOWn at 8 and is provided with a neck 10 having external screw-threads 12.

The inner cap is denoted by the numeral 14 and comprises, as usual, 21 disk-like lid portion 16 and a depending annular rim portion 18 which as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is provided with screw-threads 20 engageable with the threads 12. This cap is distinct and different in that the top surface of the lid portion 16 is provided with a cap turning rib 22 which extends across the surface and is provided at its center with a component part which is internally screw-threaded at 24 and is conveniently designated as a nut 26. This nut serves to accommodate the threaded end portion of the shank 28 of the screwthreaded headed fastener 30. This fastener 30 serves in a manner to be more specifically set forth.

Taking up now the complemental outer cap this is denoted generally by the numeral 32 and is larger than and complemental to the inner main cap 14 and is differentiated as the protective auxiliary cap. It also comprises a disk-like lid portion 34 provided with a suitable depending skirt-like rim 36 which is amply deep to 'house and enclose the inner main cap 14 when the two caps are interrelated or assembled as shown in FIGS. 1 to 3. The central or axial portion of the lid portion is provided with a hole of a prescribed diameter and whose lip or edge portion is convexly rounded as denoted at 37. This hole serves to accommodate a component part which is conveniently designated here as a key actuated and assembling journal 38. The journal constitutes a cylindrical hub-like member which is provided between its upper and lower ends with an encircling groove 40 to accommodate the lip 37 and to provide a free swivelling connection between the outer cap 32 and the complemental assembling journal 38. The projecting upper end portion 42 is provided with a keyhole slot 44 which is of a shape to accommodate the shank 46 of the special purpose key 48. The key is also provided with an appropriate fingergrip 50. It will be understood in this connection that the key 48 is designed and adapted for use only by an authorized person usually an adult who should keep the key in an available place and know how to use it.

The mechanism or means within the confines of the available space between the lid portions 16 and 34 of the caps is shown in detail in FIGS. 1 to 3. A first component part is here designated as a disk-like collar 52. This collar is of the cross-sectional thickness and diameter shown in FIG. 1 in particular and has an axial bore 54 and also a counterbore 56. The bore 54 serves to accommodate the shank 28 of the headed fastener and the head of the fastener is seated in the counterbore. It

should be noted that the threaded shank of the fastener bottoms in the screw-threaded socket 24 of the nut before the head binds on the shoulder at the bottom of the counterbore thereby connecting the collar 52 to the inner cap while at the same time permitting it to swivel freely. The lower cylindrical portion of the journal is fitted telescopingly and retentively in the counterbore so that when the key 48 is inserted and the journal is turned a turning motion is imparted to the collar. The peripheral portion of the collar is provided with threads and therefore the collar, for sake of distinction, is referred to as a rotary motion-transmitting pinion. The threads on the pinion are meshed with companion threads or teeth 58 which are provided on the ribs carried 'by the block-like slides 60. The ribs are designated as racks and thus a simple rack and pinion action is attained. The block-like slides 60 also constitute actuators or abutments and are reciprocable in paired tracks 62 (FIG. 3) which are carried by the interior surface of the outer cap and provide guideways for the blocks. These blocks are also referred to as projectable and retractable and are shown in their released retracted positions in FIG. 1 and in their projected inner cap unscrewing positions in FIG. 2.

In use and as is evident, the inner and outer caps 14 and 32, respectively, are shown in normal relation in FIG. 1 at which time the projectable and retractable ribabutting inner cap actuating slides 60 are retracted. It follows too that the outer cap 32 is free to swivel around the grooved journal 38 and rotating the same has no effeet on the motion transmitting means between the two caps. Any effort by an unauthorized person (a child or an unwary elderly person for example) would result in a waste of time and energy. An authorized person having the key 48 in hand need only to insert the key in the keyhole 42, hold the outer cap 32 against rotation, and turn the key in the proper direction. Having done so, the rack and pinion means (58 and 52) comes into play. Accordingly, the actuating abutments ride down and assume the position shown in FIG. 2, whereby the inner ribbed cap 14 can be unscrewed and removed. Whoever possesses the key and knows what to do can achieve the end result desired. On the other hand, the closure in the hands of an unauthorized person stays put.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A tamper-proof closure for a poison or dangerous drug container, a neck-equipped bottle for example, said closure being openable only by an authorized person provided with a prescribed key and comprising, in combination, an inner screw-type main cap capable of being screwed on said neck in a customary manner, said cap being structurally unique in that the lid portion thereof is spanned by an upstanding cross-rib by way of which the cap can be twisted and thus unscrewed, an outer auxiliary companion cap also embodying a lid portion having a deep depending annular rim encompassing the rim of said main cap, said lid portion being spaced vertically above and being parallel to the lid portion of said main cap, key controlled means assembling and connecting the respective lid portions together and permitting the outer auxiliary cap to swivel freely without turning the main cap, and reciprocable means confined in the space between said caps capable of transmitting rotary motion to said inner cap, said reciprocable means embodying normally retracted projectable and retractable cap-turning abutments which when cooperatively projected in a predetermined manner serve to abut said cross-rib, said abutments being capable of turning through an orbital path, whereby to act on the rib and unscrew said inner cap.

2. The closure defined in claim 1, and wherein said key controlled means embodies a hub-like collar which is sandwiched between the respective lid portions of said inner and outer caps, said collar having means at its axial center separably and swivelly joined to an axial portion of the lid portion of said inner cap.

3. The closure defined in claim 1, and wherein said key controlled means embodies a hub-like collar which is sandwiched between the respective lid portions of said inner and outer caps, said collar having means at its axial center separably and swivelly joined to an axial portion of the lid portion of said inner cap, said last-named means including an axially located upstanding multipurpose journal which is axially fixed to said collar and is provided in an upper exposed end with a keyhole designed to fittingly receive an authorized key, said journal having an encircling groove providing a headed neck, the central axial part of the lip portion of said outer cap having a journal accommodating hole having a convexly rounded edge conformingly seated in said groove in a manner to swivelly couple said outer cap to said collar and consequently to said inner cap.

4. The closure defined in and according to claim 3, and wherein said collar is disk-like in plan and is of a diameter that its outer peripheral edge is spaced concentrically from the rim of said outer cap and is provided with encircling screw threads whereby to provide a rotary pinion, said abutments being slidingly mounted on the interior surface of the rim of said outer cap and being provided with toothed reciprocable ribs with which the threads on said collar are operatively engaged.

5. The closure defined in and according to claim 3, and wherein said collar is disk-like in plan and is of a diameter that its outer peripheral edge is spaced concentrically from the rim of said outer cap and is provided with encircling screw threads whereby to provide a rotary pinion, said abutments being slidingly mounted on the interior surface of the rim of said outer cap and being provided with toothed reciprocable ribs with which the threads on said collar are operatively engaged, said interior surface being provided at diametrically opposite portions with spaced guides providing guideways, said abutments comprising shoe-like blocks defining slides which are keyed slidingly in their respective guideways, said ribs being integral component portions of said blocks and constituting toothed racks and said pinion serving to actuate the racks and, in so doing, sliding said blocks toward or from said cross-rib for engagement therewith or disengagement therefrom, as desired.

6. For use on a screw-thread neck of a poisonous medicine and drug bottle, a substantially tamper-proof safety-type self-contained closure comprising, in combination, a main inner screw cap designed and adapted to be screwed on said neck, said cap embodying a disk-like lid portion and a screw-threaded rim portion, the top of said lid portion having an upstanding cross-rib capable of imparting rotation to said cap, said rib being provided at its axial center with a screw-threaded socket providing a nut, a disk-like collar parallel with and spaced slightly above said rib, said collar having an axial bore and a complemental counterbore, a bolt having a head clampingly seated in said counterbore and a threaded shank passing through said bore and screwed into said nut and swivelly mounting said collar above said rib, the outer peripheral edge of said collar having encircling threads and constituting a rotatable pinion, an outer auxiliary cap complemental to said inner cap and likewise embodying a disk-like lid portion overlying the top of said collar and a relatively deep depending annular rim encompassing the rim of said inner cap, said rim being provided on its interior with paired guide tracks defining diametrically opposite guideways, shiftable abutments slidable in said guideways, said abutments being projectable and retractable, normally retracted within the confines of said outer cap and capable of being projected and operatively engaged with said cross-rib, said abutments having 0pposed parallel toothed ribs providing companion racks, the threads on said pinion being operatively in mesh with the teeth on said racks so that turning the pinion functions to project and retract the abutments, and assembling means operatively joining the lid portion of said outer cap with said collar.

7. The combination defined in and according to claim 6, and wherein said last-named means comprises an axially located upstanding hub-like journal having an inner end telescoping into and fixed in said counterbore, said journal having a circumferentially grooved outer end defining and providing a headed outer cap assembly neck, the lid portion of said outer cap having an axially located hole, said headed neck extending outwardly through and berounded and cooperatively seated in said groove, Whereby to swivelly retain said outer cap.

8. The combination defined in claim 7, and wherein the outer end portion of said journal is provided with a 5 readily accessible keyhole slot.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,343,697 9/1967 Roberts et a1 2l59 10 3,386,273 6/1968 Green 2159 XR GEORGE T. HALL, Primary Examiner.

U.S. C1. X.R.

yond said hole, the edge of said hole being convexly 15 67

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3343697 *Nov 30, 1966Sep 26, 1967Rankin Jr Joseph DSafety closure
US3386273 *Jan 21, 1966Jun 4, 1968Michael L. GreenLockable closure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3501041 *Apr 29, 1968Mar 17, 1970Schaefer Edward ESafety bottle cap
US3516563 *Jan 16, 1969Jun 23, 1970Durso August JCombination bottle and closure cap unit therefor
US3893581 *Dec 5, 1973Jul 8, 1975Kapphahn RichardPill bottle safety lock
US4336698 *Jul 6, 1979Jun 29, 1982Hurd Gary LLug nut lock
US4468064 *Apr 19, 1982Aug 28, 1984Mcadams Sr Luther JAnti-theft mechanism for removable automobile roof panel
US4984698 *Dec 12, 1988Jan 15, 1991Stuckey William CLockable closure cap
US5524779 *Nov 22, 1994Jun 11, 1996Faile; Curtis E.Safety closure with locking means and attached key
US5579932 *Jun 7, 1995Dec 3, 1996Lincoln Mold And Dye CorporationClosure with outer driver having movable segments forming manual engagement member
US5769252 *Dec 5, 1996Jun 23, 1998Volpe And Koenig, P.C.Container closure which converts from a child resistant to a non-child resistant configuration
US5873475 *Jun 12, 1998Feb 23, 1999Volpe And Koenig, P.C.Container closure which converts from a child resistant to a non-child resistant configuration
US5934122 *May 20, 1998Aug 10, 1999Sure-Wood Lock, Inc.Locking cover for dead bolt actuators
US6588242 *Jan 18, 2002Jul 8, 2003James H. BeatyLocking fastener device
US6612455Jan 9, 2002Sep 2, 2003Joseph M. ByrneCap lock assembly and system
US7287404 *Dec 8, 2005Oct 30, 2007Flow Security Systems, Inc.Security device for a threaded element
US7413095 *Sep 30, 2004Aug 19, 2008Elesa S.P.A.Vandal resistant locking cap with limited tightening torque
US7624889Jan 19, 2007Dec 1, 2009Bemis Manufacturing CompanyLocking cap
US7797972May 8, 2007Sep 21, 2010Flow Security Systems, Inc.Secure fire hydrant cap
US8074334Jan 19, 2007Dec 13, 2011Bemis Manufacturing CompanyModular ratchet cap
US8100297 *Feb 3, 2009Jan 24, 2012Gerald AnishLocking container cap and dispenser for fuel
US8596101 *Nov 17, 2011Dec 3, 2013Les Aciers Robond Inc.Vehicle fuel theft prevention assembly
US8662330Oct 5, 2009Mar 4, 2014Cap-N-Lock, LlcLockable cap for medical prescription bottle
US20110049080 *Mar 24, 2010Mar 3, 2011Simpson Joseph CLockable cap for a bottle
US20130125597 *Nov 17, 2011May 23, 2013Michel BeaudoinVehicle fuel theft prevention assembly
U.S. Classification215/207, 70/165, 70/167, 70/223
International ClassificationB65D55/14, B65D55/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D55/14
European ClassificationB65D55/14