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Publication numberUS3434614 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 25, 1969
Filing dateOct 6, 1967
Priority dateOct 6, 1967
Publication numberUS 3434614 A, US 3434614A, US-A-3434614, US3434614 A, US3434614A
InventorsMoller Bynum W
Original AssigneeMoller Enterprises Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Closures for containers
US 3434614 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 25, 1969 B. w. MOLLER 3,434,614

CLOSURE-S FOR CONTAINERS Filed Oct. 6, 1967 BYN UM W. MOLILER United States Patent 3,434,614 CLOSURES FOR CONTAINERS Bynum W. Moller, Victoria, Tex., assignor to Moller Enterprises, Inc., Victoria, Tex., a corporation of Texas Filed Oct. 6, 1967, Ser. No. 674,071 Int. Cl. B65d 41/22, 55/02; A61j 1/00 US. Cl. 215-41 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure pertains to closures for containers of the type used in the home to store medicines or poisons in a liquid, tablet or powder form. The closures are especially adapted to preclude children from removing the same from a container to obviate the possibility of a child taking the medicine or poison without the aid of an adult.

Background of the invention This invention relates to a cap type closure arranged to fit over the mouth of a container. The cap closure and the container neck are provided with opposite facing abutments means which prevent the cap from being inadvertently removed. The cap is made of a relatively flexible material and shaped so there is no outward shoulder under which force can be applied to remove the cap. In order to remove the closure from the container, the top portion of the closure is depressed and this force operates to separate the cap skirt from the container wall a sufficient distance to allow an individual to insert a finger under the closure to pry the closure oil of the container.

It is to be remembered that the closure of this invention is designed to be quite difficult, if not impossible, to remove unless the individual proceeds in a predetermined manner. The closure is further constructed and arranged such that a child is physically incapable of removing the closure even if the predetermined procedure is followed although removal thereof presents no difiiculty to an adult. Accordingly, the closure of the invention substantially reduces the possibility of accidental injury to a child because of inadvertent consumption of the contents of a container with which the closure is associated.

Because of the nature of medicine or poison containers used in the home, it is necessary that th closure be reusable since a sizable quantity of material is normally kept in the receptacle to which the closure is attached. It should be understood that the closure of the invention is not limited to use with medicine or poison containers, but may be used with any type of container and particularly with any type of container storing material which may be detrimental to children when taken in large quantities.

Another problem met by the closure of the invention not fulfilled by many prior art disclosures is cost. Since the device of this invention may be made by a relatively simple injection molding process, manufacturing costs are minimized.

Summary 0 the invention Several features of the device cooperate to provide a closure that is incapable of being removed by a child. The first feature constitutes a substantially horizontal shoulder or abutment on the closure for matching a corresponding shoulder on the container neck. The second feature is an externally smooth and inwardly tapered periphery free from sharp angles such that an upward force applied to the edge of the closure tends to tighten rather than to separate the closure and the container. he third feature is a lower skirt which tapers to a thin line juxtaposed to the container neck and thus allows 3',434,6 l4 Patented Mar. 25, 1969 no opening into which a finger nail or such may be wedged to pry the cap off the container. The fourth feature is a bodily flexible top portion which is shaped so that when depressed it separates the skirt from the container neck a sufiicient distance to allow the insertion of the individuals finger beneath the closure in order to pry or peel the closure from the container neck.

It is an object of this invention to provide a closure for container which is incapable of being removed by a child in order to prevent the child from obtaining access to the material in the container.

Another object of the invention is to provide an inexpensive closure of the type described which is susceptible of mass production.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a closure for containers which is removed by depressing the top portion, inserting a finger between a lower lip of the closure and th container and then prying or peeling the closure off the container.

Other objects, advantages and important features of this invention will be apparent from a study of the specification following, taken with the drawing, which together describe, disclose, illustrate and show preferred embodiments of this invention and what is now considered and believed to be the best mode of practicing the principles thereof. Still other embodiments, modifications, procedures or equivalents may be apparent to those having the benefit of the teachings herein and such other embodiments, modifications, procedures or equivalents are intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the scope and breadth of the subjoined claims.

Brief description 0 the drawing FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a container equipped with a closure made in accordance with the principles of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged vertical cross-sectional view of the showing of FIGURE 1 taken substantially along line 22 thereof as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows;

FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 illustrating the manner in which the closure is removed from the container;

FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the embodiment of the closure of this invention attached to a container;

FIGURE 5 is an enlanged partial vertical cross-sectional view of the device of FIGURE 4 taken substantially along line 55 thereof as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows; and

FIGURE 6 is a showing similar to FIGURE 5 illustrating the manner in which the closure is removed from the container.

Description of the preferred embodiments Attention is now directed to the embodiment a t FIG- URES 1-3 wherein there is shown a container 10 Colinprised of a neck portion 12 and a storage portion 14 of any suitable configuration. The neck portion 12 is provided with a peripheral downwardly facing ledrge or shoulder 16. It is to be noted that the ledge or shoulder '16 is planar by which is meant that those portions of the ledge or shoulder 16 on opposite sides of the container 10 lie in a common plane. Extending upwardly from the outermost portion of the ledge 16 is a frusto-conical camming surface 18 leading toward the mouth 20' of the container 10.

Secured about the periphery of the container L10 and preventing access to the interior thereof from the exterior is a closure 22 made in accordance with the principles of this invention. The closure 22 comprises a bodily flexible top portion 24 and a relatively inflexible edge portion 26. The top portion 24 is illustrated as generally circular to conform to the circular nature of the container neck 12 although it should be understood that other configurations are suitable. The top portion 24 comprises a diaphragm 28 that normally assumes an upwardly convex configuration as shown best in FIGURES l and 2. The diaphragm 28 is preferably sufficiently flexible to assume a generally upwardly concave configuration when the center thereof is depressed as shown best in FIGURE 3. The diaphragm 28 is preferably less flexible at the periphery than at the center thereof which is accomplished in the disclosed embodiment by making the diaphragm 28 thinner at the center than at the periphery.

The edge portion 26 of the closure 22 extends downwardly along the container and around the neck 12 thereof. The edge portion 26 and lip 36 are nontearable at any particular location about the periphery 30 thereof and is preferably smooth to present a structure having a generally equal strengths at locations spaced about the periphery 30. The edge portion 26 is formed with an internal peripheral recess 32 configured to receive the frusto-conical camming surface 18 of the container neck 12. The edge portion 26 is also formed with a lip 34 defining an upwardly facing shoulder or abutment 36 disposed in face-to-face abutting relation with the ledge 16 of the container 10. I

As shown best in FIGURES 1 and 2, the external surfaces of the periphery 30 and the lip 34 are smooth and free from sharp or abrupt angles which might possibly be used to obtain a purchase for the removal of the closure 22. For a similar purpose, the lip lower peripheral edge 39 is thin and is juxtaposed to the container 10 to prevent an individual from prying the lip 34 away from the container 10. It will accordingly be seen that the smooth exterior of the edge portion 26 and the tapering nature of the lip 34 cooperate to prevent an individual from removing the closure 22 in other than the manner hereinafter described.

In order to remove the closure 22 from the container 10 the individual must press on the diaphragm 28 adjacent the center thereof so that the diaphragm 28 assumes the generally upward concave configuration shown in FIGURE 3. The depression of the center of the diaphragm 2'8 induces forces in the closure 22' that are transmitted through the edge portion 26 to spread the lip 34 and thereby separate the lower peripheral edge of the lip 39 from the container 10 to allow an individual to insert the fingernail between the lip 34 and the container 10. The individual thereafter lifts upwardly on the lip 34 and acts to pry or peel the abutment 36 from. engagement with the ledge 16 and thereby progressively remove the peripheral portions of the closure 22.

The downward Iforce needed to accomplish removal of the cap can be controlled by varying either the thickness or the physical characteristics of the cap material. In this way the age of the child who can open the container can be predetermined.

For the best method to reattach the closure 22 to the container 10, one peripheral portion of the lip 34 is engaged under the ledge 16 with downward pressure being peripherally progressively applied to the periphery 34 of the edge portion 26. That part of the lip 34 which is not yet engaged under the ledge 16 is cammed outwardly by the frusto-conical camrning surface 18 until the abutment 36 underlies the ledge 16 about the entire periphery of the container neck.

Attention is now directed to the embodiment of FIG- URES 4-6 wherein there is shown closure 122 made in accordance with the principles of the invention. Since the closure 122 is identical to the closure 22 except for the presence of an additional element, the basic construction of the closure 122 will not be described. Instead, reference characters similar to those describing the closure 22 are used to indicate identical features.

The closure 122 differs from the closure 22 in the provision of means 138 for concentrating the effect of depressing the top portion .124 on a limited area of the lip 134. The concentrating means 138 comprises a rib extending from adjacent the center of the diaphragm 128 in a radial direction across the top portion 124. The rib 140 extends around the edge portion 126 and tenminates at or below the lowermost end of the lip 139 as shown best in FIGURE 5.

The external surface of the rib 140 adjacent and below the edge portion 126 is externally smooth and free from sharp or abrupt angles to prevent an individual from obtaining a purchase thereon. Since the purpose of the rib 140 is to concentrate the effect of the depression of the diaphragm 128 on a limited area of the lip 134 in order to facilitate the separation of the lower end of the lip 139 from the container 10, the rib 140 covers less than two quadrants of the top portion 124 and preferably is rather thin as illustrated in FIGURE 4.

When it is desired to remove the closure 122 from the container 10, the individual depresses the center of the diaphragm 128 as shown in FIGURE 6. When the center of the diaphragm 128 is depressed, the rib 140 acts to concentrate the movement of the diaphragm 128 into that segment of the lip 134 contiguous with the rib 140. This is best illustrated in FIGURE 6 where that portion of the lip 134 contiguous with the rib 140 is moved a substantial distance from the container neck 12 whereas the remaining portion of the lip 134 remains adjacent the ledge 16. Another advantage of the rib 140 lies in the fact that it may extend downwardly beyond the lower lip edge 139. For this reason, the lower end of the rib 140 moves away from the container 10 a sufficient distance to allow the tip of a finger to be inserted thereunder whereupon the closure 122 may be pried or peeled off of the container 10 more easily than if just the finger nail is used.

While the invention has been described and disclosed in terms of an embodiment which it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention should not be deemed to be limited by the precise embodiments herein shown, illustrated, described and disclosed. and it is to :be understood that such other embodiments are intended to be reserved, especially as they fall within the scope of the subjoined claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination:

a container neck having an opening therethrough, an outwardly extending generally downwardly facing ledge therearound, and a frusto-conical surface extending from adjacent the periphery of the ledge to adjacent the opening;

a one-piece closure for the container neck comprising:

a bodily flexible top portion defining an upwardly recessed surface in an unstressed condition and an upwardly generally concave surface in a stressed condition, the top portion being substantially free of macroscopic voids;

a downwardly extending edge portion contiguous with the top portion and defining an externally smooth nontearable periphery and an externally smooth nontearable lip extending downwardly along the container neck, the lip defining a generally upwardly facing abutment in face-to-face relationship with the ledge, the lip further defining a thin edge below the abutment in engagement with the container neck when the top portion is in the unstressed condition;

the top portion, the edge portion, and the lip being so constructed and arranged that when the top portion is depressed into the stressed condition, the forces produced thereby are transmitted through the edge portion to the lip to separate the lower edge of the lip from the container neck.

2. The combination of claim 1 further comprising:

rib means integral with the top portion and extending from adjacent the center thereof, the rib extending around the edge portion and terminating adjacent the lower edge of the lip, the rib means occupying less than two quadrants of the top portion.

3. In combination:

a container neck having an opening therethrough and an outwardly extending generally downwardly facing ledge therearound;

a reusable closure for the container neck comprising:

a bodily flexible top portion covering the opening of the neck, the top portion substantially free from macroscopic voids;

a downwardly extending edge portion contiguous with the top portion and defining a nontearable periphery and a nontearable lip extending downwardly along the container neck, the lip defining a generally upwardly facing abutment in faceto-face relationship with the ledge;

the top portion, the edge portion and the lip being so constructed and arranged that when the top portion is depressed, the forces produced thereby are transmitted through the edge portion to the lip portion to separate the thin lower edge of the lip from the container neck.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein:

the lip further defines a thin edge below the abutment, the thin edge being juxtaposed to the container neck unless the top portion is depressed.

5. The combination of claim 3 further comprising:

means for concentarting the effect of depressing the top portion on a limited area of the lip, the concentrating means comprising rib means extending from adjacent the center of the top portion to the terminus of the lip, the rib means defining less than two quadrants of the top portion.

6. In combination:

a container neck having an opening therethrough and an outwardly extending generally downwardly facing ledge therearound;

a reusable closure for the container neck comprising:

a bodily flexible top portion covering the opening of the neck; and

a peripheral downwardly extending edge portion defining a lip surrounding the ledge on the container neck, the lip refining a generally upward- 1y facing abutment face-to-face relationship with the ledge;

the top portion and the lip being so constructed and arranged that when the top portion is depressed the lower end of the lip is spread to separate the thin lower edge of the lip from the container neck. 7. The combination of claim 6 wherein: the lip further defines a thin edge below the abutment, the thin edge being juxtaposed to the container neck; and the edge portion presents an externally smooth pe riphery free from sharp angles. 8. The combination of claim 6 wherein: the top portion is thicker at the periphery than at the center thereof. 9. A reusable closure for use with the container of the type having a neck and peripheral downwardly facing ledge therearound, the closure comprising:

, a bodily flexible top portion for closing the mouth of the container; and

a downwardly extending edge portion contiguous with the top portion and defining a nonteara'ble externally smooth periphery and a nontearable externally smooth lip for extending downwardly along the container neck, the lip defining a peripheral planar upwardly facing abutment for engaging the ledge of the container in face-to-face relation;

the top portion, the edge portion and the lip being so constructed and arranged that when the top portion is depressed, the forces produced thereby are transmitted through the edge portion to the lip for separating the lip lower edge from the container neck; and

the externally smooth periphery and the externally smooth lip being free from sharp angles.

10. The reusable closure of claim 9 further comprising:

means for concentrating the effect of depressing the top portion on the limited area of the lip, the concentrating means comprising a strengthened segment of the top portion extending from adjacent the center of the top to the terminus of the lip, the strengthened segment defining less than two quadrants of the top portion.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,266,270 12/1941 Roth 220-42 2,630,237 3/1953 Rosenlop 220--60 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,463,789 11/1966 France.

GEORGE T. HALL, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2266270 *Oct 20, 1938Dec 16, 1941Adam G RothClosure means
US2630237 *Dec 5, 1950Mar 3, 1953Rosenlof Kenneth ESealing cap for cans and the like
FR1463789A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3633789 *Jul 10, 1970Jan 11, 1972Markowitz Isral JProtective cap for a container
US3830393 *Jul 28, 1972Aug 20, 1974Pennwalt CorpSnap-on safety closure for flexible containers
US3923181 *Mar 21, 1974Dec 2, 1975Sidney M LibitChild-resistant closures
US3934745 *Sep 16, 1974Jan 27, 1976Lovell Walter CSafety bottle cap
US3968880 *Aug 28, 1975Jul 13, 1976Vca CorporationPlastic container
US5368178 *Mar 9, 1992Nov 29, 1994Towns; Edward J.Container and closure therefore having conical sealing surfaces
US5740905 *Jun 6, 1996Apr 21, 1998Kilfoy; Kevin LeeKey ring attachable lighter holding shell with flexible holding flaps
US8727151 *Jan 15, 2009May 20, 2014Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A.Assembly of a container and a closure
US20110024438 *Jan 15, 2009Feb 3, 2011Anheuser Busch Inbev S.A.Assembly of a container and a closure
US20110174821 *May 27, 2009Jul 21, 2011Cliqloc GmbhSecuring element for a closing element
US20120037654 *Oct 21, 2011Feb 16, 2012Helen Of Troy LimitedContainer lid
WO2011063466A1 *Nov 26, 2010Jun 3, 2011Albert John DavidStructure for a storage unit
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/224
International ClassificationB65D41/02, B65D41/18
Cooperative ClassificationB65D41/18
European ClassificationB65D41/18