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Publication numberUS3610468 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1971
Filing dateAug 18, 1969
Priority dateAug 18, 1969
Publication numberUS 3610468 A, US 3610468A, US-A-3610468, US3610468 A, US3610468A
InventorsBorsum Adolph W
Original AssigneeBorsum Adolph W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispensing closure device for standard tablet container
US 3610468 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent lnventor Adolph W. Borsum 521 Pacific Ave., Solana Beach, Calif. 92075 Appl. No. 850,798

Filed Aug. 18, 1969 Patented Oct. 5, 1971 DISPENSING CLOSURE DEVICE FOR STANDARD TABLET CONTAINER 13 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 221/256, 221/288, 221/289, 141/321 Int. Cl 865d 45/28 Field of Search 221/174,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,004,566 10/1961 Raimo 221/289 X 3,067,787 12/1962 Salk 221/289 3,182,694 5/1965 Raimo 221/289 X 3,409,172 11/1968 Fuglsang-Madsen 221/289 X Primary ExaminerSamuel F. Coleman Assistant Examiner-Thomas E. Kocovsky Att0rneyCarl R. Brown ABSTRACT: A sleeve-type closure device for fitting into the neck of a standard tablet or other object container and having resiliently bowed fingers that lock the sleeve in the neck. The bowed portion forms a resiliently biased inward, narrow channel to the passage of tablets therethrough, and a cap having a tablet receptacle with a sidewall that fits into said sleeve and forces said bowed portion outwardly, allowing the tablets to pass through the channel into the receptacle.

PATENTEB am 51971 INVIL'N'IY )R. ADOLPH W. BORSUM ATTORNEY DISPENSING CLOSURE DEVICE FOR STANDARD TABLET CONTAINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Pills, tablets, and the like are often carried and dispensed from standard containers. It is well known that there is considerable danger in employing the standard containers that readily and easily dispense pills, tablets and the like in large and unmeasured quantities. Medicaments in pill or tablet form are often of a harmful nature to children and adults alike when taken in large amounts. Thus, such containers when readily available to children or adults can create hazardous conditions where such persons improperly remove successive amounts of pills and thus consume a dangerous quantity of such pills. So it is advantageous to make the openings of such existing tablet dispensers only capable of dispensing tablets in limited and measured quantities and to make it relatively difficult to remove tablets from the containers in any sizable quantities by children or by adults inadvertently.

There are known tablet container closure devices for limiting the quantity of tablets dispensed from tablet containers. However, such closure devices are expensive to construct, are difficult to use, have weak structures, or often require special adaptation of the tablet container structures to accept the closure devices. Further, it is necessary in such closure devices to achieve a sealing of the container opening while still maintaining the closure device difficult to open and when opened, to only dispense one or two tablets at a time.

Thus it is advantageous to have a simplified, easy to construct, inexpensive, tablet-dispensing container with a closure opening that is difficult to open by children or inadvertently by adults and obtain more than a limited number of tablets, that employs an expandable, restricted tablet passage in the container opening that cannot be easily removed, and, further, that is particularly designed for use on existing bottles and tablet containers, but that can be used on specially made pill and tablet dispensing containers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In embodiments of the tablet container closure of this invention, a sleeve is positioned in the neck of a tablet container. The sleeve has a plurality of circumferentially arranged fingers that are secured at one end to a band structure with the other ends having free movement. The band structure has a flange that abuts against the open end of the container when inserted in the neck opening. The fingers have a longitudinal length that extends along the axis of the opening in the neck of a bottle or container, which fingers are separated from each other by longitudinal slits that are open at the free ends of the fingers. The fingers are bowed radially inward along the midportion of their length to form a restricted channel to the passage of tablets therethrough and out of the container. When inserting the sleeves in the neck opening, the ends of the fingers are contracted by overlapping the free ends. When the sleeve is in position, the free ends of the fingers expand to press against the inner surface of the diverging volume of the container. The resilient force of the finger plus the locking action of the abutting side edges of the fingers provides an enlarged free end structure that is larger than the neck opening. This structure functions to lock the sleeve in the container so that it is impossible to remove by hand. The resilience of the finger in pressing against the inner surface of the container draws the flange portion of the band into substantially sealing contact with the open end of the container.

A cap structure that is used with the sleeve has known threads or the like for coacting with the threads or attaching means on the container. A tablet receptacle is positioned in the cap structure, which receptacle has side surfaces that move into the restricted channel forcing the bowed midportion of the fingers outwardly. The tablets are then able to pass through the channel and into the receptacle.

In one embodiment, the receptacle is forced into the restricted channel when the cap is secured to the container. In

another embodiment, the receptacle is movable relative to the cap structure. In the latter embodiment, the receptacle is moved while the cap is on the container to spread the fingers and pass tablets therethrough. In both embodiments, the number of tablets that can be obtained is limited by the volume of the receptacle and the size of the tablets. The cap must be removed to deliver the tablets in the receptacle.

In use, the tablets or objects are funneled gravitationally into the receptacle while the container'is in the inverted position and the receptacle is pressed inwardly into the restricted channel. In this delivering position, the free ends of the fingers project into the container volume and contact the tablets or objects positioned to pass through the channel. It sometimes occurs, especially where there are a large number of tablets in the container, that the tablets tend to jam the funnel opening and not easily pass therein. To prevent this from occurring, one embodiment has means for rotating the sleeve while the cap is being secured to the container and while the receptacle is being moved into the restricted opening. The free ends of the fingers have projection means for contacting the tablets that are jammed into the funnel opening, that when rotated move the tablets sufficiently to break up the jammed condition.

Thus the sleeve closure, by virtue of the bowed fingers and slits, permits the fingers to be adjusted and contracted so that the closure may be inserted into the neck of the bottle or container; and when the closure is once inserted, the fingers expand and the sleeve is locked in the throat of the bottle and cannot be removed.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a new and improved tablet-dispensing closure device for tablet containers.

It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved tablet container closure that only dispenses tablets in small and measured amounts.

It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved tablet container closure that may be easily and inexpensively constructed and that is easily employable on special tablet containers or on existing bottle-type tablet containers.

It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved tablet container closure for obtaining maximum simplification and flexibility with minimum cost, fast and easy operation even by frail or arthritic, contaminationproof, spillproof, and childproof pill container, and maximum sterility in dispensing tablets.

It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved tablet-container closure for dispensing pills or tablets in small and measured amounts that cannot be removed from the container by hand and that breaks up the jamming of tablets around the closure opening.

Other objects and many advantages of this invention will become more apparent upon a reading of the following detailed description and an examination of the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate like parts throughout and in which:

FIG. 1 is a vertical transverse sectional view of a tablet-container closure device inserted into a known tablet dispensing bottle.

FIG. 2 is a vertical transverse sectional view of a tablet-container cap and receptacle that coacts to close the container closure of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a vertical transverse sectional view of a modified form of the cap structure of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a vertical transverse sectional view of another embodiment of the container closure inserted into the neck opening of a known tablet bottle.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view with parts broken away of the closure device of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a vertical transverse sectional view of a cap member for closing the opening in the bottle and closure device of FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a bottom view with parts broken away of a modified formof the closure device of FIG. 4.

Referring to FIG. I, a sleeve 38 is inserted into an existing neck portion 34 of a known pill or tablet bottle 35. The sleeve 38 is made of plastic or'other suitable material that resiliently returns to its original shape after being deformed. The sleeve 38 is formed with an inward-curved constricted opening 39 that is sufficiently small that it prevents movement of tablets in bottle 35 therethrough. Slits 42 in the sleeve form resilient fin- The flared internal end 88 contacts at 91 and cooperatively locks the insert 80 within the throat or neck of the container 76 and exerts sufficient downward force to'draw the flange gers 43 that allow the sleeve to be expanded outwardly, ex-

panding the constricted opening 39 to pass tablets through the opening 39. The lower end portion 44 expands downwardly and outwardly and presses against the outward diverging neck of the bottle 35 rigidly holding the sleeve 38 in position with the upper flange 46 abutting against the upper edge of the bottle 35. In inserting the sleeve 38 into the bottle 35, the lower ends 45 of the fingers 43 are moved inwardly, overlapping the ends to form a contracted end structure. After the sleeve is positioned in the bottle 35 with the contracted end structure being pushed through the neck opening, the end 45 of the fingers expand outwardly to a position where the interproximal sides of the fingers substantially abut, preventing inward contraction of the ends 45. This locks the sleeve 38 in its position in the bottle 35 to such an extent that it is virtually impossible to remove the sleeve portion 38 from the neck of the bottle 35 without employing tools.

The cap for the closure sleeve of FIG. 1 is illustrated in FIG. 2 and may comprise any known metal or plastic cap 50 having grooves 52 for coacting with the threaded grooves 36 on the bottle 35. Positioned in the cap 50 is a receptacle cap 54 that abuts against the upper surface of the cap 50 at 60 and is secured thereto in any suitable manner such as by friction or by cement. The receptacle cup may be made integral with the cap. A downwardly projecting cylindrical wall 56 is recessed to provide a receptacle recess 58 for accepting pills or tablets passed through the channel 39 of sleeve 38. When the cap 50 is screwed onto the bottle 35, cylindrical wall 56 passes just sufficiently into opening 39 forcing by camming action the sides 40 to move outwardly thus enlarging channel 39 and allowing tablets to pass therethrough into the receptacle volume 58. The surface 61 coacts with the upper surface of flange 63 i to seal the volume of-the tablet bottle 35 in the known the user then inverts the bottle and applies pressure to end 68 forcing the receptacle cap 64 and cylindrical wall 65 to move 1 the fingers 40 of sleeve 38 outward expanding channel 39 and allowing tablets to fall by gravitational movement through the channel into the receptacle volume 66. Upon release of pressure against end 68, the intersloping camming surface of fingers 40 of the sleeve 38 resiliently contract inwardly camming the receptacle cap 64 axially in the outward direction closing the space 74 and sealing the container. The remainder of the tablets or pills are then restricted from passing through channel 39 into the receptacle 66 and the end cap 62 may be threadably removed from the bottle 35 allowing removal of a selective and limited number of pills or tablets from the recep-.

tacle volume 66. The biasing means of the fingers for resiliently biasing the cap receptacle 64 by means of the camming surface in an axial outwardmotion acts to seal the container when side 71 contacts the cap 62, to restore the channel closure to passage of tablets, and to minimize any deforming stresses and strains that may result in structural deformities.

Referring to FIG. 4, a modification of the structure of FIG.

i the thin-walled fingers being separated by slits 94 and being joined by a radially projecting flange 82 at the external end.

portion 82 into sealing contact with the upper surface of the throat of the bottle 76. The insert has inwardly curved surfaces that form a constricting channel 85. The cap member 96 (see FIG. 6) has a receptacle cap 98 positioned therein and, secured by friction or cement or other known means to end surface 102 that moves cylindrical wall- 103 downward into the hour glass sleeve insert 80 and moves the fingers 84 outward, enlarging the channel 85 and allowing pills or tablets to move therethrough into the receptacle volume 100.

The receptacle cap 98 has at least one narrow fin or projection 104 that projects radially outward from the outer surface of the cylindrical wall 103 near its bottom edge. The fin 104 is so positioned with respect to the axis of the insert sleeve 80, that it engages one of the slits 94, fitting between the fingers and sliding inward or outward within the slit 94 as the cap 96 is screwed inward and outward. This causes the sleeve insert 80 to rotate in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion. The ends 88 of each of the fingers 84 have at least one small projection 92 facing inwardly toward the axis of the insert 84. Also the ends 88 are cut at an angle and finished to form in general a circular picketlike arrangement with the points of the pickets so located with respect to the ends as to be in a leading position as the sleeve 80 is rotated in a counterclockwise position and with the inclined picket edge trailing during said rotation. In lieu of the small projections 92, the leading edge 90 of the feet 88 may have a thin leading edge projection 95 (see FIG. 7) originating at the picket point 90 and extending and fading into the end surface, and extending inward toward the axis.

In each configuration the surface projections at the picket points function to engage the pills or tablets when the container is inverted and function to actively cooperatein breaking up and freeing the jammed pills or tablets, which sometimes occurs at occasions at the throat end of the bottle when the bottle is in the inverted position. This allows the free tablets to gravitationally drop into the receptacle when the hourglass insert 80 is rotated in a counterclockwise movement during the unscrewing of the cap 96 to open the container and deliver the tablet. Where there are a large number of tablets in the bottle 76, by slightly shaking the bottle containing the insert 80 simultaneously as the cap is unscrewed, a tablet is dislodged from the jammed tablets when jamming occurs and thus is free to drop into the recess 100. This removes the tablets, which action often causes all of the tablets to drop onto the floor or table. FIGS. 5 and 7 illustrate the top edge configuration and the lower edge configuration of the embodiment previously described.

' Relative to the embodiments employing the sleeve inserts of FIG. I and FIG. 4, cold set of the fingers of the insert sleeves is minimized due to the length, thinness and minimum move ment of the fingers 40 and 84. Thus this structure still assures contraction of the channel openings and tablet retention when the cap is removed. The insert sleeves by virtue of the slits, permits the fingers to be adjusted and contracted so that the closure may be inserted and locked by contacting interproximal side edges into the neck of the bottle. I

Having described my invention, 1 now claim:

1. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container comprismg, I

a sleeve comprising a plurality of circumferentially arranged expandable fingers for fitting into the neck of a container, which fingers have free ends,

each of said fingers has a longitudinal length that extends along the axis of the opening in the neck and which fingers are resiliently bowed rapidly inward midway their length to form a restricted channel to the passage of tablets therethrough,

said fingers are resilient and bias the bowed structure into the said restrictive channel condition,

said free ends of said fingers diverge radially outward and have outer camming surfaces that slidably coact with a diverging inner surface of the neck joining the bottle,

said sleeve has a band with a radially outward directed flange for fitting against the edge of the neck of the container at the dispensing opening,

said band is integrally connected to said fingers for coactively adjusting the flange with the edge of the neck of the bottle,

a cap for closing said container opening having a tablet receptacle with a sidewall for being forced into said channel and sufficiently expanding the midportion of said fingers outwardly to pass pills therethrough to said receptacle,

and whereby the fingers are freely responsive to expansion and contraction while the sleeve is self-aligning and adjustable to the ingress and egress of the said side wall of the tablet receptacle of the cap as it is screwed on and off the closure.

2. A tablet or other object dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container comprising,

a sleeve comprising a plurality of circumferentially arranged expandable fingers for fitting into the neck of a container, which fingers have free ends,

each of said fingers has a longitudinal length that extends along the axis of the opening in the neck with the intermediate portion of the fingers resiliently bowed radially inward to form a restricted channel to the passage of tablets therethrough,

said free ends of said fingers diverge radially outward,

and a cap for closing said container opening having a tablet receptacle with a sidewall for being forced into said channel and sufficiently expanding the intermediate portion of said fingers outwardly to pass pills therethrough to said receptacle.

3. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 2 in which;

the ends of said lower free ends of said fingers contact the inner surface of the container.

4. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container comprismg,

a sleeve comprising a plurality of circumferentially arranged expandable fingers for fitting into the neck of a container, which fingers have free ends,

each of said fingers has a longitudinal length that extends along the axis of the opening in the neck and which fingers are resiliently bowed radially inward midway their length to form a restricted channel to the passage of tablets therethrough,

a cap for closing said container opening having a tablet receptacle with a sidewall for being forced into said channel and sufficiently expanding the midportion of said fingers outwardly to pass pills therethrough to said receptacle,

said sleeve has an upper band integrally connected to said fingers,

said band has a radially outward directed flange for fitting against the edge of the neck of the container at the dispensing opening,

said fingers are separated one from the other by longitudinal slits that are open at the free ends of said fingers,

the neck of the container has diverging inner surfaces opposite the dispensing opening,

and the free ends of said fingers diverge radially outward for fitting against the diverging inner surface of the neck to lock the closure into the container.

5. A tablet or other object dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 4 in which,

the side interproximal edges of said free ends of said fingers in the outward position abut to provide a continuous interproximal abutting structure having a diameter that is larger than the diameter of the container neck opening.

6. A tablet or other object dispensing closure device for closure of the dispensing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 4, in which,

said cap comprises a cylindrical housing with a closed end for fitting over the outside of the dispensing opening of the container,

and said receptacle is fixed to the inner surface of said closed end in aligned position to pass into said restricted channel when said cap fits over the neck 7. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 6 in which,

said receptacle is fixedly secured to said cap,

and said sidewall of said receptacle has an outwardly projecting fin that moves in one of said slits upon moving said receptacle in said restricted channel, whereby rotation of said cap in securing and removing said cap to and from said container respectively rotates said sleeve.

8. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 7 in which,

said free ends of said fingers have means for contacting and moving adjacent tablets in rotational movement of said sleeve.

9. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 8 in which,

said contacting means comprises short outward projections on the lower ends of said free ends.

10. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 6 in which,

said receptacle has a recessed receptacle volume in the end that passes into said restricted channel, which volume is capable of receiving a limited predetermined number of tablets.

12. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 10 in which,

said receptacle has means for moving said receptacle axially relative to said cap, whereby said receptacle may be moved in and out of the restricted channel when said cap is secured to said container.

13. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the dispensing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 12, in which,

said fingers have a resilient structure that biases the fingers into a restrictive channel, preventing passage of tablets therethrough and forming a receptacle volume between said cap recessed receptacle and the said restricted channel.

11. A tablet or other object-dispensing closure device for closing the disposing opening in a tablet container as claimed in claim 10, in which,

said receptacle has sufficient axial length that when said cap is secured to said container said receptacle wall contacts the outer portion of the midlength of said fingers and expands the restricted channel.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4454962 *Dec 15, 1981Jun 19, 1984Greenspan Donald JInsertable dispenser
US4530447 *Jul 17, 1984Jul 23, 1985Greenspan Donald JDispenser
US6267265 *Apr 10, 2000Jul 31, 2001Hassan IssaPill dispenser
US6726058 *Jun 20, 2002Apr 27, 2004Csp Technologies, Inc.Dispenser for solid objects
WO2008049229A1 *Oct 24, 2007May 2, 2008Dadbeh MehranDispensing device for containers
Classifications
U.S. Classification221/256, 141/321, 221/289, 221/288
International ClassificationB65D83/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D83/049
European ClassificationB65D83/04F