US 3678884 A
A dispenser-container for use in dispensing oral contraceptive capsules or the like and for automatically recording each time a capsule is dispensed. The container consists of a cylindrical bottle and a cap. The bottle is provided with an inset track and markings showing the days of the week on its outer surface. The cap is provided with lugs which engage the tract, and with an indicator. The cap is twisted in the counter-clockwise direction and then raised to the open position, and lowered for the closed position. An opening in the side wall of the cap facilitates the dispensing of the capsule after the cap is raised. Each time the cap is closed the indicator advances to the marking for the next day.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Robbins July 25, 1972  DISPENSING AND RECORDING CONTAINER Rosenberg  ABSTRACT A dispenser-container for use in dispensing oral contraceptive capsules or the like and for automatically recording each time a capsule is dispensed. The container consists ofa cylindrical bottle and a cap. The bottle is provided with an inset track and markings showing the days of the week on its outer surface. The cap is provided with lugs which engage the tract, and with an indicator. The cap is twisted in the counter-clockwise direction and then raised to the open position, and lowered for the closed position. An opening in the side wall of the cap facilitates the dispensing of the capsule after the cap is raised. Each time the cap is closed the indicator advances to the marking for the next day.
9 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures Patented July 25, 1972 3 Shuts-Shut 1 DITH INVENTOR I C RLL? BIN BY &
WI 8 y 5 n0 T v m w WW w a (J. E m M ,(i, 1 ii; M 00!, W 8y y 8 H ORNEY Patented July 25, 1972 I5 Shoots-Sheet 5 INVENTOR ARL L OBBINS BY& 1 ATTO'RNEY DISPENSING AND RECORDING CONTAINER This invention is concerned with a container which is designed to dispense a unit dosage and to automatically indicate the dispensing of the unit dosage. The unit dosage may .be a pill, tablet, capsule or the like and may contain any type form of recordation. Representative of such prior art are the following U. S. Pats. Nos. 3,355,067 issued to Espinal Nov. 28, 1967; 3,454,152 issued to Immermann et a] July 8, 1969; 3,270,915 issued to Auer Sept. 6, 1966; 3,151,599 issued to Livingston Oct. 6, 1964; 3,2l2,662 issued to Webb Oct. 19, I965. The dispensing and recording container disclosed herein represents an improvement over other prior art devices.
The container of the present invention records automatically by the advancement of an indicator from one time interval to the next, with the opening and closing of the cap. When tHe container is used for dispensing oral contraceptives it is important to indicate whether a capsule has been dispensed each day. The present device indicates the day of the week and automatically advances the indicator to the next day of the week, each time the container closure is opened and closed. Depending on the particular type of unit dosage material to be dispensed and the time interval desired, the container may be marked with any time interval or other indicia. For example, the hours of the clay or the time of the day, such as morning, noon, afternoon, evening, may be shown.
The present container serves as a primary package into which the product is filled by the manufacturer by conventional production equipment. The container is thus designed to be a self-contained package of the product for the trade up through and including the point of sale to a consumer and subsequent use by the consumer until it has been emptied. The present container is to be distinguished from those devices in which product is filled by someone other than the manufacturer requiring refilling and which are not designed to contain product for any extended period of time. Means are provided in the container for effecting a seal from the atmosphere. The sealing means facilitates the production of the present container/dispenser as a primary package affording a comparatively simple, inexpensive and reliable unit. The unit automatically records each time the cap is opened and closed and also affords a package containing capsules or the like which are sealed from the atmosphere. Thus the container of the present invention is an improvement over other commercially available containers or dispensers.
The container consists of two basic parts:
I. a bottle; and
2. a cap In the preferred embodiment the bottle and the cap are cylindrical in shape, however, these parts may be shaped other than cylindrically ifdesired.
The bottle is provided with a single opening at the top and having an inset track circumferentially located in the upper portion about the outside surface. The track is comprised of substantially parallel side walls which form lower, upper and connecting channels. The track is also provided with drop off ledges-which allow for the lugs to travel along the track when the cap is twisted in the counter-clockwise direction but which prevent the cap from being twisted in the clockwise direction.
The cap is provided with an opening in the side wall, located near the top, and having seven internal lugs equally spaced and located annularly around the lower inside portion of the cap. Located on the outside surface of the cap is an indicator located directly beneath the opening in the side wall and aligned directly opposite one of the internal lugs. The cap is also provided with an annular sealing bead or ring on the inside surface of the cap top to mate against the bottle opening and effect a container seal when the cap is in the closed position. In the preferred embodiment of the invention the cap is provided with seven lugs forengagement in the track on the bottle. The bottle contains markings for each day of the week. Should it be desired to select some other interval of time the markings and number of lugs would be changed so that there is one lug for every interval of time so selected.
After filling the bottle portion of the container with capsules, the container is assembled by pressing the cap onto the bottle. The cap thereby becomes a captive closure. Upon receipt of the package by the consumer, the indicator of the cap can be moved about the bottle to the starting day, without removing capsules. Thereafter the container is opened each day for removal of a capsule and upon closing the indicator automatically advances to the next day, thus recording the dispensing of a capsule.
When'the cap is pressed onto the bottle the lugs in the cap engage the track in the bottle such that movement of the cap is restricted to only that permitted by the boundaries of the track. When the bottle is in the closed position, it may be opened by turning the cap counter-clockwise approximately 25 to unseal the cap and position the lugs for capopening; the cap is then pulled completely upward at which point it will stay until further moved. In this upward position the bottle is open; the side opening in the cap is above thebottle side wall and a capsule may be shaken up and out through the opening by tipping the container sideways to a horizontal position. After removal of a capsule, the cap is returned to the closed position by pushing the cap completely downward at which point it will lock in a closed position. The process is then repeated for removal of additional capsules, one at a time. This action of opening and closing the container causes the cap to rotate about the bottle one-seventh of the circumference and in so doing the fixed indicator located on the cap advances from one of the days marked on the bottle to the next day shown, i.e., from Mon. to Tues. or Tues. to Wed., etc. Design of the track on the bottle is such to permit only counterclockwise movement of the cap and forces the lugs to travel continuously in the track in a counter-clockwise movement to provide the day recording indication.
The track is further designed such that when all seven lugs are in the lowest position and the cap is closed, the sealing bead or ring on the inside surface of the cap top is pulled inside the bottle opening in an interfering manner to accomplish a container seal against vapor transmission between the inside of the container and the outside atmosphere.
A more complete understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the following drawings and description thereof in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the container in the closed position;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the container in the open position;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing the relative positions of the component parts of the container;
FIG. 4a is a side view of the cap showing the side opening and the location of the indicator;
FIG. 4b is a bottom plan view showing the location of the sealing ring and the seven lugs;
FIG. 5 is a detail of the inset rack on the bottle illustrating the inclines, declines and built-in stops within the track;
FIG. 6a and FIG. 6b are details illustrating the sealing feature of the cap with the bottle opening;
FIG. 7a, FIG. 7b, and FIG. are illustrations of the cap lug positions in the track at the various stages of open and closed positions of the cap on the bottle;
FIG. 8 is an illustration of the lug movement positions in the track during the opening and closing of the cap;
FIG. 9 is an exploded view of an alternative design of the container showing the track in the cap and the lugs on the bottle.
Referring generally to FIGS. 1 through 4, which show the preferred embodiment of the invention, it can be seen that the container consists of: (l) A cylindrical bottle 20 molded of rigid plastic, preferably linear polyethylene, having an open top 21 and inset special design track 22, and days of the week 23 permanently marked circumferentially about the bottle equally spaced from one another and located in an oriented position below the track. (2) A cap 24 with side opening 25 through which a capsule can be dispensed and a circular sealing bead or ring 26 extending annularly and downwardly from the inner top surface of the cap 27 that interferes within the bottle opening 21 pressing against the annular bottle opening lip or edge 28 to effect a container seal when the cap is in the down closed position. The cap also contains seven internal lugs 29 located annularly about the lower inside wall of the cap and equally spaced apart. A single indicator or pointer 30 is located on the outside surface of the cap opposite one of the lugs and positioned beneath the side opening 25. The cap is molded of somewhat flexible plastic, with medium density polyethylene being the preferred material. The cap 24 is assembled to the bottle 20 by pushing the cap down over and onto the bottle until the seven lugs engage the track 22. To facilitate assembly of the cap on the bottle, that portion of the bottle 31 above the track is beveled decreasingly in diameter from the top of the track up to the top of the bottle. The cap is then captive on the bottle and can from that point on, only be rotated, raised, and lowered about the bottle, but cannot easily be completely removed.
With the cap in place on the bottle, all seven lugs 29 lie within track 22 of the bottle. The lugs are dimensioned to interfere slightly with the diameter of the bottle track so that sight tension is always present; thus the cap is never completely free to move by itself on the bottle (for instance, it cannot sag downward under its own weight when in the up open posi tion). To open the container from a closed position, the cap 24 is rotated against the bottle 20 counter-clockwise approximately 25 to release the container seal and position the lugs within the track for pulling the cap upward. FIG. 2 shows the cap in the upward open position with the side port 25 in the cap clear from the bottle side wall and in position for dispensing of a capsule. To remove a capsule the bottle is turned on its side and shaken to empty one capsule from the opening 25 in the cap. After dispensing a capsule, the container is closed by pushing the closure completely downward again locking it in the closed position. Each day the process is repeated to remove one capsule.
The inset track in the bottle is best illustrated in FIGS. and 7. It is designed to accommodate the seven cap lugs 29 and provide a guide in which they move when opening and closing the cap. With the cap in the closed position the lugs 29 lie in the track in the position shown in FIG. 7a. To open the container the cap is turned counter-clockwise approximately 25 moving the lugs to the position shown in FIG. 7b. This has moved the lugs out from under the sealing ledges 32 and over to the mouths of the upward traveling portions 33 of the track. The track depth throughout is not the same and may vary to for example from .030 to .045 inch in the deep areas and to from about .010 to .020 inch in the shallow areas. In the lower areas 34 the track is at its deepest. As the cap is pulled upward advancing the lugs up the track, the track depth in portion 33 becomes gradually less deep until near the top it drops off back to the original depth at the lower part of the track as shown in FIG. 5. Drop off ledges 35 prevent the lugs from going back down the upward traveling portions 33 of the track. The cap is now in the up open position with all lugs positioned as shown in FIG. 70. Pushing the cap downward starts the lugs down the downward traveling portions 36 of the track. Here again the track at the top is at its deepest and the track depth in portions 36 becomes gradually less deep until near the bottom at ledges 32 it again drops ofi back down to the original deepest depth. When the cap is pushed completely downward the lugs return to the position shown in FIG. 7A. Both ledges 32 and 35 prevent the cap lugs from traveling clockwise in the track and, therefore, prevent the cap from being turned in the clockwise direction.
Ledges 32 serve an additional function of holding the cap down under sufficient tension to seat the sealing ring 26 in the cap against the'bottle opening lip 28 to effect a container seal. This seal is most clearly shown in FIG. 6a and FIG. 6b which are half section views of the bottle and cap. FIG. 6a shows the cap in the open position and 6b shows it in a closed sealed position. The sealing ring 26 inside the cap is constructed with about 15 angle on the outside so it will slide down into and against the bottle lip opening 28. The annular sealing ring is a relatively thin protrusion from the inside top of the cap with flexibility for an adjusting press fit to the bottle opening. As the cap is pushed downward in closing to the point where the lugs 29 pass over the drop-off ledges 32 in the downward traveling portions 36 of the track, the sealing ring 26 is compressed against the bottle sealing lip 28 in a predetermined interference fit to effect a good barrier seal against the atmosphere.
The recording of days results automatically as the cap is opened and closed. FIG. 8 shows movement of the lug in opening and closing the cap one time. As can be seen, the cap rotates around the bottle one-seventh the circumference and in so doing moves the cap pointer to the next day of the week.
The invention described herein contemplates that the track and lug locations may be interchanged so that the cap contains the track and the lugs project outwardly from the outer surface of the bottle. This alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 9 wherein the track 50 is shown in the cap and the lugs 51 are shown on the bottle. With the exception of the interchange in the location of the lugs and the track, the parts are the same and function as in the preferred embodiment. The cap is mounted to the bottle by engagement of the lugs within the track and movement of the cap upward and downward will open and close the container, as in the preferred embodiment.
The invention has been described particularly in terms of the preferred and various alternative embodiments. It should be understood that various modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A container suitable for dispensing capsules and adapted for automatic recording each time the container is opened and closed, comprising in combination:
1. a bottle having an inner and outer surface, an open end, an inset track and predetermined markings on said outer surface; and
2. a cap movably mounted on said bottle and having an inner and outer surface, indicator means on said outer surface, an open end and a top closed end, a side wall and a dispensing opening in said side wall, a plurality of lugs disposed on the inner surface of said side wall and projecting inward for engagement in the bottle track; whereby said container is opened by twisting the cap in a counter-clockwise direction and raising and closed by lowering the cap.
2. A container according to claim 1 wherein said cap is provided with an annular sealing member extending downward from the inner surface of said top closed end, to effect an interference fit with the open end of the bottle and to effect a substantial seal when the cap is in the down closed position.
3. A container adapted for dispensing capsules and for automatic recording each time the container is opened and closed comprising in combination: (I) a cylindrical bottle for housing capsules having an open end and opposite said open end a closed end, a side wall and a sealing lip at the upper end of said side wall, an inset track comprising a plurality of lower, upper and connecting channels, and drop off ledges located on the outer surface of the bottle; and (2) a cap movably mounted on said bottle and adapted for counter-clockwise, upward and downward movement within said track, said cap having an open end, a top closure surface opposite said open end, an annular sealing member extending downward from the inner surface of said top closure to effect an interference fit with said sealing lip to provide a substantial seal when the cap is in the down closed position, a side wall, a dispensing opening in said side wall, an inner surface, and outer surface, said inner surface having a plurality of lugs projecting inward and adapted for engagement in said track, said outer surface having indicator means aligned opposite one of said markings on the bottle; whereby said plurality of lugs engage said track so that twisting the cap in a counter-clockwise direction and pulling the cap upward positions the dispensing opening in the cap so that a capsule may be dispensed through said opening, and whereby pushing said cap downward, advances the indicator means counter-clockwise and in alignment with the next adjacent marking on the bottle.
4. A container according to Claim 3 wherein the bottle contains oral contraceptive capsules and wherein the predetermined markings are the seven days of the week.
5. A container according to Claim 3 wherein the lower channels, upper channels and lugs, are each seven in number.
6. A container according to claim 3 wherein the upper portion of the bottle is beveled decreasingly in diameter from the top of the track to the top of the bottle and wherein the lugs are dimensioned to interfere slightly with the bottle track thereby tensioning the cap so that it will not move freely downward under its own weight.
7. A container according to claim 3 wherein said sealing member is tapered.
8. A container according to Claim 7 wherein said taper is approximately l5.
9. A container suitable for dispensing capsules and adapted for automatic recording each time the container is opened and closed comprising in combination;
1. a bottle having an open end, an outer surface, a plurality of lugs projecting outward and predetermined markings on said outer surface; and
2. a cap movably mounted on said bottle and having an inner and outer surface, indicator means on said outer surface, an open end and a top closed end, a side wall and a dispensing opening in said side wall, an inset track disposed on said inner surface; whereby the lugs engage the track and the container is opened by twisting the cap in a counter-clockwise direction and raising and closed by lowering the cap.