US 3698584 A
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United States Patent Miller Oct. 17,1912
[541 TAMPERPROOF CLOSURE DEVICE  Inventor: Christian F. Miller, Palos Park, Ill.  Assignee: V.C.A. Corporation, Greenwich; Conn.
 Filed: Oct. 9, 1970 ] Appl. No.: 79,429
[52 U.S.Cl .21 s/9,215/95 51 lnt.Cl. ..B65d 43/02 [5.8] Field of Search "215/9, 43 A, 95
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,422,978 1/1969 Quackenbush .l2l5/9 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall A Attorney--Olson, Trexler, Wolters & Bushnell  ABSTRACT The present invention relates generallyto tamperproof closure devices and more particularly to-tamperproof closure devices for externally threaded containers. An embodiment of the invention disclosed herein includes an internally threaded cap section, a peripheral locking section and means coupling the locking sec tion with the cap section in such a manner as to permit limited axial displacement of the locking section with respect to the cap section. Abutment means associated with the locking section is adapted for locking engagement and disengagement with respect to complementary abutment means associated with the container when the locking section is in a given I axially displaced position. 7
, 9 Ch .5 fiP riissEisPre TAMPERPROOF CLOSURE DEVICE SUMMARY OF INVENTION The present invention has a very practical application in instances where it is necessary to guard against the unauthorized removal of a closure member or cap by children. The present invention contemplates the provision of a closure device which may be readily locked against rotation and which may, in an unobvious yet simple manner, be unlocked to permit conventional unscrewing of the device.
More specifically the present invention contemplates a tamperproof closure device as set forth above wherein a section of the closure device must be shifted axially in one direction for locking and in the opposite direction for unlocking an internally threaded cap.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a closure device of the internally threaded type which is particularly adaptable for use with externally threaded containers equipped with peripheral abutment means.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved tamperproof closure device of the type referred to above which may be molded as a single plastic unit.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The foregoing and other objects and advantages will be more apparent from the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a closure device constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, and device being shown in operative association with the upper externally threaded extremity or neck of a container;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a container similar to FIG. 1, with the closure device removed therefrom;
FIG. 3 is a central transverse sectional view of the closure device and threaded portion of the container, said view being taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a horizontal transverse sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-.4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary, vertical, sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4, disclosing the closure member in locked relation with respect to the externally threaded neck of the container; and,
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, disclosing the closure in unlocked relation to, and separated from the container. 1
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing more in detail wherein like numerals have been employed to designate similar parts throughout the various figures, it will be seen that a closure device which is representative of one embodiment of the present invention is designated generally by the numeral 10. The device 10 may be conveniently molded as a single integral plastic unit which includes a cap section 12. The cap 12 is formed with internal thread convolutions 14 for accommodating complementary external thread convolutions 16 provided along the periphery of a neck 18 of a container designated generally by the numeral 20.
Molded integral with the lower margin of the cap 12 is an annular or peripheral locking section designated generally by the numeral 22. The locking section 22 includes an annularly continuous body 24 coupled with the lower margin of the cap 12 by a series of annularly distributed circumferentially spaced members or tabs 26. Depending from the underside of the annular body 24 is a skirt 28 which along its inner periphery is formed integral with a plurality of locking abutments or ratchet-like teeth 30 adapted under certain conditions to interlock with complementary ratchet-like teeth or abutments 32 formed along the outer periphery of the container neck 18.
Particular attention is directed to the structural arrangement of the peripheral or annular locking section 22. By employing the relatively flexible tabs or tongues 26 to connect the annular member 24 with the lower margin of the cap 12, it is possible for the annular member 24 to be shifted between the lower solid line position and the upper dotted position as illustrated in FIG. 5. When in the lower solid line position, the ratchet-like abutments 30 are in position to interlock with the complementary abutments 32 extending outwardly from the container neck 18. When the member 24 is shifted to the upper dotted line position shown in FIG. 5, and solid line position shown in FIG. 6, the abutments 30 become disengaged from the abutments 32. Hence, when in this position the closure cap 12 may be rotated freely either to loosen the cap or to tighten it in position. Once the cap 12 has been tightened to the position shown, the annular locking member 22 may be axially sprung downwardly so as to establish an interlocking relation of the abutments 30 and 32. In this manner cap 12 is secured against retrograde rotation. To loosen the cap 12 it is only necessary to spring the peripheral locking member upwardly to the dotted position shown in FIG. 5. If desired an additional number of locking teeth or abutments may be added to the neck 18. The locking abutments 32 may be formed integral with the neck 18 and the complementary abutments 30 may be formed or molded integral with the annular member 24 and the skirt 28.
- From the foregoing it will be apparent that the present invention contemplates a tamperproof closure device which may be produced by conventional plastic molding methods and which will function efficiently to prevent unauthorized removal of a cap from a container. Sufficient force is required to shift the peripheral locking member 22 from the solid line position to the dotted position shown in FIG. 5, so as to preclude the shifting thereof by a child. Furthermore, it is not obvious to a child that the cap may be unlocked in the manner described. The peripheral locking member 22 may be so disposed that when the closure member occupies the final tightened position on a container neck, the annular sections 24 and 28 will be located closely adjacent the upper surface of the container. Under such circumstances, a certain degree of manual dexterity is required to properly place finger tips beneath these sections to shift the lockingmember upwardly. While this procedure is not difficult for adult, it serves as an effective deterrent for children. The flexible coupling tabs 26 exert forces in opposite axial directions whereby to cause the locking section 22 to snap into a position on opposite sides of a central horizontal plane coincident with hinged extremities of the tabs adjacent the lower edge of the cap 12. Thus the tabs or arms 26 function as toggle clamps selectively to urge the annular locking section axially beyond one side or the other of a center line included within a plane which is normal to the cap axis.
1. A tamperproof closure device for containers including an internally threaded cap section, a peripherally disposed locking section, axially yieldable means coupling said locking section with a cap section in such a manner as to permit limited axial displacement of said locking section in opposite directions with respect to said cap section and to yieldably maintain said locking section in either of the opposite positions of maximum limited axial displacement, and abutment means associated withsaid locking section for locking engagement with complimentary abutment means of an associated'container when said peripheral section is in a given axially displaced position. I
2. A tamperproof closure device for containers as set forth in claim 1, wherein the coupling means extends generally radially and is yieldable for normally urging said locking section axially in opposite directions with respect to the cap section.
3. A tamperproof closure device for containers as set forth in claim 1, wherein the couplingmeans includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced members for yieldably urging the locking section axially with respect to'the cap section.
4. A tamperproof closure device for containers including an internally threaded cap section, a peripherally disposed locking section, means coupling said locking section with the cap section in such a manner as to permit limited axial displacement of said locking section with respect to said cap section, and abutment means associated with said locking section for locking engagement with complementary abutment means of an associated container when said peripheral section is in a given axially displaced position, said peripherally disposed locking section includes an annular member and the abutment means projects radially inwardly therefrom.
5. A tamperproof closure device for containers as set forth in claim 1, wherein the coupling means includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced elements in the nature of toggle arms adapted to urge the locking section toward opposite sides of a central plane normal to the axis of the cap section.
6. A tamperproof closure device for containers including an internally threaded cap section, a peripherally disposed lacking section extending radially outwardly from the clamping side of the'cap section, means coupling said locking section with the cap section in such a manner as to permit limited axial displacement of said locking section with respect to said cap section, and abutment means associated with said locking section for locking engagement with complementary abutment means of an associated container when said peripheral section is in a given axially displaced position.
7. A tamperproof closure device for containers as set forth in cI aim 1, wherein the couplin' means include a structure inclined with respect to a p ane normal to t e cap axis, whereby to permit the locking section to be snapped axially in opposite directions.
8. A tamperproof closure device for containers including an internally threaded cap section, an annular locking section extending radially outwardly from the open end of the cap section, a plurality of circum-- ferentially spaced coupling elements extending substantially radially between the lower extremity of said cap section and locking section and formed integral with said cap section and annular locking section, said elements being hingedly joined to said cap section, and a plurality of locking abutments integrally associated with said annular locking section for locking engagement with complementary abutments provided on the external surface of an associated container when said annular section is in a given position, said circumferentially spaced coupling elements adapted to be snapped beyond opposite sides of a plane normal to the cap axis and substantially coincident with the hinged extremities of said elements.
9. A tamperproof closure device for containers as set forth in claim 8, wherein the constituent parts thereof constitute a molded one-piece structure.
mime STATES PATENT swim QERTWECATE @F QQREREQTWN Patent NO. 3,698,584 v Dated (l: 1 :ober ll igfl Inventor(s) CHRISTIAN F. MILLER It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
,,. .-}c1umn line change device" to "Said device";
-Column line 9, Change "lacking" to "locking"; 7
,Column 4, line 30, before "locking" insert --said--;
Column line '44, before "one-piece" insert ---plastic-.
Signed and sealed this 3rd day of July 1973.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. Rene Tegtmeyer Attesting Officer Acting Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-1050 (IO-'69) USCOMM Dc 60376 P69 U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING O FFiCE: I965 0-356-334