US 3703974 A
A safety cap and container combination is provided wherein the container mouth includes a plurality of spaced ribs or flanges each having a differently located notched-out passageway over which a cap member having at least one projecting internal lug is positioned in a single movement to close the container. In one form of the invention, a bead at the rim of the container mouth may be provided to mate with an internal groove in the cap member to seal tightly the cap member to the container. In order to remove the cap member, the cap member is moved partially away from the container to disengage the bead from the groove, and the lug member is then positioned and aligned with each slot and advanced therethrough in successive fashion to open the mouth of the container.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Boxer et al.
[ SAFETY CAP 721 Inventors: Leo M. Boxer, Village of Whitefish Bay; Robert W. Boxer, Village of Fox Point, both of Wis.
22 Filed: March 8, 1971  Appl. No.: 121,821
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 881,656, Dec.
3, 1969, abandoned.
[4 1 Nov. 28, 1972 Scheurman ..215/9 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney-James W. Dent 57 ABSTRACT A safety cap and container combination is provided wherein the container mouth includes a plurality of spaced ribs or flanges each having a differently located notched-out passageway over which a cap member having at least one projecting internal lug is positioned in a single movementito close the container. In one form of the invention, a bead at the rim of the container mouth may be provided to mate with an internal groove in the cap member to seal tightly the cap member to the container. In order to remove the cap member, the cap member is moved partially away from the container to disengage the bead from the groove, and the lug member is then positioned and aligned with each slot and advanced therethrough in successive fashion to open the mouth of the container.
 US. Cl ..215/9, 215/41  Int. Cl. ..B65d 55/02  Field of Search ..2l5/9,4l, 44, 46R
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,212,662 10/1965 Webb ..215/9 3,362,556 l/l968 Waldrum ..215/41 12 3 4. 5 v l L ll 1 I ll PATENTED xuv 28 m2 3 7 O3, 9 74 SHEEI 1 [1F 2 f 34 3O INVENTORS l LEO M. BOXER I 36 ROBERT w. BOXER Doom! M. Cm F168 AT TORN EY SAFETY CAP CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of our copending application Ser. No. 881,656, filed on Dec. 3, 1969, now abandoned.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to a safety lid or cap and container combination whereby dangerous or hazardous medications or the like carried within a container are safely contained therein by a locking feature of the container lid or cap such that the contents of the container will not make themselves readily available to children or, for that matter, unthinking adults. In other words, the cap and container mouth are so fashioned that-the lid may be easily positioned on the container into a locking position, but in order to remove the lid some considerable thought and specific intent is necessary. The lid or cap is so constructed that in order to remove it from the locked position on the mouth of the container it must be revolved or rotated in radial fashion and aligned with a slot while at the same time exerting an upward removing force to allow passage of a locking member or lug through slots which are located at different positions on the ribs or outwardly projecting flanges forming part of the container mouth. This action is repeated a plurality of times before the cap is completely removable from the container. It is the ease and simplicity of putting the cap into locking engagement and the considered, conscious attention necessary for removal of the cap which provide the desirable features of the invention.
The prior art has suggested many types of safety caps and container mouths for keeping poisons, dangerous chemicals and powerful medications away from children, or unsuspecting adults who mistake one container for another sometimes under trying or difficult circumstances. The prior art devices have heretofore suffered in the respect that they have either been difficult and thus expensive to manufacture or have necessitated unduly complicated maneuvers in order to place the cap onto the mouth of the container after the desired portion of the contents of the container have been removed. As in all safety cap environments, it is usually desirable to require some manipulable skill in removing the cap, but once it is removed it is desired to replace it as quickly as possible without going through complicated maneuvers. The disclosed invention overcomes these serious shortcomings and provides attributes in a safety cap and bottle combination which has heretofore been unavailable.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In an exemplary embodiment the invention pertains to a safety cap or lid and container combination comprising a cap member having a top and depending wall portions, the interior surface of the cap member being adapted to receive the mouth portion of a container having a co-acting configuration. The interior surface of the depending wall portion carries at least one projecting lug which is adapted to frictionally slide over the mouth portion of the container into a closed and restrained or locked position. The container is provided with a mouth portion having a plurality of spaced ribs formed on the exterior surface thereof to thereby define spaced channels. Each of the ribs or flanges have an exterior surface congruent in shape to the interior or inward surface of the lug and each of the ribs has at least one cut-out slot which allows forjpassa'ge of the projecting lug therethrough when it is aligned therewith. Each slot, however, is offset from that in the immediately adjacent rib such that the cap member is retained on the container in locked fashion by a single, downward thrust of the cap member onto the mouth portion, but in order to remove the cap member, the at least one projecting lug must be aligned with each of the cut-ut slots of the ribs or rotated. with respect thereto and advanced through each of the channels in successive step-wise fashion. Thus, the cap member is positioned in the locked position onto the container mouth in one quick action, but in order to remove it from the mouth of the container, two movements of the cap member with respect to the mouth of the container are required for each channel, i.e., the cap member must be turned or revolved to align with the slot or notch in each rib and must be vertically moved in the aligned position, said vertical movement being with respect to the mouth of the container.
I In one form of the invention as disclosed herein, a bead at the rim of the container mouth may also'be provided to mate with an internal groove in the cap member to seal tightly the cap member to the container. When moving the cap member, it is first moved partially away from the container to disengage the bead and groove, and the lug is then manipulated through the slots in the ribs.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF TI-IE DRAWING FIG. I is an isometric view ofa container in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the safety cap member in accordance with this invention, positioned on a container having a mouth specifically configured to receive it; 7
FIGS. 3, 4 and S are views of the container of FIG. 2 taken substantially along the respective lines 3-3, 4 4 and 5-5 thereof;
FIG. 6 is an exploded, fragmentary view in vertical cross section of the cap member and container mouth in accordance with this invention, illustrating more detail;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the safety cap member in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 8 illustrates a form of the container top specifically adapted to form fluid-tight engagements with respect to the cap member or lid used therewith;
FIG. 9 is an exploded, fragmentary view of another cap member in vertical cross section and its container mouth in accordance with this invention for establishing fluid-tight engagements between the cap member and its container;
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional, fragmentary view of the cap member and its container of FIG. 9, illustrating the cap member secured in place over its container mouth;
FIG. 11 is an exploded, fragmentary view of still another cap member in vertical cross section and its container mouth in accordance with this invention for 7 DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings, wherein like numerals of references indicate like elements throughout, and more specifically to FIGS. 1-6 inclusive, an-exemplary embodiment of the invention is depicted. Here, the container member 2 in which it is desired to store the medicament, hazardous chemical or other products (not shown) is of the familiar shape but which may take other configurations depending upon the end use desired, is provided with a mouth portion of specific design. Herein, for purposes of disclosure and clarity, container member 2 is shown as being fabricated of glass, but it is also within the scope of the invention and for ease of fabricating, it is preferred that the container be fabricated of plastic or the like materials. Additionally, while the cap for the container member is shown as being made of a plastic material, other materials having the hereinafter described characteristics may also be used. The mouth 4 is provided in this particular instance with spaced ribs or outwardly flaring flanges 6, 8 and 10 being formed on the exterior of themouth 4. While three such ribs are shown it is apparent that two or even four or more may be used, but for practical purposes three is deemed sufficient. Each of the spaced ribs 6, 8 and 10 form therebetween steps of channels such as 12 and 14 for purposes which will hereinafter become apparent. While shown as being immediately adjacent one another, the ribs may be spaced so as to form definite. grooves or defined channels within which a capmember rides and is contained. Cap member 16 comprises a top portion 18 having integral and depending wall portions 20 with the interior of the depending wall portion carrying at least one projecting lug such as 22, preferably at the outermost edge 24 of the cap member 16. Each of the spaced ribs '6, 8 and 10 provide a support surface upon which cap member 16, and more specifically, lug 22 rides. Ribs 6 and 8 are provided with a slot or passageway such as 6a and 80 respectively. The notches or slots 6a and 8a are of the approximate size of projecting lug 22 (and preferably slightly larger) so that it may easily pass therethrough. As seen, each of spaced ribs 6, 8 and 10 have an inclined, outwardly flared surface congruent to the interior surface 22a of projecting lug 22 so that the cap member 16 may be easily placed upon mouth portion 4 of container member 2. Because the cap 16 is made of a flexible, resilient material such as plastic, and any one of the commonly used plastics may suffice, such as polyethylene (although other materials may be used), the cap member 16 may be placed upon the mouth portion 4 of container member 2, and by directing a single downward thrust of force to the cap, the lug the practice of the invention. The cap member 16 is now in the locked or closed position. In this position,
the application of a mere upward or vertically directed I force on the cap member 16 with respect to the container mouth 4 will not dislodge the cap member from the mouth to thereby uncover the open mouth of the container member 2. In other words, the uppermost surface 22!) of lug 22 engages in the channel 14 to securely keep the lid or cap member 16 in its locked or retained position. In order to remove the lid or cap member 16 from the container mouth 4, the lid or cap member 16 and the integral lug 22 must be rotated .to align with the first slot it encounters, such as 8a in spaced rib 8. When it is aligned with the slot 8a,-the lid or cap member 16 is subjected to an upwardly directed force with the thumb and forefinger, for instance, of the human hand and moved into the next channel or ridge position formed by the next adjacent rib 6. As will be noted, the passageway or slot 6a formed in rib 6 is approximately 180 away from the slot 8a or in diametric position with respect thereto. This requires that the cap member 16 be rotated 180 to align with the slot 60, and'again, a vertical force is applied to move the cap member 16 upwardly the next step such that it may be completely removed from the mouth 4 of container member 2. Obviously where additional channels or ribs are used, the above-described procedure must be followed for each of the additional channels.
The particular number of lugs and slots in the ribs of the bottle mouth may vary. For instance, the slots need not be 180 apart, but may be 30, 45 or any such figure just so long as some rotational movement of the cap member with respect to the bottle mouth is required so that children or adults must give the matter of cap removal some thought and requiring some intricate manipulation. An example wherein a doublelugged bottle cap member 16' is contemplated is shown in FIG. 7 wherein the construction is identical to that disclosed hereinbefore for cap member 16, but differs therefrom only in the respect that an additional lug 22' is added, which addition creates more stability of securement of the cap member 16' to the mouth of the container with which it is used. It is obvious that when the double-lugged feature is utilized, the number of slots in the spaced ribs must accordingly be increased to coincide with the number of lugs on the interior surface of the cap member 16. In all other respects, the functioning of the cap member 16 having the additional lug 22 will be that as heretofore disclosed for the single lug embodiment.
Referring now to FIG. 8, another embodiment of the invention is illustrated as modified for use with liquids to be contained within the container member 30. Herein, so as to be able to effect a tight seal for liquids, the bottleneck 32 of container member 30 is lengthened somewhat slightly below the lowest channel 34, which channel is constructed in spiral form. In other words, this particular structure combines the well-known spiral screw cap with the particular safety lid and container combination heretofore depicted and described. In this modification the cap member need only be elongated with respect to its depending walls so as to accommodate the slight turn formed by the spiral 36 formed on the container neck of container member 30. While specific configurations for the elements making up the combination have been disclosed, it should be clear, for instance, that the lug need not be integral with the cap member but may be secured thereto as a separate element or that the surfaces of ribs and lug be something other than inclinedas shown.
Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10 of the drawings, there is shown a container member 37, which is constructed in accordance with the present invention and which may be tightly sealed so that liquids or hydroscopic solids may be contained therein. The container member 37 has a mouth portion 38, which is provided with a series of downwardly sloping, axially spaced annular ribs 39, 40 and 41 to define a series of channels in a similar manner as the ribs 6, 8 and 10 of the container 2. A cup-shaped safety cap member 42 is composed of a flexible material, such as plastic, and comprises a top portion 43 and a depending wall portion 45, which is provided with an external, knurled annular flange 46 for assisting the cap member onto and off of the mouth portion 38, and which carries at least one internally projecting lug 47 similar to the lug 22 of FIG. 6 for fitting into the farthermost channel 48 from the opening to the mouth portion 38 when the cap member 42 is secured in place over the mouth portion 38 as shown in FIG. 10. Each one of the ribs includes a cut-out slot, such as the slots 49 and 51 in the respective ribs 39 and 41, to cooperate with the lug 47 in the same manner as the lug and slots in the container member 2 of FIG. 2, it being understood that the slots in adjacent ribs of FIGS.
, 9 and 10 are offset radially from one another by a given angular displacement, such as by 180. In order to seal tightly the cap member 42 to the mouth portion 38 in accordance with the present invention the mouth portion 38 is elongated beyond the outermost rib 39, and extending therefrom at the rim of the mouth portion 38 surrounding the opening to the container member 37 is a circumferentially-extending annular bead, which snap fits frictionally into a complementary internal annular groove 55 in the internal surface of the top wall portion 43 surrounding a cylindrical depending boss or plug member 56 which is adapted to snugly fit into the opening to the mouth portion 38. The cap member 42 may be pushed downwardly over the mouth portion 38 to permit the lug 47 to slide or skip over the ribs until the bead 53 snaps into engagement with the groove 55. For the purpose of removing the cap member 42 from the mouth portion 38, the cap member 42 is first pulled away from the mouth portion 38 to release the bead 53 from the groove 55 as a preliminary operation. Thereafter, the cap member 42 is rotated about its axis until the lug 47 is aligned with the slot 51 in the lowermost rib 41, and then the cap member 42 is pulled upwardly to slip the lug 47 through the slot 51 into the next channel. Thereafter, the lug 47 is pulled through successive slots in the same manner as the lug 22 of FIG. 6.
The ribs 39, 40 and 41 are axially spaced sufficiently far apart so that the lug fits loosely within each one of the channels as the lug is advanced from channel to channel during a cap removal operation, whereby the lug 47 is not retained frictionally within the channels and thus the guiding of the lug 47 through theslots in the ribs is facilitated since the safety feature depends upon moderate manipulative skill rather than force for the removal of the safety cap member of the present in vention. The lowermost rib 41 is spaced from the shoulder 57 of the container 37 by a sufficient amount to permit the cap member 42 to be pulled partially away from the mouth portion 38 to disengage the bead 53 from its groove in the cap member 51, while the lug 47 remains retained in the lowermost channel 48 so that subsequent removal must be accomplished by guiding the lug 47 through the slots in the ribs in accordance with the safety feature of the present invention.
Referring now to FIGS. 11 and 12 of the drawings, there is shown a container member 60, which is constructed in accordance with the present invention to be tightly sealed by a screw-type connection for the purpose of enabling the container to store liquids or hydroscopic solids. A mouth portion 62 of the container member includes a plurality of ribs 64, 66 and 68, which define a series of axially spaced channels, and which have a plurality of slots, such as slots 71 and 73, for the same purpose as the slots in the ribs of the container 37. A cup-shaped cap member 75 is composed of flexible material, such as plastic, and includes a top portion 77 and a depending wall portion 79, which is provided with an external, knurled annular flange 81 to assist in the movement of the cap member 75 onto and off of the mouth portion 62, and which has an internal lug 83 in a similar manner to the lug 47 of the cap member 42. On an elongated portion of the mouth portion 62 beyond the outermost rib 64 there is a helical screw thread 85 which mates with an internally threaded portion of the cap member 75 in the form of a helical groove 87 which surrounds partially a depending cylindrical boss or plug member 89 which enters the opening to the mouth portion 62 when the cap member 75 is slipped over the mouth portion 62 and is threaded thereon. The lowermost rib 68 is spaced from an external annular shoulder 92 of the container 60 by a sufficient amount to enable the lug member 83 to be retained within the lowermost channel 93 when the cap member 75 is loosened from the mouth portion 62 so that the lug may thereafter be manipulated through the slots in the'ribs in accordance with the safety feature of this invention.
In order to secure the cap member 75 to the container member 60, the cap member 75 is inserted over the mouth portion 62 until the screw threads begin to mate and the lug 83 enters the channel 93. The-cap member 75 is then rotated about its axis to thread it onto the mouth portion 62 to seal the container member 60. To uncap the container member 60, the cap member 75 is first rotated to loosen it from the mouth portion 62. Thereafter, the lug 83 is manipulated through the series of angularly offsetslots in the ribs.
While the invention has been described in connection with particular embodiments thereof, it will be understood that various modifications may be made thereon which are within the true spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
The embodiments in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A safety lid and container combination comprising a cap member having a top portion and a depending peripherally continuous wall portion, the cap being flexible, the wall portion having an interior surface, the interior surface having at least one radially inwardly projecting lug thereon, the container having a mouth portion, the mouth having at least one outwardly projecting rib adjacent an upper end thereof, the rib being substantially continuous with a slot formed in one part thereof, the lug extending inwardly from the side wall a distance substantially equal to the thickness of the side wall, the lug having a substantially planar upper surface and an angled lower surface, the lug-being at the lower end of the depending wall portion, the rib having a substantially planar lower surface and an angled upper surface, the interior surface having radially inwardly projecting means at a location angularly offset from the lug, the lug and the inwardly projecting means being of limited annular extent and contained within a separate semi-circular span of the interior surface, the angled surfaces of the lug and rib allowing the lug and rib to frictionally slide past each other in placement of the cap on the container in any position due to the flexibility of the cap, the substantially planar surfaces and thickness of the lug preventing removal of the cap from the container except when the lug is positioned adjacent the slot in the rib.
2. The safety lid and container combination as set forth in claim 1, wherein the rib extends outwardly from the mouth portion a distance substantially equal to the thickness of the mouth portion, the lug and the rib being of substantially the same size, the sizes of the lug and rib together with the angled surfaces thereof allowing the lug to slide over the rib at any point of contact therewith on pressure upon the cap to close the container but preventing removal of the cap from the container except when the lug is positioned adjacent the slot in the rib.
3. The combination in accordance with claim 1 wherein the bottom rib of said mouth portion "below the rib is askew or on the incline so as to provide a screwtype, fluid-type closure between said cap member and mouth portion of said container member.
4. The combination in accordance with claim 1, wherein one of said cap and container members includes a bead and the other one of said cap and container members includes a groove for receiving releasably said bead to seal said cap member to said mouth portion of said container member when said cap member and said container member are in their closed position.
S. The combination in accordance with claim 4, wherein said bead is on said mouth portion of said con- 8 tainer member, said groove being disposed in said interior surface of said cap member.
6. The combination in accordance with claim 4, wherein said bead and said groove are annular in shape and are complementary shaped in cross section.
7. The combination in accordance with claim 4, wherein said bead is in the form of a screw thread, said groove being complementary shaped in cross section relative to the cross sectional shape of said head to enable said cap-member to be threaded onto said mouth portion of said container member.
8. A safety cap member for use with a container member wherein the mouth portion thereof comprises a plurality of spaced ribs, each of said ribs having an outwardly flared surface and each being provided with at least one slot, each slot being spaced in its respective rib differently form the next immediately adjacent rib, said cap member being cup-shaped and comprising top and depending walls and the interior surface thereof carrying at least one projecting lug adapted to frictionally slide over said ribs onto the container member in the closed position but being retained for movement in the opposite direction unless said at least one lug is aligned with said at least one slot and is advanced in step-wise fashion from the lowermost rib through the uppermost rib and one of said cap and container members includes a bead and the other one of said cap and container members includes a groove to receive said bead for sealing said cap member to said container member.
9. The combination in accordance with claim 8, wherein said ribs are axially spaced apart defining spaced channels alternate along said mouth portion, said lug being disposed at the rim of said depending portion of said cap member, said channel disposed farthermost from the opening to said mouth portion of said container member being adapted to loosely receive said lug when said cap member and said container member are in their closed position and being sufficiently wide to enable said lug member to remain retained therein when said bead is moved out of said groove as a preliminary operation to the removal of said cap member from said container member.
10. The safety cap in accordance with claim 8, wherein said cap member is composed of flexible plastic material, said lug is integrally molded at the rim portion of said depending wall.