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Publication numberUS3730372 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 1, 1973
Filing dateNov 19, 1971
Priority dateNov 19, 1971
Publication numberUS 3730372 A, US 3730372A, US-A-3730372, US3730372 A, US3730372A
InventorsH Komendowski
Original AssigneeAutomatic Liquid Packaging
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Plastic container
US 3730372 A
Abstract
A plastic container with an integral cover has a cap screw threaded to the cover. Manipulation of the cap causes the cover to be severed from the container body. The cap has an attached implement, such as a spoon, fork or knife for removing a product from the container.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

I United States Patent 1 1 [111 3,733,372

Komendowski 1 May 1, 1973 [5 1 PLASTIC CONTAINER 2,487,274 11/1949 Schaffer ..2lz/DIG. 5

3,l04,032 9/1963 Hansen ..2l5/DlG, 5 [75] Inventor: Henry KmendwskhEvansmm 3,356,244 12/1967 Witchell ..215/32 [73] Assignee: Automatic Liquid Packaging Inc.,

Elk Grove Villa [IL Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton At: -D "k,K htl&Gdl 221 Filed: Nov. 19, 1971 omey 6 o u a [211 App]. No.: 200,489

[57] ABSTRACT [52] U.S.,Cl .;.215/32, 2l5/DlG. 5 A plastic container with an integral cover has a cap [51] Int. Cl. ..B65d 17/02 screw threaded to the cover. Manipulation of the cap [58] Field of Search ..2l5/32, DIG. 5, 100 R; causes the cover to be severed from the container 220/27; 222/541, 82, 91 body. The cap has an attached implement, such as a spoon, fork or knife for removing a product from the [56] References Cited container.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 19 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 1,425,456 8/l922 Dial ..2l5/DlG. 5

PATENTED A H 3,730,372

SHEET 2 OF 2 FIG. 5

PLASTIC CONTAINER This invention relates, in general, to improved plastic containers and, in particular, to improved hermetically sealed plastic containers having a cap associated therewith which, upon being manipulated, is adapted to open the container. More particularly still, it relates to an improved hermetically sealed plastic container having a cap associated therewith which, upon being threadedly manipulated, is adapted to open the container and, furthermore, is adapted to be formed into an implement such as a spoon, a fork or a knife for removing the contents from the container.

Various different products, particularly puddings, presently are being packaged in containers as individual servings. In most instances, these individual servings are carried for lunch to schools or the office, where they are consumed. Presently, most of these containers are adapted to be easily opened in some fashion or another, but unless the product is a liquid which can be drunk from the container, a spoon or the like normally has to be carried along with the container to remove the product for its consumption. Many times carrying an extra spoon, unless it is of the throw away variety, is a considerable inconvenience, for the spoon has to be washed and otherwise cared for.

The container and associated cap of the present invention finds particular utility in this particular type of application, in that the container can be easily opened and the cap associated with it can be formed into an implement, in this case, a spoon, for removing the product from the container. In particular, the container is formed, filled and sealed in one continuous operation, and has a threaded cover on it which is adapted to be severed therefrom when the cap, which is normally threadedly engaged with the cover, is simply threadedly manipulated. Once the cover on the container is severed, it is retained within the cap. Upon removing this cover from the cap, the cap is easily and simply transformed into a spoon which can be used to remove the product from the container.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved molded plastic container which is adapted to be easily opened, without the need of any additional implements.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved hermetically sealed molded plastic container having a cap associated with it which, upon being manipulated, is adapted to open the container to permit the product to be removed therefrom.

A still further object is to provide an improved hermetically sealed molded plastic container having a cap associated with it which, upon being manipulated, is adapted to open the container to permit the product to be removed therefrom and which further is adapted to be formed into an implement such as a spoon, fork or knife for removing the product from the container.

Still another object is to provide an improved container and associated cap of the above-described type which can be stored and/or shipped as an integral unit.

A still further object is to provide an improved container and associated cap of the above-described type which is simple in construction and inexpensive.

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a cap exemplary of a cap of the type associated with the container of the present invention, with the manner in which the cap is formed into a spoon for removing the product from the container illustrated in phantom lines;

FIG. 2 is a side plan view of the assembled container and its associated end cap, the same being partially sec tionalized to illustrate the manner in which the cap is threadedly affixed to the container;

FIG. 3 is a plan view illustrating the container with its cover removed and with the cap formed into a spoon for removing the product from the container;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a cap formed in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a side plan view of the cap of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a plan view generally illustrating the manner in which the cap is formed into a spoon; and

FIGS. 7 and 8 are partial sectional views illustrating various different hinge locking arrangements which can be used.

Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

Referring now to the drawings, in FIG. 2 there is illustrated a container 10 which preferably is a plastic container which is formed, filled and sealed in one continuous operation. A cover 1 l is integrally formed with the body portion 13 of the container, thereby hermetically sealing the latter. The body portion 13 is provided with a flat shoulder 15, which shoulder 15 forms a seat for the cylindrical-shaped side wall 18 of the cap 17, for reasons set forth more specifically below. From the shoulder 15, the body portion 13 tapers inwardly and upwardly to provide a weakened connection or undercut 14 between the body portion 13 and the cover 11. This weakened connection between the cover 11 and the body portion 13 permits the cover 11 to be separated from the body portion 13. In this respect, the container 10 can be formed and the weakened connection provided, in the manner and with the apparatus disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,597,793, issued Aug. 10,

1971. While it is preferred that the container 10 be of this type, it can, of course, be formed, filled and sealed in separate operations. The manner in which the container 10 is actually formed and filled is immaterial to the essence of the present invention.

Threads 12 are provided on the cover 11, and are formed to threadedly engage with corresponding threads on the cap 17 to secure the latter to the container l0 and in a fashion such as to permit the cap 17, upon being threadedly manipulated, to sever the cover 1 1 from the container.

The cap 17 includes a cylindrical-shaped side wall 18 which is threaded on its interior, for threading engagement with the threads 12 on the cover 11. The diameter of the cylindrical-shaped side wall 18 is such that the lower edge thereof seats on the shoulder 15 on the body portion 13 of the container 10. The cap 17 is generally open at its top, but has a central portion thereof which is formed into the shape of the body portion of an implement, which in the illustrated embodiment is a spoon portion 19, which is integrally affixed to the side wall 18 by means of a bendable flange 20. The cap 17 can be of plastic or metal, such as aluminum.

The container and its associated cap 17 preferably are packaged for shipment or storage, as illustrated in FIG. 2, with the cap 17 threadedly engaged on the cover 11 and with the spoon portion 19 of the cap 17 folded to overly the top of the container 10. When assembled in this fashion, the cover 11 is substantially protected against accidental severance from the body portion 13, and the spoon portion 19 does not add considerably to the overall height of the package, nor does it interfere with packing of the same into, for example, a shipping carton.

To open the container 10, the cap 17 simply is threadedly manipulated to screw it down onto the container 10, to abut its lower edge against the shoulder 15 on the body portion 13. As the cap 17 is continued to be threaded downwardly, the cover 11 is caused to be separated or severed from the body portion 13, at the weakened undercut portion or area 14 which extends annularly thereabout. The cover, upon being severed from the body portion 13, is retained within the cap 17. The top of the container 10 is opened, generally as illustrated in FIG. 3. The cover 11 then is removed from the cap 17 simply by threading it out of the latter. After removing the cover 11, the cylindrical shaped side wall 18 of the cap 17 is squeezed to extend it into an oblong shape, generally as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, and the spoon portion 19 is bent or folded over at the flange portion 20 to form a spoon-like implement. As can be seen in FIG. 3, the latter then can be used to remove the product from the container 10. Upon emptying the container 10, the entire package can be disposed of.

In FIGS. 4-6, there is illustrated another cap 30 which, like the cap 17, includes a cylindrical-shaped side wall 31 which is threaded on its interior, for threading engagement with the threads 12 on the cover 11. The diameter of the side wall 31 also is such that its lower edge seats on the shoulder 15 on the body portion 13 of the container 10. Like the cap 17, the cap 30 is generally open at its top, but has a central portion thereof which is formed into the shape of a spoon portion 32 and is integrally affixed to the side wall 31 by means ofa flexible hinge 33.

The spoon portion 32 has an upstanding locking tab 34 which is correspondingly formed to lockingly engage within a locking slot 35 formed on the side wall 31, when the spoon portion 32 is folded over at the hinge 33. These interlocking means, that is, locking tab 34 and locking slot 35, can assume numerous different shapes and constructions, such as those illustrated more clearly in FIGS. 7 and 8. For example, as shown in FIG. 7, the side edges of the locking tab 34 can be beveled and the locking slot 35 correspondingly formed to snap-actingly receive the locking tab 34, to retain the latter therein. Alternatively, the locking tab 34 and the locking slot can be formed with projecting snap tabs 36 and 37 which are snap-actingly received with correspondingly formed locking cavities. Numerous other interlocking means likewise can be provided, to retain the spoon portion 32 in an open position, as illustrated in FIG. 6.

The cap 30 is manipulated in the same fashion to open the container 10 and, after removing the severed cover 11, the spoon portion 32 is folded over until the locking tab 34 interlocks within the locking slot 35. The side wall 31 then can be squeezed into an oval shape, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, to form a handle.

While, as indicated above, the caps 17 and 30 can be of metal or plastic, if it is of plastic, a construction such as the one illustrated in FIGS. 4-6 is preferred. The reason for this is the fact that the hinge 33 (or 20) may not have sufficient rigidity to provide a relatively sturdy implement, because of the resiliency of the plastic. By providing interlocking means thereon, this problem is overcome. Also, when the cap is of plastic, pairs of opposed notches 41 advantageously are provided in the side wall, as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, to assist in squeezing and retaining the cap in an oval handle-shape configuration.

It can be seen from the above description that a hermetically sealed molded plastic container 10 is provided, the same having a cover 11 which can be easily severed therefrom to open the container 10 to provide the product therein to be removed, simply by threadedly manipulating the cap 17 or 30 threadedly associated with it. The cap 17 or 30, after the cover 11 has been severed from the container 10 and removed from the cap, can be formed into an implement such as a spoon, fork or knife for removing the product from the container 10. The entire package results in an easily opened disposable container and implement for removing the product from the container.

In the above-described embodiments, the body portion of the implement formed with the cover is integrally affixed to the side wall by means of a generally resilient hinge. It will be appreciated, however, that the hinge can be frangible so that the body portion can be severed from the side wall and used independently of the latter or, alternatively, the side wall and the body portion can be provided with interlocking means such as, for example, a tongue and groove coupling arrangement, for affixing them together to form the implement. Also, while the caps 17 and 30 may find the greatest utility when used in combination with a container such as the container 10, that is, a container which also can be opened simply by manipulating the cap, it is apparent that the caps can be threadedly or otherwise affixed to or provided with any type of container to provide an implement for removing the product from the container. For example, the cap can be simply snap-fitted over one end of the container for shipment or storage, and once the container is opened, the cap can be formed into an implement in the described fashion.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and certain changes i may be made in the above article. Accordingly, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Now that the invention has been described, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

l. A hermetically sealed plastic container having a body portion and a cover integrally formed therewith, a cap threadedly engaged with said cover having a side wall and a top wall, said side wall and said top wall being formed to provide an implement for removing a product from said container, said cover being severed from said container when said cap is threadedly manipulated thereby opening said container, a product within said container when the latter is opened being dispensed therefrom using said cap, whereby a disposable container which is easily opened and an implement for removing a product from-said container are provided.

2. The plastic container and cap of claim 1, wherein the juncture between said body portion and said cover is weakened to permit said cover to be severed from said body portion.

3. The plastic container and cap of claim 2, wherein the juncture is weakened by means of an undercut.

4. The plastic container and cap of claim 1, wherein said body portion is formed with a shoulder which is engageable by the lower edge of said side wall of said cap, said cap when threadedly manipulated engaging said shoulder and causing said cover to be severed from said container.

5. The plastic container and cap of claim 1, wherein said side wall of said cap is cylindrical-shaped and said top wall is in the form of the body portion of an implement and is integrally affixed at one edge thereof to said side wall by means of a flange portion, said side wall forming a handle for said body portion to thereby provide an implement having a handle for removing a product from said container.

6. The plastic container and cap of claim 5, wherein said body portion is affixed to said side wall to normally extend horizontally over the top of said container, and

is reversely bent or folded at said flange portion to form said implement.

7. The plastic container and cap of claim 6, wherein said side wall and said body portion have interlocking means formed thereon, said body portion being reversely bent at said flange portion to lockingly engage said interlocking means to form said implement.

8. The plastic container and cap of claim 5, wherein said side wall is of a compressible material and is formed generally oblong-shaped by squeezing it to form a handle for said body portion.

9. The plastic container and cap of claim 7, wherein pairs of opposed notches are formed in the side wall of said cap to provide a weakened area to permit said cap to be more easily formed into an oblong shape.

10. A cap for use with a container, said cap being normally removably aflixed to said container and having a side wall and a top wall, said top wall being in the form of a body portion of an implement for removing a product from said container, said body portion being integrally affixed at one edge thereof to said side wall by means of a flange portion, said side wall forming a handle for said body portion to thereby provide an implement having a body portion and handle for removing a product from said container.

11. The cap of claim 10, wherein said body portion is affixed to said side wall to normally extend horizontally over the top of said container, and is reversely bent or folded at said flange portion to form said implement.

12. The cap of claim 10, wherein said side wall is of a compressible material and is formed generally shaped by sgueezing it to form a handle for said bod portion.

1 The cap of claim 10, wherein said si e wall and said body portion have interlocking means formed thereon, said body portion being reversely bent at said flange portion to lockingly engage said interlocking means to form said implement.

14. The cap of claim 10, wherein pairs of opposed notches are formed in the side wall of said cap to provide a weakened area to permit said cap to be more easily formed into an oblong shape.

15. A hermetically sealed plastic container having a body portion and a cover integrally formed therewith, a cap threadedly engaged with said cover and operable to sever said cover from said container when said cap is threaded down on said container to thereby open said container.

16. The plastic container and cap of claim 15, wherein said cap is ring-shaped having a cylindrical side wall which is threaded on its interior to threadedly engage with said cover.

17. The plastic container and cap of claim 16, wherein said body portion is formed with a shoulder which is engageable by the lower edge of said side wall of said cap, said cap when threaded down on said container engaging said shoulder and exerting a force on said cover to sever it from said container.

18. The plastic container and cap of claim 15, wherein the juncture between said body portion and said cover is weakened to permit said cover to be severed from said body portion.

19. The plastic container and cap of claim 15, wherein the juncture is weakened by means of an undercut.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US3804282 *May 24, 1972Apr 16, 1974Automatic Liquid PackagingContainer and cap construction
US3923179 *Mar 7, 1973Dec 2, 1975American Hospital Supply CorpMedical liquid container with tactile sterility indicator and method of testing container
US3923182 *Mar 7, 1973Dec 2, 1975American Hospital Supply CorpFrangible closure system for medical liquid container
US3923183 *Mar 7, 1973Dec 2, 1975American Hospital Supply CorpContainer for medical liquid with separable outer and inner closures
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Classifications
U.S. Classification215/47, 215/DIG.500, 215/391
International ClassificationA47G21/04, A61J1/00, A47G21/00, B65D77/24, B65D51/24, B65D1/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D51/246, B65D51/228, B65D77/245, B65D1/0238, A47G21/04, B65D17/16, Y10S215/05, A47G2021/002
European ClassificationB65D51/24H, A47G21/04, B65D1/02D1A, B65D51/22C, B65D77/24B, B65D17/16