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Publication numberUS3737064 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 5, 1973
Filing dateMay 17, 1971
Priority dateMay 17, 1971
Publication numberUS 3737064 A, US 3737064A, US-A-3737064, US3737064 A, US3737064A
InventorsPatel C, Patel R
Original AssigneePatel C, Patel R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pilfer-proof closure for containers
US 3737064 A
Abstract
A pilfer-proof closure for use in combination with a container having a threaded neck portion and an annular flange below the threaded portion, comprising a body having an internally threaded upper portion and a lower skirt portion. A flexible locking member attached to the inside of the body by frangible connecting means and protected by the skirt is adapted to slide over the container flange as the cap is threaded on whereby the locking member snaps into place underneath the flange to lock the closure onto the container. When the closure is unthreaded from the container, the frangible connecting means are broken to completely disconnect the locking member from the inside of the closure. A viewing opening in the lower portion of the body permits visual observation of the locking member when the closure is threaded on the container to determine whether or not the container has been tampered with.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Patel et al.

[451 June 5, 1973 PILFER-PROOF CLOSURE FOR Primary Examiner-George T. Hall CONTAINERS AttorneyBirch, Swindler, McKie & Beckett v [76] Inventors: Chandrakant Somabhai Patel; Rash- 57 ABSTRA T mikant Somabhai Patel, both of 19, 1 C Sampatrao Colony, Baroda, India A pilfer-proof closure for use in combination with a container having a threaded neck portion and an an- [22] Ffled May 1971 nular flange below the threaded portion, comprising a [21] Appl. No.: 144,067 body having an internally threaded upper portion and a lower skirt portion. A flexible locking member-at- 4 tached to the inside of the body by frangible connect- [52] US. Cl. ..215/42,2l5/7, 220/27 ing means and protected by the skirt i adapted Int- Cllide over the container flange as the cap is threaded [58] Field Of Search ..2l5/9, 42, 41, 7; on whereby the locking member snaps into place un- 220/27, 60; 222/541, 282 derneath the flange to lock the closure onto the container. When the closure is unthreaded from the con- [56] References Cited tainer, the frangible connecting means are broken to completely disconnect the locking member from the UNITED STATES PATENTS inside of the closure. A viewing opening in the lower 3 460,708 8 1969 v n ..220 27 Portion the body Permits visual observam the I o ers I locking member when the closure is threaded on the FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATlONS container to determine whether or not the container has been tampered with. 1,352,712 1/1964 France ..2l5/7 11 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures I6 I5 I 3? If 23 [3 i 19 1a PATENTEDJUH 5197s r 3,737,064

SHEET 1 [IF 3 4 CHANDRAKANT SOMABHAI PATEL RASHMIKANT SOMABHAI PATEL ATTORNEYS.

PMENTEDJUX 51975 SHEET 2 BF 3 FIG. 6

FIG]

- INVENTORS' CHANDRAKANT SOMABHAI PATEL RASHMIKANT SOMABHAI PATEL BY fl ATTORNEYS.

PATENTEDJUH 5 I975 SHEET 30F 3 FIG. 9

1 INVENTORY. CHANDRA KANT SQMABHM Y PATEL RASHMIKANT SOMABHA! PATEL ATTORNEYS.

PILFER-PROOF CLOSURE FOR CONTAINERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of Invention This invention relates generally to closures for containers and, more particularly, to a pilfer-proof closure having an internal locking member protected by the outer walls of the body of the closure when it is threaded onto a container and provided with a viewing window to determine whether authorized tampering with the container has occurred.

2. Description of the Prior Art Prior art pilfer-indicating closures for containers heretofore known have been beset with disadvantages. For example, such prior art closures provided with outer frangible locking members have not provided sufficient protection for the locking members to prevent unauthorized tampering with the closure without breaking the locking member. Other such prior art closures having internal locking members protected by an outer wall have not provided any means for viewing the locking member while the closure is in place to determine whether the closure has been tempered with. Still other such prior art closures must be completely fractured or broken to gain access to the container and thus are not capable of being reused after the initial opening of the container. Moreover, other such prior art closures have been relatively complicated in construction. The present invention represents an improvement over such prior art closures.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Among the objects of the present invention is to avoid the disadvantages of prior art pilfer proof container closures and to provide an improved pilfer-proof closure having an internal locking member protected by the outer walls of the closure, while still permitting visual observation of the locking member through a viewing window to determine whether the closure has been tampered with.

A further object of the invention is to provide a pilfer-proof container closure which may be reused after the container has been initially opened. Another important object of the invention is to provide a pilferproof closure which is simple in construction and economical to fabricate.

According to the present invention there is provided a pilfer-proof closure for use in combination with a container having a threaded neck portion and an annular flange below the threaded portion. The closure is comprised of a body having an internally threaded upper portion and a lower skirt portion. A flexible locking member attached to the inside of the closure body by frangible connecting means and protected by the skirt is adapted to flex or expand and subsequently slide over the container flange as the closure is threaded onto the container. A circular gap between the locking member and the skirt provides room for the locking member to flex. As the locking member slides over the flange, it snaps into place in a groove underneath the flange to lock the closure in place on the container. When the closure is removed, interference between the container flange and the locking member causes thefrangible connecting means to break so that the locking member becomes completely disconnected from the body and falls down around the neck of the container as the closure is unthreaded therefrom.

A viewing window is provided in the skirt portion of the body of the closure to permit visual observation of the locking member when the closure is in locked position to determine whether the container has been mmpered with or unauthorizedly opened after the closure has been initially threaded onto the container. The

walls of the body protect the internal locking member to prevent the locking member from being manipulated BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages will become apparent by reference to the detailed description of the invention and the accompanying drawings which follow,

wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a container closure constructed according to the principles-of the) present invention, showing the closure in locked, position on a container;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1, showing the closure in locked position on the container; I

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line.3.-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 2; v

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the upper portion of the container, showing the closure in cross-section prior to being threaded on the container; 7

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view showing the closure partially threaded onto the container with the locking member sliding over the container flange;

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view showing the closure partially unthreaded with the locking member disconnected from the inside of the closure body;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional, front elevational view of a further embodiment of the closure;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional front elevational view of a still further embodiment of the closure; and,

the present invention in use on a container having wide shoulder.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED A EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings there is shown a pilferproof container closure 10 for use in combination with a suitable container shown in the form of a bottle 11. The container may be constructed of any suitable material such as glass or plastic. In the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 7, the container 11 is comprised of a lower body portion 12 and an upper neck portion 13. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 5, the container neck portion 13 includes an upper threaded portion 14 followed by an annular flange 15 just below the threaded portion 14. Annular flange 15 has a top surface 16 which slants downwardly and outwardly and a horizontal bottom surface 17 which extends from the neck 13 of the container out to the extremity of'the flange where it meets the outer end of top surface .16.

An annular rib 18 is mounted on the neck 13 spaced axially below flange 17 to form a groove 19 between FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of the closure of 1 the flange and the rib for a purpose to be discussed more fully hereinafter. Rib 18 has a diameter at least as great as the diameter of the bottom of closure 10.

Referring to FIGS. 2 through 5, the closure is comprised of a body 21 having an internally threaded upper portion 22 and an integrally connected lower skirt portion 23. The skirt 23 has an upper portion 24 and a lower portion 25. Upper skirt portion 24 slants downwardly and outwardly from the internally threaded portion 22. Upper and lower skirt portions 24 and 25 are connected by horizontal rib 26.

A locking member 31 is attached inside of the closure body 21 to the inner bottom surface of horizontal rib 26, whereby the locking member is protected by lower portion 25 of the skirt 23. In theform of the invention shown in FIGS. 3 through 5, locking member 31 is comprised of two semi-circular segments 32 and 33 attached to horizontal rib 26 by a plurality of spaced frangible connecting webs 34. As indicated in FIGS. 5 and 6, the webs 34 may extend vertically downwardly from the inside of the horizontal rib 26, or as illustrated in FIG. 8, the webs 34 may extend horizontally inwardly from the inside of the rib 26. The segments 32 and 33 and the webs 34 are flexible to permit the locking member 31 to slide over container flange when the closure is threaded onto the container. The segments 32 and 33, constituting locking member 31, are each constructed to have a flat horizontal top surface 35 and an inner bottom surface 36 which slants generally downwardly and outwardly from top surface 35. Closure 10, including locking member 31, may be fabricated as an integral unit by molding from a resilient plastic material such as polyethylene or polyprolene.

It is to be noted that a circular gap or space 27 is provided between the locking member 31 and the lower portion 25 of the skirt 23. This gap provides room for the locking member to flex outwardly a short distance over the container flange 15 when the closure is threaded onto the container. Conversely, the gap is small enough that the-skirt 23 limits the extent to which the locking member can flex when the closure is unthreaded to prevent the locking member from flexing too far and simply sliding back over the container flange.

.While locking member 31 has been described as comprised of two segments, it will be obvious that the locking member, if desired, may be constructed of a single element in the form of a ring 31 extending around the inside of the skirt 23 as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. Moreover, the locking member 31 may be attached to rib 26 by a very thin, easily breakable plastic film or membrane 38 as shown in FIG. 9. If desired a plastic film may be used which is perforated as shown by the dashes 39 in FIG. 9.

One or more relatively narrow viewing windows 37 are provided in the skirt 23 of the closure body 21 to permit visual observation of the locking member 31 when the closure is threaded onto the container. In the preferred form of the invention, the viewing window 37 extends from the bottom or middle of the lower portion 25 of skirt 23 upwardly to a point intermediate of the top and the bottom of the lower skirt portion 25. While only a single viewing window is shown in the drawings, it is to be noted that an additional viewing window may be provided in the closure if desired. An excess of viewing windows is undesirable in that it would permit tampering with the locking member. The operation of threading and unthreading the pilfer-proof closure of the present invention is best described with reference to FIGS. 5 to 7. As the closure 10 is initially threaded onto the container 11, the locking member 31 contacts container flange l5 and flexes or expands into gap 27 as it slides over the top surface 16 of the flange 15 as shown in v FIG. 6. When the closure 10 is completely threaded onto the container neck 13, the locking member 31 snaps back into groove 19 under the flange 15 as shown in FIG. 2 to lock the closure in closed position on the container. When the closure is in closed position, the

top surface 35 of the locking member is spaced a small distance from the bottom surface 17 of the flange. This permits easier removal of the closure in that less initial torque is required to initiate unthreading.

It is to be noted that the lower portion 25 of skirt 23 is of sufficient length to extend down and contact the container rib 18 when the closure is in locked position as shown in FIG. 2. The present invention affords a significant advantage in that adequate protection is provided for the locking member 31 to prevent any instrulocking member falls down around the neck of the container. After the closure has been completely removed from the container, the locking member may then be disposed of and the closure is still suitable for subsequent reuse for closing the container.

A further embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 10 wherein the closure 10, having the same construction as that previously described is used in combination with a container 11, having an annular shoulder 41 spaced axially below the container flange 15. The shoulder 41 of the container has a diameter at least as great as the diameter of the skirt 23 of the closure, so that the bottom of the skirt 23 engages the top surface of the shoulder 21 when the closure is in its locked position on the container.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the particular embodiments described and shown herein and that it includes any modification or equivalents within the scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A pilfer-proof closure for use in combination with a container having a threaded neck portion and an annular flange below said threaded portion comprising:

a body having an internally threaded upper portion and a lower skirt portion,

a flexible locking member inside of said body protected by said skirt portion and spaced therefrom adapted to slide over said container flange as the closure is threaded onto said container,

said locking member having a top surface adapted to engage the bottom surface of said flange to lock the closure in place when the closure is completely threaded onto said container,

frangible connecting means for securing said locking member to the inside of said body so that said locking member will become completely disconnected from said body when the closure is unthreaded from said container,

and a viewing opening in said body to permit visual observation of said locking member to determine whether the container has been opened after the closure has initially been threaded thereon.

2. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said locking member has a bottom surface slanting downwardly and outwardly from the top surface thereof to facilitate the sliding movement of said locking member over said container flange when the closure is threaded onto said container.

3. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said locking member is comprised of a plurality of annular segments connected to the inside of said body.

4. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said locking member is comprised of a continuous annular ring connected to the inside of said body.

5. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said connecting means comprises a plurality of frangible webs connected at one end to the inside of aid body and at the other end to said locking member.

6. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 5 wherein said skirt portion includes a horizontal rib and said webs extend vertically downwardly therefrom.

7. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 5 wherein said skirt portion includes a horizontal rib and said webs extend horizontally inwardly therefrom.

8. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said connecting means comprises a thin plastic membrane.

9. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 1 wherein said connecting means comprises a perforated plastic film.

10. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 1 f0 use in combination with a container having an annular rib spaced from and below said container flange, said rib having a diameter at least as great as the diameter of said skirt portion, wherein said skirt portion is of sufficient length to engage the upper surface of said rib when the closure is threaded onto said container to locked position.

11. A pilfer-proof closure as defined in claim 1 for use in combination with a container having a body provided with a shoulder portion spaced from and below said annular flange and having a diameter at least as great as said skirt portion wherein said skirt portion is of sufficient length to engage said shoulder portion when the closure is threaded onto said container to locked position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3460708 *Apr 29, 1968Aug 12, 1969Pactra IncDestructible cap for aerosol containers
FR1352712A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3888383 *Aug 17, 1973Jun 10, 1975Bowater Packaging LtdContainer having a tamperproof closure
US3902621 *Aug 5, 1974Sep 2, 1975Walter E HiddingTamperproof closure with grippable handle
US3926326 *Jun 14, 1974Dec 16, 1975Grau HermannSafety closure
US3955696 *Oct 15, 1974May 11, 1976Robert Finke Kunststoff-Spritzguss-WerkBottle and safety closure
US4147268 *Sep 24, 1976Apr 3, 1979Patel Chandrakant SPilfer-proof closure for containers
US4190169 *Jan 15, 1979Feb 26, 1980Pehr Harold TTamperproof package
US4196818 *Apr 17, 1978Apr 8, 1980Metal Closures Group LimitedClosures for containers
US4197960 *Nov 1, 1978Apr 15, 1980The Continental Group, Inc.Pilferproof container
US4291813 *Dec 4, 1979Sep 29, 1981Buckeye Molding CompanyContainers and closures
US4305516 *Apr 22, 1980Dec 15, 1981Astra PlastiqueBottle cap with guarantee strip
US4322012 *May 9, 1980Mar 30, 1982Dairy Cap CorporationThreaded plastic bottle cap
US4333577 *Sep 15, 1980Jun 8, 1982Owens-Illinois, Inc.Tamperproof closure
US4346811 *Mar 8, 1979Aug 31, 1982Captocap LimitedPilfer-proof closure cap of plastic material
US4353483 *Nov 24, 1980Oct 12, 1982Pehr Harold TContainer cap having safety locking means
US4401227 *Aug 17, 1981Aug 30, 1983Pehr Harold TTamper indicating closure cap
US4469234 *Feb 4, 1983Sep 4, 1984Werner DeussenTamperproof container closure
US4646926 *Jul 17, 1986Mar 3, 1987Robert Linkletter Associates, Inc.Tamper resistant & tamper evident closures
US4694971 *Dec 4, 1986Sep 22, 1987Thad ElsmoTamperproof package
US4895266 *Nov 23, 1988Jan 23, 1990Continental White Cap, Inc.Tamper indicating band for plastic closure
US5219084 *Feb 13, 1992Jun 15, 1993Beeson And Sons LimitedContainer neck and a closure therefor
US5273173 *Feb 5, 1993Dec 28, 1993Lynes Holding S.A.Screw top
US5411157 *Oct 2, 1992May 2, 1995Beeson And Sons LimitedContainer and the manufacture thereof
US5667088 *Oct 4, 1994Sep 16, 1997Beeson And Sons LimitedContainer closures
US5819965 *Aug 13, 1997Oct 13, 1998Beeson And Sons LimitedTamper evident ring for a container closure
US5964363 *Apr 2, 1996Oct 12, 1999Crown Cork & Seal Technologies CorporationCompression failure resistant tamper evident bottle cap
US6089390 *Jul 14, 1993Jul 18, 2000Closures And Packaging Services LimitedTamper evident closure
US6325225Mar 16, 1999Dec 4, 2001Closures And Packaging Services LimitedTamper evident closure
US6325227Mar 20, 2000Dec 4, 2001Phoenix Closures, Inc.Tamper-indicating closure with horizontal undercuts
US6328175 *Jan 22, 1997Dec 11, 2001Astra Plastique, Societe AnonymeMould for producing bottle caps with tucked-in tabs, and resulting cap
US6527132Jul 3, 1998Mar 4, 2003Closures And Packaging Services LimitedClosure with extended seal member
US6705479Nov 19, 2001Mar 16, 2004Closures And Packaging Services LimitedTamper evident closure
US6981600 *Sep 12, 2000Jan 3, 2006Guala Closures S.P.A.Tamper evident closure for bottles of quality liquor
US6991123Feb 6, 2003Jan 31, 2006Closures And Packaging Services LimitedClosure with extended seal member
EP0156300A2 *Mar 20, 1985Oct 2, 1985Robert Linkletter Associates, Inc.Improved tamper resitiant and tamper evident closures
EP0343534A2 *May 19, 1989Nov 29, 1989Walter Sarstedt Geräte und Verbrauchsmaterial für Medizin und WissenschaftContainer for preserving liquids, in particular bodily liquids
WO1989002400A1 *Sep 16, 1987Mar 23, 1989Thad ElsmoTamperproof package
WO1996031404A1 *Apr 2, 1996Oct 10, 1996Crown Cork & Seal CoTamper evident bottle cap
WO2004065245A1 *Jan 26, 2004Aug 5, 2004Aluminum Co Of AmericaContainer closure
Classifications
U.S. Classification215/252, 220/266, 215/258
International ClassificationB65D41/34
Cooperative ClassificationB65D41/3447, B65D41/3442, B65D2101/0069
European ClassificationB65D41/34D, B65D41/34D1