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Publication numberUS3811590 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 21, 1974
Filing dateJun 30, 1972
Priority dateJun 30, 1972
Also published asCA963430A, CA963430A1
Publication numberUS 3811590 A, US 3811590A, US-A-3811590, US3811590 A, US3811590A
InventorsHall S
Original AssigneePlastic Container Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety medicine bottle closure
US 3811590 A
A safety container closure for small plastic medicine bottles. A plug is inserted into the top or neck, in a tight friction-fit. The plug carries a key recess. An outer cap fits over the top of the container, and carries a key molded to it. The key is placed into the recess, and the plug engaged for withdrawal. An upper rib on the plug fits into a groove in the container to inhibit dislodgement.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

, United States Patent 1191 Hall, J r.

1451 May 21,1974

[ SAFETY MEDICINE BOTTLE CLOSURE [75] Inventor: Samuel Hall, Jr., Brooklyn, NY.

[73] Assignee: Plastic Container Corporation,

- Brooklyn, NY.

[22 Filed: Julle30, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 268,198

[52] US. Cl 215/9, 215/47, 215/55 [51] Int. Cl. B6511 55/02, A6lj 1/00 [58] Field of Search.....- 215/9, 47, 55, 42 B [56 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1969 Hall 4215/55 3,269,581 .3/1'966 ,Calderiy, ..215/47 3,737,063 6/1973 Loup 215/9 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cameron, Kerkam, Sutton, Stowell & Stowell [5 7] ABSTRACT A safety container closure for small plastic medicine bottles. A plug is inserted into the top' or neck, in a tight friction-fit. The plug carries a key recess. An outer cap fits over the top of the container, and carries a key molded to it. The key is placed into the recess, and the plug engaged for withdrawal. An upper rib on the plug fits into a groove in the container to inhibit dislodgement.

7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures V a 1 a SAFETY MEDICINE BOTTLE CLOSURE This invention relates to a safety-plug container closure of the type particularly adapted to contain medicine. While described with reference to ampules and the like, the medicament carrier may be in liquid form in the container. The device further relates to a container closure of the safety type wherein the contents of the container cannot be reached or exposedthrough a mere unscrewing, lifting or snapping-off action.

The prior art is awareof a variety of arrangements for preventing small children from opening medicine containers. In general, such devices include a closure member and some type of opening procedure or structure too complicated for a small child to comprehend and manipulate. Examples of such prior art devices are'to be found in the following U.S. patents, although it will be understood that these arrangements donot represent the entire spectrum of such'devices as known in U.S. Pat. Nos. 124,277; 2,793,777; 3,l4l ,756;

- 2 drencould dislodge the plug, with either their teeth or their fingernails.

According to the practice of the present invention, a safety plug such as that shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,473,681 is provided with a single slot. The corresponding key is generally L shaped, being provided with a single barb or hook member for engagement with the underside of the safety plug, thereby requiring only an insertion and pull for plug removal, thus obviating the need for a twist to effect engagement of the key with the underside of the plug. The interior of the con eral been subject to various objections, such as cost of manufacture, reliability, and the like. 7

This invention is an improvement of'myprior U.S. Pat. No; 3,473,681. In that patent a construction is shown including a plug and a key-carrying external cap. The plug is placed in the interior of the top or neck of the container and carries adjacent slots of slightly dif ferent length'and angular disposition. The key is integral with the external cap, being carried by a skirt portion thereof, and is T-shaped. The key is inserted in the longer of the plug slots, slightly twisted to place the ends of the T underneath the plug, and pulled to remove the plug. v

In practice. however, it has been found that many users twist-the externalcap more than is required to effect proper engagement of the key. Due to the relatively low strengthof the key being formed of plastic material) such twisting has resulted in breakage of-th e key and consequent loss of means to obtain access to the containers contents.

For example, in an actual test conducted with 50 adults from age to 70, the following results were,

noted (with instructions printed on the plug to insert 'key in slot. slightly turn. and pull):

tainer is also provided with an annular groove adjacent its mouth for the reception of an uppermost horizontal rib on the upper external surface of the safety plug. This horizontal rib functions as a stop to limit insertion of the plug into the container. By providing a complementary groove for its reception, it is not possible for a child to get a fingernail beneath it for dislodgement of the plug According to yet another feature of the invention, the thickness of various sized safety plugsis made constant adjacent the key slot, so that the keys for various sized caps may all be of the same size.

' According to a modification, the key slot is replaced by a circular aperture, to further inhibit possible breakage of the key. This modification, however, may be employed only in those cases where the contents of the container are larger than the circular opening.

Horizontal ribs are employed on the outer periphery of the plug to facilitate proper frictional fit with the interiorof the container. Such ribs have been found useful in overcoming the effects of slight size variations due to the manufacturing processes employed. The materials being of plastic, the ribs yield to account for such variations.

IN THE'DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a container, a plug and a top closure cap according to this invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the top portion of a container, with the elements of FIG. 1 assembled.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are partial cross-sections of the container and illustrate the procedure for plug withdrawal.

" such containers are rather small, typical dimensions tem to be presently described. In this latter test. instructions were printed'on the plug to hook a tabin a removing anddiscarding-the external closure cap,some

were able to remove the plug by inserting their fingernails underneath its top rim. However, in similar tests with the construction to be described. none of the cilbeing approximately 2 m3 inches in height and one inch in diameter (six times 2 cm. The side walls 14 of the container are of generally uniform thickness and are the same as the thickness of the bottom. The upper periphery of the container carries an integral and external bead 18,

The numeral 20 denotes a safety plug preferably formed of a softer, pliable plastic material than that of the container 12, the cap 36 could also be made of this softer, pliable plastic. The plug is defined by a flat top and skirt portion 22, which carries external horizontal ribs 24 extending completely therearound, integral therewith. A third integral and circumferential rib is denoted by the numeral 26 and is adapted to fit into a complementary circumferential groove 27 in the interior of container 14 and just below the top of its mouth. The rib 26 and groove 27 inhibit dislodgement of the plug by a childs fingernail or tooth, and also functions as a stop to limit depth of insertion of the plug. The central portion of the plug 20 carries a slightly depressed or recessed area denoted by the numeral 28 and a slot 30 is formed completely through the plug 20 in this area. The numeral 32 denotes indicia on the top surface of the plug, the indicia defining instructions for the removal of the plug in cooperation with the cap or outer closure.

The numberal 36 denotes a cap defined by a top disc portion 38 from which depends an integral skirt 40 whose lower, inner surface carries an integral bead 41. A key tab 42 is integral with the lower portion of the skirt over a limited angular extent thereof and is defined by a shank or neck portion integral with the flange 40. The key includes a barb or hook portion 44 extending at right angles to the main direction of the shank, the key thus being generally L-shaped. The circumferential extent of the shank of the key 42 is only slightly less than the length of slot 30, as illustrated at FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings.

The elements above-described are assembled as illustrated at FIG. 2 ofthe drawings. It will be observed that plug 20 makes a friction fit by means of horizontal ribs 24 with the interior surfaces of the container 12. The periphery of the horizontal rib 26 is located in groove 27. The cap 36 fits tightly over the assembly, a snap fit maintaining the cap on the container with bead 41 abutting a complementary zone on the lower part of head 18 of the container. The bottom surface ofcap 36 engages and covers top surface 31 of plug 20.

When it is desired to open the container 12 and obtain access to the contents. the user grasps the container in one hand and with the thumb or a finger ofthe other hand pushes upwardly against the bottom surface of the key tab 44. This causes the cap to undergo displacement. with the bead 41 sliding over and off the lower portion of bead 18. After the closure cap 36 has been entirely removed, it is manipulated in the manner shown at FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings. First, the cap is placed so that the forward end or barb passes into slot 30, with subsequent insertion of the shank. After being rocked into the slot as indicated at FIG. 3, the position indicated at FIG. 4 is-obtained and the user now pulls directly up on cap 36, holding the container 12 in the other hand. The designation d is given at FIG. 2 to the thickness of slot 30. This thickness corresponds, as indicated at FIG. I, to the approximate radial distance between the radially innermost edge of the barb 44 and thejuncture of the key tab 42 with the annular skirt 40 of cap 36. By maintaining the dimension d for all sizes of plugs 20. a standard key size may be employed for various sizes of containers. Thus. ifa user misplaces the cap 36 corresponding to a particular size container 12, he may employ the tab key 42'from any other size container cap in order to remove the plug.

Reference to FIG. 6 ofthe drawings illustrates a modification which differs from the above-described embodiment only in that the slot 30 is replaced by a circular aperture denoted by the numeral 300. The diameter of aperture 300 is slightly greater than the width of the tab key 42. In the use ofthis embodiment, the key is inserted into the aperture 300 in the same manner as inas applied to cylindrical and plastic ampule bottles which are currently in vogue, it will be noted that the invention is not limited to containers which are circular in cross-section. Further, the invention displays utility in containers wherein the neck portion thereof is of a diameter different from the remaining portions. It has further been found that injection molding of the several components of the invention yields commercially acceptable components. although it is understood that any desired manufacturing technique may be em ployed.

It will further be noted that the top surface of plug 20 I may extend slightly above top rim of container 12, instead of even with it as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Further, the interior of the top inside rim of the container may be curved, as is its exterior top rim. The groove 27 is slightly below the top of the container rim.

I claim:

1. A safety containerclosure assembly including:

a. a container having a mouth opening and a circumferential groove extending from the top edge of the container mouth towards the bottom of the container and communicating with the interior of the container, the widest part of said groove being wider than the internal diameter of theuppcr portion of the container,

b. an internal closure plug positioned within and across said opening and having a key recess,

0. said internal closure plug having a plurality of circumferential integral ribs on its outer periphery, a first one of said ribs frict'ionally engaging the interior of saidcontainer, the uppermost of said ribs extending into said circumferential groove, said uppermost rib being of greater diameter than the internal diameter of said upper container portion,

d. an external cap positioned over said mouth opening and carrying a key not coincident with said key recess,

e. whereby the cap must be removed to insert the key into the key recess to thereby remove the internal closure plug.

2. The safety container of claim 1 wherein said external cap is provided with an integral skirt portion which engages a portion of said container, the lowermost portion of said skirt portion carrying said key.

3. The safety container of claim 1 wherein said key recess extends completely through said internal closure plug. and wherein said key is generally L-shaped, the width of the key being less than the greatest dimension of said key recess so as to permit the key to be inserted completely through the key recess.

4. The safety container of claim 1 wherein said key recess is a slot.

5. The safety container of claim 1 wherein said key recess is a circular opening.

v v 6 v6. The safety container of claim 1 wherein the top of ripheral edge of said uppermost rib is beveled, the narsaid internal closure plug is substantially even with the rowest part of said bevel surface being the uppermost top rim of said container. part. 7. The safety container of claim 6 wherein the pe-

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3269581 *Apr 5, 1965Aug 30, 1966Joints IncPipe stopper plug
US3473681 *Nov 21, 1968Oct 21, 1969Plastic Container CorpSafety medicine bottle closure
US3737063 *Oct 12, 1971Jun 5, 1973Loup RContainer having a safety stopper
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4098417 *Nov 11, 1977Jul 4, 1978Bennett Robert AChild proof plug fitment
US4526281 *Aug 9, 1984Jul 2, 1985Kerr Glass Manufacturing CorporationMoisture tight closure and container
US4785963 *Jan 11, 1988Nov 22, 1988Rieke CorporationTamper-evident buttress plug closure
US5328474 *Sep 10, 1993Jul 12, 1994B. Braun Medical Inc.Tamper resistant syringe cap
US5423443 *Jul 14, 1993Jun 13, 1995Keller; Wilhelm A.Insertable and removable stopper device for a cartridge
US5769252 *Dec 5, 1996Jun 23, 1998Volpe And Koenig, P.C.Container closure which converts from a child resistant to a non-child resistant configuration
US5873475 *Jun 12, 1998Feb 23, 1999Volpe And Koenig, P.C.Container closure which converts from a child resistant to a non-child resistant configuration
US7958911 *Jun 14, 2011Eaton CorporationShipping plug
US8590734 *Mar 6, 2006Nov 26, 2013Jean-Pierre GiraudUnitary container and flip-top cap assembly having child resistant safety features
US20060219727 *Mar 6, 2006Oct 5, 2006Giraud Jean PUnitary container and flip-top cap assembly having child resistant safety features
US20070151993 *Dec 30, 2005Jul 5, 2007William YellandSqueeze bottle cap
US20070215624 *Mar 6, 2007Sep 20, 2007Smallwood Dale OSelf air evacuating system
US20100326556 *Jun 25, 2009Dec 30, 2010Charles Robert MartusShipping plug
USD741655 *Oct 4, 2012Oct 27, 2015Healthylicious Living LLCWater bottle
USRE29779 *Jan 19, 1977Sep 26, 1978 Child-proof and pharmacist-assisting reversible closure for containers
U.S. Classification215/207, 215/213, 215/215
International ClassificationB65D50/00, B65D50/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65D50/067
European ClassificationB65D50/06H
Legal Events
Apr 8, 1986AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19860203
Apr 8, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19860203
Nov 13, 1984ASAssignment
Effective date: 19841106
Nov 13, 1984AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19841106