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Publication numberUS3837518 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1974
Filing dateNov 30, 1972
Priority dateNov 30, 1972
Publication numberUS 3837518 A, US 3837518A, US-A-3837518, US3837518 A, US3837518A
InventorsGach P
Original AssigneeSunbeam Plastics Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tamper-proof and child-proof medicine bottle or the like
US 3837518 A
Abstract
A tamper-proof and child-proof closure for a medicine bottle or the like. The closure consists of an inner cap having threads on its inner surface mating with threads on the bottle neck and an outer overcap enclosing the inner cap and normally rotatable relative thereto. Co-operating clutch means on adjacent surfaces of the inner and outer caps are engageable for unscrewing the inner cap by moving at least part of the overcap axially toward the bottle and then rotating the overcap. The overcap has a removable skirt on its lower edge which initially engages the bottle shoulder near the neck to prevent the overcap from being moved into clutch engaging position until after the skirt has been removed.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ilnited States Patent Gaeh TAMPER-PROOF AND CHILD-PROOF MEDICINE BOTTLE OR THE LIKE Peter P. Gach, Evansville, Ind.

Sunbeam Plastics Corporation, Evansville, Ind.

Filed: Nov. 30, 1972 Appl. No.: 310,998

Inventor:

Assignee:

US. Cl 215/7, 215/9, 215/46 A, 215/42 Int. Cl. A61j 1/00, B65d 55/02 Field of Search 215/7, 9, 46 A, 42; 220/27, 47

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Primary Examiner-George T. Hall Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Henry K. Leonard [5 7 ABSTRACT A tamper-proof and child-proof closure for a medicine bottle or the like. The closure consists of an inner cap having threads on its inner surface mating with threads on the bottle neck and an outer overcap enclosing the inner cap and normally rotatable relative thereto. Cooperating clutch means on adjacent surfaces of the inner and outer caps are engageable for unscrewing the inner cap by moving at least part of the overcap axially toward the bottle and then rotating the overcap. The overcap has a removable skirt on its lower edge which initially engages the bottle shoulder near the neck to prevent the overcap from being moved into clutch engaging position until after the skirt has been removed.

4 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures SBEUIN 2 PAIENIEUSEPMIQM TAMPER-PROOF AND CHILD-PROOF MEDICINE BOTTLE OR THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 dangerous drugs and other materials must be packaged in containers provided with closures which are significantly difficult for a child of five years or so to open. In seeking to comply with the provisions of this act and to pass the test procedures as established under the act, many types of closures have been designed which are adapted to be placed upon the threaded necks of bottles for medicines, dyes, poisons, etc. A nubmer of these closures are based upon the principle that the closure as a whole should be capable of being threaded onto the bottle neck to close the container simply by placing the closure on the end of the bottle and rotating it in a clockwise direction. No special movements, combinations, latches, or catches are necessary when the closures are being placed on the bottle and, indeed, the requirements for special movements or operations when putting the cap on the bottle is undesirable because it requires the installation of special capping machinery in the plant where the bottles routinely are filled on a production basis.

Successful child-proof closures of the type designed to be utilized with bottles having threaded necks usually require that the closure comprise a part which must be moved especially in order that the closure can be removed or unscrewed from the bottle. A number of these closures comprise an inner cap and an outer overcap, it being necessary to move the overcap axially toward the bottle in order to engage clutch means with the inner sealing cap to enable the two to be rotated in a counter-clockwise direction for removal of the closure from the bottle.

However, in modern merchandising of many such products, for example aspirin, or even other simple items such as salt tablets or antacid tablets, the products are placed on display on the shelves of supermarkets and self-service drug stores and the like so that it is impossible for the employees to determine whether or not a customer has opened the package prior to purchase. For this reason an entirely different type of closure denominated as tamper-proof has been designed to prevent a person in the store from opening the container, either prior to purchase or with no intention to purchase. In addition, some dishonest person may remove the closure from a container of highpriced materials and substitute on such a container a closure from another product selling at a lower price. Because the selling price of such a product frequently is stamped on the top of the closure, when the person checks out the merchandise, the check-out clerk charges the customer the price shown on the closure, which is really the price of the inexpensive item and the customer takes away the more expensive item. This is a second and important reason why tamper-proof closures have also become very necessary.

Because of these two apparently disassociated requirements, closures achieving both objectives of being child-proof as well as tamper-proof are desirable and it is the principal object of the instant invention to provide such a closure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of a closure for the threaded neck of a medicine bottle or the like embodying the invention, with parts broken away;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view partly in vertical section and partly in elevation taken generally along a diametric plane and approximately along the line 22 of FIG.

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the closure embodying the invention as it is manipulated in order to remove the closure from the medicine bottle;

FIG. 4 is a detailed isometric view showing a tamperproof element of the invention removed from the closure;

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the overcap only, taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 2 and illustrating another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 6 in its position for removing the closure;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIGS. 2 and 6 but of a third embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIGS. 3 and 7 but illustrating the closure of FIG. 8 in its operative position for removing the closure from the bottle;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary, detailed, sectional view taken along the line 10-10 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIGS. 2, 6, and 8 and illustrating a fourth embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIGS, 3, 7 and 9 showing the closure of FIG. 11 in its operative position for removing the closure; and

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary, horizontal, sectional view taken along the line 13-13 of FIG. 12.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As used herein the term child-proof does not mean a closure which simply cannot be removed by a small child, but only a closure which is so designed as to satisfactorily pass the requirements established under the mentioned Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 and thus is significantly difficult for a small child to remove to gain access to the contents of the package or bottle upon which it is fitted. Similarly the term tamper-proof as used herein is not intended to mean a package which simply cannot be opened but only one which is extremely difficult of opening without revealing the fact that it has been opened.

A closure embodying the invention as illustrated in FIGS. l-S consists of an improvement upon the childproof closure disclosed in my co-pending application, Ser. No. 237,054 filed March 22, 1972. This closure comprises an inner cap 10 which is threaded on its inner wall to mate with threads 11 on a neck 12 of a bottle 13. The cap 10 has a flat top 14 and an annular side wall 15 having a series of axially extending ribs 16. An outwardly extending lip 17 is located at the lower end of the side wall 15. The closure also comprises an overcap 18 which fits circumjacent to the cap 10 and has an annular side wall 19 of a length greater than the side wall 15 of the cap 10. The side wall 19 has an inwardly extending lip 20 at its lower edge which is of such size that it retains the overcap 18 on the inner cap by engagement with the outwardly extending lip 17 on the cap 10.

The overcap 18 has a flat top 21 and, on the underside of the top 21 there are a series of downwardly extending, beveled lugs 22. The lugs 22 extend circumferentially a distance such that they can fit in between the upper ends of the ribs 16 on the cap 10 and the lugs 22 have front ends 23 which are long enough so that they engage the edges of the ribs 16 when the overcap 18 is in its normal, unstressed position as shown in FIG. 3. The rear ends 24 of the lugs 22 are of lesser extent and do not engage the edges of the ribs 16 in the normal unstressed position indicated in FIG. 2.

A collar 25 is located at the center of the top 14 of the cap 10 and mates with a similar collar 26 extending downwardly from the inner side of the top 21 of the overcap 18. The concentric collars 25 and 26 keep the overcap l8 concentric with the cap 10 and also determine the normal relative spacing of the two in their telescoped position, as illustrated in FIG. 2.

In order to remove the closure of this embodiment of the invention, it is necessary to flex the top 21 of the overcap 18 by pushing down on the rim of the top 21 to thrust the lugs 22 farther down in between the ribs 16 on the cap 10 so that the rear ends 24 of the lugs 22 engage the ends of the ribs 16. This position is illustrated in FIG. 3. After the rim portion of the overcap 18 has thus been moved downwardly, reverse rotation of the overcap 18 is transferred to the inner cap 10 by the rear ends 24 of the lugs 22 and the closure can be unscrewed or removed from the bottle 13.

When the overcap initially is manufactured and placed upon the inner cap 10 it also has an element which functions to render the closure tamper-proof. In the illustrated embodiments of the invention this element is a skirt 27 integrally connected to the lower edge of the side wall 19 of the overcap 18 and having an axial length such that it is interposed between the overcap 18 and a shoulder 28 formed on the bottle 13 at the base of the bottle neck 12. The axial length of the skirt 27 must be sufficient to prevent the rim portion of the top 21 of the overcap 18 from being moved downwardly a distance sufficient to enable the engagement of the rear ends 24 of the lugs 22 with the cap ribs 16. Preferably the skirt 27 is connected to the overcap 18 only by small portions of material such as the points 29 so that it can be readily removed when desired. The

skirt 27 (see FIG. 4) also has an outwardly extending finger 30 which can be grasped by a person desiring to remove the closure in order to tear the skirt 27 off of the overcap 18.

The described unitary construction readily can be molded from suitable resinous material. Conversely, of course, the removable element, which renders the closure tamper-proof, may be a separate piece applied after fabrication of the overcap 18, itself.

FIGS. 6-7

The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 comprises an inner-threaded cap 31 and an overcap 32. The cap 31 mates with threads on a bottle neck 33. Vertical ribs 34 on the upper inner wall of the overcap 32 are adapted to be inserted into slots 35 in the outer wall of the inner cap 31 when it is desired to engage the cap 31 with the overcap 32 in order to unscrew the cap 31.

In the normal position of the overcap 32 (FIG. 6) a series of downwardly extending leaf springs 36 on the underside of the top of the cap 32, hold the cap 32 up away from the inner cap 31 so that the ribs 34 do not normally engage in the slots 35. However, as can best be seen in FIG. 6, the ends of the springs 36 do engage the axially extending ends of ramps 37 in order to screw the closure onto a bottle.

In order to remove the closure from the bottle, it is necessary to move the overcap 32 axially toward the bottle against the resiliency of the springs 36 a sufficient distance to engage the ribs 34 in the slots 35 so that torque can be transferred.

In its initial condition, the overcap 32 of this embodiment of the invention also has a removable skirt 38 integrally connected to its lower rim 39. The skirt 38 is interposed between the overcap 32 and a shoulder 40 adjacent the bottle neck 33 so that prior to removal of the skirt 38, the overcap 32 cannot be moved down to engage the inner cap 31 in order to remove the closure from the bottle.

FIGS. 8-10 In common with the previously described embodiments ofthe invention, the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 8-10, inclusive, has a threaded inner cap 41 and an overcap 42. The inner cap 51 is threaded to mate with a threaded neck 43 of the bottle or other container. The overcap 42 is held in its upper, normal position by telescoped collars generally indicated by the reference numbers 44 and 45 on the underside of the top of the overcap 42 and at the center of the upper side of the top of the inner cap 41. Cooperating clutch means by which the inner cap may be rotated by delivering torque thereto from the outer cap 42 consists of cooperating opposed projections 46 and 47, respectively on' the opposed underportion of the top of the overcap 42 and the top of the inner cap 41.

As in the earlier described embodiments of the invention, a removable skirt 48 is initially integral with a lower rim 49 of the overcap 42 and of sufficient axial extent to engage a shoulder 50 adjacent the bottle neck 43.

In this embodiment of the invention, the cooperating clutch means on the inner cap 41 and overcap 42 are engaged by depressing the annular rim of the top of the overcap 42 (FIG. 9) to interdigitate the projections 46 and 47 so that torque can be transferred from the overcap 42 to the inner'cap 41 in order to unscrew the inner cap 41. Prior to removal of the tamper-proof element, i.e, the skirt 48, of course, this engagement cannot be achieved.

FIGS. 11-13 The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 11-13 has in common with the previously described inventions, an inner cap 51 and an overcap 52. The inner cap 51 is threaded to mate with a threaded neck 53 of the bottle or container. In this construction, cooperating clutch means consisting of radially extending opposed ribs 54 on the underside of the top of the overcap 52 and projections 55 on the top of the inner cap 51 are engageable when it is desired to transfer torque from the overcap 52 to the inner cap 51. This engagement is achieved by pressing the overcap 52 downwardly against the resiliency of a segmented collar 56 on the underside of the top of the overcap 52 which is spread over a dome 57 on the top of the inner cap 51 when the overcap 52 is pushed downwardly. (FIG. 12)

As in the earlier described embodiments of the invention, the tamper-proof element is shown as a skirt 58 integrally connected to a rim 59 of the overcap 52 and removable therefrom when desired. The skirt 58 is similarly interposed between the overcap 52 and a shoulder 60 on the bottle or container in its initial arrangement so as to preclude the movement of the overcap 52 downwardly into clutch engaging position to unscrew the inner cap 51.

Having described my invention 1 claim:

1. A closure for a medicine bottle or the like having a threaded neck and a generally annular shoulder extending outwardly from the base of said neck to a larger diameter, said closure consisting of a. an inverted cup-shaped inner cap having threads mating with the threads on the bottle neck,

b. an outer overcap fitting circumjacent to said inner cap,

c. co-operating clutch means on portions of said inner and outer caps that are engageable by moving at least part of said outer cap axially toward said shoulder whereby rotation of said overcap then applies torque to said inner cap for unscrewing said cap, and

d. removable element initially interposed between the lower portion of said overcap and said shoulder for preventing movement of said overcap toward said shoulder for engaging said clutch means.

2. A closure according to claim 1 in which the removable element is initially integral with said overcap.

3. A closure according to claim 2 in which the element is connected to said overcap by frangible means.

4. A closure according to claim 2 in which the removable element is an annular skirt extending around the bottom edge of said overcap.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3679085 *Apr 16, 1971Jul 25, 1972Sunbeam Plastics CorpChild-proof cap for medicine bottles
US3770153 *Aug 4, 1972Nov 6, 1973Sunbeam Plastics CorpSafety closure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3902621 *Aug 5, 1974Sep 2, 1975Walter E HiddingTamperproof closure with grippable handle
US3926327 *Jan 23, 1975Dec 16, 1975Hofmann Metall KunststoffSafety and security closure
US3946889 *Mar 5, 1975Mar 30, 1976Sunbeam Plastics CorporationTamper indicating child resistant closure
US4076140 *Jan 13, 1977Feb 28, 1978Astra PlastiqueTamperproof closure element
US4111329 *Sep 19, 1977Sep 5, 1978John Edward LampmanContainer with tamperproof and stackable lid
US4402415 *Oct 16, 1981Sep 6, 1983U. G. Closures & Plastics LimitedIntegrally sealed container with cap
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Classifications
U.S. Classification215/365, 215/301, 215/219, 215/256, 215/251, 215/277
International ClassificationB65D55/08, B65D50/04, B65D50/00, B65D55/02
Cooperative ClassificationB65D55/089, B65D50/041
European ClassificationB65D50/04B, B65D55/08F